October 31, 2012
We're super busy getting this release out, so I'll try to keep these DNs brief. First, I would like to congratulate and thank all the talented players / artists who contributed their suggestions. It's always a unique pleasure and challenge bringing your art to life in the game. As a reminder, if you have suggestions in-game will receive the Epic Artist achievement along with your suggestion items for free!
Without further ado, here are the artists with new weapons featured in-game:
Disturbed (not technically suggestion items, but they're going in regardless :P)
You can pick these weapons up from Snork or Naomi. If you didn't get your suggestions in this time, it doesn't necessarily mean your art wasn't good enough -- we only have so many hours to render your ideas so there's always a chance your work will be selected next time around. Remember to submit your masterpieces to the Official AE Forums!
Now it can be told! It wasn't easy, but after much contemplation, our judges have finally returned with a verdict. The 5 winners who will be receiving 1,500 Varium, an achievement, and their style featured permanently in-game are:
The Grand Prize Winner for the Spooky Head Design Contest who will be receiving 1,500 Varium, a very special 1,000 rating points achievement, all the hairstyles in-game up to the point the winner is declared, and the style he created added into the game permanently is:
A hearty congratulations to you all! Competition was VERY tight in this contest, and all the winners here were simply amazing. Please give us until the end of next week to render your entries and award your prizes. If you didn't win, don't fret -- we will be conducting more art contests in the future so keep practicing and Draw On!
As you may have already heard, Hurricane Sandy rocked the Northeast Coast of the US this week. The damage and loss of life was tragic, but recovery efforts are currently underway. If you live in this region, we hope you are safe and secure. Our own Practel was in the path of the storm and I'm happy to report that despite being without power for many hours, he's fine. Thankfully, the storm missed the Lab so we experienced no trouble here!
If you wish to donate to the recovery effort, it is possible to do so on the Red Cross's website.
Remeber, AE's own epic merchandise superstore HeroMart has just released THREE new items, two of which unlock a sweet prize in EpicDuel! Check them out now while supplies last!
Do you like games? Of course you do! Otherwise, your visit to this site would not be very fruitful for your, no siree. Well, you'll be happy to know that Artix Entertainment is releasing a new game called Oversoul that's available for open Alpha. Check it out. I hear they have pie!*
*May not actually have pie
That's all for now! Have a safe and happy Halloween!
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
February 01, 2012
Hey Fellas, Have You Heard the News?
If you haven’t, that’s what the Design Notes are for! The Frysteland Arc is coming to a close- and I’ll thank all of you a billion times for making EpicDuel’s first in-game War a success! Now, though, we’re moving on to the next arc, the Heartbreaker Saga. This will be a month-long story arc, and arguably the darkest thing I have ever written for EpicDuel, so I’m excited. Are you excited?
This week marks the release of another Player Suggestion Shop. Once Nightwraith has them all drawn, I’ll post the names of all the players whose dreams have come true by having a design in EpicDuel. Nightwraith promised to draw until his hands are withered claws, so we should have a hefty amount of items for all classes.
Remember, all players whose designs are implemented in game will receive their item (regardless of price, level, or item type), as well as the EpicArtist Achievement!
The results are in! The following is a list of contributors to this suggestion shop. This was one of the best batches yet so keep up the good work!
Despair - VectosAE
If your suggestion didn't make it in this time, take this as an opportunity to improve and submit new designs for future suggestions shops. It's also possible that we really liked your idea, but didn't have time to include it in this release. Eithery way, the next suggestion shop can't come soon enough!
Lost and Found!
Ever wonder what’s the best weapon for your level, or wonder where your opponent got that cool item? Just ask the Finderbot! The Finderbot is programmed with statistics on all of the items in EpicDuel, and he’s sorted them by level and type, with numerous filter options, so you’ll be able to find the gear you need much faster!
I’m still writing the first missions that will introduce the Heartbreaker Arc, but I can tell you that you’ll need to start out in Old Fortune City to receive your first orders from the Exile Soldier and Exile Leader. Watch my Twitter for more info about where to go for story missions this week!
Sweet Insect Facts
Recently, honeybee (Apis mellifera) colonies have been in decline worldwide. The odd syndrome (named Colony Collapse Disorder) causes the almost sudden disappearance of workers from the hive in a short amount of time- this is caused by the worker bees leaving the colony when they recognize that they are diseased.
The current hypothesis for the cause of Colony Collapse Disorder is that it it is caused by several simultaneous plagues afflicting the bees, and with international bee commerce (eg. purchase of royal jelly from hives in China, import and export of hives across continents) the plague has a much higher rate of infection. A good candidate for a viral plague is the Deformed Wing Virus, which is spread by parasitic mites, Varroa destructor, who prey upon apian pupae. The pesticides used to control mite populations may increase sensitivity to DWV, but treated hives are less likely to succumb to Colony Collapse Disorder.
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.