Tehehe, glad you asked =) If—and hopefully when!—Artix Entertainment, myself, and/or AQWorlds wins a Dragon Slayer Trophy, we would need to start recruiting fellow Dragon Slayers—like YOU.
Dage the Evil is horned to forge a brand-new Dragon Slayer Armor Set (for you and me and everyone else to enjoy) IF we win the Dragon Slayer Awards (and possibly a special Pink Dragon Slayer set If I win, too)!
AWESOME—what are the Dragon Slayer Awards?
Hosted by Guild Launch and GameSkinny, the Dragon Slayer Awards are a fan-nominated award for communities in online gaming, focusing on community managers, community builders, and community members (that means you!).
Over the weekend, you had the chance to vote on the AE staff member that you most wanted to ask some questions. After the voting closed half an hour ago, we tallied up the votes and EpicDuel's TITAN won, edging out Stratos by a hair.
So, from now until Noon EST on Wednesday, July 30th (NOW CLOSED) you may post your questions in the comments section below.
Remember that you can ask whatever you like, be it about the game, his experience as a developer, his personal experiences or his beard (EDIT: There are a few exceptions. If you are just using the Q&A to try to complain instead of actually ask a question, it will be deleted. This includes complaints that are being disguised as questions. If you're asking Titan questions about other AE games, those will be deleted since he doesn't know the answers. People not asking questions but just saying "Hi Titan" will have their comments deleted)... but he gets to pick what he will answer and what he won't. Your Artix.com name will be used in the post with the questions and answers which I will post on Thursday, assuming Titan has time to answer them that day.
Remember that you can be serious or silly (I always encourage silly) but rude questions won't even get approved. This is a real chance to get to know Titan a little better and to ask some questions that you might never to go ask otherwise. Don't waste your chance on trying to sound cool like trolls do.
Keep it SHORT as you can. TL;DR rule is in effect.
Keep it FUN. This is not a gripe session, it's a Q&A. If you have a serious question it will be entertained but a few people are saying that they have questions then just posting complaints without asking anything relevant. Others are posting complaints in the weak disguise of questions. Those are being deleted.
You guys seem pretty interested in getting a little more in depth with the inner working of AE and you can't get much more inner workings than asking your questions to the AE staff themselves so I'm going to give you that chance. If this first one works out and people have fun then I'll do another as time permits.
I know that we've had interviews before but those weren't YOUR questions. I know that most of us have Twitters but it's hard to find to time to answer the personal stuff. This will force the staff member to slow down, take some time out and actually answer the question that you have.
Here's How It Will Work
I will present the names of FIVE AE Staff below.
Vote for your choice by posting their name in the comments below.
Voting closes at Noon (EST, AQW server time) on Monday, July 28th and I will count up the votes.
Any votes for people not listed below will be completely ignored.
On Monday, I will announce who you guys picked.
Once you guys have chosen your staff member, you will ask questions in the comment section of that thread (NOT this one, those will also be ignored).
I will then ask the Dev your questions interview style and will post them in a third post.
The AE staff member gets to answer or NOT answer any questions that they like but you can ask anything as long as the question is serious and not flat-out rude. The questions can be about he games that they have worked on, their NPC in the games, their real life (hobbies, favorites books, games movies, foods, worst fear, biggest influences, if they can change a tire, etc), their experience (advice for aspiring devs, etc) or general questions (tips for life, how to get someone to fall in love with you, secret to eternal life if they have proven to be immortal, how to boil an egg, etc).
TRY to keep them short, please. Try to limit it to one question per person unless you have a few REALLY good ones.
As you can see we've left it pretty open ended because we want you guys to feel like you can really ask us just about anything. We've gotten to know quite a few of you over the years through the games, social media and hanging out with you at DragonCon. We want to give everyone the same chance to get to know us.
AE STAFF SELECTION
Faith, Former head of HeroMart, current executive manager and coordinator for the Secret Underground Lab.
Titan, Technical Lead for EpicDuel
Rolith, Former Technical Lead on several AE games, current programmer for AE Mobile Projects. (Project OMNI)
Stratos, Lead Tester and Testing Coordinator for Artix Entertainment.
Cysero, It's only fair that I put myself in here the first time with the rest of the test guinea pigs.
Once Again, VOTING ENDS MONDAY, JULY 28TH AT NOON EST. Voting begins now.
For years, you've battled Drakath, the Champion of Chaos. But how well do you know his story - what turned him from a young Prince into an all-powerful mage bent on achieving a single, world-shattering goal?
