So, just where is Shroud of the Avatar’s Episode 2? That question is mostly answered in a rather beefy dev forum post which outlines Portalarium’s vision for development in 2020, including plans for Episode 2’s release among other things.
The post first draws a line in the sand that these details are not a “binding contract” and that things can shift around. Nonetheless, the plan is to release new content on a monthly basis, with roughly one new scene each release starting in February and two scenes each release in the later half of the year. As far as the story for Episode 2, that will be held back until the devs have full confidence in their questing system, at which point it’ll arrive to QA only. Once each release, data will migrate from Live to QA, effectively resetting progress on the storyline in QA. That’s not to say that there won’t be Episode 2 content for each release, as new maps, items, creatures, and skills will arrive.
The post then moves on to the problem of keeping new players in SOTA. It notes that around 12% of players stay around, but also notes that spending money on advertising and working on the new player experience was not serving its existing playerbase well. To that point, the devs will focus on fixing things that make players leave, along with working on the game’s reputation, adding cross-promotion, and some “modest” ad spends.
Finally, the post outlines some lengthy lists of content to be added during the first two quarters of 2020 and the second half of the year, though, once again, things are always subject to change. When I say “lengthy lists,” I really do mean it, so point your eyes at the lot for all of the salient details.
Readers will note that the slow arrival of SOTA’s second episode has been a thing for a couple of years now, with a “right-sizing” round of layoffs in 2018 that seemed to suggest Episode 2 wasn’t even being developed yet, and then a cash shop overhaul in 2019 that included a $6999 package specifically to fund Episode 2.