November 12, 2012
Coming Today and Friday!
This week, the Member Only Skyguard quest line comes to a dramatic conclusion. We've also got an update to the Player Suggestion shop coming as well as some stuff that was meant to go in last week.
Today we will be removing Death's Rares, Adding the special Quest to the Golden Dragon Statue house item along with its very rare reward.
Friday we will also be celebrating (read as: poking fun at) the release of the final Twilight movie with the "Twilight of the Lycan" Limited TIME Shop. Sparkly Lycan Armor? Maybe?
Today is also J6's Birthday and he has released his birthday items. We'll he released some of them. He admitted that his old age is getting to him and he forgot some of the items but will be adding them later today as well. two of the items but by the time you read this they will all be there.
If you feel like wishing J6 a Happy Birthday feel free to spam his Twitter.
Bugs and Fixes
This week have a few more things we're going to try to release including the second stab at the tutorial with a lot of the changed that you guys suggested including adding a brief shop run through and attaching the Save The Princess From the Dragon Dragon From The Princess part. We were going to leave it in but separate but so many of you mentioned it being your first memory of the game that we decided to tack it on after you say goodbye to Serval.
We will also be adding the Character Page Achievement for completing the tutorial.
We've got the new Book of Lore working (kind of) but there are several issues that will get ironed out this week. One is that people who did not test Guilds on the PTR were able to get the reward scythe. The scythes have been removed from people who did not help test and the shop properly secured.
A lot of you thought it was a bug that you could open shops that you hadn't unlocked. That was intentional. If you tried yo BUY something you would realize that you could not buy things from shops which you had not unlocked. We added the ability to LOOK at the items to see if you liked them prior to purchasing them. This only applies to badges that are visible all the time. Other badges (and shops) like most HeroMart badges are invisible until you unlock the badge by purchasing that HeroMart Item.We will be adding a note to the shops that you won't be able to BUY items from the shop until the badge is unlocked on all badges with shops.
Some of you are reporting that the scrolling feature is broken, which we are looking into (it might be the book or might be the fact that the latest version of the Flash Player has SEVERE issues with the FireFox browser).
Lastly the BIG issue is with the Recruit-A-Friend system currently to be found in Twilly. The revamped system will give you Friend gems for getting your friends to play, and you also get an % of the gold and XP that they earn on your own character not to mention 200 ACs for every friend that decides to become a Member.
Unfortunately, it's causing the game to crash horribly. Yorumi is currently looking at the system. Hopefully a fix will be found soon but expect a couple of restarts today.
Many of you commented on Friday that you really liked the new Book of Lore design, finding it a lot simpler to navigate and more fun to use. Hopefully after we get it working as intented then it will be a tool you go to a lot more often.
38 days until Just Another Day
November 02, 2012
Welcome To Game Improvement Friday
We love releasing new stuff for you every week but sometimes it means that we get behind on some of the the stuff that we NEED to do. So on rare occassions we will take a week off of the insane stories and thrilling adventures and take care of some business.
This week we devoted ourselves to three main tasks.
1) Get the AQW Tutorial ready for launch.
2) Get the new Book of Lore ready to be released.
3) a TON of Minor Bug Fixes.
The Tutorial will be ready tonight. If you don't know a tutorial is, It's a small part of a game that teaches you how to play it. Right now AQW just dumps you into Battleon without any fanfare. Good luck, hope can figure out how to play.
This is TERRIBLE for new players. It's intimidating and frustrating and causes a LOT of players to create accounts, log in once and run away.
The tutorial introduces a new NPC, Serval. Just after you fall off the mountain in the intro you wake up to Serval and twilly running for their lives from Sepulchure's Minions as they swarm the countryside in his assault on Swordhaven (remember that?).
We designed this new experience for people who have never played AQw or any other AE game before so the monsters will seen very easy and the directions very simple to you, but it might be just what a new player needs to feel at home in AQW.
We're asking for you to help us out with some feedback. Please read the directions then let us know what you think on the AQW Forums!
The Book of Lore overhaul was too large of a project for one week but Yorumi assures me that it will be ready next week. I think you guys will be pleased with the interface inprovements and enhanced experience. I think people will use it a lot more often.
The minor bug fixes are stuff that you'll probably never notice but hoipefully it will smooth out some catches here and there and stop a few of you from getting randomly disconnected.
OVERSOUL: OPEN BETA!
