(original in German, below Google translate) http://mein-mmo.de/warum-hacken-shroud-of-the-avatar/ Shroud of the Avatar is always target of violent criticism. But is this justified? We look more closely at the situation. Shroud of the Avatar was announced in March 2013 as part of a kickstarter campaign . The description was already somewhat vague at that time. It should be a story-laden multiplayer rolling game with offline mode. This offline mode should address single-player RPG fans and provide a "real" single-player experience. MMORPG with offline mode or single player with online mode? This was explained in videos even closer to Ultima inventor and designer Richard "Lord British" Garriott. He explained that SotA is basically a storylive single-player RPG, but also gives you the opportunity to play online with others. An MMORPG did not want to develop the developer studio Portalarium but this was explicitly excluded in the Kickstarter Campaign FAQ - the game was called a Selective Multiplayer RPG due to different game modes like Offline, Single Player Online, Friends Mode and an Open Online Fashion in which you can also meet other, foreign players.Shroud of the Avatar character Many fans of the Ultima single-player series as well as the MMORPG classic Ultima Online believed that Richard Garriott would make an intellectual successor to their favorite games. That's why during the Crowdfunding campaign, money from singleplayer and MMORPG fans could be taken. The game should appear in late 2014. Quote from the kickstarter campaign: "Whether in single-player offline mode or any of three online modes, the main questline wants to provide more than 40 hours of focused, story driven content." Or one of the other three modes, the main questside will deliver more than 40 hours of focused, story driven content. " But it came quite differently. The team was expanded after the success of the kickstarter campaign and the new producer Starr Long, who was formerly responsible for Ultima Online, took the helm. He announced that he wanted to develop the multiplayer part on which the single-player part would finally be built. However, SotA's offline mode should still provide the best single-player experience. The concept changes, Housing will focus Over the months, Shroud of the Avatar has evolved into an MMORPG. The housing system was particularly popular with the players and it was expanded ever further. Slightly better-heeled fans saw profit in the matter, because the building sites in the game world are limited. So the players hoped to be able to get hold of a lot of building sites at an early stage, in order to sell them at least profitably at the success of the game. Since such an interest in real money transactions existed, this system was further developed. A game driven by players found their way into the game, over which today items can also be traded for real money. For this system to function well and generate a lot of profit, the social aspect of the game must be further developed. So SotA changed more and more to an MMORPG, although this was actually excluded during the kickstarter campaign. Singleplayer fans began to fear that they had invested money for nothing, and felt lazy. But from the developers it was said time and again that one would take care of this aspect in due course. "Shroud of the Avatar will not be a massively multiplayer online role playing game," he said. "Shroud of the Avatar is not a massively multiplayer online role playing game," he says a multiplayer game. " The criticism accumulates In the meantime, we have the end of 2017, SotA has not yet been released (it has now been in the early access phase for about three years) and the single-player aspect has so far received little attention. The offline mode is as good as unplayable due to the balancing with focus on MMORPG gameplay. Accordingly, the displeasure of this group of players is huge. But there are other criticisms: There is no open game world, but only individual, instanced areas on a world map. In these areas there is little to do besides fighting and raw materials collecting. The exploration aspect falls into the background. The PvP of the game offers the PvP fans too little risk and too few rewards. PvE fans, however, feel compelled to PvP, as they are automatically assigned to PvP in certain game areas - whether they want or not. The battle system with map decks is too far away from a classic tab targeting system with a hotbar. The focus is placed too much on the item shop, where houses, players' cities and decoration are offered in part for a lot of money. The game has excessive grinding. Without grinding is almost nothing at all, since you can only cover the maintenance costs for a house and can buy good equipment. During the Kickstarter campaign it was mentioned that there is only a small amount of Grinding. Quote from the kickstarter campaign "Shroud of the Avatar is the first installment of Richard's new vision and represents the reinvention of the classic, fantasy role-playing which he pioneered. Shroud of the Avatar is the first game out of Richard's new vision and represents a re-invention of the classic fantasy role-playing game, the way he prepared it. A fantasy RPG that focuses more on decisions and exploration than on leveling. " The story - a big problem The story and the quests are a particularly big point of criticism. Both during the kickstarter and during the subsequent Seed-Invest Crowdfunding campaign , SotA was strongly driven by the story and it would offer a singleplayer-like narrative structure. Richard Garriott and story co-author Tracy Hickman even declared that they had developed a new way of storytelling. In SotA, players should not have the feeling that everyone is doing the same quests and helping the same NPCs. How exactly this should work, but you would not betrayed. Now that the story is fully implemented in the game and can be played from beginning to end, it turned out that the quests are just the same as in countless other MMORPGs. Everyone saves the little girl from the burning house, everyone kills the same villain, who responds again, and everyone finds the unique magic artifact. "Players will experience adventures in a more than 40-hour campaign that takes place in an interactive world." "Players will experience adventure through over 40 hours of story in an interactive world." , where decisions have consequences during ethical paradoxes. " In addition, there are no visible consequences to the actions and decisions of the players. The rescued girl, for example, never falls into the mother's arms, and the bandit kings always remain rulers of the forest and terrorize the small village forever. During the kickstarter campaign as well as during Seed-Invest, major consequences were announced. Even today this is still to be read on the official website of the game. Persistent game world, but no launch yet Equally annoying for many is that the game world has been persistent since summer 2016, although SotA has not yet been officially launched. So if you buy the unfinished early-access version and already play for the full price, you will get great advantages over those who are going to the official start. The best building sites have already been awarded and many players have reached the maximum level. New entrants might feel discouraged. Strong performance problems, especially with many players, which are online per area and a graphic, which already makes a slightly stained impression, are in addition to the criticism. Quote from the Seed-Invest campaign: "REAL Choices - No game by Lord British is complete without a deep narrative and difficult ethical dilemmas, and Shroud of the Avatar is no exception. "-" REAL Decisions - No game from Lord British would be complete, but it would not be a game, there would be no profound narrative structure and serious ethical dilemmas - here Shroud of the Avatar is no exception. Any decision the player makes (whether it's a little bit like giving a gold beginner or something significant, such as the murder of a ruler) will change how the game world responds to the player. " In previous previews and also on the reviews on Steam comes the game anything but good. Even the player numbers are very mau with just around 150 players who are online via Steam at the same time. According to the developers, however, this is only about 20 percent of the entire population, since most are not about Steam, but about the SotA launcher play. Nevertheless, the number of players is quite small. Developers and community are annoyed The criticism, which is constantly bombarding the team, is now showing signs. In the official forum the developers are more and more rarely speaking, hardly answering the critical questions. During the now monthly telethons, which are used for the further development of the game, the team mainly focuses on decoration questions and gameplay elements but avoids critical issues. If the game is attacked in another community, the developers feel strongly attacked and respond with times under the belt line. Criticism in the forum is often stifled in the bud, there is even the instruction that one should post only positive things and some players have already withdrawn from the forum, because they no longer dare to express their opinion. The players who have invested a lot of money in SotA to win some items and property, are also immediately attacked by criticism and react accordingly harshly, which makes the forum not a nice place to discuss. Critical contributions are also reported immediately. All of this does not leave the entire development of Shroud of the Avatar in a particularly good light and makes much of the criticism, which always bounces on the game, more understandable.