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EpicDuel PVP Game Design Notes

Behind the scenes information about EpicDuel's development and releases, a real-time PVP MMO that you can play online in your web browser.

November 20, 2012

Reason to Be Thankful

Rabble's Bounty

So you roughed up Rabblefroth pretty good last week, eh? Apparently, you knocked his massive backpack over and forced him to unload a bounty of new harvest-themed seasonal rares!

A harvest of weapons!

Since we were strapped for time, we asked the kind artists at AQW to lend a hand and we received enough assets to create a veritable cornucopia of new weapons! We tried to add enough EpicDuel flavoring to make them appear uniquely dangerous, while retaining that festive holiday feel that AQW artists do so well.

Visit Rabblefroth in the Wasteland to inspect his holiday wares before the Harvest ends and the cold winds of the North descend upon the citizens of Delta V.


Are You Yeti?

That's right! The cuddly-but-deadly creatures from Frysteland are alive and well and will be returning to EpicDuel this December. There's no better way to rub this oversight in Alydriah's face than by wearing it on a slick navy blue t-shirt. 

Well? Are you?

*Shirt logo colors are not finalized. We are still working with the printers to get the best possible quality.

Look for the "Are You Yeti?" shirts in HeroMart within the next few weeks.  Be sure to follow Faith's Twitter for ongoing developments!


Omega Marathon

Note: Today's update is not Omega. This section of the DNs is a preview of our current progress on Omega. 

As part of the Omega release, we will be returning to the frozen tundra of Frysteland to check in on Alydriah and her latest plans for the region. Check out some of the awesome concept art Charfade has been working on as we prepare to revisit this arctic wonderland.

Chilling concept art

Alydriah's new crib.

Revamped Female BH

I've seen a lot of questions on the Tweetbooks and Facespace about the purpose of these class designs, and I will clarify right now that they are not new classes, but revamped versions of the base classes (Hunters, Mercenaries, and Mages). This is to create a better experience for new players and make the game feel fresh again for veterans.

Balancing 6 classes is no simple task, and we would rather tighten that balance than add 3 new classes. Plus, we feel it would be much more interesting to increase the diversity of play styles for all the existing classes so a Tech Mage plays completely differently from a Bounty Hunter and so forth. One way we hope to achieve this is by eliminating or modifying overlapping skills. We hope to make several changes in the Omega update that will make this diversification easier to implement and balance which we will elaborate upon as more details are finalized.

That's all from me for now. Happy dueling and Happy Harvest! Be sure to take time and reflect upon all that your are thankful for and cherish those close to you!

Tags: Omega Nightwraith RabbleFroth Weapons harvest alydriah Frysteland Wasteland previews Yeti


October 24, 2012

Happy Harvest!

In my part of the world, the leaves are changing, cool air is blowing on one’s face, everyone’s wearing (or, if you’re me, knitting) sweaters hats and gloves, and everything is pumpkin-flavored. Yes, it’s autumnn, and with the cool weather comes Nature’s bounty: a harvest. Delta V’s Harvest Festival is also soon approaching, with the return of last year’s Harvest content. This includes missions, the Harvest Husk, and the Harvest Reaper and Soul Reaper. These powerful limited rare mutating weapons include a 13% chance to attack your enemy with a rain of gourdy pain with the Jack O Fire skill!

The Return!

Remember these? 

The Harvest is also pulling up some new Harvest content, such as the Cardboard Crusader. This armor will be available for credits... though you probably shouldn’t wear it outside in the rain.

Don't wear it in the rain!


To commemorate the Harvest of Souls, Snork is forging an item commemorating his people’s history. What is it? Well, he hasn’t told me, but he did say that the most valiant warriors who can prove themselves in armed combat with him will have a chance to hold this mysterious rare item!


Oh My Gourd!

The amazing Charfade just revealed that she's created a big ol' pile of pumkins for your home decorating pleasure! Get your home ready for Trick and/or Treating this Friday!

Gourd gravy!


