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News & Features Discussion  » [Interview] Shroud of the Avatar: Pulling Back the Curtain with Garriott

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60 posts found
  SBFord

MMORPG.COM Staff

Joined: 6/28/10
Posts: 12111

 
OP  4/01/13 2:52:32 PM#1

Richard Garriott's Shroud of the Avatar has been successfully crowd-funded and the team has been busy keeping backers up to date on what's in the works. We managed to catch up with Richard during GDC and have a great first-hand report about what's going on with Shroud of the Avatar. Read on and then leave your thoughts in the comments.

He started out by saying that Shroud is not just an MMO and not just a solo game; it falls somewhere in the middle. That is a trend we are seeing with a lot of games coming out over the next few years. Richard explained that Shroud leverages your friends list and the power of social media so that you can connect in with your friends as well as their friends to build on a large group of people. This allows for groups to form up in both PVE and PvP scenarios without complete strangers getting involved in your game. The only thing this system does not support too well is large scale raids. However, we talked a lot about Ultima Online and the sandbox effect it had, which is something many MMOs are returning to.

Read more of Garrett Fuller's Shroud of the Avatar: Pulling Back the Curtain with Garriott.

Associate Editor: MMORPG.com
Follow me on Twitter: @MMORPGMom

  Incomparable

Elite Member

Joined: 3/11/11
Posts: 682

4/02/13 8:35:22 AM#2

The graphics would mean they could do a lot with pvp.

Maybe its still too ambitious to hope for our heros to be builders in an MMO that controls resources, builds fortifications and conquers other nearby targets. Similar to a strategy game meets an MMO. So basically our heros would be way more powerful against armies raised by other players so it would still be an MMO against NPCs or PVE.

“Write bad things that are done to you in sand, but write the good things that happen to you on a piece of marble”

  Soldarith

Novice Member

Joined: 2/18/07
Posts: 177

4/02/13 8:38:01 AM#3

Not to try to sound like too much of a negative nanny here but: Why is he still leading development teams on games? Why should the public put any level of trust back into a man who has failed them in titles, huge budgets, large development teams, and big name backers? Sure he had early successes, but everything he has touched in the last ten years has been not just a failure but an absolute money pit.

The fallout from the totally failed concept of Tabula Rasa and how his unique flying unicorns and rainbows version spent millions before being completely re-written, would make even the most stout financial backer wince before reaching into their pockets. Yet, here he is again.

Why did he decide 'now would be a great time to mouth off to the industry again' (my words not his but paraphrased the essence), on how the industry cannot develop anymore, cannot invent anymore. However, here we have a title that he is leading that does not break a single piece of new ground. In fact, the title does exactly what every popular online title is doing to some extent: Creating a compelling single-player story arc that spans the multiplayer world. Period. Regular DLC? That is not innovative, its required for business these days. The days of WOW's 8-10 month expansion model are over. And I am sure he learned his lesson of monthly subscription fees being over, so I expect a "revelation" soon from him on in-game micro-transactions.

All-in-all, this guy is outdated material; not the gaming industry. He needs to drop the ego, eat a piece of humble pie, and help the industry push forward in innovation, technology, and creation. You CAN fail in this industry; he most of all should know that by now.

  Zekiah

Novice Member

Joined: 1/06/07
Posts: 2527

Hype (noun)
1. to trick; gull.
2. exaggerated publicity; hoopla.
3. swindle, deception, or trick.

4/02/13 8:41:13 AM#4

It's not even in Alpha and already it's become PAY TO WIN.

NEW: Available only to backers, you will receive one Immortality Fruit seed. With the Farming Craft you can plant the Immortality Fruit seed, which will bear a single fruit. When eaten, this fruit will fully heal you, and leave you with a single seed which can be planted and harvested, over and over, for all eternity. The Immortality Fruit seed can be transferred between players.

That is just plain sad, I'll pass.

"Censorship is never over for those who have experienced it. It is a brand on the imagination that affects the individual who has suffered it, forever." - Noam Chomsky

  Uhwop

Hard Core Member

Joined: 3/20/10
Posts: 1355

4/02/13 8:42:55 AM#5

The social networking stuff is nice, but it seems like Garriott has this fantastical idea of what social networking is like. 

I would be lucky if one or two of all the people on my facebook list actually played a game I play, or one like this. 

Zynga made a lot of money because they made games my mother would play, she discovered them through social networking sites. 

As a 30+ year gamer, the constant pushing of the social networking connection doesn't actually make me feel all warm and fuzzy inside, quite the opposite actually, and I do use social networking sites. 

  Po_gg

Elite Member

Joined: 5/12/10
Posts: 1764

4/02/13 9:00:32 AM#6
Originally posted by Uhwop

As a 30+ year gamer, the constant pushing of the social networking connection doesn't actually make me feel all warm and fuzzy inside, quite the opposite actually, and I do use social networking sites. 

I have the same feelings about social crapwork, but I don't even use them :)

Besides that, Shroud sounds pretty good. I loved the series (except UO and maybe Ascension) so I definitely will play the heck out of it offline, and will dig into the crafting online. Too bad it's almost 2 years until the launch...

  Reklaw

Elite Member

Joined: 1/07/06
Posts: 5772

The adult I am takes care of most things real life. However my inner-child is a GAMER!!

4/02/13 9:14:10 AM#7

To be honost with a name like RG I would actually try and show the world what a seamless openworld sandbox game should be. Instead he's going to follow the trend instead of creating a new one. The few hints/rumors we have gotten from Blizzards Titan suggest they "might" be big on social media connection through out their new game. Seem RG is riding their boath.

I will keep an eye on the game but I aint really excited yet from what I know.

  dimasok

Novice Member

Joined: 2/04/12
Posts: 192

4/02/13 9:48:57 AM#8

I was a basic backer until I saw the videos. Doesn't look too promising and the premium stuff (not to mention the pay-to-win stuff) makes me sad.

  Hrotha

Hard Core Member

Joined: 4/25/08
Posts: 828

4/02/13 10:10:59 AM#9
Okay, definitelly not interested. Thanks.

  JeroKane

Elite Member

Joined: 2/21/06
Posts: 4674

4/02/13 10:16:01 AM#10
Originally posted by Soldarith

Not to try to sound like too much of a negative nanny here but: Why is he still leading development teams on games? Why should the public put any level of trust back into a man who has failed them in titles, huge budgets, large development teams, and big name backers? Sure he had early successes, but everything he has touched in the last ten years has been not just a failure but an absolute money pit.

The fallout from the totally failed concept of Tabula Rasa and how his unique flying unicorns and rainbows version spent millions before being completely re-written, would make even the most stout financial backer wince before reaching into their pockets. Yet, here he is again.

Why did he decide 'now would be a great time to mouth off to the industry again' (my words not his but paraphrased the essence), on how the industry cannot develop anymore, cannot invent anymore. However, here we have a title that he is leading that does not break a single piece of new ground. In fact, the title does exactly what every popular online title is doing to some extent: Creating a compelling single-player story arc that spans the multiplayer world. Period. Regular DLC? That is not innovative, its required for business these days. The days of WOW's 8-10 month expansion model are over. And I am sure he learned his lesson of monthly subscription fees being over, so I expect a "revelation" soon from him on in-game micro-transactions.

All-in-all, this guy is outdated material; not the gaming industry. He needs to drop the ego, eat a piece of humble pie, and help the industry push forward in innovation, technology, and creation. You CAN fail in this industry; he most of all should know that by now.

QFT!

Why you think all these Ego trippers who call themselves heroes of the game industry can't find a single sane money investor anymore and are resorting to Kickstarter?

I rest my case.

I am not bad mouthing Kickstarter... as a lot of great stuff has come out of it.

But lately it has become the new hideout of "Failed" Game Designers/directors! /shrug

  flizzer

Hard Core Member

Joined: 11/10/12
Posts: 798

4/02/13 10:29:29 AM#11

I never played any of the Ultima games, but reading about Shroud of the Avatar has got me interested. I looked at Ultimat 7, which many consider the best one ,but the graphics look so dated at this point.  Is it worth picking up Ultimata 9, which graphic-wise I can probalby handle?  I read some bad reviews but most of the talked about how lore breaking the story was and since I dont really know the entire story, not sure that matters to me at all.  Any thoughts?

 

  Nanfoodle

Elite Member

Joined: 5/23/06
Posts: 2894

4/02/13 10:46:05 AM#12

Reminds me of the old school 8 bit RPGs, where you would wander around a map and between running to dungeons and towns random mob encounters would happen. 

