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=ED= January 6th, 2017 - EpicDuel 2017

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1/6/2017 16:43:39   


January 06, 2017
EpicDuel 2017

I know it’s an overused cliche at this point, but 2016 has been a beast of a year, filled with tragedy and turmoil, but quite a lot of productivity. This year we saw the launch of BioBeasts which was a triumph for our small team. We experienced many highs and lows in the post-launch aftermath as we wrangled with trends and tried our best to improve the game and help it gain traction in a clogged and bloated marketplace. This year was a triumph for Artix Entertainment as AdventureQuest 3D entered Open Beta. There have been some snags along the way, but it’s unbelievable how far the game has come in such a short span of time.

We entered December with modest expectations for the gifting release. December is typically a strong month in terms of player population and sales, but it’s been challenging to fight the downward trend of browser games. These past few months we re-dedicated ourselves to EpicDuel in an effort to address many longstanding issues. There are some insurmountable challenges concerning balance, but we took in all of your feedback and did what we could with the time we had and the constraints of an engine thrice rebuilt.

Overall, the releases have performed surprisingly well, once again leaving us in a state of wide-eyed astonishment at the enthusiasm of our players. You definitely surprised us with your passion when servers came back online after the update on December 1st. You sent a clear message that you still love EpicDuel and wish to see it thrive in the new year. We’re constantly humbled and inspired by the fervor of our little community.

Of course, not everyone was overwhelmingly pleased as some balance issues were not thoroughly addressed. Some major changes, like the NPC fill system, are controversial, but necessary for the challenges EpicDuel will face in 2017.

Some of those challenges we’ve been harping on for ages -- It seemed like Flash was going to die in...2012? 2013? 2014? True, it’s still here and kicking, but it’s utility is constantly eroded as other platforms and web standards consume its market share and browsers discontinue or limit support. Flash will probably still be running in 2075 on whatever hacked-together browser exists in the blasted Wastescapes between the shattered Megacities.

The persistence of Flash in the face of extinction doesn’t mean we’re not still concerned by this threat. We mentioned we were experimenting with executable clients, but that approach has some challenges we’re not sure we can overcome. We even looked into porting to Steam, but the fact is that while EpicDuel on Steam would be a boon to our current players, as an aging PvP MMO it would fail to attract the new players it would need to grow and justify continuous development. The only EpicDuel-related project that could break out on the modern market is perhaps a reimagined or completely new game, but such a project would be a massive undertaking and probably at least years away.

If a direct port is not feasible, could a new or rejuvenated product be born from within EpicDuel? We’ve said many, many times that Omega is the last phase. There will not be an EpicDuel Zeta or EpicDuel Gamma 2. Even if we wanted to, we can’t simply roll back some of the massive engine changes that have been accrued over nearly 10 years of development. The inherent flaws of the engine and platform are also reasons why returning to full-time development is not a viable solution either. We want EpicDuel to succeed, but we’re also facing harsh realities of aging technology, a rapidly changing the marketplace, and the current position of our company.

“What about BioBeasts? Wasn’t that supposed to be the great salvation of EpicDuel?” The fate of BioBeasts is covered in a post over at its homepage. The summation is that it didn’t reach the heights we hoped it would, but we’re still proud of it and wouldn’t trade the experience gained from working on that project for anything.

In the face of these challenges, what does the future hold for EpicDuel? In the new year, you can expect the systems of the game to function normally with the continued return of seasonal rares and the reactivated war cycle. In the new iteration, the wars will run with a one week cooldown in between to keep them moving faster so there’s less downtime. Each war region will continue to have unique war prizes. The servers will remain online as long as long as Artix Entertainment can afford to do so, even if the population dwindles to one lone player battling NPCs.

“If you can’t make a new phase or EpicDuel 2 or return to EpicDuel development full time, then WHAT ARE YOU DOING?” For the EpicDuel team 2016 was more trial than triumph, but 2017 will be a year of exploration and expansion -- Exploration of new technologies and expansion of our technical knowledge and skill. This will be done in an effort to look beyond the scope of our limited team with the goal of working to secure the future of Artix Entertainment. Currently, the best way to help AE in the very near term is for us is to bolster the development of modern, interesting projects like AdventureQuest 3D.

