legends of aria

Legends of Aria charges straight at the Knight prestige class

What is a skill-based, freeform character system doing with classes? While it might seem like an oxymoron, Legends of Aria says that it has good reason for including optional prestige classes in its skill-based MMO, which is that it offers more choice for enhanced playstyles without destroying the game’s balance. To tell the truth, the explanation for all of this seems a little murky after the team’s strongly worded diatribe against classes, but we’ll hope they know what they’re doing.

A new dev blog goes into depth about the “defensively minded” Knight prestige class, including its skills. The Knight has an AoE taunt, can bash opponents with his shield, and can activate a “vanguard” mode to become an unmovable pain-returning champion. Right now the game is limiting players to a single prestige class each, with these classes only sporting three abilities, although this is expected to change.

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Make My MMO: Ashes of Creation’s Kickstarter, ROKH’s early access, Valiance’s map (May 6, 2017)

This week in MMO crowdfunding, Ashes of Creation made the leap to Kickstarter, raising (so far as I type this) 1.35M, far more than its $750,000 goal. The game has kept the MMO community busy all week, though it hasn’t been without its issues.

On the survival sandbox front, Mars-themed ROKH released a new trailer and screenshots. It’s slated to hit early access later this month.

Meanwhile, Legends of Aria (fka Shards Online) suffered a delay, Crowfall has a big reveal coming in May, OrbusVR ran its second (brief!) closed alpha with the runemage rework, Grim Dawn teased its upcoming new gear and Inquisitor in a new trailer (below), Pantheon unveiled the Monk, Elite Dangerous’ Salome event ended in disaster, and Valiance Online posted several updates — including a mock-up of its map!

Read on for more on what’s up with MMO crowdfunding over the last week and the regular roundup of all the crowdfunded MMOs we’ve got our eye on.

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Betawatch: Ashes of Creation is burning up the Kickstarter (May 5, 2017)

Remember when Ashes of Creation showed up out of nowhere? We sure do, and now it’s hit Kickstarter. It’s also hitting stretch goals left and right after hitting its funding goal quite quickly. We’ve even got a pair of interviews about it, one regarding the game in general and the other covering its CEO’s business past and ambitions. So, yeah, that’s been the big thing this week.

That might be the big centerpiece story, but there are always more things going on in the beta sphere. Heck, a lot of them feel pretty meaty on their own. Check this out:

That’s it! Oh, except for all of the stuff on the list below. So that’s it for everything not on the list. Also, some of the stuff on the list. Look, just check out the list below and let us know if something slipped into a new test phase while we weren’t looking, all right?

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Legends of Aria delays next alpha test to May 12

The Game Formerly Known As Shards Online (which can also be represented by an abstract symbol or its new name, Legends of Aria) announced a slight delay in the start of its next alpha test to finish getting all of its digital ducks in a row. Alpha 2 has been rescheduled for May 12th, although the team will be streaming a demo of the game on Monday, May 8th, for those who find that the waiting is the hardest part.

In the meantime, discussion is swirling about concerning the game’s first prestige class, the Knight. Prestige classes offer more specialization and complexity for those who want a more focused character, and the Knight is keen on becoming a damage mitigation expert with the ability to stun his opponents.

Gaining access to the Knight will require some work: “In order to access The Knight, a player must meet certain prerequisite skills and obtain the Knight Prestige Scroll. Once unlocked, the prestige skill will be added to your skill list and occupy the equivalent of 1 skill at Grandmaster level (100 points of your total skill cap). All prestige classes begin at first level and progress via an experience system. Players may then unlock advanced abilities as they progress to subsequent levels.”

Source: Newsletter, Legends of Aria. Thanks Pepperzine!

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Make My MMO: Star Citizen’s roadmap, Elite Dangerous’ Commanders, and Starfighter’s successful Kickstarter (April 15, 2017)

This week in MMO crowdfunding, it’s been a battle of the space MMOs.

  • Elite: Dangerous rolled out its Commanders 2.3 update, introducing what our own Justin dubbed “sitting in cockpits” — you won’t be walking in stations per se, but you will at least be able to roll up impressively detailed avatars and multi-crew your spaceships.
  • Late last night, Star Citizen published its 2017 development roadmap, suggesting that 3.0 will arrive this summer, though it’ll be less ambitious in scope than originally planned, as some of its features will be pushed to later in the year.
  • And congrats are due to Starfighter Inc., which pulled off a big Kickstarter win earlier this afternoon and takes home over $170,000.

Meanwhile, Ashes of Creation posted some gorgeous new concept art, Dual Universe posted its latest newsletter and video dev diary with alpha footage, Crowfall canceled its weekend playtest but made headway on expanding gender for its classes, Valiance Online showed off its special effects, and Kickstarted Planet Nomads geared up for early access next week.

Read on for more on what’s up with MMO crowdfunding over the last week and the regular roundup of all the crowdfunded MMOs we’ve got our eye on.

