This week’s Indie Spotlight is all about Shards Online, a Citadel Studios game currently being funded through Kickstarter. There are a number of reasons why I am excited about this game, but I think the biggest reason is that it is described (on their Kickstarter page) as “heavily inspired by games like Ultima Online.” This was enough for me to back the game, as I have been a rabid UO fan since 1997.
Several of the members from Citadel Studios worked directly on UO and others have ties to games like Dark Age of Camelot and Warhammer Online. With this kind of pedigree, I can only expect to see some serious open-world adventuring with a good bit of PvP mixed in.
The team’s reputation would be fine on its own; however the idea behind the game is equally impressive. Bear with me here, as this gets a little confusing, but I stole this graphic from the Shards Online Kickstarter page to help explain this a little further.
Basically, the idea of “shards” comes directly from Ultima Online, and they can be compared to servers. Each shard will be a different world complete with different aesthetics and rule-sets, which can be traversed between by players. Shards are part of greater masses known as “clusters” which further dictate the rules and play-style of the connected shards. Players will create characters per a cluster and will be able to play on all the shards contained in said cluster. This allows players to find their favorite rule-set and aesthetic that suits them the best.
Now that I’ve attempted to clear up some confusion, let’s talk about some of the features of Shards Online. According to the Kickstarter write-up the game will feature:
- Both official and community-run servers
- Skill-based character development (no restrictive levels or classes!)
- Own your land, build a house
- Tame animals and creatures
- Learn to craft unique items as you explore
- Employ NPCs to do day to day tasks
- Visit worlds that span many genres
- Obtain unique armors, weapons and rare artifacts
- Play by your own rules! Many different rule-sets to choose from
- Create your own unique rule-sets, stories and live content on your community-run server
Now that you are salivating for open-world, cross-shard, animal-taming, NPC-bossing, unique-crafting, skill-gaining mayhem, let’s talk about another ground-breaking feature of Shards Online.
You can become a god.
That’s right, by sacrificing the ability to take part in combat and search for epic loots, you can become a full-fledged, shape-shifting, player-banishing, NPC-possessing, instant-teleporting, object-spawning, rule-changing, immortal god.
Gods come in two different all-powerful flavors, Shard Gods and Cluster Gods. Gods will be in control of the rule-sets on the shards and clusters and can do what they wish with their own personal worlds. This opens up the ability for players to create their own adventures for their friends and allows for unlimited role-playing potential. Furthering this system, Citadel Studios has stated that they want the players to be able to shape the worlds to their needs, and player-run servers will not only be allowed, but encouraged.
Shards Online is currently planned for release on PC, but needs your help to get funded. As of this writeup, Shards Online has gained funding to the tune of $47,737 of a $320,000 goal. With the ending date of June 12th approaching soon, time is running out to help this game become a reality. If you like what you read here, go check out Citadel’swebsite, and if you love what you read here, prove it by becoming a backer on theShards Online Kickstarter Page.