Greetings Fellow Avatars! Here’s what we have for you in this week’s edition of Update of the Avatar:
- May Login Rewards
- R60 Livestream Reward: Construction Set Update
- Deco Contest Finals Livestream Today
- 5/10 Crown Shop Updates
- Lord of the Isle Episode 2 Bundles
- R65 & Various Other Livestreams (YouTube)
- Shroud of the Avatar Rewards Program
- Upcoming Events Calendar
- Meretz: Win an Ancient Columned City Home
- Community Event: NBTT Presents — Daggers In The Dark – The Video!
- Project to Support: Avatars Radio
- Resources: Players Helping Players
May Login Rewards
As a special limited time promotion we are rewarding all players who login by the end of May with two rewards! The first reward is a miniature greyhound pet, inspired by the lovable “Mojito” (pet of Chris “Atos” Spears). The second reward is a 3-story Wood & Plaster Row Home which is an extra floor upgrade from the default home that comes with the free row lot that all players receive.
To receive the rewards, simply login to the game before the end of May and check your rewards tab!
R60 Livestream Reward: Construction Set Update
Hello folks, and happy May!
Spring is well under way of being “sprung”, so-to-speak, which means it’s time for Spring cleaning and building! At least, that’s the lame excuse I’m going to use for why I’ve only recently finished all these lovely construction deco pieces that we promised folks from the R60 Livestream…
Honestly, though, I know it’s been awhile, not only since R60, but also since I last had a chance to create a fun post! The last post was full of little delicate pastries and other small goodies… This time around I got the chance to put together some things for you that will allow you to set up a construction area for building cool stuff on your property at a nice and large scale! So here we go!
“What the heck is going on here?!?!?”… you may well wonder… This is me going a little nuts testing various configurations of the deco objects I assembled on my little village-sized property on my test map! To give you an idea of how I got to this, let me tell you a story that starts with Starr giving me a small task that essentially just said “We have various construction decorations; cranes, pulleys, etc… They just need to be turned into player decorations… Make a set of 3 of them…
Well, by this point, you know me…and not only did I need more information to go on, I really felt that this was an opportunity to go “above and beyond” that simple task to create a set of “somethings” that would really make ME happy if I got my hands on them as a player… I, of course, imagined much more than just three simple items to throw around your yard…
After taking stock of what we actually had available, I made the determination to create a broader “family” of Construction Decorations that are more correctly “finished” compared to the meager items that we’ve purchased from various 3rd-party sources… For instance, though we do have an enormous “crane” object, and we’ve used it a few times in various places, it needs significant work before it can be actually handed out as a player deco (re-scaling, proper new collision shapes that allow it to be placed using the deco-tech, the addition of something to finish off the rope that hangs down and can be seen to be a “hollow” mesh, etc.)… We also have a “pulley” object, but it’s very tiny (literally two pulley “wheels” connected by rope with a hook on one end and an unfinished end of rope on the other), and it wouldn’t do for a stand-alone “prop” (it needed to be attached to the crane or some other structure)… Plus there’s a variety of other individual things that I could assemble to look like little “staged” areas of construction with stuff that might do, but they needed some serious assembly, collision re-work and testing (for functionality’s sake), along with a quick pass to help “normalize” the various textures and materials used across the array of individual objects I chose to work with…
My goal, in this case, was to create more than a few “stand-alone” props, and instead create a true “family” of deco props meant to allow players to create a entire “construction themed ZONE”, so to speak, to really make your construction efforts look cool while “in process”, and giving you all at least one true tool (scaffolding assembly) that would actually help you create bigger, cooler stuff using many of the other building decos you already enjoy using… As such, here is the list of items that have been created (six in total) as an entire “family’ that can be used together to create the feeling of an active “construction site”, while still making them all primarily using only objects (and bits of objects) already found in our game in various places:
Construction Scaffold Walkway: this “centerpiece” to this entire deco “family” of prop objects is a large, multipurpose single-level (5 meter tall) scaffolding platform and access ramp that not only looks cool by itself, but can also be stacked atop itself as desired (while standing on top of the upper platform) to build up to whatever height you may need, to make it easier when constructing tall or large-scale props (or combos of props, such as building blocks and “outside” chimneys) when building on your property. In addition, I was able to get this prop to adopt the player-house tech that allows it to not only have other deco objects placed on its horizontal “floor” surfaces, but ALSO allows the hanging of small-enough wall lanterns, and wall sconces for candles and torches on its four primary support beams. This is something that we hadn’t thought possible before (concerning deco objects), but after much testing and paring down of possibilities, I got it to work AND got it to allow the whole thing to be picked up and moved with all attached objects remaining in their assigned locations! You can even set the crane (seen below) on top of this as well! This is the only prop among this “family” (all made from 3rd-party items) that I needed to take into 3DS MAX to change and re-import its geometry as a new mesh to suit our needs. As such, it was fairly easy to make “function” as far as placement went. The time-sync, in this case, was making all the other deco-placement scripts function properly.
