08 2010 DragonFable - Design Notes: August 2010
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has blue eyes
August 30, 2010

DragonsGrasp is Back!

Happy Monday!

Schools are starting up again, which means it's time to wrap up our Summer storylines.  The Rise of the DragonMage Saga, starring Nythera, ended last week, and soon the DragonsGrasp storyline will end, too.  But not THIS week!  Oh, no.  This week we have something we think is REALLY fun for you.

"Fun, you say? I like fun!" Well, so do we! Using your imagination is fun, right? We think so! Like Willy Wonka, we try to imagine 3 new things every day. 

Stretching your mind and giving your brain a workout when you were younger involved taking your imagination to places it'd never been before.  And THAT's what we're going to do this week in DragonsGrasp!  More details as the week progresses; I don't want to give away too much today!

Also releasing this week will be the next Clashening quest!  Lim needs your help with an experiment (doesn't he always?  It's a good thing you are a VERY helpful hero!).  It involves a cat and a box, but it's NOT what you think.

                                                 Meet Mr. Poofles!

We are very pet-friendly here in DragonFable,* our heroes take their responsibilities to their beloved companions seriously.  That's why we're giving this old favorite of a thought exercise a definite DragonFable twist to keep it in line with our humor!

Good luck going back to school!  Khelios and Beleen are going back to school, too.  In fact, she just zoomed out of here in order to get to class on time. (I LOVED schedules in college. Class 3 times a week, and you could sleep in til 10am! Not to mention all the FREE food. Bonus!)  What are you guys looking forward to about going back to school?  Or are you dreading a new year of pop quizzes, crowded hallways, and cafeteria food?  Let us know on the forums or Twitter!

* Your backpack inventories are VERY spacious.  Your pets are not at all crowded due to the compartmentalized nature of the backpack.  A space for weapons, a drawer for trinkets, and a large fenced-in grassy area in the side pocket for your pets to frolic in. Gotta love Hammerspace! /nod


PS: Look for the Decadere Youngling pet to go live this week in Cysero's Superstore of Savings!  You guys asked for it, and we're going to give it to you!

PPS: Sometime today we're going to be rebalancing the Defender's Belt series.  Khelios worked up new stat numbers for it, so look for those later on!

Tags: Alina DragonsGrasp Clashening School Pets

has blue eyes
August 27, 2010

DragonMage Soaring!

The time has come for Nythera to embrace her destiny as she attempts to reunite the Creatioux and Decadere!  Watch as she flies around Lore searching for an entrance to the Void.  Always before, the Decadere sent the portals to HER.  Now, she needs to find one by herself.  And once she manages to do THAT, she'll need to take on the minions of the Decadere before facing Decair, the Eldest. 

Nythera has done a lot of growing up this Summer, turning from a spoiled young half-dragon into a much more mature and thoughtful young lady.  With her powers unlocked, she has access to MUCH more magic!  But will it be enough to shake up the Decadere and make them settle down into Creatioux?  You'll find out this weekend in the finale to the Rise of the DragonMage Saga!


With a regular mode and Extreme mode, you'll be able to choose just how strong a battle you want.  Void weapons will drop as rewards, levels 45, 55, and 60!  Nythera's story might be ending in DragonFable, but it's only just beginning in AdventureQuest Worlds!  So if you're left wondering just what happens to her, be sure to watch for her story here!

And be sure to check out the introduction to Willowshire!  It's not JUST the beginning of a new (old) town... no, you'll get to flashback to the very second war DragonFable heroes ever faced!  When you go to enter the town, you'll have to fight one of those original war waves AND Gorgok in order to gain access to it!

To get to Willowshire, you'll still need to use the Portal by the Falconreach Guardian Tower for now; a path hasn't yet been cleared of brush and debris.  But once you get your bush-stomping boots on and make your way through all the brush, you'll find a very nice walk-around path straight to it!  (Which is to say, look for one in the coming weeks /givesGhostmorework!) 

Also in Willowshire, you'll find a shop with higher level poison and wind weapons, sold for gold!  Other weapons will be added to flesh out shops as the weeks progress.

The DragonLord chest in Moonridge has gotten it's first shipment of weapons as well! Make sure to head on over and check out the starting inventory.

