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

90.1 Steaksauce Radio!
Cysero
LOVES the
Evolved
Chickencow
Lord Armor!

May 29th 2009
Friday Night Lights And Darks In The Same Load Of Laundry.

SO it's Friday. We've got a LOT cooking (fishing actually, no cooking this week) so let's launch already.

FIRST, there is a brand new Ash quest which you will really appreciate if you're a fan of classic games. You WILL get new armor out of this for Ash, HOWEVER, I assure you that the turtleneck is still there...

For now.

Next up, Yix has a new Popsprocket quest for you which you will appreciate if you're a fan of certain sci-fi and action movie series. This quest drops several brand new weapons that you won't want to miss.

We are ALSO launching the much-anticipated Evolved Chickencow Armor! You can get the new armor one of two ways. You can either complete the Zeuster chain and hand in your old Chickencow Armor for the Evolved version... OR, you can just buy it from my Orb in the Superstore of Savings. That's a shortcut for those who haven't completed the Zeuster chain (which you should really complete, it's super fun and hyper funny).

Finally we're releasing Doomwood Fishing! This new fishing spot is just to the left of Amityvale (Talk to Thursday if you get lost) and features 40 brand new fish, a entire new aquarium, 10 new fishing ranks, and 5 temp items that you can use to help you in battle!

If you fish long enough you might even catch the super rare King Crabcake!

What a crab!

Reminder: The new fishing and the Evolved Chickencow Lord armor are only for Dragonlords (Unless you buy the version in the Superstore of Savings... anyone can use that one)! If you don't have a Dragon Amulet then you're missing out!

Enjoy the release guys!

 

 

   

I really love memorial day!
Cysero
Has To Find
A Safe Place
For His Pin
Collection.

May 26th 2009
Jacon 09 And Things To Come.

Miss me?

Yeah, me either. But I'm back on DF this week nonetheless.

Before I get to what you can expect this Friday I'd like to talk about our JACON 09 Panel in Orlando this last weekend. If you missed it then you missed out... and I imagine that rather a lot of you missed it, but we DID see some faces that we recognized.

Obishawn and Mighella who came to our DRAGONCON panels last year, made the trek from Georgia to see us again, and Puritykeeper DROVE 17 hours from Texas JUST to see us. Now THAT is a fan. Sadly his friend Stella_Eterna was sick but she called in to the panel so it's ok.

I'd also like to mention superfans Roshuno and Afilova. Roshuno made Artix, Galanoth and I our in-game weapons out of foam, duct tape and love and Afilova actually dressed up as Thursday and recognized us from our Dragoncon pictures!

What made the panel such a success, you ask? Balloons is the answer you'll get. Yara, the newest addition to the AE team is, among other things, a very talented balloon artist! She made us a 3 foot long BALLOON DRAGON! The dragon didn't really do much but he spent much of his time at the panel GUARDING ME.

This thing got us so much attention that half the people at the panel were there because we mentioned that we would have a contest to win said Dragon. After one of the audience won him in a Twilly Golf contest (using the hammer that Roshuno made me as a golf club) we never saw him again but I am certain that he had many great adventures as the convention continued.

Since the dragon was such a hit we decided to make a special Balloon Dragon pet in AQW and give one to every AQW player who was at the panel.

We also asked the crowd to help us pick the Art Contest winners and we used Artix's camera to make a little movie of the crowd cheering for the amazing artists. Artix will announce the winners on the AQW Design Notes, as well as linking to the movie a little later today!

That's great, you say, but enough about AQW. Let's hear about DF!

As you wish! Here is what we have planned for this week:

A new Ash quest, A new Popsprocket quest leading up to a new kind of WAR in which YOU will decide the fate of the Energy Orb.

We are adding an all new Fishing area to Amityvale (complete with temp item fish that will help you in combat, much like potions but with different effects). There will be 35-40 brand new Doomwood fish, a new aquarium to put them in and 10 new fishing ranks, but this new fishing area will only be for Dragon Amulet Holders! If you're not a Dragonlord, then you're stuck fishing in Falconreach.

