Avatar’s Update #374: Play Release 76 Now! Lord of the Isle Statesman Outhouse! Q&A Friday Livestream!


Greetings Fellow Avatars! Here’s what we have for you in this week’s edition of Update of the Avatar:

News Announcements

Community Updates


Lord of the Isle Statesman Outhouse!

Due to recent public outrage and many requests for more architecture in the Lord of the Isle Mansion style, the master architects of New Britannia have developed a new type of outhouse particular to the tastes of our most esteemed supporters, and just in time to stem the tide of “The Great Outhouse Rebellion of 2020!” Riotous throngs of unrelieved New Britannians took to the streets! Amongst the angry mob, one man’s anxious cries clamored above the rest, “Nay! I shall not use that wooden outhouse any longer! It be beneath me! And it puts splinters in my bottom! And it smells! And Bob used it! Don’t go in there! I shall simply hold it until my demands are met!” As you can see, the architects simply had no choice but to meet the demands of the unruly, for the regularity of supporters was surely at stake! And thus, the very regal Lord of the Isle Statesman Outhouse was created, and all were merry. (Coming to the Crown Store April 1st…)


Atos Q&A Livestream!

Another weekly Community Livestream is this Friday, Mar 27th at 4PM CT on Twitch! Join Chris Spears a.k.a. Atos and other developer team members for a community 1 hour livestream!

To enter the prize drawings, type “march to a different tune” into any in-game chat channel OR make a purchase on the website add-on store. Please submit questions into Twitch Chat by inserting !question at the beginning of your text. Watch on Twitch, Friday at 4 PM CT!


April Login Reward: Bunny Ears!

Just in time for the return of the notorious Arch Lapin, a new springtime wearable becomes available! Be sure to log in sometime between April 1st and 30th to receive this special and festive Bunny Ears headpiece! WARNING: The Bunny Ears headpiece does not cause the Arch Lapin to befriend you nor does it provide bonuses to hearing. Enjoy!


Release 76 Reward Program Exclusive Login Reward Items: Springtime Theme!

The hillsides are abloom, bunnies abound, and evidently ladybugs are also around! Rewards Program exclusive login reward items for Release 76 are springtime themed! Reward Program members will receive these exclusive items immediately upon logging in during Release 76!

  • Giant Bunny Companion
  • Ladybug Backpack
  • Bunny Slippers



NOTE: You must login during the release to receive each release’s exclusive rewards.

The Shroud of the Avatar Rewards Program lets you earn the best rate on purchasing Crowns, AND receive exclusive monthly reward items!

For the low price of $9 USD per month you will receive the following:

    • 900 Crowns of the Obsidians every month
    • Exclusive Monthly Login Reward Items (~ 3 per month)
    • 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
      • 15 Months: Keeper of the Oath
      • 18 Months: Keeper of the Pledge
    • 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


Springtime Vault Round!

The current round of Vault items are available until Thursday, March 26 at 10:30 AM CST. At that time, the next round of 9 items will be available for two weeks, and then the next, etc.

  • 2017 Rabbit Tailed Bodice Ensemble
  • White Rabbit Pet
  • White Lepus Mask
  • Replenishing Confetti Eggs Basket
  • Giant Butterfly Pet
  • Stained Glass Hand Lantern
  • Floral Pattern Stained Glass Oil Table Lamp (3 Pack)
  • Shogun Four-Story Town Home
  • /flowerleap emote (leap into the air and throw flowers)


New Store Items: Tulips Flower Arrangement & Dyable Lepus Masks!

Coming to the Crown Store in early R76 — the Tulips Flower Arrangement, Pink Dye and Dyable Lepus Masks! Recent additions to the Crown Store also included: a Gothic Candelabra, three Gothic Furniture Sets, a Gothic King Sized Bed, and Dyable Heraldry Gustball Uniforms.

  • Tulips Flower Arrangement
  • Pink Dye (Breast Cancer Awareness Charity Item)
  • Dyable Lepus Mask
  • Gothic Candelabra
  • Gothic Furniture Mega Set
  • Gothic Furniture Dining Set
  • Gothic Furniture Bedroom Set
  • Gothic King Sized Bed with Black Leather
  • Dyable Heraldry Gustball Uniforms


An Old Favorite Returns!

