Greetings Fellow Avatars!
Here’s what we have for you in this week’s edition of Update of the Avatar:
- World Start – Play Release 32 Now!
- World Starting Gift to all Backers: Portable Aether Vibration Amplifier
- Behind the Scenes: Spite Waterfalls
- Summer Telethon of the Avatar Part 1 Results
- Shroud of the Avatar in the News
- Bank Upgrades Increased to 100 Slots
- Bundle Store Updates
- 15% Bonus and 24 Day Countdown to Summer 2016 Expiration Event, Part 2
- The Sword of Midras SotA Novel for Hardcover, Kindle, Nook and Audiobook
- Upcoming Events
- Community Resources – Players Helping Players
- ONBE Shipments and Backer Shipping Addresses
- Recommended Projects to Back
World Start – Play Release 32 Now!
Release 32 successfully launched yesterday, July 28, with thousands of backers downloading, patching, and logging in for the Final Wipe and Lot Selection! Lords of the Manor are still claiming today and Dukes will begin claiming this weekend.
Besides Lot Selection, there’s lots of new content to explore, including:
- New scenes including Brittany Estates, Spite and Xenos
- New User Experience Polish including a reworked Isle of Storms
- In-Game purchasable Player Vendors
- Over 40 New Crafting Recipes
- New NPC Behaviors including Theft Detection and Virtue Reactions
- Economic and Combat Balance Adjustments
…and much more
Check out the Release 32 Instructions update for detailed information about all the new content.
We need all your help with testing the new patches, putting more stress on our multiplayer servers, and testing the new game content, so please join us in playing Release 32!
If you have not backed the game yet, you will need to register and login at www.shroudoftheavatar.com, select the “Pledge or Send Gift!” button in the right side-bar, and purchase a pledge at the $45 Adventurer level or above. The basic Adventurer level pledge is also available on Steam Early Access.
World Starting Gift to all Backers: Portable Aether Vibration Amplifier
All backers of Shroud of the Avatar with game access as of midnight July 27, 2016 will receive the Portable Aether Vibration Amplifier as a small expression of our gratitude. This device will let you tune into streaming radio stations including our very own Avatar’s Radio or NBNN. We chose this specific gift to honor our community because it started as a suggestion from our community, was initially created by our community, streams content from our community, and is used by our community as part of their events. Thank you community for making Shroud of the Avatar reach persistence. You made this all possible.
Behind the Scenes: Spite Waterfalls
Our very own Esteben “SorcerousSteve” Zaldivar provides us with a behind the scenes look at how he built the waterfalls in one of our newest scenes: Spite via a video on YouTube.
Today we will be taking a closer look with Worldbuilder Esteben “SorcerousSteve” Zaldivar into the process behind making the town of Spite come to life.
Spite is located on the shores of Stormwater Lake in the Drachvald Region and is a pivotal location in the Path of Love. The town is built on treacherous stone cliffs and is surrounded by great waterfalls that make their way down the rugged mountain side.
The Summer Telethon of the Avatar Part 1 Results
Our Summer Telethon of the Avatar Part 1 was a huge success! In fact, it was our biggest telethon to-date! We achieved all our original 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! Wednesday’s Telethon was yet another example of your amazing support and contributions! The total as of Midnight, July 27th, was a staggering:
** $145,000 **
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 July 27 (Spending Store Credit to make $5 minimum purchase does not apply). These rewards should show up on your account page within the next several weeks and will begin showing up in the game over the next few releases starting with Release 33.
- Achieved! $10,000: /fan emote (player fans themself with a small folding fan)
- Achieved! $25,000: Aeronaut Helmet
- Achieved! $35,000: Hacked Oracle Crawler Pet
- Achieved! $50,000: Clockwork Wings (goes in cloak slot, does not grant powers of flight)
- Achieved! $65,000: Hacked Oracle Flyer Pet
- Achieved! $80,000: Tiny Airship Pet
- Achieved! $100,000: One Man Band Steampunk Wearable: Works with our ABC music system
- Achieved! $130,000: Organ Grinder Instrument (Works with our ABC music system) & Clockwork Monkey Pet
- $150,000: Baby Clockwork Dragon Pet (we will make this one part of the Summer Telethon of the Avatar Part 2 Stretch Goals)
We had deep dives, answered questions, danced, sang, did shots, spun the Wheel of Fortune & Doom, had flash sales, went behind the scenes, and handed out tons of prizes including:
- Store Credits
- Viking Bundles (Viking Row 2 Story and Viking Village)
- Kobold Bundles (Kobold Row 2 Story and Kobold Village)
- Pledges (Ancestor and Edelmann)
- Lord British relics
- Challenge Coins
- Shroud of the Avatar t-shirts
- Sword of Midras audiobook AND hardcover copies!
