Shroud of the Avatar: Forsaken Virtues

#642

According to the reddits, failure to deliver physical goods is a huge sore spot, with the devs offering up lots of excuses. I think some orders have been fulfilled while others are pending…

#643

After all of this there really is no excuse.

#644

Sent another message to support. My pledge was actually for $515, lol. All I’ve received in response is an absurd series of lies.

#645

You should lawyer up. :)

#646

He’d have to weigh the cost of his donation against his billable hours to write an irate email :)

#647

Latest update - pretty disheartened by this experience, but it seems like the company has just decided not to send out the kickstarted Collector’s Editions to at least some portion of the crowd funders (I’m by no means alone, judging by the forums). I wonder if anyone non-American has received one?

Garriott’s clearly aware, as he clicked on a related twitter thread - I presume the company is in dire shape and out of money, and either can’t afford to mail or (more likely) to even produce the physical goods. I paid more than Cdn. $700 for a game that I suspected would never be good and I’d be unlikely to play - just to give the guy a damn shot and reward him for trying to produce another Ultima-ish game and for the great memories I have of playing Ultima II through 7.

The Ultima series was incredibly important to me - I saved up my paper route money to buy my first computer, a C-64, to play Ultima II - a game I played for an entire year, as even though it’s a relatively simple game by today’s standards, having to figure out everything by yourself as a kid, with no internet resources, etc., was a real challenge. I have great memories of finding Ultima IV and V in stores. I was bummed when Ultima VI (and then VII) came out and I couldn’t afford a PC so I couldn’t play them - first paycheck I had as a lawyer I remedied that. Ultima VII is still in the running for #1 game of all time for me, and I’m happy that its baton has been picked up by the Divinity/Gothic/Risen/Elder Scrolls (and now Fallout) series. I started writing for gaming magazines and my own site that became part of GameSpot because of Ultima. The series was always so much more important to me than other games - so I had to wholeheartedly support Garriott’s kickstarter.

Bah.

#648

That’s sad, Desslock. Sorry about that. :(

I have similar feelings in regards to Ultima, although I’m younger than you. So my first real memories were of Ultima VI (barely played, because my brother must have had a pirated copy and I couldn’t pass the copy protection checks. I had played an old Ultima game on the C64, but I’m too young to remember much of it beyond the graphics) and Ultima VII. The latter will always be a special game for me in many ways. It was the first game that kicked off computer envy for me, as I was playing it on my family’s 386 and then got a chance to kick around with it on my friend’s 486. Oh my.

#649

You’ve got a couple years on me. Ultima IV was my first videogame, and I also think U7 is the best game of all time.

You should send them a nasty lawyer letter asking for your money back.

#650

It’s not about the money. I just feel dumb for donating to something that I knew would be a failure (a well known RPG game developer was actually at my house during the kickstarter campaign, and he told me “you know Garriott is actually incapable of doing this, right?” - the gist being that it wasn’t a matter of being rusty, but rather completely unaware of how to do it, like someone who made firecrackers trying to make a rocket ship).

It’s the dishonesty and overt fraud that are so disheartening and unexpected - these aren’t the acts of someone trying desperately to keep his company and vision afloat - they’re the cynical actions of someone without business or moral grounding, who is unaware that those are the very reasons for some of the hardships he’s encountered. It just didn’t need to be this way. Forsaken virtues indeed.

#651

If you feel they were dishonest, fraudulent, and morally bankrupt why would you want them to keep your money? Get the money back then walk away.

They got like thirty bucks out of me, so I’m not particularly upset about it. If I had backed for $700 I’d be irate.

#652

Since we’re talking about Ultima VI and VII, if you guys haven’t read Jimmy Maher’s articles on them, check them out and maybe they’ll take away some of the sting of SotA.

https://www.filfre.net/

#653

Neat site, thanks!

#654

Same.

#655

It’s got a ton of warts but I did enjoy the couple months I played the game. The community there is great.

#656

It’s like your own personal “Be sure to drink your Ovaltine” moment. Sucks.

#657

I’m not irate - I’m disheartened that they couldn’t even match my low expectations. Not sure why you think it’s even possible to get money back, however - initiating small claims litigation in a foreign jurisdiction to get $700 back isn’t exactly practicable.

#658

Typically a nasty attorney letter will produce some results.

#659

Yeah, I was thinking it wouldn’t take much lawyerin’ time/effort to exceed the value of what they never sent you.

Hate-watching the fall of Shroud has become an occupation for some. The reddit thread dedicated to it is:

https://www.reddit.com/r/shroudoftheavatar_raw/

The whole thing makes me sad, but I don’t think about it too much. Larian and CD Projekt Red and Bethesda and some smaller players are keeping the CRPG flame burning, which makes me happy.

What Garriott achieved from 1979 to 1992 can’t be taken away. It’s a pity he couldn’t recapture it (or didn’t want to), but it’s not that surprising. Only a few golden age designers have been able to stick for the full 30+ years.

Garriott reminds me of James Cameron, actually, in that he seems as much (or more) interested in real-life adventures than in doing the day-job that made him famous. Of course, Cameron has still managed to come out from time to time with a mega hit, which Garriott has not done.

#660

Geez, they closed their office. The end is nigh.

https://massivelyop.com/2019/03/04/shroud-of-the-avatar-studio-portalarium-temporarily-closes-office-in-favor-of-remote-studio/

#661

Naw, people who know they’re in the wrong and are in dire circumstances don’t respond to those. Honestly believe flagging them here or on twitter would be more effective. But you can’t get blood from a stone.

Lawyer letters that aren’t accompanied by a statement of claim are meaningless to anyone remotely sophisticated, unless they’re worried about losing public goodwill, and if that’s the case then you’re less likely to get the results you want by sending a lawyer’s letter as transitioning to a legal context can constrain the options of management of a company since they go into potential litigation mode and lose discretion.