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Design Note Archive - See the good, bad,
and the buggly -- all the way from the start!
will probably be some kind of scientist...
Engineered Away + Some AQW Info!
Normally I would not put this
above Rolly's post but it's kind of a hot topic.
People have been writing to me
asking me about AQW Pricing and finally I
have some useful information for you!
First... We are going Live
October 10, 2008 (we hope)!
I can't give you exact prices
yet but here's what I can tell you:
There will be a FREE PLAYER
option in AdventureQuest Worlds. Compared to our other games, the free player
option will be a lot more limited but it will be there.
There will be 3 payment options.
One for 3 months, one for 6 months and one for A YEAR. Naturally, the longer you
buy a membership for the more you will save. You will also get a proportionately
large number of goodies, depending on which package you go for.
I can tell you THIS tidbit for
sure;. Even the Year Upgrade Package will be less expensive than a new Xbox
game, and you will still get a constant stream of new content released, very
much like all of our other games. It's the only thing we know how to do. *shrug*
For you parents who are
concerned about AQW being our first game with LIVE CHAT... fear not. We will
have a few chat-safe "Moglin Servers" (named after famous Moglins... like Twilly
server) in which every player will be limited to a number of pre-selected
phrases, questions and answers.
For those of you less concerned
with live chat there will be a number of "Legendary Servers" (named after AE
characters like Artix and myself, for example) in which players will be able to
chat as they do now, with a strong profanity filter and the ability to report
Here's the catch. If you have
upgraded in ANY of our games (AQ, DF, MQ, AQW) then you will be able to talk
freely using free chat... if not, then you will have to use pre-set canned chat,
no matter which server you are on.
This will help us cut down on
bandwidth (our server bill for AQW will still dwarf all of our other games, but
this will help) and it will be a way to reward and thank those of you who have
decided to help us support the games over the years! YAY YOU!
Now let's talk for a second
about becoming a Founder.
This week marks MechQuest's 1
year anniversary and Warlic has some neat stuff planned for everyone and some
REALLY neat stuff planned for the founders. When we were making DragonFable we
didn't think to have any such founder-type set-up, luckily for YOU we keep very
good records! This Friday every founder (meaning that you upgraded that specific
character to DragonLord on or before AUGUST 11,
2006) will get 200 free Dragoncoins Added to their founder
character or characters!
Remember, if you missed out on
your chance to be a founder of DragonFable you DO NOT want to miss the chance to
become a Founder in AQ Worlds!
Being a Founder in AQW will get
you some neat special treats, and because this game will be truely
interactive... you'll really be able to brag about it and show off your Rare
Founder pet (oops... forget i said that).
Now... On to Rolith's part.
See? we like all of JoCo's
stuff...not just Code Monkey and Still Alive.
Anyways, being the resident
evil dev in the office I figured it'd be my pleasure to let you guys in on the
doom that's on its way.
Woah, channeled Kefka there
for a second, sorry. First off, for the hardcore players out there who have
continued to push the limits placed on the game, we're preparing a fun little
challenge for you. A level 50 fight against a very challenging mini-boss that
will push even the best equipped 50s to their limits. Don't feel bad if you
can't kill him yet, that's kind of the point.
Also: Lymcrest renovations
are almost complete! This week will see the release of floors 11-15, the last of
the old floors being redesigned, and the completion of a project long long
overdue. And with it, of course, comes another community challenge. This one
will test your patience, I've got a feeling, to the very limits. Five rooms will
be filled with 10 monsters a piece. Yes, you will have to kill them in the right
order or face a reset. Yes, this does mean there's litterally hundreds of
thousands of permutations you're going to have to go through, yes, that means
this one MIGHT take you guys a bit. Hopefully longer than 9 hours at least.
Alac already has the map
almost ready for the following floors, and we'll be discussing the challenge for
those sometime later this week, I think sticking with every other week for
lymcrest makes the most sense. If we can't come to a concensus about how to test
you guys, we might ask you to pick your poison so to speak, so keep your eyes
Also planned this week is the
continued release of the quest log, we're taking input from you guys on the
forums about your questions and concerns and will be cleaning up the interface
as we go, responding to your input.