Sometime early in R76, an old favorite scene will return. “Ulfheim” received a wonderful revamp from Sannio not too long ago, which is an adventure scene which now features various paths of virtue ultimately leading to an encounter with a fierce dragon. Albeit this new uncloned scene was a stellar creation by our master world builder, some have missed their old grind spot in northern Novia. “Ulfheim” was originally a clone of Deep Ravenswood yet had distinct differences such as an excellent bear spawn point, undead minions, high level barbarians and various Reaper locations. Well, for those missing this piece of adventure history, long for it no longer! Sometime early in R76, the old “Ulfheim” (to be called “Utheim” in its newer version) will be restored to the game and be found somewhere in Mistrendur. Enjoy!


Interactive Fancy Toilet Paper Holder!

Avatars! Reports of toilet paper shortages have even spread throughout New Britannia! To combat this calamity, the high wizards of Novia have combined their magical prowess to enchant the existing Fancy Toilet Paper Holder (recently added to the Crown Store) to become interactive and with an ENDLESS supply of paper! No need to hoard! You’ll never run out.


The Arch Lapin Returns!

Deep within the cavernous Spectral Mines, lies something very… scary. With huge fangs! And cute little feet. Deadly feet! And fangs! Fangs that go on from here until tomorrow and then again to the next day and sometimes the day after that. Beware oh’ adventurers, for peril certainly awaits thee! The Arch Lapin is far more than a mere rabbit! It’s got fangs! And red eyes! Just look at the bones!

Be sure not to miss out on this year’s return of the Arch Lapin! Many loot items can be found upon its corpse, such as rare paintings, a trophy head and an Orb of Obliteration!


Deed Upgrades 30% Off!

Avatars! Upgrading deeds in Shroud of the Avatar is still 30% off! To upgrade a deed, be sure the deed is in your inventory, then right-click it for upgrade options. If sufficient Crowns are available in your inventory, then select the desired upgrade. Be sure to take advantage of this amazing deal! Increase the size of your property then spend some nice quiet and safe time at home decorating, enjoy!


Double Experience Points Continue!

Head out into the lands of New Britannia and charge headlong into the dangers therein, Avatars! For the near future, Shroud of the Avatar players will receive double experience points (XP) for their endeavors in Adventure and Crafting! Hourly XP attenuation limits have also increased. Please take advantage of the extra experience points! Stay home, stay safe and explore New Britannia!


Mistrendur: Land Rush Underway!

By royal decree, the process details for the Mistrendur land rush have been issued to the peoples of New Britannia! Players made reservations to add or move towns to Mistrendur some time ago, and the time to select locations is well underway!

The official announcement thread is ready and full of information about the currently active land rush! Bracket 5 starts today at Noon CT, and every 3 days another Bracket ticks away! Keep those entries rolling in — we’re ready for them! If you have any last minute questions or concerns, reply to the official announcement thread, or contact Elgarion on the forums via forum conversation.

  • The site selections will be made in the sequence the reservation vouchers were purchased.
  • The fifth bracket of players commence site selection on Thursday, March 26, Noon CT.
  • For more information, please read the official announcement in the forums.

This new land mass is just one exciting new feature arriving this year. Read more about what’s on the horizon in Shroud of the Avatar’s 2020 Vision!


Megalopolis: New Town Size Available!


After the Municipality town size became available, the Player Owned Town (POT) governors of New Britannia demanded even larger town size upgrade options! And more upgrade options they shall receive! Now, players of Shroud of the Avatar can upgrade their POTs to the size of Megalopolis.

 

 


Packaging Items for Trade in Player Test Environment (QA)!

Just arriving to the Player Test Environment (QA) server is a very useful new feature with which allows players to trade formerly no-trade Heritage items by packaging them for trade. Simply right-click the item, then select “Package Item for Trade” which will spawn an option window requesting a Crowns payment for the packaging. Once packaged, the item can be freely traded to another player, who can then unpackage it for use simply by double-clicking upon the item.

Allowing for the trade of formerly no-trade Heritage items is just one of many useful new features to arrive this year. Read more about what’s on the horizon in the Shroud of the Avatar 2020 Vision!


Party Size Increase in Player Test Environment (QA)!

Avatars! Exciting news! Patched into the Player Test Environment (QA), the first iteration of Party/Raid type lovin’ for this year has arrived — Parties of 12! Players can test this new feature and provide crucial feedback to the development team on the Player Test Environment (QA) forums. Players will no longer be limited to 8 members in their party, and will soon be able to group with others in a party of 12! Once this new feature is fully tested on QA, it will push to the live server!