Finally, we will be adding several new kitchen-themed House items to the House Items shop in Popsprocket. You wanted matching appliances and cookware... you got it.

If we have time, There will be new fishing music for the new Doomwood and we might add some new recipes to cooking!

 

 

 

   

has blue eyes.
Alac
is posting. Again!

May 22th 2009
Hot time in the Saga!

It's Friday! Again! We have many things this weekend, and even more that we wanted to release but couldn't quite finish in time. As the earlier Design Note said, we will NOT be releasing the Evolved ChickenCowLord armor this weekend. We're really sorry, but between the coding and animation, we just couldn't finish in time. We are planning on releasing it next week, and we'll keep you posted!

Now, for what we ARE releasing! There is a new Ash Dragonblade quest for you to check out! You'll need to travel to the jungle and from there, things might just get a bit hot! But you'll be with a REAL princess! W00t! The Popsprocket chain is also continuing. Talk to Yix, then you'll be on your way to Oaklore to try and recruit the Pactagonal Knights to come and battle in the coming war again both Balthar and Sepulchure. Can you convince them? Better try hard, the gnome's city rests on your success!

Rolith has whipped up a brand new minigame this week, DF's version of Checkers! You and the Knights of Oaklore will need to trap a bandit on a checkerboard, so make sure you're thinking strategically! Head to Oaklore and talk to Captain Rolith to play our newest minigame! We also have a holiday weekend shop that will be open until Tuesday morning! There are MANY weapons from levels 25 through 50, as well as two new capes for you superhero wannabes!

Not only that, but we are having a Gold and EXP Boost Weekend! You'll get 10% more gold and exp from battling! So make sure to Battle On! Also, if you're in the area, be sure to come see us as we'll be attending JACON this weekend! You can find more information here: AE goes to Con!

Have a great weekend!

   

has blue eyes.
Alac
brings you an early update

May 22th 2009
Evolved Chickencowlord IS coming, but not tonight

There's good news and less-good news in this Design Note. First: the release is on track for tonight! (Mostly.)

I'm sorry to say, the Evolved Chickencow Armor is NOT going to be released tonight. Which means, yes, there IS going to be an Evolved ChickenCowLord class! Tomix has done an awesome job with the animations (can you say tidal wave?), but the coding is taking longer than expected, and we've run into some bugs. Blame falls squarely on my shoulders, since I did the coding. (Rolith has to sleep SOME time, after all!)

Now, the good news. We have a TON of stuff coming out tonight, including two quests AND a holiday shop AND a surprise by Rolith! (Not a togicide, this time.) Who likes board games? We'll go into more detail when the release is ready!

   

has blue eyes.
Alac
is posting for Rolith

May 20th 2009
SOON = DOOM, trust me

Rolith is knee-deep in a new project (isn't he always?!), but wanted me to post to keep you guys updated. So, a couple days ago Rolith posted a Design Notes asking for help choosing a name for his massive, single-player, rolith-coding list (MSPRCL, it's like an MMORPG but more work. He only needs to kill five more bugs on it to level up!). We had tried coming up with it ourselves, but we just weren't finding the right name. Then, after you guys on the forum posted a bunch of suggestions for the list in swenson's thread, we went through it and were laughing ourselves silly. There were a bunch of really good ones (I liked MechaKnux4's"Rolist" [eerie2 has good taste!]), but he ultimately liked Valnos' idea for the "NBoD," the "Never-Ending Book of Doom/Dreams/Destiny/etc" with a small change.

Rolith's To-Do list will now be called the Never-Ending Book of SOON. And believe me, if we pushed things out sooner than we do, DOOM just might follow! Valnos, if you ever manage to battle your way past the hordes of undead and make your way into the Secret Underground Lab, Rolith owes you a cookie.

   

has blue eyes.
Alac
is plotting

May 19th 2009
Not bricks in the wall OR cogs in the machine

Welcome to Tuesday! We're all working hard, consulting to-do lists and bouncing in and out of IM meetings trying to organize this week and next week.

I'd call us all cogs in the machine except no one is small enough or interchangeable to fit inside one. The absence of even one person is noticeable. And speaking of...