This Friday, play as Cysero, Artix, Warlic, or Robina the Hood AND Drakath as you finish the journey towards one of the most important events in our world's history: the day Drakath became the Champion of Chaos!
Play as Drakath and Cysero, Warlic, Artix, or Robina!
Take on two of Lore’s most skilled warriors in the Alteon and Sepulchure Challenge battles!
Talk to Ragnar in Battleon to access the Legend-only Monthly Shop with 28 new items!
Find the Gladiator Powerhouse set in your Game Menu
The Chaos Paragon Limited Quantity Set leaves August 1st!
Or a Dev, or a Tester or a member of the Help Team.
I've posted about this a lot and there are a lot of answers in the AQW design notes and in here but I've decided to make the DEFINITIVE FAQ about becoming a member of AE. Everything you ever wanted to know about how to become a Mod but were afraid to ask.
What Does A Gold Name Mean?
Appearance varies from game to game, so I will be using AQW for all of my examples as it is our most popular game right now. If you see a gold name in AQW then you are seeing one of these people.
Dev (Developer): These are paid AE staff who write, code, do art for and animate the game content. They are the game builders
Asst. Devs (Assistant Developers): These volunteers help the Dev team with new art for items, backgrounds, animation, monsters, item descriptions, quest text etc.
Mod (Moderator): These are volunteers who read reports, helping to keep the game safe and fun and free of trolls, scammers and flamers.
Tester (Q/A Team): These are volunteers who test the releases, classes and other game content to try to make them as bug free as possible before you play them.
Help Team: These are the paid staff members who respond to all account and payment issues for all AE games. If you need help with your account or have a payment issue go to AQ.COM/HELP.
Exceptions: There are a few people who have gold names that don't fall into the above categories such as visiting guest stars, game journalists, other invited professionals and a few members of the volunteer AQWWiki staff.
How Do I Become A Mod or Tester?
When we are looking for new Mods, we will put out a call for Mods or Testers on the Design Notes of the game that needs them. An e-mail address will be provided at that time in that Design Notes post. Read the application instructions carefully and follow them to the letter ten send your application to the provided e-mail.
Please note: THIS POST is NOT asking for applications. We are NOT looking for new Mods, Testers or Devs at the time of this post. Please watch the AQW DESIGN NOTES for Mod/Tester/Dev searches.
What Are The Requirements For Being A Mod or Tester?
You must be at least 18 years of age. No exceptions.
You must have a clean account history (No bans, mutes, botting etc) for the past several years of continuous gameplay (no taking a break for 3 years then coming back and trying to become a Mod)
If you have a public social media account related to your game account (same name, links to your character page etc) it must also be clean and free of harassment, racial slurs, sexism, drug abuse or any other behaviour that might reflect poorly once you are a representative of Artix Entertainment.
You must be polite, patient and friendly (Being a Mod is a hard job and required a good attitude and a lot of patience).
You must have a command of the English language, which means you need to be able to communicate your thoughts clearly the first time in English. Additional languages are a bonus but excellent English is required.
You must be able to follow directions.
(Tester Only) You must have the ability to complete an in-depth bug report to Stratos's satisfaction.
How Do I Become A Dev?
When we are looking for a new Assistant Developer (usually artist or animator, rarely writer, almost never musician and never programmer) we will put up a post in the Design Notes of the specific game looking for help. If you are selected to help, you will be brought on to the team in a trial basis. Once you pass your probationary period (usually 90 days) then you will be asked to come on as an official Assistant Developer. After a certain period, if you prove yourself and there is room in our budget, you may be asked to come on as a full Developer. We never look for Assistant Programmers because of the sensitive nature of some of the code that you would need to work with. We can only trust trained, experienced professionals with that.
What Are The Requirements For Being A Dev?
You must be at least 16 years of age. In nearly every case you will need to be 18+ years old but in very rare cases of exceptional skill we will make an exception with parent's permission.
You must meet a base level of skill to be considered. Our standards are pretty high and we move very fast so we don't have time to teach you how to make art when that is what we're counting on you to provide. Professional experience or a university degree in your field are STRONGLY preferred.
You must take criticism well. The project lead will require changes to your art from time to time and if you are unable to take direction or accept criticism with relative grace then you will be thanked for your time and removed from the position.
You must have a command of the English language, which means you need to be able to communicate your thoughts clearly the first time in English. We are an American based game, and most of the Devs speak English as their first language. If we can't understand you and you can't understand us, then you're a bad fit for this team.
