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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.
Cinderella

May 30, 2013

Dread War Developments

Hey there, EpicDuelists! It's time once again for some delicious design notes from your friendly neighborhood Cinderella.

The Dread War

The Dread War itself is still in development, and will likely remain so for a bit more time.  Our planned rollout for the War is in mid-June, but expect rapid-fire updates as development is underway. However, I can confirm that the War will coincide with improvements to the Faction system, and will involve territorial control on a much greater scale than the current flag system. This conflict is fairly large -- the biggest players have ever faced -- and could expand beyond the Dread Plains to consume all of Delta V!

 

MAIL TIME!

The new mail system is getting some nice improvements. You'll be able to manually choose search criteria (eg. Subject, Sender, Message) instead of searching through all three simultaneously. In addition, you'll now get a confirmation message when deleting mail, so it's at least less likely that you'll delete something important...like a message from a Delta III prince who needs your bank account information.

 

Balancing Act

The conversion of passive skills to active skills is still underway. Since this is a massive change and we want to cover all the classes in one release, we are allowing as much time for testing as possible. This means that the changes will probably go live next week, thoroughly tested. It's very important that class balance is in a good place for the War so we are taking these upcoming changes very seriously.

 

The Long Arm of the Law

A special message from the Lawman:

Howdy y'all, 

As some of you may already know, I have been around to help here for a long while now, but now it's time for me to part ways and concentrate on leading the Exile forces! 
From now on, please do not try to contact me via the forums as I will likely not be able to deal with your issues. However there are a team of awesome Moderators who will now be dealing with all issues in-game. Within the last two month major changes were made to the in-game system which means that your reports will now be directed directly to Moderators who will deal with each manually. This means that you no longer need to take any screenshots and take the hassle of PM'ing in here on the forums! 

So please do make use of this new system, as I will now be retiring from this line of work to allow for more time in my main line of work! 

With the new and improved reporting system, there is no reason to take screenshots and send them to the AEF Lawman account. Do not send messages to the Lawman -- he's not going to answer them. Having said that, we would like to thank all those who took the time to compose reports to the Lawman under the old system. However, that system required a great deal of time investment, both from the Moderator staff and the players making the reports, and it have been made almost entirely obsolete by the new system. If you need to report a player, please use the in-game report system!

 

Celtic and April Fools Weapons Leaving

The April Fools and Celtic weapons have hung on long enough, being as it's nearly June. If you still need a giant spoon, now's your last chance!  Also, the Bunny Weapons from last year are leaving as well.  However, the 2013 Bunny weapons will stick around for another week because of a bug with Brachylagus' shop that has been fixed for the new release.

 

Calissa and Oz

Many of you were curious about Calissa, and her relationship with Oz and the Exiles. I've actually read the story suggestions. Here's my own take on their story.

 

            Oz couldn't move. Couldn't protest. He thought he should scream, but that couldn't save her. Helplessly he watched as his bride -- the only woman he loved, fell backwards lifelessly. He dropped to his knees, seemingly freed from the spell, and tried to reach out for her.

            “My name's Calissa.” Sixteen-year old cadet Lorenzo Ozimus ignored the voice in front of him, keeping his head down in the Shadow Guard manual.

            “Hellooooooo!” The little girl grabbed his head and forced him to look up. “I SAID my name is Calissa.” Lorenzo looked up at the eleven year old girl in front of him- her dark hair was done up in braids, and her white skin was tinged with blue; silver under the skin. Lorenzo noticed her ears were pointed.

            “Hi,” he grunted and looked down.

            “My daddy's your commander.” That got Lorenzo's attention. “You're in Wright Jarek's unit.”

            “Yeah.” Jarek was born on Delta VI. That explained the little bit of silver under her skin.

            “What's your name?”

            “Ozimus. Lorenzo Ozimus. Mostly they call me Oz.”

            “Ozimus...” she stared at him with large emerald-green eyes. “I'm a little bit psychic, I don't know if you know that. But I know you're destined for great things.” She stared at him a bit more with those green eyes before running off.

            It was those eyes that the adult Lorenzo stared into now. Those eyes that were once full of life now stared at him unblinking, unseeing. She'd died before she hit the ground, and her lips stained red as her head lolled to the side.

            Lorenzo and Calissa's lips parted. The War was over, and life goes on. Eleven years had passed since their first meeting, and the minute he saw her again, Oz was taken by Calissa's beauty. Their courtship had been brief, and they married that summer. But their bliss was short-lived, as already there were stirrings of rebellion against Baelius's regime. Calissa was in training to become a master Mage under one of her father's friends, a powerful man named Caden.

            “Is your Master sympathetic to our cause?”

            Calissa nodded. “There is no love for Baelius in Caden's heart.” She paused. “You should lead this, Lorenzo. I do not dare bringing up a request like this to my Master.” Oz agreed.

            Caden.

            It had been Caden's idea to bring the Uprising straight to Baelius's gates. It was Caden who had organized the charge.

            It was Caden who stood over Calissa's body, removing the sharpened end of his stave from her neck. Caden tracked the blood across the floor of the throne room -- the apex of Oz's failed assault. Caden smirked, lifted his foot, and all Oz saw was blackness.

