Friday, December 30, 2011

Happy New Year!

Well, almost. Soon it will be a new year and to celebrate, we tossed up the fireworks again. Our main focus this week was Planet Liath which has received it's update. It will have loads of reward weapons next week while we start planning out the next planet that will be a part of the main storyline again which should be a doozy.

The reason we don't have Liath rewards this week is because there's just too much! We've got the gifts getting pumped out and primed for unwrapping and we have the calendar mecha getting prepped for its big switch. So if you haven't gotten your gift yet or you haven't ordered your calendar yet, better do it quick! Well I guess the calendar can wait a little since there's shipping involved but the gifts are happening now!

This year MQ went through a lot of changes and a lot of people have stepped up to help out. Everyone on the team right now is putting a lot into this and I think it's showing. Lyris has made some amazing cutscenes, Minar has made some amazing weapons and backgrounds, Arklen has been going crazy with these animations and you'll see that first-hand when you get a look at the new house mechas. They're coming soon. Blues comes up with some crazy special ideas that test Vivi's knowledge of actionscript which leads into how much Maegwyn and Vivi have stepped up. They've designed their own quests and towns before, and have even run a whole release on their own. They're a power team and MechQuest is lucky to have them.

So here's to next year. Thanks for playing everyone. And a big thanks to the staff for helping make this game awesome. Because it is awesome, right?

Happy New Year!


Saturday, December 24, 2011

Frostval 3011

The War Is Over! Rewards are all unlocked already!

You can still play through it so don't worry - it's just all unlocked and here is how it went down.  Freddy Yeti was trying to send you tech as a Frostval present, and Mr. Z sent EC units to intercept the shipment and get hold of it for EbilCorp.  There was a war - and you won it in what just might be record time!  You went out on Thoh to find the parts that went missing when the starship crashed, and you had to fight mini-bosses to get each piece of the mecha.  (You can still do this.) You are able to collect them for a build-a-mech style or just to use as weapons as you go along - and if you can defeat Mr. Z you open shops with a chassis (NSC, SC, and NG versions) and a fully-decked-out mecha model (for Nova Gems only).  

Happy Frostval to All! You really pulled together and fought valiantly - great job!! This release was a lot of fun to put together. It was kind of crazy and a lot to do - and with it being a short week & people on the team having limited time with school committments, travel, computer issues I have to say I'm amazed & proud of us for getting this release out to you! Also even knowing that, for some reason I decided I should make a bazillion levels of everything so everyone would be able to have nice rewards so I gave myself a ton of extra work - but it all came together in the end! I like to try to fill you in on who did what, and I'm hoping I don't forget anyone's contribution... Lyris did the opening cutscene and Korin set up the mecha & did the war questing.  When Korin finished vectorizing and animating, Minar shaded & colored the mecha.  I learned how to break off the weapons to make into standalones and also how to make an empty chassis.  Vivi's laptop is having serious issues so I asked blues for relatively simple specials design & then I coded the weapons with Vivi's help when he could get online on his family PC, and then when Korin finished the quests & came back from a bit of Christmas shopping, I turned the chassis (body attack) and fully-equipped mecha over to Korin to code so I could do some Christmas shopping.  Vivi & Korin are really good teachers and Warlic laid a good foundation in helping me understand the basics - not that I was writing new code or anything, but you have to know what to modify and where it belongs in order to get things working as intended. The worst thing that happened (that I know of so far anyway) wasn't a coding issue - I made some kind of weird error when setting everything up in the database and for a few hours the weapons were unsellable and un-destroyable. That's fixed now, though.  I'm hoping there aren't any major bugs with any of the specials!! If you find one, please let us know on the Gremlins forum.

A facebook friend of mine, David Lark (a.k.a. davids8765 if you play AQWorlds), helped me with names for the rewards - huge thanks!! The language of Latvia is featured - and it's my fault if anything is misspelled! Also a forum member, Master Merlin, mentioned on the forums that he had suggested pricing the Build-a-Mecha chassis the same as a standalone weapon - I used that concept (& it may be that others have suggested the same but his came to my attention) with a bit of tweaking from Vivi to keep it affordable and in line with our 1000-NG pricing of a completely-built model.   


