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EpicDuel PVP Game Design Notes

Behind the scenes information about EpicDuel's development and releases, a real-time PVP MMO that you can play online in your web browser.
Nightwraith

June 19, 2018

Arcade, Achievements, and Balance!

Greetings EpicDuelists! I'm very pleased to announce a new update coming later this week! I want to try to include as much content as I can while allowing for enough testing so I'm predicting a Friday release. For those of you who haven't followed

Wait. What? A release? Yup! I posted a tweeet a few weeks ago asking what themes for Arcade games players would like to see and I was flooded with ideas and suggestions for release content. The EpicDuel community is still hungry for new releases and possesses an incredible passion for the game. This moved me to devote my efforts to giving EpicDuel the attention it deserves! I'm not a programmer like Titan or Rabble so I can't promise any big features, but I'll do my best with the game as it is.

OHHHH YEEAAAHHH NEW RELEASE!

 

Arcade

The Arcade machines scattered throughout Delta V but mainly concentrated in Valestra's Arcade have been sadly neglected since their introduction. Years ago, we updated the Arcade with several games themed after popular items from other AE games. I've put out the call again and received some great items to adapt to the world of Delta V! The Arcade is something I hope to expand further so if there are other themes you'd like, let me know!

 

Achievements

In addition to being a great way to win cool weapons and home decorations, Arcades are also excellent for boosting rating points! I've boosted the achievements for Arcades to all have 3 more tiers. This will result in a HUGE rating point boost for those who've dominated the leaderboards. Don't fret, though! I've also boosted the Rating Point system include 2 more tiers: Platinum and Regal Stars! Currently, nobody has hit the existing cap, but with the addition of new achievement tiers, I expect a few lucky souls to cross the threshhold to the new tier! Who will be the first to go Platinum?

 

Balance

I've heard a lot of requests to buff Legendary Ranks. The last time we addressed Legendary Ranks we nerfed their power while also buffing the Underdog skill. For this reason, I'm buffing Legendary Skills as follows:

Primary Damage: 1 → 2 per point
Sidearm Damage: 2 → 3 per point
Auxiliary Damage: 2 → 3 per point
Defense: 1 → 2 per point
Resistance: 1 → 2 per point
Robot Damage: 2 → 3 per point
Medical Mastery: 1 → 2 per point
Energy Efficiency: 1 per point (unchanged)
NPC Crusher: 1 → 2 per point
NPC Armor: 1 → 2 per point

They're not as powerful as they were originally, but it's a start. We'll see how this changes balance and go from there.

Another area I will address is the potency of energy regeneration skills by reducing their effectiveness. These nerfs will be broad but not severe as I'd rather proceed with a scalpel than a mallet to address balance. My goal is to offer balance updates weekly to keep the game fresh and try to nudge the classes to some sort of equilibrium.

 

OMEGA

By popular request, I've decided to bring back the Omega Weapons with some special conditions. First, they will be rebranded as 2018 editions, allowing the originals to retain their rarity score. Second, they will be available in-game at Nightwraith for Varium only. This was a tough decision, but it seemed most fair to those who joined us during Omega but missed out on those awesome weapons. Since we're still in Omega, it just made sense to give people another chance. I'm not sure how long they will remain in game, but since they're tagged RARE, it won't be forever!

 

That's all for now. Back to work! Hopefully this will be the first of many successful updates to EpicDuel! 

Tags: Nightwraith


Nightwraith

May 24, 2018

New War Cycle and Power Weekend!

Hello! It's been awhile since our last Design Notes post, hasn't it? Titan and the rest of the team have been busy with AQ3D, but we haven't forgotten you! It's time for the EpicDuel war cycle to reset yet again this Friday and that means new War Prizes and new chances to boost faction/personal influence! This is also a great opportunity to pick up the seasonal rare Exile and Legion battlegear to get in the fighting spirit!

Exile Battlegear

Legion Battlegear

Also, since we're heading into a long weekend for Memorial Day, we're activating Power Weekend! Start the Summer season off right with a heaping pile of credits to give your home and characters a makeover! 

EpicDuel_power_weekend_full

EpicDuel may have seen busier days, but it's still operational after 10 years! That's an amazing run for a humble little Flash game started by two college students who had no idea what they were getting themselves into. Thank you again for all the duels you've fought and have yet to fight on Delta V and beyond!

