January 31, 2017
Patch Notes - 1.6.71
January 06, 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.
January 06, 2017
Patch Notes - 1.6.70
January 05, 2017
New Year New Update!
Happy New Year, EpicDuelists! Here's to a new year with new beginnings, new challenges, and new triumphs! I'd like to congratulate our Epic gifters this year who blew away our expectations for generosity, especially ..Cosmic Emperor.. who received my very own Founder Armor! Wear it with pride!
Thanks again to everyone who participated in this event, even if you only gave one gift or just did something nice for a fellow player.
For the first update of 2017, which should arrive tomorrow, we'll be making a few changes. First, and most noticeable, we'll be reverting the 15,000 Varium package back to 12,000. As soon as we update, you'll not be able to earn the Ultra-Rare Epic Supporter Achievement again, so if you've been on the fence, now's the time to act!
We'll also finally be removing the BioBeasts packages from the shop. The promotional items, including their cores, will also be removed from their in-game shops on Galatea and the Monkakazi until September 18, 2017, when they will be available for Credits as well as Varium.
When we update, we will also reactivate the War, which should resume at Central Station. There will be a brief delay before the War region officially activates on Monday to make sure everyone is aware and prepared for it. Wars have been updated to have a shorter cooldown between, unlike the variable cooldown times of before which could stretch for months.
We'll also be addressing some balance issues with this update, including First Strike, Underdog, and Legendary Ranks!
EpicDuel Team 2017
What's on the agenda for 2017? We've been meeting with Artix and other team leads to determine the best direction to proceed for our personal growth and the good of the entire company. We'll post a Design Note concerning the outcome of those meetings tomorrow after the update.
December 12, 2016
Patch Notes - 1.6.68
December 09, 2016
Gifting 2016 Continues
Howdy EpicDuelists! We hope you're enjoying the new gifting season! Some of you have been very enthusiastic about gifting so starting Monday (as soon as the next release is live), we'll be offering a 15,000 Varium package. This will replace the 12,000 Varium package for a limited time.
Everyone who acquires this package will receive, as a bonus, an Epic Supporter achievement worth 2500 Rating Points!
"BUT NIGHTWRAITH!" you exclaim. "I've already purchased a $50 package!" I have good news for you -- we'll be awarding 3000 Varium to to all who've purchased the 12k Varium or BioBeasts packages at least since gifting began.
This new package, along with the BioBeasts package, will be available until shortly after the gifting event ends.
Enter the Maze
Our areas of focus on EpicDuel for the last few months have been primarily to improve the sustainability and longevity of the game as well and increased the enjoyment of players at all level ranges. Player counts tend to peak around December, but at certain times of day it can still be challenging to find a good match! Since acquiring new players becomes more challenging each year, we've developed a solution to this ongoing problem: AI.
In order to ensure that players can always find matches, especially while leveling to 40, NPCs will be automatically added to battles at intervals while waiting if a player cannot be found. The system will pick a level-appropriate NPC to add to the match if a player was not found in a certain amount of time. In the case of 2v2 and Juggernaut, 1 NPC will be added at a time until the match is full.
To make NPCs more competant allies, we've improved their AI so they will attempt to heal a partner in critical condition. They're not perfect, but neither are human allies. We've also worked to minimize the instances of only one player in a 2v2 having an AI partner.
While you may be apprehensive about this change, it actually enables some fresh and interesting scenarios.
NPCs level 37+ will not be added to battles, so players near/at max level should see less NPCs than lower level players. If you're a level 40, you will probably rarely encounter an NPC. This change is primarily intended to bolster the matching at low-to-mid level ranges so players will be more likely to stick with the game and eventually reach the cap!
Tired of bugging the devs on Twitter to restock your favorite item? Angry that your favorite items are always restocked when you're asleep or in school/at work? We finally have a solution for you! Non-Seasonal Limited Rares will now automatically be restocked every few weeks if depleted. Check NPCs with limited quantity items such as Charfade to see when the next restock will happen.
This is probably the hottest balance topic right now and we're addressing it with this release. We were hearing a lot of feedback on the Legendary Rank system, namely that it provides too much power, and that 10 ranks were generally worth more than 1 regular level. With this we want to bring down the overall power given by Ranks, which should also even out the 10 ranks to 1 level ratio. We are also reducing the credit and Varium prices to make the ranks more affordable.