Everyone tell Cysero to feel better; he's not feeling so well, and hopefully he'll get better as soon as possible.

On to what we have planned for the week: things are stirring in Oaklore! If I were you, I'd be prepared to head back there. But you should expect that already; Yix DID tell you that you need to recruit the help of the Pactagonal Knights. You'll need to talk to Knight Captain Rolith about having him deploy his un-Sir-prisingly adept Knights to help the Popsprocket Gnomes. Ghost and I are working on that this week and preparing for what is coming next in the Popsprocket chain. We have another quest in the ArchKnight saga that geopetal and Ghost are putting together. Tomix is working on that surprise for the Armor Merge shop. I don't want to give TOO many clues, but you should prepare yourselves for what Tomix is going to unleash upon you.

As for Rolith, he's got that as-yet-unnamed To-Do list in front of him. I think there must be To-Do List Fairies, too, because his just keeps growing longer. Ghost made this up to illustrate the evil grin Rolith gets when he figures out how to smash a particularly troublesome bug. You can't really see the glint in his eye in this picture, but the wide grin isn't too far off.

SQUISH

   

has blue eyes.
Alac
knows the secret

May 15th 2009
Can you handle the truth?!

Welcome to the weekend! We have a TON of stuff in this release for you, so lets get right to it.

After five months of laboring at the tasks Zeuster gave you (if you weren't worthy before, you are now!), Zeuster is finally convinced that you deserve to know the secret of element Bacon! He and the Head Magepriest, Archimoodes, are prepared to tell you the whole greasy tale! They'll finally put to rest all those bizarre rumors surrounding element Bacon, not to mention explaining just why Zhoom is so sensitive to it. Fair warning: you just might have more questions about Bacon once the cutscene is over than you did before you watched it. It's just that delicious.

At the end of the cutscene, a shop will open with NEW non-DA Bacon weapons (those of you who wanted a Flaming Bacon Lance? Oh yeah, we totally made it) and a DA-only Bacon trinket! Be sure to bring your gold-filled wallet, because Zeuster doesn't take LORE Express. DA versions of the new Bacon weapon as well as a range of older Bacon-related weaponry have a small chance to drop from the cutscene, as well. AND Cysero's Superstore of Savings will also have a new Bacon pet for you: Pigasus. Now pigs really CAN fly.

And if you have a Dragon Amulet, after watching the cutscene and learning the secret, you can unlock a DA-only battle that will tie up some loose ends from earlier in the quest chain. Triskylos, the three-headed dog-beast who guards the gates of the Underworld, wants his child back and he wants him back now! If you want Spots, you'll have to fight for him!

After weeks of working on it, the Bakery is finally open and there is a friendly Yaga ready and willing to teach you how to train your Cooking skill! Head over southeast of town to the Sugarbread house (you'll smell it before you see it) and talk to Gretel. You'll be able to learn a wide range of very tasty recipes like scrambled chickencow eggs! You also have a chance of making temporary items (Dragonlord-only) which can be used elsewhere in the game to give your strength a boost, depending on the dish!

That's not all! There is ALSO a new PenPal quest if you go and talk to Zapp in Popsprocket! He's not finished seeking out penpals, so he has yet another letter for you to deliver, if you would be so kind. Maybe in your downtime, you should look into starting a regular mail-delivery service.

PS: If you are a DragonLord, you will definitely want to check back with Valencia next week, because there is ooooooone more surprise left in the Zeuster chain. That armor merge shop button? Oh yeah, it'll open. And that blacked-out shape next to it isn't a clue or anything. We wouldn't be so obvious.

Have a great weekend, everyone!

   

Rolith
Rolith
is just as big of a nerd as you guys expect

May 14th 2009
Cooking is so fun!

Well, here it is, another late Thursday night, and I'm looking at a LATE night, but this time it'll work out well! I've got the first two of what I'm calling micro-games done for cooking, and ready for release. Fast, addictive, and increasingly challenging they may be an apt challenge to those of you who like minigames and tests of reaction.

