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 works on street signs as it preps Release 17

Even things as small and seemingly mundane as street signs can represent a lengthy undertaking in the MMO development process. Shroud of the Avatar devoted a section of its most recent newsletter to talk about how the team took suggestions for street names and the difficulty of adding them with their proper signage.

Shroud of the Avatar is preparing to unleash Release 17 on April 30th. In addition to its dev-added enhancements, it will host various community-run events, including a scavenger hunt and a play written and performed by players. Before that happens, however, you might want to watch the following post-mortem of Release 16 as well as a studio tour of Portalarium.

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Make My MMO: April 11, 2015

This week in MMO crowdfunding news, we said goodbye to Descent Underground‘s fundraising campaign. It was a fond farewell, though, since the sci-fi space shooter reboot topped its $600,000 Kickstarter goal with just over three hours to spare.

Also this week, Star Citizen updated us on the progress made in March, showed off a new dev studio, released alpha version 1.1.1, and addressed community concerns about the length and accessibility of its Squadron 42 single-player campaign. The rest of our crowdfunding roundup is just past the cut.

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Shroud of the Avatar chronicles community projects

The most recent update to Shroud of the Avatar had a bit of a bunny theme. It was intentional, a bit of a nod to the Easter holiday. The most recent official development update highlights the fact that players have taken the opportunity to run with that for a few… disturbing screenshots, here and there. Maybe if there had been some sort of egg paint-and-hide mechanic added instead.

Of course, this entire update is very much focused on community projects, such as the companion app for the game that a player is developing for iOS (Android support is planned for the future). There’s also a look at the reward for Release 17’s grand tour quest when the new patch is released on April 30th and the usual community video guide to the current patch’s Grand Tour. Check out the full update for all the community news and a few more screenshots of the game in process.

[Source: Official site]


Make My MMO: March 28, 2015

This week’s crowdfunding news was all about Crowfall. Seriously, we must’ve written about Crowfall like 76 times or something. In the end, the most relevant piece of Crowfall news is that the Kickstarter is over and it was a big success.

Oh, and we also checked in with Pathfinder, which put version six of its early access client out to backers on Thursday. The rest of our MMO crowdfunding news roundup is past the break.

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Betawatch: March 27, 2015

If you had told me that one of the big bits of news this week would be the release of Dungeon Fighter Online into beta testing for the second time, I wouldn’t have believed you. But here we are; people were super jazzed about that.

People have also been jazzed about the second wave of Skyforge CBT fun, with Justin taking the time to put together his first impressions while MJ showed off her own first impressions. And that’s barely even scratching the surface of all the stuff that took place this week in the test arena.

Our complete list of MMOs in testing is below.

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Shroud of the Avatar prepares for Release 16 with a focus on performance

The last Shroud of the Avatar release saw a shift over to Unity 5 and a number of improvements and changes to the game, but it came at the cost of the game’s performance. Release 16, which is due out today, is taking a step back and focusing more heavily on cleaning up bugs and performance, with several items being held back despite originally having been placed on the release schedule.

Items pruned due to the engine shift include player-made books, the cover system, and Steam achievements. The release still contains plenty of new content, including a new Grand Tour quest, a variety of bugfixes, and expansions to several regions of the game. Players involved in the game’s ongoing development and testing should take a look at the rundown of the changes and follow the instructions to start exploring what’s new.

[Source: Release 16 instructions]


Shroud of the Avatar talks dev events, a community app, and more

Shroud of the Avatar’s latest update is typically meaty. It features the usual footnotes related to in-game tweaks and changes as well as blurbs about a new community-driven mobile app, a chance to name streets in the game; a recap of appearances by Richard Garriott, Starr Long, and Tracy Hickman at SXSW; and details about an upcoming Ultima Online postmortem at Classic Game Fest 2015, also hosted by Long and Lord British.

[Source: Update of the Avatar #117]


Make My MMO: March 21, 2015

This week in MMO crowdfunding news, SOE fans banded together and attempted to Kickstart this year’s Fan Faire. You might recall that Columbus Nova cancelled the annual festivities after purchasing SOE, laying off a bunch of staff, and rebranding the firm as Daybreak.

Project Fan Faire seeks $35,000 in funding and has already secured hotel space in Las Vegas provided that 175 attendees are willing to confirm. You can view the rest of this week’s crowdfunding roundup after the cut.

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Shroud of the Avatar tops $6 million in crowdfunding

Shroud of the Avatar has amassed over $6 million in crowdfunding along with over 150,000 backers according to the tracker widget on the fantasy title’s website.

In other SotA news, Update of the Avatar #116 features a recap of the dev team’s SXSW appearances, an extensive look at changes to player-owned towns, and a Release 15 postmortem video roundtable featuring Richard Garriott, Starr Long, Tracy Hickman, and more. You can view that after the break

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The Daily Grind: Is Shroud of the Avatar destined to be an underrated MMO?

One conversation that I’ve seen echoed a few times is how strange it is that Shroud of the Avatar has been running such a low profile for what it actually is. I mean, c’mon: It’s an all-but-in-name-only sequel to Ultima and Ultima Online, it raised almost $6 million in crowdfunding, and it has some pretty big names attached to the project. Yet it’s almost easy to forget that it exists some days.

Maybe it’s a perception problem, but as someone who is looking forward to playing this, I’m really starting to wonder if Shroud of the Avatar is destined to be an underrated game. Is it the focus on roleplaying, housing, and weird-as-Kibbles combat system? Or does the studio need to up its marketing game to break through to a larger audience? What do you think?

Every morning, the Massively Overpowered writers team up with mascot Mo to ask MMORPG players pointed questions about the massively multiplayer online roleplaying genre. Grab a mug of your preferred beverage and take a stab at answering the question posed in today’s Daily Grind!


Make My MMO: March 7, 2015

This week in MMO crowdfunding news, a couple of projects went bye-bye. First up was Trials of Ascension, which admitted to Kickstarter defeat and pulled its campaign after raising nearly $26,000 out of a $600,000 goal in two weeks. Also down for the count is The Wizarding World Online, a Harry Potter knockoff that kinda forgot to ask the IP owners for permission.

Finally, Massively Overpowered’s Kickstarter campaign came to a successful close, and we thank you all once again for allowing the site to live another day (or two!). Click past the cut for the rest of this week’s crowdfunding roundup.

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PAX East 2015: A chat with SOTA’s Richard Garriott

Richard Garriott casts a long shadow in the MMO industry, with Ultima Online serving as the first fully graphical MMO and ushering in the genre as we know it. His more recent claim to fame, though, is the success of Shroud of the Avatar, a crowdfunded spiritual sequel to his Ultima series, online and off. It’s one of the big crowdfunding successes and something that raises plenty of interesting questions about the viability of crowdfunding and how the game’s financial model influences its development.

I was lucky enough to have a chat with Garriott during my time in Boston at this year’s PAX East, and I started by asking him about another long shadow: Godus. Comparisons are fairly obvious, with Godus being another game project put forth by a well-known developer (Peter Molyneux) for crowdfunding. So what sort of influence do high-profile troubles such as those have on Shroud of the Avatar‘s community, and how can the team avoid the risks?

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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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