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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

December 12, 2013

Blood Hawks Inbound

Blood Hawks!

A cold wind is blowing through Frysteland...actually a cold wind is usually blowing through Frysteland, considering its climate and all. ANYWAY! We've got big, BIG plans for this upcoming release, and as I mentioned last week, this release is so big we'll need 2 weeks to build it. That means, unfortunately, no release Friday, but next week will be incredible!

 

Blood Hawk Battlegear Bundle

In the year since Alydriah was expelled form Frysteland by the Endless, the Krampus people have slowly begun to recover. In addition to the human toll Alydriah's cruelty took on the harsh Northern land, many indigenous species were devastated or wiped out by constant battling. One such species is the rare Blood Hawk. These creatures were used for centuries by the Krampus people for hunting and taming yetis. Thought extinct, they have returned in force to once again aid the Krampus people in keeping the cuddly but ferocious creatures in line.

Now you will have the opportunity to own the Blood Hawk and the Spectral Hawk (energy variant) along with a host of avian armaments!

Blood Hawk Weapons

The Blood Hawk Battlegear Bundle will be available for a limited time. With this package you will receive:

  • 2 Blood Hawk Slayer swords
  • 2 Blood Hawk Battlegear mutating weapons
  • 2 Blood Hawk bots
  • The swords and mutating items will come with a pre-installed Blood Hawk core!
  • 10k Varium

We realize that the last package offered was not that long ago so we're offering the package items in-game as well. It's definitely a better value to get them all together in the bundle, of course, but if you've got a pile of Varium burning a hole in your pocket...you should probably seek medical attention immediately.

If those weapons weren't enough to intrigue you, we have some special surprises in store. Stay tuned for more details!

 

You're Epic, But Are You...LEGENDARY?

Next week, we're raising the level cap to...*drumroll* 40! Rabblefroth is hard at work smoothing the experience curve to make earning levels slightly less painful. But what happens after you reach 40 and max out all your gear? What then? Ponder the great mysteries of the universe? NO! 40 is just the beginning of a much longer journey as an EpicDuel Legend!

After a player becomes Legendary, you will continue to earn experience as Legendary experience. Your level will not increase, but you will instead earn Legendary Ranks! Each rank earned will unlock a Legendary point that can be placed in a broad array of stats. These stats will be more specialized than Dexterity or Technology which influence a range of battle attributes. We haven't finalized the list, but we will build as many as we can by next week. The beauty is we can always add more later, unlike the current, more rigid stat list.

Legendary players will be defined by a uniquely colored name, an icon in their interface, and several other minor aesthetic changes. We'll have more details as the systems are finalized and polished.

 

Achievement Overhaul Continued

Work on the Achievement Overhaul continues as we wrap up a few features we didn't get to last week, in addition to fixing some minor bugs.

New Layout

You will also have the option to switch view modes. If you don't like the new, larger style, you can always switch back to a more classically styled view to see more achievements at once.

Classic Layout

Titan is also working on a new overall progress bar to see how many Achievements you have total. How close are you to earning them all? If you're close, we're about to make getting them all a bit more difficult with the next feature.

 

AE Arcade Bonanza!

We're going all-out with the Arcade next week, offering several new games based on other AE games. Collect weapons, house items, and other intriguing baubles from MechQuest, HeroSmash, AdventureQuest, AdventureQuest Worlds, and MORE! Each of these new games offers a new achievement and a new leaderboard to dominate!

To make it easier to acquire Arcade Tokens, we'll be softening the requirements for the daily missions. If you didn't already know, it's possible to earn Tokens from completing daily mission chains. Some can be a bit on the grindy side so we'll try to make it a more pleasurable experience to complete them.

 

Party Like They Do in Asgard

As if everything else mentioned above weren't enough...ED Artist Revontheus is crafting some slick Asgardian styles to spice up this release. What does Asgard have to do with Frysteland? Well, they're basically space vikings and vikings lived in cold climates sooooo...yeah.

Asgard!

Asgardian styles

Tags: Titan Winter Blood Hawk Weapons Items Armors Achievements Legendary Legends Frysteland Birds Varium Level upgrade Stat balance Gear Vehicles Cores Holiday Arcade


Titan

November 29, 2012

Top-Secret Details Revealed!

Some of you may have seen on Twitter that BIG changes are coming to items. We wanted to take the time to explain some of these changes as we get ready for Omega. Today, we'll be talking about gear requirements and stats.

 

SO LONG, DELTA!

Before we dig into the meat of this post, I will tell you that as soon as Omega launches, the Delta Knight armor, Platinum's Pride armor, the Dragonoid Saga gear, and all the Harvest gear will be leaving the in-game shops and Varium store. Delta Knight we go ultra rare, never to return again, while the Dragon Buster II and Platinum's Pride will be going perma-rare. We're not yet comfortable posting an official date, but it WILL happen sometime in December before Christmas. If you've been holding off on picking up any of this superb gear, what are you waiting for? Grab it before it's GONE!

 

REQUIREMENTS

One major change we want to bring to the game is greater freedom of choice in gear. Currently your choices are severely limited by the level and stat requirements on gear. If your level is too low, you simply can't equip the item. If your level is too high, the item isn't useful enough. If the item has odd stat requirements, you either can't use it or you have to alter your build to equip it.

In Omega, these requirements are going away entirely. You can buy and equip any item at any level, and there will be no stat requirements to prevent you from equipping anything. The only requirements that will remain are gender and class for class-specific items.

 

STAT FREEDOM

One other limitation to picking your gear is the built-in nature of stats on your items. If you like a staff or gun, but the stats are bad for your build, then that weapon is no good to you. In Omega, you may now arrange your stats how YOU want on all of your items.

To maintain balance, you will not be able to put all of the item's points into one stat, but otherwise you can customize it as you wish. Similarly, you will be able to choose the allocation of Defense and Resistance on any armor.

 

UPGRADING ITEMS

Whaaaaaaaaaaat!

(Please note that the above graphic is still in the testing phase and not finalized. It's simply meant to illustrate this exciting new upgrade feature!) 

Another major change coming to items in Omega is the ability to upgrade any item. As you level up, you will gain the ability to put more stats, damage, and defense/resistance onto your items, up to their maximum potential for your level. This effectively means that any item can be used at any level and will not be stronger or weaker than any other item at that level.

Let me repeat that. You'll be able to upgrade any item to your current level and it will be useful in battle. Founder Armor, Beta Gear, last year's Autumn items, that weapon you loved using at level 6 -- all of these will be viable at your level.

And just to be perfectly clear, these features will be available with or without Varium. Upgrading your gear and rearranging your gear's stats will have both Credit and Varium options available.

 

ENHANCEMENTS

That covers everything we want to share today, but we have more still to talk about in the coming weeks before Omega's launch. Maybe next time we'll discuss our plans for enhancements.....Stay tuned! Feel free to discuss everything in the forums.

 

Other Progress

Here's a quick look at some of the projects the art team is working on for the Omega release!

Revamped Merc

 

Revamped Tech Mage

 

Alydriah's Winter Palace

 

Cuddly Wuddly Legion Yeti

Stay tuned for further updates as development on Omega progresses!

Tags: Titan Omega Update Weapons Armors RabbleFroth Forum Yeti Delta Rares


Nightwraith

September 25, 2012

Corporate Restructuring

This week, after surviving a Dragonoid attack, Delta V will be invaded by another threat.  However, rather than being motivated an instinctive desire to destroy, this evil is motivated by money and power.  This evil is...

Nice place...I'll take it!

Chairman Platinum of EbilCorp is leading an army of corporate ninjas and mercenaries to Fortune City to claim the entire planet in the name of his corrupt enterprise.  The Chairman is confident, but he's no fool -- he knows that he'll need to offer something good to win over the battle-hardened populace.

 

Platinum's Pride

Chairman Platinum believes you must dress for success, whether it's in business or intergalactic domination.  For that reason, EbilCorp scientists have created a specially-designed power suit, engineered to withstand superhuman amounts of punishment, and has the ability to mutate along with its wearer's class.  It also allows the wearer to unleash a devastating special attack.

Platinum's Pride

Chairman's Fury is a one-time use, selectable skill that can be used at any time in battle to unleash a powerful unblockable uppercut attack that steals 25% of your opponent's rage for yourself. It can be used once per battle.

Fear the Chairman's Fury!

This item will be available as a 5-Key Varium package as soon as we release on Wednesday September 26th.  A level 25 version will also be available as a 3-Key package.  Both will be available in-game.

Just when you thought EpicDuel couldn't fit any more evil...

 

MOAR EVIL!

A wild Dage appears!  That's right, Dage the Evil has taken up residence on Delta V and he will come offering new LQS items of his own twisted creation.  This new color custom bike, Dage's Blood Rider, is just a taste of the twisted treastures Dage is bringing to EpicDuel!

Dage Bike!

Leaves a trail of blood and bones in its wake.

Dage's Shotguns

Find Dage in the Minetower to access his shop of limited quantity items!  He's packing some serious heat with the Skull Boomstick and Haunted Boomstick, two shotguns with the amazing Spreadfire ability which allows you to attack 2 targets at once!  Grab these items before they're gone!

 

Bye-Bye Infernal Weapons

Due to the addition of Platinum's Pride promotional armor, we will be removing the Infernal Interdictor and Pyro Fly packages from the Varium shop and all the other Infernal and Mechachillid items from the in-game merchants.  The Infernal Interdictor and the Pyro Fly will also be sellable.  The key exceptions are the Infernal Android and the Mecha Cruiser, which are permanent items.

Tags: Chairman Platinum Nightwraith EbilCorp Promotion Varium Dage the Evil Armors Weapons LQS


Cinderella

August 21, 2012

The Dragon's Reckoning

Did Someone Say Dragons?

Erhmagerd! Dergens!

Legion and Exile forces are still recovering from a massive war within the Infernal Mines, but now a powerful  force is making its way toward Delta V, ready to bring the Day of Reckoning to the planet and her people.  This threat from another world will be unlike anything ever faced before, but there are ways to survive: attempt to appease the being or rally a shattered world to send the abomination reeling back to the darkest corner of the universe.  I wonder which you will choose?

 

Make Ready

The Slayer does not take kindly to off-worlders intruding on his home turf so this Friday, he's prepared to finally release his personal stash of armor to help eager duelists to repel the alien threat.  Additionally, he has crafted a brand new weapon, The Dragon Buster II broadsword* which will be included with the new 5 Key promotional package.  He will also be bringing back the legendary Dragon Weapons that return every year to commemorate Dragon*Con.

Let's Bust Some Dragons!

Dragon Buster 2, Buster.

They're back!

Limited-Time Draconic Weapons

Limited-Time Draconic Weapons

Draconic Mutating weapons will leave as soon as Dragon*Con concludes.

The Dragon Slayer Armor will be available for 5 keys, but as a special treat, players who see us and write down their EpicDuel character name at Dragon*Con will get the armor and sword for free!**  For more details, check out the Dragon*Con post below!

*We were previously going to buff the original Dragon Buster sword to offer in the promotional package, but our players made it clear that they wanted a brand new item and that it was not fair to buff the old item.  You reminded us of our old promise so we're honoring your request and introducing the Dragon Buster II broadsword.  We will have images as soon as it's drawn! 

**To clarify, this offer is only valid for one EpicDuel character name per DragonCon attendee.

 

Bye, Bye Bio Borg!

Memories!

He's waving bye forever T_T

Once the new Dragon Slayer promotion goes live, we will be removing the Bionic Battlegear and the Bio Borg from the game forever!  I know it's been around for awhile, but if you were procrastinating getting it for any reason, please do so before the release on Friday!

 

The Barrens

The desolate wasteland known colloquially as the Barrens was not always so.  At one point, it was a lush wilderness, but it had the misfortune of being mineral rich and tactically advantageous, two qualities that made it irresistible to Baelius and his corporation.  After most of the easily accessible resources were tapped, a battery of turrets was installed as part of a massive planetary defense grid.  Thousands of weapon batteries could adjust their trajectories to his targets on the other side of the planet and utterly annihilate targets in space.

