Shroud of the Avatar

ServerKing

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this looks promising im glad i wasnt a backer though have been burned by him before...
 

Gabriel

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They are doing a great job with their weekly updates and videos released every 3 months showing what they've been working on. This is the only kickstarter project I spent money on, so I hope the game doesn't suck :) And yes I bought ultima 9 when it came out lol.
 

ElGuapo242

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They are doing a great job with their weekly updates and videos released every 3 months showing what they've been working on. This is the only kickstarter project I spent money on, so I hope the game doesn't suck :) And yes I bought ultima 9 when it came out lol.

To be fair, they knew Ultima 9 was broken and wanted to address the issues, but the higher ups said screw it, signed off on the game and shipped it anyways. I worked at EA at the time and everyone was pissed that they would release a game from a beloved series with so many game breaking bugs.

This looks to be shaping up nicely.
 

shifty68

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First playable build is up for backers.

You cant do much right now, just run around and mess around with houses and talk to a few people. Combat hasn't been put in yet.

But it looks promising, and I can already tell i am going to spend a ton of time playing with my house.
 

RanceJustice

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It is indeed very promising. I'm a little bit wary of the cost of certain things, and hope they can be obtained in-game (housing, certain items etc..are all being sold sometimes for a significant price). If this is an "only for backing" thing it won't trouble me, but given the expense of Citizent+ packages, or a la carte houses (and then you need a plot of land, which will be limited. Basements cost extra etc..) I just hope that most of these won't be exclusive to those who pay.

The gameplay looks very interesting and will appeal to many Ultima and old-school MMO fans (for instance, actually typing/talking to other players and NPCs to get them to reveal quests/information. I am eager to see how far tech has come since old-school EverQuest keyword recognition) however, and the pledges up to the ~$100 level or so provide lots of neat extras that seem to be quite accessible.

I am pleased to hold a Founder-level account with SotA, and I'm looking into a few things that could be beneficial if they pan out. One really neat feature however, is that you can essentially put a pledge on "layaway" so to speak, with a monthly payment plan. So if you want something that is more expensive, you can pay for it in installments! I'd be happy to answer any questions in the meantime, and if anyone is planning to pledge, I'd greatly appreciate if you would apply my email address as I'm eager to obtain the fancy emotes and cosmetic doo-dads that come from referrals! PM me for details :D

Edit: Don't forget, those that back both Star Citizen and Shroud of the Avatar will receive unique items in both games! We don't know what the Star Citizen inspired item in SotA is going to be yet, but we do know that there will be a Crossbow sidearm (possibly the Iolo special crossbow for one of the higher pledges) in Star Citizen!
 

Serpent

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Jun 19, 2011
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2,106
Oh crap...

I wasn't paying attention to the kickstarter. I thought it was a new MMO, so I backed out of the kickstarter.

It does look really good though. Glad it's coming along very well.
 

RanceJustice

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For those who might be interested, they just released yet another open Alpha, Release 2 - think of it a bit like the Hangar Module for Star Citizen. Its very early compared to a final playable game (ie no combat as of yet), but some very promising mechanics (ie the quest system where players have to actually type questions/keywords to NPCs, not just click an ! and accept, as well as crafting and home customization) were already present. Awesomely, it will also be released on Linux - even Release 2 had a Linux build!

They do seem to be moving along nicely. For those interested in backing, I have secured promise from Portalarium customer service that I can purchase Founder packages for other players, giving them access to a lot more additional content/bonuses for a given pledge level! Much like I did for Star Citizen, I'm again offering these Founder pledges at cost, for any who are interested! See my informational thread - http://hardforum.com/showthread.php?t=1803895 .

If you're interested in SotA, but haven't yet backed or don't want to miss out on Founder content, feel free to contact me!
 

RanceJustice

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For those interested, Portalarium has confirmed the next play-date for Alpha Release 3 - Feb 20th through the next weekend at least - This is especially interesting because Release 3 will be the debut of the Multiplayer feature in alpha; while there won't be any combat, look forward to lots of new game systems being seen for the first time, along with your fellow players!

For those who are have, or are interested in backing at "high roller" levels of "Developer" tier or higher ($400+ thereabouts), there's going to be an extra-special pre-test tomorrow, Feb 14th, from 2-3pm CST (at minimum, if things go well they may extend it), in which Lord British himself will be present in-game! Here's a copy and past from the announcement - read more at... https://www.shroudoftheavatar.com/?p=35418

"As many of you already know, Release 3 is scheduled to launch next Thursday, February 20, at 10:30 am. The big new thing with R3 is multiplayer mode, which is a giant leap forward in technological complexity over single-player mode. We need some advance help to test our servers and are asking all our Developer (and above) members to help us out. Here’s the message Chris Spears posted on the Dev+ forum: Hello Dev Plus people! We’re calling on you for another test before the test session! Actually, we might do two or three of these over the next week so don’t panic if you miss this one. We’ve been testing multiplayer on our internal servers and feel like we have things to a mostly stable state but we’re are a small lot and blind to our own flaws. We’ve tested the servers with 2 dozen people on single maps but we’re trying to sanity test how many people to enable per map for Release 3 next week.
We would like for the Dev Plus guys and gals to patch up and join us for “Lunch with SotA Bunch”. Friday, 2 – 3PM CST, we will open up the Live servers for 1 hour to do a limited load test. For tomorrow’s test we’ll cap the max players per map at 64 to see how well things work. We’ll be watching server load, data rates, and client performance during the test. If things go poorly, we should have data to fix the problem before the next test session. If things go better than expected, we’ll probably Turn the max per map up a bit and try again another day! Keep in mind, this build only has the most minimal of optimizations. Things will only get better and better with each build.
For those who haven’t installed it yet, you can get the client here: http:///KVYzpF
And patch up early and often! We’ll probably release the latest patch around 2 hours before the test. We’ll try to get it out earlier but no matter how much planning we do, we always seem to come right down to the wire on releases.
Known issues for this build that we would love repro steps for:

