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Six Months In

Robert Lashley Posted:
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Over the past few weeks I have taken a look at the current crop of MMOs in development that were partially funded by Kickstarter. Timing being everything, I was lucky and over the weekend the team at Portalarium, having just surpassed the six month mark of developing Shroud of the Avatar: Forsaken Virtues, released a state of the game video. This week we will dive into what they had to show off to everyone.

All three of what I consider to be the big MMOs to be funded at the beginning of this year offer something truly unique compared to the others. Pathfinder is shaping up to be a sandbox featuring vertical progression. Camelot Unchained,still a working title, is a pvp focused sandbox MMO with horizontal progression. Finally SotA: FV is not even a MMO, but at the same time it is. Do not worry if it confuses you a little. It did a lot of people at first but it will become clearer to you in time.

At the beginning of the video Richard Garriott, AKA Lord British, acknowledges that housing is a large part of their game, and land is going to be at a premium. From the opening we are shown a number of flybys of two different types of settlements. The focus of the housing portion of the video appears to take place in Owl’s Head village. On the outskirts of the village we are show palisades and more rustic homesteads. As players progress to the center of the village we find fortified walls and structures made of stone. This is where the seat of power will reside within the village, which is starting to look more like a city than a village.

Next up we are shown a series of different houses that will be available in the game. The first house that was shown off is Germanic in theme and was made specifically to recognize the German backers of SotA. The second house shown off was Nordic in theme and while the German houses appeared to have a stucco like material on the walls the Nordic homes had more vertical timbers and included lofts.  The Germanic home also was a single story while the Nordic home had higher ceilings and a loft area. The third house that was shown was made for and by magic users. It was a multistory tower that had teleports to get from level to level.

My personal favorite was the druid house. This home was a stone home inside of a large tree. This home also had multiple levels but instead of having internal stair cases it had external ramps to get from floor to floor. The largest home that was shown off in this part of the video was the Town Tower. This building was made of stone, had multiple levels and features high ceilings with large open internal staircases.  This was also the first building shown off with a basement. On the upper floor it appears that there was a piano on a wall. No word on whether or not it was functional. There was, however, a working alchemy lab in the basement alongside the Throne of Bones that was shown off as a reward for a quest in a video Portalarium showed off earlier this year explaining the quest system. All of these houses can be purchased for cash.

The next homes that were shown off are for backers online. The first Lord Home that was shown was a large home with an open flat roof design. On this roof there was a cooking station. There is nothing better than a medieval cookout on the roof when you get home from a long day of work and slaying. Lord British also showed off the Lord of the Manor house. This is the ultimate backer level home. The best word to describe it is massive. Apparently the homes that were shown at the beginning of the video are small enough they can fit into a room of the Lord of the Manor house. While the views of the large rooms were impressive the most interesting part was the fact this home had a multilevel basement and that this feature isn’t exclusive to this home. While most homes won’t be able to spread out horizontally apparently we will be able to grow down. 

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Robert Lashley

Rob Lashley is a Staff Writer and Online host for MMORPG.com. Rob's bald and when he isn't blinding people from the glare on his head talking in front of a camera you can chase him down on twitter @Grakulen or find him on YouTube @RobUnwraps.