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EpicDuel PVP Game Design Notes

Behind the scenes information about EpicDuel's development and releases, a real-time PVP MMO that you can play online in your web browser.

June 14, 2024

Optimization Odyssey

EpicDuel Update Pending

Optimization Odyssey 

This week was a challenging one as a great deal of time was spent on optimizing the file that contains all the skill icons in the game. Every icon is stored in one FLA (the raw file format used by Flash) and compiled at runtime. The problem was that the file had become to large and would take 15 minutes or more to publish if it did at all. This can happen when FLAs become too large. This can sometimes be addressed by splitting the one massive file into several, but in this case, the only way forward was to make the file smaller by merging duplicate assets and removing unused ones. The end result was a file ten megabytes leaner (20% reduction) that could reliable publish! There was still more optimization work to be done, but it is good enough for the time being. This will not be the last time optimization work will be needed as EpicDuel is ancient by game standards -- that long lifespan means plenty of time for redundant assets to accumulate that bloat files and hinder development.

The rest of the time this week was spent making dozens of new weapons for release in the Legendary shops. I ended up making progress, but not nearly enough weapons for a substantial update so I'll continue work into next week to make sure all weapons are thoroughly polished and tested.

Since there will be no update this week, I've included some previews of content to expect for next week and the weeks to come.


Golden Regal Armory

For those who have been itching for something use their accumulated Credits on, we'll soon be introducing new weapons with to the Legendary Shops.

Gold Regal Armory

To make sure the update is substantial, we're also planning to include several balance changes with the next update!


New Battlepass Already?

The Eldritch Battlepass just launched last week, but Lodrian has been one and a half steps ahead of our schedule by delivering the next Battlepass: Nanotech Nightmare! Here's a small preview of the new gear that will be available with the next showcase! 

Nanotech Nightmare

If you just started leveling Eldritch Onslaught, don't worry! This will not release for a few weeks so you'll have plenty of time to complete the current Battlepass.

Tags: Nightwraith


June 07, 2024

Eldritch Onslaught Battlepass NOW LIVE

Eldritch Onslaught NOW LIVE

The Eldritch Onslaught Showcase Battlepass is NOW LIVE! Login now to earn the latest collection of Lovecraftian-themed weapons, armors, vehicles, morphs, bots, and more crafted with care by Acatriel and Bido!

Good luck and happy dueling to reach level 60 of EpicDuel's latest Battlepass season!

So you all know what you're getting into with the new bots available in this season, the skill descriptions are listed below:

  • Eldritch Proto Beast P
    • Eldritch Proto Beast Cyclone P: Spinning physical attack cutting through 15% of target's defenses.
    • Eldritch Proto Beast Rampage P: Brutal beatdown, reducing all stats by 25% for #DUR rounds.
  • Eldritch Proto Beast E
    • Eldritch Proto Beast Cyclone E: Spinning energy attack cutting through 15% of target's defenses.
    • Eldritch Proto Beast Rampage E: Brutal beatdown, reducing all stats by 25% for #DUR rounds.


Balance Changes

  • Frenzy: 4 --> 3 turn cooldown; flat 70 energy cost
  • Mineral Armor: +10% Support --> +20% highest stat
  • Toxic Grenade: Scales with Strength --> Support
  • Cleanse: Removed HP gain
  • Absorption: 40% --> 35% Conversion
  • Thrown Shot x25: 120 --> 135 Energy cost; 450 --> 400 HP Gain
  • Infernal Prism, Infernal Blessing, Infernal Offering: Unaffected by debuff removers
  • Captain's Charge: Removed HP threshold; removed lifesteal; added 2-turn warmup

Tags: Nightwraith


May 24, 2024

War Drop Update and New Battlepass Preview

Eldritch Onslaught Preview

This update covers some miscellaneous categories, mainly focusing on war drop balance with some additional information on the next Battlepass!


