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tomprogers - 1163957
Kickstarter backer here, quite displeased.

SOTA reminds me of the recent Elder Scrolls Online, which was a cardboard imitation of the genuine article. Shroud of the Avatar is a run-of-the-mill MMO clone, thinly draped in Ultima IP. If you enjoyed Ultima IV, V, or VII, and hope SOTA will scratch that itch, look elsewhere.

The gameplay here is nothing like the legacy titles. Instead of a handful of high-level quests that you have to investigate and resolve on your own in a sandbox world, SOTA leads you by the hand through a predictable series of escalating kill/fetch/talk quests. You might as well play any other grindtacular MMO. You'll speak with a hundred bland NPC quest-givers. You've done this before. It works exactly the same way. You shouldn't care.

I've been a dedicated player of Asheron's Call, World of Warcraft, City of Heroes, Rift, and Guild Wars 2 (among others). That's not to say I hold these games as ideal. It's to establish the fact that I'm familiar with the genre and can say with authority that SOTA has very little to offer that you can't find in any mainstream MMO. You can hate those games but still agree with me that the gameplay mechanics and the content of SOTA are basically interchangeable with any competitor.

Ultima V was the very first computer game I ever played, at 7 years old. It took me 20 years to beat without cheating. I played Ultima VII on-and-off when I was a teenager, though I think it also took me 5 or 6 years to complete. I grew up playing Ultima. I have a good sense of what is Ultima and what is not. I've also played a lot of other games. SOTA has almost nothing in common with those games.

I'd say the combat in SOTA is a straight-up clone of the Guild Wars model (or whatever game pioneered that style). It's a standard "manage your cooldowns" experience. You've been here before. Same with the NPCs, the interminable crafting, etc. SOTA wasn't designed as an artwork, it was designed as a treadmill for people who are nostalgic for the legacy games.

The "story" really doesn't enter into it. I'm sure Richard Garriot et al. have invested real effort in crafting an authentic Ultima plot. It doesn't matter: it's been diluted very thoroughly by the generic MMO million-minor-quest task tree. Imagine I invented a truly brilliant soup recipe, but then I watered it down to 30 parts-per-million. I'm basically serving a bowl of water with a single droplet of flavor. In SOTA, you're not going to experience the unique flavor you came here for.

For a fraction of the cost, they could have made another top-down isometric game, the experience of which wasn't entirely controlled by the need to create an elongated treadmill.

Hell, Realm of the Mad God is a better successor to the old Ultima games than SOTA. I'm going to go play it, for free.
Sir_Hemlock - 1163962
Shroud doesnt interest me either. Day 1 kickstarter backer. Ultima 4-7 fan. I look at Shroud and just think "these goons dont understand anything".
Earl Atogrim von Draken - 1163972
And yet you are still here ^^
tomprogers - 1163976
No, I'm not. I've quit the game. I left this post as a kind of public service, because I think I have good reason to assume that this forum includes like-minded Ultima fans.

I won't be playing any more SOTA. I've already uninstalled it. I put the cloth map back in the box, and the box is in the closet, which is where I assume it will stay until my survivors clean out my home.
Spungwa - 1163978
I have no experience of any Ultima game, so have no comment on the rest of your post.
I have not played guild wars, but the deck system and classless system in this game is like no other combat system i played in ANY MMO or RPG before.

Have you talked to the adventure trainer about advanced techniques and fully understood all the options you have with deck. I'm thinking the fact you talk about managing cool downs you have not.

I advise you do some googling for youtube videos on how the combat/deck system works in SOTA.

Mingo Ebonmark - 1163981
My personal opinion is that SotA is just badly presented and was slightly rushed to release. The skill system here offers so much freedom to be unique but you need to delve deeply into DECK building and deck alternating to be able to express yourself. The DECK system is not presented well and there is no effort in game or out to promote this system which is a big shame. The basic combat system that most players are exposed to in this game is indeed dull and run of the mill ordinary. The story and the lore honestly is vibrant but again is lacking presentation and polish and you need to dig deeply and patiently to find it.
Spungwa - 1163983
Also on the crafting side. It took me to write a spreadsheet with recursive code to understand the all the material options of what can be crafted for weapons and armour.

Which turned out to be over 6k combinations with all different stats. Working out what you need for specific build and deck is not your normal run of the mill MMO crafting system.

Consumables are the standard simple crafting system, gear is not.

tomprogers - 1163985
A layer of sophistication on top of the combat does not transform a thoroughly generic MMO into a worthy successor to an existing game whose gameplay patterns have nothing to do with the modern MMO treadmill.

Perhaps you haven't already had your fill of generic MMO RPGs. Good news for you: there are half a dozen quality products out there all competing to be the first to pop that cherry. If you want to bestow that honor on the most recent Ultima incarnation, good for you.

On the other hand, if you're well-versed in both Ultima and MMOs, and you want more of that unique Ultima flavor, then SOTA will disappoint you.
tomprogers - 1163988
The deck stuff doesn't impact the bulk of my assessment. Ultima was a lot more than just a combat system. Innovation that is entirely restricted to combat has zero impact on how worthy SOTA is as a successor.
tomprogers - 1163990
A dense crafting system does not turn a generic MMO into an Ultima game.

I hate crafting, and always have. I love Ultima, and always have. These are entirely unrelated. You love crafting? Great: SOTA has something for you, just like every MMO on the market today. You love Ultima? Sorry, SOTA has nothing to offer, just like every MMO on the market today.

