Greetings Fellow Avatars!
Here’s what we have for you in this week’s edition of Update of the Avatar:
- Community Sponsored Decoration Contest
- Abe’s Overworld Work-in-Progress
- Release 16 Grand Tour Quest Reward: Black Lepus Mask
- Underworld Ascendant Kickstarter Raises 143% of Goal!
- Crowfall Kickstarter Passes $1 Million Stretch Goal!
- In-game Community Weekend Events
- Sir Frank’s Writing Contest (with Prizes!)
- Receiving Pledge Rewards and Add-On Items
- Changes to Store Credit Conversions
- Steam Access Keys Available for All Backers
- How to Cancel Monthly Layaway Payment Plans
- This Week In The News
- Upcoming Events
Community Sponsored Decoration Contest
Last month, community member Athanil sponsored a Release 14 Decoration Contest that 28 people participated in! Community member Lollie coordinated a tour of all the competing homes with the contestants hosting a walk-thru and describing their decorating efforts. The winners were determined by the participants voting on each other’s homes. Themo Lock was the runner up, and the following community members tied for 1st Place:
Doctor Shroud: Decorated a Druid Home in a Town Lot in Port Mirren, (Loc: -69.9, 185.0, -565.6)
Malakas & Maganda: Decorated three Village Lots in Owl’s Wash (Loc: -93.1, 27.8, 41.7)
The screen shots don’t do these gorgeous homes justice so if you have the time you should check them out in-game!
Release 15 Decoration Contest – March 19 Entry Deadline
Community Member Lollie posted the following announcement in the Release 15 Event Forum:
Every release we’ll be doing the Decoration Contest to celebrate all the amazing work people are doing to make this game look so much better
This contest will be different to the last one held by Athanil – we have judges this time, and there will be a points system so the judges will be looking at all aspects of your creations. Two of our judges are former winners of the last Decoration Contest.
We will be looking at originality, detail, completeness, and a whole bunch of things you have done to make your lot and/or building unique – so get an idea together and enter in the R15 Decoration Contest!
You can enter a house, a castle, or an empty lot with deco items on it, or even several lots (if they join to each other). It can be your own private residence, or you could be running the town markets, or the local bar, or a boarding house or even a place of ill repute. It’s up to you!
Here’s how to enter:
Name – write your ingame name here (both the name of decorator and name on the sign or stone on the lot).
Location – write the coordinates of your lot (type /loc when you’re in the game, standing out right by the sign or stone of your lot).
Description – describe your idea, try to explain the function of your property, or the scene you are trying to create.
If you’re not sure what house/lot you want to use right now just enter in first and modify your post later once you know what you’re doing. And feel free to make a further post later with pictures to show off your property. The most important thing to do right now is register your entry.
Get your entries in by Thursday 19th March, and judging will begin on Friday 20th March.
Abe’s Overworld Work-In-Progress
Abe Robertson knocked it out of the park with the Novia Overworld map that was included in Release 15 last week. Abe has an ongoing Dev+ forum thread where he continues to post some of his additional changes to Novia, as well as beginning to make a pass at re-working the Hidden Vale:
Here is BlackBlade Pass lava channel on Novia, night and day:
Release 16 Grand Tour Quest Reward: Black Lepus Mask
Just as in our past several releases, we’re including a Grand Tour Quest in R16 designed to guide you through all the new content. Just in time for Easter, you will be rewarded with a Black Lepus Mask when you complete the R16 Grand Tour Quest. This reward can only be unlocked during Release 16 (did someone say rares?), so be sure to log in to R16 starting March 26 and talk to all the Tour Guides!
Time is Running Out to Get Your R15 Grand Tour Quest Reward
Better hurry if you want to add the Silver Jester Carnival Mask to your collection because the R15 Grand Tour Quest ends on March 26 when we launch Release 16. If you need help getting your R15 Silver Jester Carnival Mask reward, then check out The Mad Hermit’s video guide to completing the R15 Grand Tour Quest:
Underworld Ascendant Kickstarter Raises 143% of Goal!
Congratulations to all our friends over at OtherSide Entertainment for raising $859k for Underworld Ascendant! The UA backers really stepped up in the final days of the campaign and blew past stretch goal after stretch goal, including the Tracy Hickman novel, enhanced audio, companion creatures, The Lizardmen, the Underswamp, and the Resonant Caves!
If you missed out on their Kickstarter campaign, you can still pledge over on their website. In about a month, existing KS backers will be able to upgrade their pledge as well.
Crowfall Kickstarter Passes $1 Million Stretch Goal!
One of our long-time friends and former Origin protégés, Gordon Walton (Ultima Online, Star Wars Galaxies), has teamed up with J. Todd Coleman (Shadowbane, Wizard 101), to create an awesome sounding game called Crowfall. They describe it as a seamless blend of an MMO with a large-scale Strategy game! Think “…Game of Thrones meets Eve Online”. They’ve enlisted the aid of yet another former Origin protégé, Raph Koster (Ultima Online, Star Wars Galaxies), as a design consultant!
