Update of the Avatar #86 – 2014.08.15: 6 Days till R9!, MMORPG Sweepstakes!, Lord’s Cloak, Ice Elemental, Barrel Mimic, Ardoris, Mini-Maps, and More!

Greetings Fellow Avatars!

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

  • Shroud of the Avatar Opening Cinematic
  • Only 6 Days Until Release 9!
  • MMORPG.com Release 9 Weekend Access Sweepstakes!
  • Lord’s Cloak
  • Darkstarr Training Montage
  • Galactic Inquiry: Starr Long Talks Persistant Worlds
  • Call for Lore: Player Written Books
  • Obsidian Cloak
  • Alienware Sponsors $20 Pledge Upgrade Coupon
  • World Builder/Level Designer Job Opening
  • Upcoming Events

Shroud of the Avatar Opening Cinematic

The opening moments of Shroud of the Avatar where first you learn of the mysterious lands of Novia, and you feel the alluring pull of your destiny…

Only 6 Days Until Release 9!

Release 9 is less than a week away and we’re pretty excited about some of the new stuff we’ve added. Here’s a preview:

The Ice Elemental

To accompany the Fire Elemental we introduced in Release 8, the Ice Elemental is a new combat pet, summoned with a Water magic skill:




The Barrel Mimic

We’re sure many of you have fond recollections of the vicious Chest Mimic we introduced in an earlier release:


Well, get ready for the Chest Mimic’s equally vicious cousin, the Barrel Mimic:





The City of Ardoris

You’ll finally get to explore the city of Ardoris in Release 9:







And to help you with your explorations, Release 9 includes the first iteration of “mini-maps.” Here are all the maps included in R9:










Owl’s Head






Ravensmoor Dungeon (some maps you acquire, such as this one, may be damaged and incomplete)



Ravensmoor Dungeon (here is an intact version of the Ravensmoor Dungeon map)



MMORPG.com Pre-Alpha Release 9 Weekend Access Sweepstakes!

MMORPG.com is sponsoring an exclusive sweepstakes where they are giving away 1000 Release 9 Weekend Access keys to MMORPG.com members. The cut-off date for eligibility is tomorrow, August 16th, so hurry over to MMORPG.com and get signed up for the sweepstakes!



Lord’s Cloak

Included in the basic rewards for the Lord pledge level is this unique cloak sporting the Lord’s symbol, sewn with silver and gold thread suitable for carrying an enchantment. It is permanently enchanted to function as a light source.


Darkstarr Training Montage

Rustic Dragon recently dug out the raw footage for the Darkstarr Training Montage that was part of the $3.25M stretch goal, and is working on the final edit of the video. He should have that wrapped up in a few weeks, so keep an eye out for it in a future update. In the meantime, here are a few snapshots from the training:

Darstarr (aka Starr Long) dressed for training (looks like Starr’s left-over jogging outfit from the 80’s)!


Selecting his weapons…


Bolstering his resolve…


…and entering the training camp!


Galactic Inquiry: Starr Long Talks Persistant Worlds

Call for Lore: Player Written Books

FireLotusCoAWe are looking for our first pieces of “fan fiction” to begin creating books and shelving the Libraries of Novia. In this first round, we are specifically looking for tales about your adventures in The Vale. Submitted works will be reviewed by the Council of Scribes, sent to Lord British for approval, and if accepted, will be published in game over the course of several upcoming releases.

[See forum post by FireLotus for further details]

Obsidian Cloak

Looking to intimidate your enemies with legends of the past? Well, there is nothing like the greatly feared Obsidian Order (as seen in Blade of the Avatar) to strike fear into your foe. For centuries, this symbol has been synonymous with power, destruction, and dark magic. The Obsidian Cloak, available now at 33% off in the Add-On Store, can be yours to wear proudly, if you dare the consequences…


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]


World Builder/Level Designer Job Opening

We currently have an opening for a mid-level to senior-level World Builder/Level Designer for Shroud of the Avatar. Qualifications for the “ideal candidate” are:

  • Minimum 3 years industry experience (preferably on a shipped game)
  • Unity experience
  • Scripting ability
  • Experience building, texturing, and decorating natural, terrain based exterior environments
  • An eye for detail, with strong scene compositional skills

If you’d like to join the Portalarium Tribe working on the ground-breaking Shroud of the Avatar, please submit your resume to jobs@portalarium.com. Provide links to your work (if possible), either as actual game play or in document form including images, maps, and event descriptions.

