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Project News Design Note Archive - See the good, bad,
and the buggly -- all the way from the start!
is on vacation.
September 28th 2009 Mini Wednesday release! Meet Trinki Bell!
The fairies in DragonFable are not known for their friendliness, as you know if you've ever met any of the Minx Fairies. But Trinki Bell is a rebel. She LIKES people, and she especially likes YOU. She would like to sell you a pair of wings, or a ring or two. Just step right up and check out her merchandise!
Trinki Bell has rings and necklaces for you, as well. You can find her by the fountain in the southeastern part of Falconreach! Just step right up! And, as Rolith mentioned yesterday, we're going to be revamping stats, so if the stats you see on the items don't make you happy right now, remember that in the coming future, they will be more useful.
And don't forget, we'll still have a release this Friday! The return of the ArchKnight saga is almost here, and the cutscene for it is super funny!
See you Friday! (Well, I won't, I'll be gone. But Rolith and the rest of the crew will!)
Watched Sleeping Beauty for the First TIme
September 29th 2009
Busy BUSY Code Monkey
This week’s off to an auspicious start. I know I’ve been a bit quiet lately and I’m going to try to stop that. Starting today.
Those of you following my twitter know I’ve been busy on a small collection of changes to Baby Dragons this week. These changes are relatively minor to you guys, but they’re often requested as well as hopefully useful for you guys.
This Friday, if all goes well, Toddler Dragons will be able to be loaded into either the guest slot or the pet slot. They will also base their health on yours (making them very unlikely to die). Dragons loading in battle into the guest slot will not place them magically off screen, as well.
Again, lots of minor fixes you’d THINK wouldn’t be hard to do, but are involving digging deep into the game engine to figure them out. It’s rather fun in the same sense I find untying knots fun sometimes.
Tomix is also working on cleaning up the art of Toddler Dragon. The current one loses some of its visual punch when viewed too small so we’re going to tweak the look and feel of him a bit. This change isn’t likely to come this week, as Tomix is also very busy with other projects, but it’s in the works!
This week week will involve work on the DoomKnight armor, fixing bugs and making small changes to the execution of the skills to help perfect the feel and look of the armor and take full advantage of Ghost’s AMAZING animations. These tweaks SHOULD make it live this week, but might be a bit longer. I’ll see if I can’t get live everything I can this Friday though. We’ve already buffed the Capes and Helms for levels 40 and 50 to help put them more in line with the Power they’re supposed to have.
I’ve also started work on DragonFable 9.0.0, which will contain all changes involved in the tweak as well as some new flexibility to the game’s entire structure. The new engine is going to be a ways out, but I wanted to make sure you guys knew it was definitely in progress and being worked on. We’re going to increase the importance of stats and balance their implications among classes. Keep an eye out, as I’ll try to keep you guys informed as we progress.
It's Monday, right? Right. And with the beginning of the week comes plan-making. And boy do we have plans! If you follow Twitter or Facebook, you might
have seen that geopetal and I mapped out the releases for the next two months for DragonFable. Now the whole DragonFable team knows what is needed and when. You'd think we were Girl Scouts, we're so prepared.*
So, how about we cover what to expect THIS week? Sound good to you? Excellent.
The time for the ArchKnight Saga to return is finally at hand! Rejoice, noob-lovers and princess-fanboys, rejoice! That's geo's project and from what I've heard of the story, it's going to be GOOD. Ghost, Tomix, and Lim
all have art and animation projects they're working on, so expect to see those this week. Rolith, you'll be glad to know, will be working on DoomKnight bugs
and toddler dragon fixes. Along with those projects, he's working on a new version of the game engine**, so wish him luck!
And in addition to the ArchKnight quest that's coming Friday, we'll have a SMALL Wednesday release this week because I'm taking Thursday and Friday off. I'm packing up and moving to Florida to work out of the Secret Underground Lab, and if you've ever moved across country, you know it's a pretty big undertaking.
With the threat of zombie invasion growing more and more imminent every day, I feel the need to be closer to a top-notch undead slayer, and the safest place I can think of to be in the inevitable Undead Invasions is the Underground Lab. So, since I'll be gone Friday, you guys get a Wednesday release in addition to the Friday one.
You'll meet Trinki Bell, SalesFairy Extraordinaire! She'll be selling wings, capes, rings, and necklaces for gold, but her merchandise doesn't come cheap! You'll be able to find her by the fountain in the southeast corner of Falconreach.
