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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.

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.



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!



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.



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.




(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.



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


June 20, 2012

Brace Yourselves: War is Coming

Hey there EpicDuelists.  After a brief hiatus where I was working on HeroSmash, we are back with our regular helping of Design Notes.  These are gonna be extra meaty today, so make sure you have a good appetite for news!


Infernal Infiltration War

This means WAR!

Originally, we planned to release the War this Friday, but after some massive discussions involving the proposed features for the Infernal Infiltration War, including new battle types, new NPC AI, and new consumables, we determined that it will be better to release a fully tested and polished version of the War next week rather than a buggy, less spectacular version this week. 

However, we do plan to have a working prototype for Friday so our testers can create some awesome preview videos and demonstrate some of the War's exciting new features!  This is disappointing short term news, but we are confident it will be worth the wait!

During the Conflict, players should report to their alignment’s 4 officers.  Each side has a General, Lieutenant, 3rd Officer, and Auxiliary Officer.  The War Officers are (in order) Exile: John St. Alban (The Lawman), Ulysses, Galatea, and Selina; Legion: Silas Auer (Administrator 7), Valestra, Nightwraith, and Ella St. Alban (Cinderella).  There will be NPC adjustments and improvements soon- the Lawman’s revamp is going live with the start of the war, with revamps to Ella and Valestra soon to follow.


Attack the Vault

It can sure take a punch! 

Ok, here’s the real meat and potatoes.  This war will function differently than Frysteland- we’ve learned from our mistakes and we’re ready to take on this next challenge.  Basically, this is set up as a race to the finish.  Instead of strictly Legion vs. Exile, both Legion and Exile players will be punching through the Vault gates. Baelius spared no expense when securing the Delta Vault so the Vault doors are protected by multiple layers of shielding to protect the them from human activity.  When breached, each level of protection releases a special “something” that will be discovered when that level of defense is breached.  What is the reward?  That’s for you to discover!

Vault War Bar

So, how are you getting through the Vault's defenses?  You’ll be using grenades, available from drops or by purchase, to inflict massive damage on the Vault doors.  ALL grenades will be available as drops (no exceptions), so anyone can use any bomb on the doors.  There will also be mission chains that award even more war bombs!  The catch is the Vault doors fight back!  How long can you last against its devastating security systems?  We will be featuring the most devastating players in Infernal War leaderboards!

The Mechachillids are, understandably, not happy about surface dwellers ransacking their home, so they’re sending Mechachillid soldiers out into the world to bring you down in a new battle mode. Random 1v1 or 2v2 battles have a chance to match you with a Mechachillid AI opponent or ally!


Loyalty is the Key

Just a reminder that the special Alignment Shops will remain open for the duration of the conflict, and will be periodically updated with more items (though not this week).  Don’t like what’s available?  After the Infernal Infiltration War is won, the Legion or Exile Key will be converted into an achievement!

But remember- choose your alignment wisely.  Once you’ve chosen a side during wartime, there’s no turning back.  You may still leave an Exile faction and rejoin another Exile faction, but there will be absolutely no turncoating during the Infernal Infiltration War.


New War Cheevos

 Infernal War Hero

Along with a new War comes new War Ranks- the stats for each rank are the same as they were for the Frysteland War and the player with the most points for his or her alignment (in this case, the one who inflicts the most damage upon the vault) at reset will win the Infernal War Hero achievement! Yay!


U Jelly?

Honeybees (Apis mellifera) are well known for their production of honey, which is formed by purifying and concentrating the nectar harvested by workers.  The worker regurgitates the honey into cells in the hive several times to treat the nectar with the enzyme invertase (which breaks sucrose into its monosaccharide components glucose and fructose) and lower the water content, making it into a sticky syrup.  The honey is then consumed by the colony members, including the larvae.

However, this is not the only food consumed by bees.  All larvae are fed initially with Royal Jelly, which is secreted from the mouthparts of workers.  Royal Jelly is a high-quality nutritious food high in B vitamins and fatty acids, and female larvae that are destined to become Queens are fed Royal Jelly spiked with Royalactin.  This peptide causes stimulation and maturation of the ovaries, which differentiates her from her sterile worker sisters.

Tags: Cinderella Infernal Infiltration War Silas The Lawman NPCs Vault Delta exile Legion Factions Loyalty


July 06, 2011

Delta Performance Update

Performance and Art Updates

Hey all! Thank you for making EpicDuel’s Delta release amazing- we really couldn’t have done it without you. It’s awesome to see how many of you defeated my Armor Hazard creation (thanks for that, Ms. Descarl never actually paid me, although I suppose being alive is payment in and of itself...). Because server stability and performance are top priority, this week is going to be primarily about fixes and balance improvements!


Ninja Update!

*whoosh* Did you see that? Late last week we rolled out a “ninja update”- you’ll notice that Titan and Nightwraith are now carrying the Independence weapons, and we also rolled an update to the game engine. The game engine update may have caused problems for some of you, and improved things for others. The game is running more smoothly on our end, though, so it’s ripe for some performance updates!



Unfortunately, I don’t think that we’ll ever be able to say we’ve completely eliminated lag from the game- even if we give the server hamsters intravenous caffeine injections (believe me, we’ve looked into it). And while we won’t know for sure if our lag problems will be solved with this update, Titan’s at least going to try!

That said, the Lag Monster is a tricky beast, causing numerous other errors ranging from harmless visual bugs to skipped turns.  Titan is also working on a solution for the bugs that are effecting battle.  These problems are especially hard to recreate because they usually need a server full of 800 people to show up, a scenario that's impossible to recreate on the test server.

Back to bug smashing. *squish*



A few of the screens are getting a visual lift too- specifically Valestra’s bar. With all the tokens from the achievements she sells, Valestra’s been able to hire a contractor to come in and fix up the joint. Come on down, check it out, and maybe settle in for a refreshing Energy Potion!


Balancing Act

A lot of you have been complaining about the balance of the new classes.  In testing, we were all pretty equal using all 6 classes, and very different builds.  However, even hundreds of battles with a handful of testers can't uncover the wide-scale balance issues discovered by the rest of the community. That said, we are going to implement a few changes- we haven’t finalized them yet, so they may not all be this update. We aren’t doing this so that everyone class changes to the  current flavor-of-the-month, but to make the game fun for everybody. Remember, we have been buffing and nerfing classes since Alpha, way before class change was even a feature.  We sincerely want a variety of classes and builds- not to make one build overpowered over everybody else. That said, each class has its strengths and weaknesses, and some strategies are more effective than others. In PvP, this is unavoidable and not something that should necessarily be changed. The point of balance is not to make everyone the same, but to give everyone an equal opportunity to succeed.

Because we are still testing proposed changes to the classes, we don't want to announce anything specific at this time.  Look for a specific list of buffs/nerfs/adjustments as testing progresses.

This should be obvious to people who play competative games that require constant balance, but it might be worth mentioning: Class attributes and skills are subject to change and can possibly be nerfed and/or buffed over time. You will not be refunded on Varuim,Credits or Artix Points if you are unhappy with the changes.  It's much more useful to us to post why the changes hurt or help your class and help us with the balancing process by posting your suggestions in the AE Forums.

Tags: Delta Valestra maps balance lag performance Cinderella


June 28, 2011

Delta Launch Detected

After all this waiting (as our fans have made abundantly clear, it’s been a long wait) we’re finally releasing EpicDuel Delta. Sometime on Wednesday, June 29th (what time? When it’s ready o’clock) we will be rolling live with the next stage of EpicDuel’s evolution!


Delta Gear

As a special thanks to our players who upgrade during the Delta stage, purchasers of the Epic Varium Package AFTER THE DELTA RELEASE GOES LIVE will receive the Delta Destroyer Weapon Pack! This includes 4 beautiful, rare weapons: the Delta Destroyer itself- which can be used by any class, the piercing Delta Daggers, the crushing Delta Maul, and the powerful Delta Staff.


Delta Destroyer Kit

But that's not all!  The Delta Destroyer weapons also include an added bonus -- a 13% chance to apply a unique curse effect on an enemy each time the weapon is used.  A cursed player is reduced in size and suffers a 20 point reduction in support!


Blllllllllleeeeeeeeaaaaaaarrrrrrrrgggggggghhhhhhh!!!! *cursed*


Titan isn't used to being the shortest guy in the room!


