June 30, 2011
Short time left to get the 1-Year Special Offer
If you are considering upgrading, this is your last chance to get the special offer on the 1-Year Membership for AQworlds. The offer was only intended to last a few months after launch, but we proudly offered it for quite a long time. We are letting everyone know so they can take advantage of the deal and get the full 1-Year Membership deal at only $49.95 before the offer ends and the price increases on July 14th.
Note: If you upgrade to Member in AQworlds, you will also receive a free, matching upgrade in our new MMO HeroSmash.
June 28, 2011
The war between light and darkness
The war raging on between the forces of light and darkness is causing an unexpected effect on Paladins and DoomKnights across the world... they are becoming more powerful. This Friday, those who possess the member-only Paladin and DoomKnight classes, will find themselves far more formitable in combat. However, due to the new power of these classes, those who do not yet possess either class will find these classes MUCH harder to aquire.
Currently the DoomKnight class is 10,000 gold and Member (located in ShadowFall). On Friday due to how powerful it is becoming, it will require rank 10 Warrior, rank 10 Healer, rank 5 Evil Faction and Member. This makes sense because a DoomKnight is foremost a warrior with evil healing skills. We are changing some of the skills and adding a level 10 passive ability called: DOOMSTRIKE. It adds a small chance on every attack to do a MASSIVE darkness attack for about 50x your weapon damage. If you are a member and do not already have it... GET DOOMKNIGHT NOW IN SHADOWFALL BEFORE FRIDAY!
Currently the Paladin Class requires rank 10 Warrrior and rank 10 Healer and member (located in /join swordhaven) On Friday it will require Rank 10 warrior, rank 10 Healer and rank 5 Good Faction and Member. This makes sense because a Paladin is foremost a warrior with good healing skills. We are changing a lot of skills and boosting damage... and exorcism... which is powerful especially when you blast undead opponents. Also, rank 10 of Paladin will unlock passive... there will be a small chance on every attack to instantly do Ultimate Heal (All-Team-Mate Heal) that will completely heal your party and make you invulnerable from damage for a short amount of time. If you are a Member and do not already have it... get Paladin before Friday!
Two weeks ago, the Necromancer Class appeared. A free version of the class was released which required Rank 10 DoomWood rep, the completion of the Tower of Necromancy (which was a lot of fun!), and a 1% rare drop (The Creature Shard). Alternatively the class could be obtained for 2,000 AC with no other requirements. After the dust settled, the player reaction was extremely positive... and for the first time in a LONG time, everyone seemed to be happy. However, unlike Necromancer, Paladin and DoomKnight are existing Member exclusive classes and require an active membership to use.
I spent a good amount of time talking to the players on the Sir Ver server today about what we should do now that we are buffing them. Classes are not like rare items... we actually want everyone to get and use them. Most of the players I was talking to already had the items... so this really only affects new players in the future. If you already have the class, congratulations! You do not have to do anything and you will just be more powerful when the release goes live on Friday! Those who do not have it on Friday will either need to complete the requirements OR you can pay for your time and obtain either member-only class for 2,000 AC.
Again, the BEST way to get these classes is right now BEFORE FRIDAY when the classes are buffed and gain their rank 10 bonus "chance to happen" powers. Either way, please remember both the normal and AC versions of this class are both identical, and exclusive to members.
Vordred and the "Temple of DoomWood"
The classes are not the only thing becoming more powerful... Vordred, the PaladinSlayer seems to be growing more powerful with each passing too. Which is why you must venture into the ruins known as the Temple of DoomWood this weekend and learn how to get past his seemingly indestructable armor. Remember... this is AQWorlds. ANYTHING CAN HAPPEN. If we do not find a way to defeat him, in the next few weeks, it is possible that Vordred will win the game... and who knows what would happen then!
P.S. Rumors are spreading that a Dracolich is coming in this Friday's release.
June 27, 2011
In these Ruins, You're DOOMed!
Crumbling ruins. Whispers of children laughing. Shadows twisting through the columns. The Temple of DoomWood is not a comforting place, though in its past it was a lively and well-loved center of Paladin activity. That is all gone now, and only the blasted holes leading into dark recesses remain.
You know what that means: DUNGEON CRAWL!
A lone guardian waits, but he is not human. A paladin turned to stone by a skeletal geomancer is the only watcher in this wasted area. He will share with you secrets and send you on a quest to the bottom of the temple, hunting information about Vordred, Artix, and the epic battle between the elements of Light and Dark!
Soooo Many Colors, Man!
Last Friday we changed the color palette to include new colors in a much more aesthetically-pleasing layout. (Thanks, HeroSmash!) Many of you noticed the bug that rolled live with this feature modification in which all the OLD colors disappeared.
An update to the update: bug-fixing the new palette!
This week we're fixing that! We're going to make sure that all the OLD colors come back and that the NEW colors stay there, and they will all look as nicely ordered as they do now. This is a high priority fix because from reds to blues and #FFFFFF to #000000, the color palette in AQWorlds lets YOU look like the Hero you've always known you are!
Members are Classy!
Chaos Shaper class!
We've gone back and forth- and asked you guys what YOU think- about what reward we should give for the 15 month membership bonus. You guys weighed in on Twitter and the forums, and here's what we've decided:
The 15 month bonus class will be... the Chaos Shaper class!
This will be a class unique to AQW, and it will be completely, chaotically awesome! The skills will do some major damage but- user beware- some of the effects will be a little... unpredictable. That's to be expected when you're handing raw Chaos, after all!
No SoulWeaver class
We know MANY of you wanted the SoulWeaver class, and we really wanted to add that in, too, but a few key problems prevented us from going forward with that plan:
- MANY of you wanted a class which was unique to AdventureQuest Worlds
- It would have to be a pet class due to the Soul-Ally which always accompanies SoulWeavers.
