Max Level PvP: Is the barrier to entry too high?


Max Level PVP: Is the Barrier to Entry too High?


insane bolt kevinRecently ranked PvP has seen a marked drop in participation. While some of it can be attributed to an unpopular meta, the matching system and the attitudes that are sometimes attributed to the arena a lot of the drop in participation can also be attributed to a lack of players coming into the system. This article will explore some of the reasons why the influx of new PvPers has slowed to a trickle and some suggestions to reverse the trend.



What are some Barriers to Entry?

Ranked PvP is the most competitive experience available in wizard 101 outside of Central Tournaments. Participants expecting to simply jump into PvP after PvE are in for a culture shock. Not only are the dynamics of PvP drastically different from PvE but players will be facing stats they are not at all used to. Attack damage of over 100%, resists of 50% or more and pierce that rivals Darkmoor bosses are some of the things a player can come to expect from any and every opponent they will face. As such to be competitive a new player must attempt to match these stats from the beginning and therein lies many of the barriers to entry


Barrier 1: Level/QuestingWizard101 Ambrose Doodle

This is the most obvious barrier to entry for most players. To compete at max lvl PvP one must be the maximum level. This requires questing that can take many months to a year depending on time constraints. On top of this players must also quest far enough to gain shadow pips and an additional shadow pip slot. Despite all of this many players looking to start max lvl PvP are already max lvl. As such this is the easiest barrier of entry for many to overcome.


Barrier 2: Drops

This barrier to entry is one of the most difficult for many to overcome. PvP is in a constant state of an ongoing arms race. While having the best gear is a luxury not a requirement for PvE, it is definitely a necessity for PvP. The hyper competitive nature of PvP ensures that going into the dueling circle with sub-par gear puts you at a distinct disadvantage. The current best gear in the game is a combination of Darkmoor gear and Morganthe amulets. Both of these gear sets have their own unique challenges that can prove to be a significant barrier for most players.

castle-darkmoorDarkmoor: Castle Darkmoor offers the best school specific gear in the game hands down. The main challenge with acquiring DM gear isn’t the drop rate itself (DM drop rates have been consistently recorded at 30%-40% some of the best drop rates in the game). The difficulty with acquiring DM gear lies with the challenge the dungeon poses. DM is the single hardest PvE instance to date. Almost impossible to realistically solo, Castle DM requires a team of well functioning wizards to complete in a realistic time frame. This can be an impediment to players who may not have the friends or time to recruit excellent teammates. Castle DM can also be quite exhausting-taxing the mental reserves of many of the wizards participating. Couple this with a relatively long dungeon(average times are about an hour and a half with a good team) and this gear can be incredibly challenging for many wizards to acquire.

morganthe-spidersMorganthe:  Morganthe gear is difficult to acquire for the exact opposite reasons as DM Gear. The Morganthe fight itself is a relatively easy quad boss fight that occurs as it’s own area rather than a dungeon. The difficulty with acquiring Morganthe gear lies not with the level of challenge but with the abysmally low drop rates. Experience has suggested that Morganthe’s drop rate is between 1%-5%(generous estimate) which requires dozens of hours of farming for a chance to acquire the ever elusive amulets. The low drop rate is further compounded by the fact that almost everything else Morganthe drops is useless. This is incredibly demotivating to players who may run this dungeon many times with only junk gear to show for it.


Barrier 3:  Pets

Pet_StarfishTo be effective in this meta, one must have a meta effective pet. The current gold standard for pets is a triple damage/double resist pet. The journey to acquiring this pet can be a long one and is a huge barrier for a new player to overcome. To gain a meta-effective pet a player must have: An ample amount of gold, A garden with a constant source of mega snacks or constant mirror lake runs. On top of this a player must have a friend or acquaintance with the required talents who is willing to hatch. Finally the player and their hatching partner must have the patience to go through multiple generations of pets which requires gold, snacks and time. The pet barrier is another huge factor that is preventing players from entering the arena.