  • FA  Sniega Lielgabals SC only ---> CD=0- starts with extra damage- adds +20% damage per use (only the weapon), caps at 300%- adds +10 BtH per use (only the weapon), caps at 100 BtH
  • BA  Ledus Bumba (NSC, SC, NG) ---> CD=3- starts with extra damage- normal (NSC) /1.5 time, double) HP DoT for 3 turns- SC and NG only: 20 roll for stopping enemy EP regen for 3 turns- NG only: 40 roll for a crit
  • FS Laasteka Shot (NSC Only) ---> CD=3- starts with extra damage- Chance for a 1.5 time EP DoT for 3 turns- chance for a critical strike
  • BS Laasteka Shard (NSC, SC, NG)  ---> CD=3- starts with extra damage- Chance (NG guaranteed) for a normal (NSC) / 1.5 time (SC) / double (NG) HP DoT for 3 turns- SC and NG only: chance for a crit- NG only: chance for stopping enemy EP regen for 3 turns
  • HD Sniegapika Volley (NG only) ---> CD=5- starts with 1.5 times damage- general damage boost of +12 per turn over 5 turns- general BtH boost of +15 per turn for 5 turns- defense BoT of +10 per turn for 5 turns
  • Chassis Milziiga Sniegapika (NSC, SC, NG) ---> CD=5- Uses 0 EP- gives the mecha higher EP reserves. - starts with extra damage- NSC & SC have a chance and NG guarantee for damaging also EP with half of damage done to HP- SC and NG only: double HP DoT for 5 turns- NG only: chance for a critical strike.

  • If you have the fully-equipped Nova Gem model, in addition to the NG specials described above, the weapons which don't sell as standalones for NGs have the following:
    FA: - starts with extra damage- adds +25% damage per use (only the weapon), caps at 300%- adds +15 BtH per use (only the weapon), caps at 100 BtH
    FS: starts with extra damage- double EP DoT for 3 turns- chance for a crit- additional chance for damaging EP with half of damage done to HP

Ok I think that should cover it all!  Oh - also if you are a Star Captain be sure to grab the gift boxes - they will open on gift-giving day which is traditionally New Year's Day so I'm shooting for that as our deadline for having them all ready but if we have to be a little later this time it'll still be early January - and the wrapped gifts are fun to play with before they open, anyway!

Have a very happy Frostval! Thanks for playing MechQuest!


Friday, December 16, 2011

Frostval 3011 Begins

We are kicking off Frostval with a trip to Planet Thoh where you may go back in time to replay events of past years.  You should go all the way back to '08 and visit Dr. Kringle in that first cabin in town - his NG Holiday Weapons shop is now stocked with 3011 versions of these classic designs: "The Kringler," "Candy Cane," and "Mint-Zooka."  This year they come with a new feature - along with their new specials, if you have the head, the arm, and one of the shoulders equipped, you get a Set Bonus! Each use lowers your opponent's stun resistance for that turn and attempts to stun.  So it's definitely worth getting the whole set.

You will also find a L45 version of the Magic Bag arm (non-Star Captain) in the Arm weapon shop in '09, and there is a L45 Face of Frostval Past in the NG '09 Vilmart Back Room shop.

Star Captains have a new mod this year - you'll find it in the YourZelf mod shop at Freddy Yeti when you arrive in Frostvale. You may want to keep it for its benefits, or you may want to use it in the Merge Shop to merge your old Zorbo into this year's model.  Caution: merging will REMOVE your older, RARE Zorbo from your inventory, so DO NOT merge if you want to keep your older Zorbo!!!! We have made one available for Nova Gems for the people who like to collect rares.  

I had fun turning Zorbo into an elf! His specials remain the same, but he looks a bit different. I love how I get to do a little bit of all sorts of different things. Vivi sent the new code for the set weapons before he got on the road to travel and Korin helped me figure out how to tweak things so that it all functions as intended. And if something doesn't work quite right, Vivi will be around to fix it on Monday, or to explain to me how to fix it, so thanks for your Gremlin reports on the forums - they really help! 

We're also working on the new Frostval content for next week - there is a new mecha on its way, and Korin has a screenshot of the work in progress here!

Good luck to everyone with final exams and safe traveling to everyone with holiday travel plans! Thanks for playing MechQuest - please don't forget to tell your friends how much fun it is to play!


Friday, December 9, 2011

Liath Continues

Travel back to Planet Liath via Val at the Museum in Soluna City West to find out what we added this week! 