- There were limitations which meant that we couldn't have the flashy animations DF's version does.
- We couldn't do the story justice without making a full saga for it.
(In DragonFable, the class has a long, detailed history behind it.)
There is a POSSIBILITY that at some point in the future we can tell a whole NEW story involving the SoulWeaver class (man, do I have ideas! Ideas that take the DragonFable story and go beyond it), but that is not a promise. It IS something we'd like to do, though, so don't give up hope!
Battle-Tested Axemaster armor and helm!
And don't forget the 3-month membership bonus armor! If you have been a member for 3 months at any time, whether it was by one 3-month upgrade or three 1-month upgrades, you will get the incredibly bad-axe Battle-Tested Axemaster armor!
We're raring to see you guys relive the good ol' battles you powered through when it was first released back in the days of the original AdventureQuest!
You like AQW, you really, really like it!
This weekend the AQWorlds Facebook page passed 100,000 Likes! Thank you to everyone who took the time to click that very Like-able button on the homepage or on Facebook! We Like you, too!
Have a great week, and look for more Design Notes in the next day or two with sneak peeks of art and storyline work that will release this week!
June 24, 2011
Big Brains, Smarty Pants and Graduation Caps: SURF'S UP?
We've been getting a lot lot of questions about when the Summer Seasonal Shop was returning to Battleon. Sicne Summer has finally arrived here in Earth's Northern Hemisphere we have finally re-opened it!
Inside you will find a number of returning Summer Shop Seasonal Rare favorites like the Battle Swimwear Armors, the Class of 11 Banner, Robe of Knowledge and the Wild Shades.
This year we've added 3 new Seasonal Rare pets. The Graduate Moglin, Smartypants Pony and the vastly overpriced (at 2 MILLION GOLD) Evil Professor Dolfo... the worlds only evil super-genius dolphin.
But that's not all. We have also added 2 new Seasonal Rare Helms. The non-member Sleeping Tiki Head and the member-only Awoken Tiki Head!
We have also added 5 new RARE weapons to the shop that ARE NOT seasonal rares. Presenting the 2011 Limited Edition AE Surfboard collection!
Each of these RARE Surfboard weapons costs 350 AdventureCoins and WILL NOT be returning next year... or ever again. If people like them, we will do another series for the 2012 Summer Shop but you will never see the 2011 series ever again once the Summer Shop leaves Battleon!
GHOUL'S OUT FOR SUMMER!
Now that you have obtained your Necropolis Student ID from the Tower of Necromancy (you don't need to complete the tower, just do the quests at the bottom) you are able to continue your investigation into Vordreds Light-proof evilness inside the Necropolis.
WELCOME, new student, TO NECROMANCY UNIVERSITY!
This highly esteemed institute of higher learning has been churning out necromancers as well as hordes of undead for centuries and NOW... YOU CAN ATTEND CLASSES!
In fact you'll need to attend classes to find the answers to the questions of Vordred's origin and possible ways to stop him, but i promise you... there are more secrets in DoomWood than anyone knows what to do with.
Visit each classroom and complete your courseload to find out more!
EPICDUEL Gets An EPIC UPDATE: DELTA!
As Cinderella pointed out in her Design Notes, Delta means “change” or “evolution” or “the fourth in a series”- which all describe the way EpicDuel is coming into its own. It’s really incredible to see such a small team make such great strides, and we’d like to invite you to join us and the EpicDuel team on June 29, 2011 (what time? When it’s ready o’clock... just like everything else in AE) to experience a new and improved EpicDuel!
Some of the key features include: 3 NEW Class Evolutions- the Tactical Mercenary, Blood Mage, and Cyber Hunter- a revamp of Fortune City, new characters like the cruel and calculating Alydriah Descarl, the fierce Imperial Tech Mage, and improved versions of some of the original NPCs. Plus, EpicDuel is adding a new mode supporting 2vs1 Boss Fights! When Delta launches you’ll be able to select a friend as your ally and battle against bigger and more powerful bosses than ever before! Can you form a team to defeat these monstrosities?
Finally, EpicDuel is introducing the unique and powerful new Delta Destroyer Sword for players that support the movement by purchasing an Epic Varium package on or after the 29th! Plus, everyone who plays during the Delta phase will be have the opportunity to pick up the exclusive Delta Knight achievement for FREE from any achievement vendor.
Don't miss out on this Epic event! Join us June 29, 2011 for the evolution!
June 24, 2011
For years, players have told me that Death was not punishing enough in AQWorlds. So as of today, when you die you shall have to endure (play scary music here) Death's Ads! Of course, they are ads for our stuff... like the AQWorld's Card Game, Member Upgrades, and such. The respawn timer remains the same at only 10 seconds, but now Death will appear and tell you a useful tip or something silly.We also think the respawn button, actually being a shiny red button, will be less confusing to our newer players. If you are an Upgraded Member of AQWorlds, we are adding an option to turn off the ad part of the ads.
Pre-Enhanced Item Drops
Have you ever slain a monster... gotten a really cool item drop and wanted to equip it instantly? Now you can! Items are now being auto-enhanced with the default adventurer's enhancement. It will be 2 lowers level than your level (So if you are level 40, you will get a level 38 enhancement on any item dropped by a monster.) There is a currently a bug that is causing items to drop at your level. It should be fixed shortly. Also, please note that the Adventurer's enchancement is not very good. You will want an enhancement designed for your class to maximize damage and life. So be sure to get a more powerful enhancement from one of the trainers in BattleOn. Next week we will be adding a level 40 version of the SpitFire enhancement and planning some high level monsters zones to put it to good use!
June 24, 2011
Now this is what I call a BOARD MEETING
In addition to tonight's release of the Necropolis, we are hanging 10 to celebrate the start of summer. Behold the limited time series of rare item surf boards. Good for battling water elementals and great white shark monsters (Dun dun dun dunnnn dun dunnnn) They will be available for 350AC. Next year we will do a new series of boards featuring new characters -- we would love it if you told us which NPCs should go on those!
June 21, 2011
Continuing your Deaducation
Information from Zorbak: 5 minutes of egotistical rambling.
Necro U Student ID: 15 minutes of battling.
Eternal existence as a Necromancer: Timeless.
This week you will enter the Necropolis, land of the Undead and central campus of Necro U! You'll find skeletons, ghouls, and slimes of all shapes and sizes (the other students don't keep very good track of their minions and experiments!) and classes that might surprise you.
Mors potestas est, foetida potestas*
Take a look at some of the core courses offered by the fetid faculty of this fine Institution of Die-r Learning:
- Dark Art History 305
- From Witch to Lich: A Definition Primer
- Spelling: Ars Necrotica to Zombie
- Minion Management 606
- Rules for Ghouls 201
- Grains: Misguided Zombies and Agriculture
- The Art of Re-animation
- Nec-Romantic Literature
- Music History: Grateful Undead to Rot Zombie
- Home Necronomics: Slicing, Dicing, and Splicing
Now, none of these classes will be on your syllabus, they don't mesh with your very demanding schedule. But you'll find that the classes you do take will offer tips and tutorials on EXACTLY the kind of information you're seeking: clues to Vordred's nature and power! And, if you're lucky, you might find out just why Artix really shouldn't come to DoomWood.
What classes would YOU like to see offered at Necro U? Let us know on the forums!
* Thanks to Griffinfire and Graarg on Twitter for the Latin translations!
It's GOOD to fight for the Light
Mennace has made a whole host of Good-looking gear for the DoomWood rep shop! Dage is on drops for the monsters that suitably rock the necrotic vibe!
We know some of you have been saying that there's an imbalance between good items vs. evil-looking items, and DoomWood is the perfect place to address that. We'll keep stocking the rep shop with awesome items perfect for either alignment, so it's up to you which to equip!
More than just releases!
AQWorlds goes live every Friday, and the team is busy every day working to pump out releases which will please and tease you. But we've also got side-projects, back projects, and every-which-way projects going on behind the scenes.
Or, in this instance, right in front of your eyes! If you've visited www.AQ.com recently, you might have noticed that the front page has gotten a mini-makeover. Let us know what you think of it on the forums, and keep checking the pages around the site as they'll be getting a fresh look in the next couple of days!
Of course, that's not ALL that's going on in the Secret Underground Lab. If you've kept an eye on Artix's Facebook page, you already got the sneak peek at the Sepulchure action figure.
It's looking awesome, and we can't WAIT to pit Action-Artix against Action-Sepulchure in a war of ULTIMATE DOOOOMstruction as we sit around the AQW table! (The Twilly doll will be the referee.) For a glimpse of the Artix action figure, check out these Design Notes!
We've been asked on Twitter to add in a few more DoomWood daily rep quests. HOPEFULLY we will get to those NEXT week. For now, though, this Potionmistress is going to go chug a meal-potion and plan out your dark and twisted schedule of classes for Friday.
June 17, 2011
Deception in the desert
Calling all Heroes! The engines of the SS Phereless and SS Whitehawk are gearing up, and their recruits are preparing for action! They need YOU to take down the desert-derelicts who've signed up to work with the Sky Pirates. Why they've teamed up, we don't know, but things aren't looking good.
Can YOU take on and take out the ground-invaders while Stratos and the SkyGuard clear the skies of enemy ships?
With a mix of both map-engaging activities and slaughter-ful action, Anders' Loss is a town that will keep you on the move! (Which is exactly what the DreamWeaver wants...) After you're done burning the trash and battling the baddies, there's a Bandit Basher Merge Shop which is stocked full of sweet steampunk gear!
Super Update to the Suggestion Shop!
Player Power! Proving that your creativity knows no bounds (how can it, when the internet is borderless?), the suggestion shop is now stocked with some amazing art straight into the game from your desktops! Or laptops. Or tablets. Or smartphones? Keep dreaming up these awesome designs and posting them in our Suggestion forum and maybe one day you'll see YOUR idea equipped by millions of your fellow players!
This week we're featuring:
- Charon's Spear (by Aliella)
- Angel Champion Armor (by _Aegis_)
- Angel Champion Wings (by _Aegis_)
- Soul-Eater Sword (by DarkDrago)
- Shadow's Edge (by Aeoden)
- Reki's Twin Daggers (by Reki)
- Gryphon Maul (by Blake Don)
- Crimson Zwiehander (by Cervantes)
- Phazed Blade of Vengeance (by Mateuslindaumdemais)
A friendly increase! After gathering feedback from you on the forums, Twitter, and Facebook (and making sure Zhoom gives us permission), we're making it easier to connect with old friends while making new ones! Starting tonight, the cap on your Friends List has been raised to 40!
Your feedback is golden... and that's why we're increasing the gold cap to 4 million next Friday! So if you've found yourself maxed out on moolah and are too Good-aligned to steal your next piece of high-priced gear, this is the cap raise for you!
Happy Father's Day!
To all you fathers, grandfathers, fathers-in-law, and fathers-to-be! We've BBQ equips, Fishin' gear, golf wear, and all the implements, instruments, and accoutrements that go along with them! May your day be full of family, friends, and laughter! (And horribly-designed ties.)
While you're spending time with yours, we want to wish all of our dads the best of days. Happy Father's Day, Dad! (Thanks for being an awesome inspiration.)
Some of our most enthusiastic fans come from the beautiful (and friendly) country of Brazil. We've had roughly 3.5 million Brazilian players register since AQWorlds began! To show our thanks and to ensure an enjoyable gaming experience for everyone, we're rolling a new server live and dedicating it to them!