Barrier 4: Jewels

The newest addition to the game, jewels provide one of most significant barriers of entry to max lvl PvP implemented. Jewels are stat modifiers that can be added to sockets found in certain items. Jewels are one time use: meaning once they are socketed into an item they cannot be used for any other items. To clear a jewel from an already socketted item one must “shatter”(completely destroy) said jewel. Jewels offer a significant barrier of entry for several reasons:Arena Jewels thumbnail

  • Low drop rate: In my experience jewels have around a 1/7 drop rate from typical mob fights. Couple this with the fact that there are several different types of jewels possible from a mob, along with several schools, along with a variable level range and you have some of the lowest drop rates per specific jewel in the game.
  • One time use: The fact that jewels are one time use is a huge turn-off for most players. This means that if a jewel was placed in a piece of gear that is not ideal then the player has to farm once again for an entirely new jewel. This also means that anytime a new socketable gear piece comes out one will have to farm for jewels all over again.
  • Future grind: The scariest part of the jewel update is that it guarantees future grind for players. As level caps increase so will jewels. This means that each level cap players will need to re-farm for jewels over and over again. The nature of jewels also ensure a heavy level of farming whenever there is a meta or gear shift.

What this translates to is a humongous level of grind every level cap or meta/gear shift, a major turn-off for players looking to enter into the max level PvP system.


Breaking Barriers to Entry

With all these barriers to entry, max level PvP would seem doomed to die a slow death of attrition. However, this does not need to be the case! Several possible systems could be implemented to break down the barriers to entry for many new players.


Breaking Barrier 1: Level/Questing

There is no real way to break barrier one from the development end. To participate in Max Lvl PvP one must be max lvl it’s that simple. That being said there are some interrelated mechanics that can be implemented to assist with this barrier. An engaging questline would motivate more people to lvl to max while better arena rewards would encourage more people to engage in PvP.


Breaking Barrier 2: Drops

Amulet-of-Divine-InfluenceBreaking barrier 2 might be a complicated endeavor as it runs counterintuitive to KI’s unstated but obvious goal of slowing people down between updates. However there exists several methods to remove or reduce the drop barrier without improving drop rates. One such method is the popular suggestion of a system of acquiring items via tokens. A token system can be implemented at bosses in which each boss battle drops a token. After acquiring a certain amount of tokens one can trade said tokens in for a specific drop from a boss’s loot table. This would mean that a heavy amount of farming would still be required(you need to beat the boss to acquire tokens), while still allowing players a guaranteed method to acquire what they desire with enough dedication. Having a clear goal to work towards would encourage more people to farm while also enabling many to overcome the gear acquisition barrier.


Breaking Barrier 3: Pets 

PetsThis barrier is another major one for players looking to enter the arena. Pets provide game defining and game changing advantages to people who raise them. At max level the advantage a pet can provide is extreme, roughly equivalent to another piece of gear. In order to gain a meta-appropiate pet in a realistic amount of time a player must have several key factors lined up: A hatching partner, a constant source of gold, a constant source of mega snacks and time. Becoming this established often requires months or even years of preparation and as such is one of the harder factors for a new player to overcome. At the same time, the level of dedication required to raise a pet makes easy solutions (such as handing each player a pet) a complicated endeavor. Many would claim that it is unfair for a new player to acquire a perfect pet quickly and easily when other players had to work hard for their pet. As such I would propose an implementation of a pet renting system. The system as I envision it would work like this:

  • Players would rent a fully trained pet with several variations of prime statistics/talents
  • The rent a pets would be available for gold(around 20,000 per day pass, 100,000 per week)

In this way players would be able to overcome the pet training barrier while also never owning the pet-retaining the value of laboriously collected pets while simultaneously offering a viable option to less established players.


Breaking Barrier 4: Jewels

jewel-iconThe new jewel system offers one of the most strenuous barriers to max lvl PvP to date. Jewels have a low drop rate, dropping at an about 1/7(generous estimate) rate. This low drop rate is then further magnified by the sheer amount of different types jewels (health, mana, pierce etc) available as drops from each creature. This is then further magnified by the 8 schools that jewels may be. This is then further magnified by the random level of jewel recieved from farming or crafting. Taken together, this makes farming for jewels an incredibly tedious and time consuming task. The tedium is then further magnified by 2 crucial aspects of jewels: the one time use and the continuously raising levels of jewels. Taken together this means that players will constantly have to farm for jewels every meta shift, gear shift and level shift. This is the barrier that keeps on giving and will continue to raise its head every level cap.

