November 07, 2014
Birthday Bio War Rumble
The time has come...FOR WAR...and cake. Cake? That's right. Today, we're excited to launch a new war region, the Biological Preserve, in addition to Nightwraith's birthday stash of rare loot.
The Biological Preserve is the last bastion for all that is green and growing on Delta V, and it is being used as a weapon by those occupying the region. By using Davarril's research on mind-controlling Spores, Exiles have engineered a massive tree to become a spore-launching factory, spreading spores throughout the region.
The Legion, under the watch of Cinderella, are attempting to stop this threat with Purifiers. These devices launch spores to counteract the Corruption Spores launched by the Corrupted Tree.
Exiles will attempt to use this to their advantage by planting Corruption Spore on the Purifiers, infesting them and turning them into Corruption Spore factories.
The only way to stop the spread of the spores is to cleanse the Corrupted Tree. When it is fully cleansed, the Legion will take control of the Biological Preserve. If the Exiles prevail and infest the Purifiers, the region will fall fully under Exile control.
Davarril has been moved one screen to the left of the Corrupted Tree. You'll find him next to the Ammunition Depot stocked with war drops. Davarril's mind still isn't right from the Arborgeddon event so he won't be much help to you.
This war's prize is a mighty one indeed! Claws and teeth and hardened-bone armor await the conquerers of the Biological Preserve!
We've also added some small changes to the War balancing mechanics, specifically to prevent War Rallies from occuring when both alignments are within 1% of each other. Also, rallies will not happen when the war is nearly over. This should provide clarity to those confused by the outcome of the last war.
Now, go forth my Legion and Exile warriors! Claim the Biological Preserve for glory! But first...
Nightwraith's Birthday Bash
Happy Birthday to me! Well, it's still a bit early, but why not? Everyone loves cake!
Also, everyone loves new stuff! Remember, you'll need the OneX6 Key to access my stash in the ArmoryBot. You can either claim it from me by completing the OneX6 4 mission or just buy it from me if you're the impatient type. This year, I've stolen NegaWraith's (that IMPOSTER) armor to sell at my own shop. Haha! I can't wait to see the look on his face when he sees my minions clad in his precious power armor!
Be sure to kick him in the shin if you find him in Fortune City skulking around the Battle Arena.
Also, there are new and returning missions ready to play! The Party Business mission chain has returned with a new mission, and Titan has a new chain Caffeine Crash to complement the Coffee Crusader chain. This chain will allow you to redeem Titan's Mug for a rare Achievement!
Some have been asking about the Titan's Mug item from the Artix Entertainment 12th anniversary event. Here's what will happen:
Got it? You've got until the end of November to complete these missions and claim your prize!
Have a safe and happy weekend everyone! Duel On!
November 22, 2013
The Dark Harvest
It's that time again! Time for family, giving thanks, and, of course, battling to save the world! We've crammed so much into this release that we'll need to hold off on releasing today (Friday) and instead release next Tuesday! Sorry for the inconvenience, but we're sure this update will be worth it. New bots, weapons, missions, achievements, an incredible boss fight, and a new item bank system! There should be something for everyone in this latest harvest release!
The evil Chairman Platinum was defeated by the combined efforts of Delta V's warriors and Elon Musk, but while his EbilCorp Factory was active, it stirred something terrible in the depths of Delta V's cavernous interior.
This mysterious region of Delta V is known as the Black Abyss. Years after the initial colonization of Delta V, Baelius' scientists concluded that there was nothing of value in this region so it was sealed off from all mining and exploration operations. At least, that was the official story. Once again, Legion and Exile forces are threatened by this fearsome new enemy. If it is not defeated, this may be the last Harvest Festival for the citizens of Delta V. Fortunately, new technology has emerged to help you prepare for the trials ahead!
Into the Black Abyss
The dark substance that emerged from the Ebilcorp Factory site was unlike anything Delta V scientists have ever seen. Like most new discoveries, however, it was quickly adopted for the manufacturing of new weapons! The Black Abyss Battlegear will be available in physical and energy flavors from an NPC near the current site of the Wasteland's SolarWorld Factory.
Again, the Black Abyss Battlegear will be available in-game with a new, locked, active core. We'll post more about that as we finalize details.
We are also restocking Rabblefroth with the seasonal Thanksgiving rares. Be sure to stop by and check them out if you missed them last year!
In addition to new weapons, we will be introducing an exclusive new Varium package that will include 2 new bots, the Black Abyss Bots! In addition to dealing a devastating slash attack, it is also capable to unleashing powerful secondary skill. Again, we will post more details as they become finalized.
An epic-sized release wouldn't be complete without new missions, and new missions wouldn't be complete without new achievements! Collect the new seasonal-rare Turkey Terminator achievement from any VendBot. It will only be available for a limited time so get it while you can. Also, the Hallowarrior Achievement will be leaving to make room for this new achievement, so if you haven't picked it up yet, now's your last chance!
New Achievements will also be available for completing the new mission chain related to the anomaly in the Black Abyss. One does not just walk into the cavernous depths of Delta V so level up and perfect your builds for one of the greatest challenges yet!
Bank Access Bots
This release introduces the new BankBot system, more accurately described as a Bank Access Bot. Once the release is live, you will be able to load inventory items into a centralized "bank." This bank can be accessed from any BABot you have on one of your homes. To make access as easy as possible, we are gifting all players one free Basic BABot with 20 bank slots. This feature introduces a lot of changes to the current inventory system so I will list them as clearly as possible:
Stay tuned for more updates on this epic upcoming release!
November 07, 2013
Shameless Self Indulgence
Prepare to party! This week, celebrate the birthday of EpicDuel's resident artist/assassin: Nightwraith. New missions, new weapons, and revamped skills await for your celebratory needs! As if that weren't enough reason to celebrate: the winners of the Creative Carving Contest will be announced in-game at Elon Musk!
Back to Party Business
Visit me at my usual haunt in the Wasteland to investigate my stash of weapons and armors! Do you have your OneX6 Keys? No? We've got you covered -- you can either buy one directly or win one by completing a new mission. Be warned: I've been buffed to level 36 so I'm not the pushover I used to be!
The classic birthday missions are also returning, with a few new additions in case you've already completed the old ones. Complete them all for huge rewards!
