Release 26 Instructions

[A SotA Public Forum post by Starr Long]

Darkstarr

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 26 access for all backers at First Responder level and above begins this Thursday, January 28, at 10:30 AM US Central Time (16:30 UTC).

We decided to start 2016 with a BANG by making Release 26 one of our biggest releases to date! The world expanded with five completely new scenes including new segments in the Truth and Courage storylines (along with polish across multiple scenes). We also made over 100 playability tweaks to combat to address responsiveness, playability, and balance. On top of that, we migrated to the new crafting architecture which unlocked a huge swathe of crafting changes and additions.

Yet again, I want to express a huge amount of gratitude to our Dev+ backers who tested all of the items below on the QA server and uncovered lots of bugs. They also provided editorial feedback on this post, so they are a big reason that this post actually matches what is in the game, and that it is easy to read.

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 the 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 SotA_PlayerEventsBookaddressing 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 R26 deliverables.

Key:

  • 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 26, January 28, 2016

  • Full Wipe: Once again we are going to make some fundamental changes to item and quest architecture that require us to do a full wipe for Release 26. We apologize for the inconvenience. Please note that if you have been waiting to convert add-ons to store credit, this is your chance to do so as long as you do NOT login once R26 goes live (which automatically claims the items and prevents conversion to credit).
    • Full Wipe (except social): We wiped all player data including inventory and housing. Social information (friends and guilds) will remain intact. If you have Add On Store items you wish to convert to credit, then you can do so on the Shroud of the Avatar website three times this week. Remember to do it before you login to the game server (Live or QA) since that will make all add on store items “claimed in game.” Also please note that if you upgraded a property owning pledge since the last wipe, you ended up with extra lot deeds which will have now been wiped (lot deeds do not stack). Your current deed amount will match your purchases when R26 goes live. Please note that because we are wiping offers multiple times this week you will end up with multiple sets of rewards. Here are the days/times when we will wipe offer data to allow conversion to store credit:
      • Monday January 25 11:00 AM CST (this was announced on forums)
      • Wednesday January 27 7:00 PM CST
      • Thursday January 28 9:00 AM CST
    • Experience bonus: As with past releases, players will get a quadruple experience bonus based on their achievements in the previous release cycle. This means until you reach the same level of experience you had in past releases, you will earn base experience + 300% extra experience!
  • SotA_SkillsSpells & Skills: We will continue to make a pass through the skill trees and add new skills, balance existing skills, and replace less useful skills.
    • Combat Speed: Melee combat in R26 will be much faster than in previous releases. Magic will be slightly faster but more powerful than before.  Damage per second is up on both sides but players will need to pay attention to managing their focus as it is now much easier to completely deplete your focus!
    • Free Attack Speed and Damage: Auto-attack and a standard free attack will do the same damage per hit but free attack can be done slightly faster. Charged free attacks (click and hold) now charge faster and do slightly more damage than before. With the current settings, well timed free attacks will do about 10% more than auto attack, and very well timed charged attacks will do about 10% more than the uncharged free attacks.
    • Deck Swapping: Now uses 10% focus (versus 50%) and can be used while moving and takes half as long.
    • Click on Self: Defaults to “off” for “click on self to target self.”
    • Buff Channels / Limits: We now have the ability to define buff channels and categorize them. This means we can have separate stacking limits for magic versus combat versus food.
    • Consider System: Name plates on enemies will now show the level difference between the enemy and the player. Level Difference = Monster Level – Player Level.  We are considering moving this to be an active skill in the future but for R26 it will always show:
      • Less than -20  = GREEN
      • -20 to +10 = BLUE
      • +11 to +30 = YELLOW
      • More than +30 = RED
      • Non-Hostile stuff and other players = WHITE
    • Decay: The decay system has changed significantly R25 had a number of issues that caused decay to accrue larger amounts than should have been allowed.  Those issues have been resolved. Skills will only decay/decrease to level 20 and caps at 72 hours of accumulated decay
    • Skill Advancement Modes: Players can now toggle the advancement mode for each skill between three states (regardless of any dependent skills):
      • Training: Applies experience points from the accumulated pool when used.
      • Maintaining: Will apply only enough experience from your experience pool to keep the skill at its current level.
