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The RPG Shroud of the Avatar: Forsaken Virtues has gone free to play

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After a successful Kickstarter gathering nearly two million dollars and gathering millions more afterwards they've now gone free to play.

Note: I personally purchased a copy during Early Access.

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Since release, they've added in quite a lot of features to the game including: brewing, player made dungeons, expansions to the fishing system, seasonal enemies, global chat, automatic open multiplayer in towns and cities and lots of additional content. Recently, they also entirely revamped the tutorial section to ease you into it.

On Steam, the game has struggled to find an audience, with it rarely breaking 300 players online. When speaking to Eurogamer earlier this year, Richard Garriott claimed the majority of players don't use the Steam version. They also claimed they had many thousands, which I will be honest is a little hard to see considering they've now gone free to play which usually happens to save dying games.

From the press release:

“We are thrilled to open up Shroud to a larger audience of gamers,” said Creative Director Garriott. “We have removed almost all gameplay restrictions from our free players. Now those players can trade freely with other players, own land and play through the entire story! This means that you no longer need to make a purchase to have the Shroud of the Avatar experience!”

I have to be honest about it though, I'm very unimpressed with it. The in-game map system only started working on Linux in September, even though it's been in the game for a long time. In addition, the performance is complete garbage in many places. It takes a lot for me to say something like that, since I can put up with quite a lot. When certain areas drops performance to unacceptable levels of 20FPS and below, I just can't put up with it. Large stutters, massive drops and it becomes unresponsive.

I'm not overstating the performance issues, I wish I was. Their own communities are filled full of people from all platforms talking about how poor it is. To be clear, not all of it is like that, some areas do give a somewhat acceptable performance but even they still stutter when you're walking around.

It also completely froze my PC, twice, when changing graphical settings. It was so bad that both times I had to force a reboot, as it locked up everything. Loading time is pretty poor too, there's quite a bit of waiting around especially when switching areas as the game needs to load the world map again it breaks any kind of immersion you had.

Until they put some real effort into the Linux version, it's a hard no from me.

Find it on Steam or download it from the official site.

Article taken from GamingOnLinux.com.
Tags: MMO, RPG, Steam
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denyasis 31 Oct, 2018
Sad, I'll admit I did the kickstarter. I've never played because I wanted to wait until it was "finished". I agree with Kaiman; the continual asking for more money was a huge turn off. I'm still waiting for a fun, original open world RPG for linux (like Morrowind), I guess I'll be waiting much longer.

ps, I do know about openMW Engine project, I'm excited for it, but I'm also hoping for a new, modern, original RPG.
mortigar 1 Nov, 2018
Pretty sure everything Garriott has worked on after UO has failed, why I never put any money into this one -_-
Tabula Rasa never made it out of it beta period pretty much, had put money into it. With Garriott never again.


Last edited by mortigar on 1 November 2018 at 12:40 am UTC
Mountain Man 1 Nov, 2018
So they sucker people into donating to Kickstarter, and then release it as "free to pay"? Wow.
nate 1 Nov, 2018
Some free games still are not worth it.
razing32 1 Nov, 2018
Hmm , there is this thing in MMOs. Usually they start out with a subscription/one-time-pay model.
They go like that for a while.
When things look bad they switch to free to play and about one or two years after that they are dead.
I know this is not technically an MMO , but still , warning signs are there from the poor performance, unsatisfied customer base and switch to free model.
foobrew 1 Nov, 2018
I've had pretty much the same experience as others here. I grew up on the Ultima games and was a backer for this but the abysmal Linux performance has kept me from actually being able to play in any significant way. I load it up again every few months to check and it just doesn't ever seem to get better so I've pretty much lost hope on it at this point.

Maybe I'm one of the few but I wouldn't mind paying a monthly sub..if the game actually functioned above 20 fps for me. Admittedly, my GPU is getting long in the tooth (GTX 750 Ti) and I am planning to upgrade as soon as I decide on a card but I'm not holding my breath that SotA performance will suddenly become bearable. Considering even their Windows user base is complaining about performance, the future doesn't look bright.

I'm more hopeful for Underworld Ascendant once Linux compatibility is finished.
Patola 2 Nov, 2018
Why all the hate towards this game? I downloaded and played it a bit and it seems nice, apart from a couple hiccups on the very first animations (maybe shaders compiling), couldn't see any performance problem. Is it not engaging enough? Is the combat system poor? Are the quests shallow or repetitive? Can someone clarify why it's so despised?
Shmerl 2 Nov, 2018
I haven't played it or followed the project before, but it's free to play now. So don't play if you don't like it :) Why complain about making it free?
Shmerl 2 Nov, 2018
It's funny how they write in system requirements for Linux:

QuoteGraphics: DirectX 11 Compatible NVIDIA 960 / AMD 560
Jastiv 7 Feb, 2019
I will admit being tempted to try this game, but ultimately, decided against it. Why? I think the realistic high detail graphics were part of the turn off. I loved the old school Ultima games including Ultima 7 and Ultima Online (back when I played it) but I just would prefer something more retro looking but with its own unique style.
The bad reviews probably didn't help either.
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