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Letter from the Producer

Greetings Attuned Mortals and Immortals alike!  Allow me to introduce myself.  My name is Brett 'Strig' Robinson and I've recently joined the Citadel Studios team as Executive Producer. 

I won't bore you with details of my career Before Gaming (BG); telecom, marketing, project management, blah blah blah.  No.  What's important is that I am a lifelong gamer and I got my start in the games industry back in 2001 at a small studio in Northern VA making their first MMO: Dark Age of Camelot.  I was with Mythic Entertainment for many years; initially as a lead in their CS department and then as a designer on DAOC's expansions and later on Warhammer: Age of Reckoning.  In 2009 I moved to Atlanta, GA and started as Lead Systems Designer for Cartoon Network's Game Studio where I worked on bringing their brands to life in games like FusionFall and Adventure Time: Battle Party.

I am joining Citadel Studios at a really exciting time.  Shards Online is taking a truly innovative approach to the MMORPG and while still early in development, Shards Online is already in a playable and enjoyable state.  More than that, I have had a chance to tinker with modding, and even in Pre-Alpha and without our full spectrum of planned tools I am amazed at how powerful and flexible it is.  The ability to completely mod the game from top to bottom to create your own unique Shards to experience is going to be one of SO's most exciting and powerful facets; providing what so many MMOs claim to offer but fail to deliver: a truly infinite amount of content to explore.

Perhaps even more amazing than the game and the technology behind it is how passionate and creative the Shards Online community has shown itself to be.  I have been lurking in the forums various social channels for a while now and I am excited by the enthusiasm and ideas coming from all of you and hope I'll be able to help channel many of them into our game.  You will see a lot more of me in those channels in the future and I look forward to hearing from you.  Remember, this is your game and these are your rules, the success of Shards Online depends on you.

Celador Early Access

On Saturday, May 9th at 2:00PM EDT we will be giving our Pre-Alpha playtesters their first taste of the Celador Shard!
  
Celador is coming along so beautifully that we felt with a little extra effort we could get you all in and playing earlier than expected.  What's more, we have some exciting new features we'd like to have your feedback on, and the best place to test them out is on the Celador Shard. 

We will have an early glimpse into our Harvesting and Crafting system, the Day/Night and lighting systems, and as we mentioned in the Community Roundtable, we have made some fairly sweeping changes to the AI system.

The playtest is set for Saturday May 9, 2015 at 2:00PM EDT so be sure to check the dashboard at www.shardsonline.com/dashboard for your access information to participate in the fun.  Keep an eye out on our event schedule for any updates or changes.

Community Roundtable

The April 11th Community Round Table showed off a lot of exciting updates. We got a look at two new areas of Celador that are currently under development:  the cultist infested Ruins of the Artificers and the haunted Eldeir Cemetery.  We got a glimpse of one of the visual customizations players will be able to apply: armor dye.  We also discussed rare animals, animal aging and talked a bit about wolf AI pack behaviors.  Some interesting tech updates including the Data Table Editor and Dynamic Window generation were covered along with a peek at the Shards Online Lua Interface Reference and Modder's Handbook.  Finally, we got our first look at the official Shards T-Shirt in all its glory, and yes, Derek is still wearing it! 

In case you missed it, you can catch the whole thing here: twitch.tv.  Our next scheduled roundtable is on Saturday, May 9, 2015 at 1:00PM EDT. Don’t forget, if you would like to participate via voice chat you can email us by Thursday, May 7th at community@citadelstudios.net to get an invitation and the mumble server info.

Designer's Den

Bruce ‘Logrus’ Bonnick on Metal Smithing


We have finished the prototype for the Metal Smith and Salvage skills.

The Salvage skill provides a means of recovering raw materials from items. When an item is salvaged, it is destroyed and some of the material used to craft that item is recovered. This is not an efficient process and so results will vary from time to time. It does however, have the benefit of allowing potential recovery of most types of material used in item crafting, so while not as efficient as specific resource gathering, it does provide some advantages through its versatility.

Metal Smithing provides the ability to craft metal items. This includes weapons, shields, armor, and tools. Once you reach the minimum skill requirement to craft an item, you will never fail at crafting it. However, the quality/durability will be dependent on your skill. In addition to affecting the base quality and durability of the item, your skill will also determine if and how many bonuses you receive to the crafted item. These bonuses are small, and static so even a shoddily crafted item, is still useful, for a short time at least (before it breaks).

Once you finish creating an item through metal smithing, you can either stop crafting, or attempt to improve the item. Each attempt to improve the item carries an increasing risk of breakage which is partially mitigated by your Metal Smith skill. The bonuses applied by the improvement system are random, and span significantly more possibilities than the base skill bonuses from the initial crafting. These bonuses also stack with the enhancement system allowing for creation of really specialized items.

Celador Preview

The Shard of Celador continues to take shape under the adept guidance of our artists.  Take a look at some of the fantastic locations you'll soon be able to explore.

You may notice that we've begun implementing our new lighting and atmospheric fog systems.  Celador now has a true day-night cycle. By day Celador's hills and fields may seem warm and inviting, but travelers beware, when the fog rolls in and night falls, the dark hides many horrors! 

Break Our Shard T-shirt Winner!

Our previous playtest was a lot of fun and even though no one managed to actually break our shard (probably a good thing, right?) we still have a winner of the T-Shirt contest. So without further ado, the winner of the Break Our Shard T-Shirt Contest is:

Jason Weaver            

Congratulations!  Since you didn't actually break the Shard, though, you will be getting the t-shirt 'Supreem' has been wearing since the Community Round Table.  Just kidding! (...that was a joke, right?). 

T-Shirts For Sale?

Jealous of Supreem's sweet Shards Online T-Shirt?  Of course you are.  Want one for yourself ?  Well that is the topic of this poll.  Should we offer Shards Online T-Shirts for sale on our site?

https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/ShardsShirts

Want To Play?

Don’t forget, if you haven’t pledged your support yet, it’s not too late!  Head over to our pledge page right now and secure your early access to Shards Online. This project will be successful because of your support.

Copyright © 2014 Citadel Studios, All rights reserved.

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