Design Notes during Dec 2008
Top secret behind the scenes information about AdventureQuest Worlds and our other web based games.
   

Artix
Armor-adin

December 30th, 2008
Customizable Armors
Giving even more class to your class!
Tomorrow, is the last day of '08... the gift Boxes will open and the skies of Battleon will be filled with fireworks*. All of our efforts are going into the main Storyline of AdventureQuest Worlds... well, there are a few side projects -- especially the major bug/slowdown/lag fixes that Minimal and Zhoom are working on. One** item I snuck into the "can we do this pretty quick?" list is customizable armors.

* ... and it is also my birthday!
** One of... 65,536 items that continues to grow at an exponential rate.

Miltonius wants to create a crazy number of different looking armors so you can look however you want. If you have been playing for a while, you probably already know all of the issues we are addressing with this. So instead of stating old problem, I am going to jump right ot the solution. You can play as any class you want, and buy other armors to make you look different!


"Ouch!" Maybe I should have stuck with my Axe

Which means everyone who saw me running around in the special "Army of Dorkness" armor (Chainsaw hand and boomstick sold seperately) that Miltonius made me for Halloween will be able to get that... and wear it while playing as a Paladin. We could also make other variants like Valkyre/Thor, Dark Paladin, Undead Hunter, and more. .

Forum Question: What special (or funny, wierd, bizzare) armors would you like to see in the game? P.S. How are you doing with the Ultimate Gamer Challenge and Holiday Art Contest?

   

Artix
Wedding-adin

December 28 29th, 2008
Live Wedding Success
Thank you to everyone who came!
"You only get once chance to completely mess up your first live event with everyone watching.... no pressure!"


Congratulations Bello and Merca!

Wow... thank you all so much for coming! Over 11K players attended this special live wedding event. You were a part of something that Bello and Merca will certainly remember! For the record, Bello and Merca wrote their own vows. The Devourer part really cracked us up.

We hope you enjoyed our first ever live event. It was really exciting for us! Now that we have this working... we have begun dreaming of all the crazy things we can do!

There is a special shop that opens when you click on the presents behind Zorbak and his gang of Wedding Crashers. Also a rare rose blade sword drops from the monsters. A few behind the scenes notes. The wedding song was recorded by Warlic on his guitar just 30 minutes before the event went live. Each scene was broadcasted to every instance of the "wed" zone on each server from the room where Bello and Merca were physically... which was supposed to be full of staff but i filled up too fast and only Galanoth and I could get in, lol. It was really fun -- if you have a good youTube video of it please let me know so I can post it. We hope you like the special items we made for you.

Again, congratulations everyone (Especially Bello and Merca)! I am making a note here... huge success. The cake is a... PET!

Play by Play
12:15 pm Success! Congratulations Bello and Merca! Players are enjoying battles and a special "Cake shop" (Click on the cake) in the reception area!
12:00 Noon The LIVE wedding event went live... ON TIME!
11:45 am Servers back up!
11:40 am Rebooting servers to fix # of players per room issue and uploading final copy of the Wedding zone.
11:30 am Warlic finished the wedding song.. adding it to the file.
11:15 am Room cap for wedding was accidentally set to 18.. changing to 10.
11:15 am Servers are now open!
11:14 am Our Broadcasting account failed trying to log into Sir Ver.... LOL! We forgot to upgrade it! (Whispers.. anyone want to buy an upgrade for our broadcaster?)
11:13 am Servers are staff only for a few minutes! The broadcaster got stuck on Galanoth... oh boy. Looking into the issue!
11:10 am Bello and Merca are being escorted by Galanoth to a special room that will broadcast to all other servers and rooms. Oh yeah.. we better test that!
11:00 am AQWorlds: Winter Break Release goes live
10:45 am Minimal says, "Hmmm... this engine merge might have been a bad idea"
10:30 am Warlic says, "40 minutes for music file"
10:00 am Artix adds some "untested" bonus scenes to the event.

Earlier that morning...
We are rolling the new engine live this morning and will have some testing to make sure the... um... all-server-broadcast system works with more than 2 people on one server*. We were up late working on the wedding and thought -- hmm, we need some music. So with only a little time before the event starts... Warlic is taking a shot at whipping up a wedding song!** There will be a button in Battleon and I will post the /join address on the homepage. See you soon -- wish us luck!

* It is never too late to say... "I am testing!"
** AE - We do not just push the envelope... we push the deadline!


