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Kingsisle shines some light on Wizard101 gardening

Beau Hindman
Beau Hindman|@Beau_Hindman|November 30, 2010 9:00 AM
If you're a player of Wizard101, the surprisingly deep card-based MMO from Kingsisle Entertainment, then you were probably surprised when gardening made an appearance on the test server last week. I know I heard a gasp of surprise as my wife logged in to take a look! It seems as though players will now be able to grow their own plants, complete with their own personalities and faces.

Well, things were still a bit foggy so we decided to fire off a few questions (with the help of our friend Fallon at Diary of a Wizard) in the hopes that our thumbs would become a little greener. Thankfully, Fred Howard, V.P. of marketing at Kingsisle, was able to answer them all. Join us past the cut for the full interview!

Massively: Will there be another energy globe added just for gardening? At the moment, you need to use pet mana to garden. There are many players who faithfully level their pets and will now have to choose between pet activities or gardening. Perhaps other ways to earn energy could be added (instead of spending crowns)?

Fred Howard: There will be one energy globe that is shared for both gardening and training pets.

What was the driving thought behind adding gardening to Wizard101 so soon after the release of Celestia?

We are always looking to add fun and fresh things to do in the world of Wizard101. The concept of gardening or cultivation has been very popular in the games and online games space for a long time. However, we feel that the setting of the Spiral enables us to offer a whole new take on this kind of gameplay. Because our world is vivid, colorful, wacky and in three dimensions, we are able to offer depth and character to the new gardening system in a way that is unique to our game. In fact, the question touches directly on one of the key things we think about when we add a new element to the game: How can we do this in a way that is different, ideally better, than has been done before?

What is the typical grow time for the plants? Many players are adults or kids who will be in school -- will they miss those critical grow milestones if we are unable to log in daily?

Grow times vary greatly. Some plants will take a few days to mature to a harvestable state; some might take a few weeks. While players are encouraged to check in regularly to harvest their gardens, missing a day isn't going to cause too much trouble.

Does the 100 plot limit count towards your furniture limits?

Yes, the plot/plant limit does count toward the overall housing item limit. (The technical reason for these limits is to make sure houses load quickly and run smoothly).

What are some basic tips to help level while gardening?

Plants have personalities, and with those personalities come likes and dislikes. Some plants will respond well and grow more quickly when they are around a certain item or plant type they particularly like. Part of the fun will be experimenting with gardens to identify the optimum configuration for the plants you want to grow.

Thanks again to Fred for answering our questions!