Falconreach will also be changing to its Post-Fire War state today. Look for the return of Ash, Aria, and Reens this afternoon!
* We should get badges for this like real Scouts would.
** I think he may be overclocking the gerbil that writes the engine code. (You can totally overclock living things. I think.)
Hates bugs. Alot.
September 27th 2009 Lets talk about bugs (and fixes) a bit, shall we?
1) Being unable to progress past the first Fire War quest. We're REALLY sorry about that, guys! If you haven't been able to do any of the quests past the
first quest, log out and clear your cache (How to Clear Your Cache: A Primer) and you should be good to go. Head up to the travel gryphon and
click on the button to BattleOn, and you'll be taken to Yulgar's shop where you can access the whole Fire War Saga.
2) Not being able to click on the Birthday Quest button in Falconreach. Again, REALLY sorry about this one! It's still September, though, so you'll be able
to access it for the next few days. Hurry up and get your gifts!
Next up, a word about bugs in general:
Now, most of you are aware that Rolith is DragonFable's codemonkey. He fixes all the really bad bugs, and I help with the easier stuff. But we couldn't do
that without the help of Aelthai and her DF Bugs board ArchKnights. We can catch the game-breaking bugs that appear right away on release nights, but Aelthai
and her AKs are the ones who take all your bug reports, reproduce them, catalog them, classify them, spread peanut butter on them and have them for lunch...
In short, they do a LOT of work on the bugs and then they tell us what bugs still need to be fixed.
If you've ever looked at the DragonFable Bugs board (Here, report them HERE), you'll see we get a LOT of reports. That's a LOT of work for Aelthai
and her ArchKnights. They can always use help by people making good bug reports. (A good report is one with a lot of details that follows the template posted at the
beginning of each thread. You can't make a new thread yourself, you can only post a reply in the existing threads.) If you're helpful enough, there's even a
chance you might get asked to help out in the board on a more regular basis (like becoming a DF Bugs AK yourself!).
We know there are many more bugs that need fixing, and Aelthai and her crew are working on getting us a comprehensive list. Rolith has already asked to
have a list of the current reported bugs with the DoomKnight armor, so look out for those fixes in the near future.
Needs a new hat.
September 25th 2009 It's a Mad World
I find it hard to tell you, I find it hard to take- oh, wait. No I don't. I find it fun to tell you about releases. (But it's hard to pass up a Donnie Darko
reference opportunity.) So, on to the release! We DO have a mad release for you this week, what with a mad scientist and a mad haberdasher both being introduced!
Meet Lim, Falconreach's newest weaponsmith and very first mad scientist! He's opening up shop, but he needs your help to get ready, so head to the Falconreach
weapons shop and give him a hand setting up his power grid by flipping the switches! Without that, he can't use the magic of science (as opposed to the
science of magic) to craft you new weapons.
And we think you'll want these weapons! Rogues are seeing some love this week with some fun art. Dual-wielding chainsaws (anyone up for some zombie-slaying?) and
things like chakrams and claws are heading your way. Warriors can wield a chainsaw, too, along with some nifty new sword and mace art! Lim's got some really
nice new staves and wands for the mages out there. Of course, if there are any HARDCORE mages who really want a chainsaw, remember that you guys can do magic
with daggers, you just can't dual-wield.
And for the Wanderland quest... well. Some of you have been guessing at the identity of the Mad Haberdasher. Could it BE anyone but a bizarro-Cysero? (That
is actually REALLY fun to say. Try it.) You'll need to ask him for advice on how to rescue Aria. He has LOTS of advice, and some of it will even help you! Oh,
and keep an eye on his hat through out the cutscene. They don't call him the Mad Haberdasher for nothing! His hats will drop as rewards from the quest, too. (Picture of the Mad Haberdasher helms:
Have a great weekend!
PS - Haberdasher (noun) A retail dealer in men's furnishings, as shirts, ties, gloves, socks, and hats.
PS2 - In the "Coming Soon" section of the newsletter, we mention guilds/factions every week just to let you know we ARE still going to do them. They are still
in the planning stages, and aren't ready for release yet. But don't worry, we haven't forgotten about them!
Likes new things.
September 21st 2009 The Newest Cast of Characters
This week will be fun! We've got some plans in the works that will hopefully amuse and interest you. And by "plans" I mean "new characters"!
Not only will you meet the Mad Haberdasher in the Wanderland quest this week (he is the hat-wearingest haberdasher yet!), but you'll meet Lim's NPC, the aptly-named "Lim"
in a brand new quest! Lim has been working on DragonFable and AdventureQuest Worlds art for a while now, so it's about time he made it in-game!
