February 21, 2014
War Two Point Oh
When will the Dread War End?
We've heard your feedback about the Dread War and many players have made it clear they're ready for it to end. Well good news! We’ve been working hard planning exciting improvements to the current system. When we first conceived the Dread War, our goal was to implement an event that could provide perpetual engagement, but over time, a few weaknesses in the system’s design have become apparent and the war has become a bit stale. The current war is complicated, it never ends, it doesn't offer enough rewards, and there is no focal point. This post will explain how we intend to overhaul the current system, and offer up the key points of the proposed new war system. The details are subject to change so please give us your feedback so we can build the best system possible. We believe by borrowing the best ideas from previous phases and prior wars, we can craft a system that is simple to understand, extremely engaging, perpetually rewarding and really, really fun!
As you can see, our dry-erase board breeding program is progressing nicely.
A Sense of Urgency
Currently, The Dread War is a global conflict without end. The lack of focus and lack of duration means there’s never any urgency. In past events like The Frysteland War and The Infernal War, there was a clear set of victory conditions. With War 2.0, we hope to recreate this sense of urgency by limiting the scope of the War to one region at a time and structuring it as a race. The War will last until a specific set of conditions are met by either alignments’ forces (we expect these regional conflicts to last roughly 1-3 weeks).
When the War in a particular region ends, the environment will visually reflect the winners, and the region will remain in control of the winning alignment until it comes up for contention again in the future. Prizes will unlock for the winners, and the top participating players and factions will be made famous (in a similar fashion to the Infernal War). After a small cooldown period, the next region will activate and the war will continue. The victory conditions in each region will vary to keep the conflicts interesting.
To a new player, the current War system is baffling. Control points, cooldowns, and other obscure systems are extremely challenging to convey at a glance. As we develop War 2.0, we’ll be streamlining many of the old systems. Mechanics like Influence, Flag Captures and World Dominations will remain, but behave differently from the current system.
The gameplay mechanic will evolve from a constant grind for control, to a more focused system where both alignments are racing toward very specific goals. Each regional War will be a race to complete the given objective and whichever alignment fills their global war bar first will win the battle and take control of the region!
PvP battles will remain the main driver of conflict, however, Influence will no longer be earned at the end of battle. Instead players will earn Influence by depositing new "War Drops" on War Objectives within the region. These drops will be similar to the grenades in the Infernal War in that they will drop after winning a PvP battle. War Drops will be thematically tied to the currently contented region and can be anything from missiles to computer chips, ammo crates, bricks, cakes, plants, metal, bullets, etc. Players of all levels can obtain and use these items, maintaining a very low barrier of entry for War participation.
If you fight hard to be the greatest champion EpicDuel has ever know, you deserve a place of honor. With War 2.0 we hope to give greater exposure to exceptional players who make the greatest contribution to the war effort. Interactive leaderboards will display the leading players and Factions for each alignment. At the end of each regional War, the bravest, most dedicated soldier will be displayed prominently until the region is contested once again.
By defining a clear beginning and end for each regional War, we can offer real rewards for the victor. At the end of each War, players on the winning alignment will gain access to exclusive prizes. To add variety to this experience, players can select a prize from a list. These prizes could be never-before-seen weapons or currency prizes like Credits and Arcade Tokens. Each region will draw a new set of prizes to choose from, and the prize pool will continue to expand as the regional wars progress.
These rewards will only be available to those who participate on the winning alignment, and they will only be available until the next regional War begins. We will also be adding additional levels to each regional War achievements. If you’re at level 10 or close in any of the regions, you’ll be able to battle your way to an even higher Rating Point score!
Also, the highest scoring player at the end of each day will receive a War Hero achievement. This achievement will have a tracker to record each time you qualify for this prestigious distinction.
War 2.0 will herald a new phase of EpicDuel development: EpicDuel Evolution. This new phase will be unlike any before it – over the last few months we have been gradually building tools and tutorials to allow EpicDuel’s future to be directed by a force more powerful that the mighty Titan himself: our Community.
Over the years we’ve attracted some amazingly talented and ambitious players. Our player base may be much smaller than AdventureQuest Worlds, but the level of talent is no less. Our intention for EpicDuel Evolution is to allow more input and direct involvement from our players to influence things like content creation and balance. If you were shy about contributing content or ideas to EpicDuel, now is a better time than ever to express because soon we’ll be offering the resources to make them a reality!
We're aiming to activate the first region on Friday, March 7, but as usual this is just an estimate and could be delayed if development demands it. Stay tuned for more details as this exciting new feature evolves!
July 17, 2013
Prepare for Dread Domination!
Are you ready?
After weeks of fighting in the Dread Plains, plans for a powerful new weapon have been captured by both sides of the War. Now, Legion and Exile forces are prepared to unleash their power upon Delta V in the form of the Dread Domination Varium Package!
This package includes 4 unique weapons and is not available in game!
