Welcome to the Beta Club, Legends of Aria! Enjoy the full benefits of membership, such as free snackies, the comfy couch, and increased attention from players.
Legends of Aria – that’s the game once known as Shards Online – started its first closed beta test today, and this one is hitting all the right notes with a continuation of alpha player characters and a lack of NDA. The studio is also selling founder’s packs for those who want to secure some extras prior to launch.
The CBT adds a lot of content and balance tunning as well. There’s a new region (Eastern Frontier), two additional cities (Helm and Pyros Landing), the Contempt world dungeon, the return of the Catacombs dungeon, the new Karma and Conflict system, and a more minimalistic user interface.
Welcome to a special edition of Make My MMO, Massively OP’s regular recap of what’s going on in crowdfunded MMOs, which we do specifically for those of you who are convinced Kickstarter is the absolute worst (it’s not) and that no crowdfunded MMOs ever launch (they do). Plus, somebody’s got to keep an eye on what your money’s up to! Tonight’s edition isn’t going to be our usual recap of the last couple of weeks, however; we’re going to look at the most important MMO crowdfunding news of the entire year. Lock up your wallets and let’s get to it.
Ultima Online spiritual successor Legends of Aria is preparing to go through a major transition over the new year as it winds down its crowdfunding campaign and gears up for closed beta testing.
The team announced that it will stop selling founder’s packs on December 29th and transition to selling pre-orders instead. Fans are advised to buy into the packs now if they want any of the crowdfunding tier rewards, especially physical items.
Far more exciting is Legends of Aria’s 2018 development roadmap, which kicks off with Closed Beta 1 on January 15th. This first test will add a new adventure area, two cities, re-open the catacombs, and add in a notoriety system.
Past that is March and Closed Beta 2, which will focus on the new player experience and a whole lot of polish. Then, if all goes well, Steam early access will follow in April 2018. Exciting times we live in for sure!
It has become a long-standing tradition as Massively OP and our former site that we like to end the year by creating a list of titles that we anticipate for the coming one. It has always been a devilish list to create, full of loose dates and fast guesswork about which titles will and won’t be releasing during a 12-month window (just read last year’s list to see how spot-on I was).
This year we’re changing things up a bit by tossing out the qualifying factor of “will see a hard launch in 2018.” Instead, I drafted up a list of 20 MMOs that have the potential to do or be really interesting next year, whether that be a launch, a long-anticipated beta test, or some other significant development. Plus, hey, you get 20 for the price of 10, so no complaining now!
As an aside, this list isn’t going to cover some other exciting-looking multiplayer games that are arriving in 2018, like Anthem, Sea of Thieves, The Crew 2, Monster Hunter World, DayZ, Red Dead Redemption 2, Stardew Valley, Conan Exiles, and State of Decay 2. And you old school fans won’t want to forget that Ultima Online has a new free-to-play option coming this spring.
It’s time for Legends of Aria to say farewell to alpha once and for good.
The fantasy MMO wrapped up its so-called final alpha test over the weekend and turned to focus on the upcoming beta. During the last alpha, around 2,500 players clocked in over 33,000 hours, providing the team with invaluable feedback for further development.
Speaking of which, it sounds as though there are exciting things ahead for this small but scrappy sandbox: “We will be adding more character to the world, more landmarks, better developed points of interest and more immersive and living cities. Our work is far from done in this regard as we really push to bring the world to life. I’m also excited to announce that two additional cities are being added to Celador. One in the Southern Rim and one in the (soon to open) Eastern Frontier.”
As for the beta itself, the team is not dating it yet, saying that “we are not going to release beta until we are where we want to be.”
Something evil and sinister has awakened in Legends of Aria, but that is actually pretty exciting news for alpha testers seeking new challenges and content to conquer. Wednesday’s alpha patch activated “Dragon’s Den awakening spawn” that provide access to Tier III prestige abilities and loot when defeated.
