Shroud of the Avatar’s alpha testing is ‘on the horizon’

    
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Alpha testing for Richard Garriott’s Shroud of the Avatar is “on the horizon,” says a newsletter published for followers this past weekend. It’s been in early access pre-alpha for backers and Steam buyers since 2014.

Portalarium will be running what it’s calling a “Wondrous Winter Telethon” all day today, ending at 11 p.m. EST tonight, in an effort to push fundraising to $8 million. Expect deep dives and real-world loot.

The newsletter also gave players a preview of Sanctus Spine, a snowy mountain range in the game modeled on Asia’s Karakoram Range. Portalarium’s SorcerousSteve discusses how he’s used Unity’s Gaia Terrain Tool to home in on the details of the mountaintop fortress and make “some of the highest peaks in Novia yet.”

Massively OP’s Matt Daniel is playing Shroud of the Avatar all throughout the month of January as the featured game in his Choose My Adventure column. Check out some of the new images below.

Source: Newsletter
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wjowski
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wjowski

GaryTurton 
“Haters going to Hate.”
Ah, the battle cry of the shill.

GaryTurton
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GaryTurton

Haters going to Hate.

For those unfamiliar to the project, you will not find a more dedicated or open development team then those at Portalarium.  For all the blather about cash shops and money hungry development, you will not find a more frugal team concerned with how they spend Backers money.  Is there a Cash shop?  Yes, because the game is Crowdfunded.  Would YOU work for free??  It is simply amazing what this team has done with the money they have raised and current backers support them fully.  They also call them out when something does not feel right, like a recent idea to put extra colored dyes in the cash shop.  There was a discussion with backers, and Portalarium revised their plan to only placing Black and White dyes in the shop, and making all the others craftable in-game.

People like to shout about the telethon hungry devs, but nobody talks about the 3 Pledge Packages (Collector, Ancestor and Lord) they gave away during the event.  Or the Add-on Credits, RL Collectibles, and Razer Chroma Products (Mouse, Pad, Controller, Keyboard) also given out during the live stream.  The Backers love the events and Live Deep Dive development discussions, and it promotes awareness of the game that once again, the Devs are not spending Backer money promoting/advertising.  

Shroud may still be in Pre-Alpha but it has an impeccable history of monthly releases EVERY SINGLE MONTH ON-TIME, with no Down Time ever since about the 8 month mark.  It is always progressing, and moving towards release.  While the game might not be for everyone, you cannot fault their integrity, honesty, transparency and love for what they are doing.  Making a game takes time, but most people on these sites want instant gratification.  It does not work that way.  

If you are a fan of Ultima, Shroud will be something you will want to check out.  Pre-release is not for everyone, and there is a lot still to do.   Understand the scope, they have 8 million, not 100 million.  ~25 employees, not 200+.   Some games spend the entire Shroud budget on one CGI Trailer.  Put a little reality into expectations and I think you will come to see what an amazing product and development process this is.  I backed early and I am glad I did.

wjowski
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wjowski

You mean ‘already released’ right?

Xijit
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Xijit

It is Ultima Online … REVISIONED!
(It is really just like a fan remake of UO using unity, with all if the Ultima specific lore hacked out, and it just happens to be a fan project by the guys who made the Ultima games)

Xijit
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Xijit

Well, who do you think mentored roberts on how to feature creep while pissing away development resources on peripheral features?

LordSolarMacharius
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LordSolarMacharius

I’m still waiting for them to focus more on the core game and less on the cash shop. The cash shop is starting to get even more silly than Star Citizen’s and that’s no easy feat.

paragonlostinspace
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paragonlostinspace

Anyone know how Engine optimization is?

Tamanous
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Tamanous

Sorenthaz Akami Armsbend I agree with CU moving along nicely (it had also had 2 major delays already though) and is impressive considering they built their own engine. I must point out though that it also has 2 extra million in private funding on top of it’s crowd funding.

Project Gorgon wasn’t really built on the 75k KS. The game was already mostly built with the 2 devs private funding (basically a hobby where these 2 worked for free on their own time for most of it). The 75k is to make the game look good and still relies on the Steam launch to touch it up a bit more. Vast majority of it’s content was built outside of any crowd funding which is impressive.

SotA is a game I have no interest in even keeping up to date on until it actually releases. I simply can’t keep up with so many games trying to fund through PRE-alpha game play. When I play an mmo I want a nigh-finished product and may test 1 single game from time to time. Testing and playing are 2 separate activities and paying to test is becoming an industry exploit at this point which I wanted to limit my involvement in.

Vagrant Zero
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Vagrant Zero

Siphaed  No, it doesn’t. It lacks the single most important and defining aspect of the MMO. Persistence. The servers are continually wiped throughout this testing phase completely resetting characters. In point of fact, I believe they are being wiped again this month (don’t know for sure, don’t own the game or play it but I read MassivelyOP with conviction).

Once the servers will no longer be wiped can we consider the title truly launched. Until then it is whatever the devs want to call it and is most certainly not a live product.

Siphaed
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Siphaed

Is there ever going to be a way of the media -or bloggers- to stop coddling developers’ personal naming for games for whatever they want it to be? In this case it is a “pre-Alpha testing” ‘game’ that has had a charging cash shop for the longest time, held seasonal & holiday events, has had customers in-game who have been playing while being supported via a GM/support system for quite a while now via a costing entry fee.
   Ya, this is no longer a “in testing, not quite launch, can’t judge it as retail” game.  Not going to fly, Mr. British.   The game has all the qualifications of a launched, living MMORPG with continuous updates and development (just like regular MMOs).