We've equipped the Dread Desolators (auxiliaries) with technology of unknown origin in the form of the Improbability Gate Core. This exclusive core uses technology derived from an undisclosed research facility in the Dread Plains to open holes in the fabric of the universe. These tears in reality have been weaponized to allow players to summon creatures and objects from other worlds to come to their aid and help vanquish their foes! Be warned, however, this technology is quite unstable: you never know what will come through!
War Objective Leaderboards
Can you rule them all?
New leaderboards on each War Objective will display the top Influence contributors in addition to showing your own contribution. With 34 War Objectives to dominate, you have 34 chances to get your name and face out there, showing Legion and Exile forces that you’re a force to be reckoned with and that either alignment should feel honored to hold your favor. Can you dominate them all? We think it’s impossible, but we also know never to underestimate a dedicated EpicDuel player with unlimited access to energy drinks!
Where do your loyalties really lie?
This week we are introducing the heavily requested feature of alignment switching. Our primary concern with this change is that it could irrevocably tip the balance of the alignments, as players with weak loyalties rush to whichever alignment has the upper hand.
To ensure that alignment switching is treated with the gravity it deserves, we are limiting the feature to Varium only. Players will only be able to switch alignments once per month. Players currently in a Faction will need to first leave the Faction in order to switch. There is still no way for Factions to switch alignments with disbanding and recreating themselves.
Inevitably, when new features are released, new bugs will pop up, sometimes in old features. We try to make each release as bug free and polished as possible within a week of development time, but often bugs slip by. This update will fix several issues that have arisen since the last update (for specifics check out Rabble’s patch notes leading up to the release). To track down and fix bugs as quickly as possible, we need your help. Posting bugs on Twitter, while appreciated, isn’t always helpful since reports quickly get lost in our feeds. The best way to help us fight bugs is to post them to the official EpicDuel Bugs Forum.
Please be as descriptive as possible when reporting bugs, explaining exactly what you were doing when the bug occurred. Giving us those details helps us to reproduce bugs more easily. A reproducible bug is usually an easily fixable bug. Thank you in advance for your cooperation.
June 25, 2013
How Do I War?
Step 0: Register an Account
This should be obvious, but you cannot participate in this war if you do not have an EpicDuel character!
Step 1: Choose an Alignment
If you are not already in a Faction, then you will be prompted to select an alignment. Choose carefully, because although alignment change will be offered later, it will come at a price.
Step 2: Open the World Map
Once you are in Delta V, war is all around you, and getting to the conflict zones has never been easier. Use the interface button on the lower part of your screen to open the redesigned World Map.
This map shows the various regions of Delta V (i.e. Fortune City, Barrens Outpost, Biodome, etc...) and the Alignment in control of each region. Click a region to zoom in and see the individual War Objectives.
Most regions feature War Objectives that can be captured by your alignment. A rollover shows the War Point value of each War Objective. If your alignment captures enough War Objectives to have the Point majority in a region, your alignment will control that region. It is not necessary to control all the War Objectives in a region to get War Points. Even if you only control one War Objective, you will still earn Points toward the daily War Point total. Different War Objectives can be worth different amounts of Points.
If you zoom out, you can see the daily War Score. Each War Objective earns the controlling alignment War Point every 15 minutes. The score resets at the end of the day.
Step 2: How to War
Once you have determined where you want to fight, controlling a War Objective is fairly simple. While zoomed into a region, you can click on any War Objective to jump directly to it.
While you're on the screen with the War Objective, you will notice a bar at the top of the screen with a banner displaying the controlling alignment and leading Faction.
You can see that on this screen the Legion controls this War Objective. A Legion player can fight to defend this Objective and reinforce the position while an Exile player can fight from this screen attempt to take it for his or her alignment. Let's try to take it for the Exiles.
Automatch 1v1 or 2v2 victories earn Influence which allows you to control or reinforce a War Objective. Support for Juggernaut battles is coming soon. Challenge matches do not earn Influence. You can only earn Influence if you battle from a screen that contains a War Objective.
At the end of battle screen you will see how much Influence you earned. 1v1 battles earn 5 Influence while 2v2 battles earn 15. Influence is a versatile number that goes into a number of different places.
Your personal Influence, viewable from your Character Stats page, is earned through victories on War Objectives. It is not capped or taxed.
Faction Influence is earned through battles by all of a Faction's members. It is not capped or taxed.
If you belong to a Faction, your Influence accumulates on a War Objective. The Faction with the most Influence accumulated on a War Objective will have its banner displayed over it. All Influence on a War Objective is taxed so inactive Factions can be passed by more active Factions. Banner Influence is not capped.
Control is a number that is driven by Influence earned in victories for a War Objective. This number is capped to prevent one Alignment from building an insurmountable lead. Once an Alignment has earned a certain amount of Influence on an Objective, it is considered to be captured and goes into cooldown.