We have lot coming out today so
here's the break down.
1). DF finally has a QUEST LOG!
It's not complete yet but we're got it inside the game for you to play with. It
gives even eaiser access to most of the game's quests (for those of you who
don't feel like walking around the world and exploring or for those of you who
are allergic to Gryphon feathers)
You will find this MAJOR game
advancement inside the DA button, which is found...
Just click on the DA and any
player (players with or without DAs) will now be able to see the DA button
options. Including the Quest Log button which is found...
It's been a long time coming and
when it's complete it will give you a complete list of EVERY quest in DF so you
can finally see what you've walked right passed or missed when you were at your
grandparent's house for the weekend.
2). The next step in the
Dragesvard chain is now open and drops 9 brand new weapons! See if you can make
it through the Killguin King's tests!
3). The next baby dragon quest
is now live in Lady Celestia's zone. It will require a little Luck
and quite a bit of Charisma in order to get your baby
dragon to do what you say.
We will be making all of these
things live within 5 minutes of me posting this.... Enjoy the release guys!
Our First Print Ad.
Check it out, this just showed
up on the doorstep of the underground lab this morning.
It is our FIRST EVER PRINT AD!
It appears in the November issue of Shonen Jump (Volume 6, issue 11).
You may be asking yourself why
an online gaming company would bother taking out a print ad in an Otaku
Magazine. The answer is BECAUSE WE CAN! Artix has been a fan of Shonen Jump
forever...Personally I let my subscription run out when I forced myself to break
my Yu Gi Oh addiction.
I figured you cvould either run
out and buy the magazine... or I could just show you the ad here and save you a
few bucks (unless there is something in there that you actually want to READ).
Back to piling more things onto
Rolith's To Do list.
Loves Tab and Mountain Due...
Very Simple Man!
I've got to say, in all
honesty, Friday night before release, I was hoping that about this time today,
I'd be encouraging you guys to not give up on finding Greg. Shows how much I
Nine hours! NINE! For all of
you who just want the answer:
HERE Congratulations to all of you, especially fire blaze who was the one
who found Greg in the last quest, opening the way to one of my favorite fights
so far in DF. The coding behind it is kinda cool. I don't know if anyone
noticed, but Greg randomly went into "Charge Mode" and powered up until he had
over 9000 skill points and unleashed his special attack.
Not the most challenging fight
in the world, but at the same time, the resolutions/rewards aren't the point of
these challenges, Which I hope you guys keep in mind. Sure while the recolored
foam Rolith's Hammer is by no means weak, it's not exactly uber in anything
except coolness factor...
Sorry... may be a little
biased here...but that's an AWESOME weapon!
...The Lymcrest community
challenges are about...the Challenge, solving it with friends and allies on the
forums and working together. Keep that in mind if things seem a little "weak"
when all is said and done.
Anyways, the next part of
Lymcrest isn't due out until next week, should give me plenty more time to think
of ways to
frustrate you cause you to work together to solve the problem!
I've got a feeling you'll all really start to fear me after the next one... and
remember, after floor fifteen all bets are off in terms of difficulty
*cough* Sorry, totally not
This week we're working on
some serious fun for everyone, including a much wanted/long desired quest log
that's been promised, talked about, debated, and argued over since long before
DF was even out. It's a massive project, but considering it becomes a larger one
every time we delay it, it's been decided we start to get to work on it.
Cysero and Artix are working on the design and interface while I have already
started working on the coding..
The quest log is by no means
the only thing on our plate, and I've got a to-do list right in front of me, and
instead of counting it in pages, lets start counting it in "gulps" it triggers
in me over the course of the day when i read over it. This week? Five gulper.
Last week, for comparison, was a three.
The Cricket, The Mirror and the Wardrobe.
We've got a lot of stuff this
week so letsbreak it down in nice, easy chunks.
1). The new 20,000 DC package
for $49.95! It's out best DC sale yet and it should last you a while as long as
you're not a DC-Item-A-Holic.
