Shroud of the Avatar adds Krampus, Lua integration, and the ability to make unicorn stew

    
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Have you ever looked upon a unicorn and been hit with, not a child-like sense of wonder, but the desire to turn it into food? Shroud of the Avatar’s Release 72 will let players live out that monstrous desire with the ability to make unicorn stew. Yes, now you can make My Little Pony into My Little Dinner.

With this release, players can now harvest different unicorn types for light or dark meat and make them into stew. Unicorn stew comes in three tasty varieties: Light Unicorn Stew, which boosts Intelligence based on positive Virtue; Dark Unicorn Stew, which boosts Intelligence based on negative Virtue; and Unicorn Medley, which combines light and dark meat for a flat Intelligence boost regardless of Virtue. Yum.

Of course, eating unicorns isn’t the only thing in Release 72. The update also brings the first phase of Lua integration, a Tier 12 Brown Spider that occasionally spawns at the Necropolis Barrens at night, and unleashes winter-themed horror with the return of Krampus, which actually got patched into Release 71 by accident. All of the features for this update are outlined in the patch notes.

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Narficus
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Narficus

Just to touch back on a really, really basic point.

This is “Lord British’s Shroud of the Avatar”.

Shroud has been going on for years and yet
http://sotawiki.net/index.php?title=Lord_British&redirect=no

Now LB is going to show up in Corven, another title pitched to be a spiritual successor to Ultima, and with a KS aimed for in the spring and already suspiciously sounding a bit like Shroud’s pitch.

Lord British officially in Corven!

No Sale until reviews are out, and sure as hell not going to back that. I might have considered it if it didn’t appear to be LB finding a way to somehow double-dip his audience before one full product has been released according to description.

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Eric E

I’ll find it funny if Corven sells more copies then Shroud did. I’m waiting to see if a signed book or Duke Head is offered as a kickstarted reward!

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Chris Spears

This was a 3 week release for us due to the last release falling on the last day of the month and Thanksgiving pushing this release up a week. Due to how Christmas falls, this coming release will also be a 3 week release.

I’m glad we’ve set the bar high enough for what we deliver per release that us only fixing more than 100 bugs, improving performance in combat dramatically, adding Lua integration, and adding some recipes in a 3 week release is a disappointment. I do feel that our velocity compares extremely well to other games that tend to only do content updates quarterly or less often. Also, keep in mind that since we do hot fix patches the week after a release and lock down to only fix bugs the week of a release, this 3 week release was really just 1 week of work. Same with next release as well but I’ve committed to continue to patch and work through the holidays.

@Eric E and Reginald, I haven’t even seen the recipes. Just because I’m in charge now doesn’t somehow magically give me the ability to see 100% of what goes on with the project. I did just do a live stream with Phamyns yesterday where we went over some existing recipes that I fixed live on stream and those are out today.

I think there might be some hyperbole in the comments on food but honestly I largely agree that many of the buffs need to be looked at. I do think that even the simple sugar cookie recipe is one that new players benefit from though and really the issue is that the rarity of the ingredients for high end recipes do not match the power output from the result. As for alcohol needing buffs, agree there as well and actually said I would be adding those earlier today in game.

Also, I would just like to point out that the addition of player created Lua scripts, UI, and functionality is huge. I know it is just a bullet point up there but it has already been paying dividends. Next month’s player created NPC dialog is also going to be huge.

I’m doing everything I can to make things right and move the project in what I believe is the right direction and just focus on making it FUN and it has been noticed by players who are sticking more. It has even been noticed on Steam where our reviews (at least until I wrote this) were up to 79% from mid 50’s just 3 months ago.

I’ve made it clear the goal is always favor fun over reality modeling going forward and favor giving players tools to create content over all else. That is why I got Lua in early, why player created dialog trees are coming next release, why I’ll have temporary limited GM powers for players to run player events next release, and why player quests, player created scenes, and other powerful tools are coming early 2020.

