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Artifact Entertainment | Official Site
MMORPG | Setting:Fantasy | Status:Final  (rel 12/08/03)  | Pub:Virtrium
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Istaria: Chronicles of the Gifted Forum » General Discussion » Developer's Desk: May 2008 Edition

8 posts found

Advanced Member

Joined: 4/20/03
Posts: 190

OP  5/09/08 11:39:44 PM#1

Greetings My Fellow Istarians,

If you've ever had one of those months where you look at the calendar in
the middle of the month thinking it's the first week or so - only to
“discover” half the week has gone by, you'll understand why this month's
Developer's Desk email is coming to you today. We've had a jam packed month
of April that was so full it spilled right over in to May without us even
really noticing that the date changed!

Probably the single biggest piece of news for many players is that Unity
Transfers are now available and the “first round” of transfers is complete!
Both Chaos and Order have seen many new friends come to join their
community, and “old” friends who moved over to the US shards have
characters long thought lost. We'd ask that you continue to spread the word
to those you know who once played on Unity. We've done what we can by
sharing news items out to the press, and sending emails where we could, but
we know that not everyone has heard this news yet.

Inside the development office we've been excited at all the new faces who
have been making an appearance in Istaria to check out the changes to the
world. We're seeing players return on a daily basis, and some brand new
faces as well. I'd like to take the time to thank those in the community
who have been working to spread the news items we share with their gamer
friends. As most of you have already heard, one of the changes we made was
to rename the game - and hopefully this has made it a bit easier to talk
about. It's taken some getting used to in the office to stop saying
“Horizons” and start saying “Istaria”, and “Istaria: Chronicles of the
Gifted” is still quite a mouthful, but hopefully with time we'll all form a
new habit. And we've found it much easier when talking about the game to
our own friends to say “The game is called Istaria. Check it out at”. If you missed the announcement interview, please go here:

Of course, when the name changed, the logo and art work for the game also
had to change. Just today I announced that we're accepting player created
art and screen shots to be used as load screens when players log in. What
we'd like to have are different images that players could pick and choose
from to decide which they like best. If you are interested in contributing
to this, you can find more information on our forums.

As I said, it's been a busy month. Unity transfers, name change and new
art work are far from all we've done. In mid-April we rolled out a patch to
our live shards which fixed a number of bugs and introduced a few content
changes. We wanted to patch to live as soon as testing was complete in
order to fix some issues that had gone live the month before with the
Confectioner revamp, so didn't take as much time to add new content as we
have in other patches.

In late April we sent a patch to Blight that added a few new quests, but
the highlight of the patch was the cargo disk revamp which we'd started
talking about a few months ago. Player feedback on the improved (faster)
cargo disks has been positive, but there have been a few “kinks” to work
out before we're ready to take this to live. With Delta 139 we also rolled
out changes to one of the spawn regions players had reported as having a
problem with mobs despawning before they could be killed or looted. This
test change proved the theory as to why this bug was happening, so players
will be pleased to know that within the next delta or two all spawn regions
with “disappearing mobs” should be fixed.

For details on recent changes, visit our community website at

This month we'll be updating the game's client to include new features
that have been in testing for a while now. Some of the changes include
hatchling dragons ability to glide off high places, a bug fix for cargo
disks which would “haunt” players after they'd been unequipped, and a new
feature that allows players to cycle through the nearest enemy or friend
using text commands.

In the “frequently asked questions” department, players are wondering when
Plot Reclaims will begin. While I don't have an exact date as of yet, I can
tell you that we are getting close. We want to “get it right” when we
reclaim plots, and take the time to fix issues that players have raised
with having many plots in the world too small to be useful, as well as
giving everyone an opportunity to bid fairly on the plot of their choice.
Once we've worked out an updated description for Plot Reclaims, we'll make
an official announcement. You can help us prepare for this by making sure
the email address associated with your account is up to date, and asking
your guildmates and friends to do the same.

Later this month look for us to kick off a new contest that will run
through the first part of the summer. We have some other summer surprises
planned that will keep you in cool - in air conditioned computer rooms -
playing Istaria while the temperature outside heats up.

From everyone at Virtrium, we'd like to say thank you for making the first
quarter of the year a great one. Until next month....

Enjoy Istaria!

