Update of the Avatar #175 – 2016.05.06: Spring Telethon Results, Making of Valhold, Halls of Artifice, Brittany Fields, Merchant Outfit Revamp, and More!

Greetings Fellow Avatars!

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

  • The Making of Valhold (Castle Interior)
  • The Halls of Artifice (A Work In Progress)
  • The Making of Brittany Fields
  • Merchant Outfit Revamp + Fortified Cloth Gloves & Boots
  • The Spring Festival of the Avatar Telethon Results
  • Shroud In The News: Richard Garriott and Personal Rapid Transport
  • Summer 2016 Expirations
  • New Kobold Furniture, Pavers, Streelamps, and Gazebo
  • In-game Community Events
  • Upcoming Events
  • Backer Shipping Addresses
  • Recommended Projects to Back

The Making of Valhold (Castle Interior)

This is the continuing update on the progress on Valhold. Valhold is scheduled to go live in Release 30.

[From a Dev+ Forum Post by Richard “RrMatey” Matey]

Hey guys, I have returned to Valhold after creating the Crypt of the Avatar scene. So the last thing that needs to be completed for Valhold is the interior of the palace. This section of the game is a solo instance and will change depending on the story points of the game. So here are some screenshots of the interior.





The Halls of Artifice (A Work In Progress)

This is the continuing update on the progress on Artifice, scheduled to go live in Release 31.

[From a Dev+ Forum Post by Scottie Jones]

And so we continue our journey deeper into bowels of Artifice…

Passing beyond the golden doorway that leads from the crumbling throne room causes you to appear in a narrow and oppressively-hot natural passage that issues directly into a noisy chamber blazing with fiery light. The hammering of metal and the constant sound of steam accost you as your skin seems to slowly bake in the furnace-like heat.


As you peer out and down into the large chamber beyond, you are met with a sight both impressive and terrible. From all sides what appears to be molten stone or metal flows in deadly streams from the mouths of carved wyverns as it cascades down angled troughs toward pools of bubbling slag below. Suspended above, large bowls full of human bones wait to be tossed into repositories full of bones, ash, and shining nuggets of ore that lay between the channels of flowing magma. Movement can be seen below as some huge, brawny being can be glimpsed beyond the enormous pipes, toiling at some terrible task.


As you pick your way carefully down the narrow stone steps, you slowly begin to realize that this is where all the lost souls of Artifice eventually come to “rest”. You have descended from the apparent heavens that lured you above as they eventually transformed into the hell that greets you now… The cascading streams of lava seem to actually be composed of a nightmarish molten mixture of all the things you see before you; the ore, the grey ash, and the bones of the dead… What could this place possibly be? And why would it rest at the very heart of Artifice’s glory?


Though the mysterious blacksmith and all the terrible weapons he is forging will eventually be seen here, for now you must be content with moving forward into yet another chamber, found deeper still in this foreboding place. Choosing the larger central path, a staircase can be seen dipping down into the cooler shadows, and yet another golden door glimmers down the hall. Passing thankfully beyond this infernal place, you appear in a corridor that leads into what must be the largest library you have ever seen!


Descending from the middle gallery level and down into the lower halls, hundreds of bookcases can be seen at every turn. If what you see can be believed, you are standing in the legendary Lyceum of Novia! This is the fabled repository of all the world’s knowledge, and it is said that every tome ever written by any hand can be found here… How can the treasures gathered above possibly compare to the apparently infinite wealth of lore arrayed here? One could spend a lifetime perusing the works shelved in this place, and still never read them all…or so it seems. In every direction the halls stretch on and on, and yet you appear to be alone. Should you seek an egress? No skeletons adorn this place, at least… And yet,…what is that distant sound? Is there another soul wandering these stacks? It seems to be footsteps you hear upon the wooden parquet…but then…they resolve into something you begin to recognize… Is that the echoing clip-clop of hooves upon the floor?


Hopefully you’ve found this intriguing…

Scottie ^_^

The Making of Brittany Fields

This is the continuing update on progress on Brittany Fields, a neighborhood of Brittany. Brittany Fields is scheduled to go live in Release 30.

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


So you didn’t get the lot you always wanted in Brittany (Central)?

Fret not Avatar, as we have started work on the first of four neighborhood areas that will surround Central Brittany. The first of which will be called Brittany Fields and will be located to the Southwest of Central Brittany.

It is an agricultural/pastoral area filled with fertile crops and little streams/gullies crisscrossing its length.


