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Reader Comments (19)

Posted: Jul 25th 2010 11:38AM (Unverified) said

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this was my first mmo. horizons. or AO? can't remember. god was i naive back then. we all were. all seemed to be possible in this "new" genre.

Posted: Jul 25th 2010 12:27PM kasapina said

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Playing a dragon seems fun, I wonder why developers don't create characters like that. I'm pretty sure many would prefer to play a succubus as opposed to a weird gnome sized ball of fur, or a golem as opposed to the good old elf/dwarf.



Posted: Jul 25th 2010 1:04PM (Unverified) said

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I tried this out for about an hour last week. I made a dragon character, and spent 45 minutes trying to figure out where it wanted me to go. The book told me that I needed to go talk to some guy in some town in order to become an adult dragon, but it didn't give me any instructions on how to get there. When I finally found a "quest giver", I then spent 15 minutes getting murdered by tiny beetles in the starting area.

The interface and keybindings are annoying, and the entire game makes me feel like it doesn't want me to play it. It plays like a game that's still very much in beta, despite being out for years! I'm amazed they're trying to charge money for this.

The only thing it has going for it is the fact that you can play as a dragon. I don't see why you'd want to pay to play a badly proportioned dwarf when you could subscribe to WoW for the same price.

Posted: Jul 25th 2010 1:34PM elocke said

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"The interface and keybindings are annoying, and the entire game makes me feel like it doesn't want me to play it."

This right here is the NUMBER ONE problem with all of these "old school" MMORPGs. If I can't get past the first hour due to fighting the interface and movement then the game completely fails. I tried this the other week and could not stand the movement controls. Whether I'm spoiled by modern MMOs or not, this should maybe be something developers need to make universal or at least able to be changed during the course of an MMORPGs lifetime in order to stay up to date with the latest controls/movement trends.
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Posted: Jul 25th 2010 1:45PM (Unverified) said

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Reading your comment it looks like you didn't bother to follow the tutorial otherwise I can't imagine spending 45 minutes to find the first trainer.
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Posted: Jul 25th 2010 2:16PM (Unverified) said

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"The interface and keybindings are annoying, and the entire game makes me feel like it doesn't want me to play it."

This surprises me as the interface and keybindings are the most versatile of any game I've ever played. Most other games have parts of the interface that can't be moved or hidden or made transparent. The new player tutorial is one of the best I've ever encountered. It was reworked several years ago and has had alot of input from the player base to make it a great experience.
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Posted: Jul 25th 2010 4:05PM (Unverified) said

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I didn't want to get into rant territory, as my comment was already longer than I would like.

Most of that 45 minutes (after I spent 3 hours just trying to install the game and get it to start up, since the game is in full screen by default and refuses to allow me to leave to tell my antivirus it's okay other than using alt-F4 each time it pops up to ask me) was trying to beat the UI into submission, given that I could find no option for UI scaling on my 26" monitor, so my options were either play at a resolution that made the graphics look worse than they already were, or deal with the headache-inducing teensy tiny UI elements that the game insists on shoving into the far corners of my screen to make it as difficult as possible to see everything at the same time.

Also trying to beat my keybindings into submission, as it took me a good 5 minutes trying to figure out how to UNBIND something, until I opened up the tutorial for that page and it explained I could left-click to do so -- which annoyingly prevents me from binding rotation of the camera to my left mouse button, something that is not default for some odd reason. I really like having the ability to turn my character with one mouse button, and move the camera without turning my character with the other, but this game does not let me do this. I would much rather be unable to bind the escape key than be without left-click camera movement.

I eventually just shoved all of the UI panels into the center of the screen (if it hadn't let me move them at all, I would have given up before my character took a single step) and decided to just squint at the tiny text on everything for now. I was not aware that I had any skills at all until the later NPC told me about them, since my skill bar was empty (and also vertical, and tiny), and when I tried to use the keybinding I'd assigned to my spellbook, it opened this weird "Knowledge" panel instead -- that one was listed later in the keybindings menu and wasn't even bound to anything, so I have no idea why it was opening.