Until next month,

- Amarië Ancalímon
Community Manager

Emissary of Istaria


Novice Member

Joined: 3/09/07
Posts: 1249

Not a retired mod

5/15/08 8:38:30 AM#2

When are you gonna launch a new server? Would try it then.


Advanced Member

Joined: 4/20/03
Posts: 190

OP  5/15/08 8:59:57 AM#3

I am not a dev, but I think I can safely say not for a long long long time, if ever. Right now the sub levels do not warrent a new server and a new server would not draw enough subs to make it worth while.

So may I ask what your looking for that a new server would offer?

Emissary of Istaria


Novice Member

Joined: 3/09/07
Posts: 1249

Not a retired mod

5/17/08 5:53:22 AM#4

Well the best part of Istaria is the crafting and initially rebuilding all the broken crafting machines, bridges, structures etc. You can't experience that on a 4 year old server.

Also if I pursue crafting I want to be able to trade what I craft, and I don't see much point in competing with maxed skill crafters with an established reputation.

Also a new world aka server would generate a new community to be part of and grow with instead of trying to join a 4 year old, mostly high level veteran community. I think it's much more fun to be part of a new world establishing itself.

I think if the folks that now own Istaria would promote their improvements and commitment to the game, and widely advertise a  future date new server launch, that it could be successful in attracting both new and previous players.


Advanced Member

Joined: 8/02/06
Posts: 1340

5/17/08 9:35:38 AM#5

Re the world building, one would hope that the devs are planning new story arcs which require players to build new structures, so this can be both an ongoing experience for older players and something that new players can also enjoy.

Re the selling crafted gear... I dunno how that would work on a new server. Presently there's no real economy for crafted gear. If you can't make something yourself, most players can get it crafted for them free by a guildie.

I think I get your point, though. The 'pioneering' phase on these servers is history now.

But a new server... wouldn't there be incongruencies. Like haven't certain events changed where some mobs and resources spawn and other things like that? More importantly, could they launch a new server and rewind the clock like that AND keep all of the bug fixes? Cos the code 4 years ago.... well that's not something you want to experience.

I think the new owners are already flogging themselves and the changes they're making. But I wouldn't be surprised if the population never grows sufficiently to warrant new servers. They've done a lot since taking over, but the game still has a long way to go to be anything but a 'niche' mmo.


Novice Member

Joined: 10/13/04
Posts: 165

Death is fleeting. Pride is forever.

5/28/08 10:43:41 AM#6

A true 'undeveloped' server would not be possible given the way Istaria's development system works. Changes made to the development server, Genesis, are replicated to all the live servers. In order to have a server with a different version of the world running, there would have to be a seperate and dedicated development server and all content would have to be entered twice and debugged twice at the very least.

So, any new server would be identical to Chaos & Order as they currently are. Given that fact, it's very unlikely that any new servers will be started any time soon. Beefing up Chaos & Order would be a much better use of the hardware required to run a new server.

Guildleader, Mithril Council, Chaos


Advanced Member

Joined: 4/20/03
Posts: 190

OP  5/28/08 11:30:55 AM#7

The closest you will get is Blight that has a very small community and few of the buildings built around the world. Thought they have started working on such. none of them are going to be the world building projects I think your looking for but there are still pleanty that needs to be built out there that would help the community.

Emissary of Istaria


Novice Member

Joined: 4/18/06
Posts: 21

6/10/08 11:37:13 AM#8

This is all swell but I would like to see this game turned into what it could have and should have been.

This game had the potential to be the best MMORPG ever made.

Sadly it had a horrible launch filled with problems and then succumbed to the worst managment issues (ever in MMO history I think, lol).  I'm glad it's in the hands of a much better company now.

However, (Somehow behind the scenes) I wish the current owners would rewrite this game with a new game engine, updated graphics and UI,  and figure out a way to port all the existing toons over to the new game and relaunch it.  If they could do this and add some PvP to it, it would truly be a next gen MMO that would beat any game currently on the market and any game currently due to come out.  If they could do this it would become much more than a niche MMO and there would be a need for tons of new servers for all the new subs.  I've come back and tried the game many times since opening day and I have to say that this is the only way I would ever come back for good.  I believe that anyone who ever played this game would come back also and bring tons of new people along with them.

I know it will probably never happen but I can still dream.  :D

My IQ is 145 - - MENSA Test