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Artifact Entertainment | Official Site
MMORPG | Genre:Fantasy | Status:Final  (rel 12/08/03)  | Pub:Virtrium
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Istaria: Chronicles of the Gifted Forum » General Discussion » wow people still play this game?

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50 posts found
  User Deleted
12/18/07 12:07:43 PM#21

 

Originally posted by belua

I played when it first came out, it was very buggy and I lost interest pretty quick as did i suppose almost everyone else I am surprised its still around, for those that play id like to hear why, just out of curiosity.

 

To directly answer the OP, yes, people still play this game.

 

Since the acquisition of all game assets by Virtrium the number of new players I've seen of an evening has gone up by a lot...

 

I've tended to re-sub to Horizons every year, around November, since I purchased the Atari box at Best Buy back in 2005(?)... I'd log in, see what was going on, see if things had improved any, then log out and unsubscribe after a few days.

 

Needless to say I didn't progress very far in the game with this play style.

 

About a month ago I did the free trial just to see if anything had changed and, oddly enough, they had. Sure, the game is still a collection of old battle scars and has more rough edges than smooth ones, but that ads to its charm I suppose.

 

Ultimately, last week I went ahead and gave Virtrium the $150 or so for a year's subscription... I've been playing every night for the hour or so I get after work a month now, so I figure I might be in it for the long haul.

 

As I've played a lot of MMOs over the years, I guess I should draw some comparisons for anyone curious. For this I will contrast and compare Horizons with World of Warcraft as that’s the game the majority will have at least come in contact with:

 

Firstly, Horizons is not a "gateway MMO" (a new term being tossed around GDC these days). If anyone remembers the internet before AOL, that's Horizons - lots of mature folks co-habiting a virtual world and most have had some kind of stake in its creation such as building homes, bridges, entire towns or freeing some of the playable races.

 

This is completely counter to something like WoW, which is a textbook "gateway MMO". WoW has a very shallow learning curve and very little in unsupervised “figure it out on your own” - in fact you'll be told, shown, and have beaten into you everything you need to know by level 5. This, much like AOL did with the internet, makes it very easy for people to get into the 'MMO thing' with WoW... Where the problem lies is that the lower the bars for entry, the lower the level of person partaking - and before you know it you have forums full of useless trash and a game full of smack talking 12 year olds.

 

In something like WoW there is no connection between the player and the world... The world exists for you to exploit by way of providing things to kill to gain levels, but little else. The world is a backdrop for the fighting that you do and actually matters so little that Blizzard would prefer you to use a flight point or a flying mount to avoid it all together once it has done its time sink function.

 

In Horizons the game *is* the world and centers on the players trying to save it, and themselves. To this end Horizons features functionality that allows the all-pervasive ‘bad guy’ to wreck your stuff, which you built, and which will require rebuilding to be used again.

 

Which leads us to another difference: In Wow the ‘bad guy’ can be anyone who is usually holed up in the bottom of some instance and who has some plan for this, that, or the other and must be vanquished – and there are hundreds of little bad guys scattered around the world for your enjoyment. The other form of ‘bad guy’ in WoW is the opposing faction – we don’t exactly know why we hate them and are allowed to off them every chance we get, but that’s the way it is.

 

In Horizons the ‘bad guy’ is the Withered Aegis, a nameless, faceless force of evil and it’s everywhere, all the time, and trying like hell to kill you. This leads to every player being on *your* side against the unified forces of the ‘bad guy’ and creates a much more epic feeling than beating up Gruul for the 10th week in a row… I mean *why* are we killing Prince Malchezaar again?  Oh, right, tier 4 helm - I forgot, sorry…

 

And this segues into the differences in loot: In WoW you beat up a stream of increasing level of difficulty bad guys who drop fun prizes so that you can collect the whole set.

 

In Horizons you do something very similar so that you can get item drops that allow crafters to make some seriously epic weapons, armor, spells, and utility thingies…

 

Ultimately the major difference between WoW and Horizons is that WoW is kinda like a neat amusement park; it’s full of fun rides and neat stuff to see – and every now and then they add a ride or two, maybe even a themed section, and some times if you’re lucky there is some gangland violence to partake in.

 

Horizons on the other hand is more like a summer camp set in a horror movie…You spend a lot of time building things, hiking around the woods, hanging out with friends, learning new skills to broaden yourself as a person - and dodging the otherworldly skeletons, zombies and demons bent on global domination or at least separating you from your soul, permanently.

 

  asgar

Novice Member

Joined: 11/30/04
Posts: 23

12/21/07 12:13:16 AM#22

First i would like to say thank you
i havent played Horizons for a couple of years now but after reading the posts i am going to fire up the gaming rig and check out the new features and see if it could once again be my fav mmo
thanks again

  CedrickDemon

Novice Member

Joined: 7/10/04
Posts: 1

I didn't claw my way to the top of the friggn foodchain to eat veggies!

12/21/07 7:06:38 PM#23

Hey,

yeah, people still do.
I loved this game. It's a cool community with cool people, has a wonderful crafts-system, and I love the races one can play.

And so, my heart broke when one day, I simply couldn't log in, to find out that the european server was closed, and there was no possibility I could log onto the american server.

Actually, what it came down to was this:
The former owner said the game was dead, didn't bother much to revive it, and kept off any buying companies.

A day or two ago, I descided to see if the new site was still online, or if the american server also blew out it's last breath.... only to find out, that Vitrium blew new life into it, opening the american servers for everyone.

I was happy to read this, downloaded the client for a 14 day trial to see if they changed much.
But when I installed it about an hour ago and wanted to launch it, I bumped into errors.
Loads off them.
I descided to check the FAQ...
"Vista not supported at the moment."
Oh wait, that's true, my old computer broke, so I bought a new one, the one with that cursed windows vista OS on it......

Again, I curse vista, and really hope they solve this quickly.....  or else I'd be chopping around again.

Yours Infernally,
The One Your Mother Warned You About.

  Hadesprime

Novice Member

Joined: 2/24/04
Posts: 303

12/29/07 8:55:06 PM#24

Rihahn what game are you talking about there !! Cause I would like to play it.

You definitely aren't talking about Horizons. Unless of course your friend is David Bowman and he gave you the game that HZ was going to be at release but never was eh ?

  User Deleted
12/30/07 9:41:35 AM#25

Originally posted by Hadesprime

Rihahn what game are you talking about there !! Cause I would like to play it.

You definitely aren't talking about Horizons. Unless of course your friend is David Bowman and he gave you the game that HZ was going to be at release but never was eh ?


Then I would simply suggest you try the game out, though you would have to be able to put aside any preconcieved notions about the game and view it from the perspective of a new player... Which isn't easy.

I think I have a rather unique viewpiont on Horizons as I've seen enough of the game over the last four years to be able to see the changes, but I was never involved in it long enough to become jaded and have a lot of baggage regarding it. So I'm able to see the improvements and the direction the new devs are taking things as "good things" and not have my personal feelings about things as they were years ago cloud the issue.

I've run into this on the Horizon's forums too, from current players, in that any change the new owners try to make is resisted, quite vocally, due to shell-shock from the previous 3-4 years. The player base has really created about 50% or so of the game at this point in the form of history, back story, and even content and they aren't liking having "thier" world trod upon.

For example, one of the devs started a thread regarding players favorite encounters and what they saw as the most difficult MOB to vanquish... Almost immediately this developer's goals with the thread were called into question by some of the older players, who saw this as an attempt to find the easy to grind MOBs and fix them to make the game even harder... When in fact it was an attempt to discover what made a "good" encounter so that the technique could be used on new content.

As for David Bowman, I still don't view him in a very good light... Aside from his game design prowess (or lack thereof depending on who you talk to) which is a topic for a different thread, I see him as a swindler and a cheat and even given the opportunity to know him, I probably wouldn't like him.

Anyways, I hope that helps to clear up why I view things the way I do. I'm not going to color anything I report here with any rosey tint, but I'm also not going to report doom and gloom where there isn't any: Horizons appears to be in good hands now as more has been done on the game since September than has happened during the ownership of the last two companies combined. And the new owners have been *very* good at communication with the player base in both current development and future development.

Given that, and the fun that I am having each evening in the game, I feel I'm justified in saying there is some potential left in Horizons and I can reccommend anyone with a mind to should try it out to see what *they* think.

  dand3

Novice Member

Joined: 7/24/03
Posts: 241

12/30/07 6:56:08 PM#26

It's a game.  No less, no more. Unique features of course, player-built resource processing stations, pawnbrokers, and such; multi-classing; players as flying dragons,  etc., but still a game.   I will never understand why, if I like a certain game, someone else sees my preference as a personal attack on their choices.   

Does not compute.

