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Shroud of the Avatar Missteps Have Become Incalculable but Intends to Stay the Course

Steven Weber Updated: Posted:
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Shroud of the Avatar has had a pretty bad run of things over the past several years. After a several years that saw a substantial decline in players, their legendary CEO and creative director Richard Garriott moved on to another project, and now a catastrophic technical glitch, you would imagine that the team at Portalarium would be close to throwing in the towel. Despite these hardships, the development team took to the forums to assuage fears that the game will fade away.

Shroud of the Avatar has had a rough go of it over the past month. At the end of September, Portalarium had planned to update Shroud of the Avatar to play release 106, but the best laid plans of Devs and games often go astray, and the patch caused a migration error that required the team restore the database from a backup. During the time the team was dealing with the issue, the live servers were down, but the trouble was only just beginning.

On October 2nd, the team addressed fears that the game would be kaput, as they continue to attempt to restore the game. However, news came to light that the restoration of the database was mostly unsuccessful due to the fact that the database issue that resulted in the ongoing problems, has been ongoing for over a month. This meant that they can’t just restore a database, and instead they would have to create a QA build and essentially rebuild the database that way.

First off. No, the game is not going away. We'll be doing some special stuff as a thanks for being so positive and standing by through the whole thing taking into account lost time and rewards. But we first will need to get through the recovery phase.

-Ravlox, Community Manager, Shroud of the Avatar, Forums

The developers indicated that the QA test could potentially miss a little over a month’s worth of information related to Lots that were placed, and items held within those lots (such as your inventory and bank). Over the course of several days, the developers wanted to make sure that players realized that, despite the many problems with the QA test build, Deeds, Lots and items were not completely lost. However, the database version the team ended up restoring for the QA server was later confirmed that it was from August 24th, which points to the possibility that the entire month of September would be lost in the test build. The hopes of many players are pinned on whether Portalarium can successfully rebuild the database.

Players should expect a multi-stage recovery process, and while the outcome may look bleak, this isn’t the first time we’ve seen a development studio rebuild a database for some players to fix a problem. Not long ago, Jagex had to go through a similar recover process for RuneScape and they were successful in their task, despite the developers working around the clock, and even getting emotional over the task. Shroud of the Avatar unfortunately is in a different predicament, as the game has already been struggling with player retention and loss of talent. It currently sits at an abysmal daily peak player count in the double digits on Steam. The game hasn’t hit more than 100 players on Steam since January of 2022.

Portalarium seems adamant to hang in there despite the low population and update troubles they’ve run into recently. Many believed that SotA wouldn’t make it past losing Richard Garriott, as he moved on to new, blockchain-focused pastures, but Portalarium has not raised the white flag yet. Do you think Shroud of the Avatar will recover from their latest setback? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.


Steven Weber

Steven has been a writer at MMORPG.COM since 2017. A lover of many different genres, he finds he spends most of his game time in action RPGs, and talking about himself in 3rd person on his biography page.