Month: July 2015

Starr Long Confirms Player Owned Town Delays Shroud of the Avatar

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delaySimple illustration on effects of delays to a project.

Let me just say one thing, because I don’t think enough people know this. I want Shroud of the Avatar to succeed.  You read that correctly, I do. What I really wanted from Shroud of the Avatar was an awesome single player game from the days of old. That ship has sailed however and we will not get that. The MMO driver was too great, too attractive for Portalarium to ignore as a business. Do I still want something good to play from them? Yes.

More delays though. This release has included a new batch of 133 Player Owned Towns. That is correct, one hundred and thirty-three. 100+33. That is a large number of Player Towns, and certainly a lot of work went into them, right? According to a lot of the people on the Shroud of the Avatar forums, no!

“Again, it’s complete speculation on your part that PoT design and development has been at the expense of the majority of players.”

duchess pls giv me ur drugs gurl

“My point remains – PoT implementation is NOT the*main* *single* or *major* culprit when it comes to a delay of game release. End. Of. Story.”

duchess pls giv me ur drugs gurl

Duchess Wyldemane, Multiple Player Town Owner.

duchess pls giv me ur drugs gurl

Duchess there seems pretty certain about all this, I wonder if she is defending Player Towns because she owns a couple of them? Her first quotable was a bit different, where she said that PoT implementation is not the culprit at all when it comes to game release. “End. Of. Story.” Clearly she saw the error of her ways and edited the post..

Forget about the community members defending their investments, what do the actual Developers and Project Managers of Shroud of the Avatar have to say about the matter though? We have a pretty good indication now thanks to this recent write up byRed Thomas, CEO of Texas company RedKnight marketing. Red here is no stranger to Shroud of the Avatar:

“During my recent trip to Austin, Starr Long and I had a chance to have one of those bigger picture conversations about the state of Shroud of the Avatar.”

lulz pots are fucked – end of story duchess wyldfart!

“Up to this point, developers have been working with town owners to customize each instance, and that’s taking up a lot more time than anyone really expected or desired.”

lulz pots are fucked – end of story duchess wyldfart!

– Red Thomas, CEO RedKnight marketing

lulz pots are fucked – end of story duchess wyldfart!

Right, Starr has disclosed what most of the critical thinking minds already knew and wished everyone would just accept and understand: Player Towns are sucking down Development resources. Not only have they been working with the owners to customize their instances, we have to assume around 100 of them now, in conjunction with that they created and deployed the Player Town tools on top of that work. This came out of Starr’s mouth, in person no misunderstanding to an interviewer(maybe?) who visited him on premise.  The SotA Forum-norm may now accept it, acknowledge it, and live it.

One final thought here, and I’m not sure this ever clicked with me before I suppose because I could give a flying frack about housing. It appears that the reason we have this small and ill-conceived dual scale map system with the Overland map was simply to cater for house lot investment by high level backers.

“Probably the biggest lesson learned from Ultima Online was that people want to have their own housing. The second biggest lesson was that players would rapidly turn intended wilderness into trans-Britannia suburbia in rapid order…”

lulz pots are fucked – end of story duchess wyldfart!

“They solved the issue by creating instanced communities, with some of them being NPC controlled and central to game plots.”

lulz pots are fucked – end of story duchess wyldfart!

– Red Thomas, CEO RedKnight marketing

lulz pots are fucked – end of story duchess wyldfart!

Damn. Our gorgeous monoscale map was killed by housing. /sadface



Player Owned Towns Delay Shroud of the Avatar Release

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We are now nearing 16:00 on Summer’s clock. Just a few more hours now on the clock until Fall hits us. Where is my Shroud of the Avatar Alpha client? Richard Garriott said that Shroud of the Avatar Alpha would be here “by summer.” What does that even mean though, it is pretty vague, is it here for Summer or some time before Summer expires?

Either way this game is long overdue so why is it taking so long? What is the problem? Some people in the SotA community are fond of telling us how Portalarium are under staffed, or behind, or whatever based on the fact that Shroud of the Avatar hasn’t raised enough money from the community. Well. Star Citizen raised an ungodly amount of money, and they are well behind release also. Why? Scope Creep.

