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Artifact Entertainment | Official Site
MMORPG | Genre:Fantasy | Status:Final  (rel 12/08/03)  | Pub:Virtrium
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23 posts found
  PhelimReagh

Hard Core Member

Joined: 8/21/08
Posts: 621

 
OP  10/04/09 12:33:29 AM#1

Just to offer my input as to why I never subscribed to Istaria. Hopefully my feedback will come across as constructive (as it was intended). Obviously, I used the 14 day trial and know next-to-nothing about the game. But that in itself should be fairly valuable as far as feedback goes.

 

I liked the rich skill system. However, I found the need to change schools to add an unnecessary level of complexity. I wished I could just train what I wanted, whenever I wanted, and didn't have to go change schools. I didn't understand why I had to do it.

 

And all those tools. So many, many tools. Again, I understand with a rich skill system you'll have lots of tools, but I found that having a different one the various aspects of each skill, and having to actually equip each one, was overly tedious. The challenge of a skill should be gathering the materials and crafting them, not switching tools.

 

And I figure that I'd get used to the 2-4 levels of processing that it took to get from raw material to finished product (and a new tool each step along the way), but I got the feeling that pursuing each skill would get very, very grindy. Maybe it would have seemed less so as I played longer, but that was the impression I had early on.

 

The game is very rich and complex, which I liked. However, I really didn't have time in 14 days to get a proper feel for it. There were all sorts of aspects to this game that I'd read about that I never got a chance to even see. Folks like me, who are currently playing another MMO which I'm heavily invested in, aren't necessarily going to abandon the old one for two weeks to learn a new game to see if I like it enough to abandon the other one yet. For a game as rich as Istaria, 14 days of a trial really isn't enough to do it justice.

 

A lot of my early impressions may very well be off-the-mark, but that could be in large part because I didn't have enough time to really get the full impressions.

 

Overall, despite my not subscribing, I was left with a positive impression of the game. I think it has potential (even if it is 5 years old and fairly well-baked), and think it would benefit greatly by taking a look at the route DDO went with a Free-to-Play model with the option to subscribe for more advanced content options.

 

If I could learn this game at my own relaxed pace and decide, in my own due time, I'm fairly certain I'd like it enough to ditch the game I'm currently spending $15/month on. I just can't abandon what I've invested time and money in if I'm not certain about the game.

 

Just my two cents. I hope you all at Istaria keep having fun, and don't take my comments too personally.

  trieditall

Novice Member

Joined: 1/21/09
Posts: 49

10/17/09 5:35:38 PM#2

Every aspect of the game is a grind.  This brings both good and bad implications.  The good is that you see a more mature playerbase than other games.  The bad is that crafting is  too extremely tedious and boring.  In the beginning years of the game the crafting was worth the grind because you could sell your crafted items to a large player base.  I have been trying the game again after having been gone for  a few years.  I notice that there are very few items on consignment now when in the glory days, every town was loaded with items for sale.  If the crafter has been reduced to selling items "on demand" , I do not see the reward for such an intricate grinding system.  Probably this is a result of a low player base, I don't really know. 

The crafting really should be streamlined.  I never understood why you had to grind so hard just to be one type of crafter.  At the very least, the whole gathering system should be made more interesting.

All that being said, I still think it is a very interesting game with a good storyline.  It is fairpriced also.  I guess my biggest concern is that there just doesn't seem to be a lot of people playing. 

If you need more playing time to decide, why not try a one month sub?

  StalePopcorn

Novice Member

Joined: 10/19/09
Posts: 4

10/19/09 5:47:20 PM#3

They have added a free-to-play account type now. If you play as a Human character, you can play for free. The only limits are you can't own a plot of land to build on and you are only able to sell a few crafted items. There are no other restrictions.

IMHO the crafting was purposely set up to be tough to master so you have to work with other people to achieve things. For example, a Tinkerer can create Cargo Armor that increases your carrying capacity, but is reliant on a BlackSmith to make high-quality tools to craft with. Having said that, there are a few super-dedicated types that have got to Grand Master Crafter status, having levelled all crafting schools to the maximum of 100!

The sale of items is something that needs to be addressed, because as pointed out it drastically affects the economy.

 

  Aywren

Istaria Correspondent

Joined: 4/22/08
Posts: 70

10/19/09 6:36:24 PM#4

I agree -- the free to play account is really an excellent choice for someone who is new to the game and needs enough time to get a good feel of things. 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, in essence, you can try the game for as long as you please with no strings attached, and then when you feel the itch to roll another character (Dragon!)... or you've just decided Istaria is going to be your next game-home and want to buy a plot to build up... the option is always there to upgrade that account at a later time. Anytime.