Game Card Sale!

Remember, the 15% off AE Game Cards sale at Target ends TOMORROW! So if you've got a Target near you, this is a great time to head over there and take advantage of a really sweet discount!

I've got to go home and start packing for Dragon*Con. (And convince Kata that I'm not abandoning her foreveeeeerrrr.  Sadkittyface!)

Have a great weekend guys, and enjoy the release!

Tags: Alina

has blue eyes
August 26, 2010

An Uneasy Peace

The battle is won... but the war is far from over!

The zards have been beaten back, the sinister Yaw defeated. Where, and how the zards came to be is still unknown though, so the Zardhunter definately has his work cut out for him! The Friday the 13th Zard Invasion will officially end tomorrow though, which means if you haven't gotten your Rush of Zardlings or Boxar pet it's time for you to get in there and take down Yaw before they go rare! Don't stress too much though... the outbreak will continue this Mogloween!

Moonridge Shops!

A few weeks ago I asked what kinds of weapons you guys would like to see in the Moonridge shops. You guys responded with pages and pages (and paaaaaages) of suggestions! There does seem to be some confusion though, so I wanted to clear up a few points!

  • Regular items and items created through merges can't go in the same shop. So this chest won't contain any merge items.


  • We have *lots* of existing elements already so, for now, I've placed a moratorium on making more items with new elements. (So, sorry, no void weapons.)


  • Though we do have the capacity to make new types of accessories (like boots, gauntlets, bracers, earrings, etc) every new type of item we add is another thing you have to gear for, another thing you need inventory space for. Remember that free players only have 20 slots to start with. Keeping weapons of different elements, helms, capes, belts, rings, pets, and resources tends to eat up those slots pretty quickly. So in order for me to approve the introduction of a new type of equippable item... lets just say it'll take a really, really good argument for it.


  • There won't be anything going in that chest that will replace "X-item-type" for all time. ;P

What I would like to put in that chest (and in the Moonridge Armory) are reforged weapons for gold. So this means I'm looking for the answers to a couple questions:

  • Is there a particular element that's really hard to get a drop for?


  • Is there a gap in the existing weaponry (i.e. there are tofu-element scissor weapons from levels 1 to 35 and then from 50 to 60, but I can't find anything for level 40!)?


  • Is there weapon artwork you want to be able to use again (i.e. I loved the art for the Angel's Wrath, so I reforged it for Angel's Ire.)

Gold weapons, due to the fact that they're relatively easy to get compared to chasing a drop on a loot table, tend to have a slightly lower stat allocation and do slightly less damage. This chest will follow that same basic tenement, but I want to use it fill in gaps in inventories and to make weapons that will be useful as you finish leveling.  I also want reforge some of your favorite weapons so that you can wield that amazing artwork again! :)

So, for this Design Notes thread, try to think about the answers to those questions when you make your suggestions for both the regular free player shops and for the Dragon Amulet chest! (And, if you guys can make me a nice list of the forum favorites that's easy for me to go through... <3!)

Tags: geopetal Moonridge Friday the 13th Player Suggestions

has blue eyes
August 25, 2010

Ravenloss returns in 2 weeks!

It's that kind of Sneak Peek day when we show you something WE'RE really excited about!  And we hope YOU are, too!

With the Nythera Saga ending this week, that means we can return to finishing the other side storylines we've already begun: The Clashening chain and the Ravenloss Saga!

There will be a brand new Lim-laden, Cysero-soaked Clashening quest next week while most of the AE team is at Dragon*Con. (I finished this quest parodying a famous paradoxical thought experiment ahead of time for JUST this reason!)  And the week after the Clashening comes back, you'll see the return of the Ravenloss Saga!  We're very excited about this; it's been such a fun chain to build!  So for your Sneak Peek this week, we have a gloom-filled glimpse of one of the backgrounds from the next Ravenloss quest!

Are you up for  venturing into the dimly-lit and deserted depths of the Dark Tower Pentientiary?  Get ready to start the hunt for Riadne and the Icicle Key in two weeks

I hope that's whetted your appetite for some of the releases in the coming weeks!  We'll also see the return of the DragonsGrasp quest chain starting next week!  Get ready to have fun, because we are going to be throwing some seriously awesome releases your way!

