Following Citadel Studios’ announcement yesterday that it’ll be launching Legends of Aria’s Steam early access on August 6th, alongside a big patch that takes some of the edge of the game’s hardcore PvP ganking situation, we released our interview with Citadel’s Derek Brinkmann, who told us in detail just how the the game’s PvP was changing. But for those who missed that interview, there’s now a dev blog homing in on the PvE/PvP split specifically.
Referencing the wolves-vs.-sheep paradigm – a conversation we ourselves just had last week – the devs say they’ve been inundated with requests and feedback from Kickstarter backers who aren’t interested in “being someone else’s food” in an unfettered FFA PvP scene. “Our mission statement has always been to make a virtual world which all players can make their home,” Citadel says. “That’s why we will be making changes to the Legends of Aria ruleset ahead of our Steam Early Access launch.”
As we discussed yesterday, the new ruleset essentially creates a much, much broader safe zone for players, marking the Barren Lands as the only purely FFA PvP zone for non-consensual PvP. PvE players can play pretty much the entire official game without fear of being ganked, while players after a competitive challenge – and specific types of high-end loot – can choose to venture into the Barren Lands and risk it all. The karma system, too, has been simplified, and while players can still murder each other in the Barren Lands and “go red,” they’ll be able to teleport and travel into the protected lands now with impunity. (That part might feel a bit weird in practice, but it’s certainly fair.)
Mentioned during the podcast, though not this dev blog, is that Citadel fully expects player-run custom shards to run different types of PvP rulesets to offer options to players who prefer FFA, as originally promised in the game’s Kickstarter.
“This is not an end to open PvP, this is still prevalent through our wilderness zones, starting with the Barren Lands which will be more active than ever. We also have new zones in the pipeline which we’re really excited about. Our Guild War and Allegiance systems also permit unrestricted PvP across our entire landmass and are central elements to our feature set going forward.”
On Twitter and the Aria Reddit, where people have long been suggesting the game is dead, the relatively small early access community isn’t exactly thrilled with the changes, but then, one might assume the changes are really intended for new players and for original fans who gave up and left, not for people who stayed. Guess we’ll see how it all shakes out when the game launches for Steam early access next month.