Shroud Of The Avatar - Shit Went Persistent

Kharzette

Watcher of Overs
1,704
519
21d 4h 21m
I think I can snag a place to live in a couple weeks. I kickfarted at the cheapo level first responder, so I don't think I get any sort of special early housing grab.

I have no idea where I want to live. I'm still bumbling around near the starter town smiting deadites.
 

Rafterman

Golden Squire
740
683
0
Logged in for the first time in forever and was pleasantly surprised at how much improved the game looks and feels. Then I got into my first fight and remembered why I haven't played in so long. They've upgraded the avatars, which was much needed, but the combat is still garbage. And it's not garbage compared to Black Desert or other newer MMOs, but compared to even relics like EQ or AC. It very much feels like these guys literally don't give a shit about combat and it's the lowest priority for them because it's still so much worse than everything else about the game.

If the combat was even remotely as good as any current bottom feeder MMO, or any 20 year old dinosaur, I'd absolutely recommend people check the game out, but it's so bad that it tarnishes the entire package for anyone who isn't already drinking the kool-aid. I honestly can't think of ANY game where I've enjoyed combat less.
 
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Kharzette

Watcher of Overs
1,704
519
21d 4h 21m
I'm very confused by the hotbar. My #4 slot goes away, then comes back randomly. I had to edit a mage "glyph" or something and fiddle with it to get something to appear there, or it would put this grey thing that said "slug". I have no idea what any of that means.

I put my animal charm in there.

I've liked everything alot more by removing the usual tab bind that toggles a sort of fps mode and replacing it with the usual target next enemy. Then staying in a normal mmo style right click and hold to turn. I actually played swg in that fps toggle mode so I thought I'd get used to it but it's just not very good.

Some other stuff I turn off: Enable combat rolling (hate this in any game), use free attack (I'd rather just autoattack than click-like-mad), and prevent movement while casting. Absolutely hate abilities that lock your feet in place. Luckily most spells you can cast on the move.
 

Kharzette

Watcher of Overs
1,704
519
21d 4h 21m
Played alot all weekend and figured a few things out.

For housing, they are opening up new groups of people every few days to be able to grab a lot. I'm not sure if it goes in order of money contributed or how long ago, but I'm not in any of that since I kickstarted at the cheapo gimme-the-game-only level.

There are lot deeds, which are deeds for actual land, and then house deeds. The important bit is the lot deed. There's a bunch of out of date information out there about these. If you search around you'll see people talking about buying them on vendors for 30-60k gold. I went to all these vendors and the deeds are gone. Eventually I find that they removed them and will be holding some sort of lottery system for the remaining spots. Apparently you can own several houses, so they were worried about rich people that already had houses just buying them all up with gold.

From what I've gathered, lottery tickets will cost gold, but there's not really any details yet. Not sure if you'll be able to buy several tickets to improve your odds or if it is just blind luck.

I finally figured the "deck" thing out. At some point after fiddling with the deck UI my #4 slot in combat mode started flipping through abilities randomly. Not sure what I changed to make that happen, but I just ended up putting useful stuff I'd like to have in combat but had no hotbar room for. If you are in combat you can ctrl-4 to make it switch to something else. Loading the deck up with combat stuff makes it more likely you'll hit some damaging ability rather than something not useful. The #4 slot is also a separate cooldown, so long cooldown abilities can be used back to back if you luck out.

I got to 60 tailoring thinking "Woohoo now I can make all these cool recipes!". But there's skill level and skill rating. Why they did it this way I have no idea. Everything I can make moves my bar a pixel or less. I'm going to have to murder and skin billions of animals to get there.

Saved up about 35k towards a house, but no idea if the money will even be useful.
 
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Void

We're America, bitch!
<Gold Donor>
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29d 15h 43m
I backed it early and put in a little per month for awhile to raise my tier, so spent much more than I normally would have on a game like this, but this is pretty much my final effort at an MMO I think, so whatever. I loved the shit out of UO, and this is probably as close as it is going to get.

If you don't watch a few videos and make a few changes to the default options, shit is going to be confusing as fuck. Very first thing I would do is turn off the option (can't remember what it is called) where the longer you hold down the mouse, the harder you swing. Fuck that, you lose far more dps with that option than just auto-attack. And then you want to set up your "deck" every time you gain new skill levels that gives you more skills/cards, so you don't have any "slugs" (basically just dead spots, if you can have 15 cards, and only assign 10, you are going to have 5 slugs...however, you can assign 30 if you really want, it just dilutes your chance of getting each card to come up randomly).

There are other things, but those are the first two quick things. The game is far from finished enough for powergaming-FoH poopsockers, that is a certainty. The only real reason to play right now is to a) reserve a name, and b) get a jump on any people that pick it up when it finally goes gold. Of course, chances are that most people who wanted to play it are already playing it, but there will always be a slight surge when it finally releases.

