Release 21 Instructions

[A SotA Public Forum post by Starr Long]


Greetings Avatars,

Please read this entire message, as well as the linked instructions and known issues.

Thank you for being a loyal backer and follower of Shroud of the Avatar. Release 21 access for all backers at First Responder level and above begins this Thursday, August 27 at 10:30 AM Central Time (16:30 UTC).

It has been a truly amazing and humbling month. Our community believes in us so much that we have managed to raise over seven million dollars to date! To celebrate, we are having an all-day telethon on Monday August 31 from 10:00 AM to 10:00 PM Central Time (16:00 UTC to 04:00 UTC). The telethon will be hosted by members of our community and include deep dives, Devs vs. Players PVP, Devs vs. Players Gustball, and hourly prize giveaways! We will be posting a detailed schedule this Friday, so stay tuned.

Release 21 contains a lot of new content, but the largest change is a fundamental shift in how advancement works. After many hours of gameplay, more hours of internal discussions, even more hours of digesting player feedback, and even more hours of design, we have decided to move to a Use-Based System for advancement; which replaces our current leveling and skill point allocation system. Trainers must still be visited to unlock abilities, and abilities are still arranged in skill trees, but all skill advancement now comes from use. The more you mine, the better you become at mining… and the more you swing your sword, the better you become at sword swinging. We did not make this decision lightly and it came at the cost of slightly delaying some other features, but we firmly believe this makes the game fundamentally better and more in line with our statements of this game being a spiritual successor to the Ultima games. Please note that the next several releases will involve a lot of rework and balancing to get this working properly with all of our skills. Also expect us to rearrange skill trees multiple times to make them work better with this new system. For now, expect some oddness and skill arrangements that might not make sense in the current system (although they made sense previously). Also we know that we need to better deliver information in the game about the way the system is working. You can find and discuss more details about our current design thinking about the Use-Based System implementation in this forum topic here.

While we are getting closer to launch, we are still in a constant state of change, and we do not yet have in-game systems to inform players of these changes, or to share ways to help them to explore new content and systems. This means we rely entirely on this message, and the linked instructions and known issues to convey SotA_R21_PlayerEvents_bookthe current game state. We regularly have to answer questions or filter bug reports because some players elect not to read this valuable information. By taking a few moments to read through this information, a great deal of our time and efforts can be redirected to focus on new “unanswered” questions, and addressing critical issues impacting each release. We greatly appreciate you taking the time to review this post, and for all the truly valuable feedback you continue to provide.

Also, remember that while we are providing new content with each release, our community is working overtime to make new events for you to enjoy. So, be sure to check out a couple of the Community Events Calendars run by our community members (via in-game book or the player run websites Avatars Circle Community Events and Events of the Avatars calendar).

Without further ado, here are the R21 deliverables.


  • Plain Text: The original plan for the Release deliverables. We intentionally preserve the original text so that our backers can compare plan versus actuals.
  • Italics: Extra notes and new deliverables
  • Strikethrough: These are items that did not make the release

RELEASE 21, August 27, 2015:

