Shroud of the Avatar is really truly launching on March 27, 2018

If you’re a Shroud of the Avatar player, you’ve just gotten the last major update of the year. Release 49 rolled out ahead of the holidays last week as planned, but that’s far from the biggest news that came over the weekend. Indeed, Portalarium announced the game’s launch date: March 27th, 2018. That coincides with R52, for those of you keeping score at home.

“So what does that mean exactly for a game that has been both persistent for over a year and been doing monthly releases for over 4 years? Well, for us it means that we are delivering the list of features, including physical goods, promised during the Kickstarter albeit with a few exceptions and/or replacements (see below). It also means that we are going to grow our community through marketing campaigns. As we have stated previously, we intend to publish quarterly schedule updates detailing our monthly releases and those monthly releases will continue.”

In the interim, the studio is working on R50 for January (focusing on story, crafting, UI, and combat balancing) and R51 for February (more of that, plus party loot rules and heraldry). The launch patch will include town and housing tweaks for donors, multiple toons per account, and localization updates.

Source: Newsletter
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36 Comments on "Shroud of the Avatar is really truly launching on March 27, 2018"

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Tom Roberts

I’m with Daniel on this. I was an original backer in Kickstarter and this is the only buy I’ve ever regretted. I loved the Ultima games and still play them through GOG. I loved Ultima Online. I don’t know what this is other than a shameless cash grab by the already wealthy RG. I don’t know what they can do in the next three months to make this playable… maybe make it fun instead of a (bad) real-estate investment sim?

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Daniel Miller

I have logged in this game a few times and bought it long ago. Even before free trials. When I do log in I feel so lost. Game seems dead. I had a hard time even making my toon, and never even finished the starting area. So, telling me I would get a lvl 50, while cool, i never lasted to lvl 10.

The graphics are old, a cross between ESO and ffxi. The UI was hard to figure out and with really no direction on where to go, what skills I can get and so on, I lose interest and log out.

I did see instanced housing. I will commend the dev for that, Building your own house or city seems cool, The houseboat and airship house were very original ideas.

Tizmah
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Tizmah

This game is basically the multiplayer equivalent of second/third rate single player rpgs like Two Worlds 1 and 2 or Risen\Gothic. Almost barely to those standards at that. You can get way better experiences elsewhere. I suppose if you haven’t played an Rpg in 20 years you might like it.

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Raimo Kangasniemi

The best Gothic games were first rate RPG games in their day…

Risen… now those could be said to have been second rate.

Tizmah
Reader
Tizmah

Maybe 1 and and part of 2. The 2nd half of Gothic 2 really dropped in quality all over.

Zeph
Reader
Zeph

And 3 was terrible.

Reader
Raimo Kangasniemi

I don’t argue about Gothic 3 – that was a disappointment.

Reader
Andrew Bringaze

I logged on when I saw it was announced in regards to launching. I ran around for about 5 minutes before logging back off. This game is just awful.

Raleigh-St-Clair
Reader
Raleigh-St-Clair

Yes, it’s absolutely mind-blowing how there are people out there who will defend it to their last breath when, demonstrably, it’s a terrible game and doesn’t compete with the modern games landscape. Do these people not play other games, or are they mad, or perhaps both?

Reader
Raimo Kangasniemi

That is your opinion, ‘demonstrably’ its a game in development and whatever faults it has, can still change for the better.

Raleigh-St-Clair
Reader
Raleigh-St-Clair

Er… it’s a game that’s been persistent for over 500 days. I know the devs constantly throw out the, “we’re in development” line to cover a multitude of sins (and as though they can’t continue being in development post-launch), but I thought most people could see that for what it is? Certainly with over 60,000 game accounts out there, and player numbers measured in the 100s I thought that was clearly the case.

Reader
Raimo Kangasniemi

‘Persistent’ doesn’t mean much at a time when developers are selling access to ‘pre-alpha’. If a game is even mildly playable, it will be pushed to those who can flash a credit card.

