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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.

August 17, 2018

Patch Notes - 1.6.85

Dragon Weapons Return Plus New Missions!

New Features/Changes

  • New Legendary Boss + Achievement
    • Legendary Slayer
  • Missions:
    • A Feast for Titan  - Event
      • Party of One
      • DO NOT DELETE!
      • Grub Hub
      • Fine Rustic Decor
      • Homemade Horror
      • MY BALLOONS!!!
      • Many Cakes
      • Hype Man
      • Every Man Has His Price
      • Top 10 Anime Betrayals
      • Accidental Antiquing
    • Slayer's Bounty - Permanent
      • Marauder Matchup
      • Hazard Handler
      • Arctic Antagonism
      • Crushing Chitin
      • Dragonoid Duster
      • Bone Breaker
      • Abyss Anarchy
      • Preternatural Prey
      • Monarch Massacre
      • Slayer's Slaughter
    • Whispers in the Dark - Event
      • Stealthy Scavenger
      • Scappy Scrapper
      • Scoundrel Shakedown
      • Residual Resonance
      • Sinister Samples
      • Sadistic Source
      • Translation Trouble
      • Spacefaring Scribbler
      • Shakedown Sequel
      • Dreadful Destiny

Balance Changes

  • Blood Mage
    • Fireball: +20 energy cost; -40 damage per level

Tags: Nightwraith


August 14, 2018

Patch Notes - 1.6.84

New Features/Changes

  • Mission:
    • Trash or Treasure (Krampus Technician) available for turning in Elemental Controller for players who have an extra after completing Frozen Fury Part 3.

Balance Changes

  • Skills: 
    • Field Medic: +15 healing to all levels
  • Bounty Hunter
    • Smoke Screen: Improved Tech scaling to +1 for every 4.2 points
  • Tech Mage
    • Plasma Bolt: Tech scaling now +1 for every .27 of Tech
    • Super Charge: Reduced defense ignore back down to 30%; increased cost +20 energy points; Reduced scaling to improve with every .4 Tech
  • Blood Mage
    • Super Charge: Reduced defense ignore back down to 30%; increased cost +20 energy points; Reduced scaling to improve with every .4 Tech

Tags: Nightwraith


August 10, 2018

Patch Notes - 1.6.83

Happy Birthday to Titan!
New Features/Changes
  • Styles
    • Titan Mask
    • Burger Head
  • Crafts
    • Gold Burger Bike
  • Auxiliaries
    • Burginator P
    • Burginator E
  • Home Items
    • Burger Beanbag
    • Burger Pile
    • Floating Burger
    • Gold Titan Bobblehead
    • Platinum Titan Bobblehead
    • Crisp Titan Bobblehead
    • Burger Pillar
    • Young Titan Poster
  • Achievements
    • Omega Endures -- Available for free for supporters of Omega after the old achievement went rare
    • Titan’s Beard -- 10 level upgradeable achievement


  • General
    • Strength nerfed slightly -- should see less primary damage
    • Clubs/Wrist Blades/Staffs -- can now have as many stats as swords. Swords still maintain a damage advantage
  • Cores
    • Chairman’s Fury -- buffed to 100% damage, energy cost removed, Rage steal buffed to 35%
    • Frost Shards -- buffed to 100% damage
  • Robots
    • Necrosis -- Increased amount of defense reduction
    • Spore Bombardment -- Added 15% defense ignore; removed use limit
    • Lionhart’s Roar -- 75% Rage buff
  • Bounty Hunter
    • Smoke Screen -- Improves with every 5.2 Tech
    • Massacre -- Reduced energy cost by 30; Damage % goes from 40-130 with 10 per level; Scales 1% for every 6 Tech
  • Mercenary
    • Intimidate -- +1 Strength for every 3 levels above 20; No longer weakens below level 20
    • Bunker Buster -- Reduced base energy cost by 10; Increased defense reduction to 15%
    • Blood Commander -- Lifesteal reduced to 60% 
  • Tech Mage
    • Malfunction -- Improves for every 4 levels over 20; Improves with every 5 Support 
    • Plasma Bolt -- Improves for every .25 Tech; Weakens for every .8  levels below 20
    • Super Charge -- Reduced cost by 20; Improves for every .3 Tech; Improves for every .3 levels above 20; 35% defense reduction
  • Cyber Hunter
    • EMP Grenade -- +10 energy drain per level
    • Malfunction -- Improves 1 Tech for every 2 levels over 20; Improves with every 3.8 Support
    • Static Charge -- 100% damage; Unblockable 
    • Massacre -- Reduced energy cost by 30; Damage % goes from 40-130 with 10 per level; Scales 1% for every 4 Tech
  • Tactical Mercenary
    • Frenzy -- Removed defense ignore
    • Atom Smasher -- Unblockable
  • Blood Mage
    • Intimidate -- +1 Strength per every 3 points of Support; +1 Strength for every 2.4 levels above 20; No longer weakens below level 20
    • Plasma Cannon -- Damage adjusted to match Bunker Buster
    • Super Charge -- Reduced cost by 20; Improves for every .3 Tech; Improves for every .3 levels above 20; 35% defense reduction