You must be easy to work with. We're a friendly bunch and nobody likes to work with someone harsh or constantly negative.
How Do I Become A Member Of The Help Team?
You don't. When we can afford to bring on additional Help Team Members we hire from the outside the community. We cannot trust volunteers with the sensitive information that the Help Team has to deal with (they have access to every character in every game and all the payment information ever provided).
What Are The Requirements For Being A Help Team Member?
Doesn't really matter since it is irrelevant to you but general customer service rules apply here. You must be fast, calm, polite in the face of overwhelming rage both in text and over the phone and it helps to have good eyes because they Help Team reads THOUSANDS of help mails per week.
What If I'm A Very Mature And Responsible Player Under 18?
Then you understand and gracefully accept that we will only consider applicants who are 18 or older. This is a fixed rule. No debate is allowed. If we discover that you lied about your age, your staff privileges and access will be revoked among other consequences.
What Do Mods And Testers Get In Return For Their Time?
Mods and Testers are unpaid volunteers and we are amazingly grateful for their time spent working hard for you guys so we do what we can to compensate them within reason. Here's what Mods and Testers Get.
Free Membership (helps with Moderating Member only servers or testing Member only classes, items and releases) .
Free ACs for testing purposes (not unlimited).
Restricted free items including rares. This means that they can get pretty much whatever item they like with a few small exceptions such as Alina's personal armor, my Cysero Class or some unique items created exclusively for contest winners, etc.
Who Does Get Paid and How Much?
The Devs and Help Team work on flat salary (do not get a cut of ACs or any other sales). I cannot go into how much or how little we are paid but it's far less than most of you think. (see: MONEY)
How Often Do You Need Mods?
AQW usually has about two calls for new Mods per year. It's not on a fixed schedule. Mods are volunteers so as their real lives prevent them from being able to help we need to pick up and train new help. The other games call for new Mods less often.
How Often Do You Need Devs?
Far less often than we need Mods. The Asst. Devs are usually very dedicated to their art and even if they don't end up becoming a full Developer, they get vital experience and (hopefully) a good letter of recommendation from us when they are ready to leave which are both as good as gold in the gaming industry.
How Many People Apply When You Send Out A Call For New Mods?
Reens receives and must read through about 5,000 applications during a call for new Mods, not to mention checking records and social media. It's a lot of work and takes at least a month to get through.
Can I Still Be a Dev/Mod/Tester If I don't Have A Clean Record?
Generally speaking, no. We usually take into account if your record has been clean for the last four or five years of active playtime but it is still a mark against you. We also consider the nature of your mutes. We can tell when it was just a typo versus intentional harsh language. In general, if you have a number of broken rules on your record then we know that you're not mature enough to be a responsible member of the team.
Will I Get A Reply If My Application Is Denied?
Sorry, but no. Reens has her hands very full just going through all the applications and doing background checks. She cannot possibly take the time to reply to each rejected applicant.
Can I Find Out Why I Wasn't Selected?
No. Someone may meet all the base requirements but be rejected just based on their negativity on social media or the harsh way that they present themselves to the community. As mentioned above, it's important to get along with the people with and for whom you work. On the other hand, you might be a perfect candidate but all the positions might have been filled before your application was received. There are a number or reasons.
What Can I Do To Increase My Chances?
Follow the rules.
Be helpful to other players.
Know English (including grammar and punctuation).
Knowledge of additional languages are helpful.
(Asst. Dev Only) PRACTICE! Never stop perfecting your art. (visual, audio or written).
If I Am Accepted, How Long Will It Take To Get A Reply?
Depending on the number of applications, acceptable applicants can expect a reply in their inbox anywhere from a week to three months after they have applied.
Who Picks The New Hires?
That depends on what they are going to be brought on for. For example, Alina selects the new Asst. Devs for AQW but she's not an artist so might ask Yergen or me to help judge their skill in animation or Dage to help judge their art. Reens selects the new Mods and Stratos selects the new Testers but any AE staff member can give input if they think a specific candidate should not be hired.
For example, If you have a clean record and you are the right age Reens might consider asking you to be a Mod... but if I point out that you were rude and insulting to Memet over Twitter, then Reens might drop you.
How Many Mods Are There Right Now?
Can I Apply When There Is NOT A Current Call For New Devs/Mods/Testers On The Design Notes?
No. This shows us one of three things about you.
Either did not read the rules for application (You just don't care about the rules),
Read them but did not pay attention (which demonstrates a lack of reading comprehension)
Or did not understand them (which demonstrates a lack of knowledge of English).
