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Star Date : March 31st, 2009 30 15105 We're Live! Midnight:It's ALIVE!!! Only a couple little hiccups that have already been taken care of :D I hope you enjoy the new mechs! There are models availble for all players NG, SC and NSC... Also remeber if you are concerned that you may not be able to farm the credits or don't have quite enough Nova Gems to get one of these super rare mecha models, we have this handy little PayBuyPal program that can earn you some free Nova Gems Here.
Also, I hope you check out the new release button in Soluna City... You may win a BIG Prize!! Go ahead and click it... you know you want to... This release (as well as a HUGE list of game engine bug fixes...) takes the place of our normal Wedenesday mini-release. For a breakdown of the bug fixes read Mae's post below...
11:55PM: 5 Minutes to go! Everything still checks out! Fingers crossed! Frantically trying to make sure everything is ready for launch... checking... rechecking... checking again... I realy don't want to stay up too far past midnight....(checks again).
11:45PM: Whew - Maegwyn and I just finished up testing everything for today's release and everything's working! Although just about everything broke earlier when I put it in the game! Of course I tried waving my magic fixing wand (but grabbed my staff of fireballs by mistake... needless to say I left things a little crispy... Anyway, in 30Minutes... (15 by the time I finish wiring and posting this....) We are having our second ever One Day Only Mecha Sale!
If you were with us last year, you'll have fond memories of last year's models.... which were uber... and have not and will never return to the game... EVER. Well, this year's model sports a scarier look and is jam packed with specials including a star captain only pilot abduction ability that means an Instant Kill! (It's a low chance... but it's beautiful to see your opponent's pilot get transported away... Happening in 30 minutes.. no make that 15 minutes! Ack! gotta get back to work!
Star Date : March 31st, 2009 One-Day Rare Mecha Pricing! We're working busily on the new mechas that will be coming out as promised for ONE DAY - April 1st, starting at midnight. I promised to give you all the sneak peek at the pricing, so that you can save up for it.
This mecha will be available for both non-Star Captains and Star Captains - like the higher-level House mechas, this version will feature a very powerful special exclusively for Star Captains. There will also be a Nova Gem version at each level.
Level 3 = 165 Nova Gems Level 8 = 440 Nova Gems Level 13 = 715 Nova Gems Level 18 = 990 Nova Gems Level 23 = 1265 Nova Gems Level 28 = 1540 Nova Gems Level 33 = 1815 Nova Gems
All I can say for now is - this mecha is Crazy!
Contest: Build A Special Mecha! Meanwhile, on the forums we've got a contest running: Build A Special Mecha! You can find it at this link http://forums2.battleon.com/f/tm.asp?m=15744648 The contest ends on the 3rd of April,at 5 PM server time - so be sure to check it out and enter for a chance to win. We're excited about having more of the suggestions from our players in game.
Today we (Warlic, blues, and I) worked also on fixing some of the monsters and enemies that randomly freeze your game instead of attacking - and some who like to damage themselves - and even some very rude ones who attack first even though you won the initiative roll. I'm continuing to test these fixes tonight to be sure everything is working before Warlic rolls them into the game.
So, with all the work Rolith has been doing with Facebook, I've been spending a little time now and again exploring the features of the site itself. I've even gotten to chat with a few of you there. (I know, I know - here you've been waiting and waiting for me to post the notes about the MQ team members, and I've been ... exploring Facebook? But I'm getting to something ...) A nice chat with a forum member, Sunumbrella, led to the suggestion that I include things such as our quirks and hobbies, and how we got involved with AE, Oh, I know - I keep asking you to "stay tuned" for this - when the Insane April Fool work is done, I'll get you the first exciting installment of "MQ ... From Out of the Shadows - The Team"
While you're waiting, now is a good time to re-do some of those missions that earn you the credits you need for that Loony new once-in-a-lifetime Rare Mecha - have fun!
Star Date : March 27th, 2009 Major Steele is looking for a few good... students? Today is a bit of a departure from the normal quest progression of late... We added a badly needed low - mid level Star Captain zone in Soluna City. Major Steele needs a starship... because he wants to go off world - right into the middle of Shadowscythe controlled space to launch a surprise attack on one of their major communications bases! Since this mission is 100% Unauthorized, he can't charter a flight to enemy space... No, he needs a star captain crazy... er... I mean, brave enough to take him!
Today's quest is the first mission of a new quest chain for MQ. We have some pretty exciting things coming for this quest chain including the biggest dungeaon in MQ history.... it's going to be massive... Like that gun Braddock carries... He's the Nuclear Duke of Soluna. He's A-number One!
