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Avatar’s Update #278: The Making of Westend

Discussion in 'Shroud of the Avatar Discussion Hall' started by SotA Stratics, May 5, 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




    The Making of Westend

    The town of Westend is located in the Verdantis region on the western coast of Novia. The combination of Norgard architecture and wetlands creates a unique visual element to the town not seen anywhere else in Novia. Westend is the port that serves adventurers traveling to Verdantis Shardfall and while the town remains small it has grown prosperous from trade because of the resources brought back by those lucky enough to survive the Shardfall. Of course many say those resources came off the bodies of dead adventures…

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


    Hey guys SorcerousSteve here to give you a sneak peek at the uncloning of Westend!

    Westend is located on the western end of Verdantis in close proximity to the Verdantis Shardfall. Alongside this it is in close proximity to Norgard, so for this particular uncloning we decided to bring in our Viking style architecture and improve the theme of the area as a coastal swamp biome.

    The NPC center and cluster of shops in the heart of town have now received a major makeover with multi-level platforms that rise above the swamp alongside the addition of bringing in viking themed architecture, furniture and additional propping.

    [​IMG]

    The Westend docks.

    [​IMG]

    Dragon heads and nicely manicured wooden walkways make up the central area of Westend.

    [​IMG]

    Merchants put up shop in the alleyways leading to the docks.

    [​IMG]

    Eastern town entrance. As part of the makeover to Westend a new foliage and texture palette as been brought in to make the area look more swamp like.

    [​IMG]

    Stay tuned for more shots of Westend!

    Esteben “SorcerousSteve” Zaldivar
    Level Designer



    R52 Livestream Obsidian Order Items

    Production on the R52 Livestream Obsidian Order Items continues. This week we re-posted the Obsidian Order Throne and added the Obsidian Order Mage Robe. NOTE: We are using the term “Obsidian Order” vs. just “Obsidian” to better differentiate these items from items crafted from the Obsidian resource.

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

    Obsidian Order Mage Robe: Fletcher “Scathana” Kinnear created the mage robe of the Obsidian Order by imagining what the robes of the Obsidian Cabalists might have looked like before they became corrupted.[​IMG]


    Obsidian Order Throne: Scott “Scottie” Jones originally built this throne for the Chamber of Souls underneath Desolis. You can also see it in the Lost Vale.[​IMG]



    Heraldry Items (cont.)

    We continue to expand the number of items that you can use to show off your heraldry! This week we added a Heraldry Chest and Heraldry Brewing Casks! Players continue to post pics of their heraldry in the thread they started a few weeks ago and the results continue to be amazing!

    We also started a new thread to help players with heraldry creation.

    Here are some of the latest player pictures:[​IMG]

    [​IMG] [​IMG]

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

    Heraldry Chest: Michael “Hutch” Hutchison created this beautiful chest out of “the finest in Novian elm burl, lavishly adorned with gold leaf hardware, proudly emblazoned with your own unique crest”.[​IMG]

    Heraldry Brewing Casks: Brewing is coming in Q2 and Michael “Hutch” Hutchison has created a suite of casks for Beer, Wine, and Spirits including versions that you can apply Heraldry to![​IMG]
    Heraldry Beer Cask: [​IMG]
    Heraldry Wine Cask:[​IMG]
    Heraldry Spirits Cask:[​IMG]




    Double XP Final Week for Release 53!

    [From a Forum Post by Starr “Darkstarr”]


    Thanks to the incredible turnout we had for the Stress Test on there will be Double XP (Adventuring & Quests) for Week 1 & 2 (extended from an original plan of 1 week) of R53!

    We had to increase our server license on the QA server. There were so many people, 330+ at one point in three instances! We also finally found and fixed the AOE issue that has been troubling everyone for so long (ex. casting Elysian Illumination in crowded scenes slowing framerate).[​IMG]



    Store Credits Exchange to Gold Crowns: May 7th

    [From a Forum Post by Starr “Darkstarr”]


    When we first began our Crowdfunding campaign we created Store Credits to help facilitate the ability for players to purchase and store funds for future spending. As [​IMG]we have moved out of the Crowdfunding and Early Access phase and into commercial sales we have to review and revise several of our monetary policies. One of those that went into effect recently was was our legal obligation to charge taxes for specific territories. Another one of these is Store Credits which are not compatible with international banking laws for specific territories.

