Release 67 Instructions

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


Please read this entire message, as well as the linked Player Guide and Known Issues

Release 67 of Shroud of the Avatar goes live this Thursday, June 27, at 10:30 AM US Central Time (15:30 UTC).

Release 67 is the third and final release in which we were planning to focus on the current iteration of our Top 10 Priorities (from Q2 2019 Schedule Update), however we have deviated significantly from that strategy. While we made some progress on these priorities we are also working on a major overhaul to the New User Experience as part of a capture and recapture email campaign that has caused us to pause and/or delay some of the originally planned for R67 deliverables. Additionally we have been transitioning our development to a continuous integration model of development where we are pushing content out weekly, sometimes even daily. This of course disrupts the concept of a regular monthly update and is why you will see many items below with tags like “This was patched into Release 66.” or “We actually brought these back in Release 66 for extra evil!”

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 67.


  • 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 the items that did not make the release.

RELEASE 67, June 27, 2019

  • Story: The Luminous Atavist has returned from hiding! Some residents of Novia are not pleased with the sudden and voluminous influx of Outlander immigrants. The Atavists of Purity have vowed to rid Novia of the Outlander scourge. “Their houses crowd our fair towns! Their wares compete with those of native Novian merchants!” yells their leader, the Luminous Atavist. He and his lieutenants, the Knight Purifiers, have been known to ambush unwary Outlanders on the road. They are even swelling their ranks with common folks who call themselves Unifiers.
    • Battle of Solace Bridge: Edvard the Wanderer is now found only at the boat launch and does not require an escort across the bridge. Additionally an “Adventurer Trainer Automaton” is now a part of the starting experience to help new players understand the basics of obtaining new skills. His training is required in order to progress in this scene, and following his instructions will be the only way to unlock the Solace Bridge gate.
    • Luminous Atavist Returns (SPOILERS): The Luminous Atavist has returned from hiding! Speak to Ranees Binders in Desolis to learn more. NOTE: We actually brought these back in Release 66 for extra evil!
    • “Grab your Torches & Pitchforks!”: Angry villagers during seasonal events (like the above) will now be equipped with pitchforks, torches, daggers, maces, hoes, and other primitive low damage weapons typical of the peasantry. NOTE: This has actually been in the game for a few releases but we failed to notify you of the change.
    • Children in Ardoris (SPOILERS): After the killer is caught, the children now have different responses.
    • Lightning & Thunder: These weather effects have returned to heavy rain storms after a long absence.
  • 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.
    • Unity 2019.1 Migration Work: During R67 we completed all the work needed to migrate the project from Unity 2018 to Unity 2019. This brings additional performance to many systems and reduces potential hitching through a new incremental garbage collection system. While this work was completed this release, we deemed it too risky to push this release. We will release an early QA build for R68 with the migration to test stability.
  • Crafting & Economy: Upon achieving Grandmaster in a crafting school you will now unlock a set of new exclusive effects for Masterworking and Enchanting.
    • Fishing Leaderboards: Leaderboards have been expanded to now include trophy fishing information!
    • Material Bonuses for Crafted Rings and Necklaces: Rings and necklaces can now be crafted out of metal materials and have bonuses based on the metal type. The existing ring and necklace recipes have been renamed to Metal Ring and Metal Necklace. Updated recipes for these items require less ingredients than previously. There are recipes for each item and material type. Recipes for metal, iron, copper, gold and silver items can be purchased from Blacksmiths. Recipes for advanced metals can be found in supply bundles dropped from humanoid creatures.
    • Loot with Components & Enchantments (Outskirts Loot Improvements): Creatures drop weapons and armor with components and enchantments to create a progression path. Currently this is focused on Outskirts creatures but framework for extending the system to all power creatures is being created.
    • Patterns from Rusty Weapons: Rusty Weapons will now drop patterns when salvaged.
    • Artifact Tiers: More than a dozen old artifacts have been converted to the new system where they can be combined to make more powerful items.
    • Bolt of Cloth Changes: The basic Bolt of Cotton Cloth now rewards static focus instead of a small percent. Previously crafted “Bolt of Cotton Cloth” remain unchanged and appended with Vintage tag. Focus bonus from Bolt of Fustian Cloth slightly increased.
    • Grandmaster Effects Delayed: Work on various Crafting & Economy changes (Rings & Necklaces, Loot Improvements, etc.) delayed work on Grandmaster Effects.
  • Player Towns & Player Housing: Players will have the ability to add custom conversations to their NPCs (shopkeepers, POT NPCs, servants, etc.). Additionally updates to Dynamic Player-Owned Towns (POTs) that have locked submission forms will appear in the game.
    • Free Camera Mode (POTs & Player Dungeons): Player-Owned Town Governors and Player-Made Dungeon owners now have the option to go into a free camera mode (slew)! 
    • “Always Open” State for Doors: You can now right-click on your door and choose to keep it “Always Open”! In future releases we will expand this type of persistence to include shutters, lights, battle banners, capacitors, and more. This was made possible by the work required for mannequins (which we are hoping to have working as soon as Release 68).
    • Scaling % Visible When Scaling Decorations: At the request of players, now using the new Decoration Scaling feature shows the current scale of the item being scaled. This will help when trying to set multiple items to the same scale.
    • Decoration Surfaces on Wall Dividers and Bulletin Boards: At the request of players, all Wall Divider decorations (Antique, Ornate Antique, Ornate Cherry, Ornate Shogun, Shogun, Wooden) can now have other wall decorations (paintings, lights, shelves, etc.) placed on them. We also updated the Bulletin Boards so they can take any wall decorations (not just posts). We are currently working on expanding this to also include Castle Walls (and maybe even some of the taller fences!). NOTE: This was patched into Release 66.
    • Giant Pirate Galleon Castle Homes: These gigantic 7-deck ships are so large they only fit on Castle size lots! A Dry-dock and a water version are available in the Crown Shop. NOTE: This was patched into Release 66.
    • Huge Pirate Galleon Keep Homes: These huge 7-deck ships are so large they only fit on Keep size lots! A Dry-dock and a water version are available in the Crown Shop. NOTE: This was patched into Release 66.
    • 2019 Lord British Birthday Cake: Lord British’s birthday is on July 4th. In celebration, we have the latest version of his birthday cake! As with the other cakes, this has unique cupcakes, too! As a reminder you can get other rare recurring Lord British items from the store until July 5th which is when they will expire (along with the birthday cake)! Available in the Crown Shop. NOTE: This was patched into Release 66.
    • Disco Balls: These amazing chandeliers rotate, emit light and dazzling beams! They come in three different sizes: regular, large, and huge. Available in the Crown Shop. NOTE: This was patched into Release 66.
    • Ruined Furniture Decorations: When you absolutely, positively must have the most ruined and destroyed furniture possible then look no further! Just in time for Halloween (in 4 months)! There are 15 different items in this set. Available in the Crown Shop. NOTE: This was patched into Release 66.
    • Custom NPC Conversations Delayed: Work on expanding the functionality of the Leaderboards system and fixing bugs delayed work on this system.
    • New and Updated Dynamic POTs: 
      • A’doe Trunalor: Upgraded to Municipality.
      • Fairytale: New Holdfast (near Soltown).
      • Jade Caverns: Upgraded to Village.
      • Krabnevir: Upgraded to Town.
      • Moonshine: Added new Hamlet (nested in Central Brittany).
      • The Time Tunnel: Changed governor.
  • Livestream Content: We will add recent livestream stretch goal items as well as the return of Lord British’s birthday recurring items.
    • Lord British Recurring Items: The various Lord British recurring items which will become unavailable on July 5th (until next year) were actually part of Release 66. Available in the Crown Shop. 
      • Lord British Basement Hatch
      • Lord British Shield
      • Lord British Cloak
      • Red, White, & Blue Fireworks (Various)
      • Lord British vs. Darkstarr Battle Banner
