Yet another successful Kickstart MMO Campaign that began November 14th, 2014. Shards Online was funded for $105,717, with a promise of the developers that they would match the donation. The former leads of Ultima Online are looking to create innovation in the long running (and crumbling) MMO genre.
“We aren’t just building a world. We’re giving you the keys to the universe.”
The developers have come up with an interesting concept to be the driving force behind their MMORPG. Instead of focusing on graphics, they are providing you with a toolset to mold the world as you see fit. In what seems to be a note taken straight from the anime Sword Art Online, players can host their own worlds known as “Shards”, from which the game derives its namesake. Players can connect and explore these Shards with their avatars, representing different stories and settings, and featuring different rulesets all determined by the world’s creator.
They can jump between worlds as they see fit as long as they share the same ruleset. Each Shard represents a map, an area like a region. You are able to customize what is in it, the NPCs, the skill sets, the placement of objects, and basically everything within it, even customizing the maps and models. People hosting these shards can then connect other regions, forming a “Cluster” of shards. While passing from 1 region to the next seems to make simple enough sense, in my head this translates nicely to Diablo and going from Act I to Act II and so on.
From the screenshots you can see the Perspective and combat even are also similar to Diablo. While at first I regarding it as weighing graphical detail versus world customization, I see it as more of a throwback to the classic MMOs and RPGs. Considering the leads of UO are on this, I guess that should of clicked sooner. What’s more surprising is they aren’t the only ones adopting this trend, as even big names in the MMO world such as NCsoft are also adopting this perspective with their upcoming MMO Lineage Eternal.
I pledged $100 to this kickstarter myself. I am excited at the opportunity to develop custom MMO shards that are a bit akin to Diablo. I, like many, lack programming skills, but the developers are making it so that everything can be edited through the in-game UI. I have always been a big fan of creating my own world and sharing them with others. Having people experience something that I crafted for them. Hopefully I find enough people to form a small team to go on this endeavor with me. Luckily I have time, as it’s been over a year now and we still have a year to go before this game hits Beta. Alas, that is the downside of pledging to kickstarter projects, having patience.
I should also note, pledge packages are still available at the Kickstarter rates, a rare thing to do as most groups try to reward their early adopters but making kickstarter rewards exclusive.
Shards Online Kickstarer video: