Shroud of the Avatar stuffs in more dragons, preps for Halloween

    
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Shroud of the Avatar’s Release 46 is right around the corner, and when it arrives, so do the dragons. For the patch, the team has rebuilt the Northwest Blackblade Mountains zone, giving it a taste of flame and fire. The area is now described as “a devastated arid landscape of dragon bones, mesas, sand, and possible dragon encounters.” So kind of like your younger brother’s room.

The team is keeping its eyes on Halloween as it approaches, as well. Themed decorations, a wicked scythe, and a new grim reaper statue is in the works, but the highlight of this year’s holiday will be the construction of a special “prison home” for players who… want to lock up their guests? We guess?

To mark the recent passing of Richard Garriott’s mother, the team created an in-game Exodus portrait that players can purchase for $15. Some of the proceeds will go to a children’s museum that she supported in her life.

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Tandor

Like a lot of other commenters, I think that if you’re commemorating someone with a paid-for item then all the money should go to charity. Otherwise a traditional way of doing so would be by way of the placing of a permanent statue, NPC or other visible presence in the game. For a company that has already built up a reputation for money-grabbing this approach just seems a tad gross.

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Raimo Kangasniemi

“This in-game portrait item was created as a tribute to Richard Garriott’s late mother and literally the mother of Ultima – Helen Garriott:

Helen not only inspired the creative role-playing & world building that led directly to its creation, but also drew the first cover of Akalabeth, which many consider Ultima 0. When her sons Robert & Richard formed Origin, she became Origin’s first Art Director. She manually laid out all of the early manuals, having drawn many of the illustrations found within, and also created the map for Ultima III. This painting was Helen’s initial proposal for the cover of Ultima III: Exodus. While Denis Loubet executed what would become the final version, this image remains the foundation and inspiration for the cover art of Origin’s first game.

Helen was also an investor in Origin. Using funds acquired from that investment, she envisioned and created Leonardo’s Discovery Warehouse in the community of Enid Oklahoma, where she grew up. She believed that inspiring children in art and science was supremely important. Leonardo’s stands as a monument to her vision and the way she lived her life, and is accepting donations in Helen’s memory. A portion of the proceeds of the sale of this digital item will go to Leonardo’s…

“…I share the hope that through the vehicle of an arts and sciences center (Leonardo’s Discovery Warehouse) we can excite both the excellent student and the struggling or unmotivated student in the adventure of discovery, raise self esteem and turn them on to the fun of a productive life.” – Helen Garriott “

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squid

To mark the recent passing of Richard Garriott’s mother, the team created an in-game Exodus portrait that players can purchase for $15. Some of the proceeds will go to a children’s museum that she supported in her life.

Some of the proceeds will go to a children’s museum that she supported in her life.

Some of the proceeds

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squid

SotA is a great example of the biggest issue with trying to run a game while you’re building it—the constant (perceived) need to divert resources from finishing the game to add holiday shit in an attempt to retain your meager playerbase.

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Paarthurnax Dragonhearth

Throw more money at that joke of a game …. Sheep !! GO !!

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Armsbend

Sheep usually indicates a mass of people doing whatever the herd does. There is no mass of people. I’d say SotA players are downright edgey. Hardcore AF even.

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Armsbend

I’m sorry he lost his mother. Although it seems odd that he is trying to make some money off of her death.

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goatleaker

Dude’s a creeper.

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Dakar Wazzar

I find some of the criticism against sota pathetic and just a circlejerk. But this is pretty hard to defend, feckin odd to say the least.

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Armsbend

I was trying to be careful what I said – since it involves the death of his mother..I re-read the source a few times to make sure what I was reading was true. Honestly, there is room to be a lot more harsh here…I just don’t know what to say. I know what I’m thinking…but I don’t know what to say.

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Raimo Kangasniemi

I don’t understand why there should be more harshness involved.

They are giving half of what the sales bring to support her work for children and she was an art director for Origin, taking part in creating early Ultimas.

Now half of the sales will go towards developing a spiritual successor to Ultima-series, series that she had a role in as an artist

You can also support safe water and sanitation charity by buying wells etc in the game store.

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Darasimi Makinde

Woah.. yeah I’m a fan of the game but I try to distance myself from the personalities behind game development in general. That said… This feels messed up. I would have been more comfortable with this if all the proceeds went to charity, but since that isn’t the case… wow.

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Armsbend

Or if you truly wanted to honor your mom simply give away a portrait to every player that has already given far too much as far as I’m concerned and make a large (or small) donation yourself to this tiny children’s museum no one has ever heard of.

It isn’t even a portion. he’ll get the extra cash and then the tax write-off for all proceeds. This is all proceeds to the game.

Maybe this is how the Gariotts honor each other though. By raising money. Who knows. Unpalatable on the surface to be sure.

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Raimo Kangasniemi

As usual, people have been spreading distorted information.

His mother made covers for early Ultima games. The portrait that can now be bought was an unused cover proposal for Ultima III.

Half of the money from the sales will go to a an arts and sciences centre for children founded by her.

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Armsbend

Wow half? Impressive.

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Raimo Kangasniemi

If you want to help former soldiers instead of children interested of arts and sciences, Wargaming is giving 100 % of their charity drive to that goal.

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Armsbend

Instead of expecting stuff for donations I just make donations directly. Garriot could have quietly donated money to this museum but instead made it a for-profit publicity run. I honestly don’t understand why’d you’d defend this – but let your freak flag fly brother.

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Raimo Kangasniemi

Because these things are not black and white. This is not some moral battleground between the good and the bad, where there’s only one correct way to behave and moral damnation otherwise.