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[Interview] Shards Online: It's a Revolution in MMOs - The Freedom to Create

BillMurphyBillMurphy Former Managing EditorMember LegendaryPosts: 4,562

Shards Online is a game that in its understated way is going to change the way MMOs are developed by bringing the community to bear in a way that has never been done before. Citadel Studios is committed to creating something different and unique that places the powers of creation into the hands of the people who love MMOs so they can provide experiences to players who are oftentimes disappointed by the genre these days.

Read more of Suzie Ford's Shards Online: It's a Revolution in MMOs That is All About Freedom.

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Try to be excellent to everyone you meet. You never know what someone else has seen or endured.

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Comments

  • danwest58danwest58 Member RarePosts: 2,011
    I have Access to Pre-Alpha and have a very hard time getting into it.  I know is pre-alpha however how can I go from FFXIV graphics or WOW type of interface to these 2D graphics.  I really can't, I feel like I am taking a step backward and going back to UO.  Everything about this game screams this is a Ultima Online remake just a little different world.  If I really wanted to go back to the UO graphics I would go back to UO.  Give me Graphics like FFXIV and a 3D game.  This game is just not there with what a game today should be like.  Great Idea however I do not feel this one will work out unless a Blizzard buys them and builds this game for them using todays Graphics.  
  • vadio123vadio123 Member UncommonPosts: 593

    O wait i think i see this words fews thousands times!!!!!!!

     

    Hype 0 util release and i test(maybe)

  • DarLorkarDarLorkar Member UncommonPosts: 1,082

    Umm...maybe i just do not get it yet. But this seems made to be pretty much a super niche game. Maybe a few of your friends will log in and play with you. 

     

    But the main selling point is everyone makes their own world and rules? Kinda sounds like it defeats the purpose of a MMO to me. Will be hundreds of servers out there all basically different games?

     

     

  • BillMurphyBillMurphy Former Managing EditorMember LegendaryPosts: 4,562
    @Dar: You take your character/s to any and all Shards. Think of them as different continents or zones, not just different servers. They're all connected in the lore, via the developer's main lore-based server.

    Try to be excellent to everyone you meet. You never know what someone else has seen or endured.

    My Review Manifesto
    Follow me on Twitter if you dare.

  • YorlikYorlik Member UncommonPosts: 18

    I have access to Pre Alpha and love it!

    The creation interface surely is not yet there where it should be, after all it's PreAlpha which means "not even Alpha"! But even in this limited not-yet-mature stage its amazing what you can do. The Lua scripting environment and the API provided by CS is very approachable and evolving from week to week in tight contact with the community. You can even go down to each single swing of a sword and control whats happening there, so we basically have access to the very core game engine. And the developers listen! There is an issue tracking and idea submission system which together with the IRC channel and the forums creates a development ecosystem in whish developers and community can work together efficiently.

    Creation is not mainly about boasting the latest graphics à la Skyrim or other AAA games, its about giving US the freedom to create like never seen before in an RPG.

    The NWN PWs became awesome because of what the community made of it, but there were serious technical quirks to overcome and when the Master Server was shut down we all were let down. Derek Brinkmann has clearly stated in one of the last roundtables that this will not happen with Shards Online and if Citadel ever goes down they will release something to free us from any "phone home" protections.

    It surely is a niche market, but a highly interesting one. I personally was never interested in commercial MMOs and only played a bit of UO and mostly on NWN worlds. WoW is boring to me as well as most other MMOs I have tried. Its a huge difference if you develop a community of players and developers who create and shape a virtual envoironment together or if you just consume a commercial product.

    Cheers

    Chris a.k.a. "Yorlik"

    Arcanima Project Moderator

  • lodestone90lodestone90 Member UncommonPosts: 22
    I just have one question for those in Pre-Alpha. Do you only get to log in once a week during an event or are the servers up fairly often? It's really the only thing keeping me from pledging. 
  • YorlikYorlik Member UncommonPosts: 18
    The community servers are up 24/7 already
  • Supreem_CSSupreem_CS Member UncommonPosts: 6
    Originally posted by danwest58
    I have Access to Pre-Alpha and have a very hard time getting into it.  I know is pre-alpha however how can I go from FFXIV graphics or WOW type of interface to these 2D graphics.  I really can't, I feel like I am taking a step backward and going back to UO.  Everything about this game screams this is a Ultima Online remake just a little different world.  If I really wanted to go back to the UO graphics I would go back to UO.  Give me Graphics like FFXIV and a 3D game.  This game is just not there with what a game today should be like.  Great Idea however I do not feel this one will work out unless a Blizzard buys them and builds this game for them using todays Graphics.  

