After getting a few teases about it on last month's KI Live, Wizard101's summer update is finally ready to be tested by players in the test realm. The test servers first opened up last Wednesday and players flooded it to see just what all the hype was about. Although the summer update didn't give access to any new locations, it did polish things up nicely and fulfilled some longtime player wishes.
Level 50 Elixir
Yes, you're reading that right! As long as you already have an existing level 50 wizard, you can now skip Wizard City- Dragonspyre on any additional characters with the new Level 50 Elixir. After purchasing the elixir for 30,000 crowns, not only will players be instantly boosted to level 50, they will also receive a new set of level appropriate gear, a mount, pet, and have all storyline quests up to and including Dragonspyre completed. Choose wisely though, all sales of this elixir are final.
Thoughts: This elixir has been a pretty polarizing topic in the community, but I have no problems with it. In fact, the preexisting level 50 character requirement really sold me on it. This way the people who have multiple characters don't have to suffer through the early parts of the game if they don't want to, and new players who have no experience with the game or how it works won't be thrown into areas that they can't handle. Plus, the first arc has an amazing story and I'm happy that KingsIsle requires players to play through it at least once.
Grind be Gone
Those pesky Greyhorn Mercenaries and Fire Lion Ravagers are a thing of the past! Their defeat and collect quests, along with many others, have been rebalanced. Yay for less rage quits!
Thoughts: Woohoo! As I mentioned in a previous article, Greyhorn Mercenaries and Fire Lion Ravagers were the bane of my existence. I think new players will enjoy Celestia and Zafaria a lot more now that things have been adjusted.
The interface changes affected three main components:
Friends List - The friends list has a completely different look now! Along with the new look comes a plethora of new customizations and options. Players can now see the date that they became friends with a particular person, see the last time a friend was active, display their friend count and how many more friends they can add, and sort their friends according to different icons.
Buff List - Hovering over a character label will now present players with a list of all charms, wards, and effects currently on them.
Chat Box Options - Players can now customize their chat box transparency and make words bigger or smaller as they see fit.
Thoughts: The new and improved friends list was a bit overwhelming at first, but it's pretty nifty. I especially love the new sorting options and being able to display my friend count. Never again will I have to wonder how close my list is to being full! I've been in favor of adding a buff list for awhile now and I'm happy to see it finally being introduced to the game. It's not as in depth as I wish it was, but it will still be helpful nonetheless. I probably won't adjust my chat box since I personally haven't had any issues with it, but having the options there now is superb.
Tournament and PvP Changes
Previously only available for crowns, the tournament entry fee for members has been changed to gold. Additionally, a second chance roll option (for crowns) will now be shown after each tournament so players can have another chance at the loot they're after. And now ... what every PvP player has been waiting to hear: Critical has been reworked for PvP. While critical hits will still hit enemies for double the damage in PvE, they will only hit for 1.25 times the damage in PvP.
Thoughts: The free tournament member benefit has always been my favorite so I couldn't be happier to hear that tournaments will be less pricey. Outside of the benefit, I'm not much of a PvPer. However, my hardcore dueling friends are saying that this 1.25 critical adjustment can potentially fix PvP. Even if it doesn't fix it entirely, it certainly is a big step forward and may persuade former PvPers to re-enter the arena.
Astral spells have finally gotten an upgrade. Here is a list of the new additions:
- Adapt: Gain 1 power pip from incoming spells ranked 6+
- Aegis: Protects any positive charm or ward from 1 removal
- Brace: -20% to incoming damage spells for 4 rounds
- Epic: + 300 damage to 1 spell
- Flawless: +20% accuracy and +15% pierce for 4 rounds
- Indemnity: Protects any negative charm or ward from 1 removal
- Magnify: +20% damage to all spells for 4 rounds
- Radical: +150 to 1 healing spell
- Renew: +25% outgoing healing for next 4 rounds
Thoughts: In my opinion, Epic, and possibly Radical if you heal a lot, are the only new astral spells worth training. The idea behind Aegis is really cool, but the more I experimented with it, the more I didn't see it being all that useful. The main reason being that you can't stack enchants. For example, once you enchant a spell with Aegis, you can no longer sharpen that spell and vice versa. But aren't the more powerful blades the ones most worth protecting? As for the other spells, they just aren't that much of an upgrade to the previous astral auras. In fact, most of these new trainable spells are equivalent, if not worse, than some existing aura treasure cards. Overall I think these spells are incredibly underpowered and KingsIsle would need to boost them up quite a bit to make them enticing.
New Make-A-Wish Battle
Brandon, KingsIsle's newest Make-A-Wish visitor, had the amazing opportunity to create his very own boss battle. His questline begins in Polaris, but it will lead players to Neberyx in Dragon's Roost for an interesting showdown. Upon acceptance of the quest, players will also receive 7 (one for each school) Brandon treasure cards to help them in battle.
Thoughts: New Make-A-Wish quests and bosses always make me smile. It's a pleasure seeing someone's imagination come to life in such a big way. The boss battle didn't have as many cheats as I expected, but it will still give some teams a challenge. Nice job, Brandon!
Wizard101's summer update included many more fixes and additions that weren't mentioned here. To see the full list of updates, please check out the update notes here. What do you think of the test realm so far? Leave your thoughts down below!