August 22, 2013
It's that time of year again! Time for Summer to slowly ease out into Fall. Time for students to go back to school. Time for...DRAGONS!
The classic Dragon and Back-to-School items will be returning to The Slayer, along with the Charbinger weapons and Harbinger Armor from last year's Dragon's Reckoning Saga! Some of these are limited quantities, so better move fast!
It's All About Timing
Rabblefroth's programming skills have allowed us to put seasonal items on a schedule. This means that items like the Heartbreaker weapons or the Independence Day gear will automatically stock in the shops without requiring a restart. This means we'll never have to worry about forgetting to add something as the list of seasonal content grows every year. This will also give players a larger heads-up before we add and remove gear from the various shops.
Those of you who have been around awhile have probably noted the lack of missions lately. The existing system has a number of flaws that make adding missions cumbersome. For one, NPCs do not support more than 4 missions. With a small-ish cast of NPCs, this means if we want to add more, we have to move or remove missions. Another reason is that mission are hard to find. Aside from players who closely follow the Wiki and these Design Notes, most players would only stumble upon missions through luck. Even after finding a mission, there is still the matter of navigating the mission chain, which is often unclear. Because of those flaws and because so few players were able to experience the missions we were adding, we made a conscious choice to stop adding new missions until we could build a better system.
Now, we finally have that system! From the Mission button at the bottom of the main interface, players can view a directory of all available missions! This will allow players to view different mission categories like Permanent, Seasonal, and Daily, view details about those missions, and jump to the NPC offering them.
As a minor housekeeping task, we have grouped many existing missions into chains, altering them slightly to flow together naturally. We also filled several gaps in term terms of missions for low to mid-level players (1-20) so players getting familiar with the game will have more opportunities for credits!
Because this is new system with many changes and opportunities for critical bugs, we will not be offering Daily missions this release. If everything works with few or no bugs, however, we could see Daily missions very soon!
Finding Mission has never been easier! With a little time and effort, you'll be rolling in credits!
September 20, 2012
Yaar and so forth
Yesterday was Talk like a Pirate Day! If you haven’t already grabbed the cheevo and items from that salty wench Isla “Big Tuna” Grier.
The Dragon’s Reckoning
The Dragon’s Reckoning is coming to its epic conclusion with an epic cutscene! What will become of the Dragonoid? What about Dravax? Will Mirv finally get the praise and attention he craves? See Charfade in-game to find out!
You may have noticed that you can now purchase hairstyles, and said hairstyles are yours forever. Changing between hairstyles or just changing your colors now only costs credits! Unfortunately, this is only relevant going forward, as we cannot figure out every hairstyle every player has ever had. But the Steve-bots are eager for you to get your hair did, so they’re offering a new, evolving Epic Stylist cheevo! Epicly stylish! Can you buy enough styles to unlock them all?
Codes...How Do They Work?
If you follow any of the ED staff on Twitter, you may have noticed us posting codes periodically. What are these codes and how are they used? Currently, the codes can be redeemed for free Starter-Kit weapons, but we are expanding the system to offer a number of different prizes. Here's a step-by-step guide for redeeming these codes.
Step 0: Get a Code
Currently, you can get these codes by seeing us in person at a convention or by following us on Twitter!
Step 1: Find a City Guard
They primarily hang out in Central Station and Fortune City. You can use the Delta V map to travel quickly between areas if you don't feel like going on foot (or by bike).
Step 2: Select the "Prize Code" option
Step 3: Enter the Code and select "Submit"
These codes are currently one-time use so only the first one to redeem the code will get the prize.
Stay tuned for more developments on this exciting feature as we add features such as more prizes, more redemptions per code, and more ways to receive codes!
Something Ebil This Way Comes!
Some twenty years before the current events of EpicDuel, Baelius had a “falling out” with his investors and backers when he declared the colony on Delta V a sovereign state and declared war. But not all of his backers turned on him -- Baelius’s war was partly financed by the mysterious and influential Chairman Platinum. Word has it that the Chairman is returning to inspect his investment. Is he coming to free the people of Delta V from Baelius' vile machination or will this be a hostile takeover? Knowing the Chairman, we suspect the latter.
If you follow me on Twitter, you know that I had a pet caterpillar named Nova. Nova was a happy caterpillar, was hand-fed the finest tomato leaves whenever he was hungry. Eventually, he was slated to pupate (that is, metamorphose into his adult form), and after wandering for a bit, he turned brown and began pupating. He was also a lucky caterpillar -- I’d noticed that he had cleared an infection by braconid parasitoids. But his luck was not to last -- a few days after pupating, I noticed that his coloration was off, and there was a weird discoloration along his ventral nerve cord. Naturally, I observed, and much to my horror eventually Nova exploded, leaving a pile of slimy grey maggots.
These are the larvae of tachinid flies (likely Winthemia manduca), which lay their eggs on lepidopteran larvae (ie. caterpillars), and develop inside the caterpillar. They’ll begin to devour the caterpillar from the inside during diapause and emerge. They’ll spend a day or two as free-living maggots, and pupate for 10-24 days depending on environmental temperature. As adults, they resemble house flies, and will repeat the whole process over again. As they reduce populations of lepidopteran pests naturally, they are attractive for use in integrated pest management. However, they are not extremely host-specific, and will attack related species to the target organism- eg. an East European tachinid fly introduced in the US in areas affected by gypsy moth has caused a massive reduction in Saturniid moth numbers.
September 11, 2012
The votes are still rolling in, but you've made your voices loud and clear. You will defend Charfade and Delta V to the last! Although this is a noble path, it does little to discourage Dravax and the planet-destroying Dragonoid that have come seeking Char. The final hour of judgment approaches -- are you ready?
A Living Charfade Is a Happy Charfade
Charfade is so pleased by your overwhelming support that she's constructing a new series of items to offer in her Limited Quantity Shop. She's also reverse engineered Dravax's technology to produce male and female class-changing variants of the Harbinger Armor (Credit and Varium only payment options like Infernal Android). You can complete the look at with a quick style change for a new Harbinger style!
Yarrrr and Such!
This release will also see the return of the epic Talk Like a Pirate Day weapons. We know it's a little early (actual TLAPD is September 19), but holidays on Delta V are a bit more...fluid than other games. In any case, you'll need all the help you can get sending the Dragonoid back from whence it came. Visit BigTuna in the West Naval Yard to acquire these awesome items while you can!
Stop by a VendBot anywhere on Delta V to pick up the TLaPD achievement for 1500 Battle Tokens! If you missed it last year, now's the perfect time to grab it before it's too late!
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