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RPGWatch Forums » Comments » News Comments » Shroud of the Avatar - Update #10, Selective Multi-player

Default Shroud of the Avatar - Update #10, Selective Multi-player

March 16th, 2013, 23:55
Update on the modes of play for SotA.
Single player offline:
This is the DRM free, completely off-line version of the game. Your character is stored on your computer and can not be used in any of the online modes.

Single Player Online (SPO)
In the SPO mode you connect to the server, receive content updates, and can see the long term changes others are having on the world. However, you are not visible on anyone else’s screen, nor for grouping, and you don’t see anyone else in the world. You can switch from SPO to FPO or OPO modes whenever you like while in a city or overland map. Some parts of the main storyline quests may temporarily force the player into SPO mode for some parts of the quest.

Friends Play Online (FPO)
In friends play online, you only see people you have flagged as friends in the game and only they can see you. Like single player, this is just a server side filter. For those who prefer the quieter game with friends or maybe for those who prefer a more focused role playing experience, this lets you enjoy a more limited online experience. You can switch to SPO or OPO modes whenever you like while in a city or in the overland map.

Open Play Online (OPO)
In OPO players will see everyone that the server thinks they should see. This will not necessarily be all people in the area but should be people you care the most about based on what we believe is their relevance to you.
More information.
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March 16th, 2013, 23:55
"Here at Portalarium, we think it's prudent to promise our fans that they will, indeed, be able to have their cake and eat it too."
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March 17th, 2013, 00:03
Originally Posted by killias2 View Post
"Here at Portalarium, we think it's prudent to promise our fans that they will, indeed, be able to have their cake and eat it too."
You know I think the first option they didn't plan on having, completely offline single player. They added it after due to high demand. I can see why they didn't think it would be as popular meaning that you wouldn't get as many updates to your game etc of things happening in the dynamic online world.

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March 17th, 2013, 00:24
I'm starting to come around to this project, and here's why:

I know we all want a new single-player Ultima experience that brings us back to the glory days of U7 and even U4/5. But the problem is that for better or worse, Richard Garriot has no interest in doing something that's already been done.

To really get his juices flowing, he needs to be innovating and attempting things that nobody's really done before (or at least, nobody's been successful at).

Not only did Garriott pioneer the single-player CRPG, he also came pretty damn close to perfecting it. And while he certainly pioneered the online RPG, he has yet to perfect it, and I think this is what's driving him. His first attempt was Tabula Rasa, and my first clue that didn't work is that I wouldn't even know of it's existence if I didn't read Richard Garriot interviews. And obviously, nobody else has perfected an online RPG, because otherwise why would so many around here immediately scoff at the very notion?

His problem in perfecting an online RPG is that there are waaaay too many players out there (and around here) who have no interest in online RPG's in their current incarnation. Why perfect something if half your audience has no interest in it? And there's the rub: He seems to be striving to regain the magic that the old Ultimas had, while creating a compelling online experience that even the most jaded old-school players would have to admit, yeah, that was pretty cool.

The common perception is that Garriot can appeal either to the old-school single-player Ultima fans, or he can appeal to the newer Ultima Online fans, but he can't appeal to both. I have no doubt that Garriot is aware of that argument, and I think he views it as a challenge and a throwing down of the gauntlet. I'm starting to view this project as Lord British's attempt to prove everybody wrong, and am inclined to think that he might just succeed.

(Of course, I might also just be viewing this more favorably now due to an emotional reaction at missing my old Commodore 128 and original boxed U5 with map and codex, which were all lost in the chaos of a divorce, and trying to justify getting a piece of my history back with a new cloth map and trinket by donating $150 to this project. Nah, it couldn't be that…)
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March 17th, 2013, 00:43
Still not convinced. Will wait for the final product to see if there claims are proven true. Just the pessimist in me sorry.

Years of false promises have also made me a skeptic with modern games nowadays.

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March 17th, 2013, 03:09
Originally Posted by Couchpotato View Post
Still not convinced. Will wait for the final product to see if there claims are proven true. Just the pessimist in me sorry.

Years of false promises have also made me a skeptic with modern games nowadays.
I find this to be a good philosophy for all games, actually (especially the last bit).
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March 17th, 2013, 04:27
the worst game ever
Last edited by DeepO; March 17th, 2013 at 04:39.
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March 17th, 2013, 04:45
Originally Posted by DeepO View Post
the worst game ever
Well, that was a useful and insightful post.

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March 17th, 2013, 04:51
of course it was
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March 17th, 2013, 06:13
Originally Posted by DeepO View Post
the worst game ever
What does this have to do with anything?
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March 17th, 2013, 11:16
I may be a tad cynical but… Didn't Garriot pay something like 10 mil to get into space? If that's the case, why use Kickstarter? Can't he fund the development himself?
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March 17th, 2013, 11:49
Originally Posted by Asmodeus de'Yakshas View Post
I may be a tad cynical but… Didn't Garriot pay something like 10 mil to get into space? If that's the case, why use Kickstarter? Can't he fund the development himself?
Neither Lord British nor his company lack money so I guess promotion,creating additional hype and he also can see how much is interest in his game.And free money of course.Also spending money to trip to space is money well spent imo, even if he lacks money to do anything after it(which he doesn't).
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March 17th, 2013, 13:17
Tabula Not So Rasa
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March 17th, 2013, 14:02
Yeah, I am going to stay away from pledging to this one. I am just not convinced it will have the world reactivity and moral C&C they are claiming.