Nulgath, Warlic and Rolith have been pushing really hard in order to get OverSoul ready for this week and som far things are looking great.
If you haven't yet, you should really get in on some of the Open Beta madness that's going on but you'll need a AE Master Account to play.
In honor of this HUGE news, Nulgath has provided the OS Founder Knight set for all AQW players who wish to buy them. There's even Ulric the Alpha Warg.
These items are all going rare in a week or maybe two so if they interest you, if you have played OverSoul or if you're just a fan of Nulgath you don't want to miss these items.
Mogloween and Committed Rares Boost!
The art team has also delivered a host of new weapons and armors to the Mogloween 2012 seasonal rare shop and the Committed Rare Shop including Dage's Legion Raven set!
Unlike most Legion items, this amazing set requires nothing more than buying it from the shop but it IS going rare when the Committed Event Rare shop leaves. Fair warning.
48 days until Just Another Day
October 30, 2012
Hurricane Sandy Has Landed
Quite a few of you felt the wrath of mother nature as Hurricane Sandy hammered the northeastern coast of the United States. This storm broke a lot of records and has already left thousands without power or homes. My own sister had to evacuate her apartment building in New York City last night as Manhattan lost power and the gas main for her building burst. She spent half the night wandering around with no safe place to go. She's fine now, if a little soggy, and so are all the rest of my friends up there in The City but it's a pretty bad scene.
I hope that all of you, your friends and your family are all safe up there in the frozen north.
If you want to help people who have lost their homes and find themselves without food or shelter you can donate to the American Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund by clicking here.
Game Improvement Week
It's not a great name because we improve the game every week. Or try to, anyway.
This week we are spending time adding in the new revamped Book of Lore, and adding in the new Tutorial.
Before we set new accounts to go through the tutorial, we're going to release it for you guys and ask for your honest feedback on the AQW Forums. Once we've tweaked it out and made it as clean, fast and easy to understand as possible then we will add it to the beginning of the game. Yorumi is also fixing a lot of older bugs and TRYING to discover a new way to handle the inventory that might allow you to get more inventory space.
As you know we can't just add more as we are at the current possible limit that the game can handle.
You will help escort Twilly and Serval through the new tutorial!
We will also be adding a new wave of Mogloween Seasonal Rares and Committed Event Rares to those two shops this week. Don't forget that we still have the Birthday Event, the Alina and Rolith Wedding, the Committed Mogloween Special and the normal seasonal Mogloween releases in-game for a limited time. If you haven't played through all of those, now would be a good time to get caught up!
ONE DAY LEFT for 4th UPHOLDER!
Don't forget that tomorrow is Oct 31st, which is the LAST DAY to Upgrade and become a 4th Upholder. You will have a chance to become a 5th upholder next year but you will miss out on the rare Star Swords, the Character Page Badge and the sheer awesomeness of being a 4th Upholder!
51 days until Just Another Day
August 14, 2012
You know we've got to find a way...
Hey guys, it's been a while since I've done a Design Notes and I haven't even had a lot of time to read the forums or Twitter. You know that we've had our hands full with the war but there's a lot of other stuff going on behind the scenes which is why I haven't been able to work on the Mid-Week Releases for what seems like forever to me.
First off, we have a tutorial in the works. A real one.
With very rare exceptions, every game SHOULD have a fun way that gets you into the game while seamlessly teaching you how to play. AQW has NEVER had a tutorial before and considering that we get several thousands of brand new players signing up every day, it's something that we have desperately needed for as long as the game has been active.
You need a subtle hand when developing a tutorial that gets you into the story and teaches you how to play without making it seem like school work. I've written three different plots for this tutorial and finally got one that I feel will do the trick. I've balanced out the sense of importance with the silly that is AQW's life's blood and I've got a short questline that will teach you everything you need to know to play AQW.
This is Serval and you know Twilly. You will meet Serval right after you fall off the mountain at the very start of the game and help this pair fight their way through Sepulchure's undead army (remember? He was invading Swordhaven when the game began) in order to get safely to Battleon where you will gear up before heading off to Swordhaven.
Warlic has already done some brand new music for this area and Samba is currently animating the cutscenes when she finds time between her work on AQW's animation needs and her work on the Legend of Lore monsters. Once that is done Yorumi and I will go through and code all the special one-time functions that you won't need anywhere else in the game.
All new characters will play through this and if existing characters would like the Character Page Badge and Book of Lore check-mark, you will be able to play through it too.
