February 21, 2014
War Two Point Oh
When will the Dread War End?
We've heard your feedback about the Dread War and many players have made it clear they're ready for it to end. Well good news! We’ve been working hard planning exciting improvements to the current system. When we first conceived the Dread War, our goal was to implement an event that could provide perpetual engagement, but over time, a few weaknesses in the system’s design have become apparent and the war has become a bit stale. The current war is complicated, it never ends, it doesn't offer enough rewards, and there is no focal point. This post will explain how we intend to overhaul the current system, and offer up the key points of the proposed new war system. The details are subject to change so please give us your feedback so we can build the best system possible. We believe by borrowing the best ideas from previous phases and prior wars, we can craft a system that is simple to understand, extremely engaging, perpetually rewarding and really, really fun!
As you can see, our dry-erase board breeding program is progressing nicely.
A Sense of Urgency
Currently, The Dread War is a global conflict without end. The lack of focus and lack of duration means there’s never any urgency. In past events like The Frysteland War and The Infernal War, there was a clear set of victory conditions. With War 2.0, we hope to recreate this sense of urgency by limiting the scope of the War to one region at a time and structuring it as a race. The War will last until a specific set of conditions are met by either alignments’ forces (we expect these regional conflicts to last roughly 1-3 weeks).
When the War in a particular region ends, the environment will visually reflect the winners, and the region will remain in control of the winning alignment until it comes up for contention again in the future. Prizes will unlock for the winners, and the top participating players and factions will be made famous (in a similar fashion to the Infernal War). After a small cooldown period, the next region will activate and the war will continue. The victory conditions in each region will vary to keep the conflicts interesting.
To a new player, the current War system is baffling. Control points, cooldowns, and other obscure systems are extremely challenging to convey at a glance. As we develop War 2.0, we’ll be streamlining many of the old systems. Mechanics like Influence, Flag Captures and World Dominations will remain, but behave differently from the current system.
The gameplay mechanic will evolve from a constant grind for control, to a more focused system where both alignments are racing toward very specific goals. Each regional War will be a race to complete the given objective and whichever alignment fills their global war bar first will win the battle and take control of the region!
PvP battles will remain the main driver of conflict, however, Influence will no longer be earned at the end of battle. Instead players will earn Influence by depositing new "War Drops" on War Objectives within the region. These drops will be similar to the grenades in the Infernal War in that they will drop after winning a PvP battle. War Drops will be thematically tied to the currently contented region and can be anything from missiles to computer chips, ammo crates, bricks, cakes, plants, metal, bullets, etc. Players of all levels can obtain and use these items, maintaining a very low barrier of entry for War participation.
If you fight hard to be the greatest champion EpicDuel has ever know, you deserve a place of honor. With War 2.0 we hope to give greater exposure to exceptional players who make the greatest contribution to the war effort. Interactive leaderboards will display the leading players and Factions for each alignment. At the end of each regional War, the bravest, most dedicated soldier will be displayed prominently until the region is contested once again.
By defining a clear beginning and end for each regional War, we can offer real rewards for the victor. At the end of each War, players on the winning alignment will gain access to exclusive prizes. To add variety to this experience, players can select a prize from a list. These prizes could be never-before-seen weapons or currency prizes like Credits and Arcade Tokens. Each region will draw a new set of prizes to choose from, and the prize pool will continue to expand as the regional wars progress.
These rewards will only be available to those who participate on the winning alignment, and they will only be available until the next regional War begins. We will also be adding additional levels to each regional War achievements. If you’re at level 10 or close in any of the regions, you’ll be able to battle your way to an even higher Rating Point score!
Also, the highest scoring player at the end of each day will receive a War Hero achievement. This achievement will have a tracker to record each time you qualify for this prestigious distinction.
War 2.0 will herald a new phase of EpicDuel development: EpicDuel Evolution. This new phase will be unlike any before it – over the last few months we have been gradually building tools and tutorials to allow EpicDuel’s future to be directed by a force more powerful that the mighty Titan himself: our Community.
Over the years we’ve attracted some amazingly talented and ambitious players. Our player base may be much smaller than AdventureQuest Worlds, but the level of talent is no less. Our intention for EpicDuel Evolution is to allow more input and direct involvement from our players to influence things like content creation and balance. If you were shy about contributing content or ideas to EpicDuel, now is a better time than ever to express because soon we’ll be offering the resources to make them a reality!
We're aiming to activate the first region on Friday, March 7, but as usual this is just an estimate and could be delayed if development demands it. Stay tuned for more details as this exciting new feature evolves!
July 17, 2013
Prepare for Dread Domination!
Are you ready?
After weeks of fighting in the Dread Plains, plans for a powerful new weapon have been captured by both sides of the War. Now, Legion and Exile forces are prepared to unleash their power upon Delta V in the form of the Dread Domination Varium Package!
This package includes 4 unique weapons and is not available in game!
We've equipped the Dread Desolators (auxiliaries) with technology of unknown origin in the form of the Improbability Gate Core. This exclusive core uses technology derived from an undisclosed research facility in the Dread Plains to open holes in the fabric of the universe. These tears in reality have been weaponized to allow players to summon creatures and objects from other worlds to come to their aid and help vanquish their foes! Be warned, however, this technology is quite unstable: you never know what will come through!
