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There has been quite a bit of activity on the official Shroud of the Avatar: Forsaken Virtues website since the last time we checked in, including the release of a Release 10 postmortem video, another armor variation video, the availability of the game's Release 11 build (read the instructions here), a link to a new Release 11 preview on MMORPG.com, and more. A bit from the preview:
I think you can expect Portalarium to do something cool with the new dynamic scene concept because of another recent change to the travel map. No longer is every hex a scene, but instead specific roads, swamps, and other areas of interest are the scenes. Think of it like a forest on your travel map. To enter the forest scene, you need to travel a bit to the named section of the forest, and then you'll get an option to enter the scene rather than just double-clicking on it. Also, just being on the fringes may no longer work. You'll need to be nearer to the named part.
I expect some of you readers will have the same initial reaction I did. I was actually a little. uneasy. about the decision and worried that it might limit the game world a bit. It could conceivably make it feel a little smaller, and that doesn't seem like a good idea. I'm not sure how Starr and Richard interact with other writers, but since they've always encouraged me to be honest about things I found concerning, I spoke up.
Starr explained how the change started because it seemed to be more new-player-friendly and also made it easier to tell people where you were at any given time. Rather than trying to explain which hex to enter, you can just tell them to meet you in Greymark Forest. When they get to Greymark Forest, they enter and it's the same one that you're in at the time.
Richard went on to point out that the new idea also fit with their idea of random encounters well. More importantly and what started to change my mind on the subject, the new methodology allows them to dynamically change the map due to world events. Neither were ready to go into detail about how this might aid in a progressing world story, but Starr was quick to point out that the hexes were still there and only needed a flag enabled to make them accessible.