Welcome to our new blog where we will be giving community updates for Citadel Studios’ upcoming project in Aria. As many fans know, we recently underwent a playtest to gauge player feedback on our improved client and server technology. We have also been making steps towards the realisation of The Forge, a plan announced earlier this year to redefine how we experience Aria. We’d like to share some big developments on the future of these projects.
The Forge was a plan to reimagine the experience of adventuring in Aria from the ground up; a return to the quintessence of our systems in establishing a deeply revised core of gameplay informed by successes, hard lessons learned and feedback from our fans; a world which will grow organically, expanding the playable space to meet the needs of the living virtual world. Most importantly to us, this was an opportunity to deliver a vision for Aria which has been our inspiration from the beginning. We set out to make big changes.
Our playtest was the first opportunity for players to jump into the early stages of The Forge, but also presented an opportunity for players to experience the second generation of our engine, Shards Engine 2. Shards Engine 2 breaks players away from the locked isometric camera and fully immerses them in a vast and beautiful open world. The feedback we received was overwhelmingly positive and players confirmed our belief that Aria’s brand of sandbox gameplay could be experienced like never before.
Citadel Studios will be launching a new standalone title in the Aria universe which we’re internally calling Aria 2.0; combining the power of Shards Engine 2 with The Forge’s promise of delivering a new and truely community powered sandbox experience.
This will be a re-envisionment of our founding vision for Aria and an opportunity to step closer to realising the potential we’ve carried these many years. A summary of the features to come:
- An overhaul to our core gameplay in focusing primarily on intergrating and expanding essential sandbox features.
- A return to and expansion of our foundational skill design and item distribution present in our classic days of pre-launch.
- A new expanding game world, improved and redesigned for scalable management of the virtual environment.
- A new approach to economy, with checks and balances to ensure longevity and a heightened focus on player markets, crafted goods and scarcity of goods and gold.
- New reasons to adventure, points of interest, and regular PvE and guild PvP events.
- Shards Engine 2: Featuring new 3D pathfinding, multistory buildings, improved collision, boats, swimming and more.
- An entirely new user experience, an immersive unlocked camera, user friendly UI and huge optimizations to server and client performance.
- A return to full mounted combat.
- A new level of immersion through proximity based positional voice chat (optional).
- Regular community interaction and involvement in an integrated and considered approach to development tailored to the virtual world and it’s community.
When will Aria 2.0 release?
Development on Aria 2.0 we count in months as opposed to years; through Shards Engine 2 we’re enjoying a fast development environment and we’re eager to get you involved. We’ll be formally announcing this project in the near future and will have more information then.
How can we support this project?
Following this announcement we will begin a schedule of regular playtests where we will be working closely with you in development. Fans will then have an opportunity to support the project and gain access to our servers.
Join our Discord
We have recently opened anAria 2.0 Discord channel for players to discuss and share their ideas for Aria 2.0. Join us and we’ll keep you updated on our developments and progress.
Follow us on Twitter to where we’ll be updating you regularly on news and upcoming blog posts.
What does this mean for Legends of Aria?
We will continue to support Legends of Aria. The Legends of Aria Worlds program (community servers) is alive and well and will continue to be supported long into the future. When Aria 2.0 enters testing, we will be sure to offer our Legends of Aria subscribers the opportunity to play.