September 05, 2012
First off, a hearty welcome back to all of our staff and players who had the opportunity to attend Dragon*Con! Practel twisted my arm and he’ll be writing a recap post later this week.
Codes and Keys
If you visited us at Dragon*Con or follow us on Twitter, you may have seen some codes being posted that you could redeem for a starter pack of weapons by entering the code at any City Guard to redeem the code for starter pack items!
How can you get a code? Well, we gave codes out at DragonCon, but the best way to find a code is to follow us on Twitter or Facebook! It is possible that this code redemption system could be used for other promotions in the future so stay tuned for more developments!
Decide Charfade’s Fate!
As Nightwraith announced at the panel at Dragon*Con (and you may have seen in this video by Practel) we are allowing players to decide whether to save or sacrifice Charfade. To decide this, we will be polling players in game. Visit Dravax to choose a side. After voting, you’ll be able to see how many players are with you and against you. When the poll is complete, Charfade will be sacrified or saved based entirely on YOUR votes!
Also, to discourage “stuffing the ballot box”, voting will be restricted by account, IP, and level (you must be at LEAST level 5 to vote).
Lock ‘em up!
The missions to obtain the Exile and Legion locker keys are going rare with this update, and eventually these keys will convert into achievements. The Blueprint scraps will be sellable if you still have some taking up space in your inventory.
May 16, 2012
Buzz! Buzz! Buzz!
How are you enjoying your new Pyro Flies? Be sure to keep them well fed from yummy enemy skills or they might carry you off instead! Mechachillids (Kraggor's race) have been spotted emerging from burrows across Delta V which lead us to believe that there's something big happening in the old Varium mines. The Mechachillids were built to dig, so maybe they've uncovered something extra nasty down there...something that should have stayed buried.
We’re adding another reward to the current selection of bonus items available with varium purchase: the Tactical Battlegear pack. This reward is worth 3 keys, and contains unique level 20 weapons, so it will be useful for those who have some experience in the game, but are still having trouble against those fully-armored level 25s!
Remember, all of our current promotional items will also be available, and you can use keys to unlock multiple rewards. For example, you can use the 3 key package to unlock one 2 key reward and 1 single key reward, or select a 5 key package and chose a 3 key reward and a 2 key reward.
This week, we will be opening the Refinery under the Minetower. Players already know about the Mechachillidae, but what other secrets are contained in the Refinery? And what about the mysterious Delta Vaults?
The Refinery and the areas beyond will be the setting for the upcoming Infernal Infiltration War.
This war will also feature new mission types, such as missions that are completed by winning random 1v1, 2v2, or any random battle!
Chemotaxis is the process by which recognition proteins on cells recognize chemical signals. Many insects recognize chemical signals in the form of pheromones, such as aggregation, alarm, or signal pheromones, or to attract mates. Common in social insects is the formation of pheromone trails, such as those laid by ants, which are then followed by other members of the colony.
The Mechachillidae are also able to follow trails, such as those left by citizens’ personal teleportation devices. Which is why Kraggor is able to follow players so swiftly!
Artix and Sepulchure action figures are going on sale at HeroMart this Friday, and they should also be at a Toys ‘R' Us near you on May 23 (provided you live in the United States). Keep an eye on Artix.com for the lastest updates.
The following is a correspondence between Silas Auer and Paloma San Marco, Administrators of Fortune City districts 7 and 9 respectively.
To Paloma San Marco, Administrator of Fortune City’s 9th District:
Paloma, I know you prefer communication to be high-tech, but I really can’t risk this letter being picked up by Her Excellency’s tech squad. I hope you understand. You’ve been a loyal friend and confidant ever since you were a Guard under my command fifteen years ago. I know I’m no longer your commanding officer, but I hope I can trade on that authority for a huge favor.
My informant in the old mine tower tells me that the man who’s taken control of that area, my old enemy John St. Alban, is planning on cracking open the Delta Vaults. You know the rumors as well as I do- if the Lawman gets his bloodied hands on whatever’s down there... well, I know the man as well as anyone. He’s the kind of man who’ll stab you in the back while convincing you that it was your idea to get stabbed in the first place!
I need to take care of this. The Lawman will die by my hands- this isn’t a job I trust to anyone else. All I’m asking of you is to make sure the scum who call District 7 their home manage not to kill each other in my absence. Or just kill each other a little. Her Excellency can’t find out that I’m shirking my administrative duties, not after what happened with Williamson. While I’m not acting against Her Excellency, I ain’t acting on her orders either.
