Release 69 Instructions (UPDATED)

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


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

Release 69 of Shroud of the Avatar goes live this Thursday, August 29, at 10:30 AM US Central Time (15:30 UTC). Release 69 includes lots of exciting updates including the return of the Comet (as well as the associated Aether Creatures), a new dungeon: Despair, Grandmaster Item Enchantments / Masterworks, Performance Improvements, Maps Stored Locally (for stability and performance), No-Trade Items placeable on Player Lots, and more!

As mentioned in the Release 67 post we have transitioned 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 68.” This also means we will no longer be releasing a Quarterly Schedule Update because our schedule is so flexible that it no longer makes sense to present that forecast when so many things are changing on a constant basis.

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 69.

RELEASE 69, August 29, 2019

  • Story and Scenes: 
    • Despair: Our newest dungeon is rumored to be the most challenging area in the game. It is full of the highest tier Spiders, Polar Bears, Dragons, and Obsidians. This includes two new variants: Polar Mutilator Bears and Ferocious Warp Spiders! You have been warned! Despair can be reached via boats in Dysborg Ruins, Fishing Expedition, Fortus End, Mud, or Noreach.
    • Comet: The comet has returned and with it a number of unusual side effects on local fauna. The creatures of many regions have become bolder and more ferocious, including unicorns, wyverns, and the like. Further, several variant anomalies have appeared including Aether Dragons, Aether Liches, and Aether Corpions. If traveling across the wilderness was mildly dangerous before, now it will be swiftly fatal for most adventurers! Various townsfolk are talking about this phenomena now.
    • Etceter: The Satyrs here now have additional common responses to conversations about the region, pilgrims, Xenos, etc.
    • Quest Bug Fixes: Fixed various bugs with quests including a blocker with the Lens quest, some issues in Valhold Palace in the Courage quest line, typos, and more!
    • Scene Bug Fixes: Fixed various bugs with pathfinding, floating assets, inaccessible resource nodes, and more!
  • Combat: 
    • Aether Creatures: The return of the comet has triggered the return of the Aether Liches, Aether Corpions, and Aether Dragons!
      • Aether Corpion: Desert Encounter, Northwest Blackblade Mountains, Sunless Barrens, The Fall, The Rise, Wynton’s Folly
      • Aether Dragon: Plains Encounter, Southern Grunvald Barrens, Northwest Blackblade Mountains
      • Aether Lich: Penmawr Island, Deep Ravenswood, Sawtooth Thicket, The Fall
    • Polar Mutilator Bear: This is a faster, meaner polar bear with glowing red eyes that has Moon and Water Magic resistance and plus two levels of Enrage! They can be found in Despair.
    • Ferocious Warp Spider: This tougher spider has a teleport attack and a massive focus drain attack! They can be found in Despair.
    • Shield of Air Balance: The math for the focus conversion values have changed slightly for R69 to help balance this skill. Previously the conversion was based on skill level + Dex/3. For R69 this formula will be skill level + Dex/5. Since this might have a dramatic impact on a handful of players’ strategies, all Air spells and also Train Dexterity have been set to 100% XP return when set to unlearn.
    • Free Attack Damage Balance: Previously free attack gave a bonus that was linear based on the number of ticks charged. For R69 this math will be changed slightly so that it is on a slight curve with higher ticks having reduced damage. For single tick charging, there is no reduction relative to previous releases. Higher tick count reductions can be seen in the list below. Since this has the potential to more heavily impact the play style of archers, all ranged skills have been set to return 100% experience on unlearn for this release.
      • 2 ticks = 1.9% reduction
      • 3 ticks = 3.9% reduction
      • 4 ticks = 5.8% reduction
      • 5 ticks = 7.4% reduction
      • 6 ticks = 8.9% reduction
      • 7 ticks = 10.0% reduction
      • 8 ticks = 11.5% reduction
  • Crafting and Economy:
    • Grandmaster Item Enchantments and Item Masterworks: Achieving Grandmaster status in Item Enchantment and Item Masterworking (100+) unlocks major item stat effects that are +3.
      • Alchemy: Armor and Weapon Enchantment
      • Blacksmithing: Blade, Plate, Chain, and Shield Masterwork
      • Carpentry: Bludgeon, Polearms, and Ranged Masterwork
      • Tailoring: Leather and Cloth Masterwork
    • Rings & Necklaces Category: Rings and Necklaces now have their own category in the Blacksmithing section of the Recipe Book.
    • Clothing Recipes in Armor Section: We consolidated the Clothing recipes into the Armor section of the Recipe Book.
    • Two-Handed Weapon Enchantment & Masterwork Balance: We have done a balance pass on the Enchantments and Masterworks related to Two-Handed weapons to make sure they are balanced well against the effects combinations of two one-handed weapons.
    • Loot Mode: We have decreased the minimum value for Roll to 1. The default Loot Mode is now Roll with a value of 1.
    • Tavern Counter (Flipped Version) Recipe: There is now a recipe for a flipped version of the craftable Tavern Counter. This recipe can be found on the Decoration Merchant in Etceter (Quel region) with the other Tavern decoration recipes.
