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Design Note Archive - See the good, bad, and the buggly -- all the way from the start!

You Look Great In Miltucolored LED Lighting!
Cysero
Is Giving
Out Thanks !

November 26th, 2008
Happy Thankstaking!

I'm happy to say that this is one of DF's largest release weeks ever!

1) Armor Saving is LIVE. Everyone say 'Thank You, Rolith'.

(Thank you, Rolith)

All you need is a DA, a house, the Orb of Saving and 7213 Gold per save (my fault)... Or a DA, a house, and the Armor Closet. The Armor Closet costs 1000 DC and the Orb of Saving costs 20,000 Gold and BOTH are avaialbe in the Dragesvard House Item Shop and the normal House item Shop.

2) Dr. Voltabolt is back in town trying to show the world that science is better than magic. He really thinks that we should all thank him for opening out eyes... and if we don't thank him of our free will... then he will take the thanks from us by force.

Thankstaking 08' is live with the Holiday Turkey Leg Weapons and the popular Butterbomb pet (in various levels.... new level 45 weapons!) that have made this event a DF favorite. It's an interesting combo event. The weapons require you to defeat RWARGOBBLE., the Turkey Dragon (Yes, he is breathing cans of cranberry sauce onto you. My fault.) as well as a few Dragesvard War Waves to get the Corn Kernels and Defender's Medal's to make the weapons.

Turkey Feathers are rare drops off of RWARGOBBLE, of course. You'll need those to buy and upgrade your Butterbomb pet. All the weapons and pets are for ALL players... Dragonlords and free players alike!

You will notice that there is only one way to get the weapons but you don't have to chain level them. You can just buy the highest level. Butterbomb on the other hand is different. There are 2 ways that you can get him. You can buy him directly at whatever level you want with a SILLY amount of farming.... OR you can get the lowest level and chin level him up with corn kernels. Choices are good.

If you are a Dragonlord, you Dragon Amulet allows you to invite 2 friends along to help battle RAWRGOBBLE or you can face the Extra Large version on dragonback! Caution: Titan fight ahead.

3) Sir Ano, standing guard outside Oaklore Keep, once again needs your help to prove himself. One of the cooks from Sir Loin's kitchen has gone missing. Alac is writing and producing this quest chain so all Mushroom Pun complaints are to be directed at her, so she can ignore thm instead of me.

4) Zorbak, standing near the fountain in Amityvale has a task for you. Zombie Dravir are swarming a cave in Doomwood and he would like your help in clearing it out. All he asks in return is to keep one of the mysterious orbs for himself. hilarious quest by geopetal, amazing cutscene by Ghost.

5) The Dragevard war is heating up (cooling down) and the Boss is waiting for you. We all know that Gary the Ice Elf is involved in the end of the war, but what could the incompotent Ice Elf possibly do? It's up to you to beat the war and find out, heroes.

6) Lastly... (big breath) Dragonslayer armor is still up for balance testing and you might want it for the Turkey Dragon and the Zombie Dravir. The Months of the Dragons is drawing to a close, with the big Dragesvard finale coming after the war so test the armor while you can guys! it will be going live soon!

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving Day in the States. It's a day set aside for people to really take a moment and reflect on everything in their lives that they have to be thankful for.

I've got more to be thankful for this year than ever before (Thanks Bekah) and as in the past few years a very large part of what I have to be thankful for... is you guys. You are the best game fans, the best game community on the web. You are loyal, considerate, obessive and best of all, forgiving (typos, bugs, puns, etc).

Thanks for making DragonFable one of the best games on the web because without you, all of you, this game would be nothing.

So, on behalf of from me, the whole DF team and all of Artix Entertainment... Happy Thanksgiving!

 

   

Rolith
Rolith
Is Unpacking...

November 25th, 2008
What Do You Want?

Have you been fighting in the Dragesvard war? I have!

With the release just one day away, we've finally started to get the DA Only Feature class saving functionality up for staff testing (those of you watching our character pages - I know who you are - might have noticed this started sometime late last night. Things are going well, but I thought now would be a good time to get expectations in line.

How things are going to work:

Armor Closets will be able to equip all armors and save them for free. As often as you want.

