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Codex Review RPG Codex Review: Shroud of the Avatar


Jan 17, 2015

https://www.youtube com/watch?v=UVBwikLuZYg

My Ultima Collection Dr. Pepper Dragon UDIC Ultima Dragons Trinket Box

John Razimus
Published on Jun 29, 2018

This video shows the passion and dedication of the Ultima Dragons. Without them, Shroud of the Avatar would not have been Kickstarted.

These fans are the people who pledge the minimum $5 every month for the "unique" telethon item rewards.


Jun 7, 2013
Free Village
I doubt you will.

$20? Really?

That can be the price of a movie ticket at a cinema. And lawd is there a lot of shit on movie screens.

I'll play around with some builds, make some conversation. NPC's seemed reasonably fleshed out early in development. Maybe Kodexers people just have unrealistic expectations towards games, even though there's no reason to play the disappointed idealist anymore. None whatsoever.

You can be bored and disappointed for free. Believe me.

You actually can't :smug:



backlog digger
Sep 10, 2010
Fort Joy
Codex 2012 Codex 2013 Codex 2014 PC RPG Website of the Year, 2015 Codex 2016 - The Age of Grimoire Make the Codex Great Again! Grab the Codex by the pussy Insert Title Here RPG Wokedex Strap Yourselves In Codex Year of the Donut Codex+ Now Streaming! Enjoy the Revolution! Another revolution around the sun that is. Serpent in the Staglands Divinity: Original Sin Project: Eternity Torment: Tides of Numenera Divinity: Original Sin 2 Bubbles In Memoria A Beautifully Desolate Campaign Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire Pathfinder: Kingmaker Steve gets a Kidney but I don't even get a tag. Pathfinder: Wrath I helped put crap in Monomyth
Reading this review was a bit sobering and gave me some perspective on inXile's and Obsidian's efforts regarding their Kickstarter projects. Good read overall, thanks taxalot . :salute:


Shitposter Bethestard
Sep 19, 2014
Why would I even bother to lie about some game mechanics considering how many other problems the game has ?

welcome to reviewing

there's always going to be that one guy saying you're lying because reasons

enjoy your stay

Roxor we are waiting for the Fallout 76 review, I presume you have your BETA ?


Dec 27, 2008
Wow, you can almost feel the disappointment flowing from the review. What a shame to see Ultima end like this. Elzair's LPs were quite good.
Dumbfuck Weasel
Jun 30, 2018
Jesus fuck, I'm now reading the stories from this https://www.reddit.com/r/shroudoftheavatar_raw/top/?t=all and it's so sad. If you didn't know it was about a game, you'd think it was a forum for abused husbands whose wife had cheated on them. The community is incredibly pathetic.


Well here's some background which might make it more clear for you all why people are so disgusted.

Links are available on demand, but I'm not including them for now so as not to fall foul of spam filters; No, it wasn't my wife, but the constant hints that if I don't stop criticising the game my loved ones would end up raped and killed is being directed towards a very specific ex-girlfriend. And the person doing this knows I know who he means, because some time before December 2016 he hacked into my email, and has since quoted some of the break up emails to me.

At the same time he got into another persons account, and our suspicion is someone at Portalarium leaked him the passwords they had there to see if they've been re-used. He has tried every week since Dec 2016 to get back in, including forging proxies to cities of the same name, but clearly doesn't have the skills or tools to get back in. He has tried to encourage me to commit suicide, and bombarded any account he can find until security temporarily shuts them down. He has posted suggestions he would like to kill people's children and bury them in a box in a desert, and endless abusive PMs including ones with entire comic series he's drawn ranting about how much he hates people via Portalarium's own forums; he's been caught purchasing accounts and then using them to futher abuse people; he's openly bragged he's using Portalarium's own staff to gaslight and harm others. He sent details about real life information, including the schools someone's children went too, and the social security number of a blogger called InsaneMembrane to multiple people via the forums. He then called that bloggers grandmother, and laughing bragged to her how much he was hurt and needed her help.

But he's untouchable on Portalarium's forums for some reason.

I've since had comments forwarded to me, claiming to be from some of the recently sacked developers, that they were aware of all this, but that they knew he's untouchable too. Rumours were, someone on staff is actively protecting him.

