Update of the Avatar #159 – 2016.01.15: SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT, Dysborg Ruins, Paladis Shardfall, Grasslands Template, Telethon Rewards, and More!

Greetings Fellow Avatars!

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

  • SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT: SotA Release Schedule Update
  • Dysborg Ruins
  • The Making of Paladis Shardfall
  • Kobold Architecture
  • Sojourner Tales Printing Press
  • Player Owned Towns: Grasslands Template
  • The Wondrous Winter Telethon of the Avatar!
  • Many Thanks For the Awesome Holiday Party!
  • Lunar New Year Replenishing Fireworks Boxes
  • In-game Community Events
  • Upcoming Events
  • Recommended Projects to Back


SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT: SotA Release Schedule Update

We are working diligently on detailing our schedule for 2016. We plan to provide you with an update as soon as next week (but definitely before the end of January). We are very excited because this schedule will include the date of our final wipe as well as the start days and times for final lot selection.


Dysborg Ruins

The Dysborg Ruins, located in northwest Novia, near the mouth of the Tears River, will be featured in an upcoming Release. Level Designer Richard Matey shared these work-in-progress images:

SotA_Dysborg_Ruins_1

SotA_Dysborg_Ruins_2


The Making of Paladis Shardfall

[From a Dev+ Forum Post by Esteben “SorcerousSteve” Zaldivar]

Hey guys, its SorcerousSteve here with a teaser shot of the upcoming Paladis Shardfall!

The Paladis Shardfall is located in North Paladis at the confluence of where the Fortus River and the Sanctus River meet. Ominous obsidian shards float above the crater, site of a great cataclysm that happened long ago, now overrun with alien life.

SotA_Paladis_Shardfall_SneakPeek

Stay tuned for more…

Esteben Zaldivar
Level Designer


Kobold Architecture

The kobolds of Novia are a unique race. Not a construct of the Obsidians like the elves or the trolls, the kobolds emerged after the Cataclysm from their underground cities – how they survived the disaster, and what horrors they went through in the aftermath, only they could say, and they will not.

The kobolds are a fiercely proud race, and a deeply honorable one. Yet in the brief time that humans and kobolds existed at peace, humans treated the kobolds poorly. No human has ever been able to learn the kobold language, so kobolds learned the speech of man, and were mocked for doing so poorly. They gave the knowledge of their technology and industry freely – for the kobolds were always superior engineers and craftsmen – and were mocked for not holding out for a better price. They were mocked and beaten for being smaller than humans, but their society was always more united than any human one.

And finally, from that unity, the kobolds, as one, decided that humans could not be trusted to share Novia. And ever since, the Knights of Norgard, the first and only line of defense of humanity against the new threat, have never, ever mocked kobolds again…

– From the Journals of Arabella

As Richard Matey worked on North Varisalla Foothills he wanted to indicate a Kobold presence that was more permanent than just a camp, so we needed more Kobold architecture than just some tents that we see in other places. So Bob Cooksey has begun building out our kobold architectural set, starting with the building shown below. Kobold architecture is characterized by liberal use of finished metals and stitched leather. Future releases will see more buildings and walls in the kobold style as we prepare to build Skrekk Cavern, which is the capital of the Kingdom of Korabar, the King of the Kobolds.

SotA_Kobold_Architecture_House


Sojourner Tales Printing Press

Sojourner Tales

As promised during the Sojourner Tales Kickstarter campaign, all Kickstarter backers of Sojourner Tales at the $20 level and above who also backed SotA at the Adventurer level and above are receiving a unique Sojourner themed in-game item. That item is this Sojourner printing press that will print player-created books inscribed with the Sojourner Tales cover art:

SotA_Sojourner_Tales_Printing_Press

SotA_Sojourner_Tales_Book_orig


Player Owned Towns: Grasslands Template

Michael Hutchison shared the following work-in-progress images for the Grasslands Player Owned Town template:

SotA_Grasslands_template_1

In the above image, the blue outlined areas represent contiguous flat space, while each of the large rectangles within would represent a city lot sized area. Many of those are doubled up as if to show keep lots – this is really just supposed to help give perspective on how large each flat area is. There are a few town and village areas shown – again, just to show what might be able to fit there.

All told, the potential flat space in the Grassland template is in excess of 183,600 square meters!

SotA_Grasslands_template_2

SotA_Grasslands_template_3

Here is a cool panoramic video that Michael made of the Grasslands template, from the perspective of one of the bridges near the center of the map:


The Wondrous Winter Telethon of the Avatar!

(Warning: Telethon videos are Rated PG-13 for Alcoholic Content)

We had a fun-filled, information-packed, fund-raising, shot-guzzling Winter Telethon of the Avatar this past Monday, January 11th, from 10am to 10pm CST!

$28,000: Telethon Funds Raised

At the beginning of the Telethon we announced the special Telethon Funding Stretch Goal Rewards! These rewards are going to any backer that pledged a minimum of $5 from the start of the telethon, until Midnight January 12. Thanks to our backers’ tremendous generosity, we achieved two out of three of the Telethon Funding Stretch Goal Rewards (to be delivered in Release 27):

  • Achieved!  $10,000 – /snow emote
  • Achieved!  $25,000 – Snowflake Cloak (increases length of /snow emote)
  • $50,000 – Ice Nightmare Mount (frozen coconuts with icy mist plus white horse head with icy, misting eyes)

We gave away lots of prizes during the Telethon, including:

Hourly Prizes:

  • Signed T-Shirts (these t-shirts will have the SotA black & white cover art shown at the beginning of this update)
  • Challenge Coins
  • $10 Add-On Store Credits
  • Richard Garriott ISS Patches
  • Richard Garriott ISS Sticker
  • Richard Garriott ISS Coin
  • Richard Garriott ISS Postcard
  • Festival of the Silver Serpent Coins
  • Lord British and Blackthorn collector cards from HoBloth 1
  • Razer Chroma Gear:
    • Orbweaver Gaming Keypad
    • Kraken Headset
    • Mamba Mouse
    • Blackwidow Keyboard
    • Firefly Mousepad

Richard Garriott Memorabilia (given out after Telethon funds reached $20,000)

  • Printer Card from Richard’s original Apple ][
  • Custom Kraft Mac & Cheese Box with Lord British Picture and named “The Cheesiest”
  • And 2 inches off Richard’s famous rat-tail (cut off live during the Telethon) to be delivered in a reliquary!!!!!

Big Prizes:

  • Collector Pledge
  • Ancestor Pledge
  • Lord Pledge

Here’s the schedule of events and topics covered, all of which you can watch in the above videos:

  • 10:00 am CST: Welcome! Meet the Devs/Office Tour
  • 11:00 am CST: R25 Post Mortem
  • 12:30 am CST: ONBE and Royal Warrant awards
  • 1:00 pm CST: Lunch with the Team! Tabletop Gaming Session & IRC Q&A/AMA session with the Devs!
  • 2:30 pm CST: Deep Dive: Combat, Spells, Skills
  • 4:00 pm CST: Deep Dive: Gear Crafting & Economy; Kickoff the Community Sponsored Portalarium Holiday Part (4pm thru 8pm CST)
  • 5:00 pm CST: Deep Dive: Agriculture & Food
  • 6:00 pm CST: Scenes and Story
  • 7:30 pm CST: Deep Dive: Player Housing and Player Owned Towns
  • 9:00 pm CST: Deep Dive: PVP & Guild Warfare
  • 10:00 pm CST: Goodbyes and Thank Yous with everyone still standing!

Our deepest thanks to all of you that participated and contributed to our Winter Telethon of the Avatar!


Many Thanks For the Awesome Holiday Party!

20160111PortPartyHandbill01

Holiday Party Handbill, page 1 (by Winfield & Themo Lock)

Held during the Telethon was the awesome Community Sponsored Portalarium 2015 Holiday Party! From 4pm to 8pm (okay, maybe it stretched to 10pm), local backers, and even remote backers, partied with the SotA Dev Team. We can’t thank all of you enough (starting with the ringleader, Kacey), for the generous contributions of your time, energy, funds, and food! We had great fun at this truly memorable event!

Be sure to check out Kacey’s Holiday Party forum post for more details about all the participants and contributors, the real world and in-game events, streamed videos, pictures, and more. Here are a few sample pics:

20160111PortPartyHandbill02a

Holiday Party Handbill, page 2, Active Team Members (by Winfield & Themo Lock)

SotA_HolidayParty4

SotA_HolidayParty2

SotA_HolidayParty5

SotA_HolidayParty1


Lunar New Year Replenishing Fireworks Boxes

SotA_2016_Winter_Fireworks

In keeping with our plan to expand the variety of fireworks, we are introducing these rocket and ground missile fireworks just in time to celebrate the Lunar New Year. The goal is to give players enough variety that they can produce their own fireworks shows (with musical accompaniment of course!).

Currently available in the Add-On Store for the 2016 Winter season are these replenishing boxes of fireworks:

  • replenishing green rocket fireworks box (contains fifty green rockets)
  • replenishing red ground missile fireworks box (contains fifty packs of 60-count red ground missiles)
  • replenishing yellow ground missile fireworks box (contains fifty packs of 60-count yellow ground missiles)

SotA_2016_Winter_Fireworks_Bundle3


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 $170 Writing Contest – January Janus Creation Contest features Cataclysm or Survival Themes!
    • 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, 10am & 7pm CST)
    • This is a self-host event that meets at the Braemar Cemetery. Join whoever can make it for a dungeon run, adventure or something along those lines. Come prepared for combat. Learn how to set up your combat system if you need help.
  • Novian Academy – New Citizen Outreach (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, 6pm 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, 8pm 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, /zone Bowen Bloodgood; details)

