April 25, 2013
Arborgeddon Is Upon Us
Hey there, EpicDuelists! It's your friendly neighborhood Cinderella here with a heaping helping of design notes! You may have noticed my conspicuous absence as of late (or not) -- and no, I'm not dead or fired. I'm winding down on my Master's degree (should be graduating at the end of the summer semester) and this has been the first time this semester I've been ahead enough on my thesis work, schoolwork, and teaching responsibilities to get a Design Notes post ready. So let's get right to it, shall we?
Arborgeddon Is Upon Us!
Longtime players will remember that Xraal's species was obliterated when they and the Bio Hazards were forced to cohabitate in the Biodome. The only ones lucky enough to survive were siblings and members of an intellectual/religious order -- the Archivists Xraal, Tamarill, Navarro, and Sekk. But there are rumors of another individual surviving -- the botany-obsessed Davarril.
Surviving in the deepest underbrush of the Biological Preserve, Davarril has been able to harness plants' rudimentary nervous systems (no, seriously -- you can take electrophysiological readings from plants) to his benefit. Using a mind-control parasite (no, seriously, there are mind-control fungi), Davarril has brought into being abominable lichens (a mutualistic relationship between a plant and a fungus) ready to wreak beautiful destruction on the human world (ok, this part we made up).
But Davarril is not fighting unopposed. Xraal and I need your help in sequencing genomes, building a proteome, and doing a little R&D on a possible weapon against these disgraces of phytology... on second thought, there's a lot of sensitive equipment. Better just collect samples.
By battling other players, players can collect various spore samples which can be turned in to various Bio Dome NPCs for special prizes. The most prized spore is the Purified Spore. Xraal any I have been released an experimental antidote into the air filtration system of the Bio Dome. Some have decided to attach themselves to player weapons and armor. Collect as many as you can and release them to combat the vile spores released by Davarril and his minions.
In addition to special War Prizes and more War Missions, players will be able to choose from a variety of plant-themed hairstyles to commemorate the occasion. More intense than a rose in your hair, that's for sure!
Feed me, Seymour!
Also, we have a bountiful harvest of weapons from up and coming artist TrizZzCENTRINO for your sample collecting pleasure! Also, Charfade has been hard at work creating an alien jungle worth of botanical furniture for use in your homes!
If you follow us on the Official EpicDuel Facebook page, you may have noticed that the option to send a message has been discontinued. Part of this has to do with the fact that it was taking an inordinate amount of my time (I am the Facebook page administrator, and the one who responds as “EpicDuel”) responding to individual messages. There was a huge issue with players coming to me to try and get around help team decisions. While I am more than happy to walk players through what they need to provide the Help Team, I am not authorized to override Help Team decisions, return “hacked” or scammed items/Varium, or change your username, password, or email address, or many other account issues. While you should never EVER give away your account username and password, sometimes we're not always vigilant about safety and fall victim to scammers. If that happens, you need to use the Account Recovery Page at portal.battleon.com.
Another issue was players begging for items, pre-leveled accounts, hacks, Varium, and prize codes. Prize codes are released at staff discretion, announced publicly, and are first-come/first-served with a finite number of times they can be redeemed. I cannot give individuals prize codes and they are not an entitlement for every player who “likes” a page or follows us on Twitter. I do realize that many players who ask me for things figure that the worst I can say is no, but when hundreds of players ask me the same question constantly, it becomes a drain emotionally and a drain on my time, especially when fans threaten to sue me, hurt me, or even kill me for not fulfilling their request. Ultimately, I'm moving away from the constant social media interaction to focus more on the creative side of EpicDuel Development.
Again if you have any account issues, the proper contact is the Account Recovery Page at portal.battleon.com. And no, they won't give you a prize code either.
I bet you've missed these! Recently, my mom (who is a teacher) found a caterpillar in her classroom, which her students insisted on keeping as a class pet. She brought it back to me for identification, and I've managed to identify it down to family. Members of the family Noctuidae are called owlet moths due to the eyespots on the wings of the adults of many species. The family is cosmopolitan, with species present worldwide. Noctuid caterpillars are important crop pests, including the cotton bollworm and corn armyworm are important crop pests in North America. With the increased reliance on transgenic crops, adaptation of these insects to the transgenic corn or cotton presents an issue for managers, but several management strategies are used to prevent resistance from developing to Bt corn or Bt cotton, which express toxic genes from the bacterium Bacillus thurigensis. These include crop rotation, use of multiple strains of Bt transgenic organisms, and the establishment of Bt free havens, to encourage the proliferation of non-resistant individuals.