I Can Has Suggestions, Plz? 

But that’s not all! After sifting through the bounty of awesome player suggestions, the Player Suggestion Shop will once again be open! Everyone whose item was chosen will receive their item in their inventory (regardless of cost, level, or class) and the Epic Artist achievement!*

Suggestion Shop

*Massive apologies, but the Player Suggestion Shop will take a bit more time to finish. We tried to work through some technical difficulties, but ultimately couldn't finish it for today. We will have it out next Wednesday, fittingly enough, for Halloween! Stay tuned for more previews on Nightwraith's Twitter.


Spooooooky Countdown! 

The Spooky Head contest is still going on, but you’re running out of time- the contest ends this Friday, just before midnight Saturday. More details here: http://forums2.battleon.com/f/tm.asp?m=20723387


A Balanced Diet

Speaking of the forums, you may have noticed that, rather than cramming all balance discussions into one topic in EDGD, we’ve implemented a Balance Discussion subforum in the EpicDuel section of the AEF. If you’ve been on the fence about joining the AEF, now seems to be the best time to do so! http://forums2.battleon.com/f/tt.asp?forumid=415


Cover Your Torso!

As the cold autumn winds start to blow, now is the perfect time to acquire some coverings for your torsos! To help with this, HeroMart is introducing a new shirt to commemorate our 10 Year Anniversary as a company. Among the bonuses this shirt will give in the other games, in EpicDuel you will receive an exclusive sword, Artix's Triumph.  

Artix's Triumph


Level: 30
Damage: 32
Strength Req: 30
Dexterity Req: 30
Technology Req: 30
Support Req: 0
Strength +: 2
Dexterity +: 10
Technology +: 10
Support +: 2


Something About a Dragon?

In addition to new shirts, HeroMart will also be stocking One-Eyed Doll's latest Album, "Something About a Dragon" which includes music from AE's games! 

World Premiere!

As an in-game reward for purchasing the CD, in EpicDuel you will receive both One-Eyed Axes!  If you missed them in-game, this is the perfect opportunity to pick them up! If you already have them, you'll still have an awesome CD and two weapons you can resell for bonus currency!

One-Eyed Axes!


Onward! To Victory!

So, what’s next? After this week, we’ll be plunging into building the next phase of EpicDuel, along with a pretty cool winter event (will it involve yetis? Quite possibly!) and Nightwraith promised to have some preview art up for you guys. Obviously, we’re all very excited about this prospect and we hope our players will be as well! :D

What's this?

Revamped Mercenary concept by Thyton!

Tags: Cinderella Fall Autumn harvest balance Rabble Forums pumpkin Halloween Cardboard Crusader Snork Missions Seasons suggestions Shirts HeroMart


October 17, 2012

What Ebil Lurks?

The EbilCorp war is nearly over, and you have fought valorously against Chairman Platinum and his corporate ninjas in all of AE's games. Yay! EbilCorp was no match for our dedicated players. Congratulations! When the war bar reaches 100%, you can just click the “Claim Prize” button to claim your prize! What is your prize? IT IS A MYSTERY!

By popular request, Kimberly will by offering her One-Eyed Axes in energy and physical flavors as limited quantity item!



The Chairman may be down, but he's certainly not out. Alydriah has personally seen to it that his personal transportation off of Delta V is, shall we say, unavailable, and it would amuse her greatly if you and Kimberly would keep bashing him! You will be able to continue challenging Chairman Platinum for cheevos and lulz.

Being the opportunist that he is, the Chairman will be looking to enlist the help of Delta V's citizens to regain his strength and rebuild his forces. There will be credits and tokens in it for you, but is it worth making a deal with the devil?


Suggestion Shop

Nightwraith and Disturbed are still working on the Player Suggestion Shop, so keep submitting! As Char said during the Livestream, if you're looking to get art in the shop, think 2 holidays ahead!

Speaking of holidays and suggestions, the Head/Hairstyle design contest is still going on, so head on over to the AEF to check out the rules and competition! You have until 11:59PM EST on October 26 so hop to it!


