Release 35 Instructions


[From a forum post by Starr “Darkstarr” Long]


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 35 access for all backers at First Responder level and above begins this Thursday, October 27, at 10:30 AM US Central Daylight Time (15:30 UTC).


Path of Love Polish

With Release 35, we have continued polishing the Path of Love storyline. Ardoris continues to be our main focus with lots of fixes, polish, and additions to the city and the quests leading from it. In particular, the Tower of Shuttered Eye is no longer a side quest, and has been fully incorporated into the main Path of Love storyline. It has also been better balanced to match the players expected levels at that point in the story. While we did make progress on the region specific clothing for Perennial Coast, even getting new NPC faces for several characters including Min Liang Tan, the region clothing will not appear in game until Release 36.

Roving Encounters

When we first unveiled Shroud of the Avatar in our Kickstarter, we showed Roving Encounters on the Overworld with flying Dragons and rolling gypsy wagons. We have finally returned to that original vision! No longer are encounters on the Overworld map hidden as random surprises over which you have no control. Now, the encounters are actual creatures that move about, and that you can choose to either engage or avoid.

Food and Water

With Release 34, we did a major overhaul to the cooking system, and we are continuing that with more recipes with higher level effects. We have also added the ability to gather water, and planters now indicate whether the plants have been watered or not. Finally, we have added more plants to agriculture which, when combined with water gathering and more gathered ingredients, makes cooking a much more self-sufficient profession than the previous implementation in which it relied much more on purchased ingredients.

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 all the 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 mostly 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. Be sure to check out a couple of the event calendars run by our community members (via in-game book or the player run websites: Avatars Circle and Events of the Avatars). 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 35.


  • 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 (but are still planned).

