March 18 2018

Is There a Signifigance Between the Ready Player One and Shroud of the Avatar Release Dates?

Hello everyone!

Before I roll initiative and jump into the meat of this topic, let me say I apologize for the blog being a bit on the quiet side of late. As I am getting ready for the spring Convention season as a retailer, I’m having to spend a bit less time on the blog at the moment. Pit traps and giant web’s have been really slowing me down.

As a result, the amount of articles I have I need to put out to everyone is growing quite large. I plan on doing an “as brief as I can” summary piece soon.

In the meantime, I really wanted to get this topic that has been on my mind out there!

Most Shroud of the Avatar players know these things, which is not known as widely by Ready Player One fans.
– Ben Holiday in Ready Player one is at least partially inspired by Richard Garriott.
– Ernest Cline is a fan of Richards work and the reverse has become true as well.
– Richard and Ernest Cline have become friends.
Shroud of the Avatar has things in the game, taken from or inspired by Ready Player One, such as Fyndors Tablet.

Not as many people from either category will succeed on their lore skill check to know or remember that Richard Garriott was playing around with a game Called Ultimate Garage Sale Collector.

Even more of note that Richard and Cline teamed up and held a real-life contest which involved Richards game. Heck, I participated in it myself as far as I completed it in Ultimate Garage Sale Collector and earned the Back to the Future Delorean replica in the game! Wish I had screenshots. If I do, I have no idea where I put them. The days of pre-blogging… But I was Epic level in that game, lived in Britannia Manor, had all the best toys, and I didn’t even spend any real-life loot!

ready-player-one | Real-Life Easter Egg Hunt

Contest Winners Level Up In The Ready Player One Easter Egg Hunt | Giant Freakin RobotGiant Freakin Robot

Known by no one but probably myself insofar as remembering it and making a connection, unless you have some really weird memory feat. In reference to Ready Player One, Ben Holiday, Himself, and all the similarities, Richard Garriott once made a comment along the lines of “Ben and I have more in common then people know yet”.

I personally believe this to have been an easter egg clue by Richard that there are in fact more Ready Player crossover plans of SOME type, for Shroud of the Avatar planned in the future. This comment was made by Richard after all the other previously mentioned things took place and nothing really has been announced since. In short, if this is a clue to future plans those plans have not happened yet.

I’m sorry, I can’t back that up with a source or provide a date like that, not sure which manual the info was printed in. I’m an encyclopedia of weird things like that I store (whether I want to or not) and then make connections to other things in the future with. I saw it on his Facebook, but it was syndicated over from a Tweet. So if you have a higher point bonus to your Twitter skill then I do, please start a research montage and pull it up! I am so clueless as to how to even start, I’d be rolling with a -10.

(Stone Dice, buy these on Etsy by Caveloot!)


We Bid Ye Welcome by Caveloot on Etsy


So Let’s come full circle on this to “Now”

Anything else more current we need to look at?

With 365 days in the years Shroud of the Avtar officially “launches” the day before Ready Player one? Check.

Are my Liege and Mr. Cline still in any sort of contact where they may have chances to chit chat and hatch plans? Indeed! In fact, Richard was just in the best seating for the pre-release of Ready Player one at SSX!

Unless I am really fumbling my rolls here, I have to think there is some sort of additional plans in store we will be hearing shortly after this “joint?” launch. At the minimum I think we will see some sort of really cool contest, with easter eggs in the game. I really do think that will be just the beginning though.

I’ll be watching! *Peers from Over Gm Screen*

If your a Shroud of the avatar Player and have not Read Ready Player One, you may want to fix that. It’s possible it could have an effect on your future game!

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February 15 2018

*SQUEALS LIKE A GIRL* Coins from Relics by Rild and Frank Baxley!


(Note: Sorry for images not looking correct at the moment, or being able to be pulled up to look at in large size. Currently working on fixing lightbox, gallery issues with the site, but before I can do so, there are other bugs I am having my host work out from the new migration first. Thanks for patience and photos should be back up and pretty before long).

OMG, OMG, OMG! It was so awesome opening a box today from Relics by Rild!

Frank Baxley recently designed two new coins for Shroud of the Avatar, which is now for purchase in the Relics from Rild store.

So, this was a hard purchase for me. I became unemployed in 2017 and I have decided to stay that way as an entrepreneur who has yet and probably will not for a few years, makes enough to be qualified as “self-employed”. As you can imagine part of this decision includes a self-sacrifice in that there is very very little I purchase that does not serve a need of some kind. Usually most of my purchases these days are investments for my business in some way.

