Legends of Aria Articles
Legends of Aria hit Steam Early Access last week and MMORPG has been able to go hands on with the newly minted MMORPG. How does it fare early on after one week with LoA?
I’ve seen the name Legends of Aria posted on our website in the top five voted games for a while, but I was always skeptical about it. It seemed to offer a throwback, almost identical to Ultima Online. Was I truly ready for such a game? Would it even be worth the time and effort? They surely couldn’t do the game justice could they? I had my doubts, truly, but I have to say I was pleasantly surprised by what I’ve seen so far.
Recent rumors suggest that the next installment in the storied Diablo franchise will feature elements reminiscent of Diablo II, which could be a step in the right direction. However, the news is only a small light at the end of a very long tunnel for fans of old school MMORPGs. Fortunately, Diablo IV isn’t the only enticing prospect for gamers of a certain age looking to relive the glory days of the MMO genre.
Over the last year Citadel Studios has been hard at work updating Legends of Aria and getting everything ready to bring even more players in. They have had the main systems for how the game operates in place for a while, but what was really needed was a lot of polishing. So I was pretty keen to check in with them at PAX East and see everything they have been working on since last year.
Legends of Aria, formally Shards Online, is a sprawling sandbox MMO which really lets players decide how they want to interact with the world. The main thing arriving with the name change is the world map just got much larger.
If I’m honest, I wasn’t expecting to enjoy Shards Online. The retro-style MMO by Citadel Studios – a tribute to classics like Ultima Online – just didn’t grab me. The Diablo-esque graphical perspective, slow skill grinds and nod to player-killing just didn’t sound appealing in an era of sumptuous 3D and safe theme-park rides.
Developed by a core team spanning decades of MMO development (Ultima Online, Dark Age of Camelot, Warhammer Online), Citadel Studios is filled to the brim with people whose games you’ve loved and lost (poor Tabula Rasa). During PAX we met up with Derek Brinkmann and Chris Ondrus to get an early look at the pre-alpha client of their game and talk with them about the direction they want it all to go.