Sadly, the only way to get to trail a Dragon character is the 14 day trail. And the Dragon-play is significantly different from non-Dragon races.

  trieditall

Novice Member

Joined: 1/21/09
Posts: 49

10/21/09 4:18:33 AM#5

Maybe the playerbase will grow again with the free play offer.  I suggest  people give it a try, they may be surprised.  I am happy that the lag I suffered in the early years is no longer there.  I wonder though about the lack of mobs.  I have done a lot of running through the map and I notice that there are much fewer mobs now. I also noticed the "urban sprawl".  Most of the original land plots are now vacant but many new land plots (since I left) are littered across the map.  I still think there is great potential for this game.  It really is a multi-layered work of art.  There is more than enough content to entertain a person for a very long time.

  Aywren

Istaria Correspondent

Joined: 4/22/08
Posts: 70

10/21/09 8:03:26 AM#6

I agree with your comments about sparse mobs and open plots across the land. I think that's why the Devs are hard at work in redesigning the world from ground up, one tier at a time. I haven't gone to the Blight server to test out the new T2 changes yet -- maybe someone who has and clue us in to whether or not this is being addressed with the re-design.

They've done an excellent job on reworking the T1 areas -- I felt the quest lines were smooth and that I advanced my character as a comparable rate to any other game I've played out there from level 1-12. So I have high hopes to see what the T2 changes can bring to the world! 

On a positive stroke -- there's lots of plots out there for new players to make their home! Some of them have great sea-side views even. I've been eyeing some myself. ^_~ 

  lovechiefs

Novice Member

Joined: 6/10/05
Posts: 154

10/23/09 8:43:32 PM#7

after reading this thread, I decided to try Istaria and although I have only played till level 2 and I am still in the tutorial island, I like what I am seeing and how the game feels.
From looking at the site, the in game options and such,it looks like a very complex game, similar to what Eve Online is.
I am planning on staying and if I still like what I see probably subscribe.

One question though. When would my forum account be activated?Or do I need to be subscribed to post on forums?

  Aywren

Istaria Correspondent

Joined: 4/22/08
Posts: 70

10/23/09 8:48:16 PM#8
Originally posted by lovechiefs

after reading this thread, I decided to try Istaria and although I have only played till level 2 and I am still in the tutorial island, I like what I am seeing and how the game feels.
From looking at the site, the in game options and such,it looks like a very complex game, similar to what Eve Online is.
I am planning on staying and if I still like what I see probably subscribe.

One question though. When would my forum account be activated?Or do I need to be subscribed to post on forums?

 

Hello and welcome to Istaria!

When I registered for the forums there, it took about a day or so before my account was fully activated. I received an email that alerted me when the administrators activated it. So you can probably watch for something similar.

Which server did you choose to play on? If you are on Chaos, please feel free to look me up if you need anything at all. I can often be found playing my hatchling dragon, Kudako. :) 

  Bernward

Novice Member

Joined: 7/12/05
Posts: 2

10/30/09 1:56:43 PM#9

About that lack of mobs...

It was changed some time ago, to this version of spawning...

The character has to wait a few secs for the mobs to be loaded.

Its always this way.  Lessens the lag and the chance that the mobs may hit you if you only want to ran through that area.  ;)

 

 

  trieditall

Novice Member

Joined: 1/21/09
Posts: 49

11/06/09 12:23:49 PM#10

I am not talking about the slow draw time.  I am talking about the miles of running before finding any mobs.  I am sure that these areas will be populated evenyually but for now, I see vast areas with no purpose...

  User Deleted
1/07/10 2:09:43 PM#11
Originally posted by Aywren

I agree -- the free to play account is really an excellent choice for someone who is new to the game and needs enough time to get a good feel of things. 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, in essence, you can try the game for as long as you please with no strings attached, and then when you feel the itch to roll another character (Dragon!)... or you've just decided Istaria is going to be your next game-home and want to buy a plot to build up... the option is always there to upgrade that account at a later time. Anytime.

Sadly, the only way to get to trail a Dragon character is the 14 day trail. And the Dragon-play is significantly different from non-Dragon races.


 

When/If I should decide to subscribe to Istaria would I be bring my FREE free-trial character over with me? Like if I played my free account for 5months then decided to subscribe would my account just upgrade in status and I'd be all set to go on my merry way and buy a plot of land to build on? - Also, would a Human be worthwhile to play long-term? Are their features that seperate humans/dragons/etc apart (other than cosmetic)? I ask because I'd hate to put all that work into my character then find out I'd have been happier with X race.

thx

  Aywren

Istaria Correspondent

Joined: 4/22/08
Posts: 70

1/07/10 2:21:28 PM#12
Originally posted by grumb7fish
Originally posted by Aywren

I agree -- the free to play account is really an excellent choice for someone who is new to the game and needs enough time to get a good feel of things. 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, in essence, you can try the game for as long as you please with no strings attached, and then when you feel the itch to roll another character (Dragon!)... or you've just decided Istaria is going to be your next game-home and want to buy a plot to build up... the option is always there to upgrade that account at a later time. Anytime.

Sadly, the only way to get to trail a Dragon character is the 14 day trail. And the Dragon-play is significantly different from non-Dragon races.


 

When/If I should decide to subscribe to Istaria would I be bring my FREE free-trial character over with me? Like if I played my free account for 5months then decided to subscribe would my account just upgrade in status and I'd be all set to go on my merry way and buy a plot of land to build on? - Also, would a Human be worthwhile to play long-term? Are their features that seperate humans/dragons/etc apart (other than cosmetic)? I ask because I'd hate to put all that work into my character then find out I'd have been happier with X race.

thx

 

Yes, I believe you can upgrade your account and bring your free-to-play character along. I've upgraded my account from Basic to Gifted once with no hitch at all. Support is really good about helping with account situations, but I doubt you'll have one here.

Humans have the following racial bonuses: 

* Human Magical Aptitude - Humans long history of magical study allows them a great deal of control over their spells when properly concentrating.
* Enhanced Magical Defense - Humans understanding of magic provides them with better defense against it.

Each race does have their own bonuses which, I've heard, are going to be modified and increased a bit with the upcoming revamp. For more information on what those bonuses are, you can check out the race descriptions at the Istaria Wiki: 

istaria.wikia.com/wiki/Living_Races

Hope that helps! 

 

 

  User Deleted
1/07/10 2:35:16 PM#13

One more question. I was looking over the site just now, over the subscription types. It didn't mention anything about buying the game, just subscribing. Is there a charge to buy the game itself in addition to the subscription cost? And if I pay month-to-month but NOT recurring is there a hidden fee? (Like in EVE, the $5 re-activation fee for an expired account. or whatever they call it)

again, thx

  Aywren

Istaria Correspondent

Joined: 4/22/08
Posts: 70

1/07/10 2:44:46 PM#14
Originally posted by grumb7fish

One more question. I was looking over the site just now, over the subscription types. It didn't mention anything about buying the game, just subscribing. Is there a charge to buy the game itself in addition to the subscription cost? And if I pay month-to-month but NOT recurring is there a hidden fee? (Like in EVE, the $5 re-activation fee for an expired account. or whatever they call it)

again, thx

 

The game is free to download. There is nothing to buy, no charge for the software itself.

There are two types of accounts you can subscribe to - one that is a monthly payment that you choose to manually renew each month, another you can have them automatically renew each month (recurring). I've never seen any hidden fees for choosing one account over another.

I reactivated my account with Istaria, it was a Basic non-recurring account at first. I decided to upgrade it and make it recurring. It was an instant upgrade. No fees to reactivate (ouch, didn't know EVE did that). As a matter of fact, I've heard support in Istaria going to many lengths to restore old accounts from databases for no charge, even for European players who now want to play on a US server.

 

  PhelimReagh

Hard Core Member

Joined: 8/21/08
Posts: 621

 
OP  1/10/10 2:17:54 AM#15

As a note, I'm the OP and I'm trying to give it another go on my free human character.

 

The folks in the "New Player" chat are friendly and helpful as before, but the population is still a bit on the low end. It is saddening to go into vast cities and see nary a soul but NPCs.

 

I still think the crafting "schools" in Istaria are a pointless and very frustrating level of abstraction that makes the learning curve on this game needlessly steeper than it would be. What's more, there's nothing I can find anywhere on why the hell the game has them.

 

Oh, and these quests...

 

NPC: "Hey, Joe needs 5 screwdrivers. Go walk 5 minutes and ask him about it."

... Walk to Joe.

Joe: "Hey, I need 5 screwdrivers. Get 'em for me."

Me: "I don't know how to make 'em yet"

Joe: "The guy who sent you here will give you the 'recipe' to make 'em. Go take a walk"

... Walk to NPC

Me: "Joe needs 5 screwdrivers, just like you said he would. But Joe said you're the one who has to teach me."

NPC: "Yep, here's the recipe to scribe"

Me: "Thanks, but why didn't you give me this before? I could have made them right away and brought them right to Joe. Woulda save me 10 minutes and saved you a lot of talking."

NPC: "Just make 'em. And don't worry, every time you come back to me for a quest like this, I'm not going to give you any 'recipes' first either"

... Make items, walk 5 minutes to see Joe.

Joe: "Hey, thanks for the screwdrivers buddy. Go back to the clown who sent you here for the reward."

Me: "Oh c'mon. This is a lot of pointless walking."

Joe: "Above my paygrade, pal".

... Walks away muttering "f***ing quest takes 5 times longer than it needs to. It's not like walking this same road 5 times per quest helps me in any way."

