Release 31 Instructions

[A SotA Public Forum post by Starr Long]

Starr_avatar

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 31 access for all backers at First Responder level and above begins this Thursday, June 30, at 10:30 AM US Central Daylight Time (15:30 UTC).

We are only one release away from Final Wipe and Lot Selection and we are focusing on the final tactical changes in order to prepare for that momentous event. Those tactical changes in Release 31 include an intense focus on the New User Experience, character customization inside the game, additional neighborhoods for Greater Brittany, and continued expansions to the crafting system.

brittanyalleys8

The Novian Aeronautics Manufactory in Brittany Alleys

New User Experience:

For Release 31, we have begun focusing our efforts on improving the new user experience starting with Solace Bridge (which has been completely reworked) and Soltown (which we’ve begun reworking). This reworking includes a new onscreen hint system, new NPC behaviors, and a better flow through the scenes.

We selected Solace Bridge and Soltown as part of the polish pass on the the Love path of the story. This means that, for now, we will be putting any further work on the Courage and Truth paths on hold until we feel that the Love path truly represents our goals for Shroud of the Avatar’s story.

Crafting:

Crafting continues to expand with Masterworking gaining more specialized modifiers per type of gear. This means that higher level Smiths, Tailors, and Carpenters can get really specific on each piece of equipment by adding very specific exact benefits. Alchemists also unlock specific enchantments when they socket gems into weapons and chest armor. These changes are getting us closer to our goal of what we envisage as “Bespoke Crafters” who create very custom gear for the most demanding customers. We also worked on the other side of the life cycle of gear and improved Salvage so that, at high levels, it now has the chance to return components.

Housing:

With Release 31, housing number requirements are basically achieved for Episode 1 (minus Brittany Estates). The additions of Brittany Alleys, Brittany Wharfs, and 19 new PRTs represent thousands of new lots. Additionally, we finally have Keep and Castle island lots working for the Dukes and Lords of the Manors bringing us in line with the numbers for those pledges (see below for locations). We also greatly improved the granularity of the Housing Permissions system.

Stability:

We have been working non-stop with Unity for six weeks now on the Unity engine stability issues. We have made some progress on the crashes that happen in scenes (aka the “zombie crashes”). Unfortunately, we are still seeing the crashes that happen during scene transitions and the fix for the in “zombie” crash represents a reduction in visual quality of our water system.

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 addressing 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). You can also get the latest official events on the Main Website.

Without further ado, here is a list of what you can expect to see in Release 31.

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 31, June 30, 2016

  • Story: The dungeon of Artifice on the island of Elysium will welcome pilgrims for the first time, and the Courage storyline will be playable from beginning to end for the first time.
    • Artifice & Courage Path Delayed: We decided to focus our efforts entirely on the New User Experience and polishing the Love Path versus trying to add another storyline.
    • Brittany Wharfs: This sprawling neighborhood of Brittany is the center of commerce for Greater Brittany and is composed of mostly town-sized lots.BrittanyWharf6
    • Brittany Alleys: This suburb of Brittany houses the bulk of the population of Greater Brittany and is composed of mostly row-sized lots. It is also the center of industry for Greater Brittany and where Novian Aeronautics has their factory.brittanyalleys11
    • Kiln Cistern: This new underground area beneath the town of Kiln is filled with puzzles, danger, and plenty of water. It also bridges a significant gap in the Underground Network, connecting to Blackblade Pass to Etceter Crag Mines via Quel Passage, and Spectral Mines via the new Midmaer Passage.
    • Midmaer Passage: Midmaer Passage allows underground travel between Kiln Cistern and Spectral Mines. Defeat the Raging Water Elemental in Kiln Cistern or the Ghastly Deadeye in Spectral Mines to get their key and unlock this passage.
    • Brittany Sewers (Phase 1): Begin exploring the treacherous underside of Brittany in this new underground area. Currently accessible from central Brittany and Brittany Alleys, additional entry points will be added to this scene in a future release.
    • Iolo Stories: Players can now find 10 chapters of The Sorcerer’s Daughter by David Watson (our very own Iolo the crossbow maker) at various locations in the game. Note this replaced the last few books we had in the game that had “Lorem Ipsum” text in them.
    • Polish:
      • Novia Cleanup Phase 2: We did more cleanup, polish, and bug fixing on the Novia overworld, including tightening up collision and reintroducing some of the propping that we had to eliminate during the rework.
      • Underground Network: The way in which the Perennial Coast’s underground scenes connect with each other has been updated — Spectral Mines, Soltown Catacombs, and Ardoris Sewers now connect directly with Solania Catacombs, but not with each other.
      • Soltown Catacombs: This beloved underground area received a major overhaul of its Soltown entrance, a simplification of its many tunnels, and general cleanup and polish throughout.
      • Soltown: Soltown is being reworked over the next couple of releases to make it more useful to new players, more immersive, and to feel more alive. By R32, we plan to have most towns along the path of Love feel much more polished and feel like what players expect from a Lord British game. For R31, several (4) new quests have been added to test your virtue. So, be sure to chat with the people you meet, even if you’ve already chatted with them before. You might be surprised by what they have to say. Also, all inhabitants of Soltown are now on schedules, new inhabitants have been added, and some old inhabitants may behave differently or have a different tale to tell.
      • Under Construction Signs: Scenes that we plan to go back to later for major updates (primarily scenes that were cloned from other scenes which need to be made unique) now have notifications to let players know of that temporary state. This notification includes a message on screen that says “Attention: This area is in early development and is temporarily based on another scene.” Also, actual barricades are at the entrances of these scene which players have to walk around before entering.
  • New User Experience Polish: Final polish passes will be done on the Tutorials, hints, and starting scenes.
    • Solace Bridge: We have completely redone the Solace Bridge sequence of the Path of Love tutorial as described by Scott “Lum” Jennings in this forum post.Charlotte
