Greetings Fellow Avatars!
Here’s what we have for you in this week’s edition of Update of the Avatar:
- 52 Day Countdown for 10% Summer Pledge Bonus & Reward Changes
- Hangout of the Avatar: Release 19 Postmortem, Royal Warrant & ONBE Awards
- NBNN Interview with Chris Spears
- Very Large Creatures: Trolls (work-in-Progress)
- World Builder/Level Designer and VFX Artist Job Openings
- In-game Community Weekend Events
- 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
- Upcoming Events
- Recommended Games to Back
52 Day Countdown for 10% Summer Pledge Bonus & Reward Changes
If you were thinking of pledging your support to the development of Shroud of the Avatar, or upgrading your existing pledge, now’s a great time to do it! To celebrate twenty months of successful monthly releases, we are offering a 10% Summer Pledge Bonus! Starting at 10am CST, July 10 and running through Midnight CST, August 31, 2015, you will receive an additional 10% bonus added to your Store Credit for any pledge purchases or pledge upgrades (including monthly pledge payment plans).
(NOTE: The 10% Store Credit will be applied daily starting early next week, but all purchases as of 10am CST this morning will qualify for the 10% bonus)
Additionally, as we enter the last half of 2015, and major milestones such as Alpha and Beta are looming closer on the horizon, we will be announcing a series of expiration events regarding pledges, rewards, and related services. The first expiration event coincides with the end of our 10% Summer Bonus promotion at Midnight CST, August 31, 2015. These expirations include:
- Select Pledges (including their specific rewards):
- $220 Patron Pledge
- $375 Navigator Pledge
- $450 Developer Pledge
- Signed physical goods (Patron pledge and above)
- Home and basement stacking (Ancestor pledge and above)
- Secondary lots (Lord pledge and above)
Please know that these expirations DO NOT affect any backers that already have these rewards. If you already got ’em, then you get to keep ’em! These expirations only affect new backers, or existing backers that have not upgraded to the specified pledge tiers before the expiration date.
[NOTE: Any payment plans started for the specified pledge tiers (Patron, Ancestor, & Lord) prior to Midnight CST, August 31, 2015 will not be affected by these expirations]
The Patron, Navigator, and Developer pledge tiers will no longer be available after August 31, 2015. Any current pledge less than Patron that upgrades after August 31, 2015 will not receive any of the unique pledge rewards included in those tiers (regardless of Era: Royal Founders, Founders, and Benefactors). This includes:
- Patron Pledge Rewards:
- Autographed “The Story of Mondain in the World of Sosaria”
- Autographed Akallabeth D&D Campaign
- Honorific title of “Patron” or “Royal Patron”
- Teachable Emote – Head Stand
- Your name permanently listed in the in-game Domesday Book
- All Three Non-Combat Clockwork Pets
- One (1) non-combat pet (out of 3 to choose from)
- Fyndoro’s Tablet of Finding
- Magical Printing Press
- Navigator Pledge Rewards:
- Honorific title of “Navigator” or “Royal Navigator“
- Teachable Emote – Tai Chi
- Novia Map Atlas
- 3-Story Row House
- 1-Story Row Basement
- Cloth map hand signed by Richard “Lord British” Garriott
- Developer Pledge Rewards:
- Honorific title of “Tinkerer” or “Royal Tinkerer”
- Your name proudly displayed in the in-game credits
- Printed “Tinkerer” Certificate, hand signed by Richard “Lord British” Garriott
- Help create and name a character in the game
- Teachable Emote – Shadow Boxing
- 4-Story Row House
- 2-Story Row Basement
- PDF version of Developer Design documents
- Unity Asset Packs
- A digital, framed “Tinkerer” Certificate as an in-game decoration
- Aether Vibration Amplifier (i.e. wireless device to listen to Avatar’s Radio)
- (Dev+ access to private Developers Forums will remain available to all pledges above the Developer pledge tier)
All pledges at or above Patron level prior to August 31, 2015 will continue to receive all of the expired rewards at or below their pledge level as they upgrade.
Signed Physical Goods (Patron pledge and above)
Any current pledge less than Patron that upgrades after August 31, 2015 will not receive any signed physical goods pledge rewards (regardless of Era: Royal Founders, Founders, and Benefactors). This includes:
- Richard Garriott’s “The Story of Mondain in the World of Sosaria” (Patron+ pledges)
- Richard Garriott’s Akallabeth D&D Campaign (Patron+ pledges)
- Cloth map signed by Richard Garriott (Navigator+ pledges)
- “Tinkerer” Certificate, signed by Richard Garriott (Developer+ pledges)
- Village Property Deed signed by Richard Garriott (Citizen, Edelmann, Knight pledges)
- Blade of the Avatar novel signed by Richard Garriott and Tracy Hickman (Edelmann+ pledges)
- Town Property Deed signed by Richard Garriott (Knight Marshal, Lord, Lord Marshal pledges)
- City Property Deed signed by Richard Garriott (Baron 1,2,3 pledges)
- Keep Property Deed signed by Richard Garriott (Duke pledge)
- Castle Property Deed signed by Richard Garriott (Lord of the Manor 1 & 2 pledges)
- (Note: The signed Akalabeth Cassette Cover will remain in the LotM 2 pledge rewards)
All pledges at or above Patron level prior to August 31, 2015 will continue to receive all of the signed physical goods at or below their pledge level as they upgrade.
Home and Basement Stacking (Ancestor pledge and above)
Currently, any pledge that includes property receives the home and basement for that pledge PLUS all the homes and basements from the previous pledges. After August 31, 2015 any pledge below Ancestor that upgrades will only receive the home(s) and single basement available to the pledge they upgrade to (actual reward will vary by era). For instance the Lord (Founder era) pledge currently includes 16 homes (see list below), after August 31st, the Lord (Founder era) pledge will only include 2 homes. All pledges at or above Ancestor level prior to August 31, 2015 will continue to receive all the homes and basements included at or below their pledge level as they upgrade. As a reminder, here is a list of all the rewards that currently stack, but no longer will after August 31st:
- Ancestor: 2-story stone Row house
- Navigator: 3-story stone Row house; 1-Story Row Basement (plus all those above)
- Developer: 4-story stone Row house; 2-Story Row Basement (plus all those above)
- Citizen: Shingle Roof Village Home (+ Waterfront Cabana for Founder/Royal Founder); 1-Story Village Stone Basement (plus all those above)
- Edelmann: German-style Village Home (+ German-style Waterfront Cabana for Founder/Royal Founder); (plus all those above)
- Knight: Keep Village Home (+ Waterfront Lighthouse for Founder/Royal Founder); 2-Story Village Stone Basement (plus all those above)
- Knight Marshal: Tower Keep Town Home; ; 2-Story Town Stone Basement (plus all those above)
- Lord: Lord’s Town Home (+ Waterfront Houseboat for Founder/Royal Founder); 3-Story Town Stone Basement & 5-Story Row Basement (plus all those above)
- Lord Marshal: Great Hall Town Home: 5-Story Town Stone Basement & 2-Story Village Stone Basement (plus all those above)
- Baron 1: Baron’s City Home (+ Waterfront Frigate for Founder/Royal Founder); 2-Story City Stone Basement (plus all those above)
- Baron 2/3: Baron’s City Home (+ Waterfront Galleon for Founder/Royal Founder); 2-Story City Stone Basement (plus all those above)
- Duke: Duke’s Home (+ Waterfront Island Castle); 2-Story Keep Stone Basement (plus all those above)
- Lord of the Manor: LotM City-sized Home (+ Waterfront, Grand Island Castle with Keeps); 2-Story Castle Stone Basement (plus all those above)
Double Lots (Lord pledge and above)
Currently Lord and above pledges include a second smaller lot deed and corresponding basement. After August 31, 2015 any pledge below Lord that upgrades will only receive a single lot deed and basement. All pledges at or above Lord level prior to August 31, 2015 will continue to receive both lots and both basements. Expiring items include:
- Lord: Rent Free Row Lot Deed & 5-Story Row Basement
- Lord Marshal: Rent Free Village Lot Deed & 2-Story Village Stone Basement
- Baron 3: Rent Free Village Lot Deed
- Duke: Rent Free Village Lot Deed
- Lord of the Manor: Rent Free Town Lot Deed
To try and help summarize this information, here is a table that shows the home, basement, and lot changes for all Founder Era pledges that will be affected:
To repeat what we said above, please know that these expirations DO NOT affect any backers that already have these rewards. If you already got ’em, then you get to keep ’em! These expirations only affect new backers, or existing backers that have not upgraded to the specified levels before the expiration date.
[NOTE: Any payment plans started for the specified pledge tiers (Patron, Ancestor, & Lord) prior to Midnight CST, August 31, 2015 will not be affected by these expirations]
Hangout of the Avatar: Release 19 Postmortem, Royal Warrant & ONBE Awards
We had a great Hangout of the Avatar yesterday with Richard, Starr, and Chris chatting about Release 19 and looking ahead to Release 20. And, of course, FireLotus was fielding questions and feedback live in the chat-room as well as from the original post! Lots of great material was covered, awesome prizes were handed out, as well the following community members were granted awards by Lord British:
- Royal Warrant awarded to the SotA Forum Moderator Group for all the volunteer time they give to keep the forums and chat channel awesome!
