February 14, 2012
A Lovestruck Design Notes
Happy Discount Candy Day Eve!
Hope all of you are having a wonderful and love-filled Valentine’s Day, not-so-bitter Singles Awareness Day, anticipatory Clearance Chocolates Eve, or a great Tuesday. I’ve put heart socks on the Squidlings for the occasion, but I’m sure you’re having just as much fun as Mr. Squiddles.
Due to the paint in his office still being wet, Raymus wasn’t quite ready to open shop last week, but he’ll (hopefully) get the contractors out of the building by Friday. He’s brought along with him some new housing features. Starting Friday, you’ll be able to see whose home you’ve invaded, and homeowners will be able to restrict access to their homes. If you own a home, you will now be able to restrict access to your home to make it private (only you have access), to your buddy list only, or just let everyone come in and track dirty mud all over your carpets!
We will also be slashing prices on home items! This means there's never been a better time to decorate!
Following the success of the lowbie drops, we’ve expanded PvP drops to include weapons for everyone! You get a drop! And you get a drop! In addition to expanding the PvP drop weapons to include weapons for all levels, we are adding the Hoverbike and Assault Bot to the mix. Rumor has it that there may also be some "broken" items that are unusable. I wonder if there's anyone who could fix them? Unfortunately, with the revaming of the drop system, the random credit bonuses and home prizes are going away forever. With mission rewards and power hour, there are many more reliable ways to get credits.
We’re also adding another dropped bot: the Rusty Assault Bot. Since it’s rusty and secondhand, this bot has similar effects to the Assault Bot, but he’s a little weaker. If you’re impatient and want to buy a refurbished bot, you can buy him (for credits only) at Junker.
We may be repurposing the arcade in future updates with minigames and other fun extraneous things to do (like "Battle Fruits"!).
In addition to Mr. Alexander, players will meet one of Administrator 12’s lackeys, a man nicknamed by the Exiles as “NegaWraith” due to his uncanny resemblance to the interstellar assassin Nightwraith. Could he be an asset? An enemy? What is his plan? These questions and more will be answered in Part II of the Heartbreaker Saga. See the Exile Soldier in the Bazaar (next to Titan) for more info and to begin Part II of the Heartbreaker Saga.
Word on the streets (of the Internet) is that Artix Entertainment is making its very first 3D game! Since space is limited, we're giving everyone who has ever purchased Varium in EpicDuel, along with members of the other AE games, a chance to grab your favorite name before anyone else! For more information, please check out http://artix.com/, your source for all things AdventureQuest 3D, and the future home of the Artix Entertainment portal.
BEEEES! OH GOD, NOT THE BEES!
Let me start out this week’s insect fact with a little anecdote. This weekend was completely spent on an assignment for my Environmental Studies class, and it was a review of the factors contributing to Colony Collapse Disorder. Being the sole Entomologist in the class (and pretty sure I’m the only Entomologist at my institution of Higher Learning), I ended going way off the deep end and wrote 10 pages for what I found out later was supposed to be a 2 page assignment. Suffice to say, I’ve been brain-deep in bee for the past few days. My conclusion for that paper is that further research is needed to quantify synergistic effects between pesticides and use measurement endpoints other than honeybee mortality to quantify the effect of chemicals such as imidicloprid, which confuses bees and the workers are likely to wander off and forget where their hive is. Also, the medicines used prophylactically to prevent bacterial infection may weaken the bees’ defense to the effect of chronic sublethal exposure to multiple pesticides, including those that prevent harm coming to the hive from Varroa mites. The parasitic mite Varroa destructor lives up to its name, and will wipe out a thriving colony in a year if left untreated. So, things are very unclear as how to manage the threats to honeybees.
One thing I found interesting that I actually hadn’t thought about before, is that the honeybee is an invasive species in North America, and there are over 4,000 species of native North American bees that can “pick up the slack” if we were to lose all of our honeybees. The bumblebee (genus Bomba) is actually a more efficient agricultural pollinator than the honeybee!
February 08, 2012
Everybody Loves Raymus
Welcome to another week, my EpicDuel droogies! This week’s going to be a little short on content, but big on features that all players should find something to their liking!
Drip Drip Drop!
