Developers' Desk: Special Edition
It's hard to believe that another month has past already. As I look
outside, the April showers have most definitely brought May flowers, so
please forgive me if I sneeze! This month's Developers' Desk is obviously
a bit later than normal, and is focused completely on the upcoming epic
content release, originally called the "Blighted Labyrinth".
First, a brief announcement about the final name for this massive update
and why it has changed. Originally when this dungeon was proposed the
content was intended for a lower level player, and the storyline was
centered around the blighted lands on New Trismus. Since the content is
now designed for high end players and the location of the dungeon entrance
moved, the storyline has been changed to fit this new area. I don't want
to give away the storyline, but I will say that the new name for this
update fits well with the primary story. The title for this content update
is "Dralnok's Doom", and that is what the citizens of Delgarath will be
calling the dungeon which lies below their settlement as well.
Now with that said, just what is Dralnok's Doom? For those who are
hearing about this project for the first time, the central focus for this
content up date is Istaria's first ever underground area. Players will
have to build the tunnels leading down beneath the settlement of Delgarath
in order to access the dungeon itself as well as find other community world
building projects scattered across Istaria when this content update goes
live. Start building up your stores of resources and filling silos if you
plan to help build the tunnels leading to Dralnok's Doom!
The world of Istaria itself is changing as well with this update. Along
the road stretching from Aughundell east and north to Delgarath itself, and
the surrounding countryside, players will find new settlements, new
monsters, and even new flora growing on the hillsides that have never been
seen before. And many of Istaria's citizens in this region will have a
story to tell, or will require the help of the Gifted in a variety of ways.
This update includes more than 50 new quests to guide players around
Delgarath and into the dungeon below.
There are four brand new monster races that will make an appearance in
this content update as well, as well as the return of an old favorite the
Myloc. But be warned that the Myloc Queen is unlike any other epic boss
monster found in Istaria to date. Of course, she isn't the only creature
that roams the tunnels below Delgarath that players should fear. The
carrion crawlers, brachina beetles, scorpions and murk crabs will take a
significant bite out of any who come too close as well, with abilities that
players have yet to experience. First mentioned in our October Developers'
Desk, the poison system will give monsters new abilities, and of course new
cures for players to counter the poison, that will have the potential to
change combat with certain monsters as well.
But it isn't just the monsters who are getting new abilities with this
update. Dragons will have a new epic ability to earn, and a brand new
breath weapon to quest for. An epic new spell is being added that players
will earn after completing a quest, and many of the other quests provide
formulas for the crafting of items not previously seen in Istaria.
Tinkerers, for example, will be busy crafting for key formulas and making
keys to unlock the many treasure chests found both in and under Istaria
with this new update. Treasure chests were previewed in the November
Developers' Desk, but little else has been said since then to maintain a
bit of mystery about them. Inside the chests players will find new
collectibles, dyes, hoard items for dragons and much more.
Players who own a plot or lair will be able to add a special new banner or
mural to their plot to proudly display their accomplishment in the dungeon
after killing the Myloc Queen. But showing pride in your accomplishments
isn't limited to just a banner or mural on a plot. Titles and emblems are
being added with this update that will let players display for all to see
what they have accomplished in Istaria. Some can be earned through
crafting, others through adventuring and killing creatures, and still
others will be gained from completing quests.
We've been keeping our art team busy with more than just preparing all the
new monsters, effects and items, though. One of the requests we receive
most often through our CafePress store is for new posters and images to use
on items there. A few weeks ago we released a new image in the style of a
movie poster that previews one of the new creatures found in Istaria. This
image can either be downloaded for free from our gallery
) or purchased in
poster form from our CafePress website
). Today I'm excited to announce
that we have a desktop image previewing the entrance to Dralnok's Doom.
Just copy and paste the link below. At the end of this email is a story
that was inspired by the image. We hope you enjoy them both!
I know many have asked for a feature list that can be used to promote the
pending epic content update on your own Istaria related site, so rather
than making you edit the email above, here's a list of what we see as the
Expansive Labyrinthine Dungeon
- Tons of content designed exclusively for high-level players!
- Four entirely new monster races!
- The return of an old favorite, the Myloc!
- An epic boss the likes of which you've never seen in Istaria before!
- Treasure Chests!
- Tons of new treasure, collectibles, dyes, hoardables, and much more!
- Over 50 quests!
- An entire region of Istaria rebuilt and improved!
- Titles and emblems to proudly display your accomplishments in Istaria!
- A new epic ability for Dragons!
- A new breath weapon for Dragons!
- An all new epic spell!
- Free wallpapers and images to download from our Image Gallery
- Cool posters
All this and more will be coming to Istaria in June, 2009. I hope you'll
invite your friends to join you in Istaria to experience all the new
content. I can assure you that when wandering around the dungeon below
Delgarath, you'll want as many friends as possible around you, for the foes
are deadly indeed!
Until next month, enjoy Istaria!