Update of the Avatar #182 – 2016.06.24: 15% Summer Bonus!, New Solace Bridge, Brittany Estates & Wharfs, Polished Elven Armor & Robes, SotA Con 2016, and More!

Greetings Fellow Avatars!

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


Announcing the 15% Summer Bonus!

If you were thinking of purchasing (or upgrading) a pledge or Player Owned Town before they expire, then now’s a great time to do it! Between now and the Summer 2016 Expiration Event: Part 2 (see below), we are offering a 15% Bonus on all purchases! Here are the details:

For all new purchases (including pledges, pledge upgrades, add-on items, player owned towns, player owned town upgrades, Make a Difference items, and service vouchers) between 12:00 am CDT June 24, 2016 and Midnight CDT (5:00 UTC) August 22, 2016, 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 CDT for any purchases within the previous 24 hours and added to your Store Credit account; Store Credit cannot be applied toward the purchase of Service Vouchers 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.


Welcome Back to Solace Bridge!

[From a Dev Post from Scott “Lum” Jennings]

As part of next release, we’re completely redoing the Solace Bridge sequence of the Path of Love tutorial. Since this may be relevant to the interests of this forum, here’s what we have implemented (@Attenwood and crew just started killing my hopes and dreams with it today):

– No more help windows with text

Players tend to ignore them and turn them off, and with the new reticle system they’re difficult to interact with. We are keeping them post-tutorial for R31 but will continue to evaluate them.

– Help is IN YOUR FACE

Here’s an example of what you see instead:Charlotte

Instead, it makes more sense to practice combat on, you know, things that try to kill you. So we’ve ramped up the number of undead on Solace Bridge (from 4 to 12ish), and have them be more active. You get context-sensitive hints for moving and firing your new bow as you move down the bridge.

– Wait, 12 undead, as a new player? What?

Well, you have help. Edvard no longer just magically clones himself – instead he will fight alongside you (well, ahead of you – he tanks and could probably take on the bridge by himself since having him die during the tutorial would be rude) and accompanies you to the other side where you meet him previously. (He also gives you 250 arrows to start out with, so no more scavenging around for enough arrows to just finish the scene with)

– But Lum, I don’t WANT to use a bow!

That’s fine. As mentioned earlier, we’ve placed a weapon rack in the scene so you can select whatever starting weapon you ‘d like (sword, polearm, mace, and shield). You don’t start with any skills for them but if you know you wanted them anyway it’s probably not a concern. You are still prompted to use a bow and have basic skills for them.

– What about that kid, anyway?

As part of making the scene in general more interesting/have more to do, we’ve introduced a brief quest where Charlotte Gray (the child in Solace Bridge) now must be saved from the battle by you. You can decline to do so, or get her killed, and all of these choices will have appopriate consequences.

We look forward to see your reaction to this moving forward, since much of it is directly based on your feedback!


The Making of Brittany Estates

NOTE: Brittany Estates is primarily comprised of City sized lots and is scheduled to go live in Release 32.

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

Just wanted to give you guys some more screenshots for the last week of work. Just over 50% done, but I feel it has an established style and look, that is unique to this zone.

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The Making of Brittany Wharfs

NOTE: Brittany Wharfs is the center of commerce for Greater Brittany and is mostly comprised of Town sized lots. It is scheduled to go live in Release 31.

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

UPDATE ON BRITTANY WHARFS

Hey guys, SorcerousSteve here once again to give you the latest scoop on the Brittany Wharfs. Now this weeks update on the Wharfs is pretty jammed pack with screenshots as the map approaches completion for this upcoming release; including a top down view of player properties and the overall map layout.

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Overlooking the Harbor, a protective fort looks out to Sea protecting the vital trade market of the Brittany Wharfs.

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Water communities in the northside of the Brittany Wharfs. With 30 Water Lots, the Brittany Wharfs is a must go to place for Water Property lovers.

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The Warehouse District pictured right below the gate to Brittany. Rumors abound of a black market in the area filled with notorious activity and contraband smuggling; the dark side of the merchants and trade that keep the Brittany Wharfs alive.

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Waterfront property right next to the Harbor.

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Merchants who make their lives on bargain and trade live in the Wharfs propering from the rich trade in the area.

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Rusty Satyr Inn.
A place for merchants and sailors to sit down and have a drink after a long day at the Harbor.

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Open areas for players are plentiful in the Wharfs, from outdoor water patios to small stages all focused on providing the best commodity for players.
On the upper left you can catch a glimpse of a Duke Island Lot.

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Esteben Zaldivar
Level Designer


Polished Elven Armor

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]

Hey guys!
Just got done with a revamp of the Elven Fighter Armor.
More on the way in the near future!

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Elven Armor by Shroud of the Avatar

Elven Mage Robes by Shroud of the Avatar


Prism In-Game Event: Remembrance of the 49 Victims of the Orlando Shooting Massacre

The worst mass shooting in recent American history occurred on June 12, 2016, when forty-nine people were killed at a nightclub in Orlando, Florida. The New York Daily News published this composite image of those victims:

Orlando_Victims_NewYorkDailyNews

prismbigCommunity member Lace is postponing her Battle of the Bands event in order to hold a Solidarity March at 1pm CDT, June 25, 2016, in remembrance of “…those who lost their lives, those who are still fighting for their lives and for the friends and families of all those affected.” Here is an excerpt from her Release 30 Events Forum post:

We will meet in Brittany (map) and I will give exact coordinates once I have mapped out a route for the march. Torches for those that need them will be handed out. (May I request a few volunteers to hand them out? I will purchase them np, but need folks to be on hand out duty. [see original post to volunteer])

The plan is to assemble at 1pm NBT [CDT] time, do a brief march through the city taking approximately 15 minutes or less. At the end of the route I will ask for any that wish to speak to come forward. Say whatever is on your mind, we would all welcome it. (I would ask that you prepare your speech so you can cut and paste it into chat, rather than going off the cuff and typing, it will keep things brief and allow more to speak that wish to do so)

At approximately 2pm NBT [CDT], in conjunction with Avatar’s Radio, we will host a dance party for one hour so the healing energy can flow among us all. I am looking for perhaps someone with a larger lot for the dance party that would be willing to host it so we can have in game radios (let me know if willing to host on your lot — would like town or higher but village can work as well [Community member Spoon has volunteered his Brittany town lot])

Wear whatever you like, but if you would like to be ‘flamboyant’ and need materials for dyes I have a stock I have been selling but would be willing to donate some of the maple or pine barks etc or make dyes. Send me an in-game tell to Lace Delamorte, or @Lace on the forums and I will do what I can till I run out.

Do not feel you have to be flamboyant, if you want to be a warrior marching with us that is most welcome, as I want to promote this as a brothers and sisters in arms regardless of dress.

Twitch streamers are very welcome!

[See original post for additional details…]


SotA Con 2016

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[From a forum post by Violation Clauth]

We’re happy to announce the first annual Shroud of the Avatar Convention in 2016 to take place on November 4-6 2016 in Baltimore, MD. This convention will be one of our making as a community. The schedule, pending announcement based on funding, has a lot of exciting opportunities and our ambitions are grand. What we know for sure at this point: players will be there.

The goal for this Con is to create a Shroud of the Avatar themed gathering, on the east coast so that players and developers can come together, grow together, and share ideas. What we don’t want is people to attend, thinking that there will be big sponsors and expensive swag bags. The goal is to simply come together, make friends, have a great time, and talk about Shroud of the Avatar

We are asking for funding for the event and for everyone to let us know if they are able to attend. The hotel we have offers group rates for rooms and we would love to make sure everyone gets the best deal possible. We need people to stay at the hotel to get the best price for the convention rooms.
Some of the things we have in the works:

  • At least someone from PaxLair, Port Phoenix, Avatars Radio, NBNN, and many other communities have committed to attendance.
  • At least 3 developers have committed to attendance
  • Potentially, we will recreate a board game using the map of Novia as the board!
  • Group gaming opportunities
  • Potentially, group meals with garb encouraged!
  • Vendors from the SotA community
  • Potentially, a kid friendly area!

A 1st year exclusive attendance reward will be given out at the event!