- ONBE awarded to WrathPhoenix for Founder of Phoenix Republic, Governor of Port Phoenix, founder and Dean of the Novian Academy, orchestrated and coordinates dozens of SotA Twitch Stream Teams, orchestrated SotA’s involvement with Water.org Campaign
- ONBE awarded to Themo Lock Organization/involvement in-game events, designer/builder of theatrical areas, and regular contributor to the Player/Dev Combat Scrum
- ONBE awarded to Bambino as the creator and organizer of Gustball tournaments, organization of PvP Events, and regular contributor to the Player/Dev Combat Scrum
- ONBE awarded to Rild for establishing the Sota merchandising site, Relics by Rild, designing and manufacturing all that wonderful SotA SWAG
If you missed the live hangout, then you can watch it right here:
NBNN Interview With Chris Spears
Chris Spears sits down with Lazarus on twitch.tv to spill the beans on numerous previously undisclosed secrets!
Very Large Creatures: Trolls (work-in-progress)
Last week we introduced you to some of Geoff Mellon’s initial work-in-progress on Trolls, our first very large creature. As stated last week, we intend to make the combat experience with very large creatures different than what will be found with normal sized opponents. For the Troll we are working on huge area of effect attacks that include striking the ground for nearby attackers and throwing boulders for distant enemies.
Geoff’s got a 5-page thread going over in our Dev+ forums where he’s been keeping our Dev+ community up-to-date with his ongoing work on the troll. Here are a few sample images from his forum posts:
World Builder/Level Designer and VFX Artist Job Openings
We currently have openings for junior-level to senior-level World Builder/Level Designers for Shroud of the Avatar. Qualifications for the “ideal candidate” are:
- Minimum 2 years industry experience for junior-level (preferably on a shipped game)
- Unity3D proficiency
- Scripting ability
- Experience building, texturing, and decorating natural, terrain based exterior environments
- An artistic eye for detail, with strong scene compositional skills
We also have an opening for VFX artist with the following “ideal” qualifications:
- Minimum 3 years experience as VFX artist for games
- Unity3D proficiency
- FX scripting and ability to create custom FX shaders
- Artistic and technical particle effect skills
If you’d like to join the Portalarium Tribe working on the ground-breaking Shroud of the Avatar, please submit your resume to email@example.com. Provide links to your work (if possible), including actual game play, videos footage, and document form (images, maps, and event descriptions).
In-game Weekend Community Events
Our amazing community has another great lineup of in-game events planned for this weekend. Special thanks to community member SpookyJenny (aka Jenny Phoenixfyre in-game) for her help in compiling the latest schedule of player events from the Avatar’s Circle Community Events calendar and the Events of the Avatars community calendar:
- The R19 Unreliable Travel Guide
- The Unreliable Travel Guide, created at the SotA Writing Round Table, is not an event, but a a collection of hilarious short stories published by two drunken layabouts who have nothing better to do than try to derive a dishonest income from newly arrived avatars. (details)
- “The Tavern Respite” RP Event (Mondays, 8pm CST)
- The tavern door opens before you, and the scent of pipe and stew waft outwards with a wall of warmth from the hearth. Join in with the patrons of the Bear Tavern as they share tales of their adventures amid endless mugs of ale, legs of mutton, and merriment unbounded (details)!
- Happy Hour Wednesdays (Wednesdays, 8pm CST)
- Otherwise known as “Spend Stryker’s Gold” – Stryker will open a bar tab at one of the local Novia taverns for an hour or so for drinks, stories, news, critique of the arts, dancing, and otherwise unplanned mayhem. Zone /Stryker Sparhawk or watch this thread for locations each week!
- Vengeance Madness (Fridays, 6pm CST)
- This is an Open PvP event where everyone fights it out in a royal rumble to see who the ultimate death dealer is! (City of Vengeance; /zone Bambino LudoVate)
- Daily Breakfast Club – 12am CST (London UK); 6am CST (Central US); 3pm CST (Sydney Australia)
- Breakfast Clubs offer a time when people from around different time zones can gather. (Wody’s Pub, Paxlair)
- Phoenix Republic Open Mic Night (Thursdays, 7pm CST)
- Come hang out in Wody’s Bar. Have a story or a song, Maybe want to do some stand up? Every Thursday the audience will vote on the winner of the weekly prize (Wody’s Bar, /zone Kazyn Phoenixfyre or Jack Knyfe)
- Beach Party by BMC (Fridays at 9pm CST)
- Come join the BMC for dancing and fun at the Beach (/zone River Beauchamp or Wind Silverrmoon)
- Challenge Dungeon Run (Fridays at 7pm CST)
- This is a self-host event, meet at the Braemar Cemetery and organize into groups to take on the infamous Chillblain’s Compendium of Pain & Suffering!
