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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!

10 posts found
  User Deleted
OP  7/29/09 3:23:43 AM#1

It sounds more and more like Istaria is just limping along and its fanbase is biding its time waiting for Alganon. Is Alganon the finished product, or next step, in the Horizon mmorpg? It sounds like Istaria is a more refined vision of Horizon and that Alganon will be the ultimate end that Horizon was working towards.

If anyone knows anything about this please share. I really think Istaria is a great mmo but in need of some improvement (not complaining about the graphics) so it being a template wouldn't come to me as a huge shock. Right now I think it is the best mmo for me, I enjoy playing it and am definitely a fan. I really do care about this topic and with Istaria being my favorite mmorpg atm I really want to be in the loop.

Thx and happy gaming :)

  User Deleted
7/29/09 8:13:15 AM#2

I don't know that anyone not under NDA really knows a whole lot other than whats on the web site. But Alganon is David Allen's current baby, and he's pretty big on creating 'worlds' versus 'theme parks' so that's a plus.

For me, Alganon will have to beat Istaria in three basic criteria to get my money:

  • Interesting races - I despise having a wide choice of tall, short, odd colored, and pointy-eared human to choose from. Istaria has some truely unique races and, well, the dragons are hard to beat. Most games won't do this because odd body types require more work; different armor models, different hit boxes for combat, out-of-box thinking for abilities... It's far easier to have a couple of variations on the same model and just change the colors.
  • Player run economy - The loot pinyata concept bugs me; why was a rat carrying a longsword? Why did I have to mug everyone in that last dungeon for some decent armor? Games like Istaria and Eve Online have economies literally created by the players; that awesome armor you're wearing, someone (maybe you) made it.
  • Real player housing - I want to make an impact on the world I'm playing in, not just be led around by the nose from NPC to NPC.  I want to build something that has substance in the game world. And I want to design my own place I stay when I'm not online... This is called immersion and so far my favorite MMOs have had this; Shadowbane, Eve Online, and Istaria.

If Alganon has these three elements, and doesn't just generically suck otherwise, they'll get my money for a while at least. But I figure it's going to be hard to beat Istaria when the majority of MMO players these days measure games on box art and only keep paying if the game dificulty centers around a random loot table...

Well, that and the fact that investors don't like the game of chance - they want something modeled off of a winning design, hence everything these days being basically a re-tinted WoW.

Let's take 38 Studios for example, they're probably buiding a WoW clone just like everyone else (I'll even put money on this), but because 99% of MMOs fail, even the super-team of Curt Shilling, R.A. Salvatore, and Todd McFarlane can't get funding for 'Copernicus' (it's been all over the gaming news this week).

Now imagine you're David Allen (most folks in the industry say "David who?"), and you've got this game you're making with all sorts of non-WoW gameplay - investors won't even talk to you and publishers are going to be very hard to come by. So you have to grass-roots the thing and self-publish, which means there's not as much cash to pay the artists, which means the box-art player won't give you the time of day and they make up about 90% of the MMO player population...

I don't envy David Allen right now, but you have to admit the guy has drive to even try an MMO in this market - which is why I'm watching with interest... I tend to root for the underdog. :)

  User Deleted
OP  7/29/09 8:54:07 AM#3

Thank you for your reply. Your review of Istaria is what convinced me to try it in the first place so I put stock in what you have to say. You gave me a lot to think on, much I hadn't even considered.

I've spent the morning reading the Alganon web site and I have to say I am excited to play it. I like the story and a lot of the ideas for the gameplay. I see some WoW in there but it sounds like they are using proven mechanics and ideas in general that work and adding a great deal of content that I've yet to experience in a mmog.

It will be a wait-and-see but I am really excited to try it out. Emphasis on excited. God, I haven't been this excited to try a game since Half-Life 2 so I have to be cautious that I don't let bias taint me thinking. If it plays out as I'm hoping it will I'll definitely make a point of saying so with a solid review of my Alganon experience.

