Shroud of the Avatar’s latest release was so ‘borked’ that it was down all weekend – and still is

    
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Boredom McScamhour

Shroud of the Avatar was supposed to kick out Release 106 last week – Thursday, September 29th, to be exact – but the patch never came and the game’s Twitter account pretty much fell silent. So what happened? The story is unfolding in the official forums, where it’s confirmed that R106 is “borked.”

The first word of things going wrong was shared later Thursday night, when one of the game’s community managers confirmed that housing lots started causing enough issues that the devs were forced to go into emergency triage and troubleshooting mode.

“The build was clean, the base patch applied with no issues, but then the Heritage migration had an exception that caused us to have to restore the database backup we made.

“Once this was resolved, we completed the patching process only to find that our internal sanity testing showed issues with recently claimed or moved lots not being visible in the game (to clarify: none of the items or lots were deleted, everything is still in the item database).”

On Saturday evening, the prognosis was looking better. “This Release was borked (technical term),” the announcement reads. “We have a plan, just doing some additional tests before implementing the plan that will do a build that will allow players back in.” The last tweet from the studio is from Sunday, when devs says they were in “recovery stage.”

As of Monday morning, the game appears to still be offline; according to Discord messages from Catnip, the issue is still housing. “Once we do get the server back up, we will be putting 2XP in place and extending the sales currently in place to help ease the pain,” Catnip’s Ravalox wrote. The studio has also promised a postmortem livestream to explain in detail what happened.

Longtime MOP readers will know that Shroud of the Avatar is a controversial game in the MMO space. Kickstarted in 2013, the project has 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 company Portalarium sold SOTA to its lead dev and all but exited the game. Press inquires were met with stonewalling and insults, and equity crowdfund investors were abandoned without notice or any semblance of accountability; moreover, the groups are now building a blockchain MMO. SOTA itself does still have a tiny playerbase and is technically still receiving minimal development.
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