Full Disclaimer: I bought an early access account to Shroud of the Avatar with my own money.
Portalarium have released a list of Top 10 Priorities for Launch (September 2017 Edition) for Shroud of the Avatar.
This marks an important point in the development cycle as Executive Producer Starr Long discusses in more frank terms with the player base what needs to happen in order to make the game ready for it’s official launch:
“Until now we have only used this list internally and we have not shared it externally with you, our backers. However, we felt that as we approach launch we definitely should share this list, especially because our current Top 10 list consists of everything we need to address BEFORE we are ready to launch.”
In the comments section of the to-do list, a fan asks if the launch is still planned for later this year, Long replies:
While Early Access business models has been under fire across the entire video game industry, Portalarium appears so far to be trying it’s best in creating a fairly transparent relationship between the studio and the players.
This announcement co-insides with a Free Trial event for the game running through the 27th of September. If you miss out on this, don’t worry; Shroud of the Avatar has done several of these in the past and will probably do more before launch.
Here’s a rundown on the game, via Portalarium:
Shroud of the Avatar: Forsaken Virtues is a new type of third person fantasy RPG that combines a single player narrative with a sandbox MMO. It is being created by a team that includes: Richard “Lord British” Garriott the creator of the Ultima series, Starr Long the original Director of Ultima Online, and Tracy Hickman the author of the beloved DragonlanceNovels and Dungeons & Dragons modules.
- Episodic Content: Shroud of the Avatar will consist of five episodes that will tell a series of virtue based stories created by Richard Garriott and Tracy Hickman. All supported by a series of prequel novels starting with Blade of the Avatar. Forsaken Virtues is the first episode (this is what you are purchasing access to).
- Single Player Offline Mode: Players will adventure through over 40 hours of story in an interactive world where their choices have consequences, ethical paradoxes give them pause, and they play a vital part in weaving their own story into the immersive world and lore surrounding them.
- Selective Multiplayer Modes: If you want to go through the story online you can play with everyone in a single world with three different online modes (Single Player, Friends, and Open). All items available in these multiplayer modes are also available in single player offline via purchase in in-game gold or other resources.
- Classless Character System: Vast customization options with hundreds of skills and spells in over 20 different skill trees.
- Skillful Combat: A new way to prepare and fight in an RPG by building custom decks of skills and dynamically activating them in combat.
- PVP: Consensual with Open PVP flags, zones, and Guild Warfare.
- Player Housing: Non instanced, finite, and embedded in the world with multiple group living options.
- Player Driven Economy: Deep crafting system where the best items are made by players and player items are the main source of loot found in the game.
- Pay Once to Play: No subscription fees. Each episode is a one time fee and everything in the game can be purchased with in game gold that can be earned (except for some exclusive backer rewards).
- Social: Full Guild System, Highly Active Community and Player Owned Towns.
- Crowd Sourced & Funded: Support the project by purchasing items in the add-on store or participate in telethon stretch goal exclusive item events! These online enabled add-ons and pledge items are also available to all players in offline mode.
- Open Development: Players help shape the game by giving feedback on monthly early access releases, videos, weekly updates, blog postings, forums, chat, etc.
You can find Shroud of the Avatar here on Steam for PC, Mac, and Linux.