PRE-ALPHA 1: GAME PREVIEW // JUNE 2014
This release was focused mainly on core systems. It allowed players to experience the fundamentals of our combat system, character development, equipment, looting, etc. It was not very content heavy and provided only a few hours of gameplay for those who did not engage in player versus player combat.
The goal of this release is to get the community running servers and creating mods as early in the process as possible. When Pre-alpha 2 is released, our Pre-alpha Admins will begin working with the development team to improve the process involved to run servers and create mods.
It will allow for player run servers hosted by Citadel Studios and the creation of custom rulesets. Also provided with this release will be a first pass at our modding documentation.
We want to give our Pre-alpha Playtesters a chance to give us feedback on Celador before we release it to the larger group of alpha testers in Alpha 1. This release will be the first time playtesters will have the opportunity to play Shards Online on the much anticipated Celador map. Much of the explore-able area of the world will be accessible during this phase with the exception of certain points of interest like the Ruins and Waterfall cave.
Servers run 24/7 and server admins have the opportunity to run shards on their own hosting solutions. The cluster feature means characters will be able to travel between maps including to alternate realities of the home world Celador.
Celador will be fully fleshed out with all of its points of interest including Petra Village, the quarry, graveyard, cultist ruins, portal, and waterfall cave. Catacombs, our stretch goal map will also be available in its first iteration. The Catacombs will feature multiple levels of dungeon crawling goodness.
Lots of other features will be packed into this release like house construction skills, fishing, perma-death ruleset and the story editor toolkit for modders.
Celador gets a much needed expansion to an incredible 25 times its original size. This was in response to overwhelming feedback that adventurers and want larger maps to explore. From the frozen tundra in the north to the expansive desert in the west, this new map will take hours to explore. The new Celador also has an an extra village and sewer dungeons for young adventurers underneath the villages.
We are also heavily optimizing our network code to remove the limits on number of players per game region. Shards Online will become Legends of Aria a full fledged MMO with thousands of players (both PvP and PvE playstyles) co-existing in the same game world.
Of course, you are going to need mounts to traverse this massive landmass so we are adding tame-able and ride-able horses. Unlike other games you will be able to engage in full combat while mounted!
Last but not least, combat is finally getting archers! The new marksmanship skill allows for ranged combat using a bow and arrows.
A forsaken, alien world – Terminus is a shard of horrors that ensnare the fragile sanities of mortals who dare to tread in places the gods themselves have trembled.
Once, in an age long dead, a race of geniuses shattered the womb of reality that birthed this evil place, ascending into a broken pantheon of mad gods. They have been called many names by their victims: the nameless ones, the elder gods, the dreamless – they are Xor.
Xeno-terrors crawl the desolate wasteland, unleashing biological mutations and horrors on unwary travelers. In the far distance a great needle-like spire stabs the ground, surrounded by a physical darkness from which their is no return.
Along with the Terminus map comes a large variety of new monsters, weapons, armor, spells and abilities. Some of these items will become available through crafting while others such as rare named items will only be found on Terminus.
We are also adding guild territories. Territories in the guard protected areas of the map will require payment to the Guardian of the Order to pay for their protection. Territories in the outer frontiers are captured by controlling the points of interest in that area. Territories controlled by guilds allow that guild to control the placement of build-able plots within the area.
Another exciting addition to Legends of Aria in Beta 1 is the mobile companion app. At this stage, the companion app will allow you to monitor your hired NPCs and assign tasks to them. This gives players direct interaction with the virtual world on their mobile devices.
The Colosseum that provides a large arena for a variety of mini-games from player vs. player tournaments to games where players must survive waves of attacking monsters. Players will also get to explore the seedier side of the greco-roman world where organized crime and gambling are ubiquitous.
Behold the Tower of Babel, a monument to the terrible powers of Zephyr, God of Air. Piercing the sky above and ringed in halos of lazily drifting clouds, one hundred floors of incredible challenges and legendary monsters await the bravest adventurers.
No mortal has ever surpassed even a tenth of its height, the grand staircase littered with the abandoned remnants of the unprepared and foolhardy who dared to ascend. Cursed by its creator, all who venture within are subject to harsh punishments should they die within – their ghosts plagued with weakness that carries back to the mortal world should they ever find resurrection.
Yet the tower thrives. Breathing in its victims of misadventure and worshipful supplicants alike, their struggles for treasure and gain a sweet sacrifice to Zephyr, who only grows in power as their blood is spilled. For still they come, from shards uncountable, believing the promise etched at the tower’s base…
“Many shall look upon my tower and despair; one who ascends, shall receive his greatest wish.”