    • Release 64 & Release 65 Livestream Items Delayed: These are the last two sets of livestream items in the old style of stretchgoals. Due to various issues related to the new Rewards Program items and bugs with other art-related items our art-team-of-one is a little behind on creating these items. We hope to have them complete and delivered to everyone by Release 69 at the latest.
  • Combat:
    • Heavy Armor Specialization: This now increases heavy armor base resistance instead of being an increase of % resistance.
    • Summoned Pet Skills: Last release tamers got a number of new skills to enhance their tamed pets. For R67 magic summoners get a similar treatment. There are three new skills that can enhance the power of summoned pets:
      • Train Summoned Pet Health: This skill will increase the total health of any magic summoned creatures.
      • Train Summoned Pet Resistance: This skill will make summoned pets more magically and physically resistant to damage and effects.
      • Train Summoned Pet Damage: This skill increases the damage done by all summoned pets.
  • New User Experience/Quality of Life Polish:
    • Battle of Solace Bridge: Edvard the Wanderer is now found only at the boat launch and does not require an escort across the bridge. Additionally an “Adventurer Trainer Automaton” is now a part of the starting experience to help new players understand the basics of obtaining new skills. His training is required in order to progress in this scene, and following his instructions will be the only way to unlock the Solace Bridge gate.
    • Hotbar Tutorial: We now display “drag skill to hotbar” instructions on the Hotbar during the initial tutorial.
    • Hotbar “Drop Zone” Highlighting: The Utility Hotbar and Combat Hotbar are now highlighted while dragging a skill or item that can be placed on them.
    • First Skill is Free: “The first one’s free.” The first skill learned at the tutorial trainer is now free.
    • Trainer Skills Highlighting: While at a trainer, new skills that you can learn now pulse blue in the Skills window in order to make them easier to find.
    • Skills Window and Hotbar Scaling:  At low screen resolutions, the Skills window and Hotbar are now scaled down such that they can both fit on the screen without overlapping.
    • Universal Chat & Zone Chat Color: The color of the text for these two chat channels was identical previously. This has been fixed so that they are now different.
    • Chat “Continue” Button Removed: This button would lock out all interactions until pressed and confused new users who thought the game had locked up completely. We have removed this button.
    • HUD Message Readability:  Center-screen messages now use the standard font and have a background for improved readability.
  • Release 67 Rewards Program Items: Players really loved our hero-themed stretchgoals from Release 65 so we decided to make the Rewards Program items for Release 67 be some of the items we did not reach during Release 65. Reminder to receive these exclusive rewards all you need to do is join the Rewards Program during Release 67 and login to the game during Release 67.
    • Dragonfly Wings
    • Round Striped Shield with Star
    • Golden Jeweled Gauntlet
  • Character:
    • Gustball Improvements: Gustballs now have movements that are more realistic (physics based) so that they will now behave more like actual balls when Gusted. Additionally Charged Gust now pushes gustballs farther!
    • Hide Back Slot Item (Cloaks, etc.) Option: There is now an option to hide your cloak just like hiding your helmet. This is important now that back slot items have stats, enchantments, etc.
    • Death Adder Cloaks: If you wish to show your loyalty to the Death Adders then you can purchase one of these cloaks. NOTE: This was previously listed as a possible exclusive cross promotion with Razer ID but this is no longer the case and will simple be available in the Crown Shop. NOTE: This was patched into Release 66.
    • Ornate Dragon Bow: This ornate dragon themed bow will be sure to stand out! Available in the Crown Shop. NOTE: This was patched into Release 66.
  • Mail Recapture Campaign: We have continued sending out a series of emails to Avatars who have been email subscribers and/or players in the past to suggest they return and give the game another try. Each email is sent to batches of past (and sometimes current) customers with iterations of images and text to test different success metrics. We will continue to iterate and test this mail campaign. 

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, 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.


Starr Long
aka Darkstarr
Executive Producer