In addition to hunting bounties and weaving baskets, I (Nightwraith) am EpicDuel's lead artist, but I don't mind sharing the spotlight with aspiring artists. That's why we're combining my birthday celebration with the introduction of a new round of suggestion shop weapons, created from ideas submitted from our creative EpicDuel community!
It's been way too long since we've done a shop like this so we're really going all out. We hope to have over 12 new weapons culled from the best of the best suggestions. Charfade and I are working as hard as possible to deliver more, but this is a thoroughly packed release. The weapons are still in progress so check back for a full list of items and their associated artist after we go live. If your suggestion was not selected, that does not mean it was terrible or we hate you -- it just means it may have to wait for the next suggestion shop. Hopefully it won't take a full year to do another one! I wouldn't be surprised if more items enter the game next week!
It wouldn't be a proper birthday without a new Arcade Game!
Horrifying! Give it a spin and be the first to claim the grand prize! As with other games, Nightwraith's Nightmare will introduce it's own new evolving achievment and leaderboard!
Speaking of achievements -- we now have tracking for many of the daily achievements like the 1v1 and 2v2 automatch daily winners. Players who win the daily achievements multiple times will increment their number on the appropriate achievement.
To address balance this update, we will be tweaking a few energy numbers from last week's update, but we also have a far grander change in store: Converting all passive skills into active ones.
That means Blood Lust, Reroute, Deadly Aim, Shadow Arts, Adrenaline, and all the Armor skills will be converted into active skills. Blood Lust and Reroute will become Mark of Blood and Battery Backup respectively. The purpose of this change is to add strategy to battle. Currently, passives grant HUGE benefits with little sacrifice, especially for level cap players. Active skills require more sacrifice in terms of energy cost and turn cost. To compensate for these sacrifices, the effects of the skills will be modified. This change will affect all classes so we're really interested to see what new strategies emerge from this change.
Hybrid Armor, Mineral Armor, and Plasma Armor
When this update goes live, be sure to visit Elon Musk for a list of the winning entries! The effort so far has been stellar with such short notice. We are currently in the process of judging entries and narrowing down the list of finalists!
October 16, 2013
Meet Mr. Musk
Ebilcorp is back with a vengeance as Chairman Platinum is attempting to suck Delta V dry of all its precious resources. Fortunately, a more benevolent businessman, Elon Musk, has arrived on Delta V and he's ready to help. Complete Musk's missions to defeat the Chairman and dismantle his life-sucking factory. To help you on your journey, Musk is selling 4 new passive cores to give your stats a much-needed boost!
Visit Musk in the middle of Fortune City for a complete list of your tasks. If you complete them all, you'll be rewarded with material treasures, but you can also gain a wealth of knowledge about this real-life innovator.
In addition to a full character bio, you can also watch intensely cool videos. You haven't seen anything until you you've seen machines turn 20,000 lb spools of metal into working vehicles. You can see firsthand how Musk is bringing the technology of the future to the present!
Are they assembing the next generation of powered armors? Only one way to find out!
Challenge the Chairman!
You thought Chairman Platinum would learn his lesson after the beating Delta V's dilligent duelists gave him and his cronies last year, but I guess if at first you don't succeed...
...build a giant, resource-sucking factory on your enemy's homeworld? Classic Chairman!
The only way to shut down his Ebil Factory of Doom in the Wasteland is to defeat the Chairman, but he's too tough to take on in a 1v1 duel. Fortunately, Musk has volunteered to help you and your fellow duelists crush the Chairman and send him packing. However, you'll need to gather a few supplies for Mr. Musk to help him devise the technology necessary for blasting the sinister CEO.
The Factory's strength is measured by a War Bar at the top of your screen. By defeating the Chairman, you can help take the bar down and bring Delta V one step closer to ridding itsself from Chairman Platinum for good! According to Musk, he can re-engineer the factory to be a source of renewable, clean energy. There may also be some other amazing prizes inside once the Ebilcorp Factory's defense are eliminated.
If you defeat him, you'll be rewarded with an achievement. Why fight him again, you may ask? Good question!
We've add boss defeat tracking to all "boss" achievents. That means every time you bring the pain to Titan, Nightwraith, Caden, or any other NPC that offers an achievement, your achievement will track the number of times you were victorious! Unfortunately, this change is not retroactive so if you want to rack up the wins on the other boss NPCs, you'll have some work to do!
Over the course of Elon Musk's epic mission chain, you'll have the opportunity to try a new mission type: scavenger hunt!
NPCs can now direct you to search a specific region of the world to find a mission item. Look carefully -- some items may not be as easy to find as others!
Musk has come to Delta V packing some pretty amazing technology -- including these 4 passive cores that buff the stats Strength, Technology, Dexterity, and Support!
If you want an extra edge over your opponents, these cores will provide a great way of doing so!
This release is packed to the brim with content, but we're not done yet! Once the Chairman's factory falls, the real party can begin!
October 11, 2013
*There will be no release today as we prepare for a MEGA RELEASE next week. Thank you for your patience!
It's been nearly a year since Chairman Platinum last showed his face on Delta V -- the populace quickly gave him a proper EpicDuel beat-down and put an end to his plans for a hostile takeover. If there's one thing the Chairman is good at (aside from robbing grannies and punting kittens) it's holding a grudge. After a year of planning and healing, he's ready to end the fued -- along with all the inhabitants of Delta V.
Rather than bringing an army, the Chairman is taking a more subtle approach -- forcibly extracting all the Varium from Delta V to cause the entire planet to collapse! The Ebilcorp extraction device is protected by a nearly impervious shield and in order to breach it, you'll need to face the Chairman himself!
This time, there will be no deals, no negotiations. The Chairman wants to annihilate those who wronged him and make a tidy profit while doing it. If only there were someone who could help us stop him!
To defeat this otherworldy threat, Delta V will need an otherworldy benefactor in the form of Elon Musk, engineering mastermind and visionary businessman (basically the closest the real-world has to Tony Stark). While testing his new Ultraloop interstellar transportation device on a routine visit to a Martian colony, Musk overshot his target and landed on Delta V.
Although his ship was not damaged, he'll need some time to adjust his calculations. Since he's always up for a challenge calling for ingenuity, he's prepared to offer the citizens of Delta V his expertise in expelling the Ebilcorp threat and reversing Platinum's damage, offering Delta V a means of generating efficient renewable energy in the process!