RELEASE 35, October 27, 2016

  • Story: The Path of Love will continue to be polished with a focus on the Tower of the Shuttered Eye along with continued work on Ardoris. We will also continue polish on the Path of Courage.
    • Tower of the Shuttered Eye: This entire storyline has been reworked to be better balanced based on where the player will be level wise along the Path of Love. In addition, this is now a required step for players on the Path of Love, so that new players do not attempt to run straight from Soltown to Necropolis. Many issues with the scene have been fixed (although there is no longer free treasure at the top) and in general this should be a much more appropriate area for adventurers from low to medium skill levels. Lastly, we have created a unique NPC face for the chief antagonist of this quest, Min Liang Tan (see New Unique NPC faces below).SotA_TowerShutteredEye_external3
    • Ardoris Polish: We continued polish work on the City of Love. We did additional decoration improvements across the scene, particularly around NPC buildings such as the Guard Barracks, PVP Arena, Peladjar Inn, Tavern, and much more. Many visual effects were added, including insects and schools of fish, and a number of NPC behaviors were further improved as well including a morning gathering for Tai Chi. We have polished the Black Arrow side quest, in which the Avatar must track down a soulless serial killer who is stalking and killing the children of Ardoris. There is also a new side quest involving the special “bonds” of a relationship; visit the very… focused Zangoff the Blacksmith to start this new quest. Additionally we polished many of the conversations (typos, missing keywords, journal entry errors, etc.).
    • Brittany Sewers: Some of you already know that there’s something evil going on deep in the heart of the Brittany Sewers. Without spoiling too much for those of you who haven’t been there, I think it’s safe to reveal that there have been a handful of high-level enemies in a central room, and one of them has a key that gives you access to their treasure room. Some of this is changing with Release 35. For more discussion about these changes you can join the Dev+ discussion started by Keith “Sannio” Quinn here.
      • The fight is now a wave-based battle instead of a crowd of enemies. Kill all enemies in a wave to start the next one. Defeat all waves to achieve victory. (The number of waves may change in the future.)
      • Once the fight starts, an open gate before the boss fight will close and not re-open until the players in the boss fight win or die. (This means no more reinforcements allowed after the fight begins.)
      • The “treasure key” is going away. Now, the treasure room gate will unlock only after every enemy of every wave is defeated. (This means you can’t get the treasure key once and then skip past the boss fight in future visits.)
    • Harvest: Harvest is located in the Verdantis region in the Northwest region of Novia. Originally a cloned scene using one of our PRT/POT templates based off of the Forest 01 base template (aka the “PaxLair template”), it was rebuilt in Release 35 to show the plot specific elements of the Norgard occupation and to display a heavily agrarian theme.harvest2
    • Novia Overworld: We’ve made a pass through the Novia Overworld to ensure there were roadways connecting all NPC towns and Player Run Towns (those towns not on the storyline, mainly occupied by players).
    • Celestial Mechanics Bugs Fixed: Our resident Outlander Astronomer, Bowen Bloodgood, documented several broken aspects of our Celestial System. We spent time correcting many of those issues so that our Celestial Mechanics should now work as intended. Sadly, this means it will now be 22,000 years before we will see a perfect alignment of all the heavenly bodies.
    • Better Directions: When asking NPCs such as guards for directions, they will not only tell you where something or someone is if they know, but also unlock the Point of Interest on your compass. We’ve added many points of interest (such as the Soltown Catacombs in Soltown) which NPCs will give directions to as well. For R35, the following towns will have the ability to ask NPCs for directions to points of interest: Aerie, Ardoris, Braemar, Desolis, Etceter, Kingsport, Solania, and Soltown. Support for the following towns will be added in future patches: Jaanaford, Kiln, Owl’s Head, Resolute, Spite, Valhold, Vertas, and Xenos.
    • Oracle Clock Watchers: After listening to forum feedback, we have modified the Oracle’s Virtue test from the old reset at 24 hours from your last virtue test to instead reset at midnight game server time (US Eastern time).
    • Resolute NPC Behaviors: We did a pass through Resolute adding schedules and behaviors.
    • Brittany Central NPC Behaviors: We did a pass through Central Brittany adding schedules and behaviors.
    • Anti-Theft Behaviors: Many more buildings across the game now have the Anti-Theft behaviors built in due to some nested pre-fab work done by Sannio. This means the NPCs in buildings are now more likely to notice you taking things and chastise you for it.
    • NPC Torches: NPCs now have the ability to wield a torch at night. Guards in some towns, like Ardoris, will start using this if they are patrolling at night.
