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

The Stream Team: Exploring Shroud of the Avatar’s release 34

The wilds in Shroud of the Avatar are dangerous enough when two people are grouped, so what happens when MassivelyOP’s MJ heads out on her own? Release 34 just dropped today, and MJ wants to poke around and see if she can get a look at some of the new stuff. She’s particularly interested in heading to the Necropolis Barrens. But first she has the whole city of Adoris to explore! The new release brings it to life better than before. Tune in live at 5:00 p.m. to see how long she can survive the snooping through the streets.

What: Shroud of the Avatar
Who: MJ Guthrie
When: 5:00 p.m. EDT on Thursday, September 29th, 2016

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Shroud of the Avatar’s R34 delivers Halloween, culinary utility, and /pukeblood

Release 34 has launched for Shroud of the Avatar players as of this morning along with a large balance and polish pass for both the game’s combat and its economy. Here’s what else players can expect today:

  • Halloween is on the way! There’s a spooky new house template, new ruins, emotes, and housing deco, plus seasonal soundtrack cylinders to play in-game. What game doesn’t need a “/pukeblood” emote?
  • Crafters, you’re getting 45 new recipes and bone armor, plus food is now relevant in the game.
  • The Path of Love got more love, mainly in the form of improvements to the Necropolis and the city of Ardoris, though the devs say both still aren’t finished. “The Tower of the Shuttered Eye and Malice both need overhauls and Spite needs major polish,” they write. “All of those will get tackled in Q4.”

The offline economy patch and teachable recipes won’t make it in the patch — the former because of engine upgrades, the latter because of “architectural changes to inventory.” Roving encounters were also pushed off to October’s release 35. Portalarium has already laid out what’s in store for players through the rest of the year, culminating in release 37 just before Christmas.

Massively OP’s MJ Guthrie will be streaming from inside the update tonight at 5 p.m. EDT, so tune in for a walkthrough!

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Make My MMO: Star Citizen’s faces, SOTA’s memorial, Hero’s Song’s AMA (September 24, 2016)

This week in MMO crowdfunding news, Star Citizen stole the show, first with a video showcasing its extraordinarily detailed character face tech, then rather unintentionally in a Kotaku piece that sought to investigate the game’s controversial crowdfunded development process.

Meanwhile, Fragmented continued enhancements to housing and melee combat; Gloria Victis tidied up its new dynamic events system; Worlds Adrift prepped for its fifth alpha round; Hero’s Song revealed abilities usable by the Paladin and Warrior classes and streamed an AMA on Twitch; and Edengrad offered a preview of its blocking mechanics, UI, and graphics upgrade.

We’d also like to express our condolences to the friends, guildies, and family of Shroud of the Avatar player Lacey, who passed away this week and was memorialized in-game using an in-progress system for craftable, customizable gravestones.

Read on for more on what’s up with MMO crowdfunding this week and the roundup of all the crowdfunded MMOs we’ve got our eye on!

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Massively OP’s guide to the best upcoming indie MMORPGs, part one

When you write for an MMORPG website that covers literally hundreds of games and could probably add in hundreds more that are extinct, are in operation only overseas, or are so incredibly niche that their creators’ moms don’t even know about them, you start devoting a large portion of your brain to trying to keep details about all of these games straight. This not only results in forgetting two of your kids’ names (after all, space is limited), but it’s nearly an impossible task. There’s just too much out there.

And lately I’ve noticed that the staff and readers alike have started to become incredibly confused regarding all of the indie MMOs that are oozing through the development process in their 72 planned testing stages (the other week I could swear that I saw a game declare itself to be going into “state semi-regionals”). There are too many games, some of which look far too similar, and it’s stressing us out.

Enhance your calm, citizen. Here’s the first part of our quick and dirty guide to many of the indie MMORPGs in development and some of the key points about each. Hint: It’s not asking whether they are a sandbox with open world PvP because of course they are. As a side note, I won’t be covering most of the survival sandbox and mere multiplayer titles, as that would be too great for the scope of this guide. And if you’re interested in these games, then you’ll definitely want to track our Make My MMO and Betawatch columns. Then stay tuned next week for the second half of this list!

