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Avatar’s Update #273: Launch is Here!

Discussion in 'Shroud of the Avatar Discussion Hall' started by SotA Stratics, Mar 30, 2018.

  1. SotA Stratics

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    Greetings Fellow Avatars! Here’s what we have for you in this week’s edition of Update of the Avatar:

    Game Development


    News Announcements


    Community Updates




    Launch is Here![​IMG]

    Shroud of the Avatar: Forsaken Virtues (Episode 1) (aka Release 52) successfully launched, leaving Early Access this past Tuesday, March 27, with thousands of players downloading, patching, and logging in to check out the launch version! There’s lots of new content to explore, including:

    • Framerate Improvements[​IMG]
    • Scene Rebuilds: South Boundless Forest, Northwood, Blood River Forest, Quel Shardfall
    • Companions
    • Multiple Characters
    • Heraldry
    • Offline Spawning Rules
    • Story Polish
    • More Side Quests
    • New Recipes & Patterns
    • More Virtue Banners
    • Combat Polish (New Skills, Dragon Wing Gust)
    • New Decorations (Wood & Stone Inn, Novia Globe, Ornate Planters)
    • More Emotes
    • Spring 2018 Items
    • R50 Telethon Items
    • R52 QA Testing Incentive Winners

    …and much more!

    Check out the Release 52 Instructions update for detailed information about all the new content.

    We need all your help with testing the new patches, putting more stress on our multiplayer servers, and testing the new game content, so please join us in playing this Release!

    If you have not backed the game yet, go to www.shroudoftheavatar.com and click the “Play Now” button. Game Early Access is also available on Steam Early Access.

    Release 52 Player Instructions

    Release 52 Known Issues

    Here are what some players are saying about the release so far:

    Beaumaris: Congratulations on a monumental release! SOTA is a great game that I look forward to playing for many years to come. The team has a lot to be proud of in your work! And thanks for the open development approach. Its been a great learning experience to track along with.

    Black Tortoise: Thanks again Portalarium, I’ve been with the project since R10, and am extremely excited for the “release” tomorrow! Can’t wait to see what future iterations have in store for us!

    Bow Vale: Congratulations to all at Portalarium on getting the game launched. The stand-up notes have been telling as of late, a lot of use of the ‘&’ key….many hat’s worn, and worn well. You have made a great game, a beautiful world with lots of potential to be expanded on in future releases and years. I have had 4 years of entertainment, hopefully that will continue for many more o/

    Cage Storm: Thank you, great game, just gets better and better…



    The Making of Quel Shardfall

    The great Cataclysm from the shattering of the two moons happened hundreds of years ago and showered the land with meteors. The largest shards created huge areas of devastation called shardfalls. The influence of the Oracle is weak in these areas and Outlanders can slay each other at will (making it an Open PvP zone). After months of meteor showers one particularly large shard has been approaching steadily and has finally crashed.

    The latest shardfall has obliterated North Quel Woods, and the Quel Shardfall has appeared in its place. Unlike other shardfalls that are hundreds of years old, this shardfall is so fresh that the ground is on fire, the air is thick with electricity that periodically discharges (ouch!), lava flows in places, and the amount of floating shards is staggering.

    The devastation of this new shardfall has exposed an ancient crypt, corrupting the resident lich and transforming him into a unique Obsidian Lich who uses Chaos Magic (much like the Chaos Daemon). Slaying the Obsidian Lich can reward you with a unique Obsidian Lich Helm.


    [A Dev+ Forum Post by Esteben “SorcerousSteve” Zaldivar]

    Hey guys! SorcerousSteve here with screenshots of the Quel Shardfall! The culmination of a month long meteor shower has ended with a cataclysmic impact in the Quel Region.

    In designing the Quel Shardfall we wanted to illustrate the idea that a recent catastrophic event had just occurred, it is this idea that differentiates this shardfall from all the others. The sky has grown dark, lightning storms rage around the impact site, pieces of obsidian float as though the exact moment of the meteoric collision has been suspended in time, and colorful gases and flames cover the crater. This is an area that is very much hazardous…[​IMG]

    Coming in at cosmic speeds the meteor tore through the slopes of the Brightbone Mountains to the west, slicing the top of trees, before ripping a gash in what once was the North Quel Woods.[​IMG]Bolts of lightning and sparks sizzle between pieces of obsidian as the area is still very much active.[​IMG]A windmill caught a flame stands solemnly amidst the devastation. [​IMG]

    High voltage sparks can prove a threat to players that wander in this area. Beware![​IMG]

    Dust and gas has been pushed up into the atmosphere in the moments following the impact. [​IMG]

    The devastation of the meteor has unearthed an entrance to a once forgotten crypt. Light emanates from the ancient symbols adorning the entrance.[​IMG]

    From this crypt a unique danger lurks at the center of the crater…an Obsidian Lich, slaying him will reap great rewards.[​IMG]

    Inside of the mysterious crypt, its existence unveiled after the recent meteor impact.[​IMG] [​IMG]

    Happy Launch to all!

    Esteben Zaldivar
    Level Designer



    Heraldry Items (cont.)

    This week we added the Founder Heraldry Banners to the growing list of Heraldry Items. Note that the banners will be dyeable when dyeable cloth and leather furniture functionality comes online later this year.

    Also eligible players have begun submitting their blazons and applying them to their heraldry items in the game. They have started a thread where they are posting pictures of themselves displaying their heraldry.

    Check out this helpful guide for submitting blazon artwork.

