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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.

December 06, 2012

Omega Marathon

Now it can be told: the official release date for Omega is December 14th early February! Of course, we can't confirm what time exactly, but we will do our absolute best to get this epic release to you in a stable, tested condition! To satisfy your curiousity on some of Omega's amazing features, enjoy this new Design Notes as we continue the Omega marathon!

Changes to NPCs

Today we wanted to go over some changes to how NPC fights will work in Omega. We want NPCs to fill the purposes of:

                1) training or testing builds

                2) gaining credits

                3) furthering missions and the storyline

They currently fill some other purposes that we want to move away from, including padding battle records, faction farming, and leveling.

Some of the changes are as follows:

  • NPC fights no longer count towards your battle record. We want the Leaderboards and your battle record to clearly reflect your PvP accomplishments instead of forcing players to farm NPCs to pad their win rates.
  • You can now fight NPCs an unlimited number of times.
  • NPCs will not give experience after level 5. This will allow new players to be eased into the battle system, but afterwards we want the focus to be on PvP. This also allows leveling players to get credits without continuing to level if they feel like they are falling behind.
  • NPCs will no longer give Battle Tokens or Influence. Since you can fight them without limit, we don’t want factions or players to farm them for Tokens or Influence. Again, we want the focus here to be on PvP.
  • NPCs will not give rewards if you lose. We don’t want people to purposely lose to NPCs over and over, so you will need to win to get Credits or other rewards.
  • Brainwashing is removed since it is no longer necessary.



We know there are still many questions about what we’re doing with Enhancements, but we’re not quite ready to talk about this in-depth yet. We will say now that the new system will allow for much greater customization than before, and will involve equipping passive effects and active abilities to your weapons.

 Skill Cores

Additionally, we will be providing compensation for those that have enhanced weapons in the current system. We’ll provide more specifics soon.


Omega Obliteration! 

We would like to kick off our new development phase with not one, but TWO promotional packages. These designs were inspired by devoted EpicDuel player and aspiring artist TrizzzCentrino! You can choose from the Omega Obliteror set, which features an energy sword plus a mutating weapon! 

Omega Obliterator

OR if physical damage is more your thing, you may select the Omega Onslaughter!

Omega Onslaughter

All of these weapons will offer 2 new weapon skills (one active, one passive) to give you an edge in Omega. We will explain what these skills are and what they do as soon as we finalize the details!

Speaking of promotions: Check out Heromart's Coming Soon page for details on the upcoming "Are You Yeti" shirt! This epic garment will come with not one, but TWO yetis for you to play with for the upcoming release!

Well? Are you?!


The Frozen North

Alydriah has been up to no good in her captured territory. However, there is one bastion of hope in this shattered land:

Titan's Magical Lair

Titan stands watch from his mountain lair in Frysteland. Many displaced Krampus have taken shelter at the foot of this mountain fortress, seeking some respite from constant harassment from Legion troops. Alydriah is smart enough to steer clear of this mysterious refuge, but not so fearful that she wouldn't taunt the gods of Delta V through more indirect means. What new cybernetic terrors has Alydriah created in during the Legion's occupation of this region? Would Alydriah burn Frysteland to the ground just to annoy Titan? How many cheeseburgers do you think Titan has hidden up there?

Elite Yeti

I guess you'll have to login to find out!


Easy on the Eyes

As we mentioned earlier, the early game experience is getting a drastic overhaul, starting with the login and class selection screens. We will also be refreshing the look of the base armors and styles to reflect this graphical overhaul. This might not be tremendously exciting to our veteran players, but it will make EpicDuel 1000% more appealing to new players, expanding the total number of active players, which means more opponents for you!  

Choose your destiny!



With all the changes to the database structure and game code, we literally cannot release before it's ready.  Also, preparing a weekly release would divert time away from development on Omega, and we cannot spare a second at this point!

On that note -- Code Sorcerer, away!

Tags: Titan promotions Omega Frysteland Winter Obliterator Onslaughter Yeti HeroMart Shirt Enhancements Stats code TRizZzCENTRINO Update Holiday Seasons Epic Skills Weapons alydriah


October 03, 2012

Ebil Dread

The Chairman has been on Delta V for nearly a week and already he grows impatient with his hosts.  His diabolical offerings have kept the citizens from expelling him thus far, but Baelius is still a no-show.  Shuttles are now approaching with a hoards of EbilCorp goons, and the Chairman's promises of wealth and power have swayed some locals to his cause.

Ebil Hazard

Events are escalating quickly as local authorities seem unable to make a move against the EbilCorp incursion.  Will Delta V be under new management permanently?  What are the Chairman's true intentions?  Who taught the Bio Hazard how to tie a tie?  All will be revealed soon!  

Epic Stylin'

'Tis the season to unveil new styles -- 18 to be precise (3 for each base class and gender).  These styles will have an EbilCorp flavor to them.  Visit any style change bot around Delta V to check out these sinister new styles.

Ebil Styles!

Rabblefroth has been hard at work expanding the functionality of our style purchasing system.  After this release, unlocking a single style will unlock all similar styles across all classes (i.e. wolf style, bio hazard, dragon slayer).  We will apply this retroactively to those who have already purchased styles, so you should notice way more styles unlocked when you change classes! 

To further satisfy your hunger for style, we will be offering a new bonus package that includes a jumbo pack of styles!  This promotion will includes new EbilCorp styles.  This does not mean that we will be removing any current promotions, just that we will be adding a new one.

So stylin'!

If you play as a Male Mage or Hunter, you may have noticed that you have fewer basic styles than Mercenaries.  Maybe you haven't.  In any case, we're correcting that oversight by adding 1 new default style to Mages and 2 new default styles for Hunters.  Huzzah!


Contest Reminder!

Existing styles not your...uh...style?  Remember, we're hosting a hairstyle design contest in the forums RIGHT NOW!  Submit your creations for a chance to win ALL THE STYLES available in game at the time of contest's end as well as seeing your own design used in game!  You have until the 26 of October, so sharpen those pencils and do your best!


Secure Decor

Secure Decore

In case you missed it last week, the seasonal Harvest Festival home items are now available for purchase.  You will also have the opportunity to acquire the beautiful winning posters created for our account safety awareness art contest!  Hang them proudly in your homes to show that you know how to keep your account secure, and encourage others to do the same!


Suggestion Shop

The weapons are not ready for this week, but we are currently culling the forums for the best item suggestions for vectorization.  I would like to remind all of those participating that plagarism will not be tolerated.  Furthermore, a comment from a mod or dev like "nice sword" should not be taken as a guarantee that the suggestion will be used.   Art posted on Twitter and FB will not be considered unless it is posted in the forums as well.

Also, be sure to follow our assistant artist, Disturbed's, Twitter for his progress as he vectorizes the best suggestions!  


Suggestion shops are always a breath of fresh air into the game's expansive inventory and I wish we could do them more frequently.  That said, I have a feeling this shop will be the best one yet!  Thank you and good luck!

Tags: Nightwraith hairstyles contest suggestions promotions Chairman EbilCorp War


May 01, 2012

Keys, New Gear, and a Welcome to our newest Moderators

Hi there EpicDuelists! It’s your friendly Neighborhood Cinderella here with your weekly dose of design notes!


Confounding Keys

As we noted last week, and many of you have noticed, we now have a new system for building your own promo pack, where instead of a set promotional item, you get “keys” with which you can use to unlock weapons, extra credits, and other goodies.

Keys. How do they work?

To clarify some things: all keys must be used at one go, you cannot stock up keys.  You can purchase multiple bonuses to use up your keys if you wish or use them all in one go.  Players who purchased packages prior to this system will not be receiving more keys.  The keys are simply a way to allow you to unlock more bonuses with higher tier Varium packs.  You cannot purchase keys independently from the Varium packages.

If you need some help figuring out how to purchase promos using the new system, Practel has helpfully made this video guide to purchasing: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XXuVB_TQQZM


Infernal Armaments

Our newest addition to the creative team, Disturbed, has been hard at work on some new weapons as a preview to our next war: the Infernal Infiltration War! Again, we are super-excited to have him around, and he’s going to start working on backgrounds and items for this saga.

Disturbing Items

I should have an outline turned in by the end of this week for the first part of the saga. As before, player action will have a profound effect on the outcome of the story and impact on the aftermath.


New Mods!

We’re proud to announce the selection of the new members of our moderation team!

In no particular order:


Fay Beee




Elf Priest Jzaanu

Digital X




Congrats all! If you see them running around with a green name, be nice to them- they’re new!

I also realize that at least one of our selections comes with quite a bit of controversy. Practel has been a tester and a personal friend of the development team up to and including Artix himself for quite a while. While he is not quite of age, AE has made exception for exceptional teens in the past, and we have confidence in Practel that he will live up to our expectations.


Artix & Sepulchure Toys

Cysero of AQW has already done a great job describing the new action figures, so Imma just rip it and post here.  Riiiiiiiiiiiiiip :3


They are nearly here!

My sources (at least the reliable ones) tell me that they are on their way to the U.S. Toys R Us locations right now. They should arrive there a week or two before theyn reach us here and become availible on HeroMart.Com.

People often ask us why we can't get them to Toys R Us locations in other countries and that's mostly because there are different branches of the company and our relationship is so far only with the American branch of the company.

If our stuff keeps selling well in the American branch then we might be invited to start up a relationship with various other branches of Toys R Us... but that's really up to you guys.

Toys R Us gets to set their own price and we want the HeroMart price to be competative with the Toys R Us price so we have to wait and see what they set their prices at before we can set ours. If we decided early and went too high with the HJeroMart price, then we would be shooting ourselves in the foot and losing sales to Toys R Us. If we go to low, then we undercut Toys R Us and they might decide to cut ties with us which kills any future deals we might make with ANY branch.

SO... soon they will get theirs, we will find out what the decide for the price and then we will be able to tell you the HeroMart price whicl will be very close to the store price.

For the special Limited Edition BLACK version of the toys, I'm pretty sure that the price will be $50. It comes with the same in-game items as the normal versions but we made a LOT less of these and you will ONLY be able to get them from HeroMart. These are for hardcore collectors ONLY (or maybe people who want to resell them on E-bay for double price when they sell our and go rare).

More news on that as it arrises.


LiveStream Event with Dage the Evil

Always have a spotter when using a paper cutter.

As you know, AQW has been inviting their artists to take part in live stream events in the game. The 5th and final artist participating in this particular event is Dage the Evil. I know many of our players are huge fans of Dage, so head on over to AQW around 4 PM EST/Server time.



I was in the field a couple weeks ago and I had the opportunity to get up-close and personal with a web full of Eastern Tent caterpillars (Malacosoma americanum)- probably first instar. The tent was at eye level so I could see the caterpillars clearly. This species forms nests in woody roses including cherry, apple, and black cherry. The caterpillars are capable of consuming the cyanide compounds in these plants, but instead of sequestering the compounds in the hemolymph or fat, or metabolizing them, they keep the cyanide in the gut and vomit on would-be predators.

Of lepidopteran social behaviors, those of the Eastern Tent Caterpillars are among the most complex. Eggs are laid by the adults in spring or early summer, and the clutch contains 200-300 eggs. Upon hatching, the caterpillars construct a silk tent where they live communally, venturing outside the tend only to feed. They use vibratory and chemical signals to communicate with their siblings, and thrash as a group when the tent is attacked by a predator. 

They emerge as cute little fuzzy pink or brown moths.


Infernal Infiltration Preview Continued

This is another excerpt from the backstory for the upcoming war. Interstellar Marshalls John St. Alban and Silas Auer are investigating suspicious happenings on Delta V during their war for sovereignty. The two are separated, with Silas being guided by a Shadow Guard Commander, and Alydriah’s right-hand woman, Valestra Hitchens. Known throughout the galaxy as the “Angel of Death”, Valestra is an expert at hand-to-hand and ranged combat, a skilled sniper, and an accomplished poisoner.


They ventured into Fortune City's tenth district. A center for research and innovation, the district was marked by a large hospital, which Valestra explained is where she had learned pharmacology.

"There's someone I want you to meet. He isn't the administrator, but I think you'll like him."

Valestra led Silas to a back office in the basement where a lanky man wearing navy blue was working with his back turned.


The man turned. He was a man of about 30; tall and long all over, with a visage that seemed to be stuck in a perpetual wonder. His face was thin and wide gray eyes hid behind tinted goggles. A shock of unkempt dishwater blond hair perched awkwardly upon his head.

“Valestra! And is this a boyfriend?”

Valestra laughed. “Aww, Ulysses. You know I’m waiting for you.” She turned to Silas. “Ulysses is a Master Craftsman, brilliant engineer...”

“And a lover of beauty.” Ulysses extended a gloved hand to Valestra, took her hand, and kissed it. “If you’re not Val’s boyfriend...”

“He’s one of the Marshalls. Making sure we’re playing nice.”

“Oh! Well, Marshall, let me show you my latest project... I’m sorry what did you say your name was?”

“I didn’t. It’s Auer. Silas Auer.”