Thank you, Paloma.
To Silas Auer, Administrator of Fortune City’s 7th District
Silas, I built the watchdog systems. I concur, pen to paper is the perfect way to avoid detection.
I’m half-surprised that you didn’t try to get the old team back together for this. I know that Boothe would be itching for some warmer weather- although he probably likes the cold, being Krampus royalty and all. Neither Boothe nor Habuki are Alydriah’s favorites at this time, and I have not engaged in a true mission in far too long. My sword grows rusted on the shelf above my desk. I do not need to mention Lorenzo. Is Valestra involved?
Exercise caution, my friend, that you do not allow your anger to overtake you. Vengeance is sweet, but the fruit has a bitter rind. And Her Excellency may not see things through your eyes.
To Paloma San Marco
Valestra is joining me. St. Alban’s as responsible for her arm as he is for my face. I’ve got a few others with a bone to pick with the Lawman, including his oldest daughter. This is not your fight, Paloma.
Lorenzo. I don’t know who that kid in the train hub is, but he sure ain’t Lorenzo. One of mine put Lorenzo in the ground.
I really don’t see why we need to concern Her Excellency with this at all. She can’t see anyone doing anything to bring her down any, no matter what’s in there. Though I fear even for us if it’s something worthwhile to her.
Besides. You know how I feel about rules.
May 01, 2012
Keys, New Gear, and a Welcome to our newest Moderators
Hi there EpicDuelists! It’s your friendly Neighborhood Cinderella here with your weekly dose of design notes!
As we noted last week, and many of you have noticed, we now have a new system for building your own promo pack, where instead of a set promotional item, you get “keys” with which you can use to unlock weapons, extra credits, and other goodies.
To clarify some things: all keys must be used at one go, you cannot stock up keys. You can purchase multiple bonuses to use up your keys if you wish or use them all in one go. Players who purchased packages prior to this system will not be receiving more keys. The keys are simply a way to allow you to unlock more bonuses with higher tier Varium packs. You cannot purchase keys independently from the Varium packages.
If you need some help figuring out how to purchase promos using the new system, Practel has helpfully made this video guide to purchasing: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XXuVB_TQQZM
Our newest addition to the creative team, Disturbed, has been hard at work on some new weapons as a preview to our next war: the Infernal Infiltration War! Again, we are super-excited to have him around, and he’s going to start working on backgrounds and items for this saga.
I should have an outline turned in by the end of this week for the first part of the saga. As before, player action will have a profound effect on the outcome of the story and impact on the aftermath.
We’re proud to announce the selection of the new members of our moderation team!
In no particular order:
Elf Priest Jzaanu
Congrats all! If you see them running around with a green name, be nice to them- they’re new!
I also realize that at least one of our selections comes with quite a bit of controversy. Practel has been a tester and a personal friend of the development team up to and including Artix himself for quite a while. While he is not quite of age, AE has made exception for exceptional teens in the past, and we have confidence in Practel that he will live up to our expectations.
Artix & Sepulchure Toys
Cysero of AQW has already done a great job describing the new action figures, so Imma just rip it and post here. Riiiiiiiiiiiiiip :3
They are nearly here!
My sources (at least the reliable ones) tell me that they are on their way to the U.S. Toys R Us locations right now. They should arrive there a week or two before theyn reach us here and become availible on HeroMart.Com.
People often ask us why we can't get them to Toys R Us locations in other countries and that's mostly because there are different branches of the company and our relationship is so far only with the American branch of the company.
If our stuff keeps selling well in the American branch then we might be invited to start up a relationship with various other branches of Toys R Us... but that's really up to you guys.
Toys R Us gets to set their own price and we want the HeroMart price to be competative with the Toys R Us price so we have to wait and see what they set their prices at before we can set ours. If we decided early and went too high with the HJeroMart price, then we would be shooting ourselves in the foot and losing sales to Toys R Us. If we go to low, then we undercut Toys R Us and they might decide to cut ties with us which kills any future deals we might make with ANY branch.
SO... soon they will get theirs, we will find out what the decide for the price and then we will be able to tell you the HeroMart price whicl will be very close to the store price.
For the special Limited Edition BLACK version of the toys, I'm pretty sure that the price will be $50. It comes with the same in-game items as the normal versions but we made a LOT less of these and you will ONLY be able to get them from HeroMart. These are for hardcore collectors ONLY (or maybe people who want to resell them on E-bay for double price when they sell our and go rare).
