Wednesday, September 29, 2010

A new intern, a new challenge, and new release info!

A new intern!

It's Wednesday!  In place of the usual Sneak Peek, we've got some REALLY exciting news!  DragonFable has a new intern, and some of you might know him from the forums.  Welcome True Mortal to the DF team! 

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Friday, September 24, 2010

Snow slowly falls...

This week we'll have the conclusion of Vilmor and Cryozen's story.  When we last left Vilmor and Cryozen, Circe and Frostscythe, you had just survived a cave collapse, but others were not so lucky.  Frostscythe revealed that he's displeased with how things have turned out, but what could he mean by that?  What happens to Cryozen and does Vilmor wind up back in DragonsGrasp Prison?  You'll have to log in and play the quest to find out! 


You DO know, though, that Cryozen, the Great Elemental Dragon of the Ice Realm, is dying.  Many of you have asked questions on the forum about why there is snow on the ground in Falconreach.  In the first quest sharing Vilmor's story, we told you that the plane of Ice was crying out due to Cryozen being near death.

The snow in Falconreach is an effect of that: the plane of Ice being disrupted and disturbed.  Take note of what happens in this week's DragonsGrasp quest, and check Falconreach on Monday! (unfortunately, snow falling in Falconreach would cause too much lag, so we'll just keep it falling in the Design Notes!)

For rewards for the Betrayal quest, we'll have:

  • Vilmor's helm
  • Frostscythe's scythe (you guys have been asking for this one for a LONG time!)

And a note: If you collect rares, you MIGHT want to hold on to your Frozen Claymores even though we're introducing Frostscythe's scythe.  We might be doing something with them in the future.

But that's not all we have for you this week!  We ALSO have a brand-new Willowshire quest!  On the forums, alot of you are wondering about many of the questions we raised in last week's quest.  Who is the mysterious Rare Item Hunter? What is she kneeling in front of?  What will happen to the rare artifact?  Find out the answers to these questions and more in this week's quest!

It's going to be a busy release for you guys, so I'll let you get right to it! Let us know what you think of the release on the forums, Facebook, and Twitter!


Seven Years Old!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Seven Years

Seven Years!

So, I was poking around on AQ as I am wont to do on lazy Sunday evenings, playing a couple of quick random quests, and low and behold, I saw something interesting.

September 19th, 2010 was my 7th year playing Artix Entertainment games.  You see, I am one of the many staff members who came up through the community, and ultimately ended getting to help make these games happen.  So over the last seven years, I’ve gone from being a player, to a community staff member, to game staff, to lead coder on DragonFable, and server-side coder for MechQuest.  I’ve even managed to find the love of my life over the past seven years all thanks to these games!


Seven years is an awfully long time, I was just entering my senior year in high school when I created my original AQ account.  That seems like a lifetime ago, and really, it sorta is one.   Forum question, when did you start playing AE Games?  What is the clearest early memory of the games you’ve got?

I know between the proposal posts and this one, it seems like we’ve done a lot of sappy appreciation posts lately, but every word of them is genuine.  I wouldn’t be the person I am today without these games, and they wouldn’t get to be here if it wasn’t for you guys, so thanks!  But remember, I am not ALWAYS the happy go lucky guy that you see here, and man oh man have I been watching the Thursdays pass this month.  Tick Tock, everyone, Tick Tock.

I’d stay tuned to design notes tomorrow for more details on what’s heading our way this week, but looking at my todo list, it’s going to be one of the biggest releases, at least in terms of work for me, we’ve had in quite some time.


Sunday, September 19, 2010

Yarrrr, Talk Like a Pirate Day be here!

Grab your gold doubloons, me hearties, because today be Talk Like a Pirate Day! And not only that, ye scurvy dogs, but it ALSO be the day where we DragonFable team members give a hearty cheer for two players who's suggestions have made it in-game!

For the new Parrrrotical Pete the Parrot Pet, head to Rhubarb in Falconreach and tell him ye want one of these adorable (yarrr, pirates can like cute loot too, ye know!) pets or ye'll swab the deck with him!


And be not shy to let Margus20000 and Zhukai know ye're likin' their work on the forums, because Lim liked their work enough to turn it into in-game art! YARRRR! Each of their weapon sets be in Serenity's Player Suggestion Shop in the Falconreach Inn.  Ye can get a tasty mug of ale there, or just take a break from adventurin'(ye lazy land lubbers!)