To overcome this barrier I propose a system of jewel transmutation: have the existing jewel vendors sell transmutation recipes for each type of jewel. The recipes can be separated into 3 types:


1. Level Transmutations

These recipes would allow one to convert a lower lvl jewel into a higher level jewel(the gem type received would remain the same: if you transmute a piercing jewel you would receive a piercing jewel in return).

Recipe Example: Transmute Polished Amethyst: Requires 3 Clear Amethyst Jewels and 10 Sunstones and 10 Polymorph Ninja Pig TC.

2. School Transmutations

These recipes would allow one to convert a gems class from one type into another. The level of gem received and type would remain the same as the jewels used

Recipe Example: Transmute Storm Amethyst: Requires 3 Myth Peridot and 10 Golden Pearls and 1 Storm Owl TC.

3. Shape Transmutations

These recipes allow you to change the shape of the jewel to another. However this recipe would change shape but the effect of the shape would be random.

Recipe example: Transmute Square: Requires 1 Tear, 1 Circle and 1 Triangle jewel.


What suggestions do you have to help new players get started and enjoy Max Level PvP?


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Leave A Comment!

  • John

    Thank you for posting this. I could not agree more

    • Alric Fierra

      Same here

  • thomas

    OH MY GOD!!!!!! A POST ON DUELIST!!!!!! Jk guys, seriously thanks for posting. I really like this article.

    • Oh come on, they don’t post as much as they used to, but they do post more frequently then other blogs.

      • Truth right here. Duelist101 is also a fansite dedicated to content rather than contests, like most other fansites.

  • Cindella

    The best way to break through the barrier? Go play Pirate101 instead.

    • Billy Garvey

      Yes! Agreed! Although it got really boring once I got to monquista, I’ll probably give it another go

      • Lol Monquista is the worst world in the game. Keep playing and it will get more fun.

        • Cindella

          Cool Ranch takes that title because of length and monotony in my book, but Monquista was pretty bad too.

        • not really (that your opinion) mostly don’t care or who what is what the best or not!
          (want next more broken pvp game)
          whenever going fix there pirate101 mini game school board to get rid of hackers off those scoreboard?
          wish was a hackers (people pay to win) nobody care about ranking pvp because stupid warlord gear make pvp unfair make pvp more broken as wizard101

          • thomas

            i would love to respond to your comment. Do you think you could rephrase it in better grammar so i could understand it?

          • Anonymous

            WE DO NOT FORGIVE WE DO NOT FORGET (Anonymous Was Here)

          • just ignore it because others people does understand mine English because you doesn’t understand mine english because don’t know how read topic right for people low subs haven’t chance there avatar just to troll others just make you cool or what not!, so, you get away with it beside not allow make threat on website because others have different English because do speak English but do speak different English others then English it be same story even it was English in different ways

          • Mycin DarkHeart

            I’m mean no offense, but is English a secondary language to you? Or are you just trolling? XD

          • lol (at least wizard101 twitter making joke) all days yesterdays because don’t see all days?
            here mine joke
            What Is Ice & Myth favorite word when storm wizard get to crazy with overpower storm talent with to much armor pierce?

          • yes seem like there is a secondary English (others don’t know speak mine English) how make English people make next others don’t speak others normal English? what next triple English?

          • The mystero

            English isn’t my first language but I speak it decently, plusno one was threatening you

            To add storm is not overpowered, 4000 health is like a curse when even fire can score 5000 health

          • one more thing (storm does use immunity) have same immunity as ice wizard when they are immune fire/storm because storm first school started immunity because complain of there heath in mirror lake couldn’t get pass storm spider (already have storm it was peace of cake for me) without immunity by just only using wintertusk gear (because mostly fire wizard fault never stop getting AOE!