This task will not be easy, however, as Musk is lightyears away from his fabrication workshop. You'll need to scour Delta V to find the parts necessary to allow this benevolent genius to invent a permanent solution to your Platinum problem.
As stated above, Musk will need your help securing various items from across Delta V to devise a means for you to defeat Platinum. Also, he's not letting you go it alone -- complete his mission chain and he'll join you in a battle of the business titans as you take on Platinum in an epic 2v1 duel!
Complete the mission chain by defeating Chairman Platinum and you'll receive a new achievement!
Chairman's Ebilcorp extractor is bad news, but Musk has plans to reengineer it to be a source of limitless energy! As an added bonus, the power plant will be able to produce advanced cores capable to augmenting basic stats!
Musk sees you admiring his armor -- don't worry, he brought extras! Power up with the Musk Husk and send Chairman Platinum packing!
Since next week will be a MEGA release, there are bound to be aspects that we forget to mention here. Stay tuned on Twitter and the Design Notes for the latest and greatest updates!
September 19, 2013
Step Right Up 2
*Note: Due to events out of our control, we are unexpectedly short-staffed this week. Still, Titan and I will work as hard as we can to release this on Friday. However, if we feel the feature is too lacking in polish or excitement, we will hold it until next week. Thank you for your patience!
You asked for it, and it's back! After a long hiatus, Valestra's Arcade is back in business and eagerly awaiting a flood of players both new and experience! For those of you who don't recall or weren't around, the Arcade used to be a battle mode in which you could deposit Battle Tokens (5 at a time) to join an Arcade Battle. This battle was just like an duel except it offered the chance to earn a prize if you won. The downside was that it was possible to win the duel and not win a prize.
This time, you will win a prize for every play. The prize may not be a jackpot every time, but you'll still never walk away empty-handed!
Excited yet? Read on to learn more about this revamped feature!
How Do I Arcade?
To participate in the Arcade, you must have at least one Arcade Token. This is not a new currency, but is a miscellaneous inventory item. You can acquire them by completing certain Daily Missions or by purchasing them from the ArcadeBots in Valestra's Arcade in Fortune City.
If you're having trouble finding Valestra's Arcade, there will be a link in the What's New page. If you're still lost, then the EpicDuel Wiki has you covered.
Once you're in the Arcade you can click on an ArcadeBot to bring up the Arcade interface. From there, you can play, view your current balance of Arcade Token, or buy more Arcade Tokens. Hitting the "Go" button will cycle through a list of possible prizes. You'll win something each time: it could be credits, a weapon, armor, or even a house! However, to keep the game's Credit economy from exploding, sellback on items won in the Arcade may be reduced from the normal values.
We're building this feature with expansion in mind. For this release, we will only have one prize pool, but in the future, we plan to include selectable prize pools, allowing you to choose which set of prizes you wish to play for.
Another feature that may not be ready for Friday, is an Arcade Leaderboard featuring the all-time winners, complete with an evolving Arcade achievement. This achievement will track the value of your prizes so each time you play, you're basically earning Arcade experience! Even if it's not in-game Friday, we will still be tracking the data!
Our goal with this system is to never make an Arcade play feel wasted, and we believe this additions will make for a truly epic Arcade experience!
In last week's Design Notes, I mentioned that the Arcade would give you a chance to win retired rares. There was a bit of an outcry from those who were concerned that their own rares would be devalued. I'm happy to say, that you need not worry -- your hard-earned rares will remain rares. We've decided on a happy compromise to introduce Arcade exclusives -- items that can only be won in the Arcade. Some of these items will be revamped or reimaged versions of retired items. This preserved the value of the older rares while giving new players a reason to play! However, items like seasonal rares, limited quantity items, or prize-code items are still up for grabs! Also, legacy items like Founder Armor or Alpha Gear will be excluded for obvious reasons. I hope that addresses your concerns about rares in the Arcade!
September 12, 2013
Are You Ready for a Challenge?
After weeks of controlling events from behind the scenes, Administrator 10 and the mysterious Exile Leader are ready to step into the spotlight, and they’re taking matters into their own hands! Team up with a friend to challenge these foes and claim their achievements for your own! These bosses will be some of the most challenging in game, but we’re not without mercy. To make it easier to triumph over these foes, we’re raising the level cap!
At long last, we have increased the level cap to 36. It won’t be quick or easy to reach so we’re sure there will be a mad dueling dash to be the first to reach it. The first players to reach this goal will be able to upgrade their gear and skills to become the most powerful duelists on Delta V! Will you be strong enough to defeat Administrator 10 and the Exile Leader?
In between duels, Administrator 10 and the Exile Leader will have some new tasks for you. Check back with them daily for missions and rewards. The missions will be part of a chain so players will need to complete all of them in order to receive the best reward! To keep missions from becoming monotonous, we’ll be cycling in new chains each day to guarantee that there’s always something exciting to do on Delta V!
Remember the Arcade? We haven’t forgotten, and we’re working on implementing a new and improved version next week. Under the new system players will be able to deposit Arcade Tokens for a chance to win anything from a pile of credits, to never-before-seen weapons, to previously retired rares (gasp)!
August 22, 2013
It's that time of year again! Time for Summer to slowly ease out into Fall. Time for students to go back to school. Time for...DRAGONS!
The classic Dragon and Back-to-School items will be returning to The Slayer, along with the Charbinger weapons and Harbinger Armor from last year's Dragon's Reckoning Saga! Some of these are limited quantities, so better move fast!
It's All About Timing
Rabblefroth's programming skills have allowed us to put seasonal items on a schedule. This means that items like the Heartbreaker weapons or the Independence Day gear will automatically stock in the shops without requiring a restart. This means we'll never have to worry about forgetting to add something as the list of seasonal content grows every year. This will also give players a larger heads-up before we add and remove gear from the various shops.
Those of you who have been around awhile have probably noted the lack of missions lately. The existing system has a number of flaws that make adding missions cumbersome. For one, NPCs do not support more than 4 missions. With a small-ish cast of NPCs, this means if we want to add more, we have to move or remove missions. Another reason is that mission are hard to find. Aside from players who closely follow the Wiki and these Design Notes, most players would only stumble upon missions through luck. Even after finding a mission, there is still the matter of navigating the mission chain, which is often unclear. Because of those flaws and because so few players were able to experience the missions we were adding, we made a conscious choice to stop adding new missions until we could build a better system.
Now, we finally have that system! From the Mission button at the bottom of the main interface, players can view a directory of all available missions! This will allow players to view different mission categories like Permanent, Seasonal, and Daily, view details about those missions, and jump to the NPC offering them.
As a minor housekeeping task, we have grouped many existing missions into chains, altering them slightly to flow together naturally. We also filled several gaps in term terms of missions for low to mid-level players (1-20) so players getting familiar with the game will have more opportunities for credits!
Because this is new system with many changes and opportunities for critical bugs, we will not be offering Daily missions this release. If everything works with few or no bugs, however, we could see Daily missions very soon!
Finding Mission has never been easier! With a little time and effort, you'll be rolling in credits!
November 08, 2012
Wear Your Birthday Best
Happy Birthday to me! Happy Birthday to me! Happy Birthday to m...OK, that's a little over-indulgent, I admit. Even though I'm leveling up in real life, what I'm really excited about is what I get to offer you!
All your favorite items will be returning from my personal stash of weapons. I'm generous, but I don't want to make it too easy to access them. Like last time, you can either buy the OneX6 Key from me directly or win it from me by besting me in combat!
Check out these new level 35 bazookas suggested by ..TRizZzCENTRINO..!
All your old favorites are returning as well!
The missions will also be returning. Visit my friends and associates around Delta V to see what Birthday trickery they're cooking up!
The one key absense is the 11-11-11 achievement. 11-11-11 is only happening once in my lifetime so it's RARE. 11-11-12 doesn't really have the same ring to it.
Dress Your Best!
It wouldn't be a real party without outrageous costumes! Suit up in one of 42 NEW STYLES (7 groups with one style for each gender and class). These artisan styles were crafted with great care based on the winning designs from our Spooky Head Design Contest. Join us Friday to see the designs come to life in-game!
On Friday, the winners will also receive their achievements and their in-game styles free of charge! Congratulations, you earned it!
A Cold Front Approaches!
As Fall comes to a close, a cold wind blows from the north. Last year, Frystland fell to the Legion and Alydriah has commanded the occupying forces to do...something. We don't know, and that's terrifying. We have a feeling that she'll unveil her schemes soon, though.
In the meantime, check out these new concepts for revamped EpicDuel classes: Bounty Hunter and Tech Mage!
October 24, 2012
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 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.
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!
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!*
*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.
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.
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!
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!
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
Revamped Mercenary concept by Thyton!
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
August 07, 2012
This Is The End, Beautiful Friend
War is Ending
The Infernal Infiltration War is winding down, and while the Exiles have a significant lead, the Legion can’t be ruled out just yet! Remember to use those grenades -- you can resell them for credits after the War is over, but it isn’t worth stockpiling them, and grenades are happiest when thrown.
When the War ends, the bombs will no longer be available, nor will the missions to get bombs.
In addition, the Alignment-specific cruisers will go rare. However, neutral mechachillid cruisers will still be available.
Winner Takes All
As mentioned before, the alignment to power through this final Vault door first will win the Infernal War, as well as control over the Infernal Mines. Not enough for you? How about a new bot?
The Infernal Android will be available first to the winning alignment, and its special attack is related to its origin in the Vaults; the longer a battle lasts, the more damage the special attack does! As mentioned just up there, the winning alignment will have first stab at using it, and the Infernal Android comes in both varium and credit-only flavors.
Also, the first alignment to breach the Delta Vault will receive the Infernal Conqueror achievement worth 2500 rating points! The other alignment will still receive the Break On Through achievement worth 950 rating points! I would show the artwork for the achievements, but they're a bit...spoilery.
New Boost System
As we wrap up the war we are turning our attention to systems that could be improved, such as boosting. The revamped boost system will allow you to boost based on duration or number of rounds, and we will be introducing a new credit boost, which many of you may have figured out from the new end battle screens.
There is a lot of build with this new system so it may not go live this week, but it will definitely be available next week.
Did You Know?
Did you know that following battles, you now see a new screen that includes facts about EpicDuel? This new screen should be more helpful and informative than previous. Do you have an idea for an EpicDuel tip? Then post it here: http://forums2.battleon.com/f/tm.asp?m=20164694
Why didn’t I announce this in the last design notes? Well, I’m remote staff, so I find out for sure what’s going to be in the update on Monday or Tuesday, and write the design notes based on that. Occasionally, Titan and Rabble look at each other and decide yes... we can fit more into this update. They then add a feature that I don’t find out about until testing.
Happy Birthday Titan!
Our favorite cheeseburger-loving Physical God is turning another year older this week! He hasn’t asked for any missions, but it’s possible that Titan has forged in his mighty foundry an item of such power and inanity that it cannot be comprehended.
Where u go? ;-;
I’m likely not going to be writing the DNs or have much to do with the game or development next week, as I will be doing field work at another university across the country from where I live. Maybe I’ll post pictures on my Twitter!
Have you ever seen scars on fruit or flowers? Or seen a tiny insect crawling inside your LCD screen? Then chances are, you have encountered a thrips. Thrips are tiny insects (as small as 1/25 of an inch) with fringed wings belonging to the order Thysanoptera. They typically feed on plants by puncturing the plant with their mouthparts and sucking out the delicious juices. Because they serve as a vector for several plant viruses including Tobacco mosaic virus, thrips are considered pests by farmers.
July 27, 2012
War Missions Addendum
Hey there, EpicDuelists. While testing the missions last night, we realized that the text may be a bit vague about who to go to while completing the missions. I wrote them as two separate chains, which is what creates the confusion. So, here’s a brief outline to make completing the missions easy peasy!
Since Exile is first alphabetically, we’ll go through their side first.
The chain starts with three missions from Ulysses requiring you to win several war battles, turn in a purchased item, and turn in an Infernal Grenade for an upgrade. Ulysses then tells you to see Charfade about her explosives. Charfade will give you two missions, then direct you back to Ulysses.
From there, you can access a story chain concerning the St. Alban family. As you already know, one of the Legion officers is the Lawman’s daughter Ella, but the reason behind her estrangement from John is not entirely clear. You’ll complete one mission for Selina, three missions for the Lawman, then two more missions for Selina. Completing the entire chain rewards you with an achievement.
Your missions start with Valestra, who will give you three missions requiring you to win several war battles, turn in a purchased item, and also turn in an Infernal Grenade for an upgrade (I’m sensing a pattern...). Valestra then sends you to Habuki, who gives you two missions, then direct you back to Valestra for a final mission.