  • Multiplayer Combat Balance: A pass will be made through combat skills, creature stats, player stats, advancement rates, zone difficulties, and other values for continued balance of multiplayer combat. We may also create additional skills, spells, and combos.
    • Adventuring Skill Decay: Skills will now decay. This is triggered when you die. Right now this accumulates a maximum of 4 hours worth of decay. NOTE: For now this only applies to Adventuring Skills, Crafting Skills do not yet decay. Skills set to train or maintain will spend XPs out of your experience pool before actually removing experience from the skill.SotA_Encumbered_icon
    • Encumbrance: Encumbrance has now been made more realistic in its behavior. Previously, players could carry any amount and still move at a decent speed. Focus would slowly drain away at a constant rate, but running out of focus would not prevent movement. In addition to not being very realistic, this behavior was also enabling some unwanted behaviors such as players mining for hours on end without the need to ever go back to town. Also, this was making it trivial to transport any amount of goods across the world with little effort. Starting in R35, encumbrance will slow the player and use focus fairly proportionally with the amount they are overloaded. Carrying twice the amount you’re supposed to will cut your movement speed in half and drain focus at a slow rate. Carry ten times the amount you should will make you move around a tenth your usual speed and also use ten times as much focus. There is a lower cap to how slow players can move but focus costs continue to rise. Additionally, running out of focus will now prevent movement until the player has a chance to rest and regain some focus. It is advised that players who are carrying an extreme amount of goods stop by a bank or their house and unload some extra weight before the patch. Otherwise, players might be in for a long slow crawl home the day after the patch! The exact math behind this will no doubt receive some further tuning based on feedback but be aware this is intended to inconvenience players who are trying to perform what would normally be considered impossible feats of carrying far more than was intended.  In any scene with player housing, the speed penalty will be applied but not the focus loss to make carrying very heavy loads within town scenes less painful. You can join the forum discussion here.
    • Interrupts: We have added new interruption logic for spell casting where it is calculated based on a formula related to effective damage versus health. You can read more here.
      • MAX(MIN(((EffectiveDamage/health)* 200%), 5%), 80%)port_Soothing_Rain_magic_icon
    • Concentration: This is a new innate skill in the Focus Magic School that decreases the chance that you will be interrupted while casting.
    • Soothing Rain VFX: We toned down the opacity of these visuals to reduce the impact on the view of the caster.
    • Earthquake VFX: We toned down the screen shake effect of Earthquake due to feedback that it was making some players feel ill.
    • Targeting Breaks at Range: Selected targets will be lost once they reach max range.  
    • Weapon Durability:  The rate at which weapons are damaged by combat has been reduced by 50%.
    • Elysian Illumination: No longer usable from the non-combat bar.
    • Spell Stacking: A number of spells were able to be stacked.  Shield of Crystal, Death Shield, Immolation, Shield of Ice will now overwrite each other.  Shield of Air currently can still be stacked but for R36 it will also no longer stack.
    • Spellbinder’s Stance: Like other stances, spellbinder’s stance is no longer usable from the non-combat bar.
    • Shield of Crystal: The hit point bonus of shield of Crystal has been doubled and it now grants Earth Attunement bonus.
    • Earth’s Embrace: No longer grants attunement bonus.
  • Player Towns & Player Housing:  POT Owners will now be able to select from a set of start points for their town. Also, new housing content will appear; including new Elven homes for the Elven bundles and Testing Incentive Program decorations. Finally, updates to Dynamic Player-Owned Towns that have locked submission forms will appear in the game.
    • Inactivity Timer for Tax Free Lots (delayed from R34): Until now, all Tax Free Lots defaulted to the base amount of 4 months of time allowed for inactivity before the lot would revert to being unowned — and all contents sent to the owner’s bank. With Release 35, that 4 month time still applies to all backers who purchase the game through bundles or Steam, but if you purchased the game via a pledge then your Inactivity Timer now scales based on your Pledge Level (see below). Resetting the inactivity timer can be done by the owner simply by entering the lot, but co-owners, trustees, etc. can only reset the Inactivity Timer through an interaction of some kind, like moving a decoration. Simply entering the lot by one of these co-owners will not reset the Inactivity Timer. Note that taxed lot claims are unchanged and still get their timer from paying taxes.
      • Default*: 4 Months (*includes Ancestor, Navigator, Developer, & all Bundles)
      • Citizen: 5 Months
      • Edelmann: 6 Months
      • Knight: 7 Months
      • Knight Marshal: 8 Months
      • Lord: 9 Months
      • Lord Marshal: 10 Months
