Update of the Avatar #202 – 2016.11.11: Midras Ruins, Forest Town Siege, Xenos Polish, R35 Postmortem, Decoration Contest Winners, Beran’s Reach, and More!

Greetings Fellow Avatars!

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

midras4“The abandoned shells of buildings looked silently down on them from either side of the road.”
– From The Sword of Midras by Tracy Hickman & Richard Garriott

The Making of Midras Ruins

The Midras Ruins are one of the six ruined cities found in Novia that date back to the period in Novian history in which the Obsidian Order rose to power. (As described in the Sword of Midras prequel novel by Tracy Hickman and Richard Garriott). The exact history of some of these cities has been lost to time, but it is rumored that some of them may have been abandoned even before the rise of the Obsidians. Midras, in particular, is significant because it is the location of the Crypt of the Avatar. Note that all eight of the ruins are Open PVP zones.

Midras started as a clone of the Opalis Ruins but is getting completely rebuilt this release to have a unique layout and visuals. We are expressly focusing on being sure the map has interesting setups for PVP conflict, with plenty of space for hiding, escaping, ambushing, and skirmishing.

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

Hey guys, SorcerousSteve here to give you an update on the Ruins of Midras coming this R36!

The Ruins of Midras are nestled in the peaks of Midmaer. I took a lot of inspiration from its reference in Blade of the Avatar along with adding my own take to the map.

Aesthetically I was inspired by the city of Osgiliath in the LOTR. Especially the idea of having ruins that had vertical space and were now only frames of what they had once been.


The ancient ruined skyline of Midras.midras1midras2

“They followed the road toward the center of Midras. The newer structures gave way to the more ancient ruins near the center of the city. They came to where the avenue ended in a circular plaza in the center of the town. Here it was evident by the carnage that the fighting had been the most intense. On the east side of the plaza, an enormous tree rose up out of the ground. It had once been a part of a small garden before the doors entering the ancient temple. ”
Chapter 2, Blade of the Avatarmidras3

“The abandoned shells of buildings looked silently down on them from either side of the road. At their feet, shattered stone and splintered wood”
Chapter 2, Blade of the Avatar midras4midras5

In designing Midras, we made sure the ruins had plenty of PVP areas for fun dynamic gameplay.

Fight and lose your opponent through corners, alleys, dents, ditches, tumbled rocks, collapsed buildings, rock walls, and overgrown hedges!midras6

“This tree and the trees from its seeds will be here long after the stones have been crushed into sand and the walls erased”.
Chapter 2, Blade of the Avatar midras7

Esteben Zaldivar
Level Designer

The Making of a Forest Town Siege Map

Periodically, NPC towns will come under siege by the Obsidian Cabalists. The timing, duration, and location of these sieges will be driven by Celestial Mechanics. When you attempt to enter a town under siege, you will first enter the Town Siege scene where the enemy has made camp outside the town and is fighting the town defenders. You can choose to join the battle and end the siege early or work your way around the perimeter, perhaps encountering only some scouting parties. We hope to have the first iteration of this feature and one map live in Release 37.

[A Dev+ Forum Posts by Chris “Sea Wolf” Wolf and Keith “Sannio” Quinn]

Hey folks, Sea-Wolf here with some screenshots for the new forest siege encounters!

The Entrance


The Blockadeforest-siege-2

The Battlefieldforest-siege-3

The Enemy Campforest-siege-4

The Forestforest-siege-5

Chris Wolf
Level Designer

* * * * *

Town Siege Comments by Keith “Sannio” Quinn

For those wondering about “Town Sieges,” they’re currently on the schedule for Release 37. How will they work? Well, here’s an overview:

Anyone approaching a town in the overworld that is under siege will see a temporary “siege weapon” object (e.g. a catapult) next to the town. If you try to enter that town, you’ll instead be sent to a “siege encounter” scene. (As with roving encounters, your fellow party members will see a special icon in the overworld that they can use to join you in that siege encounter scene.)

