Shroud of the Avatar discusses butchery, artifact salvage, and Release 84 adjustments

    
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Shroud of the Avatar discusses butchery, artifact salvage, and Release 84 adjustments

As is very often the case with Shroud of the Avatar, things are changing, since the game is still in development. This week’s update newsletter has a host of details about what’s changing, from butchery to artifact salvage to combat.

In-game butchers will get to enjoy new animal processing recipes that replace old meat recipes and more animal-appropriate icons for these recipes, while artifacts that are salvaged at crafting tables will yield better goodies including Ancient Essences and a pattern which can change the appearance of gear in some cases. And speaking of crafting, there are some new bone piles and framed maps that can be crafted as well.

Meanwhile, additional updates include increased XP for high level elementals, elemental bosses, and daemons, improved monster resistance to Mesmerize, and a host of economic and item updates related to foal and tamed horse turn-ins, Conversationalists, and decoration improvements among other things. There’s more information in the Avatar’s Update.

Longtime MOP readers will know that Shroud of the Avatar is a controversial game in the MMO space. Kickstarted in 2013, the game and its original studio have been criticized for cuts, stunts, delays, corporate shenanigans, and neglecting SEC filings legally required by the game’s equity crowdfunding. Last year, Richard Garriott’s Portalarium sold off SOTA to its lead dev and all but exited the game. Press inquires have repeatedly been met with stonewalling and insults, and investors have been abandoned, but the game does still have players and is still being developed, as we continue to cover.

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Narficus

Update on artifacts from the official forums and Bug Moderator, Echondas:

I’m not sure if it’s still accurate, bu I recall that Chris said on a livestream a few times that the # of artifacts in existence affects drop rate.

If that was removed, it would make them easier to obtain for everyone and not just people who camp and farm monsters then hoard them for resell value.

Bruh. No wonder the economy trainwreck is a regular feature of the forums. Taking notes from Venezuela might be an improvement. Best part of the current iteration of that topic:

>> But at this point, I’ll call it a win if we just start getting TWO rusty spoons from bosses instead of one.

>OMG NO YOU’LL DESTROY THE ECONOMY

Still not fixed, still being handwaved in The Chris Spears Dog and Pony Show stream, still no reason to grind unless you know of no better.

This is the SotA loot experience, where players can spend 7 years with the same equipment and feel hyped for gems+sockets being added. Totes free to play! But if you want anything other than the pittance the game throws at you, break out that wallet bank account.

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Ben Parry

Recent twitch talked about new gem slots coming based on artifact deconstruction components. This has me excited as a crafter as well from the player economy even more things to farm which is nice. I like that they are finally brining some balance back to crafted gear as artifacts ended up being BIS for most part. 7 years I have been wearing the same hood as nothing seems to beat it. there is hope yet :) still waiting on abilities to pattern over artifacts so that I can at least make my hood look different… thats on the short list according to Devs.

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Narficus

Quite the ringing endorsement when this was the year loot was to stop sucking.

I know, 29 more days of hope! :)

Eric E
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Eric E

Problem is Artifacts were supposed to be the fix for crafters and the economy. All Catnip knows how to do is add more layers of crap rather then fixing the actual issue. Read my lips….gems will be the new artifacts and nothing will be gained except more crap of a “fix”.

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Narficus

Sounds about par for a dev team who still can’t bother to properly connect to Steam after a number of years (for the better part of a decade) – the Steam Wallet still can’t be used for in-game purchases. That dev negligence automagically gets an uninstall from most of the target audience: if you can’t properly connect to the ecosystem then it is clear that Steam users are to be regarded as second-class citizens, and there’s enough of those devs.

Then you have silly forum posts saying stuff like: “Oh, so now, when it is positive, we actually do care about the steam ratings? Funny stuff. Glad it is positive, but steam is bad and all.”

But wait, wasn’t trying to get that F2P Steam audience why SotA went F2P after months of saying the opposite, that “no, SotA wasn’t going F2P, stop spreading rumors”?

And so this failure to develop the basics for an MMO that was never meant to be an MMO (but somehow became one to acquire more money) is why SotA is down to operating out of the living room of the dev who bought it from the dude whose name is in the title.

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treehuggerhannah

I’ve been so torn on whether to try this game. It sounds like the kind of game that I would like, but there are a couple of pretty big deal breakers that have kept me away.

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Ben Parry

Its free to play, worth a look. Some love it some hate it :)

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Narficus

Even those who love it hate the absolute mess made of the first area when they try to go back and play it, another issue of many topics on the forums begging the devs to change it. Even UO had a more functional intro for story, and new players are expected to tolerate The Battle of Solace Bridge? Okay. That’s only been an issue for the last two years, and despite all the “I see new players all the time!” they really don’t stick around even if they get past that part, to play the kludge of UO/AC/DAoC/WoW features slapped together with little care for design cohesion (that is why the PvP will always be trash).

