September 20, 2012
Yaar and so forth
Yesterday was Talk like a Pirate Day! If you haven’t already grabbed the cheevo and items from that salty wench Isla “Big Tuna” Grier.
The Dragon’s Reckoning
The Dragon’s Reckoning is coming to its epic conclusion with an epic cutscene! What will become of the Dragonoid? What about Dravax? Will Mirv finally get the praise and attention he craves? See Charfade in-game to find out!
You may have noticed that you can now purchase hairstyles, and said hairstyles are yours forever. Changing between hairstyles or just changing your colors now only costs credits! Unfortunately, this is only relevant going forward, as we cannot figure out every hairstyle every player has ever had. But the Steve-bots are eager for you to get your hair did, so they’re offering a new, evolving Epic Stylist cheevo! Epicly stylish! Can you buy enough styles to unlock them all?
Codes...How Do They Work?
If you follow any of the ED staff on Twitter, you may have noticed us posting codes periodically. What are these codes and how are they used? Currently, the codes can be redeemed for free Starter-Kit weapons, but we are expanding the system to offer a number of different prizes. Here's a step-by-step guide for redeeming these codes.
Step 0: Get a Code
Currently, you can get these codes by seeing us in person at a convention or by following us on Twitter!
Step 1: Find a City Guard
They primarily hang out in Central Station and Fortune City. You can use the Delta V map to travel quickly between areas if you don't feel like going on foot (or by bike).
Step 2: Select the "Prize Code" option
Step 3: Enter the Code and select "Submit"
These codes are currently one-time use so only the first one to redeem the code will get the prize.
Stay tuned for more developments on this exciting feature as we add features such as more prizes, more redemptions per code, and more ways to receive codes!
Something Ebil This Way Comes!
Some twenty years before the current events of EpicDuel, Baelius had a “falling out” with his investors and backers when he declared the colony on Delta V a sovereign state and declared war. But not all of his backers turned on him -- Baelius’s war was partly financed by the mysterious and influential Chairman Platinum. Word has it that the Chairman is returning to inspect his investment. Is he coming to free the people of Delta V from Baelius' vile machination or will this be a hostile takeover? Knowing the Chairman, we suspect the latter.
If you follow me on Twitter, you know that I had a pet caterpillar named Nova. Nova was a happy caterpillar, was hand-fed the finest tomato leaves whenever he was hungry. Eventually, he was slated to pupate (that is, metamorphose into his adult form), and after wandering for a bit, he turned brown and began pupating. He was also a lucky caterpillar -- I’d noticed that he had cleared an infection by braconid parasitoids. But his luck was not to last -- a few days after pupating, I noticed that his coloration was off, and there was a weird discoloration along his ventral nerve cord. Naturally, I observed, and much to my horror eventually Nova exploded, leaving a pile of slimy grey maggots.
These are the larvae of tachinid flies (likely Winthemia manduca), which lay their eggs on lepidopteran larvae (ie. caterpillars), and develop inside the caterpillar. They’ll begin to devour the caterpillar from the inside during diapause and emerge. They’ll spend a day or two as free-living maggots, and pupate for 10-24 days depending on environmental temperature. As adults, they resemble house flies, and will repeat the whole process over again. As they reduce populations of lepidopteran pests naturally, they are attractive for use in integrated pest management. However, they are not extremely host-specific, and will attack related species to the target organism- eg. an East European tachinid fly introduced in the US in areas affected by gypsy moth has caused a massive reduction in Saturniid moth numbers.
May 09, 2012
Riveting Design Notes
Hi folks, and welcome to another EpicDuel Design Notes. Some people were upset last week because we forgot to announce in the DNs that the bunny weapons were leaving. I apologize sincerely for that. Development is a fluid process and sometimes changes are made last-minute that we don't have time to mention here. But, if you want to keep on top of all the previews (including the stuff that doesn’t make it into the DNs), please follow us on Twitter (@Titan_EpicDuel, @Nightwraith_ED, @Charfade, @Cinderella_ED) or “like” us on Facebook (Facebook.com/EpicDuelOfficial).
War is brewing beneath the surface of Delta V, and it’s ready to crack the planet wide open! Mechanical insects that can only be the stuff of nightmares are pouring out from abandoned mine towers like soldiers from a hive, but a special warrior might be able to tame them and harness their incredible power!