And if you want to join in ALL the fun we'll be having, now's the perfect time to upgrade your account!  DragonLords get the best weapons and some of the most amazing battles and storylines in DragonFable, not to mention perks like Titan battles and getting to customize your very own Dragon companion!

We appreciate all our players (you guys ROCK!), but the DragonLords keep our game going and the server hamsters fed so we strive to make sure that when you buy a Dragon Amulet for your character, you are getting the very best game we can make for you! 

Tags: Ravenloss SneakPeek Clashening Alina

has blue eyes
August 23, 2010

It's the End of the World as We Know It!

And I feel fine!
No, no, just kidding.  That describes the end of the LAST Nythera Saga!  This one won't destroy anything.  We hope.  It all depends on you, and if you can help Nythera achieve her ultimate goal: reuniting the Creatioux and Decadere!  Can you tame the Decadere?  Will they bow before Nythera's might?  (Not to mention her AWESOME fashion sense.  Who doesn't love a good pair of purple feathery shoulder-things?)  You'll see this week in the Nythera Saga: Rise of the DragonMage finale!

Ghost is working doubletime on the Nythera cutscene AND the project I'm going to tell you about in 2 or 3 sentences.  The Nythera quest will drop some REALLY nifty Void weapons that Lim made this past weekend.*

Ok, maybe it was less than three sentences.  But onwards and upwards (or outwards and downwards, if you prefer those directions instead), because as I type, the construction of a brand new town is taking place!  Those poor construction moglins have assembled another unit in... Willowshire!  You'll finally get to find out what happened to the Falconreach stable! No, we did not leave the stable door open for the horses to escape. It's MUCH more fun than that! /widegrin

As always, we are working ahead to prepare for future releases.  And speaking of future releases, with the end of the Nythera Saga this week, you'll see the return of the Clashening and Ravenloss in the next couple of weeks! 

Also, half of the DragonFable team is heading to Dragon*Con next week for crowd-filled fun (and crowd-borne germs. I REALLY hope no one gets the Con plague this year!).  We'll be having a panel on Saturday (on the MMO track) and a party hosted by Artix Entertainment on Saturday night.  If you're in the Atlanta area, we'd LOVE to meet you!  So stop on by and chat.  We'll be selling merch and, as usual, giving away free stuff! (Like the non-member pets in AQWorlds.  What will it be?  Possibly a derp-dragon, maybe sorta?!)

Big SALE news!
And finally, we have some very exciting news!  For the week of August 22nd (that's RIGHT NOW!), our AE game cards will be 15% off in Target stores!  That means they'll be $16.95 instead of $19.95.  Now, I'm not a numbers person (seriously, I took Math for Liberal Arts majors in college.  We did word problems all semester...), but that looks like savings for you to me!  You can also find our ad in the Target circular (the pages of coupons Target sends out). 

If you're a fan of our games and are looking to help support our ever-growing and always-friendly team of designers, then consider picking up one (or more!) of our game cards.  We always appreciate the players who take the time to show how much they enjoy the game, and this is a great - and discounted- way to do that!

Have a great week and hopefully I'll have something to Show and Tell on Wednesday for a Sneak Peek!





* Altogether now: We miss you, Lim!  Shouting SCIENCE! just isn't the same without you!

Tags: Alina nythera DragonCon Willowshire Target

has blue eyes
August 20, 2010

The War is OVER!

Battle to save Moonridge!

In a race against Zards, time, and Geopetal's 100% Challenge, you guys did it! The release was SO close! I worked my potion-stirring fingers off to get the Nythera quest out in time, but... it looks like the heroes DEFINITELY won the war!  As I write this, the war meter is at 100%. 

Throughout the war, players on the forums were going strong with poetry, pictures, and battlecries to inspire each other onwards to VICTORY!  This has been an amazing war; so many people have responded to the call to battle!  Some have even brought in family members and spouses to aid the war effort! (I'm looking at you, Eric and Lady Ravenwing!  BattleOn!)

Can you battle through the Zards and Boss monster to get to the cutscene in time?