I have two police reports active in the UK, and one in Austin, Texas which was about to execute a search warrant to force Portalarium to identify at least the credit card behind the individual bragging he's doing it; Portalarium knows about this too, because I've notified them of each one in turn, and given them all the contact details and crime reference numbers. Currently that is paused whilst I take Portalarium to Arbitration because since then the individual wrote to Portalarium, and copied me into the thread to try and hurt me further, and demanded they act against me. Which they did, banning my access to my account and notifying him personally they had, because he went to Reddit to gloat about it. Even though I had all the correspondence and had published it, they assume they're all so untouchable they could just ban me, and claim my letting them know I had police reports active was making "legal threats".

As a consequence, they received legal notification on June 4th 2018 that I was triggering arbitration as per the EULA. They're going to get shredded trying to defend over 2 years of logged harassment. At which point both the police and the media quietly interviewing me behind the scenes are going to start up again with the story, because I'll have the court-approved evidence.

But that's just MY experience. You can find the developer Chris Spears ranting like a thin skinned bully all over the internet. You can find evidence of the lies, the ways they've deliberately built a F2P premium currency MMO and knew they planned too right from the start, whilst deceiving backers that they were building a RPG like the early Ultimas; how they were signing contracts with outside publishers for a cut of the permanent add on store as far back as 2015 whilst lying to the press that they didn't need one; how they ran a SeedInvest to get more money, claiming they hoped for $50m in revenue, but at least $20m... but then deleted the Risks and Assessments paragraph they were legally required to included after the media started quoting how it said Portalarium had never turned a profit and were not expected to survive the next 12 months; How even now they bullshit their backers and claim sacking fully half the staff, and all the core ones, means they're getting ready, SOMEHOW to produce Episode 2... for the love of god, don't stop spending!!

Again, rumours that have also reached my ears is that they're hoping to focus on just polishing until they can sell the entire licence to someone else, and then run away from the game personally. They're looking for an exit strategy now. However no one, including Travian, are interested because they've seen the actual figures now.

And when the game goes, everything you've spent is lost, because it's server based like any other MMO.

And that's not even starting on the sheer malicious, dishonest nature of this whole shit show.

Do you see the 3 post wonder talking about all the community events in this thread? That's almost certainly a Real Money Trader on Reddit called "MrAdventur3" and "VladamirBegemot". See if you can find the almost identical post talking about dance parties, and fairy events etc he made as "Vladamir" on the main Shroud sub reddit. Then watch him melt down into toxic hatred again, and try and spin the following; He renamed his account on Shroud from the former to the latter so he could pretend on Reddit to be a newbie and that you didn't need to RMT to get a home, whilst on his main account, he merrily traded away and put up posts demanding no one undercut RMT prices or they'd kill the game, and organising people to go and manipulate the coverage of the game, including putting up lists of links for them to hit.

When I spotted he'd renamed his main account, he went on an unbelievable rant screaming he didn't want anyone to know this, and linking the two was "doxxing" him. He tried reporting me to Steam for the same thing, and posted in endless reviews that I was banned for "doxxing". Except, I wasn't.

When that failed to work, he was so outraged still... he linked both names on his Steam account himself, so he could openly use his trade feedback on the Shroud forums for trading through Steam now.

Then, he logged into MassivelyOP.com under his real name, and tried to report me quoting his post as "doxxing" him again. When that didn't work, he tried it at Reddit. When that didn't work, he kept trying it until one mod, who didn't know his past history, believed him. All because I want to warn people he's a scammer and what you really need to spend with him to get the property he's talking about.

Once you clicked his account on MassivelyOP you saw it was his facebook account. Which revealed he'd stolen $2900 from people who thought they were supporting a turtle sanctuary, but was only to buy himself a 3d printer. There's no evidence he ever even completed the rewards in his own dishonest kickstarter, even though some of them were printing items off the printer you'd just brought him. On Gamasutra he has a public blog under both "MrAdventure" and the name he uses on MassivelyOP... and he also scams donations for a claimed unity game that again, there's no evidence he ever even got close to building.

And I'd bet you ANYTHING there he is again, trying to spam false claims about population numbers because he wants to rip people off to the last... and we do know the rough percentage of Steam client users by the way; when it says there was only 77 people online at once this week, that's between 50 and 80% of all accounts. The backers have started trying to claim they don't use the Steam client (and count HOW MANY Steam reviews say that their hours are low because they dont, it's not a coincidence) to try and discredit warning signs the game is within weeks of closure... but it's all because so many of them are running RMT businesses and are desperately trying to keep it afloat.

