Professions marks a paradigm shift in how both new and old players experience Legends of Aria. From the first moments you arrive in game you can now expect entirely new and meaningful interactions with the inhabitants of Celador.
Our early backers in Shards Online will remember we did offer a host of quests, linear in nature and typical of MMOs of today. These were problematic for us since linear quests offer a false sense of direction in what is a sandbox virtual world. Ours is a world which offers players an endless selection of ways to satisfy their goals; presenting this in a series of breadcrumb quests, particularly to new players, can naturally narrow a players scope in favor of accomplishing predefined objectives. This offered new players a much more welcoming new player experience, yet left them asking ‘Is this it?’ when the quest line had ended. We had succeeded in capturing the player, but failed to communicate the depths to our feature set and that ours is a world, not a story.
We set ourselves the challenge of creating a system which offered new players an experience that was as immersive and open ended as possible. One which appeals to the curiosity of the new player and gives a sample and in many cases a tutorial of what can be accomplished in Legends of Aria. A system which guides you from Apprentice to Grandmaster, illuminates your options and rewards your pursuits, all the while affording you absolute freedom in how you do it. And finally, a system which consolidates and adds polish and balance to our overhauled ability system. At this stage we should add that any character with a trained ability of a specific tier will automatically be awarded the material requirements to relearn this respective tier. This is by far one of the biggest cornerstones of this release and one which we hope will win over many old and new players alike.
Put simply, a Profession is a character role in Legends of Aria which is comprised of one or more skills. The Miner only requires the single skill Mining, whilst the Rogue requires both Hiding and Stealth. More robust professions such as the Mage and Fighter require as many as 4 skills. In completing a given character within the skill cap of 600 skill points, characters in Legends of Aria will commonly combine a minimum of 2 professions, or as many as 6. It’s worth noting that this in no way influences or changes the way skills operate in Legends of Aria, many of our skills are co-dependent on other complementary skills and this is necessary to achieve a rewarding and fair balance of skill distributions. The Professions system simply presents these options in an easy to understand fashion and offers opportunities to engage in these choices.
A single profession is comprised of an entry level tutorial followed by 4 different skill levels marked by 4 independent quests or tasks: Apprentice, Journeyman, Master and Grandmaster. Starting a Profession is as easy as selecting ‘Train Profession’ via the new Profession Board which will create a marker to the closest applicable NPC, or through simply visiting that NPC type in game. The introductory task offers a basic grounding in a skill or set of skills and points you in the right direction towards advancing this skill to the Apprentice level. For example a fisherman may aid you in acquiring your first fishing pole and guide you through your first catch. Players may then attempt the Apprentice task which will ask you to put your newfound knowledge to the test, complete a small task in your chosen discipline. The purpose of this is to direct players to relevant content and to unearth activities specific to their profession which will benefit their training. Adventurers may be asked to visit a local hunting ground or to complete a bounty mission. Bards may be asked to go complete their first fledgling performance at a local inn whilst crafters may be given a rudimentary order to start them on their way.
It’s still early days for this system, but players of Legends of Aria should expect a feature complete new player experience of our skillset, in addition to a full lineup of quests for the Fighter and Mage professions. These professions will begin to reward access to Ability tiers starting at the Journeyman level and mark a shift in the distribution and organization of abilities in Legends of Aria.
Journeyman tasks will take players into more testing environments, asking that a task be completed to reward access to the first tier of abilities for the respective profession. Upon completion, Journeyman Fighters and Mages are free to spend accrued Ability Points on their newly unlocked Tier 1 Abilities. Abilities no longer have harsh skill or conditional requirements and are instead made available within single professions. Players may learn any ability of their choice from a given tier, however only a single Tier 1 ability may be learnt per character, for all professions, at any time. Subsequent ability tiers are unlocked at the Master and Grandmaster skill levels, requiring increasing difficult challenges to be completed, in addition to earning specific item requirements to prove their valor. As we have mentioned in the past, players can anticipate requiring both a Protected and a Wilderness Awakening item to complete their Master and Grandmaster challenges respectively. These items are freely tradeable and have had their drop rates revised to be a little more forgiving than in the past. That is not to say the book stops here (pun intended), we’ve carefully crafted some fun and engaging content for these advanced challenges which will include delves into the deepest dungeons and raids into the Catacombs. The Catacombs now exists as a persistent dungeon which requires each individual seeking entry to offer each of the coveted dungeon skulls as their toll. In addition to this new content, Cerberus and Death have both had their loot tables overhauled to feature many of our new Artifact weapons, armor and jewelry.
We can’t emphasize enough how much this changes life in Aria whilst changing little about how players engage with and train their characters. Our new player experience has evolved into presenting players with familiar starting towns and cities which embrace players, offering them for the first time a means to inform themselves in their chosen profession and be schooled in the arts and disciplines of crafting, combat and the wealth of non combatant and social professions available in Legends of Aria. Our mid game experience has been improved through tailored challenges which reward players for their pursuits, direct players to new and exciting avenues of progression and reward their efforts. Finally, the profession system offers a truly not obstructive yet modular and easily understood means to engage in template building and in distributing unique abilities and effects. This also means great things for PvP balance and we’re eager for you to try it.
Be sure to check out our previous blogs if you haven’t already and stay tuned for more. The 6th of August is fast approaching! Make sure to have wishlisted us on Steam and we’ll see you then!
Discover a world forged by players, where your choices write the story. What role will you play?
- A Living, Breathing MMORPG: Explore a true open world without limitation. Build, explore and adventure with thousands of players in a living breathing world defined by you.
- Skill-Based World: Legends of Aria returns to a true skill based system. Build your character your way, be you a crafter, adventurer, merchant or humble fisherman. Hone your skills through use and play your way with a choice of over 32 unique skills.
- Return to a True Sandbox: Legends of Aria is inspired by the original sandbox MMORPGs. Experience a world that does not hold your hand. A world that is driven by you and shaped by our community. A world of dangers, where friendships, enemies made and your actions written into legend.
- Community Servers and Modding: The first MMORPG to fully support player run servers. Legends of Aria is designed to be modded from top to bottom including custom gameplay rules, custom content and even entirely custom created worlds.