Shroud of the Avatar shows off its reborn Upper Tears region

    
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It would seem that the undead of the Upper Tears area in Shroud of the Avatar have gotten fed up of being XP-earning fodder for adventurers. In the most recent community newsletter and livestream, players are getting their first look at the reborn version of this particular zone.

Lest you think I was being facetious with that lede, I promise that’s effectively what’s kind of happened, at least according to the newsletter:

“The undead which inhabit this territory have sent word to their masters that their rest has been disturbed–many times! Over and over! In fact, they were being grinded for experience, with only the magical powers of Experience Attenuation holding adventurers at bay. Take caution Avatars! Reinforcements have arrived! The denizens lurking behind the waterfall of Upper Tears will now have much greater power at their disposal! Enemies that Charge! Enemies with Chain Lightning!”

So, yes, expect some more hearty challenges from the monsters in the Upper Tears, along with combat balances and attenuation changes. These updates should arrive to the live game with Release 74 later this week, but you can get a sneak peek in the livestream below.

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LiterallyForThisGif
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LiterallyForThisGif

There was a pretty massive amount of updates that just came out with R74.

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Narficus
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Tom Thumb

Too bad it doesn’t amount to much these days. 7 years in existence and no one still plays this game.

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Narficus

And those who do know how much of that update was recycled.

cambruin
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cambruin

So has this dev team shrunk it’s size to 1 dev? I hear a lot of me, I and I’m. I’ll turn them off monday morning, I’m working on, I this and I did that. I’ll be doing so and so.

Anyway, really is a shame what this game has become, but it was apparent from the very beginning that this game would never succeed. The focus during alpha and beta was already way too much on monetization and too much of a close-knit bro-society thing, very unreceptive.

A shame. Really.
Richard, how I loved your work all the way up to Ultima 7 pt. II. How I loved Ultima Underground, how I loved Ultima Online. But dear Lord, Ultima 8 was so very lackluster, Ultima 9 so and so and Tabula Rasa was downright horrible in pretty much every regard.
Please stop making games and focus on space or something instead.

Reginald Bottomsworth
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Reginald Bottomsworth

Garriott was pretty involved in the Kickstarter days, to drum up nostalgia-based enthusiasm, and then pretty much in name only. Portalarium (and now Catnip Games) misled people from the start.

sawthelightsota
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sawthelightsota

There are a few other contractor devs, though no one knows how much time they work on the game. A few active players also have been “hired” to do some dev and community work.

So no, it’s not just Chris, but if anyone thinks the actual amount of time non-Chris devs equals some material amount of FTE, you are likely fooling yourself.

Chris loves to talk about all the hard work he does, so sometimes it is tough to tell from his tweets that there are other team members – you just have to get used to all of the “I”, “me”, “I’m” statements!

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Tom Thumb

Garriott sold the game to the only person who would give him a dollar, which was his only Dev. Pretty much all of the devs are part-time with the exception of the out-of-work players who Chris hired.

Even Darkstarr has pretty much left the scene. Now the player CM is doing all of the release notes and announcements.

From a multimillion dollar Kickstarter game to one that is run out of a guys garage with a handfull of Whales who help out. What a waste!

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Narficus

As someone who played the series from the start, it was painfully obvious that before other people pushed for the writing to be improved (remember Hawkwind?), when Ultima’s writing was RG alone was at best D&D/Tolkein/Pop-culture references. But RG would happily take all the press credit while continuing a narrative that wipes the early contributors from existence.

UO? That was more Raph Koster than RG or SL, but those two will definitely take all the credit for it.

According to RG, the industry’s innovation and the RPG genre revolves around him, yet as you’ve seen – he’s not been relevant or even that good in 20 years, as he’s now chasing trends instead of taking credit for them. By taking all the credit for himself, RG has set himself up a reputation he can’t uphold anymore except in the fashion of a paper millionaire.

No more proof is needed after seeing what he released from his own company, unfettered by those villainous publishers always to blame – a Facebook poker game and a mobile game the mainstream market didn’t even notice, and then Shroud was conceived with only months left before the company had to be shut down.

It’s been like watching Johnny Quest turn into Rusty Venture.

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Narficus

And for a legendary slice of that hubris to humble pie, nothing tops this.

Where is RG now on Lord British’s Shroud of the Avatar? Looking bored on streams held by the last remaining full-time dev.

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Songs for Children

Any update for the investors yet?

sawthelightsota
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sawthelightsota

Of course not

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Tom Thumb

Yes..your investment is worth ZERO.
Your SeedInvest is worth less than the paper you received in the mail.

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Narficus
Reginald Bottomsworth
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Reginald Bottomsworth

Is there a word for when something’s hilarious and cringeworthy at the same time?

ObstreperousBear
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ObstreperousBear

Once upon a time, outlanders could walk into Ardoris, to the shops, and buy literally all of the recipes in the game. They then took most of that, and scattered them through random loot drops.

If you’re a new player, be prepared for 50x to 100x price increases from what you could have purchased.

It was an example of their tendency to not look far enough ahead, and new player pay the price.

In this case, Upper Tears was a fountain of XP that people pulled out billions, soaring them to ultra-high levels with ease.

It’s not that the developers didn’t know about this imbalance in gameplay. They just took their sweet time getting around to doing something about it. So if you’re a new player… sorry. Boat -> sailed.

Pepperzine
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Pepperzine

New players? Good joke!

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Narficus

A nephew was curious if this was as bad as everyone said. So I had him try the starting area to see what the “New User Experience” was all about.

They only made it worse.

Yes, there isn’t even a functional intro to the game as the industry recognized back in… since UO? And RIP any pretense there’s a single-player game to be had with that kind of narrative right from the start.

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Tom Thumb

The problem is once you obtained the billions of XP from Upper Tears you pretty much finished the game. There wasn’t much higher end content and there still isn’t.