          • Matthew Hawktalon

            Why though? 🙁

          • MatthewLegendCaster

            what are you even saying lol

          • Dragonwalker

            Gr8 b8 m8 i r8 8/8

        • Billy Garvey

          Yeah, it has potential. Im thinking KI put pirate out as an income backup so that they could do risky stuff like this in wiz. I’m at that point in pirate where it’s like Krok in wiz where you just spam hits and kill eventually. There is no real strategy, but I could get into pirate

          • Koi the fish

            Try getting out of that spam hits habit or you will face problems in Cool ranch

          • Billy Garvey

            I figured it’s like wiz, where eventually you need new strategies, what else can you do? I mostly play as a witchdoctor, btw. Should I use stuff like juju? Take them out one at a time?

          • Koi the fish

            Yes use juju and use your AOEs as a witchdoctor to get max damage out. i would suggest put two companions on one person and you and another on another enemy

          • Billy Garvey

            Okay, thanks, I’ll give it a shot when I get back into it

    • Matthew Hawktalon

      They’ll probably replicate these problems in Pirate101 as time goes on.

      • Michael Dragonblood

        Nope, W101 was a learning experience for KI.

        • Matthew Hawktalon

          We can only hope that it was

        • Kek

          Pirate101 is currently doing worse and has less subs than W101, which isn’t saying much considering its dropped off over a quarter of its subs since the start of the year.

          KI isn’t nurturing their game.

          • Awsomeboy350

            If only the new world came to be. I mean worlds, since it’s been 2 and a half years…

          • Billy Garvey

            Since khrysalis? Its been like a year and a half since part 2

    • Trevor

      No you stupid scrub

      • Michael Hammer

        Now now little trevor! Calling players names like, ” Scrubs ” may make you feel like a big boy, but it shows how tiny you really are. Be kind to all players. Not just the ones in Wu realm, with their worthless Badge on. Is that you trevor? Are you strutting around with a badge, but scared to go outside? Now who is really the scrub? It’s you little fellow! lol

    • Michael Hammer

      P101. Now there is a game where you are forced to buy crowns if you want decent gear. I played it when it first came out, and was obsessed to make the top level. I made it after spending hundreds of dollars on crowns to buy ” Gold ” to level my companions, and buy crowns gear which was the best available. I had the best crowns ship too. lol. Needless to say i dont play it anymore. what a joke. The little kids love this game. i guess cause they think: ” Look at me, i’m a Pirate ” lol.

  • Billy Garvey

    Maybe make the rental pets PvP only? Or make them only epic? Perhaps give them low stats? If they’re perfect pets with full stats and defender triple damage proof I would never train a pet again in my life. 100k gold is an hour of gold farming once a week, instead of hours upon hours of begging for hatches, frustrating fails, farming gold for yourself and others for hatching, etc

  • I love all the ideas, but the token one is simply brilliant.

  • Blaze D.

    Make mega snacks trade-able not sell-able at bazaar but trade-able 🙂

    • Billy Garvey

      Make everything tradable… But KI said that won’t happen 🙁 would make Morganthe farming easier

      • Blaze D.

        Wizard101 needs to be more of people friendly. You can’t trade items beside tc… They should at least make gems, reagents, or some gears trade-able. Everything in W101, you have to get it by yourself IMO…

        • Billy Garvey

          Although I feel like that would lead to more scamming by promising gifts for more valuable items

          • Blaze D.

            There’s a solution for that. for ex: Have both party confirm the items before trading…

          • Billy Garvey

            But people would most likely say trade me ? and I’ll gift you ?. Unless you’re saying you can trade crowns, in which case leads to more begging and scamming

          • ExplodingStar

            The solution to that would be that you have to trade something back to the person at the same time for example if kingsisle implement morganthe amulet trading then in order to trade them both wizards must give an amulet to each other, this will stop scamming.

          • Billy Garvey

            But then this wouldn’t work for things like waterworks and hades, where you can only get your school stuff, and I doubt KI would convert schools gear

          • ExplodingStar

            Yes i meant convert school gear, this way there would be no scamming as i said.