Construction Crane: a prop to be used to indicate large-scale construction “machinery”. It looks great, is partially the scale of the larger world-builder prop I’m sure you all have seen here and there, and has been outfitted with another “pulley and hook” world-builder prop that couldn’t stand alone by itself. This whole device now looks a bit more “complete” (although under close scrutiny, it’s evident that it couldn’t do the things it looks like it should be able to do at first glance, such as tilt and rotate its “arm” like an actual crane)… This was the second most difficult prop to make function as a deco, due to a variety of poorly-made collision boxes that had to be remade and re-positioned, plus the “rigging-together” of the pulley/rope section attaching it. I started to try to fix its mesh (to make it look more truly functional), but it would have taken too much additional time, so the effort was scaled back… Still a beautiful piece, though.
Construction Stone Wagon: this complex prop consists of a wagon filled with multiple sizes of simple, rough-hewn stone blocks along with piles of stone rubble “filler” to look like the kind of thing often used while constructing walls in the Middle Ages… This has been set up to be a “shelf/table”-style prop so that it can hold other props placed on any of its larger horizontal surfaces (you’ll see images of this later). There are piles of rubble on the ground around and under it as well, to make it seem like it’s meant to stay in place for awhile, while the area is “under construction”. This was a fairly simple prop to assemble, but as with many of these props I composed, figuring out the reasons why certain collision and mesh shapes were causing issues with placement functionality was the real time-waster… I actually temporarily broke the build with this one! Yay! It’s all fixed and ready for use now, though…
Construction Planks: a complex prop consisting of a variety of smaller world-builder props such as some scrap-assembled construction tables, a number of different, decent-looking wooden planks in several piles (either on, beside, or under the tables), and even a static hand-saw of a variety not available as an actual stand-alone deco. It kind of ends up looking like some kind of crafting table, but it’s really just meant to be a gathered collection of “in-progress” wooden boards… They all needed to be stripped of extraneous and over-complicated collision shapes, and new generic collision created, but this one came together fairly swiftly, and was both place-able and functional as a deco almost immediately. This, too, has been set up to be a “shelf/table”-style prop so that it can hold other smaller props placed on it.
Construction Ropes: a fairly simple, but decent-looking prop used to create a little rope-storage deco item that can be placed all over a construction site to add visual flavor. There is a small coil of rope hanging on a peg, a larger coil sitting beside the post, and a small length thrown on the ground around the base. Additionally, it is set up to allow small wall lanterns, hanging wall candles, and small torch sconces to be placed on any side of the post that doesn’t have the hanging rope hung on its hook. This came together fairly easily, but required a LOT of experimentation to get it to be place-able properly as a deco, along with allowing it to share the wall-deco tech normally reserved only for player house walls. The result of this, however, is what allowed me to outfit the Scaffold Walkway, above, with both the ability to have place-able deco on both its horizontal AND vertical surfaces. Quite exciting!
Construction Barricade: a prop to be placed in front of anything “dangerous” looking to the general public. This is made from an existing sign we use to designate unfinished scenes, as many of you may have already seen. However, that sign is written in English, while THIS sign has been changed to be written in Runic so as to fit better into the visuals of the world. This, by far, was the easiest one to convert to a functional piece of player deco, but it makes a fun addition to be placed all over any construction site you choose to create!
Now, of course, seeing these as individual items gives you a good idea of what to expect, but nothing gives you the effect they are supposed to have as well as placing them together as a “family”! Here they are all chaotically crammed in among one another in my test scene!
It may all look like mass-confusion at first (because I intended it to ), but here you can see all six of them gloriously working so well together (plus a few additional props that work nicely with them)!
Below you can see a close-up of the wagon full of stone, the barricade, and the rope-storage post. Please note that I have placed several additional items on top of the stones (such as the head of lettuce and the pickaxe), and I’ve even leaned a deco shovel up against the wagon’s side… They all play so nicely together! To the left you see the ramp up the nearest scaffolding. At ground level, a wooden streetlamp like the one you see here makes for some excellent illumination in and around all the elements…
Turning slightly left you get a close-up of the scrap-tables of lumber (with a few extra tools set atop it), the ropes again (this time with a small hanging lamp that works nicely with these pieces hung on the post), and more of the scaffolding with another cart of stone tucked away in the background.
I think I used eight or nine of the scaffolding walkway pieces together to make the bulk of the visible impact here. Each piece itself is fairly simple, but start stacking them up on top of each other, and building them up side-by-side, and you’ll quickly achieve something of grand proportions! To the right, in the image below, you can see the lamp I have hanging off one of the main support beams, plus a little gift box peaking out on the floor above! All for the sake of testing! This probably excites me more than it should, but getting that to work was both tough and rewarding!