   

Artix
Train-wreck-adin

December 28th, 2008
Live Event Tomorrow
At 12:00pm EST (Noon) sharp!
Join us for the first ever in-game wedding. Two of our long time players, Bello and Merca are getting married in real life -- but asked if they could be wed in AQworlds first. So we built a special wedding zone and thought this would be the perfect way to break... erm.. test our Live Event feature. This is so exciting -- see you at noon (Server time, EST) tomorrow!

New Engine Coming Today
Chugga chugga... Choooooo choooooooo!
Alright, not that sort of Engine. I grew up in a rail road town, so as a young child I used to dream of wearing the blue and gray striped conductor's hat and driving trains... yelling things like, "All Aboard!" and, "Doc Emmett Brown! What did you do to my train... we are hovering with some sorta wierd blue glow and traveling back... to the future*!" The new game engine coming out today has a lot of new features. But there were so many little fixes I cannot remember what they all were. I know the game will let people know if you go AFK for a minute though... more coming tonight!

* Geez Artix, how many of our players do you REALLY think saw Back to the Future III and would get that?

   

Upgrade

December 25th, 2008
Present for the Members
We got you a little something extra
This present could not fit in a box, so instead of unwrapping, please cover your eyes with your hands, then quickly take them away and read the next sentence. Ready? GO: Happy holidays -- we gave upgraded members an additional week of upgraded game time! It is a token of our thanks for making the game possible for the team and all the free players. Because of you, AQWorlds is growing and so many people are able to enjoy it. Thank you and happy holidays! Oh, do not forget -- your presents under the tree will magically open at Midnight on New Year's eve!

P.S. There are no scrooges here. If you redeem your giftcard or upgrade before the the presents open, your account will be extended a week also. The additional account time will show for everyone on Jan 1, 2009.

   

Artix
Memory-adin

The Year in Review
What an adventure.... and what new things await us!
Wow, what a year. We have been through a lot together. From crazy releases to launching our first MMO together.

   

Artix
Eve-adin

December 24th, 2008
T'was the night...
Ye' old MMO Holiday Poem
T'was the night before Frostvale when all through the Lab
Not a server was churning, not even....

<BEEP WIRL WZZZZZ BEEPY BEED KA-WHIRL!>

... Woah! Scratch that -- there are 41 brightly glowing machines full of happy players and the best Holiday events we have ever released! (I still cannot believe Cysero had Sally decorate the Necropolis with holiday lights in DragonFable) Hope you are all having a good time -- be sure to join us on the forums and let us know what you like, and what you would love to see next year! Oh, and as a special treat, Randor the Red made a brand new wallpaper for you to get in the spirit with!


AQWorlds Holiday Wallpaper

   

Artix
Not the...
"Fae of MQ"

December 23rd, 2008
Holiday Spirit Slaying!
Secret Santa at the Lab
We are all very grateful this holiday season. We like to express this both to you and to each other by giving gifts. (Just wait until those in-game presents unwrap themselves on New Years at midnight!) Because there are so many of us here on the team now, we follow a tradition called "Secret Santa". At the beginning of December, we all draw names out of a helmet. Then, get a gift for the person we pulled out of the helm. We wrap the gifts and at noon today, we all gathered by our action figured ornamented christmas tree (yup, as you can see in the photo, the tree is black) and open the presents we got each other. OMG, Piroska hand made me a clay model of Artix!


There is even a little Daimyo too!

I did not know what to say. After the attention moved away from me I choked up a little. Piroska works with Nythera and Safiria in player service. It was an amazing and completely unexpected present. Especially that she made it by herself. Meanwhile -- you should have seen Cysero's face when he unwrapped the custom plushie that Jemini had made him!

Today, all of the game master are working busily on their holiday releases for you. Galanoth and I are about to test the AQworlds Live Event broadcasting system for Monday's LIVE in-game wedding. Cross your fingers for us!

In the mean time check out the submissions on our all-game holiday art contest!

Armored Baby Frost Dragon
Baby Frost Dragon
This is your last chance to get this month's Member-Only ultra rare before it is permanently removed from shops.

   

Artix
Holiday-adin

December 16th, 2008
Happy Frostvale!
Tis' the season for adventure....
The moglins of Frostvale have all been eaten by a Dragon and the greedy Ebil Sneevil Scooge has moved in on the now empty weapon toy factory. We had a feeling that was something wrong when we shook those boxes you found under the tree. Join us in our first multiplayer Frostvale adventure which is overflowing with new monsters, questing areas and items!


Toy Factory... of Dooooooooooooooooooooom!

