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Reader Comments (8)

Posted: Nov 24th 2010 3:50PM Aenedor said

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EQ1/SWG/Vanguard refugee here, think I might check this out.

Posted: Nov 24th 2010 4:11PM ReijMan said

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I love this game, and love it's players!

If you haven't, I recommend everyone giving it a try! (its playable for free!)

Posted: Nov 24th 2010 5:42PM BoundingDeer said

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Looks interesting. Think I might check this one out.

Posted: Nov 24th 2010 6:07PM Palebane said

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Original Horizons vision was so awesome. Biggest disappointment of my gaming career. Have to give props to Istaria for lasting this long though. They must be doing something right.

Posted: Nov 24th 2010 7:29PM Graill440 said

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@Palebane

You nailed it. The original concept was to use the playable race of dragons as a source of rare materials and also pit the other races against each other in competition for the player character dragon race to get those items for crafting armor and weps, sounded great on the surface. Instead "they" we wont use the bad mans name here, folded under pressure from their exec branch and then the team leads.

This coupled with a lagfest that lasted months upon release, triple or more billings per month with no settlements and invisible NPC mobs killing players in many many areas (due to a glitch that took them a couple months to fix) resulted in a game i am quite mystified still runs. Still the idea wasthere, to bad it never came to fruition.
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Posted: Nov 26th 2010 7:24AM Valdamar said

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@Palebane
Yeah the original Horizons vision was superb. Like many others back then I was filled with all the incredible possibilities of this new MMO genre - I was naïve and believed those promises could be delivered upon - the press blackout and then the "compromised" vision that went on to be developed/launched was my first ever big MMO disappointment - it's majorly responsible for my scepticism of pre-launch dev promises nowadays.

It's also partly why I've never played Istaria/Horizons - all the early problems (billing, stability, etc.) together with all the regular changes of ownership just didn't fill me with much confidence - and if I tried it I just know there'd always be the spectre of the game I wanted Horizons to be hanging over my perceptions of what Istaria is.

I am glad the game is still afloat though, partly for the niche population that wants an old school MMO feel, but also because the industry needs independent MMOs like this - teams who can innovate without worrying about corporate pressure - who can break new ground and implement ideas that the mainstream MMOs can then steal and polish (because they're not permitted to innovate until others have tested the idea on a smaller scale).

Good interview and bravo to Amarie for being so frank with the playerbase, no matter that some people objected to the message - you can't keep everyone happy in an MMO.
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Posted: Nov 25th 2010 7:04AM Space Cobra said

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I've known about it but never tried it in the past.

Of course, I'd be very interested in playing a dragon, but it is not on the free trial.

Any recent reviews? Any plans for Massively to review the game?

Posted: Nov 25th 2010 6:03PM Vahrokh said

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Istaria?

It's a niche MMO. I can tell you the good and bad since I played it for several years including today.

Good:
Very compact and nice community, very unlike most other MMOS and this is why the MMO is still alive.
It's casual player paradise, you can solo most of it, no "heroics", "unlocks" and similar.
No time constraints, no rush, new players are not unfairly gimped vs veterans, very important in a game of this age.
Game is relaxed, no competition breathing on your neck.
It's crafter paradise, no raid ingredients, crafted gear is the best or close to best, you can self make from your shoes strings to your hat including stuff like fireworks, fishing poles.
Full accounts can have land where you can plan, preview and build your buildings, storage, factories etc. If you are a dragon the "land" is a multi-layer lair in a mountain with the same stuff.
There are some epic quests with tens of steps.
Playable dragons have multiple phases of life from birth onwards.
Dragons, including hoard, including flight, including lore and factions.
Icy region graphics are lovely sight.
Zillions of items, abilities, skills, spells.
Free multiclassing, a character can be warrior AND healer AND mage AND "warlock"...

Bad:
Low playerbase numbers
Client has glitches, game lags sometimes
Slow at loading maps the first time (game has dynamic maps that can change in real time but need to be loaded once, before they get cached).
Not very standard game play. Not sure it's SO negative, in a world of WoW clones. IE no mana, energy etc.
No PvP except a 1v1 arena (some would not put it in the "bad" section).
Tons of quests but are not as evident to find as they are in other MMOs. Exploration is an important aspect, land is massively huge.
Actively developed but not many developers. Don't expect a 10 levels pack every 6 months.
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