Trending Games | World of Warcraft | Elder Scrolls Online | WildStar | ArcheAge

  Network:  FPSguru RTSguru
Login:  Password:   Remember?  
Show Quick Gamelist Jump to Random Game
Members:2,739,036 Users Online:0
Games:715  Posts:6,177,249
Artifact Entertainment | Official Site
MMORPG | Genre: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!

2 Pages 1 2 » Search
36 posts found
  User Deleted
 
OP  7/08/09 2:33:45 PM#1

Once again I find myself wandering about in Istaria - I seem to do this every year or so and with the game client now running in Vista and the release of a huge content update, I figured it was time to take another look around.

When I re-start an MMO, which I tend to do quite often, I start over from the ground floor... For me, being in the 'interactive entertainment' industry and paying my bills via "games", an MMO is less about level caps, raid content, and being a pwn-star and more about design concepts, system architecture, and user experience.

So, what follows is my perceptions of Virtrium's efforts in improving and expanding on "Istaria", from a new-user perspective.

Yes, I've played Horizons / Istaria in the past, yes I still have the 2-CD Atari-published box on my game shelf (along with almost every other Western MMO published since UO), but I'm also fairly good at putting on my 'n00b' glasses when required and playing something from the POV of someone who is truly new.

-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-

Okay, so there's a whole raft of new stuff in the game according to the web site - new high-level dungeon, new mobs, and lots of playability tweaks. This all sounds pretty neat so I head off to download the client and log in.

The client download goes quite smoothly. Being as "Istaria" uses a streaming world architecture there isn't a lot of "world" to download so the whole package is a mere 1-ish gigs. Contrast this to the typical MMO's static world system and the associated 7+ gig download so that you can have a complete copy of everything in the world on your local hard drive.

So the client installs and everything checks out, so I run the shortcut on the desktop and am rewarded with a smallish dialog box asking for my login information - which I don't rightly remember being as it's been over a year since I was last involved with Istaria.

Off to the web site I go, and the only link I can find for any kind of account management is a 'new user' link... I'm not a new user, I'm a returning user.

So I muddle about on the web site for about 15 minutes before figuring out that if I take the end off of the URL for the new user link (accounts.istaria.com/signup.php), it re-directs me to the appropriate page to recover my password and pay to re-enable my account.

Okay, so I have my login information and a paid account, so now I can log in... Now, again, I want to see things from the new user POV so I determine to make a new character - and I'm not exactly sure what my old character was or where - so I figure I'll delete the old character and start from scratch...

The new launcher doesn't have any character delete functionality... You can create characters, you can log in to existing characters, but you cannot delete them.

So, back to the Istaria web site I go, determined to figure out how to delete this old character - but I'm not successful in finding a link to any sort of character management services even in the account page I reverse-engineered a little earlier.

Stumped, I bring up Google and input "istaria" to get to the Wiki for the game and notice a link to "play.istaria.com" in the return on my search... Sure enough, this is the old character management site and I'm able to delete that old character.

I have submitted both of these issues to the Istaria bug folks and a few days later was thanked and informed that the issues are being worked on.

Now that everything is cleared up I decide to create a new character, select the new character on Chaos item, and log in...
The launcher performs a file-by-file CRC check of everything in the Istaria directory which takes about 5 minutes, which is understandable as I just downloaded the content and it should be verified... What isn't understandable is why it has to do this every time you run it...

I was informed by one of the many helpful Dragons in the game that there is an option you can uncheck in the installer options that turns off this annoyance, and sure enough it worked... Unless you change servers or there is an update, at which time it will run a full CRC check again.

Now, Istaria, as I mentioned above, uses a streaming world system - meaning that it sends the client a *lot* of information when you first log in and you will be sitting at a loading screen for a couple of minutes while the client figures out what the world looks like 'right now' before showing it to you.

Shortly I was standing in a new character show-room - a long hallway of windowed environments for each of the game's races. One very nice thing about Istaria is that it offers players more than the standard tall human, short human, pointy eared human, and odd colored human fare that has become oh-so common in the MMO world these days... I really miss my centaur prelate in Shadowbane...

After perusing the available body styles I decided on a dragon, picked a head, color, pattern, highlight, eye color, and fiddled with some sliders to really personalize things and promptly found myself on the dragon tutorial island.

More in the next installment...
 

  User Deleted
 
OP  7/08/09 3:19:30 PM#2

So there I was on the dragon tutorial island...

Graphically Istaria has aged rather well - the skybox is beautiful and well animated, and what they were able to do with the limited poly-counts of 2003 is quite amazing. The world has a lush, painterly look to it without the often garish quality of say 'WoW', with excellent textures making up for the lack of polygonal power.

My little hatching dragon is animated very well with a small but well done idle animation, and the color scheme I picked out when creating him looks even better in-world.

