Update of the Avatar #153 – 2015.11.27: Final Weekend for 15% Black Friday Bonus, Making of Demons and Arenas, R24 Postmortem Invite, and More!

Greetings Fellow Avatars!

To all who celebrated the American Thanksgiving holiday this week, we wish you a Happy Thanksgiving! Today is Black Friday, and marks the final weekend to get your 15% Black Friday Bonus! If you were planning to purchase any pledges or items, you better hurry while you can still get an extra 15% bonus applied to your purchase (see details below)!

Here’s what we have for you in this week’s edition of Update of the Avatar:

  • Making of the Demon
  • It’s the Final Weekend to Get Your 15% Black Friday Bonus!
  • Hangout of the Avatar ~ Release 24 Postmortem
  • Athanil’s Arena Construction 101
  • Smack’s SotA Standup Archive
  • SuperMicro Server Blades of the Avatar
  • 38 Day Countdown for Winter Reward & Price Expirations
  • In-game Community Events
  • Upcoming Events
  • Recommended Projects to Back

Making of the Demon

[From a Dev+ Forum Post by Geoff “Qball” Mellon, Lead Character Artist]

It’s been about 4 Releases since I’ve had the time do a creative process post, but here is one at last!

Before we get to that, I want to give you a look at some of the things I have been working on:


Okay, so now that that’s out of the way, back to the Demon. This first thing to look at is the Demon we are basing it on.This should be familiar to some:


Yeah, it’s a typical and straightforward version of a demon. So from there, I did some research and a bunch of rough sketches to get a feel for what I thought we could do with it.


Here is the sketch I decided to flesh out…

Here is the 2d paint start…


Close up on the head (my favorite part to work on)…


Then I make a side outline thinking about bone structure. This is used for the base structure of the 3d model….


And while there is a really rough 3ds Max version, here is the current sculpt which is a little more fleshed out…1st half day: Blocking forms and figuring out how the parts fit together….


2nd half day…Changed the direction the horns faced at the suggestion of the Lead Animator. Much better!



So you may ask, “why only half days?” Well there is another thing I am working on half of the time for R25. It’s…It’s…No I can’t tell you yet, but I will be posting about it soon!

I’ll post more [of the Demon] as it gets done!



It’s the Final Weekend to Get Your 15% Black Friday Bonus!

Time is running out to take advantage of our Black Friday 15% Bonus, especially helpful for backers that intend to pledge or upgrade prior to upcoming Expiration Events! Here are the details:

For all new purchases (including pledges, pledge upgrades, add-on items, player owned towns, player owned town upgrades, stretch goal items, and Make a Difference items) between 12:00 am CST October 2, 2015 and midnight CST December 1, 2015, we will add an additional 15% bonus to your Store Credit! You can use your Store Credit toward additional purchases (which includes pledges, pledge upgrades, add-on items, player owned towns, and player owned town upgrades).

[NOTE: The 15% bonus is calculated every day at 1:00 pm CST for any purchases within the previous 24 hours and added to your Store Credit account; Any monthly payments paid during the promotion period also receive the 15% bonus; Store Credit cannot be applied toward the purchase of stretch goal or Make a Difference items]

You can use the 15% Bonus to save on your next purchase! For example, if you have the $45 Adventurer pledge and really want to upgrade to the $90 Royal Artisan pledge, you would normally pay the extra $45 for the upgrade. But using the 15% bonus you can immediately save $5. To do so, you would first purchase $40 worth of Store Credit Gift Coupons (via PayPal, Amazon, Bitcoin, or credit card; excluding existing Store Credit) then use the “Convert to Credits” option on your account page to transform the Store Credit Gift Coupons into Store Credit. Within 24 hours an additional $6 bonus ($40 x 15%) would be applied to your Store Credit account, bringing it up to $46. You would then use $45 of your Store Credit to upgrade to the $90 Royal Artisan pledge.

Hangout of the Avatar ~ Release 24 Postmortem

winter theater

Brave howling winds, snow, and sleet. Gather ’round and take a seat.

