It’s almost the end of the month, and you know what that means: Shroud of the Avatar’s monthly update. R46 is due out this Thursday, a day after the current free trial period ends. Portalarium has posted a top 10 list of priorities for updates, the current version of which highlights load times, client FPS, loot rewards, story polish, AI, UI, the newbie experience, locatlization, launch prep, and improved player direction, something our own Eliot Lefebvre isolated as a problem during his recent CMA series with the game. As the studio put it,
“Currently we rely on some very subtle and ‘immersive’ indicators for information in the world (ex. piles of skulls to indicate scene difficulty). We are going to provide much clearer indication of information. For example, on the overworld all towns will have clear indicators of their town type (POT, NPC, etc.). We will also indicate whether you have a quest in a scene, a clearer label of the scene’s difficulty, perhaps even an indicator of what services a scene might provide (bank, mail, blessings, etc.). We will also start providing more on screen indicators of this information, so that while you are in a scene you will better know what kind of scene it is, what difficulty it is, whether you have quests in the scene, etc. We will also work hard to polish the maps and compasses to better guide you to and from your quests, homes, services, points of interests, scene exits, etc.”
The newsletter homes in on the region Blackblade Foothills in particular, one of the “lower tier scenes near the cities along the paths of Truth and Courage” being rebuilt and fleshed out with new side quests for release next month. The team’s also looking ahead to Halloween items and reinstating its testing incentives program.
“We had to temporarily suspend the Testing Incentives Program due to the amount of internal bandwidth it was consuming,” Starr Long explained. “This was due to the high volume of bugs the program generated as players were incentivized to create quantity over quality to gain rewards.” The new program will award prizes to player QA testers randomly by lottery instead. Teach a man to hunt bugs, and he’ll figure out a way to game it!
We discuss this regularly. As a crowdfunded game, we feel it is everyone's right to know exactly how we are investing their money. https://t.co/1yUhN0zwzM
— Richard Garriott (@RichardGarriott) September 25, 2017