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'Horizons: Empire of Istaria' Prepares for Release Next Week

by Rainier on Dec. 3, 2003 @ 10:38 p.m. PST

Horizons is the next generation online epic adventure. It is based in the massively multiplayer fantasy world, Istaria. A world of legend and lore filled with humans, fiends, dragons and many other traditional fantasy roles, Horizons allows thousands of players to adventure together in the civilized and untamed regions of the world. Atari and Artifact Entertainment today made a number of announcements associated with the upcoming release of Horizons: Empire of Istaria on December 9th. Read more for the details on what to expect, available worlds, guidelines to create/name your characters and plenty more ...

Territory Availability Information:

Asian: China, South Korea, Japan, Hong Kong, Singapore, and Taiwan.

European: Belgium, Denmark, Germany, Greece, Spain, France, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Austria, Portugal, Finland, Sweden, Switzerland, Czech Republic, Norway, Slovenia, Hungary, Poland, Malta, Iceland, Andorra, Monaco, San Marino, Vatican city, Liechtenstein, Jersey and United Kingdom.

North American: All other countries not mentioned in Asian or European.

Where can I play?

If your billing address is in the European territory you will be able to create characters on the European worlds.

If your billing address is in the Asian territories you will not be able to connect to a Horizons’ world until the hosting solution is established in the Asian territory.

If your billing address is outside of those two territories then you will be able to create characters on the North American worlds.

Transatlantic Accounts:

For the first time ever in a massively multiplayer game it is possible to upgrade an account simply to a transatlantic status. In the past unconventional methods of purchasing products from either Europe or North America would allow you to play in the territory that you purchased it from. Due to our strong working relationship with Digital Brothers (the company providing the European servers and service) we can offer an upgrade to your North American or European account that allows you to create characters on either set of worlds. In addition for only $5 US per month you receive five more character slots per each upgraded CD key.

Official Forums:

IGN’s HorizonsVault found at are the official forums for Horizons: Empire of Istaria. We are working with the IGN and Vault teams to create new boards and new rules in order to foster a strong community at IGN that discusses the product and adds to the community through intelligent criticism and dialogue.

This brings us to the announcement of our Community Manager. Yes, we have hired our Community Manager and this person will be starting next week. It is a busy couple of weeks but we will get them in the community and on the boards very quickly. We will have involvement in several communities and will be present often on sites like Warcry and Stratics as well.

World Names:

Many people have been asking us what the names of the worlds are going to be. The following list shows the initially planned worlds in the order they will be made available. As the initial worlds fill up, new worlds will be made available. So without further adieu…

North American Worlds:

Blight (test world)
Dawn (role-playing world)
Expanse (role-playing world)

European Worlds


Role Playing Servers:

The role-playing worlds’ rules have been requested for sometime now. Most of this information will be found in the Rules of Conduct, but we thought it prudent to extract this information from this document so you can read it without all the other legal fun surrounding it.

Naming Policy:

In addition to Artifact Entertainment’s general rules dealing with character names (set forth above in the official Horizons: Empire of Istaria Naming Policy), the Horizons role-playing shards will have the following restrictions applied to them. These restrictions apply to players, guilds and any other game entities that may be given customized names (i.e., special player-crafted items such as weapons, armor or spells):

• Names cannot be phrases. Examples include “Iam aBigDragon,” “Vampiric Embrace,” “PussNBoots,” etc. Original roleplaying monikers and names, such as “Jeron Windwalker” or “Viktor Wolfslayer.” are acceptable.
• Names cannot be from copyrighted material. Names of well-known fictional characters such as “Gandalf”, “Drizzt,” and “Trogdor” cannot be used. Please try and keep your character’s name original.
• Names must fit within the fantasy world of Istaria. Any name in reference to the modern-day (“Conan the Republican”) or another roleplaying genre (“Luke Lightsaber”) that does not belong in a medieval, fantasy-themed world will be changed.

Names violating the role-playing restrictions will be changed, and, depending on the severity of the violation, the player in question may not be given the opportunity to choose his or her character’s new name. Eventually, players may be allowed to voluntarily change their characters’ name while in the game (subject to the rules laid forth in the Naming Policy); at present, any name change requests must be made in writing to Artifact and are subject to a nominal fee and approval by a Horizons Customer Service Representative.

Communication Policy:

The communication in public forum channels while on the role-playing shards must be appropriate to the high fantasy atmosphere found in the Istaria roleplaying world.

• Modern-day happenings will not be discussed on public channels. This restriction includes, but is not limited to: sports events, current news, movies, computers, games, and music. Discussion of said events on private channels such as /tell, /guildchat, and /group is permissible as long as all parties agree to allow it. Such private channel communications will not be monitored by Artifact and it is left to the players to monitor their own communications.
• Internet shorthand, abbreviations, and “l33tspeak” are not allowed on the server. Should you discover someone using this form of communication, please ask him or her to refrain from doing so in the future. If the player continues to do so, please report them to a Horizons Customer Service Representative through the appropriate channels.

Much of what goes on in the role-playing shards depends on players “self-policing” and monitoring their own and others’ behavior. If someone violates the Communication Policy, please (and courteously) ask the offender to stop before alerting a member of the Artifact Entertainment support staff. If the player’s inappropriate behavior or communication continues, then report the incident(s) and offender to support. Each report will be reviewed and handled by Artifact Entertainment on a case-by-case basis. If someone uses an occasional abbreviation or types one or two out-of-context words, please do not take offense. The chances that a Horizons CSR will step in under such circumstances are slim, unless the offending player is violating another rule and/or his or her offense is deemed particularly egregious. Please use the tools available to you and your own best judgment before reporting an individual for violation of this policy.

These policies in no way invalidate the overall Conduct Policies of the shards; all rules therein will be enforced just as they are on a shard with a normal rule set. Artifact Entertainment reserves the right to modify these additional role-playing rules at any time, without notice. Enforcement of these rules and any penalties imposed for violations of them remain the sole prerogative of Artifact Entertainment and the Horizons CSRs.

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