Posted by: seanmalstrom | July 3, 2014

Email: What’s wrong with Shroud of the Avatar?

Hi Malstrom,

you have mentioned Richard Garriot and Shroud of the Avatar quite a few times recently as an example of a badly aged game developer. I wonder if you could elaborate and point out the differences between the Ultimas (including Ultima Online) and SotA. I have to admit I havn’t been paying attention to the development of SotA after the initial Kickstarter campaign; having some old guy come on camera like a Simpsons character (“Hi, my name is Richard Garriot and you might remember me from such games as Ultima”) isn’t enough to get me interested in a game that’s not even close to being finished. (for reference, I have played all the Ultima games up to VII, so I am familiar with the series)

For what is wrong, it is what I hear from people who bought into the alpha. They’re frustrated with simple things like the UI (where one person calls archaic). Watch any ‘lets play SoTA’, and you’ll see some of the complaints. An example is dialogue. You must type everything in. Everything!

Shroud of the Avatar seems to be a child of Ultima Online with some influences from WoW. It doesn’t mean what you think. It isn’t a MMORPG. It is a single player game that you can play with your friends or with a ton of other people. I believe the shops will update with server information in case something is high in supply or demand. There is housing. Housing appears to be an important part of the game (a nod to Ultima Online).

There is a recent trailer here. Just the way how it is presented makes me cringe. I mean, when Miyamoto announces a new game, his trailers don’t tell us about ‘FROM THE MAKER OF DONKEY KONG… OF SUPER MARIO BROTHERS… OF LEGEND OF ZELDA…’  I do not like Game Gods. I take the Klingon philosophy with Game Gods and that is to slay them all (since they are more trouble then they are worth). A game trailer should be showcasing the game, not Richard Garriot. More game, less Garriot please.

SoTA may end up good. However, Garriot doesn’t have a good track record presently.



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