Please join us Thursday, December 3rd at 3:00 PM Central (20:00 GMT) for our monthly Hangout of the Avatar! Richard, Starr, and Chris will be chatting about Release 24 and looking ahead to a very special release indeed; Release 25!  And as usual, FireLotus will be taking your questions and feedback live in the chat-room and also in advance in the OP comments section.*

We will be giving out some really awesome prizes during the 90 minute extended Hangout, and all you have to do to qualify for one is to come hang out with us in the IRC chatroom during the broadcast.  Be sure to join us, no matter what the weather brings… the link to the hangout will be provided in the original post before the hangout begins.

*Please keep in mind that questions and feedback related to Release 24 specific topics will be given priority and really verbose questions may be skipped, as they can be a challenge to shorten and summarize live on the air. In brief… please keep your questions… brief.

Athanil’s Arena Construction 101

The Beran League is back with their ever popular Bear Tavern Brawl PvP tournament (scheduled for December 12), and this time they are hosting it in their BearTavernBrawl_zps50d44443[1]amazing new arena constructed by guild member, Athanil. The Bear Tavern hosted their first Bear Taven Brawl in the PvP Castle Arena Basement in Owl’s Head just as soon as the PvP combat system was introduced in Release 8 in July 2014.

For next week’s Bear Tavern Brawl tournament, Athanil meticulously constructed an awesome arena in Victory Arena, one of The Beran League’s Player Owned Towns that opened in Release 23.

For those of you that are curious as to how Athanil was able to craft such a complex structure, he graciously provided us with a very detailed walk-thru of the arena construction process (below). Much thanks to Athanil (and to The Beran League for sponsoring the arena, and those community members that assisted him with design feedback and materials) for his efforts in building this amazing arena for the rest of us to enjoy, and for the following detailed description of how he did it!


The Making of the Arena – by Athanil


As promised here is my write up on how I made the arena. I will be using a lot of pictures since it’s easier to explain things.

Once I had the idea of making the arena in my head, the first thing I did was test some designs on a lot. I wanted to see what was possible with them and to get a general idea of what I wanted to make. This also helped me to avoid certain issues with blocks when I started building for real. More about that later.

After finally settling on a design, I started working on the arena for real on a castle lot. Now the first thing I did was to determine the absolute center of that lot. I used rough stones fences to achieve that.


Now since my design requires a perfect circle, this center is the most important thing I placed on the lot. I used a short stone cornerstone to be used as the center.

After the center was determined it was time to map out the circle. You do this by creating a frame of rough fences.


Place the rough fences against the center and place another short stone cornerstone. You will end with 8 points that your inner circle is built around. Turn the fences with the CTRL button, since we want points that are at exactly the same distance from each other. Now for smaller arenas, 8 points should be enough, but when using a castle lot you will need more points to get a perfect circle.


As you can see here I placed fences around the 8 points to give me even more points to use. I used corner rough stone walls and some other blocks to create those points. If you look close enough you can see how I did it in the picture above. Do take note that it’s impossible to get those points at the exact spots, so only use these as an indicator, not as set points to build towards.

So, after this most important part of the project is done, it’s finally time to start placing blocks! I started out with placing the arch blocks since you only have to turn them with CTRL to switch their angles and it will give you the end points of the walls. Place them by putting the corner stone in the middle of the opening the arch block has.


Once finished placing all arch blocks I started placing the blocks. Just slightly turn them using the shift button to slow the turning down and then follow the points you’ve set out. Make sure to place them as tightly as possible, and right on the border when green turns into red. Blocks have a slight overlap as well which helps to prevent any openings showing up if done correctly. You might have to get creative to fill up the wall completely though. Fill any gaps with smaller blocks and if that’s not enough use the overlap of the blocks to stretch the wall up. Once finished with a wall, make sure to check if the curve is looking okay.

My wall design for the arena looks like this:


First two rows are single 2x4x4 Dark blocks. I recommend the first 2 rows of blocks for all wall first before moving on to the third and fourth row.

For the third and fourth row, I used 2x4x2 dark blocks and 2x4x4 crafted blocks. This is the point where things get tedious (slightly). There is a bug that changes the angle of stacked items once the items are reloaded. The result you will get is this:


Only the block on top will change angle. To work around this you have to place the bottom block under the angle you need it, place it away from the wall, and then place the top block on top of it. Once the top block is placed you can move it back against the wall. As long as the stack you’ve created isn’t rotated the top blocks won’t change angles. On a side note, only the person placing the items will see this. Weird huh?

Moving on…the 5th and 6th walls are made from 2x4x4 blocks as well, two on top of each other. 2x4x4’s are really the best blocks to build large curved structures with.

Once all the walls are completed it’s time to finish up the towers.



All I basically did was add some blocks to the arch blocks to make it look nice.

After finishing the towers, all that’s left is to make things look better, add some stairs, and make some royal boxes.


All-in-all, around 1,100 items were needed to construct the arena, and the inner arena circle is slightly shorter than the length of a city lot.

Personally, I’m pretty happy with the end result. As you can see, the interior of the arena can be decorated in a variety of styles, allowing for all kinds of events.


I hope this is enough information on how I created the arena, if not, feel free to send me your questions!


Smack’s SotA Standup Archive


Shortly after we announced last week about the SotA Standup Notes moving to the public forum “Shroud of the Avatar Announcements and Dev Posts”, community member Smack unveiled a public Google spreadsheet chronicling those notes, conveniently sorted by date and team member. Smack’s spreadsheet really makes it easy to see any particular team member’s contributions over the life of the project. Thanks Smack!

SuperMicro Server Blades of the Avatar

[From a Forum Post by Starr Long]


As many of you know, we moved into new offices recently. The new offices are a sublease from a previous tenant who was acquired by a larger company. The previous tenant left behind 18 SuperMicro Server Blades and instructed us that we were free to use them how we saw fit because they did not want to ship them to their new offices.

These machines are insanely powerful. We are currently using one of them for doing our game builds and it represents a huge increase in our ability to make builds. We are also reserving a few for possible future needs, but even with that we do not need anything close to 18, so we have decided to sell 12 of them on Craigslist. We wanted you to know all of this so there was no room for interpretation should anyone stumble upon the listing.

You can see the listing here: http://austin.craigslist.org/sys/5323033056.html

38 Day Countdown for Winter Reward & Price Expirations

As major milestones such as Alpha and Beta loom ever closer on the horizon, we are announcing the Winter Reward Expiration Event that occurs at 10:30 am CST, January 4, 2016. This event includes the following reward expirations:

  • General Rewards (Custom Crest, Name on Tombstone, Custom Avatar)
  • All Physical Rewards
  • All In-Person Rewards
  • Player Owned Town Add-On Store Houses

Additionally, the price will increase for several Add-On Store items.

[More Winter Reward Expiration details…]

In-game 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 schedule of player events from the Avatar’s Circle Community Events calendar and the Events of the Avatars community calendar:

Recurring Events

  • Vanguard Decoration Contest – R24 / R25
    • Vanguard is hosting a decoration contest. To enter you must place a lot in Vanguard and decorate it as best as you can. If you don’t have a lot / house then you can borrow one for the duration of the contest. If you already have a lot / house then feel free to drop by and take an empty lot. This contest lasts for the whole duration of R24 and R25. 1st Place wins $30 Store Credit! (details)
  • RPOTA Monthly $160 Writing Contest – November Theme is Thanks, Goodwill, and Cooperation
    • Here ye! Here ye! Biographers, Historians, Diplomats, Journalists, Story Writers, Quest Designers and Videographers! RPOTA is in dire need of your amazing talents! Role-Players of the Avatar is hosting a monthly contest to award those most famous with their quill or camera! (details)
  • The Unreliable Travel Guide
    • The Unreliable Travel Guide, created at the SotA Writing Round Table, is not an event, but 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)
  • Avatars Radio (Daily Programming)
    • Welcome New Britannians to Avatars Radio – Radio of the Avatars. Rocking your socks off from the town of Radio City with the Terrestrial and New Britannian bards together under one roof through the power of the Moon Towers.  Check out their daily program of amazing DJs:  http://avatarsradio.info/schedule.php
  • NBNN Lunch with Laz & Jack (Weekdays, 12pm CST)
    • Join NBNN every weekday for Lunch With Laz & Jack. They will be covering the daily goings on in SOTA. Calendar updates, Relevant issues happening in the days news. Come chat with us about upcoming events and general information. http://nbnn.info
  • Daily War Time PVP Event (Daily, 8pm CST – 9pm CST)
    • Invitation to all guilds, PK hunters, PVP’rs or players interested in PVP training to come to Chaos Crossroads (Located at the crossroads outside of Kingsport on the road to Owl’s Head). PVP Event rules: None! Use whatever spells you want, kill in mobs or solo, group with new allies and defend your territory, lure newbies into the town and wack them! (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 (The Bear Tavern; /zone Elgarion De’Khali; details)!
  • Challenge Dungeon Run (Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, 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!
  • PaxLair Working Hours – Host Sean Silverfoot (Tuesdays, 2pm)
    • PaxLair town and community “working hours” are for anyone interested in PaxLair. We will be in New Britannia doing things as a town when many people can work together. Sean Silverfoot hosts this working period. / zone Sean Silverfoot
  • Novian Academy – New Citizen Help Hours (Tuesdays, 6pm CST)
    • /zone Kazyn Phoenixfyre of Novian Academy in Soltown as they provide guidance to those new to the world of New Britannia.
  • Wednesday Knights (Wednesdays, 7pm CST)
    • This will be mainly an impromptu event but on occasion I may plan on doing something ‘knightly’. All will be welcome. Some possibilities include RP, boss hunts, gathering materials & crafting, hat quests, hanging out or whatever people feel up for. (Caer Dracwych; /zone Bowen Bloodgood; 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!
  • Gladiator Wars (Thursdays, 7pm CST)
    • A call to all fighters PVE and PVP! Would you like to participate in the “Gladiator Wars” PvP Tournaments? Registration starts at 6pm CST. (Finchfield; /zone Pestilence; details)
  • Phoenix Republic PVE Nights (Thursdays & Fridays, 7pm CST)
    • Join the Phoenix Republic as we send our weekly foray into the control points, dungeons and other of the most dangerous locales. Each week we will depart to a different PVE locale to help train our combatants. Contact Kazyn Phoenixfyre or Malakas for more info!
  • Novian Academy – Role Play Courses (Fridays, 4pm CST)
    • Luka Melehan is hosting RP classes and practice sessions. (/zone Luka Melehan)
  • Shardfall Madness (Fridays, 6pm CST)
    • A PvP event. Contact Wind Silvermoon for details.
  • Vengeance Madness (Fridays, 7pm 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)
  • Astronomy Event (Fridays, 7:30pm CST)
    • Interested in New Britannia Astronomy? Just enjoy gazing at the stars? Join us every week as we explore the night sky above New Britannia. (Player Town of Caer Dracwych; details)

Saturday, November 28

  • 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
    • High Priestess of Chaos, Amber Raine, and the Dean of the Novian Academy, Kazyn Phoenixfyre, welcome you to the Church of the Dark Star. A shared project, built upon equality, where all are welcome. Services range from what is Chaos and Order to how they affect different aspects of our life. The path you choose is yours. (PaxLair; details)
  • 6:00pm CST Elysium Social Nights – SotA Concert Series!
    • Each Saturday we meet together in Elysium and have a whole series of activities with our friends inside and outside of the island and the republic. Join us this week in Port Phoenix and listen to some of Shroud of the Avatar’s musicians play music from our many varying instrument types. Want to watch? Then take a seat! Got a new piece you want to show off? Come play for the crowd! Want to show off your whole band? Then bring them on out! We will play as little or as much as there is interest! (details)
  • 8:00pm CST Vengeance 1v1 Tournament
    • The longest running Player vs Player tournament in Shroud of the Avatar. (City of Vengeance)
  • 8:00pm CST Gladiator Tournament
    • Hosted by The Weeping Seven, held in Chaos Crossroads. Purchase your Entry ticket from the Vendor outside the arena in Chaos Crossroads and your name will be entered for the follow Saturday’s Tournament. 1st Place wins 40% of Entry Fee total. (City of Chaos Crossroads; details)