You'll be playing one of the two games as you assemble the ingredients to create unique dishes. Some of these dishes (read the high end ones) will sometimes result in special temporary items that if ingested during battle will likely have unique...interesting affects. Like fishing, this first release is only to whet your appettie for more and we'll be extending the ingredients list as well as recipes as we move forward. I TOTALLY didnt ask Tomix for a Sgt. Pepper for future use, nope.

Lately, I've been taking to breaking my never ending to-do list into daily lists of goals that are actually achievable. The goal is to get better at assessing how much work I can cram into a day. That way I will know my limits, and not end up in situations like this(Read: 11PM ULT* and working in a frenzy).

This has resulted in two things.

1) I've actually managed to compile most of my long term and short term goals and notes about them into a singular physical book.
2) I have been trying to come up with a name for said Notebook.

All I've got so far is LAST List - Long Assembly of Serial Tasks. A bit dry. Though, I do love a good acronym. Any ideas? Cya on the forums. And I'll definatly see you tomorrow. Goodnight!

*(Underground Lab Time).

   

/fistshake
Alac
is not fond of Time-travel Fairies.

May 13th 2009 (not the 8th!)
It's Wednesday, no thanks to Time Travel Fairies!

It's Wednesday already! We have a big week ahead of us (well, what's left of it, anyways), but those cursed time-travel fairies never let up. This morning they played a very cruel prank, so everyone join in and /fistshake at them in unison.

I was up most of the night taking care of my sick dog and so I didn't sleep much or well. When I DID finally wake up in the morning, I was sure it was Friday. I'd overslept and so I panicked and ran through my morning routine - shower, coffee, check on pets, coffee, boot up the PC. It wasn't until I looked at the calendar on the wall that I saw it was Wednesday. I didn't know whether to laugh or cry or go back to bed. I settled for fistshaking at the fairies and had another cup of coffee.

The good news is, it IS Wednesday! So not only do we have more time to work on this week's release, but this week's release is almost here! Not that that's oxymoronic or anything. We definitely have two very exciting releases coming up for you! First up is the next installment of the ArchKnight saga. You've messed up Warlic's spell, petrified a girl, used basilisk mucus as mortar,kissed a girl-frog (frogette? Frogina?) even though you aren't a prince, can you even guess what's coming next? While it might be fun to TRY, I'm betting you will still be surprised by what geopetal has in store for you this week.

And... it's FINALLY time for the Zeuster finale! You've waited since the beginning of January and now Zeuster will actually, really, finally tell you what the secret of the bacon element is. I've been reading the thread in the DragonFable General Discussion board trying to guess what it is, and some of your guesses have a) been really surprising and b) made me laugh out loud. I loved this one, by Gramis, though I'm definitely NOT ebil enough to do it:

You: "so what's the secret? where does it come from?"
Zeuster: "It comes from the bacon orb."
You: "Where's the Orb?"
Zeuster: "You asked where bacon came from, and i answered. If you want the location of the orb... you have to do 12 more quests"
You: "NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!! ...I hate you"

There will be 1) the finale cutscene where you'll learn the secret, 2) a DA-only quest which will tie up some loose ends for you, 3) REWARDS! and 4) a surprise for DragonLords which will come NEXT week. Ghost has made some really awesome rewards for you this week, both non-DA and DA-only, which will be in a shop at the end of the cutscene. And Tomix will have the surprise ready for you next week. You will need to have the reward from the DA-only quest in order to make the surprise, though, so be sure to save it!

See you Friday!

   

gave her mother flowers.
Alac
loves her mother.

May 8th 2009
Happy Mother's Day Weekend

First off, Happy Mother's Day to all the mothers among our players! And if your mom doesn't play DF, now would be a good time to show her the game! Moms love cute things, right? And what's cuter than a baby dragon?

To celebrate Mother's Day, we have a shop FULL of gifts just waiting for you to browse through it in Falconreach. It has 12 different weapons, 3 necklaces, and a rare "junk" item put in for you collectors! (I recommend the Macaroni Necklace of Power +3. Mothers LOVE macaroni necklaces, or so my mom convinced me back in third grade.)