War Objective Leaderboards
Can you rule them all?
New leaderboards on each War Objective will display the top Influence contributors in addition to showing your own contribution. With 34 War Objectives to dominate, you have 34 chances to get your name and face out there, showing Legion and Exile forces that you’re a force to be reckoned with and that either alignment should feel honored to hold your favor. Can you dominate them all? We think it’s impossible, but we also know never to underestimate a dedicated EpicDuel player with unlimited access to energy drinks!
Where do your loyalties really lie?
This week we are introducing the heavily requested feature of alignment switching. Our primary concern with this change is that it could irrevocably tip the balance of the alignments, as players with weak loyalties rush to whichever alignment has the upper hand.
To ensure that alignment switching is treated with the gravity it deserves, we are limiting the feature to Varium only. Players will only be able to switch alignments once per month. Players currently in a Faction will need to first leave the Faction in order to switch. There is still no way for Factions to switch alignments with disbanding and recreating themselves.
Inevitably, when new features are released, new bugs will pop up, sometimes in old features. We try to make each release as bug free and polished as possible within a week of development time, but often bugs slip by. This update will fix several issues that have arisen since the last update (for specifics check out Rabble’s patch notes leading up to the release). To track down and fix bugs as quickly as possible, we need your help. Posting bugs on Twitter, while appreciated, isn’t always helpful since reports quickly get lost in our feeds. The best way to help us fight bugs is to post them to the official EpicDuel Bugs Forum.
Please be as descriptive as possible when reporting bugs, explaining exactly what you were doing when the bug occurred. Giving us those details helps us to reproduce bugs more easily. A reproducible bug is usually an easily fixable bug. Thank you in advance for your cooperation.
July 03, 2013
Those of you who played over the weekend may have noticed some wonkiness on the Control bars for each War Objective. This bug tipped the balance overwhelmingly in favor of the Legion. Obviously, this was not intentional and Titan spent all day Sunday repairing this bug. Unfortunately, since the scores for irreparably skewed, they all had to be reset. We apologize for any inconvenience this caused.
Independence Day Rares Return
This Friday, you can celebrate freedom with the returning Independence Day rares. You can find them equipped to Naomi in Central Station. Also, the Independence Day achievement will also be available at all the VendBot Achievement shops throughout Delta V.
Thanks to some help from Trizzzcentrino, we've managed 2 new seasonal rare bikes (to be found on Naomi)! Flavoured in Legion or Exile designs, you can show alignment pride while tearing up the battlefield. These are also the first bikes to attempt a new chrome color that's not color custom (the shiny, silvery bits on the bikes). I think it creates a neat effect that's lost on most color custom parts, but we'll see how you like it.
New War Objectives
To flesh out some of the less populous regions of Delta V, we have added 7 new War Objectives! You can find the in the West Naval Yard, the Barrens Outpost, and Central Station. Can you help capture them all and dominate Delta V?
Regional War Shops
By controlling key points in each region (i.e. the Battle Arena in Fortune City, the Overlord AI in the Overlord Facility, etc...), Alignments can unlock War Shops. Since supplies are scarce during wartime, these shops only supply limited quantities of items. To allow as many players to collect these items as possible, alignments are encouraged to hold regions for as long as possible since the War Shops will restock automatically over time. These War Shops will offer distinct advantages to those who control them in the form of War Cores. These Cores come either attached to a weapon or separately.
With this release, we will be introducing new core technology: consumable cores! By equipping them to a primary weapon, these cores will confer a regional Influence bonus that will last a certain amount of battles. After the core expires, a new one will need to be purchased. We have coded them to only count victories as a “use”.
War Chests Revealed
Now it can be revealed! Each Legion and Exile War chest contains regional War Cores! That means eight free cores (one for each active region)! Players with War Chests will start out with an automatic advantage in the War with the flexibility to gain a bonus in whichever region they choose. Since this bonus is alignment neutral, players who purchased the Legion pack, but decided to fight for the Exiles (and vice versa) will not be penalized.
For those who have been following EpicDuel since before Omega, you are probably aware that Consumables like Health Packs and Boosters no longer serve a purpose in battle. Rather than try to wedge consumables back into the game, we have decided to move toward consumable cores and, as of this release, we will be removing all consumables from the game. All players with consumables in their inventories will receive the appropriate amount of resale currency for the items removed.
Going forward, it will be possible for us to recreate Boosters, Grenades and Bombs as cores, which ultimately has more flexibility and does require the database to store excessive items entries for each player. Initially, we thought we could simply recode all the consumables back into the game, but the game has changed dramatically both code-wise and balance-wise since Omega launched so we determined that this would be the best decision for the overall health of the game.
June 28, 2013
Dread War Continues
Hey there Epic Duelists! First off, I want to thank all of you who wished me or Charfade a Happy Birthday on Twitter or Facebook (for those not in the know, we both leveled up this week). Nightwraith has already posted a step-by-step guide on how to participate in the Dread War (the post right before this), but we'll also be introducing some much needed clarifications in-game to help those who may not check the Forums or Design Notes.