On the Horizon

We mentioned on the Livestream that we're going to be doing some pretty exciting back-end stuff over the next couple months (which means that sometimes content will be lacking, but code will be abundant!) while we prepare to enter into a new development phase!

We're planning on reevaluating and retooling the early-game experience, with tutorials and such to initiate new players into an informative and engaging early game that is up to par with the latest content. EpicDuel has become a very complex game and new players can be easily discourage by the steep learning curve. We've already started outlining/writing the tutorial system.

Rabble and Titan are going to be tearing down the battle engine and retooling it. The ultimate goal is for even those of us on the creative team could create a new skill in the database! Weapons stats, skills, and enhancements will be completely retooled for greater flexibility, like we'd intended originally.

We'll also be "tightening up the graphics," as they say, in our ever present quest to battle framerate slowdowns and bring the older visuals up to par with the latest content.

And certainly not last or least, we'll be able to build at least one major feature (like, say, Tournaments) that are frequently requested by players!

Stay tuned for more developments as we finalize me details!


Said the Spider to the Butterfly...

I'm sure you all missed the insect facts! What, you didn't? Well, I want to talk about butterflies and will not be silenced! There are several examples of insects that mimic their predators in an attempt to avoid being omnomnomed. In the case of tephrid flies in the genus Zonosemata and metalmark moths in the genus Brenthia, markings on their wings and wing-flapping behavior looks very similar to the behaviors of jumping spiders. In laboratory tests, both of these creatures were eaten quickly by nonspider predators, but avoided by jumping spiders. In the case of the butterflies, jumping spiders even returned the displays, indicating that this sort of mimicry is effective against spider predators. Whether they win Halloween costume contests among the arthropods is still a matter of debate.

Tags: Titan Chairman Platinum EbilCorp harvest Ninjas suggestions Kimberly One-eyed Doll Artix


October 26, 2011

Harvest Part Tres

Hello there, EpicDuelists! It’s your friendly neighborhood Cinderella with the continuation of the Great Harvest Festival! Our first *real* event in EpicDuel is going so well, and I’m really excited to be experiencing this with you!


A Harvest of Gear

Every Day I'm Huskin

So, getting this out of the way first, as it seems the only question anyone has asked me about the Harvest is when the Harvest Armors are being released. Well, Nightwraith is working hard to get out several armors for you. Keep watching this space for previews!


Continued Retrain Improvements

While the retrain improvements were certainly a giant step up from the previous iteration of the feature, there remain some issues. For one thing, we’re addressing the issue with your weapons being unequipped from your character on retrain. Following the adjustment, the system will be able to intelligently know for which items you meet the requirements.

Not too intelligently, though. We don’t need to accidentally program Skynet here...

...or do we? 0_0


More Snorkness!

If you’ve been working on the Ooky Spooky mission, you may have noticed that Snork has gotten a makeover lately. His frightening visage is reminiscent of the Indigenous War God, and in homage to his patron, Snork will soon be able to engage players in battle.

There may be other secret rewards in this or future Harvest updates, so be sure to keep your eyes peeled for any other treats!

Rumor has it that defeating Snork in battle gives you a chance to win a special prize perfect for the occasion.  I wonder what it could be! :3



Future Directions

We’ve already started work on the next big EpicDuel event! We’ll have some big improvements to the quest engine which should make this extra-exciting for players!


BattleCard Mod Packs this FRIDAY!

BattleCard Mod Pack!

As if a major release wasn't enough to get you excited about the weekend, the new BattleCard Mod Packs will be released in Toys R Us stores throughout the United States this Friday!  Purchase both packs to unlock the PaladinSlayer class in AQW!  For more details, check out Alina's writeup in the AQW Design Notes!


Like a Prayer

Commonly called “Praying Mantises” because of their folded raptorial forelegs, Mantids are members of the order Mantodea, which contains over 2,000 species in 15 families. Mantises are closely related to cockroaches and rockcrawlers, as well as termites.