Ghost is finished with the 100% cutscene.  He's pushed all of his ectoplasm into overdrive in order to get the cutscene to you on time!  And let me tell you, your Zardling Rush and Boxar pet rewards for winning the 100% Challenge are pretty awesome! 

The 100% cutscene will tease you and and please you and definitely leave you wanting more information, because let me tell you... the reason for this war does NOT. END. HERE!

Run the Gauntlet to face the Creatioux!

Nythera has undergone training with her great-great-great-great grandmother, Azhura, a fierce and adventuresome dragon who died while performing Void magic. 

Nythera is ready to take on ANYthing!

She's trained Nythera in the hope that that never happens again, and now Nythera is ready to use her Void skills to prove to the Creatioux that she CAN handle her unlocked powers to take on the Decadere. 

Run the Creatioux Gauntlet and face Elucidas (in ALL his forms!) to prove that Nythera is capable of handling her newfound powers!  Four levels of the Creatioux Fireflies pets players on the forums have requested will drop from the quest as a reward!  (They're sure to brighten up the release!)

Next week will be the finale of the Nythera: Rise of the DragonMage Saga!  If you haven't gotten caught up yet, you'll want to make sure to do it before next Friday!

Have a great weekend, guys! 

Tags: Alina

has blue eyes
August 17, 2010

War Challenge!

So you guys pretty much shattered all expectations this weekend and hit 50% in the war Monday afternoon (beating Rolith in his coding frenzy to finish the zard cuisine, something that we were tossing around on Friday as a cool idea for fun battle buffs)! Since you guys took to my *cough* unofficial challenge  Saturday, I'm now going to put forth....

The Official 100% Zard Frenzy Challenge!

Reading through the war threads on the forums, it's become clear that you guys want a zard pet. So Ghost is going to take some time out of his busy schedule of making amazing things to make one (maaaaybe two) more amazing thing(s)... a Rush of Zardlings!

Why, yes, I did spend way too much time animating this random cutscene.

IF you can get the war meter to 100% before the release on Friday, then the Rush of Zardlings will be added to the loot table of the boss monster in addition to the other war goodies. If you guys don't make it, then those poor little zardlings will have to be content to play in whatever giant, empty box Ghost is going to trap them in until the next war.

Good luck all and BattleOn!

Tags: geopetal War Zards Friday the 13th

Code Monkey
August 16, 2010

What?!?! 50% Already?!?!

At about 3 this afternoon I realized I wasn’t going to beat you guys to 50%.  Bah.

Oh well, turnabout’s fair play.  And if you’re smart you’d be counting the number of Thursdays in your months from now on.

But to reward you for your epic defeat of...me... I've sent in the Togs, and taken care of 1000 of the zards for you in one fell swoop!

Still, your present is now ready!  The Zard Hunter, Irwin, has had no shortage of Zard Meat, and while helping to organize the war he has taken to experimenting with various preparations of Zards. 

Zard Head Soup.

Talking to him at the war camp will reward you with a plethora of choices of food which can be purchased for a single Defender’s Medal.  (That’s right, you will be trading in Defender’s Medals for food!) One DM per food item.

Just a warning (and you will be warned in game too) food items are ALWAYS temporary items, and will be lost whenever you log out. Food bonuses will continue to only apply to one battle, of course.  So keep that in mind when trading in DMs for them.  You might have better things to do with your hard earned medals.

Oh, and if you check the war camp shop (that little treasure chest next to Irwin) you’ll find a new trinket.  5 hits at 30% damage on various enemies.  Might make those swarms of zards fall just a bit faster.  Available NOW for DCs. 

And the elusive protozard has now started rearing it's ugly head!

Tags: Rolith

has blue eyes
August 15, 2010

War Report!

37%! You guys rock! (I am officially licensed to say that as a rock myself.) It's great to see how active the war threads* are with all of you coming together and cheering each other on! War poems, song suggestions and personal wave tallies abound!

ORIGINAL:  pokewanderer

Midday, and our heroes bombarded,
We must fight back before we are Zarded,
We must not leave with our hopes discarded,
So fight for your lives, as the clouds have parted...

