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=ED= Concerning Varium/Pricing Discussions and Faction Exploits

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1/26/2011 11:33:48   

Greetings Fellow EpicDuelists,

I love making games. It's fun and incredibly rewarding to see others enjoying what I create. In a perfect world, I could make games for free without charging a dime. However, the world is not perfect and game development is expensive. Server hosting, advertisements, software licenses, staff--it all adds up very quickly. Everyone who plays EpicDuel is supporting the game by providing an exciting social environment for everyone to enjoy, and we are extremely grateful for that. Those who support us by spending Varium do so in an additional way, and we are extremely grateful for that support as well. By offering rewards to Varium players, we create an inevitable rift in the community for numerous reasons, and I will address as many as I can here. Obviously, this is a sensitive issue, so I will try my best to honestly address the concerns without hurting anyone's feelings.

I would like to start by discussing Varium as it pertains to balance. We always walk a fine line between rewarding those who purchase Varium with cool features and powerful weapons and maintaining a fair play environment for those who do not. It's a constant tightrope to please everyone and we factor it into every new release. Sometimes we even have to release a feature that benefits no one directly, but improves the game in necessary but imperceptible ways to the players. There are a lot of voices to process, and we listen when we can, but there will always be times when we have to move forward with our own intuition as game developers.

There are players who get upset when we release content for new players, but not everyone who plays EpicDuel is level 32. We are constantly pressed with the task of balancing content across all levels for the casual players while providing enough incentive for those diligent enough to reach the level cap. It is important to remember that everyone starts at level 1.

Features like class and name change are priced to make players really look before they leap. Changing class is a major commitment and should not be taken lightly. If class change were priced more like retraining, you would see massive class changes occurring at all times with zero loyalty to any particular class. By the same token, we don't want players to use name change to buy hundreds of names and limit the opportunities of other players.

Furthermore, balance updates are not a conspiracy to force class changes. Some updates help certain classes while some nerf others. Balance is a constant experiment and there will never be a magic bullet to perfectly balance all classes. There are some good ideas out there that have yet to be tried, but you must remember that the process is ongoing as we proceed through game development.

Another hot issue is Varium sellback, which has been suggested for a long time, and we are aware that other games have a similar feature. The challenge is that if we implemented such a feature, players who sold items back prior to its existence would feel cheated since there would be no way of retroactively compensating everyone who ever sold a Varium item. I'm not saying we will never implement this, but there are challenges to overcome and other features to build before this feature could be implemented.

Price creep is another concern that has existed since the beginning of the game. Even before Varium, players were concerned that items would eventually cost millions of credits by level 50 or so. I can assure you this is not a reality. Sure, more powerful weapons at the level cap will be at the high end of the pricing scale, but likely no more than those you see now. Just as balancing is ongoing and tricky, so is pricing.

If you refuse to buy or spend Varium, that's your choice. We cannot force anyone to buy anything and have no desire to do so. We want people to have fun and enjoy the features we create and the atmosphere we all contribute to. If you never spend another dollar on the game, your character will remain, still completely able to battle players, NPCs, and participate in Factions. In fact, there are many players who duel all the way up to the level cap without spending a single penny on the game. However, when you incite other players to stop buying, that's when we have an issue.

Boycotts are against the Terms of Service you agreed , specifically section 4-k: "You agree not to disrupt the normal flow of the games and dialogue, or otherwise act in a manner that negatively affects other people’s ability to use the Service;" By urging others not to support the game in any way, you are deliberately attempting to disrupt development and affect other users who are attempting to use the service. As much as I love the First Amendment, it does not apply to the policies of private companies.

To those of you who are perfectly happy to play EpicDuel and enjoy it in spite of its flaws, I thank you for your steady support.

To those of you who read this and still have doubts, rallying other players behind rumors and conspiracies will NOT allow the features you want to become a reality any faster. Remember, just because we didn't respond to your topic, doesn't mean we didn't read it. By all means, voice concerns and offer suggestions, but if you have an axe to grind, we'll see right through it.

To those of you who read this and are still committed to the belief that Titan and myself are completely out of touch with the EpicDuel community and only interested in money, all I can say is if EpicDuel makes you so unhappy, maybe you should stop playing. Life is too short to get worked up over a browser game that you evidently stopped enjoying a long time ago. If you decide to change your mind, your characters will still be waiting for you.

Thanks and Duel ON!


< Message edited by Syr Frostbite -- 4/2/2011 7:32:04 >
Post #: 1
2/23/2011 0:14:35   

As some of you may know, the Faction Knights of the Round was victim to a nasty exploit that allowed a member of the faction to promote himself/herself to founder and disband the faction. This will be patched as soon as today, along with several other exploits. Wiseman suspected that his faction may be a target of hacker attacks based on some threats he was aware of, so we closely recorded the activity of the faction, taking many screenshots in the event that anything happened to his Faction we could attempt to restore its numbers.

Sure enough, the hacker struck from within his Faction, but with the recent records we were able to restore much of the data. It's not perfect, and it still hurts, but it was a short lived victory for the hacker as the event allowed us to understand exactly how to fix the vulnerability.

Those of you who have been with us awhile know this happened before, but with a different exploit. This one is much harder to perform, and as such, was much harder to fix. However, at the time we were unable to restore Factions that were ruined by the exploit, which was no consolation to those affected by it. That has changed now. I am prepared to offer the same courtesy now to anyone else who has had their faction damaged/disbanded by a hacker using this exploit. Having said that, our ability to recover a Faction manually is limited. We can re-award things like influence, daily badges, and total Faction wins. Information on the player level is trickier to recover since changing it manually could corrupt existing Faction data so we may not be able to do that. It's an imperfect system, I know, but it's better than nothing. If your Faction was damaged, please PM me, and I will do what I can to satisfy your request.



< Message edited by SMGS -- 2/27/2011 4:41:09 >
Post #: 2
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