Shroud of the Avatar’s next update focuses on quests, combat, towns, and the LFG tool

    
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Shroud of the Avatar’s been out on Steam as a fully launched MMORPG for a week now, but the Portalarium devs aren’t slowing down now. The game’s latest newsletter covers a gorgeous shard-encrusted new area, new heraldry customization items, and a new craftable inn with 16 rentable rooms.

For spring, the team says it’s focused on performance, localization, physical goods for old-school backers, the UI, better rewards and loot tables, story polish, better enemy AI, and more obvious player goals. The April patch specifically will home in on side quests, the LFG tool, crafted gear, combat, and player towns.

Reviews on Steam sit at mixed; as always, you should probably read the ones from people with real time in and skip the bombers. Or you can jump into the free trial, which is ongoing right now, and decide for yourself.

And if you missed the studio’s April Fools’ Day prank, here it is in all its glory:

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Alex Hoggett

Finally getting some positive comments from people actually trying the game and getting away from the open development trolls. once you figure out how you can get good armor and weapons and start getting good it gets to be alot of fun and housing is awesome – even if you don’t wanna spend money many people will let you rent a room for free you can keep your gear in. I wouldn’t recommend PvPing unless you put a couple of hundred hours in leveling up to GM in several skills tho.

Raleigh-St-Clair
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Raleigh-St-Clair

Questing is terrible. You start the game, you perform a few tasks. Before long, you’re asked to walk across the map, to attempt killing things you have no hope of killing.

Some might say, well, duh, you should go and grind a lot first. But… seriously? SERIOUSLY?!? It wants me to follow the story, then jams in hours & hours where I can’t?

Where’s the logic in that in any way, shape or form? “Yes, we want you to follow the story, but no, you can’t actually FOLLOW it in any sort of meaningful, progressive way…”

That is just ridiculous. Partly because it’s so frustrating as a player, and partly because it reeks of a poorly designed game from the folks behind the curtain. It screams, “We don’t have enough content, so we’ll just arbitrarily make the storyline leap forward in the skill you need to complete it…”

All that does, frankly, is tire me out on wanting to finish the story.

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Victor Didra

Weird, I’m replaying as a new character now and enjoying the questing. I’ve done a bunch of the Love side and the Courage side, just barely started on Truth.

I still don’t like the dialog UI, but it became more tolerable when I turned keyword highlighting off in the options (keywords are still available at the bottom of the window.)

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Vagabond Sam

Needs a lot of work on the main quests.

Part of Truth, one of the three virtue stories is just a FedEx through five or six scenes with no challenges.

Path of Love has pretty big quest flag issues that make it frustrating and really pulled me out of the game.

Path of Courage has me getting killed by monsters in the very first combat scene after the tutorial and I’m level 57.

Story and combat polish/experiences have been a pretty disappointing run since launch.

The old gold grinding scenes have been nerfed too so no idea where to make gold anymore.

Sadly there is also a very ill advised scene in game that features the torture and killing of child Npcs that I’m having difficulty reconciling. Pretty sure that type of content would require disclosure in most countries with rating systems.

ihatevnecks
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ihatevnecks

This game is like the polar opposite of Age of Conan on launch. Where that game had this amazingly immersive, interactive, story-filled beginning… this game is just a whole lot of nothing. Cloned enemies, (early) spell effects that look like they’re out of EQ1, environments that aren’t a whole lot better, NPCs that may as well just be named a_guard_03.

This is a pretty awful introduction for a game, I have a hard time believing it gets much better.

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Vagabond Sam

It’s actually similar in one important way to Age of Conan.

The first hours players are presented with scenes designated “New Player Experiences” or the ‘Outskirts’.

These maps are the game at it’s best and some of the newest content the team created making the experience similar to Tortage in AoC in that once you move on, the content is noticeably worse.

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Jack Pipsam

I’ve only played a few hours of it so far, but I am starting to enjoy it more now as I get into it and understand the systems (as well as get to grips with the NPC dialogue method).

But the first impressions could easily slide either way for people, like for myself I was confused and bemused for the first hour, only pushing through out of sheer zeitgeist desires.

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BalsBigBrother

Had day off work today so I have put in a solid 5 hours so far and confused is my overriding impression so far too.

It didn’t help I spent an 30 minutes trying to figure out the music system only to find out after some googling that the in game pop up help was telling me the wrong outdated information. Stuff like that in a beta I would let slide but in a launched game doesn’t make for a good impression

Still I am going to battle on and see where I end up.

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Victor Didra

If you don’t mind, please report bugs like that by typing /bug in your chat window. It will copy a report template to your clipboard and open the QA forums, so all you have to do (assuming you’re logged into the forums) is pick the category (sound in this case), create a new post, paste the template in and fill out the details.

Raleigh-St-Clair
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Raleigh-St-Clair

What good will that do, when stuff people have been reporting for the past couple of years is still in the game…?!?

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Victor Didra

Well since I have personally seen many bugs I’ve reported get fixed, I can 100% say that it does do good.

hoylegu
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hoylegu

I’ve been really, really surprised just how much fun I’ve had playing SotA the past week.

I talked my hesitant brothers to try it out and they both bought it within an hour or two of playing. The three of us are now guilded up and having just an incredible blast. We wiped hard near the end of the Brittany Sewers last night and now are trying to buff up for it.

The game’s cube a long way recently and folks really should give the trial a go. The game in many ways feels like a UO2.

Pepperzine
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Pepperzine

If you’re looking for a UO 2 I highly recommend giving Legends of Aria a go. Between the two, it felt more like UO to me.

hoylegu
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hoylegu

Oh, I bought in to it when it was still Shards Online. But I found it horribly clunky and just not fun. Also, I was more of a Trammel fan than Felucca, and Aria seems like it’s going to evolve into just another PvP gankbox. Pass thanks.

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BalsBigBrother

For some reason I have yet to figure out I impulse purchased SotA today. I tried the trial a while back and to be honest I wasn’t that impressed but yet here I am with SotA on my steam list.

Me and my weak will power or something, oh well I guess I had better give the launch version the good old college try and I just hope things are a little more exciting than when I tried the trial. Well at least I don’t have to worry about a subscription or anything so I don’t have to rush.

xpsync
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xpsync

I bought it on the weekend after i played the free trial for way more hours than i care to admit.

Feels like a great game to grow with as it grows. Can’t explain it, all i know is i like it. Thankfully they do have the free trial or i would have never tried it. Its the type of game you savor(smell the roses), explore, there is no rush, just enjoy it along side other games you are playing, and there is no monthly fee either which is nice.

xpsync
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xpsync

It’s a pretty good game. It hasn’t dethroned SWL for me but it’s surely a world i love to be a part of.

It’s no hand holder, i think that’s one of the biggest appeals for me. Someone wrote it’s like Ultima and Everquest had a baby, that i don’t know i got into mmo’s with SWG and EQ2.

To me it feels like a real RPG, similar to the Gothic series, it feels like a world, the way any rpg game should feel. The community is unquestionably awe-inspiring. Make sure you’re reading local chat.

It didn’t knock swl’s crown off, but its undoubtedly earned a permanent place on my Solid State Drives (plural on all my gaming rigs).

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Codex39

I agree it felt like a real rpg to me as well. More so than the last several mmorpgs I’ve played. Lots of interesting details and quite fun to talk to NPCs and explore.