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Review RPG Codex Review: Shroud of the Avatar

Discussion in 'RPG News & Content' started by Infinitron, Jun 29, 2018.

  1. Diggfinger Savant

    Diggfinger
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    Insert Electronic Arts Richard Garriot below


    [​IMG]
     
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  2. taxalot I request a spice shipment immediately. Patron

    taxalot
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    Codex 2013 PC RPG Website of the Year, 2015
    By the way, I forgot to mention this but this is how desperate they are for monetization : https://www.shroudoftheavatar.com/f...mission-thread-royal-gardeners-wanted.128767/

    Lord British is having a birthday party. Please, participate in a gardening contest. Lord British will pick the best garden to have his birthday party.

    (And let's fail to mention that the only way to win this gardening stuff and acquire most of the needed items require spending real money on the portalarium shop).


    (shh...)

    (and yeah most of the entries are pretty ugly, but that was to be expected.)
     
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  3. thesheeep Arcane

    thesheeep
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    One can only hope that once we are extinct, it will not be something of this game that remains for the alien archaeologists.
     
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  4. Iluvcheezcake Learned

    Iluvcheezcake
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    Man am i glad i never backed or played this shitshow
     
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  5. Cadmus Arcane

    Cadmus
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    hory shittu
    I was expecting to read the game doesn't actually exist, lol but it seems it's even worse. In my mind it's already established for some reason that Garriot = Mollyneux so it's not a surprise that the game is insanely shit.
    Nice review, anyway.
     
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  6. Ninjerk Arcane

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    Will it culminate in a contest to wash the royal penis?
     
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  7. Cadmus Arcane

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    Jesus fuck, I'm now reading the stories from this https://www.reddit.com/r/shroudoftheavatar_raw/top/?t=all and it's so sad. If you didn't know it was about a game, you'd think it was a forum for abused husbands whose wife had cheated on them. The community is incredibly pathetic.

    BOOOHOO I STILL HAVE MY ORIGINAL FLOPPY DISK WITH ULTIMA 1 BUT NOW I HATE IT SHOULD I KILL MYSELF???
     
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  8. Infinitron I post news Patron

    Infinitron
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    Codex 2016 - The Age of Grimoire Serpent in the Staglands Dead State Divinity: Original Sin Project: Eternity Torment: Tides of Numenera Wasteland 2 Shadorwun: Hong Kong Divinity: Original Sin 2 BattleTech A Beautifully Desolate Campaign Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire
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  9. taxalot I request a spice shipment immediately. Patron

    taxalot
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    This is the RAW subreddit, where people came to rant about the game back when negative opinions had a tendency to get deleted and get you banned.

    The official topic is there : https://www.shroudoftheavatar.com/forum/index.php?threads/rpg-codex-review.132355/ . The guy who posted the topic seems surprised I am focused on criticizing it as a RPG. Ironic, considering the codename of the game was "Ultimate RPG".

    As for factual errors, I am more than willing to admit there might be mechanics I got wrong considering how poorly explained anything is in this game (I'm still uncertain about the XP system, but it's not even that important in the game). The rest, however, is self explanatory and anyone can try the free trial version to check what's true, false, or personal opinion.
     
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  10. Maxie Magister

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    great review Taxie
     
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  11. Humanity has risen! Arcane Patron Repressed Homosexual

    Humanity has risen!
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    It's really obvious that if a "great classical designer" suddenly decides to make "hardcore games" again, when he had abandoned to do so for 10+ years in the first place, he's not on your side. He's in it for another interest that doesn't align with your own. Probably some type of mid-life crisis. So the type of game you liked is never going to come back, at least not from him.

    Like in the Star Control thread... it's like a pharmacist, who sells soft drinks, candy, cigarettes and lottery tickets... but acts like he's an important health professional
     
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  12. Strange Fellow Learned Patron

    Strange Fellow
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    Grab the Codex by the pussy
    Brian Fargo really messed you up, didn't he
     
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  13. Humanity has risen! Arcane Patron Repressed Homosexual

    Humanity has risen!
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    I think Brian Fargo is a little different, as far as I know, he always wanted to make the same kind of game he made, it's just that the founding wasn't there, so he took contract work and gradually built his studio up until he could again. You can see that even though for instance Wasteland 2 wasn't a perfect game, it isn't a game that came with a ton of compromises.

    Garriott, on the other hand, really thought he was "changing the gaming world" with his online garbage.
     
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  14. Cadmus Arcane

    Cadmus
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    I mean, the game looks like shovelware. It's messing with my brain reading the discussions the fans are having as if it was some AAA new Skyrim IF ONLY RG descended from heaven for one measly day and helped with the development.

    WL2 was shovelware on release as well, imo. With the DC it became a regular, fun game, but I agree that Fargo is close to a con-man.
     
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  15. taxalot I request a spice shipment immediately. Patron

    taxalot
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    I can see a few differences between Fargo and Garriott.

