kingsisle entertainment

Studio known primarily for Wizard101 and Pirate101.

Wizard101’s main city gets a magical makeover

When you’ve got magic on your side, renovation on a grand scale should be a snap, right? It was probably a little more difficult than waving a wand, but Wizard101 managed to pull a major city revamp out of its hat this week with the July update.

The patch delivered a graphical overhaul for much of Wizard City, character creation, character selection, and the tutorial. Visuals aren’t the only improvements for the newbie experience; music and sound got some major love. Oh, and there’s a carousel that you can ride now!

Hate the changes? KingsIsle is giving players the option to revert to a “classic mode” to bring back the old look and sound of the city hub.

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Battle Bards Episode 124: Old MMOs, new music

It’s a catch-all, catch-up episode for the Battle Bards as they dig through new soundtrack releases from MMORPGs that they’ve covered in the past! You may be prepared for an eclectic and enjoyable mix of music — but there is no way that you can steel yourself for the raw and heartfelt confessions that take place on this show.

Battle Bards is a bi-weekly podcast that alternates between examining a single MMO’s soundtrack and exploring music tracks revolving around a theme. MOP’s Justin co-hosts with bloggers Steff and Syl. The cast is available on iTunesGoogle PlayTuneInPocket CastsStitcher, and Player.FM.

Listen to Episode 124: Old MMOs, new music (or download it) now:

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Interview: ArtCraft’s J. Todd Coleman on prepping Crowfall’s Artisan Engine for the broader industry

Yesterday, Crowfall studio ArtCraft announced it was spinning off a brand-new company dubbed ArtCraft Technologies that would basically turn Crowfall’s engine into a marketable product for other studios, “providing game developers with turnkey technology solutions for creating large-scale Massively Multiplayer Online games.” We had opportunity to chat with ArtCraft Creative Director J Todd Coleman about the move and what it means for the studio and genre. Read on!

Massively OP: So to start, we’re curious about the “why” behind the new studio. Is ArtCraft thinking of this venture as an extra revenue stream for the company? Or is it trying to encourage more MMORPGs – or maybe both?

J. Todd Coleman: This wasn’t originally part of our plan. In the last 12 months, we’ve had a few different studios contact us to see if we would consider licensing our technology. The more we looked into it, the more it made sense. The additional revenue stream is great, obviously, but that has to be balanced against the potential distraction. We wouldn’t have done this if we didn’t see it as a great strategic move for the company, and a chance to leverage what we’ve built into something much bigger.

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Crowfall studio ArtCraft spins off new company to license its MMORPG-oriented Artisan Engine

Well now things just got interesting over in the land of Kickstarted Crowfall. ArtCraft announced this morning that it’s spinning off a “new division” called ArtCraft Technologies and specifically positioned for “providing game developers with turnkey technology solutions for creating large-scale Massively Multiplayer Online games” – all based on Crowfall’s underlying tech.

“This technology stack, the Artisan Engine, will include a robust feature set for solving the full spectrum of challenges that emerge when supporting thousands-upon-thousands of concurrent players in a virtual world: networking, persistence, physics, procedural world generation, dynamic world editing and seamless worlds up to 5,120 meters by 5,120 meters in size. In addition, it includes an exhaustive, fully-featured RPG layer, including characters, inventory, equipment, monsters, AI, harvesting, races, classes, sub-classes, powers, banking, secure trading, skills, leveling and more.”

The new division will be headed up by Josef Hall, whom you might remember from his work on Shadowbane as well as the KingsIsle titles (similar to ArtCraft’s J. Todd Coleman’s pedigree). Anybody thinking “SpatialOS competitor”? Because we sure are.

Source: Press release

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The Stream Team: Friday is giveaway day with Wizard101!

Friday is giveaway day with MOP and Wizard101! Massively OP’s MJ has come in possession of some nifty new Accursed Play Gauntlet packs, and she wants to give them away. Would you be interested in:

  • Theater Gauntlet
  • Stage Ship Mount (carries two players!)
  • Drama Llama Pet
  • Dramaturgist’s Gear
  • Dramaturgist’s Wand
  • and a 1 Month Membership or 5000 Crowns?

Yes, we said a two-player mount. You can take a friend for a ride around the Spiral. Join us live at 8:00 p.m. for your chance to win!

What: Wizard101
Who: MJ Guthrie
When: 8:00 p.m. EDT on June 29th, 2018

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The MOP Up: The Black Death improves its profession system (June 10, 2018)

The MMO industry moves along at the speed of information, and sometimes we’re deluged with so much news here at Massively Overpowered that some of it gets backlogged. That’s why there’s The MOP Up: a weekly compilation of smaller MMO stories and videos that you won’t want to miss. Seen any good MMO news? Hit us up through our tips line!

Maybe you’ll discover a new game in this space — or be reminded of an old favorite! This week we have stories and videos from Old School RuneScapePokemon GoEverQuest, EVE Online, Paladins, Titan QuestThe Black DeathSkyforgeFinal Fantasy XIWizard101, Pirate101War of RightsEvolveState of Decay 2, all waiting for you after the break!

