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Voltaire's latest album, To the Bottom of the Sea ( http://www.aq.com/events/voltaire/songs.asp ) had been released late last summer. So after returning home Cysero and I got together and listened to the songs and came up with a story. It was pretty easy since the entire album is themed and a story within itself. It is amazing with only two weeks to do this that we created all the backgrounds, items, animations. We added several pieces of new functionality! We created an in-game version of Voltaire who became our first talking (voice acted) NPC. Also we introduced the war meter (the live event was technically our first game-wide war.) Finally, we coded the timeline of the audio streams which triggered some events in the game (cannot wait to do more of this!) Meanwhile, Voltaire re-sang the selected songs with some AdventureQuest/Dragon Fable lyrics in place of the original words.
We were surprised to find out that Voltaire had been running around the game servers the week prior to the release learning how to play alongside with the help of our players. Prior to this the LAST Friday the 13th event (last month) was our biggest event with 20,000 people showing up. So we acquired two new servers and I bought $2,000 worth of additional CDN (content delivery network) bandwidth just for the event. We thought we were prepared...
.... We were wrong...
32,000 Players were online!
Actually, the servers were at max capacity... a lot more were trying to get on! We severely underestimated the players. The event started off great, but the moment we tried to switch to Act 1 the poor servers were crushed like Teenzor (The worlds smallest pirate skeleton) in the hands on Undead Captain Blackberry. We always talk about destroying the servers with a release... but this was the first time we really delivered! We persevered and battled through the problems... you should have seen the command room here in the secret underground lab. We were all huddle around the war table trying to fix each server by hand calling out issues and rushing to solve the problem. We have never heard of an event like this being done before - and now we know why! People will be telling tales for years of what happened on that fateful Friday the 13th - I am glad you were a party of it! Next time we are going to get more servers and do something even crazier!
Side Story: Human Fire/Server Hazard
At the convention DragonCon, Voltaire throws his big concerts and then during the day would do small shows in the area outside the event rooms. However, last year 2,000+ people showed up for these shows he was basically throwing in the halls!. The fire marshal showed up and told him that he was a fire hazard and had to clear the room. Now, in addition to being a human fire hazard, Voltaire is also a human server hazard! (Great job everyone!)
St. Patrick's Day
Here is the really scary one... St. Patrick's day was only three days after the big live event. J6, Miltonius, Reens and Llussien were able to pull off a full special holiday release just in time!
When I was a young boy my Mother told me there was a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. I remember running endlessly but never being able to reach the end. Is there really a pot of gold there? That is exactly why the A.R.C (Anti Rainbow Cannon) was used to shoot the sucker down! You will have find out the rest for yourself in this Week's special holiday release!
Thank you for reading the story about this legendary release. I hope you enjoyed it! You can play both the Voltaire release and the St. Patrick's day release during the next week. If you are looking for every MORE to do, we also had major releases in each of our other free web based games -- DragonFable ( http://www.dragonfable.com ), MechQuest ( http://www.MechQuest.com ) and AdventureQuest ( http://www.BattleOn.com )
Artix AE Team