Update of the Avatar #186 – 2016.07.22: Xenos Reborn, More Brittany Housing, Renovating Spite, SotA Makes 2016 RPG List, New Bundle Store, and More!

Greetings Fellow Avatars!

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

Xenos Reborn

Xenos (like Spite) started as another cloned scene using one of our PRT / POT templates based off of the Forest 01 base template (aka PaxLair). It is getting a complete rebuild from scratch this release and will go live with Release 32. Note that scenes that we un-clone after the Final Wipe will NOT get this level of rework, and building placements and lot placements in those towns will remain unchanged; only cosmetic changes of building styles, terrain, and foliage will be made.

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

Hi guys,

Wanted to give you guys a quick update on Xenos. This area is important because this is where you need to hitch a ride to Artifice. But to get on board, you need to win the lottery first. So good luck!









Brittany Central Housing Expansion

Now that we completed all the surrounding neighborhoods of Greater Brittany, we realized some areas inside Central Brittany are redundant, such as the farming areas. By eliminating areas like these, among other adjustments, we increased the amount of player lots within Central Brittany.

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


Brittany keeps on expanding folks. 30 more player lots were added to the southern portion of the city. Most of these new areas of housing are along Cotton Road, Old Holtrop Road, and Jennings Byway.
Below we can see a Before and After comparison of the area I am referring to.

New lots that were added include:
1 City
1 Town
1 Village
27 Row



Looking East from South Brittany.


Esteben Zaldivar
Level Designer

Renovating Spite

Spite started as another cloned scene using one of our PRT / POT templates based off of the Forest 01 base template (aka PaxLair). It is getting a complete rebuild from scratch this release and will go live with Release 32. Note that scenes that we unclone after the Final Wipe will NOT get this level of rework, and building placements and lot placements in those towns will remain unchanged; only cosmetic changes of building styles, terrain, and foliage will be made.

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

Final Plot Layout for Spite

Lots of great housing spots for you here, so I invite you to take your time while selecting a home!


Lots of great vistas await the future property owners of Spite!


Inside the Mortuarium.


Rock Paper Shotgun’s 2016 RPG Listrpslogorec

Rock Paper Shotgun listed Shroud of the Avatar in their list of 2016’s Most Promising RPGs. Their recommendation was definitely a mixed bag of backhanded compliments, but RPS is known for the snark. Have a read:

“Definitely another 2016 release I’m expecting to see slip like a clumsy skater surrounded by banana peels, but according to the FAQ it’s still on its way for the next few months. Richard Garriott’s return to the RPG sees him trying to take on both single-player action and a new multiplayer world at the same time, in a world inspired but legally distinct from the Ultima of old. Want to adventure on your own? 40 hours of that await, in a classless, skill-tree driven world full of ethical dilemmas. Prefer company? Enter a world of consensual PvP, house building and more. Want to spend $275 of real money on a house? You’d better believe THAT’S an option. A somewhat worryingly prominent one, but we’ll see how it shakes out.”

Next Developer To Attend SotA Con

Portalarium’s community manager is the next dev on our team announced to attend the exciting new community driven convention – SotA Con, as… Pikachu Deadpool!

Just kidding! While Berek’s wild Pikachu Deadpool days are over (we think), he is confirmed to be the next attendee. Sota Con is coming up this November 4-7, 2016. More about this highly anticipated gathering of SotA players:

SotA Con’s goal is to create a Shroud of the Avatar themed gathering, on the East Coast, so players and developers can come together, grow together, and share ideas.

If you are a current Avatar, or a past Avatar, you are welcome to attend. We need your financial support to ensure this event takes place. If you are attending or not we are requesting crowd-funding support! Our current plan is to not charge admission for tickets the first year and try to make sure we prioritize donation attendees and allow anyone to come who we have room to accommodate.

Visit the Sota Con website at: www.sotacon.org/

New Bundle Store

We launched our new Bundle Store earlier this week, currently featuring a variety of value-packed Viking-themed bundles. In addition to the three Viking Tax Free Row Lot bundles, we added five smaller, non-property bundles, as well as a Viking Tax Free Village Lot bundle! Each bundle includes Early Access to Shroud of the Avatar, along with a variety of additional rewards that includes such items as pets, emotes, increased inventory size, wearables, tools, potions, tax-free property, houses, basements, decorations, special VIP forum access, and more!

Keep checking the Bundle Store during the days ahead; we’ll be adding more Viking bundles (including Town and City sized lot bundles), as well as a variety of Kobold-themed bundles! (NOTE: Most bundle items are currently available in-game, but some rewards are marked as available in an upcoming Release)

Upgrading Your Bundle

Additionally, if you buy one of the smaller bundles and later wish you had bought a larger bundle, you can easily upgrade to the larger bundle at any time without having to pay the full price of the larger bundle. To upgrade your existing bundle to a larger bundle, go to your Account page, select the “Bundles” tab, and click the “Upgrade” button next to the bundle you wish to upgrade (NOTE: You can only upgrade bundles of the same theme).