My point is that SOTA is like every MMO on the market today.
Spungwa - 1163993
As i said, I'm not versed in Ultima, i CAN say i'm VERY versed in MMOs (especially sandbox, player economy ones as that's what i like, but played a few of the theme parks too), and as i said this combat system is like NOTHING I have played before in the last nearly 20 years that i'm unable to count on my hand and feet games I have played.

So to your point, no there is not half a dozen (or even one i have found) that offer me what SOTA does/

Spungwa - 1163998
And my point is, whether it is Ultima enough for you or not, is for you to decide personally. So that point is completely valid from your point of view/


I'm saying, with i'm guessing much more knowledge of the game than you, that the above comment is not true.
Mingo Ebonmark - 1164001
I agree with you that this does not indeed satisfy the Ultima criteria in it's current state. However I wholeheartedly disagree that this mmo is the same as the other mmo's currently on offer in the market. Mixing those two observations together is very confusing.
Tiki Pirate - 1164005
Yep, good OP.

I find the game unlike and Ultima games (I started at III) then played 2, 4-7. I also played UO very early and later.

To compare this to ESO is a disservice to ESO, at least they got some lore in there and there are endless amounts of quests. ESO also manages to have dynamic scenes where the NPC' s react/or the town/ scene appears differently after the player completes quests etc.

SOTA has a marvelous housing and deco system, but everything was made too expensive and exclusive for all but the few 1%ers IMO.

Essentially unchecked greed deraileded this project. Too few players held too many deeds/power. Most newcommers were turned off by this and the many other problems which combined to create a not so good experience. Who wants an AMC Gremlin when there are Hondas and Toyotas at 2/3 the cost?

It seems like the developers finally woke up to this and are striving to make the game more accessible to a wider audience and more polished. I hope they are successful.

The ultra -positive echo chamber does no good in the end. All itireally does is create more exclusiont. Honesty is a virtue.

Perhaps the forsaken virtues by both players and devs really were the root of all this games issues.

I stick around and read the forums, get in the game on occasion still.
majoria70 - 1164008
Of course if you have a picture in your mind this game will not match up to it. In the process of making this game bits and pieces of ideas and have formed this sandbox world as you see it now. By no means is it completed at this point. Imo the game will go through many shifts and changes to get it all together.

Looking for a specific things in a game I understand and it is not a bad thing and this game at this point in time or even anytime may not be that for you. I truly don't think this game is done and it is Sota it's own world and to me who came loving UO and from other MMOs it is my virtual world not to compare to others but a young game full of potential going forward well imo and Richard Garriott says they plan to make it happen. If I can ever show you around the Sota world one day in the future let me know. I will be here.

Leaving doesn't mean you can't come back. I'm not looking to keep jumping from game to game but interested in this world and what it beholds. We all have our own adventure and it's all good. Best regards.
Nevyn Waldail - 1164009
As an original UO player, I have been searching for the replacement and have played almost all the games above. From my experience I'd say if those were the games that satisfied you then you were in the wrong place to begin with. SOTA isn't about the quests, it wasn't what made UO. what does stand UO and SOTA apart is the freeform nature of it (skill system), you can do what it is you want to do. it is far from perfect, its empty for starters but the game should be built upon internally by the players not the developers, they provided the engine, we should provide the content. Isn't that what sandbox means?
evillego6 - 1164010
The dev team asked for people to stay here and voice their opinions. No backer deserves that over any other backer. If anyone is disatisfied, or satisfied, with the game, Richard implored them to come to the forums and contribute. Per their request, every one of us has been given that opportunity.
Sir_Hemlock - 1164018
He already knows this. He's just trolling.
Kara Brae - 1164020
Ultima 4 was my first Ultima game and I loved it so much I went and got Ultima I-III and played them from beginning to end too. Ultima 5 was my favorite until Ultima 7 came out. I loved those Shadowlords! I played the Ultimas I - VII all the way through without cheating. I had reams and reams of squared paper taped together on which I mapped out all the dungeons step by step and square by square. I remember how some of the dungeon areas could only be reached by blinking to them and I remember casting blink, then taking a step, casting blink again, taking another step, all the while tracking where I was on the paper. I loved it and it gave me a great sense of satisfaction to solve all the puzzles. A few years ago I finally threw away all my old notes and maps in a bout of spring cleaning.

Alas, I could never re-capture that Ultima feeling with any game. I purchased all the old Ultimas on so I could re-play them, but I only played Ultima IV for about an hour before giving up. It just wasn't fun any more. I don't have the patience any more to keep notes on everything I do and I have been spoiled by the ability to get instant help on the Internet. I tried to play Ultima VII again a few months ago, but only had an hour to play that day and never bothered to launch it again. I like Shroud of the Avatar, but the quests and the quest system have been disappointing. I still have hopes that better quests will follow, and I am currently playing the offline game and enjoying it.

I hope you find a game that will give you that old Ultima feeling!
majoria70 - 1164057
Not totally imo .Players can only do so much.

Some basics are still missing such as achievement and task systems but are planned to have. UI and more quality of life improvements which are planned and more tools for us will make a huge difference as well as the quest rework and teleporting anywhere with ability to bind as you wish with some cost of course. I believe things like this are coming along with popular systems such as treasure hunting.
Earl Atogrim von Draken - 1164146
Oh, that's all cool n'stuff. But it didn't quote you.
Earl Atogrim von Draken - 1164147
I see it as kind of PSA ^^
majoria70 - 1164184
Also perhaps Sota is not 'that' game that someone is hoping and wishing for but it does have it's bit of charm. I don't mean to harp on this but we do know things are not perfect but some things are really nice depending on your perspective and as mentioned. I waited so long for certain things and truly that was the very hardest part. It was crazy difficult or is that me lol. j/k.

So for example for those who have a bit of patience we will find the diamond in the rough eventually in this game. Here is some community fun to share. Click on the link and one advertisement from twitch will come but then the video is there. The only time I've been able to get 8 players to sync a song with me and I cannot tell you how much that moment meant to me. So I just have to share a Sota moment. The bear is not dancing in this video but he was in a another song we did. Also to mention we did this at @Minerva s house and thanks so much to her.
Sir_Hemlock - 1164194
Sounds good. Ella fitz...oh it just occurred to me, didnt Corey Fieldman, not,cover, star in a movie of the same name? "Dream A Little Dream"?

"has a horrible flashback to Fieldman Michael Jackson style dancing in gymnasium seats"

Forget the question im going to erase my mind
Earl Atogrim von Draken - 1164213
Really, you got me moderated?
I lol'd.
Btw since when are the reasons for the moderation missing? Is that new since Berek isn't part of the team anymore? @Cerus
Keldorn of the Vale - 1164235
People's posts are being deleted just for having and opinion. I have noticed this alot here, I'm out, you have lost another player and backer. Astoundingly unprofessional.
Blackghost - 1164278
Yeah..they do that a lot.. Damage control is on.
Stealth2 - 1164282
CrandalltheFoole - 1164284
bye bye
Daxxe Diggler - 1164316
@tomprogers - I never played any of the original Ultima's, so I also cannot comment on your view's as SOTA being the successor to Ultima.

However, I have also played all of those other games you listed (aside from Asheron's Call) as well as many others too (Everquest, EQ2, LOTRO, DDO, Pirates of the Burning Sea, Lineage, Lineage II, Eve Online, Archeage, Age of Conan... and probably at least a dozen others I can't remember right now). I disagree that SOTA doesn't offer anything that just about any of those others can offer.

For one thing, most if not all of the other MMO's force you to choose a "class" or combat style and your character is stuck with that choice forever. SOTA on the other hand allows you to choose any skill set you want to learn, and mix and match any combination of skills you desire to bring into combat with you. You can constantly grow and progress your character to learn something new or get better at what you already know.

So this game lets you experiment with any/everything and then hone in on what you like best without having to start over.

Also, the deck system is very different than most if not all others too. You can either put in locked glyphs to always have specific skills available (albeit with cooldowns) or you can have unlocked slots where your selected array of skills will constantly flow into the empty slot(s) randomly as you use them. You can choose to lock or unlock any slot you want and even control which skills populate individual unlocked slots.

You can combine unlocked glyphs to either "stack" skills to make them more powerful, or combine certain different skills to make an entirely new "Combo" skill. If you have the skill locked, you can also simply hold it down to "charge" it and stack it up too.

You have the option to auto attack or free attack. Auto attack will constantly swing/hit whenever you are not using an active skill or spell... but free attack will let you "charge up" your weapon swings to be even stronger than average auto attacks. Free attack needs more effort on your part, but can give you more dps overall if you master it.

The best part about the deck system is the fact that you can set up different hotbars for different playstyles (that automatically switch your gear when you equip them). So, you can be a tank with a heavy armor and defensive set of skills and a big two handed weapon, or you can switch over to a bow and light armor and a pet for ranged DPS, or you can switch over to a cloth armor set with magic damage spells to be a mage or another deck that is set to be a great healer in a party. Just learn the skills, train them up, then set up the deck with a hotkey and change to them whenever you want.

Combat in SOTA is far different than any other game I've ever played!

The next biggest difference for me is the housing system. A lot of those other games don't even have this. But SOTA has a system that is so customizable that none other can compare to it. If you have a lot you can either put on one of many different houses (or ships) available (some are even craftable) or you can leave the lot empty (unless it is a row low that requires a house) and simply decorate it with thousands of different items or even build your own structure through crafting things and stacking them up on top of each other. I've seen fabulous mazes, grand arenas, obstacle courses, gardens, or even a simple campground setting. The possibilities are really only limited by your imagination. So housing in SOTA gives you a unique way to express yourself and create the home of your dreams.

There are also "Inns" available where if you don't own a lot you can rent space from other players (or live for free from some very generous players) and we have the ability to lock doors to everyone but the tenant. This makes housing available to anyone and not just the rich folks.

Add to that our ability to also have a basement and/or a customized player made dungeon (new system currently being developed) on our own lots and land ownership becomes even more fantastic!

I've played other games with housing and although some are pretty cool, they don't compare at all to SOTA.

That's just a few big differences that set SOTA apart from other games and they will both keep me here for a very long time.
Black Tortoise - 1164319
I had a big, structured, thought-out rebuttal to most of what you were saying, then I read this:

...and thought lots more. I think youre on to something here. I can connect to this.

This is hyperbole, plain an simple ;)

I agree that SoTA hasnt yet lived up to general expectations for a spiritual successor to the Ultima games. I agree that it is in no way shape or form a UO-2 (which is where my heart was when I backed).

