Design Notes

January 26, 2018

Tonight: Building a Better Battleon

Battleon and Greenguard Level Up 

In the last (close to) 10 years, we've introduced over 1,000 unique zones, 3,000+ monsters, and almost more gear than a hero can count. With your help, we've had an incredible amount of amazing adventures, and have built a game we are truly proud of. But just like a Hero never stops training, WE never stop working to improve what we’ve built. Join us this weekend, as we introduce changes designed to help new and experienced heroes enjoy the town of Battleon even more! 

A lot of the changes may not be visible to our experienced heroes, but new players should have an easier (and more fun!) time navigating the zone.

Our first zone revitalization focuses on the town of Battleon and its surrounding areas:

  • Battleon 
  • Battleontown 
  • Nexus 
  • GreenguardEast and West 
  • Noobshire 
  • Willowcreek
  • and the Guardian Tower

Changes include:

  • Updating Battleon to minimize the feeling of being "overwhelmed" for new heroes
  • Reworking all the NPCs' dialogue boxes to make them less confusing/cluttered
  • Updating NPCs and the map to make it easier to know where to go next 
  • Making it easier for members to find exclusive sareas
  • Rebalancing monsters and removing superfluous, "too-high" level mobs in low-level areas
  • Updating quest text and drops so they are easier to find/figure out
  • Art clean-up + small polish changes (resizing NPCs, etc)
  • Introducing Vinara's Curio Shop, the place to go to find all your special/locked shops

Some NPCs will only be visible when your character hits a certain level, so if you are just starting out in Lore, check back often as you level up!

Greenguard: New Gear, New Polish

Find Loremaster Lydia in Greenguard West. She's gotten a pretty large behind-the-scenes polish update, but she's also got a shop with gear for new and experienced heroes.

Other Greenguard Forest changes include:

  • New area maps to help heroes navigate the forest more easily
  • Monsters rebalanced and new animations added*
  • Breken the Vile and Ogug Stoneaxe monsters added to Greenguard West
  • Insomniac Beauty, Mazumi, and the 3 Little Wolves have all had their quests updated for clarity.

* Check out the new animations on: Black Knight, Dreadspider, Fishman, Frogzard, Guru Shroom, Mogzard, Ogug Stoneaxe, the Kitarians, Ragewing, Spider, TWereboar, Wolf, and more!

Polish and Improvements

Battleon

  • Twilly's apop is now THE go-to place for all new heroes, and has been made more visible. He'll direct you where you need to go, and show you what you need to know.
  • Cleric Joy has been moved to the 2nd frame of Battleon and will help direct new heroes.
  • Valencia has been added to the 2nd frame of Battleon, and has all the "extras" that Twilly used to keep. (Recruit-a-Friend, Power Gems, Daily quests)
  • All shop NPCs except for Ragnar will be invisible unless you are level 15 or higher. (The shops themselves will still be available in the game menu.)
  • The trees in Battleontown above Aria's pet shop have been reverted to match the rest of the trees in Battleontown

Battleontown

  • Zorbak and Nythera's text has been updated.
  • Keenwa has been removed, but the Guardian Tower armor has been added in the /tower map
  • Elise has been removed from outside her shop. Go inside to see her again. But Brock is gone. No one liked him, anyway.
  • King Alteon's statue has been updated. You will only be able to replay the Derp cutscenes once you have completed the story in that area.
  • Augold's text has been updated.

Aria's Pet Shop

  • Aria's text has been updated and the Pet Shop art has been reverted to before the Queenn of Monsters storyline.
  • Aria got corrective eye surgery, so her eye no longer rolls around weirdly.
  • A house shop has been added for Pet Tamer rep.

Vinara's Curio Shop

  • The Legion Recruiter directs you to /Shadowfall now, and will only be visible once your hero is level 15 or higher.
  • Vinara paid the Undead Legion off, and has turned the Recruitment Center into a Curio Shop. 
  • Talk to Vinara in her shop to get a Daily Quest for Crypto-Tokens. Use these to buy strange, weird, random gear from across Lore. More items may be added to this shop... IF she finds anything strange enough.
  • You can also talk to Vinara to access your "special/locked" items or shops (like the Warp Necromancer cape, Treasure Map Chest, and more). These will only be visible to you if you have the required items.

Trainers

  • Matrea and Thok's text has been updatedALL of the trainers' quests were requiring Rare Classes. This has been fixed.

Magic Shop

  • Warlic's text has been revised for clarity. You can also view the "Battleon Transport" cutscene from his podium.

Greenguard East

  • Monsters specific to the Queen of Monsters storyline have been removed. The original monsters have been added back in.
  • Shi Mar, the mid-level boss NPC, has had his text updated to give players a better idea of what waits for them.

Next week: more changes are planned for Nexus, the Museum, and Greenguard East and West. (The area maps previewed on Twitter are still in development, but should significantly help new heroes once they are finished.

Zone Level Adjustments

New Greenguard Forest Zone Levels:

  • Noobshire: level 1
  • Farm: level 2-3
  • Forest: level 3
  • East Greenguard: level 3-4
  • Willow Creek: level 4
  • Cellar: level 4-5
  • West Greenguard: level 5-8
  • Horc Fort: level 6-7
  • River: level 8
  • Shallows: level 8 (member only)
  • Battleunder: level 10-12
  • Sleuthhound Inn: level 15-18
  • Dwakel Crash Site: level 15-18

East/West Greenguard NPC Levels are as follows:

  • Red Hunting Hood (GGE): level 3-4
  • Tom Foolery (GGE): level 4

Other zones:

The following NPCs have been updated to provide clearer directions.

  • Rolith in /noobshire
  • Calafas in /willowcreek
  • Pete Noggle in /river

Zone Revitalizations: The What, When, and Why

In any area of life, it is much easier to focus on the NEW and the NOW - whatever you are currently working hardest on. That's true for our teams, too. But it's also really important to make time to revisit what we've done before and improve it where we can. 

That's why, each month in 2018, the development team will revisit one of the game's early zones to polish, enhance, and improve what we've created.

The Goal: take the early zones in AQWorlds and polish them until they shine as bright as new.

  • Smooth out quest progression and story flow (you should always know exactly where to go and what to do next)
  • Clean up monster levels and balance, and revise target levels per zone (so you know if the monsters in an area are too high or low for your level)
  • Add new reward drops and shops, giving experienced heroes a reason to return to earlier areas
  • Other adjustments, changes, fixes, and improvements depending on the zone

We want to make sure all the new heroes joining us each week have as polished and fun an experience as possible, and that we address any outstanding issues lingering in the favorite zones of our long-time, legendary heroes.

Important Details

Will the art change? 

We also know that many of you heroes who've been with us since the beginning LOVE the art style of the earlier areas. Do not worry -- we will not be giving these areas a facelift -- the NPCs, monsters, and gear you know and love will stay the way you remember. Our focus with the zone revitalizations is to improve the feel and flow of each area, not overhaul its appearance.

Will this reset progress in the storylines?

No, your progress should not be reset in any of the storylines. 

How deep will these changes go?

The revitalization will be the full focus of the weekly release dev team each week, so changes and improvements will go as deep as we can/as needed in a single week. If, after a polish update goes live, there is more you'd like to see, just let us know!

What's next? 

Before each revitalization begins, we'll give all our players, old and new, a chance to give targeted, focused feedback on the coming zone. We'll use that input as we map out plans for each area's adjustments, fixes, and improvements.

Next up: the Prologue, Swordhaven Invasion, and ShadowFall revitalizations

Tags: Alina,
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