Design Notes during Nov 2009
Top secret behind the scenes information about AdventureQuest Worlds and our other web based games.
   

Happy Birthday MOM!
Sockiversary

November 30, 2009
Cookies
I've Been Here HOW Long?

4 years. I was Hired by Artix to work for Artix Entertianment LLC on November 14th, 2005.

~~~~Begin Flashback~~~

I was an out-of-work animator looking for a job here in Tampa Bay (which is not a hub for animation so I didn't hold out much hope) and against all odds I saw an ad on Craigslist looking for local talent to animate using Flash.

I just happen to specialize in Flash in college, so I figured I would send in my resume and portfolio, not expecting anything back. Less than an hour later I got an e-mail from a guy calling himself Galanoth asking when a good time to call would be.

The next day I was at the mall drawing people in the food court when I got a call from Artix and Galanoth, explaining what AdventureQuest was (it was our only game at the time), and could I come to "the office" to try out. I agreed.

I arrived at "the office" only to find out that it was Artix's house... specifically his dining room table. I was dubious.

I went inside and Artix introduced me to the team (at that time it was Artix, Gal, Zhoom and Safiria). Artix asked me to take a little test. He sat me down in the back room and asked me if I could draw a helm. He left me to my devices and I drew the best helm that I could, my hands shaking. If you look at the helm you can sven see where my hands were shaking when I was drawing the plume.

A minute later I came out: "Oh, did you need something else to get started?", Artix asked. "Nope, i'm done," I replied and showed him the helm.

The next day I began my week long trial employment by drawing 200 swords and Artix and I invented the Sneevi for the new secret project (DragonFable). Seven days later, Artix offered me a job as an artist for AE and I did a little happy dance. I have always been a gamer but never in my wildest dreams had I hoped or imagined that I would actually be MAKING a video game!

~~~~END Flashback~~~

It was too good to be true...4 years later, it still is. Now I'm running AQW instead of drawing swords (which I still do from time to time) but I still love it here.

It's become kind of tradition that on my anniversary I make oatmeal cran-raisin cookies and bring them in to share with the rest of of the underground lab team (sorry staff members in other countries) to celebrate.

With all of the craziness of the last few weeks (Friday the 13th and the Voltaire Event, Arachnomancer, Harvest, Cole, Limited-Time Member Weapons, the TV Commercial, etc) I kind of let it slip by unnoticed, but better late than never.

I was up very late last night making my standard Oatmean Cran-Raisin cookies plus some fun shaped sugar cookies with homemade icing and my faincee made some shortbread cookies for everyone!

cookies!
Yummeh

I wish I could share them with all of you guys too, but I would have had to stay up a LOT longer to make enough cookies. Plus sell my car for ingredients.

Thanks a lot being here with me, playing our games and allowing me to keep doing what I was born to do.

A Chill Is In The Air
This week, we are gearing up for 4 weeks of Frostval fun! We're kicking it off this week with a BANG. WAR is coming. You may have to dress warm to scale the sheer ice cliffs of the Frozen Northlands and defeat the Wyvern Riders and Ice Dragons that you'll find there.

Bring gloves.

 

Funny Robot
Sockurkey

November 27, 2009
Black as Cole
HA! Get it?

It's Black Friday and those of you who have already gotten him know this but this is for the people just tuning in... This is Cole.

breaker
Cole!

Cole is a NON-MEMBER PET!

So How Do I Get Cole?
The answer is pretty simple...again: If you use any of our AE Upgrade Cards to upgrade during Black Friday (that's THIS Friday, the 27th!) Then he appears in your backpack!

AQW Upgrade Card
Available In Many Stores

You can use your card on a Membership or Adventurecoins but is HAS to be an Artix Entertainment Upgrade Card (regular upgrade through PayPal, SMS or any of our other methods WILL NOT WORK! As long as you use AE Upgrade Card the on Black Friday (today), Cole will be joining you for the holidays!

I Become A Member To Get A Non-Member Pet?!
Remeber, you can buy upgrade cards to get AdventureCoins too, so if you are happy with your membership as it is and don't want to exend it or you just need a few extra coins... Using the AE Upgrade Card for ACs will also earn you cole, even if you're not a member.

What Else Is Going On?
Beleen has be Black (and Pink) Friday shop in Battleon, and the Harvest Event will be running until next Friday!

Giving Thanks
Thanksgiving is a U.S. holiday that is all about taking a day out to spend time with your friends and family, sharing a good meal, and being thankful for everything that have to be thankful for.

Personally speaking, I am the luckiest human being who has ever lived. I have a great family, fantastic friends who I could not live without (especially the VERY special one I am engaged to), and the best job anyone has ever had ever in the history of jobs.

I love being creative and I love making video games and AE is the best place on Earth to do both.

I am also thankful for you guys. In addition to being the best job ever, AE has the best, most loyal, most creative, and all around most insane fans that any gaming company could ask for.

It doesn't matter if you are a member or non-member... you're an AQW player, and without players like you we'd just be making up stories for ourselves to play through, but an extra-big, special thank you to those of you who upgrade and support the games. Without you, we coldn't even afford lunch... much less all the expensive non-sense that it takes to make a game and keep it running.

