shroud of the avatar

Official Site: Shroud of the Avatar
Studio: Portalarium
Launch Date: N/A
Genre: Fantasy Sandbox
Business Model: B2P (Cash Shop)
Platform: PC

Take a peek at the development of Shroud of the Avatar’s player-designed dungeon system

Drama seems to plague Shroud of the Avatar, but if you can look past it, there’s some fun innovation going on inside Portalarium in regard to MMO mechanics. Portalarium Technical Director Chris Spears, for example, has been slowly revealing a massive new player-generated dungeon system for the game, hidden away in the bowels of the forums until this week’s newsletter.

If you’re a fan of City of Heroes’ old Mission Architect, Star Trek Online’s Foundry, or even Star Wars Galaxies’ ancient Chronicles system, you’ll see remnants of all of those in this system. Basically, you buy blueprints for individual pieces from NPCs, then combine them with mats to build your dungeon space chunk by chunk, on a housing lot, out in the real world. Eventually, you’ll populate “encounter rooms” with mobs and make it a real delve for other players.

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Make My MMO: Star Citizen, Camelot, Codename Reality, and EverFeud (August 5, 2018)

This week in MMO crowdfunding, Star Citizen did some just Star Citizen things as fans raised a pay-to-win stink over CIG’s lifting of the cap on pre-launch currency stockpiles, meaning hardcore backers can hoard now and have (another) major advantage come launch. The drama would’ve probably blown over in a day or two but kept blazing through the weekend, as first a CIG PR statement and then Chris Roberts himself bizarrely denied the pay-to-win aspects of the game. Oh yeah, and 3.3 was delayed to coincide with CitizenCon.

Want something new to back? We got two new MMORPG Kickstarters this week: One for a self-described “massively multiplayer online persistent entity game” called Codename Reality, which seeks $583,918 wants to “revolutionize the MMO genre,” while the other, at $105,000, is for a PvP MOBA/MMO hybrid called EverFeud. Both join our list today.

Good news on the Camelot Unchained front: Beta one did indeed launch as planned this week, and thought it won’t look considerably different to existing testers, it’s a major milestone for the Kickstarted RvR MMORPG. Meanwhile, Razer launched a super quiet Kickstarter for left-handed gaming mice, Zeal announced it’ll kick off a Kickstarter in SeptemberAlbion Online launched its Merlyn update, and the Diablo history book Kickstarter pulled through to successfully fund in the end (phew!).

Read on for more on what’s been up with MMO crowdfunding over the last week and our roundup of all the crowdfunded MMOs we’re following.

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The Stream Team: Shroud of the Avatar’s Shooter Jennings album release party

Have you ever attended an album release party? You can in Shroud of the Avatar! Shooter Jennings, whose music is in game, has an album releasing on August 10 and there’s a party going on to celebrate it. Massively OP’s MJ is hoping she is makes it in to the event and can sneak you in as well! Tune in live at 8:00 p.m. to listen to some music from the upcoming album, Shooter.

What: Shroud of the Avatar
Who: MJ Guthrie
When: 8:00 p.m. EDT on Tuesday, July 31st, 2018

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Shroud of the Avatar works on global visual improvements, throws Shooter Jennings album release party

No, your eyesight hasn’t just gotten way better than last week; it is just that Shroud of the Avatar is starting to look a lot nicer. A few of these global visual improvements have hit the game with this past week’s Release 56, and many more of them are slated to arrive with August’s content update.

“We have started overhauling some of our global systems to dramatically improve the visual quality throughout the game,” said Portalarium. “The main focus is on shadows, lighting, and full screen visual effects.”

Meanwhile, the game’s interesting association with “country-rock-electronica mad scientist” Shooter Jennings continues as Shroud of the Avatar is hosting an album release party on Tuesday, July 31st, in the game. This isn’t merely a mob of people milling around in a pub but rather a series of quests that culminate in special rewards and an early listen to his latest album “Shooter.”

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Make My MMO: Camelot’s beta one, Fractured’s successful Kickstarter (July 29, 2018)

This week in MMO crowdfunding, anti-grind, PvP-optional MMO sandbox Fractured became the biggest traditional MMORPG to fund on Kickstarter this year (Temtem pulled in more cash but is not so traditional!), coasting past its goal to victory and promising to continue funding off Kickstarter as the months continue. The first leg of alpha is expected to begin by the end of the year, with beta planned for 2020 and a full launch in 2021.

Project Oasis World, on the other hand, has just kicked off its $25,000 Kickstarter to finish a GTAO-styled roleplay sandbox, and therefore it has entered the Make My MMO lists!

Meanwhile, Crowfall announced a partnership with Innova to launch the game in the Russian and CIS regions, Shroud of the Avatar launched R56, Ship of Heroes is prepping an August login test, City of Titans has a huge costuming infodump, and ROKH suspended development barring new funding.

Finally, Camelot Unchained’s Mark Jacobs put a new date on beta one: It’s coming this Tuesday, folks, at least as long as the weekend testing goes to plan.

Read on for more on what’s been up with MMO crowdfunding over the last week and our roundup of all the crowdfunded MMOs we’re following.

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Shroud of the Avatar’s 56th update is live, with a big PvP update and bug clean-up

Shroud of the Avatar’s 56th release is upon us, having been pushed live successfully yesterday. A big chunk of the update is necessary but boring bug-fixing, Portalarium says, with “nearly 100 issues” taken care of, some of which should improve performance and load times, polish up the UI, boost the look of shadows and lighting, and make large player gatherings run more smoothly.

As we’ve previously covered, this month’s content drop is focused on the first playable iteration of the game’s PvP-centric Obsidian Trials, “with multiple features including timed matches, a poisonous boundary that reduces the play area, a revamped PVP scoreboard, two new currencies, and new rewards including emotes, potions, and titles. Best of all, when you are killed you do not lose any items, nor trophies, to the person who killed you!”

Housing fiends, there are gobs of new craftables for you; lore people, the comet is still coming! Check out the whole set of patch notes for the full run-down of what to expect.

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This week’s Shroud of the Avatar patch includes an R2-D2 lookalike in homage to Star Wars

Shroud of the Avatar’s release 56 is coming on Thursday, which means Portalarium’s latest newsletter includes recaps of some of the content the team’s working on. Of note, that includes the first playable version of the Obsidian Trials, which is basically the game’s version of PvP: 10-minute matches with a battle royale-esque shrinking map and a special currency for PvP-themed emotes, titles, and consumbles.

The studio also gives a preview of the ongoing revamp of the newbie tutorials, though that won’t be fully complete until September’s update. “We are also removing the tutorial elements and having them be almost entirely focused on story,” the team says. “In the case of Solace Bridge this means rebuilding it which we are excited to show you progress on in this week’s update.”

But I can’t help it: My eye was drawn to the part of the newsletter where Shroud of the Avatar basically puts R2-D2 into the game in the form of “the cylinder automaton pet.” Yes, he goes live this week as part of the “Sky Navy” suite of items. I’m smitten.

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Make My MMO: Star Citizen in small claims court, Fractured nearing the finish line (July 21, 2018)

This week in MMO crowdfunding, Fractured ramped up its Kickstarter dev blogs as it nears the finish line of its crowdfunding effort, which ends in just four days. As I type this, it’s less than $10,000 away and I think it’s looking good. The studio posting up the details of its Star Wars Galaxies-esque player city system probably helped.

Meanwhile, Albion Online teased its upcoming crafting changes and recapped its largest battle ever, Elite Dangerous saw a teensy patch, Shroud of the Avatar prepped the upcoming patch, we took a look at Legends of Aria’s closed beta, and Star Citizen had a dose of drama as a backer took CIG to court over its refund policy and effectively lost, having been sidelined to arbitration. It capped off the week with a fresh concept ship sale, too.

Finally, Camelot Unchained’s Mark Jacobs did update backers last night on the current state of the build, as the game’s beta was delayed an additional few weeks over its crash rate. “Testing overall has been great,” he says. And yes, the crash rate is still coming down – higher than he says he’s seen in some live games, but not good enough for him.

Read on for more on what’s been up with MMO crowdfunding over the last week and our roundup of all the crowdfunded MMOs we’re following.

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Shroud of the Avatar’s newsletter covers the mysterious comet and player-created dungeon tools

Strange sights abound in Shroud of the Avatar right now. “Astronomers across New Britannia have noted that the approaching comet has agitated the creatures of Novia and Hidden Vale, making many bolder and more ferocious,” the game’s latest newsletter teases. “Rumors suggest that the aether surrounding the comet has been mutating some of the most powerful creatures into new monstrous variations.” That’s all in the lead-up to next week’s Release 56, so best get in there and try not to die. Portalarium further notes that it’s planning another stream with more info about what’s inbound to the game, including more tools for player-generated content.

“One of the new features we plan to discuss is a set of new building tools including dungeon creation (player property) and defense building (player property, castle defenses and control points). These are part of a larger effort to increase the community’s ability to craft their own adventures that includes existing tools like notes and signs but is also expanding with other new features like advanced container settings (locks, place/take settings, etc.) along with craftable/purhasable/placeable traps and spawners (spider eggs, skeleton crypts, etc.). When you put all of these things together your ability to craft adventures will be limited only by your imagination! Last livestream we also did not get a chance to talk another cool thing coming for Episode 2 which is the ability to ‘un-nest’ and/or transfer your Player Owned Town into the new lands!”