From there, you access the St. Alban family chain from Ella and Nightwraith’s perspective. You’ll complete two missions for Nightwraith, two missions for Cinderella, then one more mission each for both Nightwraith and Cinderella. You will then be awarded an achievement. This is the same achievement that you can win from the Exile chain.
The basic mechanics for each alignment are the same, and any player level 20 and up should be able to complete the chains, though it will be easier for you if you’re higher level. I suggest holding onto the Infernal Grenades you get as rewards, since each alignment has two missions that involve turning in an Infernal Grenade and receiving a Super Grenade. With the exception of the final mission on each side (Selina for the Exiles, Cinderella for the Legion), all of the missions will reward you with a grenade that can be launched against the final Vault door.
May 30, 2012
Summer of EpicDuel
Hi there, EpicDuelists! As we wrap up Spring (is there a Pony song for that?) we have some pretty great things to keep you entertained while we’re preparing for the Infernal Infiltration War!
Gently Down the Livestream
Thank you to all of you who participated in the latest EpicDuel Developer Livestream. We want to publicly apologize to all of you for allowing Practel to sing- it’ll just be me singing from now on. The stream is still up, so you’ll be able to watch the creation of one of the NEW War NPCs!
Many players were upset by the fact that the latest round of missions were geared toward higher level players. Lower-level players will be able to play some permanent chains for some nice rewards this week!
While war is brewing deep in the mines, not everyone is focused on the conflict at hand. Brunson’s Mama is preparing a very special feast, and she needs help from players of all levels (including the very lowest level players) to prepare her scrumptious morsels.
Midlevel players will be able to start a chain from Mirv. Both of these chains give credit and battle token rewards, along with another special surprise for players.
We are running a special contest for all EpicDuel players to raise awareness of account security. Nightwraith already wrote up a great description of the contest, so I’m just going to quote the whole thing:
You can submit entries on the ArtixEntertainment forum. Entries will ONLY be considered if posted here (http://forums2.battleon.com/f/tm.asp?m=20353961). Entries that are tweeted at us or posted on the Facebook fan page or emailed to us without being posted in the forum will NOT be considered. Entries containing a link to a file on your harddrive will not be considered. Entries that we must be your friend on Facebook or that we have to sign up for a site or service to see will not be considered.
As I’m sure this will come up: my advice to everyone who is designing a poster is to be direct and to the point. We want these to be something that could be placed in-game as a warning poster. We are accepting entries until July, so take your time.
Currently in my area of the United States (the midwestern US), we are experiencing an outbreak of Red Admiral butterflies, who are invading during their migration season. The Red Admiral Vanessa atalanta is a cosmopolitan and charismatic member of the family Nymphalidae, and is recognizable by the red-orange median bands on the forewings and marginal bands on the hindwings. This species has a winter and summer morph, with the winter morph being smaller and duller colored. The adult migrates to the northern part of its range during the Northern Hemisphere’s summer months (ranging from April to October), expanding into Canada. They overwinter in Texas to Florida, and are single-brooded in the northern part of their range and triple-brooded in the southern part of their range.
Interesting among butterflies, the males of the genus Vanessa, which includes species such as the American Lady, Painted Lady, and West Coast Lady, are highly territorial. Territories are typically located in the area between a ring of trees open to light on the west side, or on west-facing walls and will contain several resting spots. Males will defend their territories by chasing an intruder to outmaneuver and confuse the intruder, creating a wind tunnel, and ultimately forcing it away.
May 23, 2012
The Mines Open
Hey there, EpicDuelists! It’s that time of week again: time for a heaping helping of fresh-baked Design Notes! Yum, yum! Hopefully Nightwraith won’t eat this batch before we’ve got everything down- I’d better get right to it, as he’s gnawing on the corner while I’m typing.
In the United States, Memorial Day is celebrated in remembrance of American war dead, and we would like to thank our courageous men and women currently serving and have served to protect us.
To honor all heroes, we are introducing a seasonal Heroic Memorial Achievement, worth 1500 Rating Points that can be picked up from any VendBot.
Like many holidays in the US, it has another meaning: the unofficial beginning of summer! Warm, blue skies, beautiful sunshine... so how are we going to spend it? Indoors, in front of a computer, of course! For Memorial Day Weekend only, players will be able to grab the very first level 35 weapon, the Infernal Slayer Sword. Kraggor's people are expert jewelcrafters and miners and have created a weapon of immense power and beauty.
The Infernal Slayer sword is crafted from the finest electrified crystals, forged in magma for beauty and strength. Silas Auer, Legion Administrator and old enemy of the Lawman, has acquired 1500 of these weapons to finance his role in the coming war. Visit this mysterious new character deep within the Infernal Mines to acquire one of these destructive works of art before they're gone forever!
We’ll finally be opening up the Refinery, and introducing new d00ds, and along with that, two alignment-specific quest chains. Players should start at the Infernal Infiltration “Third Officers” (ie. Legion players should start at Nightwraith and Exile players should start at Galatea) for instructions on how to navigate the mine tunnels. Be sure to read the Mission Complete text carefully, as these won’t be easy, and will be filled with riddles. Your ultimate reward will be a blueprint scrap, which eventually will unlock special alignment goodies!
We’ll be looking for ways to avoid even the appearance of “punishing” loyalty, so in the end, if you switch alignment for these specific mission chains, all you’ll end up with is a handful of credits and an extra blueprint scrap you can’t use. So, really, it’s not worth it.
During the war, which will be waged in earnest in the coming weeks, we’ll also be raising the level cap to 35, which should be good news for those at or near level 34. Not there yet? It’s the perfect time to become acquainted with Power Hour (10am and 10pm EST)!
This week, we will be giving Mercenaries a small buff in the form of an upgraded version of Field Commander, Blood Commander, which will add a small % of life steal along with the strength buff. This new skill will not stack with normal Field Commander or Blood Lust. Tactical Mercenaries will retain Field Commander unchanged.
For those whose inventories are about to burst, we have a solution. We're allowing players to purchase up to 150 slots of inventory space, which should be more than enough space for all the goodies that you'll find during the upcoming War!
EpicDuel Artists Livestream
As we typically do once a month, on Sunday May 27th at 9:00 AM Eastern Standard Time, the EpicDuel developers will be hosting a livestream on the EpicDuel Artists Livestream channel. This will be a great opportunity to ask your burning questions about the upcoming war event! Last time I’m pretty sure we almost broke Livestream... can we do it again? Not sure what could possibly top the Derp Owl, but we’ll certainly try!
