Available: Q4 2003
Developer: Artifact Entertainment
Publisher: Atari

Interview by: Ferrex

Horizons is the next generation online epic adventure. It is based in the massively multiplayer fantasy 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 or untamed frontiers of the world. Shape your character to be just like you or your fantasy.

The magical world of Horizons is filled with cities and towns, castles and strongholds, villages and mystical structures. These communities can be built in areas like our tropical jungles, northern tundra, wind-swept plains and vast mountainous regions. You adventure, as of one of the many races that inhabit the civilized empire, then choose your path - Explorer, Miner, Crafter, Wizard, Warrior, or Settler of the new frontier. Live in the crafted world of the empire or venture to the new land and create an empire of your own. The empire awaits your service, and the newly discovered frontier awaits your bravery.

We'd like to thank Steve Escalante of Artifact Entertainment for answering our questions about the game - for more information on Horizons visit our affiliate site Aradoth.

What percentage of the land can be conquered from the Withered? Aegis? Does the Withered Aegis own everything but a few populated places at start, and can the players conquer it all back?

It would be hard to actually quantify how much of the land the Withered Aegis and the Undead Hordes occupy. At the “start” they are scattered throughout the land with definite concentrations in the main continent, small uprisings in the islands, and its main force on the frontier. In terms of how much land the Withered Aegis conquer... I think it would be safe to say there is no city beyond their grasp. Its up to the Living Races to see they don’t get that far.

Will a Guild Leader be almighty? Or can a guild set up a council
that is able to overrule the leader, forms of democracy?

The guild management system is very robust to give guild leaders the ability to be all-powerful, or if the guild leader chooses to do so, set-up people with equal power to the leader themselves.

What if players conquer a City that was controlled by the Withered
Aegis, can it be converted as if it would have been built by
players, or will it be destroyed? Or will there be no "Complete"
Cities under the control of the Withered Aegis at all?

The history of the lands and the cities that have remained since the Battle of Tazoon speaks of these cities. At the “start” there are cities under the yolk of the Undead and can be reclaimed, rebuilt and repopulated. Just ask the elves.

Does the member count of a guild have any cap? You mentioned
depending on the total members of a guild, a guild can have a name,
a banner and so forth, what other levels of guild existence will
there be?

I am not sure exactly what you mean by guild “existence”. Most of what is mentioned here is public display of a guild, its standing within the world, its members etc. Above and beyond that a guild can own its own town, create a merchant ring there, defend that home, and help explore new lands. This does not mean a person can buy up all the plots in a given area. But if a guild is well coordinated they can band together and purchase the plots in an area and begin building the town or hiring the crafters needed.

Will there be any cultural differences? Will a Helian/Lunus Dragons
or Fiends/Humans be able to be in the same guild, the same group?

There are cultural differences in the game and the lore of Horizons. However this does not prohibit specific race types to join together.

It has been mentioned that Dragons will have trouble accessing
humanoid structures due to their size, will humanoid characters
have trouble accessing Dragon structures?

Yes, Horizons has true 3D spaces, which mean we have entire regions floating above the land. Dragons can of course fly there, however the humanoid or land focused creatures will have to access the area through either magical means or through an existing bridge network.

Is it yet decided if Dragons will be able to shift shape to access
Humanoid Structures?

Dragons are able to access most sections of the world so the need for “shape shifting” is not very necessary... although there are rumors floating around that Dragons are able to do many amazing things.

By building up a city, can the main plot owner create a portal? And
if yes, can he set the destination of that portal?

Player created towns will have the ability for many community structures like the town portal to be created. Town portals are limited to the player’s knowledge of the lands and not the “owner” of the actual travel gate. A player may access the travel gate and travel to anywhere in the lands they have already been.

How will the mailing system work, will it be some sort of instant
messaging in game, or real E-Mail based so that you could
communicate with people outside from within the game?

Unfortunately this is a feature that will not be in for the launch of the product. We are definitely still very interested in getting this into Horizons and will be sure to update you on its features when we do.

What XML feeds will be available? Just stuff like the number of
players currently connected, or even detailed information on
guilds and players?

We are comprising a very detailed list of the XML feeds available however there are restrictions to these feeds in terms of who actually sees them, what information is displayed, etc.

Can a guild organize its own events, quests? If yes, how far can
one shape the world for own quests, and can these quests be
available for everyone?

We are in the process of working on player created/guild created events and quests, however we do not foresee this feature being in the game prior to launch.

Can Guilds form Alliances, and what bonus will arise from such an
Alliance, like Alliance banners or other goodies?

Our current guild system does not account for guild alliances.

Will there be a "Looking for Group" feature?

At this time we do not have a looking for group feature.

How can players locate each other in game? Will there be a
coordinate system, and can players maybe add another player to a
"Friend List" and see his position on a map all the time?

The friends or people list in Horizons is very extensive. You can create different groups, show whether these players are on or offline, double click on their name to send them a tell, etc. There is a coordinate system in the game for players to explain where they are located.

As for Guild Banners, how will they be created? Will it be a
system like for example DAoC is running it, or can a guild
completely draw its own banner and submit it for use in the game?

Guild banners are still a work in progress. DAoC has a very nice system for guild banners and customization. We are considering the idea of guilds submitting their artwork however the checks and balances for such a system is not currently in place. Further, new banner assets would have to be downloaded by all players, which could create a patching process every time a player logs in. We will let you know when we have arrived at a suitable solution.

The last but not least interesting question especially for
Europeans is: Will there be ANY possibility for owners of the
European version of the game to play on US servers? Or will it be
completely impossible to run international guilds/alliances?

There are solid ideas in the works that may give players the ability to play on international servers. Once these systems are in place we will be making an announcement.

Thanks for your time and good luck with the game!