It’s one of those weeks when a bunch of reveals come out at the same time. Today we got to see what was hiding behind the countdown clock on LordBritishPresents.com. Via livestream Richard Garriott revealed his new game Lord British’s Shroud of the Avatar: Forsaken Virtues, that’s a mouth full. Where role playing games seemed to have focused more and more on the grind, Garriott plans to turn the focus back on role playing.
With this announcement came yet another Kickstarter campaign to help accelerate the development of the game. Through the varying levels of the Kickstarter you can do something as simple as pledge $10 bucks to pay back for that time you might have pirated an Ultima game. Clearly a clever version of the thank you pledge and I salute the humor. Further in are the standard get a digital copy, digital collector’s edition and even a chance to get a physical copy with a cloth map. The cloth map being a mainstay of the boxed games of old, it was a mark of pedigree for some and still coveted by many collectors.
The game itself is a cross of multiplayer and offline single player game play in a shared world experience where actions matter and one can even purchase their own plot of land. Sure we’ve seen this but it’s been a long time since we’ve seen a level of involvement one can have in the world since Ultima Online. Along with that comes the classless system, no longer pigeon holed to our initial choice one can branch out. Details are scarce on this but promises of blogs updates are coming.
Player housing will live in the persistent shared world so property will have value. While this may be a turnoff to some looking for a solely offline experience, it will appeal to others looking for other ways to socialize with your role playing compatriots. More details are available over on the Kickstarter page and the new website. Reward levels currently have a delivery date of October 2014, but I’m not sure if that’s when alpha starts or when they plan to have the official release of Shroud of the Avatar.