Shroud of the Avatar launches tomorrow, firms up release candidate

    
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With weeks days hours to go before Shroud of the Avatar officially launches with Release 52, the crew at Portalarium are working on firming up the build before pushing it live.

So what’s on tap for the final stretch? More of the same, really. The team is working on the creation of a new zone called South Boundless Forest, which hosts ancient redwoods, kobold miners, and stag clan barbarians. Blood River Forest is another area in the making that will feature suspicious elves, a stepped pyramid, and (brace yourself) a fish hatchery.

Other projects include the new observatory home (with a usable telescope!), female shopkeeper models, custom gear for companions, and a rebuild of the town of Northwood.

Catch up on Shroud of the Avatar’s launch with creators Richard Garriott and Starr Long in Massively OP’s preview of this spiritual successor to Garriott’s Ultima franchise.

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Nibbana

I admit to totally confusing this one with Rise of the Fallen, both seem so generic. For fans of this one, what is the appeal?

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Victor Didra

Hard question, in one of those “Hello sir, tell me about your entire life in two minutes” kind of interview question ways. How does one cram it all in a small space?

For me the main appeal is it’s a world with game elements built on top, rather than a game with a non-interactive world behind it. It’s a great place to express creativity with much bigger set pieces than minecraft blocks. The pieces keep getting better, and are one day going to include scriptable NPC’s, our own dungeons, and that of course means murder mystery night.

The economy is cool, I like participating in it. Buying, selling, manufacturing, trying to figure out what’s coming. The world robustness allows me to publish a mail order catalog, for instance.

People make up events utilizing all that interactivity, which is exciting. It isn’t all about grinding to get to the next level, watch for a fishing derby, in person market, book store grand opening (with player authored and published books), and of course the awesome launch dance parties that the Executive Producer DJ’s.

I can build my combat skills out how I like, instead of being on some treadmill of carefully pre-designed level ups with exactly 1 skill given at a given time, designed to work exactly with the 1 skill the other classes opened, in the places exactly designed for my levels.

Shroud is Chaos compared to that. Overwhelming sometimes, so many choices that it can be intimidating. But with great amounts of choices comes great amounts of freedom and fun, if it doesn’t scare you off. It’s like a post gaming age game, for when you’re tired of generic treadmills and want to go be in a world.

Plus, everyone in the game is friendly. Hopefully it stays that way post launch, but so far it’s been a totally positive experience inside the game.

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Nibbana

Thank you for the very thoughtful reply! I may just check this out!

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Victor Didra

You’re welcome! Hope to see you in game!

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Roger Melly

It seemed ok but I don’t think I will be paying 30 pounds for it but maybe I will pick it up when its on sale sometime .

I am still trying to get to Mordor anyway .

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Satyros

Heheh.. Screenshots of this game remind me of my early days with Unity, when I would just create a completely flat surface, add assets on top and be happy with myself despite the obvious seams and corners and unrealistic look of it all.
But that look might actually be exactly what they are after here.

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Johnny

This site is awesome, but I wish they would ignore bullcrap marketing. This game released quite awhile ago.

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Victor Didra

End of the world party at Central Brittany right now, on the world map. That’s a thing now, map parties.

Big change to Crafting XP incoming.

Enemy XP rebalance.

Single player companions are in.

Shopkeepers talk now, simlish like.

New Heavy Armor Skill.

20 more pages of other awesome.

Oh, and there’s a huge asteroid about to hit us, with a crazy lightshow day and night now.

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the_balance

NPC’s talking isn’t a feature that should be touted at launch. If that’s one of the highlights… you get the idea.

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Jonny Sage

Ill give it a shot, but given its designed to play offline…

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aYates

I just re-DL the game.
Now, I’m a fan of the world design and all of the neat game features SoTA offers, but what is going on w/ these snail-speed loading screens?? I’m on my 2nd 3-5 min loading screen…48% building Novia map…ZZZ….
Will it be improved by tomorrow?
I just don’t understand what happened with the technology, here. If you’re going to have such a heavily instanced game you can’t have wait times like this inbetween every small section of the map. I have it on ‘highest speed” settings. My PC can handle ESO well, so I don’t think it’s on my end.
I’m just sad, if this is the best performance this game will achieve.
They have a really neat world I’d like to explore and I purposely waited until launch to give the game a fair look, but this just won’t work if this persists.
I’m really disappointed right now..

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Fisty

Curious. Is it on an SSD?

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aYates

ugh…not a cpu guy…not sure.

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aYates

I mean…am I an outlier..?
Just wondering if anyone else has had the same experience.

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Victor Didra

Yes, you’re an outlier. Even 3 or 4 months ago it would have been weird to have over a minute load times, 5 indicates something extremely strange going on.

Now it’s a different story if things are running right, lots of time it loads 10 -15 seconds.

First load is always longer, and maybe the second, but even back then the load times were 45 seconds on the high end.

SSD is a solid state drive, which I have, and makes it much faster, but still you shouldn’t be experiencing 5 minute load times, there is a problem somewhere.

Hopefully it isn’t your harddrive. Just as a precaution I would suggest making sure your data is backed up, particularly if you’re noticing any other weird load time issues.

Now, all that said, can you post your system specs here?

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aYates

Strange to me that other games aren’t giving me a problem…
intel Core i3 550 @ 3.20 GHz 3.19 GHz 6 GB
I have a newer video card. I know my computer is dated…
Sorry, if I’m the only one having issues.
Everyone should try the game for themselves anyways.

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Victor Didra

Well you aren’t the only one having issues, they do crop up, but you’re the first I’ve heard of 5 minute load times. And no need to be sorry.

That 6 gb of RAM might be your problem, minimum is 8, recommended is 12. I’d want 16 minimum, there’s no reason to buy 12 unless that’s the max your motherboard can support.

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the_balance

6gb of RAM is not causing five minute load times. A poorly optimized game, and the fact that he’s almost definitely not on an SSD are the issues here.

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Victor Didra

If 5 minute load times were happening with any frequency, no one would be playing. I’d never see anyone in game. We would be hearing constant very loud complaining about it, as we were when the load times were in the 45 second range. I wouldn’t be playing if it were five minute load times.

There is an issue beyond the game here.

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the_balance

Agreed, it’s likely mostly on his end, but a lack of an SSD is definitely most of the problem.

Side note – you realize basically nobody is playing this now, right?

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Victor Didra

You mean this second? Yes, we’re all patching and waiting at the gate.

If you mean in general, there’s enough people in that I’m constantly swamped with activities at this point. I see people running in and out of Resolute all the time.

I’ve got to prioritize more to make time for “me time” in game now, instead of spreading myself so thin among all the different goings on.

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Chris Spears

Also curious as to what is going on here as our median load time to Novia is around 15 seconds.

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aYates

Tried again, today. Same deal.
I’m glad to hear that most people aren’t having this problem.
It must just be an issue w/ my pc, just surprised because I can play other games.
I’ll get a new rig someday, then I’ll give SoTA another try.
Best of luck with the launch!

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Charles Dodge

“And then ?”

camren_rooke
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camren_rooke

Along came John…
Slow talking John,
Slow loading John…