Here's what we've got fer ye:

  • Spirit of the Forest I,II,III (level 25, 40, 55 sword)
  • Ursa Major, Ursa Minor, and Ursa Daggers (level 25, 40 , 55 daggers)
  • Ursus Branch I,II,II (level 25, 40, 55 staff)
  • Pimento Pick I,II,III (level 25, 40, 55 axe)
  • Triple Toothpick I,II,III (level 25, 40, 55 daggers)
  • Olive Branch I,II,III (level 25, 40, 55 staff)

Cheers to ALL who submitted in Lim's 24 Hour Suggestions Challenge! Do ye like this format of Player Suggestions better than the huge thread that be in the DF Suggestions board?  Short, timed submission periods that give ye a better chance of havin' yer stuff seen by the artists?  Let us know on the forums!

Now I'm off to sail into the settin' sun! (It's got to be settin' somewheres, right?)

Enjoy yer Talk Like a Pirate Day and Player Suggestion Shop loot!


Friday, September 17, 2010

Ravenloss, Willowshire, and some wicked shops!

Yarrrr!  Talk like a pirate day is almost here, me hearties!  And we've got a hearty release for you because of it!  Lift up your eyepatch, because you'll want to read this with BOTH eyes to make sure you don't miss any of the details!

Return to Ravenloss

First up is the Ravenloss quest! You'll need to head back underground and talk to Tomix to start the Dark Tower Penitentiary quest.  Once you venture into this prison, you might find yourself con-vinced that you need to get out, because it's a dark and dismal place; NOT somewhere you want to be without the key to leave!

And speaking of Keys, you're on the lookout for the Icicle Key! (And the Bolt Key, which you never found in the last quest.) It'd be thrilling AND chilling for you to find it here in the prison, because that means you're one step closer to getting into Pellow Village with Tomix. And don't forget about Riadne! She's a prisoner of the Chaosweavers, and they're not likely to want to let her escape!

Rewards will be:

  • Black ChaosWeaver Guard Helm (your face turns into a blackened ChaosWeaver head)
  • ChaosWeaver Guard Helm
  • Verne's Steampunk Blade
  • Verne's Steampunk Staff
  • Verne's Steampunk Dagger

The weapons come in levels 20, 33, and 53 and are Metal element.

Willowshire awaits!

And don't forget to check out Willowshire!  We've got a new, small quest which advances the storyline and provides new information!  We'll soon be focusing on this area of Lore, so you'll definitely want to make sure to stay up to date on the releases there!

If it's been a while since you brushed up on it's story, why not go and battle Gorgok or have a chat with Lord Valorus?  Now's a great time to catch up!

Rhubarb says "Ahoy!"

Yarrrr!  Sunday be "Talk Like a Pirate" Day, and Rhubarb's ship is docked in Falconreach Bay to celebrate! You can find him by Serenity's Inn in Falconreach with THREE shops full of booty-tastic loot to swap for your gold doubloons!  (If you don't HAVE any gold doubloons, you'll either need to swab a few decks or get out there and get battlin'!)

All Seasonal Rare weapons from last Talk Like a Pirate Day have been tagged as 2009 weapons, and new versions (including a higher level) have been made and tagged as 2010 versions.  Rhubarb's piratical pets are back, as well, so if you love those Pirate Monkeys, now's your chance to bring one aboard as a crewmember of your very own!  The Pirate Monkey pets ALSO got a new level: there is now the Pirate Monkey Admiral (level 60)!

For a comprehensive list of TLAPD seasonal rares, just look down:

  • Pirate Monkey/ Pirate Captain/ Pirate Admiral pets
  • Sea's Favor/Sea's Blessing/Sea's Bounty 2010 versions I,II,III
  • Prismatic Matey's Cap (matches your armor's base color) (sold for Dragon Coins)
  • Mirroed Matey's Cap (mathes your armor's trim color) (sold for Dragon Coins)
  • Red, Green, White, Blue, and Black Matey's Caps

And on Sunday (the real Talk Like a Pirate Day) we'll have a brand new pet: the Piratical Parrot! (Lim needs time to finish the animation)

That's not ALL that'll be new on Sunday, either!  Lim's given you 24 hours to suggest ideas (or submit art) for a new set of Wood weapons! These will be the Player Suggestion Shop weapons.  While we have a TON of great ideas in the Suggestions board thread, we want Wood weapon suggestions specifically so that we can fill in some gaps in the weapons selection. It's been a long, long time since we had some new Wood weapons.

It's a BIG release this week full of bountify, bootyful loot and brand new quests!  So what are you doing still reading the Design Notes? Log in and get questing!

See you on Sunday when I update the Design Notes with news of the new items! 


Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Wanted: One Icicle Key

It's another Wednesday Sneak Peek, and this one is all about the Ravenloss quest this week!

So, you know that you're headed back to Ravenloss, and you know you're looking for Riadne and the Icicle Key, but what does the key look like? Take a peek at Tomix's "Guide to Equilibrium Gate Keys"!

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Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Two great calendars coming your way!

There are two big projects going on right now, one made by us, and one made by your fellow players!

First up, the Artix Entertainment 2011 Wall Calendar!  This is a project we've wanted to do for about six months, and a month or two ago we realized "hey, it's almost 2011. We should really start making this calendar if we're going to get it to the players on time."

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Monday, September 13, 2010

A Cheese-y Design Notes

/big grin

Hello!  It's Monday, and we've got some BIG plans for this week!  But first let me tell you about the big plans I had for dinner last night, and the even BIGGER mistake I made.

My mom and grandma have cooked up some great recipes over the course of their lives, and recently my mom sent a bunch of them to me.  I thought it'd be fun to try making a few of them.  A few weeks ago, I made American Spaghetti for me and Rolith.  That was a great success, and both Rolith and I loved it.  Now, the Macaroni and Cheese I made last night, on the other hand... that did not go so well.

What happened? That's very simple.  Typo-demons in the recipe.  You know that here at Artix Entertainment, we have a fond relationship with typos; we make them, fix them, then make more. And then fix THOSE!  So I was very familiar with typos.  But I didn't know before making the mac and cheese that there WAS a typo in the recipe! And it was a very, very, very bad typo.

My mother's recipe called for FOUR POUNDS of shredded cheese! (For comparison, you can get a bowling ball that weighs four pounds, or a medium-sized chihuahua.) That seemed like a lot to me, but I always remembered her recipe tasting very cheesy, so I shrugged off my doubts. I could only fit three pounds into the recipe, but I thought it was close enough. 

It turned out... interestingly.  It was VERY cheesy. Not bad.  Rolith had a second helping, and Beleen wants a whole bowl of it (she does love her Mac and Cheese!).  But we have SO many leftovers! 

As for the typo... after calling my mom and telling her about my culinary adventures in dairyland, we realized that she had meant to type four CUPS of shredded cheese.  Four pounds is much, much, MUCH more! (Four cups of cheese is 2 bags (half pound bags). Four pounds of cheese is 8 bags!)

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Friday, September 10, 2010

Circe's not so subtle! She's got PLANS! (And so do we!)

It's Friday again!  (How is it Friday again so QUICKLY?!  I am all behind from having Monday off.  Anyone else have that feeling, or is it just me?)

But not to fear! I may be behind, but our release certainly isn't! We've been working hard these last four days to bring you the answer to an important question and more than a little bit of suspensefulness in the DragonsGrasp quest. So lets get right to the details!

In the Dragonsgrasp quest this week, we'll pit the dastardly Circe against the infamous Vilmor as you and Vilmor race to catch up with Circe as she tries to lure you to an unknown destination. (With a cast of characters where EVERYone is hiding something, things are definitely not what they seem, and it's up to YOU to figure it out!)  Geopetal has some devious plans in store for the ending of this quest, so you'll DEFINITELY want to make sure you're caught up with Vilmor's storyline so that you can play this week! 

And in "Alina's Answer," Rolith waits (im)patiently for her to respond to the question he posed last week.  But before she can DO that, they're interrupted by- you guessed it!- TOGS!  What you might NOT know is that Rolith and his tog companions really do care for each other (they think the Togicides are FUN. Togs are weird.) and when they heard Rolith was proposing to Alina, they got VERY jealous! 

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Friday, September 10, 2010

Chasing Circe

The new Dragonsgrasp is live! Rolith has done some crazy things today for this release too!

As Circe taunts Vilmor from the shadows, Vilmor becomes enraged and ice bolts go flying! Take up the chase with Vilmor and try to catch up to Circe! You're going to have to fight off Circe's summoned Frost Shocks by yourself though because Vilmor is focused on one thing and one thing only... taking down Circe!

I think Circe might be in trouble...

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Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Con, Quests, and an Answer

We're back from Con! (Or never left, in Geo's, Ghost's, and Tomix's case). 

If you don't follow Artix or Cysero on Twitter, you missed one of the funnest and funniest parts of the rides to and from Dragon*Con!  They twittered the phone numbers of the public pay phones at the rest stops we took breaks at, and players from all over the country called and talked to us!  I hope we do that again next year, because it was awesome to get to talk to you guys!

Dragon*Con was AMAZING! (And not just because Rolith proposed, though that alone made the trip the most memorable I've ever taken!)  We saw SO many great costumes, had a lot of laughs, and even watched Cysero, Alces, and Electro's robot battle in the Robot Wars contest!

The last night was probably one of the craziest times. Rolith and I wandered around with Artix, Cysero, and Alces.  We snuck into a REALLY weird film festival (we tried all sorts of devious ways to open the door before we figured out we could just turn the handle and go in), then left that and went to watch anime music videos.  That was nice, except I am really far behind on my anime, so there were a lot of spoilers there. Then Cysero, Alces, Rolith and I left to go find crazyfungoodtimes. 

Also, hotel carpeting is REALLY bizarre.  Who thought THIS pattern was a good idea?

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Sunday, September 5, 2010

New Dragonsgrasp Quest!

Yay, it's live, with only minor explosions! (Thank you, Verlyrus and AKs for helping with the bug smooshing!) I apologize that the quest is so late and hope you enjoy it!

We left your poor character in a tense fireside chat with the infamous Vilmor... this week that conversation continues as Vilmor reveals who Donovan is and what childhood was like for them. Fight your way through legions of imaginary monsters as Kid Vilmor and Kid Donovan as they just start to test their powers out!


Friday, September 3, 2010

Dragonsgrasp Update

First of all: Squeeeee! Yay for Rolith and Alina!

I just wanted to give you guys a quick update for the Dragonsgrasp release this week which, unfortunately, won't be live until... soonTM tomorrow. Since we've an official quest Wednesday and a super secret fun (grats Rolith and Alina!) cutscene yesterday, the Dragonsgrasp quest is running a little behind (poor Ghost has worked his ghostly fingers to the bone!). Be on the lookout for it tomorrow though!


Thursday, September 2, 2010

So Rolith asked me a question tonight...

But oh, you guys already knew!  Of course you did! I'm surprised (REALLY surprised) we were able to keep something so huge (to us) a secret for so long.

When Rolith asked me to marry him tonight, I said "yes"!  I THINK my exact words something like "yes, oh yes!" but the last couple of hours are a little hazy.  I think I'm still a little lightheaded.  I am so very incredibly, completely happy.  And I'm thrilled that you guys were able to share Rolith's INSANE secret plans with him!  Like he said, we met and fell in love thanks to Artix Entertainment, DragonFable, and the amazing community that has grown up around them.

So, how did he do it?  That's a funny story:

The last night of the first Dragon*Con we met at, we found a little corner off a small hallway at 3am.  We sat down and talked for four hours about nothing and everything.  How little we knew that two years later, he would take me to that very same hallway and ask me to marry him! 

And, true story, the first people to congratulate us were two strangers (one a man in a black leather kilt. I love Dragon*Con!) who walked into the hall right after Rolith asked me.  They didn't say anything, just walked down to the end of the hall, stopped, turned around, and came back to us.  The man walked up, shook Rolith's hand and congratulated us.  Then they walked away.  Strange man and pretty lady, I don't know who you are, or if you'll ever read this, but thank you very much for sharing the happiest day of my life with me!

So, now I know! And you know! And I'm going to sign off now by thanking you all for sharing the happiest night of my life with us.  I'm going to go spend some time with Rolith.  Goodnight!


This is not Schroedinger's cat.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

The Cat Who Walks Through Dimensions

Lim has a kitty! And WE have a release for you!
So, it's Wednesday. We don't usually release on Wednesday, but since most of the people in the Secret Underground Lab are going to be at Dragon*Con on Friday, Geopetal said "Hey, Alina.  Why not release on Wednesday, and then you won't have to worry?"  Geopetal rocks!

So today we have a brand new Clashening quest for you, returning after a Summer-long hiatus!  Lim wants to show you his latest experiment, and it stars his favoritest kitty ever, Mr. Poofles!  His theory is that if you put a cat in a box, it's impossible to tell if it's in THIS dimension or an alternate one.  Makes sense, right?  Of course it does. It's SCIENCE!  There's just ooooooone little problem:  Mr. Poofles doesn't FEEL like being a volunteer, and if you've ever tried to make a cat do something it didn't want to do, you know exactly what is going to happen.

YOU have to track him down; follow the cat-prints through Falconreach and hope you find him before Cysero does!  Because Cysero is in the mood to do magic, and you know what THAT'S like, right? (Pssst, remember the Guardian Tower getting turned into a fish?  Yeah, we don't want a repeat of that, now do we?)

