Players have been enjoying the second closed beta test in Legends of Aria for just over a week now. We sat down with Project Lead Derek 'Supreem' Brinkmann and Producer Jeffrey 'Miphon' Edwards to find out how launch went, what's next for Legends of Aria and what this weekend's event means to the game.
MMORPG: How has the launch of CBT 2 gone? How have players reacted to all the big changes?
Derek: It’s great to see so many new players enjoying Legends of Aria and also so many old faces returning, eager for launch. We’ve had a very open development process so we’ve accrued a mountain of players over the years and we love hearing their opinions on how the game has taken shape over the years and specifically in this Closed Beta 2 test.
Jeffrey: The new graphics really took our fans by surprise (even though we normally take heat for working on anything that isn’t getting us to launch quicker!) and certainly has raised the bar for Legends of Aria. Our changes have been very well received and we’re really picking up the pace to cram as much juicy content into the upcoming Early Access Launch as we can.
MMORPG: How have players surprised you in the way they're consuming the content in CBT 2?
Jeffrey:Skill gains have been lowered quite substantially in preparation for launch and some players have definitely surprised us how hard they’ve gone at training! We’ve been tracking time played and each individual player’s skill curve. We sorted the data by time played and one of the players has been logged in almost the entire time CB2 has been running!
MMORPG: What challenges have you faced since CBT 2's launch?
Jeffrey: Tweaking skill gains always comes with a measure of risk. In addition to the skill gain rate changes, we’ve also introduced some anti-macro code to encourage players to gain their skills through legitimate gameplay. It has certainly been challenging to get this just right to minimize the anti-macro code affecting normal players but working together with our players we’ve found some great solutions to some age-old problems.
As any indie development team will tell you, getting a game ready for launch is a mammoth task, none less so than for an MMORPG title like ours, but our team is extremely passionate so we have no doubt that we are up to the task.
MMORPG: Has the timeline for Early Access moved one way or the other since the launch of CBT 2?
Derek: After every major release, we go into a planning phase where we go over the feedback and prioritize and adjust the schedule. We are still in that process now. So far it doesn’t look like we will need to delay Early Access very much if at all.
Jeffrey: We’re more than likely looking at an Open Beta test in the next couple of months, shortly followed by Early Access Launch.
MMORPG: What can you tell us about this weekend's event? What are the goals?
Derek: The goal of our Stress Test this weekend is to put our server infrastructure through its paces and to invite as many people as we can to see how far Legends of Aria has come. With our revised skill gains and full server wipe, the server is buzzing and we’re eager to get everybody involved to enjoy the end of Closed Beta and to absorb every last drop of feedback.
MMORPG: How does someone get involved in the weekend event?
Derek: We are giving out 1000 codes on MMORPG.com today and we will also be selecting people from our mailing list to get trial keys. If you aren’t already on the Legends of Aria mailing list, you can sign up here.
MMORPG: What's next?
Derek: Open Beta! Closed Beta 2 was a big release for us as we unveiled our upgraded graphics and game polish, but Open Beta is the moment where we expect to hit all our marks and make good on all the feedback we’ve received in the past few playtests. Every release our fans tell us that we’re making great strides towards the goal and now we feel ready to complete this last push and realize the game we’ve all been waiting for. Keep an eye on our website for major announcements about the upcoming release.