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Istaria: Chronicles of the Gifted - All News

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Thursday - April 17, 2008
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Box Art

Thursday - April 17, 2008

Istaria - Interview @ RPG Vault

by Asbjoern, 16:27

Rick Simmons of Virtrium has been interviewed by RPG Vault. He answers questions on the game's current status and its future, but also on its name change:

Jonric: Since it's the obvious first question, why you are changing the name of the game now? Are you trying to escape or sidestep any issues or questions related to Horizons' past?

Rick Simmons:
Horizons has a long and illustrious history as the only game on the market with a website domain that doesn't match the game title AND a game name that sounds like a dating service - not to mention the confusion when you actually go to http://www.horizons.com. We felt that with the new ownership, "the game previously known as Horizons" would be best served with a name that was easier to remember, has a closer association to the actual game and doesn't cause confusion in general... you have no idea how stupid I've felt explaining that the game was called Horizons, but you had to go to www.istaria.com.

We're not trying to escape from any issues of the past; in fact, this change is in keeping with what we've been doing since Virtrium took ownership, which is to make the game a whole lot better. Some changes are about the gameworld, such as our recent expansion with the Confectioner update, while others are about support features, like our complete overhaul of the billing system.

And now, there's the name change. As far as I'm concerned, it has always been broken, and it's time to fix it. The new name is Istaria: Chronicles of the Gifted. Istaria is the main continent in the world; it's a unique name and people already know www.istaria.com as the game domain. Chronicles of the Gifted indicates our new and much stronger commitment to telling story within the world. Players are referred to as The Gifted because of how they can restore their life's energy through the Ritual of Everlasting Life. You can check out our most recent audio story and prose related to the ritual here: http://community.istaria.com/news/?id=263

Source: Bluesnews

Istaria - Name Change

by Asbjoern, 16:04

The company Virtrium, which bought the assets for the MMORPG Horizons: Empires of Istaria in September 2007, has announced that they've changed the name of it to Istaria: Chronicles of the Gifted. Here's the announcement:

April 14, 2008 PHOENIX, Arizona - Virtrium LLC, developers of online game technologies and products, announced today that they are changing the name of ''Horizons'' to ''Istaria: Chronicles of the Gifted.''

''We've always felt that it made more sense to have a name that reflected what the game was about,'' said Rick Simmons, President of Virtrium. ''And our game is about Istaria, and the stories of the people who inhabit the world. It's always been confusing why the name of the game was ''Horizons'', but our website domain was ''istaria.com'', and our main focus was about Istaria and the Gifted. We've decided to change the name so that it makes a little more sense.''

The game, originally developed by Artifact Entertainment, was purchased by Virtrium in September, 2007. Since then the development team has brought new life back to a world many thought of as stagnant, and even dying. ''We've seen some real growth in the game in our first few months of ownership,'' Mr. Simmons said, ''Players have responded well to this growth, with many of them returning to the game and official forums to comment.''

From one returning player: ''It's exciting to see what's been happening...as a returning player with many old accounts, I popped in to see how it was all going and decided to reactivate some of my characters. The sound of wings flying over the Saritova Islands just got a little louder, along with some very creaky old Saris brain muscles being stretched. Seeing devs who actually care about the game is heartening, and I'm happy to see the 'resurrection' happen. Keep up the great work !!''

The development team has shown a refocus on storytelling through an MMO world. Heather ''Velea'' Rothwell had this to say about the new storyline focus. ''Our most recent triumph is being able to bring players who had once held characters on the European shard, Unity, over to play on our US shards, Order or Chaos. This is something players from overseas have waited a long time for, and we're pleased that we can offer them the characters they'd worked hard to develop back. But we didn't just bring those players back, we brought them back with a story of where they'd been, and why they came to the US shards.''

''Istaria: Chronicles of the Gifted'' continues to hold a unique niche in the MMO market as one of the only games with playable dragons as a race. As a Dragon, players begin as a hatchling, and progress through game play to become flying Ancient Dragons. The crafting and building systems in Istaria continues to hold strong appeal for the player community. Players may own and build upon their own piece of land in Istaria, be it on an above ground plot for the biped races, or an underground lair for dragons.

Asked for any closing words, Rick commented, ''In Istaria, players make the world their own. Whether in joining the war against the Withered Aegis, building their own unique plot, or just soaring the skies as a mighty Ancient Dragon, Istaria is a special place where people come together to be a part of a world that takes them away from everyday life. It is the Istarians themselves that make the world special, and hearing their stories is what makes our world truly unique.''

Source: Bluesnews

Thursday - October 04, 2007

Horizons - Interview @ RPG Vault

by Inauro, 23:02

RPG Vault talks to Rick Simmons and Jason Murdick, President and Lead Designer at Virtrium, about the current state of Horizons.

Jonric: When did the game launch? At that time, what kept it from achieving the success you were hoping for?

Rick Simmons:
Horizons launched December 5, 2003 in a really nice black box with a big dragon eye and the impression you'd have to cut your way through legions of undead armies and breath fire down on them from above in a massive battle to save Istaria. That wasn't exactly the game that shipped. I guess that's what happens when there's a bit of a disconnect between the publisher and the developer.