Turret Fields

When war broke out, this battery was crucial in ending the insurrection and keeping any outside forces from entering Delta V's atmosphere.  A suicide strike was ordered by resistance forces to break Baelius' chokehold over the region and divert the cannons away from the defense of Fortune City, and it partially succeeded.  The makeshift fleet of freighters retrofitted with budget armaments and stolen military vessels rained from the skies over the Barrens until their secret payload could be delivered -- a massive EMP that disabled the turrets and remaining ships alike.  But the General overseeing the Barrens was no fool, and turned the turrets on his own rebellious slaves to try and salvage the area. During the strike, the General was assassinated by his daughter’s personal bodyguard, but not before the turret gave its own killing blow- the blast from destroying the Uprising’s main weapon devastated the area, killing much of the area’s life, and corrupting the rest.

 

The Dragon's Harbinger

Today, the Barrens are a haven for criminals, outcasts, and daring adventurers.  The Legion has no interest in reclaiming this area as it is tapped of all resources, and the once mighty turrets rest silently, many still pointed skyward as dormant sentinels.  However, a mysterious being calling itself Dravax has appeared just outside the devastated turret field heralding the coming of its master and seeking the being known as Char.  It's message is simple: obey and receive mercy or resist and be destroyed.

 The Dragon demands your...Bay-Con!

The Heartbeat of the Universe

                I was browsing the grocery when my communicator rang. I thought it was Eldhi, asking for some spare parts or a tomato, but my heart sank when I saw the tag.

                It was Alaric.

                Alaric was one of the few who would not assimilate into the Legion.  Aegir said it was too foolish, too dangerous to live as Krampus anymore. I hated Aegir.  The hand he extended was the hand of a conquerer, not a friend.  But, his actions did keep the Administration from slaughtering us, but at the cost of our culture.  Though, I had tried to convince Alaric that we should just sign the marriage papers in Fortune City instead of reassembling the council of elders.  I thought about the card I carried, that gave a false name.  My mother gave me the name Ylwa.  My actions earned me the title Beast Rider.  The card identifies me as Winter Page.  Not the most common, not the most exotic.  But it renders me invisible.

                Invisibility.  Invisibility is safety.

                The beeping brought me back to reality and I saw the message. “Ylwa and Aegir. Come immediately. The Shaken. Sorry, Shaman.” Oh Alaric. He never understood autocorrect. But his message, mangled as it was, was dangerous. There had to be a reason that he would take the risk of the Legion seeing he was still alive. I paid for my groceries and fled to the mountains.

 

                The abandoned strip mine was cold and dank, and the smell of mildew hit my nose as I entered the cavern.  Aegir had beaten me to our hideout.  Aegir had long ago abandoned his training as a Shaman to join the Shadow Guard, taking the name Edgar Boothe.  But even so, he was seated across from his grandmother, staring into the fire.  Both humming to the sound of the universe.

                I made my way around some of the other Krampus who had taken to living in the caves with us to find Alaric.  He had long abandoned his royal finery, pawning the ceremonial armor to buy food for the Krampus orphans, and he was clad in rags.  I embraced my betrothed and kissed him deeply.  The concern was written plainly on his face.

                “What is it, my King?”

                “The Shaman.  She’s been staring into the fire for days, just humming.  The second I brought Aegir here, he joined her.”

                I held Alaric’s hand and we approached the mystics.  They were chanting under their breath, but the chant increased in volume until they screamed the words so loudly that I prayed to the gods that my eardrums would break.  I didn’t understand the language - it was an old tongue used only by Shamans.  The color drained from Alaric’s face, and he ran out into the snow. I followed him.

                “What is it?”

                “You don’t know what they said?”

                “No.  I’m not a Shaman.  Why?  What are they chanting?”

                Alaric held me and stared into my eyes.  “The Devil is coming.  The Dragon is here.”

 

Artix's Dragon*Con Update!

DragonCon takes place every year in Atlanta, Georgia.  It is a weekend long convention (Recommended ages 15+) with 30,000+ attendees...  most in amazing costumes.  I guess it is really like a weekend long costume party with celebrity guests (walk of fame), panels featuring the casts of your favorite sci-fi/fantasy/etc TV shows, video games, art galleries, table top games, concerts, shopping and...  well, check out the schedule on the DragonCon website.  As usual, the Artix Entertainment team will be attending in force again this year, including Titan, Nightwraith, Charfade, and Rabblefroth!  We will be running a panel and a fan table!  