We have no deadline for when this will release because as much as we need this, it's a secondary project to the more important things going on like the weekly releases and Yorumi's ongoing war on lag.
But now that we will have a nice clean tutorial at the start of the game, we thought we would need a cleaner way to find your way through the story in the Book of Lore, and while we're at it how about a way to add quest areas dynamically to the book, and how about a better layout for badges. Maybe while we're at it we could add an alert to your Book of Lore every time you get a new badge that takes you directly to the badge as soon as you open the book...
So eventually that snowballed into another project that I've been working on which is the Book of Lore redesign.
It's getting a complete overhaul. I went through pages of sketches and hours of tweaking with Artix and Dumoose to find an efficient and user-friendly layout that will guide a new or even an old player thought large portions of the game in a simple graphic fashion.
The new Story area will actually feature all 13 Chaos Zones plus the Tutorial and the Swordhaven War.
Mouseovers will tell you how close you are to completing the main storyline in each area and even give you a level suggestion for that area (since you can do them in any order you like). As you complete each storyline your silver frame will turn into an ornate gold frame with a big check-mark to let you know that you've completed the main story in that area. Of course each portrait is a button that will take you where you need to go.
The new Quests section will feature things like the DoomWood, Etherstorm and Skyguard zones and all the mid-week releases. Pretty much everything that ISN'T a Chaos Zone will be in this section and we'll be able to update it dynamically from the database so we can add new stuff without literally re-writing the Book of Lore every time. Once again, each one of the listings will tell you how much of the questline that you've completed, if it is Member Only and serves as a button to take you there either way.
The new Badges Area will have a new cleaner layout. It is broken up into three sections: Achievement Badges for those you earn through gameplay, HeroMart for those you unlock by purchasing AE swag from HeroMart or other stores that carry out stuff and Other Badges for promotional items that you get from AE Upgrade Cards, Crossover achievements for DragonLords, Guardian and Star Captains and other misc. badges.
The new Badge Page will pull a lot from HeroSmash's badge layout. You will be able to scroll through the badges in each section, select one to see a larger version, read the description and either access the shop or find out how to.
The other two sections are the Upgrades and Lorepedia sections. The Upgrades will tell you when your membership expires and how many ACs you have currently and (hopefully, when we get this running) you will be able to purchase upgrades and ACs right from your Book of Lore.
The Lorepedia section explains a bit about classes and opens Itzachi's shop from anywhere in the game. The Lorepedia Button will link you to the Lorepdeia that Beleen has been fiendishly working on for months.
The new and improved Book of Lore is also a secondary project that will be released as soon as we can find time but it requires a lot of coding. Unfortunately Yorumi has been so diligently working on improving the game lag that even guilds have taken a back-seat for now. If I could get the clone-o-mat working then we could make copies of Yorumi and Samba and the rest of the team and get everything done all at once.
I've been working with the art team and Draven from the web team on projects like the Artix.com redesign and the AQW payment page changes (those buttons don't make or post themselves)and the redesign of AQW's landing page.
I've also been working with Mido on fliers, buttons and booth ribbons for DragonCon, and other projects. I've been working with Diozz trying to help him with his BILLION projects such as the AQW 2013 Calendar etc.
I've been trying to keep up with Faith and her constant stream of HeroMart merch to make sure that all of their in-game items have badges and shops set up correctly and securely in the Book of Lore.
And of course I've been working on AQW. Helping where I can with the new releases, making art, working with Dage on his concept for the Dark Caster class and testing that, animating monsters when Samba is too overloaded to breathe, staying here 12-16 hours beside Alina to help her fix the seemingly endless waterfall of bugs that we've gotten from each war release, doing database entries and trying to help a handful of players with in-game issues when I catch a second to look at Twitter.
These are only the projects that I can TELL you about. There are surprises and top secret stuff that I can't even discuss with you. All of this is not counting my out-of-work life AND the fact that I've gone and broken my right elbow a few weeks ago while trying to get a slice of pizza in the middle of the night. As you can see, I'm pretty busy but I feel that I should point out that EVERYONE AT AE is exactly as busy as I am except for Artix who is busier than any three of us.
Why not hire more team members? We can't. We're a moderately successful indie game web game company and almost all of the money that we get FROM the game is already going back INTO the game.