  • SotA_CraftingSkillsCrafting: Crafting skills will start to come online, and be used during crafting to modify results. Additionally, players will now have the ability to salvage items for materials and components.
    • Base Skills: All Refining and Production skills now have a base skill that increases when used. (See Use Based Advancement, below.)
    • Salvage: Players can now use crafting stations to salvage materials from items. Salvage will never yield all the original materials, but increasing your Salvage skill increases the amount of materials gained. Salvage is accomplished by placing an item on the appropriate crafting station (smithing for metal items, carpentry for wooden items, and tailoring for cloth/leather items) with the standard tool for that station and then hitting the “Salvage” button.
    • Scrap: Sometimes salvage is not successful enough to render out full units of a given material so sometimes you will receive scraps. Scraps can be combined to create a full unit of a given material (like an ingot or a board).
    • “Max” vs. “Current Max” Durability: Wear on gear (weapons and armor) will now not only decrease durability, but also decrease the current maximum. Using repair kits will only add durability up to the current max, not full maximum. Full maximum can only be reached again by repairing the item at a crafting station.
      • Example: Durability 10 / 50 (Max 90)
        • 10 = Item’s Current Durability
        • 50 = Item’s Current Maximum Durability
        • 90 = (Only seen in tooltip) Item’s Maximum Durability
    • Repair at Crafting Stations: Items (weapons, armor, and wooden decorations) can now be repaired at a crafting station using a repair kit and the corresponding tool for that station (ex. smithing hammer for metal weapons at a smithing station). This is the only method that will both repair durability and restore maximum durability. For now, there is only one type of repair kit. Starting in R22, repair kits will begin specializing (smithing, carpentry, and tailoring). In R21, all weapons and armor can be repaired to maximum durability at crafting stations. We will implement the repair of crafting tools in R22.
    • SotA_NewCraftingUI_1New Crafting UI: In addition to adding Repair and Salvage buttons to the crafting UI (in both bag and list modes), we also made a new UI change for list mode. When a crafting station is used in list mode, a new interface will appear that shows a filtered version of your inventory displaying all items that can be used in the crafting system, This includes items that can be repaired and salvaged. This will also clean up the UI while crafting since you no longer need to have a separate window open for your Inventory. We plan to expand this in R22 to also be contextual based on the station you are using.
    • Salvage & Repair Pages: We added information about how salvage and repair work to the Recipe book.
    • Wooden Streetlamp Recipe: Players can now make Wooden Streetlamp similar to those seen in towns like Soltown and Braemar.
  • Combat: The cover system will be introduced and will modify attack and defense values when you (or your target) are behind cover.
    • Cover Delayed: With fundamental changes to how advancement works (see Use Based below) and some changes to combat math, we decided it was too early to introduce cover as another variable.
    • Log Out Timer: Another aspect that needed changing was handling log-outs, so they will no longer be instant (an easy way to get out of a losing fight). Now when you log out, a timer begins and your character stays in the world, even if you disconnect.
    • Auto-attack uses Free Attack: Auto-attack now shares the same logic as free attack. Essentially, auto-attack is now a free attack that is repeatedly triggered as long as you have a target in front of you and while your camera is facing the target. Double-clicking on a target or selecting a target then hitting the “T” key initiates auto-attack
    • Combat Math Changes: With the change to the use based system, much of the combat math had to change. Damage calculations and to-hit rolls are heavily dependent on the skill value in the related skill. Also, armor values and how they are used has been adjusted to make heavy armors avoid more damage but absorb less than in previous builds.
    • Parry: The parry skill was moved from swords to the tactics tree and can now be used with any melee weapon. A successful parry blocks an amount of damage based on the weapon power and player strength. Most ranged attacks and spells can no longer be parried.
    • Block: Shield block was given an upgrade for this release. When successful, it stops damage based on the shield type and the player’s strength. Also, block can now protect players from missile types AND many magic spells! We are also experimenting with giving block a weakness in that it doesn’t protect against skills in the polearm tree.
    • Dodge: Dodge can now be used to help avoid many magic effects. Unlike Parry and Block, if successful, it completely avoids the damage instead of just stopping a certain number of points. Combine Parry, Block, and Dodge to become a defensive machine.
    • Attack Range: Creatures can now have modifiers to attack ranges to make them easier to attack in melee range. This was particularly true of the wolf and bear models who really loved putting their noses where they didn’t belong. They can now be attacked from a range that more closely matches their visuals.
    • Ranged Weapons and facing: Bows and other ranged weapons will now only work when facing the target. Sorry archers… no more sprinting away while shooting something behind you.
    • Deck Size Scaling: For those that enjoy the deck mechanic, the minimum number of cards in your deck has been changed to smoothly scale with total adventurer experience earned instead of going up in increments of 5.
  • Maps: Perennial Coast polish will continue and new scenes will come online that expand the story, including the desert town of Desolis and the Chamber of Souls dungeon beneath it.
    • SotA_ObsidianArchitecture_DesolisUnderground_p5_9Desolis: This town of former nomads sits on top of the ruins of an ancient Obsidian Order city. It is dominated by a captured Obsidian shard and the ancient Obsidian Order fortress known as the Epitaph. The locals use the old fortress as a prison and death sentence.
    • The Epitaph (aka Chamber of Souls): This vast underground complex was the heart of the Obsidian Order’s power. It was where they used the power of the Obsidian shards to create the Elves, Satyrs, Kobolds, and Trolls. Remnants of these experiments still roam the halls and eat unwary adventurers as well as those poor souls sent here as prisoners. It is also the location of the Chamber of Souls, where a key element of our story unfolds.
    • Desolate Hills: The Desolate Hills of the Perennial Coast have been reduced to a ruined graveyard in the North, an abandoned settlement in the South, and a Shrine to a mysterious Obsidian Lord in the East. It is truly an inhospitable place for travelers, overrun with undead and wolves scavenging the bodies of the defeated.
    • SotA_Hometown_overworldHometown: Using the dynamic Player Owned Town tools, we built Hometown during R20 to include every single home and basement available in the game. Our amazing community jumped in and volunteered to decorate these spaces. If you are considering a property and/or home purchase, then we highly recommend visiting Hometown to get a feel for what is available (it’s on an island just off the southeast corner of Novia, near the starting town of Soltown).
    • Polished Scenes: Polish passes were made on various scenes along the Perennial Coast including:
      • Deep Savrenoc Timberlands: Updated all spawners to be dynamic, added nighttime spawners, added discovery points, and improved patrols / pathing for NPCs.
      • Savrenoc Timberland: Added Elf encampment, improved graveyard area including adding nighttime undead spawners.
      • Savrenoc Stronghold: Updated spawners and patrols, added discovery points, revised the ruined wall into an ancient platform with altar, improved the smaller elf camp, revised the larger elf camp and the ruins in which it sits.
      • Necropolis Barrens: Updated all spawners to be dynamic, added nighttime spawners, added discovery points, and improved patrols / pathing for NPCs.
  • Emote “Teaching”: Emotes will now be teachable to other players. Some emotes (like the ones tied to pledges) will only be teachable by the original owner. Teaching will be done via secure trading.
    • Emote Teaching Delayed: The extensive amount of work involved with moving to use based advancement delayed this feature.
  • Player Owned Towns: We will continue to expand the number of templates and introduce a new Player Owned Town (PoT) to the game.
    • SotA_PoT_Template_SnowyMountains_1Snowy Mountains Template: This is the first snowy biome template and is a PaxLair variant. We plan to create at least one more snowy template and at least one more mountain template (not snowy). New Player Owned Towns coming online this release who have selected this template will receive it, but if your PoT came online in R20, we currently do not have a way to swap biome without wiping all the town data (which would include everyone losing their houses, lots, items, etc.). So, unfortunately, some of you will have to wait until the next wipe (maybe R23?) to swap.
    • Player Owned Town Decorations: Player Owned Town owners (and stewards) are now able to place certain items anywhere in their PoT without requiring a lot, if there is a large enough flat area to place the item on. The current list includes:
    • NPC Buildings: These come pre-decorated and will not be customizable because otherwise they would basically be a player house without the lot deed requirement. Owners will find them in their bank. For now we have given each town owner one of each and four guard towers. Limits will enforce how many can be placed at one time. Please note that we do not yet have NPC placement working, but we hope to have that in R22. For now, these buildings are purely cosmetic. This is a very rough first iteration, expect this to expand in future releases. The list of currently available buildings includes:
      • SotA_POT_NPCBuilding_CemetaryTavern
      • Bank
      • Combat Shop
      • Weapon Shop
      • Armor Shop
      • Magic Shop
      • Home Shop
      • Stables
      • Cemetery
      • Guard Tower
      • SotA_POT_NPCBuilding_GuardTowerCrafting Shop
      • Fishing Shop
      • Cooking Shop
      • Public Garden
      • Moon Tower
      • Titan of Love
      • Oracle Conservatory
      • Dragon Bones
    • Other Decorations: In addition to the NPC buildings there are other miscellaneous decorations that can also be placed including:
      • Trees
      • Pavers
      • Statues
      • Walls
      • Fences
      • Fountains
      • Outhouse
      • Battle Banner
      • Wishing Well
    • PoT Decoration Limits: With the launch of the above feature, we have added decoration limits to Player Owned Towns. Please note we do not have streetlamp decorations nor placeable NPCs just yet, but we hope to have them functioning in R22. The current limits are listed here:
      • Holdfast
        • 1 NPC Building
        • 2 NPCs
        • 20 Decos
        • 5 Lights
      • Hamlet
        • 2 NPC Buildings
        • 4 NPCs
        • 30 Decos
        • 10 Lights
      • Village
        • 3 NPC Buildings
        • 6 NPCs
        • 40 Decos
        • 15 Lights
      • SotA_MetropolisCrossroads Village
        • 4 NPC Buildings
        • 8 NPCs
        • 50 Decos
        • 20 Lights
      • Town
        • 6 NPC Buildings
        • 12 NPCs
        • 80 Decos
        • 25 Lights
      • City
        • 10 NPC Buildings
        • 20 NPCs
        • 100 Decos
        • 30 Lights
      • Metropolis
        • 15 NPC Buildings
        • SotA_ArxDraconis_DragonStatue30 NPCs
        • 130 Decos
        • 40 Lights
    • Arx Draconis: The capital town of the Syndicate (current holder of the Guinness world record for longest SotA_ArxDraconis_OverlandViewrunning guild) is our newest static Player Owned Town to come online. A large fortress with a Dragon statue centerpiece, it uses the island template and is located off Spindrift Island on the north side of Bay of Storms.
    • Town Criers / Bankers: These will now be standard with all Player Owned Towns and will not be relocatable by the owner (unlike other NPCs). This is to prevent the issue where someone could change homes or be evicted and their items would have no location to go to. While this makes the Bank and Banker building slightly redundant, those items are still useful if you wish the bank to be accessible from a custom location and not just the default (and unmoveable) location of the Town Crier.
    • Island Template Lot Areas: Fixed various areas on the template that were blocking lot placement, especially water lots on the beaches.
    • 38 New Dynamic PoTs: We added another round of dynamic Player Owned Towns to the game. Here is the list of new towns that can be found in R21 plus an updated map of Novia (new towns are in yellow):POT R21Novia_POT_R21
  • SotA_Dragon_WIP_1Creatures: Dragons will begin appearing in Novia! Burninating will begin. All hail Trogdor, the Burninator!
    • Dragon (model, texture, & rigging): Our amazing character team worked diligently on updating our dragon that we purchased to meet our standards. While that work is nearing completion we do not yet have the behaviors nor flight visuals to a releasable level yet. Additionally, the sheer scale of his wings and tail create sorting issues we don’t yet have solved. So instead of releasing the dragon in this state, we are holding him for one more release and using the Phoenix (see below) to test out some of these issues.
