Wednesday, December 4th, 2013
Hey Aura Kingdom fans,
Are you getting as excited as we are? Aura Kingdom is opening up its doors in just a couple weeks, and if you want to be one of the very first to experience it, now’s your chance! Founder’s Packs have gone on sale this week, and every one of them comes with access to both Founder’s Beta and Closed Beta. But you will, of course, get plenty of other goodies as well—here are some highlights of the coolest things our Founder’s Packs have to offer:
Sparkling Kero Pet
Shortly after we announced Aura Kingdom, our Facebook community dubbed our cute little purple Tanuki mascot “Kero,” and he’s been popping up all over ever since! With this pet, Kero will bounce along at your heels as you adventure through Azuria with him.
Ethereal Wolf Mount
Travel in style with one of the coolest mounts around! Not only can you get a permanent Ethereal Wolf mount for yourself, but they also come with two extra three-day duration Ethereal Wolves that you can trade to your friends to make your very own wolf pack!
If you’ve been following Aura Kingdom, then you know that the battle companions known as Eidolons are the most coveted creatures in the game. Diamond Pack owners can nab this truly elusive Eidolon that will never again be available. Once Founder’s Pack sales end, that’s it!
Save Your Name
We’ve all known the frustration of trying coming up with the perfect name for a character, only to discover that it’s taken. That’s why we’re happy to say that every Founder’s Pack comes with a “Save Your Name” guarantee that ensures you will still have access to your chosen name once Open Beta rolls around.
That’s just a taste of what you can get as a Founder; there’s still a whole lot more in store. And rest assured, all of your valuable items will be redelivered to you when Open Beta begins, so don’t be afraid to use them the first chance you get. Check out the various packs and secure your spot in Founder’s Beta right now!
Aura Kingdom is Almost Here
Wednesday, November 27th, 2013
Hello again, future Envoys!
This is a momentous week for us—we’ve been dying to share a solid beta date with you (and we know it’s been at the top of your most wanted list, too), and now we’re finally able to. It’s no small task to work on a game this huge, but our development cycle is far enough along now that we can tell you, with much excitement, that Aura Kingdom will be playable next month!
Our other big announcement goes right along with this one: Founder’s Packs will be available starting next week, with several different packages for all budgets. We’re also doing something brand-new this time around with Founder’s Beta, a special early beta phase for owners of any size Founder’s Pack (you’ll get access to Closed Beta as well, and your progress will carry over from Founder’s Beta to the larger CB).
Founder’s Packs will contain all sorts of goodies. Depending on the package, you can grab an exclusive pet, mount, and even a limited-edition Eidolon! In addition to the items, Founders can also save their character name from beta and have it carried over to the launch of the game.
Our Founder’s Beta is the first of several planned beta phases, followed closely by Closed Beta. Founder’s Beta is scheduled to begin on December 16th, so start planning now for an epic holiday season with Aura Kingdom!
For all of the details on the different beta phases in Aura Kingdom’s launch schedule, please read the community announcement post. We’ll see you very soon!
Friends ‘til the End-Game
Tuesday, November 19th, 2013
Hello again, adventurers!
Gaia’s power manifests itself in many ways, but none so majestic as the enigmatic creatures known as Eidolons. We wanted to take some time to focus on these powerful summoned spirits because of how integral they are to gameplay in Aura Kingdom.
We want to make it abundantly clear for anyone who may be confused: Eidolons are not mere pets or mounts, but they are so much more. That isn’t to say that there is not also a healthy selection of pets and mounts as well (rest assured, we’ve got them all). Eidolons, however, are one of the more unique aspects of Aura Kingdom. They’ll speak with you and fight alongside you, and chasing after the rarer creatures will be one of the primary late-game motivations for many of our players.
The combo attacks that each Eidolon possesses are one of their coolest features, teaming up with the player and executing flashy acrobatic moves that are some of the most damaging in the game. Some Eidolons can even take it one step further and act as a temporary mount that gives that access to a selection of new abilities. What’s more, many of these combo attacks can also vary by your character’s class!
