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 teases dragons, housing, and R21

Shroud of the Avatar’s latest Update of the Avatar newsletter debuted over the weekend. It includes a look at some “very large creatures” (also known as dragons) currently being worked on by Portalarium’s character artists and animators.

Release 21 is also available in an early QA build for backers at the Developer level or higher. The build is buggy and incomplete, according to the devs, but they nonetheless would like you to poke and prod it in service of identifying major issues.

The newsletter also features a bunch of housing screenshots, the second part of a lengthy dev dissertation on use-based systems, and more.

Source: Update of the Avatar #139


I need Shroud of the Avatar’s airship house

Shroud of the Avatar posted another meaty newsletter update over the weekend. Update of the Avatar #138 features more on the architecture of the Obsidians as well as a Release 20 post-mortem that did a bit of looking ahead to Release 21 (you can view the vid after the break below).

There’s also an early look at an airship city home that frankly kicks a lot of ass. It provides ample living area “while preserving almost 100 percent of yard space,” Portalarium quips. The airship boasts three floors and the captain’s quarters, though it can’t be sailed across the landscape “yet.”

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Shroud of the Avatar creates the creepy Desolate Hills

Every good MMO needs a spooky and ooky graveyard zone, which is why Shroud of the Avatar is hard at work to create the Desolate Hills area for the next game update. The Desolate Hills will feature a necropolis, a ruined graveyard, and a ghost town of sorts. It’s not a place you’d want to live, but to adventure? You betcha.

In the most recent newsletter, Portalarium said that it has added three new members to the team, expanded the Desolis Underground map, and constructed a snowy mountain template for player-owned towns. The team has also created a new settlement called Hometown that contains every home available for purchase in the game so that players can preview them before buying.

Release 21 for Shroud of the Avatar will come out on August 27th.


Shroud of the Avatar pushes out Release 20 with 113 player-run towns

Are you playing Shroud of the Avatar‘s latest release right now? Obviously not, you’re reading this article, but you could be playing it right now. It has a whole lot of player-run towns in it now, 113 new ones to be precise, and you could run around in every single one and get all the money for exploring them! Maybe. Probably not. But you could definitely explore all of the new towns.

Other new features with the latest release include dynamic lot placement, trolls (the creatures, not the forum-dwellers), and bookmaking systems. The latest community update also highlights a player-run site for roleplaying and player-made trailers, so it’s well worth a read even if you’ve been playing the latest patch and have been dutifully exploring the player-run towns.


Massively Overthinking: Whither went the classic PvE MMORPG?

Today’s Massively Overthinking question was sent via e-pigeon from Kickstarter donor Apollymi. No e-pigeons were hurt in the writing of this article.

“Have you heard of any MMOs that will not be PvP-oriented — by that I mean, have completely consensual PvP — that may be coming out in the near future?”

Let’s draw out Apollymi’s question a bit and talk about the PvE/PvP divide in our genre. What PvE/consensual-PvP/classic PvE games do we love, which future ones do we have our eyes on, and why is the industry so focused lately on PvP MMOs? The MOP writers are discussing all that and more in today’s entry.
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Starr Long on story focus and Shroud of the Avatar’s Release 20

Shroud of the Avatar’s Release 20 is accessible right now, assuming you’re a backer at the First Responder level and above, or that you attended the recent Classic Game Fest.

Producer Starr Long has penned a lengthy instruction post that’s a good read for anyone new to the fantasy title’s community, which Long says “continues to be the most amazing community” he has ever worked with. Release 20 is one of SotA’s biggest patches to date, and it includes “a wealth of new content” that moves the fantasy sandbox closer to alpha, according to Long.

He also mentions that Portalarium will be visibly ramping up its focus on SotA’s story, now that many of the game mechanics are in place. “We have to build the entire simulation first and then put the narrative over that foundation, so the story has had to wait until that time,” Long explains.

Source: Release 20 instructions


Shroud of the Avatar on troll fights and more

Shroud of the Avatar’s latest newsletter was published this weekend, and Portalarium uses it to talk further about the fantasy sandbox’s obsidian architecture. As per usual, there are plenty of spiffy screenshots to give you an idea as to how this particular section of the game is coming together.