    • Phoenix (boss variant): We decided to make a scaled up boss level variant of the Phoenix (summoned creature from Sun Magic) as a test case for behaviors we want to use for the Dragon, especially related to flight and combat. This meant trying to get a flying creature that can take off, land, hover, fly AND attack SotA_PhoenixBoss1while doing so — and have it feel right. While it still isn’t quite where we want it, we feel like its close enough that we can let you all play with it a bit. We also wanted the fire attacks from Phoenixes and Dragons to generate an area of effect and leave behind a fire field that lasts a long time. That means that the longer the fight goes on, more and more of the scene will be set on fire, therefore increasing the challenge. Look for these high level Phoenixes in the highlands of desert scenes.
    • Troll Polish: We did some polish work on the textures for the Trolls and added some additional visual effects. We also did some behavior improvements, including making his 180 degree attack function and improving his throw attack logic for hitting players at range. Finally, we gave his knockback effects a trajectory so that players will actually be pitched up into the air, and in the case of the Ruined Keep, they can actually be kicked off the bridge and down into the gully below!
    • Wolf Variants Polish: The color variation on the different wolves was too subtle so we increased the contrast between them, resulting in things like the Arctic Wolf being much more white.
    • Under Dwellers: For The Epitaph complex, we created Obsidian experiment versions of Elves, Satyrs, Trolls, and Humans.
    • Gustball Animations: We made a set of Gustball specific animations for our little Gustball, so movement, stopping, etc. should look a little better.
  • Localization: We will begin crowdsourcing the translation of the game into various languages.
    • Localization Crowdsourcing Delayed: While progress continues to be made on the architecture to support this, we have had to postpone the actual translation work so we can complete the work for the Journal updates (see below) and the server death validation (see above).
  • Weather: Weather will make a first appearance with rain and snow linked to seasonal changes.
    • Rain and Cloudiness: Weather makes a debut in R21, with rainstorms on Monday mornings. In future releases, weather will be linked to seasons, time of day, and regions. Also, these do not have any effects on gameplay for now, but we also have plans for that in future releases—especially when agriculture comes online.
    • Snow Delayed: Until we can get seasonality and regional variation online, we are holding off on adding snow.
  • Spells & Skills: More new spells, skills, and combos will come online.
    • Base Proficiency Innate Weapon Skills: Each school of weapon combat (Blades, Bludgeons, Polearms, and Ranged) now has an innate skill at the top of the tree that represents base proficiency with the base attack in that weapon type which advances with each use of that type of weapon.
    • SotA_MoonEaterSkillMoon Eater: This innate moon magic skill increases the hours of the day beyond actual night time in which moon magic is increased in power.
    • Sun Eater: This innate sun magic skill increases the hours of the day beyond actual day time in which sun magic is increased in power.
    • Skill Changes: To make skill levels in each skill meaningful, many skills have been updated. Most skills that do damage will scale up with skill level. Skills that stun will scale up their stun chance but not duration. Other significant changes include:
      • Break Weapon: Amount of damage reduction applied to target now scales with skill level and has been GREATLY increased.
      • Break Armor: Amount of reduction applied to armor values now scales with skill level and has been GREATLY increased.
      • Rend: Both duration and damage now scale up with level.
      • Berserk: Damage bonus is based on skill and instead of reducing attack skill, it now reduces damage avoidance.
      • Ground Pound: Both the damage and the radius now scale up with skill level.
      • Glancing Blow: The damage avoidance value has been adjusted way down due to changes in the combat math for what damage avoidance means. Also, this skill now scales up with level and works on the next 3 blows instead of just 1. Time duration for for glancing blow has also been increased and scales with level.
      • Inner Strength: Both strength gained and duration now scale up with level.
      • Absorb Impacts: Both damage resistance and time now scale up with level.
      • Knight’s Grace: Skill levels now decrease the cool down timer and increase chance of removing effects. NOTE: cooldown not shown in tooltip yet.
      • Dodge: Values adjusted to match the definition of Dodge in the combat math. Time and effectiveness now scale with level.
      • Escape: Now Area of Effect instead of targeted. Range of AoE scales up with level. NOTE: Tooltip does not accurately represent the effects.
      • Tumble: Now increases Damage Avoidance instead of Damage Resistance. Amount of Damage Avoidance scales with level.
      • Flurry: Duration and attack speed now scale with level.
      • Push: Chance to push back and damage is now tied to skill level.
      • port_Spinning_Attack_combat_iconSpinning Attack: Range and damage scale up with skill. NOTE: Range is not shown in tooltips yet.
      • Leg Sweep: Trip chance now based on skill level plus an error in targeting angle has been corrected to make it more forgiving.
      • Skewer: Root chance and root duration now tied to skill level. NOTE: Root duration and chance not shown in tooltips yet.
      • Disabling Shot: Move speed debuff duration now tied to skill level.
      • Aimed Shot: Damage was reduced slightly from previous release.
      • Blinding Shot: Now reduces dexterity if successful!
      • Deflect: Now gives a bonus to shield block under new combat math.
      • Shield Bash: Both chance of stun and duration are increased with skill level.
      • Dig In: Now adds damage avoidance instead of damage resistance.
      • Charge: Damage and stun chance tied to skill level.
      • Gust: Range now tied to skill level.
      • Confusion: Duration and chance are tied to skill level.
      • Tap Soul: Focus gained tied to skill level.
  • SotA_EastreachGap_ControlPointControl Points: These scenes will now pull you into them automatically if held by enemies
    • Control Points: We actually pulled this feature into R20 (last release) where we changed the design slightly. Instead of automatically pulling you in, we made it so they just stop you on the overworld and then you have the choice to enter the scene. Even though we added this last release, we wanted to do some polish in R21.