Planet Lagos development continues... Jemini just finshed up the Dread Captain Rhubarb NPC and is currently finishing up our Pirate Town! Of course the next step at Lagos is to FIND the town... then you'll have to sneak in somehow... Have fun!
Star Date : March 25th, 2009 What's Coming Up.. Last year, around this time, we had a One Day Only Mecha sale that brought the super rare and ultra cool f001 and 4pri1 mecha models...
This year we're going to do it again... We have a brand new One-Day Mecha in the works right now and it's going to be crazy... It's Coming next Wednesday, April 1, starting at midnight! Note - This is NOT an April Fool's joke... just ask anyone who was here last year.. don't miss out on this one-of-a-kind ULTRA RARE mecha.
On Friday we'll be introducing a new NPC to Soluna City... Major Braddock Steele is coming to town to recruit some Star Captains to help him crush some Shadowscythe skulls... This will be a mostly Star Captain quest chain suitable for lower to middle levels. We are currently working on a pirate town for Lagos. Expect your Adventures to resume there next week...
If you read the Design Notes Regularly, you may have heard about our new Facebook project called, Armadas... Well, the name has been changed to follow the gameplay more closely. It is now going to be called "Mercenaries!" Will have more info and screenshots posted soon... Expect Mercenaries to launch about the same time as MechQuest goes live on Facebook... very soon!
For Today's mini-update, We buffed the new Arthurian Wolf's rage damage buff by 5% and added an extra round of duration... Also, I overhauled the Cmail system in town. Maegwyn posted about the new cmail changes below...
Star Date : March 25th, 2009 Maegwyn Thinks Typos are Tasty! I've been chewing up some very delicious typos - some in the Starship Items descriptions, a few in the weapons descriptions, and today I made quite a tasty meal of the Artbook! When I told Warlic I was sending back the "monster," he thought I had been editing monsters! (Not today, but if I run into any monsters with typos I'll be sure to edit those too.)
Many people on the forumshave been asking for Design Notes that talk more about the MQ team. I've promised to bring the MQ team 'out of the shadows' a bit (yes - the shadows ... where we've been lurking and plotting and planning ... muahahaha!)and so I'll be working on a nice intro to post here for you soon!
Today we worked on a much-needed update to C-Mail (our Wednesday mini-release this week). Warlic added a pop-up that you'll see - if you have new mail - when you first enter Soluna City after logging in. He did something "flashypants" with the exclamation point on the News Screen. And then he worked his magic to keep it from flashing constantly, so after you read your mail the exclamation point will go away until next time.
Meanwhile, we're busily doing our plotting and planning and pre-testing to get the upcoming releases ready - so I'd better get back into the shadows to work on that for now - but stay tuned!
Star Date : March 23rd, 2009 Mae Tests DNs New Tools for Mae! I am proud to announce the timesaving-for-Warlic development ... I - Maegwyn - am now able to put up Design Notes without Warlic needing to get them via email. This is a Test. I've learned how to do the title and Star Date, and to change the text color and to put my name and picture in! And I have also learned how to fix typos if I should happen to make them (which I did - I left out a word).
Star Date : March 20th, 2009 New Feature Works!... Sort of... New Preview Mecha Feature! I am proud to announce the addition of a new gameplay feature today... Preview Mecha! In today's quest, you will have the opportunity to test drive our newest nova gem mecha, the Arthurian Wolf! I am extremely excited about this feature for future quests... can anybody say... Infiltration? Todays release has a few minor and known bugs:
1) When loading the new mecha, your current weapons are overwritten with new ones. When your original mecha is returned to you, equipped weapons may have the wrong names. This seems to only happen with equipped weapons. This issue is easily remedied by simply re-equipping your mecha and weapons,
2) The temporary mech currently "inherits" your currently equipped mecha's available slots. So if you are using a mecha that has no default weapons or few defaults, you could be seriously crippled when the temporary mecha is equipped. So, when you are on this quest... DO NOT take a mecha that has few or no defaults (I.E. build a mecha styles or single weapon mechs like E3s, etc...)
We know about these issues and are working on them. In the meantime, to help out with these issues, I just added a menu bar to the map zone that will allow you to change mechs, heal, and equip... Anyway, adding preview capabilities to the game is really cool and opens up a lot of possibilities in the game!