Gold-based (Dragon Lord Only) Orb of Saving will allow you to save your currently equipped armor as your default one. This will cost a LOT of gold to be prohibitivly expensive.

From both, you will be able to return to your base armor, and save it.

Now for what you WON'T be able to do.

Snuggle Bear, Shadow Classes, and Chicken Cow Lord will not be saveable as default. These classes don't work the same way normal ones do, so they require special code, which won't be ready for release.

None of the secondary classes have any AI code attached to them. So when someone fights you in PVP the only thing you'll be able to do is attack over and over again. This code is slightly time consuming to write, though a lot of fun. I plan on adding it over time, with your input! Check out this thread and request which armor you think deserves the AI coding most!

Also, You will not be able to save any of the special class armors, like Kid Artix, Kid Nythera, and expecially not your dragon rider, for obvious reasons.You will also not be able to save any testing armor (like the current dragon slayer armor) until it is fully released.

But remember, the only way you can save your armors is to have a Dragon Amulet and own either the DC-based Armor Closet the new house item - the Orb or Saving - coming to the game this week!.

However, some MORE interesting news - the Turky Dragon we're fighting this week will have several modes. One giant sized fight for you to take on yourself, one more sinister version that is meant for DAs to bring their friends along for, and one that is so large you will have to go one on one with it on dragon back!

Wish us luck with squashing bugs! And if I don't get a chance to post again, to all you American players I wish you a happy and safe holiday this weekend, and that you all have my humble thanks for getting to do this week in and week out for you!

 

   

Scalp Massage!
Cysero
Is A Voice Actor

November 24th, 2008
My Computer Works Again!

Man oh brother, what a week.

The BEST way to tell you everything that's going on would be some sort of musical event. I don't have time for that so I'm just going to make a list.

1) This week's release will be in WEDS instead of FRI, cause most of us have famalies and the ones that don't are invited over to my mom's place.

2) Dr. Voltabolt is at it once again. It's funny how this mad scientist / dentist always has the best of intentions but is perpetually drawn back to his natural tendancy to try to destroy Falconreach and all who live there.

This year he has invented a Turkey Dragon. It sounds like this:

You'll learn more about that on Weds.

3) ARMOR SAVING IS FINALLY MAKING ITS WAY TO DF! As we promised, the ability to save your armor WILL be built into the Armor Closet for easy access but a lot of you were saying that it should be a DA feature and not a DC one exclusively.

We listened and we agree.

Once again the DA prooves it's power. This weekend, in addition to adding the ability to load your class using the Armor Closet you will also be able to save your class there BUT we will ALSO be adding a new item into the house shops (for sale for GOLD, not DC) which will enable anyone with a Dragon Amulet to save their base class and starting items. It won't load your classes for you like the Armor Closet does, and it will charge a fee (also in gold) every time that you save your class and starting items.. but it will be available to any Dragon Lord who has a house!

So if you're tired of running to Doomwood and loading the Paladin or Necromancer armor every single time that you log in... then these are the items for you!

3.5) We also plan on releasing upgrades for the houses! People have been calling for at least 2 more rooms to decorate, so we will be adding upgrade houses (also for sale for gold) with 2 additional rooms to decorate.

4) Alac is working on the next step in the Sir Ano quest chain in Oaklore. I Have to admit that I'm pleasntly surprised by how many of you knew who Cyrano DeBergerac is. Well done you.

You will want to stick with this quest chain. I won't give away anything but it will change the face of DF forever. But not this week.

6) Geo is putting together another quest for the weekend. This time Zorbak needs your help cleansing Doomwood of some of it's more vile monsters. Or does he?

6) The war SHOULD br drawing to a close this weekend with new items dropping form the boss fight. A lot of you complained that some of the fights have been too easy so I stepped this one up a little. The conclusion of the Dragesvard war is nearing but remember, heroes of Falconreach, the ability to unlock the boss fight is in YOUR hands.

Work together, save Dragesvard.... face Gary the Ice Elf.

   

Rolith
Rolith
Is Moving...

November 21th, 2008
We're Getting There!

RELEASE IS LIVE!

So, I'm looking across the table and see one broken Cysero's Laptop, and one broken Cysero, who is frantically working on a borrowed laptop on the release, can't post design notes from the borrowed laptop... So looks like you guys are stuck with me this release day!