The siege encounter appears according to a schedule and won’t leave until the schedule says it should (for example, it shows up at dusk and won’t leave until dawn).

You’ll spawn into the siege encounter on its edge near an enemy camp. Nearby is a central battlefield, where waves of enemies and allies clash again and again while also being assaulted by periodic catapult attacks. On the opposite side of the map, is a squad of allies, pinned down by enemy forces as they defend the only exit.

There are two obvious paths: The long way around includes a handful of low-threat enemy patrols, while barreling through the enemy camp and frontline will be quicker but far more dangerous. There’s a third option: Your allies need your help destroying the three catapults that keep them pinned down. Destroying the catapults and their high-threat siege engineers will draw out the greatest threat, the siege commander. If you can take out the siege commander, enemy reinforcements will stop coming and the siege will end.

Some additional notes: The forest siege is only the first “siege biome.” More will come over time, with a variety of enemy types. Also, we would like the act of defeating the siege commander to immediately remove the siege from the overworld as well, but this is a future consideration and won’t be in the initial implementation.

Keith Quinn
Level Designer

Xenos Polish

Right before we went persistent, we uncloned Xenos and made some modifications to it for specific plot points. However, we were not satisfied with the level of polish so we are revisiting this scene and doing a polish pass this release. We hope to have this pass complete by Release 38. Xenos is on the island of Elysium, southwest of Novia, and is a critical juncture on the Path of Truth.

[A Dev+ Forum Post by Scott “Scottie” Jones]

Having gone so far with Xenos before Richard Matey left (just in time for folks to choose their plots for housing), it’s now time to go back into the city to fulfill an even broader vision for it, and to polish it up for completion! Since I had built the entrance to Artifice, into which one may go only after having won the fabled Lottery of Elysium, I was asked to expand upon my ideas for the developed areas of that region to have a similar “Greco-Roman” feel to its architecture. For the capital Xenos and its surrounding environs, there would also be a bit of old-world Italy in the mix, just for the sake of variety… Like Rome in our world, Xenos should evoke the feeling of new architecture have been built within and upon the ruins of the older civilization that once thrived there. Since Xenos is not quite as huge as Rome, however, I decided to also draw additional inspiration from concepts of what Pompeii must have been like in its hey-day, before the terrible destruction of Vesuvius…

Below you can see my initial work as I begin upgrading the center of town, specifically the port-side entrance and its main attraction, the Forum of the Lottery. Here visitors to Xenos from across the world gather to participate in the Lottery in the hopes of winning the great prize, a ticket of entrance into mysterious and miraculous Artifice itself! On approach to the outer arches, flaming braziers atop stone pillars light the great statue of the Titan of Truth, which seems to welcome visitors as they enter below. Beyond those arches will eventually be a cultured garden walk, where participants and bystanders gather in conversation while awaiting the ceremonies.xenos-lottery-forum-01

Another set of inner arches, formed by the mighty bases of aqueducts that feed water into the city from the forested hills south, is topped by huge statues depicting the satyrs which are said to roam the far northern mountains of Elysium where they tend to the grounds surrounding Artifice’s magical golden entrance. Past hanging crimson banners can be seen the amphitheater of the Forum, also lit by large flaming braziers and lanterns suspended above the curving stone seats, where gathering guests will sit once the Lottery begins. Once fully constructed, this area will also host fountains fed by water falling from draconic gargoyle heads, much like Artifice itself. As one would expect, more foliage and cultured plants will be added as well.xenos-lottery-forum-02

I entered this scene at dusk, which suited me well, since I wanted to gaze at the effect of the various light-sources. And of course, I just had to climb the stairs of the amphitheater to sit beneath the night sky and look down upon the scene as other guests would. In so doing, I saw that the shattered moon arced wonderfully overhead at just that moment, so yet another screenshot was required!xenos-lottery-forum-03

Hopefully you find this initial work exciting… Once I finish working on the wrapped gift boxes, I’ll be getting back on this again and digging in for the rest of the milestone! I’ll post more images and descriptions into this thread as I go… Wish me luck!

