Shroud of the Avatar’s Richard Garriott sheds CEO title for Creative Director role

    
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It looks as if some corporate reorganization is going on over at Shroud of the Avatar studio Portalarium, as Richard Garriott’s CEO title has apparently been dissolved.

“As we have adjusted our direction and team to focus on Episode 2 we have decided to eliminate any titles and positions with the word Officer, including my own which was CEO,” Garriott posted last night. “This leaves me to focus on my true role as Creative Director while Chris Spears and Starr Long can focus on the running of the team.”

It’s not entirely clear what impact the title shifts will have on the game; we do know the studio suffered a round of layoffs earlier this year. Release 59 is expected later this month, followed by November and December updates, with seasonal content, polishing, newbie experience enhancements, and the full player-made dungeon system. As Long notes,

“Q4 is just a warmup for 2019 which will be an amazing year for Shroud of the Avatar players! Crafting specializations (choose your effects!), Grandmaster Craftsman only effects, more loot improvements, more expansions to the fishing system, better boss fights and more! 2019 will of course culminate with Episode 2 which will have a new story, new lands, a revamp of the Quest and Journal system, a Theater System, Treasure Hunting with treasure maps that show up as loot, Item Affinity, Taming system expansions, Customizable NPCs, and expanded permissions for containers and doors!”

That, of course, hasn’t stopped Reddit from predicting certain doom, as Steam Charts shows the game not having grown significantly over the last few years on the platform.

Source: Official forums. With thanks to Padre.
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Victor Didra

Since this kind of stuff doesn’t get carried much, I’d just like to point out that we had a major dev run battle inside an NPC city, Ardoris, for the first time in the history of the game today.

Dozens of Avatars were there to push back against dev spawned mobs. The leaders of the city were killed, and it will affect the future of this event series.

The future which appears to be heading into a PvP zone, that’s what our puzzle solving is pointing at. That will be another first.

packagegrope
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packagegrope

probably won’t help.

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Victor Didra

As xpsync said, below, New Britannia is a world.

For MMO gamers who are tired of walking from point A to point B, all the way to the end game, or having to do things you don’t like, you should try the Free Trial.

Be whatever you want to be and do what you want to do, don’t be stuck in some designers brain about how you should play the game and your gear should become obsolete two levels after you get it and you will do X at Y time.

It’s confusing because of this, but if you can get over the hump you get to be part of a world instead of a player in a game.

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Songs for Children

Why be stuck in a game designer’s brain when you can be stuck on an RMT treadmill instead! Yippee!

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Victor Didra

I know that’s the reddit narrative from people that sold off their accounts long ago, but it’s not the reality.

Shroud is a fully functioning world and game that can be played without dropping any extra money into it after you buy the game.

And yes, you can earn money while playing too, if you want. Or don’t, enjoy the world and game and keep your in game gold in game.

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Songs for Children

Actually, many of the people posting on Reddit still have active SotA accounts.

packagegrope
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packagegrope

it’s not a world, it’s a map with a bunch of disconnected instances.

shibby523
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shibby523

Have you looked at the map? It’s a huge box that hits all sides. Most unimaginative map I’ve ever seen. Of course need all that space to fill up with empty cash shop player owned towns.

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Schlag Sweetleaf

Richard, we’re gonna need to go ahead and move you downstairs into storage B…

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xpsync
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xpsync

Awesome!

He probably forgot to put the new cover sheet on the TPS Report.

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Armsbend

If he has a telethon to permanently shoot him into his second home, space, I’ll donate.

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Songs for Children

*beg-a-thon

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squid

Sounds like he got McQuaided.

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Songs for Children

((Deleted by mod. Please review our commenting code. Criticism of games is fine; spamming, flamebait, and personal attacks are not.))

xpsync
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xpsync

Mine was too and it wasn’t even negative only mentioned its performance (which is outstanding btw, so fast, zero graphic lag, absolutely no network lag at all, best server client performance I’ve ever experienced in any online game! It’s like the server is directly connected to your pc locally through a 40GbE connection, it’s an amazing 0.0001 ms ping time, they could sell that net code for a fortune) if anything i was supporting the game for the peeps i met there and love the game.

:)

My post was most likely cooked because i responded to your post. lol

tbh there are allot of people there that play the game and love it, it’s the world they escape too so… i can’t say it’s a bad game, if old school is your thing you’ll probably love it, i thought i’d love it but limited time to devout to old school mechanics is the real problem for me. I enjoyed the time spent there.

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Caleb Cranson

You hit it right on the head. Unless you have hours to play each day the game is a continual grindfest lacking any depth or fun.

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Victor Didra

…. there is so much to do in Shroud I can’t even keep up, and new content is introduced every month.

The combat system blows away most MMO’s for depth, and if you don’t like one play style you just switch over to another of your choseing without having to reroll your Avatar. We have well over 1000 recipes with tens of thousands of permutations of them.

The game most certainly has depth. Fun is subjective but IMO if you aren’t having fun doing one thing, there is so much depth, go do something you actually enjoy (try brewing, fishing, farming, authoring books, starting a band, running events, being a merchant, etc.)

xpsync
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xpsync

As i mentioned, there are lots of players (people) in game that are as passionate about SotA as Victor is.

The thing is, people will never stop waving the flags of discontent.

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Victor Didra

Good question, and hard to describe, but if you happen to be in on a Discord voice chat with some vets talking combat it is pretty mind blowing.

So I’ll do my best for a quick description. Bear in mind that the advanced combat at the moment has no in game tutorial, and more than a few people (including some reviewers) never got to it because they didn’t know it exists.

