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While we still don't know when Shroud of the Avatar, Richard Garriott's upcoming crowdfunded MMORPG in development at Portalarium, will get its official release, it must be getting closer judging by this new press release. Apparently, the game will be going through its final player data wipe tomorrow, July 27, at 12am CDT.
The servers will be taken offline and will only come back online after 9 hours and 30 minutes of maintenance, after which the servers will be truly persistent. As a result of that, the developers are expecting a "major land rush" on part of the MMO's aficionados, with major consequences for the future of the title. If nothing else, they're certainly celebrating this occasion, with a livestream telethon with giveaways planned to last for about 12 hours. Here's the full press release:
Richard Garriott's Shroud of the Avatar Nears “Beginning of the World” Event
Final player data wipe is major milestone for crowd funded MMORPG; Persistence in SotA will begin on July 28 with Oklahoma-style land rush
AUSTIN, Texas, July 26, 2016 – Backers of the crowd funded Shroud of the Avatar™ (SotA) will get their chance in two days to lay claim to a permanent plot of land in the fantasy world being developed by legendary game creator Richard Garriott and his Austin, Texas based studio, Portalarium®. Shroud of the Avatar is the spiritual successor to Garriott’s hugely popular Utlima series of fantasy role playing games.
At midnight Central Daylight Time (CDT) on Wednesday, July 27 (5:00 UTC on July 28), developers will take SotA game servers offline to begin the final player data wipe. The game will be turned back on at 9:30 AM (CDT) on July 28.
During that 9-hour 30-minute offline period, developers will be expiring the homes and basements from the Ancestor, Edelmann, Knight Marshal, Lord Marshal, Duke, and Lord of the Manor 2 pledges. New Player Owned Towns will also be expired. Details of the final player data wipe schedule can be found on the Shroud of the Avatar website.
The milestone will be celebrated with a livestream telethon (available on YouTube and Twitch) leading up to the wipe. The telethon begins at 12 noon CDT on July 27 and will last 12 hours leading up to the beginning of the wipe at midnight. There will be prize giveaways (store credits, merchandise, Razer gear, pledges) in addition to telethon funding stretch goals for backers.
“When we turn the servers back on July 28, we expect there to be a major land rush,” said SotA Creative Director Richard Garriott. “Similar to the Oklahoma land rush of the late 19th century, our players will be able to venture out, plop down their house deeds and claim their property in Shroud of the Avatar for good. This will be the beginning of true persistence in the world.
“Expect the best properties such as great vistas and overlooks, strategic locales and waterfront real estate to go first. And expect some maneuvering between now and the end of the data wipe as higher level backers will get the first choices.”
SotA Executive Producer Starr Long says this milestone in the game’s development sets it apart from other massively multiplayer online role playing games (MMORPG).
“When comparing crowd funded MMORPGs, we believe Shroud is the first in the fantasy genre to reach a final player data wipe and to reach persistence. We are thrilled to reach this critical juncture and couldn’t have done it without the incredible support we have from our community.”
Shroud of the Avatar’s crowdfunded campaign began in 2013. It remains in early access but it continues to generate monthly content updates to its backers. The game has now reached 32 straight months of continuous play with no unscheduled down time. Currently at nearly $9.2 million in crowd funding, Shroud is the second most crowd funded game ever.