So when not one but TWO new coins went into the store at the same time, some tough decisions had to be made! I mean, I’ve been wanting one of the SotA Title Art Woodcut Hoodie’s for ages now as it is!

Ultimately there was never any question! No way I am not getting my hands on any coins made by Frank Baxley that I had an opportunity for, and do not already own. I’ll share my collection below.

Very happy I decided to work these into the budget. They are both beautiful, but clearly, the Blade of the Avatar coin is a new level of coin making from Frank. This particular coin is larger than any others he has made (that I own at least), and to me personally, is just the most creative, artistic, best-looking one he has done.

Great job Frank!!!

My Shroud of the Avatar and Related Coins:
Not all of these coins are made by Frank, but most of them are.

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February 14 2018

Shroud of the Avatar, It’s Dev’s, and the Community In the News

A lot more has been showing up in the news of late and I am sure this has to do with the upcoming Launch as well as some of the bigger conventions starting up.

No matter how busy his game get’s Richard Garriott continues to show up all over the place!

He is quoted in this particle article regarding motion sickness in VR.

One fan of this new solution is videogame developer and former astronaut Richard Garriott, who said in a statement, “It has a very natural feel” and that “It doesn’t require a joystick.”

Virtual Reality: Motion Sickness May Be Avoided With New Innovation | Fortune

Have $45 million in Bitcoins? You might want to check this out!

Richard Garriott offers 'significant discount' for using bitcoin to buy $45M Austin estate – Austin Business Journal


He’s talked about in this article on Crowfall as well as how the Portalarium team has worked with the Crowfall developers.

When you look back at the history of fantasy and online games in Austin, one name that always pops up is Richard Garriott, who co-founded Origin Systems in the early 1980s and who has for many years loomed large in the local games community.

ArtCraft's "Crowfall" creators have already lured 40,000 early players

Shroud of the Avatar is also discussed in this article regarding Crowfall.
Austin's ArtCraft Entertainment has cobbled together $20M for 'Crowfall' video game – Austin Business Journal


Specifically to Shroud of the avatar, MMORPG talks a bit about the state of the game in this article.

Starr Long crushed the dreams of a small segment of the player base like so much playdough recently when he announced that the bag inventory system would be dropped from the game.
Read more at https://www.mmorpg.com/shroud-of-the-avatar/columns/release-the-kraken-1000012463#6rO9pKXqztxVtKiC.99

Shroud of the Avatar – Release the Kraken – MMORPG.com


Take a break, watch a movie!


You probably got it from the horse’s mouth already, saw it, heard about it from somewhere. It bears repeating though CONFIRM YOUR PHYSICAL ADDRESS IF YOU BACKED THE GAME!!

Shroud of the Avatar: Forsaken Virtues by Portalarium, Inc. — Kickstarter


Hey, don’t forget in addition to writing this blog I am an independent entrepreneur, that also sells Shroud of the Avatar in-game items! Not just in it for the sales, I am a day one backer, Seed Investor, fan, and player!

Visit my store here, which has been recently updated with large amounts of inventory!

Shroud of the Avatar

Also now running faster after a new server migration!

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February 5 2018

Keeping of with Shroud of the Avatar, It’s Community, and It’s Developers

Hello, everyone!

Just another short and quick to the point piece for you Shroud of the Avatar players, of things you may have missed. Most of these items will not be found mentioned on any of the official communication platforms for the game, but are rather pieces I found elsewhere.


Shroud made MMORPG’s list of games that had it worst in 2017.

Richard Garriott is a legend. Portalarium’s goal to make the ultimate RPG is a lofty one, but one that just can’t seem to find its footing.
Read more at https://www.mmorpg.com/columns/the-mmos-that-had-it-worst-in-2017-1000012365#Z37ixTXvmMbbjITQ.99

The MMOs That Had It Worst in 2017 – The List – MMORPG.com


Massively Over Powered talks about the addition of Log Cabins to the game.

With such a strong emphasis on player housing, Shroud of the Avatar has fans guessing as to what other interesting abodes the team is cooking up inside of Lord British’s lab. Turns out the answer to this is “log cabins.”

Shroud of the Avatar goes nuts for log cabins – Massively Overpowered


If you scroll down towards the bottom of this Article on Sim City, you will see a piece and a short video that references Starr Long & Richard Garriott, in regards to Virtual Ecology.

See the long-lost NES prototype of SimCity | Ars Technica

This was my favorite!


An article that references Richard Garriott.

