Update of the Avatar #209 – 2017.01.06: SotA Voted #1 Crowdfunded Game 2016, Canyon Siege, Brookside, Perennial Coast, Blood Bay, and More!

Greetings Fellow Avatars!

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

The Making of the Canyon Siege Encounter

Periodically, NPC towns come under siege by the Obsidian Cabalists. The timing, duration, and location of these sieges is 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. The first iteration of this feature (and one map) went live in Release 37. In Release 38, we are adding another map based on bridge spanning a canyon.

[A Dev+ Forum Post by Chris “Sea Wolf” Wolf]

Hey folks, today I’m going to share what I’ve been working on this week. These are some screenshots of the upcoming Canyon Bridge Siege Map. In this scenario, enemies have seized a deteriorated bridge which was previously under construction, and have set up a war camp from which they can lay siege to a nearby town.

The Bridge



The Enemy Campcanyon-siege-4

The Foreman’s Shedcanyon-siege-5

The Rivercanyon-siege-6

As always, feedback is welcomed.

~Chris Wolf
Level Designer

The Making of Brookside

Brookside is located in the Drachvald region in the northwest of Novia directly south of Spite. It is the hometown of Samael and was overrun by the Undead armies of Anapa not long ago. Players will encounter this town when following their quests along the Path of Love. Brookside started as a cloned scene using one of our PRT / POT templates based off of the Forest 02 POT template (a forested variation of the Grasslands POT template). In Release 38, it is being rebuilt with new flora, new atmospheric settings like permanent fog, a graveyard, and other unique features. Note that when we un-clone these scenes, we do NOT change lot placements. We only make cosmetic changes of building styles, terrain, and foliage.

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

Hey guys! SorcerousSteve here once again to give you an update on the town of Brookside!

An abandoned manor, once a luxurious estate, now lies in ruins; a remnant of the undead overrun. brookside8

Wretched Man’s Bog
A foul smelling, dank, wet bog located to the North of Brookside.brookside9

Abandoned buildings litter the outskirts of Brookside, past signs of the undead overrun. Meanwhile, wheat fields and wind turbines show signs of a town rebuilding and struggling to move forward. brookside10brookside11

For those of you wishing to live in a spooky foggy atmosphere, where the fear of the undead overrun looms close, the town of Brookside is the perfect place for you! brookside12brookside13

Brookside Town Center, covered in fog. brookside14

Stay tuned for Brookside… coming this R38!

Esteben Zaldivar
Level Designer

Perennial Coast Improvements (cont)

In Release 38, we are moving through all the scenes along the Perennial Coast and updating the flora and architecture to match the new Asian influence we first showed in Ardoris during Release 37. This includes replacing all the exit arches, adding in more bamboo (along with other flora), adding or swapping out Asian architectural elements, along with other details. The only scene we are not touching in R38 is Celestis, which is getting its own specific un-cloning task in a future release.

[A Dev+ Forum Post by Chris “Sea Wolf” Wolf]

Here are a few addition screenshots of some of the adventure zones in The Perennial Coast.perennial-coast-1perennial-coast-2perennial-coast-3perennial-coast-4

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. This is the third update we have posted so far on this map.

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

Hello again!

That holiday break made it seem like it’s been forever since I last posted. Let’s take a look at some recent Xenos progress, shall we?

As we enter into the central city neighborhoods from West Bay road, you can already see how my “urban renewal” project is shaping up. Though surrounded by housing lots ahead and to the right, there’s still plenty of room for decorative foliage, tall junipers, and statuary to demarcate areas of interest such as this crossroads, which spills out onto the newly developed west dock-side shoreline. This city has been a port-of-call for well over two thousand years or so, since long before the Fall of the shattered moon, and remnants of the grand stone docks built in antiquity are still in heavy use, as you will note! My goal for all such areas was to conjure both the grit and the beauty of the ancient populated Greco-Roman shores of our Earth’s Aegean Sea. The water we are currently using certainly helps create that illusion. As you’ll notice, here and there where it seemed appropriate, I’ve dotted various areas with some of the new decorative pieces we’ve purchased and adapted for this region. I’m sure you’ll see them migrate to other parts of the world as well!xenos-subpost-iv_01xenos-subpost-iv_02xenos-subpost-iv_03xenos-subpost-iv_04

I’ve also begun to give a bit of love to the Elysian Heights neighborhood area on the hill overlooking downtown. The Overlook Point with its grand colonnade now has a new fountain feature, and the yards bordering the nearby housing lots have been manicured a bit to show that the city builders have an eye for the fine aesthetics they believe will please the elite who choose to make their homes there. Here too the older ruins, while being cleaned up of rubble and debris, have been allowed to remain, accenting the gracefully tall trees and colorful flowering plants. Statues from several ages of Xenos’ culture gaze down upon its joyful residents and visitors alike, and one can always expect to find a beautiful old rotunda or small formal garden tucked away here and there.xenos-subpost-iv_05xenos-subpost-iv_06xenos-subpost-iv_07xenos-subpost-iv_08

