shroud of the avatar

Official Site: Shroud of the Avatar
Studio: Portalarium
Launch Date: N/A
Genre: Fantasy Sandbox
Business Model: B2P (Cash Shop)
Platform: PC

Shroud of the Avatar creates the quintessential cozy inn, changes up free trial offerings

When travelers wander in to Shroud of the Avatar’s Release 49 later this week, they’ll find that one watering hole looks much improved than before. The team has been busy remodeling the Soltown inn to make it “cozier and more pleasant” for visitors.

Release 49 has a lot more than just a better-looking rumpus room; players will experience improved framerate, revamped wetlands, the new Elysium Mines, more ore nodes, UI polish, and winter recipes.

The team also notes that it is improving and experimenting with the free trial system (the next of which starts on December 20th). Free players will be marked as visitors, be moved over to the Path of Courage, have a level 50 skill cap, and restrict trade with others.

“Making these changes will allow us to leave the free trial up almost continually therefore maximizing the ability for players to try the game before they buy,” Portalarium said. “We feel firmly that giving players this no obligation opportunity is great for the health of the game and a fair business practice that we wish to pursue.”

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Perfect Ten: 20 upcoming MMOs to watch in 2018

It has become a long-standing tradition as Massively OP and our former site that we like to end the year by creating a list of titles that we anticipate for the coming one. It has always been a devilish list to create, full of loose dates and fast guesswork about which titles will and won’t be releasing during a 12-month window (just read last year’s list to see how spot-on I was).

This year we’re changing things up a bit by tossing out the qualifying factor of “will see a hard launch in 2018.” Instead, I drafted up a list of 20 MMOs that have the potential to do or be really interesting next year, whether that be a launch, a long-anticipated beta test, or some other significant development. Plus, hey, you get 20 for the price of 10, so no complaining now!

As an aside, this list isn’t going to cover some other exciting-looking multiplayer games that are arriving in 2018, like Sea of ThievesThe Crew 2Monster Hunter WorldDayZRed Dead Redemption 2Stardew Valley, Conan Exiles, and State of Decay 2. And you old school fans won’t want to forget that Ultima Online has a new free-to-play option coming this spring.

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Shroud of the Avatar’s newest mine borrows from Greek mythology

If you fall into the trap of thinking of every fantasy mine as a dark cavern full of Temple of Doom-style trolley tracks, then Shroud of the Avatar would like to disabuse you of this assumption. The devs are hand-crafting the game’s Elysium mines, which is about as far from tropeville as you can get.

“The visual inspiration for this mine comes from the Minoan City of Knossos in Crete,” the devs wrote, “where the original Labyrinth from Greek mythology was said to have been. The glowing river is partially inspired by the river Styx, and is closely associated with the spirits wandering the labyrinth.”

The team is getting ready to head out for the holidays, but before that happens, there is one last release (on December 14th). Portalarium raised $75,000 for the game through a December 1st telethon and got $2,889 to donate for last month’s Movember.

Checking out Shroud of the Avatar during one of its free trial periods this month? The studio is pointing newbies to the New Player Welcome and Player Created Resources forums to get them off to a good start.

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Make My MMO: Camelot Unchained inches closer to beta one (December 2, 2017)

This week in MMO crowdfunding, Camelot Unchained’s weekly progress report is on the shorter side (for CSE) given that the game’s monthly newsletter just went out, but there are some interesting tidbits within, including the fact that the studio is considering uprooting the game’s hosting services and migrating elsewhere. The team’s also been working on battlegrounds and warbands, status effects, animations, female clothing, tech stuff, and boats.

In great news for anybody still lamenting World of Darkness, victory seems assured for vampire MMORPG Shadow’s Kiss, whose Kickstarter should conclude on Tuesday with more than double its ask.

