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RPGWatch Forums » Comments » News Comments » Shroud of the Avatar - Reddit AMA

Default Shroud of the Avatar - Reddit AMA

March 26th, 2013, 16:45
As mentioned before Richard Garriott did an 'Ask Me Anything' session at Redditt, which you can read here.
Good day Richard Garriott. Are you planning to have the farming system work along with the seasonal weather system? it only seems logical to me. plant in spring harvest in summer also the hexes surrounding the villages would make good purchasable farming plots.
Wow, great idea… my team (or at least Chris Spears) will freak out on that one… I do hope we get to the weather stretch goal ($50k to go). If so, I will look into "seasonal" influence as well!

Excited for your responses and loved your Matt Chat interview My question: Played UO when it first released and use to get murdered by PK's all the time and hated it. Turns out I now miss that in games. I miss the literal fear I would have for my things and the loss that would happen if I died. Why are games so easy now and will Shroud of Avatar have PK's running around murdering me?
We fully understand the potential horror as well as exhilaration that comes from being in full PVP. We are working hard to properly thread the needle, such that newbies don't get ganked, and yet mature players are encouraged to become exposed to PVP risk, such that the feeling is returned. We know this is a hot button issue, and we are working hard aon what we hope is an elegant answer!
More information.
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March 26th, 2013, 16:45
I just watched the Mattchat interview and that was very interesting to hear R.G. changed his mind about online games (even though partially) after listening to the gamers opinion. Also pleased to learn he spent more time playing games lately as it's clearly -imho- a major problem for game designers being too far away from the gaming realities. All in one I'm much more confident in this project and really thrilled to play a new game in the Ultima series.

So many people bark about the lack of creativity from the studios nowadays but at the same time, many hate R.G. saying he didn't do much for years. That's partially true but he's also one of the few able and ready to take risks on a new project and a man able to deliver a real new game to the market. Maybe SotA will turn out as being a dump but it may as well turn out to be the next Ultima 7,5 and I'm ready to place a bet on that.
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March 26th, 2013, 17:29
All these people fondly reminiscing about how their 14 year old selves were caught up in the PKing and repetitive gameplay in UO made me lol and facepalm simultaneously. This is more than half the crowd that you're catering to, LB.

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March 26th, 2013, 20:05
You mean I can own a hovel and plant turnips in the rain-drenched mud? Sign me up.
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March 26th, 2013, 20:08
i spend hours and hours farming potatoes and other items in LOTR online, i hope that Shroud of the Avatar uses that as a benchmark.
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March 26th, 2013, 22:53
I couldn't believe RG hadn't recognized that badly disguised Farmville bait question, but apparently he's not the only one…

I'm really pretty sure there is going to be a lot more to this than farming and housing and grinding, e.g. things like exploration or world interaction that made me fall in love with Britannia, Sosaria and Eodon. Unfortunately, we're not being shown much of that.
Change that, and I might well move up from my "guilty pledge". Otherwise, I'll be fine to wait and see…
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March 26th, 2013, 23:03
RG ducked every single question or reference to single player and companions. When asked about companions, he referred to 'online' companions and 'pets'! What does that mean?
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March 26th, 2013, 23:14
Originally Posted by SpoonFULL View Post
RG ducked every single question or reference to single player and companions. When asked about companions, he referred to 'online' companions and 'pets'! What does that mean?
Did he really? I have read that there will be companions in single player as well as hired henchmen.

I guess I read a different Reddit then you

Q: Will there be the possibility for npc party members like in Ultima I-VII ? and how will the party system work in scenarios? is there one avatar and his companions or are all players equal? And lastly, will it be possible for players, to rent a deed, build a house and decorate it together?

A: Great questions: 1) Yes, you will be able to take a “hireling” 2) You are all individuals. YOU individually are “The Hero” and the “avatar” of the earth you. Your companions are your “Companions”. 3) We would like for a group to buy a building, but that may need to be a stretch goal or game 2.

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March 26th, 2013, 23:18
Those answers don't quite match the questions. Did you find out if these "companions" are NPCs (much like Iolo, Dupre and so on) or if you only get generic NPC hirelings but PC companions, where that party creator is the "hero"?
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March 26th, 2013, 23:19
Originally Posted by Moorkh View Post
Those answers don't quite match the questions. Did you find out if these "companions" are NPCs or if you only get NPC hirelings but PC companions, where that party creator is the "hero"?
There are other interviews where he talks about making memorable companions like you had in ultima…I think the system is still in the works but he wants a deeper follower mechanic if he can.

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March 26th, 2013, 23:27
Originally Posted by cptbarkey View Post
i spend hours and hours farming potatoes and other items in LOTR online, i hope that Shroud of the Avatar uses that as a benchmark.
Will the Lords of the Manor be able to visit the other PCs and flog them for not producing enough radishes?
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March 26th, 2013, 23:38
Originally Posted by rune_74 View Post
Did he really? I have read that there will be companions in single player as well as hired henchmen.

I guess I read a different Reddit then you
Really! Then can you please elaborate on:

>1) Yes, you will be able to take a “hireling”

Is that in the single player offline game or online, or is he referring to pets as companions?

> 2) You are all individuals. YOU individually are “The Hero” and the “avatar” of the earth you. Your companions are your “Companions”.

What does that mean? online companions as in online friends only? Not AI companions in single player with their own stories/questlines .. etc.?