During cooldown, no Alignment can earn Influence while battling for this War Objective. Once the cooldown period is over, the controlling Alignment can reinforce its position and the attacking Alignment can battle to seize control, putting the Objective into cooldown again. This is to encourage players to move to different regions and keep the war from bogging down in one region.
Step 3: Victory
As we have seen in the past, the Alignments truly succeed in Wars through active recruitment and organization. Although it's not necessary to join a Faction to participate, Factions have the tools and organization to rally forces to take down heavily fortified War Objectives.
We are currently adding more clarification and balance elements streamline the War and minimize ambiguity. Stay tuned for another DN post with more update details!
June 13, 2013
Daring Design Notes
The Dread War is coming! Tensions between Legion and Forces are at an all-time high, and Delta V is poised to explode into all-out war June 21st. Will you fight for Freedom with the Exiles or battle in the name of Order alongside the Legion? This Friday, we will be launching the complete Dread Plains area, along with a new map / navigation system. Travelling the entirety of Delta V has never been quicker or easier!
Choose Your Destiny!
Starting this Friday, all EpicDuelists will be called upon to select an alignment to participate in the upcoming war. For those of you just joining us, this means you must choose to fight for the Exiles or Legion. I have taken the liberty of describing the corresponding alignments thusly:
Choosing an alignment is not as simple as “good” and “evil” – both alignments have similar goals, but drastically different means of achieving them. Choose carefully – you will be able to change alignment later, however, to encourage loyalty, the price will be steep!
Bye-Bye Battle Tokens*
After much deliberation, as of next week’s update (June 21) Battle Tokens are being discontinued. Initially, Battle Tokens were intended as a currency based entirely on a player’s effort alone, since they could not be purchased with Varium packages and could only be earned through battle victories. However, since we no longer offer credits with packages, making credits an effort currency, it no longer makes sense to keep Tokens. They will be replaced by credits at a fixed rate, so you'll see a nice little windfall based on how many tokens you currently have. Token Boost will also be removed, and achievements will cost credits rather than Tokens. Missions awarding battle tokens will be altered to award credits rather than tokens at a fixed rate.
As we phase out Battle Tokens, War Flags will be transitioned into War Objectives, which will be captured and controlled by Faction and alignment battles, not donations. For the time being, however, the top contributor of each War Flag will own the War Objective for that Faction's alignment. So, if the Legion Faction “The Sparkling Vampires” holds the War Flag in “The Land of Terrible Fiction,” then they would be the first to claim the War Objective for the Legion in that area. But we are making these Objectives more challenging than simply dumping Battle Tokens into a flag. Also, there will be a control cap on each Objective, meaning that an alignment cannot build and insurmountable lead on an Objective.
These new War Objectives will come in the form of radar stations, turrets, shield generators, propaganda towers, and many other tactically valuable assets. Many regions of Delta V will have one or more of these Objectives ripe for the capturing. Some Objectives will even grant you bonuses toward defending or attacking other objectives, creating an interesting hierarchy of Objectives and adding new strategies to the global war.
*These features are still in development and the details may change by June 21st. We will keep you informed of any changes.
Delta V World Tour 2013
Travelling has never been easier. In order to allow players to jump quickly to each War Objective, we added multiple jump points on each region. You will be able to see at a glance which areas are contested, and which are firmly under Legion or Exile control.
Our special guest artist, the great Nulgath, has been gracious enough to lend his skills to EpicDuel for the construction of an epic new bike! Strike fear in the hearts of your enemies as you tear across the battlefields in this demonic creation!
Insect Facts Yay!
Most people while visiting the plant store would be outraged to find a late-instar caterpillar on one of the store's plants for sale. Most people however, are not me. Papilo polyxenes or the Eastern Black Swallowtail Butterfly lays its eggs on members of the Apiaceae or carrot family. I discovered my new friend happily nomming on some curly parsley, but females will oviposit on carrots, dill, Queen Anne's Lace, and fennel but will also accept rue as a more novel host. The early instar caterpillars resemble bird droppings in shape and coloration, but after molting are characterized by black bands and yellow spots. Short-photoperiod (fall) caterpillars that will overwinter as pupae are brown and long-photoperiod (summer) caterpillars who do not pupate so long are green. One pretty cool thing about these guys is that the caterpillars have a gland held behind the head capsule called the osmenterium. It's an orange, forked gland that resembles horns or a snake's tongue (swallowtail caterpillars tend to have characteristics that are snakelike to fool predators) and smells pretty terrible. After the caterpillar has eaten all he or she can possibly eat, it will pupate within a suspended chrysalis, which can be either green or brown depending on the environment. Upon eclosion (emergence from the pupal casing) the butterfly's gender can be determined by wing markings. Wings of both sexes are mainly black with a conspicuous orange spot, but males have a yellow band at the bottom of the hindwing and females have an iridescent blue band. This species is common throughout the North American continent and is the state butterfly of Oklahoma.