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Default Shroud of the Avatar: Forsaken Virtues - Kickstarter Updates

March 11th, 2013, 00:54
Originally Posted by rune_74 View Post
Social elements were meant as social as in, talking to other people etc, not zynga social.
I mean, yeah, it won't be a Facebook game. However, the emphasis will be on social and multiplayer elements. You'll use a mixture of in game and out game currency to build up your stuff and show everyone else how cool you are. They're only now considering the -possibility- of making the game entirely offline capable. The single player stuff they've already promised isn't much different than the private regions people can access in SimCity. They're also planning on using DRM, though they're trying to act like there is uncertainty there. I'd say always on DRM is possible, maybe even likely.

http://www.kickstarter.com/profile/portalarium/comments - comments from the company itself. Very eye opening.
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March 11th, 2013, 01:19
Originally Posted by Moorkh View Post
The blown-up map just distances me from the game world, and I really don't see the attraction of having towns just "spring up" in a Ultima-style detailed game world.
isn't it a fundamental part of the Ultima lore that new towns are springing up all the time?
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March 11th, 2013, 01:25
Originally Posted by killias2 View Post
http://www.kickstarter.com/profile/portalarium/comments - comments from the company itself. Very eye opening.
Some pretty disturbing stuff in there.
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March 11th, 2013, 01:49
Originally Posted by killias2 View Post
I mean, yeah, it won't be a Facebook game. However, the emphasis will be on social and multiplayer elements. You'll use a mixture of in game and out game currency to build up your stuff and show everyone else how cool you are. They're only now considering the -possibility- of making the game entirely offline capable. The single player stuff they've already promised isn't much different than the private regions people can access in SimCity. They're also planning on using DRM, though they're trying to act like there is uncertainty there. I'd say always on DRM is possible, maybe even likely.

http://www.kickstarter.com/profile/portalarium/comments - comments from the company itself. Very eye opening.
I think you are over simplifying what they are planning to do.

I'm curious, I'll bite…which comments?

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March 11th, 2013, 01:55
Originally Posted by Sacred_Path View Post
isn't it a fundamental part of the Ultima lore that new towns are springing up all the time?
Hardly within the confines of a single game. Granted, the Forge of Virtue might pop up unexpectedly, but that wasn't exactly a town.
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March 11th, 2013, 02:00
Originally Posted by Moorkh View Post
Hardly within the confines of a single game. Granted, the Forge of Virtue might pop up unexpectedly, but that wasn't exactly a town.
They mentioned the town thing but really I think what they were aiming at was adding event based things, like for instance an uprising here or a army camp etc. It takes a lot less effort to add stuff like that.

Richard went on a bit about user content and his eyes lit up, I wonder if that is something we can see in those hot spots? He had a folder of stuff he was working on as well.

To further clarify my other statement, I don't think when you hear microtransactions that they mean you pay 1.99 for 100 gold, more like for some extra art or somesuch which honestly you don't need. If someone wants it more power to them but it will have no power effect on the game. As for paying for housing they have mentioned you would be paying for persistant housing stored on their server, which kind of makes sense. If you don't want that, with stores and stuff then there would be a charge of some sort. This is all up in the air at the moment and they are listening to what people want.

EDIT: Moorkh one thing they mentioned for sure was the ability to flood a river for instance.

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March 11th, 2013, 02:22
Originally Posted by rune_74 View Post
I think you are over simplifying what they are planning to do.

I'm curious, I'll bite…which comments?
I could give you the juicier quotes, but, to be fair, they contradict themselves a lot. The earlier comments tend to be more alarming, while the latter tend to be murkier and more confusing. It almost sounds like they went into politics mode, but that's obviously a loaded interpretation. For example, they clearly state that the game will have microtransactions multiple times early on, then saying the game wouldn't have "social microtransactions" later. Is the social signifier significant here? Who knows.

Just read the whole set and get a sense yourself. There aren't that many really.

