Greetings Fellow Avatars!
Here’s what we have for you in this week’s edition of Update of the Avatar:
- SotA #1 Most Anticipated Game of 2015 in Ten Ton Hammer Readers Choice Awards!
- SotA at CES
- Shroud of the Avatar- A Year of Portalarium: 2014 in Review
- Release 14 Grand Tour Quest Reward: The Hennin
- Air Elemental
- Dragon Pass Progress
- The Avatars Chronicles I – Return of the Avatar: Special Developer Edition
- In-game Community Weekend Events
- Last Chance Exclusives: The Sickle and Village Ring of Stones
- Steam Access Keys Available for All Backers
- How to Cancel Monthly Payment Plans
- This Week In the News
- Upcoming Events
SotA #1 Most Anticipated Game of 2015 in Ten Ton Hammer Readers Choice Awards!
Wow! Our amazing community demonstrated to the world just how passionate and supportive they are by casting their vote for Shroud of the Avatar and making it the #1 Most Anticipated Game of 2015 in Ten Ton Hammer Readers Choice Awards! And this followed closely on the heels of all of you driving SotA to the #1 spot in the Massively Readers Choice Most Anticipated MMO of 2015 and Beyond!
Thank all of you so, so much for your passion and your support!
Winning these Readers Choice awards is extremely valuable in helping to spread the word about Shroud of the Avatar and our passionate community to those people who haven’t heard of us yet! We really appreciate all of you that responded to our request earlier this week to vote in the MMORPG Players Choice Awards. You quickly drove us to within 4 points of EQ Next at the #1 spot.
But the competition at MMORPG has been fierce and over the past couple days we have slid to the #4 spot, behind EQ Next, Black Desert, and Warhammer. It would be pretty awesome if we could make this a “three-peat” but with such fierce competition we’re really going to need all of your help to regain our forward momentum! Some of you reported in the forums that MMORPG asks a lot of questions during their registration process, which is required before you can vote. We agree that they appear to ask for a tad more information than other sites, but we hope that doesn’t put you off from voting!
Winning these awards helps grow our community, which helps all of us to make SotA even better, so please help make that happen and follow this link to go cast your vote for Shroud of the Avatar in MMORPG’s 2015 Players Choice Awards!
SotA at CES
Richard Garriott and Starr Long spent most of this week at CES in Las Vegas demoing how awesome the SotA audio sounds with Plantronics headsets! They were able to schedule several interviews with the press, so be on the lookout for those articles coming out soon.
Gamers Nexus got the jump on the other news sites and already published their article entitled “Shroud of the Avatar Trailblazes Future of RPG Community Involvement – Richard Garriott Interview.” Check it out if you haven’t seen it yet!
If you’re a fan of Plantronics Gaming Headsets (like we are), then check out their Plantronics Gaming Facebook page, and if you like what you see then give them a “Like”!
Shroud of the Avatar- A Year of Portalarium: 2014 in Review
GolemDragon posted an amazing article on the Ultima Codex site entitled “Shroud of the Avatar- A Year of Portalarium: 2014 in Review“. He starts the article by saying:
As Kenneth likes to do “A Year in Review”posts on Ultima Codex, He and I are both pleased to bring you, Shroud of the Avatar – A Year of Portalarium: 2014 in Review, in which we look at the news related to Richard Garriott, #Portalarium, and #LBSotA that came out in the last year. As you can see we have everything organized monthly. Enjoy!!!
He then provides a summary of the key SotA events for each month, with links to the original material. He closed by saying:
It really has been an amazing year. Alot has changed for Shroud of the Avatar. We have multiple systems that have been created and are in the stage of being expanded, changed, and polished. Other systems still have yet to be developed and so 2015 will be another year of major changes. Many community members have only just started their own community projects or have moved on from past projects to new projects. May you all look back on 2014 as a good year of development for SotA and look forward to all 2015 may bring us.
We encourage you to check out GolemDragon’s 2014 in Review article at Ultima Codex because it truly captures what an amazing year 2014 was for all of us traveling this journey together!
Release 14 Grand Tour Quest Reward: A Hennin
Just as in our past few releases, we’re including a Grand Tour Quest in R14 designed to guide you through all the new content. By completing the R14 Grand Tour Quest you will be rewarded with a Hennin (popularly known as a “princess hat”). This reward can only be unlocked during Release 14 (did someone say rares?), so be sure to log in to R14 starting January 29 and talk to all the Tour Guides!
Better hurry if you want to add the Yule Hat to your collection because the R13 Grand Tour Quest ends on January 29 when we launch Release 14. If you need help getting your R13 Yule Hat reward, then check out The Mad Hermit’s video guide to completing the R13 Grand Tour Quest:
Elementals are powerful beings that mages can summon to fight for them. In Release 13 players were able to summon a very early version of the Air Elemental. This week we are nearing completion of the Air Elemental; which is the first elemental to show our new visual language to differentiate summoned Elementals from wild Elementals.
Summoned Elementals are surrounded by magical bindings that keep them under the thrall of the summoning mage whereas wild elementals are free of these constraints. Here are the Earth and Ice Elementals with and without the bindings:
While we were doing this work we also decided to create another class of creatures similar to Elementals called Golems and we decided to use our former Ice Elemental as the model for them while making the Ice Elemental use the same mesh as the Earth Elemental. You can expect to see all these new elementals and Golems to begin appearing in Release 14 and 15.