  • Occasionally other players will be invisible to you
  • Sometimes dialogs will lose their borders
  • Sometimes you can get into a “locked” state while chatting where you can’t move
First people to post repro steps for any of those will get a gold star from me personally!
Oh, and since I know some of you will ask, yes, Richard will be in game and NO, you won’t be able to kill him…
Enjoy!
Chris “Dippy Dragon” Spears"

Even if you don't feel up to pledging at the $400+ level for super early access, but you want to get in on Release 3 next week, all you need is an Adventurer-tier ($40) pledge or higher! I'm offering them at cost with Early Founder special bonuses, so feel free to send me a message or check the link in my previous post for more information!
 
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MrAgmoore

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Combat looks boring as shit. Games for: slit-my-wrists-from-boredom Morrowind fans.
 

shifty68

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Combat looks boring as shit. Games for: slit-my-wrists-from-boredom Morrowind fans.

some people actualy like games for other reasons besides combat, like.....hmmmm story, game play, and depth. but i guess you wouldnt understand, now go toddle off and play some cod.:rolleyes:
 

RanceJustice

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Combat is not even in the alpha as of yet. I'm sure there will be a TON of tweaking to make it enjoyable. Nobody has played it as of yet. It may not be for everyone, but the Deck system seems pretty comprehensive, atop the "normal" combat abilities.
 

MrAgmoore

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some people actualy like games for other reasons besides combat, like.....hmmmm story, game play, and depth. but i guess you wouldnt understand, now go toddle off and play some cod.:rolleyes:

All you do is kill and gain levels. You must be new to: gaming ; the RPG genre ; life ; The Internet. Try writing a comment for someone who has not been gaming for 30 years.

# Oldschool.

RPGs tend to have the most simplistic combat because RPGers can't handle the complexities of WASD, mouse buttons and multiple skills. I have no doubt that you would get rolled in this game:

http://store.steampowered.com/app/223390/


Hence the left click, left click, left click some more or tabbed combat ( for old aged pensioners ). DDO ( dungeons and dragons ) was somewhat challenging, even though it had tabbed combat for Rangers.

People really buy into the kind of gameplay mediocrity with high production values of The Witcher & Elder Scrolls. Subpar games for subpar gamers.

It's really tragic, considering text MUDS... the rare, great ones were full loot PVP at one point.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Medievia

http://www.medievia.com/

But with your stupid COD references, what would you possibly know about that?
 

shifty68

2[H]4U
Joined
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Messages
2,186
All you do is kill and gain levels. You must be new to: gaming ; the RPG genre ; life ; The Internet. Try writing a comment for someone who has not been gaming for 30 years.

# Oldschool.

RPGs tend to have the most simplistic combat because RPGers can't handle the complexities of WASD, mouse buttons and multiple skills. I have no doubt that you would get rolled in this game:

http://store.steampowered.com/app/223390/


Hence the left click, left click, left click some more or tabbed combat ( for old aged pensioners ). DDO ( dungeons and dragons ) was somewhat challenging, even though it had tabbed combat for Rangers.

People really buy into the kind of gameplay mediocrity with high production values of The Witcher & Elder Scrolls. Subpar games for subpar gamers.

It's really tragic, considering text MUDS... the rare, great ones were full loot PVP at one point.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Medievia

http://www.medievia.com/

But with your stupid COD references, what would you possibly know about that?

I guess you never enjoyed reading a book, you know....for the story....
 

RanceJustice

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Jun 9, 2003
Messages
5,943
Hey, I'm going to be running an extra drawing for a free Add On item, in addition to assigning the existing one to someone else, as the original person never claimed them. Check out my thread - if you want to get in on the free add on item drawing, its open to any who who pledge through me at cost for a Founders recruitment!

I'm also thinking of doing another drawing yet for a discounted pledge package, beyond the ones I normally offer, for those who haven't pledged yet.


Vday stuff, some new Of Prosperity items, and a look at the lordly HOUSEBOAT!: https://www.shroudoftheavatar.com/?p=35430
 

RanceJustice

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Alpha Release 3 is coming soon! TenTonHammer has weighed in on one of the "Pre Pre Release 3" special test play sessions for the "Dev+ group" (those who have pledged at the high roller tiers of $400+), and there's going to be another one even today! http://www.tentonhammer.com/feature...multiplayer-in-shroud-of-the-avatar-release-3

Here's some of the Alpha R3 release notes posted on the official forums by Darkstarr...

"Greetings Avatars,

Thank you to our loyal backers of Shroud of the Avatar. Release 3 access for all backers at First Responder / Adventurer level and above begins this Thursday February 20 at 10:30 AM Central Time. Release 3 access will end on Saturday February 22 at 10:00 PM Central Time. Starting today you can begin installing and patching (see instructions below), but login will not be enabled until Thursday morning.