Tags: Nightwraith


Titan

January 08, 2018

Epic Gifters 2017 and Update

2017 reached it's epic conclusion in EpicDuel with the conclusion of our Gifting Event. Thank you all again for participating! Once again, you've blown us all away with your amazing generosity towards your fellow players! The top 10 have received the Cosmic Battle Yeti and the grand-prize winner, Gladiator Blitz claimed Nightwraith's Gamma Gear! There was a small problem with the Gamma Bot, but this will be fixed when the servers restart tomorrow. 

Congratulations to the Winners!

Although we are sorry to see the event leave, we will be updating the game tomorrow morning to restore the normal war cycle and remove the 15k Varium package. Today will be the final day to take advantage of the 15k Varium package and claim the Epic Supporter 2017 Achievement!

EpicDuel Varium 15000

The update will be between 9-11AM EST tomorrow, so if you want the achievement or 3k bonus Varium, act quickly! Thank you again for playing and DUEL ON!

Tags: Titan


Nightwraith

November 22, 2017

Gifting Returns 2017

Howdy! It's been awhile, hasn't it? As you may know from previous Design Notes posts, the ED team was reassigned earlier this year to AQ3D. Because of this change, EpicDuel hasn't seem many releases this lately, but it would be a tragedy of hum-bug-ian proportions if we didn't restore one of the game's most anticipated features: Gifting. We didn't have the resources this year that we had in past years to create loads of items, but we tried to bring back as much of the old magic as possible!

Winter 2016

First of all, Winter seasonal rares are available at Torgan and Edgar Boothe in Frysteland, so get them if you've been holding off for whatever reason. Also since this is an extended weekend, we're offering an extended Power Weekend! That means starting midnight tonight, you'll earn Double XP and Credits until Monday! You'll need all the credits you can get for what's to come!

 

Gifting!

As of the writing, the 2017 gifting feature is locked-in and ready to go -- it's set to launch Friday, December 1st and last until December 31st!

EpicDuel gifting 2017

EpicDuel prize details

This time, the #1 prize will be Nightwraith's own personal Gamma Gear (Bike and Bot)! The top placing players will receive the new Cosmic Battle Yeti morphs!

EpicDuel Varium 15000

To help you prepare for gifting, we've returned the 15,000 Varium package and a NEW Epic Supporter achievement with purchase. Because we didn't want anyone who just bought Varium before the announcement to feel left out, we added the extra Varium and achievement for anyone who purchased the 12,000 Varium pacakge in November. This offer will be removed when the package goes live!

 

What's Gifting?

For those who forget how this system worked or weren't around the last few times we introduced this EPIC gifting feature, Beleen created great video breaking down this system feature-by-feature:



The dates are changed, but the system remains basically the same. Thanks again, Beleen, for this epic video! Miss ya! 

How do you find the best places to give and receive gifts? The EpicDuel gifting system is a very social feature so it pays to talk to your fellow players and use social media to find the hottest gifting spots and the best times to be online to get gifts. Please, please, please be careful of scammers who thrive during this time of year! Remember -- if an offer sounds too good to be true, it probably is!

 

Have a safe and happy Thanksgiving and Duel On!

Tags: Nightwraith


Titan

January 31, 2017

Patch Notes - 1.6.71

Bug Fixes

  • Void Essence not showing in inventory
  • Recruitment letter not showing in inventory
  • Daily Code Redeems leaderboard correctly identifies the “Daily Prize Champion” achievement
  • Corrected visual display error with NPC level numbers (LINK)
  • Updated several items to display correctly in the Item Finder (LINK)
  • Mark of Azrael not equippable (fixed)

Tags: Titan


Nightwraith

January 06, 2017

EpicDuel 2017

EpicDuel 2017

I know it’s an overused cliche at this point, but 2016 has been a beast of a year, filled with tragedy and turmoil, but quite a lot of productivity. This year we saw the launch of BioBeasts which was a triumph for our small team. We experienced many highs and lows in the post-launch aftermath as we wrangled with trends and tried our best to improve the game and help it gain traction in a clogged and bloated marketplace. This year was a triumph for Artix Entertainment as AdventureQuest 3D entered Open Beta. There have been some snags along the way, but it’s unbelievable how far the game has come in such a short span of time.