I am trying to find the basic components of a single player rpg here, but his replies are very vague. Moreover, with every update there seem to be more focus on online aspects than anything else.
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March 26th, 2013, 23:39
Originally Posted by rune_74 View Post
There are other interviews where he talks about making memorable companions like you had in ultima…I think the system is still in the works but he wants a deeper follower mechanic if he can.
Again, more vague replies. Always talking about the past but never confirming that they will be there in this project.
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March 26th, 2013, 23:44
Originally Posted by SpoonFULL View Post
Again, more vague replies. Always talking about the past but never confirming that they will be there in this project.
It's funny how you keep doing that…the game is in development, it is not complete. I think you are having a hard time with that. Here is another qoute:

So my next question is something I think that is gonna be of vital importance for Ultima fans. Will there be a party and companions? And most importantly, if there is will these companions be full-fledged NPCs like Shamino, Iolo and so on?

That is an excellent question and one that the team right now is discussing. Our intention is that the answer to that question is yes. Across the board to your question, we also even want to add one more little piece than you did, which is if you have friends that are playing, we also want to be able to check out your friend’s character to potentially take along with your as a party member. So we’re definitely thinking that through right now. This would actually [be] a great time on our Shroud of the Avatar website to begin a discussion about party members because that’s one of the big systems we’re working on right now.
So obviously they haven't completed there ideas on this. But it is in the works, I'm not sure that matters to you though.

Btw, you also ignore that thread, which I'm kind of getting used to now.

http://www.rpgwatch.com/forums/showthread.php?t=19838

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March 26th, 2013, 23:56
rune_74 - you read what you like and believe what you like even though their replies continue to confirm the view that single player offline is an afterthought:

>Our intention is that the answer to that question is yes.

Intention? not planned, nor designed or discussed! Then goes back to the same point that: hey but online companions are the way forward, yes?

"Across the board to your question, we also even want to add one more little piece than you did, which is if you have friends that are playing, we also want to be able to check out your friend’s character to potentially take along with your as a party member. So we’re definitely thinking that through right now. This would actually [be] a great time on our Shroud of the Avatar website to begin a discussion about party members because that’s one of the big systems we’re working on right now."
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March 26th, 2013, 23:58
Originally Posted by SpoonFULL View Post
rune_74 - you read what you like and believe what you like even though their replies continue to confirm the view that single player offline is an afterthought:

>Our intention is that the answer to that question is yes.

Intention? not planned, nor designed or discussed! Then goes back to the same point that: hey but online companions are the way forward, yes?

"Across the board to your question, we also even want to add one more little piece than you did, which is if you have friends that are playing, we also want to be able to check out your friend’s character to potentially take along with your as a party member. So we’re definitely thinking that through right now. This would actually [be] a great time on our Shroud of the Avatar website to begin a discussion about party members because that’s one of the big systems we’re working on right now."
I believe them over you about their game, imagine that. You are splitting hairs about their wording.

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March 27th, 2013, 00:12
Originally Posted by rune_74 View Post
It's funny how you keep doing that…the game is in development, it is not complete. I think you are having a hard time with that.
I know that wasn't targetted at me, but yes, I am having a hard time with precisely that.

Maybe I am naïve, but from a Kickstarter campaign, especially one asking for that much money and stating to have been in pre-production for a while already, I would expect a rather complete design document that covers most basic questions.
Now, it appears obvious that RG has recognised that the crowdfunding public is interested in something other that what he had envisioned originally. And to his credit, RG has shown to be ready to listen, to adapt and to communicate on all sorts of levels, even on Reddit and smallish sites.

What I wish for now would be RG going back to the drawing board and coming back with an overhauled design with a clear focus and concise statements on the most pressing questions. Unfortunately, it is clear that this is impossible to do within the currectn KS period. But maybe it'd still be worth it to cancel the current campaign and return in a couple months to a more welcoming reception - and a pledge turnout worthy of one of the alltime greats getting back to doing what so many loved him for doing!
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March 27th, 2013, 00:17
Originally Posted by Moorkh View Post
I know that wasn't targetted at me, but yes, I am having a hard time with precisely that.

Maybe I am naïve, but from a Kickstarter campaign, especially one asking for that much money and stating to have been in pre-production for a while already, I would expect a rather complete design document that covers most basic questions.
Now, it appears obvious that RG has recognised that the crowdfunding public is interested in something other that what he had envisioned originally. And to his credit, RG has shown to be ready to listen, to adapt and to communicate on all sorts of levels, even on Reddit and smallish sites.

What I wish for now would be RG going back to the drawing board and coming back with an overhauled design with a clear focus and concise statements on the most pressing questions. Unfortunately, it is clear that this is impossible to do within the currectn KS period. But maybe it'd still be worth it to cancel the current campaign and return in a couple months to a more welcoming reception - and a pledge turnout worthy of one of the alltime greats getting back to doing what so many loved him for doing!

So why would he cancel this? he is doing fine? He started it to get feedback on his game that was already in development. They have stated many times they have things worked out and are asking for input, hell they even have a working technical demo(many kickstarters don't)

It has become apparent even with information provided it isn't going to change some peoples mind, and that's fine.

I am not looking at this as a failure at all, he has made the amount he wanted. Anything on top is gravy.

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March 27th, 2013, 09:22
I dont know if the lead designer is on a PR campaign to mend for his disastrous declaration but tieing crop and seasons?

In a MMORPG, a world ticks as the server is on, not as the player is on. Would force a player to be on at certain days, hours etc

Did they say how long they want a season to last? Even one week, it will force a player to log in at least once in a week to make sure the crop is performed.

Games moved up away from those features, even in games like the Silent Hunter series. In the 2, you had that calendar to give you the moon's phases so that you could plan an attack. It led you to follow a convoy for days waiting for the right night. This was stripped latter on.
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