Greetings My Fellow Istarians,
It has been another busy month of development in Istaria! We kicked off March with another patch to Blight, wrapping up changes for our Confectioner school revamp, and then just a short week later patched again with fixes for bugs found through testing on Blight. We ended the month by taking those changes to our live servers. Feedback from players on the live servers has helped us catch a few bugs and tweaks needed to improve the system. We've got set of fixes scheduled for Blight next week and we'll be working hard to see those live shortly thereafter. Confectioners across Istaria have been busy gathering various food resources, and with the help and support of Gatherers, stocking taverns with a wide variety of new foods.
For those who may have missed it, we also released both an audio and prose story that reflected changes that all Gifted experience when they die now. After some feedback from players who had difficulty hearing the voice on the audio story, we posted a remixed version that addressed those issues. We hope that those who were having trouble hearing Ellien speak in the initial release will visit our site again and listen to the new version of the story. You can find both the audio and prose story on the front page of our Community Website (http://community.istaria.com/) or by following this link http://community.istaria.com/news/?id=263
Another story released this month is one that has caused a stir among those who have been waiting for news on Unity transfers. Earlier this week we sent an email to those customers who used to play on the Unity server with a story that offers a role-play explanation of what happened to the Unity shard and those who inhabited it. One reason for doing this was to continue to enhance role-playing within the world, and to provide a story-based explanation for development and design changes. The other reason was to try to give players who may be interested in having their characters transferred a "head's up" that information is coming soon and they should ensure that their email address is up to date. If you have friends who you remained in contact with that played on Unity and they did not receive an email from us this past week, have them update their account information with us so that when the time comes to get the really important email, they will.
Observant players noticed that there is a new link on the right hand column of the page called "Unity Transfer", and that following that link leads to a page where preliminary details on the transfer have been posted (http://community.istaria.com/pg.php/unity_transfer). We will be updating this page with full details shortly. We have already received a number of transfer requests and those are being kept in a queue. Please feel free to make your request following the format described on the web page, but please note that we are not processing these requests yet - and more importantly, we have not released final details on what will and will not be transfered. We are close to making that announcement, but have a few more details to work out before we are ready to really kick off the process.
The other question I'm asked frequently is when we'll see some sort of support for those who have Vista as an OS. The answer is that it continues to be something the team is working on, and we know it is preventing many interested players from being able to join their friends in Istaria. Making the game Vista compatible is a goal, but one that we obviously have not reached yet. In the mean time, I encourage players who are "tech savvy" to see what success they can have with SP1, because many have found that the game runs fine once that SP is installed.
Our design team continues to work on fixing bugs, as well as revamping and adding new content. One of the projects going on right now at Istaria Works is a cargo disk revamp. They haven't told me too much about what they're doing, but I have been told to expect an update later this month. We've had some new players join Istaria that are providing great feedback on the experience they have, so we've gone back to look at some ways of making the introduction to the game more solid. Included in this second look are ways to integrate old quests with the new quest system so that the availability of a quest is indicated by an exclamation point above the NPC's head.
Keep watch in the next couple of weeks for another interview with Istaria's own Rick Simmons. We're not letting everything out of the bag with this Developer's Desk so that one of the major MMORPG news sites out there gets the exclusive scoop. Rick will be talking about what the team has done in the first 6 months, and providing a preview of what is coming in the near future. I think you'll be pleasantly surprised with the interview, and we still have the firstname.lastname@example.org if you really dislike what he has to say.
Until next month,
- Amarië Ancalímon
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