The game has a very good tutorial system that consists of blue popup windows that do a good job of explaining what is currently going on, whether that's crafting, fighting, or some other game function.

Enough sight seeing... I amble over to the hatching dragon in front of me and right click, and am shown the available chat option, so I do so.

He rambles on a bit in a pop-up text box with hyperlink style indicators for the interactive parts of the text, which reminds me a great deal of the MUD systems of yore. And after a couple of screens he tells me to talk to the dragon combat traininer in the valley behind him.

As I head up the road I note that while Istaria is a freely traversable world, the little touches like giving you a slight speed boost while on the road is quite nice.

At the point where I reach the valley I have to stop and sight see some more... The lush jungle-like setting I was in gives way to a blasted volcanic valley straight out of Dante's Inferno. The road under me has a multi-layered texture of heat blasted rock with an animated under layer of flowing magma, black ash floats through the air, and the very air itself has become a reddish mist of what I assume to be sulphurous gasses... For a dragon this must be a paradise indeed.

But, my trainer awaits and I must move on.

I reach the trainer on top of a small hill and he's huge - at least three times my size - and once the LOD version of his model is replaced with the high-rez version, he's quite an impressive critter.

So after a bit of small talk he sends me out to hunt down a pig, then a few more pigs, then some beetles, then some spiders, all the while introducing me to the various facets of dragon combat.

Interspersed with my combat lessons I'm instructed to meet with another instructor further up the valley who teaches me how to do basic gathering and crafting, and hands out the formulas and such to make my first weapon and armor (a claw which I wear over my own claws and a chest scale I wear over my own scales).

Through both of these quest lines Istaria really shows that it's a story-driven environment. The dragons both banter with you regarding how things used to be and a bit on how things came to be the way they are. The quests also logically link together via the quest text and you're never left wondering what you should do next.

With my basic training out of the way I'm instructed to talk to the Consigner in New Trismus, as she's an old friend, and to not let the portal hit me on my way out.

While on the tutorial island I encountered about five other hatchlings all going about their scaly boot-camp just as I was, so it certainly wasn't as if I was the only person in the entire world.

Coming up next I encounter some humanoids, learn from an ancient dragon camped in the town square that Gnomes are quite tasty, and am given some precious treasure to add to my hoard...

  User Deleted
 
OP  7/08/09 4:45:26 PM#3

After getting my molecules scrambled by the teleporter and arriving in one piece with the same number of appendages I left with, I find myself between two caves - each is decorated with slowly pulsing runes around the entrances and both appear to be quite large inside. There's also a road that leads up and out of the area I'm in.

One of my trainers told me to head up the road, up the hill, and talk to the consigner (a quick check of my quest log verifies this with the current step of the quest highlighted by an arrow). So off I go, up the road, past the wandering herd of deer, and into New Trismus...

As I round the corner into town I'm greeted by a cacophony of chat as beings of all shapes and sizes run to and fro. In the middle of the textual melee sits a *huge* red and white dragon... By way of comparison, now that I've seen a non-dragon, my hatching self is about the size of small horse - the ancient in the town square is about the size of a large passenger jet...

If there's one thing that I would write down as the biggest, best experience of my time in Istaria, it would be the players. Istaria itself seems to foster an excellent community through game design: Nearly everything in the game is made by someone out of parts from 3-4 other people, the housing system is geared towards group use with storage silos and such for the afore mentioned crafting, and the community building projects where everyone pitches in to build everything from bridges to the current project of opening the new end-game dungeon.

So as I stand there, eyes as large as dinner plates at all the activity and people, the ancient beckons me over and just starts chatting about all things dragon - what scales I should make, what stats are important, how my hoard works, etc, etc. Oh, and how it was expected - nay, required - for me to at least sample some deep fried Gnome.

While chatting several of the bipedal races, or "Naka-Duskael" in Dragon parlance, wandered past and gave me things such as silver urns and golden crowns - items that a dragon bases its hoard off of and are typically sold via the consigner for profit - as well as some starter gems to socket into the claws and scales I would soon be making... Just to get me started.

I was told that this isn't uncommon and is just folks paying forward for help they got early on.

As I sat there talking with random folks passing through town I got to see the sun set in game, which is quite nice as the ambient light turns to an evening orange and really gives one the feeling of evening.

Eventually the ancient bid me a good evening and flew off, leaving me quite envious as I ran around town, and I met up with the consigner and finished that quest.

Much like most MMOs, Istaria has a floating indicator over NPCs heads if they have something for you to do, so it was elementary to find people needing my services for a bit of experience and coin.
Eventually I headed back down to where I started with the two caves, discovered my next two dragon trainers for crafting and combat, and ran their quests as well as explored the island a bit.

This eventually got me to eleventh level and sent off to Kion for more adventures.

Currently I'm 19th level (18th level crafter), have almost finished up the quests in Kion and the 10-19 dragon quests out of both of the dragon capitals, have made all of my gear and spells (teched with primalist stuff), and have met a lot of really great people.

So far it seems like Virtrium has added enough content to get a dragon through each tier (10-19, 20-29, etc) with minimal grinding, and have made the quests very entertaining while still managing to be difficult enough to both have you logging out from frustration *and* having a huge sense of accomplishment when you get over the hurdle - which keeps you coming back for more.

Overall Istaria is a well-aged MMO with some very forward thinking design elements and some real challenges to overcome, wrapped in a warm fuzzy blanket of its player community and casual PvE / crafter-driven environment.

If you're looking for something to play that offers a lot of variety in its game play and gives you the real opportunity to both own something in the game as well as leave your mark on it, and has a fantastic community of articulate and mature players, this might be the MMO for you.

  User Deleted
 
OP  7/10/09 11:38:08 AM#4

My little dragon is now 25th level (26 crafter) and I've managed to wander across most of the 'tier two' land mass (there are many more from what I gather) as well as the two Dragon cities - which are quite impressive to see with huge, floating crystals and flowing lava pools...

So far the experience has been quite nice; the quests are fun (if you actually read them to really get what's going on) and not horribly grindy - except for a healing quest which required the death of no less than 100 of a certain critter which took two days of killing to complete.

I would say the trickiest part of getting into Istaria would be that there is no real manual to explain the complexities of the game and you are usually expected to explore and find things on your own...

Istaria so far has been a lot like chess; easy to learn, difficult to master.

For example; simply by following the tutorial you can get the basic gist of the game and be able to do everything with enough skill to level and make stuff - but there are quite a few levels of complexity below the surface that just aren't explained.

Following the tutorial you'll learn how to make armor and even how to add a socket to it, but there's not a lot of information on what you should do with that socket - there are an almost infinite number of crystals one can fit into a socket, and each adds or subtracts something. Then there's the nearly infinite number of techniques that can be applied to something you're making as well - depending on what you're building... You can see how this would get complicated fairly quickly.

As a dragon, things are fairly easy to figure out as you only really have two combat options: Melee (tooth and claw) combat and spell (primal) combat. But, there are a host of stats that you have which directly impact your combat performance - strength, dexterity, health, power, focus, primal, etc, etc. and these aren't well documented. So, when you have a technique that adds a +5 to your Power stat and you're primarily a melee dragon, how does this help you? You've found a piece of armor that adds 8 focus but subtracts 3 primal - how does that effect your spells? There's no real way of knowing in-game.

Fortunately, the community has put together a wiki which does contain this information. So all one has to do is go do a little homework prior to building or equipping stuff, which is all fine and dandy, but without someone telling a new player about the wiki, there's bound to be some frustration... So consider this your wiki-instruction. :)

You can also ask around for help with things that aren't very clear. Again, this is a very friendly group of people playing this game and, unlike your typical theme-park MMO, I seriously doubt you'll ever see a "lol l2p nub" out of them.

My next update will probably happen when I'm in the 30's level-wise.
 

  dand3

Novice Member

Joined: 7/24/03
Posts: 241

7/10/09 5:00:48 PM#5

Nicely written! 

The UI has some original touches, even to this day.  I particularly like the vertical light shaft for marking the chosen target (as opposed to the ubiquitous lit circle on the ground). 

Also still outstanding (IMHO) is the music. 

  AmarieA

Novice Member

Joined: 4/08/09
Posts: 9

7/15/09 5:10:34 PM#6

 I wanted to drop in and thank you on behalf of the team for the outstanding feedback and comments in this post. It is obviously well thought out, and thus greatly appreciated.

As a note to any who are reading it, much of what is mentioned in here as "issues" in some way are items that someone on the team is currently working on.

For example, character management and account management are things which the programmers are working on adding to the new launcher. We had to push the launcher out "as is" right now in order for the game to be more Vista compatible. But the features will continue to improve it in the future.

We are also aware that having three websites (play.istaria.com, accounts.istaria.com and community.istaria.com) in addition to the basic istaria.com, is confusing and makes it hard to find what's where. Again, fixing this is something that's "on the list" to make more user friendly.

Design team wise, the next major project for the team is to overhaul the very "tier 2" area that Rihahn is now encountering.  We know that the experience one gets on New Trismus and Lesser Aradoth (the tier 1 area) isn't the same as the other tiers, but the team is working tier by tier on bring things "up to par" one tier at a time.  The "grand plan" is that over the next year, design content will be a mix of adding brand new content at each tier (T1 has been done, T2 is coming soon, and others will follow) while still working to fix bugs and improving existing content.  