    First, Fargo never really left the business, even if he scaled back quite a bit before the kickstarter "renaissance", he was pretty much always into hardcore RPGs even though he couldn't afford to make some for a while. Garriott is a creature of another kind ; when you think about, none of the classic Ultimas had deep mechanics. The direction Origin took game after game was more and more into a more realistic world in which you could almost LARP. The Ultimas were breathtaking wonders of technical achievement and immersion, exploration, and sometimes of storytelling but as game mechanics go ? They were pretty banal (some would even say that they sucked).
    Garriott was much much further behind Fargo in his "dark age" working for Zynga and things like that. But I'm not actually expecting him to have designed mechanics. Ultimately, the issue is that Ultima's place has been taken by other games. The Witcher, Elder Scrolls, have open world, exploration, and immersion on a level that could never be reached by a small development studio and they are doing great at what made Ultima great in the past. Portalarium can't afford such competition. This is their mistake.

    Garriott was never much into gameplay ; it shows a lot in that game that is pretty uninspired besides the UO skill system that has been reimplemented. This leaves more room for someone like Fargo to compete with games that are actually games and dooms Garriott to make a medieval Second Life clone.
     
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  16. Humanity has risen! Arcane Patron Repressed Homosexual

    Humanity has risen!
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    I can't believe it, just look at this garbage:

    [​IMG]


     
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  17. Cadmus Arcane

    Cadmus
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    I've had the same feeling just from reading about the old Ultimas, which is a big part of the reason I've never bothered with them. I suspect back then the mere possibility to LARP around pretending to be Mr. Knight might have been amazing but now you can do that shit in any game.
     
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  18. Strange Fellow Learned Patron

    Strange Fellow
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    Grab the Codex by the pussy
    I think that's a little unfair. Ultima IV and V weren't that bad. Sure, none of the mechanics could be described as deep, character building being particularly simplistic, but overall they weren't terrible by contemporaneous standards, and the breadth of systems in place is virtually unparalelled even today. The winds controlling the ships/hot air balloon, day night cycle mattering for all kinds of things, calendar for moongates, shadowlords et. al. These were systems that you actually had to pay attention to in order to play the game effectively, which is what differentiates them from LARPy NPC schedules and whatnot in VII. The perception of systemic simplicity that is often attributed to the Ultima series stems mostly from VII, I would guess, even though it is a great game in its own right.

    Anyway great review! :obviously: Far more comprehensive than the game deserved, by the looks of it.
     
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  19. Infinitron I post news Patron

    Infinitron
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    Codex 2016 - The Age of Grimoire Serpent in the Staglands Dead State Divinity: Original Sin Project: Eternity Torment: Tides of Numenera Wasteland 2 Shadorwun: Hong Kong Divinity: Original Sin 2 BattleTech A Beautifully Desolate Campaign Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire
    I think Origin felt the need to invest a bit more in Ultima V's combat mechanics due to competition with SSI's very crunchy Gold Box games (although it's still just passable, not great). But then SSI milked the Gold Box to death so Garriott felt vindicated in his quest towards ever more streamlining.

    I've always had the impression that Garriott resented SSI and found what they were doing completely uninteresting. This is also the point where the Ultima series began deleting anything that was too closely associated with traditional D&D fantasy from the canon. Eg, no more orcs after Ultima V.
     
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  20. Strange Fellow Learned Patron

    Strange Fellow
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    Grab the Codex by the pussy
    The elder scrolls don't got shit on The Black Gate, by the way
     
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  21. Strange Fellow Learned Patron

    Strange Fellow
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    By the time SSI let go of the Gold Box engine's udders, Lord British's job of streamlining Ultima was already done. It's not like Gold Box was bigger than Ultima, anyway.
     
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  22. Infinitron I post news Patron

    Infinitron
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    It was at first! Pool of Radiance was a huge hit.

    The story of RPGs in the the 1980s is basically a series of RPG franchises that rose up and challenged Ultima's supremacy before failing to become sustainable and falling away. Wizardry, Bard's Tale, Gold Box. In the end, the only thing that could kill Ultima was its own creator.
     
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  23. Hirato Purse-Owner Patron

    Hirato
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    Goddamn, this game's graphics reminds me of NWN 1 - just with higher polygon models.
     
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  24. Strange Fellow Learned Patron

    Strange Fellow
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    Aren't you forgetting something?
    Show Spoiler

    [​IMG]


    Edit: If by Fabulously Optimistic you mean to imply that I don't think that Garriott was perfectly capable of ruining Ultima of his own volition, Infinitron, then you're wrong. Or are you just calling EA gay? Either way, I agree.
     
    Last edited: Jun 29, 2018
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  25. agentorange Arcane Patron

    agentorange
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    Sounds like a scam to make a few people at the top a nice bit of money while they work the lower developers for a pittance before eventually letting them all go.
     
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