Starting on Friday, EpicDuel will feature PvP drops. Essentially, every PvP battle in EpicDuel will work like an arcade battle, and every time you defeat one of your friends (or a complete stranger), you’ll have a chance at adding something nice to your inventory. It could be a weapon, it could be a gem, it could be a useless tin can... it is a mystery! Who knows what your opponents could be hiding?
We’re not implementing stackable items yet, unfortunately, but Mission Items like the Skull Card, or special items you get for missions will no longer count toward your inventory space. This should benefit players, especially low-level non-varium players who have had to find ways to clear out enough space for mission items. With gem drops, one could stockpile a little treasure with this update...
We’ll be making improvements to the Housing system in EpicDuel, starting with the presence of a Realtor. Due to the increase in the housing market since the Exiles started returning to Delta V, there is an increasing demand for Realtors, who are able to lead customers through the benefits and risks of purchasing real property. One man, known simply as Mr. Alexander (or “Raymus” as it says on his deskplate) has stepped up to the challenge. Visit his office to learn more!
We’re not continuing the Heartbreaker Saga this week, but be prepared for new faces (maybe someone who the exiles can use to their advantage?) and more chances to use that infinite mission item inventory space!
Here is a comprehensive list of some of the minor fixes and features in this update!
Some insects store the toxic chemicals from the food they eat in their body fat, which makes them poisonous. Think about the Monarch Butterfly caterpillar, a Nymph butterfly that is the classic example of this system. It eats milkweed and stores the iridoid compounds from the plant on its body fat which makes the caterpillar nasty and poisonous. Insects that sequester toxins from their diet, such as caterpillars in the family Nymphalidae do so as a protection from predators. However, this leaves them open to parasitic and viral infection.
December 19, 2011
Frysteland War Continued
First of all, I want to congratulate each and every one of our players who have participated in the Frysteland War so far. The war is still going on, so be prepared for even more goodies and ways to defend your side. This conflict is far from over!
Remember, your actions WILL determine the fate of the Yetis and the Krampus people permanently. There are consequences to your actions, so fight well, EpicDuelists!
We've got a lot to do this week and not much time to do it! We plan on releasing Thursday, but depending on progress, we could release as early as Wednesday. I apologize in advance if anything in these DNs don't make it for this release, but we're aiming high and we're willing to stock up on enough caffeine to make it happen!
There Will Be Bugs
As with most new features, bugs are inevitable. We’ll be fixing a few things for this next update- the War schedule will be synchronized with the daily events from here on out, and many people were finding it more difficult to defeat the Yetis than the Krampus, so we’ll be balancing out the War NPCs. The Cryostaff and Kringlebot will both be returning to Hank, and Frostbane is being set to Permanent Rare.
This week, we’ll also be introducing two new armors for purchase, the Frost Reaper armor for Legion players and the Beast Rider armor for Exile players. Equipping this armor increases the amount of War Points you earn for your cause by 20%. They will also offer an 11% chance to deliver a defense variant of FrostBite, which can apply to the attacker if they hit you with a normal strike while you have the armor equipped!
We’re adding THREE new War Ranks to bridge the large gaps between ranks, which should make ranking up a little bit easier for all players. Some of you may notice that you have a different rank that you had before, but that will be a good thing since some ranks are easier to obtain than before. We have also readjusted the rating points that the higher-end achievements award.
We’ll also be implementing missions that will award points toward the war- remember, missions take forever to test, so if it’s a late night release don’t be too disappointed. Hope I don’t disappoint!
Since many were having trouble getting those Krampuses and Yetis to cough up War Bombs, we are increasing the drop rate for all NPCs, with the stronger NPCs offering a significantly higher chance to drop. We’re also implementing an Ice Gem drop that can be exchanged for credits, with more valuable Gems being dropped by higher level War NPCs.
We might be implementing a drop armor from War NPCs, but that depends on how much art Nightwraith and Charfade get done- you may have noticed that the areas are pretty art-heavy and Nightwraith and Charfade can only do so much with the hours in a day!
Also, the NPCs are pretty strong and silent right now, but we will be adding in the battle text soon! Maybe I’ll even take some time this week to write even more conversation into their text!
The Night Before Juloffenblotten