But I disagree that SoTA is like all the other MMOs you mentioned. The quest system needs a lot of attention, thats for sure. Like many areas of the game, there is a lot to iterate on. But thats just it - they aim to iterate continuously. Every month is new content. I was really excited for the recent development of the player crafted dungeons - I think thats such a wonderful direction for this game. I think it helps to view this game 3, 6, and 12 months ahead from now, always. The dev team is small but dedicated, and with enough time everything will be more robust and rich. Its not perfect, and its not in a state where its fully satisfying, but I love its direction and general style. Theyre doing a lot of big things, and I love it for how different of an experience it is.

I take breaks when I need to, sometimes for months. If you dont like the general style, thats another matter, and Id encourage you to take a very long break and check back in a year or so. If you like the style, but perhaps havent had the time to follow along with the development, and perhaps dont have a vision for things a few months from now, then Id say take a break for a release or two and check back in.

FWIW I'm an ultima fanatic, and I still have a beefy account on an active freeshard. Ive been thinking of selling all my homes on there and hibernating, because SoTA is scratching my utima itch well enough that I dont play UO anymore (other than to refresh my houses). I was very active playing UO up until about a year ago, when my SOTA habit finally eclipsed my UO habit. All I can say is SoTA is just gonna get cooler over time, its a slow and steady pace.
Black Tortoise - 1164321
Crafting was always an Ultima-thing. I loved working as a baker in Britain in Ultima 7. I also was a farmer too. Ocassionally I'd fund my citizen-roleplay habits by slaying some dragons or looting some pirates, but mostly I crafted things around the cities and sold them to the NPCs.

Also, the crafting system in UO was freaking cool. The way "item decay" worked in UO was brilliant, and crafting was so well integrated into the economy. Blacksmiths were some of the most popular folk on any shard, and no Tinker, Carpenter, Alchemist, or Tailor would be without customers.
Barugon - 1164361
Rather than be a jerk, you can just not say anything.
jschoice - 1164409
@tomprogers - I completely understand your frustration with a game that you backed not living up to what you expected.

I am also a kickstarter backer and a die hard Ultima fan. I started in UO and then went back and did the Ultima series. I have played just about every MMO since to some degree and I have dabbled in many single player RPGs. My perspective on SotA significantly differ from your view. I do have to preference my comments with the fact that I am closing in on 3500 hours played over two accounts with a total of 5 avatars. The story is actually pretty well done and has a lot of the Ultimalike qualities to it. The way the questing system is implemented does need a rework. As you remember the original ultima games required a lot of graphing out dungeons and writing our own notes to complete quests and solve the puzzles. That is a harder thing to sell today even with us old school gamers. Younger players are not use to those type of mechanics and us older gamers don't have the time to devote to that type of game play, but I think there is a happy medium out there that can be approved on in SotA.

I also wonder how much time you have spent playing the game because when you say the combat system is similar to Guild Wars that is not at all the case. In the original guild wars most of your skills came from your primary class and in GW2 myour any of your skills are tied into your class and weapon choice. In SotA you can use any skills from any tree. Deck building, locking cards, stacking cards, combing cards for combos, dynamic decks, static decks, or hybrid decks are all systems I have not seen in any other MMO. There is no forcing a player into a class or limiting skill choices in SotA. This allows for lots of individualized options for a player to customize their deck. In many MMO's, not only do they force you to make a class choice, there is generally a sub class that is often optimal for end game content negating the other specs as a real option. WoW which some consider the pinnacle of MMOs has specs that are never played and down right useless. All five of my toons are completely different from the next and all hold their own in PvE and PvP.

None of the games you mention have as detailed housing system as SotA which harkens back to UO. The attention to detail with every door being able to be opened and every light being able to be clicked on and off. As far as this only being available to the 1% elite backers is not true either. It will just take time to earn enough goal to purchase a deed and house in game which is the same for most MMO's. There is no pay to win features in the cash shop only cosmetic features and those can even purchased by spending in game gold on COTA's which can be used to by the items in game.

I have never enjoyed crafting in any MMO and I always made money collecting mats and selling them to crafter. SotA is my first real interest in crafting and I am having a fun time with it. There is definitely room for improvement in the system but the core process is the best I have experienced.

I am looking forward to each and every monthly release as I believe the Devs are on the right track. To the OP, I do hope you find what your looking for in a game.
ShurTugal - 1164448
First, the fact that your a kickstarter backer doesn't make your opinion more or less important so why you started off with that is lost on me.
What authority are you speaking from exactly??? the fact that you've played other games??? news flash for you, others like myself have played many other mmo's and don't agree with you in the slightest so no sir you don't "say with authority"
clearly you have NOT unlocked the advanced techniques because this is so not a "manage your cooldowns" experience. and with that I am done quoting your post. I could rip the rest of your post with all its inaccuracies and what not but by now I've lost interest. If you don't like the game that your opinion. Many many of us do and support port in all they do..
Black Tortoise - 1164510
Self importance may not be the OP's reason (and I doubt it was). I think there is value in claiming "kickstarter backer" status. That implies, in a few words, that the OP has been here since "the beginning", knew what the culture of this game was like before R1, witnessed the development / had access to dev discussions all through the data-wipe era and up to persistence (and the Great Land Rush and all that), and then experienced the iterative development from then until release, etc. That implies someone has a strong chance of understanding the fundamentals of Port's approach to development (without the notion of the iterative process, one could easily freak out at the bare-skeleton nature of many of this game's features).

