March 27 2018

A Prototype Art Review of Work Obtained from Relics by Rild

CONGRATULATIONS SHROUD OF THE AVATAR ON LAUNCH!

Having been here since day #1, I can only say it has been a wild ride so far, and I’m glad it’s technically just starting!!


Hello Players!

If you’ve been saying to yourselves lately, that Stile guy has become worthless.. Well.. I.. Um, Yeah, let’s just leave it at “busy” and not even try to go beyond that explanation!

I’m here though, so pony up the Bribes for your GM and let’s roll initiative! Pass me a Mountain dew, some Cheeto’s and pull out your enchanted daggers and magic Missles!

This session at the table is going to be quick as I need some sleep. I DO have a big Keeping up with SotA piece coming, and should have it out in the next day or two. I hope. It was originally going to be part of this one *green*


Rolling a critical today is Relics by Rild! Taking some serious notes over the past few years on the importance of releases, Rild decided to boost support for the game by launching an entirely new line of Canvas Prints ON GAME LAUNCH DAY!

Those cool paintings in-game? GET THEM FOR REALS! No dart trap’s, no Mimic’s, just fantastic objects of art! Not only that, Whether you want normal Human size or Colossal Red Dragon sized, you can get it!

Now I will admit I fudged a roll behind the screen back here, and the Featured image of this posts show’s one of these below a sword, making it look REALLY big!

Well, It might have done better at doing so, If I was a better photographer in terms of experience with trying to pull that off. It was a ruse though, as I just used a sword letter opener.

The one you’re seeing here in the photos is a prototype that some Rogue went in and slipped out of this massive pile of stuff Rild sleeps on, and burgled it out some back passageway, past this annoying bird that just kept pecking away. Until I eventually acquired it and now get to review it for you!

So I did what all folks do when acquiring a new item, and rolled my appraisal skill. I was highly impressed with the quality of the frame. The wood is clean, not rotting, no splinters. Corners meet well, plenty of staples to keep the Vinyl in place yet fully sunk at the same time! It’s not Masterwork, nor would one expect such for a hidden frame, but frankly, in my opinion, it’s better then it needs to be!

In fact, I contacted Rild and asked him if he was crafting in the shop and had leveled up his carpentry skills recently. We talked, it was a good time.

To create an entire scroll rack out of a simple appraisal roll, Id also add that I really like the small one’s as you could do up an entire wall with all the different ones! Then you could do your ceilings in the big ones!!

Lot’s of other cool things in the store including some sales that have Dwarven smiths running for their gem Caches!

Relics by Rild – Shroud of the Avatar Merchandise

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August 30 2017

Portalarium, Shroud of the Avatar, It’s Dev’s, and It’s Community

CONGRADUUUUUULATIONS SHROUD OF THE AVATAR

Shroud of the Avatar has now successfully raised over Twelve Million in funding. That’s worth taking note of! My congratulations to everyone involved in that, something to be proud of.

Let’s take a look at some of the recent going on’s that are involved in that, shall we?


With Richard Garriott having opportunities to talk about it a bit at a Gaming Convention with over 350K people, I hope we will see a few new players!

Gamescom 2017 Keynote Speakers Announced; Includes Brendan "PlayerUnknown" Greene, Richard Garriott, and More

GamesCom 2017 – Preview

More than 350,000 attend Gamescom 2017 – Thumbsticks

Playerunknown's Battlegrounds Panel Coming To Gamescom – GameSpot

Gamasutra – Press Releases- From Playerunknown's


Speaking of Richard Garriott and conventions.

Devcom to return in 2018 | GamesIndustry.biz


A community continuing to create resources for each other!

Travel journal about the South entrance to Dragomir Mori – Part 1 | Shroud of the Avatar Forum

Travel journal about the South entrance to Dragomir Mori – Part 2 | Shroud of the Avatar Forum


The Rest…

Shroud of the Avatar works on replacing placeholder scenes – Massively Overpowered


Also if you did not see one of my new projects, I am running an online auction site now. Located in my store, Caveloot.com, where you can also find Shroud of the Avatar Items listed under the “virtual Games” category, under the “shop here” menu tab. More products being added all the time!

What’s great about this project is that we sell for the community for a fairly low commission. If you want to learn more about it why not just drop my an email at customerservice@thecaverns.net?

I also have a nice write-up detailing the program over here in the forums:
Online Auction Services at Caveloot.com being offered | Shroud of the Avatar Forum

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August 2 2017

Shroud of the Avatar, Portalarium, and it’s Developer in the News

Richard Garriott, as always, has been in the news a lot of late. Seriously, when is he not?

Both Portalarium and Shroud of the Avatar are also seeing a lot of increase in the news, with their Seed Invest campaign! Speaking of which, that is drawing to a close so if that interests you, get in on it!

A Lot of articles are being syndicated around on the bigger websites, as well as original pieces coming out. Here are some of those for you to check out!

Gamasutra – Press Releases – Travian Games and Portalarium Partner for Shroud of the Avatar as it Reaches Story Complete Milestone

Richard Garriott's Shroud of the Avatar gets publishing help from Travian Games | VentureBeat | PC Gaming | by Jason Wilson

Travian Games to publish Richard Garriott's Shroud of the Avatar | GamesIndustry.biz

Shroud Of The Avatar Team Gets New Partner | MMOExaminer

Portalarium Inks Deal with Travian for EU Publishing – Shroud of the Avatar – MMORPG.com

Update of the Avatar #235 – 2017.07.07: New Elves, Scene Polish, Shroud at RTX, Free Trial Live, Telethon Results, Your Questions Answered, New Flash Sale, Contest Winners, Community Events, and More! | Shroud of the Avatar

NEVERDIE Creates Interoperable Teleport Token to Use Across VR Worlds and Create Gamified Virtual Reality Jobs – CoinSpeaker

Portalarium Partnership with Travian Games | Shroud of the Avatar Forum

Bullock Museum Scores Video Game Exhibit: “Pong to Pokémon” traces gaming’s Texas ties and rapid evolution – Screens – The Austin Chronicle

From "Pong to Pokemon," explore 50 years of electronic gaming at the Bullock Museum exhibit in Austin, opening Saturday, July 29 | Community Impact Newspaper


Want to hear how some things are going from the Developers themselves? Grab a bag of popcorn!

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July 27 2017

Shroud of the Avatar Facebook Group Surpasses 1000 Members!

On March 8th, 2013 Portlarium and Richard Garriott kickstarted a game called Shroud of the Avatar.

On March 14th, 2013 I thought to myself “I should create a Facebook group to go along with my blog, and as a way to meet people while we wait for this game!!”

On July 26th, 2017 We hit 1000 members in that group!!!

So I wanted to take this occasion to say a few words about the group, and why I am proud of being involved in this.

It’s not because I created the group. That was a lucky accident of timing, and the group and its success is a contribution of many, including Portalarium helping out. I don’t even have to do a lot these days. A while back, I think it was around 500 or 600 members, I got what I felt like was a gentle nudge from someone at Portalarium that said: “you really gotta stay on top of this, did you see this concern?”. I read that as “I need some help because I can’t be here all the time”. So I choose some people I knew well that I felt would be fair administrators.

They deserve one hell of a round of applause, let me tell you!!!

I had no idea exactly HOW well I was choosing at the time. These nine individuals admin this group so well, that I can’t even help! I would literally have to sit at my computer with my finger hovering over the group just to accept a new member. I am not exaggerating in this, they have handled any concerns this group has had, more quickly than I could 99.5% of the time. I feel like I am worthless as an admin as they react so quickly and so well, I can’t help!

Additionally, I have never heard of or received any complaints about any of the administers, of ANY kind. For that matter, I have never had a complaint in this group that I can recall at the moment, from one member about another, of any kind.. Woaaaahhh!!!

If that’s not enough? In those four years, I have seen less drama, disputes, serious disagreements, or any other concerns that even need an admin then I have in smaller groups, in any given month. The maturity level, the level of comradeship, and willingness to help each other out is amazing!

Everyone has a large focus on the positive, and most conversations that have a negative tint tend to be a civil discussion that doesn’t over do it, but rather discuss it enough and then let it go, agreeing and disagreeing where appropriate in a polite way, and then moving in.

I would be proud to be in a group like this, anywhere for any type of interest in a social setting.

Please jump on in some time if you haven’t, the water is warm, and while we occasionally have small squabbles, for the most part, we all play together very well!


I would like to say a personal thank you to the group, regarding a particular thing. When I created it, it was for some people to get to know each other and that was all I really had in mind (and that did in fact work! I have made great friends due to creating the group. I hope all of you have!).

I never thought, or expected to see it achieve the kind of numbers it did and has. I also never expected Portalarium to show the level of support to the group they have, in even promoting it in their news letters and articles.

While that is all great, I can’t tell you how nervous it has made me at times. It would be naive of me to think a company such as Portalarium, with a game like Shroud of the Avatar, and that in my naivety and innocence in doing social work had the audacity to name EXACTLY like the game, to not think they don’t keep an eye on how well it’s managed. In the end, no matter how many administrators the group has if there was a serious issue, I realize that eye is going to be like the blazing eye of Sauraun looking at me and thinking I have the One Ring in my pocket!

I know they would always be understanding, and work with me, not come at me like death if there was a concern… The thing is though, I have never had to have those conversations with Portalarium because the group has never put me in that position.

Thank you so much, for how awesome you all are for that!

To many more years, and thousands of members both for the game and for the group.
Shroud of the Avatar Facebook Group

*The Shroud of the Avatar Facebook Group is not affiliated with Portalarium or any of its subsidiaries. It is a fan group run by fans for fans. There is a Shroud of the Avatar Facebook PAGE, which is owned and operated by Portalarium for Shroud of the Avatar. For official information, you should join that page!

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June 14 2017

What To Take With You To Today’s Q&A for Portalarium’s Seed Invest Campaign

Right then.. *Looks like a deer caught in a headlight*

This topic has caused quite a stir in the Shroud of the Avatar community, and this is my first time doing a piece on it. Mainly as I have been rather busy.

Let’s break it up into three sections. What is it with my take on things, what is taking place today, and finally a LOT of information for you to check out as articles and videos.


Invest, Invest, Invest!

So the new seed program is a way to raise additional revenue for Shroud of the Avatar. As I understand it the basic gist is to raise additional funding beyond what is raised by other methods and used for current operations, in order to expand operations to include things such as Marketing as we get closer to launch.

This is done by selling company stock in which you also get possessions in the Shroud of the Avatar game. These possessions are non-play-to-win cosmetics such as land, housing, and different textures for your in-game possessions such as said houses. A golden house for example.

A lot of people are tripping out by all of this. The two bigger areas I have picked up on that are causes of concerns.

First, they revealed their current bank account balances and things of that nature. WOA! You would think people don’t understand what “lean’ is! So here’s the scoop. Portalarium has about enough in the bank to pay the bills for two months.

People are screaming “where did all of my money go”. I will have articles below you can go read, what people are saying, thinking, why, etc.. Here is my take though. I believe I remember Portalarium having always said it is running lean, that is generating enough money per month in paying that month’s operating costs, etc, etc. I personally saw no surprise here. What happened to our money? My thought is.. What do you think they have been doing this for free for the last 4+ years?

So call me dense, but.. yeah, I saw no surprise here, and no reason to be any more concerned than I would have been two years ago!

Secondly, I believe people are flipping out about why they want more money. Again, I remember them always saying things like “We pay ZERO for marketing”, “We share booths so as not to spend your money on marketing”, “When we are near launch we will look at ways to generate revenue for marketing”, “We will always be exploring new ways to generate revenue”.. and on, and on, and on. Like a mantra for years.

So.. They are doing what they always said they would do in my mind. No surprise to me.

So.. that’s my take *Shrugs*. I haven’t done a lot on this topic, in part because that is my feeling on it. It’s nothing to be surprised about, and the general unrest it caused honestly and truly confuses me.

I am not saying Portalarium is perfect, or that there may not be reasons to be concerned about the game and companies longevity or their choices. I just don’t see anything here that was a big shock to me.


Now that you have the very, very basics, what is happening today?

