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=Dev, Story= A Long Forgotten Valley....Restored!

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7/9/2012 0:15:32   
Lord Barrius

Hello again, adventurers of Lore!

You know, way back in the olden days, there were only two uber sets in the entire game, and neither one was all that hard to get. But one day, a woman in an unusual outfit drifted down and told us to meet her in a place called Alnaphar....a strange valley hidden from the world that she cared for, and defended from all manner of intrusion. On that day, literally everything changed. Suddenly there were multiple versions of uber sets, and there were pets, and there were long quests to complete before we could earn their power!

You’ve no doubt guessed where this is leading. Yes, we are revamping Reign and Shadow....THIS WEEK!

I’ve asked Hollow and the team to keep the proximity of this release a secret because I knew that the best way to deliver such fantastic news was to surprise you. And now, it’s time for you to start getting excited, because this is going to be the biggest revamp in the history of AQ, and that is no exaggeration!

I’ll leave you waiting on the edges of your seats for now. Soon, I’ll reveal some details about each set’s changes, and changes to the overall quest itself. For now, let’s tempt you by reminding those of you who still own the sets what you’re going to get in just a few short days!
If You Own:         You’ll Get:
Scion (Lvl 55)      Lvl 75
Heir (Lvl 70)       Lvl 90
Reign (Lvl 90)      Lvl 105
If You Own:         You’ll Get:
Penumbral (Lvl 55)  Lvl 75
Umbral (Lvl 70)     Lvl 90
Shadow (Lvl 90)     Lvl 105

One final thing: you may have noticed from my other announcement that the High Level “Zone” has been expanded into a more overarching “High Level Project”, which aims to create exclusive content throughout the game that is unique to players who are at least Lvl 100. I’m happy to announce that this release will be the very first release to contain some of this exclusive content. What does that mean for you? You’ll find out on release day!
Post #: 1
7/9/2012 21:29:28   
Lord Barrius

Today, we’re going to discuss changes made to the quests themselves.

Firstly, the quest’s basic structure has been maintained for the most part, though we’ve made some changes for the sake of keeping the experience fresh. We’ve added some additional shops to hold other versions of the set. In addition, each quest features several new cutscenes, including an early introduction to the final boss of each quest. While you may know Shadow’s final boss well, Reign’s final boss has been changed (just one of many changes to go with Reign....)!

Another big change is the monster pools. Previously, the quest would just pick monsters at random out of elemental pools. They will now select very specific monsters from a set pool, and as you proceed through the quest, the fights will get increasingly tougher. However, for high level players, this means the quests are significantly easier than they used to be, since they no longer draw powerful monsters out of your RA pools!

Also, the traps have been adjusted. The normal traps should be easier to deal with now, and will deal more appropriate damage for their level. There’s also going to be more of them....better brace yourself!

Obviously I don’t want to go too deep into details. But believe me when I say that Kamui has poured a ton of work into this quest (and some personal touches of his own) and I’m sure you’ll be quite satisfied.

For now, we’re going to stop there. Tomorrow, we’ll discuss the changes to Shadow Set. Then after that, the changes to Reign!
Post #: 2
7/10/2012 19:26:06   
Lord Barrius

Let’s talk about Shadow Set!

Long ago, you may have noticed that when monsters started getting “shadow” tags, I gave such a tag to the Shadow Giant (Navith). Many people were wondering why, and on Thursday, you’ll find out the truth behind Navith and the other members of his species. Their story is directly tied to the story of the Reign Set, so you’ll want to play through both to get the full story. Not wanting to fight your way through every monster and room? No worries. We’ve brought back the player-favorite feature, Story Mode.

Several days ago, I gave Shadow’s theme away, but people weren’t entirely sure what to make of it. I can tell you now, the theme of this set is ALL about being a ninja. “But ninjas don’t wear cloaks!”, you say? True, but the analogy remains: this set is very defensive. The MC abilities will be designed to help you get attacked less often and to dodge more often....and even to reduce the effectiveness of enemy attacks on you, for the times you DO get hit. You’ll find that this, combined with decent resistances (namely superb Dark and respectable Light resistances), makes it a fantastic full set to tank in!

But here’s the question I’m sure you’re waiting on....what’s the new name scheme for this set? I think I’ve picked a very controversial one: Shadow will become the Twilight Set. I know, right? Why would I dare to remind you about sparkly vampires? Well, twilight is a time of day in which light and darkness co-exist with a large degree of harmony. Fitting for shadow creatures, whose nature involves both elements in harmony. And since this set provides defense in both elements, it’s the best name for a set of this nature! Here’s the names for the Lvl 135 versions of the set:
  • Armor: Twilight’s Mantle
  • Shield: Twilight’s Regalia
  • Weapon: Twilight’s Dread
  • Pet: Twilight’s Harbinger

    The set features some changes to the animations, plus lots of new art (shield, spear, and pet!) that will make you quite happy indeed. All in all, the Twilight Set is truly fantastic, and I can’t wait to share it with you all!

    Tomorrow, we’ll talk about Reign!
  • Post #: 3
    7/11/2012 21:08:15   
    Lord Barrius

    Let’s take a look at Reign!

    The Reign Set received more changes than Twilight did. For one, the gold dragon is no longer the primary boss....no, that job has been taken by another. You see, the Reign Set was the former property of a king whose name has been lost to the ages....and he’s none too happy that you’ve decided to just wander in and take it! Since the set belongs to a great ruler, the set has obtained a new name to befit its status: it is now the Overlord Set, because those who wield its power will rule over any monster!