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Betawatch: SkySaga’s alpha is coming to a happy end (April 14, 2017)

It’s very rare that this job allows us to use the terms “shutdown” and “good” in the same sentence, but the upcoming alpha shutdown for SkySaga is one of those rare instances. After all, the only reason the alpha test is shutting down is so that the game can move into its open beta, which will serve as a de facto soft launch. See? That’s a good thing.

Other betas were doing stuff this week, too, so that’s also a good thing.

And we’ve got our full list of games just below if you’d like a more rundown-style update. As always, we appreciate it if you let us know what stuff has jumped to another phase of testing or might otherwise be erroneous; we do our best to keep up with changes, but we do miss things from time to time.

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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.”

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Make My MMO: Elite’s Commanders, SOTA’s R40, Starfighter’s AMA (April 1, 2017)

This week in MMO crowdfunding, Elite: Dangerous rather unceremoniously announced on social media that the 2.3 Commanders update will launch around the middle of April — this is the huge update with multicrew ship functionality and the character creation system. (Thanks, ThatLanteshGuy!)

Meanwhile, Shroud of the Avatar launched its 40th update, Sweden jumped into small-scale equity crowdfunding with FundedByMe, Dual Universe reassured players about its video graphics, Edengrad hits early access this coming week, and Starfighter, Inc. held an AMA to promote its ongoing Kickstarter.

We also hosted Legends of Aria founder Derek Brinkmann on a special edition of the podcast this week, so if you’re curious about the large-scale future of what used to be the more small-scale Shards Online, give it a thorough listen. Then read on for more on what’s up with MMO crowdfunding over the last week and the regular roundup of all the crowdfunded MMOs we’ve got our eye on.

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Massively OP Podcast Episode 110: Legends of Aria’s Derek Brinkmann

Join us in welcoming today Citadel Studios’ Project Lead Derek Brinkmann from Legends of Aria (fka Shards Online) for an hour-long interview about the game’s rebranding, new MMO focus, and upcoming alpha tests!

It’s the Massively OP Podcast, an action-packed hour of news, tales, opinions, and gamer emails! And remember, if you’d like to send in your own letter to the show, use the “Tips” button in the top-right corner of the site to do so.

Listen to the show right now:

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Make My MMO: Star Citizen’s subber promo, Planet Nomads’ early access, Project Gorgon’s bards (March 25, 2017)

This week in MMO crowdfunding, Star Citizen capped off a week of DirectX revelations and mega map explanations with a round of celebrations — for its fifth year of subscriptions. Folks who join the game’s dev subber program pick up a magazine, discounts, and extra test access; sub before April 17th while the promo is live, you get vending machine flair for your hangar. At least you’ll have cold beverages while you wait for the game, right? (Thanks, Cotic!)

Elsewhere in space MMOs, congrats are due to Planet Nomads, which was Kickstarted last year and is now plotting an early access launch for April 18th.

And in epic news for fans of the best video game class of all time, Project Gorgon rolled out the bard support skills for testing this week. Don’t think you’re just going to pick up a lute and start strumming, either: “As you advance in Bard skill, you will also need to improve other skills, including performance, vocabulary, and poetry appreciation.” Bring your thesaurus!

Meanwhile, ECO patched in some major upgrades to its economy, Starfighter is nearing half its goal with 20 days remaining (thanks Crow!), Ever, Jane’s beta picked up horseback riding features, Camelot Unchained danced with its own bot army, City of Titans previewed its core archetypes, SOTA nabbed a new newsletter layout, and The Exiled’s early access began its second season.

Read on for more on what’s up with MMO crowdfunding over the last week and the regular roundup of all the crowdfunded MMOs we’ve got our eye on.

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Legends of Aria begins focused testing, delays Steam launch

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.

Source: Newsletter

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PAX East 2017: Citadel Studios on Shards Online’s switch to Legends of Aria

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!

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Make My MMO: Shards becomes Legends of Aria, The Repopulation revivifies (March 11, 2017)

This week in MMO crowdfunding, Shards Online surprised the gamer community by announcing a namechange — to Legends of Aria — and a scope-change, the good kind of scope change if you’re an MMO player, as the game just got bigger.

More good news: The Repopulation is expected to come back online for original backers and Steam buyers tomorrow. Idea Fabrik expects the sandbox to once again be for sale on Steam later this month.

Still more good news! As I write this, indie VR MMO OrbusVR has nearly tripled its Kickstarter goal already. Its whirlwind one-week campaign ends on Monday.

Meanwhile, gamers pledged over $12K US to bring Swedish brawler RUiN to a winning Kickstarter a few days back, but Caribbean Conquest wasn’t so fortunate: Its Kickstarter ended unsuccessfully earlier this week. Plus, Dogma: Eternal Night worked on its character module, Grim Dawn talked itemization, and AdventureQuest 3D hyped The Dragons of Ashfall.

Read on for more on what’s up with MMO crowdfunding over the last week and the regular roundup of all the crowdfunded MMOs we’ve got our eye on.

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