The Pyro Fly is a new pet/bot that can either be purchased in-game from Kraggor or as a promotional item with the purchase of Varium, being worth 3 keys. Its special skill is Infernal Swarm, which causes tiny mechanical fireflies to swarm your opponent and neutralize one active skill at random.
But the Pyro Fly is not the only insect emerging from the mines. Charfade’s been hard at work on these mechanical monsters.
What is their purpose? Only time will tell.
RabbleFroth loves me. He must because in the updates leading up to the war, he’s programmed me a bunch of new missions features! Players will be able to play real quest chains (where a requirement for one quest is the quest prior to it in the chain), accept quests specific to your class (Hunters, Mercenaries, and Mages), and follow the story more effectively with mission complete text! I just found out about this today, so I’ll be writing three class-specific chains (I haven’t decided on the reward yet, but we don’t want to force players to class change for some pixels). Bounty Hunters and Cyber Hunters should visit Tamaril, Mercenaries and Tactical Mercenaries should visit Navarro, and Mages and Blood Mages should visit Sekk. They will tell you a little history, and give you an item that you can turn in to Xraal so that all players get the same reward.
Artix Action Figures!
Artix action figures are coming soon to Heromart! We've also received word that Toys 'R' Us stores across the country are starting to receive their first shipments! With these figures, you will also receive a substantial amount of additional bonuses. Cysero breaks it down for you in the AQ Design Notes!
What action figures would you like to see produced after Artix and Sepulchure? A Nightwraith with karate-chop action would be the bee's knees!*
*Stop hijacking my DNs, Nightwraith!
The following preview takes place 15 years before current events.
Silas stormed out of Valestra’s hospital room, and as he walked dialed up John St. Alban on his communicator. “What have you done?” he snarled into the receiver.
“Silas. Come to the minetower.” John droned in the communicator, and the line went dead. Seconds later, exact coordinates appeared, leading Silas to the tower’s apex.
When Silas arrived, he saw John standing in wait next to what appeared to be a corpse in a glass coffin being tended to by a diminutive, lab tech, hunchbacked from years of working in the mines. “What is this, John. You set Valestra up to be killed, for what?”
“I sent Commander Hitchens off-planet so I could investigate without arousing Ms. Descarl’s suspicions.”
“Five years ago, you told me about the Vaults. I finally managed to find out who sent you that message, and I’ve been in communication with him ever since. He couldn’t tell me specifics, and communication’s been choppy since Baelius declared victory and sovereignty. I had to figure out a way to get on planet when all communication with my contact ceased. I’m afraid I was too late to help him in any appreciable way.” He gestured toward the coffin. Silas approached it and looked at the corpse- much of the tissue on the face and head was missing, and the arm the man had presumably used to shield his face was completely destroyed. But, what little of the face had not been reduced to skull Silas recognized, as well as the intact navy blue of his uniform.
“The engineer...Ulysses.” The corpse turned its head toward Silas. Both of his eyes were missing, reduced to burned-out hollow sockets. Silas screamed in spite of himself.
“He ain’t dead, kid. That box is preparing him to be shot off into the Void. He’ll be suspended there until someone can fix him.”
“He knew too much, and he was reduced to this by Descarl’s brother before he could tell me what was in the Vaults. I failed, Silas. I was too late.”
“You could have told me. You didn’t have to lie to me. You didn’t have to hurt Valestra.”
“That was unfortunate. She had to try and be the hero.”
“She has a daughter around Selina’s age. Turned four two months ago.” Silas allowed his words to sink in. “You of all people should understand that.”
John turned to Silas with an exasperated look on his face. “If everything had gone according to plan, she would have been released and home to see her husband and kid just in time for dinner. But no, you had to enter their airspace and panic that militia. Had to save your damsel in distress. Though, I gotta admit, I admire your stubbornness.”
“None of which changes the fact that you betrayed me. We’re supposed to be partners, John.”
“I didn’t want to get you involved. I wanted to protect you.” They were silent. “It’s this planet, Silas. It gets into your blood, makes a man crazy. Let’s get off this godforsaken rock and back to civilization.”
John was interrupted by a gunshot- the bullet knocked the Lawman’s trademark hat into the air, and Silas stood, gun drawn, calmly looking down and away from John. “Leave. Before I kill you, John.”
“I mean it. Get out of my sight.”
The Lawman picked up his hat, brushed it off, and replaced it on his head. “If that’s how you see things, I certainly understand. I reckon I’ll be on my way.” Silas turned, satisfied, and forcefully hit the ground. The two men struggled over Silas’s weapon, fists flying. John was bigger and a more experienced fighter than Silas, who, fueled by rage, swung wildly at the older man. Tears stung his eyes, and his aim betrayed him more often than not. Finally, the gun discharged, a spray of blood filled the air, and Silas fell to the floor.
The Lawman kicked away Silas’s pistol and slammed his boot into his former partner’s face where the bullet had hit, leaning forward. “Never forget who you’re crossing, boy. You’ve made yourself a powerful enemy.” He twisted his foot around, the sickening crackle of bone plainly audible beneath his feet.
Silas coughed defiantly. “So’ve you.”
John scowled. “Just remember who your real friends are, kid. Alydriah. Valestra. Women like that will keep you around until you ain’t of use to them no more, like an old hunting cur. I still can’t believe you’d trust her after what happened five years back. Me? I’ve been here through thick and thin. Just remember that.” John tipped his hat and walked off. The lab tech with the coffin started the teleporter, and Silas crawled out and made his way back to Fortune City.
He joined the Shadow Guard that night.
February 29, 2012
This post only exists every 4 years
Geez, don’t take me so literally. I don’t constantly put hidden meaning into every syllable I type.
Happy Leap Day, players! Happy Birthday to all of you whose calendar age is 1/4 their chronological age. We’ve got some awesome stuff in store for you this week, so let’s say we jump right on in! (har dee har har)
Please, don’t leave me...
The Heartbreaker saga has come to its, well, heartbreaking conclusion. Players should go to the Guard Outpost in Fortune City to see how your plans turned out. I don’t want to spoil it for you guys, so you’ll just have to report to the Outpost to watch the cutscene.
Since we’ve concluded the Heartbreaker Saga, these missions will be going rare, as well as the Frysteland Aftermath missions, so now is the time to get those in if you haven’t done so already.
New Promotional Pack!
By popular demand (yes, Facebook fans, I’ve seen your constant posts and tweets begging for a new promo pack and “WHEN NEW PROMO PACK? ANSWER NOW!”), the Heartbreaker/Azrael promotional pack, along with all the other Heartbreaker-themed weapons will be going out NEXT week, so players still have another week to purchase this amazing item package.
The Celtic Cleaver, with its "Lucky Strike" skill, and all the other Celtic items from last year are coming back next week as well. What luck!
If it ain’t broke...
Due to the overwhelming popularity of PvP drops, we’re planning to add 50 more broken items! These broken items can be fixed by Ulysses for a mere fraction of the original varium cost, and these new weapons go all the way up to level 33! By Grabthar’s hammer, what a savings!
A wild Tech Mage appears! Rabblefroth uses Balance Changes. It’s Super Effective!
The balance changes for low-level Tech Mages seemed to work really well, so this week we’re focusing on addressing balance at higher levels. Go Rabblefroth! :D
There goes the neighborhood...
If you follow me (@Cinderella_ED) or Nightwraith (@Nightwraith_ED) on Twitter, you may have seen us conversing with two of the NPCs, specifically Lysander Cox/the NegaWraith (@Negawraith_ED) and Alydriah Descarl (@AllWillObey). If you tweet, feel free to follow all of us on Twitter! In addition, if you haven’t already, “like” us on Facebook at facebook.com/EpicDuelOfficial
This week’s Insect Fact is based on a brand spanking new paper (seriously, it was just published 10 days ago), so I’m super-excited about this. Endoparasitism by parasitoid wasps is a huge mortality factor for insect larvae across taxa, and insect species have various ways to combat parasitoid infection. One hypothesis for how insects combat parasitoids is the “nasty host hypothesis”, wherein in addition to normal immune response (insects do not have adaptive immune responses like we do, but they do have an immune system that allows them to fend off infection and encapsulate parasites) insects larvae are able to sequester allelochemicals from their host plants and sequester them in their hemolymph and body fat, which poisons the parasites. In the case of the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster, fly larvae that are exposed to ethanol are not parasitized as often by wasps, and when larvae are infected, consumption of ethanol causes increased death of the wasp larvae. Also, after infection, the fly larvae will search for sources of ethanol to consume. Infected fly larvae are twice as likely to survive parasitism by a generalist parasitoid after consuming ethanol than those that did not, indicating that the fly is self-medicating with ethanol. This is not the first time that this has been observed- flies infected with bacteria will give themselves fevers by seeking out heat sources to kill the bacterial infection.