Heading back down to the area of the Forum of the Lottery again, you’ll note a few improvements here as well! The somewhat barren area beyond the main gate has now been fully fleshed out with winding pathways, a variety of flora, and various objects of art. These paths lead directly into the central part of the downtown district and through the Forum’s seating area itself, which has seen a few additions as well to help drive home the opulent and festive nature of the proceedings held there, and for which hopeful visitors have traveled so far to see.xenos-subpost-iv_09xenos-subpost-iv_10

The hour is late, and it’s time for me to journey home for the night, so I’ll leave you with this last evening’s image of night-time as it settles over the west road leading down from the Heights and toward the Elysian Plains. There will be, perhaps one more set of these previews before the final details are done, and the whole scene is ready to go into the update! Hopefully you will be pleased when this city transforms before your very eyes!xenos-subpost-iv_11

Farewell for now,…and good night, my friends!

Scottie ^_^

The Making of Blood Bay (cont.)

Blood Bay is going to be an Open PVP area with two NPC towns, player housing, adventuring areas, and entrances to underground adventure areas. It is going to be a testing ground for several systems that will, in turn, propagate to other parts of the game if successful. We hope to have a first iteration of this map live in Release 38. We showed the scene during the Telethon and talked more about how we hope to have certain systems working. This is the third update we have posted so far on this map.

[A Dev+ Forum Post by Travis “Vas Corp Por” Koleski]

Blood Bay update! I added a couple dungeon entrances, worked on the volcano VFX (lava flow rivers are still works in process, so they are not shown), and some other miscellaneous Points of Interest.

Kobold Dungeon Entranceblood-bay-24

The Fall Dungeon Entranceblood-bay-25blood-bay-26

‘Virtuous’ side of town. Nothing like a good drink while you watch a filthy pirate hang.blood-bay-27

Updated Volcano plumeblood-bay-28

Zeppelin Dockblood-bay-29

Thanks for following the thread! I know there’s a lot of questions about how housing works exactly. When there’s a definitive answer I’m free to share — I promise I will!

Pre-order Richard Garriott’s memoir Explore/Create to receive $20 off Shroud of the Avatar

The publisher of Richard Garriott’s memoir is running a promotion with Shroud of the Avatar here. When you pre-order legendary gamer Richard Garriott’s memoir, Explore/Create, you’ll receive $20.00 off his new RPG Shroud of the Avatar: Forsaken Virtues!explore-create_richardgarriott_cover

A lifelong adventurer and member of the Explorers Club, Richard “Lord British” Garriott has used his extensive gaming fortune to finance thrilling expeditions. He has plumbed the depths of the Atlantic Ocean to see the remains of the Titanic, hunted for meteorites in Antarctica, and in 2008 became one of the first private citizens to be launched into space.

Combining the two guiding tenets of his life, exploration and creation, Richard now invites us on the great adventure that is his life and introduces us to the wondrous and magical in the world around us, including our own backyards.

Pre-order your copy of Explore/Create here.

Submit your proof of purchase before Explore/Create is on sale January 10 to be eligible to receive a $20 coupon off your purchase of the Shroud of the Avatar game from www.shroudoftheavatar.com.


MMOGames: Shroud Wins Best Crowdfunded Online Game of 2016best_crowdfunded_game_2016logo

Shroud of the Avatar won the Best Crowfunded Online Games of 2016!

Many online games these days go down the crowdfunding route with the likes of Kickstarter and IndieGoGo. While we do sometimes hear horror stories of how the devs took the money and ran, thankfully, these instances are rare and we have plenty of games from the crowdfunded sector to look forward to! But which is the best crowdfunded online game of 2016?

These are the games that show continuous progress towards being a complete game, that we see enter into public testing phases and moving forward, and maintain communities of passionate fans. Their crowdfunding campaigns don’t necessarily have to have occurred this year, so long as they have been crowdfunded.

MMORPG: Shroud nominated for The Most Wanted MMO of 2017logo_mmorpg

Shroud of the Avatar has been nominated as one of the MMOs most wanted in 2017 over at MMORPG.com. You have until Tuesday January 10th to vote:

A New Year brings new hope and new hype. And that means it’s time to set our sights on the games of 2017 and for us to ask you all to vote for your most wanted MMO of the next 12 months.

mmorpg_voting_2017We’ve taken the games we expect to come out in some form (even Early Access) this year and we’ve compiled them all into a poll where you and your peers will decide what 2017’s most anticipated MMO should be. If the game’s not included, it’s because we don’t think it stands a chance at launching or hitting early access this calendar year (maybe next year, Star Citizen).

Voting for this category will be open until next Tuesday, January 10th at 12pm ET.

So take stock of the list, think about your choice, and cast a vote. The future of the MMO genre depends on it… OK, maybe just our pageview count.

New Shogun Bundles

We’ve started adding the new Shogun Bundles to the Bundle Store this week. Here’s what we have so far:

You can also find the new Shogun Wall Lights in the Add-On Store:



Upcoming Events

Jan 26, 2017 – Release 38
Feb 23, 2017 – Release 39
Feb 25, 2017 –
 Ultