March 07, 2014
Onward to War
War is approaching. A better war. A faster war. A war that more fully captures to epic clash of Legion and Exile forces. Though this new war was not quite ready to be unveiled today, we're still hard at work and hope to have a finished feature ready to go early next week. This Design Note post will reveal some new and exciting elements from the new war system.
Before we get into the meat of the post, I'll briefly mention the absense of Legion and Doom from the server select. Today we did a small update to patch some exploits and improve server security. Due to recent erratic behavior, Legion and Doom were taken offline. We do not yet know if we will bring them back, but we do know that those servers were old and underperforming. Epic and Exile (we should probably change their names now, huh?) will soon be upgraded to faster, more modern servers to improve performance, making additional servers unnecessary for the time being.
Onward to WAR!
With the new war system, we wanted to emphasize accessibility. The current war has a lot of moving parts and can be quite difficult to grasp for a novice just learning the basics of dueling. Under the new system, the active war will be represented by a global war bar. This war bar provides general information about the conflict and quick-jump buttons to the main objectives.
When the war is over, the prize button will become active for the winning alignment! We'll get to that a bit later...
Some war objectives may be familiar with a few key changes -- you'll notice the Control Array now has a shield over it. It's up to the alignment on offense to bring down the shield and capture the Array, while the defenders must stop the aggressors at all costs!
To defend or attack, Legion and Exile warriors will receive PvP war drops. Defenders will receive Dread Bombs while the attackers will receive Dread Shells. These drops can be used at objectives to gain influence for yourself, your Faction, and your alignment. This is also the primary mechanism for driving the war. To discourage hoarding, you will only be able to hold a maximum of 10 of each type of war drop in your inventory. If you choose not to participate in the war, you will be able to sell the drops with no sellback.
War drops can be used at war objectives, which will be scattered throughout the active region.
Clicking a war objective brings up a menu to use your war drops. You can use your drops for free, or upgrade them to a more powerful form for Varium. The more powerful drops can also drop from PvP battles, but at a much lower rate.
The objectives will show realtime destruction as they are used and abused by warring alignments. Small notifications will appear to broadcast your feats of valor for all to see!
Each objective has a different attribute -- providing interesting tactical decisions for either side of the conflict.
Defend your objectives or see them burnt to the ground! When the war ends, the winning alignment, along with the most victorious player and Faction will be displayed prominently throughout the region!
With the changes to the war system, we'll be consolidating the existing regional influence-buffing cores into a sole War Commander core. This new limited-charge core will give 10 guaranteed war drops for battle victories.
This core will be available from prominent Legion and Exile NPCs in active war regions.
Since some are already very close to attaining the 10th tier of certain regional war achievements, we've decided to bump up the difficulty with 2 more tiers for each region. We're even planning a super-special acheivement for reaching tier 12 on ALL regions, including Frysteland and the Infernal Mines (coming soon)!
During the war, you'll also have a change to earn the prestigious War Hero achievement by earning the most influence in a single day!
Winng a war is an incredible task, so the victors should receive equally incredible rewards! Never-before-seen weapons, armors, vehicles and amazing currency bonuses await those who triumph!
If you're the picky type, you'll have a list of 6 items to choose from when claiming your reward. The prizes will rotate between war events so the list will be ever-changing and always interesting!
Expect an early release next week while we iron out the last of the bugs and polish the remaining features of our new war system! Thank you for your patience! We're confident the feature will be worth the wait!
Last but not least, remember to check out the seasonal rare Springtime gear, available at Naomi and Xraal!
Grab this awesome gear before it disappears back into the database aether for another year!
December 12, 2013
Blood Hawks Inbound
A cold wind is blowing through Frysteland...actually a cold wind is usually blowing through Frysteland, considering its climate and all. ANYWAY! We've got big, BIG plans for this upcoming release, and as I mentioned last week, this release is so big we'll need 2 weeks to build it. That means, unfortunately, no release Friday, but next week will be incredible!
Blood Hawk Battlegear Bundle
In the year since Alydriah was expelled form Frysteland by the Endless, the Krampus people have slowly begun to recover. In addition to the human toll Alydriah's cruelty took on the harsh Northern land, many indigenous species were devastated or wiped out by constant battling. One such species is the rare Blood Hawk. These creatures were used for centuries by the Krampus people for hunting and taming yetis. Thought extinct, they have returned in force to once again aid the Krampus people in keeping the cuddly but ferocious creatures in line.
Now you will have the opportunity to own the Blood Hawk and the Spectral Hawk (energy variant) along with a host of avian armaments!
The Blood Hawk Battlegear Bundle will be available for a limited time. With this package you will receive:
We realize that the last package offered was not that long ago so we're offering the package items in-game as well. It's definitely a better value to get them all together in the bundle, of course, but if you've got a pile of Varium burning a hole in your pocket...you should probably seek medical attention immediately.
If those weapons weren't enough to intrigue you, we have some special surprises in store. Stay tuned for more details!
You're Epic, But Are You...LEGENDARY?
Next week, we're raising the level cap to...*drumroll* 40! Rabblefroth is hard at work smoothing the experience curve to make earning levels slightly less painful. But what happens after you reach 40 and max out all your gear? What then? Ponder the great mysteries of the universe? NO! 40 is just the beginning of a much longer journey as an EpicDuel Legend!
After a player becomes Legendary, you will continue to earn experience as Legendary experience. Your level will not increase, but you will instead earn Legendary Ranks! Each rank earned will unlock a Legendary point that can be placed in a broad array of stats. These stats will be more specialized than Dexterity or Technology which influence a range of battle attributes. We haven't finalized the list, but we will build as many as we can by next week. The beauty is we can always add more later, unlike the current, more rigid stat list.
Legendary players will be defined by a uniquely colored name, an icon in their interface, and several other minor aesthetic changes. We'll have more details as the systems are finalized and polished.
Achievement Overhaul Continued
Work on the Achievement Overhaul continues as we wrap up a few features we didn't get to last week, in addition to fixing some minor bugs.
You will also have the option to switch view modes. If you don't like the new, larger style, you can always switch back to a more classically styled view to see more achievements at once.
Titan is also working on a new overall progress bar to see how many Achievements you have total. How close are you to earning them all? If you're close, we're about to make getting them all a bit more difficult with the next feature.
AE Arcade Bonanza!
We're going all-out with the Arcade next week, offering several new games based on other AE games. Collect weapons, house items, and other intriguing baubles from MechQuest, HeroSmash, AdventureQuest, AdventureQuest Worlds, and MORE! Each of these new games offers a new achievement and a new leaderboard to dominate!
To make it easier to acquire Arcade Tokens, we'll be softening the requirements for the daily missions. If you didn't already know, it's possible to earn Tokens from completing daily mission chains. Some can be a bit on the grindy side so we'll try to make it a more pleasurable experience to complete them.
Party Like They Do in Asgard
As if everything else mentioned above weren't enough...ED Artist Revontheus is crafting some slick Asgardian styles to spice up this release. What does Asgard have to do with Frysteland? Well, they're basically space vikings and vikings lived in cold climates sooooo...yeah.
December 05, 2013
Welcome back, Duelists! We hope you had a happy and safe Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, or last Thursday of November! Did you complete the Black Abyss Saga? If not, there's still time, but some big changes are coming this Friday to EpicDuel!
The central feature of this latest release is a complete overhaul of the Achievement system. Over time, EpicDuel has released over 300 achievements in multiple categories. Some are seasonal, some are rare, some can only be earned once while other accumulate. We will be consolidating them all into one interface, divided into categories:
From this interface, you will also be able to track your progress in collecting all of the available achievements. To make this feature easier to access, we've readded the Achievement button to the main HUD. Also, you can purchase Badge-style achievements from the main Achievement interface now, instead of seeking out a VendBot.
Winter Rares Return
Visit Hank and Valestra in Frysteland to browse a robust selection of returning seasonal rares!
These items will only be around for a limited time, so get them while you can!
Speaking of rares, a lot of current seasonal rares will be leaving this Friday, including all the Harvest and Nightwraith seasonal rares. Rabblefroth's Thanksgiving rares will remain a bit longer, but all the Harvest and Nightwraith missions will also be leaving until next year!
This Friday we will also be pushing out a balance update to address energy stealing skills like Static Smash and Static Grenade. Energy stealing skills will be capped to the target’s current energy, thus obeying the laws of thermodynamics.
As I type this, Charfade is busily concepting new armors, vehicles, weapons, and bots for the upcoming winter release. It's going to be a super-sized mega release so we'll need two weeks to complete it!
Stay tuned for further updates!
Royal Wedding Royale
What happens in a video game creators wedding, stays in... nope. It goes right onto YouTube. This actually happened. Inspired byAdventureQuest Worlds weddings, the groomsmen wore Knight armor over their suits and you will not believe what happens next. The only thing this wedding is missing is you... and we are going to fix that! Join us at sundown on Friday the 13th for a very special AQWorlds in-game wedding event!
If you find it worthy, please like and share this video.
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 14, 2013
Big Balance Bonanza
Prepare for one of the most comprehensive balance updates EpicDuel has ever seen! Every class will be affected as we focus on making battle more interesting, strategic, and fair. We understand that these changes can be rough, especially as everyone struggles to find new builds and strategies, but know that we're trying our best to keep all the classes fun, interesting, and competative.
Balance is not my specialty, so I'll defer to our resident Numeromancer Rabblefroth. If you wish to comment about the changes or following the specific nuances of the changes, you can follow this thread in the AE forums! The following is a quote from Rabblefroth in the thread's first post.
Black Friday Preview
A dark force is awakening in Delta V. Elon Musk may have stopped the Chairman's Ebilcorp factory from destroying the planet, but he couldn't stop the evil Chairman from disturbing something that was better left forgotten.
Something is returning. Something that has slept for thousands of years. Something that is very hungry. Stay tuned for more updates on this new threat!
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 31, 2013
Musk Mania Continues
You've done it! The forces of Ebil have been vanquished from Delta V with the help of Elon Musk. This week, enjoy even more spoils of war with new weapons, new home items, balance improvements, new missions, and a new arcade game!
Musk and Ebil Gear!
Try your luck at the new Musk Mania arcade game for Musk-tech and Ebil-tech loot not available anywhere else in-game!
Can you win the grand prize?
Visit Musk to embark on an epic hunt spanning all of Delta V! Musk is preparing something special for you if you can complete all of his scavenger hunt missions and retrieve all the weird, wild pumpkins from the far corners of the planet!
Be vigilant! Some pumpkins will be harder to find than others!
Some of those pumpkins mentioned above, as well as several new Musk and Ebilcorp-themed items will be available as home items for your decorating pleasure!
Not so intimidating now, are you, Chairman?
Another change coming to this Friday's release is a balance update that will specifically address cores. For many builds, it is more useful to use a series of cores than to invest in particular skills and stats. For this reason, we are adding energy costs to many cores. This change will require you to think strategically about reserving enough energy to use all of your cores and necessary skills, adding variety and tactical choice to battle.
This is not the last balance change we have in mind, but because it is quite a big change, we could not fit in any other adjustments this week. Look for more farther reaching changes in the coming weeks.
Next week, to refresh the Varium store, we are clearing out the following Varium packages:
Exile package Legion Package Dread Package
If you have not already picked up one of these exclusive and powerful packages, now is the time to do so. Next week, they will no longer be available in the Varium store or in-game. Also, the items featured in the packages will be available for resale if you need the extra loot.
Again, this change is not happening until NEXT WEEK so you still have another week to pick them up before they're gone! We wanted to announce this a week in advance so it didn't take anyone by surprise!
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!
August 08, 2013
Fire Ze Missiles!
EpicDuel is finally rolling out the heavy artillery for the Dread War. Capture and upgrade turrets to fire upon opposition War Objectives within the various regions of Delta V. Turrets can be upgraded by filling the control bar. The more heavily an alignment dominates a turret, the further it will upgrade.
To fire a turret, simply click on it as you would an NPC. You can then select an option to fire the turret, select your target, then fire. The turret will fire in real time and those on the target screen will see the impact! Remember, you can only fire turrets that your alignment controls so it is imperative to capture and hold turrets to maintain a tactical advantage in any region in which they are present.
Soon we will be celebrating the birthday of everyone's favorite Delta V demi-god: Titan. This mighty being uses technology so advanced, it is indistinguishable from magic. Some believe he created Delta V through sheer force of will. These people are quickly dismissed as fanatics, but there is no denying his awesome power.
Visit Titan in his Frysteland lair to collect new mutating weapons and a mighty new sword: Titan's Triumph. These will be limited in quantity so you had better be quick!
Hmmmm...seems a bit sketchy.
Also returning will be Titan's Burger Bike!
The image speaks for itself.
We are adding additional Active Cores to the roster of Charge Cores. Each use in battle will deplete a Core charge. We're hoping to have enough time to implement some completely new Charge Cores for your battling enjoyment. Could they be Titan-themed? Perhaps...
One of the oldest and most prolific NPCs in EpicDuel is the humble VendBot. These little guys have seen the evolution of EpicDuel from the earliest Alpha days to the modern Omega phase. In that time, they've traded their inventories of obsolete boosters to Cores. Their old technology can barely contain the demand so they've been refitted for extra capacity to provide you with the latest and greatest hardware upgrades, serving as a one-stop core shop.
Someone's been working out!
Miss the old design? Don't worry, the original will still be around in a few remote places of Delta V.
July 17, 2013
Prepare for Dread Domination!
Are you ready?
After weeks of fighting in the Dread Plains, plans for a powerful new weapon have been captured by both sides of the War. Now, Legion and Exile forces are prepared to unleash their power upon Delta V in the form of the Dread Domination Varium Package!
This package includes 4 unique weapons and is not available in game!
We've equipped the Dread Desolators (auxiliaries) with technology of unknown origin in the form of the Improbability Gate Core. This exclusive core uses technology derived from an undisclosed research facility in the Dread Plains to open holes in the fabric of the universe. These tears in reality have been weaponized to allow players to summon creatures and objects from other worlds to come to their aid and help vanquish their foes! Be warned, however, this technology is quite unstable: you never know what will come through!
War Objective Leaderboards
Can you rule them all?
New leaderboards on each War Objective will display the top Influence contributors in addition to showing your own contribution. With 34 War Objectives to dominate, you have 34 chances to get your name and face out there, showing Legion and Exile forces that you’re a force to be reckoned with and that either alignment should feel honored to hold your favor. Can you dominate them all? We think it’s impossible, but we also know never to underestimate a dedicated EpicDuel player with unlimited access to energy drinks!
Where do your loyalties really lie?
This week we are introducing the heavily requested feature of alignment switching. Our primary concern with this change is that it could irrevocably tip the balance of the alignments, as players with weak loyalties rush to whichever alignment has the upper hand.
To ensure that alignment switching is treated with the gravity it deserves, we are limiting the feature to Varium only. Players will only be able to switch alignments once per month. Players currently in a Faction will need to first leave the Faction in order to switch. There is still no way for Factions to switch alignments with disbanding and recreating themselves.
Inevitably, when new features are released, new bugs will pop up, sometimes in old features. We try to make each release as bug free and polished as possible within a week of development time, but often bugs slip by. This update will fix several issues that have arisen since the last update (for specifics check out Rabble’s patch notes leading up to the release). To track down and fix bugs as quickly as possible, we need your help. Posting bugs on Twitter, while appreciated, isn’t always helpful since reports quickly get lost in our feeds. The best way to help us fight bugs is to post them to the official EpicDuel Bugs Forum.
Please be as descriptive as possible when reporting bugs, explaining exactly what you were doing when the bug occurred. Giving us those details helps us to reproduce bugs more easily. A reproducible bug is usually an easily fixable bug. Thank you in advance for your cooperation.
July 11, 2013
A New Level of Warfare
Another week has passed in the Dread War as both alignments continually clash across Delta V. Every day, War Objectives change hands and entire regions fall as the war rages on. This week, we are expanding upon the existing War features while introducing some new ones.
Collect them all!
New Regional Weapons
This week, we will be introducing 6 new regional weapons. You can find them at the Dread Plains Control Array, Fortune City Battle Arena, and the Archive AI in the Biodome.
Dread Destroyers - Control Array
Fortune City Slayers - Battle Arena
Bio Busters - Archives AI
Some may be confused about how to acquire these devastating new weapons. Allow me to clarify: in order to unlock these regional weapons, your alignment must control a key War Objective in a region. For example, to unlock the Barrens Busters, your alignment must control the Bazaar in the Barrens Outpost region. This unlocks a supply of 5 of each weapon, BUT they will restock periodically. Holding the key War Objectives longer allows as many of your fellow soldiers to have a chance at the weapons as possible.
Barrens Busters - Bazaar Command Hub
Trainyard Terrors - Train Command Hub
Overlord Overkills - Overlord AI
Wasteland Wardens - Minetower Suite Door
Nautical Nightmares - Naval Yard Shack
Last week we introduced limited-time influence buffs. By equipping these cores onto a weapon, the owner would be granted an influence buff for a certain number of victories. Currently, if a limited-charge core is exchanged/removed, it is destroyed, even if it has a remaining balance of charges left. In the future, we would like Cores to behave more like regular items that can be equipped and unequipped to items. However, this requires a greater discussion of intense interface and programming changes so it will need to wait for a later update.
Last week, we finally "opened" the War Chests to all those who already owned them to reveal 8 regional influence buffs. Unfortunately, those who purchased War Chests after the release found their locks still intact. This week we will be fixing that by unlocking all the remaining War Chests. However, the War Chests will no longer be available with the Legion or Exile promotional packages once we go live. All of the marketing materials will be updated to reflect this change.
Last Chance for War Chests!
Have you collected all the regional War achievements yet? Really? Impressive. Now, can you level each achievement all the way to the max? It won't be easy, but each level earned represents a new tier of mastery and truly epic bragging rights.
Since we're adding so many new achievements, we thought it would be helpful to give you a way to easily track your progress through the war. Through the map screen, you will be able to easily see your battle contributions for each region and how close you are to reaching the next tier! (Sorry, but we had to cut this feature due to time. It will be coming next week though!)
Additionally, you can now determine at a glance which War Objectives are on the verge of switching alignments and need your immediate attention for defense or offense. Also, each War Objective will now show your personal Influence contribution! Can you dominate them all?
Claim the Battlefield
With the update on Friday, the controlling alignment will be able to alter the appearance of many of the War Objective screens. Drape war banners over the Battle Arena, flood the Minetower with Legion guards, or move your troops to secure the Control Array. Now, when you capture a region, everyone will know it!
Under new Management.
These changes will persist in the battle backgrounds, allowing you to duel while your Faction's banner flies high in the background!
Wow! That's quite a few additions for a regularly scheduled release. Stay tuned for more updates!
July 03, 2013
Those of you who played over the weekend may have noticed some wonkiness on the Control bars for each War Objective. This bug tipped the balance overwhelmingly in favor of the Legion. Obviously, this was not intentional and Titan spent all day Sunday repairing this bug. Unfortunately, since the scores for irreparably skewed, they all had to be reset. We apologize for any inconvenience this caused.
Independence Day Rares Return
This Friday, you can celebrate freedom with the returning Independence Day rares. You can find them equipped to Naomi in Central Station. Also, the Independence Day achievement will also be available at all the VendBot Achievement shops throughout Delta V.
Thanks to some help from Trizzzcentrino, we've managed 2 new seasonal rare bikes (to be found on Naomi)! Flavoured in Legion or Exile designs, you can show alignment pride while tearing up the battlefield. These are also the first bikes to attempt a new chrome color that's not color custom (the shiny, silvery bits on the bikes). I think it creates a neat effect that's lost on most color custom parts, but we'll see how you like it.
New War Objectives
To flesh out some of the less populous regions of Delta V, we have added 7 new War Objectives! You can find the in the West Naval Yard, the Barrens Outpost, and Central Station. Can you help capture them all and dominate Delta V?
Regional War Shops
By controlling key points in each region (i.e. the Battle Arena in Fortune City, the Overlord AI in the Overlord Facility, etc...), Alignments can unlock War Shops. Since supplies are scarce during wartime, these shops only supply limited quantities of items. To allow as many players to collect these items as possible, alignments are encouraged to hold regions for as long as possible since the War Shops will restock automatically over time. These War Shops will offer distinct advantages to those who control them in the form of War Cores. These Cores come either attached to a weapon or separately.
With this release, we will be introducing new core technology: consumable cores! By equipping them to a primary weapon, these cores will confer a regional Influence bonus that will last a certain amount of battles. After the core expires, a new one will need to be purchased. We have coded them to only count victories as a “use”.
War Chests Revealed
Now it can be revealed! Each Legion and Exile War chest contains regional War Cores! That means eight free cores (one for each active region)! Players with War Chests will start out with an automatic advantage in the War with the flexibility to gain a bonus in whichever region they choose. Since this bonus is alignment neutral, players who purchased the Legion pack, but decided to fight for the Exiles (and vice versa) will not be penalized.
For those who have been following EpicDuel since before Omega, you are probably aware that Consumables like Health Packs and Boosters no longer serve a purpose in battle. Rather than try to wedge consumables back into the game, we have decided to move toward consumable cores and, as of this release, we will be removing all consumables from the game. All players with consumables in their inventories will receive the appropriate amount of resale currency for the items removed.
Going forward, it will be possible for us to recreate Boosters, Grenades and Bombs as cores, which ultimately has more flexibility and does require the database to store excessive items entries for each player. Initially, we thought we could simply recode all the consumables back into the game, but the game has changed dramatically both code-wise and balance-wise since Omega launched so we determined that this would be the best decision for the overall health of the game.
December 06, 2012
Now it can be told: the official release date for Omega is
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:
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.
Additionally, we will be providing compensation for those that have enhanced weapons in the current system. We’ll provide more specifics soon.
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!
OR if physical damage is more your thing, you may select the 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!
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 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?
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!
WHY NO UPDATE?!
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!
November 29, 2012
Top-Secret Details Revealed!
Some of you may have seen on Twitter that BIG changes are coming to items. We wanted to take the time to explain some of these changes as we get ready for Omega. Today, we'll be talking about gear requirements and stats.
SO LONG, DELTA!
Before we dig into the meat of this post, I will tell you that as soon as Omega launches, the Delta Knight armor, Platinum's Pride armor, the Dragonoid Saga gear, and all the Harvest gear will be leaving the in-game shops and Varium store. Delta Knight we go ultra rare, never to return again, while the Dragon Buster II and Platinum's Pride will be going perma-rare. We're not yet comfortable posting an official date, but it WILL happen sometime in December before Christmas. If you've been holding off on picking up any of this superb gear, what are you waiting for? Grab it before it's GONE!
One major change we want to bring to the game is greater freedom of choice in gear. Currently your choices are severely limited by the level and stat requirements on gear. If your level is too low, you simply can't equip the item. If your level is too high, the item isn't useful enough. If the item has odd stat requirements, you either can't use it or you have to alter your build to equip it.
In Omega, these requirements are going away entirely. You can buy and equip any item at any level, and there will be no stat requirements to prevent you from equipping anything. The only requirements that will remain are gender and class for class-specific items.
One other limitation to picking your gear is the built-in nature of stats on your items. If you like a staff or gun, but the stats are bad for your build, then that weapon is no good to you. In Omega, you may now arrange your stats how YOU want on all of your items.
To maintain balance, you will not be able to put all of the item's points into one stat, but otherwise you can customize it as you wish. Similarly, you will be able to choose the allocation of Defense and Resistance on any armor.
(Please note that the above graphic is still in the testing phase and not finalized. It's simply meant to illustrate this exciting new upgrade feature!)
Another major change coming to items in Omega is the ability to upgrade any item. As you level up, you will gain the ability to put more stats, damage, and defense/resistance onto your items, up to their maximum potential for your level. This effectively means that any item can be used at any level and will not be stronger or weaker than any other item at that level.
Let me repeat that. You'll be able to upgrade any item to your current level and it will be useful in battle. Founder Armor, Beta Gear, last year's Autumn items, that weapon you loved using at level 6 -- all of these will be viable at your level.
And just to be perfectly clear, these features will be available with or without Varium. Upgrading your gear and rearranging your gear's stats will have both Credit and Varium options available.
That covers everything we want to share today, but we have more still to talk about in the coming weeks before Omega's launch. Maybe next time we'll discuss our plans for enhancements.....Stay tuned! Feel free to discuss everything in the forums.
Here's a quick look at some of the projects the art team is working on for the Omega release!
Stay tuned for further updates as development on Omega progresses!
November 20, 2012
Reason to Be Thankful
So you roughed up Rabblefroth pretty good last week, eh? Apparently, you knocked his massive backpack over and forced him to unload a bounty of new harvest-themed seasonal rares!
Since we were strapped for time, we asked the kind artists at AQW to lend a hand and we received enough assets to create a veritable cornucopia of new weapons! We tried to add enough EpicDuel flavoring to make them appear uniquely dangerous, while retaining that festive holiday feel that AQW artists do so well.
Visit Rabblefroth in the Wasteland to inspect his holiday wares before the Harvest ends and the cold winds of the North descend upon the citizens of Delta V.
Are You Yeti?
That's right! The cuddly-but-deadly creatures from Frysteland are alive and well and will be returning to EpicDuel this December. There's no better way to rub this oversight in Alydriah's face than by wearing it on a slick navy blue t-shirt.
*Shirt logo colors are not finalized. We are still working with the printers to get the best possible quality.
Note: Today's update is not Omega. This section of the DNs is a preview of our current progress on Omega.
As part of the Omega release, we will be returning to the frozen tundra of Frysteland to check in on Alydriah and her latest plans for the region. Check out some of the awesome concept art Charfade has been working on as we prepare to revisit this arctic wonderland.
I've seen a lot of questions on the Tweetbooks and Facespace about the purpose of these class designs, and I will clarify right now that they are not new classes, but revamped versions of the base classes (Hunters, Mercenaries, and Mages). This is to create a better experience for new players and make the game feel fresh again for veterans.
Balancing 6 classes is no simple task, and we would rather tighten that balance than add 3 new classes. Plus, we feel it would be much more interesting to increase the diversity of play styles for all the existing classes so a Tech Mage plays completely differently from a Bounty Hunter and so forth. One way we hope to achieve this is by eliminating or modifying overlapping skills. We hope to make several changes in the Omega update that will make this diversification easier to implement and balance which we will elaborate upon as more details are finalized.
That's all from me for now. Happy dueling and Happy Harvest! Be sure to take time and reflect upon all that your are thankful for and cherish those close to you!
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!
September 25, 2012
This week, after surviving a Dragonoid attack, Delta V will be invaded by another threat. However, rather than being motivated an instinctive desire to destroy, this evil is motivated by money and power. This evil is...
Chairman Platinum of EbilCorp is leading an army of corporate ninjas and mercenaries to Fortune City to claim the entire planet in the name of his corrupt enterprise. The Chairman is confident, but he's no fool -- he knows that he'll need to offer something good to win over the battle-hardened populace.
Chairman Platinum believes you must dress for success, whether it's in business or intergalactic domination. For that reason, EbilCorp scientists have created a specially-designed power suit, engineered to withstand superhuman amounts of punishment, and has the ability to mutate along with its wearer's class. It also allows the wearer to unleash a devastating special attack.
Chairman's Fury is a one-time use, selectable skill that can be used at any time in battle to unleash a powerful unblockable uppercut attack that steals 25% of your opponent's rage for yourself. It can be used once per battle.
This item will be available as a 5-Key Varium package as soon as we release on Wednesday September 26th. A level 25 version will also be available as a 3-Key package. Both will be available in-game.
Just when you thought EpicDuel couldn't fit any more evil...
A wild Dage appears! That's right, Dage the Evil has taken up residence on Delta V and he will come offering new LQS items of his own twisted creation. This new color custom bike, Dage's Blood Rider, is just a taste of the twisted treastures Dage is bringing to EpicDuel!
Find Dage in the Minetower to access his shop of limited quantity items! He's packing some serious heat with the Skull Boomstick and Haunted Boomstick, two shotguns with the amazing Spreadfire ability which allows you to attack 2 targets at once! Grab these items before they're gone!
Bye-Bye Infernal Weapons
Due to the addition of Platinum's Pride promotional armor, we will be removing the Infernal Interdictor and Pyro Fly packages from the Varium shop and all the other Infernal and Mechachillid items from the in-game merchants. The Infernal Interdictor and the Pyro Fly will also be sellable. The key exceptions are the Infernal Android and the Mecha Cruiser, which are permanent items.
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
July 25, 2012
Three Doors Down
Go Legion, Go!
Congratulations to Administrator 7 and the Legion, who have prevailed to open the third Vault Door, and have exclusive access to the Vault Breaker III achievement along with the Magma Grenade. But, as they say, it ain’t over ‘til it’s over, and there’s still plenty of fight left to be had! The resourceful Exiles have shown that they are capable of great things when rallied behind a common cause. Could the Lawman be the charismatic, unifying leader they've been waiting for?
The Final Vault Door
With the fall of the third Vault door, players will be fighting the fourth and Final Vault Door, the true entrance into the Delta Vault. You may have thought that the first three were a challenge, but this one is the real deal.
This is for all the marbles (I lied, there are no marbles): the alignment that manages to power through this behemoth will be declared the winner, and determine the final outcome!
What’s contained deep within the Delta Vaults? To find out, you’ll have to attack the door with all you’ve got. Grenades will continue to drop, and the new War mission chains (going in for real this time, and available from your alignment lieutenant: Ulysses for the Exiles and Valestra for the Legion) will go a way towards blasting down that door.
In addition, we’ll be introducing a limited-quantity grenade for both alignments: the Om Nom Bomb! This rare grenade summons mechachillids to gnaw on the Vault door itself, then go boom! These grenades will only be available from the Heavy Mechachillid outside the final door at will not be available through war drops!
***To ensure that as many different players get to use the Om Nom Bomb as possible we will only be allowing players to purchase one bomb at a time. You can purchase more after using the item, but you can only have one in your inventory at a time!
We'll also be adding new credit-only Mechachillid-based weapons for both Legion and Exile forces! These weapons will not have any special skills, but will allow a wider range of players to own rare Infernal War weapons!
With all the new grenades and grenade drops, please keep in mind that there will not be another Vault. Remaining grenades in your inventory after the war can be sold back to clear them out of your inventory, but there is absolutely no incentive to stockpile them. Grenades are happiest when thrown. Make your grenades happy and huck them at that blasted Vault!
I’ve been getting a lot of reports lately from players who have been scammed, many of whom gave their information to individuals on Facebook who claimed to be ArtixEntertainment staff. This is especially disheartening in light of the Account Safety Awareness contest. But, just a few reminders:
ArtixEntertainment staff will NEVER ask for your password or other personal information. If someone claiming to be me or another staff member asks for your personal info, please report them.
We will NOT conduct moderator searches via Facebook. When we are calling for moderators, we will announce in the games’ design notes. Probably the worst way to go about becoming a moderator is to contact one of us and say “Can I be mod?”; the best way is to make yourself stand out by being polite, constructive, and helpful. Also, players under the age of majority (that’s 18 in the US) will not be considered for moderator positions.
You can contact us for more information about staff positions, but if you are looking for a position as development staff, be prepared to send a resume/CV, cover letter, and portfolio of relevant work (ie. programs you’ve written, examples of your art or animation, or a writing sample). Demanding a job saying “I should be staff because I have good ideas so hire me now” does not count as a cover letter.
Anyone offering you a job at ArtixEntertainment in exchange for your personal information is trying to scam you.
Thank you, and stay safe!
And Now For Something Completely Different...
This fact portion is not about insects. Earlier I tweeted about something that made me inconsolably sad: squirrels do not remember their friends following hibernation. That statement comes from a 2010 study by Jill Mateo (“Self-referent phenotype matching and long-term maintenance of kin recognition”. Animal Behaviour. 80: 929-935) which was conducted on Belding’s ground squirrels (Urocitellus beldingi). These ground squirrels, native to the Western United States are extremely nepotistic and are considered a model system for studying kin recognition.
In this study, baby squirrels were separated from their litter and raised by foster mothers in groups that were not biologically related. Following hibernation, squirrels were able to recognize their siblings, but not their foster brothers and sisters, suggesting that they are comparing the scent of newly-encountered squirrels to their own scent. They appeared to retain no memories of their fostermates following hibernation.
This actually contradicts data from social insects, such as ants or wasps, who maintain long-term memory of nestmates following overwintering. So, the question is: would mechachillids aroused from hibernation remember you?
Tags: Cinderella Cinderella marbles marbles War War Infernal Infiltration Infernal Infiltration Bugs Bugs Grenades Grenades Weapons Weapons Mechachillids Mechachillids marbles marbles War War Infernal Infiltration Infernal Infiltration Bugs Bugs Grenades Grenades Weapons Weapons Mechachillids Mechachillids
June 08, 2012
Infernal Weapons Explained
Loyalty is the Key
As we improve the War system, we will be introducing new and exciting features to differentiate the alignments without disrupting game balance. One of these features is a Legion and Exile shop to reward alignment loyalty which can be accessed with a special key. Our new volunteer artist Disturbed has created a grand cache of Infernal weapons to reward the loyalty of Legion and Exile players.
But how do you acquire these weapons? You will need to turn in FOUR Blueprint scraps to either Silas or The Lawman. Because there are now tons of mission in the game, I have located this handy-dandy list of missions that reward Blueprint Scraps!
Refined - Slayer
Dance, Puppets! Dance! - Alydriod
Toxic Love - Lepus
Impious Convictions - The Lawman
God Prefers a Heretic - Silas Auer
After you have gathered FOUR Blueprint scraps (they will be sellable later if you have too many for whatever reason), please report to either the Lawman or Silas for the mission "The Bigger Picture". Completeing either mission will reward either an Exile Locker Key (Lawman) or Legion Locker Key (Silas). This item will unlock a shop contained on either NPC offering exclusive alignment specific items.
Remember, once you have completed the mission and turned in the scraps for a key, you CANNOT access the opposite alignment's shop. We plan to update these shops as the war progresses.
Because this system is new and we want everyone to be aware of how it works and where to get Blueprint scraps, we are delaying the release of these weapons until next week. We also want to ensure that the servers are stable before introducing this new feature. We had some setbacks this week, but next week we'll hit the war even harder to make up for lost time!
We still plan to remove the Faction Cannons until they can be adjusted for the new Faction system, but their removal will be delayed until next week.
May 01, 2012
Keys, New Gear, and a Welcome to our newest Moderators
Hi there EpicDuelists! It’s your friendly Neighborhood Cinderella here with your weekly dose of design notes!
As we noted last week, and many of you have noticed, we now have a new system for building your own promo pack, where instead of a set promotional item, you get “keys” with which you can use to unlock weapons, extra credits, and other goodies.
To clarify some things: all keys must be used at one go, you cannot stock up keys. You can purchase multiple bonuses to use up your keys if you wish or use them all in one go. Players who purchased packages prior to this system will not be receiving more keys. The keys are simply a way to allow you to unlock more bonuses with higher tier Varium packs. You cannot purchase keys independently from the Varium packages.
If you need some help figuring out how to purchase promos using the new system, Practel has helpfully made this video guide to purchasing: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XXuVB_TQQZM
Our newest addition to the creative team, Disturbed, has been hard at work on some new weapons as a preview to our next war: the Infernal Infiltration War! Again, we are super-excited to have him around, and he’s going to start working on backgrounds and items for this saga.
I should have an outline turned in by the end of this week for the first part of the saga. As before, player action will have a profound effect on the outcome of the story and impact on the aftermath.
We’re proud to announce the selection of the new members of our moderation team!
In no particular order:
Elf Priest Jzaanu
Congrats all! If you see them running around with a green name, be nice to them- they’re new!
I also realize that at least one of our selections comes with quite a bit of controversy. Practel has been a tester and a personal friend of the development team up to and including Artix himself for quite a while. While he is not quite of age, AE has made exception for exceptional teens in the past, and we have confidence in Practel that he will live up to our expectations.
Artix & Sepulchure Toys
Cysero of AQW has already done a great job describing the new action figures, so Imma just rip it and post here. Riiiiiiiiiiiiiip :3
They are nearly here!
My sources (at least the reliable ones) tell me that they are on their way to the U.S. Toys R Us locations right now. They should arrive there a week or two before theyn reach us here and become availible on HeroMart.Com.
People often ask us why we can't get them to Toys R Us locations in other countries and that's mostly because there are different branches of the company and our relationship is so far only with the American branch of the company.
If our stuff keeps selling well in the American branch then we might be invited to start up a relationship with various other branches of Toys R Us... but that's really up to you guys.
Toys R Us gets to set their own price and we want the HeroMart price to be competative with the Toys R Us price so we have to wait and see what they set their prices at before we can set ours. If we decided early and went too high with the HJeroMart price, then we would be shooting ourselves in the foot and losing sales to Toys R Us. If we go to low, then we undercut Toys R Us and they might decide to cut ties with us which kills any future deals we might make with ANY branch.
SO... soon they will get theirs, we will find out what the decide for the price and then we will be able to tell you the HeroMart price whicl will be very close to the store price.
For the special Limited Edition BLACK version of the toys, I'm pretty sure that the price will be $50. It comes with the same in-game items as the normal versions but we made a LOT less of these and you will ONLY be able to get them from HeroMart. These are for hardcore collectors ONLY (or maybe people who want to resell them on E-bay for double price when they sell our and go rare).
More news on that as it arrises.
LiveStream Event with Dage the Evil
As you know, AQW has been inviting their artists to take part in live stream events in the game. The 5th and final artist participating in this particular event is Dage the Evil. I know many of our players are huge fans of Dage, so head on over to AQW around 4 PM EST/Server time.
I was in the field a couple weeks ago and I had the opportunity to get up-close and personal with a web full of Eastern Tent caterpillars (Malacosoma americanum)- probably first instar. The tent was at eye level so I could see the caterpillars clearly. This species forms nests in woody roses including cherry, apple, and black cherry. The caterpillars are capable of consuming the cyanide compounds in these plants, but instead of sequestering the compounds in the hemolymph or fat, or metabolizing them, they keep the cyanide in the gut and vomit on would-be predators.
Of lepidopteran social behaviors, those of the Eastern Tent Caterpillars are among the most complex. Eggs are laid by the adults in spring or early summer, and the clutch contains 200-300 eggs. Upon hatching, the caterpillars construct a silk tent where they live communally, venturing outside the tend only to feed. They use vibratory and chemical signals to communicate with their siblings, and thrash as a group when the tent is attacked by a predator.
They emerge as cute little fuzzy pink or brown moths.
Infernal Infiltration Preview Continued
This is another excerpt from the backstory for the upcoming war. Interstellar Marshalls John St. Alban and Silas Auer are investigating suspicious happenings on Delta V during their war for sovereignty. The two are separated, with Silas being guided by a Shadow Guard Commander, and Alydriah’s right-hand woman, Valestra Hitchens. Known throughout the galaxy as the “Angel of Death”, Valestra is an expert at hand-to-hand and ranged combat, a skilled sniper, and an accomplished poisoner.
They ventured into Fortune City's tenth district. A center for research and innovation, the district was marked by a large hospital, which Valestra explained is where she had learned pharmacology.
"There's someone I want you to meet. He isn't the administrator, but I think you'll like him."
Valestra led Silas to a back office in the basement where a lanky man wearing navy blue was working with his back turned.
The man turned. He was a man of about 30; tall and long all over, with a visage that seemed to be stuck in a perpetual wonder. His face was thin and wide gray eyes hid behind tinted goggles. A shock of unkempt dishwater blond hair perched awkwardly upon his head.
“Valestra! And is this a boyfriend?”
Valestra laughed. “Aww, Ulysses. You know I’m waiting for you.” She turned to Silas. “Ulysses is a Master Craftsman, brilliant engineer...”
“And a lover of beauty.” Ulysses extended a gloved hand to Valestra, took her hand, and kissed it. “If you’re not Val’s boyfriend...”
“He’s one of the Marshalls. Making sure we’re playing nice.”
“Oh! Well, Marshall, let me show you my latest project... I’m sorry what did you say your name was?”
“I didn’t. It’s Auer. Silas Auer.”
“Auer. Like gold. Splendid!” He picked up a golden object. It was oblong and was carved with strange markings. “Do you know what this is?”