So ... Where, in any Ultima after IV, was harassment, stalking, threats of violence, abuse, lying, scamming, stealing, and endless toxic shitbaggery the lesson supposed to be taught?

Because THAT is why so many of us consider Portalarium have themselves burnt any fond memories of Ultima.


I'm a spicy fellow.
Oct 28, 2010
Your wallet.
Codex 2013 PC RPG Website of the Year, 2015
Jesus fuck, I'm now reading the stories from this https://www.reddit.com/r/shroudoftheavatar_raw/top/?t=all and it's so sad. If you didn't know it was about a game, you'd think it was a forum for abused husbands whose wife had cheated on them. The community is incredibly pathetic.


Well here's some background which might make it more clear for you all why people are so disgusted.

I followed the community only superficially, at least, only looking into it in terms of how it might impact the game. I will say, as I wrote in the review, that the posts there were absolutely surreal in how fanatical, in denial, the posters were. Those people who were just apparently looking as the game as a form escapism reminded me a lot of Second Life, and not even the good parts of Second Life. I blame Portalarium's moderation squad. Delete the criticism, ban the skeptics, encourage the more fanatical by giving them exclusive information and more power to decide over the evaluation of the game so that you can rake the people's money better and you have the basis of an actual cult who has Richard Garriott as a guru. This is pretty much what those guys have managed to build.

I would not be completely shocked if this place has managed to attract, or even create, the kind of lunatics you are currently describing ; even though, as I'm sure you'll understand, your words can only be taken with quite a few spoonfuls of salt.

The accusation against Portalarium you are making are extremely severe, and I would love to see them documented ; I would understand perfectly if you could not, considering the legal implications or for strategy reasons.

Holy shit, dude.
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Yah this deserves a spinning wtf emoji.


Thanks Roxor

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Dumbfuck Weasel
Jun 30, 2018
Links incoming then.

This thread over the weekend gives a sampler of evidence, in response to someone on Reddit Raw leaking what he claims was a conversation where the developer Chris Spears is obsessed with, and rants about my Reddit (and Elite Dangerous and a few other places) user name.

I make no apologies for being somewhat arrogant in it, because for nearly 2 years now, this particularly sick individual has attempted to harm my mental health; and I have no intention of encouraging him to think he's succeeded.

The "March" link following is screenshots of the actual conversation where the sociopath demanded Portalarium act against me. The first shot is my first report to the former Community Moderator Berek, telling him that the sociopath (who was then harassing someone else) was suggesting either Portalarium, or someone in the community had leaked personal details to him. Although you can't see me linking it in that shot, shortly after he started sending around this bizarre image bragging how he'd tried to make that user afraid he was lurking outside his window. As he moved his attention around to other people, he'd do this to me, and countless others too. He has a weird need to abuse people and then force them to be aware of what he's doing by sending images from either new accounts (thus not yet ignored) or to people you know.

The second image in that first link is him forging, on one of his other sockpuppets, claims I'd stalked and harassed him. This is what he links to later for Portalarium as "proof" I'm as toxic as him. Notice he crops off the user name. It's "Tinsil_The_Kobold", read his whole history and decide for yourself how honest THOSE claims are. He makes 2-3 new accounts every week to get around bans. You'll see this happen in real time on that thread later.

I link to his wider behaviour and his insanely toxic Reddit, during that conversation. You can see it, but especially the bonkers image where he rants to himself about all the traps he's setting, and admits to trying to use Berek to harass people here. And here's a sample of the comics he was sending on the same day, through Portalarium's forums to me, and which I remind Portalarium they must know he's sending.

What set him off? Some of the links are above, but here's the precis;

On a disastrous MassivelyOP.com thread, Richard Garriott calls people who don't like Shroud "Indoctrinated", and then in comments Chris Spears loses his temper, and lies about pretty much everything. We have gotten into the habit of archiving everything because of the appalling behaviour of the staff, so you can go through the time stamps and see some of the comments that were deleted. MassivelyOP, out of sheer star-struck quisling behaviour remove even simple questions and label everyone haters. But what's most important is that Chris Spears outright tries to claim that people have threatened his children and posted his #SS number.

