Release 65 of Shroud of the Avatar goes live this Thursday, April 25, at 10:30 AM US Central Time (15:30 UTC).
Release 65 is the first release in which we focused on the current iteration of our Top 10 Priorities (from Q2 2019 Schedule Update). While we made some progress on these priorities we had to spend a significant amount of time patching issues with Release 64 related to our upgrade to the latest version of Unity compounded with the vacations of two of our engineers. This caused us to have to delay some of the goals for Release 65 to a later date.
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 65.
- Plain Text: The original plan for the Release deliverables from the Q2 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 65, April 25, 2019
- 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.
- Terrain Performance: With the terrain related issues from the previous release resolved, we will be enabling terrain instancing support on the GPU for most scenes. This will reduce the load on both the CPU and GPU.
- Native Code Generation: For Windows platforms, we are attempting to use a new system that allows us to prebuild more heavily optimized native code. For Windows clients, this brings a significant performance bump. We will be testing this on Windows for Release 65 but will investigate using it on all platforms in the future.
- Vegetation Shader: Trees and shrubs have received a major update that dramatically improves their performance on both the CPU and GPU.
- Combat: A pass will be done on summoned pet balance. This will include additional party bonuses based on pet type.
- Tamed Pet Balance: Last release work was done to bring summoned pets up to a more respectable level. For R65 we took a pass at evaluating tamed pets. The primary thing that stood out was their lower than expected DPS in combat. All tamed pets should see roughly a 25% increase in DPS. Additionally, the Wyvern’s poison attack now also adds a weakness effect and drains a small amount of focus.
- Young White & Black Dragons: We added the two remaining color variations of the young dragons to the Plains Encounters. When the Novia version of the dragon wave starts, there is a very rare chance to spawn a young white dragon. In the Hidden Vale version, there is a very rare chance to spawn a young black dragon. Summary of young dragon locations:
- Black: Plains Encounter (Hidden Vale)
- Blue: Grunvald Shardfall, Plains Encounter (Novia), Plains Encounter (HIdden Vale)
- Green: Grunvald Shardfall
- Orange: Grunvald Shardfall
- Purple: Plains Encounter (Hidden Vale)
- Red: Plains Encounter (Novia)
- White: Plains Encounter, Plains Encounter (Novia)
- Yellow: Northwest Blackblade Mountains
- Wave Battle Improvements: Some wave battles may now have one or more waves that repeat for a specific time. If one of these timed waves is defeated too early, it will repeat until the time requirement is satisfied. Also, the timing of wave battle activities should be better synchronized for all players involved.
- Xen Penetrator Bow Balance: The power of this bow has been reduced very slightly. The Strength Damage Divisor has been adjusted from 12 to 14 and the max charge level for it has been reduced from 8 to 6.
- Dodge Changes: Targets that are stunned will no longer be able to dodge attacks. Targets which are rooted will have their dodge chance cut in half.
- Chaotic Poison and Unicorn Blood Poison Balance: Both of these have had their chances of unleashing their most powerful effects dramatically reduced. These poisons are primarily used for PVP and were quite unbalancing in some builds and these changes are meant to help provide some balance.
- Party Pet Bonuses Delayed: Work on patches for Release 64 delayed our work on Party Pet Bonuses.
- Crafting & Economy: Fertilizer will now be able to be used in Agriculture to affect the outcome. Players will also be able to purchase items from the “Vault” section of the Crown Shop which will feature rare, previously-expired items that will be available for a limited time at a premium price.
- New Rare Random Encounter Merchants: There are now two new rare random encounter merchants who will sometimes appear after the boss is defeated and will sell the players items for in-game gold. There is a Sculptor who sells tabletop versions of the Greco-Roman style statues seen around Xenos as well as wooden versions of our creature and elf statues. There is also a Peasant Clothing merchant who sells the clothing worn by female peasants of Novia.
- Wood Pulp Refinement: The Wood Pulp recipe is now part of refinement and Refinement bonuses are now available. Paper makers everywhere rejoiced!
- Hourglass Recipe: This new recipe, which can be found on Alchemy merchants, requires Elemental Sand found on Sand and Earth Elementals.
- Item Weight Changes: Crafting results now weigh less than source materials for most recipes. This resulted in tweaks to the weight on many different items. For the most part they were reduced but a few were increased. Food, crafted components, armor, creature components and arrows in particular had their weight reduced. Scrap is the one category of item that the weight is too low and was increased.
- Batch Consumable Recipes: We added batch versions of recipes for some consumables (Found on alchemy merchants). These include: Recall Scroll, Teleport Scrolls, Lesser Healing Potions, Lesser Focus Potions, Healing Potions, and Focus Potions.
- Taming Simplifications: We made various changes to Taming to make it more easily understood and used, especially for new players.
- Name Changes: All references to “Summoning Whistle” have been changed to “Taming” including the name of the crafted necklace is now “Taming Necklace.”
- Taming Necklaces: A less powerful Taming Necklace has been added that will allow taming to be more accessible to new players. The “Wooden Taming Necklace” has reduced durability and makes taming more difficult but can be purchased at Taming and Outskirts merchants.
- Taming Collars and Animal Collars: The recipes related to the taming collar has been simplified to not require the animal collar component crafted from tailoring but to instead require those ingredients. The active “Taming Collar” recipe has been updated. A discoverable recipe has been added that works the same as the old recipe for the existing animal collars. The animal collar recipes is not being removed from the game, just removed from circulation.