      • Baron, Baron 2, Baron 3: 11 Months
      • Duke: 12 Months
      • Lord of the Manor, Lord of the Manor 2: 13 Months
    • Start Point Selection for Dynamic POTs: Owners of Dynamic Player-Owned Towns will now be able to use an in-game tool to pick which start point they want players to appear at when they first come into the scene. The choice will be from a list of pre-placed options and will include some locations along the edge of the scene as well as a few near the center of the scene. Note that, for POTs flagged for Open PvP, there will still be some randomization of the exact location to deter camping.darkstarr-moondial-updated-03
    • Placeable Dynamic POT Town Crier: Dynamic POT Town Owners can now place an additional Town Crier wherever they wish. Note: the default Town Crier(s) will always remain where they are.
    • Darkstarr Moondial: This has been updated to match the celestial bodies and mechanics of the Novian system. Scott “Scottie” Jones posted about the update process in Dev+ recently here.
    • Multi-Home Deeds: Deeds now have the ability to represent more than one home. This is to help with bundles that grant more than one home (left and right alcove row homes for example). This affects the following homes which now appear as a single deed (versus a “pick one of many” reward):
      • Elven Two-Story w/ Alcove (Row Homes)
      • Elven Three-Story w/ Alcove (Row Homes)
      • Elven Four-Story w/ Alcove (Row Homes)
      • Kobold Two-Story w/ Alcove (Row Homes)
      • Kobold Three-Story w/ Alcove (Row Homes)
      • Kobold Four-Story w/ Alcove (Row Homes)
      • Stucco Two-Story w/ Alcove (Row Homes)
      • Stucco Three-Story w/ Alcove (Row Homes)
      • Stucco Four-Story w/ Alcove (Row Homes)
      • Elven Homes (Village): Includes Elven Peaked-Roof Home (Village) & Elven Home (Village)
    • Elven Crown Merchant:
      • Elven Globe Home: This unique village-sized home is a glass globe encased in the branches of a tree. While the curved glass walls cannot be decorated, they do provide the growth benefits of a greenhouse! This is available from the new Elven Crown merchant in Vertas.sota_elven-globe-home
      • Medium Elven Tent: When all your Elven stuff just won’t fit in that small tent… (Small Elven Tent is crafted, Medium Elven Tent is Crown Merchant, Large Elven Tent is Bundle).
    • Add-On Store:
      • 2016 Cornucopia: Once again, in celebration of the Fall holidays, we have created another cornucopia for sale in the Add-On Store. When activated, these items generate a random edible item or ingredient per Earth day (food, fruit, berries, mushrooms, flour, egg, etc.). During the Fall and holiday seasons, there is a percentage chance of other kinds of items being generated.sota_2016-ornate-scarecrow
      • Ornate Scarecrow: Protect your valuable crops from those ravaging flocks of birds! Apparently, this more lifelike appearance is more menacing to our feathered enemies. NOTE: Birds eating crops is not an actual feature in the game, at least not yet.
      • Music Sign: There is a new sign for those who specialize in music related businesses.
    • R34 Lot Deed Raffle: The drawings for our Second Lot Deed Raffle will be held on October 27, 2016 and winners will be announced shortly thereafter. Deeds will be delivered in Release 35. As a reminder, this Raffle included not only tickets that could be purchased in game but also included free tickets to non-property holders who owned the game at the beginning of Release 34 (September 29, 2016).
      • Place Anywhere Deeds (75):
        • Row: 40
        • Village: 20
        • Town: 10
        • City: 5
      • Player Owned Town Deeds (600):
        • Row: 320
        • Village: 160
        • Town: 80
        • City: 40
    • R35 Lot Deed Raffle: This will be the third Lot Deed Raffle. For this raffle (and future raffles), we are scaling back the number of deeds so that we can pace them out to better match current availability and the speed at which town owners are making lots available.
      • Place Anywhere Deeds (20):
        • Row: 10
        • Village: 6
        • Town: 3
        • City: 1
      • Player Owned Town Deeds (150):
        • Row: 80
        • Village: 40
        • Town: 20
        • City: 10
    • New POTs/POT Changes
      • Amour and Serenus: Converted to Forest 01b.
      • Astoria: Converted to Mountains 01. Rotated to 180.
      • Baubbleshire: New addition.
      • Beregost: Interconnection (with Kingsport).
      • Bladewyke: Changed location. Interconnection (with Taenby Landing). Upgraded to Village.
      • Caladruin: Upgraded to Village.
      • Crossroads: New addition.
      • Grumpie Hermit’s Hide-a-way: Converted to Swamp Island 01a. Interconnection (with Brekken Bay). Upgraded to Village.
      • Leoni d’Amore: Converted to Desert 01b.
      • Moonshire Downs: Upgraded to Metropolis.
      • New Britannian Market: Converted to Forest 01c. Interconnections (with Brittany Fields, Brittany Estates, and Brittany Alleys).
      • Nido dell’Aquila: Converted to Island 01a. Interconnections (changed nested interconnection to within Brittany Wharfs, added Central Brittany and Brittany Alleys). Upgraded to Hamlet.
      • Raven’s Head: Converted to Forest 01b.
      • Recluse: Converted to Forest 01a.
      • Saint Haley: Converted to Tropical Island 01a.