“No. What is it?”
“I have no idea!” He smiled broadly.
“Your project...” Valestra interjected.
“Yes, of course. Pygmalion. That’s the name I gave my creation. It’s a method for extracting the central nervous system of a sick or dying creature and placing it in this ingenious metal suit! So far I’ve only tried it on rabbits and squidlings, but it could revolutionize medicine as we know it!”
As he said this, Ulysses produced a cage containing a little robotic bunny. The cyborg rabbit sadly chewed upon a corncob, and looked despondent and confused.
“He looks sad.” Silas blurted.
“The alternative was dying from his injuries. This little guy was run over by a ground vehicle,” he said defensively, replacing the rabbit cage. “Lovely to see you, Valestra, but I’m sure I don’t want to waste any more of the Marshall’s time.” Valestra and Silas turned to leave when Silas heard his communicator beep. He read the text message- “Do not trust Alydriah. There’s more than she’s telling you. Find the Delta Vault.”
“What was that?” asked Valestra.
“Spam. Apparently, there are Fortune City singles who wish to speak with me.” He closed the communicator and smiled rakishly at Valestra, "Intriguing."
She laughed. “Your wife must be jealous.”
“You looked at my background. You know I’m unmarried.”
Valestra smiled to herself. “Come on, there’s more to see, cowboy.”
March 07, 2012
Bio Gear Green
We need to lighten up the mood a little bit around here- after the tragic loss of Administrator 12 at the radioactive hands of Alydriah's lackey, I think we all need a little rest.
This week is going to be focused on the new gear as well as give us a chance to prepare for the next big story arc. In the weeks to come, expect more missions, features and unique NPCs as we explore Delta V's greenest zone.
With the Azrael pack going rare, we are introducing a new Spring Promotional Pack! This awesome assortment includes the Bionic Battlegear drawn by Nightwraith during his Livestream and the new bot: The BioBorg.
Bio Borg in action!
The Bionic Battlegear features a potent new skill: Thorn Assault. Each normal strike will offer the chance to unleash a flury of metal barbs against your foes!
The bot's special skill is a unique new buff called Thorns.
This potent buff reflects a large portion of damage dealt by a melee attack back at the attacker. This will make high damage dealers think twice before trying to deliver that knockout punch!
Along with being available for free with the largest Varium package as soon as our release goes live Friday, these promotional items will also be available in-game from your favorite squid-headed archival alien, Xraal in the BioDome!
The Celtic Weapons with the special ability Lucky Strike, which increases your chance to connect a strike by 7% will be returning this week. They are replacing the Heartbreaker weapons, so if you want to grab one of the Heartbreaker weapons now is your last chance to do so this year.
Lagomorph Lagomorph Lagomorph
The Biological Preserve is not only home to plants and Hazards, but also cute little fuzzy lagomorphs- the Bunnies! However, some of the bunnies have chewed through their protective caging and have escaped to other areas of Delta V. Are they just adorable or have some master plan?
Adorable. Going with adorable. =:3
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 25, 2012
This is the End, Beautiful Friend...
The end of the Frysteland saga, that is! As the War comes to a close, I want to congratulate each of you who participated and made the Frysteland war a success! Remember that your actions determined the outcome of the War for Frysteland, and influenced the storyline as a whole. I’ll be posting an addendum with the official announcement of the alignment winner, along with a description of the missions you’ll have to complete to discover how this arc concludes.
What's gonna happen to these little guys? You'll find out soon!!!
We’ll probably be revisiting these characters in a future arc, and I know some of you were interested in the mythology. Frysteland will remain open all year to visitors from all over Delta V, whether you're seeking conquest, information, or riches.
Since this marks the end of this particular story arc, we’ll be implementing the Aftermath missions, and making changes to the Frysteland screens to reflect the aftermath of the Frysteland conflict.
Also, all the seasonal rare frost weapons will be leaving for another year, possibly taken by the mysterious Titanfraggr for unknown reasons.
I would like to confirm that an individual cannot have both the Legion’s Bane achievement and the Krampus Slayer achievement. Players who switched alignment to earn both achievements will lose the second achievement earned. So, if you killed 100 Krampus for the Krampus Slayer achievement, then switched to Exile to kill 100 Yeti and get the Legion’s Bane achievement, you would only get to keep the Krampus Slayer achievement.
This situation showed us that we need to overhaul the war system for the next epic war event to encourage loyalty, and punish treason more severely.
Following the Frysteland arc, we will be starting with the next EpicDuel story arc. As Alydriah was distracted by the conflict in Frysteland, the Exiles in Old Fortune City seized this opportunity to plan a counterattack at the Heart of Alydriah’s operations. Not much more I can tell you right now, except that this arc won’t hold back- it’s the darkest thing I’ve written for EpicDuel so far; I hope you are prepared for it!
With this story arc, we’ll be implementing a NEW Promotional pack to replace the Frost Destroyers. This promo which will be going live Friday will include Azrael Borg and Azrael's Curse. The Azrael Borg is a robotic wasp does that physical damage, and has the special ability to sting your enemy with it's unblockable serrated tail and deliver a Heart Attack! Well, technically it's not a real heart attack, but it does drastically reduce the effectiveness of any applied buffs on your opponent. It also has a physical primary attack in which it uses it's razor-sharp heart blades to give your opponents more than a broken heart!
The second part of the promo is the awesome mutating weapon, Azrael's Curse! This potent physical weapon forged as a warped marriage of technology and magic carries the Mark of Azrael, which offers a +5% chance to crit!
The Heartbreaker weapons will also be returning, and you can buy them from Alydriah’s Heartbreaker Bot in her Fortune City Spire or from Exile Leader in Old Fortune City.
Balance Tweaks (Postponed Until Next Week)
We'll be making another small balance adjustment for this update. One that is confirmed is removing the effect of Support on Deflection to Technology. This should increase the usefulness of this stat while reducing the "Swiss Army Knife" status of the Support stat.