Shroud of the Avatar is Very Badly Optimized

SotA

This breaks my heart to say: This game is a shell of anything Ultima. And it was built to be the games successor. Clunky Controls, disappointing story line, Cash Hungry… I’m more angry that I dropped so much money to be honest. Limited housing plots, as well, which is frustrating. Because you basically have to pay to own one.

Ultima, one of the first MMORPG’s was brilliant. And it still holds today. Shroud? It’s like they took those ideas, stripped them down, and sprinkled just a dash into the mix. It leaves you feeling unfulfilled, bored and let down. Gariott was Lord British for hell’s sake. He literally played UO with us. It’s heart breaking that his Legacy is a dumpster fire.

A very disappointing game from Richard Garriott himself.

The animation and combat is scuffed, would prefer tab targeting rather than this free-aim targeting which is rather confusing.

The game offers a lot, and to get to it you’d have to invest plenty of time to reach your goal, although this might appeal to others. Even then, the appeal of the art direction in this game doesn’t drive the players to keep on going.

Although the ‘bad’ might outweigh the ‘good’, there is something (maybe it’s the music), that keeps drawing you back to this game. It definitely feels like a game for people who have grown up playing RPGs and are looking for a more chillax experience. That’s why overall I recommend trying the game, warts and all.

The Good:

The community is very friendly and welcoming of new players. Without the community the game would be dead. People are happy to answer newbie questions in /u (Universe), and often offer help.

The idea is sound. The skills concepts are good – fun even, if a bit clunky. The stories can be quite indepth and engrossing, but you will need help and guides to get through many of them.

Who doesn’t want player housing? It seems to be the “in” thing with any online rpg these days. You’ll have a wide variety of choice to pick from and can furnish your house however you see fit.

The Bad:

The game is so un-optimized that it is going to play on the lowest settings and not be overly pretty unless you have a very good computer. Given the age of the game you would expect today’s mid-tier computers to play it on higher settings, but that is not the case. Forget playing this game on non-solid state drives. SSD is a minimum, NVMe is recommended. If you do have a top of the range computer then you’ll enjoy a lag-free glitch-free game.

Night time serves absolutely no purpose except to annoy and time-gate as far as I can tell. Night-time is so overly dark that every player from level one gets a spell to illuminate the area around them. The developers obviously felt early on this was an issue being reported but instead of addressing it properly they chose to add the spell. One could speculate this is because they felt that the darkness added to the atmosphere of the game, but it doesn’t. Most shop NPCs decide to go to bed at night time – even if in mid-conversation or buying / selling, which both infuriates and serves absolutely no purpose other than time-gating your progress. If there was a need for players to sleep to regain vitality or whatever, then it would make sense for NPCs to do so as well, but since we have the magical power to be awake in the game 24/7 with no penalty, so should NPCs.

The Quest Log system is done to look more like a tabletop RPG, harking back to the roots of the genre. The problem is that it harms the quality of life of the player and makes it tiresome to keep track of quests. The UI for this system, as with many others, drastically needs improving – but it probably won’t be.