Update of the Avatar #70 – 2014.04.25: Play R5 Now, Mad Hermit’s R5 Video, Founder Emotes, Referral Rottweiler, BotA, and More!

Greetings Fellow Avatars!

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

  • Come Play Release 5 Now!
  • The Mad Hermit’s Video Guide to Pre-Alpha Release 5
  • Founder Teachable Emotes
  • Recruit-A-Friend Rottweiler Hunting Dog Pet
  • Amazon Interview with Starr Long
  • 5 Days Left for Easter Bunny & Confetti Eggs Basket
  • Shingle-Roof Village Home
  • Wood & Plaster 2-Story Village Home
  • Blade of the Avatar Novel: Chapter 19
  • Alienware $20 Pledge Upgrade Coupons
  • Upcoming Events

Come Play Release 5 Now!



Release 5 successfully launched yesterday, April 24th, with thousands of backers downloading, patching, logging in, and exploring the new content!

Lots of new stuff to check out in this Release, including 35 (of 171) Combat Skills (such as Whirling Blades, Crushing Blow, Death Touch, Flame Fist, Healing Touch, Resurrection, Ice Fist, Lightning, etc.), more starting recipes for crafting, on screen compass, 9 new player towns with new house types, new creatures (Chest Mimics, Skeleton Archers, Satyr Mages & Satyr Archers), a journal, overland map polish, new Vale scenes, and over 600 lots for players to claim with persistent ownership throughout the weekend (so stake your claim and show everyone your awesome decorating abilities).


Players are having a great time with the new combat skills, and are posting some awesome combat screen shots on the forums (such as the one shown above). Here are a few more samples:





Release 5 Patches

Early players are helping us uncover bugs and we’ve already published three patches that include the following fixes:

April 25, 2014 Patches:

PC-v94, OSX-v18, Linux-v20

  • Fixed bug where bows were not animating with ranged skills
  • Breakaway walls now display correctly to everyone on screen
  • Doors should now work properly (no seriously, we mean it this time)
  • Enable auto attack when a skill is used
  • Performance optimizations (should result in 50% improvement in fps)
  • Fixed bug in closing crafting table with the X after crafting something.
  • Fixed Chaos skill tree
  • Fixed chest respawn issues
  • Fix for waiting forever while trying to join a room
  • Fix so switches/buttons  now open doors again
  • Fixed Ranged Skeleton/Elves so they shoot again
  • Fixed some non-flat terrain on plots.
  • Fixes for skill tree arrangements
  • Fixing Linux asset bundle loading
  • Creatures should be challenging again
  • Update links to help and bug report forums

April 24, 2014 Patches:

PC-v93, OSX-v17, Linux-v19


  • Known Issue: Skeleton Archers and Elven Archers won’t attack. Fix will go into next patch.
  • Known Issue: All doors opening simultaneously is fixed but now all doors of a type (like Knight House Door) will open simultaneously. <sigh>
  • Added a log message for catching people who can’t run linear light model to help us track down issues
  • Darkened the Alder Tree as much as possible without a shader/texture change.
  • Do not remove owner property from room properties
  • Fix for doors all opening simultaneously but see above issue
  • Fix double stats on enemy NPCs (we were calculating their stats twice making them harder to hit and also hitting harder)
  • Fix for combat persisting after enemy is dead
  • Fix for not being able to deselect target
  • Fix for hair name and graphics becoming de-synched during character creation
  • Fix in asset bundles to use caching, trying to help with a Linux issue
  • Fixed the epic female cloth skirt issue
  • Fixes to bark animations.
  • Horse is now a friendly
  • Spears should be 1 handed with thrust animation
  • Turn off dynamic avoidance on NPCs if leashing

PC-v91, OSX-v16, Linux-v18

  • Known Issue: All doors in a scene that have been opened, will be opened again when any door in the scene is opened (or closed.)
  • Adding 60 to 120 second delay to all NPC barks to combat reported bark spam
  • Various lighting adjustments (night darker, lighter in field of view underground, etc.)
  • Changing UI link to game guide to R5 version
  • Don’t allow spell cast on non-combatants
  • Epic cloth now has a neck
  • ESC deselects player target
  • Fix for some interactive objects
  • Fix friendly targeting
  • Fix resurrect targeting
  • Fix secondary effects not firing (knockback, damage over time, etc.)
  • Fixed looping VFX
  • Fixing 1 handed spear thrust on avatar female
  • VFX for FlameFist, IceFist, StoneFist
  • Fireball damage reduced slightly
  • Refactor AOE targeting
  • Lighting adjustments in sewers (darker in spots, mist is not self lit as much, etc.)
  • Fix for a specific Owlshead lot that had a house stuck to it
  • Fix to keep NPCs from stepping too close during combat
  • Two-Handed sword attack animation is fixed

We need all your help with testing the new patches, putting more stress on our multiplayer servers, and testing the new game content, so please join us in playing Release 5.

