June 22 2018

Shroud of the Avatar Community Repeating History Because Not Learning History?

I was a bit sad to see recently that some of the Shroud of the Avatar Developers were being let go, as many of them I consider associates outside of the game and in a few cases even friends. So anytime I hear about a staff change, it affects me a bit more personal in that I worry about people I know personally suffering some hardship.

When I read such news, I have no surprise. From that perspective, it’s like someone told me they decided not to have a cup of coffee or a Mountain dew that morning. Oh? That’s a bit different today, but it happens.

Then what BLOWS ME AWAY is the Damage the Shroud of the Avatar player Community does both to the Game and the company. It sort of goes like this:

-We are making a change, that is normal for us to make at different times in development, as a game developer.
-The community then scatters rumors, sells, players quit, and puts the overall player base and game development months behind. In short.. The player community does more damage then any enemy to the game could do.

Portalarium has exsisted since before Shroud of the Avatar. Something people seem to keep forgetting.

I have been involved deeply in my life with Shroud of the Avatar, since before it Kickstarted. What I mean by that, is I knew from watching the company and Richard they where working on things, and I was already being involved with the company, it’s develoeprs, etc.. in any way I could (although at that time it was small). If I didn’t take a picture, it didnt happen, right?

This is a group I THINK I created on Facebook before Shroud of the Avatar had even been fully decided on by the company and Richard Garriott. Course, I left my own group and didn’t delete it, and so just had to re-request membership to a group I once made. LoL. It still exists though, so you can pull it up on Facebook and verify its pre-dated Shroud of the Avatar

I am also friends on Facebook with Portalarium developers, dated before Shroud of the Avatar day 1 Kickstarter, and many other things. This was me saying “Dammit Richard, im stalking you and your company until your next RPG video game, whatever that is”.

During all this time. THIS HAS HAPPENED MANY TIMES!!!!!!

Game development is like hiring actors to perform a role. Once you have finished shooting their clips in the film, what the F do you want to do? Pay them to sit on their asses and watch everyone else work? Especially when you are running very lean?

I am not saying I agree with the model, the way it runs, or the way it works.

However, it has been fully established by Portalarium, that this is how they run their game development. This includes letting people go at different stages and bringing new people in. This is not the first time and it is not the last time.

What is the true state of the game, its player base, etc? I felt it was growing VERY slowly, but that it was growing. Given that no major marketing has been done yet I felt this was a good sign. This was my feeling only and the truth is, I have no idea!

Then Portalarium does what it has done many times now, and made changes necessary to continue that GROWTH, rather than stay at the same place, and everyone flips out. Now MAYBE this time is different in all the past times in that there’s more going on then we are seeing or they are saying, and it bodes ill.

The thing is, there’s no way for anyone to really be able to say that, just based on them doing yet another staff change, and I’m sure it won’t be the last!

Unfortunately, I feel bad for the company though and my fellow community members that get it. It being that, what DOES hurt the game is the panic from the community as a result..

Which is running around, making posts everywhere, trying to sell anything they can, and making judgments without basis on the state of affairs. Overall, this MAY be the end of Shroud of the Avatar or next time Portalarium makes some staff changes, THAT may be the end of Shroud of the Avatar.

However, I don’t blame Portalarium. I blame the reactions of its community in the panic they present, from what has already been proven as “daily business” for Portalarium.

Anyway, this is the most I could bring myself to talk about this subject. I see the forum posts, and posts in other places and I can’t respond to them, because all I want to do is yell at people and say “are you really that STUPID that you don’t realize, that right now YOU are the problem, creating a PROBLEM, when there might not have been a problem? Now there is.. because of you”.

So instead I keep my mouth shut. I felt I would do one blog piece on this, for the less stupid and this is the most I am covering this topic or the current state of affairs.

Thanks for listening!

Category: Guilds & Communities, Offical, State of the Realm | Comments Off on Shroud of the Avatar Community Repeating History Because Not Learning History?
July 19 2017

Interested In Attending a Shroud of the Avatar LAN Party in Chicago, IL?

Community Member the Mad Hatter is putting together a Shroud of the Avatar Players Meet / Lan Party. Being held in Chicago, IL and taking place on 10/6/2017

This event also seems to be getting some official recognition:

As mentioned in the Summer Telethon Part 1 and Lord British Birthday Telethon… Mad Hatter is happy to hold the 1st exclusive SotA community LAN event. This event will be held on “Mad Hatter Day 10/6” in Chicago and hope to be an annual event.

As well as digital attendance rewards.

$25 (Cloak Only – Not attending event)

$55 (Signup & Cloak) Until August 14th, 2017 @ 11:59PM (Central Standard Time)

$70 (Late Signup & Cloak) After August 14th, 2017

Head over to the forum post to get all the details!
Hatter's LAN Party 2017 – Chicago (October 6th, 2017) | Shroud of the Avatar Forum

Category: Community Spotlight, Guilds & Communities | Comments Off on Interested In Attending a Shroud of the Avatar LAN Party in Chicago, IL?
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
April 17 2017

Shroud of the Avatar and It’s Developers In the News

It’s that time again for me to toss out a recap of some bits and bobs that you might want to take a look at, if you missed through the standard channels.

Why don’t you start with a video before digging in?


Looking for a way to help bring the SotA game to more players? IF you speak French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Russian, or Spanish then you can be of help and the call has been put out!

Thank you for your interest in helping our team localize Shroud of the Avatar: Forsaken Virtues!

We are reestablishing development support translating our game to Russian, Spanish, French, Italian, German, and Portuguese languages! In order to meet the vast translation needs of our project, we return to you, our amazing community, in search of qualified volunteers with a passion for seeing our project reach many more players and communities!

Get the full details in the forums.
Join the Localization Team! | Shroud of the Avatar Forum


Portarlarium Is putting in Place a new thingy called “Outskirt Scenes”, read about it here.

The First Outskirts Scene – Solace Bridge Outskirts | Shroud of the Avatar


If you hadn’t heard yet, Richard Garriott is selling a lot of his property in Austin. The Texas Monthly published an article over here that is very informative. Although I did notice they no mention of Castletown, Richards Renaissance Village on the property.

lthough Garriott’s arrangement with the Baron’s Men isn’t something that a new owner would necessarily be required to maintain (who can require someone with $45,000,000 to spend on a house to do much of anything?), it certainly seems like the sort of option that the troupe would be open to based on the reaction from its performers to the news of the sale.

You can read the full article with links here.
Would You Pay $45 Million For This Austin Ranch?

Category: Hangout of the Avatar, Lord British, Video's | Comments Off on Shroud of the Avatar and It’s Developers In the News
November 4 2016

Shroud of the Avatar Homes of New Britannia – Decorating Contest

Contest Homes

Currently in Shroud of the Avatar, one of the more enthusiastic and active parts of the community are those decorating their homes. There is a multitude of reasons for this, but let’s look at it from a logical and straightforward standpoint.

The game is in pre-release stages right now and has not officially launched. Personally, I could play for a year or more the way it is now and not get bored! I think it’s about choosing your attitude and looking at what is present instead of focusing on what is still in development, not going to be done, or isn’t coming for a long time yet.

However one of the most flushed out aspects of the game IS the housing element. Therefore it is straightforward that the players most interested in that would also currently be the ones most interested in the housing. As other areas are fully launched the player interest for those areas will also increase. I LOVE being in a game to be a part of that emerging development.

So knowing all that it’s time to decorate! What better way to do that then to have contests?

From Berek over on the forums:

Get those creative house decorating ideas ready, Avatars! Show the community the curb appeal you can bring to a town as folk walk down the street, and the wonder in the eyes of those who step in to visit your cozy abode. Throw it all up on the walls for this contest and see what sticks!

As the contest progresses, each week on either Monday or Tuesday, we will announce on social media the latest submissions in a Facebook screenshot gallery. Peruse the screenshots there, or go to the forum submission thread to find coordinates to the homes so you can tour them in-game!

Interested in learning more? Head on over and when you post your images be sure to include a dedication to The Caverns for me!

https://www.shroudoftheavatar.com/forum/index.php?threads/homes-of-new-britannia-%E2%80%93-decorating-contest.66099/

September 14 2016

Staying Caught Up With Shoud of the Avatar

Hopefully, it will not be much longer until I am caught up with everything I do in my life, once again. So that you know, Shroud of the Avatar is partly to blame for that, and I love every minute of my game time! Just wish I could take more!

If you missed the Postmortem, pull up a chair and take a peek!

Published on Sep 9, 2016
Watch as the team chats about Release 33 and looks ahead to Release 34. We also answered many player questions, and gave out awesome prizes during the livestream.


Gamezone published an interview with Richard Garriott that you will not want to miss! Titled “An interview with Richard Garriott: How Shroud of the Avatar is looking to change RPGs” by Tom Caswell it is a great interview but be warned, it is also long!

This guy coined the term MMORPG, so it was a delight to sit down with him and pick his brain on his past and future, both of which proved to be equally fascinating.

Go check it out here http://www.gamezone.com/originals/an-interview-with-richard-garriott-how-shroud-of-the-avatar-is-looking-to-change-rpgs-k1yk


Markee Dragon continues to roll out great videos that will help you out with your gaming needs!


headset-microphpone-speaker

If Discord is your thing then this may interest you.

SoTA Speak is a Discord Server set up to provide players with a centralized, interactive, non-private, region-specific voice chatting system to promote community interaction.