I agree with most of the responses that it sounds like the OP hasnt explored the depth of the game, esp with things like the deck system and having deep skills in multiple crafting skills. But there is a lil' more cred to someone who was around in 2013/2014 vs someone who just bought the game a few releases ago.
Sir_Hemlock - 1164513
Its been around 30 years and i still havent finished U5. God i loved that game. BUT, many many years ago, i got up to the final dungeon - only to lose the save when someone stole my disks. I could never bring myself to endure the drudgery of levelling up again.
Beaumaris - 1164533
All good input, Tom.

When it comes to combat, my advice is to give SOTA more time. Get used to it a bit more. Then go back and try other games. Having played the games you mentioned, games, when I go back to some of them I actually find that SOTA combat animations and skills play much better. In my opinion, of course. Cheers!
SmokerKGB - 1164593
So let me get this straight because I'm confused, like everyone else who read your post: you give SotA the highest marks in this statement as being equal to these other games, and surely not better, but equal too... So, why are you "Kicking SotA to the curb" and hating on it?... You makes no sense dude...

Sorry you don't get it...
Blackghost - 1164728
Backers allowed you to play that game, without them, there is no game.. just sayin.
Nelzie - 1164741
I have played some Ultima games in the distant past.

This feels a little more like Ultima Online, with updated graphics and many of the conceits learned over the decades since UO was initially created.

It's a hybrid game. It's single player game and a MMO. It's going to have MMO Conceits throughout. The single player version though, has differences. They have altered the power of MOBs and tweaked some other elements that SHOULD make it feel closer to the single player games you are familiar with.

It's not going to be easy or maybe not even possible to chase that dragon of those old games. To much has changed in the world of CRPGs. Heck, even the Pillars of Eternity game, which is supposed to capture the feel of those old Baldur's Gate games has significant advances and differences and I'm not talking about the flavor text with regards to the races, etc., etc. The limitations of memory, graphics and input options are very different today than they were back then, it's expected to have more options, more speed, more things going on.
Cordelayne - 1164805
I love Ultima V as well Sir H. Definitely one of my favorites out of the series. Have you tried playing the updated fan remake that utilizes the Dungeon Siege game engine? It makes replaying the game so much more enjoyable and boy did they do a good job of staying true to the original.
SmokerKGB - 1164922
You guys are just "nit'pick'n"... It's just a game... Accept it or leave it, but don't just "hate" on it...
Sir_Hemlock - 1164950
Its a hybrid game. Its a single player. Its a multiplayer. Its a swiss army knife. It Cuts. It slices. It dices. It corkscrews. It saws. It mends clothes. It updates.


it'll drive your kids to soccer practice. It'll do your income taxes. It'll cook you a four course meal.

BUT WAIT... There's still more... Is there anything this game cant do?

Call now and i'll throw in this free set of steak knives...
Sir_Hemlock - 1164963
I played both UV False Prophet remakes on the dungeon siege engine.

They are good games.

False Prophet had unfinished dungeons a bug which would slow the game down as time went by, preventing me from reaching the end.
Chrystoph Reis - 1164978
I must be one of the few people that plays regularly that did not like Ultima... I was an EQ player, before that Sierra Online.

I played DAOC, AC, DDO, ESO and NWO, GW1and 2, Tera, and Wildstar. I beta-tested WOW and thought it was a dumbed down MMO, polished yes... dumbed down EXTREMELY.

I've also played and a few fly by nights MMOs (Riders of Icarus and some others come to mind)... AND with that being said... SOTA is not like all the other MMOs at all.
Vladamir Begemot - 1164987
You never know, once they get the quest journal running right give the NPC's enough of a brain to point out people who need help maybe make them come up to you sometimes, they may be able to take out the hand waving.

To the OP (tagging you doesn't seem to work) did you try the single player offline mode? I hear the companions there give more to the story experience, although I don't know how much.

And what I'm really hoping for for the Episode 2 addition Quest Overhaul is more legit NPC's. Sammael style, appearing multiple times, growing with or foiling the player as we go. I really want to give a damn about them.

Oh, and of course the Dialog UI....
ShurTugal - 1165008
I'm a backer but that doesn't give my opinion precedence over others. backers may be the reason the game got off the ground but its not going to be backers to give the game longevity. Its everyone else and that is why everyone's opinion carries equal weight.
Cordelayne - 1165046
Do you mean like Shadow of Yserbius or Fates of Twinion through The Sierra Network aka The ImagiNation Network? :)

Last_Crusader - 1165073
But they couldn't milk the players with a game like that.
What has turned me off to this game is the constant telethons, item shop, etc.
It feels less like a game of passion (like a lot of kickstarter projects seem to be) and more of "let's see how many more ways we can keep people buying more stuff" income stream for the developers.

I, like many, was expecting an singleplayer RPG - or at least one with some multiplayer elements .. not a full-blown MMO. That is where the disappointment lies for most.
I was expecting what I got outta other "old school" developers kickstarters - Brian Fargo's Wasteland 2 and Bard's Tale IV, Tim Schaefer's Broken Age. Classic-style gameplay with newer graphics and mechanics .. but single player games .. no fluff .. no mmo-grind.
Last_Crusader - 1165076
But they couldn't milk the players with a game like that.
What has turned me off to this game is the constant telethons, item shop, etc.
It feels less like a game of passion (like a lot of kickstarter projects seem to be) and more of "let's see how many more ways we can keep people buying more stuff" income stream for the developers.

