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Devs use Shroud of the Avatar Early Access feedback to tweak game

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Following the first Steam Early Access testing for Portalarium's Shroud of the Avatar: Forsaken Virtues, the game's developers have released three postmortems detailing what they believe was a successful testing round, according to the latest backer update for the Kickstarter-funded title.

Executive producer Starr Long called testing Shroud part of a "new paradigm of crowd funded and crowd sourced development" with more transparency and a "tighter communication loop" between developers and consumers.

"At a deeper level it was a test to see if we could give you something so very early in development and have you understand what to expect," he added. "We worked on that by being as clear as we could on what to expect, and what not to expect. It seemed to have worked as almost everyone who played understood what they were looking at. This understanding allowed all of you to give us really valuable and accurate feedback that we can act on."

Changes to be implemented based on feedback include smoothing out jittery shadows, the ability for NPCs to respond to basic conversation starters such as greetings, tweaks to the saving and transmitting items features and the addition of jumping.

Both Richard "Lord British" Garriott and technical director Chris Spears also posted brief postmortems on the game's forums, adding to Long's list of additions and tweaks to be made for Shroud's second testing release.

A few new items have also been added in the in-game Add-On store, including the Hoe of Prosperity and the Six-Pack of Prosperity, which includes a fishing pole, axe, pickaxe, skinning knife, sickle and hoe. The individual hoe is currently available at 33 percent off.

Additionally, property lots are now available through the online store. Since land is limited in Shroud of the Avatar, players who purchase deeds now will have placement priority over players who wait until the full game launches. Approximately 100 Town Lot Property Deeds and 50 City Lot Property Deeds are now available and all include an appropriately-sized starter home. Deeds bought through the Add-On Store also require a monthly in-game currency tax that, if not paid, will see the Deed revoked and the Lot put back on sale. Citizen level and above backers are exempt from Lot Deed taxes.

The next update for the title is slated to hit after the turn of the new year. Shroud of the Avatar: Forsaken Virtues is currently planned for launch in October 2014 for Windows PC, Mac and Linux.