    NOTE: Heraldry will become available to all players later this year in the Add On Store.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    [From a Dev+ Forum Post by Starr “Darkstarr” Long]

    Founder Heraldry Banners:

    [​IMG]



    The Wood & Stone Inn (craftable)

    This in-game craftable version of the Inn features the same layout as the other inns including a ground level floor with a large common room and a single private room (suitable for a kitchen or innkeeper’s room) as well as 3 upper floors that each have 5 rooms (for a total of 16 rentable rooms).[​IMG] [​IMG]

    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]



    Monthly Livestream: R51 Rewards: Darkstarr Themed!

    [From a Dev+ Forum Post by Starr “Darkstarr”]

    As you might remember the Monthly Livestream for Release 51 was Darkstarr themed in honor of my birthday! As we wrapped work on Release 52 launch tasks we started working on the the Darkstarr stretch goal items with the Darkstarr chaos symbol on them. I hope that you are as excited about them as I am!!!!

    Darkstarr Throne: We had Reid Rollo design the placement of the symbol so when you sit in the throne your head is framed by the chaos star![​IMG]

    Darkstarr Clocktower: Bob “The Builder” went all out on this one![​IMG]

    Darkstarr 2-Handed Sword: Fletcher “Scathana” Kinnear really explored how to use the arrows all over the sword including the blade and crossguard.[​IMG]




    Don’t Fear the Reaper: Use the Cowbell

    In Release 46 we added the powerful ancient tree creature known as the Reaper and many players were afraid! Well don’t fear the reaper anymore because you can wield the awesome power of the cowbell!

    Reapers, plants and mushrooms hate the cowbell so much they become confused and weakened just by hearing the sound of this fearsome weapon. Consequently Reapers have swallowed all the cowbells in the land so now the only way to gain this artifact is to slay Reapers.[​IMG] [​IMG]



    Spring 2018 Items (cont.)

    In a last minute surprise we decided to add some rare decorations to the Arch Lapin.

    [From a Dev+ Forum Post by Starr “Darkstarr”]

    Arch Lapin Life Studies: It turns out that the Arch Lapin has commemorated his human slaying exploits throughout history with a series of life studies. These paintings and tapestries can be found only when the Arch Lapin has been defeated.[​IMG]



    Q2 2018 Schedule Update

    [​IMG]

    [From a forum post by Starr “Darkstarr” Long]

    Greetings Avatars,

    After several incredibly successful years of Early Access, we have launched into full Live mode! Now we will move fully into acquiring new users with a dedicated marketing campaign and a steady slate of press and public appearances.

    As we have stated previously, we intend to publish quarterly schedule updates detailing our monthly releases and those monthly releases will continue just as before, on the last Thursday of each month. Even though the goals outlined in these schedules are likely to change somewhat as we react to feedback, we feel it is important to periodically provide you with an updated roadmap. [​IMG]

    Our priority continues to be to deliver new content to our players regularly, so that you can give us feedback that will help us to iteratively improve Shroud of the Avatar. This collaborative process continues to benefit the game, and often results in sweeping changes such as the recent balance passes to combat. As you have seen in previous releases, the flexibility inherent to this process means that we sometimes push things out, but we also often pull new things in.

    Q2 Top 10 Priorities: As mentioned previously, we keep a running list of our Top 10 priorities at all times that we use when building our schedule and prioritizing where to allocate our team’s resources. We often refer to it when making decisions about the project. While it has a VERY strong influence on what we work on at any given time, it does not mean that we only work on something that is on the list. It just means that if someone can assist with something that will help address an item on the list, then we will make sure they do that first before working on anything else. Sometimes team members cannot assist with anything on our top priorities, so they work on other tasks such as visual polish, combat balance, or content that helps us raise funds. Q2 will focus on performance, localization, loot, and shipping the physical goods.

    1. Performance: In Q1, we made huge strides forward in performance with three steady months of frame rate improvements. While the game is much more playable now, we feel there is still more to be gained so in Q2 we will continue making code and content changes to improve performance.
    2. Localization: In Q1, we made significant progress in all our languages but we were unable to get fully localized versions. In Q2, our goal is to complete this work.
    3. Physical Goods: We made the decision in Q1 to spend more development time to increase the overall quality of the physical goods promised during the Kickstarter, including the cloth map, manual, runic card, etc. We now plan on shipping all physical goods no later than the end of Q2. The components have now all been designed, we are just working on final fulfillment.
    4. Improved Reward Cycle: In Q1 we added lots of new in-game rewards, including Virtue Armor, Virtue Banners, barbarian armor, recipes, patterns, emotes, and more. In Q2, we will significantly expand these rewards with more decorations, more armor, and most importantly, player-crafted items as part of the loot tables.[​IMG]
    5. User Interface Polish: In Q1, we polished various UI elements, and we will continue to do so during Q2 with a focus on consistency across UI elements while also improving merchants and vendors.
    6. User Acquisition: Now that we have moved out of Early Access, we are ready to start our campaign to acquire new users through marketing, press, and convention appearances. To maximize the impact of these efforts, we will be optimizing our website, store, and other first time experiences for the user.
    7. Clearer Player Direction: We will continue improving the in-game mapping service with Linux support and Localization.
    8. Story Polish: In Q2, we will continue to add more compelling experiences that put you in situations that will hopefully make you care more about the world, and at the same time provide you opportunities to either fulfill or turn away from the virtues.
    9. Improved Enemy Behaviors: Most of our enemies have very simplistic and repetitive behaviors that can be easily gamed and do not require a high level of coordination nor planning. We hope to improve on this so that enemies have markedly different behaviors, resistances, and also weaknesses. For bosses in particular, we want to introduce patterns of behaviors that change over time as the battle progresses.[​IMG]
    10. Repeatable Content: Right now there are not enough good reasons to revisit areas in the game, nor are there enough repeatable activities, especially for high level players. In Q1, we started to address this in small ways with things like the reward blessings. In Q2, we hope to start solving this with dedicated features like Castle Defense Scenarios.

    As always, all dates, durations, and deliverables are subject to change as we adjust our designs based on direct feedback from you, our players.

    RELEASE 53, April 26, 2018

    • Story: We will continue to work on adding side quests and polish to the Paths of Truth, Love, and Courage. Also, we will continue to add and update maps for the in-game map system. We will also add backer NPC conversations to Northwood and Brittany Wharf. Finally, the scenes Tenebris Harbor, Eastmarch (town), and Penmawr Island will be rebuilt from scratch.[​IMG]
    • Performance: Performance work will mainly focus on improving frame rate and reducing hitching during gameplay. Work will also continue to be done on load time reduction on the few outstanding scenes that are not meeting our 15 second load time target.
    • Looking for Group: A tool to help players find a group to adventure with will appear in the game.
    • Crafting & Economy: We will add more loot to the game like Worn Armor (to complement the Rusty Weapons) on humanoids. We will also introduce the system where player crafted gear sold to merchants will start appearing as loot in the game. Finally, in Offline Mode the drop rates for rare items like artifacts and rare components will be greatly increased.[​IMG]
    • User Interface Polish: We will make various improvements to the in-game map system, including support for localization and Linux.
    • Combat: A pass will be made on combat balance looking at different combat and magic schools.
    • Player Towns & Player Housing: Updates to Dynamic Player-Owned Towns (POTs) that have locked submission forms will appear in the game.

    RELEASE 54, May 31, 2018

    • Story: We will continue to work on adding side quests and polish to the Paths of Truth, Love, and Courage. We’ll continue to add and update maps for the in-game map system. We will also add backer NPC conversations to Brittany Central. Finally the scenes Shaminian Hills, Westend (town), and Upper Tears will be rebuilt from scratch.[​IMG]
    • Performance: Performance work will mainly focus on improving frame rate and reducing hitching during gameplay. Work will also continue to be done on load time reduction on the few outstanding scenes that are not meeting our 15 second load time target.
    • Crafting & Economy: The crafting system will expand to include the ability to brewing alcoholic beverages. We will also continue to expand the amount of loot in-game with more patterns, recipes, and gear as well as a large amount of decorations as loot.[​IMG]
    • User Interface Polish: Various elements of the UI will get polished for usability as well as improvements to information displayed.
    • Character: Polish passes will continue to be made on the Male Peasants and Pledge Servants.
    • Combat: Chaos magic will be expanded with new spells and better balanced against the other schools of magic.
    • Player Towns & Player Housing: Updates to Dynamic Player-Owned Towns (POTs) that have locked submission forms will appear in the game.

    RELEASE 55, June 28, 2018

    • Story: We will continue to work on adding side quests and polish to the Paths of Truth, Love, and Courage. We’ll continue to add and update maps for the in-game map system. We will also add backer NPC conversations to Brittany Alley. Finally the scenes Norgard Fens, Bramble (town), and East Vauban Foothills will be rebuilt from scratch.[​IMG]
    • Performance: Performance work will mainly focus on improving frame rate and reducing hitching during gameplay. Work will also continue to be done on load time reduction on the few outstanding scenes that are not meeting our 15 second load time target.
    • Physical Goods: Physical goods including the cloth map, box, trinket, manual, lot deeds, etc. (and the signed versions of each) will ship.[​IMG]
    • Crafting & Economy: We will continue to add more loot to the game. We will also work on improving the controls for player vendors to better allow sharing of vendors as well as improving the entire stocking, restocking, pricing, and repricing experience.
    • User Interface Polish: Various elements of the UI will get polished for usability as well as improvements to information displayed with a focus on the quest journal.
    • Castle Defense Scenarios: New scenes will be created similar to our control points where groups of players can fight over control of a fortress in order to gain temporary ownership and therefore gain benefits from that ownership like access to special areas, merchants, and quest givers. Work on this system will also help improve the existing control points.
    • Character: Polish passes will be made on the Spiders and a new seasonal creature will be introduced: The Jingo!
    • Localization: All interface text and quest dialogue will be fully translated into our launch languages, including English, French, German, Russian, Spanish, Portuguese, and Italian.
    • Player Towns & Player Housing: Updates to Dynamic Player-Owned Towns (POTs) that have locked submission forms will appear in the game.

    We continue to be incredibly thankful for the support we receive from this amazing community. While the financial support you provide makes all of this possible, it pales in comparison with the faith you have in us, the feedback you provide us, and the content you are making for everyone to enjoy. We are humbly grateful, and we are always excited to see you each month in New Britannia!

    Sincerely,

    Starr Long
    Executive Producer
    Shroud of the Avatar



    2-Week Double XP Launch Spree![​IMG]

    [From a Dev+ Forum Post by Starr “Darkstarr”]

    Greetings Avatars,

    In celebration of the successful launch of Episode 1 we are going to double the experience points everyone receives when completing a quest (Adventurer and/or Producer XP), and when defeating enemies (Adventurer XP), for the next two weeks. This event starts today, March 28, and ends on April 11. Enjoy!

    NOTE: The softcap on experience gain of 1 Million XP / hour is still in place, so higher end players in high XP earning environments will hit that softcap faster.

    For new players, register an account and get started today by clicking here.

    You can also pick up the game on Steam.



    Monthly Livestream: Release 52 – April 5, 2018 (NEW DATE)[​IMG]

    It is time for our first monthly livestream post-launch! As usual we will be doing deep dives, answering questions, having sales, handing out prizes, and tracking towards stretch goals! In honor of the new Quel Shardfall and the unleashing of the new Obsidian Lich, our stretch goals for the R52 postmortem are Obsidian themed!

    LIVESTREAM SCHEDULE (Central Time Zone)

    Monthly livestreams are on Twitch and include answers to your gameplay questions, world building tours, prize giveaways, sales on items, and more! Here is the schedule:

    • 3PM: Introductions and Q&A
    • 3:45PM: Deep Dive 1: Combat
    • 4:30PM: World Building Tour: New Scenes
    • 5:30PM: Deep Dive 2: Story
    • 6:15PM: Q&A Continues
    • 7PM: Ending Announcements

    STRETCH GOALS (Obsidian Themed!)

    As a special bonus, we are offering funding rewards to any player that makes a minimum purchase of $5 during a twelve hour window during the day of the livestream, on April 6 from 12:00 PM to 11:59 PM CT (Spending Store Credit to make $5 minimum purchase does not apply) .

    NOTE: While the livestream ends at 7pm CT, everyone will have until 11:59 PM CT to spend $5 to get the stretch goals. We will announce the final total on the following day.

    • $10K: /evileye[​IMG]
    • $25K: Interior sized Obsidian Obelisk
    • $35K: Obsidian Pavers
    • $50K: Obsidian Throne
    • $65K: Obsidian Wizard Robes
    • $80K: Obsidian Plate Armor

    *Please keep in mind that stretch goal rewards take time to develop and will most likely not be available in-game until Release 54 at the earliest. We will keep you updated!

    CHEER ON THE DEVS

    [​IMG]

    For every $2,500 raised, all devs on camera have to dance, sing, or perform some other act of amazement.

    Additionally, we will be having flash sales during the livestream randomly chosen by the devs from 12 different categories! Each time a category comes up it will go on sale at approx. 20% off for 1 hour.

    FLASH SALES CATEGORIES:


    WIN THESE GREAT PRIZES!

    • In-game items!
    • Bank Upgrades
    • COTOs
    • RelicsbyRild.com merchandise
    • and a bunch of items we will announce on the livestream!

    We will be giving prizes away on an hourly basis with many being given away multiple times. If you wish to win prizes during the event, be in Discord chat! We will be active on Twitch and YouTube chats as well, but they will not be our portal for prize giveaways.

    SUBMIT YOUR QUESTIONS

    We will be answering questions throughout the livestream, so submit them in the comments section of the original post (not this update!) or on Discord chat during the event.

    Please do NOT post questions containing:

    • More than 3 questions in total (post all three in a single reply)
    • Bugs or other problems best posted in the bug forums
    • “When is this coming” or anything related to schedule (for those answers please refer to our quarterly updates or our post release plans)
    • Questions with more than a couple of sentences. Please keep them brief! We will likely understand the context of your interest, so just ask the question and we’ll be able to respond.

    For bug reports and extra idea suggestions, please use the forums for this purpose.

    A Final Thought: We see a LOT of repeat questions. Please consider reviewing one of the other missed question posts, previous monthly livestreams, livestream transcripts, and/or reading our Post Episode 1 plan post before posting a question. Your question might have already been answered.

    Watch @ShroudofAvatar updates throughout the day of the livestream. See you on Twitch!



    Lot Deed Monthly Raffle Returns!

    The Lot Deed Raffle returns in Release 52! Raffle tickets can be purchased with in-game gold from home merchants. Each person can only win a single deed of each type (maximum of one place anywhere and one POT). The drawing will occur and winners will be announced in R53.

    There are two raffles, one for each lot type:[​IMG]

    Place Anywhere Deeds: 50 Total

    • Row: 20
    • Village: 15
    • Town: 10
    • City: 5

    Player Owned Town Deeds: 100 Total[​IMG]

    • Row: 40
    • Village: 30
    • Town: 20
    • City: 10

    Raffle tickets grant the holder a chance to win deeds of any size (Row, Village, Town, or City). Raffles will be held monthly (total deed numbers may vary each month). Winners can claim their deed(s) simply by logging into the game and claiming rewards at any bank.



    R52 QA Testing Incentive Winners

    Thank you to everyone who joined us during the latest round of QA Server testing for the launch of Release 52! We are incredibly thankful for the community’s contribution in helping our team test new content and make sure every Release launches as smoothly as possible.

    The following winners have been randomly drawn and prizes delivered to their game accounts! Prize pool includes gold crowns, ant farm, antennae, bug cloak, and set of bug paintings.

    • Grimbone – Bug Sprayer w/ Emote[​IMG]
    • Paladin Michael – Insect Leg Table
    • BishopFaulken – Butterfly Chair
    • Anvar – Corpion Chair
    • brogan – Antennae Hat
    • margaritte – Antennae Hat
    • Servant King – Antennae Hat
    • Grimace- Antennae Hat
    • Sean Silverfoot – Ant Cloak
    • curt – Ant Cloak[​IMG]
    • Silberfarn – Ant Cloak
    • Vladamir Begemot – Ant Cloak
    • Dargalin – Insect Painting Set
    • Atlara Skeuferyl – Insect Painting Set
    • Rowell – Insect Painting Set
    • Bayard – Insect Painting Set
    • Boof – 5 Gold Crowns Testing Reward
    • Cassandra Corax – 5 Gold Crowns Testing Reward
    • Jaesun – 5 Gold Crowns Testing Reward
    • Traveller13 – 5 Gold Crowns Testing Reward
    • Belladonna Rose – Ant Farm
    • licemeat – Ant Farm
    • Manerd – Ant Farm
    • Feeyo – Ant Farm

    Thank you EVERYONE, again, for contributing to another fantastic release!

    Want to participate for a chance to win prizes in the next release? Here’s how!



    GDC ’18 Ultima Online 20 Year Postmortem

    [​IMG][​IMG]

    Last week Richard “Lord British” Garriott and Starr “Darkstarr” Long joined Raph Koster and Rich Vogel at GDC in San Francisco to deliver Classic Game Postmortem: Ultima Online 20 Years! The hour long talk was standing room only in a 300+ person room and then the foursome hosted another 90 minute extended Q&A with 100 lucky participants! It was a truly humbling experience to have so many fellow developers thank them for Ultima Online and credit that game for getting them started in the game industry.

    In a few weeks GDC will add the postmortem to the vault where it can be viewed online. In the meantime Raph posted the slides on his website and there have already been several articles posted including Rolling Stone and Massively Overpowered.[​IMG][​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Rolling Stone: Aron Garst attended the talk and covered it for Rolling Stone in an article entitled “‘Ultima Online’ Creators Look Back on Revolutionizing Online Gaming”: [​IMG]

    From someone impersonating Hulk Hogan and trying to get players into pseudo wrestling matches to the assassination of the character of one of the game’s core creators, the story of Ultima Online is full of things that had a huge impact on so many aspects of the the way we make and play games today. So many of the ideas implemented into Ultima Online have spread throughout the industry 20 years later. Some of the original developers gathered to take a look back at the development process during a talk at this years Game Developers Conference in San Francisco. “We kept debating about whether or not we can justify spending an Ultima sized budget on an online game,” said Richard Garriott, wearing a crown and full king’s garb. “Year after year the answer was always no.” [READ MORE]

    Massively Overpowered: Living up to their overpowered moniker writer Andrew Ross attended not only the panel but also the extended remix Q&A afterwards, covering both in his article “GDC 2018: Ultima Online Post-mortem with Richard Garriott, Starr Long, Raph Koster, and Rich Vogel”:[​IMG]

    Plenty of panels at GDC are recorded and uploaded to the internet weeks after the event. It’s not quite the same as being there, as you miss a few things. For example, this year’s Ultima Online Post-Mortem panel was packed. It was international. It was fun, gross, nostalgiac, and sometimes groan-inducing. And I’d hate to just summarize the talk, especially since some of you vets have heard these stories before, but since ya’ll couldn’t make it, I’ll do it. For you. But for this particular panel, not only will I try to summarize what was said before the panel will be viewable online in a few weeks, but I’ll dish out on the after-panel chat with Richard Garriott, Starr Long, Raph Koster, and Rich Vogel, including comments from the team on bad bans, kingslaying, VR, and the state of the MMORPG. Let’s set the stage for a moment here. As the UO team pointed out, our current setups are significantly better than whatever “awesome” computer you had at UO’s birth. Our current modems are 2500 times faster than what Ultima launched with. On average, you’ll have 1000 times more RAM, 8k times the video RAM, and your phone probably has 10 times the storage. You’re no longer paying for online games by the minute. [READ MORE]





    NPC Submission Requests: Brittany Wharfs and Northwood

    Earlier this week Scott “Lum” Jennings posted our latest request for NPC submissions for Brittany Wharfs and Northwood. This is for Developer+ level backers who are eligible for the “Design an NPC” reward “Help create and name a character in the game”.

    For reference here is our current status on which towns we have done this work on and which towns remain to be done:

    Done:

    • Aerie[​IMG]
    • Ardoris
    • Braemar (no backer NPCs)
    • Desolis
    • Estgard
    • Etceter
    • Graff Island
    • Jaanaford
    • Kiln
    • Kingsport (no backer NPCs)
    • Owl’s Head (no backer NPCs)
    • Resolute
    • Solania (no backer NPCs)
    • Soltown (no backer NPCs)[​IMG]
    • Spite
    • Xenos
    • Yew

    In progress:

    • Brittany Wharfs
    • Northwood

    To be done:

    • Bramble
    • Brittany Central
    • Brittany Fields
    • Broochash
    • Brookside[​IMG]
    • Celestis
    • Eastmarch
    • Elad’s Lighthouse
    • Fortus End
    • Goti
    • Mud
    • Noreach
    • Point West
    • Port Graff
    • Storm’s Reach
    • Westend

    [​IMG]

    BRITTANY WHARFS:

    [​IMG][From a Dev+ Forum Post by Scott “Lum” Jennings]

    Thank you for your continuing support of Shroud of the Avatar! This month, we’re seeking entries for inhabitants of the neighborhoods of Brittany Wharfs!

    Yes, it’s finally time to start populating the largest city in Novia, the jewel of New Britannia and the home of so many adventures. The Wharfs are an area heavily focused on trade, merchants, and crafting. The main harbor hosts a lot of boat traffic at its peak. North of the harbor is the Warehouse District. Rails line the streets to facilitate the transportation of cargo from the warehouses to the harbor. The wharfs of Brittany see traffic of an entire continent come through its docks, and many fortunes are made and lost among its tides.

