Performance / Lag
Horizons, much like any other mmorpg in the first couple of months after release, suffers from some lag issues. But Artifact has made huge advancements in fixing these problems. In the short time the game has been on the market load times have been cut at least in half if not more. NPC load times used to be a huge problem and now it's unnoticeable. About the only major lag issue of late has been a slight lag in the inventory. For example, when you bought something from a merchant it might take a couple seconds for it to appear in your inventory. Overall not too big of an issue, but it can be annoying at times, particularly when trading with another player.
This is easily the games weakest area. There is no easy to use in game bug reporting system such as /appeal or /bug such as other games. I have yet to see a CSR in game using the /who feature, which has a specific option for searching for CSRs. Currently the only way to file a problem with the game is to go to the support website, fill out a ticket there, and then wait for them to get back to you. This has taken over a week in some cases, and if you're having a problem which renders the game unplayable, you're just out that much playtime. Also the game seems to be lacking an almost staple feature in mmorpgs, a /stuck command to move you to your last known safe location should you get stuck inside a tree or building. This has indeed happened to me a couple times now and can be quite annoying. One has to assume that as time goes by Artifact will pick up some more customer service people and fix this problem since it is easily the most complained about aspect of the game.
Overall Horizons offers much to keep the player entertained for a long time, from the most casual 'couple hours a day only on weekends', to the severe '12-15 hours a day every day' hardcore player. The high level range, softcap around 120, and the ability to change classes at will without penalty will give the players a chance to experience everything if they so choose. The player can pick both an adventuring class and a crafting class, from a list of 29 and 20 respectively. Not even two months into release Artifact is already doing a great job in providing storyline content and server wide events to advance the storyline. The fact that there are already three additional playable races in the game for the players to 'rescue' and unlock is a definite first. Most games provide the new playable races as part of an expansion, but in Horizons they're made available by the community's actions. The player base has to work to unlock them.
The crafting system is leaps and bounds above any other tradeskill system on the market. Everything from Fried Minnow Soup to a huge keep can be constructed by the players. The actual act of crafting something is well done and actually involves more work on the player than the typical 'sit near a forge and repeatedly hit the same hotkey' approach a lot of games use. Players have to go out and gather their resources, refine the resources into the component they need, and then craft the item. And even being able to craft items based on your crafting class isn't a given. You have to find the formula to make the item; this varies up the crafters within the same crafting class. Two weaponsmiths may have a completely different set of formulas that they can make. Even the Housing system in incorporated into the crafting. In most games when you buy a house, you pay the money, and bingo, the house appears on your land. In Horizons though you buy the plot of land and then you have to find players of the construction crafting classes to come construct your buildings for you. And you actually see scaffolding go up and can watch the progress as it is being worked on. If you mark the building as a public project, any craftsman can contribute to it. In this way the building even gets worked on while you are offline, assuming you left money in the strongbox to pay the workers. Combat is simple and straight forward with nothing really new or innovative, but it gets the job done. The two biggest problems with the game are easily the customer service and the lack of documentation. The game comes with a very small and mostly uninformative 26 page manual. It almost seems as if they're trying to force you to buy the strategy guide, which is 400 pages packed full of helpful information. For a new player the options are really either to buy the guide or spend much of the early stages of play searching online for answers.Pros: