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

Here’s what’s in Shroud of the Avatar’s R53, launching this Thursday

The dust may be settling after Shroud of the Avatar’s final launch, but that doesn’t mean the game is done. On the contrary, Portalarium clearly means to keep right on its strict monthly update schedule.

As the title’s latest dev update explains, R53 – due out this Thursday – includes the rebuild of multiple scenes and locations (like Tenebris Harbor and Penmawr Island shown in the gallery below), plus the looking-for-group system, better loot, offline drop rate tweaks, additional side quests, heraldry, and new “plunderer NPCs,” plus the promised UI polishing pass.

The planned stress test on the QA server kicks off as this post goes live; as previously noted, a quorum of participants will ensure a double experience event come the launch of the update.

Meanwhile, if you’re into world exploration, swing by the Twitter feed of Portalarium’s Richard Garriott; he’s been chronicling a well-earned trip to the Arctic.

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Shroud of the Avatar bribes players to stress test its servers

Want some bonus XP in Shroud of the Avatar? You’re going to have to put in some effort to make that happen, kiddo.

Portalarium is planning a performance stress test of the game’s QA server this Monday and wants to load as many players as possible onto it to see if it can handle the load. This will take the form of a party on a boat (seriously) which will also involve summoned bosses and other server-smashing activities.

The studio said that if it can get at least 50 people to stick around for 45 minutes on the boat, it will activate a double XP bonus on the live servers for a week after Release 53 is launched later this month. Other incentives to showing up include random prizes handed out to party goers, such as a scorpion chair.

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Shroud of the Avatar ruins its armor on purpose and reveals cinematic storyboard

When Shroud of the Avatar said that it is developing worn and rusty armor and weapons to meet player demand for such things, it may sound, well, downright strange. Yet when you think about it, there is an appeal to wearing and sporting gear that has a “lived in” look instead of immacuately perfect and shiny outfits.

As such, worn, rusted, tattered, and dirty armor will start to be dropped with Shoud of the Avatar’s Release 53. The team said that players can either equip these or salvage them for patterns.

Generating dirty laundry for a future patch isn’t all the team is doing these days. Work progresses on new scenes, including the village of Eastmarch (and surrounding areas), the pirate haven of Penmawr Island, and the besieged town of Tenebris Harbor.

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Saga of Lucimia defends Star Citizen’s slow progress, Shroud of the Avatar’s transparency

One of the challenges for indie and crowdfunded MMORPGs is surely the nature of their development: plugging along without much fanfare, with players seeing only one part of the equation. Saga of Lucimia has a piece out meant to show what that behind-the-scenes iteration looks like in the construction of an in-game asset as it travels from art concept to 3-D model to textured asset to something that’s added to the world by a different team entirely. But then what might be a mundane art blog takes a sharp turn to talk about other MMORPGs and their communities and expectations.

“There’s a major disconnect with some players when it comes to the misconceptions regarding iterations over the course of the game’s development,” argues Lucimia Creative Director Tim “Renfail” Anderson. “We see a lot of anger around the ‘net in regards to how things change over time with almost every MMORPG’s development, with many claiming the developers lied about how something was going to work, or how something was perceived as being a certain way, and then when it doesn’t work out quite the way players perceived, they claim that the developers deceived them, and that the launched product isn’t anything like what was initially discussed during the development process. The perfect example of this is Star Citizen/Squadron 42.”

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Global Chat: Giving Project Gorgon a try

With Project Gorgon now out on Steam early access, many first-time visitors to this strange game are feeling out the world and its systems. So what are they discovering?

Tales of the Aggronaut said that he was “hooked” when he put in a good weekend: “Part of the charm of this game is that it plops you into the game with no real warning or advisement about what you should be doing.”

“There’s never any doubting the sheer personality evident in every aspect of the game,” recommended Inventory Full. “The enthusiasm and good nature of the tiny development team sweeps all cynicism away.”

Project Gorgon not your cup of tea? Join us after the break for blog essays on Second Life, RIFT Prime, Shroud of the Avatar, and even Dungeons & Dragons!

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Pirates plunder Shroud of the Avatar

Way back when websites were a new and marvelous thing, creators often slapped a yellow “under construction” icon on them to indicate what should have been blindingly obvious — that what you see wasn’t the final, finished result.

Despite launching last month, Shroud of the Avatar remains “under construction,” as are all online games in development. As work continues apace on Release 53 for later this month, the team is crafting several new and improved zones, including the player village of Eastmarch, the pirate-infested Penmawr Island, and the recently plundered Tenebris Harbor.

The team is also throwing a launch screenshot contest “to highlight all the moments of beauty, virtue, danger, and wondrous discoveries that inhabit the land.” Prizes include titles, pets, and in-game currency.

