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Default Shroud of the Avatar - Tracy Hickman Video

May 1st, 2013, 05:48
Shroud of the Avatarhas a new video with Lead Story Designer Tracy Hickman discussing the story behind the game.

More information.
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May 1st, 2013, 05:48
I could die a happy man if I never saw another pic of Richard Garriott in front of a webcam with a headset on…
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May 1st, 2013, 07:26
I really think Richard should do these chats wearing a purple robe and crown.

I'm a huge Ultima fan, but I'm not crazy about UO (of which I was an early beta tester) or any MMORPG. I like to be the central character of the story, the one who saves the world, not a dirt farmer or blacksmith. However, the premise of SotA sounds interesting… basically, all player characters are from a distant land (Earth) and travel to New Britannia (sound familiar?) through a lunar rift (moongate).

Our avatars are immortal; That is, we can and will die but won’t stay dead, which can strike fear into the locals. The fact that there are many “avatars” from another world will be an integral part of the story, but there can be only one true Avatar (or very few). I’m reminded of the Highlander movies.

Overall, I’m pleased with the direction of this game, and how Ultima-like it will be. I only hope that $2M is enough for what they have in mind… Traditional MMOs are extremely expensive to create; WoW cost $63M while SWTOR cost a whopping $200M .
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May 1st, 2013, 09:46
The ironic thing is… Divinity: Original Sin, with all of its stretch goals achieved, seems to be more Ultima-like than the Richard Garriot helmed Shroud of the Avatar
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May 1st, 2013, 22:54
Originally Posted by Dr. A View Post
The ironic thing is… Divinity: Original Sin, with all of its stretch goals achieved, seems to be more Ultima-like than the Richard Garriot helmed Shroud of the Avatar
Sad, but true… Every Ultima fan should pledge for Divinity: Original Sin.
The Kickstarter is over, but you can still pledge via Paypal until May 10th.
It's only $28 for the digital version; much less than it'll be upon release.
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May 2nd, 2013, 20:00
Its amazing how many people have been duped into thinking thins will be like an ultima single player game. This is gonna be much closer to ultima online. I have to admit it should be interesting to see reactions when it gets released…ha
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May 2nd, 2013, 20:02
Originally Posted by Vindicator View Post
Sad, but true… Every Ultima fan should pledge for Divinity: Original Sin.
The Kickstarter is over, but you can still pledge via Paypal until May 10th.
It's only $28 for the digital version; much less than it'll be upon release.
Exactly that is where my money went.
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May 3rd, 2013, 15:21
It is easy to say t hat Divinity seems to be more like an ultima game, since it is almost completed. at this point shroud is still in early development and nowhere near to the amount of finished content Divinity has.

I think waiting until more is complete is a bit fairer in this regard.

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May 5th, 2013, 19:35
Originally Posted by rune_74 View Post
It is easy to say t hat Divinity seems to be more like an ultima game, since it is almost completed… I think waiting until more is complete is a bit fairer in this regard.
I think you're missing the point… Swen Vincke of Larian Studios flat out said that Ultima VII, which he considers the best RPG in the last 20+ years, was the inspiration for Divinity.

On the other hand, Richard Garriott has made it clear that Shroud of the Avatar is a spiritual successor to Ultima Online, with a bone or two thrown to the single player crowd.

So, I guess it depends on what your definition of Ultima-like is.
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May 5th, 2013, 19:38
Well, I adore the Legends trilogy (that might change if I re-read it, though) - so anything by Tracy Hickman will have my attention.

I'd love a real Ultima and I'd love a real Ultima Online evolution - so either would suit me just fine.

That said, it's hard to have much faith in Garriott these days. Also, I can't help but feel he's being strangely apathetic in those videos.

Also, IIRC - they intend to do this in an "episodic" fashion? That's just wrong for the genre - if you ask me.
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May 5th, 2013, 21:25
Originally Posted by Vindicator View Post
I think you're missing the point… Swen Vincke of Larian Studios flat out said that Ultima VII, which he considers the best RPG in the last 20+ years, was the inspiration for Divinity.

On the other hand, Richard Garriott has made it clear that Shroud of the Avatar is a spiritual successor to Ultima Online, with a bone or two thrown to the single player crowd.

So, I guess it depends on what your definition of Ultima-like is.
Actually Richard Garriott flat out said that Ultima 4 and Ultima 7 were also inspirations for the game. He actually said he wanted to bring in the worlds he created and stories and add some of the multiplayer of ultima online. He flat out said this wasn't going to be a ultima online 2, and no he wasn't meaning by name.

