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moi je dit , miettes , esclave de feliss, par fourberie falait oser ^^

Developer's Desk March

La newsletter mensuelle de Virtrium vient d'être publiée. Au programme: l'arrivée (imminente?) des personnages de Unity, la revamp des Confectioners qui avance à grand train, une nouvelle version client qui corrige des bugs agaçant et qui ajoute quelques nouveautés sympathiques.

The cold snows of February have just about been blown away as windy March races in. What is that saying about March coming roaring in like a lion? Well here at Virtrium, it isn't just the weather that is roaring in this month. Our whole development team has been hard at work on many projects and the results are beginning to show.

Testing of character transfers from the Unity database is coming along well; we have successfully transferred characters for our five brave volunteer Unity players. Included in the transfers are items from the character's inventory and vault. What about the items on their plots you might ask? Well, we're still working on that - specifically allowing the contents of storage structures - and doing some internal testing. Barring the unexpected, we hope to be able to begin the Unity transfer before the end of the month. (That sound you hear is the vast numbers of "lost souls" rejoicing as they read this).

We have patched the majority of the confectioner revamp to Blight and testers have been finding new herbs and spices all over Istaria. Quests for confectioners to obtain garnish processing forms have been added to Fillet, Julie, and Estelwen. Each garnish has a unique quest and you must have a sample of a harvested garnish in inventory to obtain it. While the new foods were added, balancing the effect these foods have on death points will continue into the future. Players should be aware that multiple deaths in a short period of time can now bring a much harsher impact on your attributes than it did before (the penalty can rise as high as 75% now, it was capped at 25% before). The duration of death points has also been increased on a tiered basis (8 hours + 4 hours per tier). However, the duration of the death penalty has not been altered.

In addition to all the confectioner changes, players will also find smaller changes in each of patch to Blight. For example, the monk school received a bit of developer love in this most recent patch with a change to how the starting quests for the school were given out, and a new medallion reward that greatly boosts resistances and unarmed combat skill. Tier 6 metal and gem resources previously unavailable as resource nodes were also added in these latest patches.

Our client programming team has been equally hard at work to bring an updated client to the Blight test server. Included in this client update are changes from new features to long awaited bug fixes. Cargo disks that used to "haunt" players long after the owner has left the area or unequipped their disk should no longer appear, and music which did not fade out properly should now stop looping when you move from one area to the next. The ability to cycle through enemies and friends using the "cyclenearestfriend" (abbreviated /cn) and "cyclenearestenemy" (abbreviated /cne) commands have been added in this client update as well. Brand new features include the ability to support custom made themes to change the appearance of the user-interface. Special themes created by a player volunteer will be patched out with this update as well for those who wish to alter the look of their UI. Also new with this updated client is the ability for dragons to "glide" off of high places. A dragon who "falls" from a cliff or object high enough will have the ability to turn on an option so that they begin to fly rather than fall to the ground. This will also allow hatchlings who have not ascended to adult status to practice flying by gliding to the ground rather than falling quickly. Note that this feature is disabled by default. Look for a more detailed list of the changes on the Blight server forum once this client is released for testing.

This month we're also launching two new programs to bring those interested in volunteering their time to help improve Istaria together. The first program, our Herald Program, includes volunteers from each of the shards who are interested in writing roleplay-based stories about the happenings in Istaria. This small group of volunteers will focus on creating news items for the front page of our website that share community news, special shard events, and highlight guilds and communities on each shard. The second program, the Emissary Program, will focus on the game play part of the game. Emissaries help with testing, with collecting player feedback on the status of the game and changes, and will help build the website Knowledge Base. If the Heralds are the "fiction", the Emissaries are the "facts" of what is happening. We're very excited about both programs and look forward to bringing volunteers in to help make Istaria a better place.

As you can see, the first two months of 2008 have been incredibly busy and we aren't planning to slow down any time soon. Our art team continues to work hard at making the models used in plot design and construction cleaner and smoother to help improve performance. Our design team is looking forward and starting to plan their next tier revamp. The staff at Virtrium has really hit the ground running in 2008, and I'm excited to see what maintaining that pace will bring for the remainder of the year.

Hopefully March will decide to go "out like a lamb for us all, and we'll be soon patching to our live servers all the changes in testing on Blight as well as welcoming long lost friends from Unity onto our live servers.

Until next month,


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Postée par Firebrand le Tuesday 11 March 2008 à 00:32   Commentaires (0)   |

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