shards online

Official Site: Shards Online
Studio: Citadel Studios
Launch Date: N/A
Genre: Hyper-Moddable Sandbox
Business Model: B2P
Platform: PC

Make My MMO: Smed's new studio, Camelot's beta, and Elite's Holo-Me (February 18, 2017)

This week in MMO crowdfunding, we did a retrospective on why crowdfunded MMOARPG Hero's Song failed. It's almost as if Justin knew (cue spooky music) because two days later, Hero's Song's John Smedley and most of the Pixelmage team showed up at Amazon, announcing a new studio and a new game for the shopping giant's games division. In other words, don't expect Smed back on Kickstarter any time soon.

Meanwhile, Star Citizen's alpha 2.6.1 went live, we poked around TUG's status, Elite Dangerous demoed its upcoming "Holo-Me" character creator, The Exiled prepped for next week's launch, Ruin of the Reckless entered its backer test phase, and Camelot Unchained hinted at beta.

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

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Betawatch: Open season in sight for Revelation Online (February 17, 2016)

Those of you who have waited eagerly for the day when everyone can jump into Revelation Online won't have to wait much longer, as the game's open beta is starting up March 6th. Players who purchased one of the game's founder's packs will be able to get in a little bit earlier, to boot. The game also showed off its special skills, which is "break the rules" special rather than "riding a different bus to school" special.

Shall we cover other beta news this week? Yes! Why not? You may join us in a chortle.

Yes, that's all a bit quiet, but the list down below can be raucous despite our best efforts to silence it. You can let us know if parts of the list deserve more consideration down in the comments, like if a title has slipped into launch without us catching it. We keep putting up nets but some titles slip through. I suspect there's a hive.

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Shards Online pumps up early access hype with a community roundtable

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!

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Make My MMO: Camelot Unchained, Mekria, TUG, and more (February 11, 2017)

This week in MMO crowfunding was... well, it was a big week for gaming in general, and Kickstarted games rose to the challenge! In fact, we could barely pump out the news fast enough. Here's what went on this week:

  • Camelot Unchained continued work on "big ticket" development issues, like animation and effects and abilities for bots.
  • Mekria Online, which we introduced only last week, has already canceled its Kickstarter; the studio vows to return with more to show players next round.
  • Ashes of Creation released its first gameplay video, a "movie-like" version that'll see a UI-laden edition next week.
  • Gloria Victis introduced its new Glory system as well as the ability to burn down ALL THE THINGS. Seriously.
  • TUG's latest Kickstarter update tells backers that the team is working on gameplay prototyping and touted its recent investor presentation.
  • Ship of Heroes previewed one of its signature heroes, Dr. Ellen Strikewell.
  • Shards Online is prepping for its Steam launch with an impending wipe and NDA drop.
  • Valiance Online posted four new videos of the alpha client! We've tucked one down below.
  • Crowfall canceled its weekend playtest over studio concerns that the current version of the build isn't up to snuff.
  • Grim Dawn rolled out a massive new patch.
  • and Shroud of the Avatar rounds out my super-long list with a post-mortem Q&A -- video and text versions -- on its latest release.

I told you it was busy, and there's more down below! Read on for more on what's up with MMO crowdfunding over the last few weeks and the regular roundup of all the crowdfunded MMOs we've got our eye on.

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Shards Online plans wipe, drops NDA ahead of impending Steam launch

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.

Source: Newsletter

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One Shots: Healin' skellies in Shards Online

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.

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Make My MMO: The Repopulation's new owner, Shards Online's alpha (January 14, 2017)

This week in MMO crowdfunding news, Above & Beyond announced that Hero Engine company Idea Fabrik has acquired all rights to its indie sci-fi sandbox MMORPG The Repopulation and will be relaunching the game -- in the Hero Engine -- with a new content patch sometime in Q1 2017. The game had originally raised $230,000 in Kickstarter funds in 2012 and 2014 and made it to early access in 2014, only to become entangled in a financial drama with Idea Fabrik over a year ago, which kept the game offline for a year while A&B built Fragmented with the goal of porting Repop to Unreal. The port will no longer be happening, but A&B is still working on Fragmented's console version. Definitely check out our whole article on what's up -- we've got an exclusive interview with A&B there as well.

Meanwhile,

Read on for more on what's up with MMO crowdfunding over the last few weeks and the regular roundup of all the crowdfunded MMOs we've got our eye on!