All I can say is that for other MMO developers out there, make sure your publisher has an interest in retaining customers once you attract them. Online games are all about subscriptions. If they leave after a month, the publisher may have made a few bucks on the box sale, but you, as a developer, are going to be eating a lot of macaroni.

Source: RPG Vault

Sunday - September 09, 2007

Horizons - Billing Issues @ Official Site

by Inauro, 02:39

The official Horizons site has been updated with details of the recent billing issues plaguing the game. A forum thread has also been set up to discuss the problem.

Virtrium has been unable to effect a transfer of those subscriptions that were with EI Interactive. We have requested multiple times that EI Interactive cancel subscriptions, but we have not received confirmation that any subscriptions have been canceled . As of July 18, 2007, EI Interactive was no longer the legal owner of Horizons. If you have been billed since July 18, 2007 or had a subscription that overlapped past July 18, 2007, please contact PayByTouch to request a cancellation and refund.

PayByTouch may be reached at 866-729-2986, option 3, to request a cancellation and/or refund. An email has been circulated within PayByTouch and staff are aware they will be receiving calls. When talking with PayByTouch customer service, the very best way to look up your account is with the credit card that you used to create the subscription.

PayByTouch can issue refunds for the past 30 or 60 days. If you need a refund for a charge beyond 60 days or if you are unsatisfied with PayByTouch, you also have the option to contact your credit card issuer (there should be a number on the back of your credit card). Contacting your credit card issuer will allow you to dispute the charge. This is a significantly more powerful option because it informs Visa or Mastercard that you have had a problem with EI Interactive. If you feel you have been incorrectly charged by EI Interactive and want the credit card industry to be aware of your experience, do the following: 1) Request a cancellation from PayByTouch, but do not request a refund. 2) Dispute all charges, where appropriate, with your credit card company. This is an acceptable method within the credit card payment industry to identify problem merchants. The credit card payment industry has automated methods in place to monitor for problem merchants and will take appropriate action.

Virtrium believes that you should not be charged for a service that you attempted to cancel or if you were playing Horizons, pay money to a company that was not actually operating the service. We strongly encourage you to take the action you feel is most appropriate. Virtrium is behind you as a consumer and we're here to help.

If there's more information that Virtrium can provide to assist you, please don't hesitate to contact us by submitting a trouble ticket to http://support.istaria.com

Please accept our sincerest apologies for the current circumstance, and that we are unable to issue a cancellation or refund on your behalf.

Virtrium pledges to always engage in ethical and honorable business practices. We would like you to know that we worked very hard to avoid this situation, but were unable to come to a timely solution with EI Interactive. If the current circumstances cause you to leave Horizons - we understand. If you decide to stay, we will continue working very hard to earn your business each and every month. We are strongly committed to Horizons and see a bright future ahead.

Sunday - August 19, 2007

Horizons - Q&A @ GamersInfo.net

by Inauro, 23:14

Something is stirring in the Empire of Istaria as a new Q&A with former Tulga Games CTO Rick Simmons reveals.

It seems the super secret new owner - Virtrium, LLC - is none other than said Rick Simmons. He, along with members from every department of the former Tulga development team are working diligently to get the game back on track. Some very familiar faces are back on the job, Lead Designer Jason "AmonGwareth" Murdick and CS Lead Sean "Reyem" Meyer are just two of several. David Bowman, due to commitments with Certain Affinity, will not be involved except as a consultant on design - particularly those areas that were left unfinished.

Source: GamersInfo.net

Friday - December 22, 2006

Horizons - Special Report @ MMORPG.com

by Inauro, 20:14

Parts one and two of Carolyn Koh's Horizons special report are available at MMORPG.com.  Here's a snippet from the latest installment.

Act Two, Scene 1.

MMORPG.com published a link to the SOAP vulnerability that had been reported to EI Interactive. Speculation began to run rampant, forcing a public statement from EI Interactive in which they reassure subscribers that their account information is safe.

“…the vulnerability described in the article allows for only individual account exploits. The vulnerability requires foreknowledge of account information, e.g. a valid username and password.”

Just what is SOAP and how does it affect anyone? Simple Object Access Protocol or SOAP is a protocol for accessing a web service. I spoke to the publisher of the report, Bernd Kilga who works as a security consultant, in order to learn how he discovered the vulnerability.

Source: MMORPG.com

Wednesday - November 29, 2006

Horizons - Pixel Magic Acquires EI Interactive @ Official Site

by Inauro, 21:44

An announcement at the official Horizons site indicates that EI Interactive, who had recently acquired the IP from Tulga Games, has in turn been purchased by Pixel Magic Entertainment. What this will mean for the beleaguered MMORPG is anyone's guess.

11/28/06- Carson City, NV- Pixel Magic Entertainment Corporation announced today their acquisition of Enhanced Interactive Communications Corporation. Enhanced Interactive Communications Corporation is the parent company of online game publisher EI Interactive.

E I Interactive publishes online interactive content products. This includes casual games through an online game portal, gaming review and information sites, and massively multi-player online games (MMOs). EI owns and operates www.mygamehaven.com a portal access site for MMOs, which is one of the fastest growing markets in the interactive entertainment industry.