Scope creep (also called requirement creep, function creep and feature creep) in project management refers to uncontrolled changes or continuous growth in a project’s scope. This can occur when the scope of a project is not properly defined, documented, or controlled. It is generally considered harmful.

That is fairly easy to understand isn’t it. Come on Membrane, you just hate us and Shroud and everything we like about it. No, I am not, and I will easily show you one simple example of what is creeping up Shroud of the Avatar’s project skirt.

Click THIS IMAGE of the Shroud of the Avatar Kickstarter Stretch Goals. Linked directly from Kickstarter and unmodified by myself in any way. Now, please point to Player Owned Towns on the list. Take your time, I’ll wait…

Ok, I’m back, where are Player Owned Towns on the Kickstarter Stretch Goal list? You can’t find it? Well that is ok I couldn’t either and now you have your answer. Portalarium are spending at least some of their development time on something I, as an original Kickstart supporter, did not invest in. This is very simple folks, it doesn’t even matter how much time has been spent on the POTs because the answer should have been zero and it is not. It doesn’t even matter why the devs decided to do it, they should never have allowed PoTs to come into existence, they are not a KickStart promise or Stretch Goal.

Player Towns have unforeseen circumstances on the game and they are unforeseen because what do we even know about them? Nothing for certainty except how much they actually cost. Just how Portalarium likes it, you buy and take all the risk. To top that off Devs are actually spending time to help certain members customize their POTs! There are many issues with PoTs, this is but the iceberg.

Go on my little flowers, tell me one more time that POTs haven’t detracted from having this game’s delivery timeline accurate. I’ll smack you in yer purdy mouf if you do because you’d deserve it.  This is but one example and I am sure you can take that KS Stretch Goal image and compare it to what is currently being worked on, talked about on the Forum, and find a few others.

La revedere bros!

Et Tu? Community?

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nemo-jawsArtist’s rendition of Nemo Herringwary deep in thought before posting on the Shroud of the Avatar Forum.

Most of us have been there.  *foghorn*  Most of us have experienced it.  *foghorn* But this one will take, your, breath, away. Ok, dramma much? It isn’t really anything to be unexpected from the SotA forum or community to be honest. Moral of the story as always is that if you have a difference of opinion which does not fit into the current forum-norm you might as well just go outside and play hide and go fuck yourself.

Nemo posted the following topic in the SotA forum:

It is not so much the content of Nemo’s post which is the topic of the conversation here, but the subsequent community bashing he received is. Nemo wanted to express his thoughts on something that came out in Update #133, express he did, shat on he was. Here are just a few gems from the thread, you can go read the rest for yourself.

“Then don’t. I’ll not bother commenting on the rest of your post.”

– Bowen Bloodgood, Slasher of Axes

smarten up before sota crashes and burns fuckers

“Nemo, if you want to leave, do so. Without looking for excuses.”

– Katrina Beckers, Portalarium Schil

smarten up before sota crashes and burns fuckers

“Furthermore, Portalarium’s business model is hard to justify as either unless you give more sophisticated reasons as to why.”

– Vyrin, Word User

smarten up before sota crashes and burns fuckers

“…no need to bring us all down too.”

-Barnabas Root, Who?

smarten up before sota crashes and burns fuckers

“Instead of complaining all the time about the game, we all should make abig thx to the devs and tell them what we realy like.”

Edward Newgate, Clearly New

smarten up before sota crashes and burns fuckers

“…can we just present your ideas and then discuss those without all this other unfair and highly toxic stuff clogging it up? “

– Vyrin, Word User

smarten up before sota crashes and burns fuckers

Alight that is enough of that shit. I haven’t checked my cache of deleted posts yet either so those aren’t to be included at this point in time. You get the picture though. Two things to take away from this.

1) Vyrin is smarter than that. He is using his thesaurus to bullshit around what Nemo was saying and in the same stride troll him into being more specific about the problems about funding and such. Vyrin knows if Nemo does this, Nemo will be banned immediately because you can’t talk about Portalariums business model in any specific way or with any scrutiny. They aren’t shy about telling people they won’t be questioned and people will be banned for discussing it. Hopefully Nemo doesn’t take the… bait.

