Legends of Aria is going semi-free-to-play with sweeping New Dawn update

Citadel says it's making Aria's sandbox PvP 'the way it was meant to be'

    
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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:

Source: Press release, official site

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Arktouros

“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.”

Nah.

They wanted the PvE crowd and bait and switched the game on us PvPers. When that PvE crowd didn’t show up and those that did quit in boredom they want us to come back when that didn’t work out for them. That bait and switched the PvE players who joined your game. What bait and switch do you have planned for us next?

There’s no trust. No stability. Dead game.

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Sera Claus⚢

I was so excited for this game, and Albion online too, when they were first announced. But why is every game “inspired” by UO inspired by the worst part of it? There’s a reason Ultima online saw it’s largest sub numbers AFTER the release of trammel.

“we are issuing a rallying cry to all open-world PvP sandbox fans”

Yes, I’m sure those couple hundred people will be enough to keep your servers paid for.

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Arktouros

As opposed to the couple hundred people who are interested in PvE games but don’t already play WOW, ESO, FFIDMDVIDMC, GW2, etc?

Saying PvE players are the majority as if that majority is available for games to take is just disingenuous.

notimpotent
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notimpotent

What’s the point of putting the Friends List behind a paywall?? Seems like that would be something you’d want everybody to have. To, you know, promote more player interaction.

MilitiaMasterV
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MilitiaMasterV

Free accounts will work only on Steam

Guess it’s still a nope then.

Pepperzine
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Pepperzine

I’m just waiting for the full mod tools to be released to more than just high tier alpha backers.

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Deadly Habit

That would have made more sense than the f2p as more people are interested in that than the official servers atm, and could use the community servers already up as a boon to market the game and sell it more, but they’re so dead set on their official servers and rulesets than doing that. That and when I left the community modder program the Unity toolkit they made along with the Lua scripting wasn’t exactly new user friendly.

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Kickstarter Donor
squid

F2P with such a weak cash shop is the ultimate desperation move.
It’s over.

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PanagiotisLial1

Before they made that decision to re-switch and I bought the game, I checked the cash shop if it has something decent to buy to support them yet it looks fairly empty and has just 2 dyes per armor type

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squid

Yeah, there are a few dyes (expendable, dyed items drop on death), three or four shields (drop on death), a harp, soulstone and character appearance change.

I can’t imagine they’re making any money at all off that cash shop. They should at least add most of the rare deco drops and the two crafting order housing blueprints (while also taking a couple days to whip up some more cash-shop-only house designs).

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PanagiotisLial1

Yes they could have had special furniture and house designs for example along with costumes of some sort

Shields seem to use some other currency

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Jeremy Barnes

Pretty sure it was over before they ever launched.

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Deadly Habit

According to them they still haven’t launched even though it’s been persistent since late November of last year, one of those classic hide behind the terminology and “Early Access” VS 1.0 release like Shroud of the Avatar did as well.

deekay_plus
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deekay_plus

i really like this game for what it is the game itself. i can also see from the population drops in game why they have been scrambling like chickens with their heads cut off.

i hope it works out. i’m taking a break from teh game for unrealted to the game’s woes, reasons right now.

i don’t blame them for the hustle, even if idk it’s pretty clear they’re in panic mode. and you’d be too in their shoes i suppose, so would i. none the less it be what it be, a series of misteps malice or what as some might say i have no idea, but i want to emphasize just how much i’ve enjoyed my time playing this game. super duper chill classic mmorpg goodness in the veign of ultima online and runescape classic. just some simple grind loops with a bit of player economy but nothing too over the top maybe afaict. and maybe for some that’s the problem? idk. idc. i like what i got out of this game and the $50 or so spent between two accounts on it was well worth it.

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squid

i can also see from the population drops in game why they have been scrambling like chickens with their heads cut off

The population drops are because they’ve been scrambling around like chickens with their heads cut off. They’ve managed to completely alienate every segment of their playerbase via radical design or balance changes at some point over the past year—all in the name of getting back a different segment of their playerbase.
When the developers don’t even know what their game is supposed to be, it’s doomed.

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Blake

I try not to be overly negative, but .. him saying “Legends of Aria the way it was meant to be” is pretty much a joke. He has switched directions on this game at the drop of a hat for, what, three+ years now?

Kind of sad how directionless the game has become, it’s ADD development at its best.

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PanagiotisLial1

Unfortunately, while I dont mind PVP(I actually enjoy some but not all the time), they go into a hardcore model which along with the full loot calls for gankers to gank for profit making even houses(and their sellers) a very unsafe place. It wont be surprising if a big focus of PVP will be near the houses that got more trade traffic. I probably wouldnt had minded their original pre-steam one but this one is goodbye for me

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Deadly Habit

Yeah even as a focused PvP player I think this is really all too much, too soon especially since the Steam release a couple months ago was a 180 to appeal to PvE players who now rightly feel like they got into a bait and switch. Best of luck to them though, as much as I’m not personally a fan of the company I don’t want them or the players who still enjoy the official servers to go under.

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PanagiotisLial1

I am personally a fan of having balance. They could had kept both PVErs who dont mind or rarely PVP and PVPers who like PVPing and go with small changes from there. Making too big changes in short time is problematic as it is not the same game after a point

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Ashfyn Ninegold

So, still clueless?

Free to play might be the only way for this game to go since it keeps changing directions.