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Artifact Entertainment | Official Site
MMORPG | Setting:Fantasy | Status:Final  (rel 12/08/03)  | Pub:Virtrium
Distribution:Download | Retail Price:Free | Pay Type:Subscription
System Req: PC | ESRB:TOut of date info? Let us know!

Istaria: Chronicles of the Gifted Forum » General Discussion » Checkin back on all my old school games, worth another shot?

11 posts found

Novice Member

Joined: 2/19/04
Posts: 696

OP  4/16/08 1:33:42 PM#1

This game = to me:

Good original concept, has the company been keeping up with this?

When I played (first day of release) it was a very difficult game, is this still true? or did they dumb it down.

And last: Hows is the new company handling the game so far?

thanks :P

I play all ghame


Novice Member

Joined: 2/24/04
Posts: 303

4/16/08 2:11:21 PM#2

Vitrium is comprised of former Artifact and Tulga employees minus Bowman. However the good developers from Tulga aren't there anymore. Despite that they seem committed to the game and is perhaps the best developer to handle the game to date.

I have tried to get back into HZ but its showing its age now at over 4 years now. I just got tired of seeing patches where it just featured the line ..."FIXED Insert 4 year old bug here". Plus the grind was getting to me since I was just pretty much dragging a cargo disc around. There are so many games now that are just so much more polished and have tons more content than HZ has. My $15.00 a month was better spent elsewhere. But that was my personal opinion, there are people who enjoy it a great deal and it has some nice features to it.

Considering what you see in game now look and feel wise is always how its going to be. Vitrium hasen't the money or resources to upgrade key components and never will.

However to be fair they have a 14 day free trial.

You will know in that time if the game is for you.


Novice Member

Joined: 5/25/06
Posts: 22

4/16/08 4:42:33 PM#3

Ok, I'll bite, Hadesprime...

Who are the "good developers from Tulga"? ;)


Novice Member

Joined: 2/24/04
Posts: 303

4/23/08 10:18:56 AM#4

Originally posted by Orlena

Ok, I'll bite, Hadesprime...

Who are the "good developers from Tulga"? ;)

all in context :)

Smeglor is no longer there he has moved on to better opportunities... and for the life of me I can't remember the other fella who did a heck of a lot of work on the game.

what they have left now are those that know how to work with the games existing development tools. They can't afford anyone who can take the game along a more advanced development path. Which is why what you see now is what you are going to get and why all recent patches have been fixes and content additions to whats available in game now. They cannot do major revamps of the game.

Some people will be happy with that. Lots won't however. Hopefully it's enough to give those left at vitrium a reasonable take home pay check.



Novice Member

Joined: 5/25/06
Posts: 22

4/23/08 6:09:21 PM#5

With all due respect, I have to say that you are sadly mistaken.

The proof, however, is in the patch notes.  There has been more than "just bug fixes" for months now, in all areas.


Novice Member

Joined: 2/24/04
Posts: 303

4/24/08 1:43:28 PM#6

umm no

I have read back through a couple of patches

95 percent is labeled as


and the rest is work that was done by Tulga but never rolled out to live servers.

Vitrium themselves have added very little CONTENT to the game. But one can attribute that to working on the port over of the unity players. Not that they haven't done work. But I haven't seen anything that is eqivalent to the content I see added in patchs from game like LOTRO WOW and EQ2. Those games have patches that feature bug fixes and content additions.

but... looks like thats going to change now.

btw the other guy

Tango - he is now working on the new stargate game. A much better career move for him.


Advanced Member

Joined: 8/02/06
Posts: 1340

4/25/08 2:43:20 AM#7

Originally posted by Hadesprime

Vitrium themselves have added very little CONTENT to the game.

I think you're right and this game will never see the kind of content additions that other games receive.

But to be fair, the fact that the patches to date have been 95% bug fixes and 5% rolling out of unreleased content may only speak to the fact that there were just so many bugs to fix rather than the development team's lack of skills.

And even once the bugs have been fixed and the Unity players have been moved over, there are still core gameplay problems to be addressed.

Cos let's face it - the players who have stuck with it this long are now better off than they've ever been just thanks to the bug fixes. New content would be nice for them, but it won't help to retain new players.


Novice Member

Joined: 10/13/04
Posts: 165

Death is fleeting. Pride is forever.

4/25/08 11:45:18 AM#8

Sure, some of the material rolled out had been started under Tulga. It was finished under Virtrium. There wasn't really all that much finished and unreleased Tulga material. The items Tulga had ready to go would have been pushed out as part of deltas 119, 120, and 121. The most recent delta to go to live was 138.

For details of the contents of each delta, please see the patch notes. :-)

Guildleader, Mithril Council, Chaos


Novice Member

Joined: 7/24/03
Posts: 241

5/02/08 2:28:02 PM#9

There's more work being done than might meet the eye... For major content addition, surely finishing the confectioner class counts, with new recipes and resources.  Especially since it included changes designed to improve the weak economy. 

Other changes were more like foundation work.  Out of sight, but important.  New secure billing arrangements were completed first thing of course, and the  Vista compatibility changes underway don't show up as game play additions either.  Both vital though.  Transferring the stranded European players (Unity shard) was a significant undertaking, and more on the order of a promise kept than a cold-blooded business decision. Work is being done on the client, and on models that were carelessly way over-polygonned.  Quests are being added steadily.  Name and plot reclamation (reclaiming from long-vanished explayers who do not respond to emails) are being worked on.  Tier 6 resources are being added, slowly but steadily. 

Work is proceeding on a dungeon.  The world design didn't support dungeons, so there's a fair amount of work in getting it completed.  And some goofy little stuff; dragon hatchlings (pre-flight young 'uns) can now glide!  Some additions have been lighthearted fun stuff like that and this year's additions to the Fall and Winter Festivals. 

For those who've been away a long time, dragons have had a LOT of work done; Ancient Rite of Passage, increased strength at all ages, and of course, Lairs.  Dragons were frustrating to play in the early days, with hoard leakage; all changed now.  And the tutorial/beginner portions of the game  had a lot of work done as well; it paid off in increased subs, which ironically caused the game to be sold, unfortunately to an incompetent outfit.  Virtrium are not only competent, but communications (BOTH WAYS!) are exceptional for any game.

It's all personal of course; but there are reasons why there have been long term faithful players.  So who's to know until they try? 


Novice Member

Joined: 8/05/04
Posts: 239

5/02/08 9:13:36 PM#10

14 day FREE trial.  Need you know anything more?

I'm at the end of this trial, and I've always liked the game.  I've been back multipule times but the game is finally at the point were it keeps a bit of my interest so I'll probably stick around for a bit.


Advanced Member

Joined: 8/02/06
Posts: 1340

5/04/08 1:55:46 AM#11

Originally posted by dand3

And some goofy little stuff; dragon hatchlings (pre-flight young 'uns) can now glide!  Some additions have been lighthearted fun stuff like that and this year's additions to the Fall and Winter Festivals.

Putting aside the question of what constitutes 'new content', I think you underestimate the importance of hatchling flight.

Think about it - this change doesn't really help with travel. It's not like there's lots of convenient, easy to climb towers/mountains/whatever around to start glides from.

But it isn't just goofy and lighthearted. I think this was a smart move to retain more free-trial'ers.

"Hey come play our game - you can be a dragon. We have a 7 day free trial. Oh, but you'll just be an obese earthbound lizard during those 7 days. Here, have another gnome-twinkie."

But not any more!

If they're serious about increasing the playerbase, they need to do more of this kind of stuff. Cos a lot of the game's better features currently aren't a part of the new player experience.