We’re not everyone’s cup of tea and never will be but I strongly believe that we are moving in the right direction and fairly fast. As always, feel free to chat me up one on one on discord or visit my stream for a longer dialog.

sawthelightsota
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sawthelightsota

It has even been noticed on Steam where our reviews (at least until I wrote this) were up to 79% from mid 50’s just 3 months ago.

If you think the three day spike in positive reviews at the beginning of the month are legit, well, that explains a lot. A coordinated group of steam users with one or few reviews magically all appear to leave positive reviews – totally legit; I suspect steam player numbers are moving up because of this great trajectory of a few totally legit reviews by totally real new players. Oh wait…

I’ve made it clear the goal is always favor fun over reality modeling going forward and favor giving players tools to create content over all else.

That’s the sound of actual quest and story content for Episode 2 going down the toilet, for those that had not yet put 2 and 2 together. Player made content, 95% of which will be crap (it’s just reality, not a jab, but most players cannot make good content), at the expense of professionally made story. Surely all of the lua and GM powers being focused on are not at the expense of Episode 2 content though, right? *checks calendar and the original Ep 2 date whooshing by, with no concrete evidence of any work done on it*

No story, no quests other than player made stuff – when does Lord British’s name get removed from the title placard to stop fooling anyone that story and non-cash shop content are ever going to happen going forward?

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Derppopotamus

I think at this point we’re more interested in when you guys are going to actually find romance, maybe settle down, and get a life. That’s the real story.

sawthelightsota
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sawthelightsota

I’ll be sure to let you know, and maybe Atos could have been the one, but with Chris there’s a couple of major dealbreakers-

1) I can’t really be seen with someone who has to contort the truth or just plain mislead people so he can make a living.

2) My car wouldn’t fit in the garage now that is Shroud headquarters.

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Derppopotamus

There’s plenty of fish in the sea. Don’t be discouraged, there’s someone out there for everyone. Even you.

Narficus
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Narficus

Oh, but Portnip claims Lord Brexit will still be involved!

For some reason, they’re having problems defining how he would be any more “involved” than the begathons.

Behold, The Ultimate RPG by the World’s Greatest Game Designer!

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Eric E

His involvement will solely be to retweet Catnip’s tweets to his gazillion followers.

Behold, I have gazillion fans who will do my bidding and invest how I tell them or they will be BANISHED I say!!

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BGZD

pretty much nailed it. Ep2 has yet to show any proof that it even exists. Something I paid for a VERY long time ago.

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Tom Thumb

I doubt you’ll see it anytime soon. Seems Lua is taking over all development now, not the actual stuff people paid for.

Narficus
Reader
Narficus

Isn’t it getting tiring? Here you are, trying to humblebrag, but once anyone actually looks at the things you’re boasting about you’ll have to caveat all the half-assedness that has accomplished VERY SEVERE technical debt.

I’m looking forward to watching as Portnip reloads to shoot itself in the other foot with Lua, undoubtedly to be released as per tradition: Pushed out to tick a box and then leaving the company scrabbling to fix what should have been taken care of in a QA branch. Or left to rot and be forgotten in shame.

I’m doing everything I can to make things right and move the project in what I believe is the right direction and just focus on making it FUN and it has been noticed by players who are sticking more. It has even been noticed on Steam where our reviews (at least until I wrote this) were up to 79% from mid 50’s just 3 months ago.

“players who are sticking more”

LOLNOPE

https://steamcharts.com/app/326160#All

“…up to 79% from mid 50’s just 3 months ago.”

RECENT REVIEWS:
Mixed (52) 63%
ALL REVIEWS:
Mixed (2,321) 51%

View post on imgur.com

So a couple of reviews could tank the recent score you were so proud of?
Oof.

Oh, and the overall score is still at ~50% and it would take hundreds of reviews to budge that. Doesn’t quite sound like you’re having that good of an impression even as F2P. (In fact, that’s really, really, REALLY bad for a F2P game.)

