If you’ve been feeling a bit confused by all of Legends of Aria’s recent changes, my friends, you are not alone. Back in August, Citadel Studios finally brought the game to Steam early access (it’d been in off-Steam early access before that) with a complete revamp of the game’s PvP system (to make it less ganky) and business model. Then, earlier this month, the studio came out with yet another revamp plan to the way the game’s criminal system is managed (to make it more ganky, just in a different and more Ultima Online-like way). And now we’ve learned that the new system will fly under the banner of the New Dawn update, which likewise brings another business model shift to the game: Yep, Legends of Aria is going free-to-play, though it’ll keep its existing optional premium sub and optional buy-to-play status too.
“The majority of the game’s content is available to free players, but there will be certain limits,” the devs say. Land and house ownership/co-ownership, plot auctions, full bank capacity, guild formation, loyalty points, the friends list, and community server access will require the $19.99 citizen pass for $19.99 or an active sub. Free accounts will work only on Steam, and existing players are already grandfathered in with their citizen passes.
The associated Point Release 8 patch is a big one: It touches on runebooks, craft orders, dynamic overland spawns, resource missions, the warrior revamp, a player township feature, profession quests, player militas (sounds like faction PvP), stealing and snooping skills, and “episodic content called Leagues of Celador.” As for PvP, that’s focusing on The Wilderness, with its “high octane gameplay” in a “risk-versus-reward environment.”
“We are excited to break down the pay barrier that prevents many gamers from experiencing the magic the universe of Aria has to offer,” Citadel’s Derek Brinkmann says. “By naming this update New Dawn, we are issuing a rallying cry to all open-world PvP sandbox fans to come experience Legends of Aria the way it was meant to be.”
There’s no hard date yet, but Citadel pegs the rollout of New Dawn for November.
We streamed the game back when it hit early access on Steam this past summer; you can watch that down below.
Get caught up on our recent coverage of the sandbox MMO: