Legends of Aria Classic lays out massive June overhaul patch, postpones subscription


Legends of Aria Classic is squarely in the “a surprise, to be sure, but a welcome one” tier for 2024 as its original developer snatched it from the brink of obscurity (hampered by its crypto buyout) and stuck it back on Steam in Classic form. And while the playerbase since the May 9th launch has been small – it peaked at 412 concurrent two weeks ago and has been hovering around half that more recently – Citadel Studios has been marching forward with plans.

For starters, the team is planning its “point release 1” for June, meant to “be a benchmark for our new content development strategy and one which will make end game inclusive for both PvE and PvP character.” It sounds like a revamp of the game’s leveling system, designed to make less grueling and punishing.

“We still believe that training characters should be time and resource intensive, but that core combat skills are an enormous barrier to entry for new players in a PvP orientated world,” the devs write. That’ll mean the addition of dropped skill scrolls, training apparati for buildings, and QOL fixes to weak skills.

There’s much more to the plan, including a “comprehensive” dungeon revamp tailored to small groups with new dungeon bosses and updated monster AI, a major revamp of loot and deco drops, a do-over for PvE combat (including blocking, effects, and PvE flow), and a prestige talent system. According to Discord, the studio also transitioned the server to new hardware over the weekend, and the new market and killboard are online too (though Steam is flagging it as potentially malicious for unknown reasons – it looks perfectly benign to us).

In fact, the game’s business model is up for a revamp too – albeit a temporary one. Originally, the game was slated to fund with a $10 sub that would’ve taken affect after the first month of play. But now, the team has postponed the start of the sub indefinitely and says it will be opening a Patreon fund in the meantime.

“After careful consideration and listening to your feedback, we’ve decided to shift our approach at this moment to better serve our community and support the ongoing development of the game. Instead of moving to a $10 monthly subscription on June 8th as initially planned, we are excited to announce that Legends of Aria Classic will remain free to play on Steam. […] We will be returning to a formal subscription model after the community has had the chance to experience the upcoming point release and our new vision for Legends of Aria in Classic. To support our operating costs we will be launching a Patreon and encourage you to contribute if you support our work. By becoming a patron, you’ll not only help us maintain and develop Legends of Aria Classic but also gain the opportunity to gain access to our developmental servers, share in our design process and acquire in-game titles to show your support.”

That Patreon isn’t live yet, but the studio says it’ll post when it is.

Steam reviews, we note, are definitely still in the “mixed” realm as players point out the game’s past dealings, declare the game isn’t worth a sub, and complain about the PvP scene.

Source: Steam, Discord. Cheers, Kevin.
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