player owned towns

Player Town Discussion Trolled To A Halt

Posted on Updated on


Today, a topic has been locked. The topic was created by Shroud of the Avatar pledger Spoon on the Shroud of the Avatar Forum.

Original SotA Forum Topic:

Backup of the Topic before posts were deleted:

Now I don’t usually write a page on threads that get deleted, but due to the recent topics here on this blog and in my forum, Player Towns are at the top of the list. Not only that, but this is also another black mark against Shroud of the Avatar’s moderators and Portalarium for letting the topic get so out of hand that it needed to be locked down in the first place.

Where to start… Firstly I will present to you a map of exactly what this trolling looks like in the thread(click the image for full size):POT Troll Map

I will break down that map for you a little. The source is obvious and no surprise. People in red have been marked as having over the top comments against others, mostly Caliya. Blue = dudes. Purple = dudettes. Connecting lines show various levels of support in which these trolls showed one another in this specific thread. The bigger the line, the more support between the connected trolls.

Aside from the initial Troll, Baron Drocis Fondorlatos, one name stands out; Koldar. Not only did Koldar, and all the other moderators, not engage with users to keep them in line in this thread… Koldar deemed it necessary to make a snide trolling comment of his own as he locked up the thread:

“This thread seems to have taken a turn for the worse. I can’t say I’m surprised. :/”


– Koldar

Do you know why Koldar wasn’t surprised? Because he and the other mods read through this topic as it played out, and did absolutely nothing positive to it in order to keep discussion civil. They have used this tactic in the past and it allows them to lock up topics and delete posts which don’t adhere to Portalarium’s wishes, that is, posts with critical thought in them about how Portalarium are doing things.

Moving on. Here is the event which kicked off Baron Drocis Fondorlatos’s initial troll and created the basis for this thread to be killed, in a quote to another forum user he insinuated that the person was either ignorant or foolish and recomended a book to read in form of a snide trolling comment:

“I have a book recommendation for you. Marketing and Sales 101, by people that understand marketing and sales.


I love that we have a forum where people can voice their opinions. But I dislike it when people state opinions as fact. (i.e. everything quoted above) The idea that somehow not having limited housing or POTs is some kind of “magic formula” that would ensure the success of this game is either ignorant or foolish, in MY opinion.”


– Baron Drocis Fondorlatos

So that was a top notch reply, violating several forum rules at once. If I was to have posted this as InsaneMembrane they could have justifiably used it to ban me on the spot for breaking more than three forum rules. But they didn’t ban, or even seemingly warn/moderate Baron Drocis Fondorlatos. Why? Not only did they not moderate that comment, they didn’t moderate the following comments either:

“@Spoon ……. really isn’t worth the time responding.”

– Envy


‘People disagree with you because you are argumentative, self contradicting and quite often wrong and not because you are the martyred champion of the people. Also that load of tripe really wasn’t worth clicking “show ignored content”. “

– Thermo Lock


“I often disagree with you, and it is not because it is you saying it. It is because I often believe you are wrong.”

– Womby


“^ lol”

– Thermo Lock


“Sorry but you’ve twisted the logic wrong.”

– cartodude


“this is all water under the bridge and non constructive as its already implemented.”

– Ravicus Domdred


“there is no list, she is just fear mongering. Message me if you want more information.”

– Ravicus Domdred


Oh please…lol. What I don’t like is personal opinions based on speculation masquerading as fact.

– Duchess Wyldemane


“Yeah I already pointed that out pages ago, but to no avail. 😀 Which is why I think that beating a dead horse is pointless.”

– Duchess Wyldemane

Wow. That is a lot of trolling done. Wait, that isn’t all. In addition to all of the comments above, including a few of his own there, further comments made by Ravicus Domdred are far beyond obvious trolling and border the toxicity levels of myself. Ravicus you see, seems to be a big fan of popping out lines of text into threads asking basically “why hasn’t this thread been locked yet?” I was banned a couple of times, for quoting the rules to someone… So the conclusion is that the Shroud of the Avatar Moderators don’t enforce the rules, unless you quote someone breaking the rules and then they punish you for that? What bizzaro world are we in over there on that forum?

Ravicus Domdred not once… not twice…but three times in that same thread did the above:

pot-lock-3 pot-lock-2 pot-lock-1

So there you have it. The Shroud of the Avatar “Forum Norm” and Portalarium wins again, by trolling. A thread with very few critical thinking individuals have been trolled, belittled, and has resulted in exactly what most of them wanted; to lock and delete elements of the thread which do not agree with their views and investments in Shroud of the Avatar.

Really takes me back to how I got started doing this, thanks for the memories Mods.




oh yeah


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!

Lot Selection Process – On Your Mark, Get Set, FAIL!

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You are a Royal Founder Kickstart backer of Shroud of the Avatar. You are fucking proud, you are elite, you’re an Avatar, you helped bring Richard Garriott’s name back into… well at least the fringe of the RPG world. You love Ultima, you breathe it, eat it, bloody shit out little Ankhs, and you can’t wait to get into SotA Day 1. One of your biggest buying points into the game was a very limited number of houses being offered, you’ll have your own unique home to show off, it will be one of a kind, it will be grand it will be as special as you are for helping make this game possible by allowing the Kickstart goal to be met. To you, Portalarium has a message for you: Thanks for the cash suckers, now why don’t you go outside and play hide and go fuck yourselves!
I’m not really even kidding. We have to take a little trip up Bullshit Mountain again boys and girls, hope you’ve got your high heals ready. I’m going to keep this simple though and intentionally not going into the middle of this pile to die all at once. That being the case, we’re going to leave the Royal Founder Parting of the Account Sea miracle out of the picture. We will only talk about the process itself and taking a look at the inner money tiers, we’ll call them “Backer sub-worth” slots.
Click HERE(or image for full size) to get a simple idea of how this is all going to play out in terms of power structure:
The above graphic simply lays out what we know so far, and really, it ain’t much! We need to discuss the “Backer sub-worth” values though. Portalarium firstly classifies you in the main Backer Tier which was from the Shroud of the Avatar Kickstart. This is what you would expect and how you should really be assigned a value to SotA, from your direct contribution before the Kickstart was completed. But that isn’t all.
Next up comes the beautiful mess of what they call “Eras” – I suppose the term is technically accurate as they have tried to classify people into Kickstarts(Royal Founders) and then the fucking mess of the “Founder” and “Benefactor” Era classifications. Best left for another post.
Lastly we then have the formula applied to each and every one of our accounts, the “Backer sub-worth” formula. Lets take a closer look at this in my Citizen pledge:
I am a Citizen Royal Founder backer, that means I pledged $500 before the Kickstart ended, at least. You can see that attached to the Citizen Royal Founder tree are three further tiers, the “Backer sub-worth”, somewhere in there is where I would be. But we don’t really know where, according to Starr long those further sub-worth tiers they label us with are To Be Determined.

“There will be 3 groups, exact dollar amount will be determined closer to launch.”

– DarkStarr


Well that is just fucking great, and seems like it is very well planned out. Just to show you how well it is planned out, someone asked Starr if after the Backer sub-worth tiers are specified, could we then still put money against our accounts to jump up the tiers to jump in front of people. His response:



This is not new information my peoples. The reason we are covering this today is that we are very near to the 1 year anniversary of this information, and what more do we know? Fuck all. I’m really digging this Crowd-funding Ecosystem they’ve got here, how about you all?
In any case, not only are they assigning a value tag to your account on top of your KS Tier and their Era tier, they are going to create a mad bloody rush of donations as soon as they announce these further Backer sub-worth tiers. I can just see it now, 1 week or 2 prior to release date:

“We’ve announced Lot Process! Here it is! Hurry and donate now to make sure you get the best spot!”



For fucks sake, it has taken some time for anyone to come to the table on this stuff at all. Prince Guni has at least got the ball moving on some of this and had it raised for discussion. Naturally that discussion was locked up and we again were pretty much told, don’t call us we’ll call you.
It really burns my balls that someone can go into the add-on store right now, buy a useless fucking pet, and then get priority over me for their lot selection. They are making this as convoluted as they possibly can, and we’ve barely just scratched the surface on lot selections. All I have left to say on the matter is that this does not surprise me one bit, though frequently I ask myself a question. Do Portalarium feel shame?
Again, if you bought a house, I am sorry, feel free to cry.

Shroud of the Avatar Has Money Problems – May Get Even Worse!

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There is a fifth dimension beyond that which is known to man. It is a dimension as vast as space and as timeless as infinity. It is the middle ground between light and shadow, between science and superstition, and it lies between the pit of man’s fears, and the summit of his knowledge. This is the dimension of imagination. It is an area which we call … The Shroud Zone.
Yeah, you might recognize the text above, and you would be right to think at times that The Shroud Zone and The Twilight Zone are the same thing at times. Only one problem, The Twilight Zone was a fictional TV show, and The Shroud Zone is reality.
You may remember an article I wrote some time ago now about how Portalarium was Depreciating Player Owned Towns. Basically they sold you one thing and couldn’t deliver on it through constant reminders about being short on time & money. On top of that, it looks like they tried to prop up an old Ultima Online has-been and most probably high $$$ backer to the game Winfield. Kind of looks like that failed, as it should have because you all shouldn’t have had to deal with a go-between community member to get what you were promised; a Dev session to design your POT.
Something is coming in the air of night. Hold on. There are rumours on the Shroud Unlimited forum of a foul darkness gaining power… A shade so great it could swallow the world. It kind of sounds like a high, nay an extreamly high $$$$$$$$$ backer, of Shroud of the Avatar has managed to donate enough money in order to actually get that Dev session we were ALL promised.
What is the big fucking deal you twat? I can hear you yelling that at your screens right now. Well, the big fucking deal is where in seven fucks are the resources for that sort of thing going to come from? OUR game ya bloody nubs! So picture me this Batman. SotA is already in deep money shit, they can’t afford to produce this game and that is pretty obvious from everything they’ve done up until now. Scan my blog I don’t need to lead all you Unicorns to water. One word: Companions.
So they can’t produce the game with the money they’ve got? Great! Here is my idea of a Portalarium Scrum:
Dallas: “Guys we need money for Ultimate Coll- er Shroud of the Avatar.”
Starr: “Think outside the box guys… How about we SELL POT sessions with players? For CASH!
Dallas: “I love it!”
Devs: “Wait, who is going to do all that work?”
Starr: “Looks like you just put your hands up Devs!”
Close enough? I think maybe. What you are going to see in the next little while, the writing is on the wall it seems: You are going to see people for some reason throw obscene amounts of money at being able to customise their player owned towns. After they do that, Starr will have to take resources away from the core game in order to satisfy these SotA Real Estate Tycoons. My guess would be that not a lot, if any, profit will be made on the transaction because this is simply going to break even with the biggest SotA backers. Keep them happy because they’ve dumped a wad of cash in by making their towns for even more cash.
So in short, it looks like Portalarium will have no choice but to remove Dev resources from the core game to do this work in customising the %1’s player owned towns. Making an already small set of features probably even smaller with Shroud of the Avatar. If this is done before the game hits the virtual shelves, it could even delay it further!
Meanwhile back with the rest of the game’s population, I’ve spoken with many POT owners over the months and from day one they have been waiting and have been dreaming about their POTs and customisations within. Lots of ideas, lots of promise, lots of hope, and what happens to all of those players now? Crushed. That is what. There is a link inside the Shroud Unlimited forum post linked above over to the Shroud of the Avatar forum where a player is now selling the majority of their account assets, including their player owned town.
I can’t even decide who is winning here, except people that have cash to burn? One thing I am sure of, if you bought a Player Owned Town in Shroud of the Avatar: I’m sorry.

Portalarium Continues Depreciating Player Owned Towns & Housing

Posted on Updated on

Abandoned_House_Stock_7_by_ekoh_stockthe future of housing in Shroud of the Avatar
Here we fucking go again kids. I swear the management of the community and communication between us and the Devs is enough to cause me PTSD. Things are suppose to be getting better, instead, Portalarium appears to have decided to not honour their dedications on Player Owned Towns and outsource their work to an Ultima Online relic, Winfield. Somehow, Winfield has managed to really put cock to ass when it comes to the Portalarium team. I bet if we look under that rock, we’ll find a Lord of the Manner pledge or something equally as predictable.
Just take a look at all of their propaganda on the Player Owned Towns taken directly from their website today. Took a screen in case they decide to try to change the text again.
housing-contactclick to enlarge
This image is that of a Player Owned Holdfast, the lowest level entry into the Player Owned Town market and will set you back just a cool $750. What you get for that, is a design session with the “Dev Team” in order to iron certain things out, like the layout of your housing, NPC buildings and locations, the story of the town and so on. A note in the fine print at the bottom, basically, don’t call us we will call you!
Well they didn’t call us, and they have wrongfully decided to start this communication off by having their unqualified high pledge favourite Winfield post this in the SotA forum:
Some of what is in there:

“I (Winfield) talked with @RichardGarriott and Starr Long ( @Darkstarr ) at PAX SOUTH in San Antonio about some ideas—I own a metropolis to be used for the PaxLair—The design team will need to make scene templates to make the process efficient for them and for us. We can help now to prepare for that design process.


“This thread is NOT a complete discussion about everything to do with Player Owned Town designs and desires. There are other threads for other parts of that discussion. This thread should be a pretty objective look at what is already designed.”

– Winfield

winfield is not qualified to do anything for sota it is fucking clear
So Winfield unzips his royal super pants and flops his big wang out there about himself and manages to stop spinning it about long enough to get out the fact that he is now taking requests to help the Devs build the Templates? If I understand? He also frames future discussions which is the scary part of this thread, “There are other threads” – that is just awesome. Keep it as confusing as you can guys, multiple threads in a sea of Shroud of the Avatar forum bullshit where nobody can ever find it.
It appears that the ground work is being laid indeed in a few other threads I wasn’t even aware of until just now when he linked them into this piece of shit. Seems like Winfield, of course who else, is running something called “all player towns gathering” – no doubt something which has gone unnoticed to many, and I’ll bet later on I’m going to see the line from some twat out there “oh you missed the random news in the random post by the random Dev? well Douchefield has been running the player town gathering which you should already know of, you must go to that.” Fuck you I do, where is my mother fucking promised “design session” with the Devs?
Also I just checked the time of the last all player towns gathering meet up… Bloody fucking Friday afternoon at 3pm. Really? Does nobody else have a job, how is that for planning! One might thing that you would just check to see, plan a head a bit, coordinate with the actual POT owners. Naw, its Winfield, OBEY. Several people do miss these events due to the inadequate planning, bad time, and lack of notification. How does Winfield make up for this? With a recorded Podcast or Google Hangout? Naw wtf man, you think Winfield needs to worry about that shit? He is so high up the food chain he no have to do shiiiiit. Just pop out a lazy screen shot is all he did. Fucking hard at work this bloke! No wonder the Scholars of Novia had such a false start the first time.
This is what happens when you hand responsibility out to beggars and bullshitters. You all out there with Player Owned Towns had better start E-Mailing Portalarium now before it is too late, they will do to you what they have already done in so many other instances before. Go get your lube and something to bite down on. As for me, all I can do is keep calling this insane lack of dedication and commitment on Portalarium’s part to the entire Shroud of the Avatar community. That is right Ports, not letting this go.
Love ya.