Except... the forums he says it happened on didn't even exist until a year later. And what he's doing is turning around the report the blogger InsaneMembrane publicly discussed here. They're HIS claims.

I then make a video response to this. If you want to see screenshots of all the times I attempted to contact them, and my police reports, they're inside here. If you want to see the discussion, where not only does everyone condemn in the harshest words stalking and harassment, but state that we ALL, pro and anti Shroud suspect it's a third party doing it, it's here. Later we'd all know exactly who it was. The user we know as "jammaplaya".

Back to the present, Portalarium then decide to ban me. I keep quiet to wait to see if they share that information. They do. "jammaplaya" turns up at MMORPG.com (he follows me everywhere), using the photograph of a Canadian serial killer, and gloats he got me banned from the game. I quote there the email used to justify banning me. They provide no evidence of "toxicity", and as for "legal threats", those are the police reports you have just seen me refer too in the comment chain, and the video. He'd turn up on yet another sub-reddit shortly after ranting " "we both know that the real reason you've now lost everything is because of me."

The very first post has links to him sending abusive messages to multiple other users. It has an example of him attempting to forge one of his sockpuppets being me, and a guide to how he's trying to make me doubt my sanity. If you're already tired, imagine nearly 2 years of this. And knowing he got into your email.

Later, you'll see me discuss just one of the many accounts he sets up, "Travelling Sight", who tries to befriend me, then attempt to gaslight me again; if you want to know how obsessed he is, on a forum that's had no traffic in months, within a day he was re-activating the sock puppet only I, and the incompetent moderator of Raw, knew about his weird PMs to me...

I need to be a little careful about sharing too much about Arbitration, as it's an active court case. But you can see the relevant legalese that covers it in Portalarium's EULA (CTRL F for Arbitration). I notified them on June 4th. I have been taking legal advice, both in the US and UK, and all involved state Portalarium just don't have a chance. The question is, why are they prepared to go right to the wire on this?

All of us who've had the misfortune to come into contact with this fucked up environment suspect it's because he's sitting on something which makes him untouchable. Some think he even IS a dev. I don't, but I do think he's probably been given the green light by one of them. I believe it's Spears, with his willingness to literally use reports of being stalked and your children threatened to blacken critics of the game's name. Whether he KNOWS we're honestly telling the truth, I don't know. But he can't be under any doubt I am. Because I gave Cerus, another moderator, the police contact details remember.

And if you want those 3 links in that image, they're here, here, and here. That's just a SAMPLE of how fucking insane he was going ON CHRISTMAS DAY. In that last one, the current mod of the Shroud subreddit posted an address in Manitoba, Canada for him to also visit on. 3 days later, there was the fatal SWATing in Wichita, and he went back and edited it to just say "looking forward to seeing you".


Because I'm prepared to keep fighting until I can trigger the arrest warrant and I know my ex is safe and he can't follow up on his threats. Because I've got it all ready for eventual court cases.

But what about the real life scammer? Here's his previous account, the one he tried to claim Reddit told him to delete, because once more, he turned around actual suffering and tried to use it to abuse people trying to tell the truth. Note the unhinged response on the first page to the thread "Lying For Shroud". And how he tries to claim linking the two is doxxing. Note all the links there as a starter, to where he is organising manipulating coverage of Shroud, openly on their forums; where he lies to a potential backer on Reddit then accidentally admits he stole all his tenants possessions. Here's his Steam profile. Click the drop down box and you can see all the previous names it had. Oh look, he links the two himself.

Again, I won't use his real name, even though the cock uses it on MassivelyOP and tries to forge quoting it as "doxxing".

Instead, here's the fun thread where he, a user "MaeveAlleine", and someone claiming to be new to the game went on an unhinged, pages long rant about me until I was told it was happening, and reminded Berek he knew damn well I was engaged in police action, and did he really want this to be the face of his community? All he did was delete my responses, and my wider user name from some of the posts.

It honest to god is the most toxic, cult-like, criminally corrupt and hypocritical community I've ever been part of. It makes me sick to think childhood heroes have sunk this low. The sociopaths, and the Real Money Traders, at least never aspired to better. But Ultima was supposed to teach a virtuous life. So ... fuck them now.


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