Upcoming Events

We have a very full schedule at Dragoncon in just two short weeks, including:

  • August 29
    • 10:00 AM: Videogames  Keynote: Technology Trends for Videogames (Starr Long)
    • 11:30 AM: World Design – Video Game vs Table Top Panel (Richard)
    • 1:00 PM: Games People Play Panel (Starr)
    • 7:00 PM: Benefits of Commercial Space – From Grade Schools to Asteroid Mining (Richard)
  • August 30
    • 11:30 AM: Crowdfunding Video Games Panel (Richard)
    • 11:30 AM: “Why did they do THAT?” Panel (Starr)
    • 1:00 PM: The Politics of Space (Richard)
    • 8:30 PM: Profitable Commercial Space Exploration is Upon Us (Richard)
  • August 31
    • 11:30 AM: Shroud of the Avatar Presentation (Starr, Richard, Tracy)
    • 4:00 PM: VIP Design Roundtable as part of the basic rewards for the Duke pledge tier and above (Starr, Richard, Tracy)
  • September 1
    • 10:00 AM: Q&A with Richard Garriott
    • 1:00 PM: Linear & Interactive Narrative with Tracy Hickman & Richard Garriott (Starr Long moderates)

Other upcoming events include:

2014.08.21 – Release 9 Access
2014.08.27 – Monthly Video Hangout: R9 & R10 Discussion
2014.08.29 – SotA at PAX Prime Seattle
2014.08.29 – SotA at Dragoncon
2014.09.25 – Release 10 Access
2014.10.01 – Monthly Video Hangout: R10 & R11 Discussion
2014.10.23 – Release 11 Access
2014.10.24 – SotA at Captivate
2014.10.29 – Monthly Video Hangout: R11 & R12 Discussion
2014.11.14 – Duke & Lord of the Manor VIP Design Roundtable with Lord British and Portalarium Studio Tour
2014.11.15 – HoBLotH II: Legends of the Hearth
2014.11.20 – Release 12 Access
2014.11.26 – Monthly Video Hangout: R12 & R13 Discussion
2014.12.18 – Release 13 Access


  1. Chliszczyk

    Bravo my friends! The intro cinematic surely tells the tale of complete game immersion (grins)! Games immersion on the level of Tron or perhaps WarGames. It reminds me of my study of the occult for such a longing. May the Eye of Providence bless us all! \m/

  2. Dean478Dean478

    The intro is great. Really encourages you to be “you” in the game. Looking forward to it.

  3. Baron Drocis FondorlatosBaron Drocis Fondorlatos

    Fantastic introduction video. It really captures the spirit of what this game is.

  4. Veylen The AenigmA

    I find the black and white old world style intro scheme to be jarring and aesthetically confusing because hes using an alienware laptop(blatantly funny product placement) when the feel, to me was trying to be kinda ultima retro and we all know about how serious gamers feel about alienware or at least those on a budget but alas the quality is still good
    I dont get the elemental pet focus as of late unless its to improve the wonky ai

  5. Royal Marshal Lord LonnRoyal Marshal Lord Lonn

    OMG!!! Man
    that is totally Awesome I love it, absolutely fantastic can’t wait each and every R gets better and better…
    I can’t wait until we can get 24/7 i’m like sooo excited thanks guys you just Rocked my World thanks for the pics and update
    Really i’m just hoping I can grasp a better hold to the combat system… I know I will.
    Looking forward to getting a lot in Ardoris hope there will be a Town when I get there geez wow bam zow
    is all I can say
    you guys are the best….

  6. SvahnSvahn

    Thx for the update!
    Looking forward to R9.
    I am gonna check out the minimaps .
    Any chance one can choose between runic or non runic minimaps – and will they show your location with a marker? Can’t wait to find out. :)

    1. dallasdallas Post author

      Yes, there is a marker of your location on the map that dynamically moves with you. At this time, the minimaps are only in runic.

  7. Lao YangLao Yang

    One question:
    Looks like ardoris only has row lot housing?

    Also loved the interview with Starr. Finally I understand the jokes about one of the Devs, who shall remain unnamed, being seen on the docks in a woman’s outfit. :D

    1. Lao YangLao Yang

      Addition to Ardoris question. I see there is some place for boats, two Dukes and a LotM but no “main land” central city above row lots, right?
      Just asking cause I had hoped to place my lords home inside the city. If it’s not possible I won’t cry either. :P

  8. Duke GréagóirDuke Gréagóir


    I loved everything about it.

    – Music was great!

    – Story was great!

    – Narration was great!

  9. Selat

    The narration and visual of the introduction are very good, simple and charming. :)

    The Ice Elemental is just amazing! the specular around the ice creature, thumbs up!

    Chest Mimic´s looks cool, but the barrel… the mouth dont fits the good look of the wood part, texture and form.

    The city of Ardoris have a beautiful visual!

  10. dragnetdragnet

    A.W.E.S.O.M.E News!

    The Idea with the vicious Chest Mimic is hilarious – I had such a nice “WTF? ROFLMAO!” moment when I encountered my first one… and then came the second surprise when I thought it’s almost dead °,;,°

Comments are closed.