Thank you ALL so much for playing our games and being a part of the AE family.

Hope you had a great Thanksgiving! Smiley Face.

Artix
Harvest-adin

Beleen
Caffinated

November 25th (Argh! Time Travel Faries! I dropped my guard...), 2009
Harvest Festival
But first... our TV COMMERCIAL airs tomorrow!

The television commercial that the team and I recorded in my bathroom (true story, read the Nov 17th entry) and edited until the weee hours of the night last week will be airing for the first time on Thanksgiving day. You can see the final draft further down the page. It will air on the DISH Network during shows on the Cartoon Network and Nickelodoen. Ironically, none of us here at the lab are on the DISH network... so if you are, and you actually see it air, please let us know! (This is so exciting)


You are invited to the video premiere... right now!

What is a Turdraken?
A few years ago on the Super Bowl, John Madden introduced many of us to the scariest food we have ever heard of... the Turducken. Which was were you put a chicken in a duck and then put the duck in a Turkey... and then cook the whole thing. Some players said they have actually tried this! We could not pass up doing a parody of this insane cooking atrocity by adding in a little... um... Dragon.


Turkey + Drake + Chicken = Turdraken

New In this release

  • The Harvest Festival Zone & Quests
  • Food Fight
  • New Achievement - Kung Food
  • Cornycopia House
  • 30 Items including: Potato Sack Armor, Native Warrior, Turdraken Hunter Armor, and TURKEY ARMOR '09
  • Super hard scavenger hunt for Members with the pet reward... Twig Wam.
  • Do not forget that Beelen is showing up in Battleon with a special... and VERY literal 1/2 off shop in Battleon on Friday. Half a sword works just as well as a full one right

THANK YOU!
On behalf of all of us here at Artix Entertainment, we wish you and your family an incredible, safe, and fun Holiday weekend. Wherever you are on Thursday, know that you will be in our thoughts and hearts as we raise our drinks (and Cysero will raise his gravy-boat) to toast our gratefulness to you. I may sound like a broken record, but we cannot thank you enough for making AQWorlds possible.

Black Friday & Game Upgrade Cards
If you are braving the stores this Friday, keep an eye out for our Upgrade Cards. It is still hard for us to believe that we actually have cards hanging on the ends of the gaming isles at Best Buy, Target, WH Smith... and even some gas stations! If you get a card and redeem it on Black Friday (or up to a week later... how come the following Friday does not get a cool name?) you will get a special bonus -- an adorable holiday gift wrapping Moglin named Cole. The best part about Cole, is that he is a non-member pet! The cards are good for both AdventureCoins and Memberships. The other games are running similiar specials for Black Friday.
Check out the Black Friday Specials page

Beleen is opening a special shop on Friday!
It is the busiest shopping day of the year. Black Friday (so called because it is the best sales day of the retail year, which keeps a lot of stores "in the black") is happens in the U.S every year right after Thanksgiving. You will see crazy Half-Off signs everywhere.... and if you log into AQWorlds, you will ALSO see one in Battleon. Although, Cysero may have misunderstood what they meant by 1/2 off. But hey, half a sword works just as well as a full one right? Some of the items available Friday include...

  • Half-Off Sword
  • Half-Off Axe
  • Blade of Half Awe-f
  • Black Cape
  • Black Mage Robes
  • Black Warrior Armor
  • Black Healer Robes
  • Black Rogue Armor

... and since Beleen believes that "Pink is the new Black"

  • Pink Chinchilla Pet
  • Pink Mage Robes
  • Pink Warrior Armor
  • Pink.... you get the idea. I cannot believe she is making us do this. Help! Just looking at it burns my eyes!


Beletwig
"Twig-wam" is sooooo cute!

 

Remember when you were a kid (some of us still are… myself included) and you took your first trip to the Toy Store?

Your eyes widened. Your brow merged into your hairline. Your hands trembled uncontrollably like a caffeine-fueled undead-fighting Paladin*. There was just sooo much to take in all at once that your body resorted to a comatose state in order to process the immense joy within your grasp. So many action figures… so many stuffed animals… so little time… and only two hands**!

This is EXACTLY how we felt this week.
And by “week”, I mean the past 48 hours***.

Releasing new content every Friday is a miracle all its own. But managing to produce a revamped holiday event with seasonal rares AND new shops AND new items AND new quests AND new achievements is simply impossible. Impractical. Inconceivable****. And just plain ridiculous!

Wait a second… who am I kidding? We ARE just plain ridiculous with a side of impracticality for flavor!

Don’t believe me?

Check the Design Notes in a bit for an updated bloggity-blog of tonight’s Harvest Feast Release!

* A Paladin who shall remain nameless (and certainly not the Pally we all know and love).
** Despite popular belief, I am not part Octopus.
*** I say this as I write these DNs at 3am (thanks to 16 cups of coffee-coffee-coffee).
**** Cysero … you keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.

   

Funny Robot
Sock Friday

November 24, 2009
Cole, the Non-Member Pet
Betcha Never Saw THAT Coming!

Introducing COLE, the Wrapping Helper Moglin... because who doesn't need a little extra help wrapping during the holiday season?

breaker
Cole!

The best part about Cole is that he is a NON-MEMBER PET!

