The final wipe is receding into the horizon for Shroud of the Avatar, but the game is hardly finished patching and adding in big features. The latest post-patch dispatch from the development team discusses some of the landscapes and scenery improved in release 33 as well as future additions to the game, such as the long-awaited fireplaces (planned for crafting and the addon shop both). There are also new swamp templates available for player-owned towns for those who want a town in a slightly more foreboding environment.
Richard Garriott himself took to Reddit recently to take part in an AMA covering his history of game development, his plans for Shroud of the Avatar, and his book coming out in January 2017. While there are tidbits of interest to fans of the current game (like the five planned episodes for the game on a yearly cadence), the majority of the AMA covers personal preferences. For example, he weighs in on emulators:
“I love the grey shards of UO, of course they are not taking anything from me as I no longer control the property. :) For Shroud of the Avatar I hope to embrace these efforts and help integrate them into our whole.”
If you’re a fan of his work from the old days of Ultima up to the present, it’s well worth a read.