Scottie ^_^

R35 Postmortem Recap

Our Release 35 Postmortem was this past Thursday and we answered a ton of questions and gave away lots of in-game prizes including X & Y

While we did not have time to answer all the questions, Starr “Darkstarr” Long got on the forums afterwards and answered all the questions that were missed here.

Here’s the video for those who missed it:

Homes of New Britannia – House Decorating Contest Winners!

Congratulations winners of the ‘Homes of New Britannia’ House Decorating Contest! We had over 60 participants and some truly amazing home entries. As we toured each one, we smiled, laughed, and even cried (in a good way!) at some of the decorating themes. Well done by all!

As we announced, the winners were organized by themes. We had one change and that was the removal of the Steampunk theme, since no one decorated their house in this way. To replace it, we added another “All-around well decorated” winner, since we had so many entries for that category.

And the winners are…

Shop/service theme goes to: Bamboozle

Rustic theme goes to: Meridyn

Elegant theme goes to: Amaasing

Naturalistic theme goes to: Krissa Lox

Spooky theme goes to: Andrew Silverston

All-around well decorated, entry #1: Nemesis2

All-around well decorated, entry #2: Mishikal

Costume themed winner goes to: Licemeat

Click here for a complete list of all the entries!


17-Day Countdown to Expirations, 15% Black Friday Bonus, and Fall into Winter Telethon

We’re counting down the days until our Fall into Winter Telethon and your last chance to purchase a bunch of items that are expiring, as well as receive your 15% Black Friday Bonus!

telethon_fall2w_bannerAt 11:59 PM CDT (4:59 UTC) on November 28, 2016, we are expiring the following content / features:

  • House Stacking in Bundles (only 1 House per Bundle going forward)
  • Adobe 2-Story with Upper Deck Village Home
  • Adobe 2-Story with Patio & Balcony Village Home
  • Adobe 2-Story Village Home
  • Adobe Brick 2-Story with Roof Access Village Home
  • All Kobold Masks (some will still be exclusively available in Kobold Bundles)
  • All Prosperity Tool Packs (will still be available as part of Bundles)
  • Wax Cylinder Soundtrack Vol 1
  • Battle Banner
  • 2016 Jack O Lanternsjuggle-jack-o-lanterns
  • 2016 Jack O Lantern Mask
  • 2016 Jack O Lantern Mask with Glow
  • 2016 Grim Reaper Statue
  • 2016 Grim Reaper Mask
  • 2016 Rotten Armor
  • 2016 Rotten Flesh Cloak
  • /juggleseveredheads
  • /jugglezombieheads
  • /jugglejackolanterns
  • 2016 Spooky Soundtrack

At noon on that same day, we are starting a 12-hour telethon that will include an array of fun activities and engaging content, many of which you can directly participate in with us in-game! We are also giving away a ton of fabulous prizes*, and as always we will be having stretch goals that based on how much players spend during the telethon (see below).

As usual, your questions will be answered throughout the event. You can pre-post your questions in the article’s comments section (linked here), or post questions during the telethon in Discord chat.*

As a special bonus, we are offering Telethon Funding Stretch Goal Rewards to any backer that pledges a minimum of $5 from the start of the telethon, until Midnight (Spending Store Credit to make $5 minimum purchase does not apply). The Fall Into Winter Telethon of the Avatar Funding Stretch Goal Rewards are:

  • $10K: /rainautumnleaves
  • $25K: Autumn Leaf Crown (increases length of /rainautumnleaves emote)
  • $35K: Autumn Fairy Leaf Dress + Autumn Leaf Wings
  • $50K: Pet Squirrel
  • $65K and beyond: Secret Winter items!

Did you see what was unlocked in the last telethon? This one is going to be even bigger!

Cheer on the Devs!

StarrDancingFor every $2,500 donated, all developers on camera have to either dance, sing, or drink a shot of alcohol.

Additionally, we will be spinning the Wheel of Fortune & Doom! The wheel will have 14 items at any given time, but dozens of total prizes ultimately will be given away! This includes developers that, if selected, have to either dance, sing, or drink a shot of alcohol.