      • Not Training: Lets the skill decay so that experience points are never used on it.
    • Combat: Combat got a lot of changes including balance, new skills, better targeting, etc
      • Free Attack: This is now the starting default. We also added a key to toggle between free and auto attacks.
      • Multi Shot: Ranged attack that hits multiple targets.
      • Rapid Fire: Ranged attack that sends a stream of arrows at the target in rapid succession.
      • /assist: Players can now write this command in the chat window to match targets. This will also be tied to a hotkey for quick access. Players can also do /assist <player name> to target a specific player’s target as well as assist NPC’s to see who they might be attacking.
      • Ranged Attack Targeting: This now picks the best target in front of you if none is selected. When in free attack mode and your weapon is drawn, the game will automatically highlight the closest enemy based on your camera’s perspective. Upon releasing a ranged attack, it will act as if you had selected the target from the beginning. This feature allows you to attack combative targets without manually selecting them.
      • Arrows: For better balance, arrows are now sold in bundles/quivers. This allows us to sell individual arrows for much less than a gold piece.
      • Specialty Arrows Removed: We have removed the specialty arrows that were needed for the archer special attacks. All attacks now just consume 1(or more!) arrows.  
      • SotA_PickPocketsPickpocket: Increased pickpocket caught stun effect to 30 seconds from 20. If target moves during pickpocket attempt then pickpocket attempt fails. NPCs will now notice players trying to pickpocket them.
      • Crystal Swords: Now flagged 2 handed to fix offhand exploit. Also only hits a single target now.
      • Offhand Defense: This skill has had its Damage Resistance decreased to be more inline with our current target values.
      • Splintering Strike: Now always applies debuff instead of only applying it half the time.
      • Piercing Breeze: Damage has been doubled to match the aimed shot.  Still includes the long range gust effect.
      • Breaker: The passive skill Breaker in the Bludgeon tree was working but the amount of the effect was off by an order of magnitude!  This has now been corrected.
      • Shock Arrow: This combo has had its range increased to more closely match normal bow ranges.
      • Taming: Taming got several enhancements.
        • Heal Creature and Resurrect Creature: These now also work on players but at much reduced effectiveness.
        • Target Switching: Fixed bug that was keeping tamed creatures from switching targets when commanded.
        • Summon Cooldown: Base cooldown decreased from 1 hour to 15 minutes.
        • Summon Timers: These no longer reset on scene transition.
    • Magic: Magic got several enhancements including balance and a new spell.
      • Summon Chaos Daemon: Masters of Chaos Magic can now summon a powerful Chaos Daemon to fight for them.
      • Magic Dodging & Blocking: Spells had their attack logic refactored so spells can now miss or be blocked in some circumstances. Some magic spells can now be dodged, blocked by shields, or even parried. In PVE situations with large level differences, there is a chance the spell will just miss. This possibility doesn’t start until the PVE target is 20 levels higher than the player and then gradually increases.
      • Spell Critical Damage: Spell criticals have had their damage normalized somewhat. The highs will be slightly less high but the lows will be higher.
      • Attunement: The effect curve for attunement has been made slightly more steep. This means that having a significantly higher attunement than your target will show even larger gains.
      • Reagents: Brace yourself, large changes are coming! Tier 3+ spells now REQUIRE reagents. The good news is that they are only infrequently consumed. Tier 3 spells generally can generally be cast around 20 times on a set of reagents before they are consumed. As part of this we also reduced the price of reagents across the board. We’ll be watching this closely to see if it has the desired effect.
      • SotA_ShieldofAirShield of Air: Shield of Air has had its focus drain ability removed and the conversion rate for low skill levels has increased slightly. A significant air attunement buff is also now included.
      • Earth’s Embrace: The damage resistance effect has been reduced significantly but the duration has been increased. A significant earth attunement buff is also now included.
      • Air Magic: In keeping with the fast nature of the air school, all air attack spells now receive a small bonus based on your dexterity.
      • Earth Magic: In keeping with the powerful physical nature of earth magic, all earth magic attack spells now include a small bonus based on strength.
      • Tap Soul: The effect of tap soul has been increased significantly. This goes both for the life drain and the focus gain.
      • Root: Overall duration reduced for all rooting effects to fix the “permanent” root exploit.
      • Bulwark of Earth: Reduced damage resistance effect by 30%.
      • Slow Movement Effect: Increased the effect by 25% to make it more noticeable. Also made it so strength now decreases the effect.
      • Animal Charm: Now breaks if target takes damage.
      • Healing Grace: Tuned down brightness of VFX that were blocking screen.