            Oz stared in the mirror. He splashed cool water on his scarred face, and raked his fingers through his rapidly-graying hair. A new battle faced him- one that would force him to return from obscurity and take his place at the front of the Uprising. He looked at his communicator, and noticed the date. He smiled bitterly. The first charge was scheduled for his eleventh wedding anniversary. He held her ring, “This is for you, Calissa.”

Tags: Cinderella Dread War Factions Legion exile Rares Reports Lawman Oz Caden


Nightwraith

August 14, 2012

The Vault Is Open

Open Wide!

The final vault door has fallen to the Exile forces!  John St. Alban, the man known as The Lawman has commanded the Exiles to victory over Silas and his Legion army and now has control over Baelius' most horrifying experiment - a cybernetic army harvested from the civilian population of Delta V.  Now all he has to do is figure out how to turn all of them on!

Fortunately for the players, Ulysses has been able to activate a few and the Lawman has seen fit to sell them to Legion and Exile forces alike to finance his next project.  Whoever figures out how to activate them all will have an army of millions of cyborgs at his or her disposal.

But what of the Legion?  How will they fare in the aftermath of this war?  The Lawman seems content to let the soldiers go free, but you can bet Alydriah won't let this insult go unanswered!

Also, this Thursday we will be removing most of the War content including Missions, War Battles, and War Achievements.  War weapons will be reallocated to the Light Mechachillid at the front of the Mines and the Exile Soldier in the Delta Vault.  Players will also be able to sell back grenades for 15-25 Credits.  You may be disappointed if you were hoping for a high sellback, but we warned players repeatedly that it would be better to throw them than keep them.

 

What Was THAT?!

BWAH?!!

Those of you who saw the end cutscene know what I'm talking about.  EpicDuel is indeed planning a crossover event with MechQuest to coincide with DragonCon.  We have never confirmed or denied whether or not EpicDuel takes place in the Lore Universe, but space is a big place, and there are monsters out there that transcend time and reality!  How did this creature arrive at Delta V?  Is it friend or foe?  I guess you'll have to wait and see!

 

Infernal Accommodations

Before we say goodbye to the Infernal Mines, we will be adding a new credit-only Infernal Apartment!  Be sure to decorate your new digs with a selection of Infernal items ranging from Stalagmites to Mechachillid statues!

Subterranean Paradise

Roomy, but no AC.

Bot Balance

After much player discussion on the matter, this week we will be addressing bot balance.  Some bot skills are wildly better than others so we will be tweaking them to encourage a better variety of effective bot strategies. 

  • Infernal Android
    • Old system: Starts at 70% regular damage, +15% damage per round, 160% cap (unblockable, 3 turn cooldown)
    • New System: Starts at 80% damage, +5% damage per round, 150% cap (deflectable, 4 turn cooldown)
  • Assault Bot and Rusted Assault Bot - Lowered debuff reduction from 80% to 65%
  • Azrael’s Borg - Lowered buff reduction from 80% to 65%, no longer affects Bioborg thorns
  • Bioborg - Thorns is no longer affected by Azrael’s Borg special
  • Pyro Fly - Increased damage on special attack
  • Baby Yeti - Special is now unblockable
  • Gamma Bot - Special is now deflectable instead of blockable

 

Call for Spanish Translators

Hey EpicDuelists! 

I'm here to deliver some news to you guys that you might just be interested in!  EpicDuel is currently looking for a Spanish translator to help translate the growing parts of the game from English to Spanish! 

There are a few requirements however, so you must remember to follow these rules. 

One thing that needs to be stressed - you MUST be over 18 years old.  If you are under 18, if you don't include your age, or if you start with "I'm not 18 yet, but..." the application will not be considered! 

What they need you to include in your email is: 

1. Your real name, age, and country of residence. 

2. EpicDuel Game account name and email address 

3. Forum account name and email address (not required to have one) 

4. The following 10 sentences/paragraphs translated into Spanish: 

1) Ally With Exiles 

2) More keys can unlock bigger bonuses! 

3) Deals bonus damage on Critical Strikes 

4) Battles are disabled prior to a server shutdown! 

5) Are you sure you want to remove Titan from the faction?  Your highest Flag will lose up to 100 Tokens.  This won't apply to players that are inactive for 30+ days. 

6) Are you sure you want to exit battle early? You will receive a Loss and earn no Credits, Experience, or Battle Tokens. 

7) Look, I’m not your friend, kid.  My employer is a very powerful man - he’s got to be, to keep me in line. I’m not the only one who needs kept in line - the two big scary guys who live under the Minetower don’t seem to have any loyalty.  And really, kid, where are we without loyalty?  I got my own stuff to do, so why don’t you teach them some manners?  Get 7 wins off of those weasels Caden and Snork, and I’ll share the bounty with you. 

8) The Refinery is kept under careful guard - and with good reason. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been called to administer first aid to some poor caverns-worker. But it is those guards we must muscle through.  If each of us defeats 10 heavy or normal Mine Guards, we should be able to reduce their presence long enough to get into that evil place. 

