Posted Tue, Mar 12, 2013 by Martuk
Richard Garriott announced his new spiritual successor to the classic Ultima RPG series (created by Garriott but now owned by EA) last Friday with Shroud of the Avatar: Forsaken Virtues and launched a new Kickstarter campaign to fund the title. It’s pretty clear that Garriott still holds the faith of many gamers as the Kickstarter is heading into its fourth day today and has already achieved more than 80% of its targeted goal.
In a recent update to the Kickstarter page, Garriott announced some news that should make fans pretty happy. Shroud of the Avatar Kickstarter versions will be DRM-free and have an offline playable mode. Some post-launch versions such as those on Steam may have DRM due to the platform, but it’s likely that versions through GoG.com will remain DRM-free since GoG is a DRM-free distribution service. So the option should still be available post-Kickstarter to some degree. This applies to the single player mode, online will probably include authentication of some form.
Second, the offline single player version of the game for those who purchase it through KickStarter will not use any form of DRM. We had been holding off on committing to that because we don’t know what our final distribution system (Steam, GOG, etc) is going to be and some of them use DRM. We may have DRM of some sort on post-KS sales but we’ll commit to keeping KS versions DRM and “phone home” free for the single player version once launched.
The update makes it clear that the offline characters will not be playable online to avoid any issues with hacking or exploitation, but they are experimenting with the possibility of allowing players to copy their online characters for offline play. The opposite, however, will not be possible. Garriott also confirmed that offline mode will not include any form of microtransactions in the update.