 

As long as the new player experience is like this, Istaria itself adds even more unnecessary barriers to entry.

 

I know the devs are working very hard and accomplishing a great deal with so few staff. But just keep it in mind.

  trieditall

Novice Member

Joined: 1/21/09
Posts: 49

1/10/10 3:06:51 PM#16

I agree, the crafting really is a boring grind and the lower level quests are not worth doing since you can eat crystals to gain up to level 20ish very quickly. 

  PhelimReagh

Hard Core Member

Joined: 8/21/08
Posts: 621

 
OP  1/11/10 12:11:36 AM#17

Eat crystals? LOL, what the heck...

 

But try as I may, this is just getting more and more brutal. I can play for several hours and still advance maybe a level or two in one of these crafting schools (and I'm still in the single digits crafting level-wise), because all I do all night is run from place to place to place.

 

I'm really starting to get a bit of an appreciation for things, I am liking the crafting system more and more (e.g., you can chop down a tree, or strip it of bark, or get sap from it... that's kinda cool), but I have to tell you, I am constantly fighting myself to keep playing. I am basically forcing myself to stick with it to like it. I would not have put up with this in any other game, but I want to like and support, in theory, a crafting-heavy PvE game. As it is, I can only play one day and then I have to take a day or three off because it's gets to me.

 

However, I would never, ever recommend the game to anyone. I just couldn't. I don't know anyone else who would really put up with all the running instead of playing. I putting up with it, out of principle. But running from place to place is not fun. That it represents about 80% of my game time, I'm only having something approaching fun 20% of the time I'm logged on.

 

Wish me luck. I have no idea how you people figured this game out in the beginning. I'd be lost without New Player chat.

  Aywren

Istaria Correspondent

Joined: 4/22/08
Posts: 70

1/11/10 4:07:54 PM#18

I agree that the Gifted quest line can be a little annoying having you run all over the place to find one NPC or another. I guess they did that so that you'd learn to explore the starter island. And while I'm sure that the quest you described a few posts above is probably as you describe it, I've yet to run across one that sent me all over without recipes and such. Was that a crafting quest? I haven't tried any of those. The adventure quests are well laid out on New Trismus, progressing across the island in a fairly intuitive way, so I've never had complaints about those.

The poster above was not joking about "eating" crystals. Not sure why folks call it that.

Undead enemies in this game drop a number of useful items including formulas, blighted weapons and armors... and crystals. Crystals can be used as items that give stat boosts when inserted into socketed weapons and armor. However, a secondary use for crystals is... "eating" them.

If you inspect a crystal, you will see where a number of them will add experience either your adventure, your crafting or sometimes both. It really depends on the kind of crystal. Crystals on New Trismus are very easy to come by and quite often boost your experience by 500xp a pop. There are a few pockets of quick spawning undead on the island (the saris ghost in the blighted pit is one)... where once you reach a decent adventure level (that can withstand numerous level 4-5 mobs trying to nail you...) you can sit there and seriously rack up the crystals in a very short time.

Right clicking on the crystal will give you the option to USE it, adding to your experience. In this way, you can level BOTH adventure and crafting, as well as make money from copper and item drops all in one swoop. This is my main method for getting my crafting up to around 12-15ish. Once you hit that, you're better able to mine or gather resources and can work with them far more efficiently, giving you a far better foundation into your crafting career than trying to quest or grind the craft from level 1.

It's tricky because this isn't something a newcomer would know about unless they seriously inspected the crystals and understood what the descriptions on them meant. Or if someone clued them into it. I learned by the second way and could kick myself for not knowing about crystals sooner. :)

 

Hope that helps! 

  PhelimReagh

Hard Core Member

Joined: 8/21/08
Posts: 621

 
OP  1/11/10 4:32:57 PM#19

Thanks, that certainly helps.

 

These crystals certainly make leveling an alt much easier, but as you pointed out, since new players have no idea of them or their uses, do nothing for any new user experience.

 

And yes, I'm doing lots of crafting quests, because I keep getting killed on my cleric quest, so I've given up adventuring for a while

  Aywren

Istaria Correspondent

Joined: 4/22/08
Posts: 70

1/11/10 4:46:02 PM#20

Cleric without another class to back it up was an extremely frustrating class for me to level, too. Having a foundation of warrior or mage really, really helps. That first quest for cleric, taking down those treants, was just stupid hard. They kept regenerating on me... I haven't seen one that nasty after I beat that one, however.

Even if you do want to be a cleric main, I'd suggest putting some mage or warrior levels there to help out. And another, more experienced player suggested at a lower level, put some training points into evade and health. Even if it doesn't seem like that's something you should be concentrating on. So I did, and wow... it's a LOT easier when the mobs can't hit me! It's quite effective.

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