They’ve been kicking butt and taking names with their Kickstarter campaign! With the achievement of their $1 million stretch goal (which includes new female Centaurs and enhanced particle effects), they announced their next stretch goal: Mounts and Caravans at $1.3 million. To celebrate that goal when they hit it, they are promising “bonus rewards” to any backers at the $60+ tier level; they get one or more magical figurines that lets them summon a spirit mount: a Quarterhorse, Warhorse and a “Nightmare” mount.
Sounds pretty awesome, right? Check out their Kickstarter page and if you like what you see then pledge your support to Crowfall!
In-game Weekend Community Events
Our amazing community has another great lineup of in-game events planned for this weekend. Here is the latest schedule of player events from the Avatar’s Circle Community Events calendar and the Events of the Avatars community calendar:
Saturday, March 7
9:00am CST – PaxLair Working Hours – Host Winfield (Valemark)
9:30am CST – All Player Towns Gathering – templates (PaxLair, Valmark; “/zone Winfield”; details)
11:00am CST – Church of the Dark Star – Saturday Service (PaxLair, Valemark; details)
12:00pm CST – The Shape of Things to Come Competition (hosted by Caverns Guild, “/zone Vyrin”, details)
3:00pm CST – Mass Assassination 1v1 Double Elimination (Braemar @ Assassins Arena, “/zone Bambino LudoVate” or “/zone Jacob Canaan “; details)
5:45pm CST – OoV – PvP Event $$$ (Brave Coast)
Sunday, March 8
5:30am CST – Explore Novia with royalsexy (Owl’s Head entrance)
5:00pm CST – BMC Grid Iron Feast and Registration (details)
6:00pm CST – BMC First Blood at Grid-Iron (details)
7:00pm CST – PaxLair Meeting (Valemark, or “/zone Winfield”)
8:00pm CST – Fishing with Winfield (some lake or pond, “/zone Winfield”)
Be sure and check out the Release 15 Events thread in the SotA forums for additional events that may not be included here.
Sir Frank’s Writing Contest (with prizes!)
Community Member Sir Frank is sponsoring a writing contest with winners receiving a $10 Store Credit Coupon, or a Darkstarr/LB coin from Relics by Rild. March 13th is the deadline to enter your writing submission. Check Sir Frank’s forum thread for additional contest details.
Receiving Pledge Rewards and Add-On Items
Go to any bank to claim your Add-On items and Pledge rewards. There is a banker NPC in every map where there is player housing because when you switch houses or unclaim a lot, all the decorations will go to your bank. In most locations the Town Crier is now also a banker.
Banks are local only. You can see your items in other bank locations (they appear in location tabs), but you can only access the items in the bank you are currently at. Pledge rewards are an exception to this and can be accessed from any location.
[NOTE: there are some Add-On and Pledge reward items that have not been built yet so you may notice some of your items not showing up in your bank. If you delete your character, all equipped and inventory items, including pledge reward items, will be deleted and cannot be recovered until the next wipe]
Changes to Store Credit Conversions
If you wish to convert any of your purchased Add-On items to Store Credit, you will need to do so before logging into Shroud of the Avatar.
The instant you log into the game all of your available Pledge reward items and available Add-On items will be flagged as “claimed” and deposited in your in-game bank. Once the Add-On items are “claimed” they cannot be converted to Store Credit until the next wipe (which is currently unpredictable). After you’ve logged into SotA, the “Convert to Credits” button on your account page will be deactivated for all those items available in the game, so if you had any plans to sell back some of your Add-On items, make sure you do it before you log into the game!
We intend to change the claiming process in an upcoming Release so that items are not automatically claimed when logging in, but will require you to actively claim them in your bank before they can be used.
If you purchase any new Add-On items, or upgrade your Pledge tier, those new items and upgraded rewards will automatically appear in your in-game bank the next time you log into the game (providing those items are available 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.
Our goal is to make Shroud of the Avatar the best game we can for you, our backers, and the best way we can do that is by growing our community of backers through the power of word-of-mouth marketing. That’s where we could use your help! With essentially no marketing budget, we rely on things like press coverage and friend-to-friend networking on platforms such as Facebook and Steam. Here’s how you can help us with your word-of-mouth efforts:
Current Facebook Likes: 5,638 (+36 from last week)
Facebook can be a powerful word-of-mouth marketing tool at very little cost, but only if we can reach a large enough network of Facebook users. You can help us to reach a larger Facebook audience simply by going to the Shroud of the Avatar Facebook page and clicking on the “Like” button. If every one of our 50k backers gave us a “Like” the marketing reach of our Facebook posts would be incredible!
How to Cancel Monthly Layaway Payment Plans and What In-Game Rewards to Expect
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).
If you are on a monthly payment plan, the rewards you receive in-game may not reflect the final pledge tier you are making payments toward, but will reflect the rewards for the current pledge tier that your cumulative monthly payments have reached (your current pledge tier is shown on your Account page on the SotA website).
This Week In the News
2015.03.06 – SotA at PAX East
2015.03.10 – IGDA Austin Meetup at Tech Ranch
2015.03.13 – SotA at SXSW Interactive
2015.03.26 – Release 16
2015.04.03 – Duke & LotM VIP Design Roundtable w/Lord British and Portalarium Studio Tour
2015.04.23 – Release 17
2015.05.21 – Release 18
2015.06.16 – SotA at E3
2015.06.25 – Release 19