Jemini in her FLCL cosplay

Come see us at DragonCon

  • Artix Entertainment ALL GAMES Panel:  Saturday @ 5:30pm at the Hilton in Grand Salon E! 
  • Fan Table: We are taking turns running it all weekend.  Located... um... wherever all the cool fan tables are.

 

New Matomy Ad Offer on AExtras!

I couldn’t phrase this better myself, so I’m going to be ripping this directly from the AQW Design Notes:

From August 17th until September 2nd, Matomy is running a special AExtras offer! ONE lucky player who completes an offer will win the grand prize: a combo pack of the black Artix and Sepulchure action figures!  You can also win either 3,000 or 4,500 ACs!

Get Artix Points!

Click here to begin participating in AExtras offers!  (Make sure you have a separate email just for doing this.)

As always, the offers in AExtras are provided by third parties, and ArtixEntertainment has no control over what offers are available in your area.  We apologize for any inconvenience this might cause

Tags: Titan Matomy Cinderella Nightwraith RabbleFroth DragonCon Dragons Draconic Weapons Items Armors Promotion AExtras Convention Panel Missions Storyline Slayer Barrens Delta V Dragonoid


Cinderella

October 26, 2011

Harvest Part Tres

Hello there, EpicDuelists! It’s your friendly neighborhood Cinderella with the continuation of the Great Harvest Festival! Our first *real* event in EpicDuel is going so well, and I’m really excited to be experiencing this with you!

 

A Harvest of Gear

Every Day I'm Huskin

So, getting this out of the way first, as it seems the only question anyone has asked me about the Harvest is when the Harvest Armors are being released. Well, Nightwraith is working hard to get out several armors for you. Keep watching this space for previews!

 

Continued Retrain Improvements

While the retrain improvements were certainly a giant step up from the previous iteration of the feature, there remain some issues. For one thing, we’re addressing the issue with your weapons being unequipped from your character on retrain. Following the adjustment, the system will be able to intelligently know for which items you meet the requirements.

Not too intelligently, though. We don’t need to accidentally program Skynet here...

...or do we? 0_0

 

More Snorkness!

If you’ve been working on the Ooky Spooky mission, you may have noticed that Snork has gotten a makeover lately. His frightening visage is reminiscent of the Indigenous War God, and in homage to his patron, Snork will soon be able to engage players in battle.

There may be other secret rewards in this or future Harvest updates, so be sure to keep your eyes peeled for any other treats!

Rumor has it that defeating Snork in battle gives you a chance to win a special prize perfect for the occasion.  I wonder what it could be! :3

WAT?!!?!?

 

Future Directions

We’ve already started work on the next big EpicDuel event! We’ll have some big improvements to the quest engine which should make this extra-exciting for players!

 

BattleCard Mod Packs this FRIDAY!

BattleCard Mod Pack!

As if a major release wasn't enough to get you excited about the weekend, the new BattleCard Mod Packs will be released in Toys R Us stores throughout the United States this Friday!  Purchase both packs to unlock the PaladinSlayer class in AQW!  For more details, check out Alina's writeup in the AQW Design Notes!

 

Like a Prayer

Commonly called “Praying Mantises” because of their folded raptorial forelegs, Mantids are members of the order Mantodea, which contains over 2,000 species in 15 families. Mantises are closely related to cockroaches and rockcrawlers, as well as termites.

Mantises are easily recognized by their distinctive elongated prothorax, raptorial (grasping) forelimbs, and distinctive triangular head with large oval eyes. The structure of the Mantis’s eye creates a pseudopupil, giving the insect a cute appearance. The distinctive foreleg structure is used to capture prey, which can include lizards, frogs, birds, snakes, fish, rodents, and other insects, as well as defend themselves from larger predators. They are commonly eaten by larger predators due to lack of chemical defenses.

Mantises display a behavior similar to the “rocking” behavior of stick insects. This is either an adaptation to mimic the swaying of a leaf (there are many mantises which have adapted as leaf mimics) or a way to gauge the distance between landmarks.

