September 06, 2012
A Practical Dragon*Con Recap
Howdy there, EpicDuelists. I'm stopping by briefly to turn the DNs over to EpicDuel tester and Mod Practel for a thorough Dragon*Con recap. Artix did a pretty amazing job describing the event from the developers' perspectives, but I think it's equally interesting to read about the Con through a different set of eyes. Without further ado, heeeeeeere's Practel!
Hey there, Duelists! You might have noticed that this Design Notes post isn’t from your friendly neighborhood warrior princess, Cinderella. This is my first (and most likely last) Design Notes post! Some of you may not know me, so let me introduce myself. My name is Practel, I’ve been playing EpicDuel since December of 2009 when EpicDuel merged with Artix Entertainment. I became a tester (someone who tests the weekly releases every week for bugs and to make sure it’s stable for you guys) in August 2011, and now I am an in-game Moderator for EpicDuel and a forum ArchKnight! I’ll be writing the Dragon*Con Recap since our awesome story telling writer Cinderella wasn’t able to attend (which is sad, there’s always next year!)
What is Dragon*Con?
Every year about 50 Artix Entertainment staff and assistant staff travel from their secret undisclosed battle locations to Atlanta Georgia (an 8 hour bus ride) to attend Dragon*Con! Dragon*Con is the largest multi-media, popular culture convention focusing on science fiction and fantasy, gaming, comics, literature, art, music, and film in the universe! Each year the convention attracts about 60 to 70 thousand people, and an awesome group of Artix Entertainment players! To see everything that the con has to offer is almost impossible, but those who are courageous enough to fight the “4 days with no sleep” boss can do it! The con offers something for anyone. There are panels about everything from making your own functional steampunk R2-D2, to meet-and-greets with some of the biggest names in TVs, Movies, Gaming and Books. There are thousands of people dressed up as their favorite characters, movie marathons, a sea of tables for table top games like Dungeons and Dragons, card games like Pokémon, Magic and Yu-Gi-Oh, board games like Risk, Settlers of Catan and King of Tokyo.
Dragon*Con Pizza Party Meet and Greet!
Each year, generally the day before the convention officially starts, AE throws an awesome pizza party for all the players that attend. People come across the world just to hang out and talk with the staff about the games, what’s coming up, and genuinely have a good time. The players LOVE hanging out with the staff, and the staff love hanging out with the players! Each year a different, very dedicated player will come by and discuss the game to the point where even the player knows more than the developers about their own game! This year there was one player who was VERY dedicated and even cosplayed as Artix!
The Artix Entertainment Panel
Just like the awesome pizza party AE holds every year, it’s always a tradition to hold one of the coolest panels in all of Dragon*Con! This year was definitely the best panel AE has ever hosted – it had well over 100 people attending to come and watch, laugh, even cry, and genuinely enjoy their time as a player and proud con-goer. Each game lead stood up, discussed the game they headed, told the players what was going to happen in the future, and answered questions. Coincidently, I happen to have a video of Nightwraith discussing some EpicDuel stuff!
As promised, anyone who went to Dragon*Con this year should have received their Slayer armor and DragonBuster II sword by now! If you signed the paper for the AQW item, but forgot to list your EpicDuel name, please let us know!
Artix Entertainment always has a player fan booth, where about 5 or 6 staff sit, talk to players, answer questions, and have a good time. For the entire convention. During this time, we had a few very friendly players that most of us knew from Twitter and the forums visit. I was completely shocked and happy when one of my good friends A.C.W popped up and introduced himself to me officially in real life! If you visited the booth, you could have gotten a bunch of cool ribbons to put on your badge. One for each day the booth was open!
He came in a champ… left as a legend. One very awesome, and very dedicated player by the name of HawkBlackWell did the unimaginable… he challenged Titan to an Epic BattleOn Battle Cards game!
The stakes were as follows:
If Titan won, he would receive one steampunk trophy.