 We entered December with modest expectations for the gifting release. December is typically a strong month in terms of player population and sales, but it’s been challenging to fight the downward trend of browser games. These past few months we re-dedicated ourselves to EpicDuel in an effort to address many longstanding issues. There are some insurmountable challenges concerning balance, but we took in all of your feedback and did what we could with the time we had and the constraints of an engine thrice rebuilt.

 

Overall, the releases have performed surprisingly well, once again leaving us in a state of wide-eyed astonishment at the enthusiasm of our players. You definitely surprised us with your passion when servers came back online after the update on December 1st. You sent a clear message that you still love EpicDuel and wish to see it thrive in the new year. We’re constantly humbled and inspired by the fervor of our little community.


Of course, not everyone was overwhelmingly pleased as some balance issues were not thoroughly addressed. Some major changes, like the NPC fill system, are controversial, but necessary for the challenges EpicDuel will face in 2017.


Some of those challenges we’ve been harping on for ages -- It seemed like Flash was going to die in...2012? 2013? 2014? True, it’s still here and kicking, but it’s utility is constantly eroded as other platforms and web standards consume its market share and browsers discontinue or limit support. Flash will probably still be running in 2075 on whatever hacked-together browser exists in the blasted Wastescapes between the shattered Megacities.


The persistence of Flash in the face of extinction doesn’t mean we’re not still concerned by this threat. We mentioned we were experimenting with executable clients, but that approach has some challenges we’re not sure we can overcome. We even looked into porting to Steam, but the fact is that while EpicDuel on Steam would be a boon to our current players, as an aging PvP MMO it would fail to attract the new players it would need to grow and justify continuous development. The only EpicDuel-related project that could break out on the modern market is perhaps a reimagined or completely new game, but such a project would be a massive undertaking and probably at least years away.


If a direct port is not feasible, could a new or rejuvenated product be born from within EpicDuel? We’ve said many, many times that Omega is the last phase. There will not be an EpicDuel Zeta or EpicDuel Gamma 2. Even if we wanted to, we can’t simply roll back some of the massive engine changes that have been accrued over nearly 10 years of development. The inherent flaws of the engine and platform are also reasons why returning to full-time development is not a viable solution either. We want EpicDuel to succeed, but we’re also facing harsh realities of aging technology, a rapidly changing the marketplace, and the current position of our company.

 

“What about BioBeasts? Wasn’t that supposed to be the great salvation of EpicDuel?” The fate of BioBeasts is covered in a post over at its homepage. The summation is that it didn’t reach the heights we hoped it would, but we’re still proud of it and wouldn’t trade the experience gained from working on that project for anything.


In the face of these challenges, what does the future hold for EpicDuel? In the new year, you can expect the systems of the game to function normally with the continued return of seasonal rares and the reactivated war cycle. In the new iteration, the wars will run with a one week cooldown in between to keep them moving faster so there’s less downtime. Each war region will continue to have unique war prizes. The servers will remain online as long as long as Artix Entertainment can afford to do so, even if the population dwindles to one lone player battling NPCs.


“If you can’t make a new phase or EpicDuel 2 or return to EpicDuel development full time, then WHAT ARE YOU DOING?” For the EpicDuel team 2016 was more trial than triumph, but 2017 will be a year of exploration and expansion -- Exploration of new technologies and expansion of our technical knowledge and skill. This will be done in an effort to look beyond the scope of our limited team with the goal of working to secure the future of Artix Entertainment. Currently, the best way to help AE in the very near term is for us is to bolster the development of modern, interesting projects like AdventureQuest 3D.


Thank you everyone for all you’ve done for EpicDuel, supporting it throughout these many years of development. It hasn’t been easy and we haven’t always made popular decisions concerning the direction of the game, but you’ve stuck with us in spite of everything. Because you believed in EpicDuel. You believed in us and helped the game endure as long as it has. How long can it last? Ultimately, it’s up to you. The lifeblood of EpicDuel has always been it’s players. As long as there are players eager for a duel, Delta V will be open for business.

Tags: Nightwraith

 

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