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Shroud of the Avatar: Forsaken Virtues

Platform(s): PC
Genre: Online Multiplayer
Developer: Portalarium

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'Shroud of the Avatar: Forsaken Virtues' Explains Selective-Multiplayer System

by Rainier on March 18, 2013 @ 4:47 p.m. PDT

Shroud of the Avatar: Forsaken Virtues is the first installment of a new fantasy MMORPG by Ultima designer Richard Garriott.

Using state-of-the-art tools and technology, the game will focus on what made his seminal Ultima series great. Players will be introduced to the game, but then discover their own story. There is an overarching story woven into the player experience, and players may choose to follow the life of the adventurer or, if they prefer, focus on exploration and discovery. Players may even choose the life of a homesteader, either safely within the settled lands or on the dangerous but potentially lucrative frontier. The world is full of opportunities and challenges!

From familiar psychological profiling used to create your character to organically derived game response to player behavior, fundamental virtues and consequence of actions play a huge role in Shroud of the Avatar. Players will be free to choose their path, but must then live with the consequences of their actions.

The game is being funded on Kickstarter where backers have a chance to fund the project via multiple levels of giving, which are all documented on the Kickstarter page. One of the most anticipated pledge levels will include access to in-game player houses. Available in multiple sizes and styles, the houses provide players a chance to own their own virtual property in the game. Players can outfit their homes how they want, gather there with friends and potentially run their own business from their properties.

Shroud of the Avatar will be a PC product available via digital download with episodic content available later for a charge. The game is being built to be enjoyed as a solo experience but it will also contain a persistent world where you can meet and share your experiences with friends both old and new.

Shroud of the Avatar has an innovative Selective-Multi-player system, which allows players to select the play experience they want; from a completely offline solo player mode, through a solo player online mode where you can view and contribute to the persistent world, multi-player online modes where you can select whom you explore the game with. We think this lets people play the game in a way that can feel very much like a traditional MMO, or solo player as they desire.

Here are the ways we anticipate the game can be played:

Single player offline:
This is the DRM free, completely off-line version of the game.  Your character is stored on your computer and can not be used in any of the online modes.  

Single Player Online (SPO)
In the SPO mode you connect to the server, receive content updates, and can see the long term changes others are having on the world.  However, you are not visible on anyone else’s screen, nor for grouping, and you don’t see anyone else in the world.  You can switch from SPO to FPO or OPO modes whenever you like while in a city or overland map.  Some parts of the main storyline quests may temporarily force the player into SPO mode for some parts of the quest.

Friends Play Online (FPO)
In friends play online, you only see people you have flagged as friends in the game and only they can see you.  Like single player, this is just a server side filter.  For those who prefer the quieter game with friends or maybe for those who prefer a more focused role playing experience, this lets you enjoy a more limited online experience. You can switch to SPO or OPO modes whenever you like while in a city or in the overland map.

Open Play Online (OPO)
In OPO players will see everyone that the server thinks they should see.  This will not necessarily be all people in the area but should be people you care the most about based on what we believe is their relevance to you.

For the most part, OPO will feel like an MMO.  Lots of social interaction options with friends and other players.  Shroud of the Avatar is trying to distinguish itself from traditional MMOs only in that, unlike a normal MMO players are frequently connected directly to each other instead of all data flowing through our servers. Portalarium believes this will provide numerous advantages to both players and our service, but does differ from a traditional MMO in that the upper limit of players simultaneously on one map may be restricted.


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