Release 63 of Shroud of the Avatar goes live this Thursday, February 28, at 10:30 AM US Central Time (15:30 UTC).
Release 63 is the second release in which we focused on the current iteration of our Top 10 Priorities (from Q1 2019 Schedule Update). We made progress on almost every single priority including Quality of Life (Automatic Reward Claiming, Reduced Item Prices, POT Deco Limits Increased, Lot Deed Upgrading with Crowns), User Interface Polish (In-Game Crown Shop Improvements), Seasonal Content (Envy Angel), Systems Polish (Pronged Weapons), bug fixes, more Player-Made Dungeon pieces, and the first work on spawning in Player-Made Dungeons!
Envy Angel: Our latest seasonal boss monster missed Valentine’s Day—or Sequanna’s Day, as it is known in Novia—and she’s not happy about it. Well, The Envy Angel is never quite happy about anything really, except perhaps attention from her admirers. Rumor has it that her bow is a powerful artifact. Anyone who wants more information about her should find Hyun the courier in the Necropolis Barrens. Kinga and Ronin, in Brittany Castle, say he was supposed to be delivering love letters but was waylaid as he tried to take a shortcut through the Envy Angel’s home! The courier offers a quest to recover the letters for him. In fact, he may ask avatars to perform a similar quest on a daily basis!
Pronged Weapons (aka Tridents): This new one-handed polearm type is a little slower and less damaging than other polearms but it triggers damage and effects three times per hit! This means effects like Push, Pull, and Poison get applied up to 3 times each hit! As of R63, you will find Pitchforks, a Basic Trident, an Ornate Trident, and the Daemon Trident (a rare and powerful artifact).
Player-Made Dungeons: The first round of Player-Made Dungeon encounters are going live in Release 63, including a system to level-up these dungeon encounter rooms! For this first release, we’re adding one encounter type, but it’ll be added to multiple different rooms. It may be a “proof of concept” encounter, but any effort you put into leveling-up the room will be saved. Additionally, a new set of prison-themed Player Dungeon rooms are coming into the game. For the initial release for R63, the scene will be in place and liches will drop the items needed for them but we will not enable totem creation. Totem crafting will be turned on in a patch a few days later once things have some more testing.
Quality of Life Improvements: We have made a lot of improvements to Quality of Life in Release 63 (some even got patched into R62). Rewards from the Rewards Program, livestream prizes, and other web store purchases are now automatically delivered with an on-screen notification, so the “Claim Rewards” button is no longer needed in the Rewards interface. We also have done a massive price reduction across the entire store where most items are now at approximately 50% of their original price. We continued polishing the in-game Crown Shop and moved most web store items to this store. Lot Deeds and Player Owned Towns can now both be upgraded with Crowns inside the game, and lot deeds can now be upgraded to tax free deeds! We also increased the POT Decoration limits and reduced the costs of placing large lots in POTs.
I want to express a huge amount of gratitude to the players who tested the items listed below on our QA server. They found many bugs and also provided editorial feedback on this post so that it is easy to read and actually matches what is in the game.
Before offering feedback and/or reporting a bug, we kindly ask that you read this whole message and the linked Player Guide and Known Issues to get up to date on the current game state. To keep up to date, please check out the Patch Notes.
By taking a few moments to read through this information, a great deal of our time and effort can be focused on new “unanswered” questions and addressing critical issues that impact each release. We greatly appreciate you taking the time to review this post and for all the truly valuable feedback you continue to provide.
Also, remember that while we are providing new content with each release, our community is also working overtime to make new events for you to enjoy. Be sure to check the schedule for player-run events (via the player-run websites: NBNN Community Calendar & Avatars Circle). You can also get the latest official events on the Main Website.
Without further ado, here is a list of what you can expect to see in Release 63.
- Plain Text: The original plan for the Release deliverables from the Q1 2019 Schedule Update. We intentionally preserve the original text so that our backers can compare plan versus actuals.
- Italics: Detailed notes of what was actually delivered.
- Strikethrough: These are items that did not make the release (but are still planned).
RELEASE 63, February 28, 2019
- Story: You may have heard of Cupid… but have you heard of the Envy Angel?