[Note: This early release contains both multiplayer and single player online mode. Release 5 access will end on Sunday, April 27, at 10:00 PM Central Time]

Hurry and join us in playing Shroud of the Avatar while Release 5 access is open! If you have not backed the game yet, you will need to register and login at www.shroudoftheavatar.com, select the “Pledge or Send Gift!” button in the right side-bar, and purchase a pledge at the $45 Adventurer level or above. For a limited time, you can get the Adventurer pledge for only $25 with the Alienware Pledge Upgrade Coupon (see details below).

(click here for more complete instructions on downloading and playing Release 5)

The Mad Hermit’s Video Guide to Pre-Alpha Release 5

SotA community member, The Mad Hermit, created another great how-to video for Release 5, “The Mad Hermit’s Guide to Pre Alpha R5” highlighting the new combat skill enhancements, additional levels, persistant housing, and other features. It’s another “must see”, so take a few minutes, crank the video quality up to HD, and let The Mad Hermit give you a tour through Release 5:

Founder Teachable Emotes

Get ready to show off (and teach) your unique emote, included in the Founder rewards of every pledge tier! Here are four of those emotes:

Adventurer: Flourish (with weapon)



Explorer: Gaze towards Horizon



Collector: Slap in the Face



Patron: Stand on Head


Recruit-A-Friend Rottweiler Hunting Dog Pet

As part of the Recruit-a-Friend rewards (see Update #36), every backer that has recruited at least 5 other backers will receive this Rottweiler hunting dog, a non-combat pet that can follow you wherever you go:


Amazon Interview with Starr Long

Paul Cutsinger with Amazon Developers Blog posted an interview with Starr Long entitled “Does Crowd Sourcing Really Work”. Here’s an excerpt:

Today, we’ll be talking to Executive Producer Starr Long about crowd funding, crowd sourcing, designing for mobile and his latest game, Shroud of the Avatar. Are crowd funding and crowd sourcing really that effective and what’s the catch? In this article, Starr elaborates on the different criteria and the processes that he frequently uses, in order to make crowd sourcing successful.

I see that you’re working on a new MMO – The Shroud of the Avatar. You have built several major MMOs now and I’m curious to know where you’re taking this one.

Shroud of the Avatar: Forsaken Virtues is a computer role playing game being created by Lord British (aka Richard Garriott), creator of the genre defining Ultima series of computer games, me (Starr Long), director of Ultima Online, and Tracy Hickman, author of the Dragonlance series. It combines rich story, like those of the single player Ultimas, with deep and varied multiplayer experiences, like Ultima Online.

[Click here to read the rest of the interview]

5 Days Left to Get Your Easter Bunny & Confetti Eggs Basket

There are only 5 days remaining to get your Easter Bunny Pet or Replenishing Confetti Eggs Basket, so hurry and reserve yours (or send as a gift) in the Add-On Store now!


Shingle-Roof Village Homes

Now available in the Add-On Store are the Shingle-Roof Plaster Village home (also included in the Village Lot Property Deed in the Add-On Store) and the Shingle-Roof Stone Village home. Both homes are single-story with one room, shown here side-by-side:



Shingle-Roof Plaster Village Home





Shingle-Roof Stone Village Home




Wood & Plaster 2-Story Village Home

Next up in our line of Wood & Plaster homes is this 2-story, village home, now available in the Add-On Store. This home was designed with an open floor plan, with both floors comprised of single, spacious, great rooms (this home was also used as an NPC home in Owl’s Head and is included in the Town Lot Property Deed in the Add-On Store):









Get Your Wood & Plaster 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!

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 19: The Gate

Aren rushed toward the fallen commander. He dropped to his hands and knees and pulled fiercely at the debris, shoving the shattered stones aside. He turned his face back down the wall, shouting desperately. “Llewellyn! Help me!”

The knight stood unmoving on what remained standing of the wall, blinking back at him.

“Sir Llewellyn!” Aren barked in his command voice. “Come here! Now!”

The knight shook as he broke the bonds of the stupor that held him. He dropped beside Aren, pulling furiously at the stones that had nearly entombed the commander. In moments, the battered, dust-laden form of Trevan had been uncovered.

A pool of blood was spreading out from beneath Trevan’s head.

“Help me get him free,” Aren ordered as he squatted down, pressing his boots against the rubble as he positioned himself at the head of the still figure of the commander. He could feel himself slip over the blood beneath where he sat. Aren put both arms beneath the commander’s shoulders and pulled, trying to slide the fallen warrior out of the wreckage. Trevan’s body remained where it had fallen. “Keep digging!”

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]

Upcoming Events

2014.05.22 – Release 6 Access
2014.06.26 – Release 7 Access
2014.08.09 – SotA at synDCon
2014.08.29 – SotA at Dragoncon


  1. TheLarperTheLarper

    dog should be in store for those that want to buy also they can get for free by getting backers

  2. TheMadHermitTheMadHermit

    Another fantastic update! The game is really coming along nicely. Keep up the great work!

        1. Dwalin Bruchberg

          Thats true !
          I watched every single video of yours…I know how much work it is :) !

          Awesome Mr. Mad Hermit !

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