Richard Garriott's Ultimate RPG Gets Announced as Shroud of the Avatar: Forsaken Virtues, Kickstarter Launched
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The game apparently features a persistent shared world (if you want to, otherwise you can play solo) with interactivity on par with the Ultima titles, sandbox type gameplay that lets you choose between adventuring and more menial activities and.. well, reward tiers going from a $10 "guilt pledge" to repent for pirating an Ultima title back in the day all the way to a $10,000 tier that lets you have a personal tour of the Britannia Manor with Richard Garriott himself.
Here's a snip that should describe gameplay:
Richard Garriott guided the Ultima Series from its inception in 1980, through the "trilogy-of-trilogies" of solo player games and later, the highly successful Ultima Online. Under his leadership, RPG's evolved from simple dungeon crawls to immersive worlds where you could easily suspend your disbelief. You cared about the world and its people, and you cared about the actions and deeds you accomplished within that world.
Since then, most every other RPG has focused more on level grinding then (role playing), which has been reduced to a few initial character choices. While advancements in graphics and sound have been phenomenal, in many ways the virtual worlds we play in have become less real. Less open. Less immersive.
With Shroud of the Avatar, Richard and his team will again reinvent the classic fantasy role-playing experience. Using state-of-the-art tools and technology, the game will focus on what made his seminal Ultima Series great. Once players are introduced to the game, they will discover their own story woven into the immersive world and lore surrounding them. 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 nestled within the safety of the settled lands, or on the dangerous but potentially lucrative frontier. The world is full of opportunities and challenges!
The familiar psychological profiling used to create your character, organically derived game-play responses to player behavior and fundamental virtues and consequence of actions will all 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.
Update:Right now the Lord British presents site is streaming a demo of the title too.