Legends of Aria’s alpha has begun, infusing the Shards Online sandbox with MMORPG

Back at PAX East, MMO players were startled but pleased at the revelation that Shards Online was getting a massive revamp as well as a new name: Legends of Aria. The key to the switcheroo is the shift from being “just” small-scale player-run shards to a full-scale MMORPG with a heavily expanded map hosted by the studio as well.

Today, after a few minor delays this spring and a combat overhaul, the game’s alpha is officially live.

“The land mass of the game has been increased by 10-fold, mounts have been added, combat reworked, the UI overhauled, archery has made it in the game, and so much more. 2 of the 8 new regions have been unveiled, with more to come as Alpha and Beta progress this summer. […] Basically, this gives fans of Shards Online what they’ve been asking for – a bigger, bolder, truly MMORPG version of the game.”

Citadel Studios has an interactive world map as well as a PvP killboard online if you just want to gawk, but you can actually play right now too with the purchase of a $40 founder pack.

We had Citadel’s Derek Brinkmann on the Massively OP Podcast not that long ago — give it a listen to truly understand how much is changing since Shards was first announced.

We’ve also tucked the trailer and new infographic down below!

Source: Press release, official patch announcement
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8 Comments on "Legends of Aria’s alpha has begun, infusing the Shards Online sandbox with MMORPG"

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Dan

Is this an ongoing alpha, or do we wait weeks between weekend cycles?

Celestia
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Celestia

I hope this one is a big success for them. Looking forward to seeing their work.

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socontrariwise

So how does it play nowadays? I was in Alpha briefly and don’t recall much, didn’t stay long. But I would really wish they succeed, I’m very much looking for a new home …

Zeph
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Zeph

It’s great. The LoA transition means that a lot of systems are offline but the ones that are up and working are pretty fun. There are bugs and kinks to work out but the core is very much refined in comparison to Shards Online.

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Robert Mann

Sadly for them, the only way this one was ever going to be on my radar was as a fun occasional little thing with those who wanted to create a small network of places as we liked. The swap to MMO removed that idea. :(

I mean, I wish them good luck, but another sandbox game with absolutely no rules/PvP restrictions outside of tiny areas (litterbox)… nope. I’m all for a good sandbox. I’m all for well done PvP, even open world PvP, provided there are rules and consequences that matter (which is basically a joke for most games, because the rules and consequences we tend to see just don’t matter.)

The same old thing, where the most advantageous play style is to just murder people over and over again? Nope. Not doing that. Especially not buying into that. After all, the game will die soon enough, as all those dedicated to ganking or griefing move on after locusting the few foolish souls who will otherwise try the game. I’m not rich enough nor foolish enough to pay money for a game I know is dying sooner rather than later.

Zeph
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Zeph

Honestly this is a pretty broad mischaracterization of what LoA is aiming to be.

1. The map increase and focus on building out the LoA MMO has not diminished the plans for community servers. You’ll still be able to build your network, only now that network has the potential to be much bigger and host more robust maps.

2. This is not an open PvP game with no rules. There are consequences for murdering others: red status (able to be attacked freely), guard hostility, actual exile from the protected lands, to name some hard system rules. The protected area of the map is actually not very small at all. A sizeable chunk of the map is protected, and a good deal more is patrolled and dotted by guard towers. Citadel Studios is on the record that they want to provide content for both PvE players and PvP players, but that they believe in a unified world design. If that’s not for you, cool, but don’t paint the game as some horrible gankbox. It’s not that. The majority of the content added so far has been PvE stuff, within the protected area of the map. The facts about the game don’t bear your assertions out.

3. I don’t see the game dying. LoA is not a FFA gankbox, non-PvPers will have plenty of room to breathe. Players who fundamentally disagree with the concept of open PvP might be better entertained with another game.

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kaje

They’re still supporting third party servers that can be modded to the server owner’s content. So I’m sure there will be PvE, RP, non-PvP, etc. servers.

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