Edit: Just to prove I'm not entirely pulling out of my ass, a few early quotes:
" Michael, While there will definitely be some micro-transaction options, none will be required. We're also not looking to follow the "Social" trend of making the game super painful unless you pay or sell power so that you can only compete if you spend tons. We're selling the game up front and you will be able to play through the single player experience without spending a dime. We're strong believers in the golden rule that if you're going to do micro-transaction, you don't sell power but rather uniqueness (visuals, fun stuff!) and convenience. We will have some ongoing server costs and plan on keeping the content flowing even after launch so micro-transactions will be aimed at those goals. Richard is a huge believer in what he refers to as a "fair shake" when it comes to that kind of stuff and it is definitely an area where we will be looking for lots of player feedback on what feels fair during the alpha and beta. - Chris"

" @Christopher, as much as possible for the single player, we're keeping server chatter to a minimum. We don't want to pay for bandwidth or servers to talk to players any more then necessary! Most of the elements that require server talk are player to player transactions and micro-transactions which aren't going to come up much if you're playing single player. One of the toughest questions we wanted to bring to the community is what people thought about splitting your single player and online characters completely. A lot of really smart guys around here have debated the pluses and minuses and a lot of it comes down to how connected we want people to be while playing. If we make that split, then it frees us up to trust the client (because we don't care if you cheat in your local game since it is your loss). We could really get close to a "just for patches" connection if we were willing to accept that split. It is a really hard decision and one we've been talking about. We're just trying to make sure we're not just listening to a few people who are talking the loudest and instead listening to what most people want. I have a feeling this will be a huge topic in the coming weeks so no worries, it won't vanish off the radar and we're determined to give people what they want as long as it doesn't grossly impact other elements or dev time. -Chris"
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March 11th, 2013, 02:29
Originally Posted by killias2 View Post
I could give you the juicier quotes, but, to be fair, they contradict themselves a lot. The earlier comments tend to be more alarming, while the latter tend to be murkier and more confusing. It almost sounds like they went into politics mode, but that's obviously a loaded interpretation. For example, they clearly state that the game will have microtransactions multiple times early on, then saying the game wouldn't have "social microtransactions" later. Is the social signifier significant here? Who knows.

Just read the whole set and get a sense yourself. There aren't that many really.
Hmm I didn't get that impression at all, I have however got the impression they are listening to ideas.

For instance this is one of their earlier comments:

While there will definitely be some micro-transaction options, none will be required. We're also not looking to follow the "Social" trend of making the game super painful unless you pay or sell power so that you can only compete if you spend tons. We're selling the game up front and you will be able to play through the single player experience without spending a dime.

And this is an later one:

Regardless, we are not building a social micro transaction game. We will only be charging for large new downloads and things that also cost us to support.


Both seem to say the same thing.

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March 11th, 2013, 03:09
Originally Posted by rune_74 View Post
Hmm I didn't get that impression at all, I have however got the impression they are listening to ideas.

For instance this is one of their earlier comments:

While there will definitely be some micro-transaction options, none will be required. We're also not looking to follow the "Social" trend of making the game super painful unless you pay or sell power so that you can only compete if you spend tons. We're selling the game up front and you will be able to play through the single player experience without spending a dime.

And this is an later one:

Regardless, we are not building a social micro transaction game. We will only be charging for large new downloads and things that also cost us to support.


Both seem to say the same thing.
Just for the sake of context, the rest of the first quote: "We're strong believers in the golden rule that if you're going to do micro-transaction, you don't sell power but rather uniqueness (visuals, fun stuff!) and convenience. We will have some ongoing server costs and plan on keeping the content flowing even after launch so micro-transactions will be aimed at those goals. Richard is a huge believer in what he refers to as a "fair shake" when it comes to that kind of stuff and it is definitely an area where we will be looking for lots of player feedback on what feels fair during the alpha and beta."