Ash has a new quest for you this week, and believe me, you will NOT expect the ending. I guess there really aren't any coincidences in life, as Rolith can attest to. Log in as Ash and head to the southeast fountain in Falconreach, then talk to yourself. Unfortunately, there was an error with last week's quest and you'll need to redo that before beginning this week's event. We're sorry about that, guys!

There are THREE new random Popsprocket quests, all of which drop one of six DA-only weapons! You guys keep asking for higher level weapons, so these are levels 44 and 46 energy weapons. Help Yix take care of some little problems around town to earn them!

We hope you have a great weekend! I'm off to spend some quality time with my mom.

   

Rolith
Rolith
Did NOT scream like a little girl.

May 7th 2009
How Rolith's Night Went

When I signed on to work at Artix Entertainment, I knew there'd be nights like this... which is kind of astonishing, actually.

So, the basics of the cooking art is done, the designs for the minigames are done, and all that's left is for me to do my bit of coding. Tomix and Geo worked extra hard and I had a good bit of the files in front of me from Wednesday on, and we're getting well under way. However, I've just been unable to get to a point where I'm happy with releasing it, and it looks like we're going to be holding it off for a week to get it finished and as polished as we'd like.

Sorry you guys. We've still got three new Popsprocket quests, and a new Ash quest coming out (along with the first set of new skills for Ash's armor). Tomorrow's still looking like a very full day.

Also coming in the next few weeks, prepare to see the continuation of Popsprocket's core storyline, and Ash's growth as he faces even more daunting (and hysterical) challenges in the pursuit of rescuing a princess will be continuing as well. We've come to the end of the Zeuster Saga, and both Ghost and Tomix are pulling out all the stops for the finale. And we've even got a few surprises up our sleeves as we head into the summer.

As for the weirdness that was my night, it's story time. Some of you may recall last year about this time, Artix had a little visit from a frog in a very unusual place. (See June 6th, 2008 Design Notes) Now, to start off the night of working at home trying to get Cooking ready to go as well as Ash's skills out the door, I stumbled across a frog sitting in the dead center of my toliet, looking right up at me. Bravest frog I've ever see, but as I literally heard my cats (Pandora and Nyx) licking their lips in preperation for a feast, I thought it best to evacuate him to the pond out back of my house.

Ribyarg

It took two plasic cups and a sturdy stealth and dexterity roll, but I managed to nab him in a plasitc cup and shuffle him out the door. My cats are not happy with me taking away their planned midnight snack.

Alright, so I figured I'd let you guys know that Cooking wasn't going to make it into this release. Back to working on the Ash class, and I'll see you tomorrow. Have a good night.

   

Rolith
Rolith
Can Be Tired!

May 5th 2009
Happy Cinco De Mayo!

Woah, my profile's gathered a little bit of dust. Sorry! I've been very busy, MechQuest.com saw it's debut on facebook, DF got some behind the scenes database improvements, and I've even managed to improve the network situation here in the underground lab, ya know, a bit. Productivity is remarkably high... unfortunately the to-do list has just grown to reflect that, and the to-do list is as long as ever!

Geo, while helping design and lay out the baking minigame, has been working on the next part of the ArchKnight storyline. She's been pretty tight lipped about what's coming, but from what I know, she and Artix are leading us down a very amusing, epic path.

Along with the quest, HOPEFULLY this week we'll finally see the addition of the first set of Ash's new skills. I say first set because well...Ash isn't going to train like a normal player class and be limited to 14 skills. Thanks to Ash being his own player character, he will eventually be able to train his skill slots to contain a mixture of magic and specials, much like the original ArchKnight game - only expanded upon, picking and chosing the skills he wants to keep and pass on from a laundry list. The first 10 are designed, animated, and just waiting for my coding work, and HOPEFULLY will see release this week. Once we've finished the next set of skills (not this week and probably not the following) we'll unlock the advanced training section.

Baking should also be seeing itself finished this week if all goes well. Tomix is working hard on interfaces and artwork, some of which looks delicious. I'll hopefully have time to put all the peices together this week as well. Looking foward to putting your Chef's Hat on and testing your skills in the kitchen?

