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Artifact Entertainment | Official Site
MMORPG | Setting:Fantasy | Status:Final  (rel 12/08/03)  | Pub:Virtrium
Distribution:Download | Retail Price:Free | Pay Type:Subscription
System Req: PC | ESRB:TOut of date info? Let us know!

2 posts found

Advanced Member

Joined: 4/20/03
Posts: 191

OP  3/10/08 1:48:17 PM#1

The cold snows of February have just about been blown away as windy March races in. What is that saying about March coming roaring in like a lion? Well here at Virtrium, it isn't just the weather that is roaring in this month. Our whole development team has been hard at work on many projects and the results are beginning to show.

Testing of character transfers from the Unity database is coming along well; we have successfully transferred characters for our five brave volunteer Unity players. Included in the transfers are items from the character's inventory and vault. What about the items on their plots you might ask? Well, we're still working on that - specifically allowing the contents of storage structures - and doing some internal testing. Barring the unexpected, we hope to be able to begin the Unity transfer before the end of the month. (That sound you hear is the vast numbers of “lost souls” rejoicing as they read this).

We have patched the majority of the confectioner revamp to Blight and testers have been finding new herbs and spices all over Istaria. Quests for confectioners to obtain garnish processing forms have been added to Fillet, Julie, and Estelwen. Each garnish has a unique quest and you must have a sample of a harvested garnish in inventory to obtain it. While the new foods were added, balancing the effect these foods have on death points will continue into the future. Players should be aware that multiple deaths in a short period of time can now bring a much harsher impact on your attributes than it did before (the penalty can rise as high as 75% now, it was capped at 25% before). The duration of death points has also been increased on a tiered basis (8 hours + 4 hours per tier). However, the duration of the death penalty has not been altered.

In addition to all the confectioner changes, players will also find smaller changes in each of patch to Blight. For example, the monk school received a bit of developer love in this most recent patch with a change to how the starting quests for the school were given out, and a new medallion reward that greatly boosts resistances and unarmed combat skill. Tier 6 metal and gem resources previously unavailable as resource nodes were also added in these latest patches.

Our client programming team has been equally hard at work to bring an updated client to the Blight test server. Included in this client update are changes from new features to long awaited bug fixes. Cargo disks that used to “haunt” players long after the owner has left the area or unequipped their disk should no longer appear, and music which did not fade out properly should now stop looping when you move from one area to the next. The ability to cycle through enemies and friends using the “cyclenearestfriend” (abbreviated /cn) and “cyclenearestenemy” (abbreviated /cne) commands have been added in this client update as well. Brand new features include the ability to support custom made themes to change the appearance of the user-interface. Special themes created by a player volunteer will be patched out with this update as well for those who wish to alter the look of their UI. Also new with this updated client is the ability for dragons to “glide” off of high places. A dragon who “falls” from a cliff or object high enough will have the ability to turn on an option so that they begin to fly rather than fall to the ground. This will also allow hatchlings who have not ascended to adult status to practice flying by gliding to the ground rather than falling quickly. Note that this feature is disabled by default. Look for a more detailed list of the changes on the Blight server forum once this client is released for testing.

This month we're also launching two new programs to bring those interested in volunteering their time to help improve Istaria together. The first program, our Herald Program, includes volunteers from each of the shards who are interested in writing roleplay-based stories about the happenings in Istaria. This small group of volunteers will focus on creating news items for the front page of our website that share community news, special shard events, and highlight guilds and communities on each shard. The second program, the Emissary Program, will focus on the game play part of the game. Emissaries help with testing, with collecting player feedback on the status of the game and changes, and will help build the website Knowledge Base. If the Heralds are the “fiction”, the Emissaries are the “facts” of what is happening. We're very excited about both programs and look forward to bringing volunteers in to help make Istaria a better place.

As you can see, the first two months of 2008 have been incredibly busy and we aren't planning to slow down any time soon. Our art team continues to work hard at making the models used in plot design and construction cleaner and smoother to help improve performance. Our design team is looking forward and starting to plan their next tier revamp. The staff at Virtrium has really hit the ground running in 2008, and I'm excited to see what maintaining that pace will bring for the remainder of the year.

Hopefully March will decide to go “out like a lamb” for us all, and we'll be soon patching to our live servers all the changes in testing on Blight as well as welcoming long lost friends from Unity onto our live servers.

Until next month,


Emissary of Istaria


Novice Member

Joined: 7/24/03
Posts: 241

3/26/08 2:53:26 AM#2

In my email this evening. 

And so it evolves; this should make adventurers and crafters more interdpendent.  It's a significant change to gameplay which finishes the incomplete confectioners' school.  Some of the recipes came from a player contest.  Reports from players on the test server have been encouraging.

"This content patch contains one significant change, the revamp of the Confectioner school. There are many changes that go along with this update, many of which affect all players. Besides all the new foods that are available, below are some of the important confectioner related changes:

* The length of a death point is now tied to your potential rating. Potential rating is calculated by what your Adventurer rating would be if you were currently gaining experience in your highest level school. Beginning at level 10, the death point will last 8 hours. It will gain 4 hours for each Tier beyond (12, 16, ...) to a maximum of 28 hours.

* Confectioner school is now tied to the Primary Skill system. This means you will only get experience for actions that use the Cooking skill.

* Gatherers have obtained the Preparing skill, allowing them to gain XP assisting confectioners.

* Foods are available for all 6 tiers now.

* Eating food is much more effective (200%) when eaten in a tavern.

* Eating food cannot be done in combat or while standing.

* Foods are classified as Appetizers, Sides, Main Dishes, and Desserts.

* You must eat one of each part of a meal before eating another in order to gain full benefit and optimal use of your time.

* Confectioner trainers sell formulas for basic meals and processing steps for coin.

* Rare foods (player-submitted) as well as the processing forms for rare garnishes and resources are available from trainers and other NPCs around Istaria as quests.

* Dragons and Adventurers can gather rare resources/garnishes using Ingenuity.

* Eating foods at a tier lower (or higher) than your own will reduce the effectiveness.

You can find the full list of changes here:

We look forward to seeing you in Istaria.

Amarië Ancalímon

- Community Manager