2) Starr has won a short term and major victory preventing non-backers from posting in the forum. I can tell you there are a lot more people out there who agree with what Nemo was getting at, but they just simply do not have the balls to post about it or to support him in it. Funnily enough, one of the people who seems to have the balls to back him up in that thread is actually a chic. What’s that say about the majority of the male SotA fans?

A dark page has turned in the Shroud of the Avatar forum. Without any voices who oppose the forum-norm(100 percent Starr’s goal) the place is just going to be a forum where people have spent money and go to stroke each other’s egos telling one another that the money they blew into this game was a smart investment.

It is almost there. What are we going to do to prevent this? How do we keep Portalarium on the straight and narrow if nobody is ever allowed to question their motives? Clearly Portalarium is needlessly adding complexity to these issues, it isn’t easy to understand especially if you aren’t in there every day, and it isn’t transparent to the crowd.

We have to exist. You have to exist. If you can’t talk it over on the Shroud of the Avatar forums, then come over to the Shroud Unlimited forum and talk with us there. Nemo did after he was shit on, and this is what he had to say:

smarten up before sota crashes and burns fuckers

“It’s weird to find out that the lunatic outlaw forums full of people who want to chop you up and eat you in game, are more sympathetic than those with whom you might have spent decades sharing a love with, just because you now wonder if that love is still justified.”

smarten up before sota crashes and burns fuckers

-nemolives, Shroud Unlimited Forum

Don’t give up.

Shroud of the Avatar Community Solidifies Their Den Of Terror

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A hand tool with one side of its head forged and sharpened to a cutting edge, used for felling trees, splitting timber, etc See also hatchet.

We all know that an axe can cut deep because it is primarily a cutting and slicing tool. Well, if you are a new guy and you think you are entittled to an opinion over on the Shroud of the Avatar Forum… The sycophants there cut and slice deeper than any axe my friends.

We were all new once. We all made our first post on every single forum we started on, not one of us started with a reputation or history on any forum. However, that doesn’t matter to the fat fucks who already have axed out their place of infamy on the Shroud of the Avatar forum, apparently if you’re new, you’re just a maggot not worthy of their time.

Since he’s only got 9 posts I figured what the hell.. maybe there’s some clue as to what’s in his head..

– Bowen Bloodgood

Yup Blowen there makes a great point with his post. That point is that Blowen is a fucking idiot, good job. Then, is anyone totally and utterly over the entire form sikophant carebear army coming up with this as a reply to every single concern every person ever has?

“the criticism seems a little nonconstructive for a game in pre-alpha state. If you’re leaving, I urge you to check it out again during release and at least give it a shot in it’s polished state.”

– Soulicide

Get a clue SotA forum. Learn how to make a point and not to pass the buck over onto the Devs for it being in Alpha. What are you going to do when it is in Beta and it still isn’t a game? When Episode 1 is released and it still doesn’t have all the nice features like Stealing & Poisoning? What are you going to do when the Devs tell you that they need more Kickstarter juice for Episodes 2, 3, 4, and 5 after some of you have already paid for them, and they undercut your rares and rewards from the first Kickstarter?

Are you all going to fucking wait until Episode 5 comes out, at this rate 2026, and then judge it as a whole? FFS you are ruining the game you nubs, you don’t just sit there and let a piece of shit smell on your carpet and think to yourself “oh its alright, it will decay in time, it is just pre-alpha shit?” No, you get a fucking towel and clean the shit up. So to everyone out there, when you see something wrong, FUCKING SAY IT.  Don’t let the Den of Terror chase you away.

Adios Muchachos.

Shroud of the Avatar Devs Troll Us – Award Incompetent Unprofessional Moderators

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Who’s the More Troll, the Troll, or the Troll Who Follows Him?

Just finished, reviewing – I don’t know if that is the right word, the Shroud of the Avatar R19 post mortem dev chat video. Aside from Chris calling the Forum just a bunch of “angry posters…” Which by the way it isn’t any longer – Portalarium have been able to remove 9 out of 10 contrary opinions from their forum at this point by charging for access and banning players. We had a special segment just for us.

SotA Forum Moderators have gotten a Royal Warrant! LULZ, to do what, fail more?? Yes in what I can only assume is a troll aimed at us from total boredom, RG has issued a Warrant award to the moderators. Apparently they are all professional cool headed even handed and none of them have knee jerk reactions…. BHAHAHAHAHAHA. Good work guys.

RG can’t even claim ignorance to this, thanks to the letter which I have written him about Junior Moderator Mystic’s failures as community member let along a motherfuckin moderator. So yeah, they be trollin.

Portalarium Ban Abuse Continues… On STEAM

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Steam. Fucking Steam. I don’t own it, but others do. Portalarium have had a rather sorted affair with Steam already with the Devs asking in the Shroud of the Avatar Forum for backers to post positive reviews to the culling of both negative reviews and forum posts on Steam. Surprise? No. Working? Yes.

Just have a quick look, when I last checked the game overall read as: Mostly Positive out of 509 reviews. 74% are positive.

But when you get right into it, check the All Time reviews for helpfulness. 8 out of 10 of them are negative. Check the most recents(when I did it was this) and you end up with 7 out of 10 negative. The trending is there, and they will need to stay on top of this by a few simple criteria:

1. Did someone say something bad about SotA?


2. Is user a backer, owns Shroud of the Avatar?

No: BAN or Lie about it and then BAN.

Yes: Establish one or more negative comments in either Steam or SotA community, issue a troll label and then BAN.

Easy as that kids, two steps.

Today Kuno, a friend of the blog and poster on the Shroud Unlimited Forums, shed some light on some activity which was observed recently in the Steam community. Portalarium are up to their little tricksies as always. I suppose this counts as my first guest poster! Here it is:

From Kuno:

“We might ban one person a week, if that…” ~Chris Spears


In a Steam discussion thread titled “hearing alot of mixed reviews“, an individual asked if he should buy the game in light of the mixed reviews, and several posters warned the OP not to buy SotA.

One of these posters was Strykerx88, who unsurprisingly, posted many negative things about SotA being a chance for adults to play dress up and that it was little more than a virtual LARP-fest (he also posted a review about it with 17/20 helpfulness rating).

However, his posts were quickly removed and he was apparently banned, but fortunately, some snippets of quotes from him remained in posts made by “Smackaholic” (I assume that’s Smack from the SotA forums). This snippet of quoted text led another individual named DEAGLE EVERY ROUND to post the following:


I see people responding to comments that don’t exist. Are these devs banning people who say negative things about their game too? A lot of this going on lately on Steam.

Hilariously, and with no sense of shame, Chris wrote the following in response:


@deagle, I banned someone who had not purchased the game, came to the forum and made about a dozen completely unconstructive posts. We might ban one person a week, if that and I always verify that they haven’t purchased the game. Sorry, but you have to add something to the conversation and that guy didn’t. He was just dropping poop everywhere and attacking other posters and then moving on to the next forum to troll.

It’s too bad for the LYING LIAR Chris that taking a simple gander at Strykerx88’s Steam profile shows that he DOES, in fact, own the game:


So much for the LIE that he verified if Strykerx88 purchased the game or not.

Also, all the talk about verifying if he owned the game or not implies that they don’t ban people who own the game, but then what about this:


^(This image is from my own ban, not Strykerx88’s, but I wanted to include it as proof that they DO in fact ban people who own the game, not just those who post negative things and don’t own it, as Chris implied)


What’s even more amazing to me, considering the experience of so many of us here, is the claim that they “might ban one person a week.” LOLOLOLOOLOLOLOLLLLLLLLLLLLL. Holy shiet.

And how about the hubris in statements like “Sorry, but you have to add something to the conversation and that guy didn’t.”

So, Strykerx88 posts a review that garners 17/20 “helpfulness” rating, yet now his posts are deleted and he’s presumably banned because Chris decided Strykerx88 is not adding something to the conversation and then Chris LIES about him not owning the game.

Let’s call a spade a spade… he wasn’t adding something to the conversation that Chris LIKED, so he banned him.

In conclusion, FUCK YOU, Chris.

Alright, back to delivering mah rainbows all around tha werld….