citadel

See: Citadel Studios

Legends of Aria works toward June open beta

Hope you haven’t booked that summer vacation just yet, because Legends of Aria would like to interest in a fantasy holiday. The studio announced this week that it is a patch or two away from open beta, which it hopes to start in June.

The wider testing base is necessary, Citadel Studios said, in order to “start addressing the issues we can only find with lots of people.” So there’s a pretty good chance you’ll be in and enjoying this Ultima Online spiritual successor before too long, assuming that you are interested.

Following June’s open beta, Legends of Aria will go into an early access soft launch through its own client. Citadel is still holding back on its plans for going live on Steam and rolling out a marketing campaign as it evaluates how the next few months progress. However, the studio said that in all likelihood these events will happen this autumn.

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Citadel: Forged With Fire lets you bring your tamed creatures with you through fast travel

Fast travel is important with Citadel: Forged With Fire, but it had an obnoxious and somewhat weird little quirk: Hopping through a portal wouldn’t bring the mount you tamed through the portal with you. So you would have to wait for it to catch up with you from half a world away, and while the mental image might have been hilarious it didn’t make a whole lot of sense. Not so any longer, though! The game now allows tamed critters to follow you through quick travel, so you both wind up at your destination at the same time.

The patch also fixes several bugs and improves the appearance of some unpowered magic structures, which makes for a smaller patch overall with one major quality of life fix. So you no longer get the mental image of a horse booking it across all sorts of landscapes to get to where you teleported, but you also don’t need to stand outside of the portal and wait for that horse like the world’s most nonsensical Lyft driver. Swings and roundabouts.

Source: Steam page

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The MOP Up: EverQuest II’s Fallen Gate moves forward (April 22, 2017)

The MMO industry moves along at the speed of information, and sometimes we’re deluged with so much news here at Massively Overpowered that some of it gets backlogged. That’s why there’s The MOP Up: a weekly compilation of smaller MMO stories and videos that you won’t want to miss. Seen any good MMO news? Hit us up through our tips line!

Maybe you’ll discover a new game in this space — or be reminded of an old favorite! This week we have stories and videos from Uncharted Waters OnlineThe DivisionPaladinsTERAReign of GuildsWar ThunderEscape from TarkovMagic the Gathering ArenaHearthstoneHeroes of the StormWakfuARK ParkEverQuest IIPokemon GoElder Scrolls OnlineCrossoutEverQuestNeverwinter, Citadel, and Kritika Online, all waiting for you after the break!

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Massively Overthinking: The best of PAX East and GDC in 2018

The past couple of weeks has been wild as we dispatched writers to GDC in San Francisco and PAX East in Boston to gather up and bring back everything they could on the MMORPGs large and small on the spring convention circuit. In fact, as I type this, we’ve got Brendan in Reykjavik for EVE Fanfest too! So for this week’s Overthinking, we’re rounding up our coverage and then reflecting on the best and worst as we pick out what most excites, surprises, and disappoints us: First the roundups, then our thoughts. Read on!

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Citadel: Forged With Fire is adding daily quests with its next patch

Look, readers, we’re a little pressed for time, so perhaps you can do us a favor and just add “like daily quests” mentally at the end of every subsequent sentence of this particular post? You see, Citadel: Forged With Fire is adding new daily quests to give players something to do on a regular basis. You can locate them via a special exclamation mark over their heads that will then prompt you to do something for relatively vague purposes, like killing a group of elk.

Accepting the quest pops up a little UI notification telling you your objectives and how close you are to completion. Once you’ve done the deed, head back to the questgiver and pick up your reward, then come back around tomorrow to do the same or a similar thing tomorrow for more rewards. It’s a time-honored system, but it should give fans of the game something to do on a regular basis other than just building and wandering around.

Source: Steam page

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PAX East 2018: Catching up on Legends of Aria’s improvements since the last PAX

When I saw Legends of Aria last year, right after it had dropped the Shards Online name and expanded to be a full-fledged MMORPG, it looked pretty good. Not spectacular, perhaps, but it definitely looked like something you could point to and agree that it was ready for the prime time. I was reasonably impressed with what the team had on display in terms of graphics, especially considering the size of the team behind the game.

This year, though, the game is looking significantly better than it did before. Where before I thought it looked good for an indie title, now it’s looking pretty nice for a title, period. And it’s still just as indie as it’s ever been.

Obviously, there isn’t a long stretch of time between what the team discussed at this year’s GDC and PAX East, so most of the talk that MOP’s Andrew had with the team still applies and I won’t rehash that here. The centerpiece of the team’s presence at PAX East was about showing off the game’s improved demo, by which I of course mean “the actual game running on live servers,” because the stuff that was there for the demo stations was also on the live version of the game. Which is, again, to the team’s credit.

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Citadel: Forged With Fire upgrades to the newest Unreal Engine

Today’s patch for Citadel: Forged With Fire brings the game up to the latest iteration of the Unreal Engine! That’s great news, isn’t it? Very special and wonderful. You are probably nodding along right now with no real understanding of what it actually means, because you are not a programmer and thus have no real context for it beyond “new version means good.” Luckily, the team has discussed what the engine upgrade actually means as part of the patch announcement.

This version of the engine brings lots of server optimization tricks from Fortnite into the game, so you can expect better performance there; the game has also swapped to an event-driven loading setup that will further improve overall performance when loading assets into the game. The patch also fixes a number of nagging bugs in the game unrelated to the engine, which means that it should be a more pleasant experience to play across the board.