We need volunteers. Both local to the area, to help with logistics and planning, and others to help facilitate a smooth and enjoyable time for everyone. We also need financial backing as well as attendees. I would like to thank the three people who have already committed to helping this project and a special thanks to @Winfield for being a sounding board for the last five or so months that we’ve been planning this. We are excited for this event and can’t wait to see everyone and have a great time. I would also like to thank @DarkStarr for his initial support @Berek for his current and future support in making sure we can have Portalarium in attendance.

Please visit sotacon.org for more information. If you would like to attend or volunteer, please get a hold of me. More details will come in the near future.


Viking 2-Story Village Home with Dual Balconies

In our line of Viking homes is this beautiful 2-story, village home, with 2 rooms on the first floor, a single large room on the second floor, and both a front and rear balcony on the 2nd floor, available now in the Add-On Store!

SotA_Viking_2Story_Village_Home_2Balconies_small


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33 Day Countdown to Summer 2016 Expiration Event, Part 1

As we march toward the Final Wipe and Lot Selection milestone, we are having a Summer 2016 Expiration Event split into Two Parts!

Summer 2016 Expiration Event, Part 1

  • At Midnight CDT (5:00 UTC) on July 27, 2016, we are expiring the homes and basements from the Ancestor, Edelmann, Knight Marshal, Lord Marshal, Duke, and Lord of the Manor 2 pledges. We are also expiring new Player Owned Towns (upgrades of existing POTs will continue to be available). All other rewards (including tax free property deeds) that are currently available in the remaining pledges will continue to be available. The final wipe of all game data will also occur at Midnight CDT (5:00 UTC) on July 27th. To commemorate this momentous milestone, we are holding a 12-hour Summer Telethon Part 1, starting at 12:00 pm CDT (17:00 UTC) and running right up to the Final Wipe at Midnight CDT (5:00 UTC).

Summer 2016 Expiration Event, Part 2

  • At Midnight CDT (5:00 UTC) on August 22, 2016, we are expiring ALL remaining pledges, including: Adventurer, Founder, Royal Artisan, Explorer, Ancestor, Edelmann, Knight Marshal, Lord Marshal, Duke, and Lord of the Manor 2. To commemorate the final expiration of all remaining pledges, we are holding a 12-hour Summer Telethon Part 2, starting at 12:00 pm CDT (17:00 UTC) and running right up to the Final Pledge Expirations at Midnight CDT (5:00 UTC).


The Sword of Midras SotA Novel for Hardcover, Kindle, Nook and Audiobook

SwordofMidras_BookCover

The Sword of Midras, by Tracy Hickman and Richard Garriott, is a revised and expanded version of the Blade of the Avatar novel (originally included in pledge rewards through May 31, 2015). The expanded The Sword of Midras includes four additional chapters not seen in the pledge reward version of Blade of the Avatar, extending and elaborating on key elements of the story.

The release date is June 21, 2016 by Tor Books. The Hardcover, Kindle, and Nook, versions by Tor Books are available now at Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

Release date for the unabridged audiobook version is July 12, 2016 with pre-orders available now at Audible.com. Here is sample of the audiobook on SoundCloud:

[NOTE: The original Blade of the Avatar novel has already been delivered as an electronic PDF to all pledges prior to May 31, 2015 (when it expired). For those who qualify for this reward, you can find the link to the PDF on your SotA website account page Special Rewards tab for download. The physical and signed versions of the novel that are rewards at the Patron and Citizen level up through May 31, 2015 will be a paperback print version of the original Blade of the Avatar novel that has been delivered as an electronic PDF. This physical reward will be delivered to backers at the same time that all physical rewards are delivered, which we currently expect will be toward the end of this year

Some backers have asked if they will receive The Sword of Midras, or the 4 additional chapters that were written for it, as part of their Blade of the Avatar novel pledge reward. Unfortunately, Portalarium is contractually not at liberty to distribute The Sword of Midras, or the additional chapters, in print or electronic form, as part of our original pledge rewards. This was a requirement In order to procure a mass market book publishing agreement with a major book publisher. We felt the mass market distribution of The Sword of Midras was critically important to help increase the worldwide exposure of Shroud of the Avatar. If The Sword of Midras is successful, it will help introduce many readers to our game, and potentially bring them in as new players, which is a long-term benefit for the game and the community.]


