Shroud of the Avatar unveils plans to open up more gear pattern customization options

    
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Look good, feel good. That most certainly applies when it comes to your avatar in MMORPGs, but perhaps Avatars in Shroud of the Avatar have been feeling a bit stymied in their fashion choices recently. With Release 86 (or sometime after, apparently), those choices are going to open up with some planned changes to gear patterns.

In the near future, players will get to apply patterns from more broadly covered weapon types, changing one-handed longsword patterns to simply be one-handed blade patterns as an example, while equipment patterns will simply be assigned categories like head, chest, hand, and leg patterns. Players can also look forward to some new off-hand patterns and the ability to apply patterns within the same Artifact gear slot.

On the subject of Release 86, SOTA is eyeing a launch of January 28th, which will also bring the Well of Aldur adventure scene, corpse and coffin decorations (ew), eight new crafted conversationalists, new crafted and premium scroll decorations that let players put down their own custom literary works (we’re sure that won’t be abused horribly), and a promised slew of quality-of-life improvements. But perhaps more importantly, players will soon get to dress up real nice.

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 cutting promised features, crowdfunding excessively, delaying Kickstarter rewards, obfuscating its corporate leadership and office status, and neglecting SEC filings legally required by the game’s equity crowdfunding. Last year, Richard Garriott’s company 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 equity crowdfund investors were seemingly abandoned without notice, but the game does still have players and is still being developed, as we continue to cover.
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Bruno Brito

There’s no ammount of customization that will hide the trainwreck this game really is.

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Songs for Children

This is what happens when you have a coder ‘designing’ a game, one that was intended to be a cash grab in the first place.

Eric E
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Eric E

Just what old and new players wanted! Leather armor made to look like chain mail. Woohoo another awesome QoL change. /s

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Knecht_Rootrecht

I am old enough to fondly remember Ultima 4-7. How could it all go so wrong?

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Songs for Children

Garriott got older and lazier, and his tastes became more expensive?

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Narficus

The talent kept leaving until there wasn’t anyone left to take credit from.

Just about everyone outside of the UO cult knows that Raph Koster was the real design brains behind UO. This is most evident from reading his writing as Richard Garriott, Starr Long, and Chris Spears made rookie mistakes as their understanding of MMOs was on a Facebook level.

No kidding, the latest incarnation of The Ultimate RPG was intended to compete with Farmville on Facebook.

MasterOfPuppets
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MasterOfPuppets

A little analogy…

Every now and then, I see either a story in the news, or a thread in social media somewhere that someone was shocked to discover that their favourite band has radically different politics to themselves; the most common is Rage Against The Machine, such as when toxic waste dump of a politician Paul Ryan claimed to be a fan but was actually called out by the band themselves for being the Machine raged against; and Iced Earth are in the news right now because their core member was arrested in association with the attempted Coup, but many fans apparently didn’t realise they were a bunch of hard right whack jobs… despite it being obviously there in the lyrics all along.

Because there’s a certain kind of fan, lacking in deeper nuance or introspection, who can’t engage with any message or meaning, not outside of whether they personally like the mood music or not. They substitute their own head-cannon for the reality, and it often takes something undeniable and huge before they’ll re-evaluate, if indeed they ever do.

With regards to SotA, whilst much of the blame needs to be laid at the door of Garriott, Long, Spears who, if they ever personally believed any of the Virtues as written in Ultimas 4-7, they’ve long since abandoned even the pretense of them…

But there was also always a small core of backers, who apparently played the games, but somehow managed for decades to ignore any of the philosophies the games were based around. And because they themselves were materialistic, profit seeking, and amoral, the spiritual successor to a game they personally loved MUST be a perfect fit for that kind of behaviour too. They stayed, and continued to push for the game to become exactly that.

So much so, that greed and avarice actually became the official game lore;

Outlanders (Player characters) are particularly obsessed with gold so of course they will show up anywhere it is offered. Makes perfect sense from a story viewpoint and Richard agrees BTW.

(That’s also the infamous thread where Starr Long admitted 90% of the players couldn’t even afford to play the game, but not the why, as in they’d balanced it so much around Real Money purchases that the in game economy was broken for everyone else.)

Of course, when the majority of backers who actually loved Ultima for it’s take on Honesty, Justice, Spirituality etc fled the game and player numbers cratered, the reasonable response from people who suddenly realised they were singing to different lyrics, was to sit down and think about what they’d misunderstood and…

Ha ha ha, of course not! They instead formed a vicious, tiny Fellowship-esque cult and organised to blame, then stalk and harass the critics. And eventually, as the links on this article show, abuse the media too when they stopped covering the game positively.

With the results you see today. Apparently the supposed solution now is to sell the last dregs of the game to the Whales; they will presumably be then selling their under water properties to Aquaman.

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Narficus
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