Korin made his return to quest building this week. He assisted me greatly in creating the walkaround maps for this rather expansive quest. There are 20 islands that you can explore and each one has its own map. He'll be putting together more quests in the future in addition to continuing to create his usual AWESOME animations! This can only lead to more and more awesomesauce in the game's future...
Star Date: Mar 19th, 2009 Armada! For the past few weeks I’ve been working on not just the ability to place MechQuest inside Facebook, but indeed a big expansion to MechQuest itself. We’re tentatively calling the project MechQuest Armadas and I’m extremely excited about it.
The concept of Armadas is that you will build up a circle of friends, who will form into an Armada with you. With your armada you will complete tasks, gain power, and build your reputation as a commander. You will also be able to pit your armada against others in combat, as well as gain control of vital resources allowing you to become even more powerful.
Star Captains in your Armada will be able to equip themselves with powerful Star Ships, making them a force to be reckoned with in their own right, and powerful allies to have.
All of this will be playable from right inside MechQuest, no extra game, no extra login. And it’s coming as soon as we possibly can get it finished. We’re still in designing phases, and some of what I’ve said may change as we move forward, but early parts of this could be coming soon!
We AREN’T able to do direct player-vs-player PVP with this, and that’s not what we’re designing here. A resource-management armada-building strategy game feels like a good fit with MechQuest and it’s universe, and offers opportunities for a lot of exciting new aspects in the game itself.
Star Date : March 17th, 2009 Lucky Charms! Happy St. Patrick's Day Release! Tek's Mechs just received her shipment Lucky charm mecha mods! These magical mods will give a nice boost to your luck stats! Get them now while supplies last! Also, on a not so lucky note: we ran into a little bump getting the extra mod slots added to the level 25+ SC and NG mecha models. So, the extra slots will not be added this week. They will be added as soon as possible though. We will also be adding new slots at levels 50 and 75 when those levels are obtainable in-game..
In other news: Facebook integration is moving along smoothly. Rolith promises me that I will have testable version very soon. Hopefully within the next couple of days!
Artbook Progress: 90% - (down from 95%) Artix and I looked over the final layouts for the Artbook and got out our markers and started drawing all over it! We threw a ton of little tweaks and changes back at the design team...So, Alicia and Johnny are working feverishly to finish up the final layouts and prep everything to send to the printer!
Soundtrack Progress: 10% : i have started the soundtrack file and recently added a huge library of AWESOME sampled instruments to my arsenal of sounds... Unfortuantely, with everything else going on, I haven't had a lot of oppotunity to rearrange the music... Some of the clips are literally 5 second long music loops. New parts will need to be written and new arrangements made to make the music stand up on its own. However, once I go into full gear, the new arrangements will go very quickly!
Star Date : March 16th, 2009 Coming Tomorrow: Lucky Charms! St. Patrick's Day Release Information: Tek's Mechs is getting a huge collection of new Lucky charms! These magical mods are sure to make you luckier in combat! So be sure to log on tomorrow get these RARE Holiday mods before they disappear next week! Also, coming on Wednesday, all Star captain and Nova Gem mecha models at levels 25 and higher are getting another mod slotadded! That's twice as lucky!!!
Level Cap Raised to 33: This weekend, we released level 31 and 33 Jameson mecha models at the Murky Lake Campground. We have never released a mecha that was higher than the level cap before. So, we decided to try it.. Well, most of you thought it was a bug because those levels were unobtainable. So, today I raised the level cap to 33... I was originally planning to do this on Wednesday, but since it caused so much confusion, I just went ahead and opened up the level barrier today. So, start power leveling and get into the cockpit of your shiny (well not really shiny... more like murky..) new level 33 Jameson Mecha!
This Friday, we are going to release our next quest in the lagos chain. You will be able to start exploring the myriad islands that make up the huge Archipelago in search for Robina and the Dread Pirate Rhubarb. You will be marching straight into Pirate territory... So, it's bound to be dangerous! More information to come!
Here's a Quick Update from Maegwyn:
"Update on the low level equipment sweep: "Blues & I got the last 9 mechas done and we will start going through shops later this week!"