So hopefully in time the experience that players such as Rihahn have had in the first weeks in Istaria will be what players experience from level 1 right up to level 100... and beyond.

  User Deleted
 
OP  7/15/09 6:18:36 PM#7
Originally posted by dand3

Nicely written! 

The UI has some original touches, even to this day.  I particularly like the vertical light shaft for marking the chosen target (as opposed to the ubiquitous lit circle on the ground). 

Also still outstanding (IMHO) is the music. 


 

Thank you.

I agree. The UI has a lot of great elements and, considering how much information and the number of options presented to the player, it manages to remain very usable.

And, yes, the music is realy nice - though over time I've turned it off, as I have in any MMO, in favor of my own soundtrack. :)

 

  User Deleted
 
OP  7/15/09 7:19:13 PM#8
Originally posted by AmarieA

 I wanted to drop in and thank you on behalf of the team for the outstanding feedback and comments in this post. It is obviously well thought out, and thus greatly appreciated.

Thank you and you're very welcome.

I'm not normally one to reply to a post by interjecting my comments into the original text, but it seems to be the best method here.

As a note to any who are reading it, much of what is mentioned in here as "issues" in some way are items that someone on the team is currently working on.

For example, character management and account management are things which the programmers are working on adding to the new launcher. We had to push the launcher out "as is" right now in order for the game to be more Vista compatible. But the features will continue to improve it in the future.

I'd like to mention that the work you've all done on making the client Vista compatable is nothing short of amazing. It works very well, for me at least, and will make Istaria available for a much wider range of players.

We are also aware that having three websites (play.istaria.com, accounts.istaria.com and community.istaria.com) in addition to the basic istaria.com, is confusing and makes it hard to find what's where. Again, fixing this is something that's "on the list" to make more user friendly.

The 'problems' I listed above are annoyances at best and only really come into play for a returning player (someone already invested in Istaria and willing to figure it out). Most of the above can be solved in the short term by simply updating the web site - which by the way the last bit of info on the main site is from November of last year; this might mislead a curious web user into believing the game is declining at best and no longer under development at worst.

I firmly believe you when you say these things will be fixed - after all Virtrium has managed to restart the test server, recover the characters of the European players, retool the old web-based launcher into working in Vista, and added a whole raft of content to the game to keep the faithful entertained while the lower-tier content is polished...

The items I mentioned are so minor in comparison... :)

Design team wise, the next major project for the team is to overhaul the very "tier 2" area that Rihahn is now encountering.  We know that the experience one gets on New Trismus and Lesser Aradoth (the tier 1 area) isn't the same as the other tiers, but the team is working tier by tier on bring things "up to par" one tier at a time.  The "grand plan" is that over the next year, design content will be a mix of adding brand new content at each tier (T1 has been done, T2 is coming soon, and others will follow) while still working to fix bugs and improving existing content.  

Fortunately, I've talked a couple of friends into joining me and have started over - another Dragon to play with them when they're on and a Satyr to see the biped side of things when they're not - so I've only scratched surface of the 30+ content.

I look forward to seeing what you all have planned. :)

So hopefully in time the experience that players such as Rihahn have had in the first weeks in Istaria will be what players experience from level 1 right up to level 100... and beyond.

Overall, I think the biggest thing people should take away from the recent events with Istaria (new client and new content) is that the tools and expertise are in place to do even more in the future. Istaria has languished for the most part since release under various groups and, finally, not only do things have the potential to change for the better - they are.


 

  Amerelium

Novice Member

Joined: 9/01/04
Posts: 3

7/17/09 10:55:04 AM#9
Originally posted by Rihahn


 

Thank you.

I agree. The UI has a lot of great elements and, considering how much information and the number of options presented to the player, it manages to remain very usable.

And, yes, the music is realy nice - though over time I've turned it off, as I have in any MMO, in favor of my own soundtrack. :)

 


 

 Try the alternate music files with ambients added - u might like 'em... ;)

- Ignorance is bliss...

  User Deleted
 
OP  7/22/09 3:21:48 PM#10

Today has marked a milestone in my time in Istaria; today my little Dragon has moved into the next tiers of resources!

Being as I started over with some friends, my Dragon is once again in the 20's as an adventurer. But, being as my friends can't play as often as I (they still have raid nights - I sure don't miss that second job), I've decided to work on my crafting while they're not around and am now 28th level as a Dragon crafter.

I completed all of the 20-29 crafter quests to get the bonuses to all of the crafting skills, then worked on spells until I hit 22nd level crafter. At 22nd level I reached 170 base skill in Gemcrafting and was able to talk to a trainer for 'lair shaping', an alternate crafting class for Dragons, which takes everything you've learned as a basic crafter (gem cutting, smelting, stone cutting, etc.) and combines them into more advanced forms used to build lairs...

