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Rarity Schmarity

Posted by Ian StormStaff on September 1, 2014 at 7:30 AM

Kingsisle releases many "rare" items into its games to compliment events and holidays; but many of these items aren't as rare as you think, and sometimes it looks like Kingsisle doesn't really understand rarity. I wanted to take a look at specifically Wizard101 (but some Pirate101) and it's selection of unique or rare items, as well as discuss their actual rarity. Let's see if I can pull it off xD

At a casual glance, Kingsisle has a ton of rare items in Wizard101: wands, tapestries, bundle items, holiday items, crafted objects, birthday items, boss drops etc... But a lot of these things aren't really as rare as they were originally or what they may have intended to be. For instance the. Beckett wands a few years ago would have been super rare since Beckett stopped publishing and that's how the wands were released. However two years ago for Christmas KI dumped literally thousands of wand codes into the laps of official fansites (who then dumped plenty on unofficials as well) and soon the community was polluted with wand codes. This was a great idea on Kingsisle's part to reintroduce the codes and help out unofficials on the officials' parts. But there were so many wands that they can't be considered rare anymore, especially after sites like Wizard101 Central literally gave away umbra wands to every member that wanted one (I now have two actually). What was once a series of rare wands is now everywhere in the game. The same can be said for teleport tapestries, which are now craftable. This begs the question: what's actually rare?

Fortunately, there are some actual rare items in Wizard101. Many boss drops are pretty rare; items like the Frontier Dragon mount, the Meowmodon and the Pioneer Dragon are all still exceptionally rare and impossible to obtain currently. Some hoard pack items are also still very rare and only available as a low drop from the loot roll (looking at you Bone Dragon). Kingsisle has done a great job at keeping these items rare and NOT offering them again (even though we all want them really bad). Even though I don't have all of these rare items the ones I do have I treasure knowing that few have them, and that they probably won't be returning to the game later on. But why should rare items exist? Do they serve a purpose?

Often rare items exist to show one's dedication to the game. The Pioneer Eye patch and Pioneer Dragon items are ONLY for those who participated in betas, no other way to attain them. My Frontier Dragon mount is only for those who played Wizard101 since a certain time (a long time, I'm old). Offering rewards is often a great way to keep older players playing. There's an incentive to keep playing the game to get these rare items. Having rare items also develops a complex landscape to the items in the game, balance of types of items is important. Now the issue is maintaining that balance...

In order to keep rare items rare, or as rare as possible, you need to limit how these items can be found/bought/obtained as much as possible. Limited promotional events such as the recent Bundle-A-Palooza are great at reintroducing retired items and giving players a shot at getting them, but sometimes that doesn't always work. Kingsisle "brought back" the Beckett wands and brought so many they aren't considered rare anymore unless sites were selective in giving them away (glares at Valerian). Another way to keep a balance would be to create more UNIQUE rare items. For instance the Holiday items aren't really rare, they'll be back next year.... But the Selena Gomez items are rare and will never come back. KI needs to host more limited time events like that to keep people playing and add more unique events/items to the game.

Over the time I've played Wizard101 KI has only gotten better at releasing rare items and having rare events. I'm excited to see what's next, especially knowing that their 6th birthday is just around the corner! Thanks for reading, have a great week!

Categories: Ian's Blog, Wizard101

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Reply Ian StormStaff
12:56 PM on September 1, 2014 
@Beateiz (the reply button doesn't work on my iPad) I'm not against reintroducing items, but I'm wary of so much reintroduction that it isn't a treat anymore. For instance the Lost Pages event went from "this is cool it should come back!" To "well lost pages is back again". KI needs to find a balance. I also believe that certain items should NEVER be reintroduced; like the Meowmodon and the pioneer items. As for what I personally want, I want a bone dragon mount and will get it however possible. XD
Reply Beatriz Abbott
11:19 AM on September 1, 2014 
Great article! What are your thoughts exactly on reintroducing retired items? Do you feel there are both positive and negative aspects? What other retired items would you want to see revived and how would you do it?