Question Mark or Comma?
A couple weeks ago, I was in the woods, and I happened to see a really beautiful trio of butterflies. I’d actually never seen this particular kind before, and I was very excited. Until I went to identify them: the butterflies I saw could be members of one of two similar, related species the Question Mark and the Eastern Comma.
Both butterflies are members of the family Nymphialidae, which means that their front legs are reduced, giving them the appearance of only having four legs, and puts them in the same family as the charismatic Monarch butterfly. The main difference between the two, from what I could find, is that the Question Mark (Polygonia interrogationis) and the Eastern Comma (Polygonia comma) is that the former is slightly redder. I do, however, believe this to be a Question Mark. Both species are kind of unique as the adults are not nectar feeders, but eat mineralized water, tree sap, or carrion.
April 04, 2012
Design Notes on the Go
Go East, Young Nightwraith
Nightwraith here, delivering you some delectable design notes on this week's EpicDuel release. The ED crew is short-staffed at the moment, as I will be attending PAX East, the premiere gaming convention on the East coast and hopefully having more fun than a barrel full of fun while absorbing secret learnings from the game industry's best and brightest. Expect incessant tweets from me about various awesome things throughout the weekend!
Titan is wading knee-deep through the game code, updating it to Flash CS5.5. We've mentioned this happening awhile back, I'm sure, but the game has finally reached the point where CS3 is simply too limited to allow us to make forward process in developing EpicDuel. Titan is quickly moving system by system to get the game to publish in Flashplayer 11, which will (hopefully) mean a smoother gameplay experience for everyone and allow us to gear up to building the new features you guys really care about.
Hunt for Mods
As the flow of mod applications has slowed, we've been able to catch up to just about all the potential mod candidates. The process has stalled a bit since I will be out of the lab with questionable internet connectivity until Monday. For those who have received interviews, congratulations on making it that far in the process, and sorry the process has been drawn out as long as it has.
Log in today at 4pm server time to AQW to see J6 draw a brand spanking new weapon in-game livestream art event! While you watch, send him suggestions by replying to Alina's Twitter account, @alina_ae! The item will be put into an AQW shop after the event so you can wield what J6 has crafted!
Stay tuned in the upcoming weeks to see even more livestream events from AQW artists! EpicDuel will also be streaming on our Epic Livestream Channel throughout the following weeks as we ramp up for a mysterious summer event! Oooooo!
To give you guys some time to complete the Bionic Battalion Missions and slake the thirst of those eager for more, Cinderella has added several more missions to various NPCs across Delta V. Their rewards are succulent, so seek them out, post-haste! (After the Friday update, that is!)
A few weeks ago we conducted a Livestream Q&A featuring the entire EpicDuel development staff, and the response was overwhelming. We talked, sung, drew, and answered questions for 3 hours and still didn't get to all of your questions! There was one question in particular that seems to strike a chord with some, and that question was concerning our college education and what recommendations we would make for aspiring game developers seeking to expand their minds.
Based on some e-mails we received from concerned players, I am afraid that we may have come off as unsupportive of higher education, but this could not be further from the truth. After all, without college, Titan and Nightwraith never would have met and there would be no EpicDuel. Nearly everyone at AE has some form of higher education, with several having attained or in the process of pursuing advanced degrees. Many of our Moderators are also pursuing degrees. Most positions at major game companies require at least a Bachelor's Degree.
What we were attempting to convey in our response to the questions about higher education was a reflection on our own experiences and the value we gleaned from our own respective degree programs. In our experience, college coursework was only a part of a much broader skill set we needed to compile in order to begin work on a project like EpicDuel. Hundreds of hours of outside training and cold experience were needed to get the game's art and code to what it is today. To use a gaming metaphor, if life is an RPG, you will need to do a lot of grinding in addition to the main storyline quests in order to defeat the final boss easily.
The fact remains that the video game industry is very competitive, and one cannot rely on coursework alone to secure a job in the field. There are also many for whom college is either inaccessible, or not the best learning environment. We would not want to close the door on game design for those without financial resources or lackluster academic records. While there are some universities that offer specific game design programs, many of these are either very expensive or so specific in their curriculum that switching majors if interests change is nearly impossible. A good college education can be the foundation of a great career, but it is not a guarantee.
Again, it was not our intention to steer people away from higher education, and we are sorry if you interpreted our answer as such. The Livestream event was meant to be unscripted and candid, so perhaps we could have measured our responses more carefully and made it more clear that we were speaking only from our own experiences, and not offering blanket advice for everyone in all circumstances. Only human, and all that. Education, like anything in life, will yield the most benefits to those who are actively engaged in its pursuit.
March 28, 2012
March Marches Away
March Marches Away
Hi there EpicDuelists! It’s your friendly neighborhood Cinderella, here to let you know about what we’ve got on the agenda for this week.
Bunnies and April Fools
All the classic April Fools / Bunny-themed weapons and armors will be returning this update. Will Nightwraith’s BioDerp weapons (seen here: http://twitpic.com/8sj6wq) be placed in-game? I don’t know! Will there be a new bunny-type auxiliary weapon or sidearm? Maybe! Maybe we can bug Nightwraith to "Make it so!"
These items and more will be available at Naomi in Central Station or Titan in the Bazaar!
Item Stat Rebalance
If you saw our livestream on Sunday, you know that RabbleFroth is rebalancing the stat modifiers and damage of the items in the game based on price, level, and damage. Since he didn’t put details in his document to which I have access *shakes fist at the sky* I don’t yet have the details for you. Unless he posted it in the forum and I missed it. The basic idea is that a standardized formula will be applied to all weapons to determine their power to eliminate the problem of having a clear "best" item at any given level. This forumula will give items a steadier power curve for each level.
The Bionic Battalion Saga will be continuing this week. Brachylagus and Capensis are not the only rabbits preparing themselves for battle: Myxoma will have her day as well. It’s come to her attention that little clueless Lepus is still in the Biological Preserve, and Myxoma needs your help in preparing a rescue mission for Lepus.
We may also be adding some new perma-missions, but I haven’t written any yet you’ll have to search for them! Like a treasure hunt!