All clear signs that you don't have what it takes.
For example, If you ask for an application right now in the comments of this post or on Facebook then it's clear that you did not read or understand this post. Those people do not have the attention to detail or reading comprehension that we require of our Moderators.
Will I Have To Change My Game Name?
You might, if it contains your real world name or if you use it elsewhere on the net in a mature or non-family friendly environment. (Like it is also your 4Chan username, for example.)
What Tools Do I Need To Be An Asst. Dev?
Legit copies of whatever you specialize in. If you want to be a Flash artist then you need a legal (not cracked) version of Adobe Flash of your own. If you want to work on the mobile team then you need your own copy of Unity, etc.
What Is A Mod or Tester's Work Schedule?
Mods are asked to contribute a few hours a day, a few days a week to Moderating the games. Of course, it is a volunteer position so we can't expect a set time so if you go idle for a while or find yourself able to help less you will be removed and asked to return when you can help out again. Testers are asked primarily to be able to test on release days, prior to the release (obviously).
What's The Difference Between An Volunteer And An Intern?
Interns work for school credit where volunteers do not. Interns are usually expected to work in-house where volunteers can telecommute from anywhere in the world. Due to recent changes in federal guidelines, we are no longer accepting interns.
What Are Interviews Like?
You will be contacted by e-mail and asked to meet your department head (Reens, Stratos, Alina etc) in-game for a quick information run-down. Over the next few days you will be trained in your duties and begin your 90 day probation period. For mobile testers, you will be pulled into a Skype conversation with the Project Lead and introduced to the rest of the testing team and have your duties explained before beginning your 90 day probation period.
Do You Have To Be A Member To Become A Dev/Mod/Tester?
No. It's not required but it helps. It demonstrates that you have chosen to support the game in the past which is a good sign.
Have any other questions? Feel free to ask them below and I will try to answer them as best I can. Special thanks for all of my Twitter followers for helping me answer some of the questions I couldn't come up with myself.
Last week you took a stand against Lionhart and, though we posed a great challenge, you were able to defeat him. To date, little over 300 duelists have earned the Kingslayer achievement. We designed Lionhart to be the toughest boss yet, but it looks like the best of the best rose to the occasion! Congratulations on this epic achievement!
Thanks to the events of the final mission, the mission chain will be repeatable for those who aren't quite powerful enough to take on the king.
This week, as a palette cleanser for the exciting, but challenging Lionhart missions, we're introducing 2 new missions created by guest writer One Winged Angel! Talk to Valestra a Habuki in Fortune City to complete their tasks and claim your rewards!
This week, the Chaos Lords poster goes live in Heromart. Buying this epic poster will earn you the Chaos Dragonslayer Sword P/E in EpicDuel, along with awesome chaotic weapons in other AE games!
That's a tough question. There's no formal definition for what qualifies something as indie. For the answer, I say we look to the word it self. Indie is short for independent.
free from outside control; not depending on another's authority. freethinking, free, individualistic
not depending on another for livelihood or subsistence. self-sufficient, self-supporting, self-reliant
In these terms, and indie game studio is one that does not have a large parent corporation funding it (or, in some cases, owning it).
AE is an indie game company. It has been since before the term "indie game" was a common phrase in gaming. We are not owned by some larger company, which is owned by some even larger company which is, in turn, a subsidiary of the Walt Disney Company. Artix Entertainiment (specifically Artix himself) owns Artix Entertainment and nearly all of our funding (aside from the little we get from ads) comes from you guys (see: MONEY).
In that sense, YOU own AE. We're just here to make the games you play and to make sure that you don't ruin the studio by granting some good-hearted but totally unreasonable request like "free everything for everyone all the time!" which would send AE crashing back into the nothingness from whence it came in record time. Then you would own nothing. Also, we would be unemployed.
Being an indie company has some serious advantages like the freedom to pursue any game concept or a direction that we want. It means that we can take risks on ideas that would get shot down if we were owned by a larger company which was ONLY concerned with appealing to the top of the bell graph. It also has some drawbacks like the lack of big, protective financial arms to cuddle you if you fall down (or sell you for scraps if you screw up too badly). I think the greatest advantage that it provides is the ability to get closer to you guys because we're free to listen to you guys instead of only listening to the market research and focus groups. Those are useful tools, not to be ignored... but it lacks heart.
Some people seem to think that AE is some large heartless company for one reason or another and more often than not it's because we're not responding to your tweet or e-mail (or not responding fast enough). It gives some of you the impression that since we didn't have the time to reply to you, that we don't care.
