Artix Levels up
Happy New Years everyone! I am writing to you today with an annoucement and a great story. In about one week we will be releasing new things in DragonFable. News about it will be posted starting next Monday. As for the story.... I am not making this up -- it actually happened. It is my birthday today (Seems to happen every year) and last night I was sternly told to be home at 7pm. A limo showed up at my house.... and I was taken to a secret location where I was handed my prop armor from several halloweens ago and told to wear it. I was escorted through a restaurant /nightclub (you can only imagine how many funny looks we got walking through the restraunt) where there was a special room.... a drawbridge guarded by two knights and the Guardian banner over top of it and a sign that said "Guardian Tower". The Knights asked for my order to lower the bridge and.... it actually lowered! As I walked through the lowered drawbridge was a giant room that was converted into the inside of a castle with stone looking walls, candles, and an amazing feasting table. All of my friends and family were there... IN MEDIEVIL COSTUME! Including Safiria, Zhoom, lots of people who help behind the scenes with AQ and DF, even my parents and my grandfather who made a special trip to be there! Even Galanoth and Captian Rhubarb were there via streaming video. On the walls were giant posters of AdventureQuest characters and all of the waiters and even the manager was dressed in renaissance attire. Oishii's artwork looks AMAZING when it is huge. The menu was created to look like the BattleOn scroll, and the entrees were spoofs on the in-game Characters (I highly recommend Warlic's smoked salmon and Artix's Turkey Leg). And no, no one was allowed to use silverware... and yes, duel wield was permitted. They posted guards behind me while I sat at an enormous throne at the head of the table. There was a comedian/juggler who during dinner read a poem that Galanoth had written about our accomplishements and were we are going. They presented me with a replica of the skeletal sword from DragonFable (also seen in Undead Assault) and a real coat of arms that was created by researching my family heritage.... I am seriously not making this up, and there are pictures to prove it. My father (who I discovered had been orchestrating this for the last month and a half) made a toast that would have made not sheding a tear hard for a skeleton. It was without question the best night of my life. The only way it could have been better was if you were there. I am guessing you would have enjoyed at least some of the non-stop bad RPG puns (We were figuring our how many exp and gold the entries would give) There are many, many more stories from last night... but I wanted to share this with you. Not only because this was the most amazing thing anyone has ever done for me... but because this is a glimpse at the real people who are behind AdventureQuest and DragonFable -- and this is the level of love, creativity and effort they use when building the game and solving problems. It makes me glad I was born just to be around them.
Have a safe and fun New Years! ... and get ready 2006 is the year of the DragonFable!
I would like to thank you for a wonderful year and wish everyone a fun, safe and Happy Holidays! As you know the Frostvale event continues on in AdventureQuest and by this time next year we should be expecting a huge cross-over event to celebrate the Holidays between both games (I have a strong feeling a long time ago, in DragonFable, you will hide, destory or render useless ancient items of power to save the world... but back in the future, in AdventureQuest, you will need to find these same items and restore their power to conquer unimaginable evil and save the world!) I would also like to wish Happy Holidays to the Team (including our moderators, contributors, artists, animators, programmers, and IRC gods and goddesses) who have done so much over this last year. To show our appreciation we have both offered them Lifetime VIP Accounts in DragonFable and for the extremely active members, we have sent them a little something special that they should find in their email inbox *smiles warmly*. I made DragonFable gift tags for real life presents (as soon in the image above). If you would like to use them, I uploaded a sheet you can download here. It is big (3MB - roughly 300dpi), so be sure to have your photo program resize it to match your printer. Once again, thank you and Happy Holidays... and prepare for the exciting conclusion of Frostvale back in AdventureQuest! Battle on!
For those of you who enjoy the Holidays, but could use a breather from the snow and holly... this is the Battleon.com team's present to you:
Present: Artix's Undead Assault!
The Legendary Artifact Returns!
After what seemed like eons and ages of time... my laptop has come back! Sure, you can still cook your Holiday dinner on its palm rest above its inferno of a video card... but after a few solid hours of re-installing I will be back to working at full speed. Nothing feels better than a fresh install and a clean and organized hard-drive to begin cluttering! *Grabs a handfull of disks* Cover me... I am going in! In theme.... what is the worst reinstall / computer setup / painful recovery you have ever gone through with your computer?
