Design Notes

April 15, 2013

Rhubarb's Little Helper

Thanks For All Of Your Help

This weekend AQW encountered a very large problem. We started getting lots of reports of people being unable to start brand new accounts. As you might know, AQW needs players to keep it going and the more we have the better we do so when there's a bug that stops being from being able to create free accounts, we take it VERY seriously. 

Being the generally awesome group of people that you are, you jumped up and began volunteering useful information, a few of you even taking movies of the account creation not working which was great but we were still unable to narrow down the cause of the problem. 

One player who was having the issue struck me as both a native English speaker and very mature and well spoken (all traits that we need when testing for bugs). I asked if he was willing to hop on to AQW and help Captain Rhubarb track down the issue and he did. 

While many of you volunteered the same information as this guy, he sat in a room with Cap and I for many hours, testing link after link, opening up his browser's networking panel and reading us the output as Cap tried to figure out what the source of this bug was. 

This player asked for no kind of reward and expected nothing in return for sitting in a private room and being our test subject for hours after numb-numbing hour. He has a live. He could have gotten bored or tired and we would have understood but he was a trooper and kept working with us deep into the night until his services were no longer required and Cap and put a temporary fix in until he could patch the issue. 

He was such a great sport that I offered to do something for him to thank him for his hard work. He is already a Member with plenty of ACs and several thousand Artix points just waiting to be spent so I asked if there was a rare that I could give him as a thank you. 

He asked if Dark Caster was too much. I told him that I was sorry but it was. It would be unfair to everyone who entered the SUATMR contest to just magic one into existence for him when we were scavenging used ones from our own accounts for the winners. It couldn't come from that list. 

Finally, he asked if I might be able to give him the Oblivion Blade of Nulgath pet, which I was happy to do. 

It's not the first time that a Dev has awarded a player for helping us in some respect and it won't be the last (not that we give a gift to EVERY person who helps us, either.), but there seem to be lots and lots of people on the forums and on Twitter who either think that this player did not deserve an award or that they ALSO deserved an award. To those people I offer this:

  • To those who think he did not deserve a this treatment... I'm not sure what you think that but you really don't have any idea what he did to earn it our how much he helped us out. Whomever we ask to help us and what we offer them, if anything, to thank them is our call. 

  • To all those who think they should also get something... part of the reason that I was willing to offer him a thank you was that he never asked for anything in return and nor indicated in any way that he expected something. He was willing to help just to help fix the game, and we are very grateful for that kind of selfless appreciation of AQW. Again, I want to thank everyone who tried to provide us info about the bug but he ended up being immeasurably helpful in testing this thing.

We move at a very rapid pace at AE. One of the prices that we pay for releasing new playable content just about every week of the year is that we don't get to test as much as we'd like and we end up with quite a large bugs list. We are grateful for every single bug report that we get and we consider you all testers to some degree but please don't be a hater when it comes to someone who was in the right place at the right time with the tools and the talent to help us out. 

Tags: Bug Fixes, Cysero,

December 12, 2012

Epic Plans For AQW

Behind the Scenes, We've Got a Lot Going On!

Every week is FULL of furious typing, crazy-fast coding, and lots of  coffee because we have got a SUPER-long to do list! But since we are so busy every day, a lot of what we work on that ISN'T for release just doesn't make it into the Design Notes. We want you guys to know as much as possible about what's going on, so let's fix that!

A New Look for AQWorlds in Progress!

Between solving a large portion of the lag issues and working on Guild Halls AND dynamic quests,* Yorumi has been working with Artix and Kraken on a new character creation screen (Artix totally spoiled this news on Twitter!) and new in-game interface for AQW. We try to get as many of the bugs OUT of AQW before you get to play it, and here's a great example of why we test!

Triggering different quests at different times in different zones!

It's never good to lose your head in battle!

The homepage is also getting a makeover. We're starting slowly by changing the homepage posts to make them more dynamic and informative. There is so much content in AQWorlds that sometimes it's hard to remember what's out there!

Coming soon, you'll see featured locations, classes, items and more on the homepage! And if you scroll down, you'll already see the Featured Guilds section we introduced. Get YOUR Guild featured on by following the directions here!

The Adventurers were our first Featured Guild!

Better Bug Smashing!

Koi  (the AQW Bugs forum moderator), Reens, and I met last week to discuss changes to the Bugs forum. We want to make it easy for you to report your AQW issues there, because it is a lot easier for us to keep track of bugs when they're posted on our forum instead of on Twitter.* 

One thing we really want to do in the as-soon-as-possible future is get an in-game bugs reporting system ready. That would help us collect vital information  (like what version of Flash Player you are using). The goal for the AQW Bugs team is to fix ALL (or as close as we can get) of the bugs in the game - big and small!

* Because of how many tweets we get every day, it is very easy to lose important ones.

Planning Releases for 2013: What would YOU like?

Because of how insane it is to do what we do - release a new expansion to the game each week - we need to be very flexible with the game's release schedule. You never know when a team member will get sick or a planet-wide catastrophe strike. But having an outline in hand lets us plan what the team should work on ahead of time.

We've got our list of releases, but YOU are the heroes who will battle through them! Since we make the game for and WITH you, we want to know what YOU'd like to see in AQWorlds this year? 

What do WE have planned for 2013?

How about Chaos Lords 11, 12, and 13?! 2012 was so busy, we didn't get to face nearly as many Chaos Beasts as we wanted to, so we're going to have to launch an all-hero attack on Drakath and find out what's behind his Chaos Portal! ARE YOU READY?!

12-12-12 Event Releases at Sundown! 

12-12-12 is a deadly date! 26,000 years ago, Kezeroth the World Ender tried to free the Beast Quetzal from his prison in a giant ice comet, but failed. Tonight, Quetzal's comet is finally close enough once more for Kezeroth to sense it, and to end what he began so long ago. If he succeeds, he will use Quetzal's power to encase the world in ice... ending all life on Lore for good!** Grab your sharpest weapons, Heroes, because we're NOT going to let the world end!***

12-12-12 Kezeroth
We're ALL going to need bigger blades for this boss fight!

** I wish our Loremasters had deciphered those scrolls LAST week!
***  Since I've been dealing with a lot of this background work, Cysero has taken on the entire 12-12-12/12-21-12 combo event! After watching the first mind-blowing cutscene, I am 100% sure this is one of AQW's most EPIC cutscenes EVER! 


November 12, 2012

Skyguard and Book Bugs

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

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