Stuck In A Bar (and Other Stories) By Julie Garman For the first multiplayer test of Portalarium’s Shroud of the Avatar (SotA), some of the Stratics team did some live streaming. You can watch and listen to our adventures by going to the Stratics’ Twitch Channel (just look for the past broadcasts). I am going to give a short overview of my two days spent enjoying and exploring SotA Pre-Alpha Release 3 and seeing real people for the first time! I arrived in New Britannia for with my cohort Kirthag also from Stratics (and inconsequentially my boss). Kirthag immediately whisked me off to do some crafting, something I hadn’t really worked on during the earlier Pre-alpha tests. It was interesting and overwhelming to see how detailed the crafting system already is. I think it’s going to be fun and probably the way I earn my way in the world. To start off, I made some bolts of cloth and sold them to earn my first few coins! Kirthag is very adventurous and she showed me some cool things she had already discovered, including the new village of Braemar that just opened with this release. We even had the opportunity to experience a bug in which the doors of the bar and other buildings in Braemar shut (they had been fixed open and unclickable) and locked people in or out of the buildings. Apparently Kirthag was one of the few who could go in and out of the buildings and she had fun laughing at me being stuck in the bar. Note that there are a lot of fun emotes in the game already and we’re vying for more! The door bug was promptly fixed and we ventured on. One of my highlights was shortly before we ended our first day of R3: I had the honor of meeting Lord British! He was hanging out in Owl’s Head and stopped to chat for a bit. A small crowd grew and lots of comments were made to him, mostly good. A few people tried to engage him in some of the hot topics from the forums but I think he was mostly just wanting to visit with the citizens of the world he and his amazing team are creating. For me, it was an honor to be seen on screen with the man who made all this possible! Two days later, we ventured into the world again. We were joined by another lady of Stratics: Luka. This time, we people-watched more than anything else. We enjoyed seeing folks discover the world, look for bugs, figure out ways to make gold quickly, answered some questions, gave directions. Then we had an amazing experience near the graveyard outside of Braemar. You can watch the recording of the live stream here of that very special moment with Holt Ironfell who is writing some of the music that will be used in Shroud of the Avatar. I anticipate more of these type of adventures of an unexpected nature. Take a REAL close look at the wisps. Kirthag noticed something inside them. What do you see? (Click the image for full version.) There have been lots of articles written about problems in the game (hey – it’s still PRE-alpha!). I see no real need to go on about that. One pet peeve of mine is that while walking, my character looks like she is swaggering like a guy. I hope they change that animation so I am walking more like a female. Overall, I’m very pleased with what I’m seeing. And we are still NINE MONTHS away from launch! As I experienced my time in this third Pre-alpha test run, I spent a lot of time just watching people. I looked at the names that people gave their characters. I looked at the detail some people gave to their clothing (what’s with the “Red Dress Brigade” with the guys???). I realized that each person’s experience is just that: it is what you want it to be. Some people want to role play and immerse themselves in the experience. They put thought and much time into creating their character to look how they want him/her to. They have meaning behind their names. I could write a two paragraph explanation on how I came to my current preferred character name. Other people choose default characters and throw a name on there get in the game as fast as they can to see what there is to do. Shroud of the Avatar supports all kinds of players and what they want to get out of a game. All play styles are welcome. I personally am excited to meet role players from around the world and experience the wonder of New Britannia. For me, the third Pre-alpha was a huge success. Yes there were some lag problems. With my 7-year-old machine, that’s not a huge surprise. I had a couple of crashes but I’ve had MUCH worse from games that have been released and my computer was well within the system requirements. The graphics are already quite beautiful. The music is amazing. The game promises to be very immersive and never lacking in things to do. We could have played for weeks and that’s only three towns with no quests! The next Pre-alpha test will be March 27-30. See you in New Britannia! Read the full story . . .