2). The long awaited Armor
Closet has finally beed released! With this House item you can load nearly any
armor that you've ever unlocked in DF!
THIS WEEKEND ONLY! The
Armor Closet is on sale for half price! For this weekend, the closet is only 500
DCs. When monday rolls around, the closet will return to its original price of
3). The Magic Mirror, for sale
for gold in Ikea's House item shop, this magical item will take any DA holder
who owns it to a shadow pocket dimension for some quick gold farming!
4). 18 new weapons, (6 have
specials!) and 6 new helms (which match the Shadow Class armors VERY well), have
been released in my Superstore of Savings!
5). Greg the Extradimensional
Cricket! This new interesting challange begins in the Lymcrest Labyrinth and
will take you all over DragonFable! This little, green guy is fast and tough so
team up with the other players on the forums to help track him down in the 10
quests where he's hiding.
This new challange was put
together by Rolith and more than a little help from the forum-famous Alac! If
you get frustrated enough to cry...blame them.
Not my fault.
20,000 DragonCoin Package Is Now Live
Never Take A Picture With Your Phone's Camera In A Gas Station Bathroom.
Well, that pretty much sums that
A few weeks ago Warlic released the 20,000 Nova Gem package
for $49.95 U.S.D. in MechQuest. Since there has been a non-stop stream of
e-mails and forums PMs begging for this kind of deal in DragonFable. We've got
it all set up and ready to go for you, and we wanted to give you something extra
nice to spend them on.
We decided to take a break from Dragesvard this week and
release something special that we've been working on for a while. This weekend
we are updating the Superstore of Savings with 6 new weapons (some of them have
specials... if I have time, all of them will) and a few new helms.
The BIG news for the week is the semi-secret project that
Rolith has been working on all week... the Armor Closet!
This is a house item (to be found in both the normal house
shops AND the Dragesvard house shop) that will allow you to equip ANY armor in
the game that you've unlocked (the only exceptions are the Snugglebear armor,
the Chickencow Armor and the new Base Class armors that come from the
Shadowscythe shirts.... in short the exceptions are armors that you can load
from your backpack)
This means, Pali, Necro, Ranger, Guardian, Pirate, Ninja,
Pirate Monkey, Pirate Ninja, Dragonlord (as well as color custom and evolved
Dragonlord), and special holiday armors like the Pumpkinlord can all be loaded
from your house! That’s not all... As more armors become available in the game,
those will also become available from the closet!
No more hauling your butt to a certain city just to load an
This may not seem like much of an advancement to you guys
but it's a pretty big deal to us. It's a masterful feat of coding, and it's an
addition to the game that we have wanted to add forever (along with several
thousand of you).
We'll also be adding a few new items to the Dragesvard House
Item shop... some fish plaques, The juice barrels from the basement of Yulgar's
Inn in AQW, some new couches and the like.
We will also be releasing the new repaired versions of the
Lymcrest Labyrinth, floors 6-10. The remaining floors will be released next
Finally, Greg The Extradimensional Cricket (DBZ fnas will
like this one) has issued a challenge to you. The challenge is "Catch me if you
can". He will be hiding in random places in several of DragonFable's quests,
waiting for you to show up. Much like the new Lymcrest Challenge this will also
be a task for forum cooperation! Catch him, defeat his challenge, and you will
be rewarded with a temporary Captain Rolith's Hammer!
So, to sum up: This week's release... 20,000 DC package,
Armor Loading Closet, other house items, 18 New DC weapons with some specials, 6
New DC helms, Lymcrest labyrinth floors 6-10 re-released, and finally the
challenge of Greg the Extradiminsional Cricket.
Now for a story called The
Great Cysero Cell Phone Disaster of Con08!
There we all were with our bags packed, on our way to
DragonCon 08' when we decided to stop the car at a random gas station in the
middle of nowhere for a bathroom break.
My time came and upon entering the gas station bathroom
(which was as clean as any gas station bathroom that you've ever seen... which
is to say NOT, in any way, clean) I saw 3 main items in the room, the toilet,
the sink and the novelty dispenser on the wall.
The novelty dispenser was really what caught my eye, so as I
was doing my business, I was glancing over the various headache medicines,
imitation designer colognes, and Stay Awake pills (for hard working truck
drivers) all available for less than a buck.
I had no interest in any of these items but I thought I
would take a picture of the dispenser with my phone and send it to my girlfriend
to demonstrate that we were having fun on our little road-trip, kind of a "wish
you were here.... well not RIGHT here but at least with us," sort of thing.
Watching sitcoms as much as I have in my life I should have
realized what a set-up this was, but when you're starring in the show... you
never catch it until it's too late. I raised my phone to take the picture and
WHOOPS, fumbled it directly into the gas station toilet basin.
Any mortal man (or sane person) might have decided to leave
it there in it’s watery grave... but I had a problem... see, I haven’t memorized
my girl's phone number, having always just used the return call button... and
there was NO way that I was going to flush my phone down into the sewers of
Wherever, Florida before we ever got to Con with no way to contact her for
DO NOT TRY THIS AT HOME OR ANYWHERE ELSE...
I gritted my teeth and did what I had to do. I plunged my
hand into the basin and, in a fraction of a second, pulled it back out with my
poor phone in hand. I whipped around and immediately, and ran my entire arm and
cell phone under the hottest water that I could get to come out of the sink
(pretty hot) because I'd rather have a slight water burn on my entire forearm
than... say... hepatitis A.
Of course the waterlogged phone refused to work but once we
were on the road again I took it apart, patted it as dry as I could with the
paper napkins on hand and let it dry in the sun until we stopped a few hours
later to eat.
Holding my breath I reassembled my phone and turned it on.
It came to life and the buttons were confused but they mostly worked! I knew
that I had to work fast so I navigated to my girlfriend's phone number as fast
as I could with the water damaged interface. I had just enough time to write it
down (and make Waldo put it in HIS phone as a backup) before the phone switched
itself off, never to return to life.
My little loyal phone had come back to life just long to
whisper my girlfriend's number into my ear with it's dying breath, then went to
the great cell phone recycling center in the sky. I removed the SIM card, and
the 1 Gig Micro-SD card, (my cell phone was an organ donor) and we held a brief
service for it. There were tears.
I remembered that our hotel in Atlanta was located directly
next to the Peachtree Mall, so as soon as we arrived I grabbed my two bags and
told Artix " Dude, I’m going to the mall to get a phone." To which he replied
"Why don't we take a couple of minutes and check in.... once we get settled we
can...Cysero? Cysero?" but by that time I was already in the mall.
Within 3 minutes I called Artix and asked where everyone
was. He asked me how I got a phone so quickly. I had made my new phone purchase
within 47 seconds of entering the mall (yes, I counted), The phone was an
upgrade to my old one but the SIM and Micro-SD fit fine and so my loyal phone
with all of my numbers, pictures, movies, wallpapers, and MP3s was reborn into a
sleek new body with a healthy new battery!
A few minutes later I called my girl and asked her how her
day was. I already had one funny con story to tell her.
Moral of the story... never take a picture with your phone's
camera in a gas station bathroom.
Hasn't Posted in a while...
My How time flies!
It's been an interesting few
weeks, to say the least.
I just wanted to emphasize
again how much you guys impressed me with the release of the side boss in
lymcrest. You impressed me so much that I decided to make the next extra
challenge even HARDER!
I've decided that each set of
Lymcrest floors will contain a new game play twist that I've always wanted to
try but never managed to find a place they'd fit before.
As we wanted to keep the first
15 floors relatively unchanged from the original releases, these changes for now
are going to be optional. After floor fifteen is re-released,however, expect
some fun fun things to prevent you from reaching deeper into Lymcrest.
This week we'll be
re-releasing floors 6-10 of Lymcrest. Alac and I have been working on this map
for over a week and a half now, and it's making good progress with her help.