“Auer. Like gold. Splendid!” He picked up a golden object. It was oblong and was carved with strange markings. “Do you know what this is?”

“No. What is it?”

“I have no idea!” He smiled broadly.

“Your project...” Valestra interjected.

“Yes, of course. Pygmalion. That’s the name I gave my creation. It’s a method for extracting the central nervous system of a sick or dying creature and placing it in this ingenious metal suit! So far I’ve only tried it on rabbits and squidlings, but it could revolutionize medicine as we know it!”

As he said this, Ulysses produced a cage containing a little robotic bunny. The cyborg rabbit sadly chewed upon a corncob, and looked despondent and confused. 

“He looks sad.” Silas blurted.

“The alternative was dying from his injuries. This little guy was run over by a ground vehicle,” he said defensively, replacing the rabbit cage. “Lovely to see you, Valestra, but I’m sure I don’t want to waste any more of the Marshall’s time.” Valestra and Silas turned to leave when Silas heard his communicator beep. He read the text message- “Do not trust Alydriah. There’s more than she’s telling you. Find the Delta Vault.”

“What was that?” asked Valestra.

“Spam.  Apparently, there are Fortune City singles who wish to speak with me.” He closed the communicator and smiled rakishly at Valestra, "Intriguing."

She laughed. “Your wife must be jealous.”

“You looked at my background. You know I’m unmarried.”

Valestra smiled to herself. “Come on, there’s more to see, cowboy.”

Tags: Cinderella Infernal Infiltration Delta Knight Keys Varium promotions Moderators Armor Weapons War Toys


April 18, 2012

Post Post PAX Post

Design Notes: Straight-up. No chaser.

By now you’ve had the chance to see Nightwraith’s recap from PAX, and some of you have pointed out that “off topic” posts like this aren’t technically “design notes”. As creative people we draw inspiration from all sources- and events like conventions are great arenas for us to meet up with other creative individuals and share our ideas. This is part of the creative process and isn’t to be discouraged. To steal from Neil Gaiman, creative people are people too and life is a GOOD thing for us. It’s where we draw our inspiration. So forgive the occasional con recap, piece of prose, or other post that isn’t a list of what’s going into the update, no chaser.


New Packages: For Realsies this time! (or smack Titan)

Last week, we announced the mid-level packages. Well, with the transfer to CS5, we weren’t able to implement those promo packs just quite yet. Starting Friday, players will be able to purchase varium with Veteran Battlegear or Advanced Battlegear. As an aside: these are additional promotional items, the current promos will still be available.

This enables players to mix and match varium quantities or bonus credits with promo items, and we hope to give players more options in the future!


Escape To the Planet of the Bunnies

As you recall from last week’s missions, the bunnies have been building a spacecraft to get off of Delta V and back to the planet of their ancestors: Orychtolagus, where Rabbits are the dominant species. See Mr. Cottontail in the Barrens to find out how their scheme all turned out!

I realize I wasn’t as kind to the lower levels with the mission chains at Myxoma and Lepus this time around, but never fear! The missions are staying in for a little while to allow you guys time to catch up!


Moderator Applications Closed

Now that we have narrowed down our list to a handful of qualified Mod finalists, it is time to formally close the application process.  Thank you to everyone who applied!  It is truly thrilling that so many of you care deeply enough about EpicDuel to want to devote your time and energy to helping us, but, sadly, we cannot pick everyone.  To our finalists, we thank you for bearing with us during this process and we will get back to you shortly!



I tweeted a bit ago that I’d been working on a background story for an upcoming storyline that’s been pushing the page limits of a short story (single-spaced even!). Here’s a brief excerpt from what we’ve been calling “the novella”. In this excerpt, which takes place 20 years prior to the events of EpicDuel, the Marshalls- an intergalactic police force- have been sent to Delta V to investigate some of the suspicious activity going on. The Marshalls have sent two of their best- veteran John St. Alban and his green partner Silas Auer to meet with the leader of the Shadow Guard:

Silas took the opportunity to investigate his surroundings. Everything was clean, cold antiseptic white. The long table appeared to have been carved from the room itself, or formed naturally like formations in a cave. The wall opposite their entranceway was made completely of glass, and the view from Alydriah’s spire showed several districts of Fortune City, and as the twin suns were rising over the horizon, the shadow of the mine tower fell over the land.

“So that’s where the varium comes from.”

“We can ruminate on the origin of magic rocks later, kid. I don’t trust Descarl, especially with her sending that obvious red herring after us.”