Update: Kabroz gets in the Holiday Spirit
Update #2: Arcanamachi wrote on the forums, "My first laptop got thrown out a 3rd story window by an ex-girlfriend. It snapped in half. A bit of solder and glue allowed me to recover my data. Now it's a digital picture frame hanging on my office wall. " -- I think he wins!
Black-belts, Black Shirts, and Horsing around!
What a weekend! I went to help at a horse jumping show which was very... cold... and rainy.... but hanging around all the cool horses was great! Certainly nothing like the snow everyone up North has been getting (Brrrrrr!) The downside is that I was originally scheduled to sit on a panel of instructors to grade a blackbelt test and then work on Dragonfable. So now you are naturally wondering, "So why was Artix at a horse show then?", to which the answer obviously involved a female *looks innocent*. Back to game news! Frostvale is getting to the best part of all and I just saw that Galanoth released new AdventureQuest T-shirts! Since this post has a riding theme going on... what creatures would make cool mounts? Dragons, Armored Elephants, Moglins? Let us know on the message forums!
Rare Weapons and Items of Power
I remember driving to my Grandmother's house when I was little and my Mother would bring a long an Adlib books. You filled in nouns, verbs, and so forth and then it would be humorous to see what the result was. That is how some of the quests in AdventureQuest work and also how the Random Weapon Generator we made for fun works. For DragonFable we decided to expand on this concept giving each segment of the name unique benefits.... lets say for example, you use a Sword. If you found a Fire Sword, obviously it would make the sword red, fiery, and hit for fire damage. If you had a Great Fire Sword, great might mean that it does extra damage. Add more words, more meanings, get cooler and wierder weapons. Cursed Invisible Drakelslayer's Mace of Moglin Punting +5. More words often means more rare... but the truely ultra rare items.... they would actually have the shortest and most meaningful names of all. "DragonSlayer", "Redeemer", "Moglinsbane", and etc. Special effects could do anything from giving you advantages in fighting to giving you advantages in trade skills, or even mini-games (like a +5 yards advantage in "Twilly-punt"). The trickest part of this system, is that your class will be only use certain types of items. We obviously do not want you wasting your time getting useless item after item -- and lets be realistic, a Knight's Ruby-Encrusted Titanium-reinforced Silk Robe is a little... actually, hehe, that is sort of funny. Maybe we should just do it that way. What is the coolest items you can think of (or have seen). Enchanted weapons that give powers? Cursed items that do... baaaaaad things? Share on the message forums!
P.S. Yesterday we shopped until my fingers bled.... (seriously, ask Safiria and Zhoom) and that is why everyone needs to have healing Moglins with them at all times!
Gift Shopping (as seen through the eyes of a Game fanatic.)
I do not know if it has the same effect on you yet... but when I go shopping it is almost like there is a magical magnet of immeasurable power that pulls me directly into ANY game store in the mall. When I was in middle school (they did not have computer game stores before then) I could spend an eternity reading the backs of every game, looking at the pictures and repeating. I actually owned 4 computer games before I owned my first computer. Let me see if I can remember them... Battletech: Crecent Hawks Revenge, Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy, Bionic Commando, and a mini-game fun pack containing Pac Man. Do you remember the first game you bought or played? Share with the rest of us on the message forums! In the mean time, I thought I would share with you my all-to-common, and all-to-realistic holiday shopping tradition... told in the form of an old school text adventure game:
Thou hast arrived in yonder shopping plaza. Thy shopping list contains Friends, Family, Co-workers. Who will you shop for first?
> Go to game store
Ye rush to thine local video game store but... avast thy shopping list is still full!
> Browse game store
1 hour passes. Thy eyes see nothing that would fulfill ye' old shopping list.
> Browse some more
1 hour passes. Delusions of buying everyone in thy family (including thy Great Grandmother) a copy of Grand Theft Auto begin to overwhelm thee!
> Browse some more.
Oh no! A_Girlfriend_01 has become enraged! Would you like to A.) Flee B.) Fight C.) Other
> Give A_Girlfriend_01 expensive shoe store gift certificate
Ding! You have leveled up. You are now level 2!
> Browse some more.
Stamina roll -- needs 20 to succeed. Player rolls a 2!!! But adds Game shopping stamina bonus of +999,999. Success! What would you like to do?
> Browse some more.
P.S. Wish me luck... I am going Gift Shopping today!
The Battle Plan
I am so anxious to release more DragonFable that every time I think about it my heart beats faster and I get those crazy butterflys in my stomach... like when you are thinking about asking someone out on a date. The only thing more overwhelming than all of the artwork, ideas, bold plans, and possibilities... is the amount of work needed to make sure it delivers *chuckles*. When talking to my Father about the project he told me an old saying, "We will serve no wine until its time!". While I do not drink, I do understand the significance of the statement. The Guardians and Staff are tasting the grapes right now... meanwhile, we are bottling the real thing here in our quiet workroom, and letting it age until it is the best it can be. So, even if it means that we will all wait a little longer for the next part of the beta to begin -- we will do it right, and it will be worth it. In the mean time, I will spend a little time each day writing about what we are doing, what is inspiring the games story, and what you will get when it is ready *smiles*. Today, I wanted to share the new Twilly with you. He is adorable! Compare this Twilly with the AQ one on the ad to the right. Let us know what you think on the message boards. I love reading your posts (The team and I consider your words carefully when making decisions).
What will your weapons do?
Even though it is short and there is not much there yet, I hope you are enjoying Phase , 1 Round 2 of the Beta. We are still doing some hefty revisions and starting next week we wil be continuing work on the random item generator and equipment art. It is without question the most important and the HUGEST part of DragonFable. See, every time you complete a quest... you are going to get a reward. The reward might be a weapon, item, boots, gloves, armor, pets, etc, or even a rare treasure. Every piece can have a wide variety of magical enchantments on it and it will also have a rarity value. (Read: Add up all of the rare item values and rare item hunters can see how they really compare!) We are making the system really solid from the start so we can continue adding special effects like stun, engulf, berserk, confuse, freeze, blind, silence, poison, dumbness, invulnerability to pudding, etc to the items in the game as it evolves. Items are also going to get really... really... long names. Like "BattleMaster's Unstoppable Titaniam Double Bladed War Axe of Database Indexing + 5". Our database server is really happy now.... but after what we are planning... it is going to cry. Databases are always so impersonal... so under appriciated. I say we name our Database Server and treat him like a close friend... who cries a lot. Name ideas... anyone?
Note: A little info on the wager from Dec 5th. During the first two days of the original DragonFable Beta launch... 30,000 new accounts were created (Both Guardians and non-Guardians created accounts, only Guardian ones could actually play). After the first day of the second phase, 50,000 accounts were created. We are not scheduled for a full release until the middle of next year. To all of those who wagered in favor of me... Thank you and go team! To everyone who said we could not do it.... In the great words of Zorbak, "Meh heh heh heh".
Beta Returns Tonight
Whew... we have almost everything fixed! (We hope) Tonight we will re-open Phase I with the fixes to see if everything is working smoothly. Also, for the first time ever in DragonFable -- new weapons! Sure, they are only temporary, but it gives you a reason to explore every nook and cranny of Beta Phase I and be the first to wield something different than the default sword! If everything works, we will begin working on the random dungeon and item creation systems to the game. Mmmmmmm.... never ending dungeon of phat lewtz +5! Expect the fun to start before 8pm EST tonight. Battle on!
Random Dungeon Generator
This weekend I was able to convert the ArchKnight random dungeon generator to DragonFable. We are primarily focused on fixing the bugs and adding weapons and potions first though. The best bug fix to come so far was fixing the FireFox/Mozilla bug where you could not select items on our navigation or highlight input boxes to fill in your username and password. This was due to the "wmode: transparency" setting. Naturally, we ripped apart days worth of work until we finally realized the bug was not within the game itself *insert... awkward chuckle*. So if you are using one of those browsers, be sure to clear your cache and see if yoru cursor changes on the nav bar to the left. Also, this just in! We have been stealing AQ artwork to fill the holes in DF... but yesterday, Galanoth stole DF weapons for AQ! Considering that we now have over 200 base items (drawn not vectorized) for DF... I guess that is it only fair *smiles*. Finally, on the message boards someone made a wager that DF would not get 100,000 users in Three Months and end up failing. I accept this challenge. But, I am going to raise the stakes. DragonFable has to get 100,000 free user accounts within ONE Month of its full release! If I lose... we have to release a video of Artix, Safiria and Galanoth doing the Robot. If we win.... hmmm, what will you wager if we win? Let me know on the DF forums.
