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  1. #1
    Legendary! draykorinee's Avatar
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    Shroud of the Avatar

    Shroud of the Avatar: Forsaken Virtues is going in to closed Alpha this week so I thought I would see if any other RPG fans are interested in what has been called the 'spiritual' successor to Ultima Online, it has a wealth of industry experts with Lord Birtish AKA Richard Garriot as lead developer and Tracey Hickman involved in developing the story.



    Synopsis

    Players will adventure in an interactive world where their choices have consequences, ethical paradoxes give them pause, and they play a vital part in weaving their own story into the immersive world and lore surrounding them. Play options will include solo, friends only, or open multiplayer via the Selective Multiplayer system. Players can specialize in a wide range of combat and non-combat skills, provided by a robust, classless skill system, and full-featured crafting and housing mechanics.

    Shroud is crowd funded and that allows the developers to work directly for, and with, the player, versus working for a large publishing corporation. Shroud is also crowd sourced so players can submit Unity compatible content (art, sfx, music, world building, etc). Once submitted content is approved the submitter can choose to be compensated in real or virtual currency.

    Built using the Unity Game Engine, Shroud of the Avatar will support Win/Mac/Linux for official launch at the end of 2014. Backers gain early access at the end of 2013.

    Information

    The 3 month video update
    The latest video is a 6 month update
    Here is the housing system

    Play Modes

    Its important to note this is absolutely not UO2, it is not an MMO by nature, here is a good description from the devs : -

    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.

    For the most part, OPO will feel like an MMO. Lots of social interaction options with friends and other players. We are trying to distinguish ourselves from traditional MMOs only in that, unlike a normal MMO players are frequently connected directly to each other instead of all data flowing through our servers. We believe this will provide numerous advantages to both players and our service, but does differ from a traditional MMO in that the upper limit of players simultaneously on one map may be restricted.

    Combat



    There is a massive bloated bit of information regarding combat here and I have to be honest I have read it and still don't really get it, the combat in videos has been rudimentary at best, there is a deck system in play which is best described here . Very briefly, it looks like a hot key MMO with some alternative mechanics which I will need to experience to understand better :S

    Crafting

    Crafting was a massive part of UO and its going to be a massive part of SotA, it is by all accounts the usual crafting model of generic tree-like system with your typical resource components and gathering, here is a very good piece of information regarding crafting

    Housing



    Yup, again, like UO housing is here! I would say it seems even more restricted to the select few this time with a finite number of plots and it seems that the majority will go to backers for a whopping $500 and above, so that rules me out :P It is of course available in game for in game gold but I foresee the vast majority of people being homeless which is a shame as so much effort is being put in to the housing component. I personally have joined a community who have funded our own large house so it has had positive factors as well. Here is a very indepth preview of housing

    Ultimately there is probably too much info for one post but I will try to update here whenever more relevant information comes in, I really hope people can get behind this game, if you are interested then there is a great reward system in place for backers and a fantastic community with so many ex ultima online players. I am also part of a community called the bear tavern which has plans to be a big part of the community with players from all over the world.

    Having been a part of various awful Alphas and game release I'm hoping for the best but much like Matt Peckham "hoping that the game’s going to be more than the sum of its cliched bullet points, e.g. “fully interactive virtual world,” “classless character system,” “player housing,” “crafting system that avoids busy work,” “meaningful PvP that also minimizes griefing” and so forth" Please don't be all hype.

    Thanks for reading

  2. #2
    Yeah, I've been watching the (very slow) progress on this game. Can't wait to actually play it.
    Quote Originally Posted by Warwithin View Post
    Politicians put their hand on the BIBLE and swore to uphold the CONSTITUTION. They did not put their hand on the CONSTITUTION and swear to uphold the BIBLE.
    Quote Originally Posted by Adam Jensen View Post
    Except maybe Morgan Freeman. That man could convince God to be an atheist with that voice of his . . .

  3. #3
    Definitely on my radar. The Ultima games were some of the first I played on the PC.
    I mourn the loss of a man of true vision and talent. You were my idol, Mr. Giger.
    You gave faces to my dreams and nightmares and sparked my imagination throughout my entire life. You will be missed.

    Hans Rudolf Giger
    2/5/1940 - 5/12/2014

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by unholytestament View Post
    Definitely on my radar. The Ultima games were some of the first I played on the PC.
    I'm pretty sure anyone who had access to a PC back then started either on Ultima or Civ :-P
    Quote Originally Posted by Warwithin View Post
    Politicians put their hand on the BIBLE and swore to uphold the CONSTITUTION. They did not put their hand on the CONSTITUTION and swear to uphold the BIBLE.
    Quote Originally Posted by Adam Jensen View Post
    Except maybe Morgan Freeman. That man could convince God to be an atheist with that voice of his . . .

  5. #5
    Legendary! draykorinee's Avatar
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    I have to admit to never playing an Ultima game outside of ultima online, I was very much in to might and magic but my first PC was quite late in to the gaming timeline, I was primarily console orientated until UO. UO is my favourite MMO, not my most played, not even close, WoW will probably always take that crown, but in UO I made my own memories, in Wow it always feels like I'm being lead there.

  6. #6
    Obligatory Noah 'Spoony' Antwiler links for everything regarding Ultima. He's one of the series biggest fans in the world and actually did an interview with Richard Garriott about the new game and some interesting parts of the existing series, well worth a watch.

    Ultima Retrospective

    Britannia Burns - Richard Garriott Interview, Part 1 (the other videos you can find in his most recent uploads)



    All fans and those interested in Ultima or even just old-school RPG games will find it interesting, can't wait for Shroud to release myself.

  7. #7
    Lord British.

    Impervious to 40mm grenade rounds.

    The bastard.
    I mourn the loss of a man of true vision and talent. You were my idol, Mr. Giger.
    You gave faces to my dreams and nightmares and sparked my imagination throughout my entire life. You will be missed.

    Hans Rudolf Giger
    2/5/1940 - 5/12/2014

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by endersblade View Post
    I'm pretty sure anyone who had access to a PC back then started either on Ultima or Civ :-P
    WC2:ToD and Diablo.

    For me, Ultima was the premier MMO. Nothing else was like it, nor, could compete with it. It STILL arguably has some of the best PvP. Loot Death, Murderers, crafting that mattered, skills, and housing.

    Anything that came after, honestly killed the game. Runic crafting, yearly rewards, champ spawns, Trammel, Chiv and Necro, and anything past T2A, for sure, was trash. Most of the improvements that were made, en lieu of WoW, were trash and made no sense to the game.

    If anyone is a Backer, I have been keeping an open eye out for this game. Please tell me Shroud is pre-Trammel esque?

  9. #9
    Well,. the biggest question will be "will there be a monthly cost?"

    And second to that "Will EA in any way be involved?"

    If either of those questions can be answered with a Yes, I foresee it being unlikely that i'll get involved with it.
    Last edited by bbr; 2014-01-05 at 05:05 PM.

    Author of: Goggle Cat Comics.

  10. #10
    Legendary! draykorinee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bbr View Post
    Well,. the biggest question will be "will there be a monthly cost?"

    And second to that "Will EA in any way be involved?"

    If either of those questions can be answered with a Yes, I foresee it being unlikely that i'll get involved with it.
    No monthly cost, its sold as a stand alone game with the plan for 'chapters' added around yearly iirc, but defo no sub.

    EA is absolutely not involved at this stage, will they ever? I don't know but its unlikely to be big enough for them.

    Please tell me Shroud is pre-Trammel esque
    It's not known yet, wPvP is shrouded in mystery (pun intended)

    Both Forbes and MMORPG have SoTA as one of the most wanted MMO's of 2014 even above ESO and everquest surprisingly.
    Last edited by draykorinee; 2014-01-05 at 07:55 PM.

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by draykorinee View Post

    It's not known yet, wPvP is shrouded in mystery (pun intended)

    Both Forbes and MMORPG have SoTA as one of the most wanted MMO's of 2014 even above ESO and everquest surprisingly.
    I dunno, I like Richard Garriott. I met the man in Texas for a get together in Austin. I was just a kid, but he seemed to beam coolness. With his Lord British super bling, and open shirt with chest hair. I believe he can do great things when he is passionate about something.

    Shroud honestly seems like a UO2 reboot, without EA. Which is what the Origins UO was all about. Independent. I just don't know, as much as I want to invest, I don't want another 100k player game, in which, I'm going to struggle to find people for content. Or even talk too, especially since I play in the early A.M.

    Secondly, the content seems to be for role-players anyways. While it does have some intriguing elements. It truly seems to be a different sort of game. I'm waiting to see and it's all I can do.

  12. #12
    Legendary! draykorinee's Avatar
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    You're probably right Joker, its going to be a smaller community and you probably will need to invest more time to get something out of the community than your average MMORPG, but I also think the game will have enough as a single player RPG to be worth the game price, it's still a long way off release so just keep an eye on how things are going.

  13. #13
    Ultima Online was among my earliest PC games and I'm looking forward to see how Shroud develops.

  14. #14
    I lost all faith in Richard Garriot when I heard his tale of white-knighting a woman and threatening to ban a thief. It made it sound like UO's awesomeness was more like a side effect of his choices than a conscious choice

  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by nightshark View Post
    I lost all faith in Richard Garriot when I heard his tale of white-knighting a woman and threatening to ban a thief. It made it sound like UO's awesomeness was more like a side effect of his choices than a conscious choice
    I have no idea how that has anything to do with game development.
    I mourn the loss of a man of true vision and talent. You were my idol, Mr. Giger.
    You gave faces to my dreams and nightmares and sparked my imagination throughout my entire life. You will be missed.

    Hans Rudolf Giger
    2/5/1940 - 5/12/2014

  16. #16
    Legendary! draykorinee's Avatar
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    We've so far had 3 alpha builds introducing a few of the systems including housing, its all looking tidy if poorly optimised (alpha is alpha). The next release is release 4 and brings :-
    Performance Optimizations: Introducing multiplayer in Release 3 exposed some performance issues that needed resolution sooner than later. To that end we are making this a top priority for Release 4 so more players can enjoy the game. Giving this the time it needs requires us to both move the date for Release 4 out by one week and to move much of the combat work we had originally planned out to Release 5 and beyond.
    Overworld Map System: An initial version of our dual scale navigation system will launch and players will use it to navigate between towns and adventuring areas.
    10 Scenes: The Hidden Vale, a hidden island north north east of the mainland, will be complete with 10 scenes including towns, wilderness, caves, and dungeons.
    Combat: Those first scenes will have nasty beasts in them, so we’ve decided we should give you a way to fight back! This first release of combat will be extremely simple and focus just on auto swing using your equipped weapon. Death will also be kept simple for now: you will auto resurrect at your death location after a short time interval.
    Quests: Players will be able to participate in quests that will send them around the world and even change game state in the scenes based on quest flags. Testing this early is important because our quest system operates differently than the current standards (e.g. no exclamation points or convo trees). As a stretch goal we will also provide the first version of the journal.
    Loot: Killing those nasty creatures your encounter and quests will generate loot including gold and resources.
    Crafting: Resource Gathering will be added to crafting with resources appearing in the world. More recipes will also become available
    Player Housing: The housing system will be re-launched with persistence in the online space. Since we are still on the small island of Hidden Vale there are not yet enough lots to go around. To continue to allow everyone to try out player housing the ownership of the lots will cycle every hour or two
    Parties: We will continue to expand our social systems by adding a Party system so players can group together and adventure.
    Mac/Linux Patching: No longer will you have to download a full executable whenever we release a new patch. Mac and Linux versions will patch just like the Windows version.
    Swimming: Jumping was just the first step to giving players a much greater feeling of movement freedom. Like jumping, swimming will eventually be governed by game systems like encumbrance and focus.
    Only 34 more days for founder status, which is basically the reward system for kickstarter/funding.

  17. #17
    http://www.uoforever.com - for now,. this will tide me over.
    Lord british actually visited on this shard a few weeks back
    Sadly it was during american hours,. so no chance to attend as european with a day job... but still, good that he visits.

    Author of: Goggle Cat Comics.

  18. #18
    Legendary! draykorinee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bbr View Post
    http://www.uoforever.com - for now,. this will tide me over.
    Lord british actually visited on this shard a few weeks back
    Sadly it was during american hours,. so no chance to attend as european with a day job... but still, good that he visits.
    The whole team seem very good at communicating with the playerbase, Lord british replied to one of my tweets last night, had a mini nerdgasm. The uoforever shard is very very good, i just wish ea would close uo down they have milked that for too long., that or remove subs.

  19. #19
    Legendary! draykorinee's Avatar
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    Alienware are giving away $20 towards your initial pledge for this game right now and release 8 is pretty stable, worth checking it out as they have added so much new stuff this last month.

    A really good run down of player owned cities, new housing and stretch goals here.

    I am part of the Bear Tavern community which is a player run Tavern inside of our very own metropolis, find info out here.

  20. #20
    Legendary! draykorinee's Avatar
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    Shroud has now been greenlit on steam if people are looking in to it at all! Its coming along slowly, can see many commun ity held events going on in each release but its still a good 6 months way from a full release I reckon.

    Have a gander at the screenshot gallery

    Its definitely a niche MMO, but far removed from your bog standard theme park!

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