The side challenge will
include a fight wtih a completely new monster drawn and animated by Ghost! As
for some spoiler information, you'll be chasing him all over LORE, trying to hit
him with a hammer to prove you're better. I'm hoping someone already gets the
reference, but if not, I'm sure it'll become abundantly clear Friday.
As for what else is coming
this week, I'll leave what to fill you in on up to Cysero, I've spilled enough
beans for the day.
Side Note: I moved 6 months
worth of design notes posts to the archive. We've got to get better about doing
that on a regular basis...
Player Appreciation Weekend *Bonus Gold!*
We've decided to have our own
player appreciation weekend, so as of right now, every single quest in the game
drops an additional 5% gold! It may not sound like much but it really adds up.
So if you've been looking to earn a little extra cash, this is the weekend to
Sorry to pass along that the
next Lymcrest Labyrinth update will not be this week because we made Rolith do
fun things instead. But we DO have 2 brand new quests for you to play!
The first is the next quest in
the Nythera chain, where you go back in time and play as young Nythera and
reveal the secret behind why she cannot access her dragon magic!
Next is the next quest in
Galanoth's Dragesvard chain. Gal has spent a little time as a captive of the ice
elves and now it's time to do your best Steve McQueen impression and bust him
I'll wait here while you go
Google Steve McQueen.
I'm kind of happy to report that
you guys ate the Shadowscythe T-shirts up like they were the pancakes and
pancakes were going out of style (which will never happen... nor will these
shirts ever go out of style... see how I tied it back in like that?)!
I'm told that every single size
has sold out already... a few hours after they became available to buy. Crazy.
We're going to try and get some
more printed, and the second run will STILL have the codes that will get you the
upgrades in all 3 games. To those of you who got your shirts.... well done! To
those of you who did not.... CLICK FASTER NEXT TIME!
HI! We've got some shirts that
Shadowscythe T-Shirts in Red on Black or
BLACK ON BLACK
Aside from just being smotherd
in rich, creamy awesomesauce these shirts also come with an In-Game bonus for
EACH of our games!
In MQ, you get a special Mech
based on Sepulchure's Doomknight Armor!
in AQ you get a special
Doomknight armor of your very own!
And in DF (because we will
eventually be releasing the Doomknight class on it's own) you will get a special
In-Game item that loads a Shadow version of your base class armor!
Show your loyalty to the
Darkness by equipping this special armor for your class. Become the Shadow
Warrior, Shadow Rogue or Shadow Mage and keep all of your original skills!
This week, heroes, you will also
be attempting to rescue Galanoth from the Ice Elf Prison and taking a trip down
memory lane with Nythera!
And THAT is your head's up.
Tomorrow I get to tell you one
last Con Tale. The tale of How Cysero Got His New Phone.
Is Glad That
Was Expecting this to take longer...
Gary. Not The Snail.
What do we have this week? Ok
first, and most fun.... this is the 5th year anniversary of Rolith playing AE
games, so he decided to redo the first 5 floors of the Lymcrest Labyrinth and
add a special side-boss.
This guy hits for 5k per, so how
are you supposed to beat him?
You and the other heroes have to
figure that out. Toss out some ideas on
Next, the next quest in
Galanoth's Dragesvard chain is live, with 3 brand new, very pretty DA only
weapons. This is less of a challange than Lymcrest but unless you know what
you're doing this quest could be a little tough too.
Oh yeah.... there is NO such
thing as "too many Portal jokes,".
It's not even 10PM yet! You
guys are AWESOME! I guess that means we're going to have to do something a bit
harder next time! I saw some awesome teamwork, which is exactly what I was going
To Give You
Never Gonna' Let you down
DragonCon Panel Video (not really)
Hi guys, busy working on this
week's Dragesvard Quest and Rolly has got his hands full fixing the Lymcrest
dungeons, which should also be ready for this weekend.
Ok... ORIGINALLY I had a link
here. It was supposed to be a video of the first panel (which we DO have and
will probably post in time) but In actuallity it was me Rick Rolling you, which
is always funny.
Unfortunately Reens informs me
that this is a bannable offense on the forums so I had to remove it and to set a
good example I will take my ban with pride and composure.
Instead of a Rick Roll, here's
Artix's recap of the Panels.
Yeah…Rickrolling you guys? Partially my idea. Sorry.
Anyways, since C decided to spill the beans on what I’ve been
working on so far this week, I figured I’d come and post some more info on
Lymcrest has been a bit of a weight on my shoulders since it
first started getting released. It was one of my first major attempts to
create a new style of quest, and in short, it was a failure. But that’s
alright. Everyone has to learn somewhere, and at Artix Entertainment, we
learn on a weekly deadline!
Now that I’ve got a little bit of free time, and a better
understanding of how DragonFable works, I sat down and decided to give it
another try the other night, and it turns out some of the stuff I came up with
isn’t half bad.
Also, while the first five floors are being released more or
less unchanged, keep a lookout for something special extra tossed in as a
surprise. An easteregg that bites, if you will.
When describing Dragon*Con over the past two days to friends
and family, I’ve used the term “Life Changing”several times. Also, thanks
to the large number of costumes, “Eye Pleasing”has been said several times; the
latter, accompanied with pictures, has been more accepted.
D*Con Story Time:
When I was walking up to the Sheraton (where our second panel
was to be held) to check out the accommodations we’d be looking at for the
following day’s MMO panel, standing out in front were a row of bellhops waiting
to help anyone that was showing up to the hotel.
In order, there was a bellhop, another bellhop, another
bellhop, a bellhop with a Starfleet communicators badge and tricorder, then more
bellhops. I’ve never wanted my camera more than I did right them, so it
was a pity I’d forgotten it in the room. It was crystal clear: these people
weren’t there FOR the con they ended up there that day just by going to work,
but when confronted by that wall of weirdness they just gave in and decided to
have fun with it. How many Starfleet ensign bellhops have you seen in your
Experiencing stuff like that, and many other dozens of stories
that there just isn’t time to share, makes me realize I’m one of the luckiest
people on the planet, and I thank you guys daily for allowing us to continue to
entertain you week in and week out. It’s nice to feel like a rockstar…or,
well, more popular than the geologist panel being held.
To Be Back!
The Long Con
We're back. Sort of.
Historically the day after Con is a day of rest and healing, but there is no
rest for the silly.
I wanted to show you guys some
pictures from con that might not make it to the Zorbak goes to Con site, and let
you know that the Sock Pets have found their way home to you lovely people who
came out to meet us and listen to me babble into a microphone.
Zorbak and I taking a nap on the way to con.
Cracker Barrel 1: Halfway to con. My friend Waldo (A.K.A Alces) invents the
breakfast Taco which consists of a pancake shell, scambeled eggs, cheesy
hashbrowns, and a very serious strip of bacon on top.
Cracker Barrel 2: Me playing with the convex security mirror, Nythera on my
right, Waldo on my left.
The View from Artix's 47'th floor suite! Hello Atlanta!
The view of the hotel's inside from the 47th floor.
Me, before con has begun, full of life and vigor! Ready to con!
The smallest stormtroopers in the world taking on Aliens.
Zorbak trying to make a break for it, Waldo and Alac chasing him through modern
Waldo finding Waldo. (Yeah, Alces has heard the "Where's Waldo" joke before.
Me and Rosie the Riveter!
First Panel 1: Right side.
First Panel 2: Left side.
This DF fan built herself her own DA! Now THAT is a dedicated DF Fan!
This is the same fan... she wore the sock that I gave back to her.
AE Party: The Mysterious Stranger pays us a visit. Notice the detail in the
Skullstaff of Doom that he built himself! Technically, our first Cosplayer!
The last night of Con, about 4:30 AM. Con is still in full swing.
Me, the morning after con. Tired, defeated, a little haggered, but happy and
ready to go home!
So, there you have it. A taste
of DragonCon 2008! Thanks to everyone who made it out to talk to us and hang
with us. We all had a great time (as usual) but you guys really were the best
part of Con for us! See you next year!
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