Shroud of the Avatar is a new series of games from Richard Garriott and Portalarium. It is intended to be both a single-player and multiplayer RPG for PC (Windows, Linux and OS X) set in a new universe that, though not derivative of the worlds of the Ultima series, is also not incompatible therewith.
Portalarium on Shroud of the Avatar
Shroud of the Avatar: Forsaken Virtues is the first installment of Richard Garriott’s new vision of role playing games and represents the reinvention of the classic, fantasy RPG, which he pioneered in the early 1980s with the classic Ultima series of games.
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.
Setting and History
The game is set in an entirely new fantasy setting, not derived from or based upon any of Richard Garriott’s previous works (even though it will feature his Lord British persona in-game).
The game is a 3D fantasy RPG that utilizes an isometric perspective for its overland map and an “over the shoulder” perspective for navigating towns, encounters, dungeons, and other points of interest.
Play With Your Friends?
Although the game will be fully playable offline, Portalarium are planning to craft a multiplayer Shroud of the Avatar experience as well, one which will allow you to play with either friends or strangers. This multiplayer mode will not be a massive experience, as in a traditional MMORPG, but will rather be limited to a few “tens” of other players, and to the best of their ability Portalarium will attempt to pair players with their friends or other real-life contacts during gameplay.
It is planned that players in Shroud of the Avatar’s multiplayer will be able to own shops, craft items, and engage in PvP.
What Will It Cost?
If you backed the game on Kickstarter, a digital download version of the first chapter of the series was the reward for a pledge of $25 or above. Since the end of the campaign, a minimum pledge of $45 at the Shroud of the Avatar website is the pre-requisite for a digital copy of the first chapter, so it can be said that $45 is the base price for the game.
A $90 pledge includes digital downloads of the second and third chapters among its rewards, while a $135 pledge includes digital downloads of all five planned chapters in the Shroud of the Avatar series.
A boxed, physical copy of the game can be obtained with any pledge of $140 or more, and will come with a cloth map.
At present, Portalarium is estimating a release near the end of 2014.
System requirements are, at present, unknown, other than that the game will be released for PC (meaning Windows, Linux, and OS X). A tablet-based version of the game may also be developed at some point.