People always ask me why pets are always (mostly) member only. The answer is pretty simple: 1) Pets cause some amount of on-screen lag. If we limit it to just the members then it cuts down a LOT on the lag since most players are not members.

2) It's a nice little fun perk for members. Something cool to show off, collect and brag about.

So How Do I Get Cole?
The answer is pretty simple...again: If you use any of our AE Upgrade Cards to upgrade during Black Friday (that's THIS Friday, the 27th!) Then he appears in your backpack! How easy is that? Don't answer. I can't hear you.

Cards
Available In Many Stores

You can use your card on a Membership or Adventurecoins! As long as you use the card on Black Friday, Cole will be joining you for the holidays!

ALSO on Friday... The Half-Off Store!
Black Friday (so called because it is the best sales day of the retail year, which keeps a lot of stores "in the black") is a day when in the U.S. you'll see crazy Half-Off signs everywhere... and Friday you will ALSO see a Half-Off store in Battleon.

Beleen will be showing up in town, selling some half-off weapons (like a half-off version of the Blade of Awe!) and some Black Friday armors (black versions of the Mage, Warrior, Rogue and Priest armors). Because she things Pink is the new Black you will also be able to get a bunch of Pink Friday armors too, including her Pretty-In-Pink DoomKnight armor and a pink version of her chinchilla!

Not my fault.

Turdraken Day
The Harvest Festival is almost upon us! (tomorrow night... eeep!) Oishii will be busy all night cooking up a storm so be sure to head to the harvest map tomorrow to take part in the fun!

This year you can get a special Food Fighter Achievement!

Hey Members, don't forget to go visit Twig after you've done Oishii's quests. Twig's area is a special MEMBER ONLY area with some pretty great Seasonl Rare Armors and Items!

If you're not a member yet... I want you to go look in the mirror right now and seriously ask yourself why not. If your reflection answers seek immediate psychiatricc help.

I will be busy eating turdraken, moglinberrysauce and sleeping on the couch.

Are you getting hungry yet?

Artix
Hungry-adin

November 23, 2009
Coming this week!
Special Wednesday Thanksgiving Release

Oishii, Grand Master Lunch Lady, will be cooking for the entire Kingdom again on Wednesday...

Warlic, "Run!!!!!"
Yulgar, "Everyone start packing! We need to get out of here!"
Twilly, "Ohhhhh nooooooooo!"
King Alteon, "By the great ones! Evacuate the Kingdom"
Gravelyn, "What!? ... why are you all scared of a little Chef girl?"
Robina, "Gravelyn, You weren't here last year were you?"
Gravelyn, "No."
Robina, "I'll help you pack."


Why does this special event make us so hungry!?

^Shadow^ from the forums asked how we can release a zone for this holiday after we technically blew it up last year. The answer.... "THE POWER OF COOKING MAGIC!" ... and yes, brace yourself for Turkey Armor 2009.

Black Friday: The Busiest Shopping Day of the Year
Another crazy Friday!? Yes, this week ends with the craziest shopping day of the year... Black Friday. Stores all over the US will be holding surprise sales, discounts, offers, and bargains. (Blatant Upgrade Card Plug Time: So do not forget! This is a great opportunity for you to get our game cards from Best Buy, Target, Toys R Us and all of the other locations while you are out battling the crowds shopping. All of our game cards can be used for any of our games -- including AQWorlds -- even if it has a DragonFable or original AdventureQuest picture on it.) In game, Cysero is going to open a brand new special Black Friday 1/2 Off Item shop for you... of course, Cysero took the whole "1/2 off" thing VERY literally. Half of a sword works just as well as a whole one... right?

Forum Question: We only have 3 days for this ENTIRE release.... any last minute ideas or suggestions for cooking/1/2-off/Thanksgiving madness?

   

Beleen

November 20, 2009
Tonight's Release!
Arachnomancer, Quibble, Player Suggestions, and more!
Wahoo! It’s Friday again! And you know what that means.
That's riiiight! Better than Pizza Day… It is RELEASE DAY!

Tonight’s release is a huge thank-you to all of our Members! You guys haven’t gotten a special release dedicated to you in awhile, but things are gonna change starting at sundown!

ArgyonExplore the newly expanded Twilight Realm swarming with brand new monsters and quests, and, most importantly, AWESOME new items! Meet Argyron, the Arachnomancer NPC, in the depths of the Twilight caves. It is up to you to help save the Arachnids from Chaorrupted creepy crawlies! Managing to do so will grant you the brand-new-highly-anticipated-and-somewhat-creepy armor of the Arachnomancer!

Ever wanted to help us destroy bugs? Well here’s your chance!
Horrible, disgusting beasts await you in the Twilight Realm. And as if the Dreadspiders weren’t awful enough, new threats have swarmed in to witness your demise. But with every Bad there is a Good—these arachno-foes are LOADED with new items!

  • Toxic Souleater Helm
  • Burning Souleater Helm
  • Gressil's Abdomen
  • Gressil’s Spider Legs
  • Gressil's Impurity Blade
  • Black Spider Pet
SpiderPets

Player Suggestion Shop!
There are amazing AWQ artists out there! It is wonderful to have such great friends like you who help us come up with new ideas EVERY DAY! To show you our thanks, we have added 12 NEW player-submitted items to the Player Suggestion Shop! Remember, if your item is selected, you get it for free no matter how it is priced in-game! Head over to Yulgar’s Inn to get your hands on awesome weapons, helms, and armors crafted by TreeantSkyline2793, Lightman, KittiKataklysm, and Drakonus!