Although participating in the war is actually pretty simple, the intricacies are complex and not thoroughly explained in-game. To address this we will be adding in-game clarifications to make more obvious certain aspects of the War such as how much Influence your alignment is earning per region and globally.
Battle Token Bye-Bye
We didn't have time last week, so we needed to cut this feature. This week we're doing it for real. The following is a quick rundown of what that means for you:
One major concern for we have for this War feature is one Alignment building an insurmountable lead. To prevent one Alignment from indefinitely dominating, we will be introducing Objective Reinforcements – the longer one side holds an Objective, the more control the other side will receive per win. Reinforcements will decay over time once the Objective has been taken.
Other measures have been take to improve the overall feel of the War and alleviate the “see-saw” effect we witnessed during the War’s first week. The balance adjustments are as follows:
To broaden the scope of the War and add more weight to the various regions of Delta V, we will be adding more War Objectives -- Minetower in Wastelands, Archives in Biodome, the Battle Arena in Fortune City (formerly Legion Arena), and the AI core in Overlord Facility. A few more auxiliary War Objectives have also been added for a total of 6.
To add incentive to seizing all of these fancy new War Ojectives, we will be introducing evolving regional Achievements. As you gain influence in a particular region (i.e. Fortune City), your Achievement will change in appearance, similar to the War Achievements of the Infernal and Frysteland Wars.
Since Summer is well underway, we're Spring cleaning by removing many of the seasonal-rare Botanical and Bunny items. Since there are so many items involved, I will list them here.
Still to Come!
The War has just begun! All of the features are coming together, but there are still more yet to be implemented.
We don’t want to leave Juggernauts, the toughest warriors Delta V has to offer, out of this fight! Soon anyone with a Skull card will be able to access Juggernaut mode from anywhere on the map, allowing full participation in the War.
Unlock the latest and greatest arsenals for your Alignment! Soon, we will introduce War Objectives with shops that are only accessible for the Alignment that controls them. Can you keep these rare weapons out of enemy hands?
Controlling certain War Objectives will allow you to activate influence buffs to help you capture other Objectives. For example, if you capture the turret in the Dread Plains, you can activate a buff that increases your influence earned against the Control Array.
When the Legion or Exile forces claim an area, we want it the entire region to reflect that conquest. We plan to do so with dynamic elements on each map screen that change based on which alignment is controlling a given War Objective. Imagine Exile banners draped over Alydriah’s Spire or Legion soldiers invading the Exile hideout in Old Fortune City. Such changes will go a long way toward making the War an immersive experience as Delta V is transformed into a living, breathing world.
Complete tasks for the various War NPCs around Delta V for big rewards. This feature is planned to come with a major overhaul of the existing mission system. We would rather hold onto our missions until the system is designed the way we want it rather than release a bunch of missions we might have to remove or change later.
Wow! Isn’t that enough? Stay tuned! This War is just getting started, and we hope you’re enjoying playing it as much as we are making it!
May 30, 2013
Dread War Developments
Hey there, EpicDuelists! It's time once again for some delicious design notes from your friendly neighborhood Cinderella.
The Dread War itself is still in development, and will likely remain so for a bit more time. Our planned rollout for the War is in mid-June, but expect rapid-fire updates as development is underway. However, I can confirm that the War will coincide with improvements to the Faction system, and will involve territorial control on a much greater scale than the current flag system. This conflict is fairly large -- the biggest players have ever faced -- and could expand beyond the Dread Plains to consume all of Delta V!
The new mail system is getting some nice improvements. You'll be able to manually choose search criteria (eg. Subject, Sender, Message) instead of searching through all three simultaneously. In addition, you'll now get a confirmation message when deleting mail, so it's at least less likely that you'll delete something important...like a message from a Delta III prince who needs your bank account information.
The conversion of passive skills to active skills is still underway. Since this is a massive change and we want to cover all the classes in one release, we are allowing as much time for testing as possible. This means that the changes will probably go live next week, thoroughly tested. It's very important that class balance is in a good place for the War so we are taking these upcoming changes very seriously.
The Long Arm of the Law
A special message from the Lawman:
With the new and improved reporting system, there is no reason to take screenshots and send them to the AEF Lawman account. Do not send messages to the Lawman -- he's not going to answer them. Having said that, we would like to thank all those who took the time to compose reports to the Lawman under the old system. However, that system required a great deal of time investment, both from the Moderator staff and the players making the reports, and it have been made almost entirely obsolete by the new system. If you need to report a player, please use the in-game report system!
Celtic and April Fools Weapons Leaving
The April Fools and Celtic weapons have hung on long enough, being as it's nearly June. If you still need a giant spoon, now's your last chance! Also, the Bunny Weapons from last year are leaving as well. However, the 2013 Bunny weapons will stick around for another week because of a bug with Brachylagus' shop that has been fixed for the new release.
Calissa and Oz
Many of you were curious about Calissa, and her relationship with Oz and the Exiles. I've actually read the story suggestions. Here's my own take on their story.