Pixel Magic Entertainment Corporation through its affiliate companies builds and evolves online products for niche communities. Their efforts endeavor to incubate technology that better supports community construction in the online world. Their culture is built around a team-based commitment to discovery and innovation in technology driven online communities. Interactive entertainment is amongst the fastest growing consumer markets today; the online component of interactive entertainment is its fastest expanding subset.

 

Thursday - November 02, 2006

Horizons - Security Concerns @ Official Site

by Inauro, 21:50

EI responds to recent security concerns at the official Horizons site.

We believe that the manner in which the information was released exaggerates the gravity of this vulnerability, to the detriment of Horizons and its community. We would like to reassure subscribers and potential customers alike that Horizons account information and PayByTouch billing services are secure and that the vulnerability described in the article allows for only individual account exploits. The vulnerability requires foreknowledge of account information, e.g. a valid username and password. In no way does this open private customer information to outside parties, nor does it allow the Horizons game servers to be affected.

More...  

Saturday - October 28, 2006

Horizons - EI Report @ MMORPG.com

by Inauro, 00:49

Just what has been going since EI Interactive purchased Horizons from Tulga Games back in July?  MMORPG.com's Carolyn Koh examines this very question in a special report entitled, The EI Catastrophe.

On July 20th, the gaming community was informed that EI Interactive had purchased Horizons: Empire of Istaria in a press release from EI Interactive. In subsequent interviews with David Bowman, former CEO & Creative Director of Tulga Games, and Ed Andercheck, Chairman of EI Interactive we learn that, effectively, everyone at Tulga Games LLC was out of a job.

EI Interactive (EI) acquired the game Horizons: Empire of Istaria from Tulga Games effective July 21, 2006. The agreement transferred ownership of all intellectual property and relevant technology related to Horizons to EI Interactive, as well as the rights to operate the title. The Evolution Engine, an MMORPG development platform built by Tulga Games, and Dark-World Online remains the sole property of Tulga Games.

More... 

Source: MMORPG.com

Tuesday - September 19, 2006

Horizons: AGC Interview @ MMORPG.com

by Dhruin, 23:48
The first half of a two-part series, MMORPG.com has an <a href="http://www.mmorpg.com/showFeature.cfm/loadFeature/893" target="_blank">interview</a> with David Bowman and Kelly Heckman about their now ended relationship with Horizons and the sale to EI:<blockquote><em>Horizons was David Bowmana "!s a Sbabya ? a game he was intimately involved in creating. Bowmana "!s career in Games Development started when he joined Bungie and worked on the Myth series. He then left Bungie to join Turbine to work on Asheron's Call where he rose in the ranks to VP of Production. He left Turbine to work with Artifact Entertainment on the launch of Horizons in 2001, then formed Tulga Games LLC and bought Horizons from Artifact in 2005 when they filed for bankruptcy.<br><br>I asked him how he felt about the sale of Horizons to EI Interactive.<br><br>a SIt was a business decision,a ? he said, indicating that his investor wanted to sell and he had a duty to perform as CEO of Tulga. a SOur subscriber numbers were climbing, we had an expansion on the way, the timing was right.a ?</em></blockquote>

Thursday - August 17, 2006

Horizons: Billing Updates @ Official Site

by Dhruin, 23:33
The Horizons site has a new collection of special links and resources for those having difficulty with cancellations and billing.

Saturday - August 05, 2006

Horizons: Billing System @ Official Site

by Inauro, 04:44
The official Horizons site brings word of the first round of changes to the billing system since the game was acquired by EI Interactive. Snip:
Dear Horizons Subscribers:

Effective immediately, we will be implementing the first phase of a new integrated billing platform. All customer accounts setup prior to August 1st, through the Pay- By-Touch system are now re-enabled. Your customer information will be maintained on the same secure server as it was before. As a result of this change, you now need to do nothing to have your account status maintained exactly as it was previously established.

Source: Horizons

Monday - July 31, 2006

Horizons: Billing System & Management Team Changes @ Official Site

by Inauro, 23:06
EI Interactive, the new owner of Horizons, has announced the initial game management team and some billing system changes over at the official site.

Source: Horizons

Horizons: Sales Interview @ RPG Vault

by Dhruin, 22:24
RPG Vault's Jonric speaks to David Bowman about the recent Horizons sale to EI Interactive:
Jonric: Regarding the recent announcement that EI Interactive has acquired Horizons, what attracted the company to buy it, and why was Tulga Games willing to sell?

David Bowman: I'll start with the second part of the question and work back to the first. Tulga Games originally purchased Horizons from Artifact Entertainment. Horizons had many problems that the team had been working through methodically in order to reach a point where subscriptions would steadily increase and we could become cash flow positive. Our low point in subscribers was in May of 2005, and we had seen slow but steady increases that amounted to a 50-percent growth up until the sale of Horizons to EI Interactive.

Our investor was providing us with the money to operate Horizons during this period, but even though our monthly burn was shrinking, made a decision to attempt to sell Horizons in the spring of 2006. His representatives found a buyer in EI Interactive, and by two weeks ago, they provided terms that the investor felt were fair and in the best interest of Tulga Games. Since the investor was no longer willing to invest more money in Horizons, it made sense for me to agree to sign the deal so that it would have a stable, excited company to continue to grow the subscribers. This is the best choice for the players.

You'll need to ask EI Interactive to get the complete story on their interest, but it seems evident to me that buying a growing MMO with six years of development is a great opportunity for a company that wants to succeed in the online entertainment business. I know that several of the people from EI Interactive had played or were playing Horizons at the time of the purchase.

Saturday - July 22, 2006

Horizons: Takevover Interview @ MMORPG.com

by Inauro, 02:59
MMORPG.com talks with Ed Andercheck of EI Interactive and David Bowman of Tulga Games about EI's acquisition of Horizons.<blockquote><em> Ed Anderchecka "!s EI Interactive has purchased Horizons and, as of last Friday, the deal means that nearly everyone who worked for Tulga Games is out of a job.<br><br>a SIa "!m a gamer and I saw a mature and exciting group of people,a ? explained Andercheck of why his company decided to purchase Horizons.<br><br>He added that the culture of the community, the gamea "!s rich potential for storytelling and the way players can grow the world all made Horizons an extremely attractive product for him.<br><br>Andercheck added that his company has no plans to radically alter the course Tulga Games had laid out and hopes to stay true to the spirit of Horizons.<br><br>The agreement transfers ownership of all intellectual property and relevant technology related to Horizons to EI Interactive, as well as the rights to operate the title. The Evolution Engine, an MMORPG development platform built by Tulga Games, and Dark-World Online remains the sole property of Tulga Games.</em></blockquote><a href="http://www.mmorpg.com/gamelist.cfm/gameId/17/setView/features/loadFeature/776" target="_blank">More...</a>

Source: MMORPG.com

Horizons: Peek #10 @ RPG Vault

by Inauro, 02:13
David Bowman, Tulga Games' CEO and Creative Director, shares some thoughts on author Peter S. Beagle's contribution to Horizons.
Horizons - The Peter S. Beagle Quest Logs V

One of my long-held goals for persistent world building was recently met by working with the amazing personality that is Peter S. Beagle. Since the beginning of creating persistent worlds, I've wanted to be able to create a toolset that would allow proven and undiscovered talent from other disciplines to contribute to the evolving spaces that have to date been predominantly shaped by programmers and other game industry specialists.
More...

Source: RPG Vault

Friday - July 21, 2006

Horizons sold to EI Interactive

by Dhruin, 22:35
From the <a href="http://community.istaria.com/news/?id=179" target="_blank">Horizons</a> site comes the news that EI Interactive (Savage Eden) has acquired Horizons from Tulga:<blockquote><em>EI Interactive (EI) has acquired the game Horizons: Empire of Istaria from Tulga Games effective July 21, 2006. Horizons is an online role-playing game originally published in 2003 by Atari, Inc. and winner of multiple game show awards. Horizons has gone through a genesis, emerging today as a world class MMORPG providing a very stable and intrinsically interactive persistent universe for play.<br><br>The quality of the Horizons community and the potential of the Istaria world defines this game as a flagship property. EI is committed to maintaining the integrity of the Horizons way of gaming and will continue the Horizons support in a new Phoenix, Arizona office.<br><br>a SThe magic of Horizons is not only in its uniquely supportive community, but also in the deep potential this game has for a playera "!s participation in building the environment and growing the storylinea ?, said EI Chairman Edward C. Andercheck, a Sthe success EI has had in building the Savage Eden community is a great testimony to our in-game event teama "!s efforts, we look forward to the same experience in Horizonsa ?<br><br>EI Interactive is a Butte, Montana division of EI Communications Corp., an established publisher of online content, including MMORPGames, casual games, web based game portals and information sites. EI Interactive combines an intense customer service culture, broad gaming experience and in-depth technology skills to provide a uniquely strong platform for a superior customer experience.<br><br>For more information, visit: www.eiinteractive.com - www.mygamehaven.com or contact us today at info@eiinteractive.com</em></blockquote>

Thursday - July 20, 2006

Horizons: Peek #9 @ RPG Vault

by Dhruin, 22:50
Hot on the heels of the last, RPG Vault has a new Horizons Peek with "Adrian LaVallee on the programming challenges related to putting Peter S. Beagle's quest into Tulga's online world":
Peter Beagle wrote his initial script for the quest without any constraints or knowledge of technical limitations. This is what was desired - to allow his creativity to be unstifled by the game's feature set. We determined the set of new technology required, then went through each one and analyzed how difficult it would be to implement as well as how much that feature could be utilized in the future. In the end, we decided on two main new additions to our toolset.

Wednesday - July 19, 2006

Horizons: Peek #8 @ RPG Vault

by Inauro, 22:57
In the latest Horizons peek at RPG Vault, one of the Tulga Games developers shares an insiders point of view on author Peter S. Beagle's contribution to the game.
Horizons - The Peter S. Beagle Quest Logs III

When we first discussed the possibility of bringing a known author in to write quests for Horizons, we - the design team - were both excited and nervous. We were excited to have the opportunity to work with a well-known author and at the potential stories we envisioned he could bring. But we were nervous because we were all too aware of the extreme learning curve, not just to learn Horizons as an MMO or video game, but to learn how content, and quests in particular, are created within our system. One of the most difficult things for new developers to learn is what our system is capable of and how best to achieve those goals. Learning these concepts remotely and trying to write a large and complex quest from the start could be a very daunting and perilous task.
More...

