The Legends of Aria team sounds as if it has a lot on its plate right now. The team posted a road to launch update to keep fans appraised of the plan from here to release.
And there is a wee bit to do: “We need to implement a list of features (like fixing the map, adjusting the UI, loot, and more) and then go all in on bugs and stability for the next few weeks. We need to lock in some stress tests. We need to close the servers for some focused testing. We need to wipe the servers for the final time, and give our crowdfunders and founder’s pack buyers their head start. And we need to launch on Steam early access.”
Because that’s not enough, the team is throwing two events this month, a 6XGM event on August 17th and a Permadeath Mod event on August 30th. Following that on September 4th, the servers will go dark in preparation for early access some time in October. Hopefully. “Going to Steam is the natural next step for a game that began with crowdfunding and needs a critical mass of population in order to succeed,” said the team.
One of the great benefits of reading the wealth of MMO blogs out there is that you can touch base on a huge variety of games that you might not have time to play. Haven’t gotten around to checking in with the indie sandbox Legends of Aria? The blogosphere has you covered!
While Superior Realities thinks that there’s a “skeleton of a good game” in Aria, he wasn’t won over by the closed beta: “After about thirty minutes of dealing with bugs, spectacularly tedious and old school gameplay, and generally terrible design, I decided life was too short.”
Inventory Full felt that the game had featureless maps but probably deserved a longer look, and Levelcapped said that Aria is “so damn close to being an Ultima Online sequel that it’s both wonderful and blasphemous at the same time.”
Alpha is but a memory from the past — Legends of Aria has moved on to closed beta. That means Massively OP’s MJ needs to dive in and see how things are going. She already likes the choices on character create. Tune in live at 2:00 p.m. to check out the beta version of…
What: Legends of Aria
Who: MJ Guthrie
When: 2:00 p.m. EDT on Friday, July 20th, 2018
It’s a big day for indie MMORPG Legends of Aria, as its second closed beta official kicks off with a server wipe and a juicy patch. CB2, as we’ve previously covered, revamps the game’s art, adds detail to the cities, adds a diurnal cycle, backer rewards, new encounters, better shops, a more realistic map, new tameables, saddle storage, new music, secure house trading, crafting orders, the dungeon revamp, and better fast travel.
“It feels like a different game, and we need to gather as much feedback as we can to get things just right for Open Beta and the Early Access launch,” Citadel Studios’ Derek Brinkmann opines in his letter to testers today, and that is where you come in: The Aria team wants you to test and has ponied up a bundle of trial keys to get the MOP readers in and playing. Click the Mo button below (and prove you’re not a robot) to grab one of these keys!
Legends of Aria has a big reveal today: It’s completely revamped its graphics ahead of its second closed beta. The word Citadel uses is “drastic,” but, you know, the good kind of drastic.
“On July 12, we will be starting a new phase of testing called Closed Beta 2. It will have hundreds of bug fixes, new features, and…an entirely new look for Legends of Aria,” says the studio. “Something this dramatic seems like it should have taken months and an army of people, right? But that would have been a poor use of your investment in us, as gorgeous as these look. It’s been primarily the work of our artists (say hi, Austin and Tiffany!) and a bit of a hand here and there from everyone else, when they needed a short break from bugs and features. We hope you love the new graphics and that they delight you.”
Meanwhile, Citadel is running a community-wide internet scavenger hunt. There are 15 new screenshots of the game hidden on 15 different media outlets and streaming accounts; the first person to find them all is getting the top-end preorder pack for the game. Not bad at all for finding some links! Hint hint, one of the clues is hidden on Massively OP (but it’s not on this article!).
It’s a big day for Legends of Aria and its beta testers, as the game is undergoing some pretty meaty changes to combat and stats, “heavily” inspired by player feedback.
“The goal of these changes has been to solve three distinct problems,” Citadel Studios says. “Increase the predictability of both warrior damage and interruption rates for magic spells. Increase the options for players to end fights sooner. [And] introduce opportunity cost to warrior combat through meaningful decision making and tactics.”
Notably, the game will now integrate critical hits, stamina-based swing calculations, rework armor proficiencies, shooting on the move, new craftable potions, and new abilities for warriors, archers, and rogues.
Fight for your right to party, kids! Or at least for your chance at loot assigned by an unfeeling, uncaring random number generator. Legends of Aria is stepping up its game this month with a major overhaul to its combat system.
The developers said that the overhaul came as a response to three major issues: long fights, unpredictable Warrior actions, and a lack of decision making. In the patch, agility has been switched over to stamina when calculating movement and combat speed. The stamina pool refills slowly, requiring players to choose between weapons with different stamina requirements.
Other changes coming with the patch include the addition of critical hits to interrupt spells, a mortal strike secondary ability, additional prestige skills for the Archer and Rogue, the ability to fire while moving, specific armor proficiencies, weapon ability miss rates, weaker heal spells, and stamina and mana potions.
It’s Bring-a-Friend Week in Legends of Aria, but you’re going to need a working email account. That’s because Citadel Studios wants you to email it directly to request trial keys for you and your buddies, which is probably a crazy plan for the studio rep handling that job, although it might be a better way to get keys to people who will actually test the game instead of to people who will just put them for sale on a Russian key website or something.
In light of that, we apologize for making Sanya Weathers’ day harder, but you guys, free keys. There are some caveats, of course; Citadel is specifically looking for people who will provide feedback on the UI and the newbie learning curve.
“We are patching this week, with some major fixes to combat and loot,” she writes. “Make sure your friend understands, this is a closed beta and things are changing every week. Also, with the server wipe coming next month, the population is low. Most people don’t want to invest much in a character that will literally cease to exist in a matter of days. This is a chance to play and do crazy stuff just for fun.”
The developers of Legends of Aria don’t want you opening a world map any more. You shouldn’t have a world map in a sandbox, according to their design philosophy. The latest patch removes that function and will allow you to now purchase physical maps for the five world areas from vendors. You can also place notes about locations on those physical maps, although presumably you don’t need to buy a pad of sticky notes to do so. (Sticky notes had not been invented.)
The patch also allows for secure trading between players as well as transferring house ownership, and there are also new combat balance changes for players; Strength now has a greater influence on weapon damage and Affinity plays a larger role in evocation damage. It’s a smaller patch, but these changes should have a pretty big effect upon the game as a whole, possibly by getting you lost much more often.
By the time that World of Warcraft came on the scene in 2004, the MMORPG industry had already gravitated toward standard when it came to the interface — specifically, the camera angle. MMO players and devs seemed to prefer third-person views that either peered over the shoulder of avatars or followed right behind them. For decades now, we’ve grown used to watching our characters’ rears as they jog along, and we can’t really imagine the experience otherwise.
Yet when you think about it, while this camera perspective is overwhelmingly used in the genre, it’s not the only one that crops up in MMOs. We’ve seen both old and new titles experiment with the camera angle, sometimes out of style and sometimes out of necessity (here’s a great Gamasutra article on the subject).
For today’s list, we’re going to look at 10 MMORPGs where the camera is positioned in a different way than you’d normally expect, especially if you are coming from modern games.
Hope you haven’t booked that summer vacation just yet, because Legends of Aria would like to interest in a fantasy holiday. The studio announced this week that it is a patch or two away from open beta, which it hopes to start in June.
The wider testing base is necessary, Citadel Studios said, in order to “start addressing the issues we can only find with lots of people.” So there’s a pretty good chance you’ll be in and enjoying this Ultima Online spiritual successor before too long, assuming that you are interested.
Following June’s open beta, Legends of Aria will go into an early access soft launch through its own client. Citadel is still holding back on its plans for going live on Steam and rolling out a marketing campaign as it evaluates how the next few months progress. However, the studio said that in all likelihood these events will happen this autumn.
The past couple of weeks has been wild as we dispatched writers to GDC in San Francisco and PAX East in Boston to gather up and bring back everything they could on the MMORPGs large and small on the spring convention circuit. In fact, as I type this, we’ve got Brendan in Reykjavik for EVE Fanfest too! So for this week’s Overthinking, we’re rounding up our coverage and then reflecting on the best and worst as we pick out what most excites, surprises, and disappoints us: First the roundups, then our thoughts. Read on!
When I saw Legends of Aria last year, right after it had dropped the Shards Online name and expanded to be a full-fledged MMORPG, it looked pretty good. Not spectacular, perhaps, but it definitely looked like something you could point to and agree that it was ready for the prime time. I was reasonably impressed with what the team had on display in terms of graphics, especially considering the size of the team behind the game.
This year, though, the game is looking significantly better than it did before. Where before I thought it looked good for an indie title, now it’s looking pretty nice for a title, period. And it’s still just as indie as it’s ever been.
Obviously, there isn’t a long stretch of time between what the team discussed at this year’s GDC and PAX East, so most of the talk that MOP’s Andrew had with the team still applies and I won’t rehash that here. The centerpiece of the team’s presence at PAX East was about showing off the game’s improved demo, by which I of course mean “the actual game running on live servers,” because the stuff that was there for the demo stations was also on the live version of the game. Which is, again, to the team’s credit.