I’ve become very discouraged by a lot of the posts people are leaving in the SotA forum. So much so, I think I need to just stay out of there. There are so many people saying that “X” breaks their immersion, housing is ruining the game, the “radio” has to be removed, why are there automatons, what’s going on with this Steampunk theme. It’s all becoming very discouraging.

Let me step back for a moment. This is the first MMO I’ve played. I am a single player Ultima guy from way back. I never played Ultima Online and don’t play games online. With that in mind, I’m very excited over what Shroud of the Avatar has to offer.

I see these comments about the housing and using chess boards for building materials and all the ankhs that get stacked up and the tents and the greenhouses and the Christmas trees. These things are being done because they can. It pushes the limits of the game and exposes all sorts of collision issues and other object placement issues. Do these buildings look odd? Sure they do, but it doesn’t bother me a bit. I marvel at those structures. I wish I was that creative. I get excited when I place a table correctly.

There are comments about the radio breaking immersion and if it’s in the game it should only played themed music. Um, that’s the soundtrack of the game. Further, you had to pay 2000 gold to buy that radio and you make the choice to turn it on. Are you really going to get upset that it plays all sorts of different music that has nothing to do with the game. Do us all a favor and just don’t buy one.

As for the Steampunk theme and automatons? Might be worth going back to check the lore of Ultima. Computers have always been part of the Britannia world. If you recall, Exodus – (it is depicted as a computer at the conclusion of the game, and it appears to be a demonic, self-aware artificial intelligence)

Yeah, we’ve had this blending since the beginning.

Just to put it out there, I test software for a living. I think people need to remind themselves of what “alpha” means. This is the first run at putting the game together. It’s a proof of concept. A test bed. A way to put things together to see if they even work. There is no balancing, no optimization, no find tuning. What are working with is truly not much more than a playable demo. An fantastic demo, but a demo nonetheless. Chiding the game because something is missing, or doesn’t work right, or breaks your immersion is putting the cart in front of the horse. If you’re not willing to put up with glitches, crashes, odd behavior, poor design, slowness or a myriad of other annoyances while the game is still being built, then maybe Alpha and Beta testing isn’t for.

Testing software can be ugly business. You need to keep in mind things aren’t always going to work correctly, there will be frustration, but most of all, what you see today, won’t be the same thing you see a month from now. And judging from the emphasis and urgency people are putting into these posts, you would think the game is going to release in a couple of days.

We have months to go before the game is launched. It might even be as long as another year. It’s certainly going to be 6-9 more months. So calm down people. The game is nowhere near done. We have a long road ahead. Stop worrying about the housing and the combat and the load time for Owl’s Head. We’re still putting in the framework and you’re worrying about what color to paint the shutters.

As you can see, I have a lot of fun playing this game. These forum posts are just killing the joy. Like I said, I need to stay out of there.

Well, that’s enough ranting, it’s time to get back to the game and have some fun!

More brilliant musings about my adventures in New Britannia

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