KI Teases Earthquake Fairness in Test Realm

So, after my big ranty rant last week about Wizard101, addressing the Earthquake spell exploit in PvP, and how the cash-shop equipment making it possible for anyone to buy the highest PvP title in the game, KingsIsle goes and launches the test realm today.

One of the updates being tested? Earthquake will no longer remove stun shields.

If this makes it to the live realm, and actually WORKS, I’ll be impressed.

There’s lots of other updates to truly be excited about, including the much-desired ability (for cash) to change the appearance of your wand/sword. New pets, new spells, and new content (the Wintertusk area, which is linked to the storyline in Grizzleheim). There’s also a new dungeon (i.e., optional quest area with high-quality drops) for players who have hit the level max.

I’ll investigate the Test Realm for a few days before asking you to suffer through an in-depth analysis. But I’ll leave you with this thought:

When will KI realize it’s not too smart to release new questing areas if they aren’t going to raise the level cap at the same time?


Spiral Situation

Test Realm April 2011: Burger King Amulets

Having asked Ethic if I could establish a bi-weekly column, I wasn’t expecting to post again so soon after bashing bubbly on the hull of my Spiral Situation. Then what to my wondering eyes should appear but those magical words: Test Realm Status: ONLINE!

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Spiral Situation

For about two weeks, Wizard101 players were tantalized by a countdown clock on the patch screen. We quickly deduced that the “something special coming to The Spiral” would arrive on April 1: anyone with a speck of common sense realized it would be something at least slightly humorous.

It was not until the lid was ripped off the surprise that the community realized the limited range of some players’ sense of humor. The big announcement was the arrival of a new pet in the Crowns Shop (i.e. cash shop): KingsIsle’s iteration of that fabled fad of the 1970s, the Pet Rock.
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As you probably know, NASA recently put out an RFI (Request for Information) regarding the development of a MMOEG (educational game). The deadline for responses was today, at 11:59P Eastern, but it looks like they killed the page early this afternoon (not found) and now the link is password protected. If you didn’t get your submission in before they did this (or at least wrote the right information down) you are probably out of luck.

Anyway, I’ve posted my own thoughts on what NASA might or might not end up with, but I am curious to see what the KTR community thinks. After looking around at random other blogs, reviews, and whatever, I get the feeling that the gamer community, as a whole, may have missed the point about what NASA is looking for and trying to build. Forgive me for not saving the link, but I actually saw some comments on a Second Life blog implying that NASA and Linden Labs (makers of SL) were planning on creating a research company in SL to research the viability of a MMO (??). Even more amusing (or perplexing, depending on your point of view) one commenter expressed some befuddlement at the idea that NASA would consider building a MMO independently and not just build a space station or something within Second Life. (“…”).

What do you guys think?