Design Notes

October 14, 2023

Friday, October 13th Play by Play

Yoshino writes another design notes?!

Haii everyone, Yoshino here! With the recent Friday the 13th release shenanigans that happened on the backend, I was given approval to reveal some of the inner works of it.

10/13/2023 - Yoshino's Friday Play by Play

11:00 AM Ghost loses electricity*, Yoshino is asleep, Reens checks in and offers to help with the cutscene for Ghost in case his power doesn't come back.

11:30 AM Yoshino still asleep, Alina (who is usually in meetings on Fridays before doing the marketing) begins making artsy things to help out, since Reens usually does a lot of the little art things on Fridays like doing the war meter and making it all pretty and thematical to the release. 

12:30 PM Ghost's electricity is restored, Darkon shares some progress to help Ghost along the cutscene, Yoshino is now online.

2:30 PM Teka suddenly vanishes. She's one of our lovely graphic designers. (I hope y'all wished her a happy birthday last month! <_<)

2:50 PM Alina's artsy things are finished for the war. 

3:00 PM Alina & Cylisse go over the items, making sure I didn't miss anything.

3:30 PM Teka's is now online. She also lost power for a bit but is now able to keep on working on our graphic designs for the release.

4:00 PM I start to look at all the classes that I'll have to change.

5:00 PM The War Meter breaks. That percentage isn't showing its correct value. I begin to call in Reens for help.

5:20 PM Ghost calls it potentially 1 hour until he's done.

5:30 PM Reens fixes the war meter for me. Day is saved, and release is looking to come out fairly soon** without any TM this time**

6:00 PM Finished making all classes to be AC Tagged. They wouldn't actually stay with their updated ac tag until the release is live.

7:30 PM I summon Immortal Joe to my castle to gimme all the details on things and we update the war meter with a small icon to signify Gravelyn's fate is in your hands! (She didn't have a small head icon during testing)

8:00 PM Ghost finishes his cutscene, We get it up and visible to the testers.

8:10 PM Cylisse notices Sigrid doesn't have any backhair in the cutscenes so she looks a lot older in them without it. This goes for all of the cutscenes made for the week so adjustments to them have to be made.

8:30 PM I begin to look at the GameMenu and change things in and out. 

8:50 PM All of the GameMenu images from Teka is done!

9:00 PM GameMenu is 90% done! Time to make sure the war is working as intended.

9:10 PM The War suddenly isn't increasing on turn ins. All turn ins are going into the void and not counting for war progress. Internal panic begins.

9:15 PM Alina pops in to my castle to speed things along and offer some assistance on things.

9:20 PM Rhubarb pops in and tells me 'you have this here and it should be like that.' and fixes the War Meter turn ins. The release is saved!***

9:30 PM We now head back to testing the war and realize that the buttons for reaching a certain percent aren't working anymore. It probably stopped working much earlier in the day when we fixed the war percentage.

10:00 PM Finalizing the release with the release testers, Alina took over doing Battleon for me. (send her much love)

10:30 PM Sudden shift in the air as I have to do a small rebuild of the map to get it working.****

11:00 PM We're 99% done! All I needed were images for the GameMenu. During all of this, there were a lot of gold moderator messages going on in the game from the Ghost of Alina.

11:09 PM Server shutdown timer initiated.

11:17 PM Players are in the map and the release is live! :D

* is forshadowing how the day will go. Just keep on reading, you'll see..
** It was an early release.. right? :D
*** Surely nothing can go wrong right past this point, right?

Anyways, I'm going to go fly away now! Thanks for reading!

Alina's Post-Script

This was the first full-sized holiday event with Yoshino as the primary release builder and test lead*****. What that means is, starting on Tuesday, Yoshino began working with all of the pieces of each part of release (from Cylisse's script + quest text to the monster, map, and NPC art created by Crulon, Darkon, Snowvers, and Aciel... all the way to Reens, Ghost, and Darkon's cutscene files). Like a Master Clockmaker, they got all of the parts to fit together... and then move in time.

Once the release was assembled, in the middle of the week, Yoshino ran through it to catch the most obvious errors, then passed it off to testers to begin their run-through. At the same time, Yoshino worked with Immortal Joe (the game + balance designer) to make sure all of the merge shop reward****** recipes were accurate and the combat felt balanced. 

