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Community News Into the Future: Using AI to Enhance Istaria Istaria Community Manager
April 1, 2023

Hello Istarians! We have exciting news to share with you today and we can't wait to dive in.

I am sure all of you have heard of the recent advancements in AI, but in case you have not, let us give you the rundown. Recent innovations in technology have resulted in very powerful AI - or artificial intelligence - programs, able to take prompts in plain English and return nearly anything you could ask for - scripts for plays, stories, conversations, and even images. AI has grown from the simple decision-making programs powering things such as our own monsters' wander paths to self-educating electronic brains capable of learning and evolving.

As you all know, we at Virtrium are a very small but dedicated team. Any help we can get to improve our game, we are excited to jump on. One of our biggest bottlenecks in producing new content and updates is the amount of manpower required to produce interesting storylines and art assets. We have seen the advancement of AI and are ecstatic to use it as a tool to improve our workflow.

To this end, we have decided to scale back the human involvement in our development process and submit to our new AI overlords. We hope as being among the first adopters of this unique technology that we may be spared in the upcoming collapse of society. The development process has been redefined to the following:

  • All texture artists have now been reassigned to use image generation AI to produce textures for the game. Instead of drawing, they will now be prompting, which we promise requires just as much effort as picking up a tablet pen.

  • Programmers will no longer be consulting documentation and formatting rules and instead purely consult with AIs to ensure the best results for our game. The AI will now be writing all of our base code, which our tech team will shove directly into the game's guts as we are completely assured it will work flawlessly.

  • Designers are now going to utilize text generation AI to write all of the game's storylines, which should surely save time. We believe that the creativity of AI will embellish the lore of Istaria and certainly not lead to a complete and utter cacophony of weird unrelated stories.

  • QA testers will continue to attempt to break the game, which should no longer be possible since technology is perfect.


With our new-found free time, we hope to be able to see our families, take care of our pets, and spend time with friends. 


In fact, this change of direction is so powerful that we are already ready to release our newest update notes right now! We hope you enjoy the wonderful changes that the advancement of technology has brought to you.


Content Update - "Rise of the Dragons"

This update focuses on our most under-appreciated race, Dragons. As we all know, Dragons have been overshadowed by Bipeds for many years, and we hope to give them the attention that they deserve.



  • Valkoth is now considered the head of the Imperial Council and will be referred to for the final say in all Imperial decisions.

  • Added new AI players (not bots) they will play the game and communicate like a regular player. They have randomized histories, characters, and names and will breathe life into some unused areas.

    • Some existing players have been converted to AI. You will know.


  • Dragons have been increased in size to match their lore (and ego).

    • Any biped caught underfoot will now take damage proportional to their size.

  • Khutit form is now the largest of all two-legged forms, as it was considered offensive to be shorter than Half-Giants.

  • When a dragon takes off, all nearby bipeds are stunned if they are too close.

  • Hoard now has a Bulk requirement in your inventory. In turn, Dragon inventories have been expanded 1,000%.



  • Half-Giants have been renamed to Quarter-Giants.

  • Per decree of Valkoth, all Dryads will now be weighed down with Adamantium weighted boots to prevent blasphemous biped flight.

  • As it was considered unfair to Dragons, Bipeds can now only learn 3 Craft schools and 1 Adventure school at a time.

    • Balance for this will come in a future update (maybe).

    • Swapping adventure or craft schools will forget all the experience in your prior school.



  • Dralk has been expanded and now physically joins with Drakul, providing a rich new area to explore.

    • New plots have been placed in this region, but any bipeds choosing to live here must pay taxes. These taxes will be spread equally across all active Dragon players.

  • Drakul has been reclassified as the new capital of Istaria, replacing Tazoon after its destruction.

  • In order to save resources and focus more on what matters in Istaria, everything south of the Dalimond Peninsula and north of Kirasanct has been removed from the map.

    • Existing plots and lairs have been moved to random places throughout the new constraints of the map. We hope you enjoy your new view and neighbors!

  • AI-run events will now occur randomly across Istaria, similar to current events. The lead NPC will respond to player inquiries using GPT-4.0.



  • Dragons now have a new ability when flying over plots, called Incinerate. This will raze the plot to the ground.

    • Bipeds can protect their plots by paying into their towns' Hoard Pool, which will lock the ability after a certain amount of hoard is present.

  • Added a large swathe of new dragon-themed structures.

    • "Dragon Feeder" - A large structure that attracts AI dragons to come and feast on Confectioner foods placed within.

    • "Watering Hole" - A large lake that can be used as a bath for dragons. Be sure to clean it.

    • "Sacrificial Pyre" - For those pesky maidens. (Don't worry, they're also AI)

    • …and more!

  • Dragons can no longer own plots, as it is considered beneath them.



  • All lairs can now be infinitely large. 

    • This is accomplished by hiding everything outside of your lair when you are in it and vice versa. Therefore, you have no limits!

  • Lairs can no longer be owned by bipeds. Attempting to do so will delete your character.

  • A new ultimate structure surpassing the Grand Hall has been added, known as the Grandest Hall.

  • Other new lair structures:

    • "The Pit" - You don't know how deep this goes, but your client lags when you look at it.

    • "The Other Pit" - Dragon equivalent of the outhouse.

    • "6-Way Spiral" - The four-way spiral was decidedly not enough exits.

    • "Spiral Spiral" - We aren't sure how this one works, but our QA tester never exited it.

    • "Advanced Fully-Universal Connector" - Connects any chamber in any position, anywhere.




  • Rangers, being one with Nature, now get a debuff when within 1km of cities and a buff when 2km from cities.

  • Crossbowman's revamp is now being revamped and will be announced at a later date.

  • Chaos Warriors now deal more damage on the Chaos server.

  • Knight of Creation's Summon abilities now follow the laws of physics, requiring E=mc2 skill for summoning items, where m is equivalent to the mass of the item they are summoning.

  • Animal enemies are now passive around Druids.

  • Claw Strike can now be used on biped NPCs, AI players, and players as a friendly reminder of who is boss.


  • Biped Tailors can now craft Dapper Clothes, which will be a requirement for bipeds to wear in some formal occasions in questlines.

  • Tailors can also now craft "Saddles". However, as nothing in Istaria can use a saddle, it currently has no use.

    • Attempting to trade a dragon a saddle will incur a debt to the Empire, as per Valkoth's Decree #49 section 2.

  • A new Biped craft school has been added, ‘Gongfarmer'. As a result, all cities should now smell much nicer.

    • New formulas have been added for this change: Shovel, Cart (A specialized Cargo Disk), Very Thick Boots, Very Strong Soap

  • A new inspire has been added to Dragon Crystalshaper, ‘Inspire Shame'. When inflicted with Shame, enemies realize the error of their ways and turn passive.

  • Dragon Lairshapers now properly obtain large amounts of Stone and Dirt when building their lair. These can be deleted or dumped in your local biped plot.

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