Source: RPG Vault

Tuesday - July 18, 2006

Horizons: Peter Beagle Log 2 @ RPG Vault

by Inauro, 23:01
The second installment of author Peter S. Beagle's Horizons developer log is online at RPG Vault. The first part of this series can be found here.
Horizons - The Peter S. Beagle Quest Logs II

There's a line in the movie The Three Musketeers, the1993 version, where Porthos says "God, I love my work!" I've been lucky enough for the past few weeks to get to have that feeling most every day. Recently, my assignments have included working with Peter S. Beagle and David Roudebush to experience the world of Istaria, and most notably Peter's first quest, the one players refer to as The Wedding Quest. It has been a joy to get to know Peter and David, but even more so, it has been fun seeing how the developers take a story and make it part of a game. I've learned so much in these last few weeks that I'm sure I'll forget to mention something...
More...

Source: RPG Vault

Monday - July 17, 2006

Horizons: Chaos Reigns #4 @ Official Site

by Inauro, 23:18
Issue 4 of Chaos Reigns is online at the official Horizons site. Here's a sample:
Eastern Deadlands Expands, Swamp Partially Blighted

The Withered Aegis have strengthened their grip on the lands south of Harro with the construction of extensive fortifications along the edge of the Spirituous Swamp. Portions of the swamp itself have also been blighted. Travelers report that the creatures native to the swamp have become remarkably aggressive, often attacking in droves. Experts with the New Rachival Research Institute have theorized that the unusually aggressive behavior is due to the encroaching Blight destroying the delicate wetlands ecology and inflicting psychological trauma on the bloodsnout gruok and purple spiders native to the region.
More...

Source: Horizons

Horizons: Peter Beagle Log @ RPG Vault

by Inauro, 22:50
RPG Vault's Horizons series of peeks takes a turn for the literary with author Peter S. Beagle sharing some thoughts on his recent contributions to the game.
Horizons - The Peter S. Beagle Quest Logs I

Novels... poems... songs... film and television scripts... even opera librettos - I've always been drawn to storytelling, and fascinated by new ways of doing so. When it comes to words and narrative, the lure of the untried, the open field, suckers me every time.

But I've never gone into strange new country in as total a state of ignorance as I did with Horizons. To begin with, I've never even played Pac-Man, Donkey Kong or Super Mario, let alone Mortal Kombat, Tomb Raider or pretty much any computer game known to the mass gaming audience. Indeed, the only one I'd ever played in my life, prior to Horizons, was a PC-based solitaire baseball game employing teams from different eras. I admit to having been vaguely aware of MMORPGs, but the operative word is vaguely. The Horizons creators couldn't have found a greener horn to gaming if they'd advertised.
More...

Source: RPG Vault

Thursday - July 13, 2006

Horizons: Ticketing System & Dev Update @ Official Site

by Inauro, 04:39
Updates to the Ticketing System and a Development Update inlcuding details of the changes to Tier 6 resources, a Loot Revamp, and Elder Play are the order of the day at the official Horizons site.

Source: Horizons

Tuesday - July 11, 2006

Horizons: Patch Notes @ Official Site

by Inauro, 04:23
Head on over to the official Horizons site for a preview of the upcoming Blight shard patch.
The following additions, changes and fixes will be applied to the Blight shard for testing on Tuesday, July 11, 2006:

Please post feedback on any testing in our Blight Testing Forum

Adventurer:

* Constrict Blood will no longer stack with itself or Lessen Health.
* Flame Attack will no longer stack with Energy or Ice Attack spells.
* Cleaned up the loot tables on Ogre Zombies, removing extra clutter.
* Cleaned up the loot tables on Abominations of Agony, removing extra clutter.
* Cleaned up the loot tables on Abominations of Fear, removing extra clutter.
More...

Source: Horizons

Thursday - July 06, 2006

Horizons: Patch Notes @ Official Site

by Inauro, 01:10
The patch notes for the latest additions, changes, and fixes to the live shards are available at the official Horizons site.
Client Features and Fixes:

* When the map window is opened, if you have a grounded cargo disk, there will be a marker on the map indicating its location.
* You can now invite a character to join your group by right-clicking on their name in the People Window (from your friends list).
* Gathering from corpses will no longer cause them to play the death animation.
* Corrected the problem of two music emitters playing music at the same time. The closest emitter will now take priority.
* Corrected problems with music stopping and not switching to default music.
* Ambient sounds no longer loop after teleport.
* Sounds associated to Gale Wind, or other attacks with the same animation will now have sound.
More...

Source: Horizons

Tuesday - July 04, 2006

Horizons: Fixes & Tier 6 Recipe Winners @ Official Site

by Inauro, 01:12
The Tier Six Horizons Recipe Contest winners have been announced at the official site.

Also making headlines are the following fixes:
We're entering the home stretch in the billing upgrade but still have a few outstanding fixes that require resolution. Fortunately, they all appear to be related. So, *fingers crossed* once the final fix goes into place we will see all of these headaches disappear.