Our first draft of Friends and Parties went live too. Click on a player's portiat and you will have two new options: Add friend and invite! It is really cool. You can see which of your friends are online and what server they are playing on. Here are some quick commands you should know... hit "F" or type /friends to bring up your friends list. (There is also a button in the options screen) Click on their name to see all of your options. You are allowed to have up to 20 friends.


Invite someone to your party and the game will
make private areas for you so you stay together!

Also, as a special bonus for Members we put in a worthy challenge for you. Oh yes.. he has a % chance of dropping that insane scythe. Who else's Dragon would have eaten all the moglins? (Good thing that oversized Frost lizard is Moglotose intolerant...)


Special Member-Only Challenge Boss

(Only available during this holidy event)

Quantum Holiday Knight
In the past we have had players who earned the "Quantum Knight" status for doing all of the quests that came out during a huge release.... So, I think if you participate in ALL of the Holiday events you can declare yourself a Holiday Quantum Knight! It is the ultimate gamer challenge. We could use help designing the graphical "Reward Logo" on the forums!

Requirements for Holiday Quantum Knight
Note: Some of these tasks will be released next week!

  • AQWorlds
    - Get your present from the bag under the tree in Battle on
    - Add a friend with the new friends feature!
    - Visit Robina and Blizzy in Frostvale
    - Complete the Frostvale Quests and save the day
    - BONUS: Knock out 20 other players with snowball attacks
  • DragonFable
    - View the cutscene
    - Level up the new Frostmoglin Armor unlocking all 15 powers
    - Defeat the Boss: Who is a complete mystery at the time of this post!
    - BONUS: Get the Frost Moglin Helm
  • MechQuest
    - Visit the Planet Thoh
    - Go on a mission to find the Shadow Probe
    - Battle 10 Frostscythe enemies
    - Rescue Lucus Landrunner (heh)
    - Defeat the Boss: ShadowClaws
    - BONUS: Beat 5 Christmas Tree Guerillas (Minigame)
  • AdventureQuest
    - Battle 10 waves in the Frostvale War!
    - Defeat KRingle the Barbarian
    - BONUS: Win your 10 battles while wielding a gift box!
  • Special Events & Contests
    - Check out the new all-game art contest
    - Visit our new wallpaper site www.ArtixWallpapers.com!

Holiday Game Releases
The Play by Play
You can see a full list of all of our holiday game releases in my weekly update. Here is our current status....

AQW: 100% Live!
DF: 100% Live!
MQ: 100% Live!
AQ: 100% Live!

He's making a bug-list... and breaking it twice....
Yesterday's Design Notes talked about everything we are attempting to release today. We re running into so many problems... this is such a huge update. As usual, all fo the games are having... "special" moments before release. Here is my favorite:

10 minutes ago preparing for DragonFable Release
Rolith,
"Um... this button in DragonFable is trying to make a Mech walk."
Artix, "Umm wait... ARE there Mechs in DragonFable?"
Rolith, "No, that is why it is so wierd!"
Artix, "...."
Rolith, "Also, Flash seemed to suddenly learn the correct order of operations."
Artix, "That is good right?"
Rolith, "Nope, entire combat system is now broken!"


   

Artix
Dedicatadin

December 18th, 2008
BRING IT ON!
... Ohhh... it has already been brrr-oughten!
Greetings friends! Tomorrow is our most ambitious update since we broke the combat engine last month. Here is the crazy amount of new content and features going live tomorrow:

  • Friends List
  • Groups/Parties
  • Random Monster Spawns
  • Frostvale Special Holiday Event
    • The Town of Frostvale
    • The Ice Cave
    • The Cursed Toy Factory
    • Member-Only Boss Challenge Area
    • Snowball Battling! (Really fun)
  • New All-games Wallpaper Website
  • A super awesome special new feature allowing me to run LIVE events on ALL of the servers at the same time. Prepare for the return of Launch night! (For the <coughs> 120 people who remember what that was -- for the record, it was AWEEEEESOME.)

I hope you are as excited as I am! We have *coughs* not tested any of it yet -- so, you know what we will be doing today! Let me just glance here at the.. OMG! OMG! BUGS EVERYWHERE! HELP! HELP!

A Wight Wedding!
The LIVE wedding of Bello and Merca is officially scheduled to happen on Monday, December 29th at Noon. (Most everyone should be off of work and school during that week... except for us... obivously.... if we were not there our first live event might be a little... lets go with interesting.) The event will remain up for one day whole day afterwords in case you miss the live part.