I like a lot of it, dislike a decent amount, but overall it isn't terrible. Just really, really light on content if you aren't a casual (which I have become) or a crafting/roleplaying/bardsonging douche that doesn't need actual content.

The housing is fantastic by the way, and only getting better. I look down upon my lowly neighbors with disdain already.
 
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Greyform

Golden Squire
421
9
44m
I was a backer to this game way back, I never played past the random deck combat system as I hated being at the mercy of RNG battle. Is this still the case?
 

Kharzette

Watcher of Overs
1,704
519
21d 4h 21m
You can lock skills to the bar, but I think you have to have one random? I randomize the first 4 then lock the rest
 

Kharzette

Watcher of Overs
1,704
519
21d 4h 21m
BTW they had their telethon yesterday. They stream 12 hours, put their cash shop stuff on sale randomly via a spinny wheel, and drink alot. LB looked quite drunk at the end. They played a bit, spent an hour each on combat/crafting/housing, toured the office, and had strange superfans and whales take over for them from time to time.

They sold 200k worth of stuff. I grabbed some tools, a cute cat, some fairy wings, and the cheapest crappiest house while they were on sale. 200 should keep them going a few months if I'm guessing their team size about right. I think RG has some of the most fanatical superfans out there. The audience is small, but they are willing to pay to bring the game alive, and it keeps them going through development. Hopefully a bunch more people pick it up when it is done.

I feel like they have really good combat pacing, and very good health cues. I've yet to have a "how did I just die?" moment, which I find is common to all the latest mmos. Guildwars/Black Desert is like I'm fine, I'm fine, I'm fine, I'm fine, I'm dead?

Audio, and navmesh, and melee AI all need some tweaks. Either lots of disconnects or they have the agent step height set too low. Also melee enemies will tend to stand on top of you instead of just inside melee range. It's all polish though, the base is pretty solid.
 
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Void

We're America, bitch!
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Also, while running around last night trying to place a second home for my buddy when the land rush finally opened up to everyone, it was shocking to see just how many plots were filled. There wasn't shit left in any of the cities I wanted to put one, and this is even with literally dozens of player-owned or player-run towns existing so that people don't have to deal with this land rush.

The numbers may not be huge compared to most MMOs, but there are easily thousands of homes placed already, all of which required separate accounts until last night. The nerd support for this game may not be huge in numbers, but it is certainly fervent.
 
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Kharzette

Watcher of Overs
1,704
519
21d 4h 21m
I really like my little row house. I spent last night furiously decorating. I settled in Bladewyke. It's in a big cavern and right next to Etceter, which has ferries to Elysium and Aerie. 2 really good mines close by for plundering gold and silver.

From my looking around, I really liked Nesoskia too. It is an island, so when you zone in from a boat, there's just a short jog up a hill to the houses. Too many of the towns have this painful 5 minute run just to get to anything.
 
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Void

We're America, bitch!
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My biggest requirement for housing was having shops and a crafting pavilion in town so that, in the event I ever gave a shit about crafting anything, I didn't have to zone back and forth between towns to do so. And I wanted to be near to Brittany if possible, although that didn't happen with the second house for my buddy. My house is in Elad's Lighthouse, which is pretty nicely located, and my friend's is in Storm Reach (I think that's the name), which is another ferry or two beyond the Etceter-Elysium-Aerie chain you mentioned. With how quick those ferries are it really isn't a big deal, which is nice. The two zones are basically identical in layout which makes it nice for knowing where things are.
 

Flight

Lord Nagafen Raider
1,121
175
3d 4h 18m
I finally figured the "deck" thing out. At some point after fiddling with the deck UI my #4 slot in combat mode started flipping through abilities randomly. Not sure what I changed to make that happen, but I just ended up putting useful stuff I'd like to have in combat but had no hotbar room for. If you are in combat you can ctrl-4 to make it switch to something else. Loading the deck up with combat stuff makes it more likely you'll hit some damaging ability rather than something not useful. The #4 slot is also a separate cooldown, so long cooldown abilities can be used back to back if you luck out.

I got to 60 tailoring thinking "Woohoo now I can make all these cool recipes!". But there's skill level and skill rating. Why they did it this way I have no idea. Everything I can make moves my bar a pixel or less. I'm going to have to murder and skin billions of animals to get there.

Saved up about 35k towards a house, but no idea if the money will even be useful.

Looking at the date of this post you prolly figured out the following stuff but it might help someone else.


Skill sets - you create what this game calls decks, which are just a chosen number of skills. Game is limited to 10 skill slots usable at one time. Press 'Y' to open the 'deck' manager. Choose to create a new deck (you can create as many as you want) or modify/edit an existing one. When you place a skill in a slot when creating the deck there is a little padlock icon next to it. If you click it locked then the skill is like most MMOs so the skill is always available and has a reset timer. If you leave it unlocked then a random availability factor comes into play. As you level a skill you can use it in slots up to 4 or 5 times. So for example for skill slots 6-10 you could use all heals and be able to spam heal yourself or others in combat. Or use 4 of your favorite DPS spell and spam that or four of your best melee attack etc etc Two random points :

i) There are combos where you drag one skill onto another to create a more powerful skill. eg drag 'Rend' onto 'Whirling Blades' to create 'Sawblade Sweep' which does AE dmg plus a DoT with increased mana/focus efficiency and makes the two source skills reset faster. There's a list to view of available combos in the deck manager. At least one of the two skills has to be in the deck 'unlocked' so its pops up randomly.

ii) Notice the Glyph window in the deck manager. You have to drag available skills in here which become available for the random pop up skills. You have to put in a minimum number or the game adds 'Slugs' to the deck which are blanks whjich can pop up in the combat bar. If you leave a hot slot open then the game randomly assigns any one of these skills to it in combat. If you use 10 out of 10 skills all 'locked' then this is all irrelevant.


The XP system is new. You have two pools of XP. Adventurer XP comes from quests and killing creatures. Producer (Gathering/Crafting) XP comes from making things or gathering. As you make items repeatedly you get less XP each time so to get to a high level you need to spend a a lot of time gathering. This one pool is used for all the different craft trees - Tailoring, Carpentry, Alchemy etc So you can gain XP from Mining then spend it leveling Cooking, for example.

Something to understand is that the bigger your pool of XP is the faster skills will level. So go out and pool a few hundred K XP from Mining and you will get massively more XP per crafting action. Same with combat skills - lock all your skills from raising, farm a few hundred adventurer XP then you can raise that PITA skill really fast.


Innate skills take a lot more XP to level than individual skills. They are colored silver in the skill trees (Press K to see the skill trees). eg Top of the Blades Tree 'Bladed Combat' takes a lot more XP to level than the individual skill attacks such as 'Whirling Blades'.


Finally you can choose whether to use auto attack or click to attack for default attacks. Options -> Game -> scroll to bottom bottom option 'Use Free Attack' If you use auto attack then innate raise very fast and burn through your pooled XP. As you say once you get to intermediate levels in skills you need to manage which skills are set to raise so be very careful in choosing whether to use auto attack or not.
 

Kharzette

Watcher of Overs
1,704
519
21d 4h 21m
The randomy stuff is still there yea. I have most of my deck stacked with my 2 best damage spells and sometimes they just will not come up, like when I'm fighting several earth elementals. I have some earth spells in there as well and the elementals are immune so I'm constantly hammering reset trying to get my cold spells to come up.

It is new and different and innovative but I wish you could realistically ditch it. You can't of course. Your dps will halve at least if you just rely on cooldowns.
 

Lunis

Trakanon Raider
1,327
1,106
12d 18h 48m
I quit after an hour, the combat is spammy and random. Also was a huge mistake to make the world so zone heavy and less explorable. Thank god for Steam refunds.
 

Treesong

Golden Squire
362
27
7h 40m
If anyone wants to try a stillbirth game, this one has been free to play since March 3rd and till March 9th

Shroud of the Avatar: Forsaken Virtues
Stillbirth, yeah, that is the feeling I keep getting about SotA too(I made a low pledge during the KS and managed to turn that into a free Knights pledge through the whole "founders can gift a pledge to make other players founders too-thing). The game actually has had a LOT of development over the years, with a very active dev-team, very good looking additions (scenes), a truckload of assets, lots of cool (RP) mechanics and lots of social events like telethons and such. There is no doubt that a real game is being made here and their pace is pretty good too.

However the Combat is absolutely horrible. This is what kills it for me every single time I log in after they have had an update again (and they have very regular updates). And this is why I think all those scenes are so freaking empty. And all the towns and cities are so abandoned. PvE in this game is simply not fun. I am sure there are a few player-owned towns that see a little more traffic, but the game right now just is empty. Even cities/towns where all the buildings are claimed by players are empty. I am lucky to run into a player in Central Brittany. And I do not buy the "game is not realeased" argument. The game is totally playable right now. I think it looks very good, the housing is fantastic and I am also fine with fleecing the players by selling lots of crap in their store. But you need fun combat.

The thing is, if you want the whole localized Economy/Gather/craft stuff for your housing/sell your stuff through your vendor/come look at my awesome Mansion-thing to take off, you need to have thousands of players actually enjoying PvE combat and fuelling that key part of the game by a steady stream of lewtz(materials).

So if they want this game ever to be anything more then a few (freaky?) community events going on, tucked away in some Player-owned town, then they will have to overhaul Combat imo.

About the combat: it is hard to pinpoint a single thing but let me throw out a few keywords that sum it up for me: randomness, delays, desyncs, no feeling of empowerment, rooting, locked animations, anemic sounds and so forth. Oh and one of THE most annoying things in SotA is the fact that your character slows to a crawl every time you come near an NPC or monster. Not sure if this is meant as "roleplay" but it sure is annoying.
 
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