The Shroud of the Avatar: Forsaken Virtues's developers Portalarium have announced that the title's final wipe will be for July 28th, 2016. Things that are to be wiped include 'social data' such as names, friends, and guilds, as well as characters and properties.
The game itself was Kickstarted a few years back by Richard Garriott (Lord British himself), promising to be the spiritual successor to Ultima Online, along with a bevvy of other features that fans would expect from such an undertaking. Shroud has been in Early Access on Steam since November 2013, and with Release 32 on July 28th, the game will finally be out of the Pre-Alpha stage and ever closer to a full launch.
While the Executive Producer Starr Long notes that the final wipe is not the launch for the Shroud of the Avatar, the fact that the title will be 'persistent' after July 28th will easily confuse customers. This is something that Starr Long readily admits, stating that they, "know that this plan will generate a lot of questions... but we firmly believe this is the best possible course of action for the project."
For the update itself, the goal for 'Release 32' is to have a balanced and fully functional virtual world and economy. Starr Long states that the 'Love' storyline will be playable from beginning to end, "with all characters and quests complete." The two other storylines, 'Truth' and 'Courage', will also be playable, but it won't be in a "polished state" like the Love storyline.
The add-ons and pledge rewards (except tax free lots) will also be made available through gameplay in the single-player 'offline' mode. Players will have to earn enough gold to purchase them, "or gather enough resources to craft them in-game." For the curious, purchasing a Castle Deed in the Offline Mode will cost "at least" $120 million gold, and will have a 'very high' tax rate. If players have purchased add-ons and/or received pledge rewards beforehand, they will start the game with them.
The reason for this is that Portalarium wants player engagement, and the developer has decided that if they were to continually wipe the progress of players, they lose player engagement and therefore would not be able to get the games' economy in the place that they wish it to be. No kidding.
What do you think of Release 32 for Shroud of the Avatar: Forsaken Virtues? Let us know in the comments!