We've had a few new NPCs recently, so I thought I'd give you a bit of info about them for you guys to look forward to:
Alac: Alac is King Alteon's Royal Potion-Maker in Swordhaven. She trained Reens in the art of Alchemy and has heard that Falconreach is sadly lacking a Mana alchemist, so she has plans to
journey there and fill that niche for the time being. Devoted to the study of Alchemy- and to training any NEW Alchemists who are interested in her art- she is also interested in Immortality.
She may eventually need your help to search for the Alchemist's Stone, last seen by the rugged Alchemist and outdoorsman, Nicholas Flannel.
Lim: Lim is a weaponsmith and will be traveling to Falconreach this week to meet you and offer you weapons from his shop. Not much like Cysero at all, Lim uses SCIENCE to make his weapons
(rumor is that he was once even blinded by it!). He's quite confident in his abilities and loves to craft new and interesting things to prove just how good he really is. That doesn't mean
things always work out, though. From the tales that have filtered in to Falconreach, his experiments in weapons-crafting sometimes end with... interesting results.
Tomix: Tomix is a SoulWeaver, one with the power to create objects using the soulthreads of Elemental Spirits. He is traveling to Falconreach on a quest to rectify a grievous mistake he made
in his past. He is a crafty character, and might not be where you think to look for him. If you can find him in, around, or under Falconreach, he might just ask you for your help in setting
right the wrongs he's done.
Lim you'll meet this week. As for when the others will have their stories play out, well... no promises. But if you stick around in the coming months,
you'll find out!
September 18th 2009 Avast! Ye didn't see THIS coming, did ye me hearties?!
That's right, the final Fire War saga cutscene is here and wow, does it ever have some surprises! We've been reading guesses on the forum, and so far no one's gotten it right.
But that's ok, it's a surprise! You weren't supposed to! Access the cutscene and find out what happened to Drakonnan, to Xan, to Zorbak, the townspeople of Lore like Yulgar and Aria,
and of course, to you- the heroes of Lore! With poignant flashbacks and surprising plot twists, the cutscene- Written by geopetal and animated by Ghost- has an ending which will raise
just as many questions as it answers. But don't worry, you'll find out everything in time! Note: Enable the music option under the Options tab to hear two new songs by Ghost in the cutscene!
It's back to Wanderland this week! You never know what you'll find when you wander through the strange dimension-plane-vortex-place that is Wanderland, and this week is no different! You still
need to rescue Aria from the Queen of Tarts, and to do that you'll need some help. Cheshire Twilly advises asking the Kittypillar, a capricious, bubble-blowing philosopher sitting on an over-sized
mushroom. He has many questions, but does he have any answers for you? Find out by talking to Captain Rolith in Falconreach to start the quest. (For those who guessed the Mad Hatter was making
an appearance this week: sorry! You'll just have to wait and see what's next...)
We are ALSO introducing Primal Titan Dragons this week! To Primalize (did we just invent a word?) your dragon, head to Lady Celestia and click on the Elementalize button. If you've gotten the Ice,
Wind, Darkness, Light, or Wind orbs, you can turn your titan dragon into a Primal Dragon of that element, complete with markings to signify their evolution!
While the primal dragons only have markings this week, the future will bring more changes to them, like more damage and possibly skills or dragon armor!
And finally... Avast ye, it be Talk Like a Pirate Day tomorrow! Since we won't BE here tomorrow, we be starting today! Artix and Beleen be decked out in full-on pirate gear and walkin' around the
Underground Lab! Arrrr! And to celebrate this once a year event in DragonFable, we have a booty-filled shop for lootin' and pillagin'! Ye'll need to pay out handfuls of doubloons to get this gear,
but it's worth it! We've got pirate monkey pets for ye as well as the new Water weapons ye all requested on the forums! (A motherload of weapons awaits, levels 13-50!)
We hope ye'll be havin' a great weekend and enjoyin' the release!
Notes there are Five Thursdays in October...
September 14th 2009
Primal Dragons? What?!?!
The fact that Iím working this late on a Monday? Should tell you weíre up to good things!
Akriloth might have been on to something. What exactly? Well, after this week, your dragons might be getting the start of a new part of their evolution. Each Orb whose power you have access to (this includes orbs that arenít permanently in your keeping or indeed orbs at all, like Wind, Energy, and Darkness) will unlock the next step up in your dragonís Titan Form. Remember this week is just the start of your dragonís growth, and it will take time before they can fully incorporate the new power into them. But Primal Dragons? Coming this Friday to all DragonLords who finish the Fire War.