Bug Fixes/Changes

  • Omega Baby/Dark Yeti price change -- The Omega Yeti is now sold at Nightwraith for 1900 Varium which is a steep discount versus buying it through upgrades. As of this update, the cost of the Serums will be decreased and the cost of the Omega Baby/Dark Yeti will be increased so there will be no price difference in acquiring the bots. Those who've acquired the Omega Baby/Dark Yeti by purchasing Serums since May 2018 (around when the Omega Yetis were equipped to Nightwraith) will be compensated for the cost discrepancy. This only applies to Serums purchased, not those acquired through missions. If you are impacted by this change, please allow a few hours for compensation.
  • Buy Back Shop additions -- those who purchased the appropriate packages during the eligibility windows will see the apropriate items available for buyback
    • Stun Guns (original)
    • Frostbane
    • Beast Rider
    • Frost Reaper
    • Heavy Mechachillid Armor
    • Super Mecha Cannon/Laser
    • Super Mecha Launcher/Disintegrator
  • Mechachillid armors allow separate hairstyles 
  • Color customizer issues fixed
    • Malefic Armor F
    • Cardboard Crusader F
    • Heavy Mechachillid “hairstyle”

Tags: Nightwraith


August 01, 2018

Patch Notes - 1.6.82

New Features/Changes
  • Varium Buy Back Shop
    • Visit any VendBot to access the Varium Buy Back Shop
    • Re-purchase any item sold that was purchased with Varium (excluding cores), upgraded with Varium, or acquired through a promotion
    • For a complete guide, consult the Varium Buy Back Shop FAQ
  • Achievements
    • Buy Backer -- Attained by spending Varium in the Varium Buy Back Shop


  •  Mercenary
    • Static Smash: Reduced 4% at all levels
  • Tactical Mercenary
    • Atom Smasher: Buffed 4% at all levels

Tags: Nightwraith


August 01, 2018

Varium Buy Back

Varium Buy Back Shop!

Varium Buy Back Shop

You requested it, so we're delivering! With the power of Titan, this week we are introducing the Varium Buy Back Shop, which will be available at all VendBots throughout Delta V. This means that any item you purchased with Varium, acquired with a Promotion, or invested Varium into to upgrade will be eligible for repurchasing in this shop. Since this feature is similar to Buy Back Shop in AQW, I've ripped a bit from their FAQ, but there are some key differences worth noting:

Frequently Asked Questions 

  • Where is this shop?

    It is available as an NPC option on all VendBots scattered throughout Delta V. You can't walk far without stumbling across one.

  • What items qualify?

    Nearly every EpicDuel item you've purchased or upgraded in game with Varium is available in the Varium Buy Back Shop! If you paid Varium for an item and sold it back, it will appear in the shop. This also includes most promotional items that were included with Varium packages. Any item that a player has invested Varium into to upgrade stats will also be eligible. Cores, however, are not eligible.

  • Does this include Home Items?

    No. Home items have a separate shop and inventory interface from items a player can equip onto themselves so they do not use the Buy Back feature. Also, most Home Items can simply be purchased normally from the shop.
  • What about LQS items?

    These will appear in the Buy Back shop as well.

  • What about duplicate items?

    Unfortunately, the Varium Buy Back Shop will only track one instance of an item. If you have 10 duplicates of a Varium sword and sell them all, the shop will only track one. Also, if you sell a Varium item, then purchase it from a normal shop, it will be removed from the Varium Buy Back Shop.

  • How much will it cost to buy the items back?

  • You will need to pay the full, original price of the item in order to buy it back. This prevents potential exploits.

  • How long will it take until items I've sold/lost appear in the buyback shop?

    The items will be added to the list instantly, however, you will need to close and reopen the shop if you are selling items while the Buy Back shop is still open.

  • What about prize code items, NPC drops, Arcade prizes, HeroMart items, War Prizes, etc?

    While a lot of these items are indeed very cool, they do not have purchase records and therefore are not eligible for the Varium Buy Back Shop UNLESS you invest Varium to upgrade them. Even a small amount is enough keep them eligible for the shop.

  • How many of my items does the Buy Back Shop store/display?

    The Varium Buy Back Shop will show ALL of the Varium items you've EVER purchased or upgraded (excluding individual cores), all the way back to your account creation date.
  • Why are you bringing back RARE ITEMS?!!?

    Never fear, we are NOT bringing back rare items! The only items people can get from the Buy Back Shop are ones they previously bought (then sold or deleted). There is one except detailed below.* You will also be able to repurchase seasonal items that appear in the shop even when they are out of season.

  • *I see promotional items I don't remember buying!

    We use date ranges and Varium purchase quantitiy to determine whether or not you qualify for certain promotional items in the Buy Back Shop. Since some date ranges for promotions overlap, it is possible to qualify for multiple promotional items, including items you may have never purchased originally. Since tracking of the items in promotions before a certain date was limited, this was the only solution we had to allow players to have access to their old promotional items. The alternative was locking down nearly every promotion before 2013, which would have greatly diminished the usefulness of the system.

  • Why do you not see ALL the items you used to have? 

    Some items, like mission rewards, prize code items, HeroMart items, NPC drops, were not tracked as being "purchased" and since they were 0 cost items, were not tracked as being "sold". These types of items we can not provide for buy-back. There may also be old promotional items that were released prior to our modern receipt tracking that do not appear. We apologize for not being able to have everything available for buy-back. However, many items can be made eligible by investing Varium in them to upgrade. Credit-only items are not tracked.

  • Will I get an achievement?

    Yes! Because some items have low credit buyback prices, only Varium Buy Backs will be eligible.

  • HELP! My little brother got into my account, and sold all my items! Can the Artix Help Team give them back?

    The Artix Help Team will not return any items that have been sold. The only way to get your items back is through the Varium Buy Back Shop. Please do not share you account and keep it safe!

Tags: Titan


July 27, 2018

EpicDuel Gameplan 2018

When I first made a post on Twitter a few months ago about adding some new Arcade games to EpicDuel, I had no idea that post would gain so much momentum as to place me smack dab in the middle of Delta V development once again. I was pleasantly surprised by the response, and everyone up the chain noticed as well: There is still a TON of love for EpicDuel, even after a prolonged absence of development. I’m glad and grateful that you stuck around, with many players returning from a hiatus to see where this thread leads.

Since now we’re a few releases deep, some of you have requested that I outline the goals for EpicDuel’s future development. I have tried to make it clear to maintain “reasonable” expectations as I am not a programmer. I can make tweaks to existing content and expand certain features, but any massive change or feature is outside of my capabilities. Of course, once word gets out that EpicDuel is back in development, rumors and speculation run wild! That’s another reason to make this post: Get ahead of these rumors before they become fact in the minds of the community. However, don’t let that stifle the creativity in your suggestions! Recently, Titan announced that he’ll be available for some small features soon! Artix notices when players react strongly to an update so if Titan’s involvement boosts morale and engagement, it could lead to more sessions with the ActionScript demigod!

Please understand that this plan is not a contract. Events beyond my control could dictate something new that I hadn’t anticipated which could disrupt the schedule. This happens. It’s always happened. It wouldn’t be Artix Entertainment without a little chaos, would it? I could also decide on my own that something needs to change because I feel it’s a good decision for the game. Also, some goals are purposefully vague because I’m not yet fully confident in my ability to deliver, especially some of the mid-term content. Expect this game plan to be further revised and refined as time goes on.