Expanding the capabilities of adventure parties is just one of the exciting new features to arrive this year. Read more about what’s on the horizon in the Shroud of the Avatar 2020 Vision!


Bard Skills in Player Test Environment (QA)!

The bard skill tree is still available on the Player Test Environment (QA) server. Indicated in the picture above, one of the new spell effects whirls around the bard in a spiral of magical and musical notation. We’re hard at work adding additional visual and audio effects, but players can now experiment with many of these new abilities and provide crucial feedback to the development team on the Player Test Environment (QA) forums. QA testers can train these skills by visiting the Advanced Skills Tactics Trainer in Desolis.


Streaming the Player Test Environment (QA) Now Permitted!

Streamers of Shroud of the Avatar are now welcome to stream gameplay of their Player Test Environment (QA) experiences! We hope this new option will inspire increased new feature testing before these features go to the live server. When streaming from QA, please be sure to notify your audience that you are testing new and unfinalized features on the test server.


World & UI Changes

Many updates that affected the game world or aspects of the user interface (UI) were patched in during R75 or went live for R76:

  • Mistrendur: considerable polish to the overworld Mistrendur map patched in during early R75 to include mesh and collision improvements and placeholder town locations to assist with land rush selections
  • Snowy Mountains Road Encounter: The naughty brats now have a higher chance to drop a chest key in their version of this encounter
  • Plains Road Encounter: This roaming encounter was added to the continent of Mistrendur
  • Forest Road Encounter: This roaming encounter was added to the continent of Mistrendur
  • Goti: This town has received a boat to Novia by the docks


Crafting, Items & Economy Changes

Many fantastic changes to the player economy and crafting were patched in during R75 or went live for R76:

  • Crown Store Mannequins: The Crown version of the mannequins have had their prices cut by more than 50%
  • Housing Interior Deco Limits Adjusted: All lot sizes have received an additional 200 interior deco slots
  • Housing Interior Light Limits Adjusted: All lot sizes have received an additional 20 interior light slots
  • Housing NPC Limits: NPC limits for all housing lot sizes have received double the NPC limits as before
  • Player Owned Town NPC Building Limits: All POT sizes received anywhere from 2 to 6 additional NPC building slots
  • Frozen Tear of Titans: This off-hand item can now be placed as a decoration
  • Gaia’s Heart: This off-hand item can now be placed as a decoration
  • Gothic King Size Bed: This item is now dyable
  • Gothic Queen Size Bed: This item is now dyable
  • Gothic Dining Chair: This item is now dyable


Combat Balance & Changes

As part of the SotA 2020 Vision Post, Atos indicates combat balancing efforts will be a big part of changes coming to Shroud of the Avatar this year. Read what we’ve got brewing for combat balance changes and his reasoning behind it. Here are just a small number of the balance items that were patched in during R75 or went live for R76:

  • Bard Skills, Icons, VFX Added: Various additions/changes to the Bard skill tree were made on the Player Test Enviroment (QA) server
  • PvP Ransom Loot: After a long period of PvP activity analysis with ransom turned off, many locations have had ransom restored as an option for PvP.


Updated Player-Owned Towns

  • Belly of the Snake: Renamed from Saint Mary’s Island, moved to Mistrendur, and updated interconnections
  • Clevedon: Moved to Mistrendur
  • Crossroads Landing: Added new Holdfast to Mistrendur
  • East Port: Renamed from Aerie Centre Exchange, moved to near Soltown
  • Far Green: Added new Village island to Mistrendur
  • Jade Gardens: Renamed from Jade Caverns, changed to Forest 02, and moved to Mistrendur
  • Organized Chaos Market: Added new Holdfast to Mistrendur
  • Outlandia: Added new Holdfast to Mistrendur
  • PaxLair: Upgraded to Megalopolis
  • Phoenix Haven: Added new Holdfast to Mistrendur
  • Riptown Creek: Added new Village to Mistrendur
  • Siren Song Bayou: Upgraded to Municipality


Bug Fixes

Albeit many bug fixes were patched in during R75 or will patch in for R76’s release, here are some of the highlights!

