Good news for you then no matter which way you roll: CCP has released a detailed blog post today laying out the structure of this year's event. Expect the usual round of keynotes, panels, debates, and player presentations, plus beer, a check-in with the Project Discovery scientists, a 2v2 single elimination tourney, more beer, tours for people who got dragged along and want to see Iceland's beauty, and beer. But the best bit looks to be a genuinely cool live-action game called The YC119 Kyonoke Inquest:
Indie studio known primarily for Shards Online.
Legends of Aria is shaking things up from the old Shards Online paradigm. In addition to the name change and broader focus, the fantasy title announced that it is going to adopt a "more conventional MMO testing platform" going forward.
"Future play-tests will now be conducted in phases of focused testing, geared towards specific areas of gameplay in preparation for final implementation," Citadel Studios said in this week's newsletter. "To accommodate the need for extra testing periods, our Steam launch will coincide with the release of the Legends of Aria Beta instead of Alpha 2."
The current Alpha 1 test will conclude on March 26th, to be followed by Alpha 2's start on April 28th. The team said that its taken a shine to the concept of a single large official server (in addition to the private ones) and that it will start to talk about all of the changes in store for Legends of Aria on March 31st in a new development blog.
We've finished rolling out all of our PAX East content this year, and we've put our MMORPG-addled noggins together to try to choose our favorites out of what we got to see in person and from afar. Read on, then vote for your own best-in-show!
As Massively OP is on the scene at PAX East this year, we've got plenty of juicy news and interviews to discuss on the show! What game is coming to console this year? What secret is Eliot hiding? Which MMO just got a name change? Find out in today's episode!
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Big changes for MMOs frequently involve giving up almost as much as you gain. Not so with Legends of Aria, the not-actually-new title from Citadel Studios. Legends of Aria is Shards Online, you see, but it's also not Shards Online. It's everything you liked about Shards Online, but it's also placed into a larger context in which the ideas behind the game can have more space to develop and grow. If you liked the game before, you'll like it now, but if you didn't like the game before, you might think a bit more fondly of it once you see the changes.
The short version is that Legends of Aria has a robust "main" server set up. That means a large-scale map, plenty of things for players to go find, and a variety of different regions with different environmental effects. It is, in other words, a full-scale MMO which you can play as much as you'd like. But it's also a full-scale MMO that allows you to look at what the developers have done and say that you don't like it... and then make your own version of the game server.
We spoke to the folks from Citadel at this year's PAX East. Read on!
Citadel's Derek "Supreem" Brinkmann says that the name change will be a big help to the game ahead of its Steam early access -- that Shards had a "stigma" for being limited by small maps and low player counts, as you'd expect from a game focused on custom shards in a classic UO style. Legends of Aria, on the other hand, will launch with a heavily expanded map and no player limits at all -- in other words, it's a real MMO.
"It's the same game, it's just a bigger scale, a bigger scope," he assures backers -- everything in the old game, including modding, is still happening in Aria.
The trailer and address from Citadel is below. Stay tuned for this weekend, too, as we'll be meeting with the studio at PAX East!
The free update will include more story quests, class updates, changes to the ability system, improvements to the faction system, a new monster card collection system, an increase to the Adena cap, and UI tweaks.
"Adventurers will be called upon to aid in the defense of the Keucereus Alliance Base, journey through the Mystic Tavern to witness Kain’s fateful fall from hero to Embryo apostle, lead the offensive into the Messiah Citadel, and embark on all-new Exalted Quests to reach even greater power and renown," the studio said.
Grand Crusade is set to arrive on March 29th. Check out its trailer below!
Last week we reported that Shards Online is winding down its alpha program and gearing up for Steam early access launch sometime in the next few months. As a follow-up to this and other improvements to the game, the team sat down for a community roundtable to talk about the next phase of Shards Online's development.
Topics include expanding loyalty options in the store, the week-long head start, the confirmation of a full wipe with the Steam launch, rewarding players retroactively with extra loyalty, the possibility for minigames, and the assurance that PvE players will have a lot of area to romp around without worrying about being ganked.
Drink in the full community roundtable and the alpha feature highlights video after the break!
Wherever there is trouble, Manastu Utakata will be there to fight it with her lightning-fast screenshot button and trademark pink hair. Villains, start running right now! The pink is coming for you and it will never, ever give up until you are six feet under the ground (in your hidey hole, shaking in your boots because you never saw it coming).
Pink: It's what's for winners.
As we rebuild our One Shots catalogue from the ruins of Livefyre, let us be blinded by the neon colors of WildStar and dye all of our hair pink in honor of a certain famous pig-tailed commenter.
Shards Online's latest newsletter is homing in on the game's Steam launch. The game hit always-on alpha back in January, but now it's eyeing plans for backer head-start on Steam -- everyone who's pledged ahead of the close of crowdfunding will be guaranteed a week-long early access period before the launch. The servers will be wiped, note, but backers will get a refund of their loyalty points to spend again and keep their loyalty titles to boot.
Citadel Studios also says that it's waiving the NDA for the game's normal client (not for the experimental client, though). The main alpha client's most recent hotfix included stability and lag fixes, plus improvements to the pet system, AI, and PvP balance, as well as a new sunken treasure system for fishermen.
Struggling though it may be, WildStar is still dreaming big -- and designing big as well. The team is working hard to test and put the final touches on its upcoming Power of the Primal Matrix update, which the devs say is a "huge" drop for the game.
Part of that update is the addition of a new scalable five-player dungeon (Coldblood Citadel) and a new prime expedition (Evil from the Ether). If you don't mind spoilers much and crave dev commentary, you can take a tour of these instances with two of the team leads responsible for their creation thanks to a recent livestream.
Head out on the hour-long tour after the break (and don't forget to pack a lunch!).
When the NDA is away, the cats will play -- and take screenshots! Bless our dear community for documenting upcoming MMOs as they venture into these virgin territories.
ZulikaMiNam had some fun in one game that I haven't seen much from readers yet: "Since there are no NDA restrictions imposed for this alpha weekend kickoff over at Shards Online I will post some pics from there. I accidentally healed a skeleton while trying to heal myself. So my name turns grey and anyone can kill me now. Time to lay low for a bit."
Are you still laying low? You can... probably come out now. That skeleton owes you a life debt for that heroic action.
It's that time again! It's time to dive back into another Shards Online alpha. Massively OP's MJ looks forward to these events so can continue to explore this upcoming sandbox. There's plenty of new goodies to talk about, and Derek "Supreem" Brinkmann will be on hand to do just that. He can also answer any questions about the game and its latest round of development. But don't distract him too much -- he promised to not to get MJ killed too many times. Join us live at 2:00 p.m. to see just how many is too many.
What: Shards Online
Who: MJ Guthrie
When: 2:00 p.m. EST on Saturday, January 14th, 2017