To commemorate this epic new development phase, everybody will be able to go to any Achievement vendor and pick up the FREE Delta Knight Achievement!

Delta Knight

With the dawn of Delta, it does mean that the Gamma Gear and Gamma achievement will be going rare forever! So grab it before it’s gone for good!


New Classes

We’ve been tirelessly working on balancing the three new classes, shuffling skills around, etc. and you folks are really in for a treat! I know that many of you have seen my character page reading “_ Mercenary” (we ended up fixing that bug- go Titan!), but we have a bigger testing team than ever: Titan, Nightwraith, and Charfade of course, Dorumon, Rainaka, Wiseman, Omni, Ashari, Roshuno, me (Cinderella), and we even managed to steal Randor the Red. I want to take this opportunity to publicly thank everybody who helped us out with testing the Delta release.

These new classes should provide the player who loves a challenge with increased variety of skills and builds, and are available from any class change vendor. They will also be able to use the same weapons and armors as the three original classes.


Blood Mage

Blood Mage is the more aggressive and violent version of the Tech Mage. After being hardened by battle, some of the mages developed a lust for blood, and a balance between magic and melee. As a Blood Mage, you will be able to use the devastating Plasma Cannon, which includes a 25% chance for critical strike and ignores 20% of your opponent’s resistance. Blood Mages will be able to wear Tech Mage armor and use  swords or staffs.


Cyber Hunter

Cyber Hunter is a technologically advanced hunter. Some members of Baelius’s Shadow Guard started experimenting with the advanced technology available on the main continent, integrating some of that technology into their battle repertoire. As a Cyber Hunter, you will be able to use the Plasma Grenade, which explodes on contact- injuring your enemy with a 30% chance to stun! Cyber Hunters will be able to wear Bounty Hunter armor and use swords or wristblades.


Tactical Mercenary

Tactical Mercenary is an intellectual and crafty mercenary who uses tricks to defeat the enemy. When Baelius took over the planet, some of the more intellectual citizens were forced to work in the mines, and were able to create tactical weaponry from the mining tools- such as the Toxic Grenade which has an unblockable Damage Over Time effect. Tactical Mercenaries will be able to wear Mercenary armor and use swords or mauls.

To make class changes more accessible for everyone, we have reduced the price of Class Change to 900 VARIUM!  We are also introducing a credit-only class change option!  By Grabthar's Hammer, what a savings!


2 vs 1 Boss Battles!

 You asked for it, we built it! This is probably the feature we’re most excited about, honestly, and we’re really proud of what we came up with! Titan’s rigged it up so that you’ll be able to pick your partner from your buddy list. You select your buddy, then click on the icon that looks like a little chain. This requests an “Ally Link” with your buddy, which will change the icon next to your buddy from a green dot (indicating online) to a little chain, allowing you to team up for boss battles!

step 1

Step 1:  Select a buddy.  If you don't have any buddies, then it's time to socialize!


step 2

Step 2:  Click the link button on your buddy list (it looks like a little chain link)!  This will issue an ally request.  


step 3

Step 3:  After your buddy accepts, click the challenge button on the NPC.  The battle will begin after your ally joins.  Note that only certain NPCs can be challenged by 2 players.


step 4: fight! 

Step 4:  FIGHT!  You'll need all the help you can get against this literal monster.  

(A BIG thank you to Rainaka for helping me demo this!)

You may have noticed that the first 2v1 boss you’ll be able to defeat is the Armor Hazard. To celebrate her return to Fortune City, Alydriah Descarl “commissioned” a pet from Fortune City’s Biological Researchers- in particular, a promising young scientist working on insects named Ella St. Alban (better known as Cinderella). She created this abomination created by transfecting a fetal BioHazard with a virus carrying genes of her beloved Armour Beetles. Cinderella barely survived delivering the thing to Descarl, but teaming together, two seasoned warriors may be able to defeat it. Cinderella says that the only way it can be killed, however, is to remove BOTH it's hearts...


New and Improved!

The New: Several new faces are showing up in Delta V- or just coming out of hiding.


Alydriah Descarl is the beautiful and cold architect of the destruction of Delta V. Her cruelty strikes fear into the hearts of even the most battle hardened soldiers of the Legion. Preferring public executions and flagellation to the soft punishments of the modern age, she earned a place at the head of the Legion. However, her main love is destruction, and her appetite for destruction leads her to fight not only against the surviving exiles, but her own former allies.

