Greetings Fellow Avatars!
The time has come, Avatars! So many fantastic community members have shined in the past year, many of which have never received recognition for their hard work and dedication. Well, now the recognition program is back! For those wishing to participate in any community activities, upcoming one-time and recurring community events have been announced! Be sure to also review the Players Guide and Known Issues list for additional information on recent changes and upcoming fixes. Now, let’s see what we have for you in this week’s edition of Update of the Avatar:
- Community Recognition Program Returns!
- Latest News Q&A Friday Livestream!
- Support the Family of CatherineRose!
- New Store Additions: Blank Ornate Scrolls, Awnings, & Valentine’s Day Items!
- New Vault Round!
- February Login Reward: Fancy Vase of Multicolored Roses!
- R86 Rewards Program Login Items: Valentine’s Day & New Year Theme!
- Streamer Rewards Program
- Bug Brigade & Testing Directives
- Upcoming Release Dates
- Community Events & Resources
- Project to Support: Amanita’s Adventures
- Project to Support: Shard RPG
- Project to Support: Shadow of Valhalla
- Project to Support: Dragonfight
- Project to Support: Avatar Express
- Resources: Players Helping Players
Community Recognition Program Returns!
Greetings Avatars! This is a very important week in New Britannia. For many years, the developers of Shroud of the Avatar have routinely awarded titles, plaques, and medals to outstanding community members in a way to thank them for their hard work and dedication. This program has lapsed this past year, but now it is back!
Lord British and the Royal Court of New Britannia will be presenting awards to various recipients during today’s Friday Livestream. Wash that troll blood off your hands, put on your ceremony finery and meet us at Arabella’s Castle at 4PM CT if you would like to attend within the game. Also, please join us today for the Friday, February 12th Livestream at 4PM CT on Twitch to congratulate new award recipients as we broadcast the ceremony.
For those that are unfamiliar with the program, here is a breakdown of the 3 awards to be routinely provided to exceptional community members and organizations:
- Order of the New Britannia Empire (ONBE): The ONBE is awarded to individual community members of Shroud of the Avatar. Lord British bestows this medal upon stellar community members for their positive contributions to the game and community. The community nominates these outstanding individuals for their efforts within a wide variety of supportive activities such as: creation of player resources, community leadership, new player support, and much more! Recipients of the ONBE are awarded the Knight of New Britannia title, an actual medal to wear outside of the game, and a digital version of the medal to display within the game.
- DarkStarr Medallion of Chaos (Chaos Medal): This award is given by DarkStarr to “chaotic members” of the Shroud of the Avatar community. Unlike its virtuous counterpart, this award is given chaotically to community members whom DarkStarr deems worthy at in-game events. As one would expect, there are no rules or guidelines in how Darkstarr determines the recipients, but we assure you, with the chaotic forces at his disposal, he puts much consideration and effort into selecting the recipients most deserving. Recipients of the Chaos Medal are awarded the Chaotic of New Britannia title, an actual medal to wear outside the game, and a digital version of the medal to display within the game.
- Royal Warrant: The Royal Warrant is awarded to outstanding community groups for their positive contributions to the game and community. Players nominate these outstanding groups for their collective contributions to projects, group activities, community events, and more. Recipients of the Royal Warrant are awarded an actual plaque to display outside of the game, and a digital version is also provided to display within the game.
More information will be released about the recognition program in the coming weeks, so stay tuned!
Latest News Q&A Friday Livestream!
The weekly Community Livestream is Friday, February 12th at 4PM CT on Twitch! Join Chris “Atos” Spears and other members of the development team for a very special community 1 hour livestream!
To enter the prize drawings, type “love is in the air” 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!
Atos and other members of the Shroud of the Avatar development team go live very frequently on twitch.tv/shroudoftheavatar — be sure to get these channels on follow for notifications so you can join us right as we go live! Also, if you’ve missed our latest streams, check out our archive of content at our YouTube Channel. Like! Follow! Subscribe! Prizes!!!
Don’t forget to also join the Shroud of the Avatar team and community over at all our social media venues:
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ShroudoftheAvatar/
- Catnip Games Twitter: https://twitter.com/catnipgames
- Shroud of the Avatar Twitter: https://twitter.com/ShroudofAvatar
- Shroud of the Avatar Discord: https://discord.gg/GuBXakQ
Avatars! CatherineRose, a beloved member of our community, is going through troubling challenges as one of her family members is battling cancer. If you are able to, please lend their family support during these trying times. Even if you are not able to provide monetary assistance, providing well wishes, thoughts, and prayers go a long way towards helping a family through such hardships.
