Shroud of the Avatar: Forsaken Virtues

Key events

Ultima spiritual successor Shroud of the Avatar finally has a release date

Shroud of the Avatar, the Ultima spiritual successor from Richard Garriott's studio Portalarium, comes out on 27th March 2018 on PC, Mac and Linux via Steam.

There's a free trial available now from the Shroud of the Avatar website.

Shroud of the Avatar raised an impressive $1.9m from over 22,000 backers via Kickstarter back in 2013. It was a pitch that traded heavily on the nostalgia for Ultima, specifically Ultimate Online. The game then launched on Steam Early Access in November 2014.

Read more

How to 'toilet' in space and other lessons from a remarkable life

Inside Richard Garriott's fascinating new Explore/Create memoir

When I first spoke to Richard Garriott, the creator of Ultima, five years ago, I accused him of being weird. He had just told me he owned "a dungeon filled with macabre items" to be fair; five vampire-hunting kits, three shrunken heads, two mummies, three skeletons in coffins, human hearts and a human foetus. That's weird, isn't it? But he just laughed. "You might call it weird," he said. "I call it fascinating."

It's OK, Richard Garriott is protected by spells from harmful use of his blood

Chatting weird reliquary sculptures with the Shroud of the Avatar guys.

Bit weird, wasn't it, when Richard Garriott and Starr Long tried to sell their blood on eBay for $5000? I wouldn't do that. Imagine someone owning your blood: they could make black pudding with it. That's disgusting. Or they could use it to curse you and what would you do about that?

Richard Garriott selling vials of his blood on eBay

UPDATE: Pulled from eBay but actually selling on the Shroud of the Avatar store!

UPDATE 10th JULY: The blood reliquaries have been pulled from eBay. There's no trace of them nor any specific reason they were removed, although as Kotaku pointed out, selling blood is against eBay rules under the 'Human remains and body parts policy', which sounds wonderfully grisly.

$12,000 castles and $2100 deeds - inside Shroud of the Avatar's booming housing market

The unreleased game with a property market more crazy than London's.

The housing market is out of control. Look at the horror stories that come from London, about beds in cupboards that cost Ł500 a month to rent - and they're not even Harry Potter themed. But people want to be where the action is, so demand outstrips supply. Real estate in desirable locations: it's the most desirable thing. And Richard Garriott is banking on it.

Richard Garriott's Shroud of the Avatar is Ultima Online 2 in so many ways

It has promise but the pre-alpha isn't recommended for all.

When Ultima Online came out 17 years ago it blew my teenage mind. My medieval fantasy world was alive, inhabited by actual other people. I didn't care that I didn't have any idea what to do because it was so exciting! But Ultima Online was obtuse - making progress was an initiation, not a right. It was a reward in and of itself. And knowing that someone could come and kill you in a dungeon and loot everything you carried? Part of the magic.

Shroud of the Avatar gets Steam Early Access release date

Shroud of the Avatar gets Steam Early Access release date

Play Richard Garriott's new RPG next month.

Shroud of the Avatar will release on Steam Early Access on 24th November, developer Portalarium has said.

This is the crowd-funded new role-playing game from the brain of Ultima, Richard Garriott.

Backers have been testing Shroud since December last year with increasingly feature-complete releases made available at weekends. The latest build arrives this weekend and includes, among many other things, player advancement.

Read more

Debut 20-minute Shroud of the Avatar gameplay video

Debut 20-minute Shroud of the Avatar gameplay video

"As a general rule, this is now the final form of the game."

Behold the first full gameplay demo of Richard Garriott's new RPG, Shroud of the Avatar.

He and his Portalarium team, now bolstered by new hire Starr Long - one of the three key people responsible for Ultima Online (the other two being Raph Koster and Garriott himself) - demoed the game at the RoosterTeeth Expo at the weekend.

"This is literally the first time it's been put together as a full demo," said Garriott as the demo began.

Read more

Richard Garriott's Shroud of the Avatar: What's the big idea?

Why he needs Kickstarter, the project's origins, clever bits, persistence, online elements, housing, PVP and combat.

Richard Garriott, the creator of Ultima, the space man. He's not everyone's cup of tea, especially when he says things like "most game designers just suck" (even if there was a reasonable point buried underneath).

Lord British launches Kickstarter for oldschool RPG Shroud of the Avatar: Forbidden Virtues

Ultima creator Richard "Lord British" Garriott has launched a Kickstarter for his upcoming RPG Shroud of the Avatar: Forbidden Virtues.

Developed by Garriott's studio Portalarium, Inc, Shroud of the Avatar promises to return to the genre's roots when it used to be about making tough decisions and influencing the story rather than grinding through arduous combat so you can be funneled through a streamlined narrative.

"While advancements in graphics and sound have been phenomenal, in many ways the virtual worlds we play in have become less real. Less open. Less immersive," said the developer on its Kickstarter page. "With Shroud of the Avatar, Richard and his team will again reinvent the classic fantasy role-playing experience."

Read more