This is hands down the most complex, difficult role on the team. You need a thorough knowledge of how every part of the game fits together, a working knowledge of map coding and file assembly, and then trouble-shooting the files you've put together. You need a basic understanding of animation and how the sound engine works.

For the last year and a half, Yoshino has been steadily leveling up, "stealing" more opportunities to build releases, host live events, and cause all the good trouble. We knew this day would arrive, and as luck would have it (pun intended)... their first major release just happened to be on Friday the 13th.

... >_> ...

On a Friday the 13th where almost everything that COULD go wrong, did. And yet, through it all, Yoshino kept cracking jokes, solving problems, and getting things done. There's a reason we tapped Yoshino to step up into this role; aside from skill and dedication, they've got the heart to be a good lead. The post he wrote above shines a light on each of his team members, and none on himself.... Which is why this post-script was added.

It takes a team to make a game, and with luck, you come across the right people to help take that game to the next level. For over 1.5 years, Yoshino has been working on AdventureQuest Worlds, alongside Spider, Eht, Immortal Joe, Captain Rhubarb, Reens, and all our creators. I can't think of a better dev to step into Reens' role.

Both he and I, and the entire AQWorlds team, appreciate your patience as we battled the Doom Triad's clear efforts to prevent this release from launching. We all hope you enjoyed it, and please... for the love of Lore... finish this fight before Gravelyn's health meter reaches 0. 

***** Before this, Reens (who has worked on AQWorlds for 15 years in one role or another) is now focusing primarily on AQW:Infinity. She is still here to help out if Yoshino needs an extra hand, and is always available to answer questions.

****** Prior to assembling the release, Yoshino also worked on testing all of the collection and reward sets.

Tags: Yoshino, Alina,

August 15, 2023

Tuesday, August 15th Updates

Ah-Goooose News!

Haaaaay everyone, Yoshino here! With so many players on so many different platforms, the team and I found that our information had become really scattered over the last few years. We began these "round-up" Design Notes posts to make sure everyone has access to all of the same info, no matter which platform you use! Read on to see what changed recently or have been added.

August 15th || New Valencia Hunt!

I heard Valencia in the /Museum map has something new for those who enjoy a l'il hunting. Few weeks ago*, we talked about adding star difficulty and now that has been implemented into Valencia's Museum Hunts.
Reward will be permanently available.

*If you're wondering why the date seems so recent, we've been updating that post with more information on our hunts as time goes on and changing the date as a 'last updated' indication. 

Gib badge pls?

Due to popular request, a character page badge for the Voice in the Sea World Boss** has been added!

How to get the character page badge:

  • /join seavoice
  • Talk to Tara's NPC and click on the "Badge Quest" button. (Requires full storyline progress) 
  • Complete the Voice in the Sea Badge Quest (requires x1 Algal Bloom) to get your badge!

This quest will only be available until August 28, 2023.

**First character page Badge I created! Maybe more to come for other things?!? :D

A Message from Artix Support!

Anyone who brought the 'Ascended Cosmic Chaos' Ground Rune item when the pricing was 6,000 ACs have been refunded their ACs.

Battle? or Butter On!

Anywhoo, that's all I have in this roundup for today. Hopefully I have something in the works for next month, only time will tell! 👀👀👀

Tags: Yoshino, Alina,

August 09, 2023

Wednesday, August 9th Updates

Aaaaaah-Gust News!

Haii everyone, Yoshino here! With so many players on so many different platforms, the team and I found that our information had become really scattered over the last few years. We began these "round-up" Design Notes posts to make sure everyone has access to all of the same info, no matter which platform you use! Read on to see what changed recently.

Recent Changes

The following issues should have been addressed:

  • Canadian Flag Staff should no longer turn into the house item banner.
  • We've streamlined the J6 storyline now so you won't be resetted back to the start of the storyline when you decide to shoot J6. (Have fun viewing both endings!)
  • July Seasonal maps have reopened. They'll be closing at the end of this month.
    • This includes: Julyhub, Icestorm, Akibalight, Brightlights, Yokaistarriver
    • Don't forget to grab these rare house items before the end of the month
  • Lavazard in Augusthub has been eating a lot of items. Our usual seasonal August drop items will now also drop from it.
    • MC Runty included! (Wait.. did the Lavazard eat him?!?)
  • We've also changed a select few house items (R) versions to be rare as you can now flip house items.
    • This applies to: Immortal Crusader's Steed, Marble Merlion Fountain, Merlion Fountain
Tags: Yoshino, Alina,

March 27, 2023

Monday, March 27th Updates

News, News, News! Come hear all about it!