With the context, they say very different things. The first says they're definitely doing microtransactions, with a focus on "visuals, fun stuff, and convenience." The latter implies that the big content packs will be the only transactions, at least from my reading. Those are very different approaches to monetization.

I'll admit, I was also under the impression that the property taxes would be paid in real cash. However, I suppose that's not necessarily true? I can't find anything about that one way or the other. When I referred to building up your "stuff" and "looking cool," I was basically referring to property and the microtransactions discussed first, respectively. I could be wrong on the former.

When it comes to DRM and connectivity, they're all over the place. Sometimes they talk of an "offline mode," but, at others, they call the singleplayer mode "solo" mode and talk about whether they should consider splitting it from multiplayer and how they need to protect multiplayer from the exploits of offline. Maybe I'm too cynical, and it's true that they say they are taking feedback. But they've yet to completely embrace the kinds of open-ended, off-line, hassle-free experience most basically expect from a Kickstarter. It seems more that they're leaning towards.. say.. DRM, emphasis on connectivity, micro-transactions, etc., but they're also signalling that they might be open to discussion on some of these points. I'd like a lot more clarity here about exactly what this game is and who it's for.
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March 11th, 2013, 03:15
Richard just posted this:

Greetings! Richard "Lord British" Garriott here.
I was having to post via the Portalarium account for a while, due to some Kickstarter hiccup, but now I can post as myself. First, let me thank you all for your interest and support so far! Let me again clarify, we are building a game that is story driven and about social issues and your behavior ala U4-7. Our interactivity goal is to be a deeply interactive as U7. While people can play essentially and likely literally solo / offline, online play will allow you to participate in the persistent world, where you will see the shops and homes of all other players, and you can adventure alone or with fiends and strangers with our "ad hock" multiplayer system. It is NOT a client server MMO, but rather continuous automatic matchmaking favoring your real world friends.

Also on the subject of drm there was this post:

I don't think I can give a 100% committed answer on DRM right now because there is still a chance we could go with Steam, put a version of the game on Ouya(after Win/OSX/Linux launch of course), or some other distribution system that has DRM in it. I know that isn't exactly the answer you want but those are still some big questions we're still working on! We can't just come out and state "THERE WILL BE NO DRM!" because it could close off too many other opportunities that would benefit the end user. So sorry, but we will continue to have to dance around the DRM question a bit but we're going to try to do what is best for you guys whenever possible. -Chris Also, I think we're going to do another live video stream tomorrow. I'll get Firelotus to take some questions in the morning for us to answer so it is a bit less chaotic this time. I'll be offline this afternoon but try to get back to more answers in the morning and I'm sure Firelotus and others will be chatting.


I can only go on what they say so far. As for property taxes for persistant world places I believe it will be real money as you are paying server costs basically. I think they are planning non persistant world housing you would have locally as well.

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March 11th, 2013, 04:05
Honestly, I'm not seeing anything that really contradicts what I said above. I'd be very surprised if they went with some sort of DRM-free release at this point, as it seems like they'd just rather not take a side.

However, more of note is this: "While people can play essentially and likely literally solo / offline, online play will allow you to participate in the persistent world…."

What's the difference between essentially and literally here? Also, there's another instance of "solo" being used as opposed to "offline". The only thing I'd really change from my original statement, especially with your comment about the houses, is that the likelihood of always-on DRM is probably less than I made it sound. It's still non-zero, though. The most likely outcome, IMO, is a multiplayer game with the option to go it alone, although perhaps while still connected.
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March 11th, 2013, 15:01
Grr, I really can't be bothered to watch hours of livestream to get some answers, especially not if it starts with commercials and then lags like hell. Hope they'll put some written updates in soon.

