Greetings Fellow Avatars!
Here’s what we have for you in this week’s edition of Update of the Avatar:
- Duke & LotM VIP Design Roundtable and Lady British’s Easter Event
- Hangout of the Avatar ~ Release 16 Postmortem
- Street Names in Release 17
- In-game Community Weekend Events
- Community In-Game Videos
- Elven House in a Hill Stretch Goal Item
- New Hat Variations
- Descent: Underground Kickstarter Successfully Funded!
- 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
Duke & LotM VIP Design Roundtable and Lady British’s Easter Event
We hosted our largest group to-date of Dukes and Lord of the Manors this past Friday for the VIP Design Roundtable and Portalarium Studio Tour (part of the Duke and LotM pledge rewards).
Design discussions started early and didn’t stop until near sundown! Many of the VIP’s extended their stay so they could participate in Lady British’s Easter Event the following day. Here are a few pics from the weekend events:
And speaking of the Mad Hermit’s video contributions, here is a videolog of his Pilgrimage to Portalarium to attend the VIP Roundtable and Studio Tour:
Hangout of the Avatar ~ Release 16 Postmortem
During this week’s Hangout of the Avatar, Richard, Starr, and Chris chatted about Release 16, recounting their favorite moments, answering questions from the community, giving out prizes to those that attended, while also looking ahead to Release 17. You can check it here if you weren’t able to attend:
Street Names in Release 17
Rick Holtrop has been working to integrate street names into Release 17. He shared these comments about his street-naming work-flow:
The steps I’ve been going through to get Street Signs and Street Names into the game have involved:
- Identify cities to have roads named
- Create a simple map of streets from in-game map (or Unity top-down view)
- Number streets in any order
- Create spreadsheet with city name and road number
- Track each type of road (major, minor, waterfront, number or player properties, etc.)
- Edit each city and place road signs at appropriate or desired location
- We have different signs designed by Andy Cortez that define small-to-large roads
- Compile list of possible names, including approved suggestions from the community
- Name each road by referencing the spreadsheet or directly walking the streets in-game, or both
- The names are tracked on the spreadsheet and added to signs as a tooltip
Strangely enough, you will notice that the actual naming of the roads is about the last thing to happen. The planning and tracking of this process actually takes the most time, and is what I am best suited for. (Rows and columns in spreadsheets, and simple drawings on graph paper, this is what I live for).
When Starr and Richard first discussed the need for street names in a recent Dev Hangout, community member Lollie started a street-naming thread in the forums that rapidly grew with street name suggestions! Rick needed help wrestling the numerous suggestions into a manageable list for Richard to review, so Scott Jennings (Lum) created a follow up forum post requesting that members only submit their top three street name choices. Rick has been compiling those submissions for Richard to review, and adding the approved names to his street name master list for eventual inclusion in the game.
Here are a few samples of the various signs that Andy has been working on:
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, April 11
9:00am CST – PaxLair Working Hours (PoT Test Ideas) – Host Winfield (Valemark; details)
9:00am CST – (Postponed to R17) New Britannia Theatre Troupe Presents – Aurum Berries (Theater in Greystone; details)
11:00am CST – Church of the Dark Star – Saturday Service – Topic: “Darkness My Old Friend” (PaxLair, Valemark; details)
12:00am CST – Welcome Quest in R16.5 (Northshire, Hidden Vale or “/zone Dara Brae”; details)
2:00pm CST – Vengeance 1v1 PvP – BARE KNUCKLE BRAWL! (“/zone Sciamano Malus” or “/zone Duke Violation”; details)
3:00pm CST – Novian Academy – Citizenship 100 Course – Covers the basics of character building, Weapon/armor choices, travel points/community sites/groups to know (“/zone Kazyn Phoenixfyre”; details)
6:00pm CST – Gust Fest – 1v1 Double Elimination & FFA (Tower of the Shuttered Eye, “/zone Bambino LudoVate”; details)
Sunday, April 12
6:30am CST – Explore Novia with royalsexy (Owl’s Head entrance)
2:00pm CST – Bear Tavern Brawl R16 (The Brave Coast, “/zone Archaon Avenguard” or “/zone Balec deCani”; details)
3:00pm CST – Phoenix Republic Town Hall (“/zone Kazyn Phoenixfyre” or “/zone Jack Knyfe”)
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”)
9:00pm CST – Beach Party by BMC (details TBD)
Be sure and check out the Release 16 Events thread in the SotA forums for additional events that may not be included here.
As reported in the Community Events Calendar:
The New Britannia Theatre Troupe Proudly Presents a play written and composed by Womby of the Cavers, “Aurum Berries”. Along with this fantastic stage play they will be also performing “Regulations”.
Join Asclepius, Baldrith, Adnor, and Womby as they once again bring the stage alive with their fantastic stage acting.
Avatars Radio will proudly be airing this play over the radio. Do be sure to have your Aether Amplifier turned on or tune in via AvatarsRadio.com to hear the voices as they perform on stage.
Stay tuned for times and dates!
From a Release 16 Event Forum Post by DavenRock [MGT]:
The Moongate Travelers presents a Scavenger Hunt for all the Avatars of Novia to participate in!…All entries must be proven by screenshot, everyone who submits a completed list will be entered into a random drawing for a Hot Tub from the Add-on store, courtesy of Dinsoo! Contest ends Opening day of Release 17, Random Drawing will be R17 Weekend….The best ways to present your found items is to use a chest/container, or go into a trade with a player, move all the items into the trade window and then take a screenshot. You could use Postimage.org (image hosting) to be able to post the screenshots in the forum here.
Community In-Game Videos
Our community has posted some amazing screenshots and videos in the Release 16 Screenshot Gallery. Here are a couple of outstanding videos from that thread:
Elven House in a Hill Stretch Goal Item
We have completed the Elven House in a Hill that is included in the Elves as Playable Race Stretch Goal. Those of you that purchased this item should receive it in-game when Release 17 launches on April 30.
New Hat Variations
For all you hat lovers we’ve added some new hat variations to the Add-On Store (available in-game in Release 17, April 30th):
Descent: Underground Kickstarter Successfully Funded!
Congratulations to our friends over at Descendent Studios for reaching their Descent: Underground Kickstarter funding goal! It was a nail-biter there at the end, but their amazing community rallied and pushed them past their funding goal! Way to go!
Keep up with the latest info on Descent: Underground at http://descendentstudios.com/.
Player Owned Town Price Changes
In a previous Update we shared Starr Long’s forum post that discussed the scope and design for Player Owned Towns. If you’ve been thinking about getting your own Player Owned Town, then you might want to take advantage of the current price, because the price for all Player Owned Towns will be increasing approximately 20% starting May 1, 2015.
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]
Player Bank Upgrades
Your bank inventory size can easily be upgraded with in-game gold, with the price in gold increasing the larger your bank gets. For those that need/want really big banks faster, we’ve added a Bank Upgrade to the Add-On Store. Currently, each Bank Upgrade adds 10 more slots to your bank inventory, but that number is subject to change based on game balancing needs.
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: 5,771 (+42 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!
If You Like SotA then Write Us a Positive Steam Review
Current Positive Steam Reviews: 333 (+5 from last report)
One of the most important word-of-mouth tools on the massive Steam platform is their user reviews. Many Steam users rely on a game’s Steam reviews to help them decide if they want to play a game or not. If you feel positive about SotA, or feel positive about what SotA may become, even if you have concerns and issues, then please jump over to our Steam Store Page and give us a positive review (and feel free to include your concerns and issues in that review as well)!
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