Shroud of the Avatar’s cash shop is now dispensing buffs when you buy stuff

    
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Shroud of the Avatar players dipping their toes into Release 62 for the first time might want to take a peek at the cash shop too, which is now dispensing buffs for buying anything as incentive to make purchases.

“To encourage players to try out the new crown store, they will get a small 1 day long buff with any purchase. The buff strength is the same whether you spend 1 crown or 1000. You can have up to three buffs at once and there are currently 22 variations. If you make another purchase and already have three buffs, the oldest one should be overridden, and you can also dismiss the buffs yourself. These buffs will remain in place for at least two months but possibly longer to help players with the transition to an in game store instead of web store.”

Gamers will recall that about a month ago, Portalarium announced a significant cash shop overhaul that put the cash shop into the game instead of outside of it, bringing it in line with other free-to-play titles. In other words, it kinda makes sense to incentivize players to use it. On the other hand, as set up, even dedicated players are calling it pay-to-win and wondering why the buffs aren’t just for logging in.

Meanwhile, in the game’s latest newsletter, the devs also say they’re rethinking a backer reward, or rather, rethinking the replacement for a backer reward that turned out to be impossible. “We are going to provide each eligible backer a new Duke Dungeon Throne Room,” the studio says. “In addition Dukes will receive a unique Duke Heraldry Paver they can place on the floor of this Throne Room where they can truly customize the space with their heraldry.”

Source: Newsletter, patch notes. Thanks, Gloop!
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Chris Spears

Chris here from the Shroud team. I have some corrections for this story.

The cash shop does NOT dispense buffs, only the in game crown store dispenses buffs. They can call it a “Cash Shop” but most crowns spent in game were purchased with gold from other players first and almost 10% of crowns drop in game as loot.

Did someone pay cash for most crowns first? Yes but unlike other games we made our premium currency drop in game and also tradeable and most crowns spent have changed hands at least one time through the vendor system before being spent. This was by design so most players could play without ever spending any cash but still get premium items. It lets people with more money than time support the game financially without inflating the economy and players with more time than money can just buy crowns for gold from other players.

As the story describes (and the headline should probably read) we are killing off our cash shop in favor of moving almost everything in game to the crown store. This lets players who don’t want to spend any cash still purchase items that were previously only available for cash.

Also, as the quote calls out, these are only temporary and will go away at the end of next release. We added them because 3 out of 4 players had never even opened the in game crown store. Remember, this is a VERY scary transition for us as we are basically removing our only source of revenue and moving everyone to a new store that 75% of people hadn’t even looked at with less than a month to go before the transition. So yes, we felt it necessary to give players an extra incentive to go try it even if it did temporarily break our normal rule of no pay to win.

The short snippet they included doesn’t show it but worth noting that buffs you get are the same no matter how much you spend. So buying a 1 crown item gives you the same buff you get from a 1000 crown item. In other words, this was a very temporary bribe to get people to try out the store before we kill our previous source of revenue.

So yes, a less clickable but more accurate headline would be, “Shroud kills cash shop, moves all purchases in game for player tradeable premium currency”.

Tl;dr This is clearly stated as temporary to make the transition from Cash Shop to in game crown store go more smoothly. Does it have a bit of P2W to it? YEP! But this was such an important transition we felt it necessary BUT that is also why we also are sure to call out that it is very temporary.

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Mikka Hansen

Do you think SOTA will see the end of the year?

shibby523
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shibby523

They have a very small group that spends obscene amounts on the money on the game every month, most likely suffering from sunk cost fallacy. They already have too much money put in and know if it closes, they are out all that money. The only recourse they feel they have is to keep sinking money into SotA to try and keep in afloat.

So it all comes down to how much is too much before they see what is going on or they start to run out of disposable cash.

SotA will never see an influx of new players that will stick around for more than a month or two unless Portalarium gets their act together and actually fixes the game. Can’t see that happening though as they lack the manpower and bandwidth.

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Victor Didra

The income is clearly shown on the main update page.

For the most part goes up by small increments all month. It isn’t whales supporting the game anymore, but lots of small contributions.

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Songs for Children

What evidence do you have to support that?

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Victor Didra

I posted the link you can watch it for yourself.

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Chris Spears

No point in arguing with these people. They are the exact same people who have been screaming about Shroud being dead and not surviving for literally 4+ years. Meanwhile they never seem to mention stuff like us having an almost perfect record for uptime, minimal downtime, ZERO dupe bugs, no rollbacks, and no lost data for 5 years. Best to present the facts and move on even though it hurts. :( Again, my frustration is the negative spin out of context click bait headline that was designed to attract people like these.

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Songs for Children

Chris, if there’s no point of “arguing,” as you often assert, why do you take the time to post 500-word essays that suggest otherwise? Go ahead and flag this comment, but it’s an honest question.

batterbatterswing
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batterbatterswing
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Caleb Cranson

“Again, my frustration is the negative spin out of context click bait headline that was designed to attract people like these”

Mr. Spears, with all due respect, I find it incredibly distasteful that you refer to the article’s headline as “clickbait” when it speaks very clearly to exactly what Portalarium is doing with it’s current cash shop.

Despite what you might wish to call it, a crown store is still a cash shop regardless of how you “spin it”. You have every right to defend the game you helped create, but please, do so in a manner that is truthful and speaks to the efficacy of the game.

Perhaps if you focused more on fixing the story and the quests than the cash/crown shop, people would show greater interest in the game.

While I am sympathetic that the company needs to do this in order to generate revenue you might also wish to step back and review just how flawed the story portion of the game is currently and focus on fixing it. Portalarium has already acknowledged that it needs work, so why not focus on fixing this very basic and core element of the game?

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Mikka Hansen

us having an almost perfect record for uptime, minimal downtime, ZERO dupe bugs, no rollbacks, and no lost data for 5 years

Those are problems associated with servers under significant stress. Thankfully thats a problem SOTA has never , ever experienced, huh. You managed to go f2p and still lose more people than ever according to Steam stats.

You guys cant even give this game away for free lol

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Songs for Children

There are about 50 links on the page you linked. Which one contains the video with that information?

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Victor Didra

I’m not talking about a video, there’s a counter of money earned on the right as you well know.

You can check with the other redditors, they probably have a bot to pull that info in real time into their spreadsheets so they can micro analyze everything to do with a game they don’t play.

Cheers, have fun!

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Songs for Children

Why are you being sarcastic when all I asked for was proof of your claim? The counter doesn’t support your claim of smaller contributions, clearly, so I gave you the benefit of the doubt and assumed you were referring to another source.

shibby523
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shibby523

Nice one. Here we go again with that. Whatever fits your narrative.

We went through this before and you couldn’t even come up with anything that changed enough in the last 4 years that would actually make the game any better. So if someone didn’t like the game then, they wouldn’t like it now.

shibby523
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shibby523

I’m not aware of anyone that is doing this. You are the one making the claim, provide the further proof that you say is out there.

batterbatterswing
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batterbatterswing

$29,000 from the purchase of 4 Lord of the Isles bundles.

The fact that the amount listed on the web is going up in small increments does not provide any evidence that those making those purchases are not the same people who have already spent thousands or hundreds of thousands previously.

shibby523
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shibby523

So you’re moving the cash shop in-game, gotcha.

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Caleb Cranson

Exactly, so for them to argue that they are, “Killing the cash shop” is just complete and utter tripe.

shibby523
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shibby523

It’s par for the course for Portalarium to twist stuff to fit into their narrative. Before it was the game isn’t P2W, even though every single thing in the game was purchasable with your wallet, even power leveling. Now that they added these buffs it’s “a little P2W”. Lol.

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Caleb Cranson

Yeah, but if you still have a store where you PAY for those crowns, isn’t that technically still a cash shop? Regardless of whether a player can acquire crowns in-game from a drop or other players, the ability to buy with real money is still a cash shop. So to say you “killed” the cash shop is just disingenuous. All you did was rename and re-brand what type of cash shop you are.

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Roger Melly

This is the end result of what happens when developers get so desperate that they stop caring anymore about what people will think .

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Mikka Hansen

TBH they hit that point about 2 years ago

shibby523
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shibby523

The backer reward they are replacing is very much doable. In fact Richard Garriott and Starr Long’s character heads are custom made.

The most likely scenario is that the person that was able to make them was laid off last year and none of the current staff knows how to. Maybe Long and Garriotts egos are too big to allow players to have custom heads. Maybe it’s too much of a pain in the butt to do and they figure they already have the customers money and the current playerbase tends to bend to whatever excuse Portalarium comes up with for each item they have ever promised and failed to live up to.

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Caleb Cranson

Well this certainly isn’t surprising…with Portalarium’s ever increasing need to generate revenue, it was simply a matter of time before this happened. As the economic situation at Portalarium gets increasingly more dire, I anticipate they will continue to do these things simply to keep the lights on. Forsaken Virtues is right!

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IronSalamander8 .

I hate to claim something is pay to win as the term is bandied about far too often but this practically screams it. Here’s another one I’m glad to avoid. I’m a huge fan of Ultima 1-6 (and especially 3 and 4) but Garriot has really not been hitting home runs anymore.

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Armsbend

I don’t think anyone really cares that Shroud is pay to win. Do you?

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IronSalamander8 .

Good point. Hell, I thought it was still early access till checking it after this article. Apparently not!

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Greaterdivinity

Man…things must not be going great if they’re straight up selling power like this…if the goal was just to get folks into the in-game cash shop then you’d figure they’d hand out these buffs to everyone the first time they simply opened it and had some sweetheart deals for the first purchases (bonus discounts or bonus rewards).

Garriot definitely isn’t saving us, or even his own game at this point : /

xpsync
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xpsync

So much for that old school feel they were going for.

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Bruno Brito

Ever played Flyff, Priston Tale and Allods?

Feels pretty old school :^)

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Mikka Hansen

RG washed his hands off this mess like 2 years ago if not more

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Greaterdivinity

Didn’t he just drop his C-level title? Because he’s still running the show and driving his robot around the office to check up on folks.

shibby523
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shibby523

Ehh they just tape photos of the remaining staff on the walls and toss his robot in the room. He just scoots from picture to picture with no clue.

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Mikka Hansen

I dont think he’s running the show beyond lending his name and e-fame, he certainly doesnt do anything but retweet SOTA tweets occasionally. He even has to be asked directly to get him to mention SOTA at all (you know, his only current game) during interviews, otherwise he’ll be perfectly happy to circlejerk just about his UO past forever

Everything points that he lost interest in SOTA years ago and it shows in spades.

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rafael12104

My, oh my. Are they that desperate? And thus the slippery slope begins.
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Armsbend

I didn’t read what you typed – just watched kitty for 10 minutes.

Pepperzine
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Pepperzine

It’s as if they aren’t even trying to hide what they’re doing is blatantly pay-to-win.

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Zeph

Unfortunately for the folks at Portalarium, I think Shroud is caught in a death spiral. Every time they make a gross move to encourage more shop engagement, they turn off potential players, which in turn means they have to discover new ways to monetize their dwindling fanbase.

*starts Ultima VII again*

Mordyjuice
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Mordyjuice

Sounds like pay to win to me.

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