9) The worst thing has happened.  Hank left a batch of candy out, and now we have an infestation of ants.  I refuse to deal with critters myself; I prefer to take a more “hands-off” approach.  By which I mean I’m gonna explode ‘em.  Bring me 3 Gunpowder Kegs so I can explode the colony, and I’ll give you your next assignment. 

10) Perfect!  Just the thing to make the deep-fried battered nutritive meat substitute nice and crispy!  It’s sodalicious! 



A few rules/reminders on the translations: 
A lot of the space in the interface is limited, so keeping the character length of the translation close to or below the English version makes it easier for us to fit everything in.  As long as too much of the meaning isn't lost, it should be alright to abbreviate, reword, or sidestep perfect grammar to make things fit.  If the translation is shorter than the English, then all the better! 

Do not translate the following for the purpose of consistency: 

  • Currency (Credits, Battle Tokens, etc) 
  • Experience 
  • NPC names 
  • Faction names (Exile / Legion) 
  • Place names (Central Station, Fortune City, etc) 



Please send your COMPLETE application with the subject line entitled "Spanish Translator" to [email protected].  If the application is not complete, we will toss it out.  And please - one application per person. 

*NOTE* This does not mean you become a moderator/tester. 

 

Account Recovery and Security

It seems like we've been getting a lot of players lately emailing us directly about account and payment issues.  If you are unable to access your account because you have been hacked, or you made a payment and have not received any points, please contact the Artix Help Team as soon as possible http://portal.battleon.com/help/mailer.asp?c=10

We have a hardworking staff of support professionals (real, human people last I checked) who are 100% dedicated to helping you fix your account.  Contacting us on social networks through email will not help you get your account back any faster, and because we spend most of our time building EpicDuel, any time we might spend fixing accounts is less time we would spend building features, fixing bugs, and drawing content.

That said, here are some simple yet helpful tips for helping you protect your account from hackers and scammers:

  • NEVER give your account information to anyone!  We can implement filters and automated ways to protect players having their accounts compromised in EpicDuel, but we cannot prevent players from opening giving out account information outside of the game.  All the Help Team needs to access your account is your Character Name, so if anyone asks for any other information, chances are they cannot really help you.  If someone promises you free varium in exchange for your account information, report them immediately!
  • NEVER share your account.  This goes along with the last post, but 99% of all hacking situations are the result of a "friend" being given access to an account.  The longer an account is shared, the harder it is to determine who originally owns the account and can make an account very difficult to recover.
  • NEVER leave your account unattended.  We receive so many emails from players who allegedly left their laptop for a minute to get a drink of water and returned to find all their items sold by a sibling.
  • NEVER download hacking tools.  Not only are these illegal, but they can infect your computer with malicious code like viruses and keyloggers designed to harvest your valuable personal information -- anything from credit card numbers to your grandmother's middle name!  Be sure your virus protection is up to date and you scan your system regularly to make sure your information is safe.
  • DO use a complicated password.  If your password is easy to guess, then change it immediately! http://portal.battleon.com/  It also doesn't hurt to change your password on a fairly regular basis.
  • Mods and Devs of Artix Entertainment exercise these practices regularly, and, to date, our accounts have never been hacked and we have no additional security above and beyond regular players. 

Tags: Nightwraith Spanish Translator Infernal Infiltration War Lawman Exiles Account Security


Nightwraith

June 08, 2012

Infernal Weapons Explained

Loyalty is the Key

As we improve the War system, we will be introducing new and exciting features to differentiate the alignments without disrupting game balance.  One of these features is a Legion and Exile shop to reward alignment loyalty which can be accessed with a special key.  Our new volunteer artist Disturbed has created a grand cache of Infernal weapons to reward the loyalty of Legion and Exile players.  

Weapon preview 1

Weapon preview 2

But how do you acquire these weapons?  You will need to turn in FOUR Blueprint scraps to either Silas or The Lawman.  Because there are now tons of mission in the game, I have located this handy-dandy list of missions that reward Blueprint Scraps!

Refined - Slayer

Dance, Puppets! Dance! - Alydriod

Toxic Love - Lepus

Impious Convictions - The Lawman

God Prefers a Heretic - Silas Auer

After you have gathered FOUR Blueprint scraps (they will be sellable later if you have too many for whatever reason), please report to either the Lawman or Silas for the mission "The Bigger Picture".  Completeing either mission will reward either an Exile Locker Key (Lawman) or Legion Locker Key (Silas).  This item will unlock a shop contained on either NPC offering exclusive alignment specific items.  

Remember, once you have completed the mission and turned in the scraps for a key, you CANNOT access the opposite alignment's shop.  We plan to update these shops as the war progresses. 

Because this system is new and we want everyone to be aware of how it works and where to get Blueprint scraps, we are delaying the release of these weapons until next week.  We also want to ensure that the servers are stable before introducing this new feature.  We had some setbacks this week, but next week we'll hit the war even harder to make up for lost time!

 

Faction Cannons

We still plan to remove the Faction Cannons until they can be adjusted for the new Faction system, but their removal will be delayed until next week.

Tags: Nightwraith Infernal Infiltration Weapons Disturbed Silas Lawman Blueprint Scraps

 

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