      • Serpent’s Watch: Upgraded to Town.
      • Solitude: Renamed (formerly Jaxton). Ownership changed. Converted to Swamp 01a.
      • Styx: Renamed (formerly Arx Draconis Aerie). Ownership changed. Converted to Island 01a. Changed location. Interconnections (added Xenos, removed Arx Draconis Lowlands and Port Arx Draconis).
      • Tempest Reef: Converted to Island 01a. Changed location (minor). Upgraded to Hamlet.
      • Temples of Syrinx: Converted to Tropical Island 01a. Rotated to Left. Changed nested interconnection to within Desolis.
      • Tenebrae: New addition (nested in Aerie).
      • Thapae Mizellmist: Converted to Tropical Island 01. Rotated to Left. Changed nested interconnection to within Brittany Estates.
      • Toad Town: Renamed (formerly Tarakan). Converted to Swamp Island 01a.
      • Trysull: Converted to Forest 01b. Changed location.
      • Vale Halla: Renamed (formerly Vale Halla (Frost Valley)). Ownership changed. Upgraded to Crossroads Village. Nested interconnection changed to within Brittany Wharfs. Interconnections (kept Central Brittany, added Elad’s Lighthouse).r35map_of_novia_potv2
  • Offline Reward Delivery: Reward delivery for Offline Mode will become available to players using this mode to play.
    • Offline Reward Delivery Delayed: Due to the delayed work on the Inactivity Timer and patching we had to do on Release 34, this work was unfortunately delayed.
  • Roving Encounters: Potential encounters (wandering merchants, monsters, etc.) will appear on the overworld for players to engage (or avoid).
    • Roving Encounters: Shroud of the Avatar already has random encounters — you’ll be walking across the Novia or Hidden Vale overworld maps and, without warning, you’ll be teleported into a small encounter scene. We like the idea of running into unexpected threats on the overworld, but the “without warning” part is less than ideal…so, as of Release 35, we’re changing how random encounters are triggered. You won’t be blindly caught by a Random Encounter anymore. We’re replacing that part of the encounter system with new overworld enemies who will trigger encounters when you get too close. These overworld enemies will be similar to the ones you’ve battled countless times in adventure scenes, except they can’t be engaged in actual combat. Instead, if you approach too close to the new overworld enemies and they see you, they’ll run at you. If they get next to you, you’ll be pulled into the encounter associated with them. For example, bandits will pull you into bandit encounters, while wolves pull you into a scene full of wolves. Once you see the enemy, you can walk around it to avoid the encounter or run toward it to force the encounter. If the enemy has already spotted you and you’re quick, you can try to run away before the enemy catches up and keep the encounter from ever triggering. Both overworld maps have encounters scattered about. They might be wandering in the woods, meandering along a shoreline, or patrolling along a road. Initially, we’ll be adding in common encounters like wolves, bandits, and undead. Over time, dragon encounters will return and we’ll include other rare situations like merchants. Please note this means we have removed ALL the random encounters that were previously placed in the game.roving-encounters
  • Crafting: Cooking, Food, and Agriculture will be the focus of Release 35, with one of the major goals being the reduction in reliance on purchasing ingredients from NPC merchants to cook food. This means increasing the number of plants in Agriculture and polishing Agriculture itself; including the addition of features like water harvesting. We also hope to add Alcohol recipes and Teachable Recipes. Finally, the visual effect for items that have been Enchanted or Masterworked will be redone.
    • Alcohol and Teachable Recipes Delayed: Unfortunately, R34 Patches forced us to have to choose between Agriculture or Alcohol and Recipe Teaching and as much as we wanted to get the booze flowing and the recipes teaching, we chose to improve Agriculture.SotA_MakeADifference_Water.org_wishing_well
    • Water Harvesting: The Novian Mercantile Guild’s monopoly on Bucketed Water has been broken! For now, citizens are free to gather unlimited water from wells and fountains. Get it while it lasts! Water Harvesting will expand to include other sources, including lakes and rivers (with unlimited refill), however some water sources such as rain barrels, wells, and fountains will have refill-over-time tech added. When that tech comes online it will govern how much water can be gathered from rain barrels, wells and fountains over a certain amount of time and how quickly they will refill.
    • Plants Watered Indication: The appearance of the dirt in your planters will now change to indicate if your plant is ready to be watered or not. If the dirt is lighter and matte (i.e. dry looking) the plant needs to be watered. If the dirt is dark and glossy (i.e. wet looking) then it is not ready to be watered.
    • Polished Enchanted Visual Effect: We have significantly toned down this visual effect and changed the color to be a bluish white (versus yellow).
    • New Plants for Agriculture: In order to ensure that almost all ingredients for cooking can be gathered or grown (at least after purchasing seeds), we have added more plants to Agriculture.

      • Lemons Tree
      • Bananas Tree
      • Tomato Vines
      • Onions
      • Pepper Plant
      • Wheat
      • Lettuce
      • Potatoes
      • Carrots
      • Tea Plant
      • Grape Vines
      • Corn
    • Other Cooking Ingredient Sources: We have also added nuts to tree harvests, mushrooms to gathering, and insured that all meats can be field dressed from animals. At this point, there are only a very few outstanding ingredients that still have to be purchased, milk for example.
    • New Recipes:craftable-fan-01
      • Scarecrow: Flocks of ravenous feathered fiends are out to deprive you of your hard earned crops! You must defend yourself! NOTE: Birds eating crops is not an actual feature in the game, at least not yet.
      • Water Well: This new craftable version of the well allows you to gather water for watering your plants.
      • Umbrella: Protect yourself from the elements with this wondrous device! Device not guaranteed to improve singing and dancing skills in the rain.
      • Hand Fan: Keep yourself cool during the sweltering summer months with this equippable device. You will need to learn the /fan emote from players who obtained it during the First Summer Telethon.
      • Small Elven Tent: This is of course the cutest of the Elven Tents. (Small Elven Tent is crafted, Medium Elven Tent is Crown Merchant, Large Elven Tent is Bundle).
      • Crocodile Trophy Head: We have added another trophy for you to mount on your wall.
    • Higher Tier Cooking Recipes: In Release 34, we revamped the Cooking system to introduce Tiered Recipes with the effects generated by consuming the food being based on the amount and types of ingredients. There are 6 tiers (0–5). In Release 34, we only had Tiers 0–2, which only affected Health and Focus Regen rates. In Release 35, we are adding 25 new Cooking Recipes all the way up to Tier 5 which make Fantastical and Special Foods that give more magical effects and can last much, much longer (but may also have negative effects).
      • Tier 1:
        • Duration: 40-60 min
        • Effects: + Health/Focus Regen
        • Fish Stew
        • Mutton Potpie
        • Oyster PotpieCooking Table
        • Chicken Potpie
        • Beef Potpie
      • Tier 2:
        • Duration: 1 Hour
        • Effects:
          • ++ Health/Focus Regen
          • + Attribute (Str/Dex/Int)
        • Rabbit Stew
        • Venison Stew
        • Garlic Chicken
      • Tier 3:
        • Duration: 2 Hours
        • Effects:
          • +++ Health/Focus Regen
          • ++ Attribute (Str/Dex/Int)
          • + Attribute (Str/Dex/Int)
        • Bear Steak and Potatoes
        • Wolf and Lamb Chops
        • Crocodile Skewers
        • Grilled Corpion Tail
        • Corpion Claw Potato Salad
        • Spider Legs with Garlic Butter
        • Spider Soup
      • Tier 4:
        • Duration: 4 Hours
        • Effects:
          • ++++ Health/Focus Regen
          • ++++ Attribute (Str/Dex/Int)
          • + or – Attribute (Str/Dex/Int)
        • Bear Surprise
        • Wolf Surprise
        • Venison Surprise
        • Obsidian Bear Stew
        • Obsidian Wolf Chops
        • Obsidian Venison Loaf
      • Tier 5:
        • Duration: 4-8 Hours
        • Effects:
          • +++ Health/Focus Regen
          • +++ Attribute (Str/Dex/Int)
          • + Attunement
          • – Attunement
          • — Attribute
        • Spicy Phoenix Bites
        • Daemon Tea
        • Dragon Stew
        • Troll Spare Ribs
  • Character: Ardoris will be the first city where we begin adding region specific clothing (Japanese themed) for the residents, including unique armor for guards, clothing for citizens, and regalia for royalty. Work will also continue on Summer Telethon items, including Flaming Bagpipes and Firedancing.
    • Ardoris Clothing Delayed: We chose to take longer with the concepting phase, so these are not yet ready for deployment in the game.
    • New Unique NPC Faces: We have begun to expand the number of unique faces for our NPCs. You will start to see more variety over the next several releases. Min Liang Tan, Edvard, Samael and Kardan Marbane all look different/unique now.min-liang-tan-closeup
      • Clasped Gauntlets Cloaks: We believe very strongly that community events that extend into the real world are very important and we have always gauntlets-cloakworked hard to support them. We have been considering for a long time now how players who attend these real world events can display their attendance inside the game. With all that in mind, we came up with the Clasped Gauntlets Cloak! Any Shroud of the Avatar community event, of any size, is eligible to receive a cloak for each attendee. The organizer will need to submit a request for approval and then once approved provide a list of backers who attended. Large events can request a customized version of the cloak with a unique color scheme and a custom name.
      • CNBE Titles: Backers who have been chaotic enough to earn a Chaos medal from Darkstarr will now start receiving their titles in the game. Darkstarr is so chaotic that he decided to turn Chaotic into a noun! The official title is: Chaotic of New Britannian Empire.
      • /whisper: This new emote can be learned from Lucille, the wife of Zangoff the Blacksmith in Ardoris (a new NPC added this release). Ask her what you can do to help and then continue the conversation.
      • Summer Telethon 1 Reward:
        • Virtue Hand Fan: We originally created a plain straw fan to go with the /fan emote but we have now replaced that with this more ornate version which players will receive in addition to the original plain fan (which is now craftable).telethon-fan
      • Summer Telethon Part 2 Rewards:
        • /camera & tintype camera: Kobolds continue to amaze and astonish with feats of technological wonder. Their latest contraption allows the user to capture memories in black and white with a boxy like contraption called a “tintype camera”.
        • Flaming Bagpipes & Leather Kilts: An enterprising Outlander convinced some Kobold tinkers to “improve” her bagpipes with flame jets! After a few unwelcome burns she upgraded her kilt to a leather version for protection from the heat and flames.
        • Weather Changing Clockwork Umbrella: The renowned Kobold scientist ZKrikkk Zezla has long theorized that the correct amount of static aetheric manipulation could induce more likelihood of precipitation. Most Kobolds dismissed his experiments as complete wastes of time but Outlanders have been buying up his Weather Changing Umbrellas in record numbers and we have been seeing a record increase in rainfall this year. Coincidence?
        • Firedancing Outfit, Poi, & /firedance: What is better than dancing? Dancing with fire of course!
    • Add-On Store Items
      • Ornate Umbrella: Everyone knows that prettier umbrellas from the Add On Store keep you drier!
      • Ornate Bagpipe: Do flames shooting out of your bagpipe scare you? Or is the crafted bagpipe just too boring for you? Well this ornate bagpipe from the Add On Store is the answer for you! Rumor has it that the Kobolds continue to make clever musical instruments with annoying sounds to drive humans mad but I think it is this is obviously not true. What would they have us believe next? That yellow doesn’t scare Kobolds? 
      • Glowing Dye (8 Colors): These dyes from the Add On Store (and Obsidian Alchemists) add a glowing effect to your clothing. Available in Black, White, Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, and Purple.
      • Pulsing Glowing Dye (8 Colors): These dyes from the Add On Store (and Obsidian Alchemists) add a pulsing glowing effect to your clothing. Available in Black, White, Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, and Purple.fancy-fans-02
      • Sparkling Dye (8 Colors): These dyes from the Add On Store (and Obsidian Alchemists) add a sparkling effect to your clothing. Available in Black, White, Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, and Purple.
      • Ornate Hand Fans (4): Do you need to be fancy when you cool yourself during those sweltering Novian summers? Then you must have one of these Ornate Fans from the Add On Store. Please note that while you can freely equip these fans, you will need to learn the /fan emote from sota_speckled-turkey_standing someone who purchased it during the Summer Telethon Part 1 if you don’t already have it.Ornate Feather Fan
        • Ornate Gothic Fan
        • Ornate Norgard Fan
        • Ornate Triskelion Fan
      • 2016 Speckled Turkey: This uniquely feathered turkey will quickly endear you with his lively gobbles.
  • Guild Registrars: There was previously only a single Guild Registrar in the entire game, located in Owl’s Head. There are now multiple Guild Registrars in over 35 locations in the game.
  • Gold Crown Merchants: We are expanding the number of Gold Crown merchants in the game and also increasing the goods they sell to include many more items from the Add-On Store. We are also going to add one or two items each release that can only be purchased in game with Crowns. For R35, the Elven Globe Home and Medium Elven Tent are the Gold Crown Exclusives that are being added (note they are not currently time limited). We have also created a new web page that lists all the things that you can spend Gold Crowns on in the game.
    • Elven Crown Home Merchant: This merchant is located in the town of Vertas and sells all the Elven homes and all the Add-On Store items that appear in the Elven Bundles as well as a few exclusive items including the Elven Globe Home and the Medium Elven Tent.
    • Viking Crown Home Merchant: This merchant is located in the town of Harvest and sells all the Viking homes and all the Add-On Store items that appear in the Viking Bundles.
    • Obsidian Alchemists: We have added Fireworks (4 different assortments) and various dyes (including all the new magical dyes) to the Obsidian Alchemists to increase their inventory beyond the Obsidian Potions.
  • Testing Incentive Program: The first round of insect-themed items from the Testing Incentives program are complete and will start to be delivered to testers who have earned them.sota_ant-farm
    • Corpion Chair: Don’t fear the cushion of its deadly comfort! This is for the top tier of QA server testing.
    • Ant Farm: Look closely and you can see the ants crawling around in it. Don’t break it!
    • Bug Paintings: A set of three Classical still life paintings featuring insects.
    • Gold Crowns: 5 Gold Crowns for 4+ hours of testing on the QA Server.
    • Titles: Various titles for various levels of contribution.
  • Audio:
    • Continuous Music: While fixing a bug with the Portable Aether Vibration Device (aka the headphones) we were able to make it so that the music in the game will remain playing even through scene loads.
    • Musical Instruments: Updated the sound files for almost all of the musical instruments.
      • Tabor Drums: new tom sounds and updated samples
      • Accordion
      • Flute
      • Harp
      • Lute
      • Piano
      • Bagpipe: still needs droning sound for sustained notes.
    • Pickup/Drop: All items should have a pickup and drop sound variation.
    • Crossbow and Bows: New sounds have been added to these weapon types.
    • Sheathe and Unsheathe: All weapons should have generic sounds for sheathe and unsheathe.
    • Weapon Misses: All weapons should have miss sounds now.
    • Hit Sounds: Blood VFX has SFX with it (so hit sounds should play).
    • Novia Overworld: Updated the town beach SFX.
  • Elven Bundles: We have completed the Elven line of bundles with the addition of the Elven Village Keep, Elven Town, and Elven City Bundles
    • Elven Village Keep Bundle: This Elven Village Keep Bundle features a village sized keep with four trees anchoring the corners. The canopies of those four trees also form the platforms of the four towers at the corners of the keep.sota_elven_village_keep
      • Ornate Elven Longsword: This uniquely Elven-forged longsword is a starting level weapon.sota_ornate_elven_sword
    • Elven Town Tree Home Bundle: The Elven Town Tree Home Bundle features a town sized collection of rooms built above the ground on platforms centered on a large tree.elven-town-home
      • Large Elven Tent: Part of the Elven Town and Elven City bundle. (Small Elven Tent is crafted, Medium Elven Tent is Crown Merchant, Large Elven Tent is Bundle).elven-tents
      • Golden Dragonfly: This golden-hued variation of the dragonfly pet is part of the Elven Town bundle.sota_golden-giant-dragonfly1
      • Ornate Elven Bow: This uniquely Elven-carved Longbow has a vaguely insectile appearance and comes with the Elven Town bundle.sota_ornate-elven-bow
    • Elven City Home: The largest of the Elven homes has a spiral staircase winding through the middle around a tree trunk.
      • Black Stag: This black-furred variation of the stag also has a much larger rack of antlers than our regular stag. It is part of the Elven City bundle.sota_black-stag

