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Default Shroud of the Avatar - Free to play

November 1st, 2018, 10:09
Move along, nothing to see here, never were really… It saddens me to see Richard Garriot sell his own "blood" for some more bucks… It's depressing..
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November 1st, 2018, 13:27
Originally Posted by henriquejr View Post
Honest question: is the game worth playing (single playing, I mean) now that it's free?
Depends who you ask. Its "free" so you could do the story. Except they admitted themselves the story is a broken mess of bugs and incomplete quests that are tracked very poorly through a journal system.

Recent changes also removed some single player components. So if you are in a town, or residence, or seige event, or overland map.. it forces you into mmo mode "to make the world feel more populated." I'm sure it would still work though if you denied the program access to the network.
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November 1st, 2018, 15:36
Don't know whether to laugh (because people don't want to play this game even if it's free) or cry (because this scam was so successful). Actually backed it it ages ago (the lesson I learned there was worth the $40 I paid) and tried it a couple times over the years but just never got into it. It just felt so… meh. The graphics all have this Unity store assets look to them, the world is empty, and it just didn't really do anything to grab and hold my attention, nevermind actually doing anything well. I'll be glad to see this sorry excuse for a game die. Hopefully afterwards Richard Garriot will just leave game development. After a mess like this I certainly won't be giving any money to anything with his name attached to it.
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November 1st, 2018, 16:02
Originally Posted by henriquejr View Post
Honest question: is the game worth playing (single playing, I mean) now that it's free?
For the sake of my Ultima memories, I tried it. There were some good ideas (skill, exp) so why not? I refunded it one hour after.
Admitedly, it was before going free so I do not know about the current changes.

It is not actually than the graphics are outdated, they are just plain ugly and totally inefficient to convey visual informations you need. I was about to detail but why? Everything is a mess. The UI is a monster by itself. An Elite one.

And it is just not fun. Not at all.
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November 1st, 2018, 16:39
When will it go "Pay us to play?". Hmm.
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November 1st, 2018, 17:37
Originally Posted by rjshae View Post
When will it go "Pay us to play?". Hmm.
Ism't that's the case with any game you buy?

pibbur

EDIT: Bah, I misunderstood who "us" were.

pibbur who facepalms himself and maybe should delete this post.
Last edited by pibbur who; November 2nd, 2018 at 00:01.

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November 1st, 2018, 18:59
Originally Posted by KeepitClean View Post
It saddens me to see Richard Garriot sell his own "blood" for some more bucks… It's depressing..
WTF What? Jesus, what the hell was going on during this kickstarter, apparently I was MIA to a lot of insanity… paid forum participation, selling of blood… holy crap.
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November 1st, 2018, 19:20
He actually sold the blood after the Kickstarter, just like he did fundraisers and what not. I'd love to see a documentary of the making of this game. Obviously they tried for a long time to make this project work and obviously it utterly failed. Did they not have a team with enough talent? Did they try to do too much? What happened? I'd think it would really be interesting to find out.
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November 1st, 2018, 20:20
I believe maybe a lot of alcohol and perhaps some drugs were used a bit too liberally by the people that thought they might actually create a game. I for one will never give another penny of my cash to Garriot or any product that he might ever be associated with.
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November 1st, 2018, 20:42
Like others here, I was a huge fan of the Ultima series. I still have great fondness for those games… even backing the kickstarter for a book on the history of Ultima… even though I already have several books from the past on the same subject.

I was a $300 kickstarter backer from SotA. I didn't follow the development at all after it became obvious that a single player U7 style experience was taking a big back seat to a UO style experience, which was early on.


About a month ago I download SotA, played about 45 minutes, then uninstalled it. I've been gaming long enough to recognize a turd when I see one, I don't need to spend tens of hours figuring it out.

It seems that in later life Garriott is failing proportionally to his success during his younger years. It's a real shame too, because almost no one, not even Garriott, seems to have the ability to re-create that Ultima magic on modern technology. The D:OS games come pretty close though.
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November 1st, 2018, 20:45
I'm convinced now that anyone that says "shroud of the avatar" and "single player" in the same sentence are simply not going to allow me to cross that bridge.

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RG has had his estate up for sale for awhile. I'm convinced he is bringing in enough revenue to keep up the maintenance. He certainly wouldn't sell it to Kurt Schilling this mess.

I can't believe its still going.