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The Stream Team: Stepping back into a Shards alpha with Brinkmann

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

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Shards Online's always-on alpha is now live

Citadel Studios' MMORPG Shards Online has formally launched its alpha today. "Alpha for a game like this means we’ve pretty much got all the major systems working cohesively, and that we’ve got a lot of the game’s launch content nailed down," CEO Derek Brinkmann says. "We’ve hit all the major milestones from our Kickstarter, and we’re finally ready to keep the servers up 24/7. By no means is our work done, but we’re at a point now where we really think we've delivered on promise that was made during our Kickstarter campaign."

If you've ever played the game on a trial key in the past, your trial has been renewed for the weekend. If you aren't one of those lucky souls, then you can either back the game ($40) to get in or enter to win a trial key from us right here, as Citadel has granted Massively OP 100 keys for this weekend's alpha test, which we'll be raffling off in time for you to hop in tomorrow. Read on to enter to win (and to check out the brand-new trailer)!

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Make My MMO: Shards Online's January alpha, Star Citizen's Star Marine (December 24, 2016)

This week in MMO crowdfunding news, Shards Online announced it'll kick off its alpha early in the new year, on January 13th. "Based on the feedback we've received from our current playerbase, there are a few things that need to happen before we can consider ourselves ready for Steam," says Citadel's Derek Brinkmann -- and those include a bigger world map, tamed mounts, the archery skill, modding, and dev tools.

And last night, Star Citizen dropped 2.6 Star Marine for backers, along with the surprise announcement that it's been using Amazon Lumberyard for over a year now.

Meanwhile,

  • Former City of Heroes community member Je Saist has set up a GoFundMe to help him pay off medical bills accruing as a result of his early onset glaucoma diagnosis.
  • John Smedley told Redditors that "money is tight" for Hero's Song.
  • Project Gorgon pulled in over $17,000 from its Indiegogo campaign.
  • Grim Dawn rolled out its 1.0.0.7 patch, which includes a massive outdoor "Aetherial roguelike" dungeon.
  • Elite: Dangerous raised £46,813 during its recent charity livestream.
  • Descent: Underground announced its Avalanche update and GOG launch.
  • Wild Terra updated with its Christmas event this very weekend.

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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Perfect Ten: All the MMORPGs coming in 2017

Right now we are in a strange place in MMORPG history. Following the backlash of WoW clones and several high-profile titles that underperformed, major studios are becoming extremely risk-averse to creating big-budget titles the way that we saw not five years ago. Many former MMO teams are diversifying with shooters, MOBAs, and other safer and trendier titles.

Yet all is not lost! MMO features continue to ripple out into all types of game genres and new titles continue to be produced -- just not from the usual suspects. Instead, most of what is on our immediate horizon comes from either crowdfunded indie teams or eastern giants. The good news is that 2017 should see the culmination of many of these long-brewing projects and adaptations, hopefully resulting in a bumper crop of interesting online RPGs for us to play.

So let's run down the list of games that either are or possibly could be coming to you in 2017. We will provide an overview of each title, why you should care about it, and our best guess at the odds of its officially launching during the calendar year. If an upcoming MMO is not on the list, then it is our opinion that while we'll see it eventually, a 2017 release isn't happening.

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Make My MMO: Ashes of Creation aims for Kickstarter, Elite Dangeous aims for PS4 (December 10, 2016)

This week in MMO crowdfunding news -- or future crowdfunding news, as the case may be -- we learned all about Ashes of Creation, a new sandbox MMORPG being built by a group partly made up of ex-SOE/Daybreak designers. A future Kickstarter is just one of their plans!

Meanwhile, winter is coming to AdventureQuest 3D, 1000 guilds have already formed for Dual Universe, Elite Dangerous announced plans to launch on the PS4, Ever Jane introduced house ownership, and Camelot Unchained explained how it plans to integrate with Discord.

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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Shards Online updates players on permadeath and targeting

It's been a while since we've checked in on Shards Online, so let's talk about death. No, not the game itself, but death within the game. One of the big features of the most recent community roundtable video is covering the game's new death system and the game's permadeath rule system. Yes, if you want to, you can risk losing everything about your character every time your character expires. (Which will, admittedly, just be once.)

The roundtable also talks about improvements to targeting and the game's UI, both of which are important whether or not you're in a permadeath state. Set some time aside to watch the whole thing, though, as it racks up at just over an hour of playtime. If you've been wondering what's new with the game, you should jump down and watch.

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