- Envy Angel: Our latest seasonal boss monster missed Valentine’s Day—or Sequanna’s Day, as it is known in Novia—and she’s not happy about it. Well, The Envy Angel is never quite happy about anything really, except perhaps attention from her admirers. Rumor has it that her bow is a powerful artifact. Anyone who wants more information about her, should find Hyun the courier in the Necropolis Barrens. Kinga and Ronin, in Brittany Castle, say he was supposed to be delivering love letters but was waylaid as he tried to take a shortcut through the Envy Angel’s home! The courier offers a quest to recover the letters for him. In fact, he may ask avatars to perform a similar quest on a daily basis!
- Krampus: Although the monstrous Krampus is going into hibernation until next year, his Naughty Brats will remain in the Krampusgarten of East Sanctus Forest and some encounters in North Paladis. Also, you won’t be able to take on his quest until next year but avatars who finished it can still wrap things up with Kinga or Ronin in Castle Brittany.
- 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.
- Streaming Textures: Almost all textures in game are now streaming textures. This will be most noticeable for players with video cards with 1GB of RAM or less.
- Pathfinding and AI Optimization: A handful of small optimizations were made to the AI system to improve performance in creature heavy scenes.
- Memory Allocation Reductions: More work was done to reduce and cleanup temporary memory allocations that are one of the primary causes of hitching.
- Bug Fixing: Time will be allocated to a general sweep through all systems, features, and content to reduce overall bug counts.
- Bug Fixing: We dedicated a portion of the release to working solely on fixing bugs and reducing our overall bug count.
- Combat: A new polearm type will become available: Pronged weapons! This includes Tridents and Pitchforks.
- Pronged Weapons (aka Tridents): This new one-handed polearm type is a little slower and less damaging than other polearms but it triggers damage and effects three times per hit! This means effects like Push, Pull, and Poison get applied up to 3 times each hit! As of R63, you will find Pitchforks (found in-game), a Trident (craftable), an Ornate Trident (Crown Shop), and the Daemon Trident (a rare and powerful artifact).
- Ornate Dragon Helm: This ornate version of the stretch goal dragon helm is sure to impress! You can find it in the Crown Shop.
- Crown Shop Buffs (Patched R62): To encourage players to find the Crown Shop button, and see all the improvements we have been making, we have added a buff! Players will get a small one-day buff with any purchase from the Crown Shop. The buff strength is the same whether you spend 1 Crown or 1000. You can have up to three buffs at once and there are currently 22 variations. These buffs will likely stay for R63 and then be reduced or removed completely
- Crafting & Economy: Fertilizer will now be able to be used in Agriculture to affect the outcome.
- Fertilizer Delayed: Work on Quality of Life improvements and Pronged Weapons delayed work on fertilizer.
- New Recipes & Patterns: NOTE: Dungeon encounter items will be patched in post release
- Trident Recipe & Components (Recipe from Carpentry merchants. Components for Trident crafting are available on Blacksmithing merchants.)
- Lich Dungeon Encounter Totem (The Fall)
- The Fall Lich Room Blueprint (The Fall)
- The Fall Lich Room Recipe (The Fall)
- Lich Skulls (Player Dungeon totem component, any lich)
- Aether Weapons Eternal Patterns (Stretch Goals)
- Ornate Dragon Helm Eternal Pattern (Crown Shop)
- Ornate Dragon Helm Pattern Pack (Crown Shop)
- Colored Dragon Masks Eternal Patterns (Stretch Goal)
- Ornate Trident Eternal Pattern (Crown Shop)
- Ornate Trident Pattern Pack (Crown Shop)
- Rabbit Bodice & Rabbit Tailed Skirt Eternal Patterns (Expired Seasonal)
- Rough Pirate Outfit Eternal Patterns (Crown Shop)
- Rough Pirate Outfit Pattern Pack (Crown Shop)
- Bicorn Hat Eternal Pattern (Crown Shop)
- Bicorn Hat Pattern Pack (Crown Shop)
- Player Towns & Player Housing: Updates to Dynamic Player-Owned Towns (POTs) that have locked submission forms will appear in the game.
