Shroud of the Avatar shifts its focus to creating a better starting experience

If you’ve picked up and played Shroud of the Avatar in early access over the past year or so, you’ll undoubtedly have noticed that its beginner experience has been under construction and in need of fleshing out and polishing. It’s to this end that the team has shifted its focus as of late, responding to player feedback concerning the first few hours of the game.

The team said that several issues, such as too many loading screens and a lack of vendors, have kept potential players from taking root in the fantasy MMO. “As we shift our focus to improving the New User Experience (NUE), and as we are able to measure new player progress through events like our recent free trial, we realize that we must address these issues sooner versus later,” Portalarium said.

As part of this effort, the dev team is creating a trio of new “Outskirts” maps to be the landing zones for players following the tutorial. The Outskirts will be large regions full of enough content to keep players busy for a few hours without undue distractions (such as confusing player housing neighborhoods). The first Outskirt revealed is Solace Bridge, which includes a refugee camp, a swamp, ruins, and a bandit camp.

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9 Comments on "Shroud of the Avatar shifts its focus to creating a better starting experience"

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John Buczek

This is needed really, REALLY badly. I backed the project early on but every time I tried to log in and take a look around it was totally impenetrable. I can see the potential but for now I’ve just given up and will wait for release.

Oleg Chebeneev

Atm it has probably the worst new player experience Ive ever seen in MMO. And tbh I doubt they will improve it much. This game doesnt look like a product of love and passion at all


What a coincidence, I just tried the game during its free weekend and…quit pretty quickly because of issues with the starting experience. Little is explained to the player, and there is little guidance, and I’m not interested enough in the game to poke around and figure it all out.

I’m all for leaving a more open-ended experience with less hand-holding for the folks that want it, but if they want to get folks like myself in who aren’t vested in the game/Garriot but have a casual interest, they’ll need an option for a bit more guidance out of the gate.

Dug From The Earth

Normally when i hear “Better starting experience” its a good thing.

In this case, the fact that the starting experience was basically a totally transparent view of what the game was like, was a positive thing. Why? Because it let me know right away that I shouldnt waste my time with this game anymore.

I have a feeling that the attempts to create a “Better starting experience” for this game, would just be an attempt to make new players think the game is something that it isnt, in hopes that after they have invested the time, they will stick around afterwards.

Ashfyn Ninegold

Have to agree. The past weekend of free beta convinced me my disinterest was well founded. I reached Solace Bridge with a ton of crap in my inventory and no place to sell it. While I was not completely turned off by the combat system, starting as the recommended Ranger, I decided I really should not have to work so hard to clean out my inventory. Finding zero compelling reasons to carry on, I logged for good.

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Calling the player housing areas “confusing” is a kindness. The couple I stumbled on when poking around in the game had repetitive buildings, had no one around, and lots of random sparkly junk strewn everywhere. Not a good impression. Glad they’re going to try tightening the new player experience up.

Space Captain

Did they ever make the combat not the worst thing ever in any game ever made?


No, it’s still like chopping wood and they also still have a billion fking skills. Worse than LOTRO did.


This might help me give it another shot. I actually bought the game, so I have access to it, but I deleted it after two attempts to jump in and getting completely lost. Going to reinstall tonight and check this out. Thanks Justin!