It’s been an all Shroud of the Avatar weekend and I put in quite a bit of time in New Britannia. It took quite some time to get the game updated, but that was to be expected I guess. I’m sure I wasn’t the only one trying to download and update to the latest version.

But enough of that, how did it go?

Well, there was a lot to take in for this new game. There are several new areas and quite a bit to explore. Now that everything is said and done I have quite a few thoughts on the new game.

First, it really does look good. There is a lot of detail in the buildings and objects. The markets look good, the homes are fun to look at an explore – even if they are empty, the conversation is fun to play with – even though answers don’t always match up with what you type and the merchants are a nice added feature – even though it’s a pain in the ass to find them sometimes. Moving from town to town was kind of interesting. It was almost like a board game as you exit the town and move to a board where you click the direction you want to go and a token follows the path of your selection. That actually seems kind of cool and I wonder if it will make it into the final version.

Overall, it was fun to see and things are coming along nicely. I can’t wait to see what else they have in store for us. While I admit it was fun to look around, there wasn’t exactly that much to see.

I found navigating to be a little difficult. I really don’t like the tilting camera idea and the constant need to hold W to get anywhere. I find it pretty tedious after just a few minutes. I’m used to navigating in the old Diablo style where you click an area and your character goes there. You click again and he keeps walking. When you get to a door you click it and it opens. Running everywhere and then tilting the camera all over the place is sort of maddening. It’s actually one of the main reasons I didn’t like and ultimately didn’t play Dungeon Siege. It was a chore to navigate and I don’t like that. I guess I’ll have to get used to it for SotA since that is the way it’s designed.

Another issue like I mentioned, there simply wasn’t anything to do. It really was just wandering around in circles for hours on end. I occasionally saw people jump in the game, but they would disappear just as quickly. There was actually a pretty fun moment when Lord British and FireLotus showed up in the game on Saturday night, but the conversation went kind of off the rails and I lost or got kicked out of the conversation. I never did hook back up with them again.

At one point I made it into some tunnels and saw the combat engine in action. I was neither impressed or amused. To be honest, it sucked. I’m not sure how it’s supposed to work or even if it’s hooked up yet, but every time I came across something I would end up face down in the dirt. I found some skeletons and we then went through the motions of swinging at each other. The whole process felt very slow and awkward. Since I couldn’t find any weapons I just went around trying to punch things in the head. It didn’t work out so well for me in the long run.

I did manage to find some merchants late Saturday night and went back to seek revenge against those damn skeletons, but it didn’t seem to make a different.Equipping a weapon was pretty clumsy and the end result was the same, I was dead on the floor. It was pretty frustrating and I ultimately abandoned my high hopes of completing a quest and kicking the boney ass of some monster.

I didn’t really do anything with crafting simply because I didn’t know how. I didn’t take the time to read any of the recipes so I didn’t know what materials I would need or where to get them. Perhaps I will concentrate on that the next time around.

I did walk around a few houses and had a look at the one I will eventually get. There is a lot of excitement about housing, but it’s not something I’m all that interested in. Maybe that will change once the game is up and running, but for right now decorating a house (even though I will have plenty of items available) isn’t tickling my fancy just yet.

Another thing that had me puzzled was how to dress my character. When I did see other players some of them had tunics and helmets and weapons and boots and all sorts of fancy garb. I was dressed in the default peasant clothes and couldn’t figure out how to upgrade my wardrobe. My pledge level should give me a tunic and lots of other stuff, but where it is the devil only knows. I suppose I’ll have to look into that a little deeper the next go round.

I’m still looking forward to the game, but I guess I didn’t get in there at the right moments. I was sort of on my own without anything to do. I should have spent more time talking to characters like the old days. But oh well, there is always next time. I’ll have to do a better job of getting prepared and maybe check out the forums and some other sites before I jump in the game so I have a better idea of what to do. Maybe I’m too used to the “hand holding” that Lord British has been talking about and that’s why I got a little frustrated.

The game is looking pretty sharp with more and more content added all the time. The future looks bright, I just have to get my Adventurer Mojo working! 🙂

So how did you like the Release 4? What are your thoughts on what it looks like and how it plays? And if you have any tips on what I did wrong and how to get some armor or weapons, by all means, throw me a line!

By the way, here are a few screenshots of a couple neat things I saw while adventuring around.

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I managed to wander into some tunnels and talked to a few cave dwellers

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The usual image of me flat on the floor with my face in the stones. Combat sucked for me.

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Found some interesting statues while I was wandering around. What this doesn’t show is that I was soon mauled by a bear while my back was turned. Stupid wildlife.

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I have no idea what this is in the sky and whether or not I should be afraid of it. I know Astronomy plays a part in SotA, but what the devil is this thing? Did anyone else see this in the game? To be honest, I don’t even know what part of the map I was in when this was overhead. All I can say is that it was at night and this looked like the Death Star exploding.

More brilliant musings about my adventures in New Britannia

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