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Shroud of the Avatar

One Shots: Shroud of the Santa

Screenshots, Culture, Star Trek Online, One Shots, The Secret World, Final Fantasy XIV, Miscellaneous, Shroud of the Avatar

sota
Well, this pleases me like punch: One Shots' very first Shroud of the Avatar screenshot submission! I recall thinking that this indie MMO looked so much better than I previously thought when I got my hands on it last August, so I'm glad to see Massively readers going on a photo safari in it.

Reader JohnD is responsible for this unusual sight: "Here is a shot of Johanis Lolar, who is busy adventuring. I'm not sure his Santa cap helps him blend, but he's doing his best."

I always like to assume that Santa spends his off-season lurking in weeds and ambushing stray travelers with presents, so this picture plays into that fantasy. What? I'm normal; my parents had me tested.

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PAX South 2015: Garriott and Long talk Shroud of the Avatar

Fantasy, Events (Real-World), Interviews, MMO Industry, PvE, Hands-On, Roleplaying, Events (Massively's Coverage), Sandbox, Crafting, Crowdfunding, Player-Generated Content, Shroud of the Avatar, MMORPG

SOTA
In 2013, Ultima Online creator Richard Garriott took to Kickstarter in the hopes of funding an old-school, sandbox-y MMO. Titled Shroud of the Avatar, the new project would be built in Unity and aimed squarely at those MMO fans who longed for the days of player-driven economies, crafting as a focus instead of a side activity, and the ability to impact the game world in a real way.

The plan worked. Shroud of the Avatar pulled $1.9 million on Kickstarter alone, almost doubling its $1 million funding goal. Since then, the team has been hard at work bringing Garriott's vision to life (and keeping backers happy).

I spoke with Garriott on the PAX South 2015 show floor about crowdfunding, loot, and the mistakes of the modern RPG. I also got to play a bit of SOTA with the help of executive producer Starr Long, who kindly did not make fun of me when I was killed by the second mob in the demo.

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Get the lay of the land in Shroud of the Avatar

Betas, Fantasy, Video, Events (Real-World), Patches, Shroud of the Avatar, Buy-to-Play

shroud of the avatar
If you're looking for a "high-level overview" of Shroud of the Avatar's game world, this week's newsletter has you covered. It features a three-and-a-half minute video showing the current in-game world, both from map and player perspectives.

The newsletter also engages in a team post-mortem of Release 13, mentions the game's upcoming PAX South appearance (at booth #1343), and shows off a couple of new creations: the Flesh Flayer plant and Geothermal Steam Catchers.

You can watch both the lay of the land and the Release 13 post-mortem videos after the break.

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The Daily Grind: Have you played Shroud of the Avatar yet?

Fantasy, MMO Industry, Opinion, The Daily Grind, Sandbox, Shroud of the Avatar

I'm itching to play Shroud of the Avatar. I haven't yet, and every time I see a related news blurb I feel a tiny bit guilty because it's a sandboxy title from one of my favorite developers. I'm keeping it at arm's length, for the moment, mainly because of the pre-beta fatigue brought on by my way-too-early experiences in Landmark, Star Citizen, and other titles that currently feel more like work than play.

What about you, Massively readers? Have you tried SotA yet? If so, what did you think?

Every morning, the Massively bloggers probe the minds of their readers with deep, thought-provoking questions about that most serious of topics: massively online gaming. We crave your opinions, so grab your caffeinated beverage of choice and chime in on today's Daily Grind!

Shroud of the Avatar shows off zone diversity

Betas, Fantasy, Patches, Previews, Shroud of the Avatar, Buy-to-Play

sota
If this week's Shroud of the Avatar newsletter is any indication, there will be something interesting to look at in this game no matter which direction you take.

The team showed off several different areas and biomes in the letter, including the undead realm of Brightbone Pass, the craters of Shardfall, the graveyard of Wyrmsands, and the desolate Dragon Pass. The Shardfall biome will be available for the first time in-game with the upcoming Release 14.

Shroud of the Avatar will be on the floor at CES in Las Vegas next week as part of a partnership with Plantronics.

Not So Massively: TUG gets funding, Shroud of the Avatar gets a plan, Marvel Heroes gets Venom

Betas, News Items, Massively Meta, Marvel Heroes, World of Tanks, Miscellaneous, Not So Massively, Shroud of the Avatar

Holiday weeks are always a bit thin for news, see.
Welcome back to No So Massively, where every Monday we round up the highlights from the past week in the world of MOBAs, roguelikes, MMOTCGs, and other games that aren't quite MMOs.

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Shroud of the Avatar lays out plans for early 2015

Betas, Fantasy, Dev Diaries, Music, Shroud of the Avatar, Buy-to-Play

shroud of the avatar
If stated plans are any indication, Shroud of the Avatar is in for a busy first few months of the new year. In a recent newsletter, the team recapped the "flexible" schedule for the game's early 2015 updates.

January's Release 14 will expand zone connections, add in the Shardfall biome, begin testing on a new version of Unity, and add things like player banks, an encumbrance system, and in-game pledge rewards. February's Release 15 has its eye on several new mainland areas including the Necropolis, more magic spells, housing fees, dyeable outfits, teachable emotes, and crafting skills. Finally, March's Release 16 is going to add Steam achievements, a cover system in combat, and localization.

The team also released one of the backer rewards, a cover version of the classic Ultima Stones theme by the band The Space Bards, and you can listen to it after the break!

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The Stream Team: Seeking a Santa hat in Shroud of the Avatar

Fantasy, Video, Livestream, Sandbox, The Stream Team, Crowdfunding, Player-Generated Content, Shroud of the Avatar

Last week, Massively's MJ popped back into Shroud of the Avatar for the first time in many releases. At viewer request, she's heading back in to experience even more adventure in this sandbox. On her agenda: the hat! What better way to keep in the holiday spirit than with a festive hat from the holly-jolliest of elves himself? Apparently, there is a quest to nab your own Release 13 Santa hat. Will MJ be able to complete this quest (or even find it, for that matter?!)? After that she'll be seeking out some of that fabled player-generated content. Join us live at 1:00 p.m. to see even more of what new Britannia has to offer.

Game: Shroud of the Avatar
Host: MJ Guthrie
Date: Saturday, December 27h, 2014
Time: 1:00 p.m. EST

Enjoy our Stream Team video below.

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Perfect Ten: New MMOs to watch in 2015

Betas, Launches, MMO Industry, Warhammer Online, Opinion, Perfect Ten, Miscellaneous, Black Desert, The Repopulation, Shroud of the Avatar, Trove, Skyforge, Landmark, H1Z1, The Division

all the mmos
As I've done for 2013 and 2014, I'm going to use the turn of the year as an excuse to look ahead at what MMO releases we may have to look forward to enjoying in the next 12 months. As always, it's a mixture of research, guesswork, and weeks of anguished ranking to come up with 10 titles that I think will define the new year.

After the huge launch year we had in 2014, 2015 will most definitely be a smaller year for big-name releases. That doesn't mean it will be a complete write-off, but perhaps it will challenge us to look beyond the heavy hitters to find more diamonds in the rough.

A couple of notes before we launch into the list, if you please! First of all, I limited this list to MMOs that at least have a shot of launching in 2015; games that are popular but are definitely not going to make it this year had to be excluded. Second, I am expanding the "honorable mentions" section this year to include more upcoming MMOs and my brief thoughts on them. So you are really getting 50 games for the effort of reading 10! You are welcome.

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Shroud of the Avatar's Richard Garriott and Starr Long on how SOTA wins at player-generated content

Fantasy, Interviews, Opinion, Some Assembly Required, Sandbox, Shroud of the Avatar

Garriott and Long show how Shroud of the Avatar wins at player-generated content
When you sit down to talk with Portalarium's Richard Garriott and Starr Long about Shroud of the Avatar, you hear much more than can possibly fit in just one article! Even though its currently in development, there's a lot to this title. Last week's Some Assembly Required focused on the upcoming sandbox's community aspect; as promised, this week's edition delves into SotA's amazing player-generated content capabilities. It's not surprising that PGC would be so prevalent in-game when these two devs have emphasized the importance of making a living, breathing, immersive world for players. When you get a great community together and then give it tools and freedom to create, what happens is phenomenal. As Long put it, "It's really humbling for me and the team to see what these players are willing to do... what they're doing with what we're giving them."

Read on, my friends, and see why Shroud of the Avatar may very well be the reigning king of the PGC hill even before it actually releases! (There might be a few morsels about upcoming development thrown in as well.)

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Shroud of the Avatar drops Release 13 for the holidays

Betas, Fantasy, Events (In-Game), Patches, News Items, Shroud of the Avatar, Buy-to-Play

WE SMASH YOU A MERRY CRUSHMAS, WE SMASH YOU A MERRY CRUSHMAS, WE SMASH YOU A MERRY CRUSHMAS, AND WE ARE MAKE YOU PASTE.
The team behind Shroud of the Avatar has headed home for the holidays until December 28th, but a little present has been left behind for fans just the same. The latest update for the game is live on the servers, and it allows you to pick up a seasonal Yule Hat just for stopping in and checking out the new content. Also there is a whole lot of new stuff to play through, so a hat is probably not your primary incentive here, but the point is that the hat exists just the same.

To be fair, stopping in and checking out the content requires going through the game's Grand Tour quest, which will lead players through all of the new bits added in this update. That includes new crafting, new creatures, new skills, and new areas. Check out the full update for patch notes, details on how to clear out the Grand Tour, and upcoming community events.

The Stream Team: Returning to Shroud of the Avatar

Fantasy, Video, Livestream, Sandbox, The Stream Team, Crowdfunding, Shroud of the Avatar

It's been a few releases since Massively's MJ was able to prowl the streets of New Britannia, but the recent move to steam has her back in Shroud of the Avatar. And boy, has the world changed! Want to come get a glimpse of what this in-development sandbox already has to offer? Then join us live at 1:00 p.m. for a stroll through the towns and wilds and to talk about all things SotA.

Game: Shroud of the Avatar
Host: MJ Guthrie
Date: Saturday, December 20th, 2014
Time: 1:00 p.m. EST

Enjoy our Stream Team video below.

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Shroud of the Avatar's Richard Garriott and Starr Long on MMO community

Betas, Fantasy, Video, Events (In-Game), Interviews, Opinion, Some Assembly Required, Sandbox, Crowdfunding, Player-Generated Content, Shroud of the Avatar

Some Assembly Required:  Garriott and Long interview shows Shroud of the Avatar wins at community
If you've been making a list of sandbox features and checking it twice, chances are you'll find many of those items in Shroud of the Avatar. And if player-generated content and a great community are near the top of that list, then this crowdfunded title might very well be the present you want to get yourself! While still under development, this sandbox has already grown exponentially from its humble beginnings of a chicken in a room to a current state that includes a bevy of features -- with more arriving like clockwork every monthly update. And plenty of those features are tools and systems that allow players to make the game a personalized experience for themselves and others.

What about Shroud of the Avatar makes it so great for player-generated content? What makes the community great? And how has Steam affected the game? I sat down with Portalarium's Richard Garriott and Starr Long to talk about the move to Steam, updates, PGC, and the amazing community that's supporting the game. These guys had so much to share that this is only part one!

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Listen to Shroud of the Avatar's player-created soundtrack

Betas, Fantasy, Patches, Music, Shroud of the Avatar, Buy-to-Play

sota
The fact that approximately 90% of the soundtrack for Shroud of the Avatar will be player-created may have escaped your attention, but the devs have not forgotten. In fact, in this past week's newsletter, several of the successful submissions were featured, including the track called Truth.

The team is getting ready to unleash another grand tour quest and has announced that the reward for completing this journey will be a seasonal yule hat. Another addition planned for the upcoming Release 13 is the ability to light weapons on fire via magic. Why have magic if you're not making the world burn, right?

Shroud of the Avatar introduces the desert with Release 13

Betas, Fantasy, Patches, Previews, Shroud of the Avatar, Buy-to-Play

shroud
Release 13 is prepped and raring to hit Shroud of the Avatar's servers on Thursday, December 18th. One of the new additions that will be coming to the game is the inclusion of desert biomes for the sandbox title.

Release 13 will also allow players to see part of their hair while still wearing hats, which is more of a big deal than one might expect. It will also contain a new "grand tour" quest that will dish out an exclusive reward to those who complete it before the next release.

Shroud of the Avatar recently launched on Steam Early Access, and keys for this version of the game are available to all backers.

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