 

For someone who said game design has not improved this seems a step back from many improvments we see in MMOs, like a persistant world. This is just a map you walk around on and warp into a zones.

 
  NobleNerd

Advanced Member

Joined: 2/08/08
Posts: 407

Try not!
Do or do not
There is no try.

4/02/13 11:19:23 AM#13

  RG reminds of an old saying "A fool has no trouble telling you how foolish he is". It seems to me the more RG talks the more foolish it makes him. I do not see this title going too far,  the facebook gaming generation may eat it up. 

  As far as innovation I do not believe you will see the "oldtimers" of the gaming world create it. I say enough of living the olde days of rpg-mmo-gaming and lets back some new dreamers with piss and vinager in their bones !

  patlefort

Advanced Member

Joined: 7/13/08
Posts: 51

4/02/13 11:21:55 AM#14
Originally posted by flizzer

I never played any of the Ultima games, but reading about Shroud of the Avatar has got me interested. I looked at Ultimat 7, which many consider the best one ,but the graphics look so dated at this point.  Is it worth picking up Ultimata 9, which graphic-wise I can probalby handle?  I read some bad reviews but most of the talked about how lore breaking the story was and since I dont really know the entire story, not sure that matters to me at all.  Any thoughts?

 

Ultima 9 is one of the worst game in existence.

  DaezAster

Novice Member

Joined: 6/18/12
Posts: 789

4/02/13 11:26:51 AM#15

Looks pretty bad imo, like civs meets crappy rpg. 

  spankybus

Hard Core Member

Joined: 11/20/05
Posts: 1151

"Don''t touch that squirrel''s nuts!" - Willy Wonka

4/02/13 11:29:00 AM#16

To be honest...I am sick of innovation.

 

Innovation has brought us some very shallow gameplay with really pretty graphics. Sometimes its fun, but more often then not, we all play a game for less and less time after we buy it...but it still costs the same amount of money.

 

I backed him. Not much, but enough to get me a copy of whatever this will become. I am taking a chance.

 

Frankly, I could do will a little old school thinking. Maybe.  But imho UO was the best sandbox MMO to date...maybe graphics were a bit fugly, but so what. U4 was amazing and it had 16 colors on its best platform.

 

Besides, it really isnt costing me a whole lot to find out. /shrug

 

Here's hoping.

 

Then again, he could just be secretly trying to finance another trip to the ISS....

 

Frank 'Spankybus' Mignone
www.spankybus.com
-3d Artist & Compositor
-Writer
-Professional Amature

  Torvaldr

Elite Member

Joined: 6/10/09
Posts: 5183

Opportunist

4/02/13 11:33:50 AM#17

For a prototype it looks pretty good really.  At least he has a working prototype unlike some other game on this forum that is riding on concept hype alone.

I like most of the Ultima games, at least the core offerings - not so much the weird spinoffs.

This is something I will still be watching.  I'm curious how the entire crowdsourcing movement will evolve.

  Po_gg

Elite Member

Joined: 5/12/10
Posts: 1764

4/02/13 11:54:38 AM#18
Originally posted by patlefort
Originally posted by flizzer

I never played any of the Ultima games, but reading about Shroud of the Avatar has got me interested. I looked at Ultimat 7, which many consider the best one ,but the graphics look so dated at this point.  Is it worth picking up Ultimata 9, which graphic-wise I can probalby handle?  I read some bad reviews but most of the talked about how lore breaking the story was and since I dont really know the entire story, not sure that matters to me at all.  Any thoughts?

Ultima 9 is one of the worst game in existence.

Lol, nice exaggeration.

Let's remain objective, Ascension was the worst one in the original series. :)

  kerigar

Novice Member

Joined: 1/04/07
Posts: 68

4/02/13 1:39:11 PM#19

Garriot needs to stop beating around the damn bush and make an Ultima Online 2.... What the hell are people waiting for....

Rediculous that the grandad of all mmo's cant get a proper sequel....I know he has no right to the ultima online name but the hell is stopping him from doing this under another banner.

UO to this day is the only MMO that is worth playing longer than a few months :/

This just looks weird...
  SlyLoK

Advanced Member

Joined: 7/04/08
Posts: 889

4/02/13 1:39:23 PM#20
Looks interessting.. The only faults I see in this build are terrible animations , sound and music which all can be fixed.
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