Star Date : Mar 15th, 2009 Level 33 Jameson Mecha? We'll be raising the level cap soon! You may have guessed this already, as some of the Jameson mechas now available are not yet equippable (L31 Star Captain, and L33 Nova Gem) We've made these available to those of you who like to plan ahead with investing in a mecha to keep in your hangar for when you level up. These are quite powerful - quite the worthy investment - and will soon be Rare, so keep that in mind when planning your purchases. Newer characters may be especially interested in the Level 3 version available at Tek's Mechs on the Dropship and in Soluna - this mecha is very usable as you level up past 3, and will serve you well for several levels.
blues and I will be continuing the Rebalancing Project (sorry that we had to put it on hold for a bit longer than we originally planned) - and at the same time, we'll be working on the promised update to the Knife and Spork challenges for a future (most likely a Wednesday) release. We've also been talking about ideas for new contests, so keep an eye on these Design Notes and on the forums in the weeks ahead.
Star Date : March 11th, 2009 Get ready for a Horrible Camping Trip! Coming this Friday the 13th!
This week we're going to do a special Friday the 13th mission in which you will have to protect a group of GEARS Students who are on a camping trip... they are being terrorized by a hockey mask wearing mecha and a horde of monstrous creations... Along with the standard rare holiday mecha release... So get your camping supplies in GEAR! You'll need them to survive the horror!
Hooray for Wednesday Mini Releases: Today our Wednesday mini release consisted of a new intro tutorial at the dropship that covers Initiative, stats and specials. Also, a new Zargon Comic (Saving Dr. Benner) is released. Finally, we also lifted the Stats limit of 150. You may now train skill up to the full maximum of 200 point.This means that all of you level 30 Star Captains can train up to 180 today!
Star Date : March 6th, 2009 Planet Lagos and New Mecha Chassis! Today we released Planet Lagos for all players. Today's release will bring you to the surface of the planet where you will have to fight your way to Prince Robert's rendezvous point... a cave hidden on one of the many Islands of Lagos. Unfortunately, pirates are swarming all over the planet and you will have to fight off quite a few... Luckily at the end of tonight's quest, You will unlock access to two new pirate mecha bodies, the Blademaster and Star Captain Sniper models. These new mecha bodies will go perfectly with the weapons you found on Planet Gark!
We have more mecha models coming... Korin is working dilligently to animate all of the Arthurian and Pirate models. Also, today, Alicia and Johnny revealed the nearly complete artbook. I must say, it is looking awesome! It is amazing just how much artwork we have compiled over the brief history of MQ... and the book doesn't even have everything in it! Now we are just waiting for Artix and myself to finish up the text before it's ready to print!
Star Date : March 3rd, 2009 This Week! For this wednesday mini-release, we are been working on a brand new level 30 challenge zone for Star Captains. This quest will be made available at the Star Captain's Club in Soluna City. You will be put through a greuling 4 part test featuring some of the more powerful enemies from Soluna, Westion, Zargon and Gark/Lagos. This new challenge is similar in nature to the Knife and Spork Zone. The enemies you face will all be scaled to level 30 power. We're introducing a brand new feature with this quest: The ability to preview the next fight and change your equipment and mecha before every fight. It definitely adds a whole new level of strategy to the game! This is challenge is geared towards hardcore players and will be scaled somewhere between hard and extreme difficulty level. Blues and Maegwyn really had a lot of input in the making of this quest and would like me to warn you to make sure that you have plenty of food tomorrow when we roll out this new challenge.... Oh yes.. There will be a pretty nice reward at the end too, the ultimate bragging rights for the most uber of MQ players!
Planet Lagos is coming along very well and Thyton and Korin are working like crazy to finish all of the new mecha models that will be available for Lagos. This planet has more mecha models than any other zone in Mechquest history! We plan to open the planet for all players on Friday, so get ready!
Here's a status update on some of our other projects underway:
1) Facebook MechQuest: We're getting really close... The last I heard, Rolith has been able to get MQ running on Facebook. We are currently working on functionality to post messages to your facebook profiles as well as a friend invite system for Facebook.
2) Alicia and Johnny are working dilligently to prepare the artbook for printing! The entire book is scheduled to be laid out and awaiting final approval by the end of the week!
3) Soundtrack CD: I have gathered all my audio files and backed most of them up before going into remix mode. I am setting up a new collection of sampled instruments to revoice some of the older stuff. Some of the shortere loops are going to need to have new parts added for less repetition and the longer ones will be getting some remixes.
Star Date : March 3rd, 2009 Old Weapon Overhauls- Progress! Blues and I have been working steadily on the Huge Re-Balancing project - so far we have adjusted many of the lower-level mechas and well over 100 weapons (including defaults). Yesterday we completed the re-balancing of all House-specific mechas through Level 15. You can use the forums to watch our progress here http://forums2.battleon.com/f/tm.asp?m=15605140 We are not finished with everything yet, so stay tuned!