Thank you everyone for all you’ve done for EpicDuel, supporting it throughout these many years of development. It hasn’t been easy and we haven’t always made popular decisions concerning the direction of the game, but you’ve stuck with us in spite of everything. Because you believed in EpicDuel. You believed in us and helped the game endure as long as it has. How long can it last? Ultimately, it’s up to you. The lifeblood of EpicDuel has always been it’s players. As long as there are players eager for a duel, Delta V will be open for business.

Tags: Nightwraith

Tagged. ~WhiteTiger

< Message edited by Battle Elf -- 4/14/2017 16:33:38 >
Post #: 1
1/6/2017 16:46:32   

It looks like 2017 is the last year of ED from what I understood from these design notes. They haven't said that they would continue updating the game. They haven't said anything satisfying about ED. This post seems like a good bye message for the game and the players. That's sad.
AQW Epic  Post #: 2
1/6/2017 16:49:17   
  Digital X

Beep Beep! ArchKnight AQ / ED

They said it'll be a year or exploration and expansion, not that it's kicking the bucket.

If it went on Steam it could be good, could be bad.

All hell could break loose on the discussion threads though.

< Message edited by Digital X -- 1/6/2017 16:51:02 >
AQ DF MQ AQW Epic  Post #: 3
1/6/2017 17:02:36   

EpicDuel in it's current state (and any future states) would most likely not attract or retain many new players. If they decided to make ED 2.0, they would most likely lose a lot of older players because it's very unlikely that any of us would want to start all over again (ofcourse, there would be some exceptions). I think that focusing on other AE's projects is a smart decision for now.

On a side note, Char and NW might have given themselves a minor pain in the butt by speeding up the wars and promising unique rewards.

< Message edited by 8x -- 1/6/2017 17:03:06 >
Epic  Post #: 4
1/6/2017 17:39:38   
Lord Machaar

It's funny how devs have waited till after the gifting is over, to announce this. Eh.

If the decision was the same, despite the gifting being a major success (which it was), or gifting failing sales wise, then it was a shame to delay this announcement. Which I'm sure would have affected gifting sales by a lot.

But yeah, I guess finances over everything. If ED devs are going to work on AQ3D, then better make something attracting for ED players there, or at least convince Artix to do that.

< Message edited by Lord Machaar -- 1/6/2017 22:47:51 >
MQ Epic  Post #: 5
1/6/2017 22:44:08   
  Battle Elf
has ten 1v1 wins

It has pained me to see the game suffer through the last year and I have found the path forward for 2017 extremely disappointing. In the spirit of reflection, I will be taking a step back from my AE responsibilities for the next few weeks.

I applaud the amount of content and progress made by EpicDuel Guest Artists, Testers, Moderators, Forum Staff, and all other volunteers who have dedicated their time to this game. While sometimes difficult, it has been my pleasure to speak on behalf of you, the community.
AQW Epic  Post #: 6
1/6/2017 23:39:27   
SouL Prisoner

Attract new players or not, it would be great if ED gets on steam or at least get's EpicDuel.exe

Anyway.. If they take out some time, listen to player request and fix the game... then maybe steam could be a good thing...
AQ DF MQ AQW Epic  Post #: 7
1/7/2017 0:19:04   


The lifeblood of EpicDuel has always been it’s players.
This is so triggering

I don't mean to sound rude but, where did the money you earned from this recent gifting event go?? ON AQ3D?? LOL



< Message edited by GoldenNeo -- 1/7/2017 0:20:28 >
AQW Epic  Post #: 8
1/7/2017 0:23:13   

Majestic Feline of AQ3D & ED


Probably. The money raised from all AE games goes to support the company as a whole, not just 1 game. Source
AQW Epic  Post #: 9
1/7/2017 0:33:34   



The money goes into the costs of running the games. The servers required for the amount of traffic that our games get are not cheap and they are ALWAYS on.