It is because of this I fully recommend people DO try out SotA, if just to see one of the worst intro levels known to MMORPG game design this side of the millennium. The content comes before the explanation of the content, it’s glorious. 🤔

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Ben Parry

It can’t be that bad, considering if you look even Steam now shows the game on a big uptick. Almost all the new reviews the last few months have been pretty positive compared to all the issues they had prior. that is good news. As to starting area, I do agree its not the best by far and not the worst I have seen.. way better than what was there 3 years ago for intro which we had really none lol.. Its a forever learning mmo as there is even stuff that I am discovering and I have been playing 7+ years.

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Narficus

81% of 16 positive reviews is not “on a big uptick” unless you’re desperate. Oh, wait, I just checked and it’s now 73% of 19! Expanding the graph down by the reviews isn’t flattering at all. But hey, if you’re impressed with just a dozen compared to the thousands who have left, well, this is indeed the game for you.

Big uptick! 🤣

I’m not sure who you’re trying to fool. These are all basic things that anyone looking into a game on Steam would be familiar with, and to applaud these stats shows a great unfamiliarity with how Steam works. Unfamiliarity with how Steam works is precisely why SotA is such a trainwreck because it cannot connect to the largest community support for F2P on the planet. A couple of indie kids operating out of a closet can do that much.

Another year that SotA keeps failing that (just like the loot). Until that is fixed the game will forever be on the downward spiral.

And yes, the intro is still a hot mess, because even the Isle of Storms offered some context to the story and setting, much better than the current budget UO intro ripoff and worse than Ultima 9/Tabula Rasa design, for a game that was never meant to be an MMO (unless RG and Co were lying from the start).

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Ben Parry

All I can say is the game is still trucking along fine, and people still playing and numbers growing take it how you like. You are comparing a AAA game with large publishing house and large budget to a ll man team that makes its money from fluff store. Of coarse the AAA stuff will have amazing stuff. If SOTA had the same budget and hundreds of Devs the game would probably have been an AAA title. In any event you obviously dislike the game and as mentioned about some people love it some hate it.

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Narficus

To “love it” means you cling to hollow victories to make excuses for the fundamental broken features? That has been the problem from the start, people willing to make excuses instead of recognizing the Lord British is naked.

No, SotA isn’t “trucking along fine” – it has been losing players and developers until it is where it is now, with a big disclaimer on articles for it because it has become so dodgy. It isn’t improving when the dance parties have become fishing tournaments, and the devs spend time on a PvP queue when it took four months to organize a PvP tourney – for a community starved for community content.

And no, a couple of kids operating from a closet isn’t AAA, but they are capable of connecting to the Steam ecosystem in a meaningful way.

That is how badly SotA’s development fails. It was never meant to be an MMO, but because of hubris and chasing money, SotA has redefined irony because now it is an MMO with no money, devs, players.

And now they can’t even figure out how to connect to Steam and get that sweet, sweet Steam Community F2P Wallet moneys. But gosh, if only they had money to afford… well, anything they no longer have! Then they’d show us all! 🤔

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Ben Parry

it was to be a mmo with single player playability. That is where many folks got it wrong which is why some backers are jaded. they thought they were getting an ultima single player game. They had talked about steam but they preferred to use the coto store. Steam charges per transaction using their wallet. Steam users in SOTA are the smallest of the bunch most use the launcher as its quicker and gets patched before steam.

I still love the game regardless of your opinion. sounds like you wanted a different game to play than what they developed. there are plenty of others out there to play if you dont like :)

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Narficus

No, it wasn’t meant to be an MMO. From the KS:

Will this be a MMO? Can I play with my friends?
Yes, you will be able to play with your friends! Multiplayer games encourage social bonds that go far beyond what can be accomplished in a solo player game. I remember the depth of these bonds in players who met in-game only to get married in real life, how people who died in the real world were deeply mourned and celebrated by their online friends whom they may never have met face to face. Though Shroud of the Avatar won’t be a massively multiplayer online role playing game, it will be a multiplayer game. We will be describing this in more detail in our upcoming community blogs.

You might want to go back to the KS and read what it was supposed to be. See, lying about the game isn’t going to make it better. Lying was what lost the community, a huge chunk from the UDIC. That is why SotA is down where it is now.