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Shroud of the Avatar teases Halloween content, Estgard, and SOTAcon

Shroud of the Avatar has the honor of being one of the first MMORPGs to tease Halloween content this year, meaning it’s only about two months behind all the damn retail stores. Why am I even bitter? Halloween is awesome! SOTA’s latest newsletter highlights ghost pets, burned down homes, dead foilage assets (your very own Felucca, perhaps?), Halloweeny emotes, and a creepy spider leg cloak, all en route to the game — and that’s in addition to the city of Estgard, which is also on the way and gets a deep-dive and a slew of images in the piece.

The devs continue to plug SOTA Con, what it’s calling “the first ever community organized convention for Shroud of the Avatar.” The Baltimore-based event will be attended by both Richard Garriott and Starr Long and runs November 4th to 6th.

The newsletter also highlights a certain MOP streamer’s brave forays into the current build of the game. Check that out, plus the newest screenshots, below. Arachnophobes should probably stay away!

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Make My MMO: Indiegogo campaigns for Mark Kern and John Smedley (September 17, 2016)

This week in MMO crowdfunding news was one of the biggest we’ve had all year for crowdfunded games. Former Firefall boss Mark Kern made good on his plans for “serial Kickstarting” with a small Indiegogo campaign for his new MMO, Ember; we sat down with Hero’s Song’s John Smedley for a streamed interview; and indie sci-fi sandbox Dual Universe is hurtling along toward its Kickstarter funding goal of just over half a million bucks.

Meanwhile, Shroud of the Avatar’s Richard Garriott and Starr Long announced they’ll both be attending SOTACon, City of Titans posted the lore behind its Bureau of Paranormal Investigations and Tracking, and Ascent got a new trailer, Ever, Jane patched its beta, Elite Dangerous is rolling out the Guardians beta next week, AdventureQuest 3D announced an October open beta, and Crowfall confirmed beta 1 players will begin testing this year.

And for those wondering about the state of The Repopulation, a month ago the devs told forumgoers that their “goal is to have a playable client for it late in the year, but it will probably be a limited initial version.” Said A&B, “[W]e need to build the world and content still, which has a good ways to go.”

Read on for more on what’s up with MMO crowdfunding this week and the roundup of all the crowdfunded MMOs we’ve got our eye on!

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DragonCon 2016: Garriott expounds on Shroud of the Avatar’s farming, food, and fancy footwork

Many people look at a game for its combat, however, there are many who also want a game with a variety of non-combat features. When it comes to a sandbox, non-combat features actually can — and should — be in the majority. And Shroud of the Avatar is definitely implementing a variety of features that may correlate and work with combat but are not directly related to it. While speaking with Richard Garriott at DragonCon 2016 about the game, I learned a more about these other aspects. Specifically, we delved into farming, cooking, and even dancing!

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The Stream Team: Wandering the wilds of Shroud of the Avatar

After wandering around a crypt and finding a cool secret passage, MassivelyOP’s MJ needs some fresh air. So this time she’s going to explore the wilds of Shroud of the Avatar. Certainly there can’t be anything dangerous about that, right? Tune in live at 8:00 p.m. as MJ returns for new adventures in New Britannia — this time above ground.

What: Shroud of the Avatar
Who: MJ Guthrie
When: 8:00 p.m. EDT on Wednesday, September 14th, 2016

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Shroud of the Avatar Q&A homes in on crafting and economy

Portalarium’s Starr Long has hopped on Shroud of the Avatar’s official forums for an extra round of player-submitted questions. Of note, Long says to expect more craftable clothing, more crafted book covers, more polish for the UI, and more multiplayer friendliness, but don’t expect Ultima-like musical abilities in episode one. Resizing decor is not happening at all, but treasure maps are, and more on the brewing and agriculture systems will be shared later in the year.

As to the economy, daily gold earnings will remain capped, active crafting activities are off the table, and the team is keeping an eye on hyperinflation. “We do not plan on [removing random rolls from crafting and enchanting skills],” he writes. “It would be destructive to the economy if everyone could create exactly the same item at will and destroy all rarity in the system. It would also eliminate an important sink in the economy.” Likewise, he argue that reducing resource requirements would “lead to a huge glut of items and prices would crash making crafting a completely unprofitable profession” – which is not something Portalarium means to do.


DragonCon 2016: Richard Garriott on why Shroud of the Avatar will steal your life

Do you know that feeling when you come across a game that has most, if not all, of your dream features — even the farfetched ones that you’d abandoned hope of ever actually being in a game? Probably not. But after talking with Richard Garriott at DragonCon 2016 about Shroud of the Avatar, I think I am experiencing an inkling of that very feeling! Granted, the game is not complete yet (although there are no more wipes), but each time I have sat down to speak with Garriott, not only does he highlight more features that make my mouth water, but the game has actively implemented previously revealed features. I can’t help but hope this sandbox will be The One for me.

What are these features that have me excited? And when can we expect the game’s “real” release? Between the various panels and our interview, I came away with a plenty of information on SOTA.

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Shroud of the Avatar plans improvements to tropical island towns and the economy

Player-run towns in Shroud of the Avatar have had the option of being on a tropical island since May. Of course, that option was mostly just a swapped set of trees on a bog-standard island, which meant that it left something to be desired. Thus, the tropical island plot for player-owned towns is getting a large-scale overhaul to feel more, well, tropical. It’s one of the big focal points of the most recent community newsletter, which also turns an eye toward large-scale economic refinements.

Extensive monitoring of the game has made it clear that the current gold distribution is intensely lopsided, which means that most players aren’t buying from vendors or using reagents in builds due to a simple lack of money. This is a problem. The team is thus making changes and introducing new sources of gold for players who are currently unable to afford sustained play. These include more rewards from quests, daily confessions to the Oracle for money, and more reagent availability in scenes. Check out the full newsletter for more details as well as to catch up on the latest community-wide news.

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Make My MMO: New biome for Camelot Unchained; new campaigns for Hero’s Song, Dual Universe (Sept. 10, 2016)

This week in MMO crowdfunding news, our own MJ – MJ Guthrie, that is – returned from DragonCon with reports from several crowdfunded MMORPG studios. First up is Camelot Unchained and its own MJ – Mark Jacobs, that is – who’ve got a new update out, complete with new screenshots of the autumn forest biome (seen above) and a tease about the ongoing hiring. Jacobs says the team has been busy working on resource modification, ability conditionals, skill timing, archery abilities, periodic effects, building damage, the Stonehealer class, and the first pass on multi-island/multi-server integration.

We’ve also welcomed Hero’s Song back to our watch list. The John Smedley-led OARPG canceled its Kickstarter earlier this year but has returned to crowdfund just ahead of its early access launch with a new Indiegogo campaign.

Dual Universe also launched its first Kickstarter, seeking over half a million dollars to fund the epic sci-fi sandbox. Meanwhile, Ever, Jane postponed its open beta’s first update, Fragmented went on sale for five bucks in the Humble Bundle store, Edengrad updated backers on its combat plans, and HEX released its fifth card pack, Herofall. Read on for more on what’s up with MMO crowdfunding this week and the roundup of all the crowdfunded MMOs we’ve got our eye on!

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The Stream Team: New kid in town in Shroud of the Avatar

MassivelyOP’s MJ is an Avatar now, wandering New Britannia. There are many adventures to be had, many books to read, many NPCs to talk to, and many houses to decorate in Shroud of the Avatar. Did we mention many books to read? And now that she’s in a new little town, she’s got to get in good with the locals to find out all their secrets (like where they hide all their books!). Join us live at 6:00 p.m. as she continues to question everyone in town and try to help out where she can — and maybe read a book or two.

What: Shroud of the Avatar
Who: MJ Guthrie
When: 6:00 p.m. EDT on Saturday, September 10th, 2016

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