And in all cases, you can mix and match ANY skill from any tree, the only limitations are what you have learned and what armor type/weapon type you have on at the time. You can’t use bludgeon skills while wielding a spear.

Basic combat, cool down management on a standard MMO hotbar.

More advanced adds charging. Once you level your skills a bit you get multiple uses of them, which can be used by holding (charging) down the key. Doing so increases damage and decreases focus cost, but puts a bigger cool down timer on it. Spam the key and fire off five in a row and you’re going to be eating your Focus pool quickly.

Pretty simple so far.

It gets crazy when you add in random skill draws, and random but with chosen locations on the hot bars. Now you can get skills coming up that are drawn from a “deck” of your creation, but they come up randomly.

These can be stacked as well as comboed to make new effects, but you have to be fast. This part become much more keyboard jockeying. It also makes the fight very dynamic and forces you to think fast based on what skills are coming your way. It also makes you think hard about WHERE the skills are popping up on your bar, as if you love comboing and stacking (like I do) you want those skills popping up in a fashion that makes them easy to combine (for instance, if two of the same pop up in the 1 and 2 slot, you hold 1 and push 2 and they stack into the 2 slot, doesn’t work very well if you have them popping up in 1 and 8).

You can combine these in any form, lock your bar so you have exactly one setup all the time, leave the whole thing totally random (not a good idea IMO), or create a hybrid system where you have certain ones locked (and thus always available) and others coming at you randomly. If you do the latter, placement and fine tuning is key.

Finally, for random skills, you can use certain techniques to speed up or slow down the rate they come at you. I haven’t really done this and it’s probably my next big leap in strategy.

Practically, what this all means is that sometimes you’ll just throw out an entire previous build, rethink the whole thing, and try it out. Then adjust, tweak, try other strategies, etc. Then you’ll learn or start integrating a whole new level and do it all again.

THEN, since it’s classless, you’ll suddenly decide it’s time to be an archer instead of a sword and board build, and totally alter your entire play style for a few hundred hours. Or if you’re staying with swords, switch to daggers and build a few decks based on that. You can switch decks on the fly, so you might start out a fight with a bow and then switch to blades, or vice versa.

I hope that helps a bit, it’s intimidating even trying to describe the system because it’s huge, people talk about it for hours some nights.

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Victor Didra

You’re welcome.

I meant it’s intimidating to try to describe, as it’s super easy to not communicate something like this very well.

The same effect of changing playstyle is achieved in class-based games simply by having alts and switching between them.

You can switch during the middle of combat, which wouldn’t be possible by switching alts. Players in PvP battles will have different builds set up to counter each other and as the fight rages they will switch back and forth. Switching isn’t as common (not needed as much) in the middle of a PvE fight, but sometimes even then I do it. Mostly between two handed polearm and spear/shield, when I realize I’m needing a lot more defense or to go full on tank to help someone out of a bind. Even that, spear/shield vs. just pole, while utilizing one of the same trees (polearms), play very differently.

shibby523
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shibby523

This is the new content in the last “big” update:

Wyverns
Aether items from a beg-a-thon
30 (right on the nose despite them claiming 30+) new items are dyable. (Not new items but current items already in the game)
45 new recipes, blueprints, and patterns
Ability to start “practicing” laying down the very limited player made dungeon parts.
Leaf Backpack (from another beg-a-thon)
Silver Serpent Wand (from another beg-a-thon)
Community Cloaks (from player events and not available to everyone unless you met the requirements)

Cash Shop stuff:

9 new weapons
Pink Dual Wax Cylinder Phonograph (Breast Cancer Make A Difference)
2018 Rare Spooky Items
Not to mention several (non content) bug fixes and polish.

I would not say this was steeped in new content. More like owed items and a new creature. Not exactly content that would keep anyone that busy for too long.

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Victor Didra

Considering there are 100 lines of bug fixes, I would say your post is underplaying the immensity of the release some.

Here are the notes, for anyone that wants to see the release notes and judge for themselves.

Edit: And note, this is just one month, this happens every month.

shibby523
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shibby523

That’s a lot of bug fixes and every month is like that. If they knew what they were doing it wouldn’t be such a long list each month.

I was actually making them look better by saying “several”, thanks for trying though.

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Victor Didra

No, you were trying to minimize what they are getting done.

shibby523
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shibby523

and next month will be a hundred more bugs, I get it. They suck at programming.

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Victor Didra

No game development company introduces hundreds of bugs every month, particularly when in the polish phase.

I get it. You’re trolling.

shibby523
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shibby523

Stop trying to invalidate everyone’s argument that contradicts your ‘perfect game’ picture you try and paint.

“They are trolls”
“These people don’t even play the game”
“These people sold off their accounts long ago” (there are only a couple that actually sold their accounts to try and recoup some cash they lost on this disaster, many actually refuse to partake in RMT)

This stuff is not true in the least. If you want to argue the merits of the game, then stop trying to invalidate everyone that does not like the game. You and maybe a couple other people are the only ones that even show up outside the official forums to try and pitch this game.

No on to the rest of your post:

Polish phase? 2 years out of persistence and they are still in polish phase? Really? There’s not a whole lot of content going into the game to warrant hundreds of new bugs every month.

I get that a game may always be polishing things, but not to this extent each and every month especially when there is only a trickle of new content.

You pick and choose the stuff you want to argue and leave the rest that you know you have no way to argue. Just say I’m right for once instead of picking on the fact I said “several”.

shibby523
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shibby523

You hit the nail on the head

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Zora

Next step is to donning a Groucho Marx style fake moustache-and-glasses and shedding the identity of Richard Garriot itself to hop aboard the first flight headed for the Bahamas?

I need more caffeine, the week cannot end any sooner……

Xijit
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Xijit

Doot

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