Yes, Iím also working with Zhoom to add OTHER enhancements to your dragon as well, including the long requested armor slots (How are Dragon Armors able to take up the same inventory space as a sword? I never understood that) Iím also working on fixing Toddler Dragon to be more useful than they are currently. These changes will take longer to implement, but theyíre under way.
Everyone that found me and gave me your DF character IDs (and I managed to write them down) at DragonCon? You should now have Doom Dirt, a friendly little pet (HA!), in your inventory. For all of you who werenít there, I wish you were able to make it we had a blast! For those of you who missed me at the panel, sorry, it got crazy and I didnít do a very good job of announcing Iíd be collecting names as well as Cysero.
DragonCon this year was awesome! Our panel was a huge hit, was great to see so many of you make the trek to hear about AQW and all of AEís other games.
September 11th 2009 It's Your Birthday, DragonLords!
Or, well, kinda sorta. For our first quest this weekend, we had planned on only making the DragonLord birthday quest accessible during the month of your
character's birthday. But due to feedback on the forum, we decided to make the quest available to ALL DragonLords for this week only. After THIS week, it will
only be available to you during the month of your character's birthday, so be sure to play now by clicking on the button in Falconreach! A shop will open at the
end of the quest full of color customizable weaponry from levels 10-50, and a color customizable helm (previously worn by the balloon mage, an opponent you'll meet
tonight) for levels 15-45.
We ALSO have a quest you can access by talking to Grams! You know Grams, she's getting on in years. She's not as spry and sprightly as she used to be.
She'll been you to round up a bunch of loose pets, but it won't be easy! Can you help her get them all back? (Grams' Pets: Gotta Collect Them All!)
In other news, there was an ommission in this week's newsletter. There WILL be another cutscene for the Great Fire War saga, just to wrap the rest of the storyline up.
Sorry that we left that out, but we're human, too. (Popular belief says we're robots, but that's only true of Ghost and Tomix. They are some serious animation machines!)
Thanks to all of you who wished that we'd get healthy again! It's been a rough week with most of us battling some form of illness.
Enjoy your weekend, everyone!
P.S. - Yes, that IS the hokey pokey Zorbak is doing in the birthday quest!
Remember that battle with Drakonnan we launched last week? Well, now it has music. Now it's even more fun to beat him senseless! Enjoy!
Had a great time at Con
September 8nd 2009 Is the Cake a lie?
We're back from Dragon*Con, those of us who went. Many of us are ill; this is because of something called "con rot".
It's not quite as disgusting as the name implies, but it does make us feel pretty under the weather. We'll have stories
and possibly pictures from the convention for you later this week! Or you can always check out Cysero's stories and pictures
when he posts them on the AdventureQuest Worlds design notes.
On to a little of what we'll be doing this week.
MANY whiles ago a player named cactii suggested in the DragonFable Suggestions board that there be something like a celebration
of your character's birthday or anniversary for DragonLords. That is a really, really neat idea. It sounds really fun
so that's what we're doing! If you have a Dragon Amulet, your character will be able to unlock a birthday quest at Lady Celestia!
It will be based off your character creation date, not your upgrade date, and there wILL be presents. (Anyone for a set of color
custom weapons? A shop with levels 10 through 50!) The quest will be available for a month, so you'll have plenty of chances to do the quest and get the weapons.
There will, of course, be cake. But it wouldn't be any fun if it was just NORMAL cake! And, knowing the NPCs we have in-game, it
won't be. Oh no, no it won't. But remember, in order to go to the party, you'll need a Dragon Amulet, because Lady Celestia doesn't have
enough cake, hot dogs, and hamburgers to feed everyone! (Baby dragons LOVE cake, and constantly eat her supply.)
Geopetal will also be having a quest this week. We'll have more information about that later this week.
UPDATE: Here's some clarification on how the birthday quest will work (thanks to the forum posters for asking questions!): The quest is unlocked during the month of your character's birthday. If your character was created on January 14th, you will be able to play the quest from January January 1st to January 31st. If you created your character March 30th, you'll be able to access the quest from March 1st through March 30. (So you'll have the whole month your birthday falls in to access the quest)
And there IS another quest coming out this week. It's not just the birthday quest. Geopetal will have a quest, too.
September 4th 2009 Doomsday!
You truly wish to become a Doom Knight? You think you can handle the immense power? the fear? the insanity?