    Our goal is to provide high quality, fair, and whenever possible, consistent service to all our global customers. Therefore we have made the decision to phase out Store Credits worldwide, rather then just removing them in some territories, while keeping them in other territories (like the US).

    We do not want anyone to lose any value in this process so we are going to do an equal value exchange of all Store Credits and Store Credit Coupons worldwide to Gold Crowns on Monday May 7 at 11:00 AM CDT US. Whatever the amount of store credits you have as of that time and date you will get the best and closest exchange rate. For example if you have $100 in store credit you will receive 115 crowns.

    This will affect all Portalarium, Travian, and Black Sun customers.

    Note that we are investigating the possibility of adding the ability to spend Gold Crowns on the website but in the meantime you can spend them in game at any of our many Gold Crown Merchants. Additionally we are going to be adding Bundles to the in-game Crown Merchants in the next couple of releases (albeit without the ability to upgrade).



    NPC Submission Requests: Central Brittany

    Earlier this week Scott “Lum” Jennings posted our latest request for NPC submissions for Central Brittany. 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)
    • Brittany Wharfs
    • Desolis
    • Estgard
    • Etceter
    • Graff Island
    • Jaanaford
    • Kiln
    • Kingsport (no backer NPCs)
    • Northwood
    • Owl’s Head (no backer NPCs)
    • Resolute
    • Solania (no backer NPCs)
    • Soltown (no backer NPCs)[​IMG]
    • Spite
    • Xenos
    • Yew

    In progress:

    • Central Brittany

    To be done:

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

    [​IMG]

    [​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 what many of you have been waiting for – the very center of Novia, and home to Lady Arabella and the Oracle, the central district of the jewel of New Britannia, Brittany!

    Because of Brittany’s size, this will be the only area we are adding backer NPCs to for this release. If you do NOT want your backer NPC to be in central Brittany for whatever reason, or if you absolutely have a character who should be in a given city not named Brittany, you should wait until we advertise for that city. We do plan on eventually populating every city in the game with unique NPCs!

    First, some brief notes:

    • Brittany 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 Brittany, we cannot offer any visual customization options beyond our standard gallery of NPC models. (Do note, however, that we frequently add to that gallery – the pool has doubled over the past 6 months, for example.) 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.
    • There are MANY NPCs within Brittany’s walls. Although we will be accepting submissions on a first come first serve basis, if you are a Developer+-tier backer (as in, you can see this post), you are welcome to submit an NPC of your own design, but people who have not yet submitted an NPC will take priority over those who have. If your NPC doesn’t appear in central Brittany, feel free to respond again in future posts. We still have quite a few towns and cities to populate!
    • When responding, please list a first and second choice for profession.
    • Due to the great number of NPCs to populate this release, the amount of custom dialog we can add will by necessity be limited. If you would like specific custom dialog added for your NPC, it would help us GREATLY if you could submit in the form of [keyword that triggers a response] [the response desired] so that we have a better idea of how you would like that NPC implemented. We reserve the right to edit or change any dialog submitted, or not use it if we feel it inappropriate for the NPC or the game in general.
    • Things that will cause Lum to send you a regretful message saying we can’t use your NPC’s background: if your NPC has a backstory that contradicts the lore of the game (“my grandfather helped Aren Bennis win the Obsidian Wars”), thinly-disguised advertisements for your player-owned town or guild, references to races or major events that do not appear in-game (“my mother was an orc”), or a name that is an obvious reference to a real person, popular fictional character, or historical figure.
    • This is currently for the central district of Brittany ONLY. We will be opening all of Brittany for NPC placement in stages. (There are MANY NPCs in Greater Brittany!)
    • As central Brittany is so large, if you would like to note which district the NPC is in, that would be a fantastic help to us! (Note that obviously if all the NPCs in that district/street are taken, we’ll let you know. Also, not all NPCs listed appear in all districts. Please ensure a given NPC is in a district chosen if you choose one to avoid your selection being turned down.) The districts of Brittany are: South (near the Alleys, near the Fields), the Docks, Northeast (near the Wharfs, near the Estates) , the Castle, and North (near the Graveyard).
    • NPCs for Brittany should be human only, please.