Mantises are easily recognized by their distinctive elongated prothorax, raptorial (grasping) forelimbs, and distinctive triangular head with large oval eyes. The structure of the Mantis’s eye creates a pseudopupil, giving the insect a cute appearance. The distinctive foreleg structure is used to capture prey, which can include lizards, frogs, birds, snakes, fish, rodents, and other insects, as well as defend themselves from larger predators. They are commonly eaten by larger predators due to lack of chemical defenses.

Mantises display a behavior similar to the “rocking” behavior of stick insects. This is either an adaptation to mimic the swaying of a leaf (there are many mantises which have adapted as leaf mimics) or a way to gauge the distance between landmarks.

There are some commonly-held beliefs about mantises- one is that the female must consume the male in order to mate. This is controversial, since the behavior has only been observed in captivity with starved females. In the wild, or with recently-fed females, this behavior is not observed. In the United States, mantises are not endangered, and are in fact quite common and sold as an alternative to pesticides. Only one species of mantis is considered at risk, Apteromantis aptera, which is listed as “Low Risk” in its native habitat of Spain. 

Tags: Cinderella harvest Festival spooky AQW retrain Armors BattleCards


October 20, 2011

Harvest Part Deux


Hey there EpicDuelists! Quickie design notes (posted from my cell phone! So Nightwraith is going to have to adjust for any autocorrecting it does).

So let's dive right in!

Raise the Roof

The level cap is finally being raised to level 34! We delayed the raise due to popular demand, and now we are raising the cap due to equally popular demand! Another added bonus to raising the level cap is that your Delta gear will become slightly more powerful, because it is technically level 34 gear!  Once you reach the cap, all the Delta weapons will gain an extra point of damage!

The quest from Snork will give players some incentive to battle, battle, battle! We did alter that quest due to technological limitations. Players can only complete the quest once, but the special weapon drop (with stats comparable to a premium weapon at the same level, so everyone can use it) will be guaranteed.

Shhhhh...It's a Secret!

If you follow me on Twitter, you know that I wrote, in addition to the already announced missions, a super secret mission! This quest will not be announced, you'll just have to find it.

Harvest Weapons

 Harvest Weapons!

We are releasing two limited-time Harvest mutating weapons, the Spectral Reaper and the Harvest Reaper. These powerful weapons change class with you!  The Spectral Reaper features an energy club, energy blades, and a physical staff, while the Harvest Reaper can become physical blades, a physical club, or an energy staff.
Rumor has it that they will also have an additional effect similar to the Curse effect on the Delta weapons.  What could this be?  Only Titan knows for sure!

In the weeks to come, we also have more Snorkness planned, a special event in early November (our writer better get on that! oh wait...) and more!

Tags: Cinderella harvest Mutate Level Cap Missions Secrets


October 13, 2011

A Very Scary Design Notes

Harvest Festival


Hi there, EpicDuelists! Hope I didn’t scare you! With Halloween just around the corner, we have some scary and sweet things in store for all you players! This Harvest Festival (which will involve several updates) should be full of yummy treats for players (and only a few tricks ;3 ).


First, some Treats!

If you’ve been following me on Twitter or the ArtixEntertainment forums, you know that, due to my wide creative streak, my talent for wordsmithing, or (most likely) my willingness to work a full-time job for no money (seriously, guys, you can at least subsidize my caffeine habit), I have inherited the storyline of EpicDuel. We haven’t had a designated writer for the game in quite a while, and having a writer means that things like story arcs, plot lines, and missions will be coming out at a faster rate.

My first assignment was to write a few missions for EpicDuel's Harvest Festival, and players will be able to complete several new quests, with unique attributes and special rewards!

Most of these quests have to do with the Candy Harvest. An amalgamation of harvest tradition from the colonists’ home planets, young citizens of Delta V were encouraged to wear masks and collect candy from their friends and neighbors. The giving of sweets represents the sharing of joys in life, the masks represent generosity to all, regardless of who they are to you, and prosperity. All players, including low level players, will be able to visit Steve 1.0 in Central Station to earn a unique achievement, or visit Brunson outside the Mine Tower to collect some ingredients for his Mama’s Pumpkin Pie.