Cysero said, "games". Is he lying? Why does it feel nothing goes to ED anymore? It feels like they are just squeezing money out of ED every gifting season?


Okay, I didn't finish the whole article lol, but the point is, if all the money they get goes to all the games of AE, I'm sure they have this one game where they put all in the money. I don't believe the mooneh they get goes to all the games

< Message edited by GoldenNeo -- 1/7/2017 0:37:47 >
AQW Epic  Post #: 10
1/7/2017 0:43:54   
Silver Sky Magician


ED's servers are still running. The money from the company as a whole goes into funding that. We have a lack of content due to lack of staff, but neither the ED team nor AE management seem to think that it's a wise idea to invest more staff into ED, given the broader technology and gaming trends.
Post #: 11
1/7/2017 0:46:42   

^ED Server's??? You mean server? The server couldn't even reach barely 200 people max

EDIT: I wish the devs can understand that most of the players that supported the game have matured through the years. I wish they would stop lying to us. I guess customer satisfaction isn't indeed their priority anymore

< Message edited by GoldenNeo -- 1/7/2017 2:35:11 >
AQW Epic  Post #: 12
1/7/2017 6:09:15   
SouL Prisoner

If people are willing to spend 1000's of $ just for 1 armor, i'm sure they can donate enough to run this game for decades to come.
AQ DF MQ AQW Epic  Post #: 13
1/7/2017 9:29:39   
One Winged Angel1357

@GoldenNeo as someone who left the guest team to work full time in the service industry I can assure you that for any company front facing is always important. However; the customer is often prone to missing things that causes anguish because they simply were not directly told. So allow me to try and clear up some of this.

It has been stated on more than one occasion that all money from all games go into the company pool for salary and utilities. In 2015 that pool started to dry up and we saw staffing reductions in the company as a whole. EpicDuel, in particular, lost Rev but also gained the guest team at a viable state so I'd say they broke even. Other parts of the company were not so lucky. Also maintaining exile server even if not in use means EpicDuel has two devoted servers. Regardless of use that is two servers for utility costs which in the grand scheme of things is a lot cheaper than employees. We also have the testing server but given the number of people who can access that it may just be hosted off of one of the computers in the office or it may be a third server of a much smaller capacity but as I don't know let's just keep it at two.

@Everyone just going to repeat myself in case you don't believe WhiteTiger or SSM who both work(ed) with the developers. All of the money earned by a game goes to the company pool. Even if income suddenly spikes that does not guarantee continued work especially when the work required is a massive undertaking that in no way helps forward the company goal of transitioning from flash based content to Unity content to keep the company relevant in the modern age. I wouldn't be surprised that as AQ3D content needs ramp up that the AQW team will start facing reductions as well as be given smaller time tables for projects meaning no more major revamps.

AE needs to establish a foothold on steam if their current direction is to succeed which would best be established by shifting as much of their population to AQ3D before it leaves Beta as leaving early access is the next big push they will get from steam itself.

@The Dev's any chance for an EpicDuel post mortem. I'd love to see your reflection on this ten year adventure

< Message edited by One Winged Angel1357 -- 1/7/2017 9:30:31 >
AQ DF AQW Epic  Post #: 14
1/7/2017 10:07:23   
SouL Prisoner

I say fire whoever's idea it was to remove passive skills.

< Message edited by Exploding Penguin -- 1/7/2017 15:54:05 >
AQ DF MQ AQW Epic  Post #: 15
1/7/2017 11:31:23   

@ Soul Prisoner

Then I guess those of us who suggested this idea would lose our accounts seeing as people did suggest the removal of passives right here in these forms sometime ago due to the fact that they felt that passives restricted them and thought actives would set them free.

Problem was the actives they made were too much like the passives they replaced, and had energy costs that put us in this accursed energy meta.
Epic  Post #: 16
1/7/2017 12:03:05   
Lord Machaar


Yet AQW is still up and running with many devs working on it. Correct me if I am wrong but AQW uses the same "technology" as ED.