We are happy to say that not only are we are going to deliver almost every single Release 3 item but that we also were able to put in a bunch of extras. Here are those deliverables again, along with some extra notes and the bonus deliverables in italics

RELEASE 3: February 20 - 22, 2014

  • Open Multiplayer Online: FINALLY we will let you see what the other players look like BUT we’ll be taking away your house for the month as we prepare housing to have persistence in the multiplayer space for Release 4.
  • Chat: You know, so you can talk to your friends! The chat interface now sports a tabbed interface and filters for different channels.
  • Emotes: More than 30 18 emotes online so you can look like a clown with your friends. NOTE: We wanted to use facial animations in several of the emotes so they ended up taking a bit longer than planned. Also the additions of jumping and walking took up animation time. Our final count of emotes is 19. On a brighter note we just added another animator to shore up our animation efforts so our animation speed is going to rise dramatically.
  • Town 3: A third municipality opens up (the tiny forest village of Braemar). This is a new type of village that starts tiny and overgrown. The forest gradually becomes cleared out as it becomes more populated.
  • Shopping: Shopkeepers will be open for business for selling and buying. NOTE: Now that we have this functionality coupled with crafting we have removed many of the loot chests and greatly reduced the content that can be found in them. The chests mentioned in the Ten Ton Hammer article were only for very early testing of R3.
  • Configurable Controls: We completely understand the myriad reasons why players desire the ability to play the game with different control schemes so we have started adding this functionality. This first version is quite basic so expect us to expand what controls this can change as we get further in the schedule.
  • Crafting Improvements: We made a bunch of improvement to make crafting more useable while preserving the experimentation and discovery aspect.
    • Auto Place: Once you discover a recipe you can double click on it in the recipe log to automatically place all ingredients and tools on the table.
    • Take All: There is now a “take all” button that removes everything on the table
    • Starter Recipes: Crafting Log now starts with a handful of recipes
    • Recipe Status: Recipes now display the status of whether they can be crafted including details about what ingredients you have, or do not have, in your inventory
    • More Recipes: 52 more recipes bring our grand total to 153.
  • Walking: With the run speed increase it became increasingly obvious that we need an option to walk.
  • Friends & Anti-Friends (Blocking): Friends and Blocking were originally R4 goals but we managed to sneak them in for R3.
  • Player Housing in SPO: We originally planned to disable all housing in R3 because of the complexity of dealing with ownership in multiplayer. We realized though that we could leave it functional in single player online without having to spend time solving the multiplayer issues in R3. This means you can still experience house ownership and decoration, but only in single player online mode.
  • Player Made Music: The Bards of Poets’ Circle Guild selected a set of songs for us to include in the game and we have spread them around the three maps for your listening pleasure.
  • Ladders: Using ladders will now teleport you to the next floor of a structure
So now that it is clear what you can expect we should also be as clear about what you should not expect:

  • Crafting: The crafting system is in the game as a framework, but is still missing some key components like resource gathering, repair, and enhancement. We are also not doing any skill checks yet, so results are always 100% successful. Long term, the percentage chance to make items will depend on a myriad of variables and can result in a variety of results including: making the item desired, making a simpler version of the item that will need to be enhanced, or making a damaged version of the item that needs repair.
  • Performance: We have only done rudimentary optimizations and we do not yet have a full suite of fallbacks (LODs, etc.). This means the game will be quite slow on older machines, and due to memory usage might be unstable in certain conditions (like densely decorated areas). With each release we will be doing further optimizations and adding to our fallbacks to improve performance.
  • Game Loop: Even though we have clearly stated that there will not be a complete game loop (adventure, loot, spend, craft, quest, etc.) until Release 4 there is still some expectation of those activities. For R3 there is just character creation / customization, NPC conversation, home decoration, the beginnings of crafting, and basic multiplayer functionality (chat, friends, etc.).
  • Advanced Player Housing: There are some advanced features for player housing including waterfront properties, basements, home exterior decorations, and ceiling decorations that are not yet integrated. Expect to see these appear in future releases. While waterfront housing is not working yet, we wanted you to still be able to view the waterfront houses we created (including the Lighthouse and Lord’s Houseboat) so you will find them in Kingsport as static buildings that you can visit.
  • Swimming: Jumping was just the first step to giving players a much greater feeling of movement freedom. For R3 we added a stretch goal for players to be able to swim along the surface of the water but we had to delay this work due to time needed on multiplayer. Like jumping, swimming will eventually be governed by game systems like encumbrance and focus.
Here are links to instructions and known issues. Thank you again for your continued support. This is truly the most amazing community we have ever worked with and we are proud to be on this journey with you.

Sincerely,
Starr Long
aka Darkstarr
Executive Producer"


However, the Alpha Release 3 will available to all pledgers tomorrow, 2/20! So if you want a chance to get into the first MULTIPLAYER version of the Alpha, pledge ASAP! My informational link if you don't want to scroll up - http://hardforum.com/showthread.php?t=1803895

Edit: BONUS! Since the last 2 winners of my Add-On item drawing have not replied to claim their winnings, I'm going to be offering it to the next person to pledge through my service!
 
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RanceJustice

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We have a winner! Congratulations! I'll be running yet another AddOn item drawing before the end of Alpha Release 3, so pledge to be registered!

I'll see if I can take some screenshots of Alpha 3 this evening...
 

tnynyn

Limp Gawd
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Sep 19, 2012
Messages
203
This game sounds awesome, I'm a big UO fan. Will there be monthly fees?

EDIT: Nevermind, just found the FAQs page. Buy to play :D
 

RanceJustice

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This game sounds awesome, I'm a big UO fan. Will there be monthly fees?

EDIT: Nevermind, just found the FAQs page. Buy to play :D

That's right! Buy to play, both single player and multiplayer (public, MMO world), as well as private servers to come later! If you have any questions, I'll do my best to answer them.

If you're interested in buying, check out my link above and I can set you up with a Founder's package for the exact same price you'd pay normally, and get MUCH more stuff :D Plus of course entry into all my AddOn Item drawings from here until the end of my pledge drive!

Even better, if you pledge today, you can play Release 3 right now!
 

Gabriel

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I went ahead and upgraded my pledge from Explorer to Collector for only $5 thanks to that alienware $20 bonus.
 

RanceJustice

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Yes indeed! Lots of great news today! Most of all, there is now the Alienware SotA FREE Pledge Coupon $20! Just be logged into your SotA account on another tab, and click the indicated link here - http://na.alienwarearena.com/news/ge...pledge-upgrade - to have $20 added towards your pledge's total. You can double check this on your account page by ensuring that it shows "includes $20 bonus" under the value of your pledge! This may even bump you up a tier!

There was another big post today covering...
Here’s what we have for you in this week’s edition of Update of the Avatar:

  • Post-Mortem: Dev+ Party on the Baron’s Frigate
  • PvP & Death: Current Thinking Megapost
  • Knight’s Round Table
  • Founder Knight House Servant
  • Patron Domesday Certificate
  • Black Cat Pet
  • Blade of the Avatar Novel: Chapter 12
  • Alienware Sponsors $20 Pledge Upgrade
Check it all out here - https://www.shroudoftheavatar.com/?p=36697#more-36697


Furthermore, there was just a huge dump of information by Darkstarr regarding PVP and Death. Keep in mind, these are at the moment very fluid and will be tweaked and changed, but I think many will be very happy....


"Greetings Avatars,

Out of all the features we are planning for, PVP seems to bring with it some very passionate interest and emotion. We feel that same level of emotion, and we are as excited as you are to have fun and meaningful PVP in Shroud of the Avatar. Our goal with PVP is to balance the thrill of unpredictable encounters with the desire by a large segment of the community to feel “safe” at all times. Rest assured that no matter what we do, players who wish to avoid PVP will never be forced to participate in PVP nor will there ever be non-consensual PVP.

Some games have segregated PVP from PVE worlds (Such as UO’s Trammel and Felucca). But we feel this complete segregation makes both sides less interesting. Yet, an open “free for all” which only serves one half is exactly what the other half fears. We feel we can successfully blend these two extremes into a world where PVE players can experience the FULL game (other than the PVP they are trying to avoid), while PVP players can shift the dynamics of the game environment thus; encouraging others to contest them in PVP.

Most importantly, the proposals below are just that; proposals. They have neither been coded nor tested by you, our players. Trust that we will find a way to successfully blend these play styles. We just feel the blended answer provides a unified world with the most safety and excitement combined, and is thus worthy in our minds of exploration. The solution for this goal will involve compromise on both sides, but we are confident those compromises will be worth it. We ARE going to find a solution, and we are going to do it together

Our current thinking about this blended world, is something like this:

The foundation of PvE is a guarantee that players will be able to play against NPC opponents without being forced into combat against other players. PvP play begins with a consensual choice to engage in combat against other players (e.g. duels, guild wars, and PvP "zones"). The key, we feel, is to try and create a co-existence between the two systems that blends PvP and PvE when possible, while still maintaining the player's choice of whether to engage in either mode. Some examples include, but are not limited to; players being offered a PvP quest to hunt down a player "criminal" (who is also flagged for PVP), PvP strongholds with objectives, and rare resources that will be available elsewhere in the world but more abundantly in PvP zones.

I would like to extend special thanks to our Developer + backers who did initial vetting and feedback of these ideas before we posted here.

Our current thinking is that PVP would happen in the following circumstances (note that there are multiple ways to participate in constant open PVP with other PVP folks):


  • Blessings of the Oracle (Open PVP): We are intrigued by the idea of weaving PVP into the lore, so a current idea is that players can complete a task / quest for the Oracle that will flag them as open PVP. Likewise they can have this flag removed by completing a task / quest for the Oracle. The Oracle is neutral (but judgmental) so this is a great way for us to provide a neutral way to get to Open PVP vs. having to set up factions, track blue reds, etc. Players who are in Open PVP (Blessed and Guilds flagged Open PVP) will be able to PVP with each other whenever they encounter each other, even in towns (but guards can, and will, react). Blessed Avatars may also gain access to PVP specific skills and the ability to craft PVP enchantments/enhancements.
  • Guilds (Warfare and Open PVP): Guilds can flag themselves as Open PVP which makes all members flagged as open PVP at all times (note there will be a time delay for changing this flag to prevent exploits). Players who are in Open PVP (Blessed and Guilds flagged Open PVP) will be able to PVP with each other whenever they encounter each other, even in towns (but guards can, and will, react!). They may also gain access to PVP specific skills, and the ability to craft PVP specific items. There will be time constraints on joining and leaving Guilds to control exploits. Guilds can declare war on each other which tracks guild vs guild kills for a set time period (24 hours, 1 week, etc.). At the end of that time period the Guild with the most kills gets a trophy. For Episode 1 warfare will be confined to 1 guild vs. 1 guild. Guild Warfare can include attacking / defending structures (think of a Castle Defense map for guilds). All warfare declarations are consensual, and once both guilds agree, the war starts in 24 hours with all guild members being notified. For later episodes, we may add the ability to set winning conditions as well as prizes/bets on the outcome.
  • PVP Zones: Volcanic eruptions and meteoric strikes on the map will create a mix of predefined areas and random areas that will be flagged as open PVP, meaning anyone entering that zone is flagged as PVP. These zones will have the following characteristics:
    • The rarest resources and rarest creatures will be more abundant in PVP Zones. (IMPORTANT NOTE: These resources and creatures also appear in PVE zones)
    • PVP specific resources for making PVP specific items.
    • PVP specific trainers, although there are issues we anticipate with quest givers getting camped, so we will work on solutions for this.
    • PVP specific quests, including the quest from the Oracle which flags the player as open PVP.
    • PVP Zones are currently planned to only be accessible in Open Multiplayer since playing them in Friend Only or Single Player Online modes would be an easy way to circumvent PVP.
    • A confirmation dialogue appears before entry into any and all PVP maps. This confirmation is also triggered during login if you logged out in a zone that has temporarily become PVP, at which time you can opt to login to the overworld map.
  • Duels: This will be one on one combat between two players that can be initiated at any time in safe areas and does not flag the user as PVP to other players. Both parties have to accept the challenge (glove slaps to the face optional). Fights would be to 1 hit point and would only be allowed in safe areas like towns. For later episodes, we may add the ability to set winning conditions as well as prizes/bets on the outcome.
Our current thinking is that PVP will include some specific skills and conditions as follows:

  • PVP Level & Skills: We are exploring PVP as a third kind of experience (similar to Adventuring and Crafting) and thus, there will be a specific set of PVP skills. PVP skills would only work when player is flagged PVP. PVP skills would:
    • Only work against other Avatars
    • Include subterfuge skills (that enhance or complement the existing ones in Light Armor and Moon Magic)
    • Include skills to reduce the cost of PVP
    • Include the ability to craft PVP specific enchantments & enhancements. Note that these will be on top of the PVE stats for those items so we won't create the need for two complete sets of gear (i.e. you will take an existing sword and add to it vs. create a specific PVP sword). We will also work very hard to make sure that this won't create the gear grind some of you dread.
  • Loot & Ransoms: Our initial plan is when killed by another PVP player, a random item(s) is selected from the player’s inventory (50% equipped / 50% from inventory). The dead player is given a “Player X will take Y unless you pay a ransom of Z” where Z is based on the dead player’s level and the value of the item. You get the option to let them have the item, or pay the ransom. The ransom can be paid from bank funds (and possibly Guild funds). The default for this can be set to “Yes” if a player chooses. We also think that this exchange would have a 1 hour timer till it is final, so the dead player has time to assemble funds. For group PVP, this would use the same sorting algorithms as party loot. We want to explore various options that include providing the killer a list of items to choose vs. selecting only one and/or varying the number of items based on circumstance (i.e. Blessed PVP players might be able to loot more from each other). We will have to put in checks to keep people from gaming this system by loading their inventory with worthless items or running around naked except for reagents. One possible check could be that if there is no loot of X value the loser automatically has to pay ransom.
  • Grouping: Some constraints will be placed on PVP flagged players (via guilds or Blessing) grouping with PVE players to prevent exploits. The current idea is that we would only allow homogenous parties (i.e. all party members are either PVP or PVE, not mixed). This would work on the principle that the Party Leader’s status would determine the status of all party members. So if the party leader is PVP, then all members who join that party would get flagged PVP (with a confirmation). Alternatively if the party leader is PVE, then all members who join that party would be flagged PVE. There would be a cool down timer both for joining and leaving, so that this could not be exploited to escape PVP fights or to quickly rejoin a PVP battle already in process.
  • Trophies: We love the idea that killing another player in PVP could provide the opportunity to collect a trophy (in addition to the loot noted above). Trophies are body parts of the victim and may include ears, teeth, scalps, bones, etc. These trophies will include the name of the victim (e.g. “Darkstarr’s Ear”). These will be part of the loot items that can be ransomed so if you don't want someone walking around with your scalp you can pay the ransom.
  • Leaderboards, Ranking, Ladders: We want to have mechanisms where PVP players, Guilds, etc. can view their rankings against each other with wins vs. losses, kill numbers, etc. We want to make this as immersive as possible with ideas like town criers announcing the winner of a guild war, bulletin boards in the town with most wanted posters of top killers, etc. It is to be determined how complex we can make this for Episode 1.
Thank you for being patient with us while we try to achieve this delicate balance by working with you towards the best solution. Below you will find the proposal for death as outlined by Chris Spears.

Sincerely,
Starr Long
Executive Producer

DEATH!

The impact of death in Shroud of the Avatar, specifically how detrimental to make it, has been a hot topic ever since the Kickstarter campaign. How much death stings is extremely important for encouraging realistic behavior in players, but making it sting too much discourages players from taking any chances at all. We looked at all the options and mechanics available from perma-death to no death penalty, and believe we came up with something on painful enough, but not so harsh that it will leave all characters cowering in their houses instead of adventuring.

As with all designs in SotA, this is just our current thinking. Expect more fine-tuning once we see how it works in the game.

When a player dies in SotA, they immediately become a ghost at the location of their corpse. As a ghost, players can no longer speak normally, but instead can only speak in ghost speak (or possibly runic). We are also considering a “speak with dead” type skill in the life or moon magic tree to expand on communication with ghosts. Ghosts will be able to see and speak with each other however. Ghosts appear to players as a shimmering point of light, and ghosts can not interact with any physical items in the world.

As soon as a player becomes a ghost, the player’s view of the game becomes monochrome, slowly starts to become blurred and darken, and other players and creatures appear as shimmering points of light to limit spying. After several minutes of darkening, if the player has not been revived, their spirit and corpse will both be ripped back to the nearest point of connection to the other side and rebound together as one. Most scenes have one or more of these “weak spots” in reality that let the player’s outlander spirit reconnect with the world of New Britannia. This might be a graveyard, a church, or a travelling spirit. Leaving the scene will always force the spirit to reconnect, as will disconnecting.

Reconnecting without rebinding will cause the most damage to the player upon rejoining the spirit to the body. Penalties include damage to all worn gear, experience debt, possible loss of an item to other players or creatures, and brief spirit rebinding sickness.

The penalties for death in PVP and death in PVE are nearly the same. The only major difference is that for PVP death, the experience debt is primarily against PVP experience and PVE death is primarily against PVE experience.

So that is the short version. For those who want more detail, keep reading!

