Richard Garriott’s incredibly confusing single-player/MMO/co-op/PvP RPG, Shroud of the Avatar, is now on Steam Early Access.
Okay, so Shroud of the Avatar is a third-person sandbox RPG. It has a single-player narrative, and you can play it in offline single-player, friends-only multiplayer, or “open” multiplayer. It has PvP, and crafting, and player housing, and a classless character system, and a player-based economy, and no subscription fees. All of which sounds interesting, if a bit… well, messy. I can’t decide if it’s at risk because it’s trying to please everyone, or if it’s actually just Ultima Online with an offline component and the ability to play it without other people.
£25.49 will net you access to Episode One, which is what’s out now. Be warned that Shroud of the Avatar is still very much an Early Access game, though – according to the devs, “the game still needs a LOT of work” and there’ll be periodic data wipes, so don’t get too attached to your characters.
Head on over to Shroud of the Avatar‘s Steam page to see what’s in the current version and what’s planned for the future, and possibly even buy it if you want to give it a go right now.