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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!

1 posts found

Advanced Member

Joined: 4/20/03
Posts: 190

OP  10/02/08 7:06:24 PM#1

From Amarië Ancalímon at

Each month I try to bring you an update on what has been happening behind the scenes at Virtrium as well as preview a bit of what is to come for the world of Istaria in the next few weeks. In late August, when I normally would be writing this letter to you, the developers were so deep into finishing the plot revamp and bug fixes that I couldn't pull them away long enough to chat. This month I decided to pull a bit harder, and it worked!

First a brief look backwards. In August and September the community revamp was completed and massive changes were applied to the live shards. Of course, because the changes were so vast, numerous bugs appeared when the land of Istaria was "dug up" that needed to be taken care of. The team assures me that they've found the big can of "Bug-be-gone" and are spraying it everywhere plot bugs have reared their ugly heads. What this means for everyone in Istaria is that the date has been set for when plot auctions will begin. Yes, you can go read that sentence again just to be sure you read it right.

Plot auctions will be starting on October 7th when the servers come up after regular weekly maintenance. During that week we will also announce the results of guild community drawings so that everyone will know if their guild has won the bid for the community they requested. I'll send out further details in a separate email, but for now mark your calendars and plan to place your bids starting on October 7th.

So, old news aside, what else is coming to Istaria during the rest of this year? The fall and early winter months have often been a time of short seasonal events in Istaria, and this month will be no different. We began a contest in September to find the creative among you, and judging on the entries is nearly complete. As one of the judges I can assure you that none of you who submitted a story or a mask/headscale made our job any easier! We have some very creative people out there and it's always a joy to see that creativity in action. Keep watch on our community site and the forums for an official announcement of the winners.

Later this month we'll be sending out an update to the live servers that adds some new content to the Hammer's Rest Celebration grounds. There's trouble brewing in The Bitter Pickle, and some of the citizens of Aughundell have noticed. Expect before the month's end to see for yourself what sort of changes are happening to the ghostly beings and special golems that roam in and around "The Pickle".

In addition, we'll be bringing back the Fall Festival to help everyone in Istaria celebrate the scarier, spookier side of Istarian life. Of course, the new stories from the contest will be included, but we'll also have new masks and headscales for you to disguise yourself with in order to avoid being caught while out Trick or Treating for your favorite snack of gummy spiders, gummy mice or gummy maggots. Yum-O! And if that's not tempting enough, we've also created some new decorations for both plots and lairs that will let you bring fall to your own part of the world. Pumpkins, jack-o-lanterns and coffins have been a part of decorating for fall for a while now, but soon players will be able to add leaf piles and gathered corn stalks to their decorations in celebration of a hearty harvest.

We've also continued work on the Blighted Labyrinth. For those who may be hearing of this project for the first time through this update, the Blighted Labyrinth is the name of Istaria's first dungeon. Content in the dungeon will be designed for the high level characters of the world and will include a brand new storyline in addition to the new area of the world to explore. There will be many stories told in and around the Labyrinth, including one we released in a special format earlier this month with the publication of Sigrun's Letter. (

In addition to the many stories, the Labyrinth will introduce poison to the people of Istaria, a new substance to the Gifted as it is non-magical in nature and cannot be cleansed using your standard methods. Deep in the caverns beneath Istaria, adventurers brave enough to descend into the depths will discover new rewards as well as new (and some old) foes. Rumors speak of new terrors in the dark, scorpions and other beasts, but also of the foul stench of the dreaded Mylocs! The design team wouldn’t release any details, but I’ve noticed them spending a lot of time watching videos of industrial-grade blenders in action and snickering malevolently. Both the Empire and the Withered Aegis are interested in this formerly empty mining camp and soon all eyes will turn towards its ruined walls and the caverns beneath it.

No event in Istaria would be complete without at least one community construction project, so rest assured that the opening of the Blighted Labyrinth will give both bipeds and dragons quite a few projects to work on. The Blighted Labyrinth also brings in the discovery of new abilities – and the rediscovery of old abilities – for both bipeds and dragons. It’s not just all adventurer love, either, as we introduce the first epic item for crafters!

This is just a brief look at what's planned for the next few months in Istaria. So settle in with a mug of hot cider, or better yet some mulled wine, because it's going to be a chilly autumn outside, but inside Istaria it is only starting to warm up.

For comments and discussion, please join us on this thread.

Emissary of Istaria