I, personally, have 67,000 Twitter followers. I get rather a lot of tweets for one guy. Most of the day I keep my Twitter tab open and I try to reply as often as I can for reasons that I have mentioned before. However, there are whole weekends when I don't even open Twitter and instead play blocks with my kids go on an adventure with my wife or play disc golf with my best friend or fix my hot water heater. I'm sorry that you're experiencing whatever issue you are experiencing but, as much as I try to stay connected, I'm not a tweet-bot. Other AE staff don't even keep their Twitter tabs open during the workday since they find it distracting, preffering instead to focus entirely on doing their jobs (I consider tweeting part of mine).
Maybe you got banned and don't know why. Nobody is responding to your tweet so you decide to contact Player Support (good idea but that's the FIRST thing that you should have done) and maybe it'll be a few days before they can reply that you were banned because you were caught harassing someone, or because you were offering to trade accounts or maybe you were playing on a shared account or breaking some other rule.
Because we do not have a parent company footing the bills for us, Player Support is not large. A full-time team of 3 and a part time team of 3 more because that's the best that we can do at the moment. Between these 6 people, they go through about 10,000 e-mails and a few hundred phone calls per week, each one of them is a player needing some kind of help. They can't possibly reply to each of them personally so they have copy pasta replies for the most common issues, but they read EACH ONE and do their very best to help the person with the information that they have provided. The more information provided, the better chance that you will get help and they will get to you as soon as humanly possible. But they are human.
So please understand, we're not ignoring you. Well, sometimes we're ignoring you. If someone is telling me that something is broken and needs my attention, I'm probably not going to take the time to respond to trolls or rude people or people saying "HI!" or translating tweets that aren't in my native language, or telling you a tenth time that I can't get your account back and you need to talk to Player Support since THEY deal with all account issues (this one happens a LOT). But generally we're not ignoring you.
We're just a small indie company, doing the best we can to keep the games coming and help you out. Thanks for being patient with us.
(ADDITIONAL: Hancok pointed out that Mods are also part of the Player Support team, and there are a great many more than 6 of them, but as they only deal with in-game moderation and do not deal with any of the Support e-mails or phone calls they do not apply in this instance)
Actually, it's been live for almost a full day, but we haven't said much about it because we wanted to make sure there were no terribly bad game killing bugs before we sounded the war horns and drew a lot of attention to it. It was a quiet launch.
Of course there were a few bugs (There are always a few bugs) but noting too serious and we've already got most of those solved and ready to publish to the live versions of the game in the next update today or tomorrow.
Battle anyone within your level range (plus or minus a few levels)
Collect PvP trophies for winning that raise you higher in the World and Friend Leaderboards!
Climb through the PvP Titles until you reach Arena Grand Master
New PvP Titles unlock the ability to buy new PvP Gear in the PvP Shop!
They cost A LOT!
But we now allow you to BUY GOLD!
Random board mechanics make each battle different. You might get...
Or in rare cases ALL OF THE ABOVE! (We call that the Devil Board)
WAIT, DID YOU SAY "BUY GOLD"?!
I did indeed say that, imaginary player who asks me this stuff! There are three gold packages to pick from but the obvious winner is the 50 MILLION GOLD PACKAGE. That should keep you set for a while and allow you to buy almost all of the PvP rewards (If you have the intestinal fortitude to unlock them).
Plus it comes with in-game bonuses where the other packages only come with gold (which is still nice).
the 50,000,000 GOLD package gives you a GOLD NAME (in Battle Gems PvP) and the MAKE IT RAIN skill will be added to your skill list. It's like a big gold fireball that explodes into a shower of gold coins when it hits the target. Fun? Yeah, fun.
The Alliance defended the Dragon’s Lair successfully, reaching 100% on the war meter less than an hour before the forces of Chaos!
This week, upgrade to unlock three Legend-only dungeons - the Pyramids of Pain, the Dungeon of Dire Doom, and the Killer Katacombs - and quest to get exclusive rewards that will aid you in the rest of the Chaos finale!
Battle your way through three Legend-only dungeons for exclusive rewards!
Continue the fight in /lairattack or /lairdefend to gather war medals and create new gear from the merge shop
Log in tomorrow, July 4th, for the Chaos Limited Quantity Shop - goes live at 12:30 PM server time
The Freedom Day shop launches tomorrow: fireworks and fun for all!
Upgrade or purchase select AC packages to unlock the Forsaken Warlock tier package