- Player-Made Dungeon Encounters: The first round of Player Made Dungeon encounters are going live in Release 63, including a system to level up these dungeon encounter rooms! For this first release, we’re adding one encounter type, but it’ll be added to multiple different rooms. It may be a “proof of concept” encounter, but any effort you put into leveling-up the room will be saved. The initial release will have the encounters and lich skulls will drop but totems will not be craftable for a few days. Totem recipes will be added in a patch once the initial system seems stable.
- Player-Made Dungeon Prison Rooms: We have added a new set of prison-themed Dungeon rooms to the in-game Crown Shop, including two small cells, one medium cell, and a large cell block with “homes” for twenty-four of your greatest enemies!
- New Decorations: Back in October of last year, Travis “Vas Corp Por” Koleski started a thread in the forums entitled “Deco Wishlist that is already in-game”. The purpose of the thread is “…for world decorations that are already in the game that are not yet player-facing decos that people would like to have.” The thread has been steadily filling up with player requests and we are happy to say that the first round will be ready for Release 63 and will be available in the Crown Shop!
- POT Deco Limits Doubled (Patched R62): We doubled the decoration item limit for all Player-Owned Towns; twice the number of decorations can now be placed in POTs.
- POT Square Footage Requirements (Patched R62): There has been a requirement reduction for City, Keep, Castle lots in POTs. Sometimes the simplest answers aren’t the best. We’re seeing this has been true with several decisions we made long ago regarding how POTs work. We went with the obvious design of POTs having a total square footage that could be placed and houses take up exactly as many square feet as they take up. While this seems fine on the surface, the reality is that it makes POT owners choose between having 1 guy in an awesome castle or 32 friends in Row lots. This puts a huge burden on POT owners for costs and planning that is just not cool. Also, many of these lots only have a couple of spots where they can fit within a POT template. So, we dramatically reduced the cost to POT owners for city, keep, and castle lots. Here are the old and new values for the cost to place these deeds in POTs:
- City 2400 –> 1800
- Keep 4800 –> 2400
- Castle 9600 –> 3000
- Player-Owned Town Upgrading with Crowns (Patched R62): You can now upgrade your POT using Crowns. After investigating a number of options for how best to do this, we decided the simplest implementation was the best since this will be used by a fairly small audience. To upgrade, simply log into the game and send an in-game mail to Atos (Chris Spears) noting the town name you wish to upgrade and adding the Crowns to the mail. We’ll upgrade your POT and push the change live in the next available patch! If you want, feel free to nudge Chris after sending the in-game mail by sending Chris a message in the forums. (Don’t tag Chris but rather use the “Start a conversation” feature. Chris gets tagged hundreds of times a week and usually miss it when he’s tagged.) Expect us to refine this process as we go.
- Size Limits for Lot Deed with Crowns Upgrades per Type (Patched R62): We recently added the ability to right-click on a lot deed in your inventory in order to upgrade it with Crowns. Previously, any deed type could be upgraded all the way to Castle. Now, you can no longer upgrade to Tax Free Founder Keep or Castle, or Tax Free Keep or Castle. You can still upgrade to all other Keep/Castle types, including Tax Free Player Owned Town Keep, for example.
- Lot Deed Type Upgrading with Crowns (Patched R62): Now, you can also upgrade your deed “type” for Crowns. This means, for example, you can upgrade from a Taxable Player Owned Town Village Lot Deed to a Taxable Player Owned Town Water Village Lot Deed, adding the ability to claim a water lot. This was previously available in the Game Services store but can now be done directly with Crowns. You can also upgrade from Taxable to Tax-Free deeds, with the exception that other types of deeds cannot be upgraded to Founder deeds. Also, you can only upgrade types, not downgrade, so you cannot go from a Tax Free deed to a Taxable deed, for example.
- Lot Deed Upgrade with Crowns Costs (Patched R62): Each lot deed has an associated Crowns of the Obsidians value. The total cost to upgrade from one deed to another is the difference in the Crown value between deeds. The deeds below are also in “Category” order. Deeds from a lower category can be upgraded to a higher one, but not the other way around. This also excludes the Founder deed category which can not be upgraded to.