I, like many, was expecting an singleplayer RPG - or at least one with some multiplayer elements .. not a full-blown MMO. That is where the disappointment lies for most.
I was expecting what I got outta other "old school" developers kickstarters - Brian Fargo's Wasteland 2 and Bard's Tale IV, Tim Schaefer's Broken Age. Classic-style gameplay with newer graphics and mechanics .. but single player games .. no fluff .. no mmo-grind.
sake888 - 1165094
Holy Crap! Wow! What an amazing effort to drive away anyone reading this who has just arrived on the scene to attempt to play this game. YOUR venomous comments are one of the reasons the player population is as abysmal as it is. Congrats!
Justice Owen - 1165106
Riders of Icarus, originally Horizons. He made that in his basement. I couldn't believe people were still paying $14.99 in the late 2000s for an old game, especially with all the free to play titles available. Then I realized there was a market for retro MMORPGs.

Anyways, glad to see this thread did not completely derail and had some lively debate with good points being raised.

I wish I could share the same optimism as some concerning the combat in regards to the 'advanced' techniques or deck system. I still only understand around 80% of it. I do not see the value of it over a single standard hotbar with locked abilities.
The deck dealing is far too slow and I lose lots of damage waiting or abilities to appear.

And funny enough I did not even notice the global cooldown until some time later after, which in this game does not seem to bother me.

I am not sure what to make of it all, though I can say the combat(the player's mechanics) is the least of the things I criticize about the product.
Astirian - 1165123
I'm having fun with it, definitely does not feel like a cookie cutter MMO. Feels to me like a modern UO with an overworld. I can be an author or a bard in it, a grandmaster tailor (with grandmastery bonuses coming in 2019!), soon I'll be a dungeon master. Treasure hunting should be a lot of fun and a reason to see the sights. The community is mostly lovely.

LFG could use a dungeon list maybe, performance and loading are always being worked on. I feel like the game is a lot more accessible now and the NUE should help newbs.

I'm waiting for some sort of dialogue UI revamp before I play the game offline a la Ultima 7. They've done some stuff like adding the companions (equipable come Ep. II?), adjusted NPC economy, changed spawn rules and difficulty, save games for Single-Player Offline. Maybe it needs a bit more polish? I hear the save state resets the scene you're in (not good).

I'm certainly getting those Ultima feels though, even in multi-player. My plan is to 'live' in MP and dive into the story segments solo.
Justice Owen - 1165133
Nah, far as am I concerned there doesn't need to be any LFG module at all. Let people search the world with commands for players. The results should show approximated adventure level, and their three (debatable) highest skill lines.
This gives you some idea of what is available out there, and then you would whisper them to extend an invitation.

On the flipside, as the recipient of those messages, you can generally tell the success rate and the experience you will have, simply by the content and quality of the first few you receive.
First impressions mean a lot, particularly in an environment where it's smaller and people can't slip away into a crowd of thousands of anonymous inhabitants.
Kain Darkmoor - 1165151
I've also never really touched an Ultima game outside of UO.

I'd have to agree that SotA isn't like any other MMO out there, really at all. So that's an odd complaint to make about this game. If anything the complaints should be the other way around, that it's not *enough* like other MMOs.
Chrystoph Reis - 1165218
YAS! that and the offline games, Kings Quest, Police Quest etc. I could not remember the name of the network. You just made me smile this morning! :D
Cordelayne - 1165226
TSN/INN was so much fun. It is amazing to think that back in 1994 such an online "world" existed via dial-up modems. Granted it was ridiculously expensive and my parents were always yelling at me for driving up the bill, but it was awesome.

King's Quest was my favorite series. Admittedly, I never played past KQVI because I felt its epicness just could never be topped. Plus, the cartoonish graphics of KQVII just looked silly to me even though I am told it is a great game.

Back in those days my two favorite gaming companies were Sierra On-Line and of course Origin Systems. Times of Lore is a vastly underappreciated RPG from that era that I loved outside of the Ultimas. It was Chris Robert's foray into the genre and he killed it! :D
Justice Owen - 1165269
That is a bit of a stretch. Maybe you mean in terms of it's sum parts however from a mechanics and concept break down :

  • Combat - Global Cooldown foundation, overlayed heavily with a system mixed from parts of popular and some lesser known titles. Most notably would be Elder Scrolls Online (then insert every other MMORPG ever..)
  • NPCs - Leashing, hasted return to spawn point, generic respawn timer[unchanged by an external influence or factors], rudimentary proximity based aggression system, single factor threat determination[ most damage output=highest enmity], typical archtypes of melee = tank or rogue, ranged = caster or damage dealer[even going as far as saying the aforementioned do less damage but survive longer compared to their more penetrable yet higher damage dealing counterparts]
  • World travel - Overworld is not new, even in MMORPGs and instanced zones are not either
  • Grouping - Definitely nothing new or abstract here
  • Communication systems and economy - Standard text chat, Looking for group module, Bazaar/player trading - all standard stuff, even if the way it's done