      • Blink and Distract: These skills now properly advance when used.
      • Wands and Staves: Wands and staves have completely changed in function. They are now bludgeons and no longer have a weak ranged attack. Additionally they act as powerful magical foci that can greatly enhance a caster’s abilities.
      • Healing/Focus Potions: Greatly reduced in cost.  Additionally, both the use time and the cooldown times have been reduced.  Drink up!  
      • Magic School Play Style Enhancements: Each magic school received a few small tweaks that offer benefits to specializing and playing in the style of the school.
        • Fire, Water, Earth, Air: The “shield” style spells for these were all moved to tier 3 and had their durations and focus cost normalized. These shield spells also all now include an Attunement bonus! Surround yourself with the elements for optimal firepower! (Immolation, Embrace of Earth, Shield of Ice, and Shield of Air are the shield spells for the schools)
        • Life: Life healing spells now get a bonus to them based on the time since you last did damage to any opponent. This will ramp up over about a minute to a 33% bonus.
        • Death: Death gets the most exciting and challenging play style. Most death magic gets a buff based on how close to dead you are! This is to benefit those who truly want to live the optimal necromancer lifestyle of turning their life into focus and then draining the life from enemies to replenish their life. Live on the edge Death magic fanatics! What could go wrong?
        • Sun/Moon: These already had some bonuses for sun and moon and received only minor tweaks.
  • Story: More polish passes will be made on existing maps for balance and story support. We will also continue to expand the story with new scenes, including the towns of Resolute and Aerie.
    • SotA_Resolute_1Resolute: The city of Resolute is the next destination for a new avatar following the Path of Courage. Holding an amulet of testimony from a dying Knight of Norgard, the player finds a fortified town held by his companions in arms and begins to learn about what threatens that noble order, both from within and without. The geothermal vents in the area have been harnessed to generate power using Kobold technology. Knights of Norgard maintaining watch in Resolute proudly display a mighty statue of Grannus, the Titan of Courage, in the main square.Quests in this area will take new avatars on the Path of Courage back to the scene of the Battle of Highvale to assist the Knights in retaking the village.  
    • SotA_Aerie_P2_2Aerie: The city of Aerie is situated on the tip of the Longfall Peninsula, surrounded by prairies and swamps and heavily reliant on wind power. Aerie is the City of Truth, and a key stop for players seeking the secret of bonesteel discovered in Blood River. The largest city in the Verdantis plain, and for a long time the hub of commerce and daily life in the region, the people there are most recently concerned of the elven settlers north of the city—some counsel coexistence, some warn of war. In the face of prejudice and fear, truth can take more than one shade… Please note that not all NPCs may be complete for this scene on day one of R26.
    • SotA_North_Varisalla_1North Varisalla Foothills: This adventuring area in the Varisalla foothills was once rich in copper and other ores, but a massive Satyr-run mining operation in the area effectively stripped the land bare over several decades. The miners, primarily Faun slaves, were forced to work daily shifts of 12 hours or more, even after it became apparent that the ore in the area had been over mined. Even after productivity had hit bottom, the Satyrs refused to abandon the mines in the belief that a “motherlode” was still to be found. Over the decades, the entire area became honeycombed with an interconnected network of tunnels. Several years ago, a poorly reinforced mine shaft was constructed very close to an underground lake. The shaft’s wall was breached and the lake water quickly filled it and all connected tunnels. Hundreds of miners and their overseers were killed. The mining operation was finished, but rumors still inspired Kobolds and other scavengers to search the area for the never-found motherlode.
    • SotA_SanctusSpine_6Sanctus Spine: This control point is located on the mountainous border of where South Paladis meets North Paladis and controls traffic flowing between the two regions. Recently, Kobolds have seized control of this important landmark and seek to stop any humans moving through the narrow pass.
    • Dysborg Ruins (PVP): Rumours say that Dysborg was once a great city of valiant fighters loyal to Lord British and his ancient SotA_Dysborg_Ruins_1Virtues. Sadly, Dysborg fell in ancient times. It is not known if Dysborg was overtaken by the Obsidian Cabal that rose 200 years ago, or crumbled on its own, under the corrupting power of the Obsidian Shards still seen within its walls. The Dysborg ruins remain a place of ruin and strife, generally avoided in modern times by those who fear falling prey to its corrupting influence.
    • Target Highlight vs. Conversation Mode: NPCs no longer display the target highlight visual when you are in conversation mode with them.
    • Polish:
      • Etceter: We made a polish pass through the scene to better define roads and improve textures. We also added ruins on a hill behind town to more accurately reflect the town’s history (as described in Blade of the Avatar). We also deleted a duplicate version of this scene that was causing some players to have overlapping lot ownership.
      • North Grunvald Barrens: Updated to dynamic spawns for NPCs and resources, added new Discoveries and Points of Interest.
      • Bloodriver and Highvale: These scenes have been upgraded to the new water system.
      • Discoveries and Points of Interest: These were added/polished for the following scenes:
        • Ardoris Sewers
        • Solania Catacombs
        • Kingsport Sewers
        • Northmarsh
        • Southern Grunvald Barrens
        • Verdantis Shardfall
        • Spectral Foothills
        • Spectral Mines
        • Vertas Pass
        • East Perennial Trail
        • South Celestial Wetlands
        • Novia Overworld
        • Hidden Vale Overworld
        • Solace Forest
        • East Veiled Swamp
        • Necropolis Barrens
      • Control Points: Polished the timing and content of the enemy waves for all control points.
      • Brave Coast: Removed duplicate scene that was causing some overlapping lot ownership issues.
      • Necropolis Barrens: Various visual and playability improvements were made to the scene including updating foliage to speedtrees and adding spider webs.
      • Tier Markers: These indications of the difficulty of a scene were added to the following:
        • Deep Savrenoc Timberland
        • Spectral Mountains
        • Spectral Foothills
        • Solace Forest
        • South Celestial Wetlands
        • East Veiled Swamp
        • Restless Woods
        • Necropolis Barrens
  • Player Homes and Player-Owned Towns: We will add another town template along with some more tools to customize your town.
    • Grasslands Template: This newest template is a rolling grassland with a river running through it and has the largest placeable area of any of the templates. Please note that Hometown is now a Grassland Template.
    • Dynamic POT Tools Delayed: Property Taxes took more time than originally estimated, so we had to delay the POT tools we hoped to work on (ex. Choosing Starting Point).
    • Property Tax: Once a deed is used to claim a lot, property ownership will incur regular fees (unless you are using a tax free deed from a pledge). If these fees are not paid, the player will lose their lot claim, and their possessions placed on that property (including the lot deed, the house and all placed decorations) will be moved to the local bank. Note that inactivity timer for Tax Free lots has been increased to 4 months!
    • 3 New Player Homes: We added a few new player homes to the game.
      • Kobold Dwelling Village Home: This village sized home is built in the Kobold industrial style.
      • Round Tower Village Home: This village sized home is built using one of the towers from the Castle Wall kit.
      • Stone Keep Town Home: This town sized home is built using one of the towers from the Castle Wall kit.
    • Replenishing Box Permissions: Fireworks, Cornucopia, Snowball, etc. are now all tied to lot permissions when placed on a lot.
    • Island Template Polish: We went through and flattened more areas in Island 01 template
    • Ladderless Castle Wall Kit : We created another wall kit that removes the ladders, adds stairs (as placeable pieces), and adds a few new specialty pieces including a wedge (45-degree corner), T-junctions, and inwards facing corners. These new specialty pieces plus the stairs are also going to be added to the first kit expanding it from 17 pieces to 35. The White and Dark versions are available in the add-on store while the standard version will be craftable in game in R27. Please note that we will be giving this new set (including all the new specialty pieces) to Dukes and Lords of the Manor in addition to the original ladder kit.
    • SotA_Yew_Tree“Yew” Tree: When we created the Island POT template, one of the first towns to use it was the Duchy of Dara Brae and as part of their requests we created a giant version of the Oak speedtree (there are no Yew speedtrees, sadly). When they recently decided to move from Custom Static to Dynamic so they could freely change their lot placement, we worked with them to make their iconic tree a placeable decoration (shown here in a Castle Lot). This tree is now available for purchase from the Add-On Store.
    • Dynamic vs Custom Static POT: We added a choice to the Player-Owned Towns Submission Form (BETA) so owners can choose whether they want their town to be Dynamic or Custom Static.
    • Founder/Benefactor Plaques: After several requests from backers, we have now flagged these for exterior and interior placement.
    • Underground 01 POT Map: There is now an in-game map of the Underground 01 POT Template.
    • Water Lot Markers Fix: These can now be placed again in POTs.
    • Checkers: To go with the chess set, we created checkers in life sized and tabletop versions.
    • Dynamic Player-Owned Towns: We added another round of dynamic Player Owned Towns to the game. We also fixed issues, converted biomes, added connections, and upgraded sizes of several POTs. Here’s a complete list of all changes as well as POT location maps for Novia and Hidden Vale.
      • Ager Mori: New addition.
      • Antilles Cove: New Addition (under Pirate’s Den).
      • Beran’s Reach: Renamed (formerly Victory Arena). Upgraded to Metropolis.
      • Blackbear Cove (Sea Cave): Interconnection (with Blackbear Cove (Surface)).
      • Blackrock Cove: Interconnection (with Hy-Brasil, Obsidian Ridge, and Stonegate).
      • Bloodstone: Changed owner. Renamed (formerly Hidden Oasis). Converted to Grasslands. Upgraded to Village. Changed location. Interconnection (Portus Mori).
      • Bravehaven: Removed interconnection with Rift’s End (too far apart).
      • Brewood: Converted to Grasslands.
      • R26Map_of_Novia_POTCaladruin: Interconnection (nested in Resolute).
      • Carmel: New addition. Nested in Brittany Graveyard.
      • Château du Lys: Interconnection (with BattleDale).
      • Concord Haven: New addition.
      • Cornerstone: Converted to Swamp.
      • Cottage Grove: Converted to Grasslands.
      • Covenant of the Phoenix: New addition.
      • Dara Brae: Converted to generic Island template.
      • Dark Hart: New addition.
      • Dawn’s Keep: Changed Location.
      • Diamond Fields: Converted to Island.
      • Dragomir (Precious Peace): Upgraded to Metropolis.
      • Finchfield: Changed Location (minor).
      • Findupre: Changed Location.
      • FrostSpire: Changed owner.
      • Gladsheim: Converted to Grasslands.
      • Golden Cove: Added interconnections to PaxLair community.
      • Gravewater Shores: Converted to Desert.
      • Green Acres: Renamed (formerly Blackrock Point). Changed location. Converted to Grasslands.
      • Gretch: New addition. Nested in Vertas.
      • Heorth: Converted to Grasslands.
      • Hometown: Converted to Grasslands. Moved onto mainland.
      • Hy-Brasil: Interconnection (with Blackrock Cove).
      • Iron Gate: Converted to Grasslands. Changed location. Interconnections (with Port Phoenix and Jade Valley).
      • Italian militum: New addition.
      • It’s a Town: New addition (under Ardoris via boat near the boat to Kingsport).
      • Jade Valley: Interconnection (with Iron Gate).
      • Kai: Changed Owner. Upgraded to Village.
      • Krabnevir: Upgraded to City.
      • Lacedaemon: Downgraded to Hamlet.
      • Lyonesse: Upgraded to Metropolis.
      • Malum Immortui: Upgraded to City. Changed location.
      • Mediolanum: Upgraded to Metropolis.
      • Minock: Interconnection (with Obsidian Ridge).
      • Moonshire Downs: Converted to Grasslands.
      • Mortem Praedonum: Renamed (formerly Porth Mae). Converted to Underground. Changed location.
      • Neath: Changed Location.
      • New Vesper: New addition. Nested in Soltown.
      • Obsidian Ridge: Interconnection (with Minock and Blackrock Cove).
      • Obsidian Sepulcher: Renamed (formerly Obsianus Sepulcher).
      • Oceania: Interconnection (with Tokuno).
      • Old Penshire Wharf: Interconnection (with Horned Society). Upgraded to Village.
      • Paws: Converted to Grasslands.
      • Perfectus Mori: New addition.
      • Phoenix Fields: Converted to Grasslands.
      • R26Map_of_HiddenVale_POTPirate’s Den: New addition.
      • Port Lihan: New addition (under Beran’s Reach).
      • Port Phoenix: Interconnection (with Iron Gate).
      • Portus Mori: Renamed (formerly Port Beran).  Converted to Forest. Changed Location. Interconnection (Bloodstone)
      • Prime Mori: Renamed (formerly High Rock).  Converted to Grasslands. Changed Location.
      • Radio City: Upgraded to Crossroads Village.
      • Rats Nest Catacombs: Renamed (formerly Shadow Vault). Set as Open PvP. Nested in Rats Nest (previously Desolis).
      • Rats Nest: Interconnection (with Rats Nest Catacombs).
      • Red Hook Caverns: New addition.
      • Redwood Isle: New addition.
      • Refugees Haven: Upgraded to City.
      • Rift’s End: Removed interconnection with Bravehaven (too far apart).
      • Serenity’s Edge: Converted to Grasslands.
      • Serpent’s Watch: Upgraded to Crossroads Village.
      • Sidus Clarum: New addition.
      • Siken: Renamed (formerly Scrunt). Converted to Grasslands.
      • Silverthorn: New addition.
      • Snug Harbor: Converted to Island.
      • Sparrowfall: Converted to Grasslands.
      • Specto Mori: New Addition.
      • Stonegate: Interconnection (with Blackrock Cove). Converted to Grasslands.
      • Tear: Converted to Grasslands. Changed Location (minor).
      • Tenakill: Converted to Grasslands.
      • Tokuno: New addition.
      • Vanguard: Converted to Grasslands. Relocated to mainland Novia.
      • Welcome Center: New addition.
      • White Hart on Abundis: Interconnection (with White Hart and Dark Hart).
      • White Hart: Interconnection (with White Hart on Abundis and Dark Hart).
      • Winterbourne: New addition. Nested in Vertas.
  • Crafting: More Refining and Production skills will come online. We will also create more armor, weapon, and cooking recipes.
    • Refining / Production Skills and Cooking Recipes Delayed: We chose to focus our time on cleaning up the modifiers, polishing naming and expanding gem socketing/enchanting.
    • New Crafting System: After several months of preparation we finally changed over to the new architecture which removes the last few blocks we had to greatly expanding crafting. You can see the results below with material modifiers, gear naming, components, etc.
    • Gear Naming: Gear naming has been greatly simplified and now uses the formula of primary material + item name + gem enchantment: ex. Copper Plate of Necromancy. Additionally indestructible items now list that property in their tooltips.