That’s how it is – I don’t personally like it, but ‘persistent’ is very different nowadays from ‘a complete game’ (as complete as a MMO game can and should be at launch),

Official launch is an official launch and naturally games will continue to be developed until they are put in maintenance mode, but look at a game like The Elder Scrolls Online, how the opinion of it has changed from announcement to beta to developments after the launch – many have said that it’s a very different and a much better game from the one it was in beta and when it originally launched.

If you look at Shroud of the Avatar, the development team has got at least some of the negative feedback and is trying to learn from it: Story and quests have become a major feature of updates.

Whether that’s enough or not by the time the game launches is another question, but a troubled game can be saved with persistence and hard work, as FFXIV above all else shows.

pepperzine
Reader
pepperzine

I didn’t know a game could launch twice without being “remastered” or significantly improved. The day they declared there would be no more wipes is the day they actually launched.

Raleigh-St-Clair
Reader
Raleigh-St-Clair

Correct. They will deny such a comment with absolute horror and revulsion, but it’s perfectly true. When you go persistent, the gamers pile in and start making their way through the game in question. ANY game. So the fact Shroud has player numbers in the hundreds over 500 days since persistence is damning. It’s only staying in business thanks to the beg-a-thons they are holding with relentless regularity these days.

Reader
Loopy

I thought they revamped their trial model to be perpetually open, up until 50 skill points and other limitations. But i logged in today and it told me trial was closed. Anyone have more information on this?

solazur
Reader
solazur

From their website:
“…The previous Free Trial has closed. Look for the next one on Dec. 20! Changes to the Free Trial system as of Dec. 14, 2017:

Free Trial users can now only advance each skill to level 50. Past trial players with skills over 50 will keep their current level but not be able to advance the skills further. We will also be switching Free Trial users to the Path of Courage to make it easier to get started. NOTES: With these new changes in place we are now going to leave the Free Trial in place all the time starting on 12/20. Current trial users on other paths will not be reset nor switched…”

I would have posted a link but I’m new here and tbh I haven’t read the rules concerning posting.

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Loopy

Hmm i was on their website but i guess i missed that portion. Thanks!

Zeph
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Zeph

All I can say is that I hope no well-meaning people are caught up in this scheme during their marketing push.

Reader
Kickstarter Donor
Alex Willis

My gaming friends have a betting pool on when SotA will shut down. Best money right now is giving it an 18 month window — so, September 2019, or thereabouts, assuming the launch happens in March.

Raleigh-St-Clair
Reader
Raleigh-St-Clair

I think that’s generous. I think it will shutter in 2018.

Reader
Loyal Patron
Armsbend

They’ll put on telethons to keep it alive. Minus Gariott who likely wants to move away from this bomb and on to the next scheme.

Reader
Kickstarter Donor
Tobasco da Gama

Provisional congrats to the SotA team on their hypothetical launch!

Reader
Raimo Kangasniemi

At least the map gives an Ultima vibe…

ihatevnecks
Reader
ihatevnecks

So uh.. what kind of state is this game actually in? I know I’ve hopped in once or twice this year, not sure how recently, but it’s always felt very.. incomplete to me. From the UI to the NPC interaction to (especially) combat and graphics.

Raleigh-St-Clair
Reader
Raleigh-St-Clair

It’s had that basic incomplete/doesn’t play very well vibe since it’s first year. Back then, people cut it a lot of slack. But to still have the same feel and the same god-awful UI all these years on… well, it’s quite obvious why players can be counted in the hundreds.

Reader
Boom

Exactly the same, despite all of these monthly updates every time I login it looks & feels the same with zero draw for me to stay.

ihatevnecks
Reader
ihatevnecks

Shroud of the Avatar: Forsaken Videogame

I’m sure Richard Garriot will find someone else to blame the mess on again :^)

Raleigh-St-Clair
Reader
Raleigh-St-Clair

Undoubtedly “the haters” will get blamed, which overlooks something fundamental… all “the haters” are people who have followed RGs career for years, loved the Ultima games and, in many cases, threw THOUSANDS of dollars at the game. These people cannot be called “haters” in any shape or form. They wanted the game to be great. They wanted it to be fun. What they’ve been served with, however, is utter crap and they’re really angry about it.