Even so, Catnip are still working on everything that is irrelevant to maintaining, such as that Steam support. So that makes it doubly a disaster show on just those two facets alone. Then there’s that “warning label” in SotA articles.

Please, do enjoy your dying MMO that was never meant to be an MMO – while it lasts (and keeps sinking because the developers still can’t learn from putting the cart before the horse).

Or are you saying that LB and Co lied the entire time?

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Ben Parry

I went back and read you are right it was considered a MORPG not mmorpg. That said its still not a lie as it functions just the same but allows private group instancing or a choice of open. no limit so is that not really just a technicality in wording? as to steam support they still patch the game for steam they just done support steam wallet for in game purchases… many mmo’s on Steam have their own stores with in the game and not on Steam.

lol sinking… I laugh at that because for what 3 years now I have seen people making the same statements over and over… yep its done… yep ep2 will never be, yet the game goes on and still being developed, bug fixes, new content and direction on what is still to come. RG and Tracy recently finished the 2nd book so only time will tell how ep2 shapes up in 2-4 years.

guess only time will tell, and in the end if it becomes no more it don’t matter its only a game like all the other games out there. Some love it some hate its that simple. its just a game at the end of the day. you can choose to play for free or not :)

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Narficus

Noted!

I’ll keep track of your spin to see how well things turn out, because we’ve heard all these boasts that This is Fine™ every time and yet there’s nothing but excuses for why development has gone to a crawl.

Such as…

*points to the disclaimer box*

You’ve been trying to spin in face of direct evidence to the contrary of your claims.

Oh, and loot still sucks, this many years later.

But hey, good that they finally got (most) maps now working! Only how many more years until the rest of the basic features work in an acceptable fashion? It only takes a trip to the official forums to see even the die-hards pointing these things out.

Such as that awful UI that nobody is planning on fixing despite it regularly featuring in QoL threads.

Keep on clapping for Tinkerbell! XD

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Ben Parry

for sure, I agree 100% the UI needs to be fixed lol.

define crawl :) they put out stuff every month and follow up patches for any issues that missed testing. They have the bug hunters now back up and running which has been extremely busy going over the last 3 years of bugs verifying them and fixing. this whole month has pretty much been about fixing old bugs. for a team of 11 people they still do pretty well. If you are like a lot of the guys that are trying to compare this with AAA game with a budge 100 times this game than its a given that this game will loose out.

I’m just saying that that game is not like it was the year before and every month it gets better that is why they are still around and not a sunken ship. They make more than enough on subs alone to pay for the continued development. The store stuff is just extra icing… its been enough icing that they even hired back a few more folks to help work on additional stuff. They even just hired another person who will be taking over some more of the community side so Elgarion the current community manager can move more into what he want to do which is content creation. If they were in a bad position they would not be hiring.

But I fully understand the folks that leave because of how long some things are taking to get completed well seeing new things come and some old things unfinished. that would be some jaded for sure and or want to move on because no end in sight.

The game is f2p so I can’t complain if I still. if you want to look back between here and mmorpg forums over the last 5 years you will see the same handful bashing, its rarely new folks. even the new folk that try to post in these groups stop because the same very few will just try to tear them down when they are simply expressing that they like the game.

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Narficus

*looks back at Portalarium just two years ago (when they could afford real talent like Puuk) and now the game isn’t even being led by the dude whose name is in the title*

Cool story, bro.

Maybe the new CM can take over for Starr’s dance parties.

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Songs for Children

Watch Josh Strife Hayes’s review on YouTube and you’ll learn all you need to know.

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Ben Parry

I think a better option would be to watch people that actually play including new players and get realtime current reviews rather than some random guy who barely got out of one starter zone complaining he does not have hand holding cause the map is not telling him what to do or where to go.

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Narficus

Sure, join the ~2 dozen watching streams of this game!

Such advertise. Much play. Wow.

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Ben Parry

or watch Shrouds streams on Fridays which are hundred(s) most watch catnip’s stream because that is the only source of things happening pre monthly release as well Q/A and player input streams on what they would like to see. Id rather be playing than watching.

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Narficus

Yep, and many watch to see Chris mess with his fish without washing his hands afterward and make all sorts of claims that will arrive half-baked in the game, if they show up at all.

Must be nice to have that many sick days.

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Songs for Children

He had many valid, constructive criticisms about the game. Perhaps if the devs were competent and actually listened to feedback, people who try the game would make it out of the starting area.

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Narficus

I thought 2020 was the year loot stopped sucking.

I’d hate to have spoiled the surprise for a Christmas present Catnip already put under the tree, but there’s still a month and it’s the season of hope.

Eric E
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Eric E

You get better reward watching grass grow than anything you’ll ever do in this game.