It has been one year since I started playing Istaria:chronicles of the Gifted. Why did I go there? Correct answer: because folks at mmorpg.com adviced to do so.
I went to the game as everyone newbie does - alone, with no knowledge, just wanting to be big and strong. Chose Order server (Istaria has three of them: Chaos - for casual play; Order - for roleplay; Blight - for testing).
First steps were medium ones. I was alone impatient player, quitting any chat that won't give answer right away. I knew I was noob and was a bit afraid to ask Big Ones just because I was noob and they were Big Ones. I went to do quests and when it came to killing named ones - I had to ask ask for help and I still remember how experienced players buffed me with almost anything they could and I finally killed that wolf. It was something great, I did kill such powerfull monster for my level!
Quests were not disappointing, some of them had cool sense of humor and there was not so much grinding in the begining. When adventure quests were gone - I had crafting ones. And then I made several mistakes: 1) I decided I am aloner and would do anything myself, since I was a Warrior and thought to be heavy hitter; 2) I decided that if I do not like advice, I may ignore it.
Boy, I was wrong. I missed several wise advices about levelling up. I knew better than experienced players and the price is...well, the price is still paid by me. And as I went alone, it was too late to understand the joy of fighting in group. But at the mean time, I was wandering, sometimes asking community, most of the time killing magots and growing up by using their crystals (since some crystals may g ive you crafting or battle xo when used). Initially it was good, later I was growing up too slow. It was not faster when I moved to other towns, as I lived on trophy hunting quests and occasional quests.
I do remember how folks helped with Skulk village near Bristugo. Skulks were dangerous enemies for me at that time and soon some Ancient Dragons gathered, some bipeds came too and everyone covered me up, just to finish that quest. And it was finished with forces enough to slain lvl.126 enemy, not just poor lvl.26 skulk. I was impressed with the power of the Dragons, how easily thet swaped away any opposition. I remember how I was killed while going through dangerous enemies and one player dropped anything she was doing, coming to rescue me; I still remember her as my saviour.
And then I found my guild, Universal Soldiers. They accepted me, asking nothing in return, helping me to grow up, doing stuff for me. I remember first hunt to deadlands against lvl.120 Fiyakis. I was a bit low level character, any hit could almost kill me...but they protected me and I did my best to heal them with my low level spells. But I grew there. Then was taken by one very nice and cooperative Dragon - this time as a Cleric - to hunt Fire Opal golems. I gained much experience there, just trying to heal 'my' Dragon. Only in guild did I find the joy of group hunting. I met very helpfull players there that cared about everyone and everything. Player 1 needs some spells - someone will do. Player 2 is constructing a plot - every free crafter would help, even if no xp or coin is rewarded. Player 3 has achieved level 6 in crafting school - everyone will great him/her in the chat. In the guild, I learned to listen to advices, since more experienced players may know better than me.
At some moment I understood I may help others. Cannot recall when was the first time I helped someone, just think it was during one of my visits to New Trismus. I remembered how I walked in the same fields being afraid of that huge lvl.6 monster or, even worse, lvl.9 magot. Now I could kill them all, leaving all loot to newbies and healing newbies should they be hit. I felt strong. I felt usefull to others. I knew the quests they were going to do, I knew what should they kill and what may come next. I am very proud that I was with one young and very impatient Dragon almost from her first quest to her last one. Helping her to kill monsters, healing her, escorting her to safety. Now she is Adult Dragon, she can fly...and she in turn helps other Dragons.
Of course, soon I noticed "over-powered" monsters. It's something one has to know: if monster is level 80, it does not mean you can attack it if you are level 90. Or sometimes you could attack level 99 monster, being yourself level 80. Sometimes I felt very strong. Sometimes I felt almost depressed due to the fact that lower-level monster killed me one more time or that a horde of lvl.40 monsters could almost kill me.
Soon I noticed I was almost unable to spend money. Bought some crystals from consigner or some cargo disks - that was all. I was constructing things for other players free of charge. More experienced crafters constructed stuff for me - free of charge too. Sometimes it was just borrowing: use this armor as long as you wish, but please, let others use it when you won't need it. My money was spent on storage upgrades, sometimes -formulas and very rare purchases on the side.
Then there was quick going, recently reached level 100 in first adventure school, level 100 in first crafting school. My own goal was to reach level 100, no matter in which school, and I was able to finish two of them - and there is more to come. As I grow, I know I would be of more use to the community. The stronger I am, the bigger enemies I may kill.
In Istaria I also met a great community. Almost everyone comes to help should I say I am in problem. If I need advice - I am adviced, if I need stuff - there would also be someone who would help. I witnessed for the first time what does role-playing mean. I witnessed how entire families (daughter-father-mother-grandpa) were created, how some games in the chat were played. Although I am not into RP - I enjoyed it, even played some light RP for some time. It is Istaria that first learned what online friendship is.
I took part in great events, from Dragons, ascending to Adult or Ancient ones to our event when we were shown beautifull lakes and mystic remnants from far past of the Istaria. It was like a good party of friends for friends.
Well, there were some problematic persons (like Player A.) that instantly demanded everything. "Nakties, you help me", "No, don't fight, just heal" - something is written in this blog, everyone could read it. Initially I helped, later just discontinued. Yes, it is not good, but I do not like to be commanded. I do like when player knows what he wants. If I am told: "Nakties, I need 50 trophys", it's ok, I will hunt 50 trophys. But if I am told - "Nakties, I need all the trophies" - it's not fair. If I am told - "you will help me from lvl.20 to lvl.40" - it's not very fair too. However, I would help such players, if they give a good reason, like "I need to kill 15 forest jungle crawlers to complete quest", "I need 18 trophys to advance to lvl.22".
Another problematic issue is me. My wish to hurry, to have almost everything right there and right now. Sometimes I got depressed too early, although it is only a game. Would have to do something with that in this year.
Overall, I am enjoying Istaria. It gives me almost everything I desired from MMORPG: it has deep crafting, numerous options to advance it, it takes numbers of quests to take and lots of monsters to kill. Or, if one is tired from that - just beautifull landscapes to see or rare snow flower to be brought to the one you care about (flower itself has no use in crafting/fighting/hoarding).