Thank you Shonen Jump
"...and images of Pocky danced in their heads."
Woah! Look at what the folks over at Shonen Jump sent to us today. A bag full of imported snacky snacks!

If I knew there was free food involved we would have advertised with them a log time ago!

Shonen Jump AdventureQuest Ad

Forum Topic
First, I would like to give you the biggest compliment I can on the last forum topic. I should not have been surprised at the overwhelming number of great interface improvement suggestions... you guys know the games better than anyone. But the secret to making this the best game ever lies within the notes you made. It will take a while, but do not be surprised when you see the best ideas magically appear in future updates. Thank you for the GREAT response on that one -- please do keep posting in that thread!

Todays Forum question: There were so many good movies this year. Which one was the best?

P.S. We are going to launch our first ALL AE GAMES forum art contest later today. GeoPetal and Alac are getting it posted now!

   

Artix
"Buddy ol' Pal"
-adin

December 16th, 2008
Full on Friendship!
Friends List is 90% done
Zhoom is on the last part of the friends list code and we expect to roll it out this Friday. You will be able to become friends with other players and see if they are online, and which server they are on. There will be a handy teleport feature so you can instantly be teleported to the friend your choice. Bug: We accidentaly released a friends option in the current menu.. but if you click it, you will be kicked out of the game. Sorry! (That is some pretty severe rejection.)

Holiday Mega-Release
We bit off more than we can chew...
Then got our tongue stuck to a frozen flag pole...
In our defense, they triple-dog-dared us!

This week we will be releasing our full Frostvale special event. Featuring several new bosses, three questing areas, snowball fights and new items! Then prepare yourself for our first ever LIVE event - the wedding of Bello and Merca (Two long time players of our games who are getting married in real life, but first... here in game!) We also have the release of our new Wallpaper site. It will all start right here -- check back often!

Forum Feedback and Question
We were very excited to work many of your ideas from the forums into the holiday release. Miltonius drew and animated some of the best original suggestions which will go live with the release this week. The question for today is about the interface -- what could we improve on AQW's interface to make everything from logging in to combat even better? (Feel free to draw pictures)


   


NewYork-adin

December 11th, 2008
Frosty the Snow Golem
Snow Retreat, Snow Surrender!
<singing> There must have been some evil magic in.... that old Trojan helm they found. For when they placed it on his head... he destroyed everything around! Frosty... the Snow Golem....


<Sings> You better not run... scratch that... you better!

Frostvale begins NEXT WEEK! So, this week, we have a special mini Boss fight where everyone's favorite snow abomination will give you the cold shoulder. I like how he has little decapitaded snow man heads spiked on his armor. Miltonius is crazy!

Other oddities
The Secret Order of Undead Slayers has sent me on yet another mission... this time to New York. I hope it is not in the sewers again. I still have not gotten the aligator ghost ectoplasm scrubbed out of my armor from the last trip there. Which means... ZHOOM is in charge of the release and updating the homepage this week! I did not tell him yet, so could you please let him know? He sprained his ankle playing basketball yesterday, so you can expect this to be one hopping release! <That was so terrible... that not only did I not laugh... I may have caused internal injury to myself> My next post to you will be from a place with very big Apples!

   

Artix
NaN-anan-anan-anan-adin

December 10th, 2008
The Legend of NaN
Our greatest enemy... lives!
What is a NaN, you ask? It stands for "Not a Number". It is what happens when you literally try to do this: 1 + A. But in this case A is actually a letter, not some fancy pants variable. It is adding math + english. Maddness! It is what happens when an unstoppable force hits an inconcievable object. It instantly hurls computers into an endless dimention of chaos, the monitor spews colors it has never seen before and the corruption spreads to every corner of... well... <coughs> actually, it produces a little error and the game typically stops working right.

Minimal just rolled out a patch correcting the monster respawn issue. Cross your fingers!

BREAKING NEWS: A Snow Storm Approaches Battleon!
Oh snow! A heavy storm originating in Frostvale is headed towards Battleon.... a lone moglin is seen running ahead of the blizzard being chased by a snow covered armored abomination! More on this coming soon...