    Still with us? Great! Here’s what we need for central Brittany:[​IMG]

    • 49 48 guards
    • 4 3 nobles
    • 31 citizens/travellers
    • 1 guild registrar
    • 2 1 bankers
    • 2 town criers
    • 2 public vendors
    • 2 combat trainers
    • 1 crafting trainer
    • 2 bakers
    • 1 butcher
    • 3 2 fishermen[​IMG]
    • 1 alchemist
    • 1 magic supplies salesperson
    • 1 cooking supplies salesperson
    • 6 5 farming supplies salespersons
    • 1 textiles salesperson
    • 2 weapons salespersons
    • 1 crafting supplies salesperson
    • 2 housing decorations salespersons
    • 2 1 housing deeds salespersons
    • 1 tavernkeeper

    If you’d like to have your namesake be a resident of central Brittany, 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):
    • District NPC appears (optional):
    • 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 Central Brittany (or keeps them there), or anything else you’d like to add. We may or may not use this background, and 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 Central Brittany.

    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 the Lady Arabella welcomes you to Brittany!



    Portalarium is Hiring: Web Developer

    [​IMG]

    We currently have an opening for a Web Developer for Shroud of the Avatar. Qualifications for the ideal candidate are:

    • Minimum 5 years industry experience
    • *nix experience (OpenBSD or Linux)
    • CSS
    • Web development experience (PHP, web services, JavaScript)
    • Relational database architecture experience (MySql preferred)
    • Server deployment and cluster orchestration (virtual and/or dedicated machines)
    • Server load balancing, traffic prioritization, etc.
    • Extensive experience with server security
    • Strong debugging skills
    • Ability to work in unstructured, non-hierarchical environment
    • BONUS SKILLS (any one or more of these):
      • NoSQL experience
      • Strong C#/C++ skills
      • Windows programming experience
      • ASP.NET
      • Mac development
      • MMO game development experience
      • Minimum of at least 1 shipped game

    If you’d like to join the Portalarium Tribe working on the ground-breaking Shroud of the Avatar game, please submit your resume to [email protected]. Provide links to your work (if possible), including gameplay, video footage, and document forms (images, maps, and event descriptions).



    Weekend Flash Sale: Homes and Lot Deeds

    [​IMG]

    In Release 53 we added Homes and Lot Deeds to rare supply bundles so just playing the game will possibly get you a lot deed or home! To celebrate, all Homes and Lot Deeds are on sale this weekend!


    Visit the Main Store to view more items! Also, you’ll want to explore the game in detail for many more craftable items available!



    [​IMG]Upcoming Events Calendar

    May 7, 2018 – Credits to Crowns Conversion
    May 31, 2018 – Release 54
    June 4, 2018 – R54 Livestream
    June 28, 2018 – Release 55
    July 6, 2018 – R55 Livestream: Lord British’s Birthday!
    July 26, 2018 – Release 56
    Aug 10 – 11, 2018 – Syndcon
    [​IMG]Aug 21 – 25, 2018 – Gamescom
    Aug 30, 2018 – Release 57
    Aug 30 – Sept 3 – Dragon Con
    Sept 27, 2018 – Release 58
    Oct 11-13, 2018 – SOTACON Austin 2018
    Oct 25, 2018 – Release 59
    Nov 15, 2018 – Release 60
    Dec 13, 2018 – Release 61

    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.



    Community Livestream: Hospitallers & Ambassadors

    Another content packed Community Livestream! We kicked off the show with a presentation by our design team of the new houses that went into the game in Release 53.

    After a tour of the new homes, we had two community exclusive features for you! The first is a visit to Portalarium by community member Ravalox who will be on the show to talk about Hospitallers and new players. Then we had on the show via remote connection our community Ambassadors.

