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 the 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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Jack Tyme

I hope MOP has a nice catchy article title for when this game sunsets.

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John Buczek

Let me know when I can host my own server with the ruleset I want. You know, the feature I backed the KS for. :)

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Bruno Brito

So…bootleg Albion Online or something?

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Paragon Lost

Beats SC and CU out of the Kickstarter gate. So there is that.

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Roger Melly

I remember playing the beta for this a while back , the lack of a map made it hard to find my way around and the lack of social panel made it hard to meet up with the friends I was playing with at the time . Hopefully they have sorted that out by now .

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Kickstarter Donor
squid

They’ve got a map/mini-map now, but no in-client social stuff.

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feleran

That sounds odd. Why’s there no in game chat?

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Kickstarter Donor
squid

the lack of social panel made it hard to meet up with the friends I was playing with

no in-client social stuff

Nobody said anything about chat.

Pepperzine
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Pepperzine

Obligatory “when will all players get server hosting capabilities as originally promised” comment.

Oh that’s right, if they do that the cash shop becomes null and void….

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Jeremy Barnes

I guess we can expect the “Legends of Aria” shutdown notice in a couple months

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Kickstarter Donor
squid

If they’ve made it this far they’ll probably be able to stay online for a while. The game really is getting better, and Legends of Ultima is releasing their Britannia map and new game Soon™

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Jeremy Barnes

I backed the game a long time ago so it’s good to hear it’s been getting better. I guess I’ll have to try it out again.

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Kickstarter Donor
squid

C’mon, Citadel…at least clean the spam off your forums for launch day.