Then the time has come... take up the Necrotic Sword of Doom and join our ranks! If you dare....
alone in the dark!
September 4th 2009 The Finale is here!
Working hard on tonight's release! There are going to be some awesome cutscenes from Ghost, new monsters (Drakonnan is amaaaazing and Rolith has done some really cool stuff with him), and brand new trophy weapons and helms from Lim! I'll let you guys know when the quests go live!
And we're live! Thank you guys soooo much for your patience. This week has been a little wonky with a lot of people at DragonCon. A big thanks to Rolith and Alac who did some special emergency coding.
Just head to Yulgar's Shop and get ready to assault Drakonnan himself!
New light weapons, new helms and a special rare drop from the quest!
Is almost all packed
September 2nd 2009 A small (not really) pre-Dragon*Con update!
Most of occupants of the Secret Underground Lab are scurrying around trying to finish their work before everyone leaves for convention tomorrow!
Now, it escaped us for a few minutes, but you might have noticed that TOMORROW is Thursday and on Thursdays we are all usually busy working working
working to get each game's release ready for Friday. However, tomorrow we will NOT be working; many of us will be traveling. If you've ever tried
to get any REAL work done on a laptop while traveling in a car, train, or plane, you'll realize it's not quite as easy as when you're seated in a nice
comfy chair at your desk. So everything needs to be done by the end of today for those of us attending the convention. We WILL be releasing this Friday
though and boy, will we be releasing a LOT!
We've been teasing you with more and more information about the end of the Great Fire War saga, and this Design Notes post will be no different.
There will be a titan fight for you Dragon Lords out there and hoooo boy, has Tomix done some nice work on Titan Drakonnan! EVERYone will have to
battle Drakonnan, though, and the things Rolith has done to this battle, well. Pardon me for repeating myself but hooooooo boy, are they cool. What's
that? You want to know about his attacks? Well, beyond mentioning that they're fireful (it's a word. Honest.), I can tell you that Rolith has set it up
so that the more HP Drakonnan loses, the more attacks he'll have to throw at you. That's right, the more YOU hurt HIM, the more HE can hurt YOU! Are we
insane? Yes. Will it be fun? WE think so!
Then, of course, there's the Yix/Popsprocket quest to recover the stolen experimental tool shed (which will drop two helms and a surprise pet made by
Ghost!) and the new DoomKnight-style helms arriving at the Mysterious Stranger. As you can see from Rolith's image below, they are pretty stylin'.
And we can't forget about the DoomKnight Bonus Package, which goes live Friday! Rolith has been working his little codemonkey fingers to the bone with
the help of staff testers to get the armor ready for you, and it will be AWESOME. Seriously. And don't forget about the Necrotic Sword of Doom, the
DoomKnight Helm, and the DoomKnight Cloak! And to top those off, there are the character page titles AND the many Dragon Coins that come in each package!
This Friday's release is going to be BIG. You won't want to miss it. And if you're AT Dragon*Con this year, be sure to stop by our panel on Saturday at
2:30pm in the Augustus room of the Sheraton Hotel! You'll get a nifty item if you give Rolith your DF character ID, and a spiffy pet if you give Cysero
your AQW ID! Hope to see you there!
Has Donned the DoomKnight Armor
September 1th 2009
With Doom, there is always a price to pay.
Testing of DoomKnight is going VERY well. Things are looking very good for release, which happens this Friday! The gear coming with these upgrades is amazing, as well! Iím working with Captain Rhubarb to make the gear level up every 10 level s automatically so youíll always have the right weapon, helm, and cloak for you.
Remember, the only way to get this gear is to get the special offers we will be putting live this Friday!
And for those of you wanting a choice in head gear – Tomix has been working on some special DoomKnight themed helms which will be available for DCs from the Mysterious Necromancer.
Also this week, weíre presenting the Fire War sagaís final quest! Will the hero recover the Ice Katana and successfully face down Drakonnan? What role will the Ebil Moglin Necromancer play?
If you guys havenít been keeping up with the great fire war saga Iíd strongly suggest catching up now for one of the biggest battles in LOREís history!
Also coming this week, Alac continues her adventures around Lore, this time taking Dragon Lords on a quest to recover the Popsprocket Gnomes' experimental tool shed. Down where itís wetter, the puns are much better, so expect a nod to a certain undersea musical AND to DragonForce! It features colorful art and animation from Tomix as well as some new music from the omni-talented Ghost! A nice, light-hearted change of pace from all the war and doom elsewhere offered this week.