War Drops Rebalancing

Last week we introduced some substantial changes to war drop rates, including increased drop rates for super war drops. One major downside of this change is it tilted the incentive to bot heavily, especially in Juggernaut mode. To address this, the following changes have been made and will be in effect for the next War.

  • All modes now have a flat 60% base chance to receive a war drop without a War Commander core.
  • If you receive a war drop, there is a 20% chance that drop will be a super drop for all modes. 
  • War Commander no longer drops super items for any mode.

Drop rates are always difficulty to evaluate as sometimes an item drop might "feel" like it's dropping more or less than it should based on a limited data set. Generally, we'd prefer to be more generous than stingy so we're open to reevaluating the percentages when the next War is underway.


Cyber Wolf Collection Complete

With this update the final Cyber Wolf Collection items have been distributed. I'm sorry this obligation took so long to fulfill, but I wanted to make sure all the items were as high quality as we could make them.

Over 175,000 score

  • Cyber Dragon Morph 
  • Cyber Dragon Morph CC

Over 250,000 score

  • Nightbot 3000 Morph
  • Nightbot 3000 Morph

This collection was a collaboration between myself, Tomcat, Acatriel, and Charfade, with a bit of inspiration from Dage thrown in for good measure. I hope you all enjoy the rewards as much as we did crafting them!


Balance Changes

This small round of balance changes mainly address the new promo cores, but fortunately, they're mostly buffs! 

  • Infernal Prism: Description corrected to 3 turns instead of 2.
  • Infernal Blessing: 100 --> 125 HP per tick (including initial use)
  • Infernal Offering: 120 --> 150 energy per tick
  • Infernal Curse: 25% --> 15% effectiveness; reduces defense/resistance as well as base weapon damages
  • Terrify: Removed defense reduction effect.
  • Plasma Cannon: -40 base damage at all levels.


Bug Fixes

  • "You already own this item." message now works as intended.


Eldritch Onslaught Battlepass

Eldritch Onslaught Preview Graphic

The final item on this post is a preview for the upcoming Eldritch Onslaught Battlepass! This will replace the current Azrael-themed Battlepass soon so your time to collect the last few levels of rewards is running out!

Tags: Nightwraith


May 18, 2024

Infernal Guardian Gear Now Live!

Infernal Guardian Promo Now Live!

New Infernal Guardian Gear Promo Pack

For the first time in too long, we're introducing a new promotional package featuring new, exclusive armors, weapons, and cores! 

  • Armors
    • Infernal Guardian
    • Infernal Guardian CC
    • Infernal Guardian Knight
    • Infernal Guardian Knight CC
    • Infernal Refracting Guardian
  • Swords
    • Infernal Guardian Slayer P
    • Infernal Guardian Slayer E
    • Infernal Guardian Greatsword P
    • Infernal Guardian Greatsword E
  • Sidearms
    • Infernal Guardian Gun P
    • Infernal Guardian Gun E
  • Auxiliaries
    • Infernal Guardian Bow P
    • Infernal Guardian Bow E
  • Mutating Weapons
    • Infernal Guardian Arsenal P
    • Infernal Guardian Arsenal E
  • Cores
    • Infernal Prism (armor): The slow blade penetrates the shield. Reduces projectile dmg. 85% for 2 rounds.
    • Infernal Blessing (armor): Heal over time for 125 HP each round for 2 rounds, including the initial use.
    • Infernal Curse (primary): Reduce base Primary, Sidearm, Auxiliary dmg. and Defense/Resistance 15% for 2 rounds.
    • Infernal Offering (primary): Offer 80 HP for 150 MP each round for 2 rounds, including initial use.
  • Achievement
    • Infernal Guardian Crest: Award for supporters of ED who got the Infernal Guardian package.

For this latest promotional package, we're doing something experimental. We'll be offering a 10,000 AP and a 4,000 AP version of the package. The 10,000 AP version will include 15,000 Varium and addition spare cores. The 4,000 AP package will be gear-only and not offer Varium or spare cores. It will still include cores pre-equipped to the items. Both packages will award the Infernal Guardian Crest Achievement, but only the 10,000 AP package will reward the Epic Supporter Achievement. Please review the package descriptions carefully in the in-game Varium shop to avoid accidentally purchasing the wrong package.

New Infernal Guardian Styles

Styles 763-772 have been added to the Style Change shop!


Nightmare Azrael's Guardian Slayer Achievement

This achievement will be awarded to those who were able to defeat Nightmare Azrael's Guardian in the time since the boss was first introduced! Congratulations on finding a successful strategy for taking down this fearsome foe! This achievement will be awarded manually so please allow some time before you see the achievement appear on your account if you qualify for it.


Quality of Life Changes

  • War bar interface now enabled in homes.
  • Super war drop chance increased.
  • War drop capacity increased to 20 from 10.
  • Juggernaut and Sim buttons swapped places.
  • New items available at Vendbots:
    • Anti-1v1 Badge
    • Anti-2v2 Badge
    • Anti-Juggernaut Badge
    • Anti-Sim Badge
    • These items will allow you to disable the buttons for the corresponding battle modes. This solution has an advantage over a Settings toggle because, unlike Settings, your preference will not reset when you clear your cache. To re-enable the battle mode, simply sell the badge. NOTE: It's still possible to enter a Juggernaut match while queuing for 2v2 if you're of a certain level range even if you have the Anti-Juggernaut Badge.
  • The merchant shop interface will now warn you with red text that you already own an item you have highlighted. If the item is not restricted, you will still be able to purchase duplicates.

Tags: Nightwraith


May 03, 2024

EpicDuel May the 4th 2024

May the 4th Star Sabers 2024

May the 4th Prize Code Star Sabers

It was around this time a year ago that I made a huge list of EpicDuel-themed star sabers I intended to offer as prize code rewards throughout the month of May and a little beyond. I got about halfway through the list before I needed emergency surgery to repair a detached retina which put a damper on the progress. The remaining star saber designs sat unfinished for a year, but they'll finally be released. Starting today, two codes will drop from my Nightwraith Twitter account every day until the list is exhausted. Interestingly, there are still a few codes from last year that were unclaimed fully so if you missed out, you can dig to find some that work. The following items being offered are, in no particular order:

  • Infernal Slayer Star Saber P
  • Infernal Slayer Star Saber E
  • Ultra Corsair Star Saber CC P
  • Ultra Corsair Star Saber CC E
  • Sea King Star Saber P
  • Sea King Star Saber E
  • Celtic Hunter Star Saber P
  • Celtic Hunter Star Saber E
  • Infernal Fantasy Star Saber P
  • Infernal Fantasy Star Saber E
  • Black Abyss Star Saber P
  • Black Abyss Star Saber E
  • Abyss Acolyte Star Saber P
  • Abyss Acolyte Star Saber E
  • Dage's Desolation Star Saber P
  • Dage's Desolation Star Saber E
  • Infernal Overfiend Star Saber P
  • Infernal Overfiend Star Saber E
  • Fourteen Year Alpha Star Saber P
  • Fourteen Year Alpha Star Saber E
  • Titan's Triumph Star Saber P
  • Titan's Triumph Star Saber E
  • Tyrant Titan Star Saber P
  • Tyrant Titan Star Saber E
  • Nightwraith's Avatar Star Saber P
  • Nightwraith's Avatar Star Saber E
  • Legion Overfiend Star Saber P
  • Legion Overfiend Star Saber E
  • Ancient Legion Star Saber P
  • Ancient Legion Star Saber E


PvP Drop Cleanup

 Over time EpicDuel has accumulated many PvP drops at many different drop tiers. In an effort to streamline and cleanup, we've adjusted the drop pool accordingly to keep the current drops from growing stale and giving people a better chance at collecting drops they were missing.

  • Evolved Frostbane PvP Drops Leaving
  • Ancient Legion/Doom PvP Drops Leaving
  • Necrotek PvP Drops Leaving
  • April Fools PvP Drops Leaving
  • Nulgath PvP Drops Returned
  • Darkwraith PvP Drops Returned


Nightmare Nerfs

Since nobody was able to defeat Nightmare Azrael's Guardian after a week, mainly due to a combination of a huge HP pool and impervious defenses, we're implementing the following nerfs based on player feedback:

  • 50k --> 35k HP
  • 150 --> 70 dex/tech
  • 250 --> 0 armor bonus
  • Removal Consecrated Fire
  • Energy damage AOE removed.
  • Physical AOE damage type changed to Energy.

Azrael's Guardian Slayer achievement awarded to those who defeated Azrael's Guardian in the first week of release! This achievement is awarded manually so please allow 30 minutes to an hour after the update to see the achievement. After that point you may need to relog to see it. Those who are able to defeat the Nightmare variant after this update will also receive an achievement in recognition of their skill for next week's update.

Tags: Nightwraith


April 26, 2024

Azrael's Guardian Unleashed

Azrael's Guardian Unleashed

Azrael's Guardian Unleashed

For the first time in a LONG time, a new boss has emerged from the Time Fortress to challenge EpicDuel's most elite players. Borne from the blood of Azrael, this Guardian seeks vengeance on those who tormented the solitude of his master. This boss hungers for blood so challenging him will be a constant battle to prevent him from stealing your own life essence for his own.

The following are the new boss drop items + their drop rates. Remember that boss drop percentages are on a per battle basis, meaning if you defeat the boss 4 times to get an item with a 25% drop rate, you aren't guaranteed to receive that drop. This always creates confusion with people writing bugs reports about NPC drops so I feel I need to clarify it again here.

Azrael's Guardian (Normal)

  • Azrael's Cavalier Executioner P (25%)
  • Azrael's Cavalier Executioner E (25%)
  • Azrael's Cavalier Executioner CC P (15%)
  • Azrael's Cavalier Executioner CC E (15%)

Nightmare Azrael's Guardian

  • Azrael's Cavalier Exsanguinator P (35%)
  • Azrael's Cavalier Exsanguinator E (35%)
  • Azrael's Cavalier Exsanguinator CC P (25%)
  • Azrael's Cavalier Exsanguinator CC E (25%)

Since this is the first new superboss in a long while, if you are among the first to defeat Azrael's Guardian or his Nightmare variant, you will be manually awarded a special achievement upon the next update!


Balance Changes / Fixes

  • Skills:
    • Nanotech Shield: +2% to all levels (12% max)
    • Static Charge: Removed Technology requirement
    • Fireball: +20 energy cost to all levels (max 240)
    • Reactive Armor: Requires Dexterity —> Technology
    • Necrotek Bot Special: Correctly calculates health gain vs. Rage. Was previously rounding to either 0 or 100% Rage when calculating how much HP to restore. Rounding may cause max HP restore to exceed 300 slightly when used on NPCs because they have 0 Rage by default.
  • Cores:
    • Salvage: 110% --> 100% damage
    • Sea King's Spirit: 100 —> 150 initial energy gain
    • Darkeater’s Adjudication/Pacify/Convergent Exsanguination: 100% —> 50% Rage drain; 5 —> 3 turn duration
  • Arcade Token drop rates: 100% for 1v1/2v2; 50% for jugg
  • Arcade Token cost: 100 --> 50 for x10; 15 --> 7 for single


Cyber Wolf Morphs

Everyone who achieved over a 150,000 Gifting score in the most recent Gifting season has now received the Cyber Wolf Morph and the Cyber Wolf Morph CC.

Tags: Nightwraith


 EpicDuel Game Design Notes Archive