This week we've got a few things coming out for you guys. The Dragesvard War is progressing quickly, just as a hint for you guys, the boss fight for this war will be VERY fun! It's got some special coding by yours truely, and once you guys assure the safty of the north you're in for a treat. I can't wait to see your reactions.

Also, a new knight has found his way to Oaklore, and has a quest for you to help with. His storyline should be a lot of fun for newcomers and those of us that have been around for a while. Two new monsters (as well as one that needed to be recoded for some reason) were added with this quest! We'll hopefully get a new perspective on life in Oaklore through him.

Ash is also getting some new quests to go along with the theme of the Month of the Dragon. He will have three random dungons, each one bigger then the previous, the largest being almost as big as the 100 room dungon! The larger the dungon, the better the rewards!

Stay Tuned next week for our ThanksGiving release, as well as more quests as well as the culmination of the Month Of The Dragon!

This week's Rolith Posts The Release Design Notes was brought to you by Cysero's Dead Computer, The Letter D, and DragonLord Upgraders like You!

RELEASE IS LIVE!

 

Rolith
Rolith
Is Working...

November 19th, 2008
Orginization is Your Friend!

So, while Cysero is on the phone with tech support muttering over his dying laptop some secret incantations to try to get it to last one more week, I decided to drop in and fill you in a bit on what’s been going on around the secret underground lab!

This week, we’ll hopefully see the boss battle with the Ice Dragon War, (Have you been fighting?  I Have!) as well as several new quests.  One new floor in Lymcrest has been completed (We’re going to go with larger floors coming out spread over time, with every fifth being saved as a checkpoint) as well as a new quest in Oaklore for our new players, as well as those of you who just can’t get enough of the Pactagonal Knights.

With the new monsters being coded for the Oaklore quest (3 of them), Boss fight for the war coding, and several other things for lots of other projects, as well as a stack of bugs about as tall as at least some of our players, my to-do list has grown to ridiculous levels that I’m not sure I’ve ever seen before. All of these projects are being thrown at me repeatedly from all directions, and it’s rather hard to keep track of. 

So, of course, my first response was to hide from them and do something fun instead.

So I did.

See the Nooby Nooby Noob quest in Amityvale. 

But now that I've gotten to have my fun, it’s kind of hard to avoid the responsibilities as lead coder forever. So I did the next best thing to avoiding the work itself, I decided to get organized. If you’re ever facing a daunting task, I strongly recommend having a clear itemized list of what you’ve got left to do; it’d have saved us several late releases if we have always kept this on-task.

Anyways, this morning I spent the entire morning organizing my list.

It’s currently 80 items long, and still missing a large number of things, including everything I personally REALLY want to do.

I’m not kidding.

*Gulp* At least they’re organized by category.

   

Keep the sideburns. Boy, what a jerk I turned out to be. Dead! And now I'm sitting in the woods, getting my hair cut.
Cysero
Is In Two
Places At
Once

November 17th, 2008
Merely Childs Play

If you were reading the Design Notes this time last year you remember that we donated to the Child's Play charity. It's that time of year again.

Childs Play was started by the guys over at Penny Arcade, and it's been my very favorite chairty for as long as it has existed. They collect money, games, and books and donate them to various children's hospitals around the globe. Since its creation, itIt's a great way to help people who could use some it, and to show the world what gamers like us can really do when we put our minds to it and work together.

Personally, I have donated every year sicne it was created and when I started making everyone else around here do it last year, (since a lot of us were already donating) we decided to give as a company. We were able to use some of the money from your purchases of Dragon Amulets (and other upgrades) and donate a Gold level sponsorship.

The charity is really important to us and we had planned to give again, but the financial support from the Founders in AdventureQuest Worlds was so strong that YOU GUYS were able to match our donation... DOUBLING IT.

This year we are very, very proud to say that we are PLATINUM sponsors and you guys made it possible.

If you want to see what REAL power your Dragon Amulet has... just visit http://www.childsplaycharity.org and take a look for yourself. You helped change lives for the better.

Well done, everyone. Give yourselves a pat on the back!

Yah, Who?

Hey guys.

Just wanted to let you all knwo that we've been having a LARGE problem with Yahoo. Yahoo Mail blocks any and all e-mails coming from us. So if you don't get the DF, MQ, or AQ newsletters, that is why. If you made an account of AdventureQuest Worlds and you didn't get a confirmation e-mail... that is why.