The light shines on you...
You heroes are the last hope...

I really think you guys are going to beat Rolith to 50% too! :s So please make sure to keep that in mind, Rolith is going to need time to get the special DragonLord goodie coded!


* Add discussion of this to the current war thread please, to keep it all together for the brave AK's!

Tags: War Friday the 13th Zards Moonridge geopetal

has blue eyes
August 15, 2010

War Report!

You guys are amazing! 25% by Saturday night! You guys are decimating all those zards!

ORIGINAL:  monkeyman4241995
I'm hoping that we're giving Rolith enough time to finish. We don't want Rolith to exact revenge for this next Codemonkey Day....

I honestly think at this point that you guys might beat Rolith to 50%! If you get to 50% before Monday afternoon, he's not going to have to get the 50% DragonLord addition ready... and he'd definately be very grumpy if I issued any sort of challenge for you guys to race Rolith to 50%....  0;)

So, the 50% DragonLord prize is going to have to be adjusted to either 50% or when Rolith finishes programming it, whichever is later!

Keep up the good work though! I'm very proud of all you guys and how hard you all are fighting. I can't wait until you guys get to see the 100% cutscene. Based on everything I've managed to read (ya'll are on the 4th war thread already!*) the final cutscene is going to surprise all of you. :D

Also, great poems Dornalca!

ORIGINAL:  Dornalca

The Zard still come in numbers great and still we hold them back,
And though they are so many we will throw back the attack!
The town of Moonridge needs us to save them from this horde,
So we will smite these enemies down, with dagger, spell or sword!!

I'm back and eager to win!

Battle On!

*Speaking of which, add discussion of this to the current war thread please, to keep it all together for the brave AK's!

Tags: geopetal Friday the 13th Zards Moonridge War

has blue eyes
August 13, 2010


Friday the 13th Has Arrived!

You can feel their eyes... watching... waiting.... Their snarls echo through the edges of Doomwood.... The Zards have arrived!

Zards are an unusual reptilian creature that have long inhabited the southern reaches of Lore, but they have never been encountered this far north. These zards, though... well, these zards are angry! Where you felt just a single pair of eyes before, heard just one creature skittering away, now yellow eyes seem to peer from any dark space. Where did they all come from? Who is responsible?

Luckily (well... maybe not so luckily for him), the famed Zardhunter, Irwin Dundee, has come north to study the wildlife indigenous to Doomwood. Surely he can help fight back this enormous outbreak of zards? Even Falconreach is lending a hand with the Nytroglycerine Sponge Catapult.

Very, very unlucky.

What The Future Holds

Rolith is working on something special for DragonLords that will unlock when the war meter hits 50% (well... hopefully, it is a Friday the 13th war after all).

When the war meter hits 100% a very special cutscene will be unlocked, one that take this from just an unlucky outbreak of an invasive species to an uprising that will threaten to encompass the rest of Lore. The sooner you unlock the cutscene, the sooner you will see the origins of the Zard outbreak... but will you be able to find the source before zards cover the landscape like infection?

Tags: geopetal Moonridge Zards War Friday the 13th

has blue eyes
August 11, 2010

Moonridge Awaits!

Moonridge Awaits!

The bustling trade city that sits at the edge of Doomwood has opened it's doors to all the heroes of Falconreach. Captain Viamat has a new random quest if you feel like patrolling for undead or you're more then welcome to hop on a dragon and bomb the attacking skellies, slimes and zombies from high above!

You can find your way to Moonridge by following the new, improved path east of Falconreach! Just go south from Valencia.

Make sure to check out the varied (and slightly random) shops available in town. You'll see items from all over Lore as well as a few higher level versions of familiar items. What other stuff would you like to see the merchants of Moonridge carry? Are there any favorite items that you just outleveled that you'd like see again?  Let us know on the forums so we can continue to fill the shops!

Friday the 13th Approaches!

The unluckiest of days is almost upon us again. As always, masses of angry things are getting ready to attack! This time though... it's different. This time, something new lurks in Doomwood. Something... changed. Something... angry. It's not even Friday and sometimes, when wandering around the new town of Moonridge... sometimes it feels as though something is watching you.

