New article about SotA - objective and interesting, worth a read

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by LoneWerewolf, Oct 15, 2017.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. LoneWerewolf

    LoneWerewolf Guest

    (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.
     
  2. Stundorn

    Stundorn Avatar

    Messages:
    3,795
    Likes Received:
    5,683
    Trophy Points:
    165
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Estgard/ Cologne
    And even they like it and begin to play, the most players will complain of it's imbalance and grind!

    Sad to say that, but if they dont come up with some significant changes this project will fail, even if they got another 11 Million donated.
    I do not see any chance for further episodes atm.
    If they would announce a Ep2 KS i wouldnt donate and i'm one of the players who play the game and is or can be satisfied when i do some compromise.
    But i allways feel that sting of a compromise annoying me sometimes more sometimes less but allways present.
     
  3. Mykll

    Mykll Avatar

    Messages:
    672
    Likes Received:
    1,225
    Trophy Points:
    105
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Davidian Bunker
    Cha-ching? :rolleyes:
     
    neveser and Gildor2 like this.
  4. Vladamir Begemot

    Vladamir Begemot Avatar

    Messages:
    6,200
    Likes Received:
    12,074
    Trophy Points:
    153
    Gender:
    Male
    Maybe interesting, but certainly not objective.
     
    Vox Aquila, Quenton, Gerugon and 4 others like this.
  5. majoria70

    majoria70 Avatar

    Messages:
    10,033
    Likes Received:
    24,389
    Trophy Points:
    153
    Gender:
    Female
    Location:
    United States
    • 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.
    • Yes not making sota a contiguous land mass was a mistake imo. Exploration systems were neglected such as in-game achievements, task boards, fun travel systems that describe the world (airships (maybe one day), trade system, treasure hunting systems, fishing system. Coding for these systems was not included in the creation of this broken up world leaving players to bounce from scene to scene, leaving them with experiences feeling disjointed, disconnected, dissatisfying once you have done the content and the world can feel evasive, illusive, and mostly unknown and unseen by many.
    • 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.
    • IMO another disatisfying due to systems not implemented and coded for including, criminal systems and wanted boards, pvp quests, and guild wars
    • The battle system with map decks is too far away from a classic tab targeting system with a hotbar.
    • I agree while combat and the combat system in Sota does provide a lot of interesting and different variations and has improved overtime, clunky looking combat is a problem still and yes hopefully will and is still improving over time.
    • 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.
    • this is a matter of opinion, but yes with the crowd funded model housing opportunities was taken out of the game and used to fund the game thus taking the drive for housing out of the game as incentive to work for it and achieve for it. Although it is not as harsh as is constantly being touted imo. We do have The rental system which is an awesome opportunity for those without housing. True ownership is very important for some, but for others renting will suffice giving a place to store their wares and so many players are not using the rental system to make money but to share with other players this system that came to be to support the game development. Also the big issue to have the housing in the important story line cities was a mistake. IMO outskirt housing scattered around the world as in UO would have been much more appropriate for this game set up with runes to mark your spot to alleviate the disjointed world we now live in.
    • 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.
    • Constant incentive to grind is what I see coming into the game over and over. Non combat quest lines with interesting stories could have been scattered among the world but are few to find. Jumping from rooftop to rooftop to catch the thief and challenge the players jumping skills omg why not. ;)
    While I complain about many things and direction decisions at this late date, I still have not given up on this game. I advise those who review it to stay tuned. There is still hope for this game. If the development team listens and implements from what people are saying then this game can have success.

    There is already so much to love in spite of design choices that have left us playing in a disconnected world of hex after hex. If the world could be made to connect in interesting ways giving the players reason to explore and re-visit scene after scene for satisfying reasons.
    Tour buses would not hurt, and trade routes would help, lets see our trade route maps giving areas importance and include POTS in the trade routes, don't leave the world unexplored or with out reason to be there to the masses.

    Why not treasure hunting routes and maps? Fish location maps, interesting reasons for fishing such as flame fish needed for a crafting component, lava fish give hides that make and add a component to crafting, ice fish component and gotten from ice fishing which we are yet to see as asked for. ;) Fill the world with reason to explore, reasons to continue playing. Get the achievements and coding in to track these systems for each player in game.

    Again there is still hope for this game to be so awesome. I do believe so much already is very awesome. So rally for what will shift this games focus from grind scene after grind scene with little connectivity of what is what, where, and why in an illusive split up world. Again stay tuned. Imo focus is starting to be on bridging the gap, reason to play, adventure, and reasons to grind ( yes we do need these too since it is the system).

    Edited
     
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2017
  6. Earl Atogrim von Draken

    Earl Atogrim von Draken Avatar

    Messages:
    6,364
    Likes Received:
    12,168
    Trophy Points:
    165
    Gender:
    Male
    Mhhhhhh who might have written this one.... :rolleyes:
     
  7. Rufus D`Asperdi

    Rufus D`Asperdi Avatar

    Messages:
    6,348
    Likes Received:
    15,785
    Trophy Points:
    165
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    I disagree with the assertions that this article is either Objective or Interesting.
     
    Vox Aquila, Gerugon, Rennik and 6 others like this.
  8. Barugon

    Barugon Avatar

    Messages:
    14,059
    Likes Received:
    22,031
    Trophy Points:
    153
    Gender:
    Male
    If anyone is expecting major system changes at this point, they will be sorely disappointed. What we will get is polish and tweaks. You would be surprised at how much a small tweak can have on economy or combat balance.
     
