Legends of Aria Open Beta and Early Access Launch Imminent

Citadel Studios talk about the road to the Legends of Aria Open Beta and Early Access launch in a new blog post, and we don’t have too much longer to wait now.

Legends of Aria Open Beta and Early Access Launch Imminent

In essence, this means that come June, you can play Legends of Aria for free. Citadel will be “very freely” handing out free trial keys throughout the month so that they can work through the issues that need a lot of people in order to find and fix before they launch Early Acess in July. This will be the final wipe, when Kickstarter backers and Founders begin their week-long headstart period, with rewards to follow.

Notably, this Early Access launch does not include Steam or even the big marketing push. It is hoped that will come around Fall time, if all goes to plan, though who knows what will happen over Spring and Summer, especially for an MMO launch, and Citadel are aware that there will be growing pains and say that they are prepared to work hard to make sure that no bug goes unbalanced and no problem unsolved. Basically, this will be the period to really polish Legends of Aria and they need you to make sure they get it right before the big launch.

You can read the full blog post here.

Our Thoughts

I have been following Legends of Aria for several years now and can’t wait to see what shape its living world will take. I’m so used to theme park MMORPGs that this will be a new thing for me and it’s exciting! Here’s hoping the bugs are minimal, the rollbacks unnecessary, and Legends of Aria launches for all sooner rather than later!

Source: Press Release, Blog


Other Articles Related to Legends of Aria

Legends of Aria at PAX East: Going Back to Basics
Legends of Aria Dev Blog Talks Combat and Skills
Shards Online Developer Interview
Legends of Aria Game Profile

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Legends of Aria at PAX East: Going Back to Basics

Last year, Legends of Aria at PAX East was one of those games that had a smaller booth kind of tucked near a side wall. This year, their floorspace had expanded a little bit, which would lead one to think that the game, too, was going to expand. As it was explained to me by executive producer Jeffrey Edwards, however, the devs are taking a “less is more” approach.

Legends of Aria at PAX East: Going Back to Basics

As you’ll likely remember, Legends of Aria has already gone through a couple of iterative shifts; first as Shards Online, which let players put together their own smaller MMO worlds, and now as Legends of Aria, a full-blown sandbox MMORPG. The game was also working on a quest system, but it turns out that the quests weren’t that interesting to players and so they’ve removed quests entirely. Overall, the training wheels have been taken off.

What’s Old Is New Again

Legends of Aria definitely wants to take things back to the old school where you learn by doing. Considering the gameplay loop is still skill-based instead of class-based, it makes sense. While I was speaking with Edwards, I was online in a persistent build of the game, creating a character and wandering around to find things to do. Sure enough, there were no guiding arrows or even instructional pop-ups. Almost immediately, I just started clicking around, harvesting nearby rocks, attacking wolves and bears for the heck of it, and working out how to craft things. I also found myself going back to old MMORPG habits, talking with all the NPCs in the nearby town to see if there were any things that could be taken care of nearby.

That said, despite the lack of being given instruction, the team is going to work on making a new player experience. Legends of Aria is looking to arrive to Steam in June or July of this year and they want to be certain that they can toe the line between telling players how to play and not entirely holding their hand. As one would expect, it’s a challenge, but the devs believe they can figure it out.

The Balance Between “Risk” and “Fun”

Another thing that has me most interested in Legends of Aria’s upcoming build is how the game is handling its crafting. Of course, you get out into the world and start wailing on rocks, then take those gathered materials to an appropriate crafting station to put them together. What’s different here, however, is that you’re able to craft some useful gear from even the most basic of materials. The tradeoff is that you’re going to need a lot of those materials, which will mean it takes a long time. According to Edwards, it’s a way to make sure that Legends of Aria doesn’t conflate “risk” with “fun”; so many sandbox titles are forcing people to go into dangerous areas when they’d rather not, and Legends of Aria is granting those players their wish. As Edwards put it, they want all players to arrive to their game without feeling like interactions are forced.

Of course, there will be plenty of dangers for players to experience out in the world of Legends of Aria. PvP will, indeed, be a thing and there are going to be things for players to get into on the PvE side of things such as dungeons and the like. It’s all a matter of going out and finding said experiences as opposed to being on-the-rails. Players can speak with NPCs who might need to be taken somewhere, which will happen to pass by some interesting locations in the world. Or, ideally, new arrivals will see another person’s custom-built house or interesting gear and use those cues to see if they can get things like that for themselves. By and large, Legends of Aria’s content will be up to the players to discover and disseminate among themselves.

In spite of this scaled-back approach to design, Legends of Aria has still grown. The game’s world has expanded to include four major towns instead of the one, so there will most definitely be plenty of world for people to explore and learn about.

There seems to be a lot of sandbox MMORPGs coming down the pipeline, but Legends of Aria is one of the first that actually seems to care more about making players of all skill levels and interests feel valued, whether they’ve been behind the game from the very first crowdfunding drive or they’re arriving fresh from Steam. It’s taken a long and perhaps roundabout way to get there, but I might just have a new sandbox that will actually let me play in the sand at long last.

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Shadow’s Kiss Kickstarter Enters Final Days

The Shadow’s Kiss Kickstarter campaign enters its final days this weekend having raised more than 250% of their original pledge goal. While in other news, Clockwork Throne, the indie developer behind the in-development vampire MMO, seems to be a bit of a killer work environment.

Okay not literally, they’ve put out a fun little mockumentary series wherein the game’s devs get into the spirit of things towards the end of their Kickstarter campaign. From the words of the press release: “Several designer spots are now open, and one of their character artists is now only able to work nights.” You can check out the mockumentary on the dedicated page.

As for the Shadow’s Kiss Kickstarter, midnight of December 4th is the endpoint, and we’re not far off now. They have unlocked Crafting and the Ritual Magic system, along with a few other goodies, and are just a small amount off unlocking Music & Voice. So if this game is something you’re thinking about looking into, get backing over the next couple of days!

“We’re honored and a bit overwhelmed by the support from the community,” said Thomas Sitch, President of Clockwork Throne. “This Kickstarter is going to allow us to finally bring the world a vampire-themed MMO, with gothic story elements, horror, and the ‘coolness factor’ of being a vampire set on ruling the night.”

Check the Kickstarter page here for more information.


Our Thoughts

Oh, the campy fun Clockwork Throne are having with this! Yes, it’s a little cringy but hey, all the best things are, right? We also extend our congratulations to them on their Kickstarter success, those unlocked stretch goals are always satisfying to see and we’re pretty excited to see how Shadow’s Kiss turns out. It’s super nice to see something a little bit different in development.

Source: Press Release

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