Update of the Avatar #135 also talks about “very large creatures,” with particular attention paid to a troll mob that Portalarium says will feature a different combat experience than that of normal-sized opponents. The troll boasts a large AoE attack including a ground strike and thrown boulders for distant foes. You’ll be able to see him in action in next week’s Release 20.

Source: Update of the Avatar #135


Shroud of the Avatar’s Long talks building narrative on top of a sandbox

Shroud of the Avatar’s latest Update of the Avatar has been released. As per usual, it sums up the major happenings for Portalarium’s crowdfunded fantasy sandbox in a lengthy newsletter format. This week we’re treated to an early look at some in-progress Obsidian architecture.

Also noteworthy is Starr Long’s appearance on NBNN’s YouTube channel. He talks about everything from SotA’s upcoming release 20 to the challenges inherent in building narrative structure on top of a sandbox game. You can view the stream in its entirety after the break. There’s a lot more to Update of the Avatar #134, so don’t forget to follow the source link!

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Shroud of the Avatar caps (and sells out of) player-owned towns with overland map access

Shroud of the Avatar has been selling players the right to run their own towns for a while, which is a good thing. It also does create certain limitations, though, since if you have too many player towns out and about, the world feels less like a fantasy adventure realm and more like the New York City metro area. So the designers decided to hard-cap the number of player-owned towns with overland map access at a solid 230 towns.

The towns then promptly sold out.

Of course, the cap does not mean that more player-owned towns cannot be purchased, merely that any further towns must be connected to another town that does have overland map access. The details are available in the official announcement. You can still buy a town if you want to, but your ability to get random foot traffic will be slightly curtailed.

Source: Official Site; thanks to Kendric for the tip!


Shroud of the Avatar offers a 10% pledge bonus for the summer

Shroud of the Avatar has been offering its pledged testers regular updates for a while now, and that’s pretty darn cool. If you were originally unsure about pledging money to the game to see whether or not it could go the distance, it seems pretty obvious at this point that it can. And if you want to translate that satisfaction into pledging more money to the game, any amount pledged will receive a 10% bonus credit through the end of the summer.

This also coincides with the removal of several pledge tiers at the end of August, so there’s all the more reason to spring into action if those benefits interest you. A comprehensive list of what is and is not available is available in the game’s latest update, which also takes a look at designing the game’s large trolls and outlines the near future in terms of game and community events.


Make My MMO: July 11, 2015

This week in MMO crowdfunding news, Derek Smart reminded everyone that he exists. Not that he’s crowdfunding an MMO or anything, but he did have plenty to say about Star Citizen and its chances for realizing the lofty goals set by developer Cloud Imperium.

And of course MassivelyOP commenters had plenty to say about Star Citizen and Derek Smart. Some other news happened as well, and you’ll find a roundup of it just past the break.

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Shroud of the Avatar maps out the next three months of updates

Did you ever see that late ’90s TV show Early Edition, where this guy got a copy of tomorrow’s newspaper a day early? Shroud of the Avatar’s detailed patch forecasting feels a bit like that, especially when the game’s developers lay out three months’ of patches in advance.

The new schedule comes in the most recent Update of the Avatar newsletter. The fun begins on July 30th, when a full wipe will usher in Release 20. It should be worth the inconvenience, as the update will include the ability to tame combat pets, a revamp of encounters, player-owned vendors, and the new player town island template.

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E3 2015: Garriott and Long share Shroud of the Avatar secrets

This past year, Shroud of the Avatar moved from a monthly weekend-release cadence to being online 24/7, but the major updates have been no less frequent and new features are introduced regularly. Perhaps even more impressive is that the open communication philosophy between the developers and the players has remained constant throughout the entire process. However, that doesn’t mean that there aren’t still secrets to learn about the game. We caught up with Portalarium’s Richard Garriott and Starr Long at E3 2015 to discuss the state of the game and see what things are in store. And yes, we learned a few new tidbits the pair hadn’t planned on sharing!

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