Why no full loot?
So one of the most controversial points has been that we are not full loot. While this is the most immersive, it was just too much of a game play breaker. If we had permadeath, and dying meant that your gear went with you, then full loot would make sense. But it would also mean we would have a whole different set of design challenges.

Since there has been at least a few people screaming, “FULL LOOT OR GTFO!!1!” in the forums, I want to dig into what the actual implications are to game play and design. Having full loot destroys the value of items because they are easily lost and, in the end, it just makes players keep any real gear in the bank because they are afraid to wear it. Players who are actually going to partake in any risky behavior just end up wearing junk gear so they don’t suffer the same risks as others who are actually wearing gear. The only time players will actually get to enjoy their real gear would be in SPO or FPO modes, where there would be little or no risk of losing all your gear.

Because many players would be so afraid to lose their gear that they wouldn’t play with it, we would not be able to balance encounters for players who are properly geared . This would break our ability to gate progression through areas for PVE elements because if we balance for quality gear, it might be impossible for someone with junk gear to progress. This would only seriously impact PVP’ers who choose to also PVE or pursue the quest line as non-PVP people would not risk losing gear their gear. Vice versa, if we balance for junk gear we trivialize the game for people with good gear.

The other option is to make the difference between good and junk gear very small, which disincentivizes players from any gear progression through crafting or adventuring. Another problem is that crafters only become useful for making consumables and junk gear because no one would dare risk anything valuable by actually using it in combat. Finally, if the game can be played through completely with junk gear, then it also removes one of the biggest items used to balance the economy of many games; gear repair.

So those are just some of the reasons we decided against going full loot. We want gear to have value in combat, we want crafters to have value beyond potions, and we don’t want players to leave their real gear in the bank because they fear losing it.

Why a ghost?
We talked over several options as alternatives to being a ghost when you die. There are several challenges involved with being a ghost and they probably aren’t what most people think. The tech and implementation is easy. While it is easy to say “UO did it and it was awesome!” but UO was a very different game in many ways. There were very few discovery elements in UO so letting a ghost wander the world and see things was not that problematic.

In SotA, we would like to have some discovery elements and having ghosts that can go anywhere can really cause problems. Also, there are a number of PVP exploits that can come up if we let a player who is a ghost stay on the battlefield and effectively scout without additional risk. In the old days of UO, this was less of a problem because it was difficult to communicate with other players when all you could do was say “OOooOOoOooo”. These days, any organized guild is on Ventrillo talking, and even one ghost scout could really relay some important info.

Those are just some of the reasons we are putting a timer on a player’s time as a ghost and also impairing their ability to see clearly. We think it also adds a bit of urgency as well, which can be fun.

While it would also be fun to be a ghost and turn lights on and off and open and shut doors, we decided to make ghosts unable to interact with things in the world. This was partly so they couldn’t grief players who would have no way to fight back, but also to allow us to gate progress by ghosts in some scenes. The other side effect to this is that it means that as a ghost, you might get trapped by someone closing a door and might not be able to get back to the reconnect spot which might make you suffer a slightly more painful death. This means that PVP areas with lots of doors might have one more reason to close those doors once you go through them, to block ghosts to prevent them from spying AND from getting back to the respawn spot!

So aside from historical reasons there were lots of fun things that having a ghosts allows us to do. Things like having some interactives that ONLY a ghost can see or trigger. Also, having some zones with respawn spots deep in the scene past super dangerous stuff where the only option might be to use your outlander spirit to your advantage and die, run past the danger as a ghost, and rebind your spirit and body deep in the scene.

Cost of Death?
So we wanted to penalize the player enough to encourage good playing practices and make death have a sting, but not so much that players would want to delete their character and uninstall the game after a rough night of gaming. After much debate, we settled on equipment damage, experience debt (not loss), and possible item loss through the ransom system.

So we wanted equipment damage for several reasons. First, it makes sense within the story of your body being ripped out of space to be reunited with your spirit. Second, it is a good money sink for players that incur a cost relative to the quality of their gear. Third, it gives crafters one more way to be valuable, as they will be able to repair most gear.

We decided against outright experience loss and instead are going with a modified debt system. When a player dies, they incur an experience debt debuff. Until they work off their debt, they can still gain experience, but at a reduced rate. We haven’t gone into details about advancement yet, but the debt incurred is against either PVP and PVE experience, depending on how you died. Also worth noting, crafters will incur a similar type of penalty when they try a difficult recipe and suffer a critical failure.

Last, the ransom system is a new system that we’re going to try out. When you are killed, the killer receives a somewhat random item (there will be some logic behind it to ensure it is of value to you). The item is removed from the player’s inventory immediately, and becomes visible in the player’s open ransom list. The item will have a 1 hour countdown timer on it and a price. The player can either pay the ransom or lose the item. If the item was taken by another player, they will either get the item or the ransom money. If the item was taken by a creature, they will get the item if the player doesn’t pay it.

I look forward to your feedback! <braces for impact>

- Chris Spears "

Oh, and remember if you don't have a pledge yet or are looking to upgrade, just contact me for a Founder's pledge. http://hardforum.com/showthread.php?t=1803895 Those that are in buying or upgrading to a level above the Adventurer pledge level, I have a brand new special promotion, if all works out.
 

RanceJustice

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Jun 9, 2003
Messages
5,943
Yeah, things are really coming together! I think a lot of people will be happy with the combination system they are providing. I'm so very glad that they have seen beyond just throwing XP loss and automatic item drop etc.. to get the "hardcore" involved. Implementing it as XP debt, that can be deferred or avoided in various situations, or avoiding losing an item if you're able to pay to have it bound or ransom it back etc... is a great idea!
 

