Shroud of the Avatar fixes loot imbalances and puts an end to slippery overworld maps

Huh. That... huh.

There are a number of descriptors MMORPG devs would like to hear about their game world’s maps. Things like “gorgeous,” “lush,” “expansive,” or “interesting.” One descriptor that devs probably don’t like to hear is “slipperier than a syrup-covered pig sliding downhill.” That was apparently something of an issue in Shroud of the Avatar (though likely not as severe as that description would imply), but the problem of players’ feet sliding when on overworld maps was apparently a thing. A thing that’s been fixed now.

The latest build update has made a few other fixes on top of slippery maps, like improving loot imbalances (without specifying what); the end of players and NPCs being swallowed by the ground (so maps are either slick or ravenous, apparently); stopping players who stand on slanted object from bouncing (maybe they’re just vibing?); and terrain in Shaminian Hills being once again visible (so slippery, ravenous, and sneaky!). The patch notes aren’t exactly extensive, but clearly these are fixes that had to be made.

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. In 2019, 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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I would have loved a continuation of the classic Ultima 6 + 7 games with a heavy emphasis on a story that isn’t just the standard good vs. evil or the boring ‘morally grey’.

But many players wanted a continuation of Ultima Online instead and the devs seemed to have $$ in their eyes with the idea of selling virtual estate to players.

Forsaken virtues indeed.


You might be closer to the truth than you realize.

Indeed, SotA started as Squadron 42 using the nostalgic to provide most of the marketing drive, then shifted right into Star Citizen once the digital properties could be sold. Portalarium were in a bad position after Ultimate Collector was put down by Zynga, and before that they spent millions developing a Facebook poker game.

But where did all the money go?

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Ashfyn Ninegold

The Overworld did SotA in for me. Interesting concept, just horrible realization, especially for new players trying to do quests.

During my time playing SotA, I had the very firm impression that the game was only understandable to insiders, those who had spent considerably time and money on it. I’m only going to spend so much time trying to find where my quests take place, wandering forever about in the Overworld just had no appeal for me.


No post-update SotA patch would be complete without the usual insufficient QA before the patch is shoveled out to Live.

QA apparently means Quick Access to those who want to see anything before anyone else.