There are some commonly-held beliefs about mantises- one is that the female must consume the male in order to mate. This is controversial, since the behavior has only been observed in captivity with starved females. In the wild, or with recently-fed females, this behavior is not observed. In the United States, mantises are not endangered, and are in fact quite common and sold as an alternative to pesticides. Only one species of mantis is considered at risk, Apteromantis aptera, which is listed as “Low Risk” in its native habitat of Spain. 

Tags: Cinderella harvest Festival spooky AQW retrain Armors BattleCards


Cinderella

July 21, 2011

Arc-attacular Update

*Pro-Tip*

EpicDuel's new URL will be http://epicduel.artix.com/play-now/  
Redirects should be working shortly, but you may want to update your Bookmarks as well!

 

High-Wire Balancing Act

Well, it appears that we all know that EpicDuel crashed this weekend. For those of you who are fans of EpicDuel on Facebook or follow us on Twitter, you already know that the crash was not just EpicDuel, but AdventureQuest, AdventureQuest Worlds, MechQuest and DragonFable (essentially everybody but HeroSmash was affected by the crash). Titan ended up having to re-publish the entire game from a coffeeshop! I want to personally thank all of our players for bearing with us and waiting patiently while AE was essentially down.

The crash was related to load balancer, and fortunately we’ll be able to avoid this problem in the future since we’re moving the games to Artix subdomains! We’ve also been working on patching up some exploits and bugs, which is why we have been restarting the live game throughout the week. If you still see exploits being used, please give us as much detail as possible- knowing exactly what’s going on helps us find the problem so Titan can fix it! 

We will likely be restarting once again today (Thursday) to install more fixes, but the content and balance updateswill be released tomorrow.

 

Balance Updates

After taking the feedback from the most recent update, we are continuing to tweak balance among the new and old classes.  We have not settled on specifics yet, but it seems Cyber Hunters and Blood Mages are still comparatively underpowered and we will make changes to address that.  There are tons of suggestions for balance right now, some more drastic than others, but at this point we would rather approach balance with a scalpel than a sledgehammer.

*Update* Complications in the dev server have forced us to push the balance update to the next week since the changes weren't thoroughly tested.

 

NEW STUFF!

It's time again for another round of armors.  Shed your current battle-worn exterior and try something new!  Nightwraith’s been working on a few new armors for the non-varium crowd, including the new City Guard Armor, the Imperial Tech Mage and the Exile Soldier Armor! Visit Naomi in Central Station to check them out!

Name: New City Guard
Level: 30
Price: 21,600 Credits
Class: Mercenary/Tactical Mercenary
Defense/Resistance: +7
Dexterity: 6
Technology: 6
Enhancement Slots: 6

Name: Imperial Mage
Level: 30
Price: 21,600 Credits
Class: Tech Mage/Blood Mage
Defense/Resistance: +7
Strength: 7
Dexterity: 5
Enhancement Slots: 6

Name: Exile Soldier
Level: 30
Price: 21,600 Credits
Class: Bounty Hunter/Cyber Hunter
Defense/Resistance: +7
Strength: 6
Support: 6
Enhancement Slots: 6
 
*Update* By popular request, we have made the armors a higher tier with more competative stats (with an appropriately increased price).

But what about the varium players you ask?  We hope to have an extra-special LQS item for them Friday!
 
*Update* The LQS Telsa armor didn't make it for Friday.  Look for it next week with preview images ASAP!

What's in a Name?

Is there a name you've wanted since you created your character but couldn't have it because some level 3 was sitting on it?  Now may be your chance!  With this update, we are clearing the database of thousands of names taken by inactive players!  Is your dream name now available?  Only one way to find out!


Special AQWorlds Musical Event Featuring ArcAttack!

We’re aiming for to release earlier on Friday because we’ll probably be playing AQW on Friday, July 22 at 6 PM EST! Rounding out the DoomWood Saga in AQW will be the musical stylings of ArcAttack, who have harnessed the power of lightning and are using it to create music... FOR SCIENCE! All of us nerds (science nerds and music nerds alike) over here at AE are super-excited about it, and we’re sure you’ll love it too!

ARCATTACK!

Tags: Cinderella ArcAttack AQW Armors balance Fixes

 

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