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 MOP Up: RuneScape Chronicles’ beach party (July 17, 2016)

The MMO industry moves along at the speed of information, and sometimes we’re deluged with so much news here at Massively Overpowered that some of it gets backlogged. That’s why there’s The MOP Up: a weekly compilation of smaller MMO stories and videos that you won’t want to miss. Seen any good MMO news? Hit us up through our tips line!

This week’s headline story is word that a beach party has arrived in Chronicles: RuneScape Legends as part of a patch that also contains a new legend and 37 additional cards. But wouldn’t those cards get soggy at a beach?

We’ve got plenty of other news tidbits for you after the jump, including stories from Age of Conan, Pantheon, Guild Wars 2, and Star Trek Online. What are you waiting for?

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Make My MMO: Descent Underground (July 16, 2016)

This week in MMO crowdfunding news, Descent: Underground released a major AI update this week — the Moon Collider’s advanced Kythera AI system — plus “cooperative play against ‘bot’ opponents, new ship types, and additional gameplay enhancements.”


  • Kickstarted science-laden sandbox ECO took home a climate science prize for its ecosystem simulation, which allows players to actually “create laws and policy [to] prevent the world’s destruction.
  • CIG dismissed a Star Citizen backer’s insinuation that a state district attorney influenced its decision to refund $3000 in Kickstarter donations.
  • And don’t forget to grab your summer alpha key for Das Tal!

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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Betawatch: AdventureQuest 3D steamrolls toward open beta (July 15, 2016)

You know how some titles like to linger in ill-defined test phases forever? AdventureQuest 3D doesn’t want to go that route. The game is launching into closed beta on July 19th, and then it expects to be in open beta after about a week. Wasting no time, indeed. You can check out our podcast with the team behind the game, too.

It’s been a relatively quiet week for beta news overall (not so much for other news), but there’s still plenty to chew on from the week past.

And now, it’s time for the mystery corner. Dare you guess what’s below the cut? Is it a list of all of the betas we know about? Yes, of course it is. And if something has jumped to a new test phase or surreptitiously launched without saying otherwise, well, you’ll keep us up to date in the comments, right? Yes, of course. So it’s not really much of a mystery.

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Explore Shroud of the Avatar’s world with this community web atlas

There’s no chance that you’re going to get lost when you go exploring Shroud of the Avatar, thanks to a new community project that’s mapping out the entire world. Players can now visit to utilize an interactive atlas featuring the world and its landmarks. The map even shows travel paths and how many lots in each city are currently occupied.

“ is an interactive map website dedicated to the Shroud of the Avatar series,” the creators said. “The goal of this website is to provide useful SotA maps and allow people to create and share their own maps.”



Perfect Ten: The most exciting MMO developments yet to come in 2016

In the annals of MMORPG history, 2016 might well go down as a very odd duck of a year. While on the surface it might not seem like there is a lot happening with big-name IPs, we’ve already seen an avalanche of activity in regard to MMO crowdfunding, early access, launches, expansions, business model shifts, virtual reality, platform releases, and so on.

And the year isn’t over yet! MMO fans have quite a bit to look forward to before 2016 closes out. As studios have released information about their short-term plans, we’ve started to get a better picture of what to expect in the coming months.

So join us as we go through the top 10 most exciting MMO developments yet to come in 2016!

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Shroud of the Avatar races to address issues before persistent world launch

Time is running short for Shroud of the Avatar to prepare for its persistent world launch at the end of the month. The team has been patching up Release 31, including the most recent build yesterday, as it tries to nail down some pesky issues plaguing the game.

While the patch fixes an issue of ever-fleeing mobs, the known issues list is pretty telling as to the work that needs to be done at this stage of development. Some of the problems that the team is tackling include cloth physics causing the game to crash, rain coming through the roofs of houses, and “significant stability issues” thanks to the latest version of Unity.

There will be one final wipe prior to Release 32 on July 28th. While the game will still be in development and testing with that update, the game world should not see any further wipes after that date.

Source: Patch notes


Make My MMO: People are actually buying Richard Garriott’s blood (July 9, 2016)

This week in MMO crowdfunding news, Shroud of the Avatar’s Richard Garriott and Starr Long shocked gamers by auctioning off art pieces that include their own blood, which was drawn on a promotional stream earlier this week. The reliquaries are no longer on eBay as originally reported; instead, they have been moved to Portalarium’s Make a Difference Store, which will ensure part of the proceeds of the sales will go to a charity. Three have already sold (and the prices have increased accordingly).

Meanwhile, Star Citizen revealed the Bengal Carrier, Chronicles of Elyria teased its delayed new site and store, and City of Titans kicked off a Patreon to support an in-universe comic for the game.

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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Betawatch: World of Warcraft and the art of pre-patch trolling (July 7, 2016)

We have a launch date for World of Warcraft‘s next expansion, but we don’t have a date for the pre-patch before the expansion launches. It is fair to say at this point, though, that the designers are just playing with the affections of players. First the developers tease something big coming just to announce a Twitter contest for getting into the beta. Then an article about when the pre-patch will arrive… does not say when it will arrive. Someone is having a chuckle. Ah, well, at least you can get pre-loaded.

Asta, meanwhile, is being far more definitive by definitely launching this week.  Sure, it was already in no-wipe open beta, but at least the distinction was made definitive. And Riders of Icarus has hit open beta, which serves as a fine segue into more beta news for the week.