- Razer Gear
Missed participating in the telethon event? Watch the entire stream on YouTube! (There are two segments, 6-hours long each):
Shroud in the News
MMORPG.com: Release 32: Le Finale Wipe: Red Thomas wrote another Release review for MMORPG.com where he talked not only about what is in the release but also about our process and what this means for development as a whole.
Since this release is a milestone of sorts for the project, it seems appropriate to be a bit reflective, and one thing that I’ve particularly enjoyed through the process of following this project, is the virtually unfettered access Richard Garriott and Starr Long have allowed me to have to the game, the developers, and to their community. I don’t know many writers who’ve had the chance to watch a game develop from scratch like this, and I think it’s a pretty amazing thing to be able to observe. It’s even more amazing when the company is taking such a bold step away from traditional development practices, and yet not one time did they ask me not to write about something mentioned or observed. Nor have they been anything other than appreciative of the few negative comments I’ve made since covering their development.
Eurogamer.net: It’s OK, Richard Garriott is protected by spells from harmful use of his blood: Richard Purchese over at Eurgamer.net chatted with us about the Blood Reliquaries.
Bit weird, wasn’t it, when Richard Garriott and Starr Long tried to sell their blood on eBay for $5000? I wouldn’t do that. Imagine someone owning your blood: they could make black pudding with it. That’s disgusting. Or they could use it to curse you and what would you do about that? I tell you what Richard Garriott and Starr Long did about it, because people actually bought their blood: they had members of their Shroud of the Avatar community cast spells on them for protection. Yes really.
Eurogamer.net: Will Richard Garriott’s Lord British survive the night?: Richard Purchese followed up the above article with a piece comparing the final events of Ultima Online’s Beta and Shroud’s Final Wipe.
Will Richard Garriott’s Lord British survive the night? That’s the big question – because history predicts his death. Remember what happened in Ultima Online? Lord British was famously killed on the ramparts of Blackthorn castle by a mere commoner. Everyone believed him to be immortal but he wasn’t – someone found a way. He died that night in August 1997 during a royal tour of Ultima Online, marking a milestone moment in the game’s near-complete development. Tonight he tours his new game Shroud of the Avatar for the same reasons, well aware fate bets heavily against him. You see for almost as long as he can remember, and no matter what he’s done to prevent it, Lord British has never managed to survive.
PCGamer: Richard Garriott’s MMO Shroud of the Avatar is about to be wiped for the final time: Andy Chalk at PCGamer mentioned our the Final Wipe and the start of persistence.
It’s been awhile since we last talked about Shroud of the Avatar, the crowdfunded, Early-Accessed MMO that Richard “Lord British” Garriott unveiled to the world back in 2013. But work has continued, and it now stands on the cusp of a major milestone: At midnight CDT on July 27, the game servers will be taken offline for a final wipe, after which persistence—that is, the real game—will begin.
We have multiplied the number of bank slots you get when you purchase a Bank Upgrade in the Add On Store by 10. This is also retroactive for anyone who had already purchased Bank Upgrades; you will just need to go claim your rewards at the bank. This should help those of you with multiple Add On Store purchases who are trying to find room in your bank until your Lot Selection Window comes online.
Bundle Store Updates
Last week we launched the new Bundle Store. This week we added all the remaining Viking bundles AND we added the Kobold tab with all the Kobold Bundles to the store. 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! (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 24 Day Countdown to Expiration Event, Part 2
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 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).
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!
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.]
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
2016.11.04 – SotACon
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 32 Events thread in the SotA forums for additional events.
Event of the Week – Quest of Courage – Part 1
MarkeeDragon is a prominent game news website that has consistently and proudly covered Shroud of the Avatar all the way back since the Kickstarter. From the start of persistence, they also have been regularly livestreaming the game on their official Twitch channel at www.twitch.tv/markeedragon.
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
- Role-Players of the Avatar (RPOTA)
- Role-Players of the Avatar is a social environment where you will find a creative outlet for story writing and adventure creation. We are a community which feeds your desire to be someone else… a crazed barbarian, a cunning scoundrel, maybe a quirky wizard or perhaps a mysterious assassin.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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
In 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
In this Throne War Simulator, characters are persistent but the campaign worlds are not, thanks to voxel technology which enables fully-destructible settings. A seamless blend of an MMO with a large-scale strategy game, players are immortal champions, traveling between realms to fight in an eternal War of the Gods.