  • Drakonus Helm
  • Drakonus
  • Inferno Armor
  • Treant Morph
  • Supreme Dragon Hammer
  • Supreme Dragon Scythe
  • Kage Sword
  • Frostus Rectar
  • Enchanted Spirit Blade
  • Dragon's Defender
  • Destiny Dragon Blade
  • Cursed Dragon Blade

Quibble Coinbiter’s Battleon Emporium!
Your favorite traveling sales moglin is back in town with his never-before-seen slightly-used items from the future! Oh my… he has really outdone himself today! Just check out his inventory!

  • Gressil Morph
  • Souleater Warrior
  • Souleater Hood
  • Abaddon's Orb Weaver Axe
  • Staff of Soul Weaving
  • DreadSpider Bow
  • Mini Toxic Souleater Pet
  • Mini Burning Souleater Pet
  • Abaddon's Terror Polearm
SpiderAxeBow

And remember, you never know when his inventory will run out or if these items will end up going Rare*… so make sure to get the gear while the gettin's good!

*We cannot see into the future, so we do not know if these items will ever come back. If you can see into the future, please contact Artix asap for immediate employment.

With so much going on this week, has there ever been a better time to upgrade! Experience all the benefits of being a Member while showing off your awesome new armors, pets, helms, and weapons! Thank you SO much for supporting AQWorlds!

See you tonight in the Twilight Realm!

   

Artix
Still-Sleepy-adin

November 19, 2009
Premiere!
AQWorlds TV Commercial

Here it is! As promised. <Rolls out the red carpet> You get to see it before the people who are (probably) wearing suits do. I would like to thank Miltonius, J6, Warlic, Galanoth, Safiria, and all of the players who have been helping on this! (Also, I would like to thank everyone who stayed up with me last night.) We have never made one of these before -- I really hope you like it!


You are invited to the video premiere... right now!

Special Thank you
Also, I would like to make a special thank you to Skyline2793 who inspired the flow of this video (Translated: We re-did the ENTIRE thing after seeing his video entry in our contest. I guess we really do change everything based on player suggestions!) We contacted him the moment we saw his video and he sent us some great tips. We will be making a special award for him in game (and it will be something that you will get to enjoy too.)

Who's Voices are Who?
Originally I was just going to list them... but I thought it would be more fun if you tried guessing first! See you on the forums :-) Oh, and do not forget, this is the last day for the Starsword Breaker and the Unlucky weapons.

   

Funny Robot
Socklimit!

November 18, 2009
Starsword Breaker!
Member Exclusive Limited-Time Item

Starting at 6:00 PM server time, we began the countdown timer for the Starsword Breaker. This is a new thing that we're trying. A VERY CHEAP Member-only item which will no longer be available after 48 hours!

breaker
Starsword Breaker!

We don't know if this item will go Rare. We do know that it will be AT LEAST very uncommon (Possibly Rare), it will ONLY be sold in this time-limited fashion and ONLY to members.

Remember, you only have until 6:00 PM on the 19th of November to get this item. After that... The shop and the item VANISH!

breaker
The Clock Is Ticking!!!

If you have friends who are members but only show up for the Friday release then this is your chance to get an item that they will miss out on, and if you're not yet a Member then you're missing out too.

Every week we try and make your membership worth more than you ever thought that you would get for supporting the game. This is just another fun, member-only perk! Enjoy. Or else.

I'mma go check out this Apple Crumble recipe that (for some weird reason) SEVERAL players have recently sent me. You get the weirdest, nicest stuff when you check your in-box.

Well, I do anyway. Thanks guys! :)

OH, THIS JUST IN! The ESRB has given AQW an E10 (rated for everyone 10 and up!) Rating! THIS IS REALLY EXCITING NEWS FOR US! You'll see that on the commercial.

WAKADOO!

Artix
Director-adin?

November 17, 2009
Our TV Commercial
Unrelated news: 1,000 professionals do a /facedesk

When walking into the Secret Underground Lab, I was greated by a fellow team member with "Woah! I heard you are doing a TV Commercial. What video studio did you get to produce it?" There was an awkward moment of silence followed by, "Oh no..."

<smiles warmly> I believe anyone can do anything. If I ever find out I am wrong... I will do it better, over and over until I am right.

A few days later Warlic, Safiria, Galanoth and myself were doing some serious voice acting in my guest bathroom. Warlic assured me that room had the best acoustics. I got to stand in the tub. We daisy-chained the mic with cables leading into the computer room where we recorded via an M-Audio box with Pro Tools. If you hear a little echo in Galanoth's announcer voice -- it is not some special fx filter, it is probably my toilet.

Then, last night... I ran around Sir Ver taking video of cutscenes and players while Miltonius and J6 custom animated the other parts. Warlic wrote original music for it. Because I am swamped with other projects and completely out of time I will start editing the video when I get home from the lab on Wednesday night. Which is a good time to start because it is due on Thursday morning. With the "quality" and "expertise" of my directing on the Save Chuckles T-Shirt... how could this possibly go wrong?