Source: Steam

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GDC 2018: The Legends of Aria devs talk closed beta, gankbox PvP, and the MMORPG genre

One thing I love about GDC compared to other conventions I cover is how many actual developers I get to talk to, especially without PR and Marketing handlers. Everyone has his or her job, I understand that, but my job as press it to cut through those two departments to get what the actual product is. Nothing helps that more than understanding the thoughts behind design decisions, and that can rarely come from people who aren’t keyboard deep in code and design docs.

My talk with Citadel Studios’ Founder and CEO Derek “Supreem” Brinkmann and Lead Designer Jeffrey “Miphon” Edwards felt like the right kind of interview for just that. I’m not someone who backed their project, and I’m not sure if Legends of Aria (formerly Shards Online) is my type of game, but after checking it out for myself, I feel like the game is in capable hands.

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Legends of Aria is pushing out a quality-of-life patch ahead of PAX East

The next big patch for Legends of Aria does not signal the start of the next beta phase. Instead, it signals moving to a more robust version of the game ahead of the game’s demo stations at this year’s PAX East convention at the beginning of April. After all, it’s better to give players a demonstration of the real game than a potemkin village (a comparison drawn by the developers, even), and why not give actual players more fun stuff when it’s the same amount of work?

As for what’s in the update itself, players can look forward to tinting their armors with various hues, a new pass of optimization, and a greatly improved starting experience for new players. That last one means making it clear that the game is completely without classes, adding more character creation options, and providing better guidance at the beginning. The patch is due out for March 30th, so please look forward to it sooner rather than later.

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EVE Evolved: What pushes EVE Online players to breaking point?

How many times have you read the comments on an EVE Online article and found someone talking about an experience they had that turned them off the game? They were suicide ganked and lost a month’s worth of progress in 30 seconds, scammed out of all their ISK, or their corporation fell apart after a war declaration. Even former players who look back fondly on their time in EVE Online will relate some event or trend that ultimately pushed them away from the game, whether it’s a gameplay change that ruined the way they liked to play, their alliance suddenly losing all of its territory, a valued friend quitting the game, or a social structure they relied on breaking down.

These natural breaking points happen to all players eventually, and some will invariably take the opportunity to quit the game when they occur. EVE is more of a long-term hobby than a game, so it’s only natural that some players will leave the game if something catastrophically upsets the way they’ve learned to enjoy that hobby. Lately I’ve been thinking about these moments in which a player can lose something they’ve invested heavily into, and wondering whether there’s something more that could be done to minimise these failure states. Should CCP provide safety nets for players against catastrophic failure, or is this just part of the player-directed nature of the sandbox?

In this edition of EVE Evolved, I consider some of the things that can push a player to breaking point, and whether additional safety nets would make a difference.

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Mythic and Undead Labs’ Sanya Weathers jumps over to Legends of Aria’s Citadel Studios

If you’ve been following the MMO industry for a while, chances are you’ve seen the name Sanya Weathers pop up from time to time. Weathers has been both an MMO reporter and a community manager for various studios, including Undead Labs, Metaverse, and Mythic Entertainment. Now she has a new job at Legends of Aria’s Citadel Studios, and she’s bringing her experience and energy to this indie MMO.

It sounds as if Weathers is pretty stoked to be back working on an MMO: “Being part of a world like Legends of Aria is like coming home for me. This is going to be amazing, y’all. There is a lot going on behind the scenes, and I’ll be able to share some of it soon.”

She did say that she’s spending a lot of time right now preparing for Legends of Aria’s appearance at PAX East next month, where the game will have a small booth.

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EVE Evolved: EVE Online’s March balance update has players excited

The EVE Online community came down pretty hard on CCP Games at the start of the year, with podcasts, blogs, and the Council of Stellar Management all highlighting a recent lack of balance changes and iterations. CCP responded with a renewed wave of updates, and it’s safe to say that the studio is absolutely knocking it out of the park. The upcoming March patch will include surprise buffs for the Muninn and Eagle, damage increases for the Cyclone and Drake Navy Issue, and an unexpected change to Attack Battlecruisers that could turn the fleet PvP meta completely on its head. The Orthrus is also finally getting its long-awaited nerf, and some careful tweaks will end the dominance of Ferox and Machariel fleets.

As if that wasn’t enough good news for one month, developers also plan to release a completely new class of ship designed exclusively for fleet commanders, are finally adding blueprint-locking to citadels and engineering complexes, and have some big territorial warfare improvements in the pipeline. The horrible but often necessary Jump Fatigue mechanic is finally being re-evaluated, and players will no longer be able to use citadel tethering mechanics to easily move capital ships in absolute safety. The territorial capture gameplay and the Entosis Link module used in nullsec sovereignty warfare are also being improved based on player feedback. The community hasn’t been this positive about upcoming changes for quite some time!

In this edition of EVE Evolved, I lay out the details of the upcoming ship balance overhaul, the new Monitor fleet command ship, and other changes coming in the March update.

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The MOP Up: Closers chooses its next character (March 4, 2018)

The MMO industry moves along at the speed of information, and sometimes we’re deluged with so much news here at Massively Overpowered that some of it gets backlogged. That’s why there’s The MOP Up: a weekly compilation of smaller MMO stories and videos that you won’t want to miss. Seen any good MMO news? Hit us up through our tips line!

Maybe you’ll discover a new game in this space — or be reminded of an old favorite! This week we have stories and videos from War of RightsBlade and SoulLineage 2 RevolutionDarwin ProjectPlayerUnknown’s BattlegroundsClosersElder Scrolls OnlineBlessSoulworker OnlineSkyforgeThe Black DeathSaga of LucimiaDungeon Fighter OnlineMu OriginProsperous UniverseLegends of AriaBattlerite, and Aura Kingdom Mobile, all waiting for you after the break!

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