Shroud of the Avatar works on bards, complains about negative press coverage

    
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It’s no secret that many of us here aboard the Good Ship MOP love us some Bard classes or support classes in general, so when word that Shroud of the Avatar is working on making a Bard class crossed our desk, our ears immediately perked up, even if things for the MMORPG are looking rather shaky.

According to a recent forum post, a rough idea of what a Bard in Shroud of the Avatar would look like is taking shape. Bards would be a dedicated support class with a couple of combat options. They would be able to weave songs with up to two effects, though that could be upgraded to three with specialization. Song effect ideas include increased party movement speed, faster party regeneration, and an AoE damage song that deals mild hurting and high aggro akin to “playing Nickelback songs on an off key accordion.” Readers should bear in mind that a Bard looks like it’s in the purely conceptual stage, so don’t expect this class to arrive anytime soon. Still, it’s perhaps nice for fans to know they can possibly Nickelback their way through a fight.

Catnip Games’ Chris Spears also takes a moment in the post to criticize press coverage of Shroud of the Avatar following the game’s recent corporate sale, missing SEC filings for investors, and botched Kickstarter rewards, as well as the company’s refusal to answer questions on these topics from press.

“That false negative image the game has outside our community is the biggest dragon we have to slay to expand our user base. I’m working on lots of promotion options to get us in front of more users but I’m always open to ideas on ways to promote things and get word out on the game. A story with a title that suggests some project is screwing its users, near collapse, or that there is some nefarious and intentionally treacherous activity going on is always going to get clicks, comments, and attention. It’s sadly just human nature that everyone loves watching a train wreck. I totally get that so our challenge is how to get people excited about a game that has released for 70 months in a row, hasn’t had any significant down time, never lost anyone’s data or done a rollback, never had a dupe, has a freakin’ amazing community, and just keeps on getting a bit better each month. It is a great story but a tough sell to get a website to write about in a positive way. Negative speculation or explosive success? Sure, they’ll print that all day long but month after month moderate success and perseverance, meh, no one will click on that.”

Now, obviously we can’t speak for every journalistic outlet out there, nor for the notoriously caustic SOTA Reddit, but we thought we’d do a little experiment: We’ve looked through all of our own coverage of Shroud of the Avatar since we went indie in 2015, subtracted out all the minor mentions in things like MOP Up, and rounded up just the ones that feature SOTA prominently. You can be your own judge of how much and what kind of attention this rather small MMO has gotten over the last five years.

Source: Official forums. Thanks, Victor.
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Raleigh-St-Clair
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Raleigh-St-Clair

Let’s check the Steam Charts for Shroud… https://steamcharts.com/app/326160 … hmmm, 92 average players in the past 30 days. Wow. Of course, Shroud gamers will point out that some players user the launcher instead of so let’s multiply Steam by a ridiculous factor of 10:1. Even with that figure, I can’t see more than 1000 average players. And this is meant to be an MMO? Draw your own conclusions.

sawthelightsota
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sawthelightsota

Someone pointed out that Starr recently stated a figure of “less than 50%” use steam. If it was really like 10%, you can be sure he would use that figure.

And you can just go in game, on their single server and witness how empty it is – a few hundred, no where near a thousand at any one time.

But your point stands – even if the steam number is 1/10th the full figure it is still pathetic for an MMO.

Raleigh-St-Clair
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Raleigh-St-Clair

Correct on all counts. I’ve started using the 10:1 to stop the cries of, “Waaaggghhh! Lies!” If I use a still generous multiplier like 5:1 instead. By using 10:1, no sane person can argue with me… and it STILL returns a shocking result. And you are right, the game is empty. This is usually the part where a Shroud fan comes on and says they saw their friend, or saw a “new person”, last time they logged on. As if seeing one person suddenly makes all of this OK.

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Armsman

He’s ‘playing’ to the ezxisting playerbase. They don’t want to hear “The game is dying because we haven’t made it interesting enough to attaract the masses…”

Nope, better to say:

“it’s underperforming because of all the negative (fake) news articles and bias…etc.”

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Tee Parsley

Talked to my friend-in-the-know, and got back this: Garriot was a bit flighty in throwing out stretch goals. (Not uncommon: Who knows what decade SC will have 100 systems). But the missing book lays at the doorstep of the author. The SotA designer community has constricted a lot, with folks moving on to jobs that pay better. It is what it’s become….

My personal opinion is the original game ideas got constricted into retread Ultima/UO, by both fan desire and money. Too much of an echo chamber.

Raleigh-St-Clair
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Raleigh-St-Clair

As someone who watched heaps of the early videos and streams, I’d suggest it was a case of the guys promising “anything and everything” just to get people donating money. When they finally sat back and realised everything they’d promised, I’m sure they would have realised it was far beyond, (a) their budget and, (b) their technical ability. Yet they pushed on… wasted everyone’s time… and here we sit with an awful game played by next to no one, run out of some guy’s garage, with a skeleton staff. Tell me if I missed anything.

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Mikka Hansen

I think richard garriot, starr long and chris spears should go to jail over SOTA, Im sure what they did is easily criminal

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rafael12104

Holy shit! That is one hell of a list. Outstanding coverage MOP!

As for negative press, err, saying that in lieu of what Blizz has done to generate negative press is unseemly.

SOTA has no idea what negative press is. But Richard G. does. Oh yes. He is being 200IQ quiet because he knows how it goes.

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Bannex

When I was making a living off of my own creativity, vision and inspiration I was the most physically and mentally unhealthy I ever was in my life to that point.

I am in no way defending anything here because I don’t know enough about the situation but i will say when somebody sent back something, gave me harsh negative feedback or my current menu didn’t sell well, it was easy to shake off and come up with excuses in the moment but damn if it doesn’t eat away at you in insidious ways over time.

Kudos to anybody able to withstand that “telekinetic” assault on their egos on much grander scales than I ever was. It’s no wonder these people all seem crazy to the public eye when their shit is getting twisted and their reality is far different than what they were hoping.

Raleigh-St-Clair
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Raleigh-St-Clair

The only reality is what gamers see in the game. And the game is terrible. That’s the beginning, middle and end of it. No more, no less. There’s nothing supernatural going on. The game sucks, and people call it for what it is.

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Utakata

It’s never good for a game’s prospects when the upper management starts coming off as Derek Smart. Just Saying…

Also see: Dunning-Kruger effect. o.O

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Bruno Brito

With all the crap i think Smart is deserved of, he’s at least, thick skinned enough that when i take a piss at him, he takes a piss back. I can respect that, at least.

Chris is trying his best to save face so he can shelve more money with this shitshow. The guy is pathetic.

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Utakata

In the end it, doesn’t matter how their approach in the parley might be different in the academic…if they come off as being entitled, I am going to question the quality of their product in the negative. Because the ability of not being able to connect the dots with how they behave in the presentation, will leave me wondering if this translates over to what they are working on.

And finally, I will always judge person’s epidermis resilience based on their need to move any conversation to the ad hominem when it doesn’t go his or her way. So then the only thing you’ve really got on Mr. Smart is that he might be more colorful about it. Just saying also…

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Bruno Brito

So then the only thing you’ve really got on Mr. Smart is that he might be more colorful about it.

It’s not a compliment really, it’s just that between an outspoken moron with some wit and a coward, i’ll prefer the witty outspoken moron. Smart may be a lot of things, and he is, but he at leasts confront that, and it’s endless entertainment for me.

This shitshow with Chris is just him being pissy about a problem he created. If you wanna have your face out, you have to PUT your face out.

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Utakata

You are comparing which turd shines better. And I am not really seeing the point to it. Oh well… /shrug

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Aluminum Man

The truth is often a great response … and here’s a great example of it.

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Bruno Brito

It’s sadly just human nature that everyone loves watching a train wreck.

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA++++

OH GOD, THE JOKES WRITE THEMSELVES

Dean478
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Dean478

‘False negative’, right…

You announced, after years of stuffing around, that you can’t produce goods as PAID FOR and when people questioned it, you BANNED THEM ON FALSE PRETENSES!

YOU are the reason your game is failing.

Gosh I can’t wait for my escalated complaint to resolve so I can move on. I’ll never crowd fund a game again after this.

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Kickstarter Donor
Ailsa Nordstrom

I’ve gotten to the point where I don’t know if I am losing anything I “paid for” with my Kickstarter pledge and I could not care less if I have. The game is not good. I cut my losses a long time ago. I think it’s past time they put this game out of its misery.

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KABALYERO

Looking at that long list… maybe Chris Spears owe MassivelyOP a simple thanks for all the coverage?

senseofsensing
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senseofsensing

It would be nice to see them acknowledge this, but any negativity is going to put you in the doghouse with Portanip / Catalarium / whateveritisnowcustheywon’tansweranymediaincquiriesaboutit

Chris, much like Starr and Garriott, are tone deaf when it comes to any cold, hard, truths about their game and how they’ve managed it. It’s a pill they are unwilling to swallow.

Covynant001
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Covynant001

I’d say they should send him a bill since he seems so unappreciative all things considered.