      • We have removed the pop up windows with tutorial text in this scene. They can still be found in other scenes but we are evaluating completely replacing them everywhere with the new context-sensitive hints that appear now in Solace Bridge. These hints contain one or two lines of text and are onscreen for a few moments versus the windows which were walls of text (note that these new hints cannot be dismissed).
      • Other changes include the removal of the target dummy, meaning you’ll have to practice your combat skills on, you know, things that try to kill you.
      • Edvard will now fight alongside you (well, ahead of you – he tanks so you can practice your ranged skills). He also gives you 250 arrows to start out with, so no more scavenging around for enough arrows to just finish the scene.
      • There is now a weapon rack in the scene so you can select whatever starting weapon you ‘d like (sword, polearm, mace, and shield). However, you will not start with any skills for them and will need to seek out a trainer in Soltown.
      • To make the scene in general more interesting, we’ve introduced a brief quest starting with Charlotte Gray, a young child left behind in the battle whom the Avatar can rescue from certain death. However, saving her will be tough, and if you fail to do so, there will be consequences.
    • Isle of Storms: Butterflies and Watchers were added along with the Magic Mirror (see “New You” section below) and an Oracle Confirmatory. In R32, the Oracle will be asking the Virtue questions instead of Arabella. We also changed the Virtue questions to remove words that sounded too much like classic character classes since those do not apply to our game. (For example, “fighter” replaced with “student of the sword.”)
    • All players begin in Solace Bridge: For R31, we are starting all players in Solace Bridge regardless of what choices they make in Isle of Storms. We will open up the other tutorial scenes to new characters as they are re-done. They can still be entered in their current form, but new characters will not be directed to them.
  • New Female Avatar: A complete overhaul of the female avatar, including a completely new sculpt and skin texture.
    • New Female in R30: This was actually delivered in Release 30.
  • Service Hardening: We will begin a series of passes through the client, authentication, and server to harden the service for security and customer service. Special attention will be paid to the Patcher.
    • Service Hardening: Various changes were made behind the scenes.
  • Single-Player Offline Combat Balance: A pass will be made through the game to adjust combat balance for play in offline mode with companions.
    • Single-Player Offline Combat Balance Delayed: We have delayed this work in order to work on expanding Crafting functionality (see below)
  • Player Towns: Player-Owned Towns (POTs) that have locked submission forms will appear in the game, and more Player-Run Town (PRTs) scenes with small NPC cores with basic functions (banks, shops, trainers) will appear across Novia. New variations on the town templates may also appear.
    • New Grassland PRTs in Novia:
      • Magna Planitia (inland grassland in Quel, northwest of Brightbone Pass)
      • Anseldale (inland grassland in Midmaer, southeast of Kiln)
      • Etan Glen (inland grassland in Midmaer, east of Nightshade Pass)
      • Blumdel (inland grassland in Grunvald, west of Desolis)
      • Grimmdalur (inland grassland in Verdantis, east of Dysborg Ruins)
      • Horngap (inland grassland in Longfall, southeast of Blood River)
    • New Swamp PRTs in Novia: This PRT template is based on the Swamp 01 POT template.
      • Grumridge (coastal swamp in southeast Longfall)
      • Smaragar (coastal swamp in northeast Nordgard)
    • New Island PRTs in Novia: This PRT template is based on the Island 01 POT template.
      • Nesoskia (island off the northern coast of Elysium in the Bay of Storms)
      • Pericaliya (island off the southwestern Coast of Longfall, near Aerie)
      • Parrot’s Roost (island north of Quel in the Bay of Storms)