- The Vault: Players will now be able to purchase items from the “Vault” section of the Crown Shop which will feature rare, previously-expired items that will be available for a limited time at a premium price. The rules of The Vault are:
- Name Change: Items that are re-released into The Vault will have “Vault Edition” appended to their name that defines them as re-released and therefore different from the original items. This name will be visible in inventory, when trading items, etc.
- Premium Pricing: The items in The Vault will generally be more expensive than similar items currently in the store.
- Reserved List: Original Kickstarter / Pledge Items will not be appearing in The Vault. Pledge items are considered reserved. All other items have a chance to appear in The Vault.
- Fertilizer Delayed: Work on patches for Release 64 delayed our work on fertilizer.
- Player Towns & Player Housing: Our first ever paintable homes will also go live! Updates to Dynamic Player-Owned Towns (POTs) that have locked submission forms will appear in the game.
- Decoration Scaling: After numerous player requests, we now allow select decorations can now be scaled slightly (plus or minus 20%). Note that trophies that already have a scale factor (such as for trophy fish) and many items that are interactive (crafting stations, beds, chairs, etc.) cannot be scaled.
- Decoration Flipping: A limited number of items will now also allow flipping them over to show the other side (like we allow for books). This will not be available on most items.
- Tabletop Greco-Roman Statues: These tabletop versions of the Greco-Roman style statues seen around Xenos can be purchased with in-game gold from the new Sculptor merchant that can appear on rare occasions in random encounters (see above).
- Tea Service: This plain Tea Service can be purchased from any Decorations Merchant for in-game gold.
- Dungeon Encounters: Encounter versions of the 3 dungeon rooms from the Challenge Dungeon have been added. The blueprints should now drop from creatures there and the conversion recipes have been added for existing rooms. These encounters are less challenging than the other rooms for those seeking something a bit less demanding.
- Wooden Statues: Wooden versions of our creature and elf statues. These can be purchased with in-game gold from the new Sculptor merchant that can appear on rare occasions in random encounters (see above).
- Great Knight’s Tent: This tent has been added back to the Tailoring Merchants and can be purchased with in-game gold.
- Pipe Organ: This plain Pipe Organ can be purchased from any Music Shopkeeper for in-game gold.
- Lord British Cupcakes: Scottie added four unique visual Lord British cupcake decorations (Ankh, Lattice, Swirl, Rosette) to go with the four different years of Lord British Birthday Cakes (2014, 2016, 2017, 2018). The colors of the cupcakes sync with birthday cake of that year. Here is the updated reward list for the Lord British Birthday Cakes:
- Lute, Flute, Wax Cylinder Cost Increase: The in-game gold cost for these items has been increased to better support the crafting economy.
- Paintable Homes Delayed: Although we were able to get the supporting tech in for Paintable Homes, work on patches for Release 64 delayed our work on the User Interface and content work on the homes for the Paintable Homes feature.
- New and Updated Dynamic POTs:
- Livestream Content: We will add recent livestream stretch goal items.
- Release 60 Stretch Goal Items: We have completed more of the Cornucopia-themed Release 60 Stretch Goal items and hope to address the one remaining item (Construction Decorations) in Release 66.
- Release 61 Stretch Goal Items: We have completed all of the Dark Winter themed Release 61 Stretch Goal items.
- Release 62 Stretch Goal Items: We have completed many of the Carnival themed Release 62 Stretch Goal items and hope to address the two remaining items in Release 66 (Basement Hatches and Dungeon Ballroom).
- Female Peasant Wearables: The clothing worn by female peasants of Novia are now player wearables. These can be purchased from the new Peasant Clothing merchant that can appear on rare occasions in random encounters (see above).
- Quality of Life
- Hot keyable toggle for tooltips for inventory: Added option to disable tooltips for inventory list, added key mapping to toggle option, defaults to “,” (comma).
- Gold and Pooled Experience: These are now shared between characters on the same account.
- Deep Ravenswood: A pass was made to revitalize this once popular scene without dramatically changing its personality. Spawn counts in the scene were greatly increased in the woods surrounding the stone outcropping. The undead area in the middle has also been reworked slightly to move more spawns closer to the ruins that are a popular camp. Additionally, rare higher level spawns were added including a new mini-boss that has 2 new artifacts.
- Necropolis Barrens: The season for Envy Angel and her wisps is over. They have been temporarily removed from this scene but will return next year.
- Noreach: Most NPCs in this scene now have local dialogue. One in particular, a seer at the docks, warns that those who sail to the north disappear and never return. Find Sigrunn if you want to help her in her quest to investigate these disappearances!
- Solania Catacombs: The daemon now appears after killing a few waves of enemies, allowing his reset time to be shorter. The key to unlock this secret room will drop as loot more often and a note has been added to hint about where to find that key.
- Soltown: Fixed an issue where completing the task to give Stanley the notes from Edvard wouldn’t clear his quest waving or compass marker.
- Yew: Added “Rune Bag” daily quest as a spin-off of Sigrunn’s disappearances quest mentioned above. Once you get to a certain midpoint in Sigrunn’s quest, you’ll be able to help Pendro in his mystical research by providing him with a new rune bag each day.
Thank you so much for reading all the way here to the end!
The rest of 2019 will continue to be an amazing year for Shroud of the Avatar players! Crafting specializations (choose your effects!), Row Lots with Open Space, Grandmaster Craftsman only effects, Mannequins, more loot improvements, more expansions to the fishing system, better boss fights and more.
Join us for 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.