Shroud of the Avatar’s Release 68 kicks off a new update cadence

    
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Things are almost always changing in Shroud of the Avatar, but it sounds like some of those changes are now going to be arriving a bit more frequently, if not incrementally. Release 68 is now out in the wild, and with it comes the arrival of “a continuous integration model of development” where the devs are able to push out updates on a weekly or even sometimes daily basis. This also means a quarterly schedule update is no longer needed.

So just what’s in R68? Updated and new Stories and Scenes, several tweaks to combat including scaled pet healing and revamped Focus costs for skills at higher levels, new Masteries for Alchemy, Blacksmithing, Carpentry, and Tailoring crafters, and some quality of life things and new items for player housing among other updates; there’s actually a pretty significant number of things added for this update.

The notes even offer a little hint at Episode 2’s arrival at the end, along with plans for the rest of the year:

“The rest of 2019 will continue to be an amazing year for Shroud of the Avatar players! Grandmaster Craftsman only effects, more loot improvements, more expansions to the fishing system, better boss fights and more.

Join us for 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!”

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Spunky Flurkin
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Spunky Flurkin

Looks like that continuous update cadence is in full swing! We just got the long awaited empty row lots today!

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KABALYERO

You have to buy it when it’s free with other lot types… I understand, It’s a business and they need to make money… ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Point_of_noReturn
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Point_of_noReturn

Last night I logged in to check out the new mannequins. Several of my guild mates had them displayed in their houses. I went to the market towns and saw the same thing. I ran into and asked a long time backer/player if the mannequins were causing system issues now that they are in game. She said she hasn’t seen any issues. She said if that was the case, why would Port sell a 6 pack of them.

Just goes to show that there is no performance issue. It is an excuse to charge a lot of money for something that the people have been looking forward to.

sawthelightsota
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sawthelightsota

The sooner the devs and remaining players do these things, the sooner they will see people stop “bad mouthing” SotA –

1. Stop proclaiming that this game is growing and about to hit a huge uptick of players (“I see new people all the time!” , “My friends list is huge!”). This game has, let’s be generous, maybe 1,000 players and their alts. That number has not grown during persistence, launch and going f2p. Accept that the game has a small, dedicated, friendly player base that consists of largely the same people who have always been here – new f2p largely cycle in and out quickly. The game isn’t growing, and “Episode 2” isn’t going to change that.

2. Stop pretending that Richard and Starr are super active (especially Richard). They are doing their remaining buddies at the company a solid by fronting the game still, but to peddle that LB still does anything beyond a few livestreams is either horribly naive or outright false. We don’t need to tweet or PM LB to know this – look at his activity in the forums and his lack of awareness during livestreams to know. Holding onto the cult of LB and acting like he works on this game daily is going to bring out people to counter that. Because if LB does work on this game at all, his contribution is awful as I see no new story or quests going in, so probably not good to highlight his lack of results, so just stop.

3. Stop with the “Episode 2 is coming! It will be awesome! The game will be amazing and fixed after it launches! We don’t need a schedule, and only haters point out all of the missed Ep 2 deliverables from Q1 and Q2! Continuous development is great!” Just accept that Port is developing by the seat of their pants now, working on whatever seems to please Chris’ twitch stream devotees, with no clear plan or goal. If you eventually get Ep 2, great, but stop pretending that all is well and on track, or that it will “save” the game. Literally nothing planned for Episode 2 development went in as scheduled, nor any of the other major features in Q2 on time – there is your reason for the move away from schedules (they just don’t have the resources to do things); accept that and stop making excuses for it.

So basically, just enjoy the game you have, stop peddling it as something it will never be or have a population it will never have, and watch the debate pretty much go away. You have a game with a really tiny player base that seem to get along and a few devs that cater to you to keep their paychecks going. Accept that and stop trying to portray the game as about to turn a corner or anything more than a few hundred massive devotees propping up the game they love, and you won’t get people coming all the time to highlight the rest of the shitshow that is SotA.

Spunky Flurkin
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Spunky Flurkin

So you don’t play this game?

So basically, just enjoy the game you have

You have a game with a really tiny player base

And you write novels about it? Is that the same for the other people harshing on it in this thread?

sawthelightsota
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sawthelightsota

I don’t play anymore.

Just highlighting that when the game is promoted by players as something it is not (so many new players! the game is rapidly improving and Ep 2 is coming soon! LB is super involved!) is when the friction happens.

Spunky Flurkin
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Spunky Flurkin

Reading through the comments, I don’t think that is the case. Take a look at the one after mine by Alleine Dragonfyre. The very next comment, by AdamZax has nothing to do with what she said.

He appears to be creating the friction on his own. Perhaps he is just trolling her, but he’s certainly not replying to her comment. It isn’t on topic anyway, but if he weren’t just going after Alleine Dragonfyre he would have posted it as a top level comment.

Reading down through the rest of the comments, most of them have nothing to do with the game of today, or this post. Really weird.

Point_of_noReturn
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Point_of_noReturn

I still get in the game and run my shop. Is that weird?

Spunky Flurkin
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Spunky Flurkin

I don’t know, is it?

Mad_Dogs
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Mad_Dogs

Your correct i most things Chris seems to be trying to use bubble gum an bailing wire to hold it all together .
Now the fan bot’s all think its all rose colored and fine . Alleine Dragonfyre is one they enjoy the game all good wonerful.

But Its easy to figure out its not being developed properly Rich got his money for letting his name be on it kinda like trump dose u know get investors then declare bankruptcy and leave everyone hanging . The issues with delivering the rewards that some of us still have not seen . And the book that will never be delivered . Well unless one buys it on amazon .

Scammed and I know it but it was a beautiful idea at the start …

Just waiting to see wat richy will blow the cash on another space trip maybe .

And yes i knew him attended his Halloween parties sat and chatted at a number of locale Austin events he was a decent guy .

Spunky Flurkin
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Spunky Flurkin

This is a unique game in the MMO space. The decoration system is incredible, and with the new mannequins even better.

In fact, it’s more of a world than a game, you really just decide what to do and do it, rather than being led on some path. Not for everyone, but worth checking out. It’s free after all.

Point_of_noReturn
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Point_of_noReturn

Exactly, a housing themed deco game with disco balls and light up dance floors. Not a consequential deep story driven game we paid for.

Spunky Flurkin
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Spunky Flurkin

So what do you play now?

Point_of_noReturn
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Point_of_noReturn

SotA and other games, but that isn’t related to this thread.

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Shibby523

This is a company that has no issue stringing people along with dishonesty. The most recent drama that has been trickling along is the book for the backers.

First they didn’t send it out becasue it wouldn’t fit in the box (making you think it was already made)

Some months after that they claimed the printer wouldn’t print the book with the illustrations how they wanted them and that they will find another printer.

Then they said they will just make the books in house and get them out.

Some months after that they said that there is an issue over who owns the book and they need to get that straightened out. This if true should have come to light around the time they fist took the book to get printed, if they ever did.

During all this people were asking and asking what was going on and Port was deleting and locking threads without an update to what was going on.

Another issue was Richard Garriott dropping his CEO title saying the company didn’t need a CEO and it was just a title and nothing more. Come to find out months later they transferred the title to Chris Spears the programmer and he claims he had no clue they did it. Someone did some digging and found documents with Spears signature showing he did indeed know he was CEO.

Transparency abounds with these guys.

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Alleine Dragonfyre

So looking forward to Episode 2 and for my city to finally be on the overland map! From this months release the new mannequins, both ornate on the store and craftable ones are very cool for my tailor shop, yet just as creepy as real mannequins. They will even hold torches.

The rewards of the floral headpiece and floral bed are gorgeous. They made some house permission changes that aren’t too popular but all in all this month’s release is really good.

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AdamZax

It’s too bad richard has checked out of this game.

View post on imgur.com

View post on imgur.com

Aside from making token appearances in some of the livestreams , he is completely absent from development. He doesnt even pretend to participate in his own forums anymore as we can clearly see

Reginald Bottomsworth
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Reginald Bottomsworth

Oh no, he’s clearly very involved! ha ha

Spunky Flurkin
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Spunky Flurkin

I see he was reading the forums on Saturday.

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Mikka Hansen

So looking forward to Episode 2

Do you really have the slimmest hope they will actually do ep2? because from here it looks like the game and company barely have a pulse

Point_of_noReturn
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Point_of_noReturn

Considering they are not talking about releasing the new lands or anything anymore I find it hard to have hope. They went from promising new lands would be released back in R66 to NO word at all. But I guess that’s what we get when they are working from their basement and not in an actual office space. No commitments.

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BGZD

Ep2 has had zero updates since they asked for money for it last year. GTFO with this scam of a game.. keep having your “dance parties” and dumb events that have no relation to the major issues in the game.

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Alleine Dragonfyre

You’re saying that a game developer should be transparent about their game release before it’s published. Stuff that is probably completely protected by an NDA. LMAO… right. Trolls are seriously reaching these days…

Point_of_noReturn
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Point_of_noReturn

If you believe they have an NDA in place for Ep2, you are crazier then you sound in these comments. Again you need to READ what people are saying. BGZD stated that there has been no updated about Ep2 since they asked for money, even though they stated Ep2 lands would be coming out in R66. Not sure where you get NDAs and stuff. The official forums had people asking for updates on Ep2 as well.

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Caleb Cranson

Yes, I do believe they should be transparent; considering this was a crowdfunded game. I find it reprehensible the way they change promises (coat of arms, vendors, exclusive items, lot deeds, custom Duke heads, etc.) all to fit their narrative. I wouldn’t believe a single thing they say anymore given the number of things they have backtracked on.

ObstreperousBear
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ObstreperousBear

“This also means a quarterly schedule update is no longer needed.”

You mean, they’re weaseling out of making any commitments, and having to take the time to plan for the future. From here on out, they’re just winging it.

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Alleine Dragonfyre

Actually, their release process and schedule hasn’t changed at all. They just take a bit longer on development.

ObstreperousBear
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ObstreperousBear

Their release process and schedule hasn’t changed at all, which is why Darkstarr keeps saying that they’ve “switched to a continuous integration model”. Right.

Also, where’s the Q3 plan? The change in schedule is that there’s no schedule anymore. They’ve even stopped saying that Ep.2. is coming at the end of 2019, contrary to what the article says. It’s assuming that the second paragraph is an extension of the first, when they used to say “2019 will of course culminate with Episode 2” as of the R62 instructions.

Even the more ardent supports can recognize that, yes, there has some change at all.

Reginald Bottomsworth
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Reginald Bottomsworth

It’s pretty clear to anyone not deluding themselves that Portalarium has no plan, aside from inconsequential tinkering and stringing people along to give them just enough hope to keep paying.

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Alleine Dragonfyre

Or….and this is an OUTLANDISH idea, people are enjoying playing it and therefor spend money in the store to both enjoy it and support it. I know…crazy, but it’s seeming to be the case :o

Reginald Bottomsworth
Reader
Reginald Bottomsworth

Certainly some people experience some measurement of enjoyment when playing this game. Nobody is disputing that, so why you’re countering a statement that wasn’t made is beyond me.

Anywho, my comment was about Portalarium’s motives, not players’ motives. Regardless of people’s current level of enjoyment, it would be devastating and demoralizing to the community if they knew with certainty that Episode 2 wasn’t coming. Portalarium knows this, hence the spin on the constant delays and broken promises.

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Alleine Dragonfyre

People spend their money for a return of some sort. People will continue to spend money when the return for their previous expenditure has been realized, in this case, in enjoyment. See how that works?
You are creating a diabolical plan where none really exists. Valiant effort!

Reginald Bottomsworth
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Reginald Bottomsworth

People spend their money for a return of some sort.

This is true. But people are also capricious creatures who become bored of the same stimulation over and over. That is why MMOs often flounder when they do not grow, or grow quickly enough. This game’s growth has slowed to a snail’s pace.

People will continue to spend money when the return for their previous expenditure has been realized, in this case, in enjoyment.

How quickly and conveniently this game’s defenders forget select facts when they plead their case. People also back this game with the expectation that there will be future content beyond bug fixes and tweaks, i.e. the future episodes that were promised years ago. Portalarium has gladly held out its hand on more than one occasion, to collect money for subsequent episodes. So far there has been nothing to show for that other than delays and obfuscations and broken promises.

Point_of_noReturn
Reader
Point_of_noReturn

But she is only commenting about how people are playing, paying, enjoying the game, and how others “are creating a diabolical plan where none really exists.” not about her original statement that “their release process and schedule hasn’t changed at all.” She can’t defend her original comment so she has to go on a tangent about something completely separate.

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Shibby523

Never thought I’d miss Vlad, at least his posts made sense even if they were mostly lies.

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Alleine Dragonfyre

All I can say is you all need to get lives. If you hate the game so much…if you feel the developers are not doing a good job or whatever… then be like a normal person and move on. The fact that you spend, literally, years trying to badmouth the game for no other reason is really kind of sick in an obsessive way.
Your white knighting about this is so very, very sad.

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Shibby523

Maybe but this wasn’t a normal $60 purchase and move one. Portalarium asked for up to thousands of dollars to help them fund a game. A game that their millionaire founder and investors didn’t want to fund themselves out of their pocket.

If I had bought SotA as a mere $60 purchase, I’d be long gone at this time but Portalarium has provided me and many others with a plethora of entertainment with their non-transparency all the whole claiming they are transparent. All the lies they get caught up in and how the white knight blindly allow themselves to be hoodwinked and not see what is going on. For crying out load, there is a church in game that worships Starr Longs in game character. Call us sick, heh.

Every single person that feels jilted out of hundreds and yes, thousands of dollars has a justifiable reason to say what they want about this game for however long they want.

You white knights are constantly throwing that in peoples faces, like they don’t have a single reason or a right to be displeased and voice that displeasure wherever and whenever and for however length of time they wish.

I see none of your replies to me even addressed what I said, but you felt the need to lash out with insults and try and degrade my opinions. Opinions that everyone has and as different as they all are, every single one has a right to be heard and discussed if so wished. It is up to the reader to decide if they want to believe us or the white knight who cannot even answer any question put forth with a straight up reply and proof to back themselves up.

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Alleine Dragonfyre

Vladimir Bergemot is alive and well, still playing and ignoring you… some advice his friends gave him because you all are not worth his time.
Our community is too full of nice people. Really nice people. The kind of people that choose to ignore people like you because you’re not worth their time or happiness.
Me? I’m just f’en crazy.

Point_of_noReturn
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Point_of_noReturn

Their release process has changed. If you read Starr’s Release 67 Instructions he specifically says “we have been transitioning our development to a continuous integration model of development where we are pushing content out weekly, sometimes even daily. This of course disrupts the concept of a regular monthly update”

So yes their schedule and process has both changed. There is no quarterly or monthly planning any longer.

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Rodrigo Dias Costa

Hmm, maybe I’ll start up the game tonight, although I’ll prolly be busy on Moonlighter (Epic gave it for free this week and I love games with management systems)

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Shibby523

Upvoted for Moonlighter. Do try SotA though, it is free and would be very interested in hearing your thoughts.

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7thRankedNoob

Join us for episode 2, where we still have the same crappy models and subpar character graphical customization … honestly guys, hire an artist or two please!! Expand on your character cusomization before moving on.

This isn’t inventing mind blowing content … it’s getting colors to look properly and having a more customizable appearance.

It would go extremely far in keeping new customers, which I assume is a priority for episode 2

Reginald Bottomsworth
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Reginald Bottomsworth

This game is essentially run by one guy (Chris Spears) at his house now. The occasional livestream with Starr Long or Richard Garriott is just for show at this point, to convince the few remaining backers that there weren’t scammed.

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Alleine Dragonfyre

Lies. Starr Long is on every weekly livestream and Richard Garriott shows up about 60% of the time. I mean, go ahead and look for yourself.

ObstreperousBear
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ObstreperousBear

What do Long and Garriot do? What was Garriot’s last major contribution?

Reginald Bottomsworth
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Reginald Bottomsworth

The answer to your first question is pretend they’re still involved in any relevant way, and the answer to your second question is a bunch of hopes, dreams, and hot air.

Point_of_noReturn
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Point_of_noReturn

Richard gets on the stream when he is free in his garage that day. But if you listen to him he just rehashes the same stuff he has been saying for years. He doesn’t contribute anything new or informational. Starr pretty much handles the website. He puts out the release notes each month. Unless there is a update involving something that he needs to post on the forums. It’s pretty much Chris’s game.

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Alleine Dragonfyre

Garriott still does the writing and is an active team member. I hear the death rattles of trolls dying over this game’s still active development and scheduled monthly releases. *cough…cough*

ObstreperousBear
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ObstreperousBear

Writing what? Something in Episode 2? Is he writing quests or something?

“Active team member” -what specific tasks does that entail?

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Alleine Dragonfyre

Why don’t you ask him yourself on a livestream or PM him? He’s quite responsive on PMs in the forums and during the livestreams.

ObstreperousBear
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ObstreperousBear

Do you know the information, but are just refusing the provide the information? That’s going to earn a scolding from the Oracle.

Otherwise, that puts you in the uncomfortable position of defending Garriot’s involvement, without actually knowing what it is, in terms of discrete empirical measurements.

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Alleine Dragonfyre

Um, why don’t you just ask him? Oh, right, that would be the sane, rational thing to do and would go against your mission to champion the death of your arch-nemesis, Portalarium.

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Caleb Cranson

NEWSFLASH! Garriott doesn’t know anything that is happening and it’s evident during the streams he is on. Working on the story? Give me a break, when asked directly about the story for Episode 2 he has never been able to give a direct answer other than, “they are working on it.” Well ok, then show us a little of what you are working on; something to at least prove you’re not totally full of ****. They won’t because Episode 2 isn’t happening.

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Alleine Dragonfyre

Ah the Portalarium insider. He’s got all the facts and he’s going to share them with you here and now. HA!

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Shibby523

Seriously? If your going to stick up for the game at least provide links to back up what you say. It is not on the other person to check your claims. If you can’t find any, then go on Twitter and shoot RG a quick message and report back here with a link to what he says. Stop putting on the work onto others to back your claims.

Reginald Bottomsworth
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Reginald Bottomsworth

Spoiler
You’re dreaming if you think that this game is anything other than a CEO Chris Spears production at this point. You’re also dreaming if you think you’ll ever see an Episode 2.