The differance here is Richard Garriott made ultima 7…so I am confident on waiting to see. I didn't miss the "point" which was a backhanded way of saying the new darling of the watch is getting the nod here.

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May 5th, 2013, 21:45
This is from the kickstarter front page:

"Shroud of the Avatar is a Selective Multiplayer game, allowing players to choose how they want to play! Whether in Single-Player Offline mode or any of three online modes, the main quest line will provide greater than 40 hours of focused, story driven content."

So there will definetly going to be a single player (offline) component.

I am interested to see how the online element will contribute to the offline component (if there is any correlation between the two).
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May 5th, 2013, 23:04
Originally Posted by rune_74 View Post
Actually Richard Garriott flat out said that Ultima 4 and Ultima 7 were also inspirations for the game.
OK, I think it’s fair to say that both UO and U7 inspired SotA. However, Ultima Online was also inspired by Ultima VII… and despite the similarities and my love of U7, I despised UO.

Richard has made some contradictory statements about SotA; It will be both offline and online. It will have single player quests and be playable solo, however you will see others make their mark on the world.

Richard previously said that SotA is a small scale MMO; “tens of people” rather than tens of thousands. Yet, in the latest video he talks about everyone sharing the same world. This is a big change from UO, and was made to allow friends from all over the world to interact in one New Britannia.

Offline or not, the story IS multiplayer based; that is, the world of New Britannia has a multitude of alien visitors arriving through lunar rifts, and this will be integral to the storyline.

So, to sum things up, SotA is inspired by U7 and UO. The game will be playable offline but it will still feel like a MP game; Your avatar is not necessarily The Avatar… he is just one among many. Yes, we will have to wait and see which game ends up being more like a true Ultima… but as I've said, it just depends on what your definition of Ultima-like is.
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May 6th, 2013, 01:54
I think you need to look a bit deeper into the game, it is both online and offline. It will feel like a single player game with the ability to add people into your experience if you should choose.

Ultima online was not inspired by ultima 7. That is just false. It used the ultima world, but he was never aiming for the same type of game.

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May 6th, 2013, 04:59
Originally Posted by rune_74 View Post
I think you need to look a bit deeper into the game, it is both online and offline.
I believe I said that already.

Originally Posted by rune_74 View Post
It will feel like a single player game with the ability to add people into your experience if you should choose.
Ok, so exactly how will it feel like a single player game when it has a multiplayer storyline? Watch the above video… The player’s avatar is just one of many, and this invasion of immortals from another world is integral to the story. There has been no mention of a separate SP focused storyline. We can all hope for one, but I wouldn't hold my breath. The $2M raised will barely be enough for half of what's been promised, much less for a second storyline.

Originally Posted by rune_74 View Post
Ultima online was not inspired by ultima 7. That is just false.
You're right… I did some digging, and found that UO was not based on Ultima 7.
UO was originally pitched to EA as a multiplayer rpg based on the Ultima 6 engine and was called MUltima.
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May 7th, 2013, 04:03
I think somebody should create a remake of Ultima 7.

And I mean a proper one with cleaner visuals, an easier to read font (), higher resolution support, etc. Let's face it, the original has not aged well and it's the type of game that SHOULD be reintroduced to the "modern age".
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May 7th, 2013, 04:25
Hmm the original has aged well if you play it with exult….very playable.

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May 7th, 2013, 06:45
Exult is great but I'm thinking of something a bit more extreme.

This will come across as heresy…but I'm thinking of a graphical overhaul. Those sprites are just ….. rough on the eyes

And no, I am not a graphics whore. I love the IE games to bits.
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May 7th, 2013, 08:50
Originally Posted by Dr. A View Post
Exult is great but I'm thinking of something a bit more extreme.

This will come across as heresy…but I'm thinking of a graphical overhaul. Those sprites are just ….. rough on the eyes

And no, I am not a graphics whore. I love the IE games to bits.
I guess depending on how well the Baldurs Gate HD does, and how the upcoming Realms of Arkania remake will be doing, remakes like that may become more likely.
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May 7th, 2013, 19:51
Originally Posted by Dr. A View Post
I think somebody should create a remake of Ultima 7.
We can all dream, but an official remake of Ultima 7 will never happen as long as EA holds the license. If one of us wins the lotto, we should buy the Ultima franchise from EA and gift it to Richard Garriott Larian Studios with the condition that they hire Warren Spector, who is recently out of a job.
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