Shroud of the Avatar Articles
The launch of the latest patch for Shroud of the Avatar has not come without its problems. After maintenance was complete, developers came back to the official site to announce that it would be rolling servers back to the pre-patch status in order to give it another go. As of this writing, the restart / relaunch of Update 56 is now live.
Shroud of the Avatar developer Portalarium laid off employees this week. Red Thomas happened to be in Austin anyway, so he stopped by to talk to Richard Garriott and Starr Long to get details.
Portalarium and Travian Games have sent word that development of the "next round of episodic content" has started. Episode 2 will feature expanded stories, new lands and feature sets. While development on Episode 2 is underway, a crew will be working on polishing current content. The PR also reveals that "staff rightsizing" is underway which will lead to some developers being laid off. No further explanation was given about how many employees have been let go.
The Shroud of the Avatar team has been working hard on Release 54 and just today sent out the instructions along with a list of things players can expect to find after its deployment. The new update will be focused heavily on the team's Top 10 Priorities including improvements to performance, the addition of new and polished scenes, better story polish and side quests, improvements to the offline companion system, new recipes in crafting and the addition of skeleton plunderers.
The Shroud of the Avatar team has published a new video featuring Nefario, "a powerful sorcerer of the Obsidian Order. He is part of a cabal of eight who are trying to fulfill the Dire Prophecies while "laying siege to the towns of Novia". The video was released as part of the latest Shroud of the Avatar weekly newsletter.
It’s been over a month since I last checked in about Shroud of the Avatar. In that time, there’s been heated debate on our forums about Portalarium’s KickStarter-backed indie title, covering everything from the core mechanics, to whether it even qualifies as an MMO. I’ll be getting to both of those questions later on in this wrap-up, but it clearly demonstrates how divisive this is. One player’s perfect experience is another’s critical miss.
Release 53 has been patched into Shroud of the Avatar. Players can expect a bunch of new and improved features including additional side quests, more story polish, more loot (decorations, player-crafted gear, etc.), new scenes as well as bug fixes, performance optimizations, UI polish and more localized content.
The Shroud of the Avatar team has announced that it has deployed an early version of Release 53 to the QA server for players to try out. This build provides some tweaks and updates to a number of systems including rebuilds of several locations, the LFG tool, loot improvements, side quests, heraldry and many others.
The latest Shroud of the Avatar newsletter has been published, this time packed with design notes for several locations in the game including Eastmarch, Penmawr Island and Tenebris Harbor. In addition, players first starting out will begin to see worn armor dropped that fits the theme of "just starting out".
The Shroud of the Avatar site has been updated with a forward look at the game's Top 10 development goals, but also with a forward looking peek at what's coming in Release 53 that is slated to go live on April 26th. Release 53 is the first post-launch update and contains both new features, polish and iterations on existing features.
The launch of Shroud of the Avatar: Forsaken Virtues is a rare and curious event. Heralded as a spiritual successor to the classic Ultima series, and with Richard Garriott as Creative Director, this independently built title is firmly built on some old-school foundations. But does classic charm translate into an MMO worth exploring? In our multi-part review, I’ll be tackling that very question.
Today is a big day for Shroud of the Avatar as the game is "finally ready to leave Early Access" and sail into the full release waters. Players can start playing SotA at 8:30 am Pacific / 11:30 am Eastern. Players can look forward to improvements in Performance, three Companions are added, several Scenes have been rebuilt, the story and quests have been polished, players can make multiple characters, heraldry has been added and combat has been polished and balanced.
Portalarium's latest Shroud of the Avatar newsletter is packed with news about next week's launch. The letter provides a timeline for the next update releases, community sponsored events, community created guides and links to relevant material on the official site. Of course, there are also links to the latest free trial offer that allows players to game along any of the available paths.
Portalarium and Travian have released a pair of videos to introduce new players to the world of Shroud of the Avatar as well as showcase the "cooperative RPG" portion of the game. The latter is described as "a multiplayer fantasy RPG and the spiritual successor to Richard Garriott's wildly successful Ultima and Ultima Online games". It is definitely running on high Ultima energy!
The Texas Story Project recently completed a short interview with Portalarium's Richard Garriott about his career in gaming. He traces his path through his beginnings in high school and shows off pieces of his collection that are now collectible historical pieces in the timeline of video gaming. It's a fascinating look at one of the pioneers of the video games industry.