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Default Shroud of the Avatar - RPG Codex Review

June 29th, 2018, 15:54
Shroud of the Avatar has been reviewed by the RPG Codex.

On the outside, the first thing a player is bound to notice is what is customarily called a “technical mess”. The game's framerate is abysmal, often dropping down to 20-30 FPS in city areas on my I7-4790k with Geforce 980 GTX, a machine that is no longer top of the line as I write this review, but is strong enough to get 60 FPS in games that look much better than Shroud of the Avatar. It becomes even more incomprehensible when you try to analyze what's killing the game's performance. In the busy scenes that trigger the slowdowns, I tried setting the graphics quality to low and there was absolutely no improvement. Meaning the bottleneck was my CPU, which is astonishing considering nothing much happens in the game physics-wise (can I even say nothing at all? I'm not even sure I ever saw basic gravity effects), and in terms of AI the NPCs only need to do some pretty basic pathfinding (and that's only a very small number of them) and follow simple scripts (far from the Ultima VII-style living world that we were promised). I think it may have something to do with the scene being large, and the CPU needing to take care of objects that are extremely far away because of poor optimization?

Who cares! This game is an unoptimized mess. And I'm not sure they'll ever be able to fix it, considering people were complaining about performance years before it launched. Portalarium are clearly aware of the problem - that they do not address it says a lot about what you can expect from the game in the future. Release 54 supposedly featured numerous speed improvements, which went entirely unnoticed by me and even worse, introduced a new bug that made the game ignore my resolution settings, resetting it to 1080p during map transitions. Thanks for that.

But is it pretty, at least?

Well…

[…]
More information.
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June 29th, 2018, 15:55
Game is still terrible, sadly.
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June 29th, 2018, 16:51
The one and only kick starter that I truly regret sponsoring. I actually feel ashamed that I gave money to this, and then I remind myself that the shame is theirs, and always will be. I still wonder if a single player game will ever exist out of the huge mess that this thing is.
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June 29th, 2018, 17:13
I'm still positive about Kickstarter, and have enjoyed many games I helped to crowdfund. I have had one officially cancelled project, one that is more or less a tech demo with little promise of being finished, and another in Limbo with no end in sight, and even a few finished ones that I didn't find much enjoyment in. I have gotten more pleasure from Shroud of the Avatar, a game I did not back than any of these. Granted its not from the game itself, but from the utter absurdity of everything surrounding it, the long and amusing threads I have read over the years, and even this review, which I found a bit overly long, but I read it through anyway. Still I am sad for all of the true Ultima fans out there. Just as I yearn for the rebirth of Might and Magic or Vampire:Bloodlines, I can truly understand your anguish. Maybe someday, someone with talent and credibility will make a worthy testament to this series.
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June 29th, 2018, 17:15
Originally Posted by Carnifex View Post
I still wonder if a single player game will ever exist out of the huge mess that this thing is.
I appreciate how you feel Carnifex and I mean it in a nicest possible way but that's just a gamer's equivalent of "Sunk Cost Fallacy". Just forget about it. Or try to.
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June 29th, 2018, 17:19
Well….pretty much what I said two years ago.

They have fired half their staff now…it's only a matter of time until this is totally finished.
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June 29th, 2018, 17:29
And even though it has supposedly been released - no sign of any of the physical rewards. I'm kind of hoping they send those out before they go bankrupt.
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June 29th, 2018, 17:32
If a picture paints a thousand words…

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June 29th, 2018, 17:36
Turns out Lord British was like Shakespeare? Other team members were responsible for much of his fame & success in the Ultima Era?
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June 29th, 2018, 18:01
Originally Posted by HellRazor View Post
And even though it has supposedly been released - no sign of any of the physical rewards. I'm kind of hoping they send those out before they go bankrupt.
Well, if the guy from the Codex review couldn't get the town he payed for 3 years ago what are your chances?
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June 29th, 2018, 18:04
Originally Posted by rune_74 View Post
Well….pretty much what I said two years ago.

They have fired half their staff now…it's only a matter of time until this is totally finished.
I'm waiting with bated breath for what happens with the Star Citizen. I have a feeling that those are tween calamities…
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June 29th, 2018, 18:11
I'll give my opinion on Sota since I' ve played a lot and actually enjoy the game for what it is.

The RPGcodex review has a few factual problems, but makes a lot of good points. Truth of the matter is, this is a niche game and I don't think it will ever have a wide audience. It tries to be too many things at once without succeeding in any of them. The biggest design decison error they made is having it be a 'selectively multiplayer game'. They should have gone all in multiplayer or singleplayer. It make a crappy single player game. But I actually do like the quest in multiplayer mode (even though its still rough around the edges and buggy as hell).
The virtue system is not working well at the moment. Your virtue has almost zero effect on the world around you. PvP is not fun in the game right now. They are implementing new PvP features in the next months, we'll see how it goes. Then there is the sandbox aspect of the game which is it's best feature if you want my opinion. But the game was not kickstarted on this aspect, so a lot of people are not getting the game they expected , and are disappointed or mad (and rightly so).

A misconception of this game is that you need to spend a ton of money to enjoy the game. You actually don't have to spend any money aside from the price of the game. I know a lot of people who have houses in game and haven t spent anything more than the base price for the game. You can craft a ton of items, and some of the items you can craft are better than what they have in the addon store. You can craft your own house if you want. You can buy everything in the addon store from vendors ingame. So no, you don't have to spend a lot of money. What you do have to spend is time, a lot of it. And for people looking for a single player game, this is not it. For people looking for a traditional MMO, this is not it. For people looking for a contemporary mmo with all the bells and whistles, this is not it either. Where does this game fit? I can't really say , and that is the problem. But I still have fun with it, hope it will continue to evolve and get better. I'm pretty sure that given the time, the devs will succeeed, but as the RPGcodex review says, they may be running out of time.
Last edited by k1000; June 29th, 2018 at 22:25.
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June 29th, 2018, 18:27
Originally Posted by Carnifex View Post
The one and only kick starter that I truly regret sponsoring.
The one and only kickstarter I rescinded my pledge on
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June 29th, 2018, 18:47
Originally Posted by k1000 View Post
I'll give my oipinion on Sota since I' ve played a lot and actually enjoy the game for what it is.

The RPGcodex review has a few factual problems, but makes a lot of good points. Truth of the matter is, this is a niche game and I don't think it will ever have a wide audience. It tries to be too many things at once without succeeding in any of them. The biggest design decison error they made is having it be a 'selectively multiplayer game'. They should have gone all in multiplayer or singleplayer. It make a crappy single player game. But I actually do like the quest in multiplayer mode (even though its still rough around the edges and buggy as hell).
The virtue system is not working well at the moment. Your virtue has almost zero effect on the world around you. PvP is not fun in the game right now. They are implementing new PvP features in the next months, we'll see how it goes. Then there is the sandbox aspect of the game which is it's best feature if you want my opinion. But the game was not kickstarted on this aspect, so a lot of people are not getting the game they expected , and are disappointed or mad (and rightly so).

A misconception of this game is that you need to spend a ton of money to enjoy the game. You actually don't have to spend any money aside from the price of the game. I know a lot of people who have houses in game and haven t spent anything more than the base price for the game. You can craft a ton of items, and some of the items you can craft are better than what they have in the addon store. You can craft your own house if you want. You can buy everything in the addon store from vendors ingame. So no, you don't have to spend a lot of money. What you do have to spend is time, a lot of it. And for people looking for a single player game, this is not it. For people looking for a traditional MMO, this is not it. For people looking for a contemporary mmo with all the bells and whistles, this is not it either. Where does this game fit? I can't really say , and that is the problem. But I still have fun with it, hope it will continue to evolve and get better. I'm pretty sure that given the time, the devs will succeeed, but as the RPGcodex review says, they may be running out of time.
Interesting.

I've tried getting into it several times.

There are two primary issues that keep me from enjoying my time with it.

The first is the utterly terrible performance of the game. The second is the utterly terrible combat.

I have this feeling that there's a ton of content to enjoy - and I really like the "Dungeon Lords" old-school quirky charm it has going for it, but I really don't know how they expect people to get over those two things - considering how integral to the experience they are.

Any suggestions?
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June 29th, 2018, 18:58
Originally Posted by Darth Tagnan View Post
Interesting.

I've tried getting into it several times.

There are two primary issues that keep me from enjoying my time with it.

The first is the utterly terrible performance of the game. The second is the utterly terrible combat.

I have this feeling that there's a ton of content to enjoy - and I really like the "Dungeon Lords" old-school quirky charm it has going for it, but I really don't know how they expect people to get over those two things - considering how integral to the experience they are.

Any suggestions?
The combat actually grew on me and I like it now. The whole combat system has it's issues though. The devs made the decision that there would be no cap on skills, so you can basically train anything you want . So there is no specialization (even though they introduced specialization skills).

IMO this game is primarily a social game. You have to interact with the world and other players to enjoy it's full potential. It is foremost a social rpg and a sandbox game. You have to meet people in game to enjoy it (join a guild). You have to enjoy the content created by other players . If you look carefully, there are some player created quests which are pretty fun. There is a 'new feature' where you can look for a group to join in quests or kill monsters. It's been implemented a few releases back (I know can't believe it took them that much time to add this basic feature). But it can be a good way to meet people. The community is also very open and helpful. But again, it all depends what you are looking for. If you want primarily a good single player experience, this is not the game for you.
Last edited by k1000; June 29th, 2018 at 22:28.
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June 29th, 2018, 19:12
Originally Posted by zahratustra View Post
I'm waiting with bated breath for what happens with the Star Citizen. I have a feeling that those are tween calamities…
I don't think so….star citizen is at least trying some new things and looks modern.
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June 29th, 2018, 19:14
Originally Posted by k1000 View Post
The combat actually grew on me and I like it now. The whole combat system has it's issues though. The devs made the decision that there would be no cap on skills, so you can basically train anything you want . So there is no specialization (even though they introduced specialization skills).
I like the skill system and the way you can combine skills just as you want. It's the actual combat in itself that I find terrible.

IMO this game is primarily a social game. You have to interact with the world and other players to enjoy it's full potential. It is foremost a social rpg and a sandbox game. You have to meet people in game to enjoy it (join a guild). You have to enjoy the content created by other players . If you look carfefully, there are some player created quests which are pretty fun. There is a 'new feature' where you can look for a group to join in quests or kill monsters. It's been implemented a few releases back (I know can't believe it took them that much time to add this basic feature). But it can be a good way to meet people. The community is also very open and helpful. But again, it all depends what you are looking for. If you want primarily a good single player experience, this is not the game for you.
Yeah, I guess I'm just the kind of player who needs to fundamentals to work, before I really want to invest myself into something like that.

The performance is probably my primary issue - as I tend to do combat only as a means of progression.

But thanks for your insight
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June 29th, 2018, 19:14
Originally Posted by k1000 View Post
I'll give my oipinion on Sota since I' ve played a lot and actually enjoy the game for what it is.

The RPGcodex review has a few factual problems, but makes a lot of good points. Truth of the matter is, this is a niche game and I don't think it will ever have a wide audience. It tries to be too many things at once without succeeding in any of them. The biggest design decison error they made is having it be a 'selectively multiplayer game'. They should have gone all in multiplayer or singleplayer. It make a crappy single player game. But I actually do like the quest in multiplayer mode (even though its still rough around the edges and buggy as hell).
The virtue system is not working well at the moment. Your virtue has almost zero effect on the world around you. PvP is not fun in the game right now. They are implementing new PvP features in the next months, we'll see how it goes. Then there is the sandbox aspect of the game which is it's best feature if you want my opinion. But the game was not kickstarted on this aspect, so a lot of people are not getting the game they expected , and are disappointed or mad (and rightly so).

A misconception of this game is that you need to spend a ton of money to enjoy the game. You actually don't have to spend any money aside from the price of the game. I know a lot of people who have houses in game and haven t spent anything more than the base price for the game. You can craft a ton of items, and some of the items you can craft are better than what they have in the addon store. You can craft your own house if you want. You can buy everything in the addon store from vendors ingame. So no, you don't have to spend a lot of money. What you do have to spend is time, a lot of it. And for people looking for a single player game, this is not it. For people looking for a traditional MMO, this is not it. For people looking for a contemporary mmo with all the bells and whistles, this is not it either. Where does this game fit? I can't really say , and that is the problem. But I still have fun with it, hope it will continue to evolve and get better. I'm pretty sure that given the time, the devs will succeeed, but as the RPGcodex review says, they may be running out of time.
The problem is the only reason you don't have to spend a lot of money right now is because you have more supply then people. They wanted you to spend money to get things, it didn't work. The whole system was based on this…they are trying hard to peddle stuff now to get people to stay. If the game had taken off you would of course not have seen this. Crafting your own house is also a misconception….go ahead and craft it, you need a lot to place it on.
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June 29th, 2018, 19:15
Originally Posted by k1000 View Post
The combat actually grew on me and I like it now. The whole combat system has it's issues though. The devs made the decision that there would be no cap on skills, so you can basically train anything you want . So there is no specialization (even though they introduced specialization skills).

IMO this game is primarily a social game. You have to interact with the world and other players to enjoy it's full potential. It is foremost a social rpg and a sandbox game. You have to meet people in game to enjoy it (join a guild). You have to enjoy the content created by other players . If you look carfefully, there are some player created quests which are pretty fun. There is a 'new feature' where you can look for a group to join in quests or kill monsters. It's been implemented a few releases back (I know can't believe it took them that much time to add this basic feature). But it can be a good way to meet people. The community is also very open and helpful. But again, it all depends what you are looking for. If you want primarily a good single player experience, this is not the game for you.
Are you honestly pushing the dance party weird shit?
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June 29th, 2018, 19:16
iF you ask me, Garriott is nothing but a charlatan these days.
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