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

Betawatch: March 6, 2015

After a brief delay, Camelot Unchained's alpha went live this week; City State Entertainment even threw in a builder tool to sweeten the pot. What else is new in the land of MMO testing?

Our complete list of MMOs in testing is below.

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Couple gets married in Shroud of the Avatar's first wedding

Shroud of the Avatar isn't even in proper alpha testing yet, but the fantasy title has already been host to its first in-game wedding.

Players Roper and Keira tied the virtual knot in an action-packed proceedings that included intense vow-making, fiery battles, and a knighting ceremony. Lord British and several members of the dev team also made appearances to bestow blessings on the newlyweds.

You can watch the highlights of the ceremony after the jump!

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Make My MMO: February 28, 2015

This week in MMO crowdfunding news, Crowfall basically blotted out the sun. The "throne war simulator" surpassed its $800,000 goal in a couple of days, and apart from that it also generated a ton of discussion both here on MassivelyOP and throughout the MMO blogosphere.

We've also entered the homestretch on our own Kickstarter. With six days to go, we've met our initial goal and secured a couple of months' funding for our new web presence, so thank you for your support!

Click past the cut for rest of this week's MMO crowdfunding roundup.

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Betawatch: February 27, 2015

Skyforge announced its upcoming closed beta schedule this week; expect the first round to begin on March 11th. You can ensure a spot in the test with (what else) a founder pack, which will set you back 20 to 70 bucks. What else is new in the world of MMO testing?

Our complete list of MMOs in testing is below.

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Shroud of the Avatar upgrades to Unity 5 for Release 15

Shroud of the Avatar's Release 15 begins today. In fact, it begins this morning at 11:30 a.m. EST. The new build features Unity 5, the latest version of the engine that Portalarium says provides it "with both improved performance opportunities and graphical upgrades" that will "dramatically improve the visual presentation of SotA."

The conversion is such a big deal that it required the devs to redo nearly every graphical asset in the game. As such, you should expect a "particularly large" patch for R15. The patch announcement post contains a full list of deliverables including new mainland scenes, new sun and moon magic skills, new crafting skills, and more.

[Source: Release 15 instructions]

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Shroud of the Avatar talks economy, online vs. offline modes

This weekend's Shroud of the Avatar post is a big one. Update of the Avatar #113 explains how the game's single-player offline mode will function as compared to the online world, with particular emphasis on save games, companions, and spawning rules. Portalarium also says that a few items available for purchase in offline mode (like the castle and keep-sized lots) will not be available online. Finally, there will be no character transfers between the two modes.

SotA tech director Chris Spears also has a lot to say about the game's economy, but you'll need to click the source link below to read it!

[Source: Update #113]

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Make My MMO: February 21, 2015

Welcome back to Make My MMO, a recurring column from Massively-that-was which covers crowdsourced MMOs of both the fully funded and the not-so-much variety. Each week we'll round up the most relevant crowdfunding news stories in case you missed them, and we'll also keep a running tab on active funding drives.

And speaking of that, for the next two weeks we get to write about ourselves in this space, as our Kickstarter is ongoing through March 6th and you lovely backers continue to stick it to the man while humbling us with your support.

Click past the cut for the rest of this week's crowdfunding news. And don't forget to tip us if you see something we missed (especially this week and next as we're still scrambling to get our new house in order!).

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Betawatch: February 20, 2015

What do you get when you combine the the quirkiness of Glitch or Wakfu with the voxelboxiness of Trove? That'd be SkySaga, the UK sandvox that's finally opening its alpha doors to those of us in North America. Act quickly, though; the offer ends February 26th. What else is new in the land on MMO testing?

Our complete list of MMOs in testing is below.

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Shroud of the Avatar's Starr Long on gameplay vs. graphics

Shroud of the Avatar executive producer -- and original Ultima Online director -- Starr Long was interviewed by The Escapist this week. Long discusses his early Origin days, where he worked on everything from the Wing Commander series to a long list of Ultima products.

He also talks about Tabula Rasa, Kickstarter, and of course his newest project as well as his general design philosophy. "If I see a light, I should be able to turn it on and off. If I see a candle, I can blow it out. If there is a door, I should be able to open and close it, to lock it and unlock it. I should be able to take that cup off the table, hold it in my hand, and drink ale out of it," Long explains. "That requires a lot of computing horsepower and a lot of memory, which means you have to take it from somewhere else. The easiest place to take it from is the graphics, but I would always much rather have a high degree of simulation than the best, newest graphics."

[Source: The Escapist]

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Shroud of the Avatar previews Necropolis dungeon, new world areas

What's new with Shroud of the Avatar? Quite a lot if you're judging by the latest lengthy update (#112 for those keeping score at home). There's an early look at the Necropolis dungeon, which backers will be exploring in "a few short weeks." The post also contains some gorgeous pics of a new "marshy island" region called Verdantis Shardfall as well as shots of the Novia Overworld region.

There's much more, too, but you'll need to click over to the SotA website to read it all.

[Source: Update of the Avatar #112]

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The Soapbox: The crowdfunding conundrum

As I type this, Massively Overpowered's Kickstarter campaign sits comfortably at $54,323. We hit our initial $50k funding goal in roughly 48 hours. We're on pace to smash through our $75k stretch goal before the month ends. Thanks to the miracle of crowdfunding, the Massively team and I get to keep doing what we love to do instead of spending the next few weeks explaining to potential employers what an "MMO" is and why we had to write about it.

This has been an incredible experience. I'm absolutely humbled by our community and am infinitely grateful for its support. As I said in my backer update earlier this week, I'm completely out of ways to say "thank you."

However, my overall feelings on crowdfunding remain the same. It's slimy, dangerous, and a borderline scam.

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Richard Garriott: Open development and crowdsourcing is a 'joy'

There's a lot of debate and discussion these days as to the virtues and usefulness of early access and transparent development, but at least for Richard Garriott and his team, it's been a "joy" to experience.

Garriott spoke with the Escapist about how both crowd sourcing and open development has benefited Shroud of the Avatar greatly thus far: "Now we know, as soon as we have a half-baked idea going in, just what people think of it. Players can weigh in and help guide the creation we are making for them. [It] also let them know where we might need help. The crowd sourcing of everything from music, to art, to even code has grown out of this foundation."

[Source: The Escapist]

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