February 06, 2014
This week, we're getting our hands dirty with some deep-cleaning of EpicDuel's inner workings. It's been awhile since we've done optimization so this week we worked hard to fix some nagging bugs and clean up some code to improve performance. These updates don't usually yield many shiny new toys for your enjoyment, but we've worked hard to make sure you're not empty-handed for this update!
To assist you with the cleaning process in your homes, we're introducing crabby new home item. These crabs are hungry and ready to clean your homes of any refuse.
We're introducing a total of 31 new home items, including the popular development phase AI trainers. Show off your appreciation of the eras from EpicDuel's past with these awesome new home items!
Last week, we planned on implementing a change to the matching engine to tighten the range at the highest levels. This means that a level 40 should almost never match against a level 35. This change was not thoroughly tested, but this week we're confident in releasing this change. This should encourage fairness and balance among the high level players.
This weekend we'll be giving out more prize codes! As an experiment, we'll be dropping codes more randomly, making it more difficult to "camp" codes with multiple accounts. Follow our Twitter pages to stay updated with the latest developments on these codes and their availability!
Next week, we'll have more awesome items in store for you, including Revontheus' epic new swords, Aphrodite's Woe!
January 15, 2013
At Its Core
When Omega launches, every single action you can issue in battle, including Strike, gun, bazooka, all of your skills, all of your item special abilities, and well, everything is now handled by a 100% new "core-based" battle engine. Sound fancy? That's partly because it is. If you haven't heard, the 9500-lines-of-code-long battle engine that is the heart of EpicDuel has been rewritten for this release.
Why would we do such a crazy thing? The primary reason is for future expansion. For all of you loyal duelers out there, you know that it takes us a good while to create new skills and abilities in game, and we all know it's these new abilities and custom builds that are the most exciting. Omega will dramatically increase the rate at which we can generate new, well-balanced, exciting abilities.
The largest code change in Omega is the overhaul of the battle engine. So what's different about it? First, every battle action we create now has over 100 different variables available to manipulate in the database! This is an increase from only about 30 values previously. This means skills can have more unique effects, and we can recycle effects and functionality more easily than ever.
Think of this example, say we wanted to have 3 similarly functional, yet visually different abilities... maybe three skills that rain down damage on your enemy. Let's say we want one with a fire animation, one with water animation, and one that rains down a bunch of rabid monkeys. In the old engine we would need to write 3 completely separate skills. The fact that the skills were similar was previously irrelevant.
In the new engine, Omega allows us to define "rule sets" that can be applied to any action. These rules can now very easily be recycled and tweaked. So if Rule Set A defines an action that rains down damage, we can pair Rule Set A with Animation Set A, B, and C to create three different effects without creating loads of extra work.
This flexibility will mean more exciting battles every time!
This core functionality will also be applied to bots, meaning bots can be created more frequently. In fact, it will be possible to create bots with two active skills or two passive skills. Hopefully this could become a more modular system and allow you to add alternative cores to bots for different battle configurations!
December 06, 2012
Now it can be told: the official release date for Omega is
Changes to NPCs
Today we wanted to go over some changes to how NPC fights will work in Omega. We want NPCs to fill the purposes of:
1) training or testing builds
2) gaining credits
3) furthering missions and the storyline
They currently fill some other purposes that we want to move away from, including padding battle records, faction farming, and leveling.
Some of the changes are as follows:
We know there are still many questions about what we’re doing with Enhancements, but we’re not quite ready to talk about this in-depth yet. We will say now that the new system will allow for much greater customization than before, and will involve equipping passive effects and active abilities to your weapons.
Additionally, we will be providing compensation for those that have enhanced weapons in the current system. We’ll provide more specifics soon.
We would like to kick off our new development phase with not one, but TWO promotional packages. These designs were inspired by devoted EpicDuel player and aspiring artist TrizzzCentrino! You can choose from the Omega Obliteror set, which features an energy sword plus a mutating weapon!
OR if physical damage is more your thing, you may select the Omega Onslaughter!
All of these weapons will offer 2 new weapon skills (one active, one passive) to give you an edge in Omega. We will explain what these skills are and what they do as soon as we finalize the details!
Speaking of promotions: Check out Heromart's Coming Soon page for details on the upcoming "Are You Yeti" shirt! This epic garment will come with not one, but TWO yetis for you to play with for the upcoming release!
The Frozen North
Alydriah has been up to no good in her captured territory. However, there is one bastion of hope in this shattered land:
Titan stands watch from his mountain lair in Frysteland. Many displaced Krampus have taken shelter at the foot of this mountain fortress, seeking some respite from constant harassment from Legion troops. Alydriah is smart enough to steer clear of this mysterious refuge, but not so fearful that she wouldn't taunt the gods of Delta V through more indirect means. What new cybernetic terrors has Alydriah created in during the Legion's occupation of this region? Would Alydriah burn Frysteland to the ground just to annoy Titan? How many cheeseburgers do you think Titan has hidden up there?