What this means is that Todd Howard is going to join the ranks of Ultima developer Richard Garriott and the entire team at Rockstar Games – they have won this prestigious Legend Award in the past

Todd Howard To Receive Legend Award At New York Video Game Awards


Richard Garriott is going to be talking about Shroud of the Avatar at the Austin Convention Center!

After several years of successful development as the second highest crowdfunded game ever, Shroud of the Avatar is finally launching! Join Richard “Lord British” Garriott himself

It's Here! Shroud of the Avatar and What's Coming Next (OFFICIAL)


Air and Space magazine has an article this way, about 2017 being a popular year for Astronauts to release memoir books.

Tales of the Space Explorers | Daily Planet | Air & Space Magazine

Well, if you missed Richard Garriott’s book I HIGHLY recommend it. In fact being familiar with most of his stories it has even become more fun for me, as when I am telling someone about something I am now able to pull it off a shelf and say “read these two paragraphs!”.


You probably saw this one through official channels, but it’s worth watching again!


IGN Talks about SXSW hitting Austin in March!

For starters, attendees can enjoy exclusive access to industry luminaries, creators, performers, and high-profile players at the Discovery Stage. The nine sessions announced so far include appearances by System Shock / Deus Ex mastermind Warren Spector, Ultima creator Richard Garriott (on the eve of launching crowdfunding phenom Shroud of the Avatar), Castlevania dad Koji Igarashi, Sega’s Sonic posse, and many more.

SXSW Gaming's About to Storm Austin Once Again – IGN


Looking to buy Shroud of the Avatar digital items for the game?

Check out Caveloot.com! My store, where I keep a section dedicated to digital products just for the SotA Player!

Shroud of the Avatar

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February 2 2018

Wizard for Hire – Ever Want A Legendary GM to Run an RPG for your Group? NOW YOU CAN!

Ever sit around with your game group knocking around who it would be cool to have run a campaign for you just once?

Or how about going to a convention and pubically playing with an amazing guest GM or attending their panel, and thinking.. WOW! I wish I could have them run for my private group once!

What about just consulting with such a person for your own campaign?

While not every Epic GM out there offers such services, Nystul does!

*PINS A FLYER TO YOUR GAME TABLE WITH A DAGGER*

Check it out!! If you have any interest just contact me and I will put you in touch with him.

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February 2 2018

Ultima Auction Spotlight – Ultima Ascension – posters autographed by Lord British / Richard Garriott


The sellers of these is an Ultima Dragon and they do a way better job of describing them, then I could!

Description
Three Ultima Ascension prints signed by Richard Garriott. These are the two-page ads that were run during Ultima Ascension’s release window.

Each poster is a full 16.5 x 10.5 inches. There is no magazine split down the middle.

All proceeds will be donated to Toronto SickKids Hospital (https://www.sickkids.ca/). This charity is not listed on eBay.com’s Make A Donation option, so I will be donating directly and providing proof to the winner.

Background
When Ultima Ascension was released, it performed… poorly. I helped test the first patch by running dozens of benchmarks on whatever Matrox card I had at the time.

Post-release, someone at Origin asked for my home address to send a small token of appreciation. A few weeks later these prints showed up, all signed in gold sharpie by Lord British / Richard Garriott.

I would love to add these to my collection, but my finances do not allow it at this time, so.. GO GET EM!!!

Ultima Ascension – posters autographed by Lord British / Richard Garriott | eBay

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December 25 2017

Keeping up with Shroud of the Avatar, It’s Community, and It’s Developers in the News

It’s about that time again when I toss out some little blurbs and links to things that may be of interest to the Shroud of the Avatar community!

A fun article over here in Which Richard Garriott practices the virtue of Forgiveness.

Lord British pardons long-ago piracy of Ultima 6 – Polygon

You will also find Richard Garriott over here.
Game development leaders optimistic about state of things in Austin

As well as over here, and if you follow the space stuff at all this is one I highly recommend reading. Great article!
Space Tech Oddity: An Astronaut, VC And Space Writer Discuss Space Exploration


Unfortunately, that’s all I have saved in the article box at this time! All three are great pieces of the man behind the game!

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November 26 2017

Keeping up with Shroud of the Avatar, it’s Developer’s, and it’s Community

Long overdue to highlight some of the things taking place that may be of interest to many of the Shroud of the Avatar community!


One thing that just happened is community member Rosemourne transcribed the R46 post-mortem telethon. Definitely, a cool thing to do for the community!