Outstanding Fixes to Be Completed:

* Multiple subscription accounts are currently limited to 5 consecutive logins and 5 total consignments worth of items.

Related Issues:

* Some accounts receive an error when attempting to cancel. Please submit a ticket to http://support.istaria.com should you experience this problem
* Notifications have been received of plot reclamations yet when players attempt to update their subscription, they show no current subscription. Your subscription is valid. Plot reclamations are on hold and will remain so until all problems are rectified.
* Occasionally, upon attemption to change account information (not renew) a player will receive an error message. Should this occur please contact http://support.istaria.com

We are aware of how frustrating this has been for some of you and thank you for your patience. As always, please feel free to send an email to support@istaria.com should you have any further issues other than those listed above.

Source: Horizons

Monday - July 03, 2006

Horizons: In-Development Update @ Official Site

by Inauro, 23:54
Tulga Games send word that Amon Gwareth, Lead Designer for Horizons Online, has posted his July "In-Development" preview. Snip:
Here we are, once again. Another month, another design update. I believe this has become a trend, folks!

June was a good month for us. Lots of good things happened with Horizons and with Tulga. We've continued to see excellent growth and conversion of new players. And word of mouth is definitely getting out about us!

One of the biggest changes here during June was the addition of three new people to our staff; Zach, Michael and Nate. Two designers and an artist. And they're already making waves! We've got art assets from Nate that fix many errors, high poly counts, and occlusion models. And we've got new content from Zach and Michael in the form of quests, monsters and more. And we've got the addition of the folks from Gamersinfo.net helping us with our forums, our community site, QA testing, and marketing.
More...

Source: Horizons

Saturday - July 01, 2006

Horizons: Tier 5 Recipe Contest Winners @ Official Site

by Inauro, 03:40
The Tier 5 winners of the Horizons Recipe Contest have been announced at the official site.

Source: Horizons

Friday - June 30, 2006

Horizons: Patch Notes & Tier 4 Recipe Contest Winners @ Offiical Site

by Inauro, 02:36
The latest Blight shard patch notes are available at the official Horizons site, as is the announcment of the Tier 4 winners of the Recipe Contest.

Source: Horizons

Thursday - June 29, 2006

Horizons: Recipe Contest Tiers 2 & 3 Winners @ Official Site

by Inauro, 00:33
The winners of tiers two and three in the Horizons Recipe Contest have been announced at the official site.

Tier 2.
Azraiel's Rice Pudding:
Rice + Heavy cream + Honey

Deth's Roasted Gruok:
Gruok Meat + Potatos + Rosemary
"First learned when a confectioner in training watched a passing dragon swoop down and roast a Gruok in a potato patch."

Rashgalaveck's Ripn' Raspberry Ruxus:
Ruxus Meat + Raspberries + Sugarcane

Shalindra's Rock (Cotton?) Candy:
Sugar + Water + Flax Spool

Wind Dancer's Pickled Eggs:
Chicken Eggs + Ground Salt + Vinegar
Tier 3.
Diput's Flamin' Eels:
Eel + Chili Pepper + Hot Sauce + Peppercorn

Fiendish Funnel Cake (from Jayne):
Sugarcane + Wheat Dough + Chicken Egg + Milk

Kephren's Fine Fudge:
Sweet Condensed Milk + Maple Syrup + Sugar + butter

Vandellia's Gnomian Taffy Treats:
Water + Sugar + Vanillia + Green or Red Licorice

Kakashi's Swordfish:
Swordfish + Fennel + White Wine + Olive Oil

Source: Horizons

Wednesday - June 28, 2006

Horizons: Patch Notes @ Official Site

by Dhruin, 01:20
The latest patch notes for the Horizons server 'Blight' are now up.

Monday - June 26, 2006

Horizons: Recipe Contest Tier One Winners @ Official Site

by Inauro, 04:17
The Tier One winners in the Horizons Recipe Contest have been announced at the official site.
OK, 6 Tiers and we couldn't decide HOW to manage so many recipes. So, each day I'll post 5 winners per tier. Those winners will have their recipes placed in the game with the Confectioner Revamp. Don't worry, I'll keep a cookbook of all of the recipes so they can be called upon later and we just may ask for more. Maaaybe!
Here's whatcha win:

1. Your recipe goes in the game - effects to be determined by the "almighty developers". *giggles*
2. Your name will be somehow involved in the recipe, whether that be in the title or the description is to be determined by the "almighty developers". *starts to giggle maniacally*
3. There is no three.

Sound cool? On to the winners!
More...

Source: Horizons

Sunday - June 25, 2006

Horizons: HoC Transcript @ Official Site

by Inauro, 03:31
A transcript of the latest Stratics House of Commons chat with the Horizons developers is now available at the official site.

Source: Horizons

Friday - June 23, 2006

Horizons: David Bowman Interview @ Skotos

by Inauro, 03:36
Shannon Appelcline (Skotos) talks with David Bowman of Tulga Games about his time in the online gaming industry.
Shannon Appelcline: Tell me a bit about your background in the online gaming industry.