The switch of ED from Epic Inventions to AE has both marked its beginning and its death. The fact that ED is going to die because someone called Captain Ruhbrab refuses to make a built-in payment system for ED like AQW, and chooses to keep ED on that "Portal Battleon" payment platform like other dead AE games such as OS and HS, that clearly means AE doesn't really care about ED as much as AQW.

Artix knows that, and he knows that if AQW doesn't have a built-in and seperated payment system, the game wouldn't be able to survive in case Flash dies, and they won't be able to make an AQW client by then or port the game to Steam.

If Artix believed in ED or believed in PVP games in general, same thing could have been done with ED giving it a built-in payment system and allowing it a fair chance to survive in the future like AQW.

But ED devs sadly failed to defend their 10 years hardwork and convince this Captain Rabrab to do what he is meant to do, given that ED has potential. Players like me still see it but given that the devs chose to ignore it, then they left no one any choice but do the same.
MQ Epic  Post #: 17
1/7/2017 14:51:04   

@Lord Machaar
AQW has always had a larger team than ED. When thinking about those two, I get the feeling like AQW is more organised and neat while ED is a bit of a clusterfluck. (I'm talking about the internals, whether it be code or whatnot)

When it comes to "Captain Ruhbrab", he's probably in the same position as ED devs. He does what he is told to do.

I'll just ramble on here for a bit. Lets say "Captain Ruhbrab" is tasked with this payment system upgrade. It's already a complicated system and since it involves money it gets even more complicated. So, he'd probably need plenty of time to build it properly and test it, because any mistake or a bug could cost them a lot of money. What would seem like a reasonable timeline for this to be properly built and tested? I don't know, lets say 3 months. 3 months salary is quite a lot of money. Does ED make enough money in 3 months to pay for 5 salaries (devs+captain) and server costs? Personally, I think ED covers its cost and that's about it. The gifting, you say? Yea, that probably helps to cover the losses from the rest of the year.

My point, personally I wouldn't waste time and money on a game with an extremely low population, which is probably retaining almost negligible percentage of new players and is in best case scenario at least breaking even. And I think neither would Artix.

< Message edited by 8x -- 1/7/2017 14:55:54 >
Epic  Post #: 18
1/7/2017 15:57:37   
  Exploding Penguin

games are cool I guess

Did a bit of thread-cleaning.

Criticism is okay, but just outright attacking people verbally isn't. You guys know who you are, and you know that it wasn't necessary to say it in the way that you said it. If you want to criticize a staff member, you can definitely do it in a better way that's still very critical without having to make it sound nice and fluffy at all, just more constructive and appropriate.

I understand that this announcement is hard for a lot of people (including me since I've played this game since early-mid beta and really, really loved it back then), but please, keep it at least relatively civil. I'll let this one slide, but the next time it comes up by the same users I'll start handing out warnings.

< Message edited by Exploding Penguin -- 1/7/2017 15:58:49 >
Epic  Post #: 19
1/7/2017 18:26:04   
Lord Machaar

ED remained inert for how long now? 2-3 years? You can clearly see that making a seperated payment platform for it wasn't something urgent, but still, Artix and AE as a whole chose to ignore it. AQW already has a system like that, so we aren't talking here about learning Unity which would take them years. So at a given time in these 2-3 years, AE as a whole and Captain Rabrab had the chance to do it.

AE did receive a huge support from AQ3D's kickstarter, and it blew off all of their expectations hitting 200k. So the company at a given time had few cash to spare and give in return, because in the end who helped that kickstarter break the records? No one but the playerbase of their past games including ED.

My point is, the fact that AE didn't build ED or actually believed in its potential, remains the main reason why they never wanted it to actually prosper. Even when ED was at its peak, during Gamma and Delta (Servers were pretty full), AE refused to hire more developpers or even add another server. As if they were saying, ED was never meant to reach this. Only AQW, the botting heaven is allowed to do it. You can see that in the end, they turned ED to AQW 2.0.