Saturday, July 11
- 9:00am CST PaxLair Working Hours
- PaxLair town and community “working hours” are for anyone interested in PaxLair. (/zone Winfield)
- 11:00am CST Church of the Dark Star – Saturday Service
- Join Lady Amber Raine, High Priestess of the Church of the Dark Star along with Kazyn Phoenixfyre of the Church of the Sun, as they bring another thought provoking service. (PaxLair; details) [Note: First Release 19 service will happen on June 27 at 11am in Port Phoenix. The location of our second building]
- 12:00pm CST Welcome Quest
- Welcome Quest showcases many of the Player-owned and Player-ran towns in New Britannia. Come for unique events in each town. (Starting in PaxLair, /zone Dara Brae)
- 3:00pm CST Phoenix Republic: Field Day!
- Come join the Phoenix Republic for a grand collection of festivities and events to try to find the best athletes in all of New Britannia! Events include: 3-4 – We meet with 4b for the time to say goodbye event!; 4-5pm – Vengeance presents: Honor Duel PVP Tournament (Tentative); 5-6pm – Port Phoenix Team vs. Team Triathalon!; 6-7pm – Bareknuckle Boxing!
- 3:00pm CST 4B Maze Event – Time to say Goodbye
- There is always a time, when you have to say goodbye. This release it will be our time to say goodbye to a dear friend. This will be the last kind of these events. (PaxLair)
- 6:00pm CST Vengeance 1v1 Tournament
- The longest running Player vs Player tournament in Shroud of the Avatar. (City of Vengeance)
Sunday, July 12
- 6:30am CST Explore Novia with royalsexy (PaxLair Moon Tower, /zone royalsexy)
- 10:00am CST Phoenix Republic Town Hall/Working Hours
- A Gathering of members of the Phoenix Republic to cover important topic areas of the month. (Republic Town Hall, Port Phoenix, /zone Kazyn Phoenixfyre or Jack Knyfe)
- 3:00pm CST Gustball
- Two teams are pitted against each other in a sporting event not dissimilar from soccer, football, and basketball. The object of the game is to Gust a Gustball around the field and into your opponent’s goal (PaxLair, /zone Bambino Ludovate, details)
- 5:00pm CST BMC Grid Iron Feast and Registration
- Register to compete in the BMC Gridiron and mingle with other participants and spectators before the big fight! (details)
- 5:30pm CST BMC Gladiator’s Grid-Iron
- The BMC is proud to present the nastiest, the foulest, the most feared arena in all of New Britannia! The Grid-Iron is equipped with a pit-style arena, locker rooms, a VIP round-table, betting & vendor booths, and all the blood-sport you can handle. (Merriston, west of Ardoris, details)
- 7:00pm CST PaxLair Meeting
- Come see what PaxLair is up to in Novia and other town areas! Many people also attend from towns and guilds for a bit of a weekly wrap-up and what’s happening. Good discussions! (PaxLair, /zone Winfield)
- 8:00pm CST Fishing with Winfield
- Come sit with Winfield on a log or rock to hear some fish tales or tell your own. Chat about anything from the moons to the earth worms. Spend a relaxing day in nature near a stream or lake — bring insect repellent or a sword. (some lake or pond, /zone Winfield)
Be sure and check out the Release 19 Events thread in the SotA forums for additional events that may not be included here.
2015.07.25 – SotA at Classic Game Fest 2015
2015.07.30 – Release 20
2015.08.27 – Release 21
2015.08.28 – SotA at Syndcon
2015.09.04 – SotA at Dragon Con
2015.09.24 – Release 22
2015.10.29 – Release 23
Recommended Games to Back
Far more than a dungeon crawl, Underworld Ascendant is a next-generation sequel to the legendary fantasy RPG’s Ultima Underworld & Ultima Underworld 2. It not only modernizes the series’ visuals and user interface to take full advantage of the today’s powerful PC’s, it innovates in bold new ways.
Hear Ye! Hear Ye! For Those New To The Realm!
The following information is repeated in every weekly update for the benefit of those receiving them for the first time.
The rest of you long-term New Britannians can stop reading here if you’ve already seen this info.
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:
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
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).