As the wheel is spun, what is selected will be replaced by something else. Details list of wheel items coming soon. Items already selected will be removed for a time (some may not come back onto the wheel for the rest of the telethon. Keep in mind that some of these may never come up, so cross your fingers for your preferred item!

Watch The Telethon on Twitch! or YouTube! The final recording will be archived on YouTube after the event as well. See you on the livestream chat at Noon this coming November 28th!

Get Your 15% Black Friday Bonus Now!

For the past two years we’ve extended our Black Friday Promotion to give you up to 8 weeks to take advantage of our 15% Black Friday Bonus, and we’re doing it again this year! For all new purchases (including bundles, bundle upgrades, add-on items, player owned town upgrades, and Make a Difference items) between Midnight CDT October 6, 2016 (5:00 UTC, October 7, 2016) and Midnight CST, November 28, 2016 (6:00 UTC, November 29, 2016), we will add an additional 15% bonus to your Store Credit!

[Read more…]

Community Spotlight: Beran’s Reach

This week’s community spotlight features the Player Owned Town, Beran’s Reach! Each week we tour towns and talk with guilds and other groups, all of which are open to be spotlighted on coming tours brought to you by Berek, your community wood elf druid.

Here is what I witnessed while I roamed this holiday themed town:

On a high peak dominating the environs of Central Sanctus, the walled Metropolis of Beran’s Reach takes a commanding position in the wilds north of Regalis. For many who live within the northern realms, ‘the Reach’ has become synonymous with sanctuary from the great dangers that lurk within the moors and forests, both men and beast alike. It is perhaps with no degree of relief that my caravan rounded corner to reveal the stark, imposing walls and turrets that mark the outskirts of the settlement-proper.

After being ushered in by grim-faced guards, I must admit that I was taken aback by the splendor of a bustling settlement, a far cry from from the wilderness beyond.

[Read More…]

Upcoming Events

Nov 17, 2016 – Release 36
Nov 18, 2016 – Community of the Avatar livestream
Nov 21, 2016 – Courtesy Automatic Claiming of Rewards
Nov 28, 2016 – Fall into Winter Telethon and Expirations (House Stacking in Bundles, etc.)
Dec 9, 2016 – Community of the Avatar livestream
Dec 15, 2016 – Release 37
Dec 16, 2016 – Community of the Avatar livestream
Dec 20, 2016 – R37 Postmortem
Jan 26, 2017 – Release 38

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 this month’s Release Events thread in the SotA forums for additional events.


1st Bear Tavern Beast Brawl

[Events Forum Post by moko]

Greetings travelers!

In the Bear Tavern’s continued effort to serve your needs for mead and mayhem we proudly present you the First Beast Brawl!

The event will be held on November 12th 1pm NBT (1 pm CST, Saturday) in the Victory Arena in Beran’s Reach (see map), and will be held as a “bring your own beast” tournament. Participants will be grouped according to their skill in handling beasts [skill will be determined using the following formula:

(Summoning/2+combat training+obedience)/3; groups will be 1-40, 41-60,61-80,81-100,101+] and their pets will fight 1 vs 1

The initial matches in each group will be randomly drawn, the winner of the match will battle the winner of another match of his group and so on. Entries are limited to 16 participants

We are awarding 10 000g for the 1st place, 5 000g for the 2nd place and 2 500g for the 3rd place for each tournament.


  • No Avatar participation, including healing of pets, will be permitted
  • Pets will be fighting against pets, the first pet with 0 (zero) hp loses the match
  • An avatar is allowed to yield at any time, his opponent will then win the match
  • If both pets are still standing after 3 minutes the match will be ended and the pet with the most hp left wins the match
  • If there is a draw a game of rock, paper, scissors via whisper will decide the match

Please PM us or in game (Lilian Federkiel) with your avatar name and bracket if you wish to enter.

Community Resources – Players Helping Players


Visit the official Community Resources page for a complete listing of all things community.

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.

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.

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