Dragon Pass Progress
Last week we showed Andy Cortez’s work-in-progress of the Dragon Pass sculptures based on Stephen Daniele’s concept art. Andy made significant progress during the week, and here’s an in-game shot of the latest version:
The New Britannia Theatre Troupe along with AvatarsRadio.com and TheCaverns.net are proud to present a theatrical voice presentation of astronomical proportions. The long awaited sequel to Once Upon A Time Lord; The Avatars Chronicles I – Return of the Avatar: Special Developer Edition. Coming to an Aether Vibration Amplifier near you Saturday January 17th 2015, 11am Central Time.
“…Set on another New Britannia, in a parallel universe this saga chronicles the adventures of an unlikely group of heroes who have banded together to save their realm from dark forces which threaten its very existence…“
30 amazing voice actors from our very own community. Four of the communities favorite developers: Richard Garriot, Starr Long, FireLotus and Stephen Daniele. Hundreds of hours of work. All come together to bring the community one of the most epic sized productions to be entered into the history books.
We invite you to join us all Saturday, January 17th 2015 in the Church of the Dark Star in PaxLair, Valemark in the Hidden Vale and on Avatars Radio for a fantastic listening party! Be one among your friends to be able to say “we were there when this happened!”.
The Avatars Chronicles I – Return of the Avatar: Special Developer Edition. The heroes look forward to seeing you there.
Sir Stile Teckle is also holding a contest during this event for great prizes. You will need to be listening in order to win! Among these prizes are dice from great community groups such as: The New Britannia Theatre Troupe, TheCaverns.net and the Round Table. Grand Prize will be randomly drawn from a list of entrants who answer all questions correctly. This grand prize will be: One Foil Print Shield of the Avatar signed by Lord British.
Be sure to be listening to Avatars Radio and keeping a watch on TheCaverns.net and The Shroud of the Avatar Forums for further information, contest rules and the questions to be answered to enter into the grand prize drawing.
In-game Weekend Community Events
Our amazing community has another great lineup of in-game events planned for this weekend. If you missed out on these player events during the previous Releases, we highly recommend you check some of them out this weekend. Here is the latest schedule of player events from the Avatar’s Circle Community Events calendar (http://avatarscircle.com/community-events/):
Saturday, January 10
9:00am CST – PaxLair Working Hours – Host Winfield (Valemark)
11:00am CST – Church of the Dark Star (PaxLair, Valemark)
1:00pm CST – Port Phoenix Storytelling Event! (Port Phoenix Fairgrounds, Kingsport City Center, or “/zone Kazyn Phoenixfyre”)
Sunday, January 11
5:30am CST – Explore Novia with royalsexy (Owl’s Head entrance)
1:00pm CST – Cagefight (with bets!) – watch the forums for details
3:00pm CST – Vengeance 3×3 Tournament $$$ (Vengeance Castle in The Brave Coast; details)
7:00pm CST – PaxLair Meeting – (“/zone Winfield”)
8:00pm CST – Fishing with Winfield (some lake or pond, “/zone Winfield”)
Last Chance Exclusives
Every week going forward we are removing select items from the Add-On Store, so if you want them you better get them before they are gone! Over the past few months we’ve phased out over 20 items, including such items as the Scissors of Prosperity, Blade of the Avatar Cloak, and Shingle-Roof Village Homes. This week, the following items are available for an additional 20% off, and then will no longer be available in the Add-On Store.
This unique, indestructible Sickle increases the quality and quantity of the foraged items (herbs, mushrooms, berries, etc.) as well as increasing the speed of foraging. While sickles with similar effects can be crafted and purchased in the game this particular sickle never needs repair.
For those of you looking for something truly unusual that makes a statement (or if you’re just really into Druids), then the Village Ring of Stones is just the thing for you! You may recognize this structure as the stones surrounding the Lunar Rifts in the game.
Steam Access Keys Available for All SotA Backers
SotA successfully launched on Steam Early Access on November 24, and we’ve made Steam Access Keys available to all our backers as part of their basic pledge rewards! Once you’ve redeemed your Steam Access Key you’ll have the option of playing SotA either with the Steam client or the regular game client (or both).
If you play SotA on Steam you can collect the SotA Trading Cards! Collect a full set of SotA trading cards to earn SotA badges, profile backgrounds, and emoticons that help you customize your profile and show off your Shroud of the Avatar gameplay. Check out Steam’s trading card FAQ for more information.
How to Cancel Monthly Payment Plans
Remember that Pledge payment plans are not canceled automatically after reaching the desired pledge. You must manually cancel your monthly payment plan, which can be done at anytime on your SotA Account page. We apologize for any inconvenience this might cause, but it is a result of how recurring billing functions with PayPal, Amazon, and Stripe (our credit card service).
This Week In the News
December 26 – Massively: Shroud of the Avatar’s Richard Garriott and Starr Long on how SOTA wins at player-generated content
December 27 – Massively’s Perfect Ten: New MMOs to watch in 2015
January 8 – Gamers Nexus: Shroud of the Avatar Trailblazes Future of RPG Community Involvement – Richard Garriott Interview