Prerequisites: To access the new content, complete Val's previous missions (main entrance of the Museum, all the way West in Soluna City, to the left of the Art Museum).  Also make sure that you have completed all the missions from Dean Warlic to reach the Kingadent, and have received flight clearance.

This week, there is a new puzzle designed by Korin, and then there is a quest - and Verified players can open a special shop back at the Museum after completing them!  (You need to be Verified to open the shop - inside the shop if you are Verified and a Star Captain there is something for you, and if you are Verified and want to use your Nova Gems as currency, there is also something for you.)

Still to come (in relation to this section of the Liath storyline) is an animated cutscene of the airship landing - cutscene by Lyris and Liath Cityscape by Minar.  I'll get it put together for next week so that you will feel like you glide into the city before you just appear there.  

I don't want to say too much about today's release because of the spoilers - so go to the Museum and travel to Liath and see for yourselves!

There is more to come on Planet Liath in the upcoming weeks, and Frostval is on its way - we've got a lot of things in the works, which we're really excited about!

Have a great weekend and thanks for playing MechQuest! 


Friday, December 2, 2011

Flavescent Friday and Planet Liath

Flavescent Friday! The Event section of the Shops interface is where you will find the Flavescent Friday Discounts and Rares! There is a limited selection of Rare mecha models as well as non-rares. The non-rares are 50% off the normal selling price!  The weapons selected are 50% off as well.  The version of the RARE Chronomech that is in the shop is not quite identical to the one that was offered with the 3011 Calendar. It scales only to Level 50 and has been named differently to help distinguish it from the promotional version.  

We took your input on the forums and considered the pros and cons of everything you said you would want to see (and not to see) in the shops this year.  It turned into a lively debate again, and it was fascinating to see what interests you.  Honestly I was originally considering limiting this year's offerings to mechas only, but everyone was interested in having a weapons shop - and I'd like to remind you that we have the Salvage quest in Soluna City which really does fill that niche nicely.  This year's selection of weapons is mostly for over level 20 - but you can stock up now in advance for when you attain that higher level!  (The level range is my fault - I was so focused on getting just the right mecha models selected that I ended up putting weapons on the back burner.) There is a chance that I might add something for the neglected levels, as suggested by ZamuelNow on the forums - Korin gave his blessing so it just depends on how the weekend plays out.  I do love the name "Saturated Saturday" that ZamuelNow came up with!

Korin & I decided that Flavescent Friday will last for the entire weekend, so you have time to decide what you'd like to add to your inventory!  Keep an eye on the shop, in case we have time to add anything. No promises, but if I add something I'll put out a quick Design Note!

Planet Liath: The Black and White Planet! Liath is now open to everyone who has completed Val's quests at the Museum and also has flight clearance! There are now Non-Star-Captain shoulders in the reward shop (the Nova Gem Preview weapons are Rare FOREVER) and Star Captains still have a nice shoulder in the shop as well, although it is a bit different from the SC Exclusive Preview version. blues designed the specials and Vivi coded them up - and Vivi also made their database entries and did the shop work! Huzzah! (Debut in the database!) (And many many thanks!)

Minar arted up the cool and all-new backgrounds for the town and new element for the new quest, and there's an 'establishing shot' he also made that isn't LIVE yet, because we are adding a landing cutscene next week.  (I'll be plotting that out next, along with a little extra dialogue.) Many thanks to Minar for being such an integral part of our dev team while still going to school, etc. !!

Korin let me put together the general visual design for this planet and much of the storyline planning and specific dialogue - I tell you this because I am starting to hear that people don't know who does what, and I generally tell you what everyone else does but not too much about what I do.  We do a lot of collaboration as well. So for example I'm hoping Lyris will have time to work with me on one of her awesome animated cutscenes for the landing ... 

Korin has introduced a brilliant feature in the quest after you arrive in the town - making rolls to advance much easier and more hopeful - it actually made me not care about rolling under the required number while testing, because I was given hope that I'd succeed and the end was really in sight - and it was! What do you think of this new feature? The new 'organic' dinosaurs are Korin's brainchild (or should that be "brainchildren") too! 

*Teaser* Arklen has sent along a something that is animated and relates to Planet Liath... something blues and Vivi will definitely be involved in working on, and something I'll have a hand in... speculations welcome, but no further spoilers are forthcoming anytime soon! 

Have a fantastic weekend - thanks for playing MechQuest!