The battle was tight… Titan was annihilating HawkBlackWell, and it was in everyones eyes that Titan was going to win. Then, the most magical thing happened. HawkBlackWell played his deadliest card, life swap, swapping his and Titan’s HP. Titan was instantly annihilated.
A deal is a deal, and it was a tournament between Titan and HawkBlackWell. Look for a HawkBlackWell NPC sometime in the future!
It’s always sad to leave the wonderful players each year, but there’s always the time where everyone needs to get back to reality, go to school, work… life. Everyone had a great time this year at Dragon*Con, and it was all thanks to you guys, the players. If it wasn’t for you, we wouldn’t be where we are today.
As usual, we hope to see you next year, for another epic time with the team.
September 05, 2012
First off, a hearty welcome back to all of our staff and players who had the opportunity to attend Dragon*Con! Practel twisted my arm and he’ll be writing a recap post later this week.
Codes and Keys
If you visited us at Dragon*Con or follow us on Twitter, you may have seen some codes being posted that you could redeem for a starter pack of weapons by entering the code at any City Guard to redeem the code for starter pack items!
How can you get a code? Well, we gave codes out at DragonCon, but the best way to find a code is to follow us on Twitter or Facebook! It is possible that this code redemption system could be used for other promotions in the future so stay tuned for more developments!
Decide Charfade’s Fate!
As Nightwraith announced at the panel at Dragon*Con (and you may have seen in this video by Practel) we are allowing players to decide whether to save or sacrifice Charfade. To decide this, we will be polling players in game. Visit Dravax to choose a side. After voting, you’ll be able to see how many players are with you and against you. When the poll is complete, Charfade will be sacrified or saved based entirely on YOUR votes!
Also, to discourage “stuffing the ballot box”, voting will be restricted by account, IP, and level (you must be at LEAST level 5 to vote).
Lock ‘em up!
The missions to obtain the Exile and Legion locker keys are going rare with this update, and eventually these keys will convert into achievements. The Blueprint scraps will be sellable if you still have some taking up space in your inventory.
August 28, 2012
Daring Draconic Design Notes
DragonCon this Weekend!
Hey there, EpicDuelists! With Dragon*Con this weekend, we’ll be rolling a midweek release. Remember that if you visit our fan table in the Hyatt Regency Atlanta (lower level) and write down your character name for us (one per attendee, please; please don’t beg your friends to get free stuff for you) to be awarded the Dragon Slayer armor, which is also available in-game and comes with the Dragon Master achievement! For those who are brand new to EpicDuel, we will be giving out codes redeemable for a free set of starter gear! This is an exciting new feature as it can be used for more special promotions in the future. First time DragonCon attendee? Lucky for you, Cysero has posted a DCon survival guide on the AQW design notes: http://www.aq.com/gamedesignnotes/dragoncon-2012-2072 !
For those who only want the bare-bones details on for meeting us at Dragon*Con, here they are:
This year the Artix Entertainment Panel:
This year's AE Pizza Party:
We understand that many of you cannot attend Dragon*Con, but please understand that we are not affiliated in any way with the management or funding of the convention. We cannot ask them to host Dragon*Con in your hometown, and as great as it would be to travel to your city or town to meet you, it is not logistically feasible. Again, we understand that not everyone can travel to Atlanta, GA to visit us, but we do not want those who do stop by to see us to leave empty-handed.
A Char-faded Memory
We did not release the first missions for this arc because we were building a new battle feature! With this release, players will be able to team up with the Slayer to defeat Dravax itself and send his master a message he'll never forget! Your missions start with Dravax, who attempts to convince you to hand over Char without conflict. Your quest will then lead you to Mirv, who needs your help to re-enable the turrets defending the planet. Will you surrender Charfade to the Harbinger and its Master? Or will you keep her safe and save Delta V another way?