    Hey Dan, I understand your concerns, but comparing the graphics of Shards Online to Ultima Online is a bit unfair. We have some nice in-game shots on our Screenshots page.

    We are also always working to improve the graphical look of the game. We have come a long way even since the Kickstarter campaign. 

  • lodestone90lodestone90 Member UncommonPosts: 22
    Are those player run shards?
  • YorlikYorlik Member UncommonPosts: 18
    Yes. The Tales of Arcanima shard is runing on a hosted vitrtual machine rented by me and under my control. Running a server on a home PC is a non-issue. You just need to know how to open your firewall incoming ports.
  • timeraidertimeraider Member UncommonPosts: 787
    Originally posted by BillMurphy
    @Dar: You take your character/s to any and all Shards. Think of them as different continents or zones, not just different servers. They're all connected in the lore, via the developer's main lore-based server.

    Except character progress gets lost 90% of the time since you can only keep character progress within a shard cluster.. the moment you want to join a different cluster you need to make a new character for that cluster.

    Want a new MMORPG in your life?
    Try taking a look at Ashes of Creation
    Referalcode for those extra's: e3dc414b-481c-465b-903f-3b1e68f68817

  • YorlikYorlik Member UncommonPosts: 18
    Originally posted by timeraider
    Originally posted by BillMurphy
    @Dar: You take your character/s to any and all Shards. Think of them as different continents or zones, not just different servers. They're all connected in the lore, via the developer's main lore-based server.

    Except character progress gets lost 90% of the time since you can only keep character progress within a shard cluster.. the moment you want to join a different cluster you need to make a new character for that cluster.

    I believe there was a misunderstanding. Characters are kept within a cluster as long as not some additional thing gets developed.

    But the limit to the size of a cluster is dictated by the available hardware. So - if you are rich or have enough donators and want want to provide a world as large as 10,000 players you can do it.

    AFAIK the final limit per single shard (where a cluster can consist of dozens or hundreds of these) is not yet set but will be at least 128 players, maybe 256 or something in that ballpark. So basically it all scales up with how many single shards your available hardware (which could be a cluster of host computers) can run. A single shard in a cluster can be seen a a gamezone, like a city or a forest. Character transition within a cluster from shard to shard is seamless and transparent to the player even between different host computers . Its like portaling or to compare it to NWN like the transition between maps. But single shard maps are much bigger than a NWN maps, you typically need round about 30 minutes to run straight from one end to the other.

  • MoonKnighttMoonKnightt Member UncommonPosts: 148
    While this game seemed interesting. I couldn't get into it but I said the same thing about trove in early beta.

    I'll go back for another look later. But I am pretty sure Sword Coast coming out the end of this year scratches this itch for me.

    Along with club worlds is trove.
  • Supreem_CSSupreem_CS Member UncommonPosts: 6
    Originally posted by timeraider
    Originally posted by BillMurphy
    @Dar: You take your character/s to any and all Shards. Think of them as different continents or zones, not just different servers. They're all connected in the lore, via the developer's main lore-based server.

    Except character progress gets lost 90% of the time since you can only keep character progress within a shard cluster.. the moment you want to join a different cluster you need to make a new character for that cluster.

    This is no different than it is for other MMOs. I have characters on many servers in Ultima Online, Everquest, WoW ect. 

  • MumboJumboMumboJumbo Member UncommonPosts: 3,219
    Good to hear this project is still cracking on, great ideas; the ability to have various Rule-Sets + modding and various communities. Fruitful.
  • Loke666Loke666 Member EpicPosts: 21,441

    Ok, Shard just went to the top of my list of future MMOs. And easily, this sounds awesome.

    We could actually make an MMORPG.com shard made by and for the people here. :)

  • SBFordSBFord Former Associate EditorMember LegendaryPosts: 33,126
    Originally posted by Loke666

    Ok, Shard just went to the top of my list of future MMOs. And easily, this sounds awesome.

    We could actually make an MMORPG.com shard made by and for the people here. :)

    That would be awesome. :)


    ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ 


  • MisterZebubMisterZebub Member LegendaryPosts: 3,584
    Sounds cool to me. Couple of thoughts though. First I'm wondering how well the main server population will compare to player made custom servers with softer item loss/loot rules. EG Trammel vs Felucca. And what contingency plans do they have in place to keep custom server runners from exploiting/cheating?

    "You have kept me at your beck and call for fifteen years. I shall never again do what you demand of me. By every rule of single combat, from this moment your life belongs to me. Is that not correct? Then I shall simply declare you dead. In all of your dealings with me, you'll do me the courtesy to conduct yourself as a dead man. I have submitted to your notions of honor long enough. You will now submit to mine."

  • Loke666Loke666 Member EpicPosts: 21,441
    Originally posted by Supreem_CS
    Originally posted by timeraider

    Except character progress gets lost 90% of the time since you can only keep character progress within a shard cluster.. the moment you want to join a different cluster you need to make a new character for that cluster.

    This is no different than it is for other MMOs. I have characters on many servers in Ultima Online, Everquest, WoW ect. 

    Well, you can usually pay to move but it honestly don't work on custom shads. Then someone would run a cheat shard incredible easy with superloot.

    If you don't want the problem you just play on the shards the devs run, but the potential is just incredible.

    With a player created dungeon database you can add to it means a lot of choices, some servers can have short fast dungeons while others have long EQ styled ones instead. And it makes finding all solutions on the official wiki way harder, we could actually get some puzzle stuff players have to solve themselves in dungeons again (those went away with wikis).

    Not too mention how much content there will be in the game, Biowares Neverwinter nights had thousands of player run servers already back then. The only thing is that there have to be some ratings on how good stuff actually is, some shards will suck while others will be great depending on who created the stuff.

    I like this, it have a lot of pen and paper over it. There are many really talented dungeon and story creators who only has it as a hobby and this have the potential of devs from MMO companies discovering talented people in a way we never seen before. 

    I can't wait to get my hands on this. :)

  • DelCabonDelCabon Member UncommonPosts: 257

    The screenshots look amazing to me.

     

    I am really looking forward to this game. In my ideal world I would have in my gaming rotation one mmo on rails and another like this that is open ended.

     

    I was always amazed at how talented people were at creating modules for Neverwinter Nights. If Shards is an upgrade to this experience I will definitely be playing.

    Del Cabon
    A US Army ('Just Cause') Vet and MMORPG Native formerly of Trinsic, Norath and Dereth. Currently playing LOTRO. 

  • Loke666Loke666 Member EpicPosts: 21,441
    Originally posted by MisterZebub
    Sounds cool to me. Couple of thoughts though. First I'm wondering how well the main server population will compare to player made custom servers with softer item loss/loot rules. EG Trammel vs Felucca. And what contingency plans do they have in place to keep custom server runners from exploiting/cheating?

    What I understand can't you move players from the private servers to official ones.

    It would be easy to add some kind of system that let the shard admin allow you to move or copy a character that is balanced for the server though and they could implement a score value for the gear to make it easy. Then it would be up to the shards admin or owner to decide if you could move characters to it at all, if certain character that have the right power could be moved or if everyone have to start from scratch.

    But that certain servers will be easy and others hard is a strenght, it is a huge problem with modern MMOs since players enjoy different difficulties but most games use about the same one. If you decide to play on super easy shards should be your decision even if it means you can't freely move between them.

  • Raven322Raven322 Member UncommonPosts: 68
    Sounds something like an old school MUD where players can eventually add their own content to the existing world.
  • Nemesis7884Nemesis7884 Member UncommonPosts: 1,023
    how is it all these REVOLUTIONS never make it away really from the drawing board? either they dont release at all or the release version is veeeery far away from this originaly revolution... wake me up once we have a real contender for the throne...
  • TheRabidsmurfTheRabidsmurf Member UncommonPosts: 146
    Link realms
  • WizardryWizardry Member LegendaryPosts: 16,599

    I truly don't know an easy way to do this but i do know this is not enough for me.

    The way i like it to happen is give us say an Unreal Engine and tools and allows us to import our own content into our own shards.Then you have a loading and unloading system so that files are not too large.You obviously cannot store a million shards of ideas on each players HD,that is why i said load/unload data.

    Sure it might take 5 maybe even 10 minutes to download the data before you can enter a shard but it just gives each shard a better looking game.You can still have shared assets if people don't want to make an entire zone from scratch as well.

    To me this way you always have to use low end graphics and that just does not excite me.Also being a budget game there is only so many assets,so it will be exactly like NWO and the way quests were done.After a week or so you begin to see the same stuff  over and over just shifted around a bit differently and it gets real boring real fast.My point is you NEED NEW player made assets or it is just NWO questing all over again but instead of some small tavern you get shifted around full maps.

    I would still be willing to try this game out,perhaps they somehow can manage to pull this off,until then i would be very skeptical of this attempted game design.

     

    Never forget 3 mile Island and never trust a government official or company spokesman.

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