Now that the caravan has packed up and moved on, I have a few parting thoughts about Shroud of the Avatar and how things are shaping up.

First, let’s hit the things that need some work. Obviously on release day there were problems with updating and launching the game. There has to be a better way to patch the client. And yes, I do know there is a torrent client built into the launcher, but all that seems to do is cause more network problems. And let’s not forget that MalwareBytes go nuts when you seed files. As it stands patching is a damn nightmare.

Next, the music in the game is horrible! There are some parts that seem to blend in well enough, but overall I can’t stand it. It’s like an annoying tune on a 30 second loop that just plays incessantly! And none of it seems to fit. It doesn’t enhance or heighten the scene you’re in. I mean no disrespect to the guys and gals who made it, because the music on it’s own isn’t bad, but it’s not working in the game at all! For example, listen to music of Age of Empires, or Diablo, or even the indie game Banished and you hear a full soundtrack of well written music that fits into the game. None of the music in Shroud of the Avatar makes sense. What in the hell are bagpipes doing in there? And for the love of god, will someone fix that damn squeak in the acoustic guitar piece?! It’s absolutely grating every time is comes around!

Finally, I still can’t stand the combat, so much so that I didn’t even try this last time around. I skipped it entirely and just explored the cities and looked for quests. Honestly, the idea of cards and decks and fizzle is utter nonsense! This is an RPG not a damn game Pokemon! I like the skill tree and I like the properties it offers, but building a “deck” is bloody useless. I know the devs want the game to be different and offer something out of the ordinary, but there has to be something better than this! I didn’t mind the first iteration of combat and how the “cards” were used, but I hate this new way.

Ok, enough of that, on to the good stuff.

The graphics and lighting look great! The layout and design is very well done and I’m really pleased with how it’s coming together.

I really like the quests and the conversation system. Typing in words and phrases to the characters is a whole lot of fun! Although it’s not complete, it feels like there is going to be a complex story woven throughout all these characters. I really believe it will be like the old Ultimas where you really have to pay attention to what people say and who they direct you to. I think that’s going to be amazing to play. And like I said, that is what I messed with this weekend and time just flew by.

I like what they’re doing with PvP. As I said, I couldn’t care less about this aspect of the game, but the masses are quite vocal and have been demanding it from day one. It appears the devs have come up with a pretty decent way of handling it. Give people areas where they can duke it out and even give the rest of us a way to tune in if we want. Hopefully this will work out in the long run and give people a way to test their might, while giving the rest of us a way to decline or just spectate. I think we have a nice compromise there.

Overall, I think the game is coming along really well. Yes, I have complaints, but when the game is running and I can go on my quests, I like how the game looks and feels. There is a ton of work left to do, but I have to keep in mind this is still PRE-Alpha. This isn’t even a skeleton yet. I suppose it’s more of a proof of concept. I really wish we got more time than just a weekend to play. That will come in time I suppose. There is still so much of this game to work with. I tried the crafting a few releases ago and thought it was pretty neat, but haven’t been back to it since. Nor have I taken the time to go out and harvest my own resources. I guess those are things to look forward to.

Maybe the things I don’t like will change. Maybe not. But there is still plenty about this game to like.

More brilliant musings about my adventures in New Britannia

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