“Commander Hitchens is not a red herring, I assure you.” They turned to see Descarl at the door. Her black hair was pulled up in a bun high on her head, and she was wearing the Shadow Guard dress uniform in white, indicating her status as an Administrator. On her lapel, next to the rows and rows of medals indicating her military successes, was a pin with a large Roman numeral I- Administrator 1.

“How does the ranking system work here, Administrator?”

“It goes by district, and again John, call me Alydriah. I’m the Administrator for Fortune City’s First District and Supreme Commander of the Guard. Second in command to Baelius himself: may he bring Order forever.”

“Order. Is that what you call it?”

“You may find my methods a bit unorthodox...”

“I heard you brought stocks back into vogue.” 

“...but you can’t argue with my results, John. The workforce is mainly robotic drones commanded by our most talented citizens- we call them Tech Mages- while occasionally a faction or two will pop up, a little public humiliation is enough to make a willful child see the light.”

“And the genocide?”

“Exaggerated! The Krampus enjoy protected status under the rule of the Legion, and many of them have joined our workforces and intermarried with our citizens!”

“And the Dragonmen?”

“Refused vaccinations, believing them to be Outsider poison. We tried to save them, truly. And the non-humanoids are protected under anti-discrimination laws.”

“Now see, what I heard tell was that y’all are threatening to destroy some peaceful planets.”

“The very idea is absurd, John!” She sat, gestured for her guests to do the same, then snapped her fingers to summon a robot butler. “Devil’s Claw, for me as well as for my guests.” The butler bowed and rolled away. “My own private reserve, I’ve bred these fruits myself. It tastes as if you’re drinking the feeling of a gentle sunshine on your face. Now, that noise about us attacking peaceful planets comes from Baelius’s business partners. Since the conversion of Delta V from a mere business venture to an independent state, these huge corporations have been sending their private military forces to attack and subjugate us, demanding repayment upon their investment, especially now that our scientists have unlocked the secrets of teleportation and interdimensional shift! If we are at war, sir, it is a war for our independence!”

A deafening silence fell over the three of them, until it was broken by the butler’s entrance.

“Perfect timing, Servertron,” Alydriah said, accepting the liquid the metal servant poured into her tumbler. The sunlight danced in the faceted silica. “You may investigate the grounds to your contentment, we’ve prepared quarters for you here in the spire. After breakfast, I’ll assign you guides from my guard.” Alydriah drank. “You’ll find nothing.” She stood. “Now allow me to attend to my duties. Paperwork and all that.”



Insects have many strategies for survival, one of which is parasitism. Parasitoids exist as endoparasites (ie. an organism that lives entirely within another organism) as part of their life cycle, but exist as freely-living adults. This strategy is used notably by tachnid flies and brachonid and icheumon wasps. The braconid wasp Cotesia congregata  parasitizes sphingid caterpillars by laying her eggs inside the caterpillar, which causes devastating effects including not only death but associated illness. The parasitized caterpillar experiences a decreased feeding response, which is associated with changes in foregut contraction mediated by the octopamine (a neurotransmitter/neurohormone similar to norepinepherine that’s involved in a variety of functions in insects such as modulation of muscle contractility, learning, memory, and light production by fireflies). Caterpillars combat the infection by forming nodules, aggregations of hemocytes that attempt to kill the parasitoid egg. However, even if the caterpillar manages to clear the infection and survive, often the damage to the endocrine system (particularly management of juvenile hormone) is permanent and the caterpillar experiences extranumerary molts and dies. X^^^> (dead caterpillar)


Arts Livestream in AQW!


Tune in to AQW at 4:00PM EST today for week 5 of the AE Artist livestream! This week features Thyton! Just like last time, players should send their suggestions via the AQW forums and join the live draw map to watch the creation of a new item, and get some pro tips on art!



Not to be outdone, this Sunday at 9:00 AM EST the EpicDuel developers will be hosting our own livestream at the EpicDuel Artists livestream. If you’ve tuned in to one before, you know that we’ll be answering questions, talking about the game/our inspirations, and apparently I’m required to sing every 10 viewers. So if you want to hear us ramble on about things we find interesting, tune in Sunday! We'll try to keep this to under 2 hours this time, so be sure to get in as soon as you can! Can’t make it to the livestream? The recordings will be hosted there as well!

Tags: Cinderella Nightwraith PAX livestream promotions Bunnies


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