You may notice that our resident murderer-for-hire with a heart of gold is missing from his normal hangout. You’ll be able to find him this week in HeroSmash, where he’s been transported due to a personal teleporter accident (that's what happens when you text and warp!). Be sure to check out his special HeroSmash gear, designed by Randor the Red, and his reaction to the world of HeroSmash.
Nightwraith will be selling his awesome armor on Friday and will remain in for one week. Rumor has it that he may return for one day in November, but you never know. Those teleportation devices are notoriously finicky. Timey-whimey and all that.
Stay tuned to the HeroSmash Design Notes for more information!
Gently Down the Livestream
Thank you to all of our wonderful players who participated in the first EpicDuel Artists livestream where all the EpicDuel development staff were in attendance! It was really great to be able to answer some of your questions, and you gave us a lot of ideas! Hopefully, our listeners got a better insight into the development process, as well! The whole thing is still available to view on the EpicDuel Artists channel on Livestream so check it out!
In related news, give us your requests for songs we’ll be forced to sing well in advance. I think I still owe you guys, like, 5 songs.
I Can Has Mod?
The call for Moderators is still ongoing- we’ve already made a list of some of the people we want to schedule an interview with, and we’ll be adding to that list as fast as I’m able to type it. Remember, patience is a vitrue we value when considering potential moderators, so sending e-mails asking if we've read your resume yet will affect our judgement of your application.
March 20, 2012
Mobile Design Notes
Hi there Epic Duelists! I had the awesome idea of writing design notes from my phone (or rather I was bored during my office hours; if you are my student: visit meeeeeeee!) so please forgive any devious Auto Corrects. This update is going to be pretty story heavy, so those of you who like story are in for a treat (warning: contains me).
February 22, 2012
The Heart Breaketh
Heartbreaker Saga Continues
For this round of missions, report first to NegaWraith for your orders. This will be a very dangerous endeavor for all those involved, mostly because you will be tangling with Alydriah's fearsome Alydroids! However, bringing down Alydriah’s citadel is worth the effort and the risk.
The time has come for action, Exiles. Administrator 12’s Legion Resistance has made all the necessary preparations. If you haven’t completed the Heartbreaker missions thus far, you’ll want to complete these missions prior to going forward.
This will also lead to the explosive conclusion of the Heartbreaker Saga, and its associated rewards.
From Broken to Mint
It seems like a lot of players are really enjoying the PvP drops. Have you won anything awesome this week? This week, to increase the excitement, we are adding a new class of item to the PvP drops: broken items! This may not seem like a bonus at first, but these weapons will be versions of Varium weapons, and some genius- say Ulysses- might be able to repair them to full functionality for a small Varium fee that is a % of the regular purchase price.
With the EpicDuel anniversary coming up, we would like to give our Founders a special reward. In thanks for supporting us when we were a small project made by two young men working out of a two-bedroom apartment. Today, our staff has doubled and we work out of a small office. Movin’ on up, baby!
In appreciation of those who supported us in the early days, we are giving every Founder and Elite player a special item: the Founder Bike! Those with the Founder achievement will be able to ride in style on this exclusive hoverbike. You can acquire this exclusive item by visiting Negawraith (who has been kind enough to stash these bikes) in Fortune City and taking the bike from his inventory.
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.
November 08, 2011
One One One One One One
A Delicious Part of Your Balanced Breakfast
We meet again, EpicDuelists. How did you like our Monday update? I hope you’re enjoying the new quests, low-level bazookas, and Guy Fawkes masks all the cool kids are wearing. And we have more stuff ready to come your way this week!
So, let’s get right on down to our milk and cereal!
You’re older than you’ve ever been, and now you’re even older...
So have you figured out what’s so special about this Friday? Besides that it’s all 11’s? Why, it’s Nightwraith’s birthday, of course! Our wonderful creative lead Nightwraith is older than he’s ever been, and he’s celebrating it with you! Some of the denizens of Delta V- the ElectroHazard, Hank, Charfade, Big Tuna and Cinderella, to be exact- have teamed up to throw our fearless creative leader a surprise party! Between mischievous squidlings running off with his presents, a backlog of orders of exactly 11 slices of cake and other misadventures, battling Nightwraith will give players an 11% chance of a dropped item, the OneX6 Key, which unlocks Nightwraith’s personal stash!
Level 34! Limited time only seasonal rares!
This release is a bit more complicated than most. In order to access Nightwraith's personal stash, available in the new ArmoryBots across Delta V, you'll need to collect the OneX6 Key.
This is just one of many ArmoryBots across Delta V in the Barrens, Fortune City, Central Station, the Biological Preserve, and the Minetower. They all have the same inventory, but we felt it would keep screen populations down to have more options.
You may have seen that part of the delay of the last update involved incorporating support for Portuguese into EpicDuel as a step towards making our game friendlier for our International Player Community. Titan and Hudelf will be working on translation, localization, and special characters. The system they are building is especially exciting because it will make adding additional languages in the future very easy, and provide a template for localizing the other AE games! Hopefully we won’t lose visuals on our text. Again. D:
The Arctic Guard
Baelius’s presence is felt all over Delta V, including its frigid and mountainous Northern Continent. Protecting both the miners working in the dangerous conditions- including the great carnivorous Beasts as well as Delta V’s indigenous mountain people- and Baelius’s interests are the Arctic Guard, specially trained soldiers who are well prepared to deal with the frigid temperatures the Northlands offer.
The leader of the Arctic Guard is one Arctic Outpost Commander Edgar Boothe. As a young man, Boothe rapidly rose to prominence in the Shadow Guard. Perhaps because of his tactical skills, or maybe because of his handsome appearance, he quickly caught the eye of Alydriah Descarl. She assigned him a command position in the frozen Northlands- something about it just seemed... right.
Commander Boothe is one of the characters you’ll be interacting with closely during the winter event, as well as helping to shape his destiny.
We’re still planning on readjusting the Tactical Mercenary skill tree, but due to the addition of support for Portuguese language, I’m told it is unlikely to be released this week.
I can confirm adjustments to Frenzy and Smoke Screen. Following this update, Smoke Screen will now have a Support requirement. Frenzy should be a little less powerful after this update, as the healing factor will no longer take into account the damage adjustment, which was what we intended in the first place, but it was not working correctly for some reason. The practical effect of this is that Frenzy will heal you for less than it did before.