Meanwhile, Elite Dangerous patched its patch, Shroud of the Avatar is hosting a Movember team, Valiance Online teased female toons, Project Gorgon is planning its next update early tomorrow morning, we spoke to Mark Jacobs about developer wages, Ship of Heroes prepped its combat alpha, and Star Citizen drove eyebrows to the sky by announcing the pre-sale of land claims in space.

Read on for more on what’s up with MMO crowdfunding over the last couple of weeks and the regular roundup of all the crowdfunded MMOs we’re following.

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Battle Bards Episode 110: Acoustic guitar

The Battle Bards are quite familiar with the power of the strummed guitar and lute, knowing that such simple instruments can bring down walls, devastate armies, and dethrone monarchs. But on their off days, acoustic guitars are simply pleasurable to hear and are sprinkled throughout many a-MMO’s soundtrack. It’s six-stringed serenity in the 110th episode of this podcast!

Battle Bards is a bi-weekly podcast that alternates between examining a single MMO’s soundtrack and exploring music tracks revolving around a theme. MOP’s Justin co-hosts with bloggers Steff and Syl. The cast is available on iTunesGoogle PlayTuneInPocket CastsStitcher, and Player.FM.

Listen to Episode 110: Acoustic Guitar (or download it) now:

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Shroud of the Avatar saves the wetlands

Wetlands are an important part of the ecosystem, and not just because they are chock-full of stinging insects, biting snakes, and muddy bogs. They also are important quest locations in MMOs, which is why it’s so important to preserve them as nature intended.

Thankfully, organizations like SOTA (Swamps of the Alliance) exist to save the unique qualities of the wetlands from becoming generic, cloned entities. The digital eco warriors are rebuilding the East Longfall Wetlands for (catch and) Release 49 as part of the Paths of Truth and Courage. We assume that those are national forestry trails.

The SOTA team has also been busy this month creating “hordes of barbarians and cannibals,” although we cannot for the life of us understand why they would do this. Perhaps a dare.

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Shroud of the Avatar elaborates on Release 48 changes

If you missed it, Shroud of the Avatar pushed out its November update pretty early this month due to the Thanksgiving holiday (an action that the team will repeat next month as well).

Before the team takes a break to feast on the carcass of an oversized bird, it wanted to go into greater depth on some of the big changes with Release 48. Some of the updates this time around included improvements to artifacts, virtue gear, and enchantments.

“Release 48 is chock full of stuff,” said Starr Long. “We got more work reducing the load times, we got a new lighting model in there, more side quests, more story polish, more unique components, audio polish, video effects polish, UI polish, holiday items, and the long-awaited tree and grass mover.”

There’s an hour of dev chat waiting for you after the jump, so get started already!

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Make My MMO: Boots, boats, and battles in Camelot Unchained (November 18, 2017)

This week in MMO crowdfunding, Camelot Unchained continued its ramp up to Saturday Night Sieges. “It’s been all hands on deck as we prepare our siege deathmatch scenarios for IT testing,” City State says, noting the team has been working on spawn points, scenario rulesets, gear loadouts, animations, the UI, healer NPCs, battlegroups, boats, female clothing, and emotes. I am all about those boots and dresses!

The Shadow’s Kiss Kickstarter has also now doubled its funding goal, unlocking game narration and music. Just over two weeks remain to back it; a demolitions stretch goal looms at $60,000.

Meanwhile, Crowfall delayed its soft launch again, Shroud of the Avatar launched R48, Albion Online began a new season of referral rewards, Valiance Online updated to the latest version of Unity, Ashes of Creation talked politics, and Path of Exile announced its latest expansion. Read on for more on what’s up with MMO crowdfunding over the last week and the regular roundup of all the crowdfunded MMOs we’re following.

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Shroud of the Avatar’s early R48 update focuses on launch priorities, polish, and performance

Shroud of the Avatar has rolled out Release 48 as of early this afternoon, which may just upset your internal clock a bit, since usually they happen at the end of the month! Holidays are pushing the schedule up, however, which is good news for anyone who wanted to actually play through Thanksgiving week.