Sunday, November 29

  • 5:30am CST Explore Novia! with royalsexy
    • Starting at the entrance to Owl’s Head, come explore the wide world of Novia – for people on our side of the calendar! (Dancing Rock, Owl’s Head Entrance, /zone royalsexy)
  • 8:30am 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)
  • 11:00am CST Phoenix Republic Weekly Teamspeak Meeting
    • A Gathering of members of the Phoenix Republic to cover important topic areas of the month. It is here that the republic shall discuss new event types, ideas on new laws and other concerns effecting the Phoenix Republic. (Republic Town Hall, Port Phoenix, teamspeak at ts3.portphoenix.com)
  • 1:00pm CST Serenite Shopping Extravaganza
    • Shopping Extravaganza at the Serenite Selfridge Mall. Crafters will be available for special orders.
  • 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 (/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! (Blackrock Cove on Novia near Etceter Crag Mines, 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. (Blackrock Cove on Novia near Etceter Crag Mines, details)
  • 6:00pm CST Grunvald, Drachvald, and Midmaer Regional Economy Meeting
    • As this is the first of many meetings, we will spend some time doing a meet and greet. Each town in these three regions will get a couple minutes to introduce themselves, explain what they are about, and provide some insight/ideas on how they would like our regional economy to work. (Serenite; /zone EternalKnight; 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 fishing spot or pond, /zone Winfield; details)

Be sure and check out the Release 24 Events thread in the SotA forums for additional events that may not be included here.

Upcoming Events

2015.12.17 – Release 25
2016.01.28 – Release 26
2016.02.25 – Release 27
2016.03.17 – SXSW Gaming

Recommended Projects to Back

Descent: Underground

Eric “Wingman” Peterson and team are bringing back six-degrees-of-freedom combat by blasting 90’s action game favorite, Descent, into the 21st Century with current-generation gaming technology. Descent: Underground is more than a graphics upgrade. Get ready for multiple types of customizable ships! Prepare for upgradable weapons and sensors with richly-detailed tech trees. Brace yourself for destructible voxel maps with new power-ups and mod tools to make your own maps and more!


  1. enderandrewenderandrew

    Love the update. I’m really impressed what my fellow Beran League member has done with the arena.

    The previous reference to hell in another update was rescinded and New Britannia has no religion. I’m a little surprised to see the term Demon, which carries religious connotations. If they popped up in this game, I expected we’d see the Ultima spelling of Daemon. I’d love to see a good lore explanation for how they’re different and what they represent in this setting without the traditional archetypical afterlives or hell.

  2. Amber RaineAmber Raine

    1) LOVE LOVE LOVE the fact that the demon was first inspired by that from a world many of us are quite accustomed to! I was hoping to see more creatures had some how made it to these new lands! Good on ya for that!

    What has since been created is purely – Freaking marvellous work! I love the face! Can we have that in mask ;)

    Curious if there are any plans to try to convert any other of our “frenemies” from lands long lost? Ssssslithering friendssss perhapssss?

    2) Selling off the unnecessary blades on Craigslist sounds like a good idea, anyone that questions it needs a spoon to the forehead. Anything that helps to bring in some extra money for the team seems like a logical idea in my head.

    But then I am usually not the most mentally “logical” person.

  3. EriadorEriador

    I love the Arena of Athanil. Its construction remind me when I built the red ziggurat. At the top of that ziggurat LB promised blocks, I still remember very well, and now we can see works like this one. =)

Comments are closed.