      • Platinum Keys (island off the western coast of Verdantis)
      • Exile Island (island west of Drachvald in Spindrift Bay)
    • New PRTs in Hidden Vale:
      • Port Titan (coastal forest, southwest of Westhollow)
      • Forewind (coastal forest, southeast of Kingsport)
      • Littlecreek (inland forest, southwest of Kingsport)
      • Shady Copse (inland forest, SE of Ravenswood)
      • Umber Heath (inland grasslands, west the Ruined Keep)
      • Greenfall (inland grasslands, southwest of Kingsport)
    • New Dynamic POTs & Dynamic POT Changes: We processed all Locked submission forms for Dynamic POTs. We also removed POTs that had incomplete payment plans.
      • Ahnen Hain: Ownership changed. Renamed (formerly Blackbear Cove (Sea Cave)). Converted to Swamp. Changed location. Interconnections (removed Blackbear Cove (Surface), added Brekken Bay).
      • Antilles Cove: Interconnection (with Prime Mori).
      • Artemis Outland: Converted to Forest.
      • Avallon: New addition (nested in Xenos).
      • Bearskin Grotto: Interconnection (with Jade Valley).
      • Blackrock Cove: Interconnections (with Mara Mesta, Blue Rose Isle, and Taenby Landing).
      • Bladewyke: Ownership changed. Changed location.
      • Blue Rose Isle: Converted to Tropical Island.
      • Bravehaven: Rotated to Left. Changed location (minor). Interconnection (with Fortus End).
      • Caelestis Canton: New addition (nested in central Brittany).
      • Caladruin: Converted to Swamp 1a.
      • Christophs Perch: Converted to Mountains.
      • Clevedon: Nested interconnection changed to within Brittany.
      • Cooper Shoals: Removed POT.
      • Dara Brae: Changed location. Upgraded to Hamlet. Removed Interconnection (with Storm’s Reach).
      • Dawn’s Keep: Rotated to Left.
      • Eodon: Removed POT.
      • Gensicke: Renamed (formerly Gensfield). Upgraded to Hamlet.
      • Glacebourg: Removed POT.
      • Great Reed Alpha: New addition (nested in Mud).
      • Grimmstone Fields: Renamed (formerly Soggy Bottom). Converted to Grasslands. Changed location.
      • Grym: Ownership changed. Renamed (formerly Blackbear Cove (Surface)). Converted to Forest 2. Changed location. Removed interconnection (with Blackbear Cove (Sea Cave)).
      • Heorth: Rotated to Right.
      • Hy-Brasil: Converted to Tropical Island.
      • Islands of Wonders: Converted to Tropical Island.
      • Jade Valley: Interconnections (with Bearskin Grotto and Siren Song Bayou).
      • Lacedaemon: Removed POT.
      • Lions of Amore: New addition (nested in Serenite).
      • Lyonesse: Converted to Tropical Island.
      • Magincia: Removed POT.
      • Mara Mesta: Converted to Mountain. Changed location. Interconnections (with Blackrock Cove, Obsidian Ridge, and Taenby Landing).
      • Mediolanum: Converted to Forest 1a.
      • Memphomai: Converted to Mountains.
      • Minock: Removed interconnection (with Obsidian Ridge). Ownership changed. Changed location.
      • Neverland: New addition (nested in Spite).
      • New Vesper: Converted to Forest 1a.
      • Obsidian Ridge: Removed interconnection (with Minock). Added interconnections (with Mara Mesta and Taenby Landing).
      • Pirate’s Hideout: Renamed (formerly Pirate’s Den). Converted to Mountains. Changed location.
      • Prime Mori: Interconnection (with Antilles Cove).
      • Radio City: Converted to Mountains.
      • Rats Nest: Changed location (minor).
      • Raven’s Head: Upgraded to Metropolis.
      • Saint Haley’s Refuge: Converted to Tropical Island. Upgraded to Hamlet.
      • Sanguine Stand: Rotated to Right.
      • SilverHold: Converted to Alpine 1a. Upgraded to Town.
      • Siren Song Bayou: Upgraded to Hamlet. Interconnection (with Jade Valley).
      • Stonegate: Converted to Forest 1a.
      • Storm’s End: Removed POT.
      • Straits of Delirium : New addition (nested in Owl’s Wash).
      • Tara’s Rest: Removed POT.
      • Wind: Removed POT.
      • Winterbourne: Removed POT.
      • Wyrmgard: New addition (nested in Resolute).

R31Map_of_Novia_POTR31Map_of_HiddenVale_POT

  • Performance: Major efforts will be done to optimize performance.  This will include frame rate improvements, load time improvements, and memory footprint improvements.
    • LODs/Simplified Collision:
      • Wrecked Galleon
      • Medieval Boats
      • Spider Eggs
      • Oracle Head Statue
      • Outhouse
      • Lord Thrones
      • Dragon Bones
      • Garden Shed
      • Ardoris Lanterns
      • Baron beds
      • Hedge walls
      • Practice Dummies
      • Footbridges
      • Saddle Stands
      • Longboats & Gondolas
      • Baron Mirror
      • Dragon Statue
      • City walls
      • Creature Statues
      • Water Wheels
      • Rustic Village Buildings
      • Wood and Plaster NPC buildings
      • Wind Turbines
      • Kobold Tower
      • Obsidian Architecture
      • Blacksmith Pack items
    • SpeedTrees: With efforts ongoing, we have created new SpeedTrees to replace some older tree assets which were causing issues negative to performance.
  • Crafting
    • Gems: Adding a gem to a weapon now unlocks specific enchantments related to the gem’s school of magic in addition to increasing attunement to the magic school. For example, adding a Necromancy Gem allows you to add Life Drain to your sword. Note that Gem Socketing is now permanent and can no longer be changed at will.
    • Salvage Returns Components: At high levels of Salvage skill you now have the chance to get components back from salvaged gear, not just scrap or raw materials.
    • Masterworks Skills: These skills now add very specific modifiers to gear based on the type of skill and gear. So, if you are a Smith and you specialize in Blades,  you can add modifiers like +5 to Blade speed to a sword.
    • Durability Protection for Purchased Items: Pledge Rewards and Add On Store purchases no longer suffer maximum durability reduction, only current durability. This means they have to be repaired but they will not break.
    • Enchanted/Masterworked Gear VFX: All Enchanted / Masterworked Gear now has a visual effect on it to indicate that it has been enhanced.
    • Tool Engraving: Applying engraving to Tools reduces maximum durability the same way that Masterworking and Enchanting affect maximum durability on weapons and armor.
    • Tool Prices: Prices for in game tools have increased
    • 49 Plain Wooden Signs Recipes: Recipes have been added that generate 49 different symbols on 3 different styles of signs (Wall, Ground, Hanging). See the “Signs” bullet point in Housing below for more details.
  • Combat:
    • Damage distribution based on durability of items: Durability reduction on items is now distributed based on their max durability so they all reduce at approximately the same rate.
    • Experience Bars Removed: These have been removed from the main screen to give more usable space on the main screen. You can still view your accumulated experience pools in the skill windows.
    • Next Level now +20: The “Next Level” display in the Skills window now displays the effect your skill will have when you increase by 20 points versus just 1 point (was legacy when we just had 5 levels).
    • Testudo Durability: This skill no longer constantly drains durability while used.
    • Reveal Hidden: Now leveling properly.
    • Confusion: Targets affected by this spell’s debuff now have sparkles!
    • Shield Bash: Now does a true stun instead of mesmerize but duration has been decreased slightly.
    • Stealth Skills & Spells: Now all share a single channel so they cannot be stacked. This fixes several exploits including being able to harvest while stealthed.
    • Near Death Bonus: The near death bonus for death magic has been doubled.  Max bonus is now 100% for players very near death!
    • Body Slam: Now scales damage properly with skill and stacking.
    • Skewer: Root on skewer should now work as expected.
    • All Magic Damage Spells: All magic spells that deal damage have had their focus cost increased.
    • Discharge: The damage for discharge has been lowered and the stun duration decreased dramatically.
    • Chain Lightning & Lightning Bolt: Stun duration decreased dramatically.
    • Death Ray & Death Touch: Damage and heal effect increased significantly.
    • Ice Arrow & Ice Fist: Damage increased modestly.
    • Obsidian Arrow & Stone Fist: Damage increased modestly and the effect of strength on the damage increased.
    • Ring of Fire:  Damage over time effect now has increased damage per time but for shorter times.
    • Soothing Rain: Small increase to the healing effect.
  • Character:
    • “New You”: Players can now change their physical appearance in the game. Initially this can be done on the Isle of Storms during your encounter with Arabella using a Magic Mirror. After that, you can seek out Crown Merchants for this service. For R31, these merchants can be found in the Ardoris “New You” shop (located in the docks area), and in Brittany near the Obsidian Crown potion merchant on South Portside Avenue.
    • Polished Hair: We have begun a major polish pass on all the hair styles. Currently only a few have been updated to new models (Short for the Female, and Bob for both genders). By next release, we plan to have all the hair styles remodeled and updated to a new and better shader.
