I did a lot of reading, but posted the highlights of this morning's announcement on our site. If you're a "TLDR" kind of person... then this post is for you - Darkstarr's megapost has all the details. ~~~~~~ Starr “DarkStarr” Long, Executive Producer of Shroud of the Avatar, has created another of his “megaposts” in the SotA forums. Not only is Starr giving away a lot of critical information about the current status of SotA, he is also announcing some interesting and much wanted news about pledge tiers. Here are the highlights which will be enabled very soon on the SotA website; just in time for the 2014 E3 sponsored by Gamespot. This move is sure to generate more funding and buzz at the gaming expo for this spiritual successor to the Ultima series. New Pledge Tiers Adding Marshal levels to Knight and Lord as “stepping stones” toward the higher tiers. Knight Marshal is $1,200 USD (between Knight & Lord) Lord Marshal is $2,200 USD (between Lord & Baron) New Pledge Rewards Adding some new rewards of highly requested features which also expands housing to lower pledge tiers. Ability to create more characters on a single account added at certain tier levels. These other characters are kin (related) to your first and share the same reputation and surname. Second character is rewarded at Virtual Collector. The third at Ancestor. Additional character slots purchased via the add-on store will be taxed. New rewards are for Benefactors. There are no new Founder rewards at this time. More starting recipes at Royal Artisan with enough resources to create 4 of each recipe. Now get rent-free housing at Ancestor level with the new Row Lot & House for city living! (more on this below) Daily use items which generate in-game items (from books to reagents and more) Deco items which create effects (like a birdbath that attracts flocks of birds or a phonograph which plays music) Wearable items and other usable items in the upper tiers New Housing Type The Row House is now being added for denser cities – and more housing! Row Houses will contribute to higher housing density in cities, allowing for more housing plots than have been seen in the game so far. Row Lots can be purchased in the add-on store, but rent will apply. Different styles of Row Houses will be created and added to the add-on store. There will also be Row Lot Basements added at a later time. There is no outdoor decorating for the Row House, but the interiors are huge (1/4 of the existing village lot). Only a Row House can go on a Row Lot, but a Row House can be used on any lot. Player Town Ownership Inspired by the PaxLair citizens crossing over from Ultima Online, new types of add-on store items are being implemented. Player groups can pool their money and buy an entire scene for their town! Only one owner though. High customization features with the dev team during a Design Session! Choose your environment, from swampland to grasslands Name your town & choose a location on the Hex map Number and sizes of lots to fit within purchased parameters NPC features & buildings Player Lots within the scene are locked with keys that the owner uses to allow others to occupy. Controls will be in place to evict occupancy of a lot. Players still have to have a lot deed and a house deed to use the unlocked lot. There will be a way to achieve a Player Town in the game, but fees will apply. Stretch Goal Store A new concept which allows players to “vote with their money” for various features they want. Players contribute funds toward a stretch goal, and still receive in-game goods even if the goal is not met. Created to help focus the design team’s goals and yet players get something in return. Each goal will have a progress bar for tracking. These stretch goals will be completed only AFTER all other Kickstarter goals are reached. Stretch goal purchases cannot be melted down for other purchases. Add on store credit cannot be applied to stretch goal purchases. Items being added tot he Stretch Goal Store Non-combat horse mounts Playable Elf Race Pack Animals Non-combat boats (players can fight on boats, but boats do not take on damage) Flexible Structure Placement (players can use multiple structures on a single lot) Getting Your Homestead There is even more discussed in another of Starr’s posts about Lot Selection when the game is ready to go public. This post includes specifics about who goes first for claiming land based on tier, founder vs. benefactor, possible web-based solution (for those who cannot log on from work) and other creative avenues which all depend on funding. Right now, there is still some heated discussion about this in the forums as well as the private Dev+ forums, so nothing is finalized in stone – yet. Here are the major points… Tier Order will start from the most expensive tiers, working backward, so Lords and Lord Marshals get to go first. Within each tier, the Royal Founders will go first, then Founders (Benefactors who received Founder gifts), then finally Benefactors. Within each group: the higher the dollar amount, the more time will be given for selection. You can read the entire post here where a whole lot of conversation happening over on the SotA forums. If you’d like to discuss there, make sure to have your voice heard!