Psssst, Brazilian players! Captain Rhubarb wants to share some information:
We have a payment site tailored to Brazilian players! The Fastcash site allows Brazilian users to pay by installment plan. (Where you get a full upgrade, for say, R$20, but you can pay over time, like four R$5 payments each month.)
We would really appreciate some feedback on this method, and if anyone wants to translate the site's information into Portuguese for us, that'd be awesome! (Feel free to email your translations to: email@example.com)
MetroCon or Bust!
Members of the Artix Entertainment staff will be hosting a panel at MetroCon in Tampa on Saturday! If you're in the area around 2PM, stop on by! We'll be talking about the games, maybe sharing some secrets, and going over and questions or comments you guys want to share!
Enjoy the release! While you're enjoying a sunny Summer weekend, we're going to rest up, head to Con, and plan out next week's DoomWood release. Are you ready to venture into... The Necropolis? I know we are! See you Monday!
June 15, 2011
The DreamWeaver Plans
On the outermost edge of King Alteon’s kingdom lies a forgotten stretch of land ravaged by heat, winds, and time. Few towns are left inhabited, but enough people remain – and pay allegiance to the King – that the SkyGuard still patrols their skies.
Awake yet inside the Dreamscape, the Dreamweaver walks the streets of Anders’ Loss – the site she has chosen for the coming deception. A ghost-sun shines in the ever-present twilight of this twisted Otherland; in this place, contradictions exist side-by-side, and only the initiated are able to travel there unhindered.
All looks well, and the Dreamweaver smiles cruelly. The next time she sees this place, it will be full day, and she will no longer be in this land of memory-demons and night-terrors, but in the real world. Ready to play her part in a charade starring the Hero. And Stratos. Yes… Stratos. The Master was wise to have selected this course. Everything depends on the Sky-Captain.
But first, she must draw them to Anders’ Loss. The ambush should go smoothly. The Sky Pirates she ensorcelled are working well with the Badland Bandits they recruited. She anticipates the SkyGuard’s response, and is confident that the two airships currently docking at the Base will be kept occupied by the Pirates’ ships.
It is imperative that they be drawn into this battle. The Hoverbase MUST be deserted to allow the Master free access to the resources they need so badly. It will work. The plan will proceed. The Master will be successful. And Granny V shall meet with the Hero and Stratos, helpless and ready to reward them for their heroics. Oh yes. All will go well.
SkyGuard Swag and Seriously Awesome Shops
IF you survive the DreamWeaver's plans for you, Hero, you'll have a LOT of loot to pick up! This week we're stocking the SkyGuard Rep shop with some crazy-cool new accoutrements for Members, like these electrifying ShockSticks and that jaunty SkyGuard-themed fascinator:
We've also got this (sky) high-class axe for you to wield, and Heroes and Heroines alike will look forward to a set of Aviator goggles accompanied by a snazzy scarf! (Don't worry, Heroes, your helm comes with an aviator cap, NOT the Easy-Breezy Goggle-Girl hairstyle!) These items aren't all, though! We'll have the SkyGuard Helmsman Armor and more coming, too!
Members will also have a bevy of impressive Player-Suggested booty to buy, because we're adding to THAT shop, as well! Check out some of the goods that Yulgar's having commissioned:
And to top it all off, we're also releasing the 2011 Father's Day shop on Friday! What better way to show your dad you love him than by buying him a set of virtual golf clubs? But if golfing is too active a sport for your big bad dad, we've got a slew of sweet accessories that'll let him relax - Ol' Fishing Garb, a nice sheet of Newsparchment, or the Gravity Defying Coffee Mug!
There's something for everyone in the Father's Day shop because everyone we know has a Father or a dad-like figure in their lives, and it's always nice to recognize those who mean a lot to you!
We've got a lot of work left to do before Friday, so I'm going to get back to writing (and explaining to Samba just what a "Dravir" is and why it wants to be a bandit...)
See you Friday! (Or sooner if you're on Twitter!)
June 13, 2011
AE is looking for an Interface Designer!
From this moment forward, AE will try to find talent in the community before posting job postings elsewhere when possible. This position is primarily an art job and will require no coding skill but knowledge of web technologies and flash is a very large plus. You will be working the with AE team and helping to design functional and intuitive interface layouts for some of our websites and possibly some of our game projects.
Let me save you a little time and say that if you don't know what a GUI is, then you are not what we need. It WILL be a full time job, and in the U.S. you have to be at least 18 to work full-time hours, regardless of where you live.
You MUST be at least 18 year old. If you are under 18, if you don't include your age, or if you start with "I'm not 18 yet, but..." the application will not be considered.
What they need you to included in your email is:
- Your real name, age, and country of residence.
- AQW Game account name and linked email address.
- Master Account name and linked email address.
- Forum account name and linked email address if one is entered. (not required to have one)
- Languages you speak/read.
- Resume (or C.V.) *please note we'd like the CV in English. If we can't read it then we can't hire you. If you do not know what a resume is or do not have one, then you are not who we are looking for.
- Samples of your work. Ideally this will be a link to your online Design Portfolio, however if you choose you may attach no less than 3 samples of your Interface Design to your e-mail.
Please send your COMPLETE application to DESIGN.JOBS@battleon.com
If the application is not complete, It will be deleted. And please - one application per person. We will read all the applications. If you are chosen to go through a further interview, we will contact you.
Unfortunately, since we will get thousands of applications, we can only reply to those who have what we might need. Otherwise you will not hear from us. If you have not heard from us within 2 weeks of submiting your resume and portfolio, it probably means that you have not been selected.
Good luck, designers! We can't wait to see what you've got.
Very Small DoomWood Member Release Today!