  9. Duke Gréagóir

    Duke Gréagóir Legend of the Hearth

    Messages:
    5,385
    Likes Received:
    11,444
    Trophy Points:
    165
    Location:
    Dara Brae
    Article is all FUD.
     
  10. Sir Cabirus

    Sir Cabirus Avatar

    Messages:
    1,085
    Likes Received:
    4,493
    Trophy Points:
    125
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    The Stygian Abyss
    A very good and objective article which brings the problems in a nutshell. Fair and detailed.
     
    Jamet, gtesser, Cordelayne and 16 others like this.
  11. Poor game design

    Poor game design Avatar

    Messages:
    18,208
    Likes Received:
    35,495
    Trophy Points:
    153
    Gender:
    Male
    The premise of this article is false. The game was always going to be online multiplayer AND single player.

    Also false. Richard explained quite a bit about the game being as much a multiplayer game as it was a single player game.

    I don't mind people wanting a strong single player game, but it's so very old and tiresome to have the same lies spread over and over again. It really creates a situation where the development team would be right to dismiss articles like this as nonsense. Creating a false narrative straw man like this, and then holding the game up against that is just wrong.

    Show me a video where Richard isn't talking about...

    "a virtual world"
    "a persistent online world"
    "fans from both Ultima and UO"

    There are plenty of problems with SOTA that are fair game. But this article appears to be written by someone that was set on creating problems that didn't exist and furthering a narrative that is full of lies.

    Here's one of the favorite videos that the single player folks like to use as evidence that the game was only supposed to be for single player...


    They always say "just go to the 42 second mark". Well do that. Go to the 42 second mark, but keep watching. Notice how Richard continues to talk about UO, persistent virtual world, fans on both sides.

    It's unreal. People just block out whatever they want to hear and say "there it's single player!"

    It was both. It is both. There's no mystery to it.
     
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2017
    Xee, Vox Aquila, Beaumaris and 8 others like this.
  12. Kpopgurl

    Kpopgurl Avatar

    Messages:
    510
    Likes Received:
    697
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Gender:
    Female
    Very good article and on point. Suffice to say in the original version. Google translate didn't get everything ;)

    The comment section alone supports the writer enough. Not to surprised to see people claiming he is lying here... proofs his point kinda.

    It is pretty clear that this article was trying to build a bridge... but the trolls stopping from people come across and talk again are sitting in this forum.. not so much on that comment section. Too bad it is in german only.
     
  13. E n v y

    E n v y Avatar

    Messages:
    4,783
    Likes Received:
    13,391
    Trophy Points:
    165
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    England
    The article seems reasonably fair. There is plenty that can be addressed and improved on.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 16, 2017
  14. Solazur

    Solazur Avatar

    Messages:
    1,435
    Likes Received:
    3,527
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Pacific NW
    I don't get all the trolling. Just because someone has an opinion one may not share it doesn't invalidate that opinion. Only a fool ( on any side of a discussion) relies solely on the sycophant actors around them.
     
  15. E n v y

    E n v y Avatar

    Messages:
    4,783
    Likes Received:
    13,391
    Trophy Points:
    165
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    England
    There will be an awful lot of reviews appearing soon.....some good and (judging by the current flavour of reviews) quite a few bad or indifferent. This is a perfect opportunity to pick up on some of the issues that are perceived outside of the SotA Community. Some of the issues are very real whilst others can be critically debunked.

    What is not wise or healthy for the future of the game is to ignore the reviews.......or, say they are trash without critically debunking, say they don't understand and the game isn't for them.....or, deleting threads and banning people for the forums who may agree with some of the critical aspects of reviews. Why? because as soon as you start doing that.....you lost.
     
  16. Mykll

    Mykll Avatar

    Messages:
    672
    Likes Received:
    1,225
    Trophy Points:
    105
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Davidian Bunker
    It is amazing that the mere possibility that anyone can even have some of these perceptions about this game will cause some people's hair to catch fire and minds to explode. Founded or not, this is what is out in the real world, outside of this protected bubble of a forum. A lot of the criticism seems to come from what there is now, versus what was sold during the Kickstarter, real or imagined. It will be interesting to hear what people have to say that knows nothing about the Kickstarter but instead base opinions on what there is now, not what they think should have been.
     
  17. Tsumo2

    Tsumo2 Avatar

    Messages:
    415
    Likes Received:
    564
    Trophy Points:
    43
    Makes me wonder why I'm having so much fun playing ....
     
    Xee, Vox Aquila, Beaumaris and 14 others like this.
  18. Vladamir Begemot

    Vladamir Begemot Avatar

    Messages:
    6,200
    Likes Received:
    12,074
    Trophy Points:
    153
    Gender:
    Male
    Who's head exploded? Strange how only people who agree with the article are allowed to have an opinion.
     
  19. Mac2

    Mac2 Avatar

    Messages:
    3,130
    Likes Received:
    7,944
    Trophy Points:
    153
    I don't know what kickstarter said, don't care what this guy said, don't matter to me, I like the game.
     
  20. jammaplaya

    jammaplaya Avatar

    Messages:
    1,141
    Likes Received:
    2,001
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Looking closely I have determined that nobody here has claimed that the author of the article is lying. Only that the premise of the article is false, and as such is helping to further a narrative that is full of lies.

    1) People spitefully pushed this false narrative for selfish purposes.
    2) Someone uninformed writes a review based on misconceptions because of it.
    3) People from step 1 push the article to further the false narrative.

    Lucky we have Baron Drocis here to correct the record, which he has, with proof.
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.