The update also made crafting armor and weapons easier than before, with decreased difficulty in making them and an increased spawn rate for resources. Stealthing around is now a little more difficult but also less random, with players not being able to suddenly hide while in plain sight of others.
If you’re curious about this indie fantasy sandbox as it wraps up its alpha and eyes beta testing, check out our recent podcast interview with Lead Developer Derek Brinkmann as he gives the inside scoop into all things Legends of Aria!
On this week’s show, Legends of Aria’s Derek Brinkmann returns for another interview about how the indie MMORPG is shaping up as it goes through its “final” alpha and heads toward beta and launch. We also dig deep into the mailbag to gripe about gambling!
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:
While the heady days of Ultima Online’s dominant position over the industry are long gone, the MMORPG continues to operate and expand, and many players have fond memories of the unique experience that game offered. In fact, some titles like Legends of Aria and (obviously) Shroud of the Avatar are doing their best to claim the unofficial title of “Ultima Online spiritual successor” in the hopes of reuniting veteran MMO players with the special qualities that made this game great.
These aren’t the first games to try to grasp the holy grail of an Ultima Online sequel. There were actually two such projects that went into heavy production in the late 1990s and early 2000s — both ending with premature cancellation and frustration on the part of developers and fans.
The second of these, Ultima X Odyssey, I covered a while back. Today, we’re going to take a look at the first MMO that attempted to mix the Ultima Online formula with a few new twists. Ultima Worlds Online Origin might not be as well-known (or as well-titled), but its history is just as fascinating as UXO’s.
The word “final” certainly attracts the attention, which is perhaps why there’s this excited buzz around Legends of Aria’s final alpha. The test kicked off last week with a slew of new features and content, attracting plenty of founds back after a summer drought.
If you’re curious about this title, have questions, or are trying to figure out how to play it, we are here for you today. After the break we’ve got the latest developer town hall Q&A session as well as the adventures of our own MJ as she heads into the game for a fresh start. Check them out!
It’s the final alpha! Do do do do do do do do do… sing it with us! Legends of Aria just started its final alpha test today, with lots of new stuff to see. But with the start of a brand-new alpha, that means everyone is starting over, which makes it a perfect time for a newbie guide! Citadel Studio’s Derek “Supreem” Brinkmann and Jeffrey Edwards are joining Massively OP’s MJ to offer all sorts of tips and hints to players who will be just joining the game. (A death may also be involved, since Brinkmamn expressed, and we quote, “I was disappointed that I couldn’t get her killed last time.”). Tune in live at 8:00 p.m. to learn all the secrets to starting out — and see if Brinkmann succeeds in getting MJ killed this time.
What: Legends of Aria
Who: MJ Guthrie
When: 8:00 p.m. EDT on Friday, September 29th, 2017
Rest time’s over, boys and girls, so dust yourself off and get back into the thick of the alpha. In this case, it’s Legends of Aria and its final alpha test, which is running from now through October 9th.
The Ultima Online spiritual successor has a lot of new tricks and features this time around, such as more zones, dungeons, cities, and a raid. Players will also find that the combat system has received an upgrade and that character progression offers many more choices.
If you want to get into the alpha test, just know that it will cost you. The cheapest tier that includes alpha access is $40, although the studio is quick to point out that this also comes with a one-week head start prior to the launch.
Once the final alpha concludes, Citadel Studios will gear up for the Steam launch, which has yet to be dated.
Source: Press release
All of the big pieces of Legends of Aria are coming together for the game’s so-called “final alpha” test later this week. Originally slated for September 21st, the team delayed the newest alpha test to Thursday, September 28th, to add “an extra layer of polish” on the content.
“Final Alpha is quite different from Alpha 2 in the sense that we are delivering a complete game experience rather than a focused test on a subset of systems,” the team posted on the forums. “That makes it all the more important that we have the best possible experience on day one of the launch.”
This week’s test will include 32 new abilities, plenty of additional pieces of gear, more housing areas, new zones, and hundreds of items and crafting resources.
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.