          • Billy Garvey

            Oh okay

  • RandomWizard

    Rather than create a new Token system, the same effect can be also done with the already existing Crafting System (along the lines of the Darkmoor Deck recipes, and the oft-forgotten Aquila Senator junk recipes)

    Add a new reagent “Essence of Darkmoor” that you only get from Darkmoor fights (one dropped per fight) and use that in a recipe to upgrade the Mal Tier3 gear to Tier2, and another recipe from Tier2 to Tier1.

    Of course this can be extended to making Morganthe’s Amulets, Waterworks gear, etc.

    • MatthewLegendCaster

      support, reward people for getting to the highest level of crafting

      • MatthewLegendCaster

        and to be honest. KI doesn’t make any extra money from having players have to farm each new area for all the gear

        • Necromantics

          They make plenty, from people buying subs to people buy crowns for chests, the harder it is for an item the more people seem to want it, and for those w.o time on their hands, paying gets the job done and racks in kingisles profit

          • Guest

            He’s prob mainly talking about dark moor, which has no chest

  • Merciless Jean Percy

    I’m not sure if there is a way to resolve the issue. I’d recommend staying at a low level so you dont have to go through all of the grinding at max.
    Or play Pirate101 XD, which seems to be infinitely easier to keep up with.

    • Matthew Hawktalon

      I agree, I might not even level my only max character once the third arc comes out.

      • Awsomeboy350

        Pirate101 is so easy, that I made all my characters max in two freaking months. That would’ve taken years for Wizard101 if you’re doing it normally.

  • Ethan Breeze

    I believe part of the reason some of the amount of players aren’t doing pvp is that they are waiting for the higher skilled people to get warlord, so they face an easier match. It is a cheap way to win, but it works.

  • Ethan Breeze

    Did Kevin just insane bolt himself? D:

    • BoilingHotCoffee

      Awwwww… is the poor Insane bolt okay?!?!?

    • oh brothers (roll eyes)

    • nobody

      no miracle he has problems beating those ghosts… everyone knows if you want to beat them you need to hit them not yourself… perhaps he should start using other spells? 😛

  • Blaze MeOut

    I think there is a big drop in players playing pvp and also pve for a couple of more reasons … high level players during the morganthe arc had the mentality that once morganthe is done we would leave because this game combat system was getting too repetitive … the fact is after awhile it is really competitive and it becomes a habit or it becomes boring … the lack of a new world and a new arc makes players tend not to play after darkmoor as there is nothing else to do other than pvp but whats after pvp? pirate101 combat system is much more fun unpredictable and flexible compared to wizard101 which is dying out its simple that they have to give more to their combat system

    • nobody

      youre right. they already took a step in the right direction with cheats wich can force players to change their battle style in order to even stand a chance in the match (think of that boss in zafaria who spams ra if you dont hit him every turn. forgot his name for a sec but you know who i mean i hope).

      • Blaze MeOut

        wizard101 ran out of tricks a long time ago … its the whole reason why the schools new spells are getting washed out in pvp there is nothing new to give in the system … take a look at myth used to be one of the best schools to pvp since the start of celestia … by the time Avalon came it when straight towards the bottom every since … wizard101 is running out of tricks since the combat system is only a card game and it has limitations of what they can do in it… level 50-60 I would say truly was the golden age of pvp because stats were unique but didn’t go so extreme but that’s not the most important issue here … the game lost momentum because the creators are running out of new creative ideas for spells to keep the game balanced… also the creators of the game unlike most mmo’s don’t even looks at the pvp meta of wizard101 and try to tweak spells incase things get off balance and launch mini updates regularly

        • nobody

          well your right about that they are pretty limited with what they can do for the combat system, but there are still things they havent even tryd. spells that attack 2 or 3 targets instead of either 1 or all enemy’s for example. or why not add a stun status that gives every damage and trap spell a small chance to stun the target for 1 round (adds 1 additional round to spells that already stun on their own). how about spells that deal insane high damage for low pip cost but in return give the target a heal over time that will heal most of the damage done away again? and why not let damage over time deal additional effects depending on the school damage (for example fire damage over time reduces targets resist while ice has a small chance to stun). there are tons of ideas that could be added.

          • Blaze MeOut

            I sometimes I think the company just given up on them… I mean the main creator of wizard101 even left his company at kingsisle… kingsisle is probably there to just let the game die more slowly instead of abruptly closing off the game … many mmo’s and games I’ve played before tend to do this just so players can find more satisfaction and leave and then later closes off the game … sounds more like a peaceful ending is very strategic for kingsisle … right now kingsisle seems to put more emphasize on wizard101 than pirate101 for some special reason this might be why but there could be many possibilities. The original duelist101 cast seems to going away too or is already gone… The game is also feels outdated for its style too … I would say it was great to grow up with wiz but now its time to move on like any other game I am glad they ended when morganthe and malistaire died and was not cut half way in a new story

      • Blaze MeOut

        I’ve played other mmo’s and the games always do mini updates to keep pvp meta balanced wizard101 is a disgrace because they don’t even do that

  • Matthew Hawktalon

    I feel like there should be a guarantee for getting a piece of gear after a certain amount
    of runs.
    Like for example after 200 runs you will get your morganthe amulet
    automatically if you didn’t get it on one of the 200 runs. This is just so people
    have a gear drop to look foward to if they get unlucky with the drop rng.

    • The mystero

      Kinda ehh tbh :/

      • Matthew Hawktalon

        What’s wrong with it?

        • Aj

          people can abuse it just how people abused the team player badge plus if you honestly think about it 200 runs for try hards isn’t that much

          • Matthew Hawktalon

            What’s wrong with abusing it? As long as everyone saves time I believe it would be great.

  • Ah this article opened my eyes greatly. I’ve subconciously strived to overcome these barriers, but never intended to PvP. When I decided to go into PvP, I realized that I already overcame all the major barriers along with having an amazing host of background from here, Duelist101.

    Questing was fun and getting the gear was a challenge, but I now have all of that. I’ve also created the gold standard triple damage/double resist pet, with a boon jewel so it’s quad damage/double resist
    The pet itself is an Enchanted Armament so that might be a bit off from the strategy I use, but still worth it.

    The jewel barrier. I’ve gotten the pierce jewel and the accuracies, but the stun blocks evade me x: Especially since they’re on the wrong amulet. I have 94 health jewels

    I’m mostly set but PvP for storm is a major struggle, given our natural school disadvantages and the Jewel Farming struggle is reeaalll but not very requried anymore.

    • The mystero

      I agree about the storm part, darkmoor ripped us open. I can’t say that storm pvp isn’t fun though

  • On the note of Jewels, the most easiest way to fix that one is to make max level jewels available from the current Level 75-95 Crafting Recipe, and make a general jewel recipe with Flawless Opals that give Stun Resists, pip chance, accuracy, general resistance, incoming/outgoing healings, etc, etc, etc. Steel and Brass should also drop on the Khrysalis Mobs that we typically farm for Jewels.

    • MatthewLegendCaster

      steel and brass should definitely be a lot of common. I keep getting accuracy jewels from crafting -__-

  • thomasmb

    I haven’t returned to max level pvp yet, because I haven’t been able to catch up with all the gear and pet updates since darkmoor, but I can tell that resetting ranks significantly raised the entry barrier for all levels. I did pvp on my balance a while ago when he was lvl 30 and had no pet or decent gear, just to take a break from questing, and gosh was I surprised not to face anything but inexperienced players. I got to warlord in no time. I just tried again on my new ice, with way better gear and a good pet, but I hit a huge wall. There’s no real “entry level” for pvp anymore. With too many experienced people with commander gear all starting from scratch, the few real beginners, even with the best strategies, simply cannot hope to reach commander and get their gear, because they’re just sent in the middle of a melee of 2nd age warlords in which they stand no chance. KI really needs to find a way for warlords to go back where they belong. From now on, I’ll probably stick to max level pvp, because I know that even if I reach warlord on my Ice, I’ll just start facing lvl 50 privates with full glendemming gear without even having commander gear myself.

  • Billy Garvey

    Would the tokens be a common but random drop, or a guaranteed one per run?

    • Igor Efimov

      Tokens would ideally drop every run, as a counter of how many times you had farmed or defeated that particular boss.

