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[Column] Shroud of the Avatar: Major Changes to Backer Tiers

SBFordSBFord Associate Editor - News ManagerThe CitadelPosts: 22,968MMORPG.COM Staff Epic

One of the most interesting things about watching the development of Shroud of the Avatar has been observing the interactions between developers and backers.  I’ve seen a lot of games rolled out over the years.  I’ve watched a lot of great communities develop around them.  I have most definitely seen some awesome relationships created between players and developers.  It’s always sort of seemed to me that guys like Matt Higby from SOE’s PlanetSide franchise were the model other developers and studios should look to for guidance on player-interaction, but I have to tell you, I think I need to change that opinion, now.

Read more of Red Thomas's Shroud of the Avatar: Major Changes to Backer Tiers.


Ardonis offers one of the initial examples of row housing, based loosely on the city of Venice.


  • MorvMorv Royal Oak, MIPosts: 331Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Vivasvan
    Is this game even ever going to be released?

    It has not been in development for that long ;)

  • thecapitainethecapitaine West Chester, PAPosts: 408Member Uncommon

    Crowdfunding has at least as much potential to be abused to the detriment of gamers as any of the traditional methods of getting a game published.  Are players who aren't backers going to be able to set up towns?  Do backers who donate to an add-on that doesn't fund get their money back?  Why is it now perfectly acceptable to segregate game features behind a paywall during the development phase while to do so after release in a F2P/RMT setting is an outrage?


    It could simply be that I don't follow this game closely enough and there's a lot that the article leaves unclear.  Still, there's reason to believe that pause the author experienced was his gut instinct telling him that SotA is maybe trying to pull a fast one.

  • BetaguyBetaguy Halifax, NSPosts: 2,606Member Uncommon

    I personally don't believe they will have many features they are touting. If so, the game will be delayed forever. In order to get the game out in any decent timeframe RG is going to have to cut out features and then promise they will be added down the road and never will.  He will then abandon the game after a year or two and fly to space a second time on all your dimes.



  • Aartemis-SoHAartemis-SoH North Olmsted, OHPosts: 9Member Uncommon

    There are no "fast-ones" being pulled at all.  The backer gets exactly what they paid for when getting something off the stretch goal store.  For example, if the Stretch Goal is "Mounts", you can buy non-combat Pony pet for $20.  You get that no matter what, and it's an in-game item.  The only differance is, instead of going into a "general income pool", the money is dog-eared for the "Mounts" game system and the resources needed to make that happen.  There is no expiration date on the stretch goal so eventually it should get funded.  The nice part is, once it does, that Pet Pony will become a ridable mount for those who backed it - and everyone else will get the opportunity to have mounts in-game, purchasable with in-game coins.

    I know it's easy to think that this is all about "cash-grabbing" but when you think about how many times MMO's have gotten months and months worth of subscriptions from players ($15 for 5 years = $900) - the pledge tiers and add-ons do not seem so out of whack.  If someone game me the choice of monthly subscriptions with no say over what it was spent on or a stretch goal store where i Know where the funding is going, I will take that ANY day of the week.  That is why I am Proud to be a Dev+ member of the Shroud Community.  

    If you have any doubts, rather then speculating, come stop by the forums, we'd be happy to answer any of your questions - we really do have a great community!  There are over 2000 of us in the Dev+ community of Shroud helping to create the Utlimate online RPG there is.  Trust us, we're seeing this all come true before our eyes and testing it every month.

  • TbauTbau Chicago, ILPosts: 401Member

    This concept needs to grow.

    Its one of the few ways we will ever get gaming out of the hands of the major corporations creating mundane clones and get smaller companies creating again. 

