Developer Insights: Building a Path to Progress with SOS Training
We’re starting off year two of Harry Potter: Wizards Unite with a major update through SOS Training. After listening to player feedback, we looked to develop a new feature that would
give players new and exciting ways to grow while fulfilling their magical potential as a witch or wizard.
Why SOS Training?
Since launch, we’ve really seen players gravitate to the parts of the game related to Professions, and we can definitely understand why. Professions grant access to unique skills that can be leveraged in dynamic magical combat, but it’s also the primary area in the game where you really get to have freedom of choice as well as the ability to see your progress as you get stronger. We wanted to introduce a similar system with SOS Training that would also offer customization, new skills and compelling rewards as you continue to level up. To track your progress, your SOS Task Force Appraisal will serve as the new way to show how you’re getting stronger throughout your entire wizarding journey.
To represent the idea of continuing progression, we really took to the idea of specialized training offered by the SOS Task Force. It was a great opportunity to show what kind of learning and growth would be possible as an adult in the wizarding world. Just because you’re no longer at Hogwarts or another magical school doesn’t mean you’re not gaining new experiences and continuing to learn and develop your skills as a wizard. We wanted to reinforce the idea that learning is a lifelong experience.
Designing for Success
Players have dedicated a lot of time and energy into developing their magical skills as a member of the SOS Task Force so we wanted SOS Training to complement existing game systems. The lessons have been created in a way that helps show how multiple, seemingly disparate aspects of the game are actually deeply interconnected. As you continue to level up and unlock additional skills, the connections between different parts of the game will become more and more apparent.
SOS Training was also an opportunity for us to give players more clarity and agency in game overall. Some game mechanics have thus far been somewhat opaque to the player, so when designing lessons we focused on making the game more transparent and intuitive. We know how frustrating it can be when a Confoundable resists your spellcast or when a rare Foundable escapes. These mechanics have always had their own balance within the greater game, including ways to impact them such as raising your player level or using certain Potions, but we wanted to overhaul these kinds of mechanics to make them easier to understand while also creating more opportunities for players to directly impact the outcomes themselves.
Another goal we had for this feature was to make sure it would be fair for players of all levels. We wanted to reward longtime players by unlocking lessons up to whatever level a player may happen to be, but also introduce new resources so that all players can start from a similar baseline in this new aspect of the game together. With SOS Training, if you’re new to the game, you’ll also have a clearer path in the beginning to help guide you through the early stages, and if you’ve been playing for a while, you’ll now have a lot more ability and freedom to immediately impact core parts of the game that are important to you and your playstyle.
Meaningful Interactions with the World and Others
Harry Potter: Wizards Unite is unique in its ability to let you explore the magic of the wizarding world right in your own neighborhood. To help reinforce this idea, we introduced Field Charms as an additional way for players to interact with the magic in the world around them. With the ability to cast Field Charms on Traces and points of interest, players will now have new reasons to walk and discover things nearby. We also wanted to use these new spells as an opportunity to introduce more ways for friends to play together. Whereas previously the only way to interact with other players at the Map level was by placing Dark Detectors in Inns, now, casting Inn and Greenhouse Charms will conjure rewards on the Map for all nearby players. We’re excited to see how players will continue to strategize together to make the most of these new spells and their effects.
We hope that SOS Training provides an engaging new way for players to grow as they level up, while also making for a better overall gameplay experience. We’re continually listening to player feedback and we’re always looking for ways to improve the game. Good luck delving into your new upcoming SOS Training lessons and keep an eye out for more fun features and events in year two of Harry Potter: Wizards Unite!
-The Harry Potter: Wizards Unite team