    Note that Brittany Wharfs is not the only area we will be seeking submissions from for R53. If you do NOT want your backer NPC to be in Brittany Wharfs, you may want to wait. I will update this thread if we are running low on submissions – generally we are OK on duplicate submissions for characters who don’t get adopted (such as guards) but if you absolutely have a character who should be in a given city (such as Brittany) you should wait until we advertise for that city.

    First, some brief notes:

    • Brittany Wharfs, while not technically a “clone” of an older scene, has many NPCs which are not currently unique. Thus, the NPCs are already in the game, but we can change appearance (to a degree, as seen below), gender, etc. to suit your request. If you want to pick a specific NPC (for example, one near your own house) we will do our best to accommodate you but may not be able to.
    • NPC visual customization, as you may have noticed, is still at a very early stage in development. Right now for the backers who want to be added to Northwood, we cannot offer any visual customization options beyond our standard gallery of NPC models. If you would like to have input over the visual customization of your NPC, you can wait for further releases when we can offer this. We will also allow a one-time visual re-customization once customization has been added if you would like to add your NPC now.
    • Response to this will be on a first-come first-served basis for each call for responses. If your NPC doesn’t appear in Brittany Wharfs, feel free to respond again in future posts. We have quite a few towns and cities to populate!
    • We are allowing people who have already submitted NPCs to submit their ideas for Brittany Wharfs as well if they like, but people who have not yet submitted an NPC will take priority over those who have.
    • When responding, please list a first and second choice for profession.
    • This is currently for Brittany Wharfs ONLY. We will be opening all of Brittany for NPC placement in stages. (There are MANY NPCs in Greater Brittany!)
    • NPCs for Brittany Wharfs should be human only, please.

    Still with us? Great! Here’s what we need for Brittany Wharfs:

    • 38 37 guards
    • 1 bookseller[​IMG]
    • 1 alchemist
    • 1 armorcrafter
    • 2 innkeepers
    • 2 waiters / waitresses
    • 1 blacksmith
    • 1 housing deeds merchant
    • 1 housing decorations merchant
    • 2 crafting supplies merchants
    • 1 weapons merchant
    • 1 butcher[​IMG]
    • 1 fishing supplies merchant
    • 1 magic supplies merchant
    • 1 cooking supplies merchant
    • 1 combat trainer
    • 1 crafting trainer
    • 1 banker
    • 1 town crier
    • 3 public vendors
    • 1 guild registrar

    If you’d like to have your namesake be a resident of Brittany Wharfs, please respond via private message on this forum to me (Lum) using the following format:

    • NPC name:
    • NPC gender:
    • NPC profession (first choice):
    • NPC profession (second choice):
    • NPC background (optional): A paragraph on whom your NPC is, how they would respond to nosy outlanders poking about their business, what brings them to Brittany Wharfs (or keeps them there), or anything else you’d like to add. We reserve the right to edit and/or reject any background that does not fit the lore and setting of the game.

    Please specify in your submission that this NPC is for Brittany Wharfs.

    We will respond if: your NPC is used; if it is rejected for whatever reason (such as an inappropriate name); if a supplied background is inappropriate, or if your NPC missed the cutoff for this release.

    Thanks for your support, and see you at the docks of Brittany Wharfs! (Save space for Atos’ alter ego…)

    [​IMG]

    NORTHWOOD:

    [​IMG][From a Dev+ Forum Post by Scott “Lum” Jennings]

    Thank you for your continuing support of Shroud of the Avatar! This month, we’re seeking entries for inhabitants of the town of Northwood!

    Recently “uncloned” in Release 52, Northwood is beyond the grasslands far north of Brittany, near the western coast of Spindrift Bay in the North Paladis region. Rumors are spreading that the town boasts some remarkable similarities to locations on Earth known as Britannia Manor and Castleton, but surely that must be coincidence?

    Note that Northwood is not the only town we will be seeking submissions from for R53. If you do NOT want your backer NPC to be in Northwood, you may want to wait. I will update this thread if we are running low on submissions – generally we are OK on duplicate submissions for characters who don’t get adopted (such as guards) but if you absolutely have a character who should be in a given city (such as Brittany) you should wait until we advertise for that city.

    First, some brief notes:

    • Northwood is one of our “uncloning” scenes, where we go back and fill out unique content for each village and city. Thus, the NPCs are already in the game, but we can change appearance (to a degree, as seen below), gender, etc. to suit your request. If you want to pick a specific NPC (for example, one near your own house) we will do our best to accommodate you but may not be able to.
    • NPC visual customization, as you may have noticed, is still at a very early stage in development. Right now for the backers who want to be added to Northwood, we cannot offer any visual customization options beyond our standard gallery of NPC models. If you would like to have input over the visual customization of your NPC, you can wait for further releases when we can offer this. We will also allow a one-time visual re-customization once customization has been added if you would like to add your NPC now.
    • Response to this will be on a first-come first-served basis for each call for responses. If your NPC doesn’t appear in Northwood, feel free to respond again in future posts. We have quite a few towns and cities to populate!
    • We are allowing people who have already submitted NPCs to submit their ideas for Northwood as well if they like, but people who have not yet submitted an NPC will take priority over those who have.
    • When responding, please list a first and second choice for profession.
    • NPCs for Northwood should be human only, please.