  • Fixes for Vault items not showing
  • Many quests received typographical fixes
  • Ankhs in Tartarus PvP Maze should now be functional
  • Dual wearable restrictions refined and fixed
  • Major decoration bug was fixed which prevented some players from manipulating decoration
  • Blood Spatter decoration was fixed
  • Stats fixed on Gustball Uniforms
  • Carmelo received bug fixes in Bramble
  • Ring of Fire visuals fixed
  • Multiple Mistrendur overworld collision issues fixed
  • Wealthy Merchant visuals fixed
  • South Longfall Wetland cage behavior improved
  • Female avatar’s nameplate now shows in correct place during piano animations
  • New gothic beds can now be used from either side
  • Troll overworld encounter should once again be functional
  • New gothic dining chair better accommodates male characters
  • Cancelling a “Packaging Item for Trade” transaction no longer leaves item red/unresolved
  • Fixed issue where Ferocious Red Arachnid and Ferocious Red Spider had same health
  • Skrekk received many background fixes related to NPC barks
  • Shark Trophy can one again be placed as decoration
  • Pathing on broken stairs at the Ruined Keep has been improved
  • Blood River Outskirts quest journal and marker improvements
  • Kyle Berhand in Aerie has received improvements to the “weapon upgrade” task
  • Full and Half Full Fine Oak Bookshelves are now more easily interactive
  • Ornate Oak Panel Wardrobe can now be utilized as a container when placed as a decoration
  • Highvale Bandit Leader received improved dialogue options
  • Ardoris Devotional Caretaker now properly responds to “Corpus” when applicable
  • Floating rocks fixed in Ravensmoor
  • After completing Paths of Love, Truth and Courage, players receive improved guidance to visit the Oracle in Brittany


Are You a Livestreamer?


Soon, the Streaming Reward Program will be returning. As the details are getting reworked, we’ll reveal more information. Traditional streaming rewards included an exclusive in-game Streamer Camera for being a veteran of our Streaming Program! Expect the camera reward to return! More goodies will come to your way as the program fully develops. Thank you for streaming Shroud of the Avatar!


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 Lord British’s property, and dinner with the game leaders including Lord British himself! Only 24 of these unique bundles will be sold!

Complete List of Rewards:

  • 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
  • Unique Lord of the Isle Home
  • NEWTown Size Upgrade (if a town is not owned by the LOTI supporter, they may gift this size upgrade to another town owner. Maximum possible town sizes will be taken into account, but the Megalopolis size just became available!)
  • Festival of the Avatar FULL ticket (which includes admission, King’s Dinner, Barons Men Play, A Heraldry Banner) and one additional guest at a discounted rate.
  • 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)
  • Unique Lord of the Isle Dungeon Room
  • 140,000 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 Lord British’s property
  • 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, 2019). Other items will be delivered at a future date TBD.

NOTE: Travel costs NOT covered by Catnip Games for Tour & Dinner.


Recent Shroud of the Avatar Livestreams (YouTube)

Atos and other members of the Shroud of the Avatar development team go live very frequently on our TWO Twitch Channels: twitch.tv/shroudoftheavatar and twitch.tv/communityoftheavatar — be sure to get these channels on follow and get the latest information right as we go live! Also, if you’ve missed our latest streams, check out our archive of content at our YouTube Channel (complete with “Mojito the dog” cam). Like! Follow! Subscribe! Prizes!!!




Don’t forget to also join the Shroud of the Avatar team and community over at our other social media venues:


Upcoming Events Calendar

Be sure to check out the Community Events section of the forum for events hosted by our wonderful community members! Below is a list of additional events as the year progresses:

2020 Events
Mar 26 – Release 76
Apr 30 – Release 77
May 28 – Release 78
June 25 – Release 79
July 30 – Release 80
Aug 27 – Release 81


Meretz: Win a Pirate Galleon Dry Dock Town Home (No Trade)

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 and tons more. With Meretz, we launch several sweepstakes every month. This month, we’re giving away a Pirate Galleon Dry Dock Town Home (No Trade) to a lucky winner! AND, use your MPs every day for in-game items like potions and emotes.

What’re you waiting for? Download Meretz TODAY!


Community Events: Britannian Mining Company Recruitment Event!