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

  • Stability: The latest version of Unity that we updated to for Release 29 introduced some stability issues but most of those have been resolved. However there seems to be one remaining major issue with Unity and AMD A8 integrated graphics chipsets used in laptops that make the game unplayable (this affects other games using Unity as well). Unity is aware of the problem and working on a fix but we do not have an ETA from them on this.
  • 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, the latest version of Unity we are using has some performance 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 35 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.

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.

Starr Long
aka Darkstarr
Executive Producer







  1. YippYipp

    adventuring Skill Decay: Skills will now decay. This is triggered when you die. Right now this accumulates a maximum of 4 hours worth of decay. NOTE: For now this only applies to Adventuring Skills, Crafting Skills do not yet decay. Skills set to train or maintain will spend XPs out of your experience pool before actually removing experience from the skill.

    Can you please clarify.

    What is meant by 4 hours worth of decay?
    If I log in and die within the first 5 mins… is it my last four hours of experience gained removed from previous days?

    What if I earn 200,000XP in 3 hours than craft for 3 hours then only a portion of my experience is removed?

    What if I have not gained experience in 6 hours, is there a minimum experience loss?

    What if a skill is a 20-40-40-1 so they are all at minimum levels to advance to the next level and I have them on – or red arrow down… does nothing happen?

    1. DarkStarrDarkStarr Post author

      The current max accumulated loss is 0.04166% of the total experience in the school. So if you have 100,000 xps applied to a skill, dying will lose at most 42 xps. This gets applied to all skills on death though so if you have 10 skills with 1 million xps applied, a death will cost you at most 4200 xps.

        1. DarkStarrDarkStarr Post author

          If you would like further details about how Decay works please start a thread on the forums about it and tag Chris. Thanks!

        2. AlfaAlfa

          That means if you have 15 skills and 10,000,000 in total of all the skills You will loose 42k xp each time you die. You die 10 times 420k thats around to take a skill from 100 to 93……. In 15 min….

  2. RoyouRoyou

    I can see that I am going to have to start thinking about the number of mobs I take on, instead of just charging in, no more taking on 6 to 8 thugs anymore, Looks like Death is really going to suck :(………. strategy and tactics now apply. Glad to see that Decay is here, will now add that extra bit of realism, and make people think about their actions, I like it :) though after a few deaths my view of this may change lol

    1. DarkStarrDarkStarr Post author

      We have had to pause translation due to issues with the Get Localization platform unfortunately.

  3. AlfaAlfa

    I think you need to explain better the decay system.

    After the Gold fiasco you need to be more careful with this kind of subjects. A lot of ppl know quit after the gold fiasco and even tho you change it back they didnt come back to the game.

    Same can happen if you mess with the decay system.

    I would like a better explanation. and add % of decay.

    No point playing a game for 300 hours and setting you back each dead making the hours worthless, that will just scare away the few casual player we have. And it will be harder to sell on new players.

  4. Humbert_Humbert

    That decay system seems awful. I’d rather lose my last 4 hours of exp gain than percentages. It really discourages me from adventuring and trying new and harder locations (if they ever makes any). I guess will just stick to grinding easier mobs. However this game is turning into nothing but a grind with no payout.

    1. Andrew SilverstonAndrew Silverston

      Why awful? What makes you die 10 times in a row? If you go to a location where mobs are too strong for you to take on and you die once – turn around and come back when you are stronger… you don’t need to die 10 times and then rage quit the game, do you?

  5. VZVZ

    I hate you all for these glowing multi colors. If this begins to look like UO with all the stupid neon crap I’m quitting. Seriously.

  6. dreamlarpdreamlarp

    “Spell Stacking: A number of spells were able to be stacked. Shield of Crystal, Death Shield, Immolation, Shield of Ice will now overwrite each other. ”

    Why is immolation on this list? it’s not a shield. it has no defensive bonus. There’s no game that forces us to drop our defense to keep our offence like this.

Comments are closed.