From looking through comments on the KS, it really seems the project put itself in a difficult place - worries about too much online for the fans of the classic single palyer ultimas, and worries about tool little MMO from the UO crowd. I belong to the former group… Still, if they start talking more about what the SP game will offer there's a chance I will jump in, although $40 for a base pledge is rather steep, so they'll have to convince me that this portion of the game really stands on its own and aims for a U VII level experience. Social aspects may be a nice extra, but its not what I buy the game for - unfortunately there is currently more info about player housing than about the story we will experience (except "it will be good!").
But I'm still hopeful - I get a sense at least that they are trying to tune into the community and distill the right approach from this, so hopefully we will get some interesting updates before the campaign ends.
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March 11th, 2013, 15:12
I sat through 20 minutes of what looked like developers who just got out of bed - not really caring about anything.

Can't say I detect much enthusiasm for the project - and I don't believe for a second they can pull off something amazing in that amount of time.

Maybe they can build a decent platform to expand through the years, but I'm not excited about the prospect.

I loved UO - but things have changed since then.

I guess we'll see.
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March 11th, 2013, 15:23
I sort of wonder if the game will be like Guild Wars 1. i.e. where you meet up in cities/outposts, but can play solo or with friends in world areas. Personally I have no objection to that, in fact I reckon GW2 would have been better if they'd stuck to that model (among other aspects of GW1).
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March 11th, 2013, 17:17
"Shrine of killing children"? That's… a bit disturbing for a lead in.
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March 11th, 2013, 17:31
Portalarium, Inc. 12 minutes ago

Several big posts coming today that will clear up about 90% of the questions.
Info on its way, hopefully…
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March 11th, 2013, 18:16
What is more interesting is:

Garriott’s current company Portalarium is also developing a spiritual successor to his past work called Ultimate RPG/New Britannia. The company said this week that it had secured $7 million from investors to support this and other game projects.
http://www.wired.com/gamelife/2012/07/ultima-forever/

I guess this Kickstarter was just used to help get some publicity for this MMO he is making? Since he already has 7 Million from investors on it already.
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March 11th, 2013, 18:40
i've been VERY critical of Richard the last several years. for those that care search my previous posts. On that note, i watched several of these kickstarter/youtube videos and my faith has been somewhat restored.

Richards charisma is very catching in a much better way versus Peter Molyneux the charlatan. I can see that attitude doing wonders for motivating his team. I think his more recent dramatic failure of Tabula Rasa was more of him focusing on shooting himself into space versus being an active leader in that project. Here it is quite different.

I have thrown my hat in for at least $25, and might upgrade later on.
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March 11th, 2013, 19:51
Originally Posted by cptbarkey View Post
Richards charisma is very catching in a much better way versus Peter Molyneux the charlatan. I can see that attitude doing wonders for motivating his team. I think his more recent dramatic failure of Tabula Rasa was more of him focusing on shooting himself into space versus being an active leader in that project. Here it is quite different.
Good point, and I agree about that. Also this will be the first time in a long while where Garriott has full creative control of an RPG project. Ultimate Collector of course doesn't count - that was obviously just a means to an end (building / funding his new company), and was made before the rise of Kickstarter.

If he has full creative control that gives me faith that he'll pull off something good. The tricky thing here is the "too many cooks spoil the broth" aspect of crowdfunding. There are two divergent audiences clamoring for attention, the UO fans and the old-school Ultima fans. Me, I happen to be in both camps so I'm pretty confident he'll come up with something I enjoy. But I understand why some are skeptical if their tastes lean one way or the other.

Hopefully we'll see in further updates how they intend to please both audiences.
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March 11th, 2013, 20:15
Obviously, we all have different tastes and ideas. However, I really don't see the appeal. I saw someone (maybe here? maybe elsewhere?) bring up the point that we know more about the pay-to-rent multiplayer houses than we do about story or combat mechanics. But whatever, a lot of people love LB for good reasons (even if the reasons are a bit.. dusty with age). If his output some 2-3 decades ago is enough to convince you of his capabilities and enthusiasm today, then so be it. I hope it goes well!
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