- Player Owned Town Row Lot Deed (no trade): 9
- Player Owned Town Village Lot Deed (no trade): 29
- Player Owned Town Row Lot Deed: 29
- Player Owned Town Village Lot Deed: 59
- Player Owned Town Town Lot Deed: 149
- Player Owned Town City Lot Deed: 399
- Player Owned Town Keep Lot Deed: 999
- Player Owned Town Castle Lot Deed: 1999
- Row Lot Deed: 39
- Village Lot Deed: 79
- Town Lot Deed: 199
- City Lot Deed: 599
- Keep Lot Deed: 1299
- Castle Lot Deed: 2499
- Player Owned Town Water Village Lot Deed: 139
- Player Owned Town Water Town Lot Deed: 279
- Player Owned Town Water City Lot Deed: 799
- Player Owned Town Water Keep Lot Deed: 1699
- Player Owned Town Water Castle Lot Deed: 2999
- Tax Free Player Owned Town Row Lot Deed: 59
- Tax Free Player Owned Town Village Lot Deed: 199
- Tax Free Player Owned Town Town Lot Deed: 499
- Tax Free Player Owned Town City Lot Deed: 999
- Tax Free Player Owned Town Keep Lot Deed: 1999
- Tax Free Player Owned Town Castle Lot Deed: 3999
- Tax Free Row Lot Deed: 69
- Tax Free Village Lot Deed: 239
- Tax Free Town Lot Deed: 599
- Tax Free City Lot Deed: 1099
- Tax Free Keep Lot Deed: Not Available
- Tax Free Castle Lot Deed: Not Available
- Tax Free Founder Row Lot Deed: 79
- Tax Free Founder Village Lot Deed: 289
- Tax Free Founder Town Lot Deed: 699
- Tax Free Founder City Lot Deed: 1199
- Tax Free Founder Keep Lot Deed: Not Available
- Tax Free Founder Castle Lot Deed: Not Available
- New and Updated Dynamic POTs:
- Amour and Serenus: Interconnected with Metallicus
- Black Mesa East: Upgraded to Crossroads Village.
- Blue Rose Isle: Upgraded to Town.
- Caelestis Canton: Upgraded to Town.
- Dragons Watch: Changed owner (but no evictions or other changes).
- Hammaburg: Changed biome to Forest 02. Added interconnection with Crafters Town.
- Justice Hold: Upgraded to Town.
- Knight’s Retreat: New Crossroads Village nested in Kingsport.
- Knight’s Watch: Relocated to Kingsport area.
- Kristopia: Added new Island Hamlet nested in Central Brittany.
- Memphomai: Upgraded to Crossroads Village.
- Metallicus: Interconnected with Amour & Serenus
- Mith Ly’atharin: Upgraded to Crossroads Village.
- Ordinis Mortis: Upgraded to Municipality.
- Refugees Haven: Upgraded to Municipality.
- Rinzai: Upgraded to City.
- S Mart Factorium: Upgraded to Village.
- Starfield: Added new Grasslands Holdfast in north Midmaer.
- Twilight Sparkle: Upgraded to City.
- Wolves Den: Upgraded to Hamlet.
- Release 60 Stretch Goal Items: We have completed more of the Cornucopia-themed Release 60 Stretch Goal items and hope to address the rest in Release 64.
- Pirate Items: Yar! There be pirates in Release 63, me mateys! Starting with Release 63, we are introducing a range of pirate-themed items to the in-game crown shop, perfect for excursions to scenes like Tenebris Harbor, Penmawr Island, and Blood Bay.
- Rough Pirate Outfit: This rough pirate outfit lets you look like you have lost many body parts during your daring high seas adventures and features a Tricorn Hat with Eye Patch, Pirate Jacket with Leather Strap, Hook Hand (gloves), and Pirate Pants with Boot & Peg Leg!
- Bicorn Hat with Eye Patch: This fancy pirate hat is for the posher buccaneer!
- Pirate Treasure Decorations: We have created 8 individual treasure decorations; small, medium, and large piles of gold both with and without miscellaneous treasure mixed in, plus two open chests of treasure, one gold coins only, and one with added treasure!
- Quality of Life Improvements & User Interface Polish:
- Automatic Reward Redemption: We have removed the extra step required when receiving purchased items inside the game. You will no longer have to click on a “Redeem Rewards” button. Instead we now automatically send the items to your rewards interface when you next log into the game. If you are currently logged into the game, they appear as soon as the purchase transaction completes. We also provide an onscreen notice for when rewards are delivered to your Rewards Interface.
- Web store to In-game Crown Shop Migration: All the web store items have now moved to the in-game Crown Shop, with a few exceptions. The only items remaining exclusively on the web store are Crowns, Episode 2, the Universal Broadcast Orb, and Service Vouchers. This puts our store structure much more in line with other games and lowers the overhead of our store pipeline.
- Store Price Reduction: We also have done a massive price reduction across the entire store where most items are now at approximately 50% (or even less) of their original price. This now puts the prices of our store items much more in line with other games and further away from a Kickstarter framework.
- 1 to 100 Crown Conversion: Previously, the rough target was 1 Crown = $1. This was problematic because it did not give us the granularity needed for pricing smaller items and it got even more problematic when we wanted to put something on sale. Starting in Release 63, players will see that each of their Crowns will be converted into 100 Crowns. Store prices will follow that conversion for now and, over time, will have their prices updated to more appropriate numbers. This means that some prices will go up and some will go down. With the increased resolution of Crowns, we were able to adjust our prices for Crowns to more closely match what we wanted. Those prices will also go live with Release 63. The conversion rate is a tiny bit worse with most packages but now fall into what we believe will be a better set of numbers for the long term. When coupled with the overall reduction in store prices, there should be almost no noticeable difference in value and, in fact, in most places players should be getting items at a better value than before. Here are the new Crown Bundle prices:
- $10.00 –> 750
- $20.00 –> 1600
- $35.00 –> 3200
- $60.00 –> 6300
- $100.00 –> 10750
- In-Game Crown Shop Polish: We made various improvements to the in-game Crown Shop including the addition of random daily sales of a small selection of items. Here is a list of improvements that have been completed so far:
- Daily Sale: random daily sales of a small selection of items.
- HUD notification (icon badge) when the sale changes.
- Sale Banner: Sale items are marked with a “Sale” banner and the sale price is shown (normal price crossed-out).
- Sale Sorting: Sale items sort to the front of each category.
- Component items for store items are now visible (especially useful for bundles). Component items each appear as an icon with a number representing the item quantity. If the component item can be previewed in the 3d item preview window, then hovering the icon will highlight it, indicating that it is clickable. When clicked, the item preview window appears. Tooltips for component items are also shown when the mouse is hovered over them..
- Upcoming Improvements: More improvements are being added daily. Planned improvements for R63 include: Countdown timer for sale items, Scheduled availability of items (we will be able to schedule the start and end times for the availability of items) and a Countdown timer for expiring items.
- Help Topic when “stuck”: When a player types anything in chat that matches “stuck,” we now show the help topic for /stuck.
- Siege Scenes: A change was made in Release 62 to address a balance issue that moved Sieges to being only shared scenes vs private. This has created too many negative side effects and we are returning these to their previous functionality of being available in multiple modes.
Thank you so much for reading all the way here to the end!
We are only getting warmed up in this first quarter of 2019, which will be an amazing year for Shroud of the Avatar players! Crafting specializations (choose your effects!), Row Lots with Open Space, More In-game Crown Shop Improvements, Grandmaster Craftsman only effects, Fertilizer for Agriculture, more loot improvements, more expansions to the fishing system, better boss fights and more! 2019 will of course culminate with Episode 2 which will have a new story, new lands, a revamp of the Quest and Journal system, a Theater System, Treasure Hunting with treasure maps that show up as loot, Item Affinity, Taming system expansions, Customizable NPCs, and expanded permissions for containers and doors!
As a reminder, here are links to Player Instructions and Known Issues. Thank you again for your continued support. This is truly the most amazing community we have ever worked with, and we are proud to be on this journey with you.