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

Make My MMO: Chronicles of Elyria’s $900k goal (March 5, 2016)

Indie MMO Chronicles of Elyria announced this week that it’s plotting a May Kickstarter with a $900,000 goal. The game is probably best known for its fairly original aging and death mechanics, which are tied into its business model.

Meanwhile, Star Citizen pushed alpha 2.2 live, Camelot Unchained passed its “send more programmers” stretch goal, City of Titans produced video of its “functional first pass” build, and AdventureQuest 3D joined our watch list with news of its planned October launch.

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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Shroud of the Avatar brings in fast travel and new player towns

More and more these days Shroud of the Avatar is looking like a whole game. It probably helps that the game seems to update every other day, although in reality it’s once a month. This past week the fantasy title lurched forward to embrace Release 27, another small milestone on its way to this summer’s final character wipe and pseudo-release.

Release 27 has a buffet of all types of content. There’s a couple of PvP areas, the new PvE dungeon of Artifice, fast travel, and plenty of new player towns and variations of player town templates. For the fashion-conscious, there are now kilts and walking canes. Now you can be jealous that every other MMO doesn’t have them, yes?

The team also addressed how it will be handling the tricky issues of player towns and housing with the big upcoming wipe. Portalarium said that it has already sold between 200 and 300 player-owned towns so far and will handle the transition with a deft hand.


Make My MMO: Grim Dawn and Descent Underground (February 27, 2016)

Grim Dawn is the toast of our Make My MMO crowdfunding column this weekend as the crowdfunded multiplayer action RPG has made it through the early access phase to official launch.

Meanwhile, The Repopulation began taking tester signups for Fragmented, Camelot Unchained announced a hard crunch ahead of beta 1, and Descent: Underground posted a major VR update and trailer.

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 Overthinking: The new normal of early access MMORPGs

This week’s topic comes from Massively OP reader Zadira.

Daybreak has just passed it two-year anniversary for Landmark, and it still has its early access reward options for sale. One of the bonuses that we were to get was a two-day headstart when the game gets released. When I first bought my $99 Trailblazer Pack, I had no idea that people would still be buying it and being able to get the same rewards two years later. So what is ‘normal’ now for a game when it comes to early release?”

What do you expect from a studio in 2016 when it goes into early access? What do you think about the way early access has been used in the past few years? And who is doing it right? I posed these questions to our staff for this week’s Massively Overthinking.

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Shroud of the Avatar prepares for Release 27

The final wipe for Shroud of the Avatar is approaching, and that means that the development team is moving forward with an eye toward that final wipe. The instructions for players for Release 27 make explicit mention of this – the development team is making sure that all of the foundational aspects of the game are in place, even if some of the scenes involved have to be cloned for now and made unique in the future.

The fact is that there was only a limited amount of time to get this release out to fit with the usual monthly schedule of the game’s patch deployment. All the same, there’s a substantial amount of new content with the release. If you’re eager to dive into the improved state of the game, be sure to read through the instructions carefully, and take heart that the game is soon reaching the point at which no more progress will be wiped out again.


Shroud of the Avatar is an ally for player-created quests

It should be rather obvious by now that the Shroud of the Avatar dev team is just as focused on involving the community in the activities and revelries of the game as it is in making its own content for players to discover.

In its most recent newsletter, Portalarium touched on a couple of ways that players can infuse the game with their own missions. One such way is via a public cache chest, which can contain loot or clues for fellow players (and can now be used as a housing decoration as well). Another way is by creating a “story in scene,” a combination of a player-created quest and -written story.

The studio also touched on continuing development of the undead-infested dungeon of Malice and the Kobold city of Skrekk.


Make My MMO: Vampire MMO Shadow’s Kiss is on Patreon (February 20, 2016)

So here’s a new one for the Make My MMO crowdfunding column: We have a game that’s actually vying for Patreon donations rather than campaigning on Kickstarter or Indiegogo. That game is Shadow’s Kiss, a vampire fantasy MMO. Developer Clockwork Throne says it’s using Patreon to fund production and reward backers.

Dragon of Legends has rejoined our list, having canceled its first Kickstarter and started over, asking for a much smaller amount (in fact, it’s already passed its base goal). Multiplayer sci-fi survival sandbox Planet Nomads finished its Kickstarter a winner too, pulling in almost $140,000. And while MOBA shooter Overpower didn’t quite make its funding goal on Kickstarter, its devs have announced it’ll head into early access on March 2nd.

This week, we also mused on Star Citizen’s success, had a look at Camelot Unchained’s new lighting system, and spoke to Crowfall’s devs about its world-building pipeline.