David Bowman: I started with Bungie as a designer for Myth II. When Microsoft started conversations with Bungie about acquisition I went to Turbine. Asheron's Call had just launched and they were hiring designers. MMOs are the next great evolution in entertainment and I knew where I wanted to be working. I became the Vice President of Production at Turbine and led the AC live team until July of 2001. Artifact Entertainment hired me then and I've been with Horizons: Empire of Istaria through the launch and Tulga Games' acquisition of the project and team.

I'm now the CEO and Creative Director for Tulga Games. Because we have a small team focused on Horizons, I wear multiple hats in addition to those titles. I provide the Live team with world building, quest creation and data entry whenever it's needed. It can make for long weeks, but for a small company it's essential that the leader of the company understand the product, service and audience.
More...

Source: Skotos

Thursday - June 22, 2006

Horizons: Patch Notes @ Official Site

by Inauro, 02:34
Tulga Games were kind enough to alert us to the fact that the latest Horizons patch notes are available at the official site. Snip:
The following client changes were applied to the Live shards on Wednesday, June 21, 2006:

Client:

* NPCs in player structures will no longer "walk in place".
* If a dragon in flight suddenly loses the ability to fly, they will fall to the ground instead of being stuck in the air.
* The dimensions shown on the plot window will be correct when opening the window via the character window while away from your plot.
* Check of user preferences to prevent problem with logging in after crashing.
* Containers such as pouches must be emptied before they can be deleted. This prevents accidental deletion of unintended items.
* Attached cargo disks are now visible on other characters. Grounded cargo disks are still only visible to the owner.

Source: Horizons

Wednesday - June 21, 2006

Horizons: HoC Schedule @ Stratics

by Inauro, 06:58
Stratics is holding another House of Commons chat with the developers of Horizons on 22 June 2006.
Please join us on Thursday, June 22th, for a House of Commons with the developers of Horizons at 5pm PsT / 8pm EsT in the #StraticsHoC channel on Stratics IRC.

Topic will be on Confectioner, New Employees, and Upcoming Client Changes.

You can connect to one of our IRC servers through the use of your favorite IRC client, such as mIRC, ircle, xchat, or whichever you prefer. Connect to irc.stratics.com port 6668 or whichever server is closest to you:

stratics.frws.com port 6668, USA - Colorado
irc.glowfish.de port 6668, EU - Germany
stratics.afraidyet.net 6668, USA - Atlanta
irc.epaxsys.net port 6668, USA - Colorado

You may also connect through our handy Java link which may be found right here. You must have Java installed to use this which can be downloaded from the Java homepage.

General chat relating to Horizons will take place before, during, and after the chat in room #horizons. We hope to see you there!


BreeOge
Horizons Managing Editor

Source: Stratics

Saturday - June 17, 2006

Horizons: Login/Account Creation Issues @ Official Site

by Inauro, 05:34
The Horizons team has posted an update about the current login/account creation issues faced by some players.
Welcome to Mr. Toad's Wild Ride! (yes, I like to use obscure, now-defunct Disneyland references).

As many of you have experienced over the last week we've had a few problems with the billing system. Thanks to a bit of work, most of these problems have been cleared up, but not all. Still to be fixed are the following:

* NEW ACCOUNTS - New accounts can't currently be created as credit card information is not being accepted. Yes, this is of the highest priority. **New Accounts can now be created. Please report any problems you encounter.
* Renewing Expired Accounts - this is not auto-renewal. Auto-renewal has saved credit card information and works fine. (If it is not, please submit a ticket immediately or contact support@istaria.com). However, should you need to enter your credit card to renew your account, you'll run into the same error you would as if you were creating a new account.
* Limitation of Subscription Logins per Account - if you have three or more subscriptions per account, you will be currently limited to logging in only two of those accounts.

As this is fixed, we will let you know. Look for updates here on the front page and in the forums. If you have issues other than the ones listed, please, contact us immediately.

Source: Horizons

Friday - June 16, 2006

Horizons: Patch Notes @ Official Site

by Inauro, 08:19
The latest Blight shard patch notes are available at the official Horizons site.
The following changes/additions/fixes were applied to the Blight shard on Thursday, June 15, 2006:

* Monsters will reduce their radius of aggressiveness against players rated higher than they are.
* Monsters aggressiveness now has a random element. They may attack you from farther than they used to, but there is also an increasing chance they will not attack you as your distance from them increases.
* Doubled experience earned on Blight from crafting will be saved properly on logout.
* When Chain Lightning transfers from one victim to another, the attack will be properly attributed to the originator of the Chain Lightning.

Source: Horizons

Thursday - June 15, 2006

Horizons: Patch Notes @ Official Site

by Inauro, 07:22
The patch notes for the latest changes to the Horizons live shards are online at the official site. Snip:
Pref File Overhaul:
The Pref file system has been overhauled with this update. This means that your pref files will be reset in order to take advantage of some house-cleaning, new features, and optimizations. This is a one-time only change.

* Restructured the pref files for ease of use - this will RESET current prefs.
* Added two new prefs for character texture LOD: charTextureLOD and charTextureLODdist to support character texture LOD. Adjust the texture detail slider in the option window to see varying levels of detail.
More...