This happens from time to time with Verizon and Hotmail, but Yahoo has decided to block every single e-mail coming from us. We've been trying to get this fixed but either Yahoo doesn't want to be very helpful (unlikely) or Yahoo has bigger fish to fry than our little web game company (likely). Either way, we can't seem to get anyone to give us a hand.

If you have encountered this issue, the ONLY thing that you can do for now is set up another free-mail account somewhere else, like Gmail.com and then change the e-mail attached to your account.

You can set up Gmail to forward your mail to another addresse and Yahoo shouldn't have a problem with that. We hope.

Again, if you never got your AQW confirmation e-mail and you have Yahoo... there is your answer, and there is exactly nothing that we can do to fix it. Although, we are trying.

In other news, we are continuing our Dragon themed release all the way through the end of The Month Of The Dragons (November) and .all the games are now gearing up for our Thanksgiving Holiday events, large and small. Directly after that begins the Frostval celebrations, (AE Upgrade Cards make great Frostval presents... remember that they work foir AQW too,) so we've got a couple of event packed months coming up. You won't want to miss a single release!

Well you might want to, but you shouldn't. You'd feel so left out.

   

Maybe even 3?
Cysero
Is STILL
Keeping
Quiet,
Artix!

November 14th, 2008
WAR and COOKIES!

It's November the 14th. This is the day that I celebrate being with Artix Entertainment for 3 years.

Normally I bring in homemade oatmeal raisin cranberry cookies for everyone to celebrate and thank them for letting me work with them, but Artix had to be out of the lab today so I'm waiting until next week.

Guys, doing this, designing video games, especially for you guys is really a dream come true. Aside fom having the coolest job on earth working for the coolest comapny i can imagine and working with the coolest and most talented, hard-working lot that the gaming world has ever seen... i get to make games for you guys, by FAR the coolest and most appreciative gaming community in the world.

I'm so grateful for the oppritunity to live out my dream and keep doing what I love day after day. it never gets boring and rather than running out of ideas I seem to get more and more every day.

Someday the ride will be over. I will retire or die or something else. I know that I can only do this for a very limited time and I'm enjoying every second of it. Thanks to AE for having me and thanks to you all for making my dream come true.

Enough of that, lets talk about the war.

Not that one. The one in Dragesvard.

This war is the bees knees folks. You get to choose the battlefield upon which you wish to face Aisha and her army of ice monsters. Do you want to fight in the human town or help save the Killguins? Do the Ursice Savages need your help more than the Tuskers?

Even better, you get to CHOOSE your war rewards! Each faction needs your help and each faction is willing to reward you for helping them with their very own set of war rare weapons! Different levels and different elements (none of them are ice) but which do you want? Will you have time to get all of them? Tomix did a great job on these weapons (especially the Ursice weapons... tasty) so give him some love on the forums. As usualy Ghost worked his magic with the Guests and the new Frost Drake monster. We relied on his skills a lot this week and he came through as always. As usualy, nothing would have happened without Rolith, Geo and Alac and if I'm forgetting anyone... sorry. You did great too, whoever you are.

You WILL want the Dragonslayer armor for this war. You will SLAUGHTER wave after wave of enemies if you've got it on so if you haven't helped us test the Dragon Slayer you couldn't have waited until a better time!

Have a great weekend guys!

   

Rolith
Rolith
Thinks Fish are Fish

November 13th, 2008
We come from the land up yonder!

My devoted fans (and those of you who want to kill me for all the time you've spent on togicides) might have noticed I have been a bit absent the past couple of weeks. Don't worry, I have no intention of stopping the togicides or any of my many other devious plans (armor saving is still progressing nicely but don't expect it this week, going to be a bit more still.)

Anyways, I was up in the ancient homeland of most good programmers, rural Pennslvania, where the winters are cold, the software stores are far away, and they only have basic cable, for a wedding. Working from there was an interesting experience to say the least, and not the most productive I've ever been, but that's not the point of this post, No! I actually have a point in this rambling tirade.

