Over the past few days, Portalarium has rolled out small changes to Shroud of the Avatar, ranging from loot drops in dungeon encounter rooms to visual fixes and quality of life updates. As always, a running log of changes made to the game is kept on the Shroud of the Avatar site.
Because of the constant updating of the patch notes page, and the lack of fanfare when it happens, players may have missed an important bit of information regarding the Crown Store.
For those unaware, Portalarium introduced buffs that would be granted to players when they purchased something from the store. The whole thing was intended to encourage players to use the store, and allowed them to get as many as three of these buffs at once. Of course… players were incredibly concerned about the implications this had for the game. Many worried this would cause a pay-to-win situation — despite assurances from the developer.
One developer even commented on an earlier Massively OP article stating that technically the buffs weren’t sold through the cash shop and generally players who bought through the Crown Store used gold earned in-game, so there was no pay-to-win involved.
Of course, it’s often hard to convince players that something like this may not become pay-to-win at some point — intentionally or not.
The good news for the more worried players is that as of yesterday, the buffs are no more. In build 952, the removal was noted as them having “been expired and turned off”. It is worth noting that the Shroud team was more or less testing the system and noted a few months back that the buffs may not make it past the two-month mark.
Of course, that doesn’t mean that they might not appear again from time to time. We’ll just have to wait and see.