... this was the LAST commercial we made.
So you are going to want to see what is coming on Thurs!

Be the first to see it, right here!
Before I send it to ANYONE else, I will be posting it right here on the design notes... just for you. Meanwhile, if you want to make some commercials too, we have a YouTube commercial contest happening now on the forums!

   

Beagles have smallish droppings... as compared to cattle.
Bo Bysero

November 16th, 2009
Arachnophilia
Arachnomancer, Finally!

Once again, we are looking back at our work with pride and seeing that we could do a lot better.

So this week, while we are taking down Voltaire's stage and helping Deady pack up his chest of Unlucky treasures, we are taking a moment to change Battleon around a little bit.

This week we are adding a portal to Twilight, an area filled with Dreadspiders and a number of other creepy crawlies... and spider themed GEAR, like the long-awaited ARACHNOMANCER Armor!

webslinger!
Creepy, now with extra Crawly!

Coin-biting Time!
The fast-talking, exclusive item vendor, Quibble Coinbiter will also be returning to town this Friday with a chest full of never-before-seen, slightly used items and armor.

Remember, you never know what he will bring or if it will ever come back so make sure that you are ready to move fast on his merchandise,

Player Suggestions Shop Upgrade!
The time has come to take some of the amazing Player Suggestions from the AQW Art Suggestion forum, and through the mice and keyboards of our talented artist, bring them to life in the game.

Remember: if your item is selected, you get it for free no matter how it is priced in-game! Good Luck!


HAHA!
Friday the Sockteenth

November (Friday the) 13th, 2009
Day of the DEADY!
Friday The 13th Event is now LIVE!

It's Friday the 13th and that means it's time for another Special Friday the 13th Event!

We are VERY happy to have, once again, the amazing musical artist, visual artist, author, celebrity, all around great guy, VOLTAIRE and his creation, Deady the terrible teddy, with us for this special event.

Voltaire
Voltaire!

He is giving shows in Battleon every hour on the hour for the duration of the event! Be sure to come up to him after the show and ask him for an autograph! It unlocks a special Friday the 13th Achievement badge!

There are a LOT of new special Friday the 13th Items being released this week!

  • 3 all new pets!
  • 5 all new weapons!
  • 5 all new helms!
  • 1 all new back item! (This special item unlocks Deady's Treasure Chest. Talk to Deady for the quest!)
  • 2 all new DEADY cutscenes!
  • 1 amazing new map where you can break almost ANYTHING YOU CAN SEE!

new pets!
New Member Only Friday the 13th PETS!

A lot of these amazing Friday the 13th items are in Deady's Unlucky treasure Chest. You can do a quest for the Unlucky Skeleton key (back item) that unlocks the chest... but beware, if you delete the key, you'll have to get it again to unlock the chest again.

AQW Day Of The Dead LYRICS
We'd like to thank Voltaire (and Deady) for writing and recording a special AdventureQuest Worlds version of his song "Day of the Dead" from his album Ooky Spooky.

hat
Voltaire's Cursed Top Hat!

We have been getting a lot of requests for the special lyrics... so here they are!

DAY OF THE DEAD (AQW Version)

I was just a noob the first time I went to Battleon
I was a stranger, in danger in a world gone wrong
I was surrounded by a sinister, unholy throng.
Went to my inventory and I put my armor on

Why? no lie

It was the Day of the Dead did you hear what I just said
Oh oh oh , I wouldn't put you on
It was the Day of the dead I tried not to lose my head
Oh Oh oh right here in Battleon

The place was teaming with some creatures fighting tooth and claw
an evil skeleton made off with my new Blade of Awe
Reaching for the Book of Lore I went to see just what was going on...
Zorbak and Deady had unleashed an evil from beyond

Why? no lie

It was the Day of the Dead did you hear what I just said
Oh oh oh , I wouldn't put you on
It was the Day of the Dead I tried not to lose my head
Oh Oh oh right here in Battleon

The locals tell me not to fear
It happens at least once a year
When Friday the 13th is near I fear that....
all the undead show up here, for the gear!

Why? no lie

It was the Day of the Dead did you hear what I just said
Oh oh oh , I wouldn't put you on
It was the Day of the Dead I tried not to lose my head
Oh Oh oh right here in Battleon

Artix, Twilly, Warlic, Cleric Joy,
Oh Oh oh, They help me destroy....

Frogzards, Wereboars, Spiders, Wolves and Slime!
Oh oh oh, I pwn them every time!

Watch out Drakath, you're next!

More MEMBER ONLY PTR testing
We've been getting a LOT of great feedback from all of you members who are helping us test PVP and how the new engine affects your skills but we still need a LOT of feedback.

You never know when we are going to open the PRT for more testing so be sure to check back on the Design Notes often. When it's PTR time, we will annoucne it here!

With more and more member features, maps, quests, armors, weapons and items being released EVERY WEEK, there has never been a better time to upgrade!

And don't forget that out UPGRADE CARDS are now available in the UK and Canada!

Have a great Friday the 13th Weekend guys!

