Ultima and The Elder Scrolls are two of the greatest RPG franchises our industry has ever produced, and veterans of both teams want your money to make an MMO unlike any other.
Shards Online is different from other MMOs in that it’s not administered by distant, god-like developers; players set the agenda , managing servers and customising their experiences.
We’ve talked about the unique ideas behind Shards Online before, but Citadel Studios is ready to reveal more about its ambitious plans to revolutionise the way we play together, because it’s launched a Kickstarter to fund it.
Citadel has penned a huge stack of lore for the game to explain its multi-world approach, which you can trawl through at your leisure, but the key takeaway is that you’ll be able to explore a variety of settings, picking up different skills depending on where you wander around, as you travel a multiverse of worlds “each with their own rules, mechanics, and histories”.
“As a player, you explore these ‘shards’, seek their treasures, and learn new skills and abilities from their current and past civilizations,” Citadel said.”
“Live, die and be reborn as a mortal player. Achieve immortality and be the envy of your shard’s mortal inhabitants. Become a demigod and rule over a single ‘shard’, or ascend to take your place as the god of an entire cluster.”
The MMO is currently in alpha but will launch with several worlds with different rules, including a normal MMO-like set up, a PvP realm, and even a perma-death zone. Whoa. Now that’s hardcore. God knows what player swill invent to up the ante from that.
Maybe the best part is that you only pay for what you want to play; they’ll be a subscription plan available for the servers run by Citadel, but you can play and even run your own shards at no cost. If you want to run a cluster of shards, that will come at a price – but Citadel has vowed not to charge more than running costs.
While looking a lot like Ultima with its isometric appearance and feeling a little like Elder Scrolls with its emphasis on customisation, Shards Online seems to be aiming for something totally different. Now, gamers can be pretty conservative; I can hear your adjustment disorders waxing full mightily from here. But Citadel has provided a handy table explaining the benefits of its ideas:
There’s way more to get excited about than what I’ve described so far, so check out the Kickstarter and watch the pledge video below for more info.