Though yes agreed it is not enough like some of it's predecessors or competitors. There's some amazing features and aspects in other titles old and current, that would make Shroud even better than it is.
Zapatos80 - 1165445
For me, one thing that makes SotA really different from other MMOs is that it feels like an actual world in which things happen, not a generic hand-held experience, engineered from A to Z, like WoW. The devs also respect our intelligence. The insane degree of customization, both in character and in skills, beautifully balanced by the deck/soft-cap system (not perfect balance, of course, but no MMO ever is). The crafting system is rich and deep, player interactions are important, the world feels alive with player housing and decorations. If you're into RP'ing and/or socializing, then SotA definitely offers depth you will find nowhere else on the market, not even close. That's why I love SotA and why I find it different than everything else. Now, is it Ultima, online or off? Obviously not. However, having played both UO and the old series, you can definitely feel the dev philosophy shine through. In the end, it offers many things other MMOs don't and can be more of a niche game. Is it the game for you? Well, you'll know after playing it for a while :)
Xee - 1165465
You are comparing Ultima single player series to an MMO of course it is not going to be the same at all. The game is an MMO with single play ability, not a Single player game with multiplayer. this is an issue with what people misread in the initial Kickstart . Its a Sandbox in that it offers pretty much everything to do (adventure, make anything crafting, complete housing system, fishing, PVP etc) yes there are many games that offer some of this but not all in as much detail. The mmo story is rather good if you take the time to do it as well all the side quests which give more background on what is going on with each faction.
Astirian - 1165657
Oh dear.
Xee - 1165801
sorry if I sounded like a jerk there, just over 2 years of seeing complaints from others that this is not ultima V ... gets my forked tongue caught in a vice lol. We had a view of what we though this would be and I agree with you that if you were expecting UV then you didnt get what you wanted. On the other side though SOTA does have alot more to offer and I do think in time it will become an amazing game. I think in my view the only real weakness it has is the quest system in its current form is too buggy but we all know they are remaking that whole system in the near future which I hope they allow us to reset one more time after they have it all redone so we can enjoy things all over again :)
Astirian - 1165817
Yeah, I can agree with you there, it has loads of promise for sure. As an exercise, I just logged into classic UO (via UO Forever) and classic WoW (via Vanilla WoW) and they feel super dated compared to SotA, rose tinted glasses are a wonderful thing. The brain does adapt though and funnily enough, after a while, you forget that sensation. I enjoyed LotRO for a while and gave Guild Wars 2 a shot a few times. Dunno what it is about GW2 but I felt like I had to complete maps the whole time and I was under some sort of box ticking pressure or something. Lovely game in terms of presentation and everything, like, really well presented. Looks like WoW 2 but yeah... I dunno, it just doesn't have the freedom and sense of place SotA has. I played ESO because I enjoy the Tamriel setting but it hasn't stuck either.

I'm definitely expecting SotA to pull up its socks SP wise though. They bit off a mighty piece of cake and I'm confident they can achieve this vaunted MMO/SP hybrid. SP needs a few licks of paint though by the looks of things.
Jimmy Cliff - 1166123
when does the spiritual successor to Below the Root come out?
Black Tortoise - 1167406
it may come as a shock to most of the world, but developers do need to earn income for their work

but i understand these feelings. im sure it sucks to have seen it go so far from resembling any kind of true single player rpg in the ultima vein.
Black Tortoise - 1167414
do you use decks?

you know between fully dynamic decks, tactically aligning your deck slots with specific glyphs, and some of the focus skills, you can spam some of your favorite skills over and over again, right?

i think the cooldowns on the glyphs help encourage people to explore the deck system more deeply.
EMPstrike - 1167430
The lore is one of my favorite things about shroud. Given you have to read books and talk to the various townsfolk and stuff in game to get a good hand on it. Not everyone likes to dig up lore on thier own these days.

The ammount of puzzles and mysteries to solve in game leave me craving more of that kinda stuff to stumble upon, which wasnt a thing in rift, terra, WoW, eve, etc. UO was the only other game i played i can recall stumbling on these sorts of puzzles.

Player run establishments also on a scale ive only ever seen in UO.

Can literally go anywhere in the game and try to do anything (just made a new character that ran through tier 4 zones at level 5 just for the challenge, was totally doable)

OP has played dozens of other games with all this stuff in it simultaneously, makes me feel kinda bad that i didnt find any of those other games with this stuff goin on. Shroud deffinately needs more dynamic content tho.
redfish - 1167440
It was supposed to be both as much as possible, not one or the other; that's one reason LB was pitching the term "Selective Mulitplayer", because he felt calling it either an MMO or a SP game would be mislabeling it. On the single player side, he was particularly concerned that the single player fans would be turned off by it being labeled an MMO and he didn't want them to be turned off, because he believed the game would be fun when played single-player and would be comparable to the single-player Ultimas.

Also, in a sense, a single player game with multiplayer is what UO was intended to be initially. Lord British described that the idea for UO was created when he was sitting around and talking about U7 and how much fun it would be to bring friends into your party in U7 and play the game together. He described this as "Multima", or Multiplayer Ultima, and during Kickstarter he talked about how UO fell short in a lot of ways, and how he still wanted to create a better "Multima" game, and Shroud would be it.

So, anyway, there have always been partisans among the backers who have tried to pull the game in exclusionary directions. Some SP fans wanted to minimize the MP aspects, some MP fans wanted to minimize the SP aspects. Some PvPers wanted to minimize the PvE aspects, some PvEers wanted to minimize the PvP aspects. Some solo players wanted to minimize the social aspects, some social players wanted to minimize the solo aspects. Etc. This was all unfortunate imo, caused a lot of division on the forums, and unfortunately imo the devs in response just have been overly conservative in making decisions, not wanting to stir the pot, or create controversy, especially as they were running behind schedule with limited money, and that has definitely influenced the game's development over time and brought it closer to theme park MMOs out there IMO.
EMPstrike - 1167456
backer feedback is a huge reason the game is like it is today
Justice Owen - 1167547
I am a little confused as to whether Tomprogers is saying Shourd is not like UO in that there's not enough content, or the content is not high quality.
At the moment I actually find there to be enough content, however the mechanics (as I have criticized prior) need a lot of work. And it is due to that, that much of the content is either over quick or was frustrating to do; which is unfortunate as now and again there's fleeting moments of joy and brilliance, oft replaced by something negative.