    Who are the Hospitallers?

    Hospitallers offer assistance to any player who has questions in the game, forums, Discord (chat), and other community areas. Any player in return can also wear the Hospitaller title (found in-game) and offer assistance to other community members.

    Who are the Ambassadors?

    Ambassadors are community members that lead a particular group of players from an international community. They are volunteer only and work to answer questions in their specific language from other players that only speak that language. Find them in the forums here!

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



    Event (Dev Led): Charge of the Dragons!

    [​IMG]

    Avatars,

    Our fears have been confirmed!

    The meteor that recently struck Quel has destroyed an undiscovered dragon lair and awakened dozens of savage creatures that have been sleeping for centuries.

    Arisen from their deep sleep, enraged by the devastation of their lair, they have taken to the sky and are setting off for human cities. The Charge of the Dragons is about to begin.

    DESCRIPTION

    The dragons will unleash their wrath upon humans during the next days. They will attack some of the cities in Novia. The Avatars must gather and defend their homeland!

    After the battle, we will reward the Avatars who come up with the most fascinating Dragon-themed Screenshots and Videos.

    SCHEDULE

    The dragon attacks will take place on the following days:

    • Kick-Off: After the monthly Community Livestream (R53 Livestream) – Friday, May 4th 7:30 PM Central Time (00:30 GMT) in Desolis.
    • Monday, May 7th 2:00 PM Central Time (19:00 GMT) (City to be revealed)
    • Wednesday, May 9th 7:00PM Central Time (00:00 GMT) (City to be revealed)
    • Final attack: Saturday, May 11th 2:00PM Central Time (19:00 GMT) (City to be revealed)

    PRIZES

    For the best Screenshots posted until Thursday, May 17th in the of the event, we will give away:

    • 5 x 19 COTOs

    For the most impressive videos posted until Thursday, May 17th in the of the event, we will give away:

    • 1 x Stone Dragon Statue Town Size
    • 2 x Topiary Village Dragon Statue

    [Read More…]



    Event (Community Led): PaxLair’s Campfire Stories Vol II

    [​IMG]


    Come to our “sleepover” at the PaxLair Campsite!

    Date: May 4th, 2018 at 8pm NBT ~ Central Time (US)
    Location: PaxLair Castle grounds ~ Arrive at dock, go to sign post choose Boundry #1 ~ Head down hill and make hard right ~ follow road lot is on left across from Tavern Building.

    Dance music by Avatars Radio DJ

    Gather round the campfire……

    The first portion of our event will be stories based on this month’s theme:

    “What is your post cataclysm story?”

    To have your story read by DJ Alleine Dragonfyre on air it must be submitted to us no later than Thursday Noon (Central) April 25th,2018!

    For further information contact @Sean Silverfoot ~ PaxLair Town Manager



    Did You Know: Shroud of the Avatar Has Greenhouses!


    Avatars! This is Elgarion from @SotAHelp with a regular “Did You Know?” feature. Expect to see these posted regularly on community channels, and here in the weekly update.

    Did you know @ShroudofAvatar features greenhouses which greatly enhance agriculture? There are craftable versions of these beautiful structures! Check out SotALore’s farming planner!

    [​IMG][​IMG]

    We will be rotating these Did You Knows with Getting Started Videos and other related posts. If you have a tip to share, please send them to Berek!



    Recommended Project to SupportUnderworld Ascendant

    [​IMG]


    We’ve been following the development of Underworld Ascendant for a while now, ever since it appeared on Kickstarter. New updates have been posted as the game approaches a launch in the second half of 2018:

    Underworld Ascendant is the next-generation follow-up to Ultima Underworld, the critically acclaimed series credited with creating the ‘Immersive Sim’ genre and influencing such game series as Bioshock, Deus Ex, Dishonored, Elder Scrolls, and even Minecraft. OtherSide Entertainment, which includes original creators of the Ultima Underworld series, is innovating upon the series’ signature player-authored gameplay in bold new ways.

    Underworld Ascendant will be published on Steam for PC. Players can Wishlist the game now at: http://store.steampowered.com/app/692840.



    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...