  • Darkfall: New Dawn has launched its public development server; you can hop on for free within the next three weeks. If you’re curious about what it will play like, the answer is “quite a bit like Darkfall, but also not entirely like Darkfall.”
  • Big stuff is happening in Shroud of the Avatar. For one thing, the game is planning to have no further wipes after July 28th! For another thing, Starr Long and Richard Garriott are selling their blood. The sequence of events that led to this seeming like a rational decision is not one that any human being should attempt to contemplate.
  • Atlas Reactor has opened up for testing for everyone until July 17th. Good news for people who want to test it and have not yet been able to, bad news for people who don’t want to test it but feel obligated to now that there are no excuses.
  • Another LawBreakers test is taking place this weekend, if you feel as if your test schedule this weekend was otherwise too law-abiding.
  • Last but not least, Das Tal has plans for both US and EU servers during its summer testing phase. So you can be sure that you’re fighting people who are both literally and figuratively in your backyard.

That was quite a whirlwind tour! Perhaps you’d like to refresh with a cool, steady list just below. If there are problems with the list, like titles that have opened cash shops while in no-wipe open beta, do let us know down in the comments.

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Richard Garriott and Starr Long are literally selling their blood for Shroud of the Avatar

Remember last year back when Richard Garriott raffled off his rat tail to raise money for Shroud of the Avatar? Yeah, good times. Now the Portalarium boss is selling something even wackier: his own blood.

The studio announced the fundraiser during its livestream yesterday, where Garriott and longtime collaborator Starr Long joke about the call where they first discussed selling their blood. “You know, that’s what I like about working with you, Richard,” Long is said to have told Garriott. “I really never know exactly what to expect, but I always know that it’s gonna be crossing at least a few lines of good civil society.”

You can cross that line yourself to pick up one of the new bundles — including a “Lord British Blood Reliquary” or “Darkstarr Blood Reliquary” art piece by Steve Brudniak — on Ebay to the cool tune of somewhere north of $5000, thanks to a built-in reserve price. There’s a ton of digital items and a studio visit included as well.

Sorry, space fans; it’s unlikely any of the blood you’re buying has actually been to space, as the average lifespan of a red blood cell is only a couple of months.

It gets more awesome/weird: They actually do the blood drawing during the stream, around 19 minutes in.

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Shroud of the Avatar outlines summer release plans

Portalarium is still celebrating the release of its 31st Shroud of the Avatar update last week, but the game’s latest newsletter is already outlining plans for the rest of the summer releases, plotted for the end of July, August, and September. The July 28th update will see the long-awaited final wipe and the start of balance passes on the new player experience, economy, and combat systems, which will be iterated on and further tuned in Release 33 and 34 later in the summer.

The newsletter also includes a look at some of the gorgeous upcoming city lots in Brittany Estates and a look at Elven archer, fighter, and mage armor.

We also noted over the weekend that SOTA’s current crowdfunding pot stands at over $9 million, with almost 178,000 backers.

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Make My MMO: Camelot Unchained’s newsletter, SOTA’s $9M funding (July 2, 2016)

This week in MMO crowdfunding news, Camelot Unchained released its latest newsletter (at just under 8000 words, if you were curious – it’s tradition now to always count). The team recaps the addition of four new programmers, plans for its satellite studio in Seattle, and progress on the ability system refactoring and reward tier gifting system. There’s a farewell from former community manager, Jenesee Grey, as well as a look at at combat system, art team, engine threading, and lore. CSE also promises to begin full state-of-the-game letters from Mark Jacobs beginning in July.

Meanwhile, Valiance Online teased its new UI Das Tal pulled down its test server in prep for the pre-test ahead of its summer alpha, Fragmented added a The Repopulation mob and tweaked structure placement, Crowfall announced its EU publisher, Star Citizen demoed a bit more of its female avatar, and Shroud of the Avatar pushed out its 31st major release and broke $9,000,000 in crowdfunding raised.

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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Betawatch: Riders of Icarus moves into head start (July 1, 2016)

Riders of Icarus has not launched yet; it’s in head start. Yes, head start before open beta, rather than before, like, launch or something. If you think about the terminology too long, you’ll just start getting a headache. Just know that founders are currently playing the game as much as they want, while those who did not buy in to a founder’s pack are going to have to wait until July 6th.

It was a quiet beta week, but there’s still some points of interest to cover just the same:

We know, you’re eager to look below the cut for a list. And it’s there, just like always, filled with games that are still in some stage of testing. Let us know in the comments if something suddenly has a cash shop with no plans for a wipe while still calling itself a beta or is perpetuating similar shadiness.

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Shroud of the Avatar releases final pre-wipe patch

It’s almost the end of an era for Shroud of the Avatar, as the game is facing down its final wipe prior to next month’s switch to a persistent world. However, before players have to say goodbye to their test characters, they can say hello to a new patch: Release 31.

“We are only one release away from final wipe and lot selection, and we are focusing on the final tactical changes in order to prepare for that momentous event,” Portalarium posted. “Those tactical changes in Release 31 include an intense focus on the new user experience, character customization inside the game, additional neighborhoods for Greater Brittany, and continued expansions to the crafting system.”

On the technical side, the team said that it’s working hard to eliminate so-called “zombie crashes” and to optimize performance game-wide. It did warn that Shroud of the Avatar is more unstable than usual due to an upgrade to the latest version of unity in the last patch.

Source: Patch notes


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