Haii Everyone! With so many players on so many different platforms, the team and I found that our information had become really scattered over the last few years. Last month, we began these "round-up" Design Notes posts to make sure everyone has access to all of the same info, no matter which platform you use! Read on to see what changed recently.

Recent Bug Fixes

The following issues should have been addressed with today's restart:

  • Quests requiring Tendurrr The Assistant as a turn in requirement has been adjusted to just require owning him instead.
    • Assisting Oblivion Blade, Assisting Crag and Bamboozle, Assisting Drudgen, The Game of Gemstones, Nulgath's Messenger, Kiss the Void
  • Hollowborn Reaper's Scythe - Now requires Death's Scythe instead of Incarnation of Glitches Scythe.
  • Hollowborn Reaper's Daggers - No longer requires Incarnation of Glitches Scythe to merge.
  • Hollowborn Reaper's Karma  - No longer requires Incarnation of Glitches Scythe to merge.
  • Hollowborn Reaper's Karmas - No longer requires Incarnation of Glitches Scythe to merge.

The First Speaker Updates

The First Speaker is hard. Like, really hard. We’re listening and have heard your praises, complaints, strategizing, and victories. This level of difficulty will remain a one-off, and future bosses won’t be at this level for a very long time. A multi-year saga ending boss that shows that you’ve really conquered the game. 

We spend a lot of time with these bosses in development. Testing different solutions, approaches, and thinking about how different types of players would approach them. Here’s a quick glimpse into some of the questions we try to answer when putting together these fights:

These questions must be positive before a boss can release. We work with many limitations, like system performance and lag, and we do think about them- such as making all bosses have static rotations and allowing at least two seconds to respond to most important mechanics.

  • Can you beat it in a party of f2p friendly classes?
  • Is the boss unengaging, uninteractive, or unfun?

These questions have strong determinants on difficulty and are generally answered positively before release.

  • Can you beat it in a party of 3?
  • Are there at least 4 unique class combinations that can beat it?
  • Is the difficulty due to execution, gearing, or both?
  • Is it possible to beat in a public party? (only ingame chat, people you haven’t played with before)
  • Can you beat it without potions or boost weapons?

But sometimes, things still go unseen. Over the weekend, several new tactics and solutions were discovered using unintended interactions that made the fight easier than intended. Because many of you really enjoyed the level of difficulty and accomplishment that came with this, we’ve decided to address those by keeping the boss difficult (but speeding it up a bit), without affecting how most strategies work. As well, we’ve made the rewards faster to obtain and stronger.

The First Speaker boss updated:

  • The First Speaker will return to position upon Power Split
  • Healing reduced by 25%
  • Scintillation defense buff reduced (100% -> 75%)
  • Magia Burn magic vulnerability per stack increase (100 -> 300%), duration increased (16 -> 18)
  • Sanctity duration reduced, and Equalizer will kill you if you have it and are hit

These changes make the fight faster, and prevent a few unintended interactions. It won’t affect most strategies outside of speeding up the fight.

Vohu's reward shop prices changed:

  • Goddess of War damage bonuses increased (40% -> 50%)*
  • Goddess of War no longer requires Insignia (5 -> 0), but now requires additional components
  • War Blade of Power, Speed, Strength, Wisdom, and Courage Insignia price reduced (10 -> 7), but now requires additional components
  • Malgor ShadowFlame Blade Insignia cost reduced (25 -> 20)

*Further update: Based on feedback, the merged armor will remain 40% to races, and instead, a quest will become available later this week to upgrade it to 50% and more rep and class rep boost.

These changes make the rewards stronger and require less boss kills to obtain, while increasing farming time spent outside the boss in return for the power.

Bugs Note from Cemaros

While optimizing inventory flow, there was an error resulting in the buyback shop in the Account manager not showing some items. This issue has now been resolved.

Tags: Yoshino, Alina,

March 05, 2023

Sunday Updates and Fixes!

Sunday Updates #5 - March 5, 2023

Haii! (Yoshino here under the Alina disguise.. shhh) We are aware of the following recent issue:

Combat Issues

  • Some monsters gained the ability to be stunned that weren't previously stunnable.
  • Some monsters also lost the ability to be immune to stuns.