  Xenduli

Novice Member

Joined: 3/25/06
Posts: 660

1/06/08 4:01:26 PM#27

In some ways it's a shame Horizons is still going, it may attract a few (as in you can count them with your hands) players from Ryzom, but at Ryzom's engine was advanced compared to Horizons.

This was my first MMO and I played it for almost a year, despite the bugs, the constant (and severe) lag, I battled on. I was one of a few on the Wind (EU) realm [which then became Unity] that could make a certain spell. I can't remember the name of it, Cyclone I think.

Then there were newer mobs introduced lvl 120 meatblights, super powerful skeletons, my most memorable were the alcoholic based mobs. Controversial at the time, to anyone that still cared.

Then there was the billing fiasco, I got stung, twice. The auto-renewal 'feature' is still being used. It's nothing more than a fairground con. Looking at it now in the cold light of day( okay it's night time now), Horizons looks like one of those odd cars from the 60's that eccentric people drive. Tell anyone you play(ed) Horizons and you'll get the same odd looks. One that has been restored from scratch after being abandoned in some scrapheap. Sadly there is no-one to restore Horizons. No-one to give it a new coat of paint (3D engine), a tune-up (the music now, whilst whimsical and fun then sounds painful and purely played for nostalgia now) and there is still plenty of rust (lag).

If there was an MOT test for MMORPGS's, Horizons would have been consigned to spend the rest of eternity in a landfill site in Nigeria, but it chugs along without a care polluting anyway it can. It's the benign tumour of the MMO world, one that's immune to any radiotherapy. No-one really wants it and those that do, suffer in an almost church-like silence.

Truth is the ground where Horizons is buried hasn't been consecrated yet.

No annoying animated GIF here!

  dand3

Novice Member

Joined: 7/24/03
Posts: 241

1/06/08 8:26:09 PM#28

It sounds as if it's been a while since you played Xenduli; I'm surprised about the payment problems, as I thought those were limited to the US players. As to the comments about no one working on the game, I'll let the current monthly "state of the game" email from Virtrium speak for itself.

From the Desk of the Developer: January 2008 Edition

The Year of the Phoenix comes to a close.

 

Greetings My Fellow Istarians,

I hope you've each enjoyed a memorable, fun, last few weeks of 2007 - both in real life and in Istarian life. I know I partied like it wasn't 1999, but still had a fun filled end of the year. For Istaria, 2007 will be known as the Year of the Phoenix, because just like the phoenix, Istaria rose from near ashes this past summer when the company behind the game became Virtrium, LLC. In this, my second edition of "From the Desk of the Developer", I'd like to take a sentimental look back at what the later parts of the year included. Then I'll take a sneak peak at some developer created new year resolutions.

The first order of business when Virtirum bought the game was to ensure that billing for game payment was both secure and accessible. To that end, one of the first things they did was set up a billing system through Paypal, and while this system was working for many, it didn't have all the features we wanted, and required our subscribers to have an active PayPal account. So, with a little more work, we added support for direct credit card billing through payment processor Auth.NET. High on the priority list was also getting the Blight test server back up and working. We knew we'd be needing this server to test future changes to the game, but it also allowed our dedicated testers who previously had made Blight their home access to their characters. With Blight back, we were able to finish testing delta 119 and then release that patch to live. We've since also tested and patched 11 other deltas (that's right - each and every week has us making progress), bringing us up to delta 130 that was released just before the Christmas holiday.

A few highlights from those deltas included two brand new events. Our first was the Hammer's Rest event. This event brought back some of the favorites of previous fall festivals such as costumes, special confectioner recipes, candy, and of course, Trick or treating. We also introduced special cargo disks that look like floating kegs as new artwork for the game, as well as new foods for the celebration. Hammer's Rest is now planned as an annual fall event.

Our second annual event was brought to us by the Gnomes of New Rachival. Gnomekindle is the celebration of when Istar gave the the First Spark of Ingenuity to the Gnomes. The gnomes created new clothing for the festival, brought back long awaited dragon masks, and even introduced their own special currency for the event in the form of Istarian Express Checks. Of course, no winter festival would be complete without quests, presents, and winter treants, so Darsenia was brought back to give out shoulder buddies to any who completed her quest, and many of the other residents of "Gnomekindle Town" had special quests for adventurers.

These are just a few of the many things we accomplished in the final months of 2007. Soon we'll be announcing the winners of our first Chronicles of Istaria contest, the Hearth and Home contest.

But now it's time for me to give you a peek into what's coming in 2008. One of the biggest issues with the game itself has always been that in populated areas players experienced too much lag when loading graphics. Toward the end of the year our Art Director put together an art internship program. Those interns have been assigned the task of cleaning up graphic models in the hopes of reducing loading lag. We've also made improvements to the game client for both how and when it loads items, and will continue to make improvements through 2008 with the goal of addressing the lag issue.

Our new world builder is getting up to speed and has already been making minor fixes to terrain and world object layout. Throughout 2008 we're going to be releasing updates that fix or improve accessibility, improve aesthetics, and of course some new areas to explore. Part of world building is also to manage plots and lairs. We know a lot of the small plots are not very useful and we're looking at what we can do to revise their configuration.

As I mentioned in my last "From the Desk of the Developer" email, we also have set early 2008 as a goal for bringing characters from the Unity database to our live servers at the request of the account holder. In order to give these characters a home on our live servers, we will also be restarting plot reclaims from any character that is not tied to an account with at least one active subscription. Another lofty goal for 2008 is to make Horizons compatible with Windows Vista. We know that many players would like to join their friends in Istaria but cannot at this time because their new machine came pre-loaded with Vista.

On the content side of things, confectioners will be happy to hear that the revamp of their school is coming along well. Many resource areas were laid out in the final deltas of 2007 in preparation for releasing the revamp. A behind the scenes look has revealed that new quests specifically for confectioners are already written and being entered for testing in the first quarter of the year.

I want to leave some surprises for you to discover through the year, so I'm not sharing everything I've seen, but I will say that having seen the list of goals for 2008 has left me walking out of the office with a smile. The developers have some significant surprises for you in the coming year. If 2007 was The Year of the Phoenix, 2008 is truly looking like it will be The Year of the Dragon where Istaria soars to new heights.

Until next month, I bid you all happy times in Istaria.

Your faithful behind the scenes gal,

 

- Amarië Ancalímon

Horizons Development Team

  choasmob

Novice Member

Joined: 1/26/08
Posts: 2

1/26/08 2:33:23 AM#29

Originally posted by awsome.wells

maybe the game isnt for you - some ppl love it and others dont

 

why they love it?

1. community is very much a community - very freindly and like a village everyone knows everyone. no real pvp (can do it with mates for a laugh at spire) - so no real conflict between players. they are freindly to new players who are freindly and courteous, and once you are passed your 2-week trial and subscribe (there is a /command to see when you started) players are more willing to invest time, money and effort in helping you out (since you are now a member of the community, not just on a 2-week freebie)

2. dragons - who doesnt wanna be a dragon, and fly? totally different game to bipeds (non-dragons) so play both

3. uber-peds - multiclassing make bi-peds v. powerful for those with dedication. it would take a lifetime to max out all 29 (adventure) classes on one character

4. crafting - so many things to make, so many craft schools, so many ways to tech (improve) items. google "horizons craft calculator" a godsend for players just to keep track of what they need for that triple-teched T5 set of armour

5. plots - build houses, storage silos, crafting structures, hedges, trees, paths, patios, fountains, shops or whatever on your plots. dragons can also build lairs full of awe and wonder to store their stuff, and do their crafting

6. huge world - its big, games like WoW and EQ/EQII are tiny in comparison

7. community, community, community

 

the games not perfect - but none are

Yeah, none game is perfect.  People love this game for this or that reason. It's personal choice~

  choasmob

Novice Member

Joined: 1/26/08
Posts: 2

1/26/08 2:36:44 AM#30

And my choice is occasionally playing it. Community is the main reason. I enjoy the friendly and harmonous atomsphere there.

  Deva-state

Novice Member

Joined: 8/30/05
Posts: 66

They tried to keep me away.. BUT I'm BACK!

1/26/08 9:09:36 PM#31

Uhhh Horizon's does't have a 10th, the size, scape and content as EQ1

  Eisdrache

Advanced Member

Joined: 5/22/06
Posts: 41

Dragon trapped in human body

1/27/08 1:35:25 PM#32

Hum, time to get back to Istaria for me... I'll give it another try, although my main char wont be transferred from Unity by now.

  mundus01

Novice Member

Joined: 1/21/07
Posts: 100

1/27/08 1:50:30 PM#33

horizions was the first game that got me into crafting. I think I will go back as well and try it for a while. Til Spellborn comes out that is.

  bobfish

Elite Member

Joined: 2/10/06
Posts: 1593

2/03/08 5:06:59 AM#34

You do know EI interactive are still the major shareholders, investers and producers of Horizons right? The people who put in an unsecure payment system amongst other things. Never going back aslong as they have anything to do with this game.