The tutorial told me to talk to the NPC standing nearby, so I did. He told me a few things about the game lore, then told me that there was a book nearby that would answer my questions. I went to look for this book, and in the process aggroed some of the nearby beetles and almost died, and would have if I hadn't started running away as soon as I realized these were not harmless starting area critters.

I found that book eventually. It told me a few more things about the gameplay that didn't seem immediately relevant to my situation, and explained that I needed to talk to someone in some named city to become an adult dragon, but to me, that fell into the category of "things I'll need to know eventually" without actually answering my questions about "things I need to know right now." I gave up trying to learn anything from the book, and went wandering off down the path nearby. It led to some shiny thing on the ground that didn't do anything, but was otherwise a dead end. I then figured out how to open up my map, and wandered along the edges of this place until I finally found an exit on the opposite side of the area from where the path was leading me to.

Funny thing is, that first "quest" to kill one of the beetles and retrieve a beetle horn (despite the icon for the beetle horn actually looking like a bronze coin with a T on it, making me kill several of them before I even realized I'd found one) rewarded me with a bell for my hoard. I have no idea what the point of this hoard is. I attempted to read the tutorial for the equipment window that the hoard was located in, but it just kept explaining how to equip things, and didn't mention my hoard at all. I get the feeling this tutorial was not designed with dragons in mind.
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Posted: Jul 25th 2010 1:12PM pcgneurotic said

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I tried this a year or two ago and was entranced by the quality, EQ-like graphics, but put off from playing longer than a few days by the obtuse new palyer experience. Still! Let's give it another go. Thanks Beau!

Posted: Jul 25th 2010 1:41PM nunix said

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Horizons! What a troubled history (both game and developer) this thing has. Plagued by delays and terrible support in the beginning, I skipped it at launch, and have heard nothing but crud about it in the intervening years. Really surprised to find it's still around. Originally, dragons didn't level, but aged; and did so in (sped up) real time. Is this still in? Or do they go off of experience or some other system?

Posted: Jul 25th 2010 2:04PM (Unverified) said

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Dragons do level. And they age in the respect that there are two epic quests that allow them to become an Adult (larger size and flying ability) and Ancient (even larger size and more abilities).
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Posted: Jul 25th 2010 3:27PM Bhagpuss said

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Horizon's graphics weren't anything much to write home about even when it first launched, and neither was the gameplay. That said, it's great that the game is still around.

My suggestion for a future R&S is Zentia. Mrs Bhagpuss and I downloaded it earlier today just to take a look and we have been playing ever since. I don't know what it's like at higher levels, but up towhere we are in the mid-teens it's possibly the best East-to-West F2P conversion I've played., and certainly the funniest.

It's allegedly in "Closed" beta but there seem to be keys on request pretty much. We got ours from Massively.

Posted: Jul 25th 2010 4:59PM Beau Hindman said

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Bhag:

I have been playing the heck out of Zentia, and I am planning on doing some kind of write-up for it already. If I have some information back by the time the next one rolls around, I will probably do it. It's a fantastic game, so you will hear more about it from me soon! :)

I really wish I could have taken more time with Istaria. Luckily, it can sit there and provide me access forever, but I DO want to get a plot and look into that more.

Beau
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Posted: Jul 25th 2010 4:08PM (Unverified) said

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I played when it was first released, and actually loved the game despite lack of content and beta feel. I remember being pretty much unstoppable as a hybrid, which I think they fixed shortly after me quitting the game. Downloading it now to give it a whirl.

Posted: Jul 25th 2010 5:50PM (Unverified) said

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I played Horizons (Hz) very happily for several years. A few features didn't get mentioned in the article or comments.

A major feature is Multi-classing; bipeds (non-dragons) can change from one class to another simply by visiting a trainer; and with limitations, you can retain the abilities you gained in the previous class. A few classes are hybrids; 20 levels of scout plus 20 levels of druid make you a ranger, a very versatile class; archer, natch, nature spell caster, and healer.

The leveling and "class" systems for dragons are very different; almost two different games (for the price of one!)

For information; http://istaria.wikia.com/wiki/Main_Page is a good source; the community, both ingame and inforum are very helpful. An example from the Wiki:
Chat Channels When you start the game make sure you join the main community channels. On Chaos, these are Marketplace, Dragon and New Player Assistance channels; on Order, these are Marketplace, Dragon, and ???. To join a channel:

click on the speech bubble shaped icon on the chat window
double left click the channel required
In New Player Assistance chat you find high level characters who can offer guidance or assistance. In Dragon chat you can discuss any aspect of dragon life (and sometimes random stuff). In MarketPlace you can buy and sell wares and also ask general questions.

Also, crafting is, for most players, a major part of the game. The crafting system is extensive, logical, and useful. Armor, weapons, tools, housing, reviving foods; all producible by player crafting. Elaborately decorated plots, with or without houses; or in the case of dragons, lairs.

Player race discussions rarely get past DRAGONS!. But some other unusual races are dryad (small winged fairy tale-like), felines (Saris, thatsa me!) reptilian (Sslik), half-giant, and gnomes. Eleven races in all IIRC.

If you're puzzled by game mechanics, ASK. One of the most frequent comments about the game is the helpfulness of the players. I play infrequently, and sometimes have to ask some newb question, due to age and general rustiness. I have always received a courteous answer, though few remember me now.

Posted: Jul 25th 2010 7:48PM Tovrin said

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I played Horizons when it first came out. My main memories of it was :

* hacking away at massive monsters and getting a couple of branches and copper ore; where was the phat lewts? It was a game where crafters ruled and adventurers were left in the dirt. It was WAY out of balance.

* the promise of a dynamic "blight thing" which could take over the land and had to be fought back by the players. The bight however was in every ways static and posed no threat at all.

* a woeful, and somewhat dodgey third party billing opererator that was primarly used by internet porn merchants (.. which did not inspire a lot confidence).

* a huge Capital City with lots of building and NOT A SINGLE NPC in sight!?

* lot of fun for a while. Exploration in a wide open world was pretty good, some of the monsters were creative, and the housing system was actually the best and most meaningful I've ever seen in any MMO. And the crafting and gathering system was very, very good.

In the end, despite the good parts, I was not surprised to see it end up in financial trouble.

That was many years ago. I'm glad to hear it's improved. I may even try it out again. Maybe.

Posted: Jul 25th 2010 10:44PM (Unverified) said

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Worst game in the history of the genre, at least until Alganon was released.

Posted: Jul 26th 2010 12:37AM Graill440 said

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Wow, a game i had completely forgotton about. I wonder whats devs do when they read...(laugh, they dont even bother to take stock in comments like these).....a person, such as myself having played the game, typed about having forgotton it, utterly, it was made that badly.

I remember the original intent, full time pvp among the many races, dragons were a playable race from the start with one exception, they were to be hunted by the other races for their rare crafting resources, somehting i was stoked about in beta, then suddenly it changed on several occasions to finally be released, hamstrung, a shadow of what it might have been.

Dragons didnt even get lairs until i dont know how many "content" additions later.

Omg, and the lag with just 40 or so folks on screen, optimize anyone? The best experience though in my opinion were the invisible mobs attacking you, a very unique way to get subs to quit, i mean seriously, asking would have been quicker.

Posted: Jul 26th 2010 4:12AM fauxcivility said

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Installed DOMO but to be honest don't think I'll be playing it >>;

I didn't get past the first quest before realizing it just wasn't my sort of game. Not saying it's bad for everyone... just doesn't fit my MMO tastes and actively annoyed me somewhat (can't change WASD strafing, hotbars are set up weirdly, keyboard shortcuts ALL use ctrl + 'key'). Sooo... have fun this week guys :x

ps- Zentia has predefined characters that you choose from right? That's what turned me off I believe... (saw previous discussion of it)

Posted: Aug 15th 2010 11:17AM (Unverified) said

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o.O i see myself long live Danoo or not

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