I got a PM from a member of the forums this morning asking if I could fill him in on a day in the life of the AE team, and I figured rather than just ignoring his PM like I ususally do (sorry, but developers are busy people!), I would post a snippet of life here for all to read and enjoy!

Now, I've said before and I'll say it again, it's a HUGE honor to be able to get to do this for a living day in and day out, but only having to wake up at 9am-ish is a nice perk too! I usually am in not much later then that, and most mornings are spent reviewing the forums, checking out suggestions, and looking out for major bugs that were discovered overnight, and handling them when they show up.

If there arn't any, often mornings are when I get to have a little fun working on my side projects / major entries on the to do list / proof of concept code, but once we get going in the late morning/afternoon the "fun" ends and the real work on the release begins. Day in and Day out, this usually involves coding classes, quests, and any new additions due out that friday.

Often times this also requires attempting to get major changes up for testing as soon as possible (thursday at the earliest...but we're getting better!) and handling the testing process. Some of the mods, mainly Alac, help with this part, and it gives them a chance to make suggestions and offer up what they think you guys will think. All the while, Cysero and Geo are working on the creative side of the weekly quest, laying out the maps writing and animating the cutscenes and setting up the monsters for you to fight. It's ususally a very frantic friday where my code goes into their designs and ususally it dosn't work until very, very close to release. More often than not I am here till 7-8 trying to ensure that the release is out on time.

There you go, a rather clinical and boring look at the day to day life of a AE Programmer. If you were expecting some crazy story full of nerf gun fights and foam-sword battles well.. Wait, I could have told you guys about the nerf-gun fights and foam-sword battles, not to mention the countless ninja invasions, zombie hordes or right-sock cages! Oh well, there's always next time.

   

Your turn to draw me
Cysero
Is Keeping
Quiet

November 10th, 2008
What I'm Not Allowed To Talk About

I was going to write a very exciting design notes post but Artix said I can't yet. Don't worry, it's only exciting to me. You're not missing out on much... and when the times comes... POW... I'm gonna write the heck outta that post! JUST YOU WAIT!

*squints eyes*

See? I have eyes.

So, instead I will tell you some other stuff. All my attempts at a pumpkin-asiago bread were a failure by my exacting standards. I say they were a failure because I still have a bowl full of pumpkin guts that I never used to make any bread. I should probably throw that out. Yuk.

The gang sat around this morning and talked about a couple of exciting ideas that we had for the games... importing characters into AQW, a big hub site for all the games so you can get to all of the games or ebil games from one big portal, tying your accounts together to make one big AE account to people could see your DF, MQ, AW and AQW characters all from the same page.... and my personal favorite... a, Artix Entertainment Games badge system so you can see all the badges that you've earned in all of the games from your main character page. ooOOooo Badges!

Keep in mind that all of those things are IDEAS and some or possibly all of them might never happen. Still, it's fun to talk about WHAT-IFs, isn't it?

This week, the Dragesvard Ice Dragon Wars begin. This will be an interesting type of war. If all goes according to plan (which it rarely does) then you will be able fight waves of dravir, ice elves and maybe even dragons from any of the homes of the races helping you. You will be able to defend Dragesvard with galanoth at your side, team up with Grrol and help the shaman defend the Ursice Savage camp, bring G'joob along as you defend the underwater home of the Tuskers, or join forces with the mightly King Linus and defend the Killguin Battle Arena (and hockey rink) from invading forces!

Each wave defeated will count toward the ultimate goal of defeating Aisha each race will have it's own special war drop (along with normal defender's medals) and each drop can be spent at a special shop for war rares. For example, if you like the look of the special Ursice Savage war rares the best then you can fight with Grrol to defend his people and buy the lowest level and upgrade it using those special drops.

The DA only special quest for this war will feature an old friend... someone we should have seen before now, considering how many ice dragons we've already seen.

Geo is also working on a brad new Dragon quest for this weekend, and Alac is working on a new quest chain in Oaklore Keep, which may or may not start this weekend. Either way, this weekend should be fun...

...especially if you're testing out Dragon Slayer for us.

Thanks again for all the feedback, we're started tweaking the armor out and I bet a few of you will notice some real damage buffs for this class. SOme of you have said that there are too many dragon slaying lance skills, so Ghost is touching up the armor with some new animations. Keep up the good work testers! Thanks for your help!

 

   

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