    Still with us? Great! Here’s what we need for Northwood:

    • 7 6 guards[​IMG]
    • 1 innkeeper
    • 1 waiter / waitress
    • 1 blacksmith
    • 1 housing deeds merchant
    • 1 housing decorations merchant
    • 1 crafting supplies murchant
    • 1 weapons merchant
    • 1 combat trainer
    • 1 crafting trainer
    • 1 banker
    • 1 town crier
    • 1 public vendor
    • 1 guild registrar

    If you’d like to have your namesake be a resident of Northwood, please respond via private message on this forum to me (Lum) using the following format:

    • NPC name:
    • NPC gender:
    • NPC profession (first choice):
    • NPC profession (second choice):
    • NPC background (optional): A paragraph on whom your NPC is, how they would respond to nosy outlanders poking about their business, what brings them to Northwood (or keeps them there), or anything else you’d like to add. We reserve the right to edit and/or reject any background that does not fit the lore and setting of the game.

    Please specify in your submission that this NPC is for Northwood.

    We will respond if: your NPC is used; if it is rejected for whatever reason (such as an inappropriate name); if a supplied background is inappropriate, or if your NPC missed the cutoff for this release.

    Thanks for your support, and see you in Northwood!



    The Ambassadors Program: How You Can Help

    Dear Avatars,

    To prepare for the growth of the Community after launch, we are looking for passionate Avatars, longtime citizens of Novia, to be volunteer Ambassadors of Shroud of the Avatar. We need those who exemplify the value of Avatars in the way they interact with the Community and help welcoming, onboarding, and supporting newcomers in their native language.

    We are excited to initiate this project that empowers our Community to have even more impact and influence on its own expansion and evolution!

    [​IMG]

    SotA Ambassadors will have a multifunctional role, being representatives and also caretakers of the Sub-Communities of a specific language. Their mission is to welcome and onboard the outlanders who are new to the Community, in their native language, and maintain the respective language forum as a fun and friendly place. In order to do so, the Ambassadors will have some moderation permissions for the section of the respective language, on the Forum as well as on Discord.

    If you are one of those Avatars who can call New Britannia their home, uphold the Community Guidelines in an exemplary way, and are willing to actively help the Community Management team with this mission, keep reading to find out more about this role!

    [Read More…]



    Free Trial: Choose Any Path!

    Free Trial access allows you to play the entire game in any of the Online modes with a few key differences in game play. You will be able to explore hundreds of scenes, talk with thousands of players, adventure through the opening quests, and gain experience and skills as you get used to the world of New Britannia!

    Here are the few Visitor limits:[​IMG]

    • The term (Visitor) is appended to their character name
    • Max skill level set to 50
    • Limited to a single Story Path (Truth, Love or Courage)
    • Cannot purchase nor sell items via Player Vendors nor Public Vendors
    • No ownership of player property nor use of player property signs
    • Cannot move/interact with items on a player property (even if given permissions)
    • Cannot interact with public chests
    • Cannot give items to other players via Trade or Mail
    • Cannot flag as Open PVP
    • Cannot gain nor create ransom items when you kill or are killed in PVP (in Open PVP zones)
    • Character data may be deleted if not eventually upgraded to a paid account
    • Cannot play in Offline Mode

    Join us in New Britannia for free today!



    Weekend Flash Sale: Emotes!

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    In Release 52 we added eight new emotes into the game and made it so the /guard emote allows you to hold torches so we are putting all emotes (and any items that include emotes) on sale this weekend! You can also view each item individually in the Add-On Store:




    Upcoming Events Calendar

    April 5, 2018 – Monthly Livestream: Release 52
    April 26, 2018 –
    Release 53
    May 31, 2018 – Release 54
    June 28, 2018 – Release 55
    July 26, 2018 – Release 56
    Aug 21 – 25, 2018 – Gamescom
    Aug 30, 2018 – Release 57

    Visit the official Community Calendar to see the great lineup of activities our amazing community has planned for this weekend! And be sure to check out this month’s Release Events thread in the SotA forums for additional events.



    Events: Launch Parties and a Welcome Quest

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    Join us for a special dance party to celebrate Release 52 and the game’s official launch! Dance parties are put on by the community, hosted in a player owned town in-game. Celebrate The Launch with DJ Darkstarr!

    This dance party is being held in the town of Ordinis Mortis. Upon arrival in the town head south on the road from Brittany and take the first river crossing to the east… The town will be just to the north of the road as you cross the river. Enter the town (You’ll enter on the central bridge) and head toward the Oracle Confirmatory. Take the road that passes to the right of the Oracle Confirmatory, and you should see the Lord British and DarkStarr banners slightly to your right… Pass between them and follow the road to the keep. Once at the keep go inside and take the stairs to the roof.

    To listen in in-game while at the dance party, double click on an Aether Amplifier (a radio/speaker looking device) and select Avatar’s Radio or listen directly from the Avatar’s Radio website!.

    See Amber Raine for (details)

    Keep watch on the Community Calendar website page and the Community Events forums for other launch parties, and the Release 52 Welcome Quest!

    [​IMG]



    Impressions of New Britannia – Launch Screenshot Contest

    [​IMG]

    New Britannia is full of wonderful impressions. We want to highlight all the moments of beauty, virtue, danger, and wondrous discoveries that inhabit the land. We invite you to capture your moments in New Britannia in this ‘Impressions of New Britannia’ – Launch Screenshot Contest!

    While we have categories to focus on above, winners will be judged purely by quality and originality of the screenshot.