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Make My MMO: Aria’s second closed beta, Star Citizen’s protest, and Crowfall’s engine on the market (July 15, 2018)

This week in MMO crowdfunding, we got our first hints of “emergent gameplay” in Star Citizen as a group of players took over a refueling hub and began blasting everyone who came near it out of the sky. Why? Oh, they’re not just griefers; they’re specifically protesting CIG’s backburnering of the Arena Commander mechanics. I suppose it got them some attention, but also now all the people whose alpha ships they blew up hate them rather than CIG.

Meanwhile, Legends of Aria launched its second closed beta, Pantheon unveiled its character creation system, Saga of Lucimia riled everybody up over its grouping stance, City of Titans posted an epic teaser, Shroud of the Avatar opened a new cash shop to fund the next season and began optional subs, and Fractured’s Kickstarter has leaped up to $88K of its $116K goal with 10 days to go.

Finally, Crowfall had a big week, as its studio, ArtCraft, announced a second studio to license Crowfall’s engine to other companies building MMOs; we chatted with the company’s J. Todd Coleman about it too. There’s a huge chunk of new guide videos out on the game now too.

Read on for more on what’s been up with MMO crowdfunding over the last week and our roundup of all the crowdfunded MMOs we’re following.

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Massively OP Podcast Episode 177: ArenaNet A-bomb

On this week’s show, Bree and Justin cleans up after Guild Wars 2’s PR disaster, chew over the survivability of Shroud of the Avatar, and commiserate about Camelot Unchained’s delay. It’s not all downer news — there’s some really great stuff happening in the MMO industry, and that makes an appearance on this extra-long episode!

Special note: If you want to skip the ArenaNet discussion for the rest of the news, go to the 50-minute mark (yeah, we talk about it a lot!). Also, please note that this was recorded before the Polygon article that came out Monday night, so it’s missing some the additional commentary on Mike O’Brien’s second formal statement.

It’s the Massively OP Podcast, an action-packed hour of news, tales, opinions, and gamer emails! And remember, if you’d like to send in your own letter to the show, use the “Tips” button in the top-right corner of the site to do so.

Listen to the show right now:

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Shroud of the Avatar opens up optional ‘rewards’ subs, stretch goal cash shop to fund episode 2

With release 55 now behind it, Portalarium is focused on the future of Shroud of the Avatar. Specifically, that means episode 2, which is basically the second season of content for the game. To fund that content, the studio has opened up what it’s calling a “stretch goal store” tied to the episode.

“These are stretch goals with rewards that can be used in the game now (or at least very soon),” Portalarium says. “These rewards are completely unique. They will not be sold in the add-on store, in-game nor as a bundle item. Once the stretch-goal is met we will begin work on the functionality for Episode 2 and all the items purchased would gain some function related to the goal when Episode 2 launches. For instance the foal from the Mounts stretch goal would grow into a horse that you could then ride. Each goal will have a progress bar underneath tracking the progress. General philosophy is that these items cost slightly more than equivalent items because they are linked to stretch goals.” $42,500 was raised on the last stream alone.

The company has also kicked of a new rewards program, which looks like an optional subscription to us; for $9 monthly, players will be picking up a monthly currency stipend, vet titles, dyes, potions, and $5 credit toward month livestream stretch goals. We’ve tucked the game’s latest livestream below – the beginning is worth a look for the Antiques Roadshow spoof!

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Make My MMO: Camelot Unchained’s crash rate is coming down (July 7, 2018)

This week in MMO crowdfunding, the Kickstarter MMO crowd held its breath to find out whether or not Camelot Unchained would indeed make its July 4th beta test date as planned. Thanks to an annoying crash bug, it didn’t, but the studio is crunching to sort it out and isn’t anticipating more than a few weeks of delay, which isn’t going to seem like much to people who have already been waiting years.

“Still going through the logs. We’ve eliminated a lot of the crashes. Andrew’s working on another fix that should help things as well,” CSE’s Mark Jacobs told backers last night. “Hopefully, we’ll be able to talk about [the date] on Monday. […] Still no long-term change, no short-term change, no change whatsoever in what our original estimate was. We’re getting really close.” He reiterates that the crash rate has gone down, but they really need human testers testing, so get in there if you can.

Meanwhile, Richard Garriott rebutted claims that Shroud of the Avatar is a flop, some troll faked a former Star Citizen developer’s Glassdoor review of the studio, Temtem fully funded, and Fractured has passed 500 backers and half of its Kickstarter goal.

Read on for more on what’s been up with MMO crowdfunding over the last week and our roundup of all the crowdfunded MMOs we’re following.

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