R48 reflects Portalarium’s focus on its launch priorities checklist. “We continued to make strong progress on load time reductions, story polish, and creation of new scenes,” the studio’s Starr Long says. Expect updates to the in-game map, UI, holiday items, item decay on death, load times, lighting, all four story paths, artifacts, loot, and worldbuilding passes, including new mines and scenes, although not the rebuilt Novia additions, which have been postponed. Check out the screens below for a tease!

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Shroud of the Avatar entices players to complete survey with in-game rewards

Portalarium and Travian Games are looking for useful feedback for Shroud of the Avatar — and they are not shy in their approach to getting it. The studios is bribing players to take a 10-minute survey about the fantasy MMO in the hopes of understanding “gameplay experiences and expectations.”

The survey in question covers a wide range of topics, such as what makes the game fun, what players have spent money on already, the choice of game modes, quests, combat, dialogue, visuals, and sound. There’s nothing here that suggests any major change to the game or its business model, but it might be helpful for players who want to share specific feedback with the studio.

All survey takers will receive one Gold Crown of the Obsidian (a unit of premium currency) and be entered into a drawing for several other in-game goodies such as a house. To get your reward, you’ll want to take this survey by November 21st.

Source: Survey

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Shroud of the Avatar teases winter holiday items and the R48 artifact revamp

Are you one of those folks who laments that the winter holiday season gets pushed earlier and earlier every year? If so, you’re not gonna like Shroud of the Avatar’s latest newsletter, as it’s got everything but Santa. For the rest of you, it’s time to get your Yuletide on, as the piece features stuffed stockings, crackling fires, sleighs, and decorative garlands. There are even cards, and yes, you can write inside the cards as if they’re books.

Meanwhile, the studio is teasing new armor going live in R48, along with a big artifact revamp that effectively removes artifact reparability. “They will only be able to be repaired by salvaging other artifacts to get Artifact Essences that will be used in Artifact repair,” Portalarium explains. “This will cycle Artifacts out of the economy and require players to re-acquire them periodically or destroy other artifacts (thereby simulating ‘production’). Additionally we will make Artifacts a bit more dynamic by giving players the ability to enchant and masterwork them.”

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Make My MMO: Vampire MMO Shadow’s Kiss has almost doubled its Kickstarter ask (November 11, 2017)

This week in MMO crowdfunding, the Shadow’s Kiss devs must be stoked beyond belief, as not only has their Kickstarter reached its goal but it’s almost to double now with three weeks remaining. Thus far, backers of the indie vampire fantasy MMORPG have unlocked stretch goals including a crafting systems, ritual magic system, and some sort of tenebrous tentacles thing, with narration and music on the way when they break the $50,000 mark.

Meanwhile, Crowfall demoed its Cleric class, Star Citizen explained how space travel won’t be boring, Ship of Heroes worked on character customization, and Elite Dangerous launched on Xbox One X.

Read on for more on what’s up with MMO crowdfunding over the last couple of weeks and the regular roundup of all the crowdfunded MMOs we’re following.

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Shroud of the Avatar opens a trio of new mines for lowbies, gets ready for Christmas

Players who want to get a jump start on their Shroud of the Avatar crafting career might end up taking a tour under the surface of the world. The developers report that they have opened up three new low-level mines so that newer players can start mining for that much-needed ore without having to wait until much later in the game.

SOTA’s artists showed off a couple of rewards that players will be able to obtain, such as torn and bloody wedding attire (if you’re missing Halloween already) or Yule gifts and candelabras (if you can’t wait for Christmas). There’s also moustache-themed helmets and cloaks to support the Movember movement for men’s health.

Shroud of the Avatar recently raised $60,000 from its last telethon and is currently running a free trial which is set to conclude on November 15th. The following day will see Release 48 hit the scene prior to the holiday rush.

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