    • 5x Top Winners: 100 COTOs (in-game currency) + Pet of your choice + Screenshot Title
    • 7x Runner-ups: 25 COTOs (in-game currency)
    • We will also be selecting 5x random winners for an additional 25 COTOs each for those who share their top screenshot on Twitter and/or Facebook (you can win both here and in the above categories, so be sure to post in the forums and link your post on social @ShroudOfAvatar for Twitter and @shroudoftheavatar for Facebook))!

    [Read More..]



    The Avatar’s Puzzle Box – A Week of Puzzling Contests

    [​IMG]

    Greetings Avatars,

    For the upcoming week, we invite you to participate in a 3-phase Puzzle-Event on our forums! The cleverest Avatars will have the chance to win a Hollow Log Two-Story Village House during the R52 Postmortem-Livestreem on Thursday, April 5th.

    Each day, the first Avatar who submits the correct answer, wins 19 COTOs (answers will be not visible at first). All answers will be published at the end of the week. Additionally, for each of the 3 puzzles, 2 other random Avatars who also got the answer right, shall get 9 COTOs each.

    [​IMG]
    Those of you who manage to answer all 3 puzzles correctly will automatically participate in a raffle to win a Hollow Log Two-Story Village House! The winners of the COTOs will be announced during the Monthly Livestream: Release 52 on Thursday, April 5th. Avatars who get all 3 puzzles right will be part of a raffle during the Livestream. @Berek will perform the raffle and draw a lucky winner of the first prize.

    Are you ready to go for some COTOs and the first prize? Come back on Monday, at 12 PM CT (5PM GMT) for the first challenge!

    [Read More…]



    Community Livestream: Northwood and a Quest

    In this week’s Community Livestream we took a stroll through the Northwood scene with Travis “Vas Corp Por” Koleski, gave away some prizes, and Sarah came on to chat with us about the Launch!

    For more livestreams and gameplay videos, be sure to subscribe to www.youtube.com/portalarium!



    SOTACON 2018 Convention Announced! Oct. 11-13, 2018

    [​IMG]


    SOTACON in 2018 has been announced! A community run event, SOTACON Austin is going to be the place for interaction with the developers of Shroud of the Avatar and having fun celebrating your time in the game. Join your fellow community members this coming October 11-13, 2018 in Austin, TX!

    When: October 11-13, 2018 (Thursday to Saturday)
    Where: Renaissance Austin Hotel, Austin Texas
    Website: https://www.sotaconaustin.org

    Registration for the Shroud of the Avatar Convention – Austin 2018 is now open! Admission tickets, cloaks, and VIP packages are on sale now at our Eventbrite Site.

    For the players and completely run by the players, this second Convention in Austin brings new activities and great opportunities for attendees and SotA developers. You will experience:

      • A relaxing and social Thursday evening with an icebreaker at a local pub/restaurant.
      • An action-packed Friday with ceremonies, speeches, prizes, panel sessions, group photos, live action role-play (LARP) duels, dinner, and Shakespearean play at Richard Garriott’s Curtain Theatre. (medieval garb encouraged on this day, but not necessary).
      • A convention/business style Saturday with panels, break-out discussions, feedback given directly to the developers, and prizes.
      • A blow-out social Saturday evening with a dance party to include DJ, cosplay, prizes, contests, and stories.
      • A relaxing and open Sunday for guilds, player towns, communities and friends to hold their own activities to enjoy Austin and meet with friends.
      • In addition, a special Thursday afternoon and evening is for our special VIPs to include a Portalarium tour and private reception dinner.

    [​IMG]
    Your admission ticket price covers many, but not all, of these activities; details are forthcoming as Convention sales get underway (think “stretch goals”).

    Go here to view the Convention schedule! For plenty of other information, visit the SOTACON website at https://www.sotaconaustin.org.

    To support the event by purchasing cloaks and tickets, go to the Eventbrite Site.

    Join us at SOTACON – Austin this Oct. 11-13, 2018 and take your place in history!



    Recommended Project to Support – The Saga of Lucimia MMORPG

    [​IMG]

    It has been centuries since the Adepts and Elders roamed the land, wielding magic to protect humanity from what lies beyond. Mortals have learned how to get by with the strength of their own two hands. Have learned how to survive. How to adapt. But they cannot face the rising threat from across the seas alone. Only magic can defeat magic. And so their quest begins: a journey to rediscover the source of all magic, and harness it for the salvation of humanity.

    The Saga of Lucimia is a group-based MMORPG developed by Stormhaven Studios, LLC. Originally designed as a homegrown tabletop campaign in the 90s, our focus is primarily on enhancing the tabletop experience and providing an old-school experience for MMORPG gamers who thrive on community-based adventures that span the course of weeks, months, and years alongside their fellow adventurers. Epic storylines, 8-person groups, multi-group raids, ability-based character progression, crafting that is equally important to adventuring, no mini maps, no experience points, zero quest hub grinding, no flashing icons over NPC heads telling you who to talk to, and an endless world to explore.


    Robert “Undone” Thompson here from Portalarium! Saga of Lucimia is a hobby project of mine that also played a big role in my hiring. I have been the lead developer on it for the past few years and am very excited to share it with you. I hope you enjoy what you see from this passion project!

    [​IMG]



    Resources – Players Helping Players

    [​IMG]

    The official SotA New Player Welcome Forum and the Player Created Resources Forum have the best player created resources for Shroud of the Avatar, whether it’s a Player Written Guide, a Video Walk-through, or a Wiki-type Website.

    Visit the official Community Resources page for a complete listing of all things community.

    Continue reading...