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Make My MMO: Camelot Unchained marches on; Albion players murder half a million bunnies (April 7, 2018)

This week in MMO crowdfunding, Camelot Unchained continues inching along toward its planned summer beta. According to the game’s latest update, CSE is running internal tests on a new server while tweaking tooltips, the banes and noom system, capture-the-flag mode, item placement, armor, environment assets, and animations, including new idles for each class.

Meanwhile, Crowfall released its 5.5 alpha, Ashes of Creation announced alpha one will land by the end of the year, Albion Online balance-patched armor and GvG while counting a million dead bunnies, Dual Universe released its April newsletter, and Dogma Eternal Night hit the skids.

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

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Massively OP Podcast Episode 164: Shroud of the Heroes

On this week’s show, Bree and Justin have a hearty laugh over April Fools Day in MMOs, celebrate the launch of a couple of titles, talk about MMO body shape options, and more!

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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The Stream Team: Touring PaxLair in Shroud of the Avatar

It is no secret that players housing is one of the absolute favorite game features of Massively OP’s MJ. And she’s missed massively players towns since her favorite game disappeared. But now there is another game that has both housing and massive player cities: Shroud of the Avatar. Today she’s going to tour the first player city to go into game. There’s quite a bit to it, with a plethora of spiffy decorations, so join us live at 6:00 p.m. for a look around. Maybe you’ll get some ideas for your own decorating projects!

What: Shroud of the Avatar
Who: MJ Guthrie
When: 6:00 p.m. EDT on Monday, April 2nd, 2018

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Shroud of the Avatar’s next update focuses on quests, combat, towns, and the LFG tool

Shroud of the Avatar’s been out on Steam as a fully launched MMORPG for a week now, but the Portalarium devs aren’t slowing down now. The game’s latest newsletter covers a gorgeous shard-encrusted new area, new heraldry customization items, and a new craftable inn with 16 rentable rooms.

For spring, the team says it’s focused on performance, localization, physical goods for old-school backers, the UI, better rewards and loot tables, story polish, better enemy AI, and more obvious player goals. The April patch specifically will home in on side quests, the LFG tool, crafted gear, combat, and player towns.

Reviews on Steam sit at mixed; as always, you should probably read the ones from people with real time in and skip the bombers. Or you can jump into the free trial, which is ongoing right now, and decide for yourself.

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Make My MMO: Shroud of the Avatar sheds its early access… shroud (March 31, 2018)

This week in MMO crowdfunding, Shroud of the Avatar formally launched with the release of R52 this week, which might be confusing to gamers who’ve been playing the soft launch since mid-2016, but this one’s official. Richard Garriott-backed studio Portalarium has since published details for its first three post-launch updates.

Meanwhile, Star Citizen’s alpha 3.1 went live, a former WoW designer is Kickstarting a huge coffee table book, Ship of Heroes talked engine upgrades, Dual Universe founder JC Baillie made the case for Ready Player One as reality, we chatted with the Legends of Aria team at GDC, Star Citizen dinged up to 2M accounts, Chronicles of Elyria showed off its character creation, Valiance Online teased auras, and Swedish crowdfunding platform FundedByMe passed half a billion SEK (about 60 million USD) in crowdfunding across all its projects.

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

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Betawatch: Shroud of the Avatar launches for real (March 30, 2018)

Did it happen? Are the rumors true? Yes, my friends, Shroud of the Avatar is actually launched now. The game has launched. Which probably means very little for the people who are already playing and have been during the 66 million years of early access, or the people who are not playing for whatever reason. But it launched!

And as long as we’re talking about 66 million years, let’s kick off our list of other beta news!

Equally serious business is our list of games in testing just below, which contains the best information we have at the moment about the test state of various titles. Is something a little off? Please, let us know down in the comments so we can test it out. We appreciate it; the rumors to that effect are true.

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Shroud of the Avatar lays out a roadmap for its next three updates

Now that Shroud of the Avatar is officially launched, what’s next? For the team, the pace of development and updates won’t change, with a patch scheduled for the end of each month. Portalarium treated us to a roadmap of the game’s second quarter, saying that it will be putting an emphasis on performance, localization, polish, better direction, improved AI, better rewards, and repeatable content.

So what’s coming? The roadmap in a nutshell is as follows:

  • April’s Release 53: More side quests to the main storylines, updated maps, improved frame rates, a looking for group tool, UI polish, and a pass on combat balance. It will also add the zones of Tenebris Harbor, Eastmarch, and Penmawr Island.
  • May’s Release 54: Yet more quests and performance improvements are on the docket, as well as the ability to brew alcohol and more chaos magic.
  • June’s Release 55: More quests, more performance improvement, castle defense scenarios, a Jingo seasonal creature, more localization for text and quest dialogue, and the regions of Norgard Fens, Bramble, and East Vauban Foothills. This month will also see the shipping of Kickstarter physical rewards, such as the game’s box and cloth map.

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