RanceJustice

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Jun 9, 2003
Messages
5,943
We're creeping ever closer to Release 4 for the end of the month! They just released more data on the new Founder animations - one for every level! Note, all of these animations are teachable to others!
 

jbonez21

Limp Gawd
Joined
Dec 11, 2012
Messages
268
no full loot no buy, this type of "thinking" is what killed UO and why Richard Garriot & Co. have not been successful recently

have fun competing with all the other care-bear games such as WOW, ESO, skyrim, ETC ETC.

look at the success of full loot games such as day-z, nether, war-z, darkfall etc.

you already have an offline component where the carebears will hide anyway.

you're games will continue failing you may as well give up now, you can't please both sides. the PVE players are going to play your game for the first month or two and then stop playing for a different MMO, single-player game, or console game. PVP players will play for life. I guess you don't see that but it's your business not mine or my $$$
 

kamxam

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Mar 2, 2005
Messages
1,684
The "Same" types of PvP players who ruined UO? I played UO when it first came out for years, and at the end the PvP was so overboard and obnoxious they ended up splitting the UO world into shards just to try and control it.
Good PvP is okay, but not when your being ganged up on and killed constantly by people. No use fighting someone 1v1, win, then his buddies come and attack you when you are still weak. Believe me, that happened to me more than i care to say. Why playa game if your just going to die all the time?
Make a new character? NP, get attacked for your starting items and loot the moment you leave the protection of your starting area.
Not to mention some people using hacks to master skills quickly.
There's a reason a lot of people don't like to PvP nowadays imho.
PvP used to be fun and took skill, now it's seems to be just a bunch of elitist kids for the most part. <Off Soap Box>
As for SoTA, i'll wait and see what reviews and comments it gets before i decide if i will try it. Looks okay so far though....:p
 

jbonez21

Limp Gawd
Joined
Dec 11, 2012
Messages
268
The "Same" types of PvP players who ruined UO? I played UO when it first came out for years, and at the end the PvP was so overboard and obnoxious they ended up splitting the UO world into shards just to try and control it.
Good PvP is okay, but not when your being ganged up on and killed constantly by people. No use fighting someone 1v1, win, then his buddies come and attack you when you are still weak. Believe me, that happened to me more than i care to say. Why playa game if your just going to die all the time?
Make a new character? NP, get attacked for your starting items and loot the moment you leave the protection of your starting area.
Not to mention some people using hacks to master skills quickly.
There's a reason a lot of people don't like to PvP nowadays imho.
PvP used to be fun and took skill, now it's seems to be just a bunch of elitist kids for the most part. <Off Soap Box>
As for SoTA, i'll wait and see what reviews and comments it gets before i decide if i will try it. Looks okay so far though....:p

You're the reason UO was ruined, PVE players have always had a loud whine that catches developers ears. UO wasn't ruined until they split PVP / PVE into two separate worlds.

Look at Eve Online, Darkfall, Day-Z, Rust, War-Z, ETC. There is a market for full loot PVP games.

The reality is that this game will be dead in the water before it even begins if they are going to make a "UO" type game that splits PVP/PVE. They will be competing for PVE players with WOW, EQ, all single-player games such as Skyrim. Good luck
 

RanceJustice

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Messages
5,943
It is my understanding that there will be a hybrid system that borrows from UO, yet adds the last decade+ of MMO dynamics, to create something new! If you're interested in a more in-depth discussion of mechanics, check out this latest hour-long "Deep Dive" chat with Portalarium designers including Lord British, on Combat, Magic, and Affinity - https://www.shroudoftheavatar.com/?p=38175

We just finished PreAlpha Release 4, which added a lot of new features to enjoy, so I hope everyone who backed the project got to experience some time in SotA! However, we're down to the last 6 days of Early Founder gifted-pledging and/or Upgrading, so if you have any interest at all in giving SotA a try, now is absolutely the time - its the way to get the most content, for the least money and its going away soon! Contact me ASAP via PM, check out my main informational thread linked a few posts up (after the huge block of text!), and we can get you sorted!

Edit: here's another Deep Dive, this time on PVP and Death - https://www.shroudoftheavatar.com/?p=38216
 
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RanceJustice

Supreme [H]ardness
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Messages
5,943
A few new hour-long "Deep Dives" discussion on mechanics for those interested! Remember, these are not yet set in stone - Portalarium wants to have a conversation and work WITH the community in hashing out the implementation of a shared vision! These videos are a great way to learn more about the basic ideals behind certain mechanics as they evolve!

Crafting - https://www.shroudoftheavatar.com/?p=38296
Housing - https://www.shroudoftheavatar.com/?p=38352

We're down to 4 days to go for Founder tier pledging! I also have it on authority directly from Portalarium Support that, pledges will be merged to the date of the earliest pledge. The crew at Portalarium is manually merging, so it takes them a little while to do so with all the backers - but you'll be just fine so long as your Early Founder status pledge is dated prior to the 7th!

I'm going to be seeing about what sort of end-of-campaign giveaways I can host without running afoul of the rules over on the SotA forums, so some users will definitely get something a little extra before the whole pledge drive closes down! Contact swiftly to get in on backing and Founder bonuses now!
 

RanceJustice

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
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Messages
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Well ladies and gentlemen, this is it - the last day of Founder gifting! Don't forget that if you already have a pledge, it is also the last day to Upgrade it to a higher tier at the existing Founder pricing! Remember though, if you want to make Monthly Payments to Upgrade your pledge, if you set up the payment plan by today, you'll be "locked in" - This is the best way to spread out the cost and maintain your Founder bonuses!