    • Wave Polish and Normalization: Each Control Point was set up very differently from the others, but now they are all closer in challenge level and overall setup (although still not identical).
      • Direction: Each wave of Control Point defenders come from a variety of directions instead of just one.
      • Numbers: First wave is 4 enemies, second wave is 5 enemies, third wave is 6 enemies, and each wave thereafter is 9 enemies.
      • Difficulty Ramp: Waves start at “moderate difficulty” and by wave 4 are at “very challenging” difficulty.
      • Timing: For now, base time between waves starts at 60 (seconds). Time between waves is reduced by 20% after each wave. Minimum time between waves is 30 seconds.
      • Variety: Although there is some variety of NPC types within all waves, there is a greater variety of NPC types with each successive wave.
  • Use Based Advancement: Using a skill or spell now advances that ability, replacing the levels and skill points system we had before. Trainers will teach you an ability initially, but your advancement in that ability after that is based solely on your use of it in gameplay. For example, the more you mine, the better you get at mining; the more you swing your sword, the better you get at sword-swinging. Please note that the next several releases will involve a lot of rework and balancing to get this working with all our skills properly. Also, expect us to rearrange skill trees multiple times to make them work better with this new system. For now, expect some oddness and skill arrangements that might not make sense in the current system (although they made sense previously). Also we know that we need to better deliver information in the game about the way the system is working. You can find and discuss more details about our current design thinking about the Use Based System implementation in this forum topic here.
  • Book System Improvements: We made several improvements to our book system.
    • SotA_TableofContentsTable of Contents: We now have the ability to add table of contents to any book we create. The first books to use this in the game are the Player Guide, the Journal, and the Player Events. We will expand this to any books of significant length over time. We also plan to expose this functionality to Player Written Books eventually.
    • Task Journal: We have divided the Journal into two sections. The first section is the Knowledge Journal (basically the Journal as it existed before) which is a complete record of important conversations. The second section is the Task Journal, and it is a list of current tasks. This should greatly improve questing.
    • Magical Printing Press: The magical printing press now allows 12 free copies to be printed per week and works from inside your inventory.
  • Dyeable Clothes: We made all the hats and masks in the Add On Store dyeable. We also added a few new dyeable clothing items to the pledges as a thank you for raising seven million dollars in funding.
    • SotA_AdventurerReward_BlankMaskAdventurer: Plain White Mask
    • Immortal Adventurer: Striped Cloak
    • Founder: Checkered Cloak
  • New Female versions of Leather & Chainmail: The newest versions of Leather and Chainmail armor that went live in R20 have been made slightly more form fitting for female characters.
  • Taming: We did some balancing and expansions to taming for R21.
    • Summoning Skill: Summoning is now done with a skill that requires the whistle as a non-consumed reagent. This change was necessary so we could advance taming skills via use.
    • Taming Skill: In addition to being the active skill used to tame creatures it now also determines percent chance to tame (encompassing the Animal Handling skill which has been removed).
    • Normalization: In R20, tamed wolves and bears were exact duplicates of their respective sources, including stats and size. This made the higher-end tamed creatures a bit overpowered and oversized for many locations. For R21, we have created parallel tamed versions of the creatures that have normalized stats and sizes.
    • Expanded Creature List: We expanded the list of creatures that could be tamed including non-combat creatures:
      • Combat: Scorpions, Crocodiles, Spiders, and Stags.
      • Non-Combat: Sheep, Chickens, and Rabbits.
    • Focus Drain: Tamed creatures will now steadily drain focus from the caster. In R22 there will be a skill called Concentration that can reduce the focus drained.
  • Quest Values: Rewards for quest completion have been normalized between the Hidden Vale and Novia mainland. We chose to increase the rewards in Novia versus nerf the rewards in the Vale. You’re welcome!
  • Housing: Player housing expands with new content as well as lots of bug fixes.
    • Deco Mode Toggle: There is now an option in the options menu to disable deco mode for the player. This can also be toggled via the “period” key. SotA_Airship_CityHome_Darkstarr3This should help players from accidentally grabbing decorations when they don’t intend to.
    • Darkstarr’s Airship: The “Queen of Chaos” is the home of none other than Darkstarr, the paragon of Chaos. It is never seen in one place very long so finding it reliably is always a challenge. Rejected names included: “Inflated Ego,” “Swollen Gasbag,” “Corny Barracuda,” “Fluffy Bunny,” “Questionable Angel,” and “The Over Compensator.”
    • SotA_Airship_CityHome_1_smallCity Airship: When we built the “Queen of Chaos,” we were so enamored of her that we felt players would enjoy an airship of their very own.
    • Obsidian Fence: The Obsidian Towers have proven quite popular. To complement them, we are providing an fence in the Obsidian Architectural style.
    • Home Polish: We fixed bugs in a variety of houses including the Duke Founder, Knight Founder, Wood & Plaster 2-story w/ balcony, Adobe 2-story w/ upper deck, Barn, Citizen Founder, Citizen Benefactor, Baron Founder, Baron Benefactor, Village Tower, Obsidian Tower Town, Druid Tree, and Blue Tile Roof Row Houses (all sizes).
    • Battle Banner Polish: The visual effect for these has been toned down SotA_Deco_Lamppost_1considerably.
    • Wooden Streetlamps: There are now two types of Wooden Streetlamps that can be placed on player property and in Player Owned Towns. The regular version can be crafted in game (see Crafting section above) and the ornate carved version can be purchased in the Add On Store.
    • Maps & Deeds: These items can now be used as decorations.
  • Brightness Slider: There is now a slider in the video options that allows you to adjust brightness of the game.
  • Location on Login Screen: The map your character is currently on now appears on the login screen
  • Grand Tour 21: As with each release, we will have a Grand Tour. SotA_HighwaymanHat_2Completing this quest is the ONLY way to gain this rare reward. The hat for this release is the Highwayman, inspired by garb supposedly worn by 17th and 18th century mounted thieves.

So, now that it is clear what you can expect, we should also be as clear about what you should not expect:

  • Performance: We have only done rudimentary optimizations, and we do not yet have a full suite of performance fallbacks (LODs, etc.). This means the game will be quite slow on older machines, and due to memory usage, and might be unstable in certain conditions (like densely decorated areas). With each release, we will be doing further optimizations and adding to our fallbacks to improve performance.
  • Crafting: The crafting system is in the game as a framework, but is still missing some key components like a full suite of Refining / Production Skills, quality levels for tools/crafting tables, Agriculture, Fishing, and breadth/depth of recipes.
  • Game Loop: Release 21 is a further iteration on our rudimentary game loop, but is still missing some key components. Expect this to expand with each subsequent release, but it won’t be truly complete until we hit Beta later this year.
  • Advanced Player Housing: There are some advanced features for player housing, including advanced permissions (ex. renting), guild housing and ceiling decorations that are not yet integrated. Expect to see these appear in future releases.
  • Visual Quality: Efforts to improve visual quality are ongoing. We will continue to iterate on these until we have highly competitive visuals.
  • Pledge Rewards: Pledge Rewards that have been built and have tech to support them are in the game; all other rewards are awaiting either content creation or tech support (ex. vendors).
  • Persistence: As part of development, we will need to periodically wipe data including characters, property, etc. As we near official launch the frequency should decrease, but there will definitely be a wipe right before launch. So consider everything gained during early access temporary.