  • augustgraceaugustgrace Cottonwood, CAPosts: 624Member Uncommon
    Great.  I already get a weekly email from them begging for more money, and now they plan to step up the program?!  How about we get this turkey launched with the features we were sold, then we talk about funding extras.  I'm having a real hard time believing that any stretch goals funded this late, would be ready for launch in a few months.  Yet another kickstarter I rather regret funding.
  • GungaDinGungaDin Posts: 514Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by augustgrace
    Great.  I already get a weekly email from them begging for more money, and now they plan to step up the program?!  How about we get this turkey launched with the features we were sold, then we talk about funding extras.  I'm having a real hard time believing that any stretch goals funded this late, would be ready for launch in a few months.  Yet another kickstarter I rather regret funding.

    Aye, its baffling really...

    Selling off whole towns and village now.   Character slots.  Guess all aspects of the game will be sold at some pt.  Is there a reason to play the game?  Or do we just buy the parts we want?   I don't get it.

    Running out of money so they keep milking the current backers. 

    Thankfully, I unloaded my main pledge months ago.  I maintained a starter pledge in hopes of improvement, but those hopes seem to be getting flushed out to sea. 



  • khameleonkhameleon Posts: 450Member Uncommon

    I was in the beta before this last one and this game is one of the worst games I have played in the past 10 years.


    The animations, UI, graphics, enemies, combat are all the absolute worse, even if they are placeholders which I doubt, its terrible.


    I have a phone MMORPG full 3D world that is 100 x better in every way, so the people that paid hundreds to play this thing, I feel sorry for them.


  • jtripperjtripper Santa Monica, CAPosts: 111Member Uncommon

    The funding campaign will continue all the way up through release.  I'm astounded there are so many people here that never knew that.  They've said multiple times they'll need $5M-$7M to make the game.

    The game's graphics definitely suck, so on that I agree.  Even though it is Pre-Alpha and they had previously said they'd fix the graphics near release, they now switched gears and will make it better every 3 months.  How much better?  No idea...but hope it looks nothing like the 2004-era game we see now.

    The game will be released "when it's done" and they admitted finally their worst-kept-secret: that it wasn't shipping by the end of this year.

    Ok, fine, 2004 was a bit harsh.  It's like a 2006-era game.  I'm sure they'll eventually make it look as good as Oblivion.

  • ArglebargleArglebargle Austin, TXPosts: 1,978Member Uncommon

    They are trying to build an old style MMO on a shoe string budget.  If you don't think that's going to lead to some less than perfect bits, you aren't being realistic. 


    And some posters herein will probably turn green and start regnerating well before Garriott abandons the game/goes back into space.


    I'm no huge Garriott fan, but it'd be better to complain over legit issues.

    If you are holding out for the perfect game, the only game you play will be the waiting one.

  • WagramWagram MansfieldPosts: 9Member Uncommon

    The stretch goals are mainly geared to land owning backers. Darkstar's graph puts that at about 1800+. For the other 33000+ they are of no use.

    The 3 foals are of no use to them if the stretch goal is not met they have no garden to put them in same goes for the Pack horses.
    Flexible house placements $200+ for some garden decoration only needed by the 1800+
    Elf House $75 only needed by the 1800+
    Elf character could just be a new face in character creation to use, its mainly just a cosmetic store outfit for $100 disguised as a stretch goal
    Boat's on an overland map tied to a Sailors cosmetic store outfit for $100.
    The extra character slots would have been a better stretch goal to use with the funds being allocated to stretch goals that benefited ALL THE BACKERS.


    All these stretch goals and every other change are voted for by the 1800+ DEV+ group (High Pledgers) and 95% have at least 2 land deeds & lots of housing.

  • AsboAsbo ManchesterPosts: 812Member Uncommon

    I don't and still don't trust Garriott he's not go enough common sense skills IMO and while he made a splash in the 80's he will never ever get a penny of my money. Ask your self this would you buy a second hand car from him? He should go into Estate agencies selling property if he want to make money on housing, though I feel the law would shut him down if he did. All he is doing with this game is concentrating on housing and not the main game.

    Look at what he has done to date and the game mechanic and looks very poor indeed, I feel he thinks he still making games for the 80's. Richard it's 2014 time to move on fellow!


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