Fixes? You got them!

With tonight's restart.. (well, double restarts!), these issues have been addresed:

Friendships Bug

  • Resolved the issue between being unable to talk/gift every day which essentially locked the option of only doing 1 of those every other day.

Guild Commands

  • Resolved the issue between being unable to use any guild commands while in a guild.

Wanna read more like these? Check out the previous one here!

Tags: Alina, Yoshino,

February 25, 2023

Thursday Updates And potentially more?!?

Saturday Updates #4 - February 25, 2023

Haii, it's Yoshino here! (under the Alina disguise...again.. shhh - she hasn't noticed!) As part of the recent updates and bug fixes being made every week, some people may miss out on things, so I will be constantly updating this post over time!

Em-pathetic Connection quest updates:

Mana Residue

  • Drop rate increased. (30% -> 100%)
  • Max stack increased to 40

Mage's Blood Sample

  • Drop rate increased. (30% -> 100%)
  • Max stack increased to 40

Warlic's Favor

  • Drop rate increased. (30% -> 100%)
  • Max stack increased to 5

Prior Updates #3 - February 18, 2023

The following maps will now kick people who are AFK:

  • /Archmage
  • /Revenant

Prior Updates #2 - February 18, 2023

The Frostval 2022 Gifting Tiers have been updated with their respective items:

  • Frostval Giftbox Ebil Moglin Pet
  • Frostval Giftbox Ebil Moglin Trophy

The LQS Primal Frost Tiger Shop has been updated:

  • Frost Tiger of the Void Pet

Prior Updates #1 - February 16, 2023

The Frostval 2022 Gifting Tiers house shops have been updated with their respective house trophy items:

  • Frostval Giftbox Evergreeny Trophy
  • Frostval Giftbox Mort Moglin Trophy
  • Frostval Giftbox Sage Trophy
  • Frostval Giftbox Snowy Moglin Trophy
  • Frostval Giftbox Twig Trophy
  • Frostval Giftbox Twilly Trophy
  • Frostval Giftbox Zorbak Moglin Trophy

Alina note: Noticed more random "info" DNs lately? The team is adding more mid-week Design Notes posts with in-game news and answers to common questions. The goal: to make sure players who don't use social media often can stay up to date as easily as those who do. 

Tags: Alina, Yoshino,

February 04, 2023

Clickable Map Items Issue FIXED!

Server Issue is now fixed!

Thank you all for your patience as Captain Rhubarb looked into the issue that occured after the release earlier tonight.*

Investigating current server Issue

Captain Rhubarb is currently investigating the issue where heroes can't recieve map clickable items which is needed to complete their active quest.

* Unfortunately, if you were working on any active map clickable quest during this time, you'll have to re-accept the quest and gather the requirements once more.

Tags: Yoshino, Alina,

January 30, 2023

Monday Updates

Updates and a Mystery Item Hunt?

Haii, its Yoshino here! (under the Alina disguise... shhh) to get all of the wonderful news updates out. But first, let's start with an update on a few one-time-only quest items:

The following items will also now drop from monsters:

Ground Chunks (House item)

  • Now Drops from Heart of Chaos in /lagunabeach

Death Pit Sword (Tier 1)

  • Now drops from Drakel Gladiator in /deathpit

Death Pit Sword (Tier 2)

  • Now drops from Drakel Gladiator in /deathpit 

Call of Hope

  • Now drops from Viridi in /pyramidpain

Mini Energy Tornado

  • Now drops from Energy Tornado in /airstorm


  • Now drops from Level 15 Shelletons 

Glowing Crown Blade

  • Now drops from Doomwood Soldier in /doomwood, /necrotower, /necru, /temple

Primitive Bone Axe

  • Now drops from Doomwood Soldier in /doomwood, /necrotower, /necru,/ temple 

Fabled Chopper

  • Now drops from Earth Elemental in /fableforest 

Elders' Blood (Potions)

  • Now stacks up to 20 

Mystery Item Hunt!?!!

Alright fine, since you've made it this far - here's a hint: A monster tainted by ShadowFlame drops this adorable little guy who comes along with a quest to obtain his armor set. Good luck searching!

Tags: Yoshino, Alina,
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