Update of the Avatar #68 – 04/11/14: Anniversary Recap, New Asset Pack, More Basements, Duke & Baron Crowns, and More!

Greetings Fellow Avatars!

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

  • One-Year Anniversary Recap
  • Dev+ House Pack #2
  • Lord of the Manor’s 2-Story Castle Stone Basement
  • Founder Duke Crown
  • Founder Baron 2 & 3 Crown
  • Benefactor Baron Bed
  • Benefactor Tunic
  • Village Stone Arena Basement
  • Castle Stone & Timber Split-Level 5-Story Basement
  • Rustic 2-Story Village Home
  • Wood & Plaster 2-Story with Overhang Village Home
  • Blade of the Avatar Novel: Chapter 17
  • Alienware $20 Pledge Upgrade Coupons and Release 5 Access Keys
  • Upcoming Events


Thank You! Thank You! Thank You! (Did We Happen To Mention “Thank You?”)

The One-Year Anniversary Telethon was an amazing success, raising over $95,000 and setting a new record for post-Kickstarter single-day funding! The day was filled with tons of community interaction, prize giveaways, and the usual zany antics that seem to be a common theme running through SotA Telethons. If you missed the live streams, you can watch the recorded videos here.

One year ago, at the conclusion of our successful Kickstarter campaign, we wrote these words:

Wow! Words can’t adequately express how overwhelmed we are with the incredible outpouring of support and dedication that all of you gave to the Shroud of the Avatar Kickstarter campaign, and to all of us on the SotA Team! Because of your incredible support, we raised a total of $2.03M, double our original goal!

But it didn’t stop there! Over the past year you have helped us raise another $1.95M, bringing our total funds raised to $3.98M! We have plowed every nickle of those additional funds back into the development of Shroud of the Avatar through new content and enhanced features. Each month that our development funding increased, we would add more team members, and at 31 members we have more than doubled the size it was a year ago.

We cannot thank you enough for the tremendous support that all of you have shown over the past year, with your generous contributions to the funding of the project, and your passionate collaboration on this game we are all building together. The past year we have spent with you has exceeded all our expectations, and it is with great excitement that we look forward to our next year together!


Developer+ House Pack #2


James Cousar has pulled together our latest Unity Asset Pack, House Pack #2.  Asset packs are included in the Developer pledge rewards (and above). This asset pack contains:

James (aka “Thud” in the forums) posted the availability of House Pack #2 on the forums. Here’s an excerpt:

Our second housing pack features a set of SotA buildings suitable for use on land, sea, and coast. Each can be imported into a Unity project separately. Each house set includes a prefab to make placing them as convenient as possible.

Our Village Lighthouse is a must for any seaside map, warning ships away from dangerous rocks and reefs. Anyone living on the luxurious House Boat will certainly appreciate the warning. Those more interested in raiding across the seas than partying on them will still enjoy coming home to the beautifully engraved Viking Village house, complete with free-standing stone hearth. The larger, Town version of our Tower home offers a regal view of your surroundings and the sturdy, two story Knight Benefactor house rounds out the collection.

If you have a Developer (or higher) pledge level, click here to download the Unity Asset House Pack #2.

If you missed Unity House Pack #1, Dev+ members can download it here.

More Developer Tools

Justin Gilbert (aka oneandonly in the forums), provided a Multi-Shader tool for artists in the Developer Depot forum (available at Founder pledge tier and above):

Multi-Shader – This is the first in hopefully a series of developer tools that we would like to share with anyone who is interested in creating art for us. It is a set of shaders that we use internally for a majority of our materials. Documentation and an example is included in the package.

[Check out the full post in the forums]

Lord of the Manor’s 2-Story Castle Stone Basement

Bill Kirkman has delivered several new basements for this week’s update, including this 2-story Castle Stone Basement, included in the Lord of the Manor pledge rewards:SotA_LotM_Castle_Stone_2Story_Basement









Founder Duke Crown

Included in the Founder rewards of the Duke pledge tier is this regal crown, uniquely identifying you as a Founder Duke:


Founder Baron 2 & 3 Crown

This majestic crown is included in the Founder rewards of the Baron 2 & 3 pledge tier, uniquely identifying you as a Founder High Baron:


Benefactor Baron Bed

Included in the rewards of the Baron 1/2/3 pledge tier is this regal 4-poster bed, an in-game decoration for your home, uniquely identifiable as Benefactor:


Benefactor Tunic

Included in the Founder pledge tier rewards is this special tunic for your in-game avatar to wear, proudly displaying unique symbology identifying you as a Benefactor:


Village Stone Arena Basement

Continuing the Arena basement line is the Village Stone Arena Basement. The enormous central room can be utilized to host combat tournaments or as a Grand Hall for Lordly feasts!

The Village Stone Arena Basement is available at an introductory 25% off in the Add-On Store!

(NOTE: You will need a Village Level Property to place the Village Stone Arena Basement in-game)SotA_Village_Arena_Basement_exterior1








Castle Stone & Timber Split-Level 5-Story Basement

Bill put a lot of work into this massive, 5-Story Castle Stone & Timber Split-Level Basement, now available in the Add-On Store at an introductory 25% off. The combined square footage is approaching that of 4 football fields (that ought to be enough space for Smack to store his stuff):















Rustic 2-Story Village Home

Continuing our line of rustic homes is this picturesque, 2-story, 3-room village home, now available in the Add-On Store (you may have seen this house in Braemar):









Get Your Rustic 2-Story Village Home Now for 50% off!

For a limited time we’re offering 50% off this home!  Reserve yours (or send as a gift) at the Add-On Store!

Wood & Plaster 2-Story with Overhang Village Home

Next up in our line of Wood & Plaster homes is this 2-story, 4-room village home , now available in the Add-On Store (also used as the College of Arms building in Owl’s Head):













Get Your Wood & Plaster 2-Story with Overhang Village Home Now for 50% off!

For a limited time we’re offering 50% off this home!  Reserve yours (or send as a gift) at the Add-On Store!

Blade of the Avatar Novel

BotA_smallThe 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 17: Unwilling Help

“Jackals,” Trevan roared, slamming his fist down on the wide table, causing the various maps scattered across its surface to jump. “Worse than jackals … carrion birds at the heels of jackals!”

Syenna picked up the scroll before it had stopped rocking back and forth on the top of the table. They stood in the map room of the Legion Barracks

“This missive,” Syenna said as she unrolled it. “They cannot possibly mean what you say.”

“Oh, they mean it, all right!” Trevan pushed himself away from the table and began pacing once more behind it. “Read it! It’s all there in the fifth paragraph from the top!”

Syenna’s eyes moved down the page. In moments, she found the section and began to read aloud. “It says, ‘The Warlords of Resolute sympathize with the concerns of their fellow noble warriors of the South Paladis, but reports of military activities throughout the region have caused the Council in Resolute to reevaluate their strategic position against these insurgents of unknown strength and location.’ ”

“Keep reading!” Trevan seethed.

“ ‘The Council is resolved to abide by their agreements with the Elders of Opalis, their rightful representation of the Titans who rule them, and the people whom they protect and shall, in due course and at the proper time, support the cause of their defense with,’ ” Syenna paused, glancing over the top of the scroll at Trevan. “What does this mean, ‘in due course and at the proper time’?”

Download your copy of the latest installment of BotA to read the rest of this exciting chapter!

Map Reveal

For your map puzzle collection:



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]

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.

Access Key Giveaway Periods (does not reflect game availability dates):

  • March 24 – 30 (completed)
  • March 31 – April 6 (completed)
  • April 7 – 13 (completed)
  • 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 and primarily for use by non-backers to check out the game; Make sure that your SotA account uses the same email address as your Alienware Arena account in order to utilize the Weekend Access Keys]

Upcoming Events

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
2014.08.29 – SotA at Dragoncon


  1. smacksmack

    That Castle Basement is indeed crazy big. Challenge accepted, dallas. :)

    Although I think Chris will need to crank that house inventory item limit to 11.

    1. Duke GréagóirDuke Gréagóir

      In the Kickstarter only the Baron, Duke, and Lord of the Manor only get crowns. That was an incentive for me to upgrade from the Lord level to the Duke level, to obtain a crown.

      1. Midgard TheDragonKingMidgard TheDragonKing

        I went from Lord to Duke for the custom Character and a Crown, granted you could have the crown at Baron but Id like to see maybe one more thing for Dukes to justify the extra 1400 since Lords get a bigger lot now. I don’t want a bigger lot but maybe a new pet see comment below :)

        On that note good Day Sir fellow Duke


  2. Blood0menBlood0men

    I agree with Viceroy, I’m a Lord also; I’d think maybe a Circlet with maybe a Ruby in center would be nice.

  3. TheMadHermitTheMadHermit

    OMG Dallas! That was some update! You guys have been hard at work. Pumped about the new developer assets. Thanks!

  4. Ember IsolteEmber Isolte

    Yay, new chapter of Blade of the Avatar! Cant wait to sit down and read it. Loving all the add-ons too.. My wish list is getting longer with every update. XD

  5. NikkoNikko

    WOW! Quite an update indeed. I personally think the 2 story, 4 room plaster house is VERY nice. Might actually go with that instead of my Knight’s keep! Currently, the only thing the Knight’s keep has on it is the roof access.

  6. Midgard TheDragonKingMidgard TheDragonKing

    sad no pets this week :(

    Think I’m going to stick with city Arena

    I do like my Duke Crown but think Dukes should also get a special pet I vote baby dragon or a Drake I’m not biased at all!!!

    See you guys in a week


  7. Duke GréagóirDuke Gréagóir

    Love the Duke crown!!! Psyched that I made a good decision to upgrade from Lord to Duke with the updates in the past few weeks!!!

    1. Midgard TheDragonKingMidgard TheDragonKing

      Me too at times I’ve been like umm maybe I should have stopped at Baron but I’m sure after I go to Austin next week I’ll be more then convinced.

  8. ZoradaneZoradane

    I was supposed to be able to tame a unique special pet. It was listed with the items I got a year ago. Anyone know anything about that. I am an Explorer. Are we going to be able to tame this first go around. I hope so that was the plan a year ago. I am looking forward to taming and to see what this unique special pet is that I am supposed to get.


    1. KeldrinKeldrin

      I’m pretty curious about that as well.
      And, I also would like to know, will the unique pet be a combat or non-combat pet.
      And… if it dies, will I be able to summon another after so long?
      They kind of said it would work like the turkey call and the reindeer call. And those have a 1 week cool down between summonings. But, I guess it’s possible this might be a 1 time use item. Or even have a long cool down time. Might depend on how useful the special pet is. Like the turkey, doesn’t sound very useful at all. Just kind of unique (hopefully). If there are plenty of turkey’s available in game, easily tamed, the turkey call might be just silly to own.

  9. lemonkeylemonkey

    Wow the basements sure were a good idea! Will founders have a tunic as well, or just the existing capes? I sure like the looks of the tunics.

  10. Koveras

    Unpopular opinion, perhaps, but judging by the past 20 updates or so, SotA will be a house owner/pet raiser/clothes model simulator rather than a grand adventure to restore order to a troubled land. I do enjoy me some crafting and character customization, but for once, I’d like to see some screenshots of outdoor locations to explore instead of yet another virtual home for stinky rich backers and of some awesome monsters to kill instead yet another Avatar wearing fancy clothes.

    A few months ago, I complained that all of the updates had been just extended pleas for more money. It has gotten better since, but now these updates are either new release announcements or adverts for new in-game houses and items (and Alienware). BotA excerpts and map pieces do make it better, but I wanna see the game, not a book or a map. I haven’t even downloaded any releases yet because I could find so little incentive in the updates to commit myself to alpha testing.

    1. KeldrinKeldrin

      Well, there’s definitely something to what you’re saying. But, like was said, this is pre-alpha. And a lot of what they are pushing out there, is stuff that many people thought was important. Housing in UO was a huge part of the appeal to the game. I knew a number of people who played primarily to decorate their house. House decorating in DAOC was also huge. So, them pushing that out, to make many happy, and to bring more people into the game makes sense.
      Additional backers, is about as important as additional funds. They need a strong guaranteed player base when the game launches. As for the pets. The stuff they are tossing out are non-combat pets. Essentially, cool looking fluff.
      The last release dealt a little with combat. Still early stages. But, they are getting there. I expect to start seeing more and more about combat and the core of the game as we move forward. I just think that the programming is just hitting the point where they can start putting some cool information out there.
      As has been stated though, they are still in fund raising mode. The money they raise, will translate into a better game, and the stuff you’re really wanting will be better as well.
      So, if you think your character, can somehow survive after a hard days adventuring by unwinding with just a beer, then you can ignore buying the hot tub.

      1. Koveras

        I get that it is a pre-alpha and that a lot of people wanted the houses, but personally, I am in it for the single-player experience. So yeah, I am pretty much used to unwinding after adventures by renting a bunk at an inn, resting for 8 hours and getting right back to it. Houses for me (in games like The Elder Scrolls) are a neat gimmick but nothing terribly relevant to what I look for in an RPG. There was some awesome stuff I liked in that one video where Lord British raided a dungeon for the wicked lich throne but ever since then, it’s been houses, houses, houses, pets, houses, houses, houses.

        As for fundraising, AFAIK most campaigns keep their “fund raising modes” right until the release, so I see no reason to think that something will magically change in the updates’ content just because when the game transitions from pre-alpha to alpha stage.

        1. Bodhbh DeargBodhbh Dearg

          They’ll keep as much of the story secret until close to launch as possible, as to not spoil the experience.
          We also cannot see what other systems are already in there but not yet exposed.
          Remember, pre-alpha is about (stress)testing the individual systems of the game, not the gameplay on the whole. If there is some consistent gameplay, that is great, but it isn’t the focus of pre-alpha testing…
          So yes, individual systems like combat, housing, decorating, crafting are in there, but there is no coherent environment around these systems, and not all of them are feature-complete yet.

  11. DeliverenceDeliverence

    Another great update Dallas, I enjoy seeing the items we heard about during the KS campaign come to life. The only thing I would have liked in this update is to see the crowns we saw displayed on an avatar’s head instead of just the images themselves so we can get a better idea of how they will look.

    Another big week hope you all get a weekend, thanks to you and the team for all your hard work.

  12. Duffrey BlakeDuffrey Blake

    Wow! that castle lot basements are HUGE. I love the the idea with the basements and are as well very happy with the direction the houseing style is pointing at with the rustic homes. Great work portalarium.

  13. Gabriel NightshadowGabriel Nightshadow

    Another great update, Dallas! Yay, SoTA will be at DragonCon! I was hoping for that :) Looking forward to more details…

Comments are closed.