Where did it come from? Who is responsible for this new, dangerous legion of monsters?  What exactly are they? Log in on Friday the 13th... if you dare to find out!

This Friday the 13th... the Invasion begins... and it won't stop with just one war!

Tags: geopetal Moonridge Friday the 13th

has blue eyes
August 09, 2010

Early release this week!

Hi guys!

I bet you know what THIS week is, right?  We are SO excited about AQWorlds Friday the 13th event.  It's going to be amazing!  (There's been so much voice acting, I'm hearing our NPC voices in my sleep!)  We've even been helping the AQWorlds team a bit with some of the ideas.  I know Lim sat in on the planning meeting, and Rolith and I gave the final script a good going-over for additional ideas. 

Because their event is going to be so huge, we want to be sure to have time to help them with any problems that might pop up (like zombies rising from the grave! Time to dual-wield chainsaws, gogogo!).  But don't worry, that doesn't mean WE aren't going to have releases this week!

Oh, did you see what I did there?  I used "releases" instead of "release" because we're having TWO of them this week!  I am pretty sure I saw Geopetal slip two MORE energy drinks into Rolith's energy-smoothie.  And then there was something about Rolith getting so angry (ROLITH SMASH) about things not working that he'd be going home and throwing cats.  I was laughing too hard to hear properly, but I'm pretty sure that's what was said.*

Rolith: Proponent of exercising with your pets whenever you can!

But on to news about OUR release, hmmm?  We are for sure going to have a release on Wednesday!  But I'm for sure not going to say WHAT it is, because if I do, it will spoil the surprise for Friday the 13.  You didn't think we'd let our excitement over the AQWorlds event prevent US from doing something, did you?  Ludicrous!  We would never and will never miss a Friday the 13!  It's TRADITION! (Does anyone else picture a hefty man in farmer's clothing dancing and singing while playing a fiddle?)

Friday will see something truly special coming to DragonFable, something that will start a chain reaction the likes of which you (and we) have never seen before in the game!  Not to get you too hyped up or anything... Oh, who am I kidding, I TOTALLY am!  Because WE are excited about this Friday, too! Ohboyohboyohboy!

Best Buy promotion goes live!
We have some exciting news for you if you live near a Best Buy store!  Aug 8 - Aug 21 will see a 10% discount on our Artix Entertainment game cards - they'll be sold for only $17.95!  You can use them to upgrade ANY Artix Entertainment game! And not only that, you'll get the awesome (and exclusive) Best Buy scythe!  This weapon is ONLY given to players who Upgrade their account using an AE GameCard purchased from Best Buy.

If you're enjoying our games (and we really hope you are!), then this is a great way to show your support for our (continually growing) team of friendly game developers! 

See you Wednesday! 

* No, Rolith does not THROW his cats.  He BENCHPRESSES them.  It's much more pet-friendly, and the kitties LOVE it!  They purr while he counts presses. No joke, I've seen him do it.

PS: I have BIG plans for the next Nythera quest.  BIGGER THAN I THOUGHT! So we won't be releasing the next Nythera quest this week.  With everything else going on this week, there will be more than enough stuff for you guys to do, and I'll get to really have fun with the quest. It will release NEXT week.

Tags: Alina Fridaythe13 AQWorlds Kitties

has blue eyes
August 06, 2010

Free-falling into Void magic!

See, that's how we combine two release topics into one headline. /flex
It's going to be a wild weekend, full of activities that will get your heart-pumping and your head thinking! 

In the DragonsGrasp quest and minigame, you'll talk to Circe until - Whoops! - somehow an avalanche gets triggered!  Those wacky natural disasters, always springing up without warning!  You'd better run! ... On second thought, running downhill with a mountain of snow crashing down behind you doesn't sound so smart.

You'd better hop onto that handy table and sled-ski (NEW SPORT!) your way down!  Try not to hit the trees or ice-blocks (do NOT hit the ice-block head on. It hurts! /ouchface). Make sure to stick around for the fireside chat afterwards. IF you manage to outrun the wall of snow, that is!