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On the no officers bit I'll say it. They dropped their titles to avoid liability when the inevitable bankruptcy and lawsuits happen.
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Should we also point out this is not the first time he overextended himself? I think he's only not delivered in two or three cases though (Ultima 8.5, Worlds of Ultima King Arthur, and Ultima 9 v.1)
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November 1st, 2018, 22:19
Originally Posted by TheMadGamer View Post
I was a $300 kickstarter backer from SotA. I didn't follow the development at all after it became obvious that a single player U7 style experience was taking a big back seat to a UO style experience, which was early on.
The thing is, a lot of people would be happy if it was a UO-style experience, but it fails at being even a mediocre MMORPG and has very, very little in common with UO. It seems like fans of classic games like the Ultima series and other CRPGs need to look toward indie developers that love/d those games just as much and are looking to create similar titles, because the owners of those IPs are either doing a shitty job with them or they aren't doing anything with them at all.
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November 2nd, 2018, 00:46
I've seen quite a few independent companies crank out some decent games, and they had only a portion of the funds that Garriot and company had to spend/waste. I've got nothing but praise for the majority of indie games that I've bought and played lately.
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November 2nd, 2018, 11:36
Originally Posted by Carnifex View Post
I've seen quite a few independent companies crank out some decent games, and they had only a portion of the funds that Garriot and company had to spend/waste. I've got nothing but praise for the majority of indie games that I've bought and played lately.
I wonder if Garriot and his friends understand modern technology and what it can do. I think they might have not kept up. I'm older and think I understand technology pretty well, but my daughter knows about a lot of things that I don't. Its one thing to be full of ideas, like Garriot and Molyneux seem to be, but you need someone to understand what can and can't be implemented and be able to do it well, and these guys seem to hire teams of people who aren't capable of doing what they want/ promise.
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November 2nd, 2018, 11:58
Originally Posted by Stingray View Post
What's funny is that when I called this game a scam 3.5 years ago, the statement was so controversial, even on RPGWatch, that my reply (and its replies) got split into its own thread:
https://www.rpgwatch.com/forums/showthread.php?t=27995
Yeah, we can’t have people derailing news threads with visionary opinions
And quite a number of people in that thread have indeed seen the light by now, especially @rune_74, who did a 180 on this one.
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November 2nd, 2018, 17:08
Hopefully Underworld Ascendant saves the setting, because SotA has done a good job of pooping all over it.
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November 2nd, 2018, 17:19
I don't have much faith in UA either. It looks pretty lame to be honest. Hope to be pleasantly surprised.
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November 2nd, 2018, 17:29
Originally Posted by forgottenlor View Post
I wonder if Garriot and his friends understand modern technology and what it can do. I think they might have not kept up. I'm older and think I understand technology pretty well, but my daughter knows about a lot of things that I don't. Its one thing to be full of ideas, like Garriot and Molyneux seem to be, but you need someone to understand what can and can't be implemented and be able to do it well, and these guys seem to hire teams of people who aren't capable of doing what they want/ promise.
I don't know - it looked like Tabula Rasa had some pretty modern technology but just wasn't that interesting or different from what was already out there.

However, if what you say is true we've seen quite a bit of irony in modern version of these old timey games - Bard's Tale, Might and Magic, and this Ultima clone were all very cutting edge and pushed the boundaries of what PC's could do at the time, inventing methods and techniques thought impossible when dealing with that little memory, and virtual memory being non-existent (thank God!).

But Garriot himself has often got himself in that trap - U6, U7, UU, UO pushed the boundaries so much they were unplayable on most machines, sometimes for years. U9 wasn't even playable.

What really did him in this time is focussing too much on monetizing. I don't think that the graphics are all that bad (I was expecting something Facebook like) its just a disorganized mess from the little I played of it.
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November 2nd, 2018, 17:30
Originally Posted by forgottenlor View Post
I wonder if Garriot and his friends understand modern technology and what it can do. I think they might have not kept up. I'm older and think I understand technology pretty well, but my daughter knows about a lot of things that I don't. Its one thing to be full of ideas, like Garriot and Molyneux seem to be, but you need someone to understand what can and can't be implemented and be able to do it well, and these guys seem to hire teams of people who aren't capable of doing what they want/ promise.
I think you banged the nail on the head there. Garriot might have vision but did't have skills to implement it. People he hired might have the the skills but didn't have the vision.
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April 13th, 2019, 00:29
Latest news? Apparently the dev team has closed their office and since then developers have been working from their homes.

Source: https://matzavreview.com/2019/03/06/…-a-good-thing/

Why are the developers leaving their office? Chris Spears, technical director and Starr Long, producer of the MMORPG SotA, announced in the last livestream that from now on the entire team works from home. It’s an experiment and a good thing.

The landlord has apparently a few months after the last move last year, the rent increased sharply and wanted to bind the company for four years to the new lease. Since the team was not satisfied with the office anyway, they moved out.

How are the developers working now? Everyone now works in the home office and logs into the system, which has been outsourced to a data center. The team exchanges information with each other via e-mails and Skype. According to Starr Long and Chris Spears working works now not really different than before. But you just do not share office anymore.

The work continues

Why is Portalarium saying that this is a good thing?
Portalarium says it is now saving between $ 8,000 and $ 10,000 a month in rent. This money is now flowing into the development and marketing of MMORPG’s Shroud of the Avatar. In addition, the way to work falls away for some developers. You save on travel costs and time.

Does this affect the MMORPG?
According to the developers, work on SotA continues as usual. Every month updates with new content, bug fixes and other changes appear. And by the end of 2019, the release of Episode 2 is planned with the continuation of the story and a new landmass.

How is SotA? The Free2Play MMORPG Shroud of the Avatar has an average of about 134 concurrent players according to Steamcharts, 234 at weddings. However, this represents only about 35 percent of the total population in the game, as many play on their own launcher and not on Steam. Portalarium averages less than $ 100,000 a month in selling in-game items and donating players.

How do the players react? SotA has a heavily divided community. Those who are disappointed with the game make fun of working from the home office and consider it the last nail of the coffin for online play.

But there are still loyal fans who also like to donate money each month for further development. They think the step was right and a home office offers many benefits.
Last edited by Dez; April 13th, 2019 at 10:07.
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