Go read the whole article over here!
https://www.shroudoftheavatar.com/forum/index.php?threads/sota-speak-discord-project.55158/


June 23 2016

SotA Con 2016 – On the East Coast Announced

If you haven’t seen it floating around on the social sites and at the Shroud of the Avatar forums yet, you may want to take note that a Shroud of the Avatar Convention on the East Coast is being put together!

If you want to get in on the discussions, here is the offical forum thread. Tell them that Stile sent you!
https://www.shroudoftheavatar.com/forum/index.php?threads/sota-con-2016.53107/

Heres a snipper from the forum annoucment but go read it all!

At least someone from PaxLair, Port Phoenix, Avatars Radio, NBNN, and many other communities have committed to attendance.

At least 3 developers have committed to attendance. [pullquote]At least 3 developers have committed to attendance.[/pullquote]

Potentially, we will recreate a board game using the map of Novia as the board!

Group gaming opportunities

Potentially, group meals with garb encouraged!

Vendors from the SotA community

Potentially, a kid friendly area!A 1st year exclusive attendance reward will be given out at the event!

The SotAcon website is over this way:
http://sotacon.org/

February 13 2016

Update Your Account Info For Physical Rewards if You Qualify for Shroud of The Avatar / New Harry Potter

I normally do not recap or highlight pieces of news from the official weekly updates any more. The reason is I figured long ago that by now anyone that want’s to know what is in those are just getting them.

This is a *PAY ATTENTION* to piece though. Just in case you missed it skimming the updates or decided this week you didn’t feel like it.

In preparation for shipping backers’ [pullquote]physical pledge rewards later this year[/pullquote], we have added Shipping Address fields to your Account Profile page. To enter your shipping address, log in to the SotA website, select “Account” in top right corner, then select “Edit Profile” located in top left corner, beneath your Avatar image:

You have plenty of time, just at some point make sure your aware that if you are getting physical rewards from your pledge for Shroud of The Avatar that you need to update your account page with your shipping information.

They have already taken care of it and set it up so you can do it whenever you have a few moments. Personally I got it done to know its taken care of, but that’s how I operate.

SotA_ShippingAddress

Here is the update which has the news on this.
https://www.shroudoftheavatar.com/?p=56472


You Harry Potter fans may be excited to know there is another Harry Potter book coming out this year. While I am not bouncing off the walls or anything I will certainly be picking this up at some point as I did enjoy the series.

You can get and read some details on this here.
https://media.bookbub.com/blog/2016/02/10/harry-potter-and-the-cursed-child-book-release/

You can go ahead and pre-order it or toss it into your wish list on Amazon as well! It is a two part story and I like the fact it takes place 19 years later. While I can and do, I am not a huge fan of going backwards into the past on stories. I feel they should progress and move forwards.

January 29 2016

Lost Video found – Richard Garriott 2014 Roundtable at Dragon Con / Shooter Jennings to play inside Shroud Of The Avatar

This video was just recently located and put on Youtube for you!

This is the Shroud of the Avatar round table / presentation given at Dragon*Con 2014. It is hosted by Richard Garriott and Starr Long, both famous for their work with the Ultima Series of Origin Systems. Starr Long is known mostly for his work on Ultima Online.


This is pertty cool. I did an article a little while back on Shooter Jennings new album Countach. An album in which Richard Garriott pays a visit!

Apparently Shooter Jennings decided that if Richard is going to visit him, maybe he should visit Lord British?

Because- Shooter Jennings is playing in Game on 2/22/16 at 7PM CST!

January 28 2016

Lot Selection scheduled, final wipe scheduled, start scheduling your vacation days!

If you haven’t heard yet.. I would be surprised.

Seriously though, the cat is out of the bag, the fat lady has sung, and a post has been made in the announcement forums with dates.

Looks like the placement begins at the end of July, but get over to the forums and find out your slot! Start making plans. I’m not going to even try to summarize this post! If you have an account, go read it. If you don’t have an account go buy one, we want you to play!

https://www.shroudoftheavatar.com/forum/index.php#shroud-of-the-avatar-general-forums.1


Need something to read while you are patching? Another quick book recommendation for you. Well, this one is actually an author and one of my favorites. Harry Harrison! Anything he has written.. read it, i’s good (IMO).

That said my favorites are The Stainless Steel Rate Series. Think a futuristic Sci-Fi setting with a Robin Hood and his band sort of feel vibe going on. That doesn’t really do it justice but its the closest I can come to. Please expect a LOT of comedy in this Sci-Fi series!

Another book series that Harry Harrison did I really like is the Death World trilogy. He took out the comedy (well, not so much it’s not fun!) and made it just like the title sounds. Talk about a place I do not want to visit!!! I have read this series half a dozen times. Love it.

If you are a Kindle Unlimited reader, There is a complete collection of his works in unlimited. Search the author!