Details about an upcoming auction will be announced shortly. We’ll be putting a Lord of the Isle pledge up for auction, and all proceeds will go towards the GoFundMe fundraiser supporting Wendy Barry’s fight with cancer. Stay tuned for more details, but in the meantime, please show this loving family your support if at all possible.
Also, Tradia with The Avatar Express, has posted information on the forums about portions of this fundraiser. Please see this forum thread for more details.
New Store Additions: Blank Ornate Scrolls, Awnings, & Valentine’s Day Items!
This week, a new variety of decoration has been added to the store — the Blank Ornate Unrolled Scroll 5-Pack! With the recent addition of 3 varieties of scrolls to crafting, this adds yet another visual to the array of books and papers upon which players can annotate notes.
Last week, 2 varieties of wooden awnings have become available to players! These are fantastic structures to use as outdoor merchant stands or even crafting areas! They’re considerably large, so be sure to have space in a village lot (or larger) or in a Player-Owned Town if you would like to utilize one of these spacious overhead coverings.
Also, with Valentine’s Day upon us, a large variety of holiday items have returned to the store. Some will appear in the Vault throughout the coming weeks, and others will be available on the store until March 7th!
- Breathe Hearts Emote
- 2016 Cupid Ensemble
- 2016 Cupid Heart Cloak
- Blank Valentine’s Day 2016 Card 5-Pack
- 2016 Valentine Hearts Cloak
- Blank Valentine’s Day 2017 Card 5-Pack
- Valentine’s Day Gift Boxes 2017 3-Pack
- Valentine’s Day Gift Boxes 2018 3-Pack
- Blank Valentine’s Day 2019 Card 5-Pack
- Valentine’s Day Gift Boxes 2019 3-Pack
- Double Smoke Heart Emote
- Smoke Heart Emote
- Triple Smoke Heart Emote
- Heart Hot Tub
- Heart-Shaped Spear
- Heart Top Hat
- Heart-Shaped Footstool
New Vault Round!
The current round of Vault items are available until Thursday, February 18th at 1PM CT. At that time, the next round of 9 items will be available for one week, and then the next, etc.
- 2016 Cupid Heart Cloak
- Adobe Brick 2-Story with Roof Access Village Home
- Black Squirrel Decoration Pet
- Brindle Greyhound Decoration Pet
- Ornate Elven Longsword Pattern Pack
- Ornate Viking Chest
- Viking Tyr Shield Pattern Pack
- Ladies’ Admiral Outfit
- Obsidian Altar
February Login Reward: Fancy Vase of Multicolored Roses!
Don’t miss out! Log in during the month of February, and you’ll receive a beautiful vase of roses! The Fancy Vase of Multicolored Roses is the perfect accent piece for your home’s décor.
Release 86 Rewards Program Login Items: Valentine’s Day & New Year Theme!
- Perennial Coast Dragon Mask
- Ornate Red Floral Heart-Backed Armchair 2-Pack (Dyeable)
- Heraldry Heart Shield (Dyeable)
The Shroud of the Avatar Rewards Program lets you earn the best rate on purchasing Crowns, AND receive monthly reward items! For the low price of $9 USD per month you will receive the following:
- 900 Crowns of the Obsidians every month
- 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
Updates to the Streamer Rewards Program!
Several months ago, a program was proposed for the Streamers of Shroud of the Avatar. The ultimate goal being to showcase Shroud of the Avatar while giving SotA streamers a reward for their efforts. The program is currently in Phase I, with Phase II technology currently being discussed and worked internally. So, let’s talk Phase I!
Streamers who wish to be included in the Streamer Program must contact Laney via in-game mail or in a private message on the forums with their Character Name and Twitch Channel information. If you have already signed up for the program in the past, fear not, you’re on the list, and you don’t need to reapply.
- Streaming Rewards Program participants must adhere to our Terms of Service (TOS) and Community Rules while Streaming Shroud of the Avatar.
- Streaming Rewards Program participants must stream at least 10 hours of Shroud of the Avatar ACTIVE game play to remain in the program with reward accrual.
Streamers will receive a one-time digital reward of in-game items after meeting the program’s requirements: Streamer’s Cloak, Streamer’s Camera, and a brand-new LIVESTREAMING title. Future incremental rewards will occur at 6-month intervals. (More information to come).
- To qualify for Streamer Rewards, each streamer must continue to meet the minimum requirements for 60 days after application.
- To accrue additional rewards, Streamers must stream SotA a minimum of 10 hours per month, tallied on the 1st day of each month, to remain in the program.
- Streamers must be actively playing the game during their streams. Being away from the keyboard (AFK) for short periods is acceptable. If Twitch indicates the streamer is playing SotA but they are streaming other content or a timeout/login screen, they risk being removed from the program.
Items of Note:
- SotAbot: Streamers in the program will be included in the SotAbot StreamPop function, appearing in the player-streaming channel in Discord.
- Graphics & Overlays: An optional “Streamers Kit” is available to the participating streamers as well as all players of Shroud of the Avatar, which includes graphics, overlays and other material.
Watch the forums for more information, coming soon, regarding Titles, future rewards and for info on Phase II of the program. We love our Streamers, so get out to Twitch and follow them, watch them, and support them!
Bug Brigade & Testing Directives!
The Bug Brigade was established to improve how the community and the development team work together to improve the game. Since the Brigade’s inception, the program has gone through a number of changes and was eventually placed on hold. The stability of the game is as important to the development team as it is to the players, therefore the program was revamped and was recently relaunched.
The Brigade has been up and running for two months now, and the volunteers are getting into a good rhythm for verifying and submitting bugs to the developers. If you have reported a bug that has not yet been addressed, please be patient while the backlog is being worked. The Brigade is working diligently to cleanup the backlog of bug reports posted by players on the forums.
As was recently announced on a Twitter post by Chris “Atos” Spears, the upcoming development time for Release 84 will be primarily spent working many of the verified bugs which have been submitted to the team by the Bug Brigade. This focused effort on bug fixes would not be possible without the recent efforts of the Bug Brigade. Please take the time to thank these bug hunting aficionados when you encounter them in your travels!
In turn, the development team would like to express a big thank you to the Bug Hunters! These community members are doing a fantastic job bringing so many bug reports to the team, and they’re doing it in a way which makes the process smooth and efficient. Thank you, thank you, thank you! Already, much improvement has been noticed by the development team, and we’re so very excited to see the program successfully back in action!
The development team would also like to thank all of those who took time out to participate in the QA Testing Directive for the upcoming Mount System. Thanks to your hard work and dedication, many issues and bugs were identified and fixed prior to the system going to the Live Server! Keep up the great work! For those that wish to participate in future bug hunting endeavors, please check the forums regularly for upcoming QA Testing Directives.
Also, the Bug Brigade would like to welcome its newest Bug Moderator, Echondas! Please congratulate him the next time you see him in-game or on the forums. This new member expands the Bug Moderator team to: Alley Oop, Echondas, and Justyn. Thank you Moderators! Your efforts are highly valued by the development team!
Don’t forget, the Bug Brigade is open to all players in good standing, and the bug rewards are back! And they are SWEET! They will be awarded on a monthly progression basis with only minimal requirements to qualify. The available rewards to receive in progression via qualifying participation are as follows:
- Antennae Head Gear and Forum Title 1: “Bug Hunter”
- Single Ant Cloak
- Lady Bug Backpack
- Bug Painting A and In-Game Title 2: “Associate of Aphids”
- Ant Farm
- Insect Leg Table
- Many Ants Cloak and In-Game Title 3: “Bachelor of Beetles”
- Bug Painting B
- Bug Sprayer
- Bug Painting C and In-Game Title 4: “Master of Moths”
- Butterfly Chair
- Corpion Chair (Pictured Below)
- Yellow Fireflies VFX and In-Game Title 5: “Doctor of Dragonflies”
- Hacked Oracle Flyer
- Giant Blue Butterfly Pet
- Butterfly Mask
- Dragonfly pet
- Fairy Wings
- Monarch Butterfly Pet
- Dragonfly Wings
- Hacked Oracle Crawler
- Blue Butterfly VFX
- Orange Fireflies VFX
- Orange Butterfly VFX
If you’ve come to think of Shroud of the Avatar as your home, signup and help make New Britannia a better place to live! To learn more about joining the Bug Brigade, please read the announcement thread by Ravolox in the main Bug/Feedback forums.