Some day in the future I hope to build one of these lairs just to see how the land ownership and building systems work.

So this morning I wandered out to a place called "Snowfall", just south of Mahagra (a major city situated in an almost arctic area of the world), and started working on quarrying slate. Back on New Trismus (the starting area) I was quarrying sandstone, and I'd gotten rather good at it - I was able to fill my own inventory as well as the floating wheelbarrow ('cargo disc' in Istarian terms) I tow around in about 10 minutes and generate an amazing amount of sandstone bricks and spell shards in short order.

Now that I've moved on to slate, things have slowed down quite a bit as my skills with this new resource aren't as good, but it's only a matter of time before I conquer this resource as well and move on to the next.

Crafting wise, Istaria is still the 800 pound gorilla of the MMO world. The gathering portion of the crafting process is just tedious enough to make the rewards work, and the rewards are quite nice...

In Istaria, you can literally do nothing but craft and still improve your character. For each level of a certain craft, your stats improve accordingly; mining for example increases your strength and a some other related stats... I'm not real clear on what does what just yet, but I know this is the system.

Additionally, your crafting level is computed the same as your adventure level as far as gear is concerned. So, as a dragon, I'm only 21st level as an adventurer, but as soon as I hit level 25 as a crafter I got the benefits of being level 25 like a second 'gift' slot (gifts are long duration buffs).

At level 30 Dragon crafting I'll get my second wing scale armor slot, making me quite a bit tougher than a regular level 21 adventuring Dragon (who only has chest, one wing, and head scales) and making the 9 levels of adventure catch-up that much easier.

Now, don't misunderstand, crafting is not 'easy mode' by any stretch of the imagination. It takes longer time-wise to level crafting versus adventuring, is far more tedious, and requires a good deal more patience.

The other rewards for crafting are being able to make better items, like armor and weapons, with the modifications you desire. For example, as a level 21 adventuring Dragon I can wear most slate armor that I can buy from the consigner, but I'm limited to what other people have made and decided to sell.

As a level 28 crafter, I can make my own slate armor and modify it for specific requirements. Right now I have a gathering set that has modifications ('techniques' in Istarian terms) to give me bonuses in mining and quarrying and I also have a full set that has large amounts of crush resistance (just the thing for beating up on golems, who deal crush damage primarily).

Ultimately, this has allowed me, as a 21st level Dragon adventurer, to solo a named level 25 fire golem while I was out gathering crystals for lairshaping... In my previous trips through Istaria killing something my level, let alone 4 levels higher and named (named critters are much tougher than the generic ones), would have been impossible, but I've learned a great deal about how the more advanced levels of the game work now.

Oh, that's another part of gathering - there's usually critters roaming about in the areas where you want to gather resources so you either get good at avoiding the critters, or you try and kill them as you gather... It breaks up the monotony a bit. :)

So that's about it for this update.
 

  User Deleted
 
OP  7/27/09 3:30:56 PM#11

As my journey through Istaria progresses I have achieved level 40 in my Dragon crafter school (I'm still level 21 in my adventuring school).

I've now got my first foreleg armor slot available (in addition to both wings, head, and chest) and have begun working on the level 40 crafter quests - which are similar to the 20 and 30 crafter quests just with more complex materials or bigger loads. At the rate I'm going, I'll hit my entry level journeyman level formulas (usually 400 skill) in a few more days... I've already been making slate pieces for my guild mates but am really looking forward to working with granite and such.

My current goal is to reach 50 Dragon crafting so that I'll have my other foreleg slot and can make all of my armor pieces. Once I do that, then I'll get my adventure level up to 50 and start working on the Rite of Passage quests so that I can start flying... That'll make the next 50 levels of crafting so much easier.

While I've been crafting up a storm I've also been wandering Istaria looking at both lairs for sale and currently occupied lairs to get an idea of what is possible. What I've discovered is (A) I need a lot more coin and (B) the housing system in Istaria is certainly better than any other I've seen.

The depth and breadth of the Dragon's lair system is astounding and the variations of design are certainly intriguing. Every lair I've looked at has been a very unique creation of its owner - sure, there are a limited number of 'room' types, but the fact that it can all be put together according to the whims of the resident Dragon makes it pretty darn cool.

So I'm scouting locations; I want something near a nice resource so that the work I put into crafting machines will benefit anyone working on that resource... Which is another thing I've discovered; crafting machines come in a range of levels and they can add to your skills while working with them.

It will also be nice to have material storage for working on more complex projects and for guild use... So far I've got four folks I know to come play so we've formed a small guild mostly to keep track of each other.

But, before all of this I need to determine if we're going to migrate over to "Order", the role play server. Everyone I know comes from the before-times and tend to be roleplayers - even in WoW we tend to play on the slightly-better-than-regular-server "RP" servers, so Order sounds like a paradise... Well, except for the drama that we read about on the Istaria forums.

So I have to roll up an alt on Order and look around, and ask lots of questions on the forums to get a feel for the place before everyone plunks down real money for the move... That'll probably be the topic for the next update. :)

  User Deleted
 
OP  8/03/09 7:45:27 AM#12

As my adventures in Istaria continue, I find myself reaching another milestone – The Rite of Passage.

My little dragon is now a 40th level adventurer and still a 50th level crafter, and I’ve decided to jump the gun a little bit and start working on my Rite of Passage quests about ten levels earlier than I had planned.

So last night I began the epic quest and started the ‘hatching triathlon’ – the quests require a good deal of running around, which in turn really gets one looking forward to flight.

The first step of the quest has you go and talk to a few other Dragons, mostly to get an idea of what the two Dragon factions (Lunus and Helian) are all about – which the game covered in the tutorial and early levels fairly well – but now you’re old enough that you have to make a choice between the two.

I chose Helian; the more scholarly and biped-tolerant faction.

Once this is done the quests really take off – you have things to make, new areas to get to, critters to kill, and a smattering of high-level bosses to deal with…

So far I’ve finished the first phase of the quest; this entailed running from the Dragon capital of Dralk to a hermit Dragon about 10 minutes from town, then running from the Elven main city to an Island off the Eastern coast of Istaria (a thirty minute trip plus the time stopping in a few towns on the way to attune to the portals), then beating the tar out of five (actually 7, but I only needed 5 – the others just joined in the fun) level 45 golems.

Once this was done I had to run from Dralk back to the hermit again, where I was told I needed to go back to where the level 45 golems were, but this time I had a 30 minute buff that would summon the boss…

So I portal to the nearest town and head back into the crater where the golems are, and spawn the boss… He’s level 50 (ten levels over me) and has about 36,000 hit points. This may not sound like a lot to the average MMO player, but at level 40 I have about 850 hit points and the hard-to-kill critters I had to beat up to get to the boss had 1900 hit points.

So I start in on this Crystallized Golem; I hit him hard and blow all of my abilities, scratching him for a slightly noticeable amount and debuffing him… This is going to be a long fight…

So I start kiting him around so that my heal spells have a chance to recycle, and wearing him down as fast as I can… Unfortunately those level 45 golems decided to join in and I was eventually overwhelmed.

Welcome to the death system in Istaria!

The death penalty in Istaria is actually pretty interesting; you get a ‘death point’ for each death ,which appear to take around 12 hours to fade, and each death point increases the duration of the resurrection debuff by some factor.

So, on your first death point there isn’t a resurrection debuff. On the second the debuff lasts about 3 minutes… By your sixth Death Point, the debuff lasts about a half an hour.

Now, there exists in-game a method for reducing this, which is a food you can eat that is made by players, but I’ve not experimented with this yet.

So, with that out of the way, back to the battle…

I wake up back in town and am faced with another long run out to the hermit to get the boss-buff again. But now I know what I’m up against and call for help.

I’m a pretty hands-on player and I like to do things for myself, so I’m therefore not one to go looking for assistance as soon as the going gets tough. So it took a few minutes of grumbling to talk myself into asking for help in the Dragon chat channel…

Once again the community in Istaria is really nice and a level 100 Dragon by the name of “Ranqthas Clawfoot” dropped his crafting to lend me a hand.

I retrieved the buff and met him at the town near the crater, and after a few minutes of area-clearing we spawned the boss and started in on him.

Even with a 100/100 ancient helping, killing the Crystallized golem took about 5-6 minutes of straight ‘tank-n-spank’ – though, in his defense, Ranqthas was in crafting gear which reduced his damage output by quite a bit.

But, eventually we killed the boss; I got my quest item, and after another run back to the hermit, got the first item for my ascension.

And that’s about it for this update…
 

  RedwoodSap

Novice Member

Joined: 3/09/07
Posts: 1249

Not a retired MMORPG.com mod

8/03/09 9:37:06 AM#13

"Much like most MMOs, Istaria has a floating indicator over NPCs heads if they have something for you to do, so it was elementary to find people needing my services for a bit of experience and coin."

I am very disappointed to read this as I don't recall seeing any unrealistic, immersion breaking, floating icons over questgivers heads in the original Horizons that I played.  I remember first experiencing unrealsitic floating icons in WoW and absolutely hate it because it dummies down the virtual world. I much prefer the classic EQ system of having to engage NPC's with keywords for discussion and never knowing what information led to a quest and what information was just lore and roleplay. I prefer to use my brain and figure things out.

Can someone confirm that the floating icons were added by the current owners? I could swear they didn't exist originally.

  dand3

Novice Member

Joined: 7/24/03
Posts: 241

8/03/09 2:18:23 PM#14

A very enjoyable series of posts, Rihahn. One very minor point; it's the Rite of Passage.  