So it's clear that now, when ED at this state, won't actually convince them to do it. ED sure doesn't have a big playerbase now, but giving it a shot on Steam or making a client for it simply wouldn't hurt anyone, financially as well. The only obstacle that remained was giving ED an isolated payment system, and it is sad to see the devs giving up on this one as well.


< Message edited by Lord Machaar -- 1/7/2017 18:28:20 >
MQ Epic  Post #: 20
1/7/2017 18:41:31   

^Refused? Really? What, do you think they needed more staff members to get to Omega faster? (and make it AQW 2.0 faster)
A lot of ED players have or used to have the "us, the ED people vs AE" mentality (me included), but it's the strongest with you.

I just did some battles on my lvl 30. It looks like 2vs2 is something that doesn't exist anymore for players around lvl 30. lmao...
1v1 is ok, I guess. Sometimes you get a NPC, so that is a free win, you can also get easy wins by battling the same botter 8 times in a row.
Epic  Post #: 21
1/7/2017 19:27:56   

Majestic Feline of AQ3D & ED

@Lord Machaar

AQW has a separate payment platform because it was created before the master account system, same with AdventureQuest, DragonFable and MechQuest (which all have separate payment systems). At one point in time, it was a company objective to have all the games use the master account platform and migrate to an artix.com subdomain, and since ED was the newest game at that time, it was the perfect candidate to start with. At a later point in time they decided that the master account system wasn't so great and stopped the rollout with the artix.com subdomains. I've heard some stuff about a version 2 being in the works but that's probably abandoned at this point, along with the forums revamp.

Also, I'd like to point out that 200k is barely anything, I had an annual salary equivalent of around half of that for my first internship so I guess that'll pay for 2-4 developer salaries, depending on the area and additional perks/benefits.

< Message edited by WhiteTiger -- 1/7/2017 20:16:47 >
AQW Epic  Post #: 22
1/7/2017 20:06:10   
Lord Machaar


^Refused? Really? What, do you think they needed more staff members to get to Omega faster? (and make it AQW 2.0 faster)

The time where they needed more staff members was Gamma/Delta, so they had a lot of options infront of them besides Omega. Omega was the end of ED 3 years ago when they knew they can't prosper and AE doesn't have the intention to do it. So they made Omega, where "players create stuff". It ended up not fulfilling any goal of theirs.

It's more like the "PVP mentality vs PVE mentality"... You can tell that AE was all about PVE, even when they made AQW... So ED joining AE with that mentality wasn't a good choice at all.

Yes, ED was the lab rat sadly. Wait, which one of our games that isn't all about botting and PVE? Exactly.

200k is a surplus though. AE was created before the kickstarter, and they were paying their devs before the kickstarter. Therefore, the kickstarter is only devoted to AQ3D, not to pay the devs. The devs were already getting paid before that kickstarter. And I'm sure even after the kickstarter, and despite the fact these devs were no longer working on their past games, there was still some revenue kicking in, and still is.


@The Dev's any chance for an EpicDuel post mortem. I'd love to see your reflection on this ten year adventure

Not yet though, still few pennies to drain from that broken war system, plus the new wonderful bottingful juggernaut is there to make it better. You have to wait for at least one year where they make sure everyone is dead to do that.

< Message edited by Lord Machaar -- 1/7/2017 20:16:59 >
MQ Epic  Post #: 23
1/7/2017 20:17:01   

^I'm no game developer, but it does seem like paying the developers would be one of the biggest expenses when making a game. So, where exactly do you think that AQ3D kickstarter money is going?
Epic  Post #: 24
1/7/2017 20:20:46   
Lord Machaar

The kickstarter cash wasn't that much needed and that's the point. Devs were already living off past games. Plus the company was shooting for what? 100k? They ended up with way more than that.

Oh yeah, it's 400k* by the way.
MQ Epic  Post #: 25
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