      It seems like an easy thing to implement, but it’s not that simple. Each instance, dungeon, or boss would have his or her (or its) own unique token. Otherwise, what’s to stop players from farming Rattlebones or Nightshade, amassing thousands of tokens, then cashing those in on an Amulet of Divine Influence?

      Now think of the THOUSANDS of bosses, instances, and dungeons the average player completes from Unicorn Way on upwards. Each time, generating a unique token. What do you think will happen to the servers when they try to store all this data?

      Even breaking the Spiral down into zones, each of which grants a particular type of token, so that you end up with maybe a couple dozen different “denominations”. Wizard City bosses would grant a level 1 token, Krokotopia bosses would grant a level 2 token, and so on. Exceptions for things like Waterworks and TOTH and Briskbreeze would place those tokens in the same level category as bosses in Celestia, etc.

      You would still need to track these and there would still be some room for abuse (farm only up to luska, exchange tokens for waterworks ROBE) and player disappointment (Because drop rates for malistaire are much higher than for morganthe, let’s set the token cost for any tier 1 malistaire item at approximately 20x the token cost for any Morganthe item; even though we all know it is way more than 20x harder to do Malistaire than it is to team up for Morganthe).

      It’s still a great idea, and regardless of how sticky and unbalanced PVP is right now or tomorrow, the grinding aspect of w101 is far and away the #1 reason people won’t bother and will eventually move on. Even when I’m outmatched and losing in pvp, I have fun trying, because my goal is to match wits with a human opponent. And my goal is (mostly) met. But grinding is no fun at all, I do not set goals of “spend 90 minutes trying to explain how shane’s cheats work, and another 90 minutes actually in battle burning through expensive TC” but this is usually what happens when I resolve to try for any piece of Malistaire gear.

      The tokens being a random drop seems like another form of grinding. In order to bring home the point that you CAN work toward a greater goal is that you are rewarded directly according to the time and effort you put in.

  • Necro123

    Because the previous post wasn’t boring enough…

    • MatthewLegendCaster

      I thought this was actually pretty interesting. If you don’t like the content, then just leave lol.

    • I actually liked this post a lot. If you didn’t like it, ignore it.

  • Blaze MeOut

    I would like to introduce a new term to you guys if you play other mmo’s … I would consider schools you choose as classes like in wow or tera or other mmo’s … in addition to certain classes think of wizard101 with roles … one class could have one or multiple roles within a pvp battle which more than anything in this stage of the game depends on your gear more than your deck style battle … you effectively you use your deck will depend on the gears advantages and disadvantages… you have to correspond to your gear and pets if you wanna successfully battle with your deck strategy … the roles I see in wizard101 is becoming more modern and developed like in other mmo:
    we got critical/damage specialists (dps role) roles that primarily the shock that brought change to 2nd age pvp gear, fire and storm fit well here
    we got tanks to take in all the damage for you … which is mostly best suited to the ice and death school; also can refer to jade gear users which brought change to 2nd age pvp also
    we got support utility user and healers … balance, death, life tend to fit in these roles well
    and finally we got those balanced wizards … not great in any of these fields but can dabble a little in it … which makes balance the most versatile in this age of pvp

  • tay kyles

    Renting pets would have to be extremely expensive if it has all the desired talents. I’m talking $50,000 a day. I could shrug off $20,000 with ease

    To make it less of a go-to, it should go for $100,000 a day, or even move into Crowns per day. Like 200-500. Make it desirable, but not an easy go-to

    I mean come on. I’m looking at a double damage, Proof, Fairy and Infal pet. I can easily get $20,000 a day, and never train a pet again

    Maybe make it based on the talents you want in it, like every talent costs a certain amount, and then you choose how long you want to rent it

    And this is all coming from someone who doesn’t have a good pet

  • tay kyles

    I think Wizards is starting to fall off

    The PVP realm has had a significant drop in participants. That’s mentioned, but it also applies to Practice. It takes forever to get a match, and you have a really high chance of fighting a Ranked player with Arena Gear

