January 18, 2012
We’re coming down to the end game for the Frysteland Conflict. Again, a BIG thanks to the thousands of you who supported us during this in-game war. Remember that the War for Frysteland will remain active until January 27th, at which point the winning side will be announced and the Aftermath ensue as planned.
We do want to hold off on announcing any rewards for being on the winning side due to the issues we’ve had with “turncoats”- we want to encourage you to support your side, even if you don’t end up victorious in the end, and we will be adding incentives toward that end. Also, I know that many players wanted us to extend the Frysteland War, but we have a lot planned for the Aftermath and the next storyline! After all, if a special event lasts too long, it's no longer a special event, is it?
We’re stockpiling content for a big release next week, including the missions for the Aftermath. Implementing a war event is quite challenging, so removing one and transforming the world is also an ordeal. Legion and Exile are still battling, so we still must prepare for either outcome! I have quite a bit written already, including a bunch of new missions, but your actions can completely change what happens during the Aftermath. During this period and beyond, the Frysteland NPCs will behave as normal NPCs (with the exception of the Boss NPCs).
In addition, we’ll be adding a bunch of PERMANENT Frysteland weapons for your battling pleasure!
Factions Going on a Diet!
The War for Frysteland has given us a great opportunity to reflect on our Faction/Alignment system and its role in EpicDuel's gameplay. We have concluded that Factions are great, but almost incomprehensibly confusing. War Points, War Flags, Influence, War Kills, Token Donations, etc are mysteries to all but the most hardcore players. We really loved the simplicity of the War event being one number that goes up with all players being able to easily view their individual contribution. Thus, one of our goals for the new year is to retool and streamline Faction scoring to better integrate all the disparate systems into each other. We'll be posting more to clarify exactly what changes we're making and how they'll effect the Legion/Exile conflict, Factions, and individual players.
You’re a Heartbreaker
We’ll be bringing back the Heartbreaker weapons in anticipation of Valentine’s Day. We’re also hard at work preparing for our next Epic storyline! I’m really REALLY excited about this one, folks. So far, we’ve started dealing with some pretty interesting issues, including the nature of the identity of one of the characters you already know and love!
By popular request, and to halt the issue with dummying, challenge battles will no longer count toward your win record. This will also allow people to test builds against friends for fun, or to test builds. You will not receive credits, experience, or battle tokens for challenge battles, they will just be for fun or for completing challenge missions. Random battles will still count toward your battle record, as will normal NPC fights.
Where Are the Bots?
A lot of players have been asking about the lack of credit-only bots, and the simple answer is that adding bots with the current system is extremely difficult. All the bots do not work like regular weapons -- they use custom code that is very complex and inefficient. Bots are an amazing feature and we would love to fill the game with tons of unique bots with crazy skills and attacks, so this is a frustrating situation for us as well as they players. One of the programming team's short-term goals is to streamline the code for bots to make them easier to add. Once this happens, we can increase the quantity and quality of bots to provide both Varium and credit-only players with equal opportunities to acquire powerful bots.
Alydriah Descarl Opposes Free Expression!
In his Design Notes post, Cysero established that ArtixEntertainment is against SOPA/PIPA. These are bills introduced in the US legislature that seek to prevent online piracy, but represent a gross abuse of power by the United States Government. These bills, if passed, would give the US government the power to take down websites suspected of hosting copyrighted material without due process. For example, Twitter could be taken down because of one user using a comic book character (like, say, Batman or Deadpool). Individual web users face serious consequences as well, with performance of a copyrighted work (eg. a video of yourself covering a popular song) becoming a felony with punishments up to 5 years in federal prison. Even works that fall under Fair Use or Satire or derivative works face serious legal consequences.
This could spell doom for a company like ArtixEntertainment, because- while we do not support piracy or distribution of materials to which you do not own the copyright- our games are filled with popular culture references. Games like HeroSmash and Pony vs. Pony are just one big pop culture reference! EpicDuel is not immune- we have several references to other media (eg. the “Cake” achievement references Portal, Banana armor and Too Big! reference Don Hertzfeldt, The Lawman shares his name with a Motorhead song and is a dead ringer for Lemmy Killmister). Also, you could face legal penalties for recording yourself battling in EpicDuel, adding a song to the background, and posting it on YouTube. This is a serious issue, and I hope that, if you’re in the US, you will urge your congressperson to vote AGAINST SOPA and PIPA. You can learn more on Americancensorship.org
If we don't defeat SOPA and PIPA, the Internet will become a much smaller, less interesting, and ultimately less useful place.