shards online

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

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.
Read more

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.

Read more

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.

Read more

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

Read more

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!

Read more

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.
Read more

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.

Read more

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.

Read more

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?

Read more

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!

Comment

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.

Read more

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.

Read more

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.”

Read more

1 2 3 7