More "Deep Dives" idea and discussion videos...
Single Player Mode - https://www.shroudoftheavatar.com/?p=38441
Multiplayer and Instancing - https://www.shroudoftheavatar.com/?p=38607

Oh, and for those with $5 to spend on something silly, there was such an outcry when the Medieval Hot Tub item turned out to be an April Fools joke...that Portalarium made a real one! Yes, it is actually able to be placed in any home or on any land plot you own, and it will be "usable"! Check it out in the add-on store! Laughably, they added the "Coconuts that sound like a horse when you bang them together" joke item to EVERY pledge for free!

Check out the latest weekly Update post too - https://www.shroudoftheavatar.com/?p=38366 for lots of new content and retrospectives on PreAlpha Release 4!

Today is THE day everyone, so if you have any interest at all in SotA, contact me today so we can get you locked in with a Founder's pledge! My pledge-drive thread - http://hardforum.com/showthread.php?t=1803895\


------------------------

Here's some text copied from the main forum regarding proposed feature introduction for PreAlpha Release 4 - 7 (April - June)! If you wan to see how the game is being developed month by month, check it out. As always, all Backers get access to every PreAlpha, Alpha, and Beta release!

2014 SECOND QUARTER RELEASES:

RELEASE 5, April 24 - 27, 2014:

  • Combat and Magic Skills: Finally you will no longer be confined to auto attack now that a wide array of combat and magic skills will be at your disposal. To let you test out a wide variety of these skills we will give you a bunch of skill points to allocate up and down as you wish. This allocation of points will automatically build your deck. Skills can be locked in your toolbar or left unlocked so they can be used in combos during combat.
  • Death System: OooOoooOOOOooo! Death will now turn you into a ghost. Current thinking about the death system will be shared at a later date.
  • Main Continent Scenes: Finally players will get to see their first maps on the main continent including a city that is part of the story, adventuring areas, and a player town.
  • Interactive Areas: Don&#8217;t you wish you could move that chair in the tavern to have a better view of the front door? Public areas like taverns will now be flagged as interactive areas. This will allow more freedom in those spaces by allowing the moving but not taking of items.
  • AI Behaviors: NPCs will now start to have schedules and change behavior according to the time. This will include things like going around turning on the lights around town as the sun goes down. NPCs will also now react to players taking and breaking stuff so watch out when you try to steal that loaf of bread!
  • Books: Books will no longer just be decorative objects! Read lovely poems and stories written by our very own community in the game. Try to collect them all!
RELEASE 6, May 22 - 25, 2014:

  • Combat Decks: You will be free of the confines of the auto-built deck as deck building comes online. You will now be able to build and equip multiple decks to try out different strategies and play styles. To support this flexibility more skills and more AI combat behaviors will come online
  • Player Housing Improvements: Do you desire even more from housing? Your greatest desires will be answered with advanced features that greatly expand the player housing system including waterfront lots, basements, and exterior decorations. We will also introduce player lot access permissions so you can control who can visit your space (everyone, friends, or kindred)
  • Crafting Expansions: Crafting will greatly expand to include Makers&#8217; Marks, Repair, Enhancement, and events during crafting that will affect the outcome. We will also introduce Alchemy and Cooking for the first time which brings not only a whole new set of recipes but also consumables to the game like potions and food (and beer of course). On top of all that player made items will begin appearing in NPC vendor inventories.
  • Non Combat Pets: Fluffy! I missed you so! Summon a non-combat pet to follow you around the world.
  • Waterfront Scenes: More scenes on the main continent will appear including more plot specific maps. For those more aquatically inclined we will introduce Player Islands and the Waterfront Twin City of Ardoris to support waterfront housing.
  • Character Creation Improvements: Do you wish you could style yourself even more? Well wish no longer as we add more options to modify, more content to select, and improvements to the interface.
  • Player to Player secure trade: Did you discover something cool you wish to give your friend? Need to share some potions with a party member? Did you craft something amazing you want to sell? Secure trade is the answer and will allow you to make exchanges of goods between you and other players.
RELEASE 7, June 26 - 29:

  • Advancement: Adventuring and Crafting will now earn you experience points that will level you up and earn skill points. You can spend those skill points with trainers to learn new skills as well as re-train existing skills.
  • Duels: Finally a way to settle your differences like real Avatars with the first taste of PVP. Duels between two players can now be initiated. Glove slaps to the face optional. Note that a mega-post about our current thinking on PVP is in the works and will go up before the end of next week.
  • Crafting: Enchanting items including the creation of wands and staves will finally make an appearance in the game. Additionally player made items will begin to appear in adventuring scenes including corpses of slain NPCs.
  • Combat Expansions: Combat will continue to expand with more skills and more AI behaviors.
  • Player Made Books: For those aspiring writers you can now write books in the game. These original manuscripts will be one of a kind items that can be traded or sold or submitted for publishing for a small fee. Published books will get copied and placed throughout the world.
  • Drop Items Anywhere: Not content to place object only on player property? Well rejoice because we will now enable item placement anywhere. Some minor constraints and limits will regulate this activity but the main goal is to provide freedom and immersion.
  • Guilds: Guilds as a social structure will now be in the game including the ability to declare any player property a Guild Chapter House (Guild Halls will come in a later release).
  • Wearable Dyeing: Tired of that red dress? Wish you could make it blue? Well wish no longer as the ability to dye items will now available
  • More Scenes: More Plot specific maps and adventuring areas will appear
  • NPC Player Vendors: Players will be able to setup their very own NPC vendors that they can stock full of goods to sell to other players
  • Combat Pets & Taming: Taming creatures to fight alongside you will be available so stock up on taming collars or creature calls.
 
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Gabriel

2[H]4U
Joined
Jan 27, 2005
Messages
2,179
I watched all of the deep dives!

Anyone who pledged today or anytime earlier can log in to play the game today only.
 
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