From here we can appreciate a view of Brittany Castle off in the distance. A short walk away from Central Brittany, Brittany Fields offers a peaceful wind-down from the hustle and bustle of the city.


Plenty of player housing lots awaits in Brittany Fields.


Start planning your visit to Brittany Fields today!

Esteben Zaldivar
Level Designer

Merchant Outfit Revamp + Fortified Cloth Gloves & Boots

As part of our rework of the Avatars we are steadily progressing through many of the clothing and armor items to improve their visual quality. We periodically update the progress of this effort.

[From a Dev+ Forum Post by Fletcher “Skullmuncher34” Kinnear]

New updated Merchant Robes!


Merchant Textures
by fletcherkinnear

New Gloves and Boots for the Fortified Cloth Armor!


Cloth Outfit
by fletcherkinnear

The Spring Festival of the Avatar Telethon Results

Our Spring Festival of the Avatar Telethon was a huge success! We achieved all the Stretch Goal Rewards and even had to create new ones! A heartfelt thank you, from the entire Dev Team, to all of you, our backers, that have contributed to the development funding of Shroud of the Avatar! Monday’s Telethon was yet another example of your amazing support and contributions! Our final numbers as of Midnight, May 2nd were a staggering:

** $67,500 **

As promised, Telethon Funding Stretch Goal Rewards will be rewarded to any backers that pledged a minimum of $5 from the start of the telethon, until Midnight May 2 (Spending Store Credit to make $5 minimum purchase does not apply). These rewards will take us several releases to create so please be patient as we work on getting them to you as soon as we can. The Spring Festival Telethon Funding Stretch Goal Rewards are:

  • Achieved!  $10,000 – /Flowers Emote (rains flower petals) may appear as early as R30
  • Achieved!  $25,000 – Flower Crown (increases length of /flowers emote) 
  • Achieved!  $50,000 – Giant Butterfly Pet
  • Achieved!  $60,000 – Giant Dragonfly Pet

Here are the links to the videos of the telethon where as promised, we did shots, sang, or danced for every $2500 raised. We also showed our solidarity for the pain players experienced with the new targeting system by having Michael “Hutch” Hutchison draw reticles on our foreheads. Later, Hutch drew a Flower Crown on Starr’s head when we reached that goal, and Starr later drew the Butterfly and Dragonfly on his head and face when those goals were reached. We also spent plenty of time answering the questions players posed while diving deep on Combat, Crafting, Housing, Story, and PVP. And of course, the PVP event descended into pure chaos (who knew?), with the players managing to kill Lord British multiple times and Darkstarr just once. Atos remained undefeated.


Shroud In The News: Richard Garriott and Personal Rapid Transport

RichardatAustinForumPRTtalkRichard Garriott spoke this week at the Austin Forum and the local Austin news about Personal Rapid Transport. The interview was filmed here at our Portalarium offices and you might recognize the Shroud of the Avatar banners behind him! Here’s an excerpt from the article based on the interview:

“If I could really take some time off to get involved in civic projects right now, transportation would be a good one to solve,” he said. So what he’s proposing is called Personal Rapid Transit. “Imagine a golf cart that is enclosed.  It has air conditioning, it runs on batteries and it’s computer-controlled,” Garriott said. Built on elevated guideways throughout the city, the way it works is pretty simple. “All you do is tell [it] the destination.  You say ‘I’m going to 5th and Congress.’  The doors open, you sit down, it’s got room for up to 6 people and a wheelchair and a bicycle.  The only button on the inside basically says ‘go,'” Garriott said. Then, after paying a fare similar to a public bus, the pod takes off. “There’s no intersections, there’s no stop lights. It waits for a gap, it accelerates into that gap and from that moment on you’re going full speed to and only to the destination for your family,” Garriott said.


Final 87 Days for Summer 2016 Pledge Expirations!

As we march toward the Final Wipe and Lot Selection milestone this summer, we are permanently expiring ALL remaining pledges and new Player Owned Towns during the Summer 2016 Pledge Expiration Event, at 10:30 AM CST, August 1, 2016. These final expiring pledges include: Adventurer, Founder, Royal Artisan, Explorer, Ancestor, Edelmann, Knight Marshal, Lord Marshal, Duke, and Lord of the Manor 2.

New Kobold Furniture, Pavers, Streelamps, and Gazebo

Ten new items have been included in the Add-On Store, all of them available now in Release 29!