Imagine, through his already murder red tinted lens about MMORPGs, that he agrees with the above, as well as sees it as big on fluff (player housing, dye colors, cosmetics etc), a generic crafting system, exceptionally limited group activity and no real risk or challenge ; combined with a combat system that -let's be truthful, isn't exactly revolutionary.

It's not unreasonable to conclude that all he sees is in his jaded view of MMORPGs(entirely the fault of bad game after bad game in the industry) is yet another product with backwards priorities.

Of course he's going to come out of the blocks with mostly negative things to say and a disdain for it's direction. Which further makes it difficult for him to appreciate it's good qualities.

The only comfort and advisement I could suggest would be accept that Shroud is not UO and that whatever was said to promote the game as such, should never have been taken as gospel. We as veteran consumers should know that by now. Elder Scrolls Online has to be the award winning example of this.
People wanted TES with net code so they could get beers and seven friends and go romp all over Skyrim. What they got was a game with influence by TES and not actually TES online. It is a shallow generic MMORPGthat was riding the IP and coattails of the franchise.

I wouldn't fault Richard or the team for using Ultima as stepping stone, just like I will never fault Brad McQuaid for using EverQuest and Vanguard as a platform for Pantheon. It's business; and it's the consumers responsibility to either support it - whether that means by complying, or by boycotting and suggesting alternatives.
It doesn't mean though however that Tomprogers is wrong, rather it indicates that sadly his vision for the project didn't align with others' whom came before him.

I tell you what though, if the login servers go down again (it's Sunday), he'll probably quit.
Sir_Hemlock - 1167592
Nevyn Waldail - 1167681
Anyone for Terris? I think that was my first mmo.
redfish - 1167716
I think that's maybe dressing it up a bit.

Don't get me wrong, I think the devs have definitely incorporated a lot of player feedback over the years, but if they were really just going by what the majority of backers liked, I think we would have a totally different game today. So for instance, after Kickstarter, there were a lot more single-player fans involved in the community and that has dropped off a bit since for a bunch of different reasons, as the devs have also marketed it as an MMO and drawn in traditional MMO players; which is why they now feel confident pushing it further into traditional MMO territory.

What I was describing more as influence the game direction was forum politics, which is a whole other beast entirely.
curtwjen - 1171628
I too am a long time Ultima player and fan - by far my favorite series. I started with III, was hooked and caught up by playing I and II. From there I played IV through IX. I even attended a private preview of IX by Richard during CES - 1998 or something (?). I remember speaking with him during pretty much every CES in the 90's.

Anyway, I'm probably guilty of reading the kickstarter for SOTA with rose colored glasses hoping that the "full" and "rich" single player experience would be an Ultima. But like many here I've been disappointed. I've started and stopped playing a bunch of times wanting so much to get hooked.

I've tried to identify in simple terms what the issue is for me and it comes down to this case, lack there of. Or another way to look at it, the ratio of important / quest giving NPC's to the rest of the world coupled with the physical terrain.

All too often I come to a new town in SOTA hoping for something new and it can take minutes to just to get to the heart of the town to discover that there are no "important" NPC's to be found. When I did get a quest it's off to the over world map to another location to talk to one NPC to continue the quest and then onto yet another town from there. The one place I had a good time was the SolTown catacombs when there was a quest given in the catacombs and solved in the catacombs.

This issue has weighed on my mind so much recently that I put all the other game I'm playing to the same test. I just finished Elex from PB (loved the Gothic series) and it's obvious that there's a lot going on when it comes to "what's important per square foot". Same for "Seven: The Long Days Gone", Witcher, even Assassins Creed. The quest systems keeps you engaged - again, "what's important per square foot".

Maybe this will get better as time rolls on as the Dev team disembarks from the old Ultima line of "you can bake you're own bread" - that by itself would have never made the lineage of Ultima what it is.
Jaesun - 1171633
Go play Ultima IV again, and note the size of the landmass and the amount of quest NPC’s.

If anything, this is very close to a reimagined Ultima IV....
majoria70 - 1171640
Hello there. Well I understand most have come here with expectations wanting certain things. What did happen over the course of development since 2013 was that a small team could not fully give attention to the making of an online game and an offline game. It is just too much for a small team. I played and loved Ultima online is why I came here with 2 other players. Just now more of uo type of features are getting added in.

Instead what we have is this game is not Ultima or Ultima online but shroud of the avatar. To get a full experience of what that will be imo now is not the time. Neither are completed. Much work is still being done for UI, quality of life improvements, and so much more. If you are expecting UO or Ultima imo that is not going to happen. Plus also imo offline and online aren't done and still in active development. So always an option is to check back later to see what happens since much more is happening with the quest system being re-done and so much more. For me as an online player I am excited for the future of the game and the upcoming planned improvements and features.

If you ever do decide to come online I would be happy to show you around. For me this is my virtual world that I call home. Going from game to game was not for me. We have much to offer and see and do already. Such as we do have a wonderful music system and can sync songs with other players or just play alone and many other things I could talk about.

I am Majoria in the game if I can ever be of assistance please don't hesitate to contact me. Happy journeys to you fellow traveler.