PRE-ALPHA 1: GAME PREVIEW // JUNE 2014
This release was focused mainly on core systems. It allowed players to experience the fundamentals of our combat system, character development, equipment, looting, etc. It was not very content heavy and provided only a few hours of gameplay for those who did not engage in player versus player combat.
The goal of this release is to get the community running servers and creating mods as early in the process as possible. When Pre-alpha 2 is released, our Pre-alpha Admins will begin working with the development team to improve the process involved to run servers and create mods.
It will allow for player run servers hosted by Citadel Studios and the creation of custom rulesets. Also provided with this release will be a first pass at our modding documentation.
We want to give our Pre-alpha Playtesters a chance to give us feedback on Celador before we release it to the larger group of alpha testers in Alpha 1. This release will be the first time playtesters will have the opportunity to play Shards Online on the much anticipated Celador map. Much of the explore-able area of the world will be accessible during this phase with the exception of certain points of interest like the Ruins and Waterfall cave.
This is a very exciting release as it finally gives all of our alpha level supporters access to the game. Servers will run 24/7 and server admins will have the opportunity to run shards on their own hosting solutions. The cluster feature means characters will be able to travel between maps including to alternate realities of the home world Celador.
Celador will be fully fleshed out with all of its points of interest including Petra Village, the quarry, graveyard, cultist ruins, portal, thieves den and waterfall cave. Catacombs, our stretch goal map will also be available in its first iteration. The Catacombs will feature multiple levels of dungeon crawling goodness.
Lots of other features will be packed into this release like house construction skills, fishing, perma-death ruleset and story toolkit.
The Tower of Babel is a large dungeon where each level is basically its own self-contained dungeon. We plan to have 5-10 levels of the tower completed at the time of this release. We are looking to break out of the traditional fantasy genre for the themes of some of the levels. Stay tuned for more details on this.
Along with the Tower of Babel map comes a large variety of new monsters, weapons, armor, spells and abilities. Some of these items will become available through crafting while others such as rare named items will only be found within the tower.
Another exciting addition to Shards Online in Alpha 2 is the mobile companion app. At this stage, the companion app will allow you to monitor your hired NPCs and assign tasks to them. This gives players direct interaction with the virtual world on their mobile devices.
The Colosseum that provides a large arena for a variety of mini-games from player vs. player tournaments to games where players must survive waves of attacking monsters. Players will also get to explore the seedier side of the shard where organized crime and gambling are ubiquitous.
In Alpha 4, we are also adding additional features to the companion app and the first parts of “Phase 2 Customization” for modders. (Custom Assets)
When Shards Online reaches Beta, it is released to the public and available to anyone who purchases a copy of the game. At this point the game is stable enough to guarantee that server wipes will no longer take place.
In addition to adding the Terminus map, the primary focus of this release is polish and bug fixing of existing features and systems.
This release also includes more “Phase 2 Customization” and companion app features.