The Zeuster Saga has just the finale left (as well as the DA-only battle), and both Ghost and Tomix are hard at work on the art and animation for it, but it's simply too big to fit in one week's development cycle!

Alac, though, is not sitting idly by, but instead is whipping up THREE new quests for Popsprocket. Short, sweet, and a lot of fun, they should provide an adequate distraction while we wait for that storyline to continue. I can't wait to see your guys faces when THAT happens.

Don't forget to wish Randor the Red a very happy birthday on the forums, as well!

A lot of what's on my plate isn't 100% going to make it out this week. There's a LOT to do before Friday. I'll keep you guys informed of the situation as we move forward, though. Cya Later this week!

   

likes the color blue.
Alac
has to buy a new calculator.

May 4th 2009
Re-balancing Re-done

We mentioned in Friday's Design Notes that some accessories were going to be re-balanced due to errors made when they were first statted. When we make mistakes, we're sometimes willing to leave them in-game if they're in your favor, but when those mistakes break the game (and these did), we make sure to fix them so that the game is as fun as we want it to be for you. This rebalancing wasn't brought about by complaints that items were overpowered, as we saw on the forums some of you thought. This all happened when, on Friday afternoon, we caught the mistake and went "Oh nooooo!"

Faces were palmed, calculators were smashed, etc etc. But now the rebalancing is done and, while things were nerfed, they are now more in line with other items in the game, and not so incredibly, game-breakingly unbalanced. Accessories which were adjusted include: the Mushroom belt series from Sir Ano's quest, the belts from the Queen of the Jungle quest, the SandSea helms, the helms/capes from Death's quests in the Zeuster chain, and the Imitation Chickencow Wings.

Note: In the not-too-distant future, we will be increasing the impact of the Ranged Defense and Magic Defense stats, so many of the above items have had points put into those.

Again, sorry about the mistake, guys. But we want you to have as much fun as possible when playing DragonFable, and if items make it so that the game isn't challenging for your character, it's not as fun as it could be.

Apples? Who likes those?!
Alac
won't eat schnozzberries.

May 1st 2009
Beginnings and Ends

Welcome to the weekend!

First up is the Zeuster quest; you are on the last of your tasks and it's time to tackle a titan! Zeuster let you know someone has chicalf-napped some of their precious golden eggs, and it's up to you to get them back. It's up to you to track them down, but in order to get to them, you're going to have to go through Medewwsa, drawn and animated by Tomix, one of the grossest (and most petrifying) monsters we've had in a long time! There is a titan fight for DragonLords as well as free players, and if you haven't finished the Dragon Egg Saga yet, you can always try your luck at detecting the secret entrance into the Garden.

This is the last quest before the finale cutscene where you'll finally learn the secret of the origins of element bacon! We would love to release the finale cutscene PLUS a DA-only quest PLUS a special surprise next week, but the end of this chain has been a long time in coming, and we want to make sure we do it right ,so you might need to wait just a bit longer.

Next up is the ArchKnight saga! If you thought you knew where the story was going... guess again! There will be more than a few surprises (and maybe a miffed NPC or two). You'll get an offer of help from an old friend, too. You won't believe who shows up! Lend Ash a hand as he struggles to overcome the obstacles that keep falling right in his path; who better to help him than you? This is just the beginning of all new developments in Ash's storyline.

Ghost did double cutscene duty this week, animating both the Zeuster and ArchKnight cutscenes. He deserves cookies, but the UPS doesn't ship to the Underworld. Rolith, amidst a ton of other things we kept throwing at him, made good progress on getting Ash's skills ready. Look forward to those in the weeks to come, as well as the cooking minigame!

P.S. - We haven't forgotten about Popsprocket! New quests in that chain will be released in the weeks to come!

P.P.S. - A small rebalancing of some of the recent helms and belts is taking place this weekend. There's nothing wrong with having strong equipment with great stats, but when the stats are TOO overpowerful, things need to be corrected. A note of reassurance, though: none of the DC items will be altered.

   

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