It seems like that whole Lord British’s Shroud of the Avatar: Forsaken Virtues I Want My Kingdom Back Kickstarter thing was quite a while back. It was a success, raising just over 2 million dollars. I had to go make a forum account of some sort shortly after it was over. And then a bunch of updates flowed by in email that I felt content to ignore.
I am interested in the project, but not that interested. I was content to wait until it was actually a thing before I started paying attention.
Well, this week I got an update… and then another update… which said, basically, “It’s a thing.”
So I headed on over to the site, which I could only manage because it was linked in the email update. There I managed to remember my account and password, which was nothing short of miraculous. I downloaded the installer, glanced at the instructions, ran the patcher.
When it wrapped up, I was able log in and was in… um… is it Britannia still, or something else? I’ve forgotten already.
Anyway, I was there.
And then I actually started reading the instructions, which indicated that this whole early pre-alpha “stop judging me!” thing was only for “First Responders” and other special persons. The last time I checked my rank was something like Second Tier Probationary Cheapskate or some such. But it let me in, so I went.
I am not even sure if there is an NDA. I gave the forums a cursory glance for that sort of thing, but came up dry. They are still trolling for more donations… they have brought in an additional $800K since way back when, no exactly a Chris Roberts level achievement, but that will probably cover hiring Lum the Mad… so I suspect/hope that they want publicity. I half expect somebody to come yell at me about this post or the screen shots or something… but I half expect that response from most things in life at this point.
The game is rough, but not as rough as one might expect. Once I cranked up the graphic it looked pretty decent. I did have to turn down, then off, the “Ye Olde Chariots of Fyre” sound track that kept looping. And then there were the locals, who were not too friendly.
When I tried to pass myself off as one of the locals, the guard wasn’t buying it.
Interaction is in the old school “you type it and the NPC responds” style. Keywords are highlighted, the way they were back in EverQuest. No hardcore “you must guess the keyword!” TorilMUD action, which is probably a good thing.
I ran around a bit more. It went from day to night.
So Shroud of the Avatar is truly a thing. I am not sure it is yet a thing that I want to spend a lot of time tinkering with. I have dailies to run in Azeroth and I am sitting around waiting for somebody to please form up a fleet in EVE Online while I have a block of free time. But I gave some strangers on the internet some money and half a year later I can walk around in a little imaginary land. Tell me that wouldn’t have seemed like a miracle 30 years ago.