And if you like shiny purple ZOMGoodness, be sure to stop by and say hi to Nythera, because this week she's going to learn her Void magic!  Training montage! Dun na nah nah, dun na NAH NAH NAH! (I will have that rockin' theme song in my head ALL night now!) Help Nythera find her dainty yet fiercely independent ancestor, Azhura, a dragon who preferred to wield her magic in human form when she wasn't involved in universe-shaking adventures!

Nythera needs to learn what she can from her if she's going to be able to USE her Void magic next week!  Karon, the guardian of the river Nyx (which flows through Death's Realm), has graciously offered some of his tools for you to use as water-themed rewards!

A new (and awesome!) offer for you from AExtras!
Remember AExtras?  It's a GREAT way for people who don't want to- or can't/aren't allowed to- use online forms of payment  to earn DragonCoins!  Offers are based on where you live, so you'll want to see if there are any available for your area!

And we just got word of a brand new promotion!  This one features... DUN DUN DUN! An iPad from Apple!

This is not an iPad. The Gnomes of Popsprocket are not affiliated with Apple, Inc.


Starting today and running through September 6th, 2010, if you head to AExtras in ANY of Artix Entertainment's games and complete a Superrewards offer (one of the companies which sponsors AExtras), every time you fill out and complete an offer, you'll get ONE chance to win ONE iPad.  There is ONLY ONE iPad available, and it's guaranteed to go to a player of our games!  September 6th is the day the contest ends.  The winner will be announced on September 7th!

Remember, we advise you create a SEPARATE email address to give to companies when you do AExtras.  We feel very strongly about protecting you, our players, and we don't want you to have your inboxes flooded any more than you do!  So create a separate email, but remember: if you win, you're likely to be notifed through that email address, so make sure you remember what it is!

You can read all about this offer here!

Have a great weekend! I'm moving tomorrow, so I've got to go get buried in boxes and covered in cleaning solution as I swab floors, scrub sinks, and dust drapes!  See you Monday (or on the forums, Facebook, and Twitter!!)

Tags: Alina nythera DragonsGrasp

Code Monkey
August 05, 2010


So, I know you got your design notes fix for the day, but you can never have too much of a good thing, right?


Except for chocolate, and peanut butter.  You can have too much of those, but we don’t talk about that car ride anymore.

So I’m over caffeinated and tired, but thought I’d share with you about the bane of my existence this week: The dreaded OVERMAP*.

For you to understand the OVERMAP you need to understand maps in general.

It's a MAP!

No.  Not those maps. Keep up.  The Map that the player walks around on.

There are several levels in the DF map system. There’s the Undermap, which contains the art and anything that makes stuff happen on the quest.  On top of that sits the place where the player ‘lives’ It’s a happy, quiet place, and usually pretty empty.  The only remarkable thing about the player level is that it’s next to the monster level, where they tend to throw fun parties.


Then there’s the OVERMAP**.  Let me tell you about the OVERMAP.  There is no way to directly have the player affect it, so we get a fun little game of telephone between the things that players CAN affect and the OVERMAP. 

Not only that, but there are no developer tools for it. We’ve also used it very seldom (three times?) in the entire history of DF.  Meaning that every time we want to use it (again, very seldom) we more or less get to learn the whole system all over again.

Sound fun?  Naturally, there are a lot of times where we find creative and artistic ways to avoid having to have stuff happen on top of the player.  We think about these alternative ways and try to find ways for the game to look even better without the limitations the OVERMAP presents. 

This week, though, we have a quest (the Dragonsgrasp quest) that we really do want/need to have things happen in front of the player.

See this tree?

A TREE!!!!

It’s going to pass ON TOP of the player.  You very likely wouldn’t have noticed and that’s the point, for it to feel natural.  But that simple effect has been my obsession for the last 3 days.  And I figured I’d fill you in.

*We use a different name, but when Lim said "OVERMAP!"in a dark looming voice I think its name changed.

**I think the CAPSLOCK does a good job showing my dread of the word.

Tags: Rolith

has blue eyes
August 04, 2010

There's no a-Voiding these skills!

Nythera levels up!
In this week's Nythera quest, she'll unlock and learn her Void skills (though you won't be able to USE them until next week).  Khelios and Tomix are working together to make these skills SUPER-awesome, and we wanted to give you some information about them!