We undershot a bit with the Juggernaut matching, especially since Underdog is now a thing. We want to keep Underdog buffs in Juggernaut to balance out the difference between getting, say, two level 32s vs two level 27s. This way we can keep the difficulty of each match relatively equal while keeping the level ranges large enough to try and get matches in a reasonable time. This gives us a lot more balancing levers to pull to get Juggernaut battles in a better spot
Look for all these features and more when our next release goes live Monday (probably sometime in the mid-afternoon). Why Monday? So we have as much time as possible to test and get last-minute feedback for this major update!
December 01, 2016
Patch Notes - 1.6.67
November 23, 2016
Winter 2016 Update
Winter is coming and that means the return of EpicDuel's most anticipated event of the year: Gifting! Until then, you can stock up on returning seasonal rares available at Torgan and Edgar Boothe in Frysteland!
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!
As mentioned before, our annual gifting event is just around the corner, NEXT WEEK, in fact! This time, the #1 prize will be Nightwraith's own personal Founder Armor! The top placing players will receive the new Platinum Yeti morphs!
Based on your feedback in the forums, we're including many more features, adjustments, and balance improvements that should shift some of the game's fundamentals for the better (hopefully!). Obviously, we can't incorporate every suggestion -- we don't have the time, resources, or engine flexibility to include them all -- but we can do our best to improve the longevity and fun-factor of the game as we head into 2017!
What kind of improvements are we making? I'll list a few below:
Improved Leveling Curve
Many prominent players have remarked that one of EpicDuel's biggest problems in the early game is that it just takes too dang long to level up! We agree, so we're adjusting the leveling curve to allow players to reach the cap much faster (up to 3x faster) than before.
This feature request goes waaaaay back to the initial release of factions. With this feature, faction founders will be able to promote another faction member to become the new founder. The founder will be demoted to whatever status the promote player was. This feature has a multi-step confirmation process so it shouldn't be possible to "slip" and put a rando in charge of your prestigious faction.
We will be introducing cores from promos past (excluding development phase items) as unbound cores. This means you will be able to buy and attach cores like Platinum's pride to any weapon you desire. We're doing this to give you some of the flexibilty and customization we promised at the start of Omega.
We've adjusted many of the skills and cores in the game based on your suggestions. Because testing is still underway, we won't list the numbers here just yet. We will likely do another balance pass after the Gifting event goes live and more battle feedback can be gathered.
Juggernaut and 2v2 Balance
Matching in these modes has been a pain for awhile now, but we're testing some solutions to improve this situation. Juggernauts will receive a buff similar to Underdog which will scale with their opponents. 2v2 partners can also receive a modified Underdog buff that's been customized for this mode.
Development is ongoing and we'll cram as many features and items as we can in what time we have. We though about doing a promotional package, but realized that introducing several new cores in the midst of all the other balance changes would probably not be the best idea. Expect a follow-up release after the initial Gifting launch for fixes, adjustments, and a few features that didn't quite make the initial cut.
Happy Thanksgiving and Duel On!
October 21, 2016
EpicDuel Balance Suggestions
Hello! I'm dropping by to let you know that with several major BioBeasts updates under our belts, we plan to pivot towards EpicDuel development for the upcoming holiday season. We are planning a large release for late Novemeber/early December that will include, among many other things, balance changes.
I can't promise miracles, or that every concern will be addressed fully, but we'll do as much as we can before the release. We'll keep you updated as development continues. Thanks in advance for your feedback!
October 12, 2016
Wasteland War Haunted Bundle Live
This weekend, the Legion and Exile forces will gather in the domain of The Lawman to compete over the coveted Wasteland Ammo Depot! For those who need a refresher on the mechanics of this war, here's a brief synopsis:
Recently, hostile forces have gathered around the tower to deploy a strategy that could succeed where head-on tactics failed: launch stealthy Drones to loot the cache bullet-by-bullet. Forces defending the cache will attempt to disable the launchers to defend the hoard.
Join the Exiles or Legion forces to attempt to claim the cache for your own alignment. The fate of your alignment's war machine hangs in the balance!
Collect war drops through PvP battles or purchase them from the Wasteland Ammo Depot near the Minetower. This is your chance to elevate your regional Wasteland Influence achievement through participation in the war. Use Drone Cells to power Drone Launchers scattered throughout the Wasteland to loot the Ammo Cache, or, if you're defending the cache, Sabotage the Launchers!
BioBeasts: Haunted Bundle Now Live!
The latest update for BioBeasts is now live and comes packed with new features and numerous improvements. If you're new to BioBeasts, have never heard of it, or haven't played it in awhile, now is an excellent time to break out, mutate, and escape!
New Frogzard Beast
New Skins to Collect
Beasts and Mutations