Artix

November 12, 2009
Friday The 13th Survival Guide
What Could Possibly Go Wrong?

This particular arrangement of words has haunted me for as long as I can remember. Everyone seems to be frightened of this so-called “unlucky day”…but not me. When you have horrible luck like I do, every day is Friday the 13th!

So If A Black Cat Looks Into A Broken Mirror...?

The AQW family can vouch for me. Artix often suggests new ways of protecting me from my own inevitable doom. (Artix says, "Recently we shopped around for a human sized Hamster-bubble, and found that just buying 20 feet of bubble wrap was just as effective..") Cysero is in charge of the blueprints for said plans. Unfortunately… by the time the plan in nearly complete, I have had yet another unfortunate mishap involving ferrets, yogurt, staircases, bumblebees, and/or anything that is intended for ages 3 and up.

You see the connection, right? Cysero is currently forging me a full armor made entirely from bubble wrap. I hope he can finish it by tonight…

A Shattered Horseshoe? That Can't Be Good luck!

In order for you to survive Friday the 13th, I have constructed a list of common superstitions and omens so that you won’t have horrible luck like I do!

Surviving Friday the 13th 101

  1. Breaking a mirror will cause 7 years of bad luck. If you happen to break a mirror, wait 7 hours before picking up the fragments and bury them outside. This will break the curse.

  2. The number 13 is considered very unlucky. Avoid this particular digit at all costs.

  3. Walking under a ladder can lead to a horrible mishap in the future. In order to break the curse, you must cross your fingers and spit 3 times through the ladder’s rungs.

  4. If you step on a crack you’ll break your mother’s back! Keep on the lookout for any cracks on the sidewalk!

  5. Whatever you do, don’t spill salt! If you happen to knock over a salt shaker, make sure to take a pinch of the salt and throw it over your left shoulder. This will ward off the bad luck curse!

  6. A black cat crossing your path is unlucky. Always carry a can of tuna fish so that you may distract the cat!

  7. Never fall asleep on a table. This will bring you bad luck. Beds were invented in order to prevent anyone from befalling this curse.

  8. It is bad luck to open an umbrella inside a building. And even worse luck if you put it over your head!

  9. Horseshoes are symbols of good luck. If one is upside down, or if it breaks, this means that the luck has run out.

  10. If you see a penny, pick it up, and all the day you’ll have good luck! That is, unless, it is not heads-up, in which case you’ll have bad luck.

  11. If you wish yourself good fortune, make sure to knock 3 times on wood. This will help ensure that your wishes end up coming true!

  12. Never climb out of your bed on the “other” side. By doing so, you will have bad luck for the remainder of the day.

  13. Chasing someone with a broom will bring you bad luck. Also, if you happen to sweep under someone’s feet, they will never get married. (Artix says, "But if you sweep them off your feet... you WILL get married!")

I hope this list has helped you prepare for Friday the 13th! If you happen to be as unlucky as I am, you may want to arm yourself with a rabbit’s foot, a 4-leaf clover, a horseshoe, a left sock, or anything else you consider lucky! I’ll be seeing you on Friday… I hope!!

Artix
Test-adin

November 11, 2009
Secret Status of the PTR
PTR = Public Toast(*) Realm!

I would like to thank everyone who helped test Player vs Player and Stats on the PTR server last Friday. As you know, this version of game has been rewritten from the ground up to allow us to add a lot more major MMO combat features. During the first test, we discovered a few** issues with the monster combat cycle and player file loads. As you read this, Minimal is playing "Find the needle in the haystack***" to figure out why the newly remade streamed-lined, ultra efficient, super low processor usage monster cycle.... was using over 35 times more server resources than the old process. So, I asked if we could put up the server again and let us "help" him break it. He said, "No." So I said... "Pleeeeeeeease!" along with a picture of this cat. (Thank you for all of the pictures on the forums to help!) Then we had testing!

UPDATE: PTR Test #2 was a success and we are now fixing the new bugs. Wait... more!? How did you all find more?

* With so many features in development, it was a no brainer to add a toaster.
** LOTS and LOTS and LOTS... and then some more!

*** Less dangerous than "Find the hay in the needlestack"

Happy Birthday Zazul!
Also, Zazul has leveled up in real-life today! He thought we were going to forget... (he was SURE of it)... so we pranked him by singing happy birthday to someone else.We all had a good laugh and some cake in the end.

   


Oh-No-adin

November 10, 2009
It is official!
Friday the 13th, starting at Sundown

This weekend only. An ALL NEW mini event that will start every hour... and why did someone put in a request for 30,000 giant Deady costumes and an 75% destructable island map?

Voltaire Returns

   

Artix
Friday-adin

November (((((9th*))))), 2009
Friday the 13th is coming!
We have no idea what is going to happen**

Are you superstitious? Because this week ends with a Friday the 13th -- the unluckiest day ever! We are having unlucky events in all four of our games (The original AQ is at long last joining the unlucky weekend with a ultra unlucky weapon for this weekend only!) and unless something goes wrong... and what could go wrong on Friday the 13th? We are having a SPECIAL*** event Friday night here in AQWorlds.

Also, the Public Test Realm will be back up this week for another round of PvP madness after Minimal finishes the combat fixes!