There are sweet treats for our higher-level players as well! Collect some candy from several shopkeepers for Naomi Page in exchange for a handsome sum of Battle Tokens!

But not all is light and sweetness. The indigenous people of Delta V celebrate the Harvest Festival very differently- as the Harvest of Souls. Delta V’s native people believe that the souls of the dead can only enter the Afterlife one day a year. The living collect and display bones and all other things dark and distressing, along with brightly-colored flowers, rich clothes and delicious food. This juxtaposition of the frightening with the familiar is both to celebrate the lives of those who passed during the year as well as to ease the dead into the Afterlife.

The weapons dealer beneath the Mine Tower is a member of Delta V’s native people, and hides his identity behind a mask depicting the indigenous War God, Snortivit, from whom he takes the name “Snork”. In exchange for a certain amount of won battles, Snork may be convinced to part with one of his special designs, a valuable and rare weapon, exclusively available from this quest!

I’m super excited to get started on some longer story arcs, fleshing out the world’s mythos, and working with Nightwraith to bring the characters to life!

Stay tuned for more supernaturally awesome quests next week!


Tricksy Playerses...

In addition to all of those things listed above, you’ll be able to trick your friends by hiding behind one of 30 (!) new hairstyles!  There are credit only and credit + Varium styles!

Harvest Styles 1

Harvest Styles 2

Also, Hudelf has something in his bag of tricks for you- the retrain revamp is HOPEFULLY being released! I know many of the players were getting impatient, but it ended up needing a little more care.  We'll see if the EpicDuel programming team can work some miracles tomorrow!

We’ll be continuing with balance updates, including a slight revamp to the Tactical Mercenary skill tree in the coming weeks. I know many of our players were upset by the addition of requirements to the Tactical Mercenary skill tree, but when 40% of high level players are playing as one class, and defenses of the class reveal that there are only a handful of highly-specific builds that can defeat one build of the class (while being completely weak to any other build the class can put together), there’s something wrong with the class. Which class one choses should not determine the winner before the battle has even begun.

As for the revamp of Feld Medic, we determined that support and Field Medic were being abused to a point which was frustrating and painfully unfair to other builds. However, we are going to look at the speed at which the skill improves with level, and see if we need to make it improve faster.

With the new adjustments, we’ll also be reexamining the level range for Juggernaut battles for future releases.


*** Stay tuned for more Harvest releases as we move into the month of October! ***


They Might be Giants in AQW

AQW They Might Be Giants Event!

To celebrate AQW’s third birthday, AQW is running a special event with special guests They Might be Giants! On October 14th, Join Us for a very special two-week event “The Collector”. The Collector collects special people before their greatest moments, from not only Lore but other worlds as well (maybe someone from Delta V?) Read more about it on the Event Page and the AQW Design Notes!


They Call Me Doctor Worm

Good Morning! How are you? I’m Doctor Worm!

Insects and worms are often studied together (being abundant invertebrates), so this week, we’ll be talking about Earthworms! Earthworms belong to the class Oligochaeta in phylum Annelida (round, segmented worms). Their bodies mainly consist of a tubular digestive system surrounded by a muscular outer body formed of segments. They move by means of waves of muscular contractions to shorten and lengthen the body. They are covered with tiny bristles that act as claws, allowing them to tunnel through soil- which, along with decaying plant matter, make up their diet. Worms have a variable number of “hearts” (technically aortic arches) which pump blood through their simple closed circulatory system. They do not have separate sexes, and baby worms reach adulthood within one year. Worms live for 4-8 years in the wild.

An interesting attribute about worms is their ability to regenerate lost segments, and it is theoretically possible to grow two whole worms from a worm cut in half. 

Tags: Cinderella TMBG retrain balance styles Halloween harvest Missions Achievements Weapons


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