The Imperial Tech Mage is one of Baelius’s creations. The Imperial Tech Mages were an elite force of warrior mages. They were famous for their resilience due to the fact that  most of them did not survive the training process. After the Banishment- which imprisoned the vast majority of the population of Delta V between dimensions- some of the Imperial Tech Mages chose to follow Alydriah or Caden.

The Mystery of Alydriah and the masked mages can’t compare to another individual lurking somewhere in the dark underbelly of Fortune City. Could this Mysterious Individual be the one really masterminding the Revolution? To discover his aims and secrets and how they effect EpicDuel, you’ll first have to find him...

The Improved: Alydriah Descarl is not only a lover of destruction, but a lover of beauty. She’s commissioned the rebuilding of her beloved Fortune City. Players can expect a much more attractive visual experience.

Fortune City

As a bit of EpicDuel trivia, here is THE FIRST iteration of Fortune City from the pre-Alpha days.

Who drew that garbage?

What amatuer drew that, anyway? :p


Thank you to all of our dedicated staff and players for make this game what it is. Without your continued support, we wouldn’t be able to keep making the awesome happen.

Now back to the test server. Still work to be done!

Duel On!


Tags: Cinderella Delta alydriah 2v1 classes new Gamma Weapons


June 01, 2011

Player Suggestion Shop

Hi there, EpicDuelists! How was your weekend? The DNs are a little bit late this week due to the Memorial Day holiday.


Player Suggestion Shop

Thank you to all the artists who submitted pieces to the Weapons/Items Suggestion thread in the BattleOn! Forums! We had a great time looking through all of your submitted artworks, and I want to remind you that we’ll be looking at Player Suggestions in the future as well. So, even if we didn’t pick your art this time around, don’t put those pencils down!

Again, the artists whose submissions were chosen receive the item in their inventories as well as the EpicArtist achievement. For everybody else, you’ll be able to purchase these awesome items from Naomi Page in Central Station!


The contributors are, in no particular order:

Marauder Boomstick: Order
Chainstaff: Veneeria
Imperial Warstaff: Veneeria
Oblivion Staff: Veneeria
Ancient Warstaff:Freestyle
Wraith Reavers:Veerdin Wraith
Touch of Agony: Freestyle
Circle of Pain: Veneeria
Royal War Blades:Electrik Dynomyte
Electro Axe: Dillbagel
Duty Calls: Veneeria
Junker Maul:BloodRainbow
Exile War Sword: Eternal Black Knight
Legion War Sword: Eternal Black Knight
Super Plasma Cleaver: Veneeria
Blade of Generating: Dillbagel
Kraken Reaper: Lord Giratina

Congratulations!  You earned your achievements and free weapons with your EPIC creativity!


Good-bye Gamma...

We’re almost ready to phase out this era of EpicDuel. We don’t have a date set, but it should be coming sometime in the early summer! What’s coming during Delta? For one thing, the Gamma Gear (ie the Gamma Bike and Gamma Bot) will be going permanently rare, as will the Gamma achievement- so grab that cheevo while you still can!

There are other evolutions coming during Delta...


Class Evolutions

Not only is the game evolving, but so are you! We’re bringing new evolutions to our current classes in the form of three new classes, that will be available by using the Class Change feature!


Blood Mage: This fierce class is a brawler who’s not afraid to dish out the pain. The Blood Mage is more melee-focused than previous incarnations of the Mage, and not afraid to get their hands dirty...


Cyber Hunter: These bounty hunters started experimenting by infusing themselves with more technology, becoming a powerful amalgamation of flesh and metal...


War Master: Truly skilled warriors are able to learn from their opponents, and nowhere is this better exemplified than by the War Masters. Utilizing the brute strength, cunning, and technological prowess of their enemies, this player is truly the War Master...


Before we release these new classes, we will be conducting extensive testing to make sure they’re not overpowered, as balance is still (and always will be) a pertinent issue in a PvP game.


I’ll be able to give you more details as they become available to me. Thank you so much for being with us in our testing phase and joining us in the continued evolution of EpicDuel! 

Tags: Cinderella Suggestion Shop Gamma Delta classes evolution preview


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