If your instinct regarding Shroud of the Avatar’s free-play features were the game dipping its toes into the monetization water, then you were bang on. Shroud of the Avatar free to play is now a thing with the MMO’s latest release.
Last week’s R59 update officially kicked off the game’s switch to the free-to-play model, which has removed a number of restrictions to trading, land ownership and story progression. “We have removed almost all gameplay restrictions from our free players,” remarks creative director Richard Garriott. “We are thrilled to open up Shroud to a larger audience of gamers.”
The update has also introduced a revamped new user experience meant to teach fresh players the basics in a specific tutorial area called the Isle of Storms, which walls off each section of the zone until players learn and use the specified skills.
Since the tutorial is now its own dedicated region, this lets players choose their own story path independent of their starting deck. This also has led to starting areas that are reportedly more tightly focused in terms of both narrative and gameplay direction.
There’s a whole lot more with the new release as well, so make sure to take some time to look over the patch notes. As is often the case, however, they’re pretty much a small novel’s worth of things to read, so get comfy.
Perhaps this will bolster Shroud’s population? It will certainly be interesting to see if this F2P shift means more people take the plunge and check out what this game has to offer.
Source: press release