    • Updated Artifacts: More legacy artifacts have been updated to the new tiered system:
      • Frozen Tear of Titans
      • Gaia’s Heart
      • Heart of Vrul
      • Maple Band
      • Ring of Air
      • Ring of Chrysopoeia
      • Ring of Death
      • Ring of Earth
      • Ring of Fire
      • Ring of Jones
      • Ring of Life
      • Ring of the Moon
      • Ring of the Sun
      • Ring of Water
      • Sage’s Sash
      • Shard of Night
      • Shield of Attraction
      • Shield of the Wicked King
      • Thimble of Evelyn
      • Thunder Branch
      • Vexlyn’s Ember of Conflagration
      • Warlock’s Chain
      • Wayland Loop
  • Player Towns and Player Housing:
    • No-Trade Items placeable on Lots: Items that are marked as “No-Trade” can now be placed as decorations on Player-Owned Lots!
    • Battle Banners & Capacitor Default Settings: We continue to expand which items have the “Set As Default State” menu option. For Release 69 this feature has been added to the context menu for Capacitors and Battle Banners.
    • Foyer Dragon Statue with Flames: To celebrate Dragon Con, and the imminent end of the heat of the summer, every player who logs in during the month of September will receive a unique foyer sized Dragon Statue with flame visual effects! To receive the rewards simply login to the game before the end of September and check your rewards tab!
    • Campfires: A variety of campfires are now available in the Crown Shop for warming yourself on cold nights. Don’t forget the marshmallows!
    • Butterfly Decoration: These Crown Shop decorations will add the perfect butterfly garden effect to your home! NOTE: This was patched into Release 68.
    • Empty Land Row Home: Row Lots come with a free default home that blocks access to the ground that it is built on. This Empty Land Row Home allows a Row Lot to be free of any structure, so that decorations may be placed on bare ground. This opens up the lot for agriculture, gardens, parties, and other uses previously unavailable unless you upgraded to a village lot or higher. NOTE: This was patched into Release 68.
    • Fog Decorations: Looking for that perfect moody setting but thinking to yourself that things are just not foggy enough? Well now you can place bits of fog around to make things just a bit more mysterious! Available in the Crown Shop. NOTE: This was patched into Release 68.
    • Creature Paintings: Six new paintings depicting creatures, including Unicorns, have been added to the Crown Shop. NOTE: This was patched into Release 68.
    • Portrait Paintings: Eight new paintings depicting depicting characters in different clothing and armor have been added to the Crown Shop. NOTE: This was patched into Release 68.
    • Guard and Combat Mannequins: Over 25 new guard and combat themed mannequins are now available in the Crown Shop to better display your weapons! There are even specialty poses for one-handed weapons, two-handed weapons, ranged weapons, and more! For Release 69 we have put these into convenient packs of 8. NOTE: The individual mannequins were patched into Release 68.
    • Player Vendor Access List: Open the list via the player vendor’s context menu.  Add players to the list to allow them to place listings. NOTE: This was patched into Release 68.
    • Strict Deco Move Permission:  Option added to the Lot Access Permissions UI. When enabled, a player must also have permission to take a decoration in order to move it. NOTE: This was patched into Release 68.
    • Updated Dynamic POTs:
      • Rinzai: Upgraded to Municipality.
  • Performance: 
    • Local Maps: The map system has been rewritten so that maps are now stored locally. This will greatly improve performance (maps should come up much faster) and stability of the map system overall. Previously the maps were streamed to the client causing bandwidth issues, long load times, and stability issues.
    • Load Time Graphics Batching: This feature was turned on for a handful of maps in R68 and showed great improvements. For several players, this increased overall frame rate by more than 10 fps and all saw some gains. This comes with a small memory trade off so it will be disabled for low memory systems. It also introduces a few seconds of additional load time so players who believe their frame rate is already great can choose to turn it off.
  • Release 65 Livestream Items: The Hero Livestream items are complete! Login and check your Rewards button.
    • Replenishing Box of Green Growth Potions
    • Set of Six Glowing Cube Decorations
    • Red Face Mask w/ Forehead Jewel
    • Mighty Winged Helm
    • Lightning Hammer
  • Release 69 Rewards Program Items: Reminder to receive these exclusive rewards all you need to do is join the Rewards Program during Release 69 and login to the game during Release 69.
    • Lava Hot Tub
    • Flaming Top Hat
    • Mini Flame Elemental Pet
  • Character: 
    • Gustball: Polished position of the gustball synching between networked players.
    • Arabella Cloak Pattern: The Arabella Pattern Pack in the Crown Shop now comes with a Cloak pattern (we did not have cloak patterns when this pattern pack was first made!).
    • Female Mannequin: Fixed issue where female mannequins were counting as six containers instead of just one.
    • Ornate Viking Crossbow: This Ornate Viking Crossbow in the Crown Shop is perfect for taking out enemies at range in true Viking style. NOTE: This was patched into Release 68.

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! More loot improvements, 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