   

Artix
Storyadin

December 9th, 2008
The Storyline of AQW
Secret insider sneak peak
I hope you all had a great weekend! The team spent the weekend here, locked the in secret underground lab's "War Room" plotting the final course of AdventureQuest World's epic plotline*. We have have changed the plot a number of times now as we learned more of what the game was capable of doing in the weekly releases. The Harvest Feast was a break through for us... so now we are pulling out all the stops! We know our world is full of silly AchKnight style humor, but the main plot is going to be very serious** and will be the backbone that holds everything together. I am biting my tongue*** from telling you too much. But know this... in the intro, you will be present when two major characters fall and will have to choose between becoming the champion of good... or evil. (Feel free to speculate which of your favorite NPCs are going down for the count on the forums and pre-decide which side you will choose to Champion on your adventures) We are working on the content now and expect it to start right after the Holidays end!

* You know... most games know there plot BEFORE they release. Thre is something hysterical about the way AE does literally everything backwards.
** "Why so... serious?"
*** You know I have trouble keeping secrets!!! Why do you keep temping me to tell you EVERYTHING that is going to happen!


2 Million Players!
Congratulations everyone! We broke the 2,000,000 free accounts mark.

Monster Respawn Issue
We are aware that monsters are not respawning in some places. Zhoom is working on this now. I will update you as soon as he has it fixed.

Wierd Weekend
Also this weekend, I took swing dancing lessons, Google sent us two fridges... (How cool is that?) and on Monday we had a huge group of students from a local school visit us here at the lab for a tour. They got to see Galanoth, Cysero and Warlic working on their game releases and spend some time with Thyton while he was drawing, Korin while he was animating, and Zhoom while he was programming. Oddly the sword collection in my office was equally impressive to them.. and I am grateful that we did not lose any of the children to the wrath fo the 47inch Frostmourne that is hanging on the most accessable wall. The most memorable part of the trip was when we had them raise their hands and take an oath holding us harmelss to any monster invasions or stray fireballs that they may encounter during their visit. When showing people around it is very apparent that we do EVERYTHING here ourselves. (Even the terrible wiring of the network in the closet where the router is handing by a few cables and duct tape). I am really proud of our team... we came from nothing and are still pushing to be better than we are. If nothing else we have heart and spirit. (and now a fridge.. thanks Google!)

Frostvale
The push for Frostvale is on. We could release the first part this week, but I do not want to release something half finished. So we might release some "something to do" content and then go for the full release next week. This is going to be the first year were all of the moglins actually get eaten! (You will HAVE to log on to see this....)

Forum Question: What do you guys think of the pet baby Dracolich?

   

Artix
Release-adin

December 5th, 2008
Friday Releases (LIVE!)
The best part of every week is here
I am really excited about todays releases. We just rolled live...


Well... live except this part with DEATH!

Just Released!

  • Frostvale Presents in Battleon
    Placed under the big tree in Battleon... hmm, wierd. Your name is on a few of them.
    - Weapon shaped box
    - Pet Shaped Box
    - Hat shaped Box
    - HUUUUGE Box
  • The Inquisitors Part #1 (map and quests)
    Featuring new quests, weapon drops and the biggest map added to Adventurequest worlds yet! The ew items include:
    - Falcon Lord Helm
    - Crusader Sword
    - Inquisitor Grand Spear
    - Crusader Cloak
    - Inquisitor Captain Claymore
    - White Cloak
    - Wizard's Staff
  • Get more Bag Space
    Valencia will be selling more bag space for AdventureCoins (ACs)
  • New Seasonal Items
  • Frost Dragon
    The Members-only December ultra rare!Armored Baby Frost Dragon

  • New Engine & Database
    This allows for minigames that will rank up specific class armors like Potato sack armor in the food fight.
  • AdventureCoin Refills
    Your membership came with plenty of coins, but if you need more you are now able to buy more via the upgrade page.
  • Encounter with DEATH
    DEATH has appeared in game. You do remember about November 14th's Design Notes post, right? If he pets your dragon... it will turn into a... <shivers> DRACOLICH!
    Dracolich

Also: See what is being released in our other exciting games this week!

   
   


Laser-adin?

Tales from the Secret Lab
Cysero walks into my room and with a very serious voice suddenly says, "Artix, if you are ever going to buy or build me an incredibly destructive laser or energy gun... I want it to look like a 50's style space age rocket man gun." Then he leaves. What was really wierd is that he said it the same way someone would ask to borrow your pencil.

Five minutes later he sends me this image...

Was he trying to tell me what he wants for Christmas?

Which brings us to todays forum question... What would YOU like for Frostvale?
Note: Our first ever Frostvale Presents are coming... there are 4 of them. If you glanced at them you would say their shapes would be weapon, hat, pet, and one HUGE box which is a complete mystery. Even we have no idea what is in them yet!



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