You probably already are aware if you care, but just in case! You have a chance to learn all you want to know!

6/14/17 at 4 PM Central Time / 5 PM Eastern

Head over and read the full details!
Lord British Invites You to Upcoming Q&A Events for Portalarium’s SeedInvest Campaign


The wrap-up! Want to do some homework before the Q&A? What are different people saying? What questions are there? What opinions? Get out your notebooks…

One of the most important links, the official Seed Invest site:
Portalarium – Series.b – SeedInvest

Watch the last telethon where this was discussed and see data!

Other Web Sites:
Garriott reassures backers after fresh crowdfunding push exposes finances | GamesIndustry.biz

Richard Garriott's Portalarium to raise equity crowdfunding for Shroud of the Avatar | VentureBeat | PC Gaming | by Dean Takahashi

Garriott reassures concerned Shroud of the Avatar fans | Games industry news | MCV

Invest $30,000 in Shroud of the Avatar to get a golden castle | PCGamesN

Update On 'Shroud Of The Avatar' From Director Richard Garriott

Garriott's Shroud of the Avatar seeks more funding – Backers are concerned

Portalarium Announces Equity Crowdfunding Campaign as Commercial Launch of Shroud of the Avatar Nears | Games industry press releases | Develop

Richard Garriott Reassures Shroud Of The Avatar Backers About Their $15 Million | Kotaku Australia

Portalarium opens the books for equity crowdfunding | GamesIndustry.biz

Gamasutra – Press Releases – Portalarium Announces Equity Crowdfunding Campaign as Commercial Launch of Shroud of the Avatar Nears

Shroud Of The Avatar Developer Announces Crowdfunding Campaign | CGMagazine

Richard Garriott Reassures Shroud Of The Avatar Backers About Their $11 Million

Category: Blogs, Game News Sites, Hangout of the Avatar, Interviews, Lord British, Offical, Portalarium Updates, SotA Fansites, State of the Realm, Video's | Comments Off on What To Take With You To Today’s Q&A for Portalarium’s Seed Invest Campaign
November 20 2016

Vyrin & Womby’s Bookstore Open 3rd Location In Shroud of the Avatar

I enjoyed an excellent night of hunting with Womby tonight. He took me down into Serpent Spine for a little while so that I could hack away at the earth. A place a love but am not able to survive on my own yet.

Taking his Guild Leader out for a good time is not Womby and Vyrin’s only activity in the game, though. The most recognized players in the community when it comes to all things related to books, they have opened their third store!

vyrin-and-womby-third-book-store-banner

Womby & Vyrin are pleased to announce the opening of our third bookstore!

Please join us for an open house marking the occasion:

Sunday, November 20, 1-3 PM NBT in Estgard

I apologize for not getting the opening announcement out to you sooner, but be sure to go check the place out! Tell them Stile sent you!

https://www.shroudoftheavatar.com/forum/index.php?threads%2Fgrand-opening-of-vyrin-wombys-new-location-in-estgard.71105%2F

November 5 2016

Should MMORPG Developers Draw Inspiration from LITRPG?

LITRPG stands for Literature or Literary (varies from person to person), Role Play Game. The most prolific example of this type of work would be Ready Player One by Earnest Cline.

In fact, while this article is not about Shroud of the Avatar, the developers of that game did, in fact, work with Ernest Cline somewhat and using some inspiration from him and Ready Player One put some elements in the game. This is how Row Housing came about.

If you go further back in time with the same company, Portalarium, they also worked with Ernest Cline during the beta stages of one of their games “Ultimate Garage Sale Collector.” While that particular game did not work out, I do remember taking place in the game elements that revolved around a Ready Play One Contest.

Reading Ready Player One myself lead me to my interest in the LITRPG genre. When I say I have read a lot of it, believe me, I have read a LOT. From horrible to amazing I have read just about anything I could get my hands on while the market catches up with me from time to time.

I recently started “Ascend Online” which I am enjoying enough I am willing to say “yeah, go read this.” I can tell it’s going to be fantastic even though I am only midway through the first book.

It is important to understand that the LITRPG genre has a broad range of styles in the genre. The primary theme, of course, is that the feel of the book, in some way, is as if the characters are playing an MMORPG game.

