Diving Into the Test Realm Waters
It's that time once again! KingsIsle dropped the spring update into the test realm last Thursday while they were preparing for a big weekend of SXSW fun. The update touches upon many aspects of the game and has been well received overall. Although not a huge update, I do feel that it's an important one. Some elements included in it have even been requested by players for years!
Daily assignments introduced a way for players to progressively earn rewards each time they log in. Wizards level 12 and higher will be able to talk to Aegon Statz in Ravenwood to start their daily assignments. Each daily assignment gives players a task to complete before they can collect their reward. If they are successful, they can obtain gold, tickets, crowns, and other goodies. The daily assignments run on a 15 day cycle, with each day offering a better reward than the previous day. Luckily, if you happen to skip playing for a day, that's okay! The daily assignments don't follow "real time." Instead, only the days you log in for will count towards the daily assignments. This means that players can pick up wherever they left off even after a long break from the game. Once the 15 day cycle is completed, the daily assignments reset and can be completed as many times as the player wants.
Thoughts: I think the daily assignments are a great addition that will hopefully encourage more players to keep logging in and enjoy the game. The reward amounts could be higher, but over time, I'm sure they'll add up. The required tasks aren't very difficult, so I think the prices match the effort for the most part.
It looks like my hunch from my post two weeks ago was correct! The spring update did indeed add three new key bosses into the mix. The wooden key boss, Ra, can be found in the Krokotopia Library; the stone key boss, Ixcax Cursedwing, can be found in the Black Sun Pyramid; and the gold key boss, Omen Stribog, can be found in the River of Frozen Tears. All three bosses cheat, but they do drop some nice loot as a reward. Omen Stribog for example drops a plethora of permanent mounts - including his very own wings! Omen Stribog's exclusive pair of wings are called the Luphilim Wings.
Thoughts: I have yet to personally experience the wooden or stone key bosses, but I have tested Omen Stribog extensively. I really liked how the shadow creatures mimicked their own spells during the battle. Although the fight isn't too bad for a well prepared and coordinated team, it could be a challenge for less experienced wizards who find themselves surrounded by unfamiliar team members. Overall, the fight may be a tad too easy, but since I play with a team that I'm very familiar with and trust, I may be in the minority. The Luphilim Wings are hot right now which may make Omen Stribog a go-to farming area when the update hits the live realm.
New Trainable Spells
Secondary schools just got a massive upgrade! The Arcanum scholars now teach off school spells that were previously unavailable. New trainable spells (for off school wizards) include Nature's Wrath, Forest Lord, Orthrus, Power Nova, Ice Trap, Frost Giant, Fire Dragon, Triton, Storm Lord, Death Trap, and Skeletal Dragon. Each spell costs one training point to learn. In other spell news, life wizards finally got a damage aura called Devotion which can be trained from the star school trainer in Azteca. Before this, life wizards only had a healing aura available to them. And last but certainly not least, you better put your cake batter away because Call of Khrulhu was finally shortened! The death spell now hits all targets at once. Huzzah!
Thoughts: I typically don't train too many off school spells (especially attacks), but I still think it's great that KingsIsle decided to make more secondary school spells trainable. I know many people wanted this and are so ecstatic right now. Devotion is also a wonderful addition, one that I had been hoping life wizards would eventually get for awhile now. Who says life wizards can't be hammers too? Cake baking with Lulu was fun while it lasted, but the shortened spell was long overdue. Thank you KingsIsle!
New fish dived into the warm Zafaria waters this update. As per usual, the new species of fish came with some very punny puns. What sparked even more excitement/controversy though was the discovery of brand new fishing chest rewards. Rare Beckett wands are now able to be fished out of chests lurking in Zafaria's ponds. Some rare fishable wands include the Amaranthine Staff, the Staff of the Querent, and the Viridian Scepter.
Thoughts: New fish and puns are always welcome in my book. Although some people are unhappy with KingsIsle's decision to make what used to be rare wands more accessible, the change will allow people who missed out on them to finally get them ... but they have to earn it. I think the wands were put there not only to give more players the opportunity to wield them, but to also encourage more players to fish. I can see both sides of the argument, but I don't necessarily feel strongly one way or the other.
The new Gear Vault housing item expands player storage space beyond their bank and backpack. Each Gear Vault can hold up to 100 items and can be purchased from the Crown Shop or be crafted using the recipe from Toshio in Mooshu. Only two Gear Vaults are permitted in each house - one inside and one outside.
Thoughts: Yes! It may not be the extra backpack or bank space that most players were hoping for, but it's something! Finally my days of losing drops will be over ... until I fill up all my space once again, that is. The only thing about the Gear Vault that I don't like is the look of it. I think KingsIsle was going for an actual underground vault look, but to me it just looks like a black rug or a gaping hole in the ground. I would have preferred it if the Gear Vault was actually a wardrobe, but beggars can't be choosers. I'm over the moon that we finally have more storage space no matter what the end result looks like.
Wizard101's spring update may not be the fanciest, but it is one of the most useful to date. Small changes can make a huge impact, and these are no exception. What do you think of the current test realm update? Share your thoughts in the comments!