I also don’t know how you’re going to draw new players (AND KEEP THEM) in this jank when you have players going around enfarcing the company line that saying bad things about the game is driving new people away, so those people should either shut up or go away. That recurring theme has been working about as well as can be expected – you’re running an extremely niche product and have already alienated most of the target audience. We’ve seen what you’ve been doing to our fellows, it’s not like Ultima fans exist in a vacuum.

That has been the problem for about 7 years now, with the illusion of finding the mythical millions of players who would just be so awed with Shroud they will stay, they just haven’t heard of it yet!

Nope, y’all burned through LB’s cult, nobody else will tolerate the jank and deceit together. They might not mind a bit of jank if there was some attempt at honesty and capability for community management, but as I’ve eviscerated above, you’re still trying to spin with bad perception management that does not hold up to any scrutiny whatsoever. Each time you try to address the reason why one albatross is around your neck you can’t help but add more.

I should throw money towards that? Hah!

Furthermore, I think it rather rich that you complain about negative press and have posted the above spin on MassivelyOP while being dodgy as hell regarding the basic information that should have been answerable to their questions over the last several months. People want real answers, nobody is interested in more spin like the crap Portnip gave the SeedInvestors all throughout the time the company wanted their money then summarily forgot about them once the money was in pocket.

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Eric E

While recipes needing work is only one of 100 things that players have continuously shouted month after month to this team. Their number one request was to go back and fix everything that is only 70% complete rather than trying to roll out new stuff.

Your customers would “favor fun” if the quests worked, recipes were worthwhile, if NPCs didn’t have issues, if brewing, fishing, player dungeons, all worked and were completed to 100% THIS WOULD MAKE THE GAME FUN! Not adding in Lua that will only make the UI look a bit better, still won’t fix the mechanic of anything in game.

While you continually throw things at the wall to see what sticks, most people are tired of that type of development. They want the game to have parts that are 100% complete and working properly.

Yet, Starr constantly puts posts on the forums with spelling mistakes, wrong dates, and wrong pics for item descriptions. Coming from someone with a QA background you would think he would proofread his own posts prior to posting them. Chris as the person in “charge”, you should really be upset at the lack of professionalism. To say “Just because I’m in charge now doesn’t somehow magically give me the ability to see 100% of what goes on with the project.” shows that with only a handful of staff, you don’t know what’s going on with the game means you are way out of your realm. I don’t know any other Manager who would say they don’t know what their employees are doing day to day.

Narficus
Reader
Narficus

Yet, Starr constantly puts posts on the forums with spelling mistakes, wrong dates, and wrong pics for item descriptions.

Be kind to Starr, he’s working without a Raph Koster to cadge credit from and without an RG to coast behind.

NOTE: This was actually supposed to not go live until Release 72 but was accidentally got patched into Release 71, so folks got a couple of extra weeks of Dark Winter!

I can easily believe that most of those “bugs” and else are the results of Not-Portalarium’s production pipeline resembling a plate of spaghetti and smoothing out some of the many corners they had previously cut.

Speaking of which:

The Sword of Midras Library: The Sword of Midras Library is a huge unique library-themed dungeon room, built from the Lyceum in Artifice. It comes bundled with lots of shelves, including the new book filled shelves and partially book filled shelves. It can be placed in any Player Made Dungeon.
comment image

This was meant to be an “Ultimate RPG” and we’re putting windows with sunlight slants at every 90 degree angle from windows, from multiple directions at the same strength, into a bad copy+paste dungeon room’s design. The Lord British is wearing no clothes.

It is also great that there was something to discuss about the patch notes aside from all the new crown shop items. Hyping out all sorts of stuff after accidentally shipping your top item holiday content in a previous update, quite the vote of confidence! Nothing worrying to see here! Business is just going great!

I want to express a huge amount of gratitude to the players who tested the items listed below on our QA server. They found many bugs and also provided editorial feedback on this post so that it is easy to read and actually matches what is in the game.

When your patch notes are in part provided by players and yet nobody noticed the Krampus in the previous testing round for it to ship, Shroud now looks like an unorganized modding collection project and less a title that is supposed to have a production schedule and anyone leading it.

I wonder how long until they have a good re-think about trying to put more onto player-created content on top of their already-filled plate of spaghetti. Certainly not going to cause any technical, managerial, or production debt like we’ve seen in just about every other implementation of the same, not at all!

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Eric E

With regards to “yet nobody noticed the Krampus in the previous testing round for it to ship, Shroud now looks like an unorganized modding collection project and less a title that is supposed to have a production schedule and anyone leading it.” I have to quote Chris’s answer “Just because I’m in charge now doesn’t somehow magically give me the ability to see 100% of what goes on with the project. I just do live streams”

I think the dungeon rooms with light coming in from every angle is to satisfy the “Flat Earthers”, how else could light shine inside every angle in a subterranean room?

Don’t forget this is SotA…Richard’s world where R2D2, Marvel Superheroes, and Dragons coexist in New Brittana.

Narficus
Reader
Narficus

> R2D2

I do remember that bit of begathon bait.

This week’s Shroud of the Avatar patch includes an R2-D2 lookalike in homage to Star Wars

> Marvel Superheroes

New one on me, but I’d not be surprised at this point.

Fun part is where Portnip are going from courting the whales to trying to eliminate why the game has whales. Showing off exclusive cosmetics isn’t going to mean much to a dwindling player base. Without value… well, no wonder the whalesong is now full of tears.

I wonder how Leads-From-Streams will handle that.

*looks at the dumpster fire going on in the Port forums as whales react to RMT being removed*

About as well as can be expected, but now with people they dare not ban because they pay the bills (for now).

Portnip sold Shroud as some kind of investment from the start with the virtual real-estate racket. Now they’re trying to remove reasons why whales “invest” in the game for RMT value (as that much isn’t solely for decorative value with the quality of items being offered).

Portnip are now screwing the only “investors” left to screw.

I, for one, admire their dedication to the business practice that has led them to this point. May their subsequent insolvency be a quick and merciful end to this whole farce.

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Eric E

The new food recipes are worthless! They don’t give anything new or extra than the current food in game. Just like NPCs these are reworks with just a different name.

Take out recipes and all you have is cash shop items. Lame excuse for a release. Even with Chris leading this mess it’s still garbage.

Reginald Bottomsworth
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Reginald Bottomsworth

Chris has been leading for a long time now; they just happened to recently acknowledge it.

Narficus
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Narficus

@Eric E and Reginald, I haven’t even seen the recipes. Just because I’m in charge now doesn’t somehow magically give me the ability to see 100% of what goes on with the project.

What, there may be some problem when the lead does’t even preview the things they are proudly pushing out as update material?

Reginald Bottomsworth
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Reginald Bottomsworth

Yet another ‘release’ that, when you strip away the items sold in the cash shop, is devoid of meaningful content.

ObstreperousBear
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ObstreperousBear

Honestly, the entire food system needs to be reworked. The vast majority of food is poinltess. A sugar cookie that gives you +1 focus/s for 3 minutes? It takes a painful 10ish seconds to even eat it. Few food items can be placed as decoration… so most of it is just inventory clutter. A good comparison is to Eve Online’s “tiericide”, which they also need to finish doing.

Still waiting on brewing to have some kind of point. And fishing… if you’re interested in more than decorations. Fishing should have an entire mandatory industry behind it.

Narficus
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Narficus

^ THIS!

This is why development has been a painful trainwreck to behold. Sure, updates aren’t “delayed” like the dev tries to crow about, but the features (which are infamously delayed on their own) are pushed out half-baked and left a mess while more are stacked on top of the doughy foundations.

Hooray, we have… unicorn meat?

Why?

Shroud is in dire need of a rework because the technical debt is one debt that Catnip weren’t able to duck out of.