I guess you'll have to login to find out!
Easy on the Eyes
As we mentioned earlier, the early game experience is getting a drastic overhaul, starting with the login and class selection screens. We will also be refreshing the look of the base armors and styles to reflect this graphical overhaul. This might not be tremendously exciting to our veteran players, but it will make EpicDuel 1000% more appealing to new players, expanding the total number of active players, which means more opponents for you!
WHY NO UPDATE?!
With all the changes to the database structure and game code, we literally cannot release before it's ready. Also, preparing a weekly release would divert time away from development on Omega, and we cannot spare a second at this point!
On that note -- Code Sorcerer, away!
August 10, 2011
Coding Mania, and what’s next to come...
Those of you who frequent the forum were treated to a post from our Fearless Leader, Titan. For those of you who haven’t seen it, here’s his post in its entirety:
For those who are wondering what the changes made on Friday and over the weekend actually were, I am here to enlighten you.
What it means for you is a variety of exciting possibilities. I’ve installed several structural changes as promised in EpicDuel Delta that will make new features possible. Prior to this update, many of the major features were what I would classify in the “overwhelming difficult to build” category because of limitations caused by the design of the game code. After spending loads of hours rethinking and retooling the engine, you can expect big expansions to the game at a rate faster than you’ve seen since we launched.
Some of these features include new armor types (not just for player, but also for NPCs), larger more meaningful factions, tournament brackets, larger buddy lists and group chats, item banks, improved retraining system, and additions to the storyline that will push the faction war to new limits.
Thousands of lines of code were updated to work more dynamically over the weekend... this means faster development times for new features in the future. When it comes to adding things like new drops, prizes, armors, weapons, etc, it’s now a much faster process for us. Instead of having to define an item id in 15+ different places, we can now more rapidly create content that simply works! This is an empowering change for Nightwraith and Charfade as they’ll be able to more easily add content without the need for additional coding assistance.
These are all ways in which we can now improve the game for you, and though balance changes had to wait until this week, the options now available to us for new features, and items is vast. Overall, this week’s progress, though it may not look big content wise, has been a very big step! We would like to thank you all for understanding, and hope you enjoy the exciting features and items these changes will allow us to release!
Plus, an added benefit that hopefully most of you are finding is an improvement in server response times... faster gameplay means more battles, more fun, and more EPIC!
As always, the entire EpicDuel staff is dedicated to making a fun gameplay experience for everyone, whether it’s Titan actually coding the game, or Charfade and Nightwraith drawing the in-game content, or my team balancing, testing, and disciplining the game, or me with the varied things I do for the game (writing the DNs, some of the writings on the website and in-game are my doing, I run the Facebook, etc.) We are working hard to improve the game, Dear Players, and I hope that hearing it directly from Titan reassures you of that fact.
I announced last week that we were prepared to roll live with several proposed balance changes, including adjustments to set-damage skills (such as Plasma Grenade or Overload), which could either buff or nerf the skills depending on your current build. Factoring in character’s level with set-damage skills will establish a more fair range of damage for the skill, and allow us extend the usefulness of skills that are often overlooked at the higher levels. This level based improvement formula. can also be extended to buffs and debuffs. We will even be able to control the rate at which certain skills improve to prevent them from becoming UPed or OPed at higher levels.
As always, we’re concerned with improving balance and making the game more fun, for all of our players, and some of these balance changes should help to bridge the gap between paid and unpaid players. It’s always been a tricky situation for us to maintain balance, and the battle is never over. However, with changes like these, we feel we’re taking steps in the right direction.
In addition, we’re talking about raising the level cap to 34, so both paid and free members will have something to which they can look forward!
Insect Fact of the Week
If you’ve gone down through the mines, you’ve likely met Insectoid mine worker Kraggor. Kraggor’s people are modeled after real-life eusocial insects. In these creatures, which include members of the orders Hymenoptera (bees, ants, and wasps), and Isoptera (termites). Eusociality is characterized by a colony being “ruled” by a Queen, who is the mother of the colony, and has a very strict division of labor. The workers, such as Kraggor, in this type of system are always the Queen’s daughters or sisters, who perform upkeep tasks, building, food gathering, and caring for the young. Males in these colonies are soldiers when they live in the colony, although in the case of termites, many colonies have both a King and a Queen.
Some species of gall-forming aphids or thrips (order Hemiptera, or True Bugs) display a type of eusociality where non-reproductive members of the gall become soldiers, who protect the young.