Shroud of the Avatar Rumors

Thursday, March 14, 2013 | 15

When Richard Garriott Says, "jump"...

We in the veteran MMORPG community ask how high he is. The genius behind the legendary Ultima series, as well as the father of MMORPGs recently announced that his company Portalarium would be releasing his "Ultimate RPG". It's called Shroud of the Avatar: Forsaken Virtues, and it will most likely be amazing. I hit the rumor mill to see what I could find out about this much anticipated title!

The Rumors

  • For the first time in a RPG, your character can eat grass if he wants to... but he won't want to... ever.
  • Most objects in SotA can be fully interacted with, but will instantly kill you if you try the wrong thing.
  • Your character will have a beard.
  • Morgan Freeman will play the voice of your enchanted coffee mug companion and narrator.
  • Lord British will make multiple appearances in the game, taking credit for quests you complete. His Charisma score is always 10 points higher than yours.
  • Chuckles crosses over from the Ultima series to sell you a broken down Ford Bronco. It can be smelted into 100 ingots that can be crafted into anything you want... if what you want is a typical longsword.
  • All voiced dialogue will focus on how going into space is ultimate measure of a man.
  • The Avatar in the game isn't you, but instead a fully functional surrogate Navi from the movie Avatar. His shroud is quite revealing because it was made for human-sized people.
  • You will be allowed to purchase one duck, but he is a real asshole.
  • The majority of the game will take place underground... on the Moon.
  • Borrowing from current successful titles, the game will be released without quests, enemies, customization, multiplayer, shrouds, avatars, music, and graphics. These things can be purchased as needed via DLC. ONLY PAY FOR WHAT YOU WANT!!!
  • All characters will be based on people on the development team. Most quests will involve insulin retrieval.
  • Staying true to naming conventions, each subsequent Portalarium game will include at least one colon to give the impression that they're all part of a series.
  • The story is a loose adaptation of the novel "Push", by Sapphire.

But it will still probably be great.

In the game industry, there are trend-setters and copycats. I suspect that Lord British will once again prove that he holds a membership in the former, despite how lackluster preliminary videos and screenshots are. I guess we'll see. If you're interested in supporting the game, it's being published for a paltry sum of 1,000,000 USD on Kickstarter.

Check it out.

If you're unfamiliar with the Ultima series, check out Spoony's Ultima Retrospective. This guy cracks me up like 70% of the time.


  1. If there is no horse peeing, I'm out.

  2. solid satirical commentary - funny!

  3. @winninoid - Your horse will be able to pee if it drinks water, but there is no actual water in the game.

    @ryan - Satire? Me?

  4. @Mig - no, Win :D

    I'm excited by the prospect of a Morgan Freeman coffee mug.

  5. I don't know about eating the grass... *cough cough*

    As for the Duck? AFLAK!

    Can't wait though. I already dropped a c-note I didn't have his way. I have faith although I am cynical enough to question it.

  6. I'm pretty sure it will be better than it looks, but old people developing video-games hardly ever works out well.

  7. Eh I am surprised you like Lord British so much. Did you ever try that piece of shit game Tabula Rasa? After that, I'm not going anywhere near other games that have his name on them without a lot of evidence that it's not another money-grubbing shithole of a game.

  8. Good point, but it's well documented that NCSoft ruined TR

  9. Looks really interesting, actually! The rumors cracked me up badly. :-D Might even be worthwhile playing such a game. o-o
    ^ Check out my opinion.

  10. The forums for development have been hijacked by carebear trammies and people who want as little PvP as possible. It will be single character only already, its really disheartening to see how the same type of people who ruined UO are already on course to making this game their Second Life with dragons in happy Barney land.

    I recommend anyone who wants to steer this more towards the mature UO days of PvP and risk/reward, go to the forums and throw your 2 cents in.

  11. Happy Barney Land!? That sounds like an amazing place...

  12. I'd like to believe it will be amazing. As an old UO die hard, I would love to. But, some of the things they're planning tell me otherwise. It's F2P, that's strike one. Strike one because you know everything will hinge on how much real life capital you have to dump all in one hole. Strike two is the prices they currently list (and, yes, it's alpha, I get it) for things deeds. With prices of $50 and upwards, I just hold little hope for SoTA. I'm sure there will be in game ways to get these things, but I guess I just don't really understand the draw to F2P for this. B2P would be better, but I'd pay a sub-fee (and that's saying something because I'm not willing to pay a sub-fee for any other MMO) for something Garriott made.

    There hasn't been a strike three, yet. But, I'm waiting for the other shoe to drop. There's always "the other shoe" in MMOs, now. It sort of seems like Garriott is trying to get in on the cash grab MMO craze and I really hope I'm wrong.

  13. RG deserves the benefit of the doubt because at his worst he is a pioneer in gaming. If you look at games like SotA and Star Citizen where they clearly needed more money than they raised with their campaigns, the two things these games have in common is the best intentions.

    I always feel bad for the (fat) nerds who spend their paychecks on these games, but maybe they'll all be laughing at us from their sweet castles..?


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