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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Outlaw country musician to debut album in Shroud of the Avatar

You’re going to have to follow us on a strange journey with this story. So there’s this “outlaw country” musician, Shooter Jennings, who is getting ready to release his seventh album, Countach. According to the description (and bizarrely awesome cover), the album is “a sound-collage-style journey through ’80s and ’90s culture, innovative songwriting, genre-bending fiddle-meets-synthesizer soundscapes and a shrine to pioneers of books, bytes, and beats.”

What’s really interesting here is that Jennings will be unveiling Countach in Shroud of the Avatar at a premiere party in the game. Why Shroud? Well, it could be because Richard Garriott makes a guest appearance on the album, not to mention that Jennings is a huge fan of the Ultima series and a backer of the MMO.

The in-game premiere party will take place starting 8:00 p.m. EST on February 22nd and is being fully organized by the Shroud of the Avatar community. Attendees will need to be backers and are encouraged to get together at Bear Tavern for the event.

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Shroud of the Avatar brings ancient opulence to the Halls of Artifice

Shroud of the Avatar is ever under construction as the game picks up steam for its pseudo-launch this summer. In the latest newsletter, the devs talk about two cities being built: Skrekk and the Halls of Artifice.

Skrekk has been mentioned before as the biggest Kobold city in the game. When players encounter it, they’ll have three sections to explore, including a throne room and caverns.

As for the Halls of Artifice, this beautiful location is harboring serious mysteries including what lies behind two massive bronze doors. Dev Scottie Jones explains what he’s going for with this location: “As I begin building the inner Halls of Artifice, I seek to maintain the theme I began outside; a mix of Greco-Roman-inspired architecture, with just a hint of Gothic mixed in. Though we don’t have any truly Babylonian-style assets to work with, a mix of our dungeon and sewer sets re-skinned with more ‘desert-like’ materials and colors will help blend them in with some of the generic ruined assets we have purchased and altered for our needs, and will hopefully help continue the whole ‘hanging gardens opulence’ vibe I’m going for.”


Make My MMO: Inside The Repopulation & Hero’s Song (February 13, 2016)

This week in MMO crowdfunding news, two studios spoke to Massively OP in-depth about their major crowdfunding decisions in 2016. Pixelmage Games’ John Smedley told us that Hero’s Song is full-steam ahead after its Kickstarter cancellation last month and explained just why his team went with Kickstarter in the first place. And Above & Beyond’s JC Smith sat down with us to discuss The Repopulation’s new engine and spin-off survival game and what it all means for the crowdfunded sandbox.

Meanwhile, two of the City of Heroes-inspired crowdfunded superhero MMORPGs, City of Titans and Valiance Online, both saw updates this past week, and Star Citizen blasted one last reminded that tomorrowday really truly is the last time to buy into the games cheaply before Squadron 42 becomes a standalone product.

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, plus some bonus news at the end!

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How Shroud of the Avatar is making a fortune on the housing market

For a game that isn’t even released so far, Shroud of the Avatar is making serious bank on player housing. From entry-level plots that start at $100 to enormous $12,000 castles, it’s clear that Portalarium is mining the housing market for its revenue. And the crazy thing is, it’s working. Supporters are snapping up lots so quickly that in some cases, they’re sold out.

In a new piece over at Eurogamer, Richard Garriott talks about how Shroud of the Avatar took a cue from the housing demand of Ultima Online to create artificial scarcity and desirable locations in the upcoming fantasy title. “Regional value popped up frankly by accident in Ultima Online. We did not foresee it and we had no plan to shepherd it. [But with SOTA] we know that will be the case,” Garriott said.

With expensive lots and player towns that can run up to $9,000 a pop, Shroud of the Avatar’s housing market is serious business for the studio and backers who have invested thousands in these future properties.

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Shroud of the Avatar previews structures, templates, and regions

The Shores of Malice are currently being designed for Shroud of the Avatar, but they don’t look particularly malicious on a whole. Unless you find evergreen trees and lovely coastal vistas malicious, anyhow. Still, there are dungeons, traps, and the usual assortment of threats to any adventurer’s well-being on the shores; it’s just that the primary focus with the most recent community update is on the look of the place, which is less “doom awaits you” and more “gorgeous landscape photography.”

Players who aren’t as in to coastal regions can also check out a preview of the Entrance to Artifice, a secluded and mysterious location hidden in the crags of the Rumor Peaks. The community update also previews some of the new player town templates and the new greenhouses available for use in the game. The greenhouses, to the best of our knowledge, are not in any way meant to be malicious. Depending on what you grow in them, probably.


Make My MMO: Divergence’s drama (February 6, 2016)

This week in MMO crowdfunding news, the Divergence Online drama came to a close, as DMCA claims against the developer were dropped early and the game fully returned to Steam.

We also saw The Repopulation switch engines, Elite: Dangerous tweak its business model, and LuckCatchers fall under our radar as an early access title on Steam.

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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