Legends of Aria, Kickstarted in 2014 as Shards Online, has officially left early access and launched

    
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As promised, Legends of Aria officially launched out of early access and into the wild last night. We should also probably say “finally,” as this game has been around for a very long time.

MMO vets will remember this as the game originally known as Shards Online, Kickstarted in 2014 as an online game offering play on official shards or “any of the hundreds of community run servers.” It spent most of 2015 and 2016 in various states of pre-alpha, alpha, and beta, and by 2017, Citadel Studios announced it that it was changing the game’s name and focus, turning it into more of a pure MMORPG called Legends of Aria. It was meant to hit early access back in 2018, but as fans will recall, desync problems meant the game soft-launched only off Steam and the Steam early access launch was delayed until August 2019 instead. In the interim, the game saw cash-shop controversy, a free-to-play switch, the popular custom server Legends of Ultima, server merges, $20 DLC, and several do-overs for the PvP system.

This week’s formal launch is accompanied by theĀ Frozen Tundra patch, with an icy new landmass, new prestige abilities, lore collections, hybrid build tweaks, a new PvP arena system, and a revamp of “classic” content to make it easier for smaller groups.

“Leaving Early Access does not mean we are finished with Legends of Aria, but rather that we are transitioning to a new method of supporting and developing the game, one where we can focus on expanding the world and creating dynamic live events that will enhance the ways in which our players experience the world of Celador,” Citadel writes. “We will also continue our commitment to quality of life improvements, regular bug fixes, and feature updates.”

We assume it’ll be a while before Steam reviews and SteamCharts will be useful, especially since the core playerbase is likely those who played for the nine-ish months before the game even dropped on Steam at all; right now the game is sitting with “mixed” reviews on the platform, with slightly more players consistently in there than Shroud of the Avatar.

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