This can vary from only a character perspective, story and plot tone, and scene is presented so as to create the feel that the characters are in some video game. Here is a prime example of that style.

Alternatively and more commonly, the characters themselves are playing a video game, and know they are doing so. This can be from a low level of VR technology all the way up to brain transference and any other number of things in between.

So as I have read and continue to read this genre I have found myself concluding that the books I often enjoy the most, often present game mechanics and gameplay that make me feel like I would enjoy the hell out of the game!

This leads me to wonder how much inspiration developers may get from the LITRPG genre and if they even try to utilize that opportunity. Keep in mind, the LITRPG had only recently broken ground and gained a lot of popularity. Books are coming out now at extremely fast rates by authors being able to self-publish them. It would be very understandable for this to be an untapped resource.

It would be impossible to pursue them all, but putting the biggest sellers on your reading list and pulling inspiration from what people “like” seems like a solid development resource.

So I say yes, most definitely. I think it is reasonable that developers should keep eyes on some of the novels from this genre as a resource for improving their games. I also feel caution has to be taken though as programming and computers are not capable of all that the imagination can provide, and so realistic inspiration is necessary!

Ankh Quill

October 1 2016

Is the Oracle in Shroud of The Avatar a Spy, or is Richard Garriott Having Us Face Our Personal Bia’s Against AI?

While Portlarium, Richard Garriott, and its developers have kept a policy of transparency in as many areas as they can, one thing that has been kept under deep wraps is aspects of the story.

One aspect we do not know a lot about is the Oracle. We may think we do that is, but do we? It is not uncommon for Lord British to have multiple layers to a story line. He is also known for wanting to explore not only the world but his personal conceptions and perceptions. This is something we have seen in his past games as he tries to pass that onto the player by putting them into situations to face their bias.

cute-litttle-red-devil-demon-gargoyle-wearing-sneakers-horn-and-tail

The most well-known examples of this may be the introduction of the race of Gargoyles in the Ultima series. The Gargoyles were often perceived by the player initially as being an evil race. Their wings and flaming horns a bias we face as a species from religion or in tales of evil. Another example of this being used before would be “Childhood’s End” by Arthur C. Clarke.

As the game progressed a typical play through would have you realizing that this race was perhaps rightfully in its viewpoints, things are not black and white, and you may be the villain doing grave wrongs and injustices. Because of these biases, you held in real life.

Thus Richard began teaching us in some of his earliest video games that we must look upon ourselves before looking upon others, to ensure we are doing so fairly. We must also keep an open mind so as to continually watch ourselves for any hint that a decision may be made with bias and thus leaving the potential for wrong.

rg1024-robot-carrying-things-1-2400px

Shroud of the Avatar is undoubtedly, what I hope will be the greatest game Lord British has ever created, with his fantastic team and partners. He has indicated that this game will provide as many of these life lessons as we have seen in the past, and we have in fact already seen a lot of this.

When I contemplate the Oracle, though, I also consider some of the many passions Richard has regarding Science & Technology. It occurs to me the Oracle is very much an artificial intelligence, with its watchers out in the world, sticking its nose into everyone’s business and breaking the Prime Directive. I am ok with Kirk doing that on occasion, not sure about others!

evil-computer-2400px

If you peruse the internet, both rabid mumblings and official articles by reputable sources and scientific, there is, in my opinion, a lot of growing speculation that we are growing closer to at least some form of creating an artificial intelligence. Perhaps nothing like Hollywood portrays, maybe not self-aware, but something that is leaps and bounds beyond what we have done thus far. There is the controversy of how likely would such AI be to want to influence our race and culture without consent, and to what extent.

So knowing Richard Garriott’s history, I can’t but help wonder how deep the plots with the Oracle will run, in a way to make us face our bias against technology taking an active role in the caretaking or jobs in our daily lives, in a way we have not experienced before.


Disclaimer: I do not follow the story aspects of the game much at this time. I am waiting for the main story to be completed for the most part.
As such it is possible this has been discussed somewhere already, or revealed, etc.. and is a moot point. In short, forgive me if I’m out of the loop on something!