Their new front, New Game World, is currently in the process of scamming two other games' subscribers, they don't even follow US employment laws for their own staff, quite how anyone could expect them to think of the players when they screw over their own employees is beyond me.

  dand3

Novice Member

Joined: 7/24/03
Posts: 241

2/03/08 2:52:01 PM#35

No question EI are crumbums of the first order.  When they ran into trouble, they hired ex-Tulga employees to get the game back on the air... then apparently they stiffed the rescuers.  The second time, I understand it was cash up front .  They were incompetent, disagreeable, and they apparently failed to reimburse some players who were overcharged. Dark days.

It was posted on another forum, is second hand, and take it for what it's worth:  when EI failed to make payments to the VC who had owned Hz's rights, the rights reverted back to the VC, who then sold them to Virtrium.  EI has no interest whatsoever. 

Virtrium  is totally different from EI in every way.  They have emphasized player communications, request,  listen to, and use player input, make a point of not overpromising, and have made substantial improvements by getting the test server back up, fixing billing, etc. etc. (See above posts for some of it. )  Above all, these are people who knew and loved Hz when they worked on it, who play now, and who are very competent technically.  Their focus and sense of priorities are outstanding.  

New subs are up, and players are returning. (Dev post, elsewhere.) The forums are alive again.  Better days indeed.

  bobfish

Elite Member

Joined: 2/10/06
Posts: 1593

2/04/08 4:05:33 AM#36

No, the man behind EI is the same person behind the game now, the guy with the money, it's just new front men. This comes from his current employees in New Game World.

  Orlena

Novice Member

Joined: 5/25/06
Posts: 22

2/04/08 1:41:22 PM#37

The current Community Manager posted a response from the owner himself on the Istaria forums.

community.istaria.com/forum/showpost.php

Quote for those who do not want to follow the link:

 

I just called Rick and here's what he had to say:

"Ridiculous - that doesn't make any sense. Even if I was not the new owner, and I really am the owner, it doesn't jive with what happened over the year. Some of the highlights of EI's stewardship of Horizons: bridges burned with the previous development staff, one year of minimal game development, significant billing problems, legal issues with vendors, and I've even heard of state legal issues. And what happened? A very troubled player base and a game in jeopardy of collapsing. The only way for Horizons to recover was for me to step in and fix the billing system, re-build a development team, start releasing updates, re-establish an honest and sincere relationship with players and move forward separate from EI. We got the ball rolling on all these things in a 6 week period - I barely even remember doing it because it was so intense - 14 hours a day, 7 days a week. If EI was capable of doing these things, they would have done them at some point during their tenure - but they didn't. The players and the business suffered for it.

Fact is, the people involved with Horizons - the people developing the game, the people working on the technology, the people handling business, the people taking care of marketing, the people doing legal and accounting - all these people, every one of them, care about the game and its players. Some are previous Horizons developers, some are new - but nobody from EI, New Game World, Pixel Magic, or any of those other companies is involved in any way, shape or form."

Well - there you have it. And let me just say that as I was madly typing his response, there was more than a little inflection in his voice.

___________

So there's your answer for any who wondered.

  Stradden

Managing Editor

Joined: 7/08/05
Posts: 6729

2/04/08 2:10:50 PM#38

Originally posted by bobfish

You do know EI interactive are still the major shareholders, investers and producers of Horizons right? The people who put in an unsecure payment system amongst other things. Never going back aslong as they have anything to do with this game.

Their new front, New Game World, is currently in the process of scamming two other games' subscribers, they don't even follow US employment laws for their own staff, quite how anyone could expect them to think of the players when they screw over their own employees is beyond me.

Hi Guys,

 

Justa  quick point of note. Ei isn't running the game anymore, it's a company called  Virtrium LLC, a company made up of former Tulga Employees.

http://www.mmorpg.com/gamelist.cfm/gameId/17/setView/features/loadFeature/1448

 

Cheers,
Jon Wood
Managing Editor
MMORPG.com

  bobfish

Elite Member

Joined: 2/10/06
Posts: 1593

2/04/08 5:04:39 PM#39

So why does Edward Andercheck still claim to be a major investor in Horizons?

  Orlena

Novice Member

Joined: 5/25/06
Posts: 22

2/04/08 5:19:56 PM#40

Realizing that curiousity killed the cat, and my little Saris hide is probably in danger for just asking this....

 

Where did you see him say that?  How recently?

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