If you're really on the ball then you've already noticed these but We have added a few more DoomWood Daily quests for Members only today. That will make repping up a little simpler for you members.
Fixes Coming Friday
Yorumi has tracked down the bug which is breaking the stats panel and he is in the process of ironing out the bugs now. Assuming everything is stable that pesky bug should be fixed by Friday at the latest. We will also be rolling a few fixes to the Tower of Necromancy through the week.
Fixes Coming AFTER Friday
Pretty soon we will be adding new server to the selection menu except THIS server will have a tiny little Brazilian flag icon next to it. Since our Brazilian population continues to grow, the time has come for AE's first nation specific server. This will be an English server, exactly like all the rest but hopefully it will be a welcome sight for our new Brazialian players to enter a server where all the other players speak their language!
We would like the make a Barzilian-based NPC and add him or her to the game but we thought we would go to YOU for ideas. If you happen to speak Portuguese, what do you think would be a good name for the NPC/server? Let us know on the FORUMS! Please, no profanity. We WILL check out what the words mean before we consider them.
This is the first step into true localization. It's a small step but who knows where it could lead?
I should also mention that we are working on the SoulWeaver class as the 15 month AQW membership bonus. We've found a workaround for adding new battle effects which might work, so we can finally proceed with that class.
You may remember talking about the Membership Perks before. If you have at least three months of AQW membership (V.I.P X-over from HeroSmash does not count toward the total, must be AQW membership) then you will earn an Achievement Badge and The Battle Tested Axe Master Armor & Helm!
But there's more... If you have had FIFTEEN or more total months of AQW memberships, you will earn a SECOND Achievement Badge and also gain access to the SoulWeaver class (similar to, but not exactly like the DF class of course).
These items are just little perks for people who have supported the game. They all both be FREE NON-MEMBER (set at 0 AC for free storage) itemsOur way of saying Thanks and another Member Only perk, even after your membership has expired.
They won't be ready this Friday, but I wanted you to know that they are still coming. After all, what is constantly updated design document for?
Technically, that sentence should read "After all, for what is an constantly updated design document?" but that just sounds odd.
Speaking of Member Only Perks, THIS FRIDAY we are heading back to the Member Only Skyguard Area. I'll save the details for Alina to tell you in future Design Notes posts this week, since she is writing the zone.
We will also be buffing the Player Suggestion Shop with a bevy of Member Only items this Friday.
Father's Day is this Sunday so we will be running the 2011 Father's Day shop from Friday until Monday.
Now that I'm someone's dad I can say... be very nice to your dad.
Lastly, since you guys have been asking for it I was able to talk Zhoom into finding room for 10 more Friends List spaces for everyone, also coming This Friday. Yay, Zhoom!
I Just Noticed...
... That Artix has already written a Design Notes post today. If you're just reading this now, be sure to check out Artix's E3 Review below!
June 13, 2011
Titan and I are back at the lab
Last week, Titan and I went to Los Angeles to attend E3, the Electronic Entertainment Expo. It is the most famous gaming expo of the year where the biggest game companies in the world announce their new consoles and games. Those of you following me on Twitter got the inside scoop on some of our wacky adventures... but as promised -- you get the full story here.
Some highlights include playing the new Final Fantasy XIII-2, StarWars: The Old Republic, checking out the Wii-U, and seeing all of the crazy displays that these companies created. We met with one of the awesome co-founders of Unity 3D. He was probably the first person I met that talked faster than I do when I get excited.... and he talked 3x faster! We also hung out in my room for two hours with the President of Electronic Arts and the head guy from Bioware. It was REALLY inspiring (as I am sure you already surmised.)
Some AE staff do not have game-names... but do like Warhammer!
Earlier that day I was truly flattered when we walked by the Sony area and the President of Sony Online Entertainment recognized me! This was a pretty big deal to me personally because John Smedly (known online as Smed) has been a long time role model of mine. He created the original EverQuest. He is also one super nice guy who really loves games. You would be surprised at how few Presidents of major game companies actually play their games.
We also got to hang out with some big-wigs from Ubisoft (I totally scored Zhoom a pre-release copy of the upcoming Assasin's Creed) and... ok. You guys know me. I am literally on cloud 9 after this trip and am so excited I do not know how to contain all the joy. (And if you think I am happy, you should see Titan!) .
It got better though. We made friends with head honcho over at BigPoint and got invited to the most exclusive party at E3. Where, I am embarrased to say.. I was standing 3 feet away from Notch and missed the chance to meet him in person! (In all fairness, I did not know he was Notch. I only figured it out when I was telling stories to Rolith and it hit me who he was.) We cancelled our flights to attend, and PariahCon was the next day. So with less than 1 hour of sleep we got on the 1st flight back to Florida to try to make it to PariahCon before the panel started!
The plane landed in Florida. As I stepped off the plane there were only 30 minutes remaining to get to the convention before the Artix Entertainment Panel started. Which would have been fine... except that the contention was about an hour away. Worse yet, there was a 6-car pile-up crash on the highway which shutdown the highway (I hope no one was hurt.)
PariahCon is a brand new convention created by a friend of Korin's. While small, it was super fun for everyone who attended. Nythera, Thyton, Faith, Safiria, Jemini, Stratos and other AE team members were running our booth and showing people how to play the AQworlds card game.
Cysero really does look like his NPC!
*Sad face* I arrived 30 minutes after our panel had ended. Cysero, who ran the panel (and was super fun as usual), told me on the phone that there where only a few of our players at this convention... and that I should stop stressing. ...and a little joke about how he hoped we could write-off those super expensive, last minute tickets to try to get here on time. But it was easy for him to be encouraging... he got to hang out with the players in person! But then it hit me.... because there were only a few players there, they would still be around after the panel and I could give all my attention to them when I got there! Which is exactly what I did. 100% worth the tickets! *Big smile*
This week in AQWorlds
After battling all this undead we are getting a breath of fresh air and returning to the SkyGuard storyline! Then, the following week we will return to DoomWood and enter... THE NECROPOLIS!
June 10, 2011
Do YOU have what it takes to get to the top?
It’s your wits versus the Tower in 10 levels of perilous puzzles and losing is the pits, literally! (Rumor has it that all failing challengers end up as new Tower minions or in… the INFERNAL PIT OF ENDLESS DOOM!) But you shouldn’t worry about that. You’re a hero with brawn AND brains, so making it to the top will be dead-easy. Right?
You’ll need to pull levers, navigate traps, and open doors. Sounds simple, but thanks to Cysero thinking outside the box and inside the coffin, you’ve got a real challenge to overcome! Thankfully, you’ll also have a kind, compassionate voice spurring you on to success as you ascend the levels. We consider the voice-acting (done by Kimberly of One-Eyed Doll), a triumph. Make a note of her huge success.
When- or should I say IF- you get to the top, you’ll meet the Master of the Necropolis. This twisted teacher will have a bonus cutscene, a shop full of ebilly-skullicious necro-gear, and the merge shop to make the Necromancer class!
Calling all Necromancer Wanna-be’s!
Are YOU ready to take the final step into Darkness? Do you have what it takes to become… a Necromancer? I thought so, excellent! There are TWO paths to get the Necromancer Class, and it’s your call which to take:
- The Tower: Purchase the NUE Necronomicon from the Rep Shop in Lightguard (requires rank 10 DoomWood Rep); find the Creature Shard (drops off the Creature Creation in the Maul); and talk to the Master at the top of the Tower to buy it for 50,000 gold.
- The Hideout: Purchase the Necromancer Class for 2,000 ACs by talking to Zorbak.
Be sure to check out the Necromancer Class skill write-up that Cysero put out yesterday for details! Also, the AC version will also be purchasable through Quibble in BattleOn, but not for long! Once he’s gone, only Zorbak will have the AC version. And remember what Cysero said yesterday:
Other than the price (and the fact that you can store the AC version for free because it is an AC item) there is NO DIFFERENCE AT ALL between these two versions of the class. They have the same appearance, they have the same skills.
Sneaking in to Necro U
But Alina, you ask, what if I don’t WANT to become a Necromancer? I still need to get into Necro U to save DoomWood. What do I do?
Simple! If you have the know-how to counterfeit and the will to trespass – and we know you do, because you are a very resourceful Hero – then just complete the eyeCom Cam Unit’s quests! There are 3 to finish in order to create a believably authentic Necro U Student ID. The eyeCom will assist you as needed. (Like keeping an eye out for invading Paladins, or watching your back. Or just staring really, really hard at you.)
PariahCon 2011! (So lonely in the Lab)
Most of the AE team at the Secret Underground Lab are taking the day to meet players and swap swag at PariahCon in Lakeland, Florida. Secrets will be shared, swag will be signed, and round after round of the card game will be played! Check Twitter for pictures from the event! (Stories from E3 and PariahCon might be shared on Monday, if you’ve been suitably heroic over the weekend. Hint: Get to rank 10!)
While Artix and Cysero are having a blast at the Con, Samba, Yorumi, Zhoom, and I have been having an equally explosive time here at the Lab. (Bugs do not respond well to TnT. Neither do laptops, unfortunately.) I’ve got a checked list as long as my forearm, and it’s all cleared off, which means it’s time for YOU guys to get your game on!
June 09, 2011
Unraveling The Mystery Of Necromancer
The Necromancer Class comes out TOMORROW. Somehow people are still confused about the EARNED & AC versions of the class so I will try and break it down.
There will be 2 paths to get that lead to obtaining the non-member Necromancer class.
PATH 1, The Earned Path: You can EARN the Necromancer through hard work and dedication. Once you reach the top of the Tower of Necromancy in DoomWood the master of the tower will offer you the class if you are able to deliver 2 items. The first is the Necropolis University Expanded edition of the Necromonicon which can ONLY be found for Rank 10 DOOMWOOD REPUTATION from the DoomWood Rep Shop in LightGuard Keep. The second item a Creature Shard that will be a 5% drop from the Creature Creation in the Chopping Maul.
In summary, to earn the EARNED version you need to get to Doomwood Rep Rank 10, Farm the Creature Creation and overcome all of the tests and puzzles on your way to the top of the tower.
PATH 2, The AC Path: You can BUY the Necromancer for 2000 ACs from Zorbak in his hut in the Chopping Maul map. You will have to have completed all of the doomwood quests neccessary to enter Zorbak's hut but hopefully you have aleady done that.
the AC version will also be able to be purchased through Quibble until he leaves town, then you will have to buy it from Zorbak if you want that version. It will NOT be going Rare when Quibble leaves.
Other than the price (and the fact that you can store the AC version for free because it is an AC item) there is NO DIFFERENCE AT ALL between these two versions of the class. They have the same appearance, they have the same skills.
Necromantic Skill Set
Now let me tell you what to expect from Necromancer.
You need to understand the Necromancer to really master it. Necromancers are all about stealing life energy from the living and even sacrificing their own life energy to become more powerful. If you are unwise, you can eaisly kill yourself with this class.
The class balances on the razor's edge between life and death. Using your own life force to power your pet and stealing your enemies life force to keep you alive. It needs you to pay attention and use your brain.
Watch your HP bar, find the happy place between sacrifice and power... then DESTROY!
2 second cooldown.
A basic attack, taught to all adventurers.
45 mana, 16 second cooldown.
Summon an undead minion to your side or sends it into a frenzy, doubleing all damage at the cost of health.
This is a very necessary skill to understand.