I'd also like to make a quick announcement that our Mod and tester formerly known as Rainaka, is now known officially as Lycus! His green name should update by the new release!
Paper or Plastic?
Certain social wasps build their nests out of cellulose fiber that’s been wetted and crushed, then reconstituted (a material known better to you as “paper”). The families of wasp that do so are the yellowjackets and paper wasps.
Members of the genus Polistes are the most common and recognizable type of paper wasp. The European paper wasp is often mistaken for a yellowjacket, due to the similar yellow and black coloration. However, they can be distinguished from yellowjackets due to their more slender figures and long legs which dangle distinctively during flight. Colonies are founded by a single female or a small group of often, though not exclusively, related females. The foundress lays her eggs directly into the hexagonal cells of the nest, and she and her sisters will feed the emerging larvae by regurgitating masticated caterpillar flesh. In the early summer, workers emerge and co-foundresses are often exiled to found their own nests. Males emerge from the broods during the reproductive phase of the colony, along with reproductive females, and colonial cohesion breaks down, with intercolonial aggression increasing. Over the winter, the colony huddles together in a hibernative state.
One type of paper wasp, the Mexican Honey Wasp, is one of the only insects other than bees that produce honey. These dark golden-brown and yellow wasps construct paper nests and produce honey from plant nectar in the same fashion as honeybees. This honey is the larvae’s sole food source and is also consumed by humans, although the nectar from some plants can result in the honey being toxic.
November 03, 2011
An Exuberant Design Notes
Hi there EpicDuelists, I am super-excited about all of the awesome things coming your way in the week(s) ahead! I don’t even have a witty intro paragraph- let’s dive right in!
As awesome and dedicated as our players at or near the level cap are, the vast majority of our players are in the lower levels, so to give new players a more dynamic EpicDuel experience, Charfade’s made a whole arsenal of low-level bazookas for your dueling pleasure! And I’ve written a bunch of new quests- available from Exile Soldier, Habuki, Steve 2.0, Junker 2.0, and ConductorBot- that should help lower-level players get their duel on! If you’re inexperienced, you cannot pass up these sweet rewards!
High-level? We’ll have some nice stuff for you too, especially with our next minievent. Although I suppose you could do these missions as well, there’s certainly nobody stopping you. And if there was, it would be the level 3 guards.
Bonus! Celebrate Guy Fawkes Day a day early with these festive, but sinister masks! "Remember, remember, the fifth of November, Gunpowder Treason and Plot"
Harvest Wrap-Up, Harvest Wrap-Up! Let’s finish our Autumn cheer, ‘cause soon Winter will be here!
Harvest gear, quests, etc. will be available until 11/11/11- what’s so important about that day, you ask? Besides the fact that it’s made entirely of elevens,
I’m not sure what makes your face implode, but that’s how this is gonna work.
We’ll be working on a new, experimental feature coming soon to EpicDuel in the coming weeks. I’ll be working very closely with Nythera for this, and I’m actually not too sure how it’ll work yet, so watch this space as we hammer out the kinks!
As we’re leaving the Harvest behind, we’re all ecstatic to get started working on the next big holiday. Even in the Dead of Winter, Citizens of Delta V are still able to find reasons to celebrate, and Players will have much to celebrate, since we’ll be able to have full quest chains for this event!
We’ll also be introducing players to new people and a new (to the Players) world. During this event, you’ll be introduced to new allies (and new enemies!) and have a chance to permanently affect the planet’s balance by your actions!
If you follow Nightwraith on Twitter, you’ve been seeing some of his concepts for the new enemies you’ll be facing- the SnowHazards and Frostbiters. The SnowHazards are large and keep warm underneath their thick layers of soft, thick fur, while the Frostbiters are slender and well adapted to navigating the bitter cold ice floes. Both of these creatures were created much like the Hazards- wild creatures were corrupted by Legion scientists, and overtook the wild populations within a few generations. You’ll be called upon to challenge these horrifying Beasts soon enough.
It’s truly incredible to be making something that inspires so much creativity, and seeing the characters you imagined come to life. Nightwraith just showed me his sketches for some of the characters I’d created, and it’s a truly unbelievable and unique experience to see how he’s interpreted my words and brought them to life.
We’ve also been working on a special gift for the players for this release, but this is one we’ll keep tight under wraps!
Mod Packs and Artix Logo t-shirts available at HeroMart
Is your torso suffering from perpetual lack of coverage? Do you need a t-shirt? Maybe one that has a dragon logo on it? If so, then- by golly- you’re in luck! Artix Entertainment Logo t-shirts are now available at HeroMart. For $19.99 plus shipping, you too can look as cool as Dage the Evil!
In addition, the Artix Entertainment Trading Card Game Chaos Mod Pack and DoomWood Mod Pack are now available at both Toys-R-Us and HeroMart. When both packs are purchased, players earn the powerful Paladin Slayer class in Adventure Quest Worlds!
Child’s Play 2011
Tis the season for generosity, and yesterday marked the official launch of Child’s Play Charity’s Holiday Season. Founded by Mike Krahulik and Jerry Holkins of Penny Arcade fame in 2003, the charity has sent close to nine million dollars in toys, games, and books to children’s hospitals worldwide. The Charity works in two ways: donors can view a hospital’s wish list on Amazon and purchase a gift for the hospital directly, or they can donate directly to the charity via PayPal. When gamers unite, they can make a huge difference, and we hope that some of our players with room in their hearts can spare a thought for a sick child.
Baby, It’s Cold Outside
Insects have limited ability to regulate their internal temperature, and have several mechanisms for surviving in low temperatures. One such mechanism utilized by insects and other arthropods is diapause- a state of dormancy characterized by the seizure of certain metabolic processes and lack of responsiveness to external stimuli. During the induction phase which occurs at a genetically predetermined stage of life, the insect is particularly sensitive to external stimuli in the form of light, temperature, or food chemicals. The Preparation phase follows the induction phase and is characterized by storage of food molecules within the insect’s body to prepare for Initiation of diapause. This is when morphological development ceases, and other physilogical changes take place to prepare the insect’s body for freezing cold. This may be accompanied by behavioral changes, such as the aggregating behavior of Monarch butterflies, who cluster together for warmth following a mass migration. The period of diapause is called the Maintenance phase, and when environmental conditions are once again favorable for growth and development.
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.
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!
October 13, 2011
A Very Scary Design Notes
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!
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!
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
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.