  • Ethan PvP

    I really love this article. PvP and PvE are COMPLETELY different and I love how this article explains that not just dynamics but also the culture. Sadly, PvP is witnessing the worst drought of players in rank ever and I feel this because of the stagnant changes to the meta and game itself. Without live updates and as @Kek said, KI isn’t really nurturing their game. I really support live updates to the game in order for its PvP community to be happy. Kingsisle wants PvP and PvE to mix together so it is easier to adjust to but, it is very easy to abuse this system. Kingsisle needs to do an overhaul they are unwilling to do in order to make the Ranked community successful again. This includes balancing to gear, pets, spells, etc. Games such as Guild Wars II and World of Warcraft have a CLEAR separation between PvP and PvE and games like League of Legends and other MOBAs do constant live updates to change up the meta. Unfortunately, Kingsisle is not willing to take on the challenge and remove the blind eye on the fact that their game attracts more “older” ages and up and want to keep a simple, child “friendly” pay to win game.

    • ChoGath

      I think part of the current problem / challenge is that the average casual PvP player is totally abused. It’s a horrible experience at any level. There is nowhere you can grow by gaining experience against your own skill and equipment level. It’s a viciously negative experience for new people having to fight against perfectly equipped “overlords”.

      • Logan LegendThief

        Pay to win, bro. Pay to win.
        I’m lucky I got all of wiz’s PvP goals covered while in my mid-teens. I just log in for the fun of it now.

    • Dragonwalker

      Exaxtly, someone gets it

  • Zachary Strongman

    Still half unconscious due to the 30-40% darkmoor droprate thing……. I farmed at least 45 times and i still don’t have my robe.

    • MatthewLegendCaster

      yea I think it’s a lot lower than that for me at least :/

    • Igor Efimov

      These figures are drawn from runs done shortly after Darkmoor went live. Since then, the two Jewel Updates have diluted the drop tables quite a bit. Not only with the jewels themselves, but also the new reagents used to craft jewels.

      At present the drop rates seem to have stabilized to around 20% . What this means is that ALMOST every run, one of the four teammates will get a top tier hat, robe, boots, or wand.

      This is still far better than the 0.1 – 1% chance of getting YOUR SCHOOL amulet or athame from Morganthe.

  • I like how that’s a picture of the old insane bolt animation and an Amulet of Divine Influence without the Jewel Slots from the jewel update :p

  • I’d like to comment that the “gold standard” pet has been altered from the Triple Damage/Double Resist given the addition of jewels and the change in the critical system. Critical talents and block talents have been seen on pets quite a lot, and have been utilized to effect. The new critical system allows for even a little extra critical from pets (which is actually roughly 5% per crit talent with the new formula) to allow you to land a bit more often than you’d think for the typical 280-300 avg block. Block talents (which also are much more block with the new formula) fill that gap and save you from criticals much more often. I, personally, use the triple damage/double resist because critical is just so unreliable and still somewhat of a waste of a talent slot, and I use conviction for the higher crit schools and my block saves me most of the time, so I’m fine. Critical and block talents on pets are still noteworthy though.

  • James Firerider

    The token system seems good, but I have seen it at work and it isn’t that great. It might work well for this game, though, due to the nature of dungeons, but the main problem is that the drops come from dungeons that take way too long or are too hard for wizards who have never done it before to do, which ends up shoving them out of parties. Darkmoor in particular takes an immense amount of coordination to do in a reasonable fashion, and is very frustrating (and INCREDIBLY long) if anyone messes up. I don’t mid these dungeons, but having an entire gear set come from them is kind of rediculous. Maybe at 150 or so (whenever the next set of top tier gear comes out) they should split them up into smaller dungeons so it is easier to farm for equipment. Or even go back to the old way of having random bosses drop special equips like in dragonspyre.

  • Jack The Hammer

    Why don’t we just turn every ranked match into a classic match format, only you can keep mastery ammy’s since they’re a bit underused anyway..

    – No pet grind
    – People who pay to win still get to keep their ~$20 pack wands
    – People spend more time dueling instead of in the hatchery


    Oh and because it’s classic, drop TCs and put reshuffles to infinite OR keep TC’s altogether and do not change 1 time shuffles.

    The aforementioned TC changes (or lack thereof) will promote class solidarity but will kill some weaker classes chances, while the other just keeps the card pool the same, respectively.

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