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Istaria: Chronicles of the Gifted Guide: Free to Play Vs. Pay to Play - Istaria Options

By Erin McManaway on February 10, 2010

Yes, it’s true, Istaria does have a free to play account option. It’s a newer option to be sure, and I find more often than not that when I mention it, I get a response of surprise. While there are free to play games out there that strike with hidden gimmicks or micro-transactions once they’ve got the player hooked, Istaria is not one of those. In fact, VI offers players three different tiers of subscriptions to choose from, allowing subscribers to pay for the level of play they wish to experience. Do you want to concentrate on one character alone and not get sidetracked by pesky alts - there’s an account for you. Are you an adventurer who enjoys developing multiple characters, but with little interest in settling down and crafting on a plot - there’s an account for you. Or do you want it all -- alts to create, your own player owned plot and account upgrades available - there’s an account for you, too.

The following guide will help to detail the features, pros and cons of each account type. Keep in mind that you can always choose a lower tier subscription to start with and upgrade later (or keep the free account and add a second paid account) if you find you would like more features!

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Free To Download, Free to Play Forever! - The Free Account

What else needs to be said? Istaria is free to download and offers a Free to Play Account.

Surely, you say, there has to be a catch. Not so much a catch as very basic limitations:

  • You can only have one character.
  • This character is limited to the human race (in Istaria, this isn’t such a bad thing).
  • You can only have ten items up for sale on the cosigner at one time.
  • You can not own a plot of land or lair.


The character creation screen for a human.

Though you can only make one character, there are no level restrictions on this character. You can join all of the adventure classes. You can join all of the crafting schools. You have access to all of the same adventure content as a paying player. Though you can’t own your own plot, you can still help build community and guild structures or help other players build their personal plots.

All in all, this is an excellent account choice if you are new to Istaria and really want to try it out long term. While there is a free 14 day trial, most players will tell you that two weeks is not long enough to really get a feel for the complexities of this game.

If you’re a gamer on a budget who is looking for a new free to play to give a spin, this would also be a good account to start with. If later on you make a choice to invest more into your character, you can always upgrade your account later and not lose any of the progress you made on the free account.

Give Me Races, Give Me Alts! - The Basic Account

The major thing that the Basic Account ($9.95 a month) offers is more character slots and access to all of the races in Istaria, including the Dragons. While playing a human is all nice and well, there are just too many interesting races in Istaria to ignore -- everything from the winged dryads to the whiskered Saris. And the Dragons, of course.

The features of this account type are:

  • You can have three character slots -- characters can be of any race.
  • You can have fifty items up for sale on the cosigner at one time.
  • You can not own a plot of land or lair.


Some unique races of Istaria: Dryad, Saris, Sslik.

This is a good account for a thrifty player who wants more flexibility than the free account, especially those who enjoy playing Dragon characters. Once again, there are no limitations on levels, adventure classes or crafting schools. All adventuring content is open to the Basic Account holder.

And again, you are not able to own an in-game plot of land or a lair. Seeing that plots and lairs can be quite costly, a newcoming player may not have the cash to purchase one until later, as it is. So, you may wish to play under a Basic account until you can decide whether or not buying a plot or lair is something you’re certain you wish to do -- you can always upgrade later.

I Want It All! - The Gifted Account

The Gifted Account ($14.95 a month) is the highest tier of account you can purchase in Istaria. More character slots, the ability to own in-game land and account upgrades are all perks of this account type. Features are as follows:

  • You can have seven character slots -- characters can be of any race.
  • You can have one hundred and fifty items up for sale on the cosigner at one time.
  • You can own a plot of land or lair.
  • You can use account upgrades.


The character creation screen for a dragon.

For those who need more alts or want to own in-game land, this is the account to choose. You can also opt to use account upgrades (for an extra fee) which include more character slots, more consignment slots, character name changes and character server transfers.

One of the highlights of Istaria is the ability to buy a plot or lair to build on. This unique feature allows players to create communities of homes and crafting stations that literally change the face of the world. While you can always choose to help others build their homes and machines, there’s nothing quite like having land of your own. For players who love to craft, this will be one of the crowning features that make the Gifted Account well worth the monthly price.

14 Day Free Trial

All that being said, Istaria also offers a 14 Day Free Trial. This allows you to create up to three characters of any race -- including the Dragon -- and play free for 14 days. It’s a great option for those who really want to see what playing a Dragon in an MMO is like. However, it’s quite limited in that, as I mentioned before, 14 days is hardly enough to see all that Istaria has to offer… especially if you’re splitting that time between more than one character.

Still, that option is there to try, and options are never a bad thing to have!

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