Fantasm, I am not sure I agree with what you said. I think many would say Blizzard already perfected the MMORPG quite a while ago with World of Warcraft (at least to the same extent that the single-player RPG has been perfected). Just look how insanely popular it has been and the boatloads of money it has made. Speaking of, while there is a lot of people that express distaste for MMO's for various reasons (myself included), it certainly isn't an unpopular genre. On the contrary, there are a ton of people that sink every free minute of their lives into these type of games.

The biggest problem I see with this pitch is that Portalarium is trying to present the game as something that will appeal to everyone. I know what happens when games try to do that. I think the big success of the Double Fine Adventure, Wasteland 2, Project Eternity, and Torment is that they didn't try to appeal to everyone. They catered to a niche, an audience that feels these type of games can still continue to get better. If I was a big Ultima fan, I certainly wouldn't be happy to think that Garriott believes he has already perfected the single-player RPG and feels he needs to go online for a new challenge. Does anyone truly believe that Ultima 7 couldn't be improved at all (or made bigger)?
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March 17th, 2013, 16:58
Still not convinced, but I might be getting a bit closer. The problem still remains to me, that even if they make the ultimate mmorpg, other players can ruin the experience for you…and I don't mean griefing, more that they utterly and completely can ruin your immersion by not roleplaying. Whenever I do play a MMO, I do so to play with my friends and sure I can enjoy it. But I will never get caught up the way you do in a good book or an exellent single player RPG.
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March 17th, 2013, 17:27
Originally Posted by Asmodeus de'Yakshas View Post
I may be a tad cynical but… Didn't Garriot pay something like 10 mil to get into space? If that's the case, why use Kickstarter? Can't he fund the development himself?
From what I can tell from the Kickstarter comments, he doesn't need Kickstarter at all.

We will be getting something enjoyable in the hands of users later this year and plan to work with the KS people for about a year after that before we release it to the public as a whole. I've mentioned it before the KS stuff is not just about money (Richard has and will invest far more than we're likely to raise) but more about identifying the people who are passionate about helping us build the game that you guys really want.
This is being done to help market the game. Granted tons of big companies are starting to do this as well, but I personally find it defeats the purpose of "crowd funding" when all you are using it for is market research and a less stigmatized way of doing pre-orders.
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March 17th, 2013, 17:51
Originally Posted by rossrjensen View Post
Does anyone truly believe that Ultima 7 couldn't be improved at all (or made bigger)?
THAT is a pertinent question and the answer is no, it most certainly CAN be improved upon. The market never dried up for the Ultima games. It was abandoned by EA ( after they bought Origin) due to incompetence. U9 was a failure, but other games in the genre succeeded very well.

I'd rather Gariott and company make a game more true to U4-U7 but with something like the Creation engine than what we're being sold. As it is now, it seems too story-driven (or gimmick driven) and not enough RPG or immersion focused. I'm patient though and willing to wait for the next iteration or two for what I think more people want to actually play.
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March 17th, 2013, 18:50
Well, I don't care why he is doing the actual kickstarter, I think it is as a marketing tool and because chris roberts told him too. Many didn't have a problem with Obsidian doing it, so I don't think it should be any different here.

And it's not like people are just giving him money for him to make a game, they are getting the game in the long run.

What I have seen in the last three updates is solid updates to their plans and nothing I have seen has made me worry about it any more then any other kickstarter.

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March 17th, 2013, 18:59
Originally Posted by rossrjensen View Post
The biggest problem I see with this pitch is that Portalarium is trying to present the game as something that will appeal to everyone. I know what happens when games try to do that. I think the big success of the Double Fine Adventure, Wasteland 2, Project Eternity, and Torment is that they didn't try to appeal to everyone. They catered to a niche, an audience that feels these type of games can still continue to get better. If I was a big Ultima fan, I certainly wouldn't be happy to think that Garriott believes he has already perfected the single-player RPG and feels he needs to go online for a new challenge. Does anyone truly believe that Ultima 7 couldn't be improved at all (or made bigger)?
Couldn't have said it better myself. I think that pretty much encapsulates the fears about this project for everyone that really just wants an improved successor to U7.

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March 17th, 2013, 19:24
Originally Posted by rune_74 View Post
Many didn't have a problem with Obsidian doing it, so I don't think it should be any different here.
That's not a particularly helpful comparison as Obsidian isn't exactly rolling in cash while Richard Garriot is independently very wealthy (he was majority owner of Origin when sold to EA and has netted significant contract salaries from several of his positions since - even if he did have to sue for one of them.) Granted he is not nearly as flush with cash as he was before he spent 30 million on his trip to space, but he does still have several multi-million dolalr properties including Brittania manor (3.5 million.) It appears far more to be the case that he does need kickstarter to fund his project while that is not evident from Obsidian which was close to laying off employees before its kickstarter suceeded.

Of course I do agree that its not something to be upset about either. Its not like he's being circumspect about it and he has made it clear that he is not desperate for funding. He has been quite clear that he will not have issues with funding regardless of the kickstarter results.
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