The Road to Early Access Begins with Stress Tests, Events & a Period of Darkness
The Legends of Aria site has been updated with a new developer diary that lays out the road ahead as the game prepares to move to Steam Early Access sometime in October. In order to ensure that LoA is in ship-shape for Early Access, at least one stress test and a "Permadeath Mod Event" are planned for August. Then in September, the plan is to bring the servers down to address community feedback with regard to loot, memory leaks, client stability and to complete vital systems.
Another reason cited for "going dark" for a period of time is to reduce player fatigue and to ensure that the game launches into Early Access with a "critical mass of players to make the world feel alive".
Wait, Did You Say “launch on Steam Early Access”?
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. Also, we’ve heard from a lot of players for whom Steam is THE access point, either because of payment processing or just preference. We want our final wipe, the true beginning of the story of Celador, to be as widely available as possible.
You can read the full letter on the Legends of Aria site. You can also check out last night's stream for even more information.