When launch arrived, I decided to give the offline game a serious try, and after a few hours, I'm surprised to find that I'm hooked. I mean, there are so many areas in which SotA is lacking: its looks are dated, there is no spoken dialogue, the interface is cumbersome, and there is a metric ton of detail polish that simply wasn't done. But, on the other hand - and that was my big surprise - there are *so many* things that SotA gets right. In spite of looking dated, the visuals are sometimes stunning (for example, looking out over the plain from the monastery of Highvale Outskirts when the sun is rising or setting); the "outdoors" feeling is near perfect, underscored nicely by the odd godrays and a bit of HDR (I think) sprinkled in. And the artists have done a really great job translating the intents of the locations - I remember feeling decidedly cold in the monastery's mirror room, then feeling actually warmed when stepping out into the sunlight. No mean feat, that! The sound effects, once I had turned off the music [but please Portalarium, give us a better solution! https://www.shroudoftheavatar.com/f...y-and-filter-for-ambience.116465/#post-982319] and cranked up the speaker volume, were suddenly THERE (though you'll have to remember to turn the volume back down after exiting the game or you'll have a heart attack next time Skype rings). And boy, what an effect when I stepped out of the tavern of Resolute and the crack of lightning nearly threw me off my chair! SotA suffers from the same problem(s) with quest-giving that many CRPGs have, one of them being that it's too easy to miss the important points, which is made worse by the immature conversation system. But the quests themselves, from what I've seen so far, are quite up to RG's standard. All in all, this is a game that has definite worth right now, and fantastic potential for the future. My perhaps greatest wish is that Portalarium open the game up for modding, and possibly other forms of fan contribution, both artistic and technical. This game world, impressive by its sheer size, cries out for active care, and deserves nothing less.