* Now with 3 extra levels of anti-Time Travel Fairy protection
** Literally. We are reading your suggestions on the forums now!

*** Do you mean special like "so many people and huge files that it crushed the servers into the ground and make them cry and catch on fire and explode and bring down the entire network like an elaborately setup display of dominos made out of C4.... and possibly a slight chance of lag? Cause if you do -- I AM SO IN!

   
http://www.aq.com/events/contest/pumpkin/
Pumpkin

Pumpkin Carving Contest
1st ever pumpkin carving contest has been judged
We hope you enjoyed this contest! The team was so moved by all of the hard work everyone put into their entries that we have never done before... we gave everyone who made an original, self-made, clearly AQWorlds inspired pumpkin carving a prize! Beleen and Aisha are reviewing the threads on the forums today to fix any mistakes. Also, as you already guessed we did not take 1,000 points away from that one entry. We were kidding about it, but it really was a terrible and dangerous idea. The next contest will be feature considerably less flamable youTube videos....unless you count all the viewer responses. Since Artix is working on a real life TV commercial for AQWorlds, we thought maybe you might want to take a shot at building new commercials to replace the boring ads that are currently in Ballyhoo. We will post the rules shortly and it will start in about a week!
Until then, see the results of the Pumpkin Contest

   


Sock Vs Player

November 6th, 2009
Yokai is OK!
Time To Return To The Tournament

We've go SO much happening this weekend!

First off, we're returning to Yokai to finish the Dragon Koi tournament... or are we? Remember that the winner of the Dragon Koi tournament wins the legendary Hanzamune Blade.

miko
The Prize Is YOURS
...

But it seems that Chaos Shogun Kitsune has other ideas.

Kitsune
...Sorta!

I won't ruin any more than this but in addition to this release being jam packed with information on new Yokai, the dog Hachiko and the Legend of the Koi... it's also got a TON of new items and fun stuff to do!

  • 7 all new weapons!
  • 1 all new armor!
  • 3 all new helms!
  • 2 all new cloaks!
  • 1 all new cutscene!
  • 4 new quests!
  • Expanded town of Akiba!

The quests even give you a little Yokai rep for those of you working toward a weapon, armor or helm in the Yokai Rep Shop!

To contonue your adventire head to the Dragon Koi arena and talk to Announcer Guy (I can't believe we called him Announcer Guy.)!

New Pet Of The Month!
It's been a while since we had one but FINALLY Aria has a new Pet O' The Month in her shop. Introducing: LIL DEATH!


lil death
Creepy.

Thanks for all your suggestions on the forums but we had to pick one. This little guy comes equipped with his own mini-scythe and an appetite for human souls... but only very small ones.

Make sure to stop by Aria's Pet shop in Battleon and get yours!

Pumpkin Carving Contest Winners!
We had SO many great entries that we've decided to make a special page for them. (Drumroll please) And the winners are...
ON THIS PAGE!

That's actually pretty much EVERYONE who entered. You all spent so much time and effort making such great pumpkin carvings that we HAD to give everyone an award. GRAND PRIZE WINNERS each got 5000 ACs, Catagory Winners get 1000 ACs, and everyone else in the Winner Circle (which is literally everyone else who made an acceptable entry) got 200 ACs!

Thanks for making this year's Mogloween a billion times better than last year's Mogloween and I hope we see ALL of you at next year's festivities!

PTR is OPEN!
This weekend, for select times, we are opening the MEMBER's ONLY Public Test Realm where some of you have already kicked my face in during a PVP match!

It's a LOT of fun, but remember: we are here to test how stuff works... not just stomp the weak. The good news is that we test how stuff works BY stoming the weak! Just be sure to give us lots of feedback. We're not releasing this new battle engine (which will be afffected by stats and will contain PVP) until we are SURE that YOU are satisfied with it!

Have a great weekend guys! Or else!

   


Yokai-adin!

November 6th, 2009
Yokai Secret: The Noppera-bō
The faceless imposters of Japanese lore

As you may already know, Yokai is word that refers to a huge collection of monsters. Just like Undead includes skeletons, vampires, liches, ghosts, etc..... Yokai includes tanuji, jitsune, bakeneko and many other japanse monsters which many of our players may have never heard of before now. These new monsters are powerful, unpredictable, amazing and unlike anything we have encountered... and you are about to become an expert on them.

If there is a type of Yokai that specializes in spying, it would be the faceless Noppera-bo! They can disguise themselves by transforming to look just like your closest friend, sweetheart, parent, anyone you trust. There is one dead give away that it is actually a Noppera-bo though.... *coughs* They do not have a face! That is right, if you get them to turn around, there will be nothing there (Creepy!) They are not normally dangerous. Often they are found alone and are harlmess other than trying to scare the occasional traveler. However, if an villian were to get enough of these imposter-ing, faceless Yokai together and use their ability, well... <gulps>

Things you might not want to say around Noppera-bō

  • Sports: "Face off!"
  • RPG: "Face your destiny!"
  • Army: "Attention troops... about face!"
  • Police: "Wipe that smile off your face."
  • Overzealous Soccer Mom: "In your face!"

Coming today
In addition to today's exciting release we will be opening the PTR for testing.... Minimal has a little PvP map working for testing!