With that said, let’s get to the good stuff, shall we?


Short-Term Goals

First, thanks for getting us here! I wouldn’t be working on EpicDuel updates at all if my initial efforts were met with crickets. That enthusiasm keeps Delta V in business!

In the immediate future you can expect more of what you’ve already seen. Balance tweaks, maintenance, and additional content. EpicDuel has mountains of features that are sorely underutilized, so I’ll try to add where I can. I think it’s been maybe 5 years since we added faction flag designs so this most recent update saw a big expansion there. In general, I’d like to give each update something fresh to keep players excited and happy to log in again, especially if it expands on a neglected feature.

Beyond the week-to-week updates, I hope to implement some small, yet frequently requested features. With a limited time from Titan, buyback shops and gender change are real possibilities (not guarantees as we haven’t started on them yet!). It’s also reasonable to expect additional quality of life improvements.

I hope that Titan can also help add more safeguards against botting. We do have a system that flags botting activity and makes it harder for botters to find matches, but as with any system, players will find a clever way to break the rules. Captcha has been mentioned as although it was in the game before, it was imperfect. We may be able to figure out a method to thwart bots that is both effective, easy to implement, and not obtrusive for players who aren’t botting.

Finally, I’m always working on developing new War prizes. This is ongoing, but it still takes up some time that’s not accounted for by regular release items. Soon, I’d like to add the ability for those in the losing Alignment with enough influence to purchase the top War prize. This might help alleviate the lopsidedness of the War in its current state.

Short-term goals will also be dictated largely by player demand. Obviously, some requests are not feasible given restrictions of time, money, limitations of the physical plane, etc… but there’s no harm in asking. To further involve the community, I would like to host more contests. This Fall (September/October), expect a new Halloween/Harvest home decorating contest with some exciting rewards!


Mid-Term Goals

Let’s look beyond the hustle of weekly releases. What are we working toward? What’s coming next month? In August/September I’d like to restart EpicDuel’s storyline after it’s long hiatus. I feel that with all the events and seasonal content, there’s very little actually devoted to the core storyline and characters of EpicDuel. I hope to rectify that soon in a convergence of the Heartbreaker and Dragonoid sagas.

As the storyline progresses, that also means expanding into areas that have been locked since Alpha and dusting off NPCs who have up until now only served as glorified shopkeepers and/or punching bags. There are also a handful of new areas I’d like to introduce to ease the congestion in certain regions. The timeframe for this is 6 months to a year because introducing new regions and drawing environments is very time-consuming.

New areas could also mean the expansion of the War system. Many players have voiced their concerns about the stale nature of the War in it’s current state and some new regions to contest could add some much-needed spice. By November, I’d like at least one new region available for War, hopefully with some additional improvements to Factions.

Factions, Factions, Factions. I think boosting Factions could be the #1 best feature for establishing long-term engagement in EpicDuel. Remember War Cannons? Those were cool. Influence for everything? That was neat. I really believe we need more reasons to be in Factions outside of Wars, but solving that will probably take some time.

I had originally hoped that Wars like the original Infernal War could drive the EpicDuel storyline, and most players have very fond memories of it. It had all the right ingredients: A ticking clock, new mechanics, boss fights, dynamic NPC fights, prizes at different milestones, and an end goal determined by the winner. It might be outside the realm of possibility to build a turnkey system for Wars of that complexity, but it’s worth trying.

It’s hard to talk about the 2018 horizon without mentioning Gifting, which will be returning for sure. This year, since EpicDuel will have dedicated development time, you can expect more prizes in addition to a new promotional package. I would also like to finally incorporate my Titanfraggr storyline into the release, which is an absurd folktale concocted by Big Tuna and I that has yet to be realized in game.

After Christmas, EpicDuel will start the new year in earnest with a revisit to the Dread Planes and finally explore the caverns beneath the crags and dunes.