15% Summer Bonus and 5 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).

Get Your 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! For all new purchases (including pledges, pledge upgrades, add-on items, player owned towns and 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’ll add an additional 15% bonus to your Store Credit!

[Read more…]

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


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 Hardcover, Kindle, and Nook, versions by Tor Books are available now at Amazon and Barnes & Noble, and the unabridged audiobook version is available now at Audible.com. A sample of the audiobook is available at 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

2016.07.27 – Summer Telethon Part 1 + Pledge Homes / POT Expirations (Final Wipe at Midnight)
2016.07.28 – Release 32: Lot Selections
2016.08.16 – GDC Europe
2016.08.22 – Summer Telethon Part 2 + Final Pledge Expirations Episode 1 (Pledge Expirations at Midnight)
2016.08.25 – Release 33
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 31 Events thread in the SotA forums for additional events.

Events of the WeekPronoia Release Party



PRONOIA will be releasing on July 23rd 2016! The second Album from the boys who brought on the Return of Lord British and that amazing Neon Milk. We at Avatars Radio along with the Caverns are proud to announce the first listen party happening on July 22nd – July 23rd!

Starting at 10pm NBT and going until we collapse. Tune in to Avatars Radio and join us in game in the Island of Ghosts!; map).

Artwork for the poster done by Indi Martin of Tortoise and Hare creations.
Isle of Ghosts – Womby is the Governor.

The Maze is Back – 4B Maze in Radio City!

The amazing 4B maze builders are back with a brand new maze! Here’s an excerpt from their forum post announcement:


When: Sunday, July 24, from 1pm-3pm CDT

Where: Radio City (map; Castle Arena Basement, teleport to Net, if he is online, otherwise ask other 4B/AR members for the zone point)

Rules: Only light source allowed is the torch or the darklamp (torch is recommended). Use of light spell or light generating items is agaisnt the rules and might disqualify you from winning.
Players must stay in the area for the winners (TBD) till the end of the event (or at least till I notice they finished the maze, they better get it confirmed in the chat to qualify for the prizes)
No cheats or exploits allowed.


  • $10 store credit for the first three people who complete the maze in the first 60 minutes
  • $5 store credit for the first three people who complete the maze in the first 60-90 minutes
  • Gold and obsidian crowns for those who will finish later

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)

    • 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!

Visit the official Community Resources page for a complete listing.

Status of ONBE Shipments

The Order of the New Britannia Empire (ONBE) awards are now shipping to our amazing community recipients! There are still several recipients that have not updated mailing address information on their accounts. If you are expecting an ONBE, please do this now! We are also sending out e-mails to ensure we have the correct address. Please check that support@portalarium.com is unblocked from your e-mail account to receive these e-mails!

Visit SotA Wiki for a current list of those who have received or are expecting ONBEs.

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.

A reminder to be sure that support@portalarium.com is unblocked from your e-mail account!

Recommended Projects to Back – Meifumado: The Dark Road To Hellbrightlocker-logo-88x78.1142fec9[1]

Our very own Shroud community member enderandrew is also a Brightlocker community member and his game idea Meifumado: The Dark Road To Hell made it into the Grand Finals over at Brightlocker. The game is a JRPG set in a fantasy-like feudal Japan with demons, both internal and literal. Okami art-style mixed with traditional Japanese instrumental music sets the tone for this samurai epic. You can read about his experiences in our forums here. He’s going against winners from the previous semi-finals so head over to Brightlocker and support your fellow Shroud community member! Brightlocker Grand Finals run from 20th July  to early August.Miefado

After 6 Semi-Final Rounds, more than 200 game ideas submitted, over 600,000 votes cast, over 22,000 achievements and 1,000,000 XP earned, the BrightLocker have selected their complete roster of 36 Finalists.  From cowboys on mars to self driving cars, from feudal JPRG to Donald Trump’s hair, the Finalists show an amazing range of creativity and talent.

These 37 game ideas are competing for votes to get into the FINAL GreenZone.  The BrightLocker community are making history, as the final selected idea will become the first game to go into production that was created and voted up by the public.  No votes are ‘wasted’, as the entire monetary value of all votes cast throughout the Semi Final rounds and Grand Finals go towards seed funding for the winning game idea.

BrightLocker is the first crowd publishing platform for games. BrightLocker was launched by fellow ex-Originites Mark Rizzo and Ruben Cortez, members of the original Ultima Online Network Ops team from back in the day.

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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