Aquella Team Hunger Farce
Dear friends, teammates and complete strangers who have come to look at this for the very first time and are unlikely ever going to return.... my apologies in advance!
My name isssss... Twilly-Zula.
The Twig-rula, Ye' old schoolah,
Ya wanna heal? I'll bring it to ya;
Warlic and his bag of tricks, Aroc you like a Cylcops;
Zorbak, you up next with your dark-knock.
Zorbak make the silver, see.
Zorbak get the honeys, G...
Flying on my Dragon, post'en and a' braggin...
Ice enchants on my fingers and my toes and I'm a Taurus;
Check it..... Check it, check it.
'Cuz we are the Aquella Team,
make the mages say ho! and the pallies wanna scream;
'Cuz we are the Aquella Team,
make the warriors say ho! and the rangers wanna scream;
Aquella Team Hunger Farce...
Number 1 in Robina's Hood, G... (...uardian).!
Forums: They have spoken
Who'ya gonna call? Bug Busters!
*Play cool intro music* We aint 'fraid of no Bugs! That is today's theme -- and if you are here today you must want to see all the horrible things that broke! I will share some victories with you and release the official DragonFable Beta Bug Page! The database errors that everyone experienced on the first two days have been corrected. Yay! Also, I noticed that many of you used special characters that were not allowed in the signup process. I will do my best to make this more clear during the signup process-- but for usernames, you cannot uses spaces, special symbols, or reserved words. Because this is checked in flash when you type it in, then actually enforced when the information goes to the server... it can change your username if you snuck in not-allowed characters. . For example, Bob the adventuer finds a way to make the username "B@B^th#'destroy(-r-)"... somehow forcing flash to accept it. Well, the server then gets rid of all the not allowed letters making it "BBthdestroyr". But... Bob does not know this so he is unable to login! Noooooo! But, if you check the email confirmation your correct username and pass should be on there. This goes for Guardian Verification as well. For international users we understand that the @ is not working for you in the email field. This is a high priority for this round of fixes. Also, we found that if you move your mouse while walking it causes a lot of lag -- this is an interesting one! After the bug list has been fixed, we will be starting on Inventory and the Random Dungeon Generator.
Important: We will be taking the game server offline at 5pm EST. Then we will be working through the weekend doing massive database, game, and website changes. We are scheduled to reopen the beta Tuesday night after staff testing. Wish us luck!
Results of the testing!
First, I would like to thank you and the other players so much for helping to test DragonFable. I cannot tell you how much I appriciate you taking your time to try it, post bugs, and telling us what you liked. I spent the morning reading through the forums and things look very optimistic. The ArchKnights of the Forums never cease to amaze me. I cannot believe they helped, handled and organized all of the player posts that flew in at lightning speed from the beta. *Raises his stein of strawberry smoothy* (that still looks like a HP potion) Three cheers for the AKs! Also, I would like to congratulate the creative team. Last night we not only launched DragonFable Beta... but one of the coolest new features of AdventureQuest -- customizable weapons! A round of cheers to everyone for yesterday. Great job everyone! Now, lets continue moving forward...
SeaHawk and Pae's DF Guide
VampireHSS's DF Beta Guide
Currently, the largest issue with DragonFable are the .13 and .113 errors (Those are the bad ones -- means database error). Because we were only running DragonFable off of two servers and we are sharing the forum database, it is likely that the overload of players was using up all of the connections and causing the failures. So, we are going to look at everything very closely today, and then get some more servers. Mmmmmm... more servers. I will post an update here if we find out anything significant. Also, good news! I am going to extend to Beta until Friday to collect more data.
Read more in the Design Notes Archive.