In Istaria's earlier days, dragons were less well armored and generally less survivable than they are nowadays; and hoard was much harder to come by.   There was generally closer co-operation between the bipeds and the fire breathers, and bipeds routinely assisted on the Rite of Passage.  My tokens of friendship that granted  me  a place in the final stage are still  treasured momentos.  We were all in our 40's and low 50's (?), and, in the early days it was not uncommon for a call to go out for reinforcements, rezzers a plus.   I'd suggest having mid-level friends join... it's a magnificent experience to share.

At the time, (and probably still) the RoP was the finest quest chain in MMO'dom, with an unmatchable "reward".  A good friend of mine has only one regret; that he rushed through the Rite instead of taking time to savor it all.

P.S. If you can assemble a really strong party, fight your way down the spiral to Kaa...

  User Deleted
 
OP  8/03/09 3:28:24 PM#15
Originally posted by dand3

A very enjoyable series of posts, Rihahn. One very minor point; it's the Rite of Passage.  

You are absolutely correct, and this has been fixed... Silly spell check...

In Istaria's earlier days, dragons were less well armored and generally less survivable than they are nowadays; and hoard was much harder to come by.   There was generally closer co-operation between the bipeds and the fire breathers, and bipeds routinely assisted on the Rite of Passage.  My tokens of friendship that granted  me  a place in the final stage are still  treasured momentos.  We were all in our 40's and low 50's (?), and, in the early days it was not uncommon for a call to go out for reinforcements, rezzers a plus.   I'd suggest having mid-level friends join... it's a magnificent experience to share.

I remember having to level on critters several levels lower than I was and it was quite frustrating... I don't recall how often I died at 28th level trying to kill the 20-23rd level brighter spider hatchlings right outside Chiconis for the marshal, but it was enough that I quit for a while.

As for hoard, I'd say that it's almost too easy to get hoard now... I had my 250,000 by level 20 this time through and the last time I was looking at several weeks of just craft hoarding to get enough for the RoP. Basically, hoardables drop way too often on New Trismus - especially if you're farming the undead down the road for crystals. :)

Which is another thing I should mention; leveling - at least for a Dragon - is much, much faster than it used to be... My articles here started when I logged back into Istaria, I got to 30-something and re-rolled to play with some friends, and I'm currently 41/50/5. This is with working 8-10 hours a day and having a fairly busy life outside of work.

As for friends, they aren't leveling as fast as I mostly because they're still active in end-game raiding several nights a week on another MMO. I'm sure I'll be helping them through the RoP some day in the future, but I'm not going to wait a month or more for them. I have a lair to get started on - as soon as I can aford it - and I don't relish dragging a cargo disk across the landscape any longer than I have to. :)

What really prompted me to get started ten levels early was seeing level 30-ish Dragons advertising their ascentions in Dragon chat, then watching them fly around while I was sticking to my guns and waiting until 50/50. At 40 I've been able to solo the level 45 guardians and the level 40-45 critters for the riddles (and make a level in the process), so I feel it's probably an 'okay' time to get started.

At the time, (and probably still) the RoP was the finest quest chain in MMO'dom, with an unmatchable "reward".  A good friend of mine has only one regret; that he rushed through the Rite instead of taking time to savor it all.

I agree. I've only gotten the very first part of the quest done, even though I invested about 5 hours to do it - there's a lot of quest-text reading involved if one is even marginally interested in the backstory of Istaria and its Dragons.

P.S. If you can assemble a really strong party, fight your way down the spiral to Kaa...

I've read various reports about this and while I'll do what I can to experience my RoP as "old school" as possible with as much of my own elbow grease as I can, a lot of folks don't seem to want to hastle with all the excess killing and would just rather pull Kaa out of his hole.

The trick will be in forming that party you mention. Right now one cannot swing a Gnome without hitting a dozen hatchies, but I've only seen two others my level who aren't already flying.

 

  Fjordmonkey

Novice Member

Joined: 3/28/04
Posts: 7

DILLIGAF?

10/09/09 8:33:35 AM#16

Now I'll have to see if I can get back into the game as well! Haven't played for something like three years, so there'll be a lot of things that are new. But that's just fun, I'd say.

Thanks for a well-written and interesting writeup.

  Ravik

Novice Member

Joined: 10/07/06
Posts: 610

10/16/09 8:23:06 PM#17

If only it was free to play now :(

Make games you want to play.

  Aywren

Istaria Correspondent

Joined: 4/22/08
Posts: 69

10/20/09 8:28:45 AM#18
Originally posted by Ravik

If only it was free to play now :(

 

There is a basic account that is free to play. You can play for as long as you would like for free -- the only stipulation is that you can only have one character slot and play a human. But that human can master all the adventure and crafting schools in the game and plays fairly similar to other bi-ped races in the game.