R46 Post-Mortem Telethon Transcription | Shroud of the Avatar Forum


Both Richard Garriott and his wife Laetitia Garriott, who met through their joint interests in spaceflight, also held duel judge positions recently!

Surprise Double Prize at the Austin “Sharks in Space” Event


Let’s not miss out on the articles by various game sites, magazines, blogs, and other such places that have done articles on Shroud of the Avatar itself!

Shroud Of The Avatar Details Release 48 Updates | MMOExaminer

Are Too Many MMORPGs Using the Fantasy Genre? | MMOExaminer

Shroud Of The Avatar Shows Off Armor And Holiday Items | MMOExaminer

Shroud of the Avatar – Invading Europe – MMORPG.com

Shroud Of The Avatar Gives Patch Notes For Release 47 | MMOExaminer

Warum hacken alle auf Shroud of the Avatar rum? – Mein-MMO.de

What's Ahead for the Balance of 2017? The Journey to Early Access Release – Shroud of the Avatar – MMORPG.com

What's Ahead for the Balance of 2017? The Journey to Early Access Release – Shroud of the Avatar – MMORPG.com


Some cool things from the community! Speaking of which, I am going to be in a play soon! Right, the stuff..

Join the Meretz SotA Tribe | Shroud of the Avatar Forum

Some other Misc Stuff

Gamasutra – GDC 2018 to host a special 20th anniversary

Windows 10 Issue and Workaround | Shroud of the Avatar Forum

Visceral Games Joins A Long List Of Studios Closed By EA

News – All News

Tracy Hickman working on some cool things outside of Sota!
The VOID Tackles Star Wars Universe in Next Experience – Utah Business

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October 13 2017

Helen Garriott Auction Spotlight + SotA Bonus Golden Moon Dial Auction Spotlight


This was an exciting auction to come across my radar, as while I have heard a lot of the Garriott stories I had never heard of this one!

Story or not the photo is fantastic. You can see the pure wonderment on Helen’s face, and Owen in the background has a huge grin!

$10.00 Starting bid with reasonable shipping, this is a cool addition to someone’s collection!

1973 Press Photo Helen Garriott aboard Skylab II capsule-1st Woman in Space | eBay


Since I hate doing auction spotlights for just 1 item, I figured I will use some of my own blog space for a couple of auctions I am running for Shroud of the Avatar items, one in particular.

If you didn’t Seed invest but are a collector, then you may have your eyes on many of the Seed invest items. Currently, I have an auction that just started, running just a tad over two weeks, for a Golden Lord British Moondial, taking place on Caveloot.com.

Auctions – Caveloot.com

The Moondial to rich for your blood? Do you have some house decorating you need to do or having trouble keeping your vendor stocked and need goods to sell for profit?

I also have an auction running for a “Massive House Decorating kit” that comes with hundreds of items that should allow you to at least get a fairly decent start on the job, including storage! Current bid is $55.00 and that is CHEAP for this kit!

Auctions – Caveloot.com

Have item’s you want to auction? We only charge a 10% commission and do all the work, while you tell us how to run it! Contact stile@thecaverns.net for more information. Also, have a nice layout with the details on the Shroud of the Avatar forums here: Online Auction Services at Caveloot.com – Perfect for Selling Golden Items! | Shroud of the Avatar Forum

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September 29 2017

Waking Up To Castletown In the News Makes Me Sad

As a child, I remember waking up to the sounds and the smell of a coffee pot percolating in the kitchen, people rustling newspapers. As an adult today I wake up with a Mountain Dew, a Movie, doggies in my lap, and by going through the last 8-10 hours of emails, which also tends to determine my day’s work.

Today was both exciting and sad to me, as I saw an article had landed in my box about Richard Garriott’s land in Texas. Exciting as I have spent time on some of his property, sad because it is being sold.

Conserving land in Austin as the skyline grows | khou.com

This particular article talks a lot about the land development in Austin. What was of particular interest to me, that caused me to want to spotlight this piece, was this quote.

“This piece of property cannot be split up and developed, said Garriott. “It is now permanently set aside as a nature preserve.”

This is the first time I am aware of this and it pleases me greatly. I still have a lot of personal concerns about this piece of land whose history has touched me a bit. One of my largest is what will happen to the Theater, as it will be up to the new owners of Garriott’s land what happens to that. The Theater – The Baron's Men

Well, I certainly don’t have the $45 million dollars laying around, or I would most definitely purchase this fine parcel and would be content to spend the remainder of my life being a caretaker for it!

Enjoy the article, I did and found it informative!

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