Reader
Raimo Kangasniemi

That’s a bit over the top isn’t it? ‘All the “haters”‘ – how could you know? Or is there some small club of vocal ‘”haters”‘ who all know each other? ;)

Reader
TotalCowage .

Unless you think we’re holding hostage the missing 21,500 odd Kickstarter backers who no longer play, or the 64,500 odd total accounts sold that have abandoned the game (rough figures minus the 500 concurrent Chris Spears states they only get)… or are currently hypnotising everyone who has ever played the game on the Free Trial so they don’t know what they themselves think about the game, I suspect it says more about your beliefs than his that you think all the negative feedback about the game is coming from just a few vocal people.

Why, it’s almost as if you have knowledge there could be organised manipulation of public perception? ;)

Oh. Whoops. Oh dear. Well, that’s just Portalarium themselves posting reviews on Steam without admitting they’re staff. And calling for people to stuff online polls in favour of Shroud (and later deleting the thread to hide it).

Surely you, the players aren’t that… oh. Oh no.

Is there something you want to confess to us? ;)

And just in case the satire wasn’t clear enough; your claims are ridiculous, because you assume we’re doing what you do. We’re not, because if critics were sockpuppeting and lying about the state of the game, it would have tonnes of players. It doesn’t. The negativity you see is an accurate reflection of what people feel.

You however have to smear critics to explain or hide why there aren’t people playing.

Reader
Raimo Kangasniemi

I don’t have to ‘smear’ critics – the hyperbole from critics tends to work on its own.

It’s not a good game at the moment, but its also a game whose launch is three months away and which has received basically no advertising – magazine and game site articles and word of mouth have been the extent so far.

I’m not expecting it to be more than an average niche game if everything goes right for it; I’m just not doom-mongering with mirth.

Raleigh-St-Clair
Reader
Raleigh-St-Clair

*Chuckle* And that’s what’s known in the industry as being owned, Raimo.

Reader
Raimo Kangasniemi

No, that’s what I could call devotion to ‘hating’ (to use the term you brought up in this thread) a game and its developing team.

Something I have seen too much in the dozen years I have played MMOs.

People who could spend time actually playing games they like are instead devoting themselves with quasi-religious fervour to ‘hating’ games they dislike and going around forums and game site comment threads announcing certain doom for the game.

It’s the games that actually die an early death that seems to avoid these ‘hater swarms’ with their strawman arguments. That’s one reason why I am so doubtful that Shroud of the Avatar will actually die a quick death.

That doesn’t mean that I think its set for a great future or to be a stellar game.

No, Shroud of the Avatar in my opinion in its current condition is not a good game – its an unfinished project that might end up being an average game by launch or soon after if the developers work very hard and successfully.

It’s probably more likely will be a below average game at launch.

The very public development has not done it any good – a more traditional development model without the process being so open and people not being able to play a game in very unfinished state would have surely been better for the game and its reputation.

But the fervour which with the game and its developing team are ‘hated’ is not healthy, anymore than the bigger cult around ‘hating’ SC – which all remind me of the crusade against TOR.

TOR launched exactly six years ago, and the ‘hater swarms’ (everybody who was in the official forums surely remember them and understands why official forums without very strict moderation can be a very bad thing) would have had it to fail within a year.

Clearly it wasn’t a WoW killer, but a good game (if with serious issues many of which have never been dealt with successfully) that has over the years brought back EA its investment in the game and Bioware.

Reader
Kickstarter Donor
squidgod2000

Updates always seem to be primarily holiday events and cash shop stuff.

Reader
Erik Von Drachenfeld

Yup – this exactly. This will unfortunately never be the game I wish it was. I also really wish they would have made it a single player game, you know, like they originally promised instead of this half-way house we have now.

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