    • Material Modifiers: The placeholder modifiers introduced years ago have now been replaced with our first pass at the actual modifiers that correlate directly to the type of gear. A nice side effect of this is that modifiers are now always appropriate to the type of gear (i.e. no more ranged bonuses on melee weapons).
      • Copper: Increases Weapon Critical Chance
      • Bronze: Increases Weapon Critical Chance and Damage
      • Constantan: Increases Spell Damage
      • Iron: Increases Weapon Damage
      • Meteoric Iron: Increases Weapon Damage and Damage Resistance
      • componentsWhite Iron: Increases Weapon Damage and Damage Avoidance
    • Components Tooltips: Now show their exact modifier both before and after being incorporated into gear.
    • Gem Sockets: Gems are now tied directly to attunement for all magic schools and named accordingly. ex. Ruby is crafted into a Sorcery Gem that increases Fire Attunement when socketed into gear. We also expanded socketing to include all weapons (even bows, staves and wands), shields, and Chest Armor. We also made it so that 2 Handed weapons use 2 gems (to balance using two 1 handed weapons or 1 handed weapon and shield). Also renamed the Crystal resource nodes and Crystal Fragments to Gem resource nodes and Gem Fragments. Gem fragments can be alchemically fused to make Gems.
    • Gear Recipes: All gear recipes are using the new modifiers and naming systems. We also added recipes for every armor type (previously we only had 1 visual variant for each armor type). New recipes included:
      • Augmented Cloth
      • Augmented Leather
      • Augmented Chain
      • Augmented Plate
      • Epic Cloth
      • Epic Leather
      • Epic Plate
      • Bucket Helm
    • Jewelry: Rings (Smelting) and Necklaces (Smithing) can now be crafted and socketed with Jewel Cut Gems that use the new attunement system as mentioned above.
    • Food System: Buffs from food now persist on scene change and last a very long time (hours of real time) compared to other buffs (potions and spells) which only last a short time (seconds of real time). Food also uses the new buff channel system mentioned above so players can have two food buffs active at any time. We also made food non-combat only and made it take a long time to consume.
    • Purchase Orders: Much like putting up items for sale, players can now place Purchase Orders on Public and Player Vendors. These can be used to purchase materials and consumables from other players for a set price through the vendor without requiring both the buyer and seller to be present at the same time. ex. “Buying 100 Iron Ore for 25 Gold”
    • Field Dressing: Advancement rate was quadrupled for this skill.
    • Scrap Recipes: We did a naming pass and removed the variants of iron/copper so there would be fewer scrap recipes to sort through.
    • Recipe Ingredient Numbers: A general balance pass was made across all recipes to adjust ingredient numbers.
    • SotA_StretchGoal_FlexiblePlacement_GreenhouseAgriculture: We made some passes through agriculture to clean up some bugs and fix some balance issues.
      • Exterior Only: For now, you can no longer grow inside. Next release we may re-enable growing inside, but with greatly reduced growth rates (the reverse of the greenhouse effect).
      • Replanting: All plants now require replant after harvesting.
      • Seed Recovery: We added a small chance to get a seed when you get a “great” result in plant yield.
      • Random Rotation: Plants will now have a randomized orientation when planted.
      • Greenhouse Effect: Growing plants in greenhouses speeds up their growth rate.
      • Plant Removal: Right clicking on a plant will allow you to remove it from a planter (note that this destroys the plant).
  • Creatures: The Chaos Demon will lay waste to players with his Chaos Magic powers.
    • SotA_DaemonChaos Daemon: This master of chaos will assault players with Chaos Bolts, teleports, and even turn their own pets against them. Additionally, he randomly changes his highest Attunement, forcing players to constantly adjust their strategy. Rumors that someone was foolish enough to summon and trap one underneath Solania have yet to be verified…
    • AI Ranged vs Melee Logic: We made some improvements to this logic so enemies make better decisions about when to use their ranged attacks versus melee attacks.
    • Looting vs. Raising Dead: Looting an undead will prevent undead mages from resurrecting them
    • Barbarians: New variation (data only) of the human bandits.
    • Tier 4 Kobolds and Satyrs: New high-level variation (data only) of the Kobolds and Satyrs for North Varisalla Foothills
    • Animation Polish: We conducted a polish pass on animations for the Cow, Troll, Dragon, and Phoenix.
    • NPC Turn Animations: Added animations and supporting functionality so that humanoids will animate when turning versus just spin and feet will not slide
  • Performance: For R26 we began taking some baby steps towards our long term performance goals. The focus for this release was primarily improving our worst case areas. This includes heavily populated and decorated cities and also, scenes with a large number of players in small spaces. Much of the work focused on Level of Detail (LOD). LOD is a system where lower polygon count versions of objects are made and dynamically swapped to improve performance. That swapping happens either through quality settings, distance from camera, or performance fallback routines.
    • Home LODs: All player houses should now include a first pass at an LOD. Expect more tuning to come in future releases to improve on any artifacts (ex. popping to lower LOD too soon) in the current release.
    • Decoration Culling & LODs: All player decorations should now have some form of culling or LOD. As with houses, expect more tuning on this to reduce visible popping.
    • Unity 5.3.1p4: We moved to the latest Unity engine version which includes a number of improvements to rendering performance and threading.
    • Light Manager: A new experimental light manager system is now in place that is the first of a suite of Performance Fallback Routines. This system will automatically reduce the complexity of shadows and lights in a scene to reach a minimal acceptable frame rate.
    • Avatar and Pet LODs: LOD’s have been generated for all player and pet models but only a few will be in for this release.
  • Wearables:
    • Bucket Helm: This new plate helm can be crafted in game.
    • Kinsman Buckler: This Underworld: Ascendant cross promotional item can now be wielded in game and glows with light. We hope to have the Jabbering Bertha in R28.
  • Seasonal Content: In support of the Lunar New Year and Valentine’s Day, we created a set of seasonal items for sale in the Add-On Store.
    • SotA_2016_Valentine_CardFireworks: Celebrate with Green Rockets, Yellow Ground Missiles, and Red Ground Missiles for Lunar New Year.
    • Cupid Ensemble: Dress up as the iconic archer with bloomers, a tiny bow, and tiny wings.
    • Valentine Cards: These are player writable notes that look like hearts.
    • Heart Cloaks: One with multiple hearts and one with a single large heart.
  • Scene Lighting and Bloom: Adjustments to lighting for foliage had the unintended side effect of washing out the characters and building interiors. This is now properly balanced so that exterior, interior, and characters should be much better lit. Also bloom is back! A series of engine and shader issues had forced us to keep this full screen effect turned off until now. Please note that tuning bloom will take some time so it will only be noticeable in a few scenes and on a few objects. Expect more bloomy goodness in upcoming releases as we tune and propagate.
  • /zone Timers: These no longer reset on scene transition
  • Pledge Rewards: New rewards were added and tweaks were made to existing rewards.
    • Choose 1 of Many Pledge Rewards: Players will now be able to pick from a selection of pledge rewards instead of them being assigned or just being awarded all of them. This will be used for pets, tools, crafting stations, etc. For example at Virtual Collector you get to choose 1 of 3 different pets. Please note that this does mean players will no longer receive additional items, only the correct number according to their pledge.
    • Royal Founder / Founder Nameplate Color: Nameplates for Founders and Royal Founders will now appear in a gold hue.
    • Royal Orb & Sceptre: These items are now equippable, but they do not yet have their functionality to reduce taxes and vendor rates.
    • Novia Map Atlas: We have added the book that is placeable as a decoration and is also a container to put your minimaps in.
    • Benefactor Crafting Stations: These expert level crafting stations with the Benefactor symbol are now working in the game.
    • Immortality Fruit & Royal Purple Dye (Elderberry): These items now produce seeds for replanting when consumed
  • Audio: Our new audio designer has been hard at work upgrading sounds across the game.
    • Musical Instruments Sync Fix: Players can once again play synchronized musical instruments as a group.
    • Tabor Drums: These playable instruments now uses samples instead of being pitch shifted
    • Creatures: The Daemon is the first creature to benefit from our in house audio designer and launches with ZERO placeholder sounds! We also replaced the placeholder sounds with real sounds for the Dragon, Oracle Watchers (both types), Ravens, Clockwork Ravens, and Spiders.
    • Scenes: Audio polish passes done on Isle of Storms, Highvale, Bloodriver and Solace Bridge (including the starter and return variations of each of these scenes).
    • Teleporters: Audio polish pass for teleporter sound effects including the Lunar Rifts and Wizard Tower teleporters.
    • Free Attack: The timer tick sound has been updated.
    • Thunder: Fixed clipping and blowing noise issue.
    • Containers: Chests, Cupboards, and sacks have all been upgraded with new audio.
    • Interactives: Doors, Spider Webs, Portcullises, and Switches all have new sounds.
    • SotA_Localization_Progress_GraphLevel Up: This signature event now has a much improved audio cue.
  • Localization: Various tasks were completed and bugs were fixed to support the ongoing localization effort. All the initial languages are advancing steadily with Spanish still in the lead at over 60% and German steadily catching up with almost 50%.
  • Grand Tour 26: As with each previous release, we will have a Grand Tour. Completing this quest is the ONLY way to gain this rare reward. The hat for this release is a Bowler. Please note that this is the final Grand Tour so we can focus on the storyline going forward.SotA_R26_GrandTourReward_BowlerHat_LandingPage

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.
  • 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.  You can find an updated list of these items in known issues.
  • Persistence: As part of development, we will need to periodically wipe data including characters, property, etc. Please consider everything gained until the final wipe 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.

Sincerely,
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 26!

If you have not backed the game yet, you will need to register and login at www.shroudoftheavatar.com, 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 26 Player Instructions

Release 26 Known Issues

Patch Notes



24 Comments












  1. Edward NewgateEdward Newgate

    Sounds really great :)

    Cant wait to explore all the new scenes.
    The demon looks so fantastic, cant wait to see him in action.
    Greenhouse Effect: Growing plants in greenhouses speeds up their growth rate. I am happy that the greenhouse got an actual use in the game now.




  2. LordEnglishLordEnglish

    “If a stretch goal is met, all of the items in its respective category will receive additional functionality related to the stretch goal.” and “Prior to meeting the stretch goal, the items below will be yard decorations only.” are what is stated about Stretch Goal items, yet now we see an in-game benefit to the greenhouse.
    While I like this as a way to encourage people to spend into stretch goals, it would be nice to see some activity on giving some uses to items from other stretch goals, or a mention of why this one particular item seems to be getting its bonus “early”.







  3. JatvardurJatvardur

    Trying to figure out why my town was moved. I didn’t request a relocation. I did just notice that my biome has changed to grasslands but perplexed by this as I don’t recall accessing my POT form for a long time. It is out of character as I was content with what I had. Would be great to see this undone.

    Many thanks
    Jat

    1. DarkStarrDarkStarr

      Jatvardur,

      Sorry for late response but we don’t scan these comments as much as the bug forums so we missed this bug report until now. Please enter this information in the bug forum so the QA team will see it and track it in our system.

      -Starr


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