Upcoming Release Dates
Be sure to check out the Upcoming Events page for spotlighted events plus links to various areas to post or find events on our forums. The upcoming 2021 Release Schedule is as follows:
- Release 87 – Feb 25
- Release 88 – Mar 25
- Release 89 – Apr 29
- Release 90 – May 27
- Release 91 – Jun 24
Community Updates & Resources
Greetings event holders and event attendees! So many fun and exciting events are available in the upcoming weeks. Be sure to get out there and participate, make some new friends, perhaps make some great emote, recipe, or gear trades, or get some adventuring and role-playing into your mix! Here are spotlighted events or updated community resources that we’ve noticed popping up lately on the official forums:
- Catnip Games Weekly Fishing Tourney: Greetings Anglers! The weekly Catnip Games Fishing Tourney is live! These contests run for 1 week intervals, Friday Noon to Friday Noon CT. We’ll announce the winners every Friday during the livestream. Lots of great prizes for the 3 winners, plus everyone gets a decorative participation trophy every week they participate!
- Catnip Games Monthly Screenshot/Video Contest: Avatars! For those of you skilled with the camera or screenshot key binding, a monthly screenshot and video contest is underway which features a large number of valuable prizes. The focus will be for players to submit creative or informative screenshots and videos of content introduced to the game during the latest 3 monthly releases.
- Valentine’s Day Ball: For those that would like to dress up and attend a ball during the Valentine’s Day celebration, please pop on over to Immortal City on Friday, February 12th. From 8PM CT until Midnight, the DJ’s of Virtue/Avatars Radio will be blasting away the airwaves to get everyone’s legs a movin!
- Mad Splatter Tea Party: The Mad Splatter Tea Party takes place every 3rd or 4th Sunday of the month, which is a tea party in Lily Byrd’s back garden in Jade Valley. This month’s episode will take place on Sunday the 21st at 3PM CT. There are drinks and eats, there is sometimes music, there are often party games with prizes, and sometimes attendees just sit and talk about life in Novia. Get your role-playing hats on and come on over!
- Forkswerth Bobservatory Grand Opening: If you’d like to see a wonderfully decorated observatory, head on over to Lake Cusabo and check out the impressive decoration job by the residents there. What a fantastic example of the capabilities the decoration system in Shroud of the Avatar has to provide!
- Islands of Wonders Monthly Fishing Contest: Don’t miss out on more prizes with this monthly fishing contest in Isle of Wonders! Good luck, Anglers!
- Knightmare Falls Spotlight: Avatars! The talented reporters at TheAvatar.Express have written a wonderful article about the Player-Owned Town known as Knightmare Falls. Please give it a read and those involved a big thank you for their efforts!
- Great Gormandizing Gustation: Hungry? Wanna win prizes? Well, just how much in-game food can you imbibe, Avatars? Sorgin Txakal wants to know! If you’d like to participate with in-game eating contests, this is the forum thread for you!
- SotALore.Com Update: Gravidy recently added a wondrous improvement to the SotALore.Com website which is well known for its popular agriculture tool. Just added, a way to track your character skill advancements — check it out!
- RHEC Traveling Pop Up Fishing Contest: Keep an eye out in universe and trade chat this weekend! Asmodi M’hul will be announcing at least one pop up fishing contest for those anglers out there anxious for extra prizes and fun! Don’t miss out!
- Torque Adventures with BeeStriker: Streaming extraordinaire Torque has once again provided a video of his Shroud of the Avatar gameplay If you wanna see this video on YouTube, check it out on Torque’s Channel!
- Zeek Latreck’s Guide to Streaming: So you want to stream Shroud? Why not check out Zeek’s guide for getting started? He’s laid out concepts very clearly to the reader, such as what software to procure, but there’s so much more. Perhaps you’ll be an upcoming SotA streaming expert!
- Anpu’s Most Wondrous Catalog of SotA Guides: Anpu’s very helpful forum post is a directory to ALL of his guides to include many extremely insightful quest guides. He works diligently to keep these updated, so if you see a quest missing or out of date, let him know — he’ll be sure to keep it up-to-date for the Shroud of the Avatar Community!
- Beran’s Reach Auction: Ladies and gentlemen! The Citizens of Beran’s Reach welcome you the weekly auctions! The auctions are about bringing together people from all corners of the community, with the Beran’s Reach market being the perfect place to do so!
Here are some fantastic resources for tracking down community events or posting your own events. Become involved! Create! Explore! Make friends! But most of all, have fun!
- One-Time Community Events Forum: Sometimes events happen only a single time, so you’ll not want to miss out on these events as they occur. Check out the forums routinely to spot these!
