legends of aria

Official Site: Legends of Aria
Studio: Citadel Studios
Launch Date: N/A
Genre: Moddable Sandbox MMORPG
Business Model: B2P
Platform: PC

Originally titled Shards Online

Make My MMO: Albion Online hits Steam, Camelot Unchained tackles crafting (May 19, 2018)

This week in MMO crowdfunding, buy-to-play sandbox Albion Online, which launched back in 2017, formally landed on Steam, bringing its blend of PvP warfare to a totally new audience. While the game never ran a Kickstarter, it did raise close to $10,000,000 from a quarter of a million backers through website crowdfunding and preorder packages prior to its release last summer, making it one of the higher profile crowdfunded MMORPGs to actually make it to launch and keep on producing content.

In Camelot Unchained – you’re still keeping an eye on the upcoming beta one, right? – the devs are busy sending early backers into the test server this weekend to break things. Among the bits and bobs CSE is working on? The crafting system, a major environment bug, character creation rendering, new ambient music, scenario maps, trait icons, animations, and “a new template for the home islands.”

Meanwhile, the Pantheon team sat down for a stream and revealed the first of its three classes, Ship of Heroes posted gobs of new screenshots to its Instagram, Elite Dangerous proposed making its factional combat mode entirely open PvP, and Legends of Aria patched in some good stuff, including the first iteration of secure trading.

Read on for more on what’s up with MMO crowdfunding over the last week and the weekly roundup of all the crowdfunded MMOs we’re following.

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Perfect Ten: MMOs with different (camera) perspectives

By the time that World of Warcraft came on the scene in 2004, the MMORPG industry had already gravitated toward standard when it came to the interface — specifically, the camera angle. MMO players and devs seemed to prefer third-person views that either peered over the shoulder of avatars or followed right behind them. For decades now, we’ve grown used to watching our characters’ rears as they jog along, and we can’t really imagine the experience otherwise.

Yet when you think about it, while this camera perspective is overwhelmingly used in the genre, it’s not the only one that crops up in MMOs. We’ve seen both old and new titles experiment with the camera angle, sometimes out of style and sometimes out of necessity (here’s a great Gamasutra article on the subject).

For today’s list, we’re going to look at 10 MMORPGs where the camera is positioned in a different way than you’d normally expect, especially if you are coming from modern games.

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Betawatch: World of Warcraft moves Battle for Azeroth to beta testing (April 27, 2018)

We spent most of this week watching the slow-motion (and not-so-slow-motion) implosion of a well-known company, so it’s easy for big beta news to have been put on the sidelines. For example, did you notice that World of Warcraft: Battle for Azeroth is in beta testing now? Any other week that would be up for headlines! It kind of got tossed to the back burner this week.

There was other news, too, including lots of launch dates. Don’t believe me? Well, just check this out:

Ah, well, let’s not dwell on all of that. Let’s move on to the list of games in testing! Some of them in testing forever, some of them never to move on! Some of them to never move on officially, but with working cash shops that make a mockery of the term “open beta!” Let us know if you see any of those down there, we appreciate it.

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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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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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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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Make My MMO: Shroud of the Avatar sheds its early access… shroud (March 31, 2018)

This week in MMO crowdfunding, Shroud of the Avatar formally launched with the release of R52 this week, which might be confusing to gamers who’ve been playing the soft launch since mid-2016, but this one’s official. Richard Garriott-backed studio Portalarium has since published details for its first three post-launch updates.

Meanwhile, Star Citizen’s alpha 3.1 went live, a former WoW designer is Kickstarting a huge coffee table book, Ship of Heroes talked engine upgrades, Dual Universe founder JC Baillie made the case for Ready Player One as reality, we chatted with the Legends of Aria team at GDC, Star Citizen dinged up to 2M accounts, Chronicles of Elyria showed off its character creation, Valiance Online teased auras, and Swedish crowdfunding platform FundedByMe passed half a billion SEK (about 60 million USD) in crowdfunding across all its projects.

Read on for more on what’s up with MMO crowdfunding over the last week and the weekly roundup of all the crowdfunded MMOs we’re following.

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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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Make My MMO: Elite Dangerous players expose ‘wanker function’ hacker (March 24, 2018)

This week in MMO crowdfunding, Elite Dangerous players scoped out the dirty doings of the paid HCS voice pack plugin, which was apparently intentionally and maliciously sabotaging other programs and packs – whose makers happen to be embroiled in a legal dispute – to stop them from working together. The best part is the name of the function that has everyone up in arms: “wanker.” One of the coders ‘fessed up on Reddit and fell on his sword as patches undoing the mischief were rolled out, but the community is pretty miffed and talking chargebacks. Either way, maybe triple check the third-party mods you install on your system, yeah? (Thanks, Risen Aegis!)

Meanwhile, Star Citizen brought back a round of ship sales and opened alpha 3.2 features up to a vote, we reported on our trip to Shroud of the Avatar’s launch party, Pantheon teased its character modeling, City of Titans released more Scorpion lore, Albion Online tweaked its Lancelot update, and we chatted up Ship of Heroes’ devs at GDC 2018.

Read on for more on what’s up with MMO crowdfunding over the last week and the weekly roundup of all the crowdfunded MMOs we’re following.

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Betawatch: A Bless Online-ed event (March 23, 2018)

After all of the false starts, delays, and dearths of information, we finally know the truth this week. Bless Online is coming to early access in May, finally making its way over here. We even had a lengthy interview about the game’s development plans, so if you’ve been watching it for ages, you can find out more about it. And that includes no lockboxes, thankfully.

So let’s move on, shall we? There’s other beta news, and we’re dropping it right… here. After the end of these sentences.

And after all that getting, why not get yourself down to the list of games in testing below? If you got something we didn’t get, you can get in touch with us in the comments to get things back on track. Get the idea?

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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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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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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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