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General Discussion 

News & Features Discussion  » Horizons: Name Change

10 posts found

News Manager

Joined: 5/02/06
Posts: 4423

OP  4/15/08 9:27:37 AM#1

The team at Vitrium, the company that most recently took over Horizons: Empire of Istaria have changed the name of their game simply to Istaria according to a slightly re-done official website.

"We've always felt that it made more sense to have a name that reflected what the game was about," said Rick Simmons, President of Virtrium.  "And our game is about Istaria, and the stories of the people who inhabit the world.  It's always been confusing why the name of the game was "Horizons", but our website domain was "", and our main focus was about Istaria and the Gifted.  We've decided to change the name so that it makes a little more sense."

The game, originally developed by Artifact Entertainment, was purchased by Virtrium in September, 2007.  Since then the development team has brought new life back to a world many thought of as stagnant, and even dying.  "We've seen some real growth in the game in our first few months of ownership," Mr. Simmons said, "Players have responded well to this growth, with many of them returning to the game and official forums to comment."

From one returning player: "It's exciting to see what's been a returning player with many old accounts, I popped in to see how it was all going and decided to reactivate some of my characters. The sound of wings flying over the Saritova Islands just got a little louder, along with some very creaky old Saris brain muscles being stretched. Seeing devs who actually care about the game is heartening, and I'm happy to see the 'resurrection' happen. Keep up the great work !!"

The development team has shown a refocus on storytelling through an MMO world.  Heather "Velea" Rothwell had this to say about the new storyline focus.  "Our most recent triumph is being able to bring players who had once held characters on the European shard, Unity, over to play on our US shards, Order or Chaos.  This is something players from overseas have waited a long time for, and we're pleased that we can offer them the characters they'd worked hard to develop back.  But we didn't just bring those players back, we brought them back with a story of where they'd been, and why they came to the US shards."

"Istaria: Chronicles of the Gifted" continues to hold a unique niche in the MMO market as one of the only games with playable dragons as a race.  As a Dragon, players begin as a hatchling, and progress through game play to become flying Ancient Dragons. The crafting and building systems in Istaria continues to hold strong appeal for the player community.  Players may own and build upon their own piece of land in Istaria, be it on an above ground plot for the biped races, or an underground lair for dragons. 

Asked for any closing words, Rick commented, "In Istaria, players make the world their own.  Whether in joining the war against the Withered Aegis, building their own unique plot, or just soaring the skies as a mighty Ancient Dragon, Istaria is a special place where people come together to be a part of a world that takes them away from everyday life.  It is the Istarians themselves that make the world special, and hearing their stories is what makes our world truly unique."

You can check it out here.


Novice Member

Joined: 8/02/03
Posts: 305

4/15/08 9:33:19 AM#2

That fairy on the main page makes me want to play the game


Apprentice Member

Joined: 1/18/06
Posts: 53

4/15/08 10:23:30 AM#3

the game looks nothing like that. this game has worse graphics than EQ1


Novice Member

Joined: 10/24/06
Posts: 99

4/15/08 10:27:48 AM#4

Is this that game that was cheating everyone out of their money? So many MMOs! They merge together on me sometimes!


Novice Member

Joined: 1/23/06
Posts: 986

Boredom is in the temperament of the beholder.

4/15/08 11:10:22 AM#5

Originally posted by jaix
Is this that game that was cheating everyone out of their money? So many MMOs! They merge together on me sometimes!

Under the ownership of an incompetent and fraudulent company called EI Interactive, yes. But Horizons/Istaria has been owned by Virtrium for several months now. Virtrium has no connection to EI Interactive, and have thoroughly proven themselves to be the polar opposite of EI: Capable, competent, and effective people who prove with their actions that they care about the game and its community.

Virtrium has fixed the billing issues by setting up a new and secure billing system; they've set up a new customer support system, brought the testing server back online, set up character transfers from the defunct Unity server to the extant Chaos and Order servers, implemented a large change to one of the crafting schools, enacted projects to improve the game client performance and optimise 3D models, held two in-game events, released more lore, added a feature to dragon flight mechanics, added new quests, fixed bugs, etcetera etcetera...

On top of all this, they have been communicating with the playerbase frequently via forum and an email newsletter. And they don't just talk, they also listen.


In memory of Laura "Taera" Genender. Passed away on August 13, 2008.


Novice Member

Joined: 1/29/05
Posts: 72

Currently MMO hopping as I seek a new addiction. Awaiting: Fallen Earth (and a few others)

4/15/08 11:24:29 AM#6
Originally posted by Kurganxy

the game looks nothing like that. this game has worse graphics than EQ1

There are screenshots directly under the fairy showing exactly what the game looks like, its not like they are pretending otherwise. For a game as old as Horizons is, it looks acceptable. Not everyone needs cutting edge graphics to enjoy a game ya know!  This is coming from someone who spent 5 years in Ultima Online


Novice Member

Joined: 2/21/07
Posts: 850

4/15/08 11:48:02 AM#7

Isn't it interesting that on the Web site for his new employer (Certain Affinity), there is absolutely no mention of Horizons in David Bowman's bio?


Advanced Member

Joined: 2/28/04
Posts: 1959

firefighter lvl90

4/16/08 3:17:50 AM#8

I'm happy Horizons is getting another chance...It was always an unique MMORPG and it still holds best storytelling in any mmorpg and no other 3d mmorpg has as detailed and FUN crafting system as it does.




Novice Member

Joined: 9/28/04
Posts: 65

4/25/08 1:49:54 PM#9

Originally posted by Hexxeity

Isn't it interesting that on the Web site for his new employer (Certain Affinity), there is absolutely no mention of Horizons in David Bowman's bio?

Very interesting.   As one who played Horizons from date of release for over two years, I'm not surprised he doesn't however.  Especially since he's blamed for a lot of the mismanagement that plagued the game after release.  Even more interesting, is that the new owners who appear to be doing such a great job are a lot of the original developers who worked under DB originally.  So, that tends to lend more credence to the old "It was David Bowman that caused the problems with Horizons" argument.

I may have to wake up my old Ancient Dragon and re-explore Istaria.  I've not been playing any MMO for a couple years now.


Novice Member

Joined: 1/23/06
Posts: 986

Boredom is in the temperament of the beholder.

4/25/08 5:42:27 PM#10

Originally posted by kishe
no other 3d mmorpg has as detailed and FUN crafting system as it does.

I like Horizons, and I play it with a six-month subscription that has entered its second interval. But this quote is simply not true. Ryzom has a crafting system with much more depth, and a much more involved harvesting system to go with it.


In memory of Laura "Taera" Genender. Passed away on August 13, 2008.