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Legends of Aria: The One Bright Spot in MMOs of 2018

Yesterday I did my yearly review of the MMOs launched in 2018, and it was depressing. Basically, nothing new and worth playing released this year. The games that did release were once again disasters, shovelware, and/or foreign cash grabs.

There is, however, a bright spot in upcoming MMORPGs for this next year, and it's completely playable right now: Legends of Aria.

Legends of Aria hearkens back to the old school MMORPG days of games like Ultima Online. LoA is an open-world sandbox and community-driven MMO. There's no hand holding or gameplay structure for you to follow. You log in and immediately must begin forging your own path through the world and deciding what you will be, how you will do it, where you will go, what you will see and do, or just about everything else along the way.

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I started playing around the time they planned to launch on Steam. However, due to some unfinished issues they discovered just in time, Legends of Aria's Steam launch has been delayed. However, here's the trailer.

Earlier this month I wrote my initial impressions of Aria. I noted the pleasure of knowing nothing, and even today after multiple weeks of playing that's still true. 

Some of the things I have done in the game revolve around exploration and playing my tamer. So far I think I'm only around 40 taming skill, and I'm just running around amassing horse tames and some Black Bears. Most of my time is spent finding things, exploring where I can go, and seeing what's out there in the future when I can gain more skills.

The pacing in Legends of Aria really tries to slow you down so that you take your time. One streamer I enjoy watching named Markee Dragon (old school MMOers will know the name) has a guild on Azure. There are around 150 members so far and it's just people chilling and having fun.

I will say that right now my biggest critique is the clutter from people claiming plots near major cities and not doing much with them besides heaping their junk. Housing requires you to own a plot of land (where you can actually place more than one house) but also a lot of resources to construct that house. If you don't have the funds or the time to make a gatherer and farm them, you'll end up with just an empty lot. Usually this happens because people can't afford the taxes anyway.

I'd like to see them reform how the housing system works a bit, and force players to have to spread them out further away from the cities.

Legends of aria how questing works

Questing is also interesting. It reminds me a lot of how SWG's mission system worked early on. You basically go to an NPC and pick up a quest to go out and kill, for example, bears. You're then given a general area to find them and you head out to that spot to kill bears in that specific area. On the quests I did, the bears spawned from a den which resembled the nests or hives or spawn points like in SWG. Destroying that spawn spot successfully finishes the quest. It's not a bad system, albeit simplistic in this era of MMOs. 

If you're interested in some actually real and especially old school MMO gameplay, definitely check out Legends of Aria. There's a lot that it has to offer right now that is completely playable, and as the developers continue improving the game it will eventually hit Steam. My hope is that they release a new server when that happens so that I can start fresh. I'd love to jump in with anyone at that point.

In the meantime, I'll continue to farm gold by exploring and finding new things.

  • Sky says:

    I’m generally terrified of playing these types of games now. Usually, as I’ve noticed these things go, I enjoy it for a little bit before the company is bought out and everything changes. I’ll probably keep an eye on it for a while before diving in, but I hope you continue to write about it so I can live vicariously through you!

  • Gankatron says:

    It is difficult for me to gauge how you feel about this one.

    Often you have strong feelings one way or another, but this one is described as “interesting”, “albeit simplistic”, with an overall chill fun vibe, if I am reading you correctly.

    Kind of meh+?

    • Keen says:

      Chill and interesting are correct. The game itself, compared to all of the big flashes in the pan of today, is definitely hearkening back to a simpler era. LoA focuses on creating that “lived in” world feel with a “how am I going to put food on the table” vibe of each time you play.

      Like today I logged in and gained a whole point in taming, killed some skeletons, and earned a few silver. That was a pretty exciting session.

      I attribute all of the exact same feelings of Ultima Online to Legends of Aria. Some people would be put to sleep by the pacing, while others find the entire thing exhilarating because they’re in the driver’s seat making all of the decisions.

  • Solarbear says:

    Is this what the MMO industry has come to? Rehashing the old, these game systems and things to do look very very old, and boring, rather than being innovative. Tbh I haven’t seen anything innovative since WOW was made.

  • Yup This Guy says:

    This game is a mess with a horrible and ignorant Dev team that removes all the Cool abilities/prestige skills.. Terrible Balance attempts.. The devs remove and/or alter things that never needed it in the first place. Their priority is terrible as well.. Instead of fixing known bugs that seems to plague the game, such as the hotbar bug aka “Bandage Bug”, they’d rather make a floating cup become “Static” in eldier. Or make snakes have “pain” sounds…….. Black forest outpost has had the WORST performance issues since it was a zone.. so CB1? Shards Online?? lol
    Zone lines are terrible and cause the worse lag/freezes ever… You crash more than anything.. You can crash when zoning into a new area, or when using a gatekeeper… or when using a hearth stone(which uses your Cooldown of 30+ minutes AND doesn’t hearth you to your previously bound location) or just randomly in the wild… Most frustrating is PvP crashes.. Ruins the whole experience when at one point in CB2 it was more close to release than it is now being close to release 😐

    The CS team/Miphon made horrible choices in regard to Melee balance/PvP balance/ Mage Balance/PvE balance.