So you won't get a Dragon, but you can at least enjoy the world of Istaria -- and if you enjoy it enough, you can upgrade the account at anytime!

 

Rihahn -- this has been a wonderful review of Istaria! Thank you for sharing your experiences. I hope all is going well in game? I'm working my way up to my ROP on my hatchling as well and just starting to learn about lairshaping! :) 

  User Deleted
 
OP  11/10/09 8:30:40 AM#19
Originally posted by Aywren

Rihahn -- this has been a wonderful review of Istaria! Thank you for sharing your experiences. I hope all is going well in game? I'm working my way up to my ROP on my hatchling as well and just starting to learn about lairshaping! :) 

Sadly, once we all moved to the RP server 'Order' it was only a couple of weeks before the ghost-town feel got to everyone I was playing with and they all scattered back to other games.

It was very difficult to break into the community on the RP server, mostly due to the small, closely knit community that are all somehow related to one another - and the feeling that no one really wanted to spend a lot of effort involving new folks that most likely wont be around in a few weeks.

The elders are so jaded at this point with people coming in, going 20-30 levels, then fading away. I don't blame them really - I was fairly hard-core and only made it to 50/50/30...

While I held on longer than the others, with my lair contributing to most of my time, one can only ferry resources back and forth for so long, alone, before deciding to 'put a fork in it'. That and I simply wasn't looking forward to running my RoP solo - it is truely something to be relished amongst friends.

If I were running the show at Virtrium, I'd try desperately to create incentives for players to congregate in a couple places - which they may be doing with the T2 revamp - I don't know.

I'd also rein-in the sprawl a bit - the housing on the servers was aimed at thousands of players. With only a hundred or so, they really need to coax people into building a couple centralized communites, rather than having everyone so spread out. (My lair is in Genevia, amongst a hundred or so vacant plots and lairs)

As it stands now, the few active folks are in a few of the remaining guilds and are located in some far-flung area of the world where their guild town is - and where no one can find them or get to them - so unless they're slumming in New Trismus, all they are is an occasional disembodied voice. 

I have two accounts, both paid in full for a year, so I'm positive I'll be back on and off - but currently my little dragon is enjoying a bit of an extended nap in one of the finished hall ways in his lair - cargo disc floating quietly nearby.

  PhelimReagh

Advanced Member

Joined: 8/21/08
Posts: 610

11/11/09 8:19:24 PM#20
Originally posted by Rihahn
Originally posted by Aywren

Rihahn -- this has been a wonderful review of Istaria! Thank you for sharing your experiences. I hope all is going well in game? I'm working my way up to my ROP on my hatchling as well and just starting to learn about lairshaping! :) 

Sadly, once we all moved to the RP server 'Order' it was only a couple of weeks before the ghost-town feel got to everyone I was playing with and they all scattered back to other games.

It was very difficult to break into the community on the RP server, mostly due to the small, closely knit community that are all somehow related to one another - and the feeling that no one really wanted to spend a lot of effort involving new folks that most likely wont be around in a few weeks.

The elders are so jaded at this point with people coming in, going 20-30 levels, then fading away. I don't blame them really - I was fairly hard-core and only made it to 50/50/30...

While I held on longer than the others, with my lair contributing to most of my time, one can only ferry resources back and forth for so long, alone, before deciding to 'put a fork in it'. That and I simply wasn't looking forward to running my RoP solo - it is truely something to be relished amongst friends.

If I were running the show at Virtrium, I'd try desperately to create incentives for players to congregate in a couple places - which they may be doing with the T2 revamp - I don't know.

I'd also rein-in the sprawl a bit - the housing on the servers was aimed at thousands of players. With only a hundred or so, they really need to coax people into building a couple centralized communites, rather than having everyone so spread out. (My lair is in Genevia, amongst a hundred or so vacant plots and lairs)

As it stands now, the few active folks are in a few of the remaining guilds and are located in some far-flung area of the world where their guild town is - and where no one can find them or get to them - so unless they're slumming in New Trismus, all they are is an occasional disembodied voice. 

I have two accounts, both paid in full for a year, so I'm positive I'll be back on and off - but currently my little dragon is enjoying a bit of an extended nap in one of the finished hall ways in his lair - cargo disc floating quietly nearby.

 

Boy, Rihan, if they can't even keep you, someone who really seemed to have fallen in love with the game, I wonder if there truly is any hope.

 

Do you think the problem could be the RP Server Order? I too found it to any empty, quiet place, where I could go an hour or so an literally hear no one else speak. It broke my heart a bit too, as I desperately wanted to love the game.

2 Pages 1 2 » Search