- Recurring Community Events Forum: Some events occur on weekly or monthly schedules which are a great way to routinely meet up with friends and to make new ones. Be sure to check this forum frequently for new events or time changes to existing ones.
- Player Radio Station Forum: If you want to check out the latest and greatest from our in-game radio stations, go to the radio stations forum! If you’re a DJ, be sure to advertise your time slot and venue in this forum.
- Player Livestreams & Videos Forum: If you’re searching for a Shroud Streamer to watch, head on over to the streamer forum! If you are a live streamer for Shroud of the Avatar, be sure to advertise your Shroud stream by posting in this forum.
- Town Directory Forum: Want to find a town to live in or get your town listed in the directory, head over to the forums and check it out!
- Guild Directory Forum: Looking for a guild or want to get yours posted in the guild directory? Head on over to the forums and check it out!
- Fire Lotus Tavern: This wondrous role-playing and story writing forum is the spot to be if you love fan fiction and role-play.
- Community Resources: Looking for links to community and official resources for Shroud of the Avatar? Well look no further. On this page you’ll find links to a plethora of helpful resources created by the dev team or the community.
SO many options to stay tuned-in with fellow community members. Please take advantage of all these wonderful options. Happy adventures, Avatars!
Project to Support: Amanita’s Adventures
Comic lovers of New Britannia! Rosemary Price has published a variety of Shroud of the Avatar themed comics which are available on Amazon! These highly entertaining works are a must have for any collector. So far, 3 comics are listed as available for digital download:
- Amanita’s Adventures: The Pig
- Amanita’s Adventures: Sword of Oliver
- Amanita’s Adventures: Steve
Please give Rosemary a.k.a. Amanita Phalloides a big show of appreciation for her hard work and dedication to the community. Happy reading, Avatars!
Project to Support: Shard RPG
Shard Studios invites you to enter the fantastic world Dárdünah, the vast shard of a shattered realm, as presented in the colorful pages of the SHARD RPG! Many years in the making, this system allows players to choose from a wide variety of animal people who are the main cast of the many adventures this otherworldly setting offers. Skyships glide through shimmering clouds past majestic crystal peaks. Giant insects prowl alien jungles or lurk in the sparkling emerald seas. Warriors with blades of diamond and amber duel across crimson sands. And mystics chant in shadowy chambers as their spirits wander abroad.
- Intro Sheet: For a quick glimpse into the world of Dárdünah, be sure to download the intro pdf! It’s packed with great information and features beautiful artwork, not unlike the artwork found throughout the many pages of this gaming system’s gorgeously designed manuals.
- Core System Manuals: It’s easier than ever to delve into Dárdünah, World of the False Dawn, with the Core Books Bundle! If you’ve never had the opportunity to experience this unique gaming system and setting, now’s your chance! This bundle includes two beautifully illustrated, full-color, hardcover books: the original Basic Compendium and the Magic and Martial Arts book! They contain everything you need to begin your adventures, and include instructions for the ritual magic and martial arts combat systems. These manuals also include 90 new Animal Templates upon which to base your character!
- Other Shard RPG Products: So many more manuals and gaming materials are available! Everything an avid tabletop role-player and game master needs to delve into the world of Dárdünah!
So if you’re ready to experience a gaming world like no other, check out what Shard Studios has created for tabletop role-players on the Shard RPG official website! You’ll most certainly be immersed and amazed by the offerings of the Shard RPG!
Project to Support: Shadow of Valhalla
Shadow of Valhalla is a visceral physics-based VR combat game with dynamic RPG elements, set within an ancient realm of Viking lore and mystic powers! Early Access beta includes “endless horde mode” featuring a variety of enemies with progressive difficulty. Also, players can discover many magic spells to unlock! So much more is coming!
Finn Staber with Chicken Waffle, will join the Shroud of the Avatar team on Twitch during their Friday the 28th livestream to showoff this new Early Access game! Also, here is a teaser video on YouTube:
The development team is working hard to create additional environments and new quests! Shadow of Valhalla is available on Steam as Early Access. Additional features coming to the game:
- More Enemies!
- More Environments!
- More Magic Spells!
- RPG Quests!
- Weapon Forging and Crafting!
- Much, much more!
If you would like to learn more about Shadow of Valhalla, be sure to stop by the main webpage for the game as more news becomes available!
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
- 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: Avatar Express
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 commitment once signed up, you can post as much or little as you like.
Writing up your own events has several benefits beyond the immediate 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
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.