I'm really hoping for player housing too. Something immersive, not just novelty.

I am certainly not going to write off Istaria though. Nice to see this genre with so many promising mmogs on the horizon. Good times coming down the pike I tell ya.

Great time to be a gamer! :D


  User Deleted
7/29/09 10:00:08 AM#4

I agree, it is a great time to be a gamer.

I'll be looking forward to your review as it sounds like you'll be able to do so without that bias you worry about. :)

As for Alganon, I've been following it on and off for a while - well since it was David's secret project on a simple web site. It's good to see it has traction and actually has folks in the world looking at stuff.

I also appreciate QOL's staged key system - very reminicent of Darkfall's release which was met with some frustration from gamers... But it turns out it's actually a wise move and saves money in the long run by not needing to respond to the 'free trial flood' with expensive servers that might be empty in 35 days.

Ultimately, if they've designed and budgeted the game at a realistic target of ~50,000 - 100,000 players - which is a huge success contrary to what folks think here in the post-WoW era - the game will easily be self-sustaining and make enough money to keep everyone on the project and create additional content over time.


Novice Member

Joined: 2/15/06
Posts: 2120

Gamers who use RMT are like athletes who use steroids

7/29/09 10:09:58 AM#5

Alganon doesn't appeal to me because they are planning on instancing a lot.

I don't recall Horizons using instancing.

  User Deleted
7/29/09 11:21:08 AM#6

Instancing is pretty much guaranteed these days as it lets you put more subscribers onto cheaper hardware, and it reduces the load dramatically on the client renderer. The cost for this is a loss of immersion because if you want to play with folks you know, you all have to go to some point in the game world and join "generic town #5".

I can see why they would do it, but I agree with you in that it's not real high on my list of likes.

Istaria is not instanced - everyone is sharing the same seamless world.


Hard Core Member

Joined: 2/11/04
Posts: 1006

Make a WORLD,
Not a Game.

7/29/09 11:38:25 AM#7

This is the first I've even heard of this and it's supposedly in a beta stage. There's info on this wikki hopefully the classes are more interesting then what is listed. There's only "Mage" listed, definitely hope there's more diversity then that (I needs me a pet using mage class). It'll be interesting to see what comes of this. I'm a fan of the creator since waaaay back when Horizons was being thought out (his original ideas about what Horizons was suppose to be, before it actually all happened and the ugly history therein that we don't need to mention...)


Novice Member

Joined: 8/19/04
Posts: 353

7/29/09 12:07:33 PM#8

Ok, I absolutely hate to to say this, but.... has anyone else noticed the extreme similarity between the model / art style in the Alganon screens and WoW?

As much as I would love to see David Allen succeed after the fiasco with Horizons, I'm not sure I could bring myself to play the game if it looks that much like WoW.  I was never a huge fan of WoW's art style to begin with.

Abbatoir / Abbatoir Cinq
Beorn Judge's Edge
Perfect Black
Asheron's Call / Asheron's Call 2
Everquest / Everquest 2
Anarchy Online
Dark Age of Camelot
Star Wars Galaxies
Matrix Online
World of Warcraft
Guild Wars
City of Heroes


Advanced Member

Joined: 4/20/03
Posts: 190

7/29/09 3:01:09 PM#9

I have not looked lately at Alganon, but when I first heard about it and looked at it, it is what David wanted Horizons to be pre-black-out, is how I felt. David Allen Won during the black-out and we got Horizons/Istaria that wehave today. I think they are going down to completely diffrent paths. I have heard Alganon is going down a more WoW like path, but can not say as I have not looked at the page lately.

Emissary of Istaria

  User Deleted
7/29/09 4:46:53 PM#10

I just finished browsing the Alganon forums a bit...

Apparently there will be no player housing at launch - this means I'll be watching Alganon from the sidelines while I build my lair in Istaria.

It still looks like it might be a good game, but again, I like having an impact on the game world - even if it's just my house. :)