Greetings Fellow Avatars!
Here’s what we have for you in this week’s edition of Update of the Avatar:
- Alienware Sponsors 1000 Release 5 Weekend Access Keys
- SotA’s One-Year Anniversary Events
- Lord of the Manor Castle Lot
- Founder Baron 2 & 3 Waterfront Galleon
- Lord’s Throne
- Founder Lord Lynx Pet
- Town Stone Arena Basement
- Blade of the Avatar Novel: Chapter 13
- Upcoming Events
- Only 24 Days Remain to Purchase/Upgrade/Gift Founder Pledges
Alienware Sponsors 1000 Release 5 Weekend Access Keys
Every week for four weeks, starting March 24th, 250 members of the Alienware Arena Shroud of the Avatar Group will receive Weekend Access Keys to SotA Release 5, scheduled for April 24-27.
- March 24 – 30
- March 31 – April 6
- April 7 – 13
- April 14 – 20
250 members of the Alienware Arena Shroud of the Avatar Group will be able to gain weekend access to SotA’s Release 5 during each giveaway period. For more details, jump on over to the Alieware Arena site and make sure you’re registered in their Shroud of the Avatar Group!
[Note: Weekend Access Keys are non-transferable; Make sure that your SotA account uses the same email address as your Alienware Arena account in order to utilize the Weekend Access Keys]
Alienware Sponsors $20 Pledge Upgrade Coupon
Alienware’s powerful gaming rigs are a perfect match for Shroud of the Avatar! To show their support, Alienware is sponsoring $20 SotA Pledge Upgrade Coupons to members of their Alienware Arena community!
These coupons can be used to start a SotA pledge account (for new backers), or to add $20 to an existing pledge account. If, for example, you have a $90 Royal Artisan Pledge, you can use the Alienware coupon to bump you up to a $110 Virtual Collector Pledge.
Pretty sweet deal, right? So, hurry over to the Alienware Arena website and get your $20 Pledge Upgrade Coupon now!
[NOTE: Only one Alienware Pledge Upgrade Coupon can be used per account. Coupon does not apply to Add-On Store items]
SotA’s One-Year Anniversary Events
It is hard to believe that just 24 days from now will be the 1-Year Anniversary of our successful Shroud of the Avatar Kickstarter Campaign! It has been one of the most amazing years that any of us have ever experienced in this business of making games, and that is entirely because of all of you, our community of SotA backers! We’re brainstorming some events for the final week leading up to our April 7th anniversary, including:
- One-Hour Daily Developer Hangouts from March 31st thru April 6th
- Morning to Midnight Video Hangout Telethon on April 7th
- Allow Backer Access to SotA Release 4.x from Morning to Midnight on April 7th
- Assorted free prizes to be given away during the final week, including:
- April 7th Drawing for one (1) Alienware Gaming Laptop
- April 7th Drawing for one (1) trip to Austin, Texas for a tour of the Portalarium Studios and some design brainstorming with the SotA Dev Team (flight & 1 night hotel expenses covered)
- Ten (10) Founder Adventure Pledges given away during each daily hangout
- Ten (10) Weekend Access Passes to Release 5 given away during each daily hangout
All New Britannians are eligible for the drawings, no pledge or purchase required, just make sure you are registered on the Shroud of the Avatar website. More details for the One-Year Anniversary events and drawings will be revealed in upcoming updates.
Lord of the Manor Castle Lot
Our Lords of the Manor met recently to discuss the Lord of the Manor house. Based on their feedback and our upcoming build out of the “Island Castle with Keep” we realized that the city lot is just too small for our Lords of the Manor, especially once the Lord of the Manor house was placed on it. To that end we have created Castle Lots, a fourth lot size that is only available to Lords of the Manor. This enormous lot is four times the size of a city lot and comes with a stone wall with towers (just like what surrounds the town center of Owl’s Head) and a moat! The lot also comes with a castle lot basement of truly epic proportions (stay tuned to a future update for images of the castle lot basement)! These new rewards are now included in the Lord of the Manor pledge tiers.
The following images show the castle lot with the Lord of the Manor home placed on it (we’re still working on the Lord of the Manor Castle with Keep; look for it in a future update):
Founder Baron 2 & 3 Waterfront Galleon
This week’s Parade of Homes features the Founder Baron 2 and Baron 3 Waterfront Galleon, available as an Early Founder reward in the Baron 2 & 3 level pledges. This wondrous ship, designed by Bob Cooksey and Michael Hutchison, features four rooms on two floors below deck, a spacious Captain’s Quarters above deck, and two accessible crow’s nests.