Summon an Abyss Fiend!

  • Abyss Fiend: Summon an Abyss Fiend to do damage to your opponent! 1 hit with +20 accuracy that does THREE times the damage of a normal hit!
  • Rapture: This will let Nythera cast a javelin to do two hits to the enemy: 1st hit does 1.5 times the damage of a normal hit, and the second will do damage over time.
  • Void Syphon: VS damages the enemy and heals Nythera's HP and MP by half the damage dealt.
  • Abyssal Corruption: 4 hits of damage, each doing 125% damage to the enemy.

I've seen some of the skill animations, and they will blow your mind and stun your senses; they're some of Tomix's most blast-iful work yet!

Enjoy the Sneak Peek of Nythera skills and we'll see you on Friday!

Tags: Alina SneakPeek nythera

has blue eyes
August 03, 2010

The Tale of the TableGum

It is a story shrouded in insanity.
Gather around, gather around!  It's time for a wond'rous and adventuresome tale.  A tale of luck, of chance, and- most importantly- of TableGum!

Your normal fireside storytime will have magic and might, heroes and tricksters, and possibly flaming napalm-like marshmallows (the ONLY way to eat them!) and other tasty half-charred snackfoods*.

But this is not that story.  No, for today you will learn the wonders of TableGum, an object either revered or despised, depending on just what you hear when you shake its container.

Now, I should begin at the beginning, as all good tales do.  And that means starting with WHERE the TableGum sits: the DF/AQW table in the Secret Underground Lab, 40 levels belowground in a land where mosquitoes and moths are the size of mice and where the sun sleeps, but the heat never truly dies.

The DF/AQW table is shared by Lim, Beleen, Cysero, Rolith, and me.  It's a happy table, full of laughter and oft-repeated memes**. One day, not very long ago, but long enough that it has faded into the misty land where memories live, Rolith brought in a container of gum (he was sure 60 pieces would last a while.  How wrong he was) and placed it squarely in the middle of the table.

It was not YET TableGum; we did not fully realize the honor that would coat it in a thick, creamy covering of glory.  The gum was eaten, piece by piece, until only one remained.  And one fateful day, Cysero shook the bottle and out fell the last piece of gum.  Little did we know, but on that day the legacy of TableGum began.


Cysero came in the next day with another container of gum, to make amends for having eaten the last piece.  And, as occasionally happens here in the Secret Underground Lab, a random occurrence takes on a life of its own***.  Rules began to spring up around who had to buy the next container of gum, and the pieces of gum as a whole were dubbed TableGum.

Rules now include:

1) Offer EVERYone who walks into the room a piece of TableGum. Especially if they are unfamiliar with the rules of TableGum.

2) If you take the LAST piece of TableGum, you must buy a new container of TableGum.  Even if you do not normally sit at the Table.

3) If you SHAKE the container of TableGum and it is the last piece, you must buy a new container of TableGum.  If you shake it, you take it.

So far we have gone through almost 2 containers of 60-piece TableGum barrels.  Artix almost fell for the last piece of TableGum at D&D one night, but he is a wily paladin, and managed to evade Cysero's attempt to get him to take it.  Who knew paladins had +5 resistance to Shenanigans?

The question remains, and is ever present in our thoughts: WHO will be the next to take the last piece of TableGum?

This week's release news!
We have TWO quests for you this week!  A DragonsGrasp mini-game that is really on a roll and the next Nythera quest!  Guide Nythera through the Realm of the Underworld and help her finesse her way through an encounter with Death himself!

Ghost is on vacation (lucky Spectre!); Lim is working with Rolith on the minigame and on resources for an upcoming release, while Tomix works on the final new skills for Void Nythera (coming NEXT week!).  Geo is writing ahead and I'm working on this week's release as well as the secret project. (Aaaaalmost done!)

Have a great week, guys!

See you on the forums, Facebook, and Twitter!

* Cysero has assured us that yogurt does NOT do well over a campfire.  Socks, on the other hand... do REMARKABLY well over low but consistent heat.
** Have you ever gone a whole day speaking ONLY in memes?  We do on a regular basis!
*** All hail the Ficus!

Tags: Alina

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