More news on that as it arrises.
LiveStream Event with Dage the Evil
As you know, AQW has been inviting their artists to take part in live stream events in the game. The 5th and final artist participating in this particular event is Dage the Evil. I know many of our players are huge fans of Dage, so head on over to AQW around 4 PM EST/Server time.
I was in the field a couple weeks ago and I had the opportunity to get up-close and personal with a web full of Eastern Tent caterpillars (Malacosoma americanum)- probably first instar. The tent was at eye level so I could see the caterpillars clearly. This species forms nests in woody roses including cherry, apple, and black cherry. The caterpillars are capable of consuming the cyanide compounds in these plants, but instead of sequestering the compounds in the hemolymph or fat, or metabolizing them, they keep the cyanide in the gut and vomit on would-be predators.
Of lepidopteran social behaviors, those of the Eastern Tent Caterpillars are among the most complex. Eggs are laid by the adults in spring or early summer, and the clutch contains 200-300 eggs. Upon hatching, the caterpillars construct a silk tent where they live communally, venturing outside the tend only to feed. They use vibratory and chemical signals to communicate with their siblings, and thrash as a group when the tent is attacked by a predator.
They emerge as cute little fuzzy pink or brown moths.
Infernal Infiltration Preview Continued
This is another excerpt from the backstory for the upcoming war. Interstellar Marshalls John St. Alban and Silas Auer are investigating suspicious happenings on Delta V during their war for sovereignty. The two are separated, with Silas being guided by a Shadow Guard Commander, and Alydriah’s right-hand woman, Valestra Hitchens. Known throughout the galaxy as the “Angel of Death”, Valestra is an expert at hand-to-hand and ranged combat, a skilled sniper, and an accomplished poisoner.
They ventured into Fortune City's tenth district. A center for research and innovation, the district was marked by a large hospital, which Valestra explained is where she had learned pharmacology.
"There's someone I want you to meet. He isn't the administrator, but I think you'll like him."
Valestra led Silas to a back office in the basement where a lanky man wearing navy blue was working with his back turned.
The man turned. He was a man of about 30; tall and long all over, with a visage that seemed to be stuck in a perpetual wonder. His face was thin and wide gray eyes hid behind tinted goggles. A shock of unkempt dishwater blond hair perched awkwardly upon his head.
“Valestra! And is this a boyfriend?”
Valestra laughed. “Aww, Ulysses. You know I’m waiting for you.” She turned to Silas. “Ulysses is a Master Craftsman, brilliant engineer...”
“And a lover of beauty.” Ulysses extended a gloved hand to Valestra, took her hand, and kissed it. “If you’re not Val’s boyfriend...”
“He’s one of the Marshalls. Making sure we’re playing nice.”
“Oh! Well, Marshall, let me show you my latest project... I’m sorry what did you say your name was?”
“I didn’t. It’s Auer. Silas Auer.”
“Auer. Like gold. Splendid!” He picked up a golden object. It was oblong and was carved with strange markings. “Do you know what this is?”
“No. What is it?”
“I have no idea!” He smiled broadly.
“Your project...” Valestra interjected.
“Yes, of course. Pygmalion. That’s the name I gave my creation. It’s a method for extracting the central nervous system of a sick or dying creature and placing it in this ingenious metal suit! So far I’ve only tried it on rabbits and squidlings, but it could revolutionize medicine as we know it!”
As he said this, Ulysses produced a cage containing a little robotic bunny. The cyborg rabbit sadly chewed upon a corncob, and looked despondent and confused.
“He looks sad.” Silas blurted.
“The alternative was dying from his injuries. This little guy was run over by a ground vehicle,” he said defensively, replacing the rabbit cage. “Lovely to see you, Valestra, but I’m sure I don’t want to waste any more of the Marshall’s time.” Valestra and Silas turned to leave when Silas heard his communicator beep. He read the text message- “Do not trust Alydriah. There’s more than she’s telling you. Find the Delta Vault.”
“What was that?” asked Valestra.
“Spam. Apparently, there are Fortune City singles who wish to speak with me.” He closed the communicator and smiled rakishly at Valestra, "Intriguing."
She laughed. “Your wife must be jealous.”
“You looked at my background. You know I’m unmarried.”
Valestra smiled to herself. “Come on, there’s more to see, cowboy.”