Shroud of the Avatar: Plans For After Episode 1

I’m a bit over a month late in drawing attention to this, and clearly it has been discussed at considerable length on the Shroud of the Avatar forums. Be that as it may; Starr Long posted a comprehensive summary of Portalarium’s plans for continued development on Shroud of the Avatar after the release — whenever that happens — of the game’s first episode, Forsaken Virtues.

Greetings Avatars,

The beauty of being an online game is that we can continue to expand the game well beyond the confines of the launch of our first episode. That means we get to dream big! Here is a first draft of everything we would like to add to the game post launch of Episode 1. Some of these will get included in regular monthly updates (yes we plan to do those forever) while some will be part of future episodes. These are presented in no particular order and some are better explained than others.

This was formerly known as the “2 Year Plan” (as made famous by my tongue in cheek vocal rendition in the last telethon) but as we continued to add features to it we quickly realized that there was more to this than might fit in just 2 years so we have renamed it to simply “Post Episode 1 Plan”. This also of course includes the plans for further episodes.

Please note that none of these are committed features and none of these have final designs of any kind. This is just a very early draft that is the result of some quick brainstorms and ideas we accumulated when we are not crazy busy trying to finish Episode 1.

Now, the list of planned changes and new features is quite lengthy, so I won’t bother including it all here; click on through to the Shroud forums if you want all the details.

That said, there are a few things worth drawing your attention to:

  • Episodes 2 – 5:
    • New Land Masses with new adventure areas and new towns per episode
    • New 40+ hour storyline per episode
    • New opportunities to settle Player Owned Towns and Player Owned Lots in the new land masses
  • Navigable Ships: Boats that can move around in water of multiple sizes. This includes boats previously marked as either decorations (ex. Longboat) or homes (ex Pirate Galleon)
    • Ship to Ship Combat: Be able to shoot cannons and catapults and other ranged weapons between ships
    • Sea Monsters: Creatures that can be fought at sea either while swimming, from shore, or while on ships.
    • Ocean Scenes: fully oceanic scenes including random encounters while taking boats between destinations.

It would, admittedly, be nice to have the ability to actually sail different kinds of boats and ships around the gorgeous overland map of Novia. It’s a pity we’ll have to wait a while to see this feature come to the game…but it’s nice that the boat homes are included in Portalarium’s plans for it.

  • Companion Mobile App: A companion app that allows direct interaction with a selection of game features including the following:
    • Vendor Controls
    • Crafting
    • Chat
    • Maps
    • Mail
    • Player to Player Trade
    • Rent & Taxes
    • Town/Lot Management

Okay, this one will be fairly “take it or leave it” for a lot of you, I’m sure. Personally, I’d find it kind of handy, especially if I could handle any crafting I wanted to do from my phone rather than using the in-game UI.

  • New Creatures: We plan to steadily add new creatures including more that can be tamed. The below list is just a sample of ideas. We also plan to continue improving AI and visuals of existing creatures. Troll should be considered the minimum baseline for a normal AI.
    • Wild Boar
    • Drakes: small tameable dragons
    • Hydra: Lots of heads, lots of attacks, avoid the business end and be sure not to make more heads for it!
    • Doppelganger: Looks like and gains many attributes of players in scene
    • Wendigo: Every point of damage it does makes it more stronger as it consumes your life
    • Yeti: Snow troll. Think troll with ice magic that uses stealth
    • Landvaettir: Powerful spirits that guard powerful resource nodes.
    • Emela-ntouka: Massive rhino like creature, paralyzing growl, and incredibly dangerous straight line attack so don’t stand in the open!
    • Door Mimic: Sticky handle = long root
    • More Clockwork Creatures: Can be looted for clockwork parts
    • Smoke Panther: Lives in darkness, stealth, bleeding attacks, and cancels friendly buffs.
    • Multiple new bosses: Not named here for secrecy reasons
  • Combat:
    • Rework animation state machine to allow for smoother animation transitions
    • Weapon type vs armor type: Impact/Cutting/Piercing vs Cloth/Leather/Chain/Plate breakdown
    • Combos with Heat system
    • Stacking equivalent with Heat system (R45)
    • Expand combo system to include at least 5 combos for each school and combos of combos
    • More refinement on the current resistance system
    • Ammunition types
    • More Ranged Weapons: Flamethrower, Tesla Gun, Gas Gun, Blunderbuss, Net Gun, etc
  • UI Overhaul
    • Everything detachable and movable on screen
    • Chat as separate windows from game window

A lot of this sounds promising, assuming it is able to be brought to fruition. Which will, of course, depend (I suspect) on how well Shroud of the Avatar performs once it goes into its official release. How well will the game sell?