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The Stream Team: Win a Wizard101 Battlemage Keep bundle

It’s time for another MOP giveaway of awesome Wizard101 goodies! Massively OP’s MJ has gotten her hands on a few Battlemage Keep bundles and she’s ready to dole them out to viewers. What does this bundle include? A house, mount, pet, armor, and more! More specifically, there is:

  • a havox mount
  • a wargoyle pet
  • Battlemage Armor
  • Battlemage staff and shield (with several different color options)
  • a Battlemage Keep castle
  • an additional castle space elixir
  • 100 bonus crowns for stitching your Battlemage staff and shield
  • 5000 crowns

Sounds spiffy, no? If this looks like something you’d like to get your hands on, join us live at 6:00 p.m. for your chance to win!

What: Wizard101
Who: MJ Guthrie
When: 6:00 p.m. EDT on Monday, May 21st, 2018

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Global Chat: The MMO expansion lifecycle

With the ever-developing, ever-growing nature of MMORPGs, the expansion truly has a life of its own. By now we are well acquainted with the cycle that runs from gestation to obsolescence and can usually point to where any particular expansion is on this chart.

The Lazy Goldmaker outlined the typical progression of MMO expansion packs with a six-step cycle that focuses heavily on the economy and raiding: “After the final raid of the expansion we will enter the last content drought. This is typically the longest period with nothing exciting added to the game. We are in the middle of this phase of Legion currently. Most of the markets from the live expansion will still be viable, but profit margins will be decreasing, as will prices on all goods.”

Read on for more MMO blog essays, including ones that cover EVE Online, Wizard101, SWTOR, and LOTRO!

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The MOP Up: Diablo levels up in Heroes of the Storm (May 13, 2018)

The MMO industry moves along at the speed of information, and sometimes we’re deluged with so much news here at Massively Overpowered that some of it gets backlogged. That’s why there’s The MOP Up: a weekly compilation of smaller MMO stories and videos that you won’t want to miss. Seen any good MMO news? Hit us up through our tips line!

Maybe you’ll discover a new game in this space — or be reminded of an old favorite! This week we have stories and videos from Heroes of the StormElder Scrolls Online, DayZEVE Online, Pokemon Go, Dota 2City of HeroesFinal Fantasy XIVPortal KnightsLineage 2 RevolutionWizard101Ingress, and Reign of Guilds, all waiting for you after the break!

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Wizard101’s Doctor Who event is bigger on the inside

Someone over at KingsIsle is obviously a big Doctor Who fan, because Wizard101’s current event is a thinly veiled homage to that sci-fi series. Players are challenged to seek out the Professor and his five B.O.X.E.S., which look suspiciously like red-themed TARDISes.

“Besides a new journey though the Spiral, what does your Wizard have to gain from the Five B.O.X.E.S.?” the devs ask. “How about the first craftable mounts, the Digmoore Pogo Stick and Ravenwood Pogo Stick! You should also visit Rose Piper to learn crafting recipes for exclusive furniture items. Plus the Professor will lead you to epic rewards for your Wizard.”

Meanwhile at its sister game, Pirate101 is offering a discounted deal on a year subscription. From now through May 6th, you can secure 12 months of sub time for $60, which comes out to $5 a month. Not too shabby, even for penny-pinching pirates!

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Jukebox Heroes: Five great YouTube channels for MMO music

As a collector and reviewer of MMORPG soundtracks, I owe a great debt to fellow music lovers who take the time to somehow extract files from the game directories and make these tracks available to the world at large. YouTube has been an invaluable treasure trove of MMO music, thanks to these devoted fans, and I thought I would give some of them props today for their hard and continuing work.

While there are plenty of channels where you might see a person post a playlist at one point for a single game, there are a handful of YouTubers who see their mission to continually post new music for ongoing online games. Today we are going to look at five channels and the game soundtracks that they cover. We’re talking hours and hours of music at your fingertips here, so set aside your plans for the rest of the day and get listening!

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Wizard101 plans its 10-year anniversary while Pirate101 grooms Handsome Dan

With the 10th anniversary of Wizard101 approaching, the team at KingsIsle is squirreling itself away behind closed doors to plan a grand soiree. We don’t know the details of this party yet, but fans have the go-ahead to get excited about this “grand celebration.”

Over at sister game Pirate101, the team is adding “a little more flair” to the bulldog Handsome Dan and is promoting the 101 games Fansite Festival that’s taking place on April 15th around both games. You’ll want to check out the events page to see what the community is doing.

The KingsIsle team recently went to SXSW and had a lot of fun showing off its roster of games. Check it out after the break!

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Forget matchmaking – Wizard101 introduces ‘hatchmaking’

“Hatchmaking?” you say. “What is that?”

Leave it to Wizard101 to come up with a quirky new twist on MMO gameplay. In the family-friendly title’s next update, Wizard101 is introducing a hatchmaking system that allows players to breed pets that both they and others own. There are limits to how many times and how often a pet can be used for sweet, sweet love, and KingsIsle stresses that (at least for now) this won’t replace the old hatching system, but merely supplement it.

The patch also adds a new pet tome collection system to track your growing zoo of inbred animals, some visual changes in the core Wizard City, new loading screens, more skeleton key bosses for newbies and highbies, and plenty of bug fixes. Check out the patch notes for the full rundown!

Source: Patch notes

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