Included in the rewards of the Lord pledge tier is this regal throne, an in-game decoration for your home, uniquely identifiable as Benefactor or Founder:
Founder Lord Lynx Pet
Town Stone Arena Basement
It has been a while since we introduced a new basement, and next up is the Town Stone Arena Basement, an elegantly crafted, single story structure. The enormous central room can be utilized to host combat tournaments or as a Grand Hall for Lordly feasts!
The Town Stone Arena Basement is available at an introductory 25% off in the Add-On Store!
(NOTE: You will need a Town Level Property to place the Town Stone Arena Basement in-game)
Blade of the Avatar Novel: Chapter 13
The latest installment of the serialized SotA novel, Blade of the Avatar (BotA), written by Tracy Hickman & Richard Garriott, is now available for download! If you are a Founder, or you purchased BotA in the Add-On Store, then you will find a download link for the current installment of the novel on your personal SotA account page (log into SotA website and click on “Account” in the top-right corner). If you are a Kickstarter backer you’ll need to have your Kickstarter account linked to the SotA website (click here for instructions to link your Kickstarter account).
Here is a brief excerpt of the latest installment (illustration by Denis Loubet):
Chapter 13: Opalis
The city of Opalis lay at the horizon like a beckoning mirage.
Syenna, Aren, and Zhal, along with six of the Baroness’ guards, stopped their horses in wonder on the road that crossed the plain. They had followed the Jaana River from the Ash Coast up to the crossroads village of Jaanaford, then continued up the road that paralleled the West Jaana for several days. Now, in an instant, the weariness of their journey was momentarily forgotten.
“It’s incredible,” Aren said, shaking his head. Sitting on the back of the chestnut horse they had placed him on, the vision that had caught his eyes across the plane had made him forget that his hands were tied and bound to the horn of the saddle beneath him. “Why didn’t you tell me?”
Syenna smiled in wistful awe. “I didn’t know.”
“You haven’t been here before?” Aren asked.
“If I had only known,” she replied.
“It is a most common reaction among those whose eyes first gaze upon the beauty of Opalis,” chuckled Gerad Zhal as he urged his horse forward just enough to come alongside the captain. “I would have thought, Captain Bennis, that a warrior in the service of the Obsidian Cause would have seen many such places in the course of his conquests.”
“No, Loremaster,” Aren said through a lopsided grin. “Never anything like this.”
Download your copy of the latest installment of BotA to read the rest of this exciting chapter!
For your map puzzle collection:
We had to make a slight alteration to the map piece associated with BotA Chapter 5, revealed in Update #56 – 01/17/2014. Here’s the revised piece:
2014.03.22 – Lord of the Manor Dinner and Tour of Britannia Manor
2014.03.27 – Release 4 Access
2014.04.07 – End of One Year Founder Pledge Promotion
2014.04.18 – Duke & Lord of the Manor VIP Design Roundtable with Lord British and Portalarium Tour
2014.04.24 – Release 5 Access
2014.05.22 – Release 6 Access
2014.06.26 – Release 7 Access
Only 24 Days Remain to Purchase/Upgrade/Gift Founder Pledges
Until the promotion ends on April 7th, 2014, Founder backers will be able to purchase and/or gift additional Founder pledges containing all the original Founder rewards, as well as upgrade any of their pledges at original Kickstarter prices. After April 7th, prices for upgrades, gifts, and purchases will increase to Benefactor prices and no new Founder pledges can be created. Don’t miss out!
Referral Bonus for Gifted Pledges!
Early Founders who wish to act as patrons to their family, friends, guildmates, or members of the SotA community, will also continue to receive the $25 Referral Bonus for every additional pledge they purchase as a gift for others. Not only are you helping out others to become Founders, but you are also growing your own pledge account by $25 every time you do! Win-win for everyone!
Community member, The Mad Hermit, has a great video walkthru explaining all this, called “How to Become A Founder Through ‘Gifting’“. We highly recommend you check it out!
We’ve created the Player Marketplace area in the forums to help facilitate these transactions between our community members and we ask that you keep these transactions in that section.
Hurry and take advantage of this tremendous offer as there are only 24 days remaining until the Early Founder Pledge Promotion ends on April 7, 2014.
[NOTE: Any pledge payment plans started prior to April 8, 2014 will remain in effect at the original Early Founder price until that plan is completed or cancelled. Until we automate the process, you can send a request to firstname.lastname@example.org to have your pledges merged.]