Virtrium LLC - Rick Simmons, President / CEO, rick.simmons@virtrium.com


August 28, 2009 PHOENIX, Arizona - Virtrium has released a new content update for Istaria: Chronicles of the Gifted. To reflect that this latest update is the largest since Istaria's inception, the design team created a new running name titled Istaria: Dralnok's Doom. The content update includes story quests, areas above and below ground to explore, monsters and many new items for players to craft and loot.

Heather Rothwell, project manager for Virtrium, was asked about the work behind all the new content. "When we were first putting together the design treatise, we knew we wanted to do something that players had never seen before - and a large scope - as a way of saying thank you to our long term players. At the same time, we didn't want to exclude new players and those people who are lower level," continued Heather, "so what we did is design a set of content with new monsters and dungeons that are focused on high level players and introduced a large amount of supporting content, guard houses, battle fortifications, and other empire projects that allows all players of Istaria to participate."

When asked for a summary of the Dralnok's Doom update, the design team presented the following:

    • Istaria's Largest Dungeon - Tons of new dungeon content designed especially for high level players.
    • New Monsters - We have 4 major new monster characters as part of this release. Leading up to the release, it was suggested that Dralnok's Doom would include the re-introduction an old favorite, the Myloc
    • Promotional poster teaser for the Myloc: http://community.istaria.com/gallery/pic.php?id=934
    • Promotional poster for Myloc Queen: http://community.istaria.com/gallery/pic.php?id=958
    • New Quests - Ten major quest story lines that tell the history behind the dungeon. Dozens of additional quests were added in addition to these stories that provide new spells, epic abilities and legendary items as rewards.
    • New World Areas - A large set of Empire Projects that once discovered, require players to build in order to unlock their features. The largest of these structures includes battle fortifications for Aughundell and structural reinforcements to the tunnels leading to the new dungeons.
    • New Game Systems - Treasure chests, poison, and items designed specifically for battling epic monsters were all added as part of this update.

Rick Simmons, president of Virtrium, commented on the team's work. "I'm especially proud of what the designers, artists and programmers have been able to accomplish with this update. I must admit that I was a bit concerned about the scope of what they wanted to do. We're a small but dedicated team. To see such a large number of updates come together is remarkable and a testament to the team's skill and dedication to Istaria." When asked about the programmer's involvement, Rick answered, "The programming team worked hard to finalize Vista compatibility, ensuring that any of our long time players would be able to come back to Istaria for the new content and have Istaria playable on either Windows Vista or Windows 7," continued Rick, "They also developed an update to the terrain system to improve performance and snuck in a few features for players. Part of the progression of a Dragon in Istaria is to gain the ability to fly as an adult dragon. The latest version of Istaria provides Hatchling dragons the ability to glide from one location to another under certain conditions. All in all, it's a great update and a lot of fun for old and new players alike to enjoy."

Heather Rothwell expanded upon the dungeon and the work that went into creating the new area, "We needed to develop some new asset pipeline techniques to get this dungeon completed. I'm quite excited about the potential for future updates because we'll be able to bring even more dungeon areas in less time - allowing us to further expand dungeon crawls in Istaria. And with the new game systems we've developed for Dralnok's Doom, we'll be able to make the gameplay experience for players of all levels involve more strategy and forethought before they go off on their next adventure."

The content release has been well received by the community. Players report that they having a great time with their friends in Istaria, and are very impressed by both the scope and challenges available in Dralnok's Doom.

More information about Istaria can be found at http://community.istaria.com

ABOUT VIRTRIUM - Virtrium LLC, founded in July 2006, is a privately held software development company founded to support the games and technology behind the massively multi-player online games market. Virtrium brings real, applied experience in technology design, development and implementation for the software and techniques behind MMO products – as well as experience behind product launch and continued development in a live, production environment. The company's mission is to provide software technologies and support services that enable the growth of niche entertainment products within the massively multi-player online games market. To find out more about Virtrium LLC, visit http://www.virtrium.com.

ABOUT ISTARIA: CHRONICLES OF THE GIFTED - Originally developed by Artifact Entertainment and published by Atari, the MMO ''Horizons'' launched in December 2003 and currently boasts a dedicated following of players worldwide. 2008 saw a significant crafting expansion, massive plot revamp and the re-branding as Istaria: Chronicles of the Gifted, demonstrating Virtrium's deep commitment to expand development and re-establish story as a significant feature of the game world. The ability to play as a flying Ancient Dragon, coupled with comprehensive crafting and community construction, allows Istaria fans to experience, explore and create a world epic in scope. Players are able to take on the role of Dragon, or one of 10 other races ranging from the lawful Elf to dark Fiends, as well as more unusual forms, such as the cat-like Saris and horned Satyr. For more information on Istaria: Chronicles of the Gifted, visit http://www.istaria.com.


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