[Forum Post by Tradia]

The Britannian Mining Company is looking for new members!​ For the month of March, we will be holding ‘Meet & Greet’ events every Friday. Meet and chat with guild members, ask questions, check out the town of Blackrock Cove and let us show you the benefits of being part of the BMC! Founded June 6, 1998 in Ultima Online and establishing in Shroud of the Avatar in 2013, the BMC is knowledgeable in most aspects of the game. We are more than just miners! There is a place for adventurers of all kinds – there are no restrictions on what type of player you want to play!​

Meet & Greet Events will take place:

  • March 13, 2020 @ 8-9pm CST/NBT
  • March 20, 2020 @ 8-9pm CST/NBT
  • March 27, 2020 @ 8-9pm CST/NBT​

We will be throughout the world chatting and answering questions. Feel free to come straight to Blackrock Cove and visit our Recruitment Center – or just PM and add any of us as a friend and we will help you get you there! Each of us is proud to carry the name of BMC – and we are happy to make you part of our family.​ You don’t have to wait for these events! If you are interested, feel free to check out our website and/or Discord server. One of our Emesarries or Ambassadors will be happy to get your application started. For more information, see the original post on the forums…


Project to Support – Jar Wars


While you are delving into Virtual Reality (VR), be sure check out this exciting and hilarious new game, Jar Wars! Our very own Darkstarr has been busy on some side projects, one of which is Jar Wars, a slapstick multiplayer game made just for VR enthusiasts. Battle your friends with wacky weapons and intriguing gadgets for total domination of the Moon! Available for free on Steam!


Project to Support – Rodasurf

Darkstarr and the Rodasurf team once again dazzle us with another interview which aired on Spectrum News! The RodaSurf board is an accessory to the Onewheel XR device. Simply snap and lock the Onewheel into RodaSurf’s latching system, and you’ll be surfing the streets before you know it! For the full article PLUS a fantastic video, be sure to head straight over to the Spectrum News Website and see our beloved Lord of Chaos show off his latest venture!


Project to Support – Dragon Fight

Darkstarr has also been hard at work with the team for Dragon Fight VR which recently went live on Steam! Dragon Fight VR is an internal experiment to capture the “essence” of a dragon fight, the classic penultimate experience of every fantasy story. We wanted to create a short visceral, realistic experience stripped of user interface, lobbies, scores, levels, and other visual intrusions that might distract. There were some key elements of fighting a dragon that we wanted to capture and we felt VR was uniquely qualified to convey:

  • Face to face with a large scale hostile creature trying to kill you
  • Using a sword and a shield
  • Fire!
  • Nowhere to run!

This started out as an internal experiment to learn some things about VR’s capabilities, be reductionist in our designs, etc. We felt that the experiment was successful enough to release as a free experience to share. Enjoy! Available for free on Steam!


Project to Support – Crowfall

Be part of shaping the next great MMO by becoming a Crowfall Backer! Crowfall is the first and only online Throne War game. You can win. Join intense PvP battles that demand strategy, survival and a fierce competitive spirit. Reap the spoils of war as an Eternal Champion!

Claim virtual territory on behalf of your guild or faction. Capture mines, mills, and quarries to secure resources, build castles, and besiege your neighbors. Scavenge artifacts and relics from the Dying Worlds and install them in your temples to grant blessings to your vassals. Capture lost spirits to do your bidding — or bind them into your weapons to infuse them with sorcerous power!


Project to Support – Avatar Express

[Forum post by Vladamir Begemot]

I’m pleased to report that The Avatar Express is clacking away furiously. News is being delivered and we have established systems to deliver it directly to your brain. You can use one of those systems by following us on Twitter at @avatar_express. Even more reliable due to its fully automated nature is joining us on the Discord server. News items are posted there via RSS. Or you can subscribe to RSS directly on the site.

If you run an event, quests, etc, please consider helping out by self reporting. The Shroud community is big, and many things are happening that are never seen by others. With 10k monthly users, we would need a full time staff to track down everything that is happening.

You can fill out the contributor form, message @that_shawn_guy here or post in the Discord server that you would like to help. There is no committment once signed up, you can post as much or little as you like.

Writing up your own events has several benefits beyond the immidiate exposure. It serves as a record for others to see the history of New Britannia as we create it, in an attractive format. Publishing in the Express also has a higher chance than the forums of being seen by search engines and random readers, thus bringing more eyeballs and new players to the game.

It will even make posting in the forums easier! You can upload images to your news item, and then link to those images in your forum post. No more need for 3rd party image hosts!

So if you have something going on in your guild or town, or want to be a Reporter, Cartographer or Historian, please join us!


Resources – Players Helping Players

SotA_NewPlayerWelcome_Forum

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.



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