Of course dragons do not exist, but there are insects who are pretty close to spewing fire! Bombardier beetles are a cosmopolitan tribe in the Carabidae consisting of over 500 species of beetle named for their defense mechanism. The beetle maintains two reactant chemicals (hydroquinone and hydrogen peroxide) in abdominal reservoirs, and spray the foul-smelling resulting chemical at enemies. The product is not only foul, but the reaction is highly exothermic, with the spray reaching 100C (ie. Boiling) and quickly volatilizes. This system is often used by creationists as an argument for intelligent design and irreducible complexity, but the use of hydroquinone in defense is conserved in the carabids and hydrogen peroxide is a normal waste byproduct of cellular respiration.
August 21, 2012
The Dragon's Reckoning
Did Someone Say Dragons?
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?
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.
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!
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 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.
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 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!
Come see us at DragonCon
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!
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
August 26, 2011
New Old Fortune City
Titan vs. Adobe
After a struggle spanning many days, from the darkest cavern, to the highest peak, until at last, Titan threw down his enemy and smote its ruin on the mountainside! That is to say, Titan and our wonderful crew of testers made it known to the software behemoth that their latest "update" was ruining performance in EpicDuel (and a few other Flash-based MMOs) so they essentially released an update just for us! I'd call that a WIN. Get the latest version of FlashPlayer here! Thanks Adobe!
We've also been making some important changes to the backend of the game -- changes we can't go live with until they are completely. Because of this, we won't be releasing until later tonight. I'm predicting a... *summons the guidance of the mischievious time faeries* 9-10 PM EST release time.
As a byproduct of the efforts to optimize EpicDuel and streamline performance, Titan has been replacing all the interface components in the game. This paves the way for another very important feature going forward: localization. Soon* EpicDuel will be available in multiple languages, starting with Portuguese. It's a good thing we don't have as many quests as the other AE games, or that task would be monumental!
*Soon as in sometime in the future that may or may not be near at all we don't really know
Ye Olde Fortune City
Tonight, you will be introduced to the newest area of Delta V, or is it a sub-area? In any case, Old Fortune City, the current headquarters for the Exiles is accessible through the staircase in the back of Hank's in Fortune City. All the new equipment will be there, so you'll want to hurry if you want to be the first to check it out!
Of course, we didn't forget all the lovely implements of destruction we showed you last week! They're still coming, and thankfully, there's plenty for Varium and non-Varium players! You might also check out the Limited Quantity Shops. Just sayin'.
A New Champion Rises
We've been teasing at a new character to be introduced to EpicDuel since the early Delta previews. We're finally ready to drop him in game, but not quite ready to reveal his true identity. Some of you may already have figured it out, but the explanation will shock you!
It's that time of year again, folks!
Time to dust off your plastic lightsabers and Doctor Who fezzes and join us for the 2011 DragonCon in Atlanta, GA! This will be AE's 7th consecutive year attending and if you plan on going, we would love to meet you!
What is DragonCon?
It's basically a four day long, 45,000-person costume party with games, comics, anime, robot battling, art galleries, vendors, concerts, celebrity guests, and panels on everything from how to swordfight, write novels, make costumes, meet the cast of your favorite TV series…AND you can go to our panel and meet US! DragonCon is for audiences age 16+ (unless accompanied by a parent.) DragonCon is not run nor operated by Artix Entertainment.
Thursday Night at 8pm to 10pm
ARTIX ENTERTAINMENT PANEL (Main event!)
Friday at 2:30pm at the Sheraton, Savannah room
Also this year, there will be an Artix Entertainment fan table located in the Hyatt. Stop by each day for a special ribbon to hang on your DragonCon Badge (Jemini made them... there is a different dragon for each day!) There are limited quantity of badges for each day... so first come first serve! We will always have two members of the team and any volunteer players who want to hang out and play battle cards with us. There will also be an art drop-box on the table if you want to submit any of your artwork in person.
Pack your energy drinks and assorted totems of nerd culture and join us for the biggest AE party of the year! Remember: what happens at DragonCon, stays at DragonCon...until it's posted on the Internet!