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

  • RPOTA Monthly $170 Writing Contest
    • 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)AvatarsRadioLogo
    • 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 CDT)
    • NBNN LOGO 50 PNGJoin 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
  • “The Tavern Respite” RP Event (Mondays, 8pm CDT)
    • 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 first Monday of each month, the event returns to Bear Tavern, where it all began. If no locations are scheduled, the event will take place at Fire Lotus Tavern, by default. (teleport to Elgarion De’Khali; details)!
  • Order of Vengeance Guild Meeting (Mondays, 9pm CDT)OrderOfVengeance
    • Held at the Guild Hall in Vengeance
  • Challenge Dungeon Run (Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, 10am & 7pm CDT)
    • This is a self-host event that meets at the Braemar Cemetery (map). 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.
  • PaxLair Town Manager Hour (Tuesdays, 2:00pm CDT)
    • Join PaxLair’s Town Manager, Sean Silverfoot, to ask questions about PaxLair, being a Citizen, holding a lot and any other questions concerning PaxLair or any of it’s boroughs: Dragons Watch, Tenakill, Lockbrier, Island of Wonders, Knowhere, Sea Nymph Grotto & Serentiy Isle. (map)
  • EVL Monster Mash Dungeon Crawl (Tuesdays & Saturdays, 7pm CDT)
    • Every Virtue is Lasting will be holding a dungeon crawl every Tuesday (for advanced players) and Saturdays (for newer, less experienced players) to provide fun and experience for our members and guests. All are welcome! The meeting point for Tuesdays is in Owls Head (map) at the center of town near the trainer (Zenie is your teleportation Avatar and dungeon master), and for Saturdays it is in Soltown (map; Shady Death is your teleportation Avatar and dungeon master) (details)
  • EVL Virtue League PVP Tournament (Wednesdays, 7pm CDT)virtue_league_banner_tournament[1]
    • Looking to break into the PVP scene but don’t want to be placed against established god-like players? We have you covered with two divisions, one for the newer, less experienced player, and one for the cream of the crop who have something to prove! (The Underworld at Aschfahl Festung; details)
  • Stryker Sparhawk’s Happy Hour Wednesdays (Wednesdays, 8pm CDT)
    • Stryker will travel to one of the local Novia taverns for an hour to open a bar tab for drinks in hopes of sharing stories, news, critique of the arts, music, dancing, and otherwise unplanned mayhem. Teleport to Stryker Sparhawk (details)
  • Phoenix Republic PVE Nights (Thursdays & Fridays, 7pm CDT)
    • 2636079_orig[1]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 CDT)
    • Luka Melehan is hosting RP classes and practice sessions. (teleport to Luka Melehan)
  • Shardfall Madness (Fridays, 6pm CDT)
  • Astronomy Event (Fridays, 7:30pm CDT)
    • 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, teleport to Bowen Bloodgood; details)

Friday, May 6

  • 7pm CDT Phoenix Republic PVE Nights
    • 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!
  • 7pm CDT Vengeance Madness PVP
    • This is an Open PvP event where everyone fights it out in a royal rumble to see who the ultimate death dealer is! An hour of PvP madness that you cannot miss. The person who ends up with the most kills will be the champion! This is an opportunity to test skills, templates, items, and strategy, but most of all to have fun! An hour full of madness you cannot miss out on! Whether you are a usual PvP’er or not… Anyone is welcome to come out and join us. Winners may win entries into the BMC-Grid Iron. (City of Vengeance; teleport to Bambino LudoVate; map).
  • 7:30pm CDT Friday Night Astronomy
    • For anyone interested in Astronomy in New Britannia or just like looking up at the stars and hanging out. I host an astronomy course every Friday night at 7:30pm CST to 8:30pm CST. Whether it’s a crowd or just one person I will be happy to be your host at Caer Dracwych. Teleport to Bowen Bloodgood. (Caer Dracwych, map)

Saturday, May 7

  • 7:00am CDT 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)
  • 9:00am CDT PaxLair Working Hourspaxsotabanner1[1]
    • Come to PaxLair and see what’s happening! For two hours (more or less) we work together on projects, create ideas and have fun together. It’s sort of a weekly time to gather and do things together. Everyone in Novia is welcome! (PaxLair, map; or teleport to Winfield or Sean Silverfoot)
  • 11:00am CDT 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. (Alternating locaions; details)
  • 6:00pm CDT 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)
  • ra7D5uX[1]7:00pm CDT EVL Monster Mash Dungeon Crawl
    • Do you crave adventure and don’t want to battle alone? EVL has your back with our fun packed PVE nights hosted weekly! An EVL dungeon guide will assist newer less experienced players in their pursuit of adventure and glory! It meets in Soltown (map) and your teleportation avatar and guide for the evening will be Shady Death.
  • 7:00pm CDT Phoenix Republic Founders Ball @ Cinco De Bayou
    • Come Join Kazyn and Jenny Phoenixfyre celebrating the founding of Port Phoenix, the Phoenixfyre’s wedding Anniversary and the founding of the alliance with the Phoenix Republic Founders Ball! This dance celebrates many things that makes the republic alliance great while also celebrating and thanking all the people who helped us become what we are! This also marks the first Annual Cinco de Bayou Festival – a multi-day festival that will be held from this day forth to commemorate our founding! Musical Entertainment will be provided by DJ Celith of Avatars Radio so don’t miss out – this party is going to be a big one! (Location: Port Phoenix Capital Building; map)
  • 8:00pm CDT Overthrow Vengeance (PVP)
    • The longest running Player vs Player tournament in Shroud of the Avatar.

Sunday, May 8

  • 8:30am CDT 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, map; or teleport to Winfield; teamSpeak:
  • 11:00am CDT Hospitaller Weekly Voice Meeting
    • Everyone is welcome to our player community’s weekly Hospitaller meeting. It is open to anyone and everyone, not just Hospitallers. We talk about many things and work hard to find ways to help new players. This meeting is one hour long and we have additional sidebars after the meeting. (Soltown; Discord Chat Channel)
  • 2:30pm CDT 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 (Owl’s head, map; or teleport to Sheamus McGuinness)
  • 3:00pm CDT 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 teleport to Sand, Sheamus McGuinness, or Bambino Ludovate, details)
  • 5:00pm CDT 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, map; see forum post for details)
  • 5:30pm CDT BMC Gladiator’s Grid-IronBMC_Logo
    • 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, map; see forum post for details)
  • 7:00pm CDT 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, map; or teleport to Winfield)
  • 8:00pm CDT 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, teleport to Winfield; details)

Be sure and check out the Release 29 Events thread in the SotA forums for additional events that may not be included here.

Upcoming Events

2016.05.13 – Final Duke Roundtable and Portalarium Office Tour
2016.05.26 – Release 30
2016.06.01 – The Hearth of Britannia: Legends of the Hearth III
2016.06.30 – Release 31
2016.07.28 – Release 32: Final Wipe and Lot Selections
2016.08.01 – Final Pledge Expirations Episode 1
2016.08.25 – Release 33
2016.08.26 – Syndcon 2016
2016.09.02 – DragonCon 2016
2016.09.21 – Austin Games Conference
2016.09.29 – Release 34

Backer Shipping Addresses

SotA_ShippingAddressIn preparation for shipping backers’ physical pledge rewards later this year, we have added Shipping Address fields to your Account Profile page. To enter your shipping address, log in to the SotA website, select “Account” in top right corner, then select “Edit Profile” located in top left corner, beneath your Avatar image:

For country and regional tax assessment purposes, our tax accountants have requested that we start collecting a buyer’s physical/shipping address for all purchases, whether digital or physical. We’ve tried to streamline that process as much as possible, such that once you’ve entered a physical address we will pre-populate the address fields with your default address.

Recommended Projects to Back

Underworld: Ascendant

Far more than a dungeon crawl, Underworld Ascendant is a next-generation sequel to the legendary fantasy RPG’s Ultima Underworld & Ultima Underworld 2. It not only modernizes the series’ visuals and user interface to take full advantage of the today’s powerful PC’s, it innovates in bold new ways.


  1. enderandrewenderandrew

    The telethon was a lot of fun. The new scenes just continue to impress me.

    I know there is a mad rush to get content/feature complete but I wonder if any of the early small scenes might get replaced?

    The Dragon Cave was yanked and hasn’t been replaced for example. Owl’s Nest is rather small and could be expanded, etc. Both of these could get better integrated in the connected underground.

    1. smacksmack

      I think all of the older scenes, be it towns or dungeons or wilderness, etc, needs an overhaul.

  2. ElgarionElgarion

    I’m looking forward to watching the recording of the telethon this weekend! Great update! Keep up the great work Port!

  3. Duchess FionwynDuchess Fionwyn

    The Garriott Chariot, I love that! My dream team for innovative real world design of personal transport systems would be RG and James Cameron. One went to space the other into the deep sea. Can’t lose!

Comments are closed.