Legends of Aria rewrites Shards Online’s combat system

When Legends of Aria emerged from Shards Online, it changed more than just the name. In the first Aria-era dev diary, the team explains that the combat system for the upcoming MMO has evolved since its previous version.

“Our conclusion at the end of our Shards Online Alpha was that we had taken combat many interesting places and stretched the possibilities within our engine,” the devs wrote. “Our systems had become overly complex as a result of years of ongoing live development. To realise the combat dynamics and the relationships between skill choices that we desired, we needed to engage in substantial change.”

The result is a faster combat system that is more familiar to modern MMO players and offers an “intuitive environment” for encounters. Pretty much everything, from health bars to spellcasting, has been overhauled from Shards Online, and a use-based skill system is now in place to level up individual abilities. Out of 600 possible skill points assigned to a character, 400 of those can be used for combat alone. Alternatively, players can give up 200 points to enter into the prestige system for specialized and powerful abilities.

Legends of Aria will be going into its Alpha Test 2 on April 28th.

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6 Comments on "Legends of Aria rewrites Shards Online’s combat system"

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Zeph
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Zeph

The 28th can’t come soon enough. It’s been a long pre-alpha/alpha process for Shards Online but I’ve had fun the entire ride. I can’t wait to see Citadel’s refined vision with LoA.

pepperzine
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pepperzine

Excited to check this out when the next alpha starts ^^

Solaris
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Solaris

I’ve been impressed with this Dev team since Day One. I’ve been playing Shards for about a year and a half. Great community and easily the closest we’ve been to UO since, well, UO. I’ll be curious to see the Aria changes in live.

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Greaterdivinity

Our conclusion at the end of our Shards Online Alpha was that we had taken combat many interesting places and stretched the possibilities within our engine,” the devs wrote. “Our systems had become overly complex as a result of years of ongoing live development.

Years of ongoing live development.

End of our Shards Online Alpha.

Man, game development is in a really weird place right now.

Reader
ket

There is a conflict between good software development, and good entertainment development, because video games are entertainment software.

Software wants to be released early, and often, with frequent iterations and many changes. Buggy but useful for something is good enough, provided the software is earlier to market than other less useful and more buggy options. Think of Windows, or Netscape / IE, especially the early years.

Entertainment wants to be prepared in secret, shown only to a few expert insiders who often have a keen insight to what makes for quality. Although this has faded in the last 25 years or so, it was very much the case in early film and music. Early releases of scripts or tracks are considered as spoilers, that detract from the appeal of the finished production.

Compounding this tension is the investment scene, which has been pretty sketched out by awful disasters that squander many millions of development money.

All of this makes for a pretty messy situation for game development.

Zeph
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Zeph

That’s a great insight. Thanks.

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