    Overlord’s theme is all about the dakka. It’s a fully offensive powerhouse, capable of putting out punishing amounts of damage in one form or another. It’s all about turning your battle into an absolute slug-fest, pumping out damage at an incredible rate while still providing some shelter against Fire and Energy attacks. With this set, you’ll have enough “fire”power to light the entire battlefield ablaze.

    The entire set shines like new in terms of its art, and the animation is pretty darn sweet looking too. Overlord Set will have your enemies kneeling before you in no time! Here’s the names for the Lvl 135 versions of the set:
  • Armor: Overlord’s Dynasty
  • Shield: Overlord’s Legend
  • Weapon: Overlord’s Ascendancy
  • Pet: Overlord’s Resurrection

    So that’s all I have for you for now. I was purposely very vague because I didn’t want to reveal any surprises....as I said, the best way to give you all a release that will knock your socks off is to surprise you. I’ll provide you with another future DN update after the release to discuss some of the surprises for this week and to give you more details and clarification as necessary.

    We’re currently hoping to get the release out on time, but there is a chance we’ll be a bit late. Two full sets and their quests is quite a lot of work to get done, after all, much less some of the other plans we have in store. Hopefully we’ll be able to bring you a fantastic weekend of fun!

    < Message edited by Lord Barrius -- 7/14/2012 3:02:49 >
  • Post #: 4
    7/13/2012 11:43:32   
    Lord Barrius

    Time for the post-release Design Notes! This release was so big that we couldn’t fit it all into one day....so how about an entire weekend of fun?

    First, let’s talk about something we’ve already released....a special feature that I’ve been secretly hinting at in the previous Design Notes, but no one noticed. You may not have realized it, but I was constantly referring to the Overlord and Twilight Sets as being the “Lvl 135 versions” of the set, rather than calling them the “top” or “highest” version of the set. That’s because there is actually a version of the set above Lvl 135!

    You see, the final level cap for Guardians is planned at Lvl 150, but we didn’t have any equipment for that level range, nor any plans for it either. We figured that wasn’t right. So we decided, with this new quest, to go in a radically new direction for the Lvl 150 part. When you reach Lvl 150, you’ll trigger a special dialogue sequence after completing the normal quest in which the final boss offers you an opportunity to fight them again, this time at a much higher level of power. If you can accomplish this feat, they will imbue their Overlord and Twilight Sets with extra power (and a new descriptor to indicate their “powered-up” status!), transforming them into the “Supreme Overlord” and “Eternal Twilight” Sets:
  • Armors: Supreme Overlord’s Dynasty and Eternal Twilight’s Mantle
  • Shields: Supreme Overlord’s Legend and Eternal Twilight’s Regalia
  • Weapons: Supreme Overlord’s Ascendency and Eternal Twilight’s Dread
  • Pets: Supreme Overlord’s Resurrection and Eternal Twilight’s Harbinger

    Each of these items are Lvl 150 MC Guardian items, meaning they have the power of Lvl 153 Mastercraft equipment and making them the absolute strongest things in the game! This provides our highest leveled players with some special exclusive content to look forward to, once the level cap is raised to its final cap of 150 of course!

    But naturally you’re not all *that* high-leveled, right? And I’ll bet you were hoping for some high-leveled content that is a bit more accessible. Not to worry! We have some other high level content that will be going into the Overlord and Twilight set shops relatively soon! They will only be available to players Lvl 105 and higher, making them a nice exclusive piece of equipment for players to shoot for when they get into triple digit levels. We hope to have it completed sometime over the weekend.

    And we’ve also released several brand new versions of the token item “Jester Disguise” as high-level exclusive token items! If you already owned this armor, you just got a very nice boost to your armor, all the way up to Lvl 105 power! For everyone else who didn’t have it already, feel free to take a gander at it when you get to Lvl 95 or higher. The armor features a full offensive lean with good Light and Earth resistance, as well as some pretty decent Melee defense. One of the attacks (the card throwing attack) has also become a skill, as well. So it’s become quite a nice armor if you needed some extra firepower.

    Also, on the subject of token items: Perhaps you’ve been too busy trying to decide which armor you want to wear more. Well, why not wear both? We’ll soon be updating the Gatekeeper armor with some new art to reflect the art changes to Overlord and Twilight. Gatekeeper will become a hybrid of the two sets, mixing together the leans and abilities of both armors (though at a reduced rate)! There will be new versions made so that we cover as many levels as possible, including a Lvl 140 version, so be on the lookout for it sometime this weekend!

    I hope you’re all satisfied with this release. Please, be sure to direct your praise towards Kamui, who has been working tirelessly on this release for weeks to deliver the content you are now getting to enjoy. This release would not have happened without his amazing efforts! We're going to keep smashing bugs, so please report as many as you can find....and now maybe you can see why a release THIS BIG is so hard to release without some kinks!

    We look forward to continuing to deliver you the very best content we can offer. Stay with us as the year continues, as there is more fantastic content yet to come as we continue to draw closer to the tenth anniversary of AQ!

    Battle On!

    EDIT: Clarification in regards to the Lvl 150 set items....

    When you reach Lvl 150, you'll want to play through the quest again. At the very end (after you beat Nameless King or Navith in their Lvl 135 incarnations), a special dialogue option will trigger. They will fight you again (this time at Lvl 150 power) and you'll be able to purchase the Lvl 150 items.

    They're considered "upgraded" versions in terms of the storyline, which is why the names gain that shiny new descriptor in front. But they're an entirely different set of items you'll have to buy just like the other tiers.

    < Message edited by Lord Barrius -- 7/14/2012 3:02:41 >
  • Post #: 5
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