Why not take on skilled volunteers? Because while most people willing to volunteer are very passionate about helping out they simply don't have the necessary skill level to actually provide any of the help we need. For those who ARE able to help out on a volunteer basis... Aranx, Veneeria, Aegis, Hizu, Mods, AQW Forum Staff, I'm talking to you guys... Thank you. Your skill and work are VERY appreciated.
So now you know what I've been working on. In light of all this I HOPE that those of you who are still on summer break go out and HAVE FUN. Enjoy every second of your relative freedom and tell Summer Vacation that I miss her so badly that it hurts.
Looks like the war will be ending soon. Friday we've got more Span and Quibble is coming back.
128 days until Just Another Day.
August 01, 2011
J6's storyline and feature updates ahead!
Junk in the trunk? Who would'a thunk? J6 could, would, and DID! And so did all of you, because you kept requesting more Hyperium updates. That's why, even though he's on a well-deserved vacation this week, we're taking you from the Sandsea's Spitoon Saloon full of hard-ridin', quick-shootin' cowboys all the way into... SPACE!
This Friday you'll want to check out J6's popup text for the hint to where the next encrypted Datadisk is hidden. Happy hunting! And once you find it, you'll need to make your way to the Hyperium's reality-bending VR Room because the search for item 58-Sr3 is ON, and it's VITAL J6 finds it! 58-S4r3 is the key to a plan that's been in production for millennia!
The Hyperium's Artificial Life system is voiced by Warlic.
Remember, though, that everything you'll be seeing in the VR Room is all a part of J6's memories, as replayed by HAL. And memories can contain a lot of clues about a person... IF you're quick enough to pick up on them! What have YOU learned about J6 so far? And what will you learn this weekend? Better sharpen your wits and polish your six-shooters, because you're going to need to puzzle (and BATTLE!) your way through Friday's out-of-this-world update!
Suggestion Shop Update Coming!
That's right, it's time for another round of Player Suggestions to be released in-game! We've gotten some REALLY good submissions, and we're eager to see your art Flashed-up and spiffified by our artists. If you haven't shown us any of your art yet, head on over to the AQW Suggestions board and share it with everyone!
Features, features, features!
We've been planning on making some feature changes and updates to the game for a while, and now that the DoomWood Saga is over, we've got the means and the manpower to make them happen!
Here's what we'll be working on this week:
- PVP duel on/off:
choose whether or not to receive 1v1 PvP invites
- Book of Lore restructure:
streamlining, updating and re-organizing
- Character Page updates:
list items equipped
- Gender changes:
from male to female and back again! (AC feature)
We're PLANNING on getting ALL of these out this week, but we can't promise that EVERY one of them will be released. Most of these feature implementations are on Yorumi's schedule, and he also has to code the J6 release. So if you're really eager to see these get in-game, make sure you /cheer Yorumi on!
May 27, 2011
Book of Lore says, "WHAAAAAAAAT!?!?!?!?"
Why... are you taking me to DoomWood? Down here. It's me. Your book of Lore. You know I can talk, right? Well I can. They say actions speak louder than words, but I can't really move a whole lot on my own, so words are all I've really got.
So, about this Doomwood business... are we really going there? ARE YOU CRAZY!? There are giant man eating trees, legions of undead soldiers, necromancers, undead Paladins, and... (did you hear any of the rumors about the Paladin Slayer?) Don't get me wrong. I like traveling with you... but when I write the legends about you, I'd prefer not to be doing it in the belly of some evil tree creature. Books are made from trees you know. And that's just MESSED UP.
New Paladin Armor and Weapons!
New Necromancer Armor and Items
- The beginning of a brand new storyline!
- 4 new cutscenes
- A dozen Paladin and Necromancer themed armors, weapons, foods and other items!
- 3 new zones: Lightguard Keep, DoomWood & ... um, the final boss of the saga's room? (Wierd!)
- 16 new quests (Including a a "defend until you drop" wave defense challenge with a special achievement "BONEGRINDER" that can be unlocked if you can survive through 100 monsters.)
You can travel to LightGuard Keep in DoomWood by using the "DoomWood (NEW!)" button when you login. Or you can walk there... take the path left out of BattleOn and look for a new road that opened up near Insomniac Beauty.
P.S. To those of you who "get" the LightGuard Keep naming pun and wonder why... it is because Paladins do not stink :-)
ALSO this week!
- This is your LAST CHANCE to get "Founder" in our new game HeroSmash
- Whew! The AQWorlds Battle Card game has been restocked at Toys-R-Us!
- Check out all of our game released at www.Artix.com