Saturday, January 16

  • 6:00am CST Wake Up New, Britannia!!! With Woftam and Selene
    • Woftam and Selene Noctua broadcast on AvatarsRadio from the Wake Up New Britannia Studio in Owlshead (right behind the crafting pavillion). Includes Interviews with the Community, Contests for in-game Gold, What’s new for the week in New Britannia, and your Best Bets for SotA weekend events! (details)
  • 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. (Alternate weekends at PaxLair and Port Phoenix; details)
  • 12:00pm CST Beran League Construction – Harvest & Craft
    • A weekly craft & harvest event for the purpose of supporting all towns, guilds and player run establishments within the Beran League! All harvested materials, crafted items and decorative items purchased will be collected and sorted in a specially designated warehouse. Town owners, guild leaders and proprietors of the Beran League (and those designated by them) will have access. (Meet at the Bear Tavern in High Rock or /zone Bowen Bloodgood; details)
  • 6:00pm CST Port Phoenix: Social Nights
    • Come out and join the republic in one of many potential events (chosen new each week). Each week we get together for everything from fishing, to music, to gustball to PVE duneoneering and adventuring. (Contact Kazyn Phoenixfyre for details)

Sunday, January 17

  • 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 clock!
  • 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; teamSpeak: 43.245.163.15:10099)
  • 2:00pm CST The Bear Tavern – January Party
    • We’re laying on an extra Tavern event in an effort to get people through the misery of January! All are welcome to attend, with free drinks and some music to get the party going. Fancy performing? We have the perfect venue!
  • 2:30pm CST Gustball Training
    • Want to learn how to play Gustball? Need some tips on how to improve your deck or hone your skills on the field! Join Coach Sheamus McGuinness of EVLs for a 30 minute Gustball lesson and practice session just before the big game at 3pm (/zone Sheamus McGuinness)
  • 3:00pm CST Gustball
    • The game of Gustball is a great community event, not dissimilar from soccer or football, where Avatars of all levels & skill can compete in a fun, friendly game that uses the Gust skill (1st level Air Magic spell) to blow a Gustball into your opponents goal. (/whisper or /zone Sand, Sheamus McGuinness, or 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)
  • 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 25 Events thread in the SotA forums for additional events that may not be included here.


Upcoming Events

2016.01.28 – Release 26
2016.02.25 – Release 27
2016.03.16 – GDC 2016
2016.03.17 – SXSW Gaming
2016.03.31 – Release 28
2016.04.22 – PAX East
2016.04.29 – Release 29
2016.05.27 – Release 30


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19 Comments







  1. Amber RaineAmber Raine

    I so want that kobold house, that is so very sweet looking.. best house to date so far!! Well done!!

    Sad to see the videos did not get added to the update. Supposed Dallas did not want to have tears in his eyes again :: smiles ::

    Also YaY!!! Release !! I predict 4th week of September …

    1. Sara DreygonSara Dreygon

      I agree about the houses! If there was going to be a house I would want to replace my Benefactor Lord house it’d be a Town-sized Kobold version.

      Make it so.


  2. ChirpChirp

    “Michael Hutchison shared the following work-in-progress images for the Grasslands Player Owned Town template” … where was this, and the discussion around it? I cannot find it in the forum, sorry.

    I was waiting for a grassy template, without the vast amounts of trees. But please, a coastal one. I have no use for this inner land setting as presented in this update now. Or let me chop down all the trees in the current forest template :)

    1. Horton IrongateHorton Irongate

      Amen Chrip,

      I’ve been waiting and waiting for the Grass Land Temp to come out. I want to be able to see my whole town. Coastal is best, since I have boats or give us a little larger canal for those Knight or Duke water homes!


  3. Kendric Darrow

    The Kobold house looks great and it makes me think of Kobold’s right away which is cool.

    As someone who has been patiently waiting for the grassland biome its been worth the wait, I had hoped for A LOT of flat area with a lake/river which it has so I’m a happy camper!


  4. CrazyPhilCrazyPhil

    Dysborg Ruins, Paladis Shardfall, and Kobold Architecture?!? Finally! Some more unique-looking content!

    Don’t get me wrong, I like traditional fantasy stuff, but I absolutely love when things start to get weird! Especially that black goo-fungus crawling all over the stonework and of course the alien plant life of the already delicious-looking shardfalls. Absolutely beautiful. I want MORE!!!! :D






  5. AstrobiaAstrobia

    I do hope you guys realise you aren’t going to be able to play the alpha/beta card after final wipe. Regardless of what you try to call it that’s when people are going to start reviewing the game as officially launched.

    1. Baron Drocis FondorlatosBaron Drocis Fondorlatos

      That’s a good point. If there’s persistence of character progression, and world assets, it’s a launch in the eyes of gamers. I too hope we’re not trying to play a game of semantics.

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