Four different levels of Mr.Poofles will drop as rewards from the quest, so if you sold or never got your Mr. Mangles pet, here's your chance to get another cutetastical cat for a companion!

Dragon*Con update!
Remember, Dragon*Con starts on Friday (and runs through Monday)!  If you're in or near the Atlanta area, why not stop on by and say hi?  We'd love to meet you, and we'll have plenty of Sharpies on hand to sign shirts, socks, hats, foreheads... whatever you have handy!  We'll also be selling some of our swag at our panel:

  • "The NPCs Critical Hits" CD
  • Upgrade Cards (4,000 BattleOn Points)
  • MechQuest Artbook (which you can have signed by our friendly team members for a few extra bucks)
  • ChickenCow T-shirts (puchase includes the Chickencow Pet in both DF and AQW!)

And remember, if you come up to us at ANY point throughout the convention and say hi, you can ask for a free non-member pet in AQWorlds! 

Here's the official stats for our panel and party (remember, we recommend Dragon*Con for players 15+, but if your parents are alright with it, come on over and have fun!):

AE/AQW Panel (3 hours of gaming madness)
When: Saturday, Sept 4th, 2010
Where: The Sheraton Hotel - The Savannah Room
Time: 1pm to 3:30pm... unless we fall asleep

Gaming Party
When: Saturday: Sept 4th, 2010
Where: The Sheraton Hotel - The Capitol Ballroom
Time: 10pm to 3:30am (Although... we will probably grab everyone and flee to Voltaire's concert which is scheduled that same night.)

We hope to see you there!  I've got a bit more work to do, then I've got to run home and make sure I'm all packed.  Kata is staying at a boarders, and I miss her already! But she will get to play with Rolith's kitties, so she won't be TOO lonely!

Enjoy the quest, and we'll have more to release for you this Friday!


Wednesday, September 1, 2010

An Interesting Design Notes

Did you guys know we were capable of keeping secrets from you?   

Sure, we manage to keep certain story-lines under wraps for a few weeks, or maybe even big ones, like the nature of certain egg meanings, or the big ending to the Orb saga, but those we keep secret because we have to.  It'd ruin the fun for you if you knew them. It's not our fault we're normally so bad at it, we get to be extremely creative people, and it's hard to keep that creativity from you guys when it's brought to life before our eyes and there are still so many days until Friday, or whenever the release is due. 

So I'd like you to keep that in mind, as I share with you the biggest, and best secret I've ever kept from you guys.   

Also remember, I'm not a very public person.   While you've gotten to know me through these design notes and on the forums, I tend to keep the big private stuff very much to myself.  The idea of how public and personal I'm about to be with you guys blows my mind in and of itself.  So remember that too! 

Alina and I met for the first time at DragonCon, more than two years ago; but that doesn’t really cover it.  Our friendship started over IRC and IM more than a year before that.   Neither of us can think of exactly when we started talking all day every day, but it's been more then a couple of years since we've gone a whole day without talking.  And for us to meet at DragonCon, brought together by nerddom, and our shared passion for the games we both lived and loved so much felt, well, right. 

At DragonCon '08 I got to hang out with an awesome person, who happened to have the most startling blue eyes that I've ever had the pleasure to look into. 

For over a year after that we stayed at that point.  We were friends, as near enough best friends that it wasn't worth thinking about even though we had only ever met face to face once.  We flirted, on and off, but innocently. And still were just friends when our second DragonCon came and went, despite what some here at the underground lab thought.  (Looking at you Thyton, Artix, Beleen... actually pretty much everyone.) 

Things didn't start changing until Alina worked up the nerve to leave her friends, family, and life in Chicago to make the leap to developing for DragonFable full time and move to Florida.  When she arrived, it wasn't long before we got to work together, hang out together, and even spend weekend afternoons watching really bad (and really epically good) British TV.  Instead of finding the switch to real life friendship awkward or nervous, both she and I quickly realized we were growing closer and closer. 

So, I said we've been keeping a secret.  If you haven't figured it out by now, Alina and I fell in love.  And yes, secrets are fun, but it's about time you guys got let in on this one, because, and I'm being completely honest here, it's your fault. 

Or, I should say, it's all thanks to you. 

If it wasn't for Artix Entertainment, this game, it's wonderful community, and all of you, I would have never met the love of my life, and realizing that makes me feel so humbled, and lucky.  

So, as you read this (and if you're reading this from the future, sorry for the spoilers)  you guys are officially more in the know than Alina.  She has no idea I've spilled the beans on the Design Notes (and in game).  She also doesn’t know about the very special question I've got in store for her tonight. 

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