    • Children: Small humans can now be seen wandering Novia and suffering for it.
    • Cloth Tunic: This new craftable cloth armor can be dyed.clothdoublet
    • Elven Elder Armor : After we polished the original Elven armors from the Stretch Goal Store (see below), players requested the ability to purchase them again because they looked so much better than they had originally. However, since we had already expired these items we could not resell them, so we have created visual variants that are now for sale in the Add On Store. These represent base level armor.
      • Elven Elder Fighter Armor
      • Elven Elder Archer Armor
      • Elven Elder Mage Robes
    • Polish:
      • Gambeson: Formerly known as Cloth Doublet. This is now a piece of craftable Cloth Armor.
      • Chainmail: Fixed belly on male character.
      • Founder Leather Armor
      • Founder Tunic
      • Benefactor Tunic
      • Red Dress
      • Elven Fighter Armor
      • Elven Archer Armor
      • Elven Mage RobesElf_Armor
    • /juggle: Players can learn this emote from Vivian Deventer, the “New You” merchant in the Alchemy shop on South Portside Avenue in Brittany.
    • /macarena: Players can learn this dance from Bruno Martelli, the “New You” Salon owner in Ardoris.
    • /puke & /drunk: Eventually overindulging in drink will cause your Avatar to throw up and have a different, more wobbly, idle animation. Invoking the /puke emote will force your Avatar to throw up in an even more spectacular fashion than normal whenever you wish, you sadistic bastard. This emote is available in the Add-On Store and comes with the /drunk idle as well.
    • New Basic emotes: We added the following emotes to all characters:
      • /smile
      • /frown
      • /scowl
      • /giggle
      • /goodbye
      • /welcome
      • /yes
      • /no
  • NPCs and Creatures
    • Fire Elementals: Now emit light.
    • Oracle Watchers: Watchers now scan players and NPCs with a visual effect and use head tracking.
    • Head Tracking and Noticing: Townspeople now notice each other and players and they turn their heads to track accordingly.
    • Corpse Eating: Undead have a new, and disturbing, idle behavior…
    • Scheduling Granularity: NPC schedules can now be done at much higher granularity than before.
  • Player Housing
    • Housing Permissions: We have modified the permissions of our housing system to give owners greater control over how they share use of their property. This includes more levels of permissions and permission control per item. WARNING: All permissions have been wiped and need to be redone as part of this change.
      • Guest
        • Can open locked doors.
        • Can not place or remove decorations.
      • Kindred/Guild member
        • Identical to Guest with the additional ability for the owner to grant item access permissions (chests, vendors, etc.)
        • Can place, modify, or remove decorations dependent on item access privilege.
      • Trustee
        • Can add/remove permissions for lower ranks.
        • Can place, modify, or remove decorations dependent on item access privilege.
      • Co-Owner
        • Can add/remove permissions for lower ranks.
        • Can place, modify, or remove any item on the plot.
      • Owner
        • Actual home owner.
        • Can add/remove any permissions.
        • Can place, modify, or remove any item on the plot.
    • 6 Shingle Roof Homes: Community member SeleneNoctua suggested that the little Shingle Roof home that comes as a default with some of the lot deeds has a really nice exterior and interior style and requested other larger homes in that same style. Other players agreed, so we took all the Wood & Plaster style homes and made versions of them with this style. Furthermore, we have chosen to make these available in game via merchant and 4 additional ones will be craftable in R32.
      • 2 Story Shingle Roof Row House
      • 3 Story Shingle Roof Row House
      • Shingle-Roof 3 Story Open Plan Village Home
      • Shingle-Roof 2 Story with Great Hall Village Home
      • Shingle-Roof 2 Story with Overhang Village Home
      • Shingle-Roof with Balcony Village Home
    • Signs: Players can now place signs on their lots or on their homes. These signs have customizable Tooltips that players can use to name their shops, homes, guildhalls, taverns, streets, squares, etc. The signs come in 4 Materials (Plain Wooden, Fancy Wooden, Brass, and Silver), 3 Types (Wall, Hanging, and Ground), and over 45 Symbols (including a blank sign). The plain wooden versions are all craftable in game, while the other materials are purchasable in the Add-On Store. Symbols include:
      • <blank>
      • Hospitaller
      • Combat
      • Blade
      • Bludgeon
      • Light Armor
      • Heavy Armor
      • Shield
      • Polearm
      • Ranged
      • Agriculture
      • Alchemy
      • Blacksmith
      • Butcher
      • Carpenter
      • Cook
      • Field Dressing
      • Gathering
      • Forestry
      • Milling
      • Mining
      • Smelting
      • Tailor
      • Tanning
      • Textiles
      • Magic
      • Air
      • Chaos
      • Death
      • Earth
      • Fire
      • Life
      • Moon
      • Sun
      • Water
      • Armor
      • Armor and Weapon
      • Bank
      • Book Seller
      • Clothing
      • General Crafting
      • Fishing
      • General Store
      • Guild
      • Inn
      • Real Estate
      • Tavern
      • Trainer
      • Weapon
    • Keep and Castle Island Water Lots: Holders of a Founder Keep Deed or Founder Castle Deed can use that deed to claim a new type of water lot that has the option to have an island underneath it. These island lots can be found in all coastal PRTs, most coastal towns that are cloned (Spite, Estgard, Port Graff, etc.), all Island PRTs, and many of the larger waterfront NPC towns (including Aerie, Brittany, Ardoris, Brittany Alleys, and Brittany Wharfs). We plan to make these work in Dynamic Coastal, Underground and Island POTs later this year as well, but will likely be preplaced versus fully dynamic due to their size and the fact that they include terrain.
    • Slow Decoration Rotation Speed now Slower: We have slowed the slower decoration rotation speed (called via a key modifier) to be even slower (0.1 degrees per second) to allow for much finer adjustments.
    • House Pets and Servants: We have eliminated the need to have two objects (call & deco version) for Pets and Servants. Note this now means if your Pet or Servant is at your home, it can no longer also be out adventuring with you…
    • Radiant Energy Coil & Capacitor: These sparking energy devices based on Kobold technology are sure to be a conversation starters.
    • Bell Tower: This decoration item has eight bells that can be rung by players, each with a different note.
    • Telescope: This placeable item allows players to view objects far away, similar to the handheld version from the now expired Ships stretch goal.
    • Viking 2-Story Village Home with Dual Balconies: New in our line of Viking homes, 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.SotA_Viking_2Story_Village_Home_2Balconies_small
    • Keep Stone & Timber 5 Story Basement: The newest addition to our line of basements is a Keep sized 5-story basement using the split level Stone & Timber style.
    • Built in Lighting: Added more built in lighting to the following homes:
      • Crafting Pavilion
      • Lord Marshal
      • Stucco Row Houses
    • Ardoris Docks: Waterlot dock areas in Ardoris can now be decorated by owners
  • Audio: We did another pass through the game upgrading and adding various sound effects including the following:
    • Isle of Storms
    • Oracle Watchers
    • Sheep
    • Cow
    • Chicken
    • Fireworks
    • Ocean
    • Overall music volume turned down (to balance mix)
    • Sheath and Unsheath Weapons
      • Swords
      • Bows
      • Polearms
      • Daggers
      • Hammer
      • Axe
      • Mace
      • Wand
    • Emotes (these include new male and female vocals):
      • Angry
      • Backflip
      • Belly Laugh
      • Boo
      • Cheer
      • Chicken
      • Clap
      • Come Here
      • Cry
      • Drink
      • Face Palm
      • Face Slap
      • Flex
      • Flower
      • Giggle
      • Hand Stand
      • Jumping Jacks
      • Kiss
      • Laugh
      • Meditate
      • No
      • Panic
      • PlayDead
      • Ponder
      • Rock, Paper, Scissors
      • Royal Gesture
      • Royal Wave
      • Salute
      • Scowl
      • Shadow Box
      • Shakes Fist
      • Shake Head
      • Shooter
      • Table Flip
      • Talk
      • Talk Angry
      • Taunt
      • Throat Cut
      • Thumbs Up
      • Toast
      • Yawn
      • Yes
  • Miscellaneous:
    • Crowns for Items: Crown merchants will now offer crowns for certain items. For now, this is limited only to house deeds from Pledges and Add On Store purchases but may expand to support other purchased items as well. This is to help support players wishing to still be able to “melt down” after final wipe, but who may have already claimed their items.
    • Camera Effects: We have introduced new camera effects in this release as part of our ongoing efforts to improve our visuals and improve performance.
      • Ambient Occlusion: We have upgraded our AO filter with new filter that gives better results for a fraction of the cost.
      • Depth of Field: Distant elements now have a softer appearance during the day that fades during the night.
      • Color Grading: A much simpler color grading system has been added.  The result should be a more natural color tone and more natural saturation tuning.
      • Sharpness filter: To go with depth of field filter, we now use a sharpness filter on near objects. The result is near objects are more crisp than past releases and distant objects are slightly blurred.
      • Bloom: We have switched to a new bloom filter that gives a much better and less exaggerated effect.
    • Lord British’s Birthday Items: To celebrate Lord British’s birthday on July 4th, we are putting Fireworks and new version of the birthday cake in the Add-On Store
      • Red, White & Blue Rocket Fireworks
      • Red, White & Blue Missile Fireworks
      • 2016 Lord British Birthday Cake: This is a new color variation for this year that yields a different array of fireworks.

So, now that it is clear what you can expect, we should also be as clear about what you should NOT expect:

  • Stability (especially Linux): The latest version of Unity that we updated to for Release 29 introduced quite a higher level of instability and memory leaks than we have ever previously encountered. This is especially bad for the Linux version of the game. We are working directly with Unity engineering to resolve this as quickly as possible.
  • Performance: We have begun performance optimizations (LODs) as well as a first round of performance fallback routines via a Performance Manager. However we still have some work to do, particularly for older machines. Additionally, with the latest version of Unity we are using has some serious stability issues and memory leaks that we are working closely with them to resolve. Please be patient with us as we work through these issues. With each release, we will be doing further optimizations and adding more fallbacks to improve performance.
  • Game Loop: Release 31 is a further iteration on our game loop, but is still missing some key components. Expect this to expand with each subsequent release.
  • 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. There will be only one more wipe in July before everything goes persistent with Release 32. So consider everything gained during early access 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

 



20 Comments



  1. Wintermute of CoFWintermute of CoF

    > Depth of Field

    Why do games keep implementing bad eyesight as a feature? Hopefully this can be turned off?

    1. ChrisChris

      Currently it can’t be toggled off. The DoF fades out at night. We’re evaluating whether to keep it or not but there is a reason most every game uses it. Things rendered at great distances are rarely pretty. That is becoming more obvious as we add LODs for things. DoF helps hide the ugly.

      1. Wintermute of CoFWintermute of CoF

        There’s a reason it’s the second thing I turn off in every game that uses it (after motion blur), it’s distracting, I’m used to what I’m looking at being in focus. It’s fine if you want to implement it, and even if you want to make it the default experience, but please give me a way to turn it off.

        1. MalakieMalakie

          I agree with you completely.. I too immediately turn it off and also turn off Blur.. My eyes cannot take it otherwise.
          It must be an option for players, especially for those with eyesight needs.




  2. NeiroNeiro

    I had a look at the addon store with the signs in mind.
    I don’t see any way to purchase a carpentry sign in there. Also, it’s daft that I have to purchase nine signs just to get one or two.
    Please elaborate.

    1. DarkStarrDarkStarr Post author

      1. We haven’t finished adding them to the add on store. Its a very time consuming process to get them all there. We are a small team and we have to balance that with actual game work. We hope to be complete by Friday
      2. Because of the above we decided to consolidate them into bundles versus having hundreds of individual signs for sale, we are sorry for any inconvenience that causes.


  3. NeiroNeiro

    Actually I can’t find the elven armors mentioned either. Have they been added to the store yet?

    1. DarkStarrDarkStarr Post author

      See above. We are a small team and it takes time to add everything to the store and we have to balance that with actual game work. We hope to have everything added by Friday. Thank you for your patience and support.


  4. Cage StormCage Storm

    Exciting times, especially around Brittany, looking forward to seeing all the changes.


  5. dongato

    Hey so I have a major question. I have been deployed for a better part of the year and will not be home soon. Unable to log-in and do anything. Will this hinder me in my lot selection? I have had issues trying to keep up with all the changes and perhaps something like this has already been answered. Anyway, can’t wait to be able to log in and play once my military career begins to slow down.

    1. DarkStarrDarkStarr Post author

      Even if you are not able to log in during the initial lot selection window during Release 32 you will still be able to claim a lot at any time after that.


  6. Acaelus FireharpAcaelus Fireharp

    Hey DarkStaar, do you have any plans to make the two story viking row house available on it’s own?
    I really liked the look of that house but I already have a tax free row deed and didn’t want to have to buy the deed/house bundle just to get the house.

    1. DarkStarrDarkStarr Post author

      We have no plans to make those available outside the bundles but perhaps you could find someone willing to trade house deeds inside the game.


  7. KoldarKoldar

    Are the new fireworks also going to be available in replenishing crates (like the ones from last year)?

Comments are closed.