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 polishes up the desert, teases a moondial

What’s that up in the header screenshot? Is it Conan Exiles? Nope — it’s Shroud of the Avatar’s Sequanna Colossus map and my favorite kind of biome, and it’s due for “uncloning” and customization post-Release 42, complete with the colossus itself, desert ruins, the requisite oasis, mesas, stone arches, and the bleached skeletons of long-dead behemoths.

Sequanna is spotlighted in the game’s latest newsletter, where Portalarium is also talking up the recently released Bloody Bay, the ongoing May free trial, and the summer telethon slated for next week on May 31st.

Finally, the devs have released a video feature on the truly stunning moondial launching in R42 — the only bummer is it’s a cash-shop item. Check out that video and all the new screenshots down below!

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Make My MMO: Star Citizen has now raised $150M in crowdfunds (May 20, 2017)

This week in MMO crowdfunding, Star Citizen officially broke the $150,000,000 crowdfunding mark, propelled along by gamers sinking large sums of cash into the latest concept ship. As Relay points out, the original Kickstarter year for the game brought in only about $7M; since then, the game has raised between $28M and $36M every year since, with the biggest year to date being 2016. On paper, the game isn’t on pace to break that record in 2017 so far, but the fansite’s estimation that it might pass $200M this year if Squadron 42 launches as planned isn’t unreasonable. (Thanks, i-Spy, Zander, and fastcart!)

Wild West Online also announced that it won’t be seeking Kickstarter funds after all as it’s already received full funding from investors. That means it probably won’t be back in Make My MMO again since it’s not crowdfunding — but take a peek at our exclusive interview on the game from earlier this week all the same.

Meanwhile, Ashes of Creation’s Kickstarter pushed on toward $3M, ROKH’s early access launched as planned, and Crowfall concluded its teaser week with a massive reveal: Classes won’t be racially bound after all, and beta should hit before the end of the year.

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’ve got our eye on.

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Shroud of the Avatar works on endgame storyline

Will Shroud of the Avatar finish fleshing out its main storyline in time for this summer’s official release? It might be a photo finish, as the team is currently working on the endgame storyline that all players will encounter.

“Now that all three paths (Truth, Love, and Courage) are playable we have begun work on the Finale part of the plot, aka The Path of the Oracle,” the team said in this past weekend’s newsletter. “One of the crucial scenes of that path is the Oracle Colossus. This is of course the famous depiction of the Oracle from the concept painting by Stephen Daniele inspired by passages from The Sword of Midras prequel novel by Tracy Hickman.”

It behooves us to remind you that Shroud of the Avatar is currently testing its free trial program through the end of May, which means that anyone can check out the game and see if it is to their liking until May 31st.

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Make My MMO: Wild West Online debuts, Ashes of Creation nears $2M (May 13, 2017)

This week in MMO crowdfunding, 612 Games announced Wild West Online, a US western-themed game that the devs are definitely calling an MMO, though it looks decidedly hardcore and may not have as much PvE as we’re all used to. It will indeed be coming to Kickstarter eventually, so watch this space!

Ashes of Creation’s Kickstarter rolled along this week as well, nearing $2M as I write this. On Friday, we even sat down with the devs for a livestreamed interview.

Meanwhile, Shroud of the Avatar kicked off its free trial for the rest of May, Dual Universe’s Kickstarter update discussed its new digs, OrbusVR recapped its latest alpha and previewed the Musketeer class, ROKH prepared for this week’s early access launch, and Crowfall spent the whole week teasing… something! We still don’t officially know what it is!

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’ve got our eye on.

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Betawatch: Secret World Legends is coming in June (May 13, 2017)

Everyone who predicted Secret World Legends would miss its original spring target date gets a cookie. Turns out the game is launching soon, but not quite in the spring with a release date of June 26th. Whether or not you’re still looking forward to the title after all of the words spilled on it is another matter; we had our own interview on the development recently.

Otherwise, lots of stuff was happening in the test world. We lost track of all of it, but we’ve done our best to sum things up for you here:

Wow. Lots of stuff in there, and we haven’t even skipped down below to the list. Yes, there’s a list down below. There’s always a list. Let us know if something skipped test phases without us knowing in the comments, hmm?

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Shroud of the Avatar stops supporting DX9

Hope Shroud of the Avatar players weren’t too attached to DX9, because the API collection is now being exorcised from the upcoming MMO. This week, Portalarium announced on the forums that DX9 was causing issues and would no longer be supported in upcoming builds:

We’ve had some challenges ensuring stability when supporting all of the DirectX (DX) features that the game employs. A key roadblock is supporting legacy versions of DX. Because these problems continue to hinder development, starting in Release 42, we will be discontinuing support for DX 9. DX 11 will continue to be the core version. We are also looking into the possibility of eventually DX 12 support.

This update most likely will not affect any of you. If you have a system that runs old operating systems like Windows 98 (DX9), or video cards that do not support DX11+ at all, then the game is not going to run well (or likely at all) anyway. If you wish to still play, we highly recommend upgrading your system to support a DX11+ video card and operating system. The game’s minimum system requirements, listed in the website FAQ, will be updated upon Release 42 going live.

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The Stream Team: Sashaying through Shroud of the Avatar while it’s free

It has much too long since Massively OP’s MJ has sashayed though the lands in Shroud of the Avatar. Part of the reason is because few of her friends are in the game to play with her. But that has all changed — at least for a few weeks. Until the end of the month, SOTA is running a free trial for folks to hop in and check it out. What better reason to do just that? Join us live at 3:00 p.m. on stream and in game!

What: Shroud of the Avatar
Who: MJ Guthrie
When: 3:00 p.m. EDT on Thursday, May 11th, 2017

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Shroud of the Avatar secures Russian publishing

Shroud of the Avatar is coming to Russia, Portalarium announced today. The studio’s inked a deal with Moscow’s Black Sun Game Publishing “to publish and operate Shroud of the Avatar: Forsaken Virtues in Russia, the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) and the Baltic States.”

Portalarium CEO Richard Garriott is quoted in the press release as saying that SOTA has a “large and growing fan base in Russia and the surrounding countries.” Black Sun’s website lists only SOTA under its umbrella and says it is “interested in buying the rights to publishing in Russia and CIS countries, massively multiplayer online games,” particularly near-finished projects.

SOTA stopped wiping its early access servers last summer but has not technically launched as a completed project. Its most recent monthly release landed at the tail end of April, introducing or overhauling multiple maps and revamping combat lines. Beginning today, the game is available in a free-to-play trial mode until the end of May.

Source: Press release

 

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Shroud of the Avatar is free-to-play for most of May

Shroud of the Avatar is running another free trial — quite a long one! It’ll run from May 10th to the end of the month. “This will be the longest test so far of the system so that we can gather even more data about uptake, dropoff, conversions, etc.,” Portalarium says. As usual, free players are restricted from trading, vendor use, property ownership, open PvP, and offline mode. You can pick up a copy of the game through the download page on the official site.

The trial is the highlight of game’s latest newsletter, but there’s plenty more to snoop, including the team’s work on Bloodriver Outskirts, weapon rewards from the last telethon, plans for the summer telethon, a housing contest and a writing content, and finally, a peek into Novia Market, one of the game’s player-run villages.

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Make My MMO: Ashes of Creation’s Kickstarter, ROKH’s early access, Valiance’s map (May 6, 2017)

This week in MMO crowdfunding, Ashes of Creation made the leap to Kickstarter, raising (so far as I type this) 1.35M, far more than its $750,000 goal. The game has kept the MMO community busy all week, though it hasn’t been without its issues.

On the survival sandbox front, Mars-themed ROKH released a new trailer and screenshots. It’s slated to hit early access later this month.

Meanwhile, Legends of Aria (fka Shards Online) suffered a delay, Crowfall has a big reveal coming in May, OrbusVR ran its second (brief!) closed alpha with the runemage rework, Grim Dawn teased its upcoming new gear and Inquisitor in a new trailer (below), Pantheon unveiled the Monk, Elite Dangerous’ Salome event ended in disaster, and Valiance Online posted several updates — including a mock-up of its map!

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’ve got our eye on.

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Shroud of the Avatar adds a small patch with a hidden message

There’s a hidden message in the patch notes for Shroud of the Avatar’s small patch from yesterday. What could it possibly mean? Is it something about the fact that several bug fixes are included in the patch? I mean, those are all good changes, I can’t imagine anyone would be upset about the fact that audio effects in Highport and Kingsvale are now properly linked to volume sliders. Or the cloak that now displays properly on male characters. But what’s the hidden message?

Don’t misunderstand, we’re happy to know that Resurrect Creature will properly target pets, renaming lot deeds will no longer make blank entries, and Corpse Explosion has had line-of-sight issues fixed. (One would hate for corpses to go unexploded.) But what’s this hidden message? What are you hiding, update notes? Eh, maybe if you look at the entry for long enough it will come to you. It’s nice to see even the little patches being something you can use.

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How Shroud of the Avatar’s night sky impacts gameplay

Other than for providing an atmospheric backdrop to night questing, starry skyboxes in MMOs don’t really mean or do much. This is not the case for Shroud of the Avatar, however, as astrology apparently does impact the game’s systems in some way.

In this past weekend’s newsletter, the team talks about how it’s updating the night sky and the devices used to observe it in-game: “When changes were made to the original moondial to account for us getting much closer to our actual in-game sky and all its celestial bodies…this time, with our system incorporating not only the correct moon order, but also the ideology and actual timing of the attacks of the Cabalists and their unholy minions, the moondials themselves (which Richard [Garriott] always wanted to be functionally-accurate tools of celestial observation) needed to change once again to reflect our most recent updates.”

The newsletter recapped the many changes that went into last week’s Update 41, showed a new and improved store interface, and shared more progress on the Oracle and beginning Outskirts zones.

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Make My MMO: Crowfall adds geomancy and architecture skills (April 29, 2017)

This week in MMO crowdfunding, Crowfall canceled its weekend playtest, but not before issuing a dev blog updating the community on some of the crafting changes that are in the latest builds, including the addition of Geomancy (using precious stone, wood, and ore to make land parcels that can combine into larger ones) and Architecture (which lets players craft deeds for buildings as well as crafting stations and city structures — sound familiar, SWG vets?).

Out in space, a group of core Elite Dangerous community developers went on strike briefly this week, bringing their websites and tools back online once Frontier had agreed to better support them. That was good timing, as players are in the middle of a massive roleplay event that will affect the outcome of an in-progress novel based on the game.

Meanwhile, Shroud of the Avatar dropped Release 41, City of Titans talked about its “aesthetic decoupling” philosophy, Pantheon updated players on its finances, OrbusVR completed its first closed alpha test, and the Dual Universe team moved into a new office.

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’ve got our eye on.

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