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Overview:

Istaria: Chronicles of the Gifted (previously Horizons: Empire of Istaria) is a 2003 fantasy based MMORPG that still boasts maintained servers and semi-regularly updated content. There is a PVP (Player Vs Player) arena for 1 on 1 or team based combat, with the rest of the game world set as PVE (Player Vs Environment)-based.

The games features include:

  • 11 playable races - 10 biped (two-legged) races, and Dragons (Four-legged and can fly).
  • 50 class choices, and unlimited multiclassing. While only one Adventure School and one Crafting Profession can be "active" at one time, the player can join all of them. Dragons work on a different class mechanic, with 1 Adventure School and 2 Crafting Professions - Dragon Crafting and Lairshaping.
  • An in-depth crafting system that allows players to create almost any item in the game, including armor, weapons, potions, spells, food, tools, jewelry, structures and dragon lairs.
  • Land ownership, with several parts of the persistent world based around player built towns. Players can purchase a plot or empty dragon lair for their character, design a layout, then build structures like ornaments, storage and crafting machines on them.

Free to Play:

In January 2010, Istaria's subscription model changed to 3 separate tiers of access: Free Accounts, Basic Accounts and Gifted Accounts. They also offer Account Upgrades for a variety of things.

Free Accounts:

  • One character slot. Free accounts are limited to one Character only.
  • Race locked to Human. Humans can select any main Adventure and Crafting schools. Dragons and their class schools are not available with a Free Account.
  • Limited to 10 items listed on the consigner (auction house) for sale at any one time.
  • Plot/Lair Ownership (player housing) is not available to Free Accounts.
  • No level or other content restrictions.

Basic Accounts

  • Subscription cost of US $9.95 a month.
  • Three character slots.
  • Basic Accounts can choose from any race for their characters, including Dragons.
  • Limited to 50 items listed on the consigner (auction house) for sale at any one time.
  • Plot/Lair Ownership (player housing) is not available to Basic Accounts.

Gifted Accounts

  • Subscription cost of US $14.95 a month.
  • Seven character slots.
  • Gifted Accounts can choose from any race for their characters, including Dragons.
  • Limited to 150 items listed on the consigner (auction house) for sale at any one time.
  • Plot/Lair Ownership (playing housing) is available to Gifted Accounts.
  • Gifted Accounts can purchase and use Account Upgrades.

Account Upgrades include increasing the number of character slots or consigner limit as well as character name changes and server transfers. You can also upgrade an account for more than 1 concurrent login, which is useful considering the deep crafting side of the game.

System Requirements:

  • 850 MHz or faster Pentium 4/AMD Athlon processor
  • 1 GB or more RAM
  • 64 MB or greater supported Direct 3D and Hardware T&L capable video card / Intel Extreme Graphics 2 (with 2GHz or higher system processor)
  • DirectX 9.0c
  • All Current Windows Service Packs
  • A DSL or Cable modem internet connection
  • Windows XP/Vista

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