Shroud of the Avatar outlines plans for Episode 2’s arrival and additional updates in 2020

    
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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.

source: official forums, cheers Panagiotis

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Eric E

Do people still play this money grab game? I doubt PortNip will scratch the surface of these goals. Heck, it’s been over 10 months since they said Ep2 was supposed to come out.

It’s a shame that people are still suckers for overpriced pixel sim naked dance party crack. Portalarium really cons people into thinking that their pixel assets were going to be worth something.

Reginald Bottomsworth
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Reginald Bottomsworth

Episode 2 was actually supposed to come out in 2015, so hey, what’s another couple of years?

Reader
Tom Thumb

Excluding Chris’s normal excuses of sickness, vacations, and holidays that he doesn’t plan for I’m sure only about 10% of this will be completed.

When I say completed I mean “SotA Completed” or Sorta Completed like fishing, dungeons, Brewing, Cooking, Lua etc etc. 70% completed.

Reader
Songs for Children

I’m looking forward to hearing Chris’s endless excuses and deflections about why things don’t get done.

ObstreperousBear
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ObstreperousBear

I recall Chris saying somewhere, I think on a stream, that he was going to take the Lord of the Isle packages down from the storefront by the end of the year.

They’re still up.

Reginald Bottomsworth
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Reginald Bottomsworth

Really, though, can you believe anything Chris says? It’s safer to assume the contrary.

ObstreperousBear
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ObstreperousBear

Looks like we have some clarification. Short answer is, these bundles make the game look bad, but not so bad that they won’t delay expiring them, and spice them up a bit to maybe get a few more sales first.

Reader
Eric E

We’ll see how long people will have to wait for their silver ring from LB and what type of dungeon piece it will be replaced with when they can’t deliver the ring.

Any guesses on the excuses why it won’t be produced? “Won’t fit in the box” “Chinese New Year” “Can’t get the rights from a book publisher” “Devs are sick or on vacation”?

I can’t wait to see in game which suckers paid thousands of dollars for Ep2 mess.

Mewmew
Reader
Mewmew

“then a cash shop overhaul in 2019 that included a $6999 package specifically to fund Episode 2”

There are three packages there at this point, the $6,999 one is the cheapest (did they really need to try and do the $1 cheaper trick people’s minds into thinking it’s less thing?). Then there is a $7,499 one and a $7,999 one.

In looking at them on the store (they’re limited to 8 sales each so they show how many are left), 1 of the $8k packages has been sold and 6 people bought the $7k package. Those people really want to help support the game and to see it continue I guess.

Narficus
Reader
Narficus

Compare it to previous.

I wonder what will happen to them when their hope dies on the vine like so many others, (such as those who backed Shroud because there was supposed to be a single-player game in there somewhere.)

LoM2 (2x)
$ 20000
Duke (2x)
$ 10000
LotI (once)
$6999 – $7999

All before possible VAT and taxes.
When they lose the faith it is NOT going to be pretty.

Reader
Deadly Habit

Funny there’s a lack of mentioning the 2nd novel from Lord Brexit and Tracy Hickman that was in final draft last mentioned, or abandoning a bunch of Kickstarter promises, or how transferring all the ownership of assets lets them dodge those obligations and their SEC filings…

Remember when their rightsizing and leaving offices to be nomadic devs was gonna free up a bunch of advertising revenue? Remember when Chris Spears didn’t know about being the CEO of Portalarium in spite of signing legal documents to that effect almost a year prior?

Chris Spears presents Lord Brexit’s Shroud of the Avatar should be the new name.
Why would anyone believe these con men at this point when there are so many instances with receipts to call them out on their BS?

Hamblepants
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Hamblepants

Goddamn lol, well said.

Narficus
Reader
Narficus

Why would anyone believe these con men at this point when there are so many instances with receipts to call them out on their BS?

Indeed. It is a tall order to believe Chris when he says the following:

Based on the above data my belief is that rather than trying to grow the player base through large ad spends or by spending all our efforts on the starting experience, our focus must be primarily on fixing things that make players leave, slowly improving the reputation of the game, doing modest ad spends, working with other games for some cross promotion, and earning a larger audience over time.

Just about a week ago Portnip were lying about why a feedback thread had to be closed. (Archive link in the comments for proof!)

It’s great that Portnip can identify the problem after so many years. So when are they going to start trying and doing more than just lip-service? It would be a monumental first attempt at this, and well, pretty much the main reason why their target audience have been bailing.

Reader
Eric E

The problem is they NEVER spent money on “large ads”. Chris is a horrible developer, but he’s an even worse businessman. His passive aggressive rants along with lies as to why things don’t work properly are a joke.

After 6+ years if he thinks people are going to play this outdates bugged mess, he’s crazy! His excuse for fixing issues is to have players do it with Lua/mods.

Reginald Bottomsworth
Reader
Reginald Bottomsworth

This is little more than a lofty wishlist, with no guarantee that any of it will happen. A fraction of it will happen, probably, and what does happen will be implemented half-assedly, as usual. Chris realizes that he needs to keep making big ‘plans’ to keep the dwindling player base playing (read: spending) for a little while longer.

Reader
Bruno Brito

Hey, i make a lot of drawings and outlines to work on it later and then drop the work completely! We have something in common, SoTA!

Reginald Bottomsworth
Reader
Reginald Bottomsworth

It’s almost as if Portnip is trying to uphold an illusion of doing meaningful, substantial work.

oldandgrumpy
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Kickstarter Donor
oldandgrumpy

Good luck fixing you reputation

Narficus
Reader
Narficus

That’s…optimistic.

And a lot being put on the players. If Shroud is supposed to be an offline single-player game as well, how will the map system work when it is hosted on the servers?

Reader
BGZD

I commend them for continuing to try and improve. Hey Chris if you’re reading this… The quest system and log system are one of the biggest reasons I have not dived into the game. your UI is clunky and needs a revamp.. steal a quest system from any other mmo in existence and it will be better than what it is now and generate much more interest.

Narficus
Reader
Narficus

Don’t you know? Community-made mods will fix all that!

How a new player experiencing the base game is supposed to see that is the mystery.

Reader
Kickstarter Donor
Greaterdivinity

Given what happened the last time Chris popped up here, and his comments about how Massively is, to paraphrase, “out to get him/SotA” (despite mountains of evidence to the contrary), I doubt he bothers to come here any longer. You’d have more luck in the reddit/forums.

Reginald Bottomsworth
Reader
Reginald Bottomsworth

100% chance that he still reads these comments