Here are links to instructions and known issues. Thank you again for your continued support. This is truly the most amazing community we have ever worked with, and we are proud to be on this journey with you.

Starr Long
aka Darkstarr
Executive Producer

We need all your help with testing the new patches, putting more stress on our multiplayer servers, and testing the new game content, so please join us in playing Release 21!

If you have not backed the game yet, you will need to register and login at, select the “Pledge or Send Gift!” button in the right side-bar, and purchase a pledge at the $45 Adventurer level or above. The basic Adventurer level pledge is also available on Steam Early Access.

Release 21 Player Instructions

Release 21 Known Issues

Patch Notes


  1. mbombermbomber

    Big bad bunny or raging rabbit might be a bit more scary but there is nothing softer or cuter than a Fluffy Bunny.

  2. Lord Blake BlackstoneLord Blake Blackstone

    Most content I’ve seen in a release for quite some time. Backs my theory that they have a lot of stuff hanging in the wings that we don’t know about. Can’t wait to see balanced combat in this new system and try out the additions to release 22. A lot to digest.

  3. TerminatorTerminator

    In reference to the street lamps it said:
    “Ornate carved version can be purchased in the Add On Store.”

    I looked and did not see them there, will they be added soon?

    Thx for the good work so far.

  4. KoldarKoldar

    Hey Dev Team,
    My town is spelled wrong – but just on the map image you posted. In game it is correct. It should be labeled Ranger’s Repose, not Ranger’s Resonse.

    I know the map you posted isn’t a final pass – I just didn’t want it misspelled on the final one. ;)


  5. smccauleysmccauley

    I was an early backer (Knight) and have been watching from afar for awhile, started playing just this past week… and WOW, guys I am impressed by the progress. Cant wait till I play release 21.

  6. punk1290

    What is the proper forum for reporting issues? I have been trying to use the Mac client and I haven’t been able to get any meaningful gameplay in due to issues with freezing.

  7. EddarnStarkEddarnStark

    Looks amazing guys, I really wish I could play right now but im in the middle of moving xD but rest assured the second i have internet at my new house, ill be playing SOTA

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