Source: Horizons

Wednesday - June 14, 2006

Horizons: Chaos Reigns #3 @ Official Site

by Inauro, 07:05
Issue 3 of <a href="http://community.istaria.com/news/?id=147" target="_blank">Chaos Reigns</a> is now available at the official Horizons site.<blockquote><em>New Happenings at the Old Oaks Front<br><br>With construction on the Imperial Outpost and adjacent Cavern completed, the Gifted anxiously await further orders from Tazoon. To date, however, Lord-Commander Jatell has issued no new orders nor moved any troops into the Outpost. When asked to comment on persistent rumors that he is spending more time picking out curtains for his new office than coordinating the war effort, the Lord-Commander clutched the velvet brocade he had been stroking to his chest, shouted, a SYou cannot have the Precious!!!a ? and hid under his desk until we were escorted out.</em></blockquote><a href="http://community.istaria.com/news/?id=147" target="_blank">More...</a>

Source: Horizons

Tuesday - June 13, 2006

Horizons: Updates @ Official Site

by Inauro, 08:26
The Horizons development team have a trio of updates for us at the official site.<br><br><a href="http://community.istaria.com/news/?id=144" target="_blank">Confectioner Revamp</a>.<blockquote><em>So, you say you want food? Lots of food! (Ok, you want the Confectioner Revamp to be done, we got that.) The art assets are done, the code is near completion and the base recipes are done. But, the good folks here at Tulga - actually Amon Gwareth, who loves you all! - thought you might want to contribute. My response was, duh! <br> <br>But, there's always a but, isn't there? There are a few rules. Of course, you'll have to click Read More to find out what they are...</em></blockquote><a href="http://community.istaria.com/news/?id=145" target="_blank">Settlements Q&A</a>.<blockquote><em><b>Starna</b>: David, if you dona "!t mind answering an expansion question? Are there any plans for 'generic' new-style buildings for current plots to make use of the new furniture/machine code? As opposed to just the new racial buildings (which will need their own plot types)? <br> <br><b>David</b>: Starna: the new racial structures will be able to be built on any plot that doesn't restrict them.</em></blockquote><a href="http://community.istaria.com/news/?id=146" target="_blank">Blight Update</a>.<blockquote><em>The following additions, changes and fixes were applied to Blight on Monday, June 12, 2006 <br> <br>Additions/Changes: <br> <br> * The Dryads have been at it again! An extensive forest has been grown on the western coast of the Dalimond Peninsula, and a massive tree has been grown in mere weeks within sight of Bristugo. Many Istarian Druids are excited about the prospects this new tree holds for their future.</em></blockquote>

Source: Horizons

Wednesday - June 07, 2006

Horizons: Patch Notes @ Official Site

by Inauro, 03:31
The patch notes for the changes, fixes and additions made to the Live shards on 6 June 2006 are available at the official Horizons site.
Peter S. Beagle Wedding Quest

* A new Gnome Community named Pajalsti has been constructed near the community of Genevia.
* Several Gnomes (related to the Peter S Beagle wedding quest) from around Istaria have moved to Genevia Island. Among them are:
o Besoya Shum moved from Dalimond to Pajalsti.
o Lamorak Dree moved from Parsinia to Pajalsti.
o Basiliak Krebs moved from Dalimond to Pajalsti.
o Mabrouk Mar moved from Kirasanct to a new house near Cedar Cove.
o Eliahu Krik moved from Feladan to a house near Istara's Loom.
* Williwaw will now block entry into the Wedding Grounds until players speak with him.
* Fixed the directions to Mabrouk Mar in the quest "Secure a lock of Elioncha's hair and bring it to Oriskaly"
More...

Source: Horizons

Saturday - June 03, 2006

Horizons: In-Development Update @ Official Site

by Inauro, 02:22
The Horizons team kindly let us know that the June In-Development Update is now available at the official site. Snip:
Three! Three design updates in a row. This might be a trend folks! May was a busy month for us here at Tulga so I thought I'd try to summarize everything that happened and let you know where we stand with our various projects.

To begin with, we had a great E3. (Electronic Entertainment Expo) While we didn't have a booth, we garnered quite a bit of media attention with the announcements of both Horizons: The Settlements and Dark World Online. We also were able to speak with several websites about Horizons: Empire of Istaria regarding the growth we've been experiencing and progress we're making.
More...

Source: Horizons

Tuesday - May 30, 2006

Horizons: Downloads @ Official Site

by Inauro, 06:20
The Downloads section returns to the official Horizons site.
After much cajoling, begging, and eventually arm-twisting (ok, I just had to wait for E3 and finals to finish), the Downloads section is back!

Well, actually, right now it's empty. Completely empty. Bereft of any content whatsoever. It's sad.

But, if you'd like to submit your link, description and an image for your plugin, app or just cool stuff, I'll be happy to review it and approve it!

Source: Horizons

Information about

Istaria: Chronicles of the Gifted

Developer: Artifact Entertainment

SP/MP: Massive
Setting: Fantasy
Genre: MMORPG
Combat: Unknown
Play-time: Unknown
Voice-acting: Unknown

Regions & platforms
World
· Homepage
· Platform: PC
· Released at 2003-12-09
· Publisher: Atari