FIRST, if you do not summon your minion, your attacks will do next to nothing to your foe.This should the first skill you use, unless the Skeletal Minion is already standing right in front of you.
SECOND, if you have another pet equipped, UNequip it. Your minion cannot be summoned if you already have a pet equipped.
THIRD, once your minion has been summoned this becomes a POWERFUL attack buff for your pet. You watch as your pet goes into overdrive doing slightly more than DOUBLE DAMAGE for the duration of the effect, but you also watch a portion of your life energy tick away.
15 Mana, 5 second cooldown.
Weakens the target, lowering damage while stealing some of its life and healing you.
You will be using this skill a LOT. Not only does it do a small amount of damage and return some HP to you, it also lowers your foe's damage output by 40% for the duration of the effect. As nice as this is, between your pet's Frenzy skill and the Infect skill, you will be giving up a lot of your life.
Use this to keep you going.
3 second cooldown.
Infect yourself, damaginf yourself tor estore MP.
THIS SKILL is the dangerous one. You can get away without using it, but if you learn how to use it wisely, it basicaly opens up a world of infinite power to you. Use this skill to convert a good portion of your HP directly into MP.
Master this skill and you master the class.
DEATH'S SPEED & DEATH'S STRENGTH
Increase Damage Output by 20%
Increase Haste by 20%
Pretty standard fare here. Ranking up the class unlocks the ability to do more damage and do it faster than ever before.
20 Mana, 6 second cooldown.
Order your pet to attack doing increased damage.
Here is your mini-nuke. It's a very handy power to unlock as it buffs your pet for a beefy single strike against your foe which only costs mana, without eating any of your life. Use in conjunction with Summon Frenzy skill and apply liberally to foe for best results.
Just spam this sucker. It's not like you're running out of mana anytime soon, right?
SO there you have it. Necromancer in a nutshell. If I were you I'd use Wizard Enhancements since Necro gets its power mainly from INT and slightly from WIS like Magi do.
Right now the Skeletal Mintion pet that you summon to stand before you, shield you and attack your enemies is the ONLY Battle Pet in AQW. We plan on adding several more in coming weeks which will be REAL pets (not temp pets) and nearly all of which are planned to be member only.
ALSO COMING TOMORROW!
In addition to the Necromancer Class to be found at the top of the Tower of Necromancy and the AC version in Zorbak's Hut, we have also spent all week working on the devilishly constructed Tower of Necromancy. The original plan for the tower was set down on paper by Artix and it goes from pretty simple to nearly impossible in only 10 floors!
If you are able to make it to the top, not only will you get a bonus cutscene where you meet the Master of the Tower but you will ALSO gain access to the MEMBER ONLY Necromancer Shop in which you will find a treasure trove of necrotic weapons and a few alternate armors for the necromancer.
Quibble is also getting a buff this week, vastly increasing the number of items he is offering. This round will be more Pali themed and less skull-i-fied but there are a few putrid additions all provided by AE artist Mennace.
AE and PariahCon 2011!
Several members of the Artix Entertainment STAFF including Artix, Nythera, Jemini, Korin, myself and several others are headed to the Imperial Swan Hotel Lakeland, FL on Friday, June 10th for PariahCon 2011!
It's Lakeland's first ever anime/gaming/collectible convention. Because this is the first year for this con, we expect it to be small but small cons are GREAT for getting to meet lots of new people!
Our Artix Entertainment Panel will be held on Friday, June 10th at 4:00 PM EST in the Main Events Room on the 7th Floor. We will be talking about all kinds of secret AE projects, playing round after round of the AQW Battleon Battle Card game with everyone there and just goofing off. We really hope to see you there!
Welcome Back Alina!
Glad to have you back in the lab. Thanks to everyone who wished her well onver Twitter and on the forums.
June 06, 2011
The Tower Of Necromancy
This Friday, the story of DoomWood continues as we head to the Tower Of Necromancy where questions will be answered, wits will be tested, old characters will re-appear and NECROMANCER CLASS will be obtained.
As you may remember from my last post, there will be TWO ways to get your hands on the non-member Necromancer Class. The first will require a LOT of hard work. First you will need to reach RANK 10 in DoomWood Reputation to purchase some materials that will be required to unlock the class, Next you will need to farm the Creature Creation for a not-very-rare drop, and lastly you will need to reach the top of the Tower Of Necromancy in the heart of DoomWood Forest.
The maniacal master of the tower will test you, and if you are able to reach the top of the tower, you will be able to unlock and equip the powerful Necromancer Class!
The other option is to buy it with AdventureCoins. Zorbak, who is always looking to cause trouble, will offer to sell an AC version of the class for 2000 ACs. This AC version of the Necromancer Class will also be added to Quibble's shop for the duration of his stay (at least one more week). Once he leaves, you will still be able to buy it from Zorbak or earn it from the Tower. Or both,
but no reason for that since they are completely identical other than price.
The top of the tower will also sport some necrotic weapons and some member only options for Necromancer like a Color Custom version of the base armor and hood...
Or purchase the member only Necrolock robes and hood, also for gold. They are not CC but they're still quite lovely.
Meanwhile, back in the AE Underground lab... Yorumi is still hard at work building this innovative new type of class. Our aim is to allow you to command a new type of pet called Battle Pets to do your bidding. Most of the class skills are buffs to the pet's damage or haste, but other skills will allow you to regain mana or life through pet attacks.
The class SHOULD come with a very basic version of a Battle Pet built in (a skeleton in this case), but later we want to open other Battle Pets to the game for member-only purchase (there might be a few very very very rare cases where we might offer non-member or AC Battle Pets but not often). THESE Battle Pets might even come with their own signature skill, unlike the base pet that comes build into the class.
There is still a long way to go to make the class function the way we would like it to, but as soon as I have some solid skills ready for balancing I will give you guys a skills write up.
Meanwhile, back in the AE Underground lab... Artix is single-handedly planning out the levels of the tower, trying to create a unique challenge for you. You will be required to take command of several skeletal minions and move them across the room to reach a lever. Once you acomplish this task, the platform will take you one level higher in the tower. Sounds pretty simple, right?
Meanwhile, back in the AE Underground lab... Zhoom, being the clever code monkey that he is ,believes that he has found the recent source of massive lag in DoomWood. He could be wrong but he has, to my knowledge, never been wrong about anything else. Ever. We will continue trying to track down some of the pesky quest bugs in that area as well. We will be applying those fixes as the week continues.
Come See Us, Please!
AE is going to more conventions than EVER this year. Granted, we are mostly going to ones we can drive to in under an hour but still, more is more, and we would LOVE to meet you guys.
Here's what's goin down...
E3: THIS WEEK Artix and Titan will be heading to the E3 (The Electronic Entertainment Expo).
It's not really a convention but more of a big annual trade show for the computer and video games industry presented by the Entertainment Software Association.
There, they will rub elbows with some of the industry greats and also get to play with some of the worlds coolest toys. E3 runs June 7-9 and we don't have a panel or booth but if you happen to be in L.A., get a chance to visit the E3, and know what Artix or Titan look like... say hi!
PARIAHCON: Then, this weekend Artix, Nythera, Thyton, Jemini, Korin, me and a few other members of the AE staff will head to Lakeland, FL for PariahCon 2011.
This one actually IS a convention claiming to be Lakeland's first anime/gaming/collectible convention. Considering that Lakeland is a wonderful but only mid-sized town with roughly 584,000 people inhabiting it, that comes as no great surprise.
We will have a panel, Artist Alley booth AND a booth at this one. The Con runs JUNE 10-11 and our panel is at Friday, 4:00 PM in the Main Events room on the 7th floor of the hotel hosting the convention.
After our panel, we'll mostly be playing (and selling) Battle Cards at our swag booth. This WILL be a small con. If you happen to make it we'll be able to hang around with you like... all day.
METROCON: This convention is a bit larger being held, as it is every year, at the Tampa Convention Center, June 17-19.
Once again, we've got a panel and swag booth. Our panel at this convention will be 2:00 PM on Saturday then several hours of trying to follow Artix through the merch room. He vanishes like a 4 year old in a department store. POOF.
DRAGONCON: This is our BIG convention that we go to every year, and I consider to be my home away from home.As always it's held the first weekend of SEPTEMBER (Sept. 2-5) in Atlanta, GA.
We will have a panel and that is it but we will ALSO be giving away our yearly DragonCon Pet (last year those who came out to see us helped us come up with the Steampunk Dragon non-member pet).
Our Panel is on Friday 2:30 - 5 PM. The room is yet to be decided but you will find us in your Con Guide under the MMO Track. I will also accept ALL Battle Card challenges offered at this con. Probably the others too. I will be fully prepared to sit down on the floor in the middle of a hall way surrounded by roughly 80,000 con-goers and begin dueling.
I can't speak for everyone but I utterly and completely LOVE running into players at conventions and at DragonCon especially! This is how I first met Stratos who is now one of the head Mods, as well as a number of other super-fans who came out just to attend our panel and many of them have also become trusted friends. A few of those guys have also become mods, come to think of it.
That doesn't mean that coming to con will make you a Mod, but if you're the kind of AE fan who makes the trip just to meet us (sometimes from as far away as New Zealand!), it's a pretty good bet that you're the kind of person that we're looking for to be a mod.
Get Well Soon
If you follow our Twitter feeds, you know that Alina had surgery last week. She considers it minor surgery but she also tried to work from home within an hour of being released from the hospital so that's how sane (or dedicated) SHE is.
Rolith (her husband to be... got enganged at DragonCon last year!) and I wouldn't let her. She eventually resigned herself to sleeping off her surgery and trying to heal.
I just want you all to know that she is well, recovering nicely, even spent 45 minutes on the phone with Artix talking over DoomWood plot this morning. With some luck she hopes to be back in the lab toward the end of this week.
Get well soon, Alina. We miss you at the AQW table and the halls of the AE lab are far too quiet without "There's a MAYUN in there!" bouncing off of them. (Inside joke. Ask her.)
Now, stop laughing, you'll pop a stitch, and get some sleep.
June 03, 2011
Did you know the undead LOVE malls?
In game, I am on my way to DoomWood to battle endless waves of skeletons and find out why you did not tell me about the UNDEAD INVASION!? How could you not tell me about something like that? Guess I will find out shortly. When I was passing by BattleOn I saw that Quibble Coinbiter is in town selling new, never-before-seen rare items... from the future (all thanks to Quibble's midly corrupt time traveling fairy supplier) My undead senses are tingling and I see a Mall in your future!
The Chopping Maul: Cause' zombies love Malls
New in this release
- Quibble Coinbiter is in town for a limited time with amazing RARES! (Crafted by Dage, Nulgath, Mennace)
- Also, at the last minute J6 added some hockey themed items in honor of the playoffs for all of your Hockey Fans! (Note: Some zombies are also fans of Hockey masks.. but just on Fri the 13th)
- 3 new DoomWood Cutscenes
- The Chopping Maul - DoomWood's Mall
- 4 new monsters - The personal Chopper, The Shellatin, Slimeskull and THE CREATURE CREATION miniboss
Note: This week's release is crazy and lighthearted as future parts of DoomWood will be very serious. This week is leading up to the Tower of Necromancy which is coming next week -- so be sure to be caught up in the plotline before then! The Tower of Necromancy will include a challenging puzzle minigame, the appearance of a surprise character, and voice acting :-)