legends of aria

Perfect Ten: MMOs that changed their names

Names and titles fascinate me. While sometimes they have no deeper meaning than to sound pleasant and be memorable, a label can indicate purpose, history, and connection. MMORPG names are, of course, as varied as the stars in the sky, with many of them slapping “online” or “age of” somewhere in there to designate their category. But every so often, we witness a game that changes its name as part of its development and business evolution.

Today I wanted to run down 10 MMOs (well, nine MMOs and one expansion) that received notable name changes over the years. I’m not going to talk about games that created a weird rebrand for a business model shift but mostly stuck with the original title afterward (such as DDO Unlimited or WildStar Reloaded), but instead games that had vastly different names than what they ended up using.
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Betawatch: Destiny 2 storms to PC (September 1, 2017)

The open beta for Destiny 2 finally hit the PC, and while I’m generally reluctant to say that anything is the preferred platform for a given audience (people get excited about platforms I personally would never have expected), in this case it seems fair. The beta has, of course, run into some issues, but people seem to have enjoyed it even without getting to take a trip to a nice farm. Plenty of space to run around in that farm.

Also, while it seems almost like a joke to say this, it really happened: ARK: Survival Evolved finally launched. If you were waiting for launch? You were waiting for now. It has happened.

More news? You’ll no doubt hear more with the convention this weekend, but let’s go nuts anyway.

All right! Are you pumped to scroll through a whole list full of other titles currently in testing, possibly incorporating more surprises along the way but probably not? Jump on down below, then, and if you see something which ought not to be there, do let us know down in the comments.

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Legends of Aria sets final alpha test for September 21

Legends of Aria is coming back bigger and better for its final alpha playtest.

Citadel Studios announced that it has set the launch date for the MMO’s last alpha as September 21st. When the game returns next month, it will sport massive improvements over the previous versions. Some of these changes include dozens of new abilities, more weapons and armor pieces, hundreds of additional items, new lands to explore, and new places to settle.

It’s been a while since the game last had an alpha test; Alpha 2 ended a month ago, and the team subsequently promised that Alpha 3 (now the final alpha) would incorporate many of the game’s sandbox features and introduce the redesigned item economy.

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Make My MMO: Legends of Aria’s alpha, Ashes of Creation’s lofty ambitions (May 27, 2017)

This week in MMO crowdfunding, Legends of Aria — which we’ll probably never stop accidentally calling Shards Onlinebegan its alpha, introducing testers and founder pack players to the revitalized game. While gamers will still be able to roll their own “shards” and play their own way, Citadel Studios has expanded its scope and plans a much bigger map, improved combat, and official servers to bring the game in line with MMORPG gamer expectations.

Meanwhile, Grim Dawn sold a million copies on PC, Valiance Online caught us up on its weekly build, Crowfall pushed its 5.0.2 alpha to testers, AdventureQuest 3D began its Battleon attack event, Ashes of Creation revealed its lofty ambitions to be the biggest Kickstarted MMORPG ever, and Shroud of the Avatar rolled out release 42!

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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The Stream Team: A first look at Legends of Aria (and a giveaway!)

If you’ve had an interest in Shards Online but wanted something bigger and more MMO-y, we’ve got someone we’d like you to meet. Well, a something really. MMO fan, meet Legends of Aria. What is the game all about? Let’s take a look, shall we? Massively OP’s MJ is jumping in to discover just that, and she’s inviting you along. Join us live at 6:00 p.m. for a first look inside the closed beta, as well as your chance to win access for yourself! (And don’t forget you can also enter our raffle for a key, which ends tonight!)

What: Legends of Aria
Who: MJ Guthrie
When: 6:00 p.m. EDT on Saturday, May 27th, 2017

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Betawatch: Shot Online Golf is hosting its first beta test (May 26, 2017)

Golf! It’s technically a sport, but it’s mostly a waste of space and resources under the guise of one. Rather than actually wasting water, land, and time on a real golf course, why not play Shot Online Golf and get almost the same experience without any of the real waste? You can sign up for the game’s first closed beta now; the testing starts on May 31st. Of course, there’s always the vague possibility that the game secretly offers epic raid boss encounters, but let’s not leap to conclusions.

As for the rest of the beta news? Gaze below, friends.

  • Curious about the progress of OrbusVR’s most recent closed alpha? You don’t have to just be curious; you can just check out a recap and thoughts on the matter. There were only about 100 people in the testing, so you might need the recap.
  • The Worlds Adrift closed beta has arrived! No longer in alpha, you’re now testing in the second letter of the Greek alphabet! It’s meant to last about four months before an open beta for everyone, so get your testing in now.
  • Win That War is out in early access and offers a large-scale multiplayer RTS experience. Just remember which war you’re supposed to be winning, which should be fairly straightforward given the title.
  • The last big testing update for Albion Online has gone live, complete with revisions to several zones and the new Black Market feature. This one is named Hector, although politeness dictates you should refer to the update as “Mister Albion Online patch” unless it informs you that you can just call it Hector.
  • The alpha for Legends of Aria (which is Shards Online but also not Shards Online) has begun, so you can jump in and start experiencing what the game has to offer. Best of all, if you don’t like some of the rules, you can always change them.
  • Last but not least, Kritika Online is in closed beta. We have no more keys to give for the beta test, but you can still buy your way in if you’re so inclined.

Now, Mr. Bond, I expect you to go below and look at all of the other items in the list which are in testing. I also expect you to let us know if something slipped into a new test phase under our noses. And I wouldn’t mind if you let us know what you’re testing, if it’s not under NDA. Frankly, I don’t expect you to talk, but I wouldn’t mind it. It gets lonely out here.

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Enter to win a Legends of Aria alpha trial key from Citadel and MOP

Legends of Aria’s alpha launched yesterday, setting loose the new and more MMORPG-like vision for the game formerly known as Shards Online. While normally the only way into the game in its current stage is to buy a founder pack, Citadel has granted Massively OP a slew of keys to get our readers in for a trial of the game right now. Better still, there are no regional restrictions on the keys. Read on to enter to win!

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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.
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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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