A handful of Eidolons will come automatically—you’ll choose one of the four starter Eidolons when creating your character, and receive a few more at particular character level milestones. Beyond that, many of the most powerful Eidolons will be obtained via rare drops from dungeon runs and bosses. Expanding your collection and showing off these highly sought-after Eidolons will be a long-term goal for completionists.
And of course, we’ll be continually adding more Eidolons to the game through content updates after launch, so there will always be another prized partner just around the corner. As always, thanks for reading, and be on the lookout for more Aura Kingdom info as we get ever closer to beta!
The Residents of Azuria
Tuesday, November 12th, 2013
Welcome back, future Envoys!
We believe that a great fantasy experience hinges on an endless supply of wondrous creatures. This week, our focus is on the various species of NPCs—both friend and foe—that you’ll encounter as your adventure in Azuria unfolds. Check out this look at a few representatives of the races in Aura Kingdom!
Time and again, humans have proven themselves the most curious and innovative people in Terra. With an eye for art as well as functionality, Humans strive to make their clothes, tools, even their weapons things of beauty. The Church in the city of Navea is the central seat of power in Terra, dispatching its Templars to protect the smaller outlying towns.
Notable Human: Shadow Knight
Though this mysterious armor-clad warrior has only appeared in recent times, he has quickly become one of the most feared beings in all of Terra. The Shadow Knight’s motives are unclear for now, but players will uncover them as they work to undo the damage that his nefarious plots have caused across the land.
There is no prouder race than the feline Makar of Ventos Prairie, and with good reason. They are physically imposing and value honor above all. They view all outsiders with a measure of suspicion until they can adequately prove their worth. The few who are fortunate enough to count the Makar as allies, however, will find their unshakable loyalty and fortitude invaluable.
Notable Makar: Odum
Odum used to be a prince of the Makar tribe, but has been exiled by the king. However, many Makar believe Odum to be the rightful heir to the throne, and that his exile may be a cruel plot by the king and his two other sons. By helping Odum challenge his brothers and reclaim his rightful place in the Makar tribe, the player will gain a valuable ally.
The reclusive Centaurs are a mysterious bunch that people generally try to avoid. These brutal warriors tend to inhabit the ruins and wastelands that have been abandoned by the other races, and are as unpredictable as they are tenacious. In your journeys as an Envoy of Gaia, you will be one of the few people to actively encounter Centaurs—here’s hoping that you survive.
Notable Centaur: Vhell
Recently, a group of centaurs left their home at the East City Ruins to occupy the Dwarven battle arena. They have placed Vhell, a powerful sentinel, on the road to the arena to prevent anyone from entering. With the clever aid of a few Dwarven friends, the player must sneak by and attempt to drive the centaurs out of the arena.
The Best of Both Worlds
Wednesday, October 30th, 2013
Welcome back one and all to the final round of our class highlights!
We’ve already gone in-depth in our previous posts about the flexibility provided through secondary weapons. Characters level 40 and up can steadily gain access to all the abilities of their chosen secondary weapon, granting a single character the potential to perform one of two roles at any given time. There is, however, yet another perk to secondary weapons.
Some weapons synergize very well with one other, and the end result is an arsenal of powerful combo attacks unique to specific weapon pairings. For instance, if a Duelist (whose primary weapons are dual blades) selects a Gunslinger’s twin pistols as a secondary weapon, they gain access to new abilities such as a sprinting shot in which they charge, stab, and fire a salvo at a target. That same Duelist could also opt for a Grenadier’s cannon instead, using attacks that combine the explosive power and rapid-fire shots of both weapons.
Likewise, caster weapons work extremely well together to create a wide variety of effects. A Sorcerer can take up a staff and gain access to new frost and wind AoE spells as well as a group healing ability. They can also select a Harp as their secondary and combine both weapons to summon fire spirits and smite enemies with holy blades of sonic waves.
The possibilities are endless, and fortunately the option is available for players to change their secondary weapon if they want to experiment with the combo attacks from other pairings. We think this one of Aura Kingdom’s most interesting customization options and we’re excited to see which combinations our players like the most!
As always, thanks for reading and stay on the lookout for more info as development rolls smoothly along!
The Ultimate Choice
Wednesday, October 23rd, 2013
Welcome back, future Envoys!
To go along with our latest class reveals, today we’d like to go into the wide world of skill customization! As we’ve already discussed in the past, versatility is hugely important in Aura Kingdom. Last week we addressed versatility between classes, and this week we’re going a step further with the skill choices within each class.
As you level up and explore the world of Terra, you’ll unlock “Ultimate Skills” in your skill menu. Ultimate Skills are split up into several tiers, each one augmenting your character in a different way. Some provide passive effects that increase the stat of your choice, while others provide chances on attacks to afflict the enemy with useful debuffs.
Our favorite Ultimate Skills, however, are the ones that actively modify your existing abilities to have completely new effects. For example, the Wizard’s first Ultimate Skill tier gives you three options: augment your basic fire spell with either a short stun or knockback effect, or add a damage-over-time component to your ice spell. All of these are potent choices, but their relative advantages are situational.
Another interesting example comes with one of the Bard’s choices. You could opt to add a damage increase buff to your heal-over-time song which would strengthen your party’s DPS, or make it a defense buff when going up against a particularly heavy-hitting boss. Alternatively, you can choose to boost the direct healing output of your AoE heal song instead for more efficient output.
The great thing about Ultimate Skills is that you can freely swap between any of the options in a given tier whenever you’re out of combat, making it incredibly simple to tailor your character’s abilities to better handle any challenge that you face. Combined with the freedom to change your role with secondary weapons, this allows for almost any group of adventurers to take on any situation!
Thanks for reading, and keep your eyes peeled next week for the wrap-up on our class reveals!
Weapons of War
Wednesday, October 16th, 2013
With our first round of class reveals this week, we’d like to go a little more in-depth about how classes function in Aura Kingdom as a whole. Our classes differ a bit from what one might normally expect in a traditional MMO, in that they are defined first and foremost by weapon choice. For example, if you are a Duelist, you are essentially creating a character that will specialize in wielding dual daggers. If you are a Ravager, you will become proficient in wielding a great axe.
While players will use their chosen class’ weapon (and the skills that come with it) for the beginning chapters of their journey, a whole new world of potential is unlocked at level 40. At this point you’ll be able to select a secondary weapon, normally wielded by one of the remaining classes. You can then train up your character with the secondary weapon the same way you did with your primary.
Though your secondary weapon skills start from scratch, you will eventually become just as competent with them as your main hand weapon. We want character roles in Aura Kingdom to be fairly specialized, while still affording you a good amount of late-game versatility. You will accumulate knowledge from your observations of other players and the ways they face challenges throughout the realms of Azuria. By the time you are level 40, you will then be able to make an informed decision on what you want your secondary role to be. And if you still want to try something new, there’s always the ability to reset your secondary weapon choice to a different one!
Thanks for reading, and stay tuned for our next blog on the class skill system!
Oh, the Places You'll Go
Tuesday, October 8th, 2013
Welcome back Aura Kingdom adventurers!
Today we’re taking a look at some of the places that you’ll visit as you journey through Terra. Here’s a small taste of the many varied locations you’ll encounter:
Port Skandia: Tranquil and picturesque, you’ll begin your adventure in this small fishing village after waking from an ominous, demon-filled nightmare. Port Skandia provides a stark contrast to this opening, dialing down in intensity as the early quests take you in and around the pleasant outskirts of town. It won’t be long, however, before your destiny as an Envoy of Gaia begins to emerge and you are joined by your very first Eidolon companion.
Helonia Coast: All sorts of exotic odds and ends find their way to Helonia Coast’s black market. Not surprisingly, the zone is considered by many to be “pirate central.” Most of the quests you’ll find in the area will be pirate-related, including an amusing quest chain that will involve tricking the scallywags and drawing them out with fake treasure—the one thing they can’t resist!
Candeo Marsh: Welcome to a darker, moodier zone than the others you’ve visited thus far. Candeo Marsh is home to the snake-like race known as the Sarpa. The marsh is made more perilous by recent activities that have tainted the Sarpa’s water supply, making the normally reclusive race hostile and aggressive. It’ll be up to you to reverse the corruption and set things straight.
This is just a sneak peek of what’s in store, but we will have plenty more zones for you to trek through when Aura Kingdom launches!
Crafting a Story
Tuesday, October 1st, 2013
Hi Aura Kingdom fans,
Since we’re revealing the first look at Aura Kingdom’s lore this week, we thought this would be the perfect time to discuss the work that goes into crafting a game’s story. To that end, we brought in our fantastic localization team at Aeria to share their creative process with us!
“First and foremost, producing a game is a collaborative process. Designers, artists, coders, editors... everyone gets input, and everyone contributes. This is true for any game, but especially true for such a mammoth project as an MMORPG. It’s a design-led process, not a story-led process. Design choices are made, art is drawn, and the broad strokes of story are dictated by elements like level progression and the relative importance of things like PvE vs. PvP, the significance of crafting, and so on.
As writers and editors, what we do is take all of that and create a story that explains to the player how the game is played, that connects the diverse game-play elements thematically, and which creates an overall context for the world that describes what’s going on and why the player’s character is involved. And for an MMO, all of this has to be done in a way that doesn’t close off options for future content.
It’s a group effort. Someone’s doing mobs, someone else is doing quest text, someone else is writing item descriptions, someone else is doing incidental dialog... Often, creative inspiration strikes when we’re trying to edit all these individual efforts into a cohesive whole. For instance, level designers made a sequence about fish-men living in a swamp. The artists made images of these creatures that were not so much fish-people as snake-people. We looked at the art, and decided to call them ‘Sarpa,’ derived from ‘serpent.’ The idea of them being more snake-like than human-like influenced the way their dialog and action was written.
At this point we have a departmental meeting to standardize names and broad story arcs. We’ve gone through an expansive period with the story, growing in all directions. Now, we contract some, tightening focus. We want a world that feels big and exciting, but not one that will confuse the players and leave a lot of loose ends lying about. The cycle of expansion and contraction continues, but contraction gains an edge as the game gets closer to release. The more that’s added, the more possibility that it could clash or contradict with material that came before it. So we begin to focus more on making the experience of the story already in play more cohesive.
It’s a colossal undertaking, but seeing the end product come together makes it infinitely worth it for us. Hopefully the players enjoy experiencing the story as much as we love creating it!”
Wishing you endless hours of fun,
-The Aeria Localization Team
Welcome to the Insider's Blog!
Tuesday, September 24th, 2013
Hey Aura Kingdom fans!
Welcome to the Insider’s Blog, where we’ll discuss in-depth a wide variety of topics related to our favorite upcoming MMORPG as development on Aura Kingdom rolls along. Since we’ve just launched the full website, there’s ton of information here at your fingertips, so please take a look around!
Take a few moments to check out the game’s core features and controls. We’ve also got a ton of concept art, wallpapers, fankit materials, and music from the game to download and use how you see fit. You can check out an overview of the classes and Eidolons as well— and these sections will also fill up with more information in the next few weeks.
Finally, take a stroll through the history of Aura Kingdom with the Chronicles of Azuria. This collection of short stories will reveal more and more of the game’s lore as time goes on. As with many of the site features, look for new additions to the Chronicles every week!
As for us, we’ll be back soon with a feature on in-game lore, so stay tuned!