   

Artix
Logo-din!

November 5th, 2009
The DragonKoi Tournament
<Announcer Voice> Last time, on DragonKoi Z....

Our heroes traveled to Yokai Isle and entered the greatest Martial Arts Tournament in the World. No outsider has been allowed on the isle in over 1,000 years! Of course our heroes found they were not welcome at all... and the invitation letter from Princess Miko contained a secret message asking for help. What secrets does she know about the 4th Lord of Chaos? Will the hero win the tournament? What are Yokai Monsters? Is Martial Arts Master Ryoko STILL charging up!? Find out in the next exciting espisode... erm... Friday release of DragonKoi Z

Catch up on the adventure now: Use your map to go to Yokai Isle or type /join Akiba

The PTR (Public Test Realm)
To enable Stats and PvP, Minimal rewrote the entire game and battle system from the ground up! It is not really ready for testing yet.... but we are going to test it any way! Want to help? It will be a little bit like Alpha testing. The PTR server will be online for an hour or two at a time starting Friday. Please know that due to it only being one server, some tests will be member only. Watch for golden moderator announcements asking for help. Also, we do all of our testing right here, in your browser on AQ.com and Battleon.com. Only use your usename and password on our official sites.

BattleOn! Games
The Master Account system is in development. All of our games... one account! With cross-game achievements, ability to important and link all of your accounts, an insane level of security -- we are calling it BattleOn! Games. J6, Thyton and Oishii built this new logo which will go on games when they officially join BG. What do you think?

Forum Question: We only have a week until the next Friday the 13th. I really liked your forum suggestions! Voltaire sent a message and said if we made it, he would sing it. Song suggestions include Day of the Dead (Do we have anything in game that rhymes with Mexico?) and Cannible Buffet. We can do the event on either Skullpunch or on Yokai Isle. Cysero suggested a Camping trip. Also we liked the Chuckles tele-thon idea. Not much time left to build everything <tick> <tock> <tick> <tock>. Finally, I was thinking we could do a smaller event and then run it multiple times (like every 2 hours) so everyone got to experience it. Anyone have any more script ideas?

   

Artix
NInja-din!

November 2nd, 2009
Story time!
Trick or treating at Artix's house

It was Saturday just before the big Halloween party. I was still at my house and running around my house jumping over furniture to test out my Ninja Costume. I was already running late... and there it was... DING DONG! The door bell. Panic set in. My stealthy Ninjaness must have failed. Probably when I turned on one of the lights to re-velcro my Ninja tabi boots. A trick or treater had come to my house! I expected to already be at the party so I did not buy any candy. In desperation I checked to see if there was any of last year's Reese's peanut butter cups left in the cupboard. Empty. Rolith ate them all the day before. So I did a ninja roll up to the door and opened it suddenly . The boy, holding his bag looked up at me and said, "Trick or Treat!!!" With my most serious face I raised an eyebrow and reached into my tunic... suddenly pulling out a shuriken! (you know... a Ninja throwing star) His eyes shot open in fear. I said, "Trick....." I dropped the rubber throwing star into his plastic pumpkin shaped candy bucket. With a surprised smile the size of the grand canyon he let out a, "WOOOOOAH-COOOOL!!!!" as he ran back to show his parents.

Side note: I had intended to order 2 rubber throwing stars... and by accidentally ordered two whole boxes of them! I hope you had a fun time on Saturday. If you have a great story please share on the forums!

1st Upholder blunder fixed!
We awarded all 1st Upholders with the badge and Golden Starsword on Sunday. Also... we accidentally gave it to every single new player who happened to sign up Sunday morning. O_O <gulps> Thank you for letting us know! This has been corrected and now only 1st Upholders have the Starsword. How does something this strange happen? Well, when you create a new character your expiration date is set to... today. When we ran the big database update we were doing a check based on each player's Membership expiration date. <Dooooom!> You can probably figure out the rest. Considering how many mistakes I made running the live mod-chat event on Sir Ver prior to the 1st Upholder release this could have been a lot worse! For those of you who do not already know, no -- I do not drink, nor smoke, nor do any drugs. I did dance until the weee hours of the morning though! (Ultimate Ninja dance jutsu)

UK Players are getting Game Cards
by the end of this week 90% of all WH Smith stores in the UK will have our Game Cards. Please let us know if you see any there!

Friday the 13th
Oh no!!! Check your calendars. We are less than 2 weeks away from another Friday the 13th!

Forum Question: What would you LIKE to happen?

   

Artix
Celebrate-adin!

November 1st, 2009
Happy Mogloween!
Birthday presents, 1st Upholder, Pumpkin Carving

Thank you to everyone who has been supporting us and making this incredible game possible. The 1st Upholder badges have been awarded and the ultra mega super rare Golden Starsword has been added into your backpack. Also, ALL of the birthday presents have just opened! We hope you enjoy them :-) Congratulations everyone!

Starsword Mania!
Party on! (Pssst... check it out, Zorbak secretly likes his black skull party hat!)

Prepare yourself for next week!
We are aiming to release the PTR (Public Testing Server) for the first test of Stats & PvP and we return to the mysterious Yokai Isle where.... what? is he STILL charging up?

 

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