    They removed Snipe, Cleave, Backstab, and nerfed melee damage, Nerfed the ability’s “Overpower” damage, Nerfed Lancing damage after giving 2h weapons a 25% bonus damage to where now your 2h does the same damage as a 1h.. They turned stealth into a joke/wasted build.. Spend hours on hours, days on days trying to get 80+ in stealth and Hiding and your weapon skill and Vigor for more weapon purposes, JUST for a 50-50 odds of landing any attack out of stealth. Don’t matter if you are GM in everything… 50-50… Pointless.

    CS are scared of balancing correctly due to them not wanting people to die out in the wild.. This game will soon turn into Legends of Trade-skill..

    This game is heading in the wrong direction for competitive players. Now PvP is all about finding ways to manipulate the game’s mechanics to net a kill…. Even in towns they can manipulate bugs to get YOU killed by guards while the rest of their guild swarms in to loot you(at any town bank)You can’t go out and 2v2 or solo due to the enabling of the Dev team’s choices.

    If they bring back what CB2 offered as to PvP Balance, Fix aggro on mobs cause they can see you from 3 screens away (Good luck doing dungeons), Fix mages interruption rate, Make damage prestiges a thing again, and turn Ray of Frost into a prestige and make the logical decision on what those Prestiges require and not foolishly easy to obtain multiple damage prestiges then we’d be better off.

    Also Ray of frost is broken and roots players that are mounted cause the dev team still hasn’t figured out that while mounted you get “Dazed” from any damage based attack on top of Ray of Frost’s snare/damage… They never intended it to work that way and I was already told so by Miphon himself. Yet all you see in PvP is a handful of mages spamming that 1 spell. That’s competitive….

    Overall.. YES this game is worth playing due to it’s potential. Just so you can see for yourself. it’s amazingly close to being “That” game to play. At the same time, it has so many NEW and OLD issues that aren’t being addressed fast enough. There are
    game breaking bugs that have been in this game for years and still live today.

    At one point this game was a solid 8-10 or even a 9-10 for me (CB2 times)
    My core group worked hands on with the dev team and made adjustments that were crucial to the game’s functionality. We solved several issues and helped fix game breaking bugs.. we were listened to. Now ignored. Now the game is in a sad state of depression. Our group abolished any type of OP meta builds and made it to where there were at least 4 or 5 builds that were amazing for PvE and PvP. Now there is 1. maybe 2. But mainly the 1. (Mages)

    To give you an example of the Dev team at CS on how awful they are…

    *Remove Cleave due to a “Double hit” bug- “Culmination of bugs with lancing”
    *”Double hit” bug- still in the game…
    *No cleave – rendering Lance damn near useless..
    ——————————————————————————-
    *ALL armor other than cloth has the same defense. CS: – Nerfs Melee damage
    Call me crazy but wouldn’t you fix armor before addressing damage?
    That’s like tying your shoes without putting them on first. Now they will have to spend more money trying to re-work on damage after they attempt to fix Defense….

    Seems like they have their priority all messy.. If I told you everything that’s happened since CB1-CB2 you’d agree 100%.. or you’re just as ignorant as some of these choices made by the Dev team. Not at all impressed and more frustrated now than ever with this game. It’s just not fun anymore. it’s more of a headache than anything tbh.

    Unless they screw their head on tight and actually make logically sound choices as to what they should or should not do, or what they should address first, I don’t see this game being anything more then a cosmetic-cash-grab mess.

  • Quixstar says:

    Great review. What we need is for fun competitive play styles. Then roll that into a paper / rock / scissors thing. In the old UO there was pure mage, tank mage, dexer (fast dps with drinking potions + poisoned weapon) – there was full melee tank (had max armor + magic defense) – We had hiding, thieves, tamers, and stealth. But the guard system worked properly(to me UO has a better criminal system). It just had at least 3 or 4 different ways to fight the good fight and actually win based on player skill. The macro system were better, response to the client was more fluid. It rarely crashed. Very good performance in the client and that was even with 100 people on the screen it still held up pretty well.

    What I see today is so much potential, with some real work ahead to get back into that fun nitch game where if you were that skillful you could beat 2 other people. You had to be fast, hit every macro perfectly, every skill was 100 – had to out-think your enemy. Run when needed, teleport, equip weapons on the fly, drink potions, and had to calculate to attack or retreat several times in a 5 min fight.

    That part of the game was a high huge driver of the active pvp community. The guild wars. Order vs Chaos – and then it added everything else. Tamers, Crafters, Treasure Hunters, Pirates, Anti-PKs, Player Housing, Player Vendors, Player Built towns – all the cool stuff in a living MMORPG.

    The game has very high hopes from me, I’m glad I got the fun out of it that I did.

    But to be realistic it might be a few months till all this gets down solid, and if they release too early so many kids will just trash the game and move on. It’s 2019 – there are a billion games to play.

    I hope they hire 1 or 2 more people, and make constant weekly updates, with some wiggle room to test, listen to players – and somehow make large group of players happy without this becoming a whine fest.

    I think it’s still fun to play, not broken at least – and is worth some playtime if this is your type of MMO.

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