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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.

April 10, 2012

Bunny Battalions Continued

Post PAX Preparations

First things first: welcome back Nightwraith! For those not in the know, our creative lead was away at PAX East over Easter weekend. He got back safely so we can all bother him to tell us all about PAX. Will he do a recap? I dunno. That's up to him.

Don't worry. I've written enough to punish him for having too much fun.

Roll On Roll Up Roll Out

Flash, you devil.
We are finally moving the game to CS5. For realsies this week. If all goes well, you guys won't notice a thing! Maybe a reduction in lag, and better performance with Flash Player 11. For us it means enormous changes and vast potential for implementing all the cool features we've had to put off until we upgraded.

Some of you might be wondering why we didn't just use CS5 all along. Well, at the time EpicDuel was first being developed CS3 was new, and it was impossible to forsee it's limitations. This happens all the time in software development, but it was an extremely valuable lesson to learn and formidable challenge to overcome. Hopefully, we can wrangle Titan into giving us more details in the next EpicDuel Q & A.

Last week we also rolled out quite a few backend things. For example, you can now hit shift while you click to add or subtract 5 points from a skill. Armors got a little cheaper, and you can now buy misc or mission items with a full inventory.

Nerf a Derf

RabbleFroth is planning a nerf for Tech Mages. What is it? I dunno, nobody tells me anything. Watch here for details.

New Promo Packs!

I am sorry to report that these new packs will be delayed by another week. This week was very trying with all the CS5 testing, so we were unable to implement and thoroughly test the new packages. We really wanted to get this in, but it's not something that can be rushed out. Again, I apologize for the inconvenience.


This week we will be adding new items to packs at different price tiers and different levels. This should increase the usefulness of promo items for our players who wish to upgrade but have not yet reached the level cap. In case you are wondering, the Bionic Battlegear will remain as promotional package for the time being. 

The new packs will include sets of brand-new weapons that can asist players who are having trouble climbing the ranks or finding just the right set of gear for their level. Behold!

Veteran Battlegear

Advanced Battlegear

These new packs will also give us more flexibility for players to mix and match Varium quanities with promotional items, and will allow us to give players more exciting options for packaged gear in the future.

Happy Dueling!



We will be continuing the Bionic Battalion saga by accompanying Myxoma and the others on their mission to save little Lepus. While in the Biodome, the bunnies will discover the secrets of their origin. What else will the rabbits uncover in the Archives?


Beep boop boop beep

Maybe they know!


Two points I want to address. Yes, I'm helping out with words on HeroSmash, but I am not leaving EpicDuel, as I know many of you were concerned.

Don't call me a quitter or I'll throw this bear at you.

Also, if you are a fan of EpicDuel on Facebook, you are now able to send me a direct message. I don't care if you use it to send reports, ask why you were banned, or things of that nature. However, if you have an account issue, payment issue, want to ask for free things/varium or send me death threats, please don't. Account issues must be dealt with by the help team (thru the help link on portal.Battleon.com) and I am not authorized to deal with master account issues. I also cannot give you free varium. Even if I wanted to. Threats, it should go without saying, are unwelcome and can lead to bans or worse if they're serious enough.



When the first miners came to Delta V, it became increasingly apparent that Varium mining is not for humans. Varium does not form like a typical ore, and after one too many fatalities in the subterranean caverns, the workers began to imagine sentience in the stones themselves. In response, scientists and tech mages worked on a form of artificial life. The idea was for robots that could build and maintain tunnels, keeping them safe from the dangerous earth. But the mages took it one step further: the robots could replicate themselves, repair and evolve. The inventors were amazed that after only a few generations, the mechanical bees had formed a caste structure and had started building infants with different qualities: workers who dug the tunnels, repaired the machinery, nurses who tended to the sick and injured, and warriors who protected the workers from wandering Hazards. The mechanical bees were nicknamed "Mechachillids". For generations, the Mechachillids and mine workers worked in tandem, but as the human workers turned into slaves, they grew distrustful of the social robots, who recognized Baelius's authority without question. When the citizens were exiled by Baelius, the Mechachillids were forgotten by the humans, but happy to evolve without human interference. They've been working and living in the tunnels beneath the minetower for a while now, and mostly don't trust any animal who keeps their skeleton on the inside...


Wednesday Livestream at 4pm with Mido!

Mido comes to AQW! If you've played through Etherstorm, you'll have met him already. If you have only played EpicDuel, we can only assure you that he is an awesome artist and now you get to see his incredible art skills in action! This Wednesday at 4PM server time, log in to AQWorlds and /join stream to see Mido take YOUR suggestions and turn them into an awesome in-game item (AQW that is)!


Real Life Kraggor

Kraggor and her people are based on real life animals called Megachillidae: the family that includes mason bees and leafcutter bees. While Kraggor's people are eusocial, many megachillids are solitary, including the creatures which serve as Kraggor's visual reference: the orchard mason bee. This shiny bluish purple bee will find a natural hole or opening in which to build her nest, and she protects her babies by building a house out of mud bricks. They are gentle, industrious bees and rarely sting. They are cosmopolitan across North America, and are efficient pollinators, keeping the pollen on the underside of theory abdomen rather than on their legs like honeybees. They do not produce honey, feeding their young with pollen.

Tags: PAX East Cinderella Nightwraith CS5 Flash development programming livestream Art Bugs Bunnies Promo packs


April 04, 2012

Design Notes on the Go

Go East, Young Nightwraith

Nightwraith here, delivering you some delectable design notes on this week's EpicDuel release. The ED crew is short-staffed at the moment, as I will be attending PAX East, the premiere gaming convention on the East coast and hopefully having more fun than a barrel full of fun while absorbing secret learnings from the game industry's best and brightest. Expect incessant tweets from me about various awesome things throughout the weekend!



Titan is wading knee-deep through the game code, updating it to Flash CS5.5. We've mentioned this happening awhile back, I'm sure, but the game has finally reached the point where CS3 is simply too limited to allow us to make forward process in developing EpicDuel. Titan is quickly moving system by system to get the game to publish in Flashplayer 11, which will (hopefully) mean a smoother gameplay experience for everyone and allow us to  gear up to building the new features you guys really care about. 


Hunt for Mods

As the flow of mod applications has slowed, we've been able to catch up to just about all the  potential mod candidates.  The process has stalled a bit since I will be out of the lab with questionable internet connectivity until Monday.  For those who have received interviews, congratulations on making it that far in the process, and sorry the process has been drawn out as long as it has.    


Artist Livestream

Log in today at 4pm server time to AQW to see J6 draw a brand spanking new weapon in-game livestream art event! While you watch, send him suggestions by replying to Alina's Twitter account@alina_ae! The item will be put into an AQW shop after the event so you can wield what J6 has crafted!

Stay tuned in the upcoming weeks to see even more livestream events from AQW artists! EpicDuel will also be streaming on our Epic Livestream Channel throughout the following weeks as we ramp up for a mysterious summer event! Oooooo!



To give you guys some time to complete the Bionic Battalion Missions and slake the thirst of those eager for more, Cinderella has added several more missions to various NPCs across Delta V.  Their rewards are succulent, so seek them out, post-haste! (After the Friday update, that is!)


Hard Knocks

A few weeks ago we conducted a Livestream Q&A featuring the entire EpicDuel development staff, and the response was overwhelming.  We talked, sung, drew, and answered questions for 3 hours and still didn't get to all of your questions!  There was one question in particular that seems to strike a chord with some, and that question was concerning our college education and what recommendations we would make for aspiring game developers seeking to expand their minds.

Based on some e-mails we received from concerned players, I am afraid that we may have come off as unsupportive of higher education, but this could not be further from the truth. After all, without college, Titan and Nightwraith never would have met and there would be no EpicDuel. Nearly everyone at AE has some form of higher education, with several having attained or in the process of pursuing advanced degrees.  Many of our Moderators are also pursuing degrees.  Most positions at major game companies require at least a Bachelor's Degree.

What we were attempting to convey in our response to the questions about higher education was a reflection on our own experiences and the value we gleaned from our own respective degree programs.  In our experience, college coursework was only a part of a much broader skill set we needed to compile in order to begin work on a project like EpicDuel.  Hundreds of hours of outside training and cold experience were needed to get the game's art and code to what it is today.  To use a gaming metaphor, if life is an RPG, you will need to do a lot of grinding in addition to the main storyline quests in order to defeat the final boss easily.

The fact remains that the video game industry is very competitive, and one cannot rely on coursework alone to secure a job in the field.   There are also many for whom college is either inaccessible, or not the best learning environment.  We would not want to close the door on game design for those without financial resources or lackluster academic records.  While there are some universities that offer specific game design programs, many of these are either very expensive or so specific in their curriculum that switching majors if interests change is nearly impossible.  A good college education can be the foundation of a great career, but it is not a guarantee.

Again, it was not our intention to steer people away from higher education, and we are sorry if you interpreted our answer as such.  The Livestream event was meant to be unscripted and candid, so perhaps we could have measured our responses more carefully and made it more clear that we were speaking only from our own experiences, and not offering blanket advice for everyone in all circumstances.  Only human, and all that.  Education, like anything in life, will yield the most benefits to those who are actively engaged in its pursuit.

Tags: Nightwraith Missions pricing CS5 programming education


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