The final mid-term goal that had not averted my attention is addressing the question of Passive skills. Every day I see dozens of requests for the return of Passives. I don’t disagree that Passives were useful and may have a place yet in game. If possible, I’d like to reintroduce them in a way that doesn’t sacrifice the dynamic and strategic nature of Active skills for a basic skill point dump. This doesn’t mean I’m doing it for sure, just that I’m open to it.

While I don’t think we would introduce new classes into EpicDuel, I’m interested in “completing” the existing classes by taking overlapping skills and making them unique, especially the ultimates. What kind of ultimate skill would a Blood Mage really use? It’s been a weird quirk that’s bothered me since Delta and has left the expansion classes feeling “unfinished” to me. This might very well be a long-term goal, but it’s worth thinking about now.


Long-Term Goals

These goals are probably the hardest to define at Artix Entertainment. The company’s DNA compels it to be agile and responsive to the latest pop-culture trends so changes in short-term goals can completely derail anything 1-2 years away. This makes the work environment dynamic and exciting with rapid releases and respond more directly to player input than most developers could dream. This can also be frustrating for developers and players alike. Fortunately, as AE has matured as a company it has taken more serious steps to consider the 1-5 year time horizons, especially since Adobe forced our hand.

The grim shadow that hovers over EpicDuel and all other AE games is the impending demise of Flash in 2020. What are we going to do about that? Our answer to that is in the Artix Launcher. This will provide players a way to access the Flash games well past the 2020 drop-dead date. There will also probably be fringe browser and workarounds that still support Flash well into the future so players who still wish to duel in EpicDuel will have a way to do so. EpicDuel will remain alive and playable for the foreseeable future. Apocalypse averted. Mostly.

“But what about future projects? EpicDuel 2, perhaps?” Currently, there are no new EpicDuel-related projects in development. However, a mobile version of AdventureQuest Worlds is in development. That’s not EpicDuel, BUT it will serve as a proof of concept and a platform to build other games on top of. If AQW: GO succeeds, a mobile version of EpicDuel has a much better chance of being greenlit.

“Why can’t you just do it now?” Titan and I had quite a bit of independence when we first joined with Artix Entertainment. Now, our roles are intermingled with other projects not under our control so in order to get the resources (time, money, staff) necessary to build a new project, we would need permission from Artix, much like we had to do with BioBeasts. Unfortunately, there’s only so much time, money, and people to go around and most of any available resources are devoured by AQ3D and AQW mobile.

If this reality makes you angry, I understand. I know there have been plenty of times when I’ve looked to big developers that made some of my favorite games and thought, “Why don’t you just make a new X?! You’d make so much money!” I could only think this at the time because before Twitter existed if you wanted to yell at a developer you had to look up their address and send them a letter. I suppose that’s the joy of being independent, right? If you want to DO something, you can just DO IT! You might have to eat garbage and throw your health down the toilet for a year and a half, but there’s nobody to tell you “No!”

That’s really dour, huh? Sorry about that, but it’s one of those things that’s difficult to articulate for anyone who hasn’t been down that road. However, if I could offer any advice for those who wish in their bones for EpicDuel Mobile/3D/VR/BR to be on the horizon, it would be to get loud about how much you love EpicDuel and crave more. Not so much at me. I KNOW! I see your posts. Tell the Paladin himself! Tell people you know who’ve never heard of EpicDuel to check it out and get loud! Bring friends back who quit! Budget is very important when determining future projects, but demand is also a huge component. I can’t guarantee this will work, but it’s the best way to get the green light for new projects using the EpicDuel IP.


That’s the plan for now. It’s vaguer than I would have liked, but I think I underestimated how useful it was to brainstorm with Titan, Charfade, and Rabblefroth. We spent many mornings filling out Post-it notes over coffee while planning our short, mid, and long-term goals for EpicDuel. It worked because who knew each other’s strengths and abilities and thus could determine what would be a 1-2 day project vs. a 1-2 week project. Omega was a particularly vicious crucible for honing those abilities. Going solo has been simultaneously harder and more rewarding than I could possibly imagine as I seem to need to relearn all those planning skills again, while holding MYSELF accountable as my strongest and most ruthless critic. I can’t promise I can deliver on all these goals, but with your support and strength we can continue to build the best EpicDuel we can for as long and I’m here!

Duel On!


Tags: Nightwraith


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