Upcoming Events

2016.06.30 – Release 31
2016.07.27 – Summer Telethon Part 1 + Pledge Homes / POT Expirations (Final Wipe at Midnight)
2016.07.28 – Release 32: Lot Selections
2016.08.22 – Summer Telethon Part 2 + Final Pledge Expirations Episode 1 (Pledge Expirations at Midnight)
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

Community Activities

Visit the official Community Calendar to see the great lineup of activities our amazing community has planned for this weekend! And be sure to check out the Release 30 Events thread in the SotA forums for additional events.

Event of the Week – EVL Siege Wars

This Friday, June 24th, EVL will be holding their first ever Siege Wars in Forsaken Forest (entered through the player owned town of Brickport; map). We invite everyone that is interested in PvP, no matter their level, to come join us for a night of fun. We will have two towers, two relics, and two teams. The teams will battle against each other in a struggle to defend the relic in their own tower while at the same time attempting to capture the enemy teams relic. The teleport point for the evening is Jar Laxle. We will get things started at 8 p.m. server time. Hope to see you there! (details)


Community Resources – Players Helping PlayersSotA_NewPlayerWelcome_Forum

The official SotA New Player Welcome Forum and the Player Created Resources Forum have the best player created resources for Shroud of the Avatar, whether it’s a Player Written Guide, a Video Walk-through, or a Wiki-type Website.

Resource of the Week

  • New Britannia News Network
    • NBNN is New Britannia’s premier video streaming news network. This community effort mobilizes streamers into a global endeavor of promotion for the greater Shroud of the Avatar community. Whether it be the latest news or a revealing interview, NBNN never fails to surprise! And much to my surprise while visiting their site, they have a decent number of maps to peruse. Check it out, friends!


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: Crowfall’s First Ever Telethon!

Get Ready for Crowfall’s First Ever Telethon!

Our friends over at Crowfall are having their first ever telethon. We wish them the best with their fundraising goals! Be sure and tune in during their 12-hour telecast and lend your support. And be sure to suggest that Gordon and Todd sing, dance, or take a shot as the backers pledge their support! Here’s an excerpt from the CROWFALL LIVE post:

The ArtCraft office is swirling with activity as we prepare for the first-ever “Crowfall Live!” on Monday [June 27, 2016 at 8:00 am Central].

We don’t want to spoil any surprises, so we can’t show any of the works in progress – but here is a teaser shot from our newly-installed ACE studio (i.e. the big closet that we were using a week ago for storage).

Props to our video producer John Gibson and our new production intern Max Lancaster for pulling this together!

Here are some of the things we have in store for you during the livestream:

  • A partnership announcement,
  • Surprise guests,
  • Design reveals (new information about both systems and content!),
  • Live demonstrations from our amazing artists,
  • Beat-the-Dev playtests,
  • Murder of Crows live (more info on this soon!)
  • Future plans for ACE
  • Hourly prizes and sales
  • And even more…

This 12-hour “Crowfall Live!” event will begin at 8 am Central, so drop in as often and for as long as you can throughout the day on Monday, June 27th twitch.tv/crowfallgame.

Come join us for what promises to be a great time!

Todd & Gordon
Co-Founders, ACE


Xounts Kickstarter: Shroud of the Avatar Special!

We’re excited to announce that Xounts is offering a free Shroud of the Avatar style when you support their unique speaker system Kickstarter campaign.

The ‪Xounts‬ system is fantastic at delivering great sound, looks really cool wherever it’s placed, and supports custom themes… including a really SWEET Shroud of the Avatar theme. We even have a SotA styled Xounts in our office!

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10 Comments


  1. licemeatlicemeat

    Are the Brittany Wharf screenshots in-game or have they been altered? They look really good, but it looks like a tilt-shift or something has been added.

      1. licemeatlicemeat

        I hope you are right. It really adds some depth to the scene and looks great. I just didn’t want to fool myself thinking that it looks better than it really does because of camera trickery.


      1. AlbusAlbus

        I’m glad Baron Drocis has them though apparently? It would be such a shame if he had missed them! And surely they will lead to other robes for all who missed them (including myself :P). They are looking very good though! Cheers :)


  2. DancingShadeDancingShade

    Wow I am really regretting melting my elven costumes a while back now. Hopefully another opportunity will comes along to correct that mistake! Great work though.

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