I first started playing Shroud of the Avatar, or SOTA in October 2016. Many updates ago.
The reason I started was for many years previously I had heard gamers chatter nostalgically about a game called Ultima Online, a game which defined the MMORPG. I would be jealous of the feelings they had for the game and desired something similar. Unfortunately in the UK at that time, getting online was incredibly expensive, so I never had a chance to indulge.
What also attracted me to the lore of the game was the “evil RMT”, or at least some think it is evil and get quite emotional about it. To me it’s fascinating you can play a game and make a little bit of money and some can play the game and make a lot of money.
The idea that you can pack your day job in and play games all day, trading, buying and selling, farming and all other kinds of stuff really fascinates me. I did give it a go, but it quickly became apparent that my skills lay elsewhere. Those who make money on Shroud doing a bit of RMT seem to be of a certain personality type. Very focused, quick to make decisions and of course obsessed with the game.
Shroud is not a pay-to-win game, the developers Portalarium have seen to that. Which is a good thing. Being rich in the game really means a bigger plot of land, a bigger castle, exceptional looking gear, more storage. It’s not really going to make you master of PVP.
The market economy of Shroud attracts me, which is one reason I set up this website, to keep track of all the prices of things. The combat mechanics or graphics is not the reason I play. I know it is for others and that’s one of the great things about this type of game, you play it how you want. There is no real, direct competition between players for an established end goal, like the first one who gets to level 100.
You chose how you want to play the game and then play it.
Because it has a high number of Ultima veterans, the maturity of the game is quite high and this is borne out by the people who spend real money in the game. This provides a foundation for the game and allows Portalarium to develop all the systems and processes the game needs to deploy without having a big, sweaty publisher breathing down your neck.
This is another reason why I play the game. I really like the developers and their mindset. Huge amounts of grief have been thrown at them for one reason and another and yet they are still here, grinding out update after update, each time making the game better. When you could easily make a pile of cash developing high-frequency trading software for the stock market crowd.
There is the willingness to try new things such as Meretz, a mobile app which allows you to earn stuff in the game related to how much you exercise. Also, the crypto-currency craze which has now gone mainstream is being explored with a hook up with Neverdie. Neverdie is a very interesting outfit, I wrote a number of articles about digital assets in games which featured their Universe. Lead by Jon Jacobs, who is quite a colourful character.
I hope to write more about the digital currency aspect as it’s very tasty.
I see Shroud doing more joint ventures with other providers and look forward to where it goes.
I doubt my experience is exactly the same as yours, and if you play Shroud I am definite you play it in your way and not how I play it.
Last but not least, I continue to play Shroud because of the people. It’s a cliche I know, but friendships forged in MMORPGs are as real as any and the crowd who play this game are friendly, helpful, generous, creative and a load of other great things.
My in-game name is Lyndoman Cornwall and if you see my in-game say hi, always up for a chat.
Would love to know why you play Shroud of the Avatar.