As a quick aside, you can see here, below, an image of me placing one of the scaffolding platforms one atop the other. That’s about the best place to stand when doing so, and you can get the sense of scale in proportion to most characters… It can work either aligned just like the one below, or it can be turned around each time for even faster ramp access as you see in this image!
Before I started testing all these pieces, I realized I had to dismantle the barn I had full of OTHER test deco objects (remember my “barn of treasure”?)… I was loathe to do it, because of the time I’d spent filling it with piles of gold, zombie containers, and sweet treats,…buy once I started creating this construction site I ended up having a blast! It was so cool to play around with different lighting schemes and walking around underneath all the scaffolding, and it was so easy to place them in all sorts of complex-looking configurations!
Once I had them all placed at various levels, I then realized that it was also a lot of fun hopping around between the different platforms and objects, and up and down the ramps… It had the feeling of parkour! I wish our game could make your character tumble athletically when you land, if you jumped a great distance or height. I had to settle for rolling sideways and then taking huge leaps of faith… And rightly so! Falling off these things could be dangerous! They are definitely not “OSHA compliant”!
Anyway,…that’s all for this post. Hopefully you found it amusing and are looking forward to playing around with the pieces too! I’m not sure how Starr will decide to distribute them, but I’m assuming a certain number of them will be provided to those who participated in the R60 Livestream. Hopefully additional ones can either be crafted, and/or perhaps purchased in even greater quantities so that you can go wild creating a huge “under construction” play-scape like I did! For the time being, here’s a final image of my test character sitting down after this madness, and enjoying the view, with my feet dangling while precariously perching on a bench I set up at the very edge of one of the platforms!
Deco Contest Finals Livestream Today
Another content packed weekly Community Livestream is this Friday May 10 at 4 PM CT on Twitch!
This week we are going to have the finals for the Mount Midir Deco Contest! The Mount Midir Deco Contest this past Saturday, May 4th, was awe inspiring! We had over 100 entries and it took 4 hours to view them all! We had so many that we were unable to reach a conclusion on final prizes! We did however narrow it down to the 10 finalists! Join the stream and vote for the winners!
- Dartan Obscuro
- Elryin Silvertree
- Fetid Sirdidy
- Flinderke Van’tmeeden
- Mia Sway
- Skye Azure
- Stryker Sparhawk
Here is the May 4th livestream from our YouTube channel in case you missed it:
- ACHIEVED! $15K: Replenishing Box of Green Growth Potions
- $30K: Set of Six Glowing Cube Decorations
- $45K: Red Full Face Mask with Forehead Jewel
- $60K: Hammer with wrist strap and lightning effects & Winged Helm
- $75K: Round Shield with Star & Matching Leather Helm
- $90K: Dragonfly Wings & Plate Helm with Antenna (includes Aether Vibration Device)
- $105K: Golden Jeweled Gauntlet
- $125K: Red & Gold Clockwork Armor with Full Face Covering Helm (includes Aether Vibration Device)
As usual we will be giving out prizes at 4:15 and 4:45! To be eligible all you need to do is either make any purchase in the store or log into the game and type “No i in team” in the chat window (no purchase necessary).
Watch on Twitch this Friday at 4 PM CDT
Are You a Livestreamer?
Get this exclusive in-game Streamer Camera for being a veteran of our Livestreamer Program!
5/10 Crown Shop Updates
The Crown Shop has some great updates this week including the following:
- Black Sun Cloak: We made this custom fur collared cloak with the Black Sun logo but it was never used and now it is available for the first time ever!
- Blue Cypress Trees: At the suggestion of players we have added a variety of blue cypress trees to the Crown Shop.
- Fancy Bastard Sword: This new 2-handed sword will be sure to impress those who are about to lose their heads to its blade.
- The Vault: A new set of Vault items are now available until Thursday, May 23 at 10:30 AM Central Time. At that time, the next round of 9 items will be available for two weeks, and then the next, etc.
- Firedance Emote
- Firedance Cross Emote
- Firedancer Outfit
- Black Squirrel Pet
- Vintage Blue Velvet with Nailheads Furniture Set
- Vintage Red Velvet with Nailheads Furniture Set
- Windmill Village Home
- Obsidian Tower Town Home
- Obsidian Keep City Home
Lord of the Isle Episode 2 Bundles
As one of the biggest and earliest supporters of Episode 2 you will be granted the largest lot deed in the land (Castle), the title Lord (or Lady) of the Isle, a tour of the Portalarium Offices, and dinner with the game leaders including Lord British himself! Only 24 of these unique bundles will be sold!
Complete List of Rewards:
- UPDATED: Lord of the Isle Place Anywhere Castle Lot Deed: Tax Free Forever (when placed in a POT) and Tax Free for 1 Year (when placed outside of a POT). Placeable on water as well as land!
- Title: Lord of the Isle or Lady of the Isle
- NEW: Unique Lord of the Isle Home (to be revealed later)
- UPDATED: PLUS Choice of any 1 House currently available in the store
- Castle Basement currently available in the store of your choice
- Castle Wall Set currently available in the store of your choice (with enough for Castle Lot)
- NEW: Unique Lord of the Isle Dungeon Room (to be revealed later)
- 1400 Crowns
- 999 Bank Slots
- Pick 12 Prosperity Tools
- 2 Unique in-game items (to be revealed later)
- Early Access to Episode 2
- Episode 1 Box and map signed by the team
- 1 hour one on one with Chris for design discussion (via video-conference)
- One real silver ring crafted personally by Lord British: Numbered 1 – 8
- In-game version of the Lord British ring: Numbered 1 – 8 (including a place-able decoration version)
- Tour of Portalarium Offices
- Fine dinner and drinks with Lord British, Darkstarr, & Atos at a location TBD in Austin or NYC.
NOTE: Digital items that are currently available will begin delivery as soon as Release 62 (Jan 31). Other items will be delivered at a future date TBD.
NOTE: Travel costs NOT covered by Portalarium for Tour & Dinner.
R65 & Various Other Livestreams (YouTube)
The Release 65 Livestream last week was a blast! We walked viewers through a ton of scene updates we made in Release 65, gave a great preview of the deco contest in Mount Midir, gave away tons of prizes, and answered questions! Here is the livestream from our YouTube channel in case you missed it:
Atos and others have also been livestreaming most days and you can check those out on our YouTube channel (complete with “Mojito the dog” cam). Note that if you subscribe to the channel you will be notified when he goes live. Here are a few highlights:
Shroud of the Avatar Rewards Program
The Shroud of the Avatar Rewards Program lets you earn the best rate on purchasing Gold Crowns, AND receive rare stretch-goal items from our monthly livestreams! This program automatically enrolls you in the monthly livestreams (counts as the $5 minimum purchase) along with other perks.
- 900 Gold Crowns of the Obsidians every month
- Automatic Participation in the Monthly Livestream Stretchgoals (counts as the $5 minimum purchase)
- Exclusive Title every 3 months
- 3 Months: Keeper of the Faith
- 6 Months: Keeper of the Word
- 9 Months: Keeper of the Vow
- 12 Months: Keeper of the Flame
- Pick any Dye 12 Pack every 6 months
- Pick any three of the 7 Obsidian Potions every month, including:
- Potion of Capacity: Increases carrying capacity
- Potion of Conservation: Reduces reagent use chance
- Potion of Expedience: Swift gathering on all gathering skills
- Potion of Precision: Increases Meticulous Collection to all gathering skills
- Potion of Preservation: Reduces armor and weapon damage
- Potion of Reclamation: Increases Salvage and Repair to all production skills
Upcoming Events Calendar
Meretz: Win an Ancient Columned City Home
Win an Ancient Columned City Home & earn free SotA in-game items daily!
Whether you move a little or a lot, as a Meretz user you rack up valuable Meretz Points (MPs). The more MPs you have, the more stuff you can buy!
Think: in-game SotA goodies, Sweepstakes entries, Relics by Rild giveaways, and tons more. With Meretz, we launch several sweepstakes every month. This month, we’re giving away the Ancient Columned City Home! You can also enter to win a Relics By Rild $50 Gift Card and other cool prizes. AND, use your MPs every day for in-game items like potions and emotes.
What’re you waiting for? Download Meretz TODAY!
Community Event: NBTT Presents — Daggers In The Dark – The Video!
Yes, we do have a video! This is the recording of our maiden performance, in the Sabra Rose Theater, in Rift’s End.
Hope you enjoy it!
Project to Support – Avatars Radio
Avatars Radio is a community run and community funded radio station founded by community member Amber Okhan (formerly Amber Raine). They air plays, music, sermons, speeches, and they organize the monthly release dance parties. You can listen to Avatars Radio on their website or through one of the Aether Amplifiers inside Shroud of the Avatar. Consider helping this community endeavor by supporting their Patreon!
“This station was created with the love of our community and fellow citizens in Lord British – Richard Garriott’s new world of Shroud of the Avatar. Our dream desire is to serve and share (simply by airing) communities work through the moon towers. We have an open welcoming of all submissions from our community. Talented musicians (be it instrumental, vocal, or mixer), poets, designers of station identifications and other sound bytes, or perhaps you have the face and voice for radio and would like to try your turn behind the desk as a DJ? This station shall always welcome the creative works of the community weighed over that of earthly!”
Resources – Players Helping Players
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.