Shroud of the Avatar on R51’s vendor changes, new maps, and bears

    
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As Shroud of the Avatar surges toward its formal launch later this year, the devs are continuing their stream of weekly newsletters. This week, they’re talking up their updates to the South Midmaer Way, construction on new map South Fetid Swamp, and bears. Kind of a lot of bears. In fact, all the bears have been “completely rebuilt.” Bears bears bears. OK, I’ll stop. They are pretty cute!

In patchy news, Portalarium is also working on the planned player vendor revamp coming in R51. “The first thing we will try to improve is visual variation,” Starr Long explains. “Long term we plan to support customization of vendors via equipment choice but for now we are focusing on providing that visual variation through our pattern system. These patterns will include a female version of the current vendor, a completely new outfit based on Victorian shopkeeper uniforms (with gender and skin tone variations), and a cash register that will act as a fully functioning player vendor (even though it does not appear as an NPC).”

“We are also moving player vendors to actual NPCs with AI behaviors (vs just being interfaces) so that they can animate, sit down, etc. (instead of being statues that are just interfaces). This will allow us to do things like have vendors who don’t have inventory or haven’t had any sales in a long time sit down as an example. This is part of a much larger (and VERY cool) tech task where npcs on lots and towns can now act independently of their owner. This is going to allow us to finally have pets move and behave when the owners isn’t around instead of just being statues.”

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Joel Ricardo Hanauer

I´m looking foward about speciallizations and lost vale, thinking to build a earth/life mage with chainmail chest and cloth armor.

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Victor Didra

This is huge.

One of the most jarring elements of running around in town was seeing the same person, over, and over, and over.

One of the most frustrating elements of shopping around town was that there are vendors who haven’t been updated it a while.

Throw in the “Date” sorting and we’ve got a major win for anyone interested in the in game economy.

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TotalCowage .

One thing Portalarium forgot to include in this press release is an explanation of how vendors actually work;

If you didn’t pay for the Whale version of a vendor, you get charged commission on the items, and if they don’t sell after 7 days, the vendor permanently takes your item off you. This was originally because mobs were going to have no loot on them except player crafted items, thus satisfying the original Kickstarter pitch that everything in the world would be player made and have a traceable history.

That got dropped however, the mobs now have just basic, and largely worthless loot, but the reason vendor commission and item pinching was left in all the same was to ensure the advantages of the purchased, tax free, persistent and permanent Whale vendors.

But strangely, the press release doesn’t mention all the coming design changes, nor why Portalarium are going to do it;

Atos: The economy is doing amazing well in my opinion. Inflation is just about exactly where I want it, the gold to COTO values are pretty much exactly where I predicted they would be, but there is too much stagnation on vendors. I think that is one thing I regret is not putting some long term cost for items on vendors or having some kind of auto purge for old things. Mix that with a modest pre-launch player population and it results in a LOT of items sitting on too many vendors. I have ideas on addressing that BUT first I’m waiting for launch to see how things change with lots more players. I think local economies develop but less in the way we expected. Trade towns evolved but it is just too hard and too punishing to all to try and restrict trade to specific areas for the economy. There is still some locality stuff but not as much as we talked about the first year or two.

COTOs are the Premium Currency. Because yes, there’s one of those in the “Buy to Own” game as well. And drop rates being manipulated to ensure they remain pegged to a specific value of the (also legal to purchase and sell) in game gold.

Did you read between the lines there though? Despite admitting they’re hoping for a “launch” miracle to save them from their “modest” player numbers, Atos (Chris Spears, one of the developers, posts as both “SotA_Atos” on Reddit and formerly “catnipgames” until he lost control of his temper) complains that the vendors have too much unmoved inventory, and perhaps they should have added costs to them too.

The reason they have too much unmoved inventory is because they’ve designed the game from the ground up for the Real Money Traders, and there are very few actual purchasers.

Indeed, I suspect the reason many of those vendors don’t update their inventory is that they belong to the near 99% of backers who have long since quit the game (65k+ accounts sold, only around 2k are active, and maximum concurrency in game has never gone above 500)… and whose vendors in turn remain up because of their tax free (and thus decay free) nature.

If it turns out though that these dead vendors continue to show the dead nature of the game and the economy, they’re considering pulling the advantages that you paid for in order to force you to log in and rotate vendor stock to avoid that negative perception.

Use ’em or lose ’em.

The idea of just designing a game any normal, Buy to Own player could easily take part in never, ever occurs to Portalarium. Which is why so many of us former backers loath what it has become.

K38FishTacos
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K38FishTacos

a vial of blood

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Armsbend

Can’t wait for this game to release so it can quickly slip into obscurity for the rest of time.

Pepperzine
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Pepperzine

But won’t you miss all of the telethons?

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Armsbend

I wouldn’t give the game a hard time without them!

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Siphaed

As cool as the NPC tech sounds, this rather boring whale-farming operation needs to slink into the darkness from which is came.

shibby523
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shibby523

Well said.