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9/14/09 10:26:31 PM#1
It is hard to believe that this weekend marks the two year anniversary of Istaria: Chronicles of the Gifted being under a new development team. It seems trite to say that time flies, but it really has for us. In this special "Anniversary Editition" of "From the Developer's Desk", I'll be highlighting some of what we feel are the major accomplishments of the last 2 years, as well as giving some hints at what the next year will bring. I'll be telling you more about:
* Vista: We're compatible with Vista and Windows 7
First a look back. When Virtrium purchased Istaria, we tackled many challenging problems in rapid succession, but some proved more difficult than others to defeat. Implementing a new and secure billing system, bringing back the Blight shard, and enabling characters to be transfered from the former Unity server were all completed within the first few months of development. As a bit of an aside to anyone with friends who once played on Unity, please continue to let those former players know that we are still offering free transfers from the Unity database to any of the current shards. We continue to have players from Unity return every week, but for many the first question is whether the transfer is still free or not... and it is. While the technical team was busy with these tasks, the design team was busy finishing the confectioner revamp, fixing bugs that had remained for far too long, and adding new content to the "tier one" areas of New Trismus and Lesser Aradoth. They brought back annual festivals to the game, including introducing a brand new festival, Gnomekindle. The whole of Istaria underwent a major change when plot sizes were revamped last summer. Those looking for somewhere to build a home in Istaria report that available plots are much larger. Crafters building on those plots have appreciated how much faster it is to move resources from the field since the cargo disk revamp. Having completed all this, the team turned their focus to developing content for Istaria's brand new dungeon, Dralnok's Doom.
For those who haven't heard the news yet, Dralnok's Doom was a major content update that was added to our live servers this summer. In addition to introducing brand new monsters, the team brought back an old enemy... the Myloc Queen! Content in the dungeon is designed for high level players, what is called tier 6 in game terms, and from reports we've received so far, it has been an exciting addition to the game. Though our active community has already completed the majority of the world building projects on their respective servers, there is still much for returning players to find that will provide a challenge.
But let's get back to the challenges that Virtrium faced, and one of those that took the longest to overcome. Those of you with newer computers have probably guessed what I am talking about now. Yes, the much dreaded, much feared, Vista OS! I'm proud and excited to say that the persistence of our programmers and the testers helping them, has resulted in success!
ISTARIA IS NOW A VISTA COMPATIBLE GAME!
Yes, for those who haven't heard the news, a few short weeks ago we released to the live servers a fully Vista compatible game client, launcher, patcher, you name it. And the good news, for both our customers and our team, is that the game also runs smoothly on Windows 7 from all reports.
While a Vista compatible client was being tested, a number of players created characters on Blight since they couldn't play on the Live shards. Because we allow free, player requested copies of characters from Order/Chaos to Blight, the policy in the past has always been that we do not allow the movement of characters in the other direction (off Blight and on to a live server). Characters on Blight may also have items, skills, spells, etc, available to them that never made it to the live server, and thus it was easier to simply ensure that the testing environment of Blight not end up on a live server by only allowing characters to move to Blight. After carefully considering the needs of our customers, while also ensuring the integrity of the live servers, we've determined a way to allow those who created characters on Blight to move to the live shards. Please note this only applies to characters created on Blight. Characters that were copied to Blight can not be moved back. While we will be handling each request on a case by case basis, if you know of someone who had spent time playing the game on Blight when that was the only option for Vista customers, please let them know that if they submit a support ticket to us, we are now better equipped to determine if a character can be moved off Blight and on to a live shard.
You can read the rest at: http://community.istaria.com/forum/showthread.php?t=21491