Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Istaria now ships a free2play account

I wanted to share with you that a MMO which i had always wanted to try out but never got around to now offers a free2play account, the MMO i am referring to is Istaria (formerly known as Horizons).

First off, if you have no idea what this is i offer the following promotional video.

You might wonder, why is Tarskin talking about this game? Well, i suggest you to read the below mini-review

The Good

1. This may sound silly but Istaria gives me that old Everquest feeling again, where nothing is truely easy and there are no quests that allow you to do them blindfolded because they include giant neon markers of what to kill and where it is. Basically it requires you to use your brain.

2. The graphics aren't great sure, but they still are better then what i expected from a game off this age (2003/2004 if i remember correctly). The graphic style is somewhere in between Everquest 1 and Everquest 2 if i had to put a word on it, this results in that you can see that some of the scenery is built up of angles and surfaces but in most cases it is quite crisp and can be scaled up to near-everquest 2 like detail. The only sad part is that it will run like crap then (even on i7 based computers).

3. The way the crafting system works is quite intricate, The game has a group of basic resources which have to be turned into intermediate resources which can in turn be used to craft the final item. The truely interesting part comes from the fact that any item can be customized, for example one client could request a longsword which has a chance to inflict more damage while another client wants the same longsword but with a shorter delay. This sounds suspiciously close to item enchants when i am reading this myself now but it's not... trust me.

4. The game offers a free account, what else could we want in the current economic climate

The Bad

1. The biggest problem right now is the small player base. The regular server (Chaos) has enough players so that you run into them every now and then while questing but sadly the roleplay server (Order) is not that full. The people on Order are quite active however so if you join the chat channels you will see it's not that lonely as it might sound ;)

2. The last issue i have with the game is choppy performance, sometimes without any reason (as far as i can tell) the game just 'lags' so that you can stand in a completely empty area (it loads as you move like WoW does) when suddenly everything around you appears (trees, monsters and everything).

The verdict

Graphics: 7 (Not as bad as you might expect)
Gameplay: 8 (Quite intricate game-mechanics, similar experience to EQ1)
Stability: 6 (Suffers from some un-explainable slowness, could be due to that i'm in Europe)
Community: 6 (Small but active)
Cost: 10 (It's free! If you play a human)

Want to try it out? Click here

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