Legends Of Aria Will Be Playable For The First Time On April 28th
Earlier this month, Shards Online developer Citadel Studios announced that the game would be morphing into a "full-fledged MMORPG" called "Legends of Aria," which would feature a larger world with more features akin to Ultima Online. The new version of the game was not released to backers alongside the announcement, but Citadel announced today that it will be playable for the first time on April 28th.
Legends of Aria tests will be held in a manner that is more similar to other MMORPGs. As the announcement puts it, "tests will come online for specified periods and will focus on specific areas of gameplay for final feedback and bug testing."
To prepare for the first Legends of Aria release, the official servers will be shutting down on March 26th. Furthermore, it is noted that "access to community servers will be limited," although it is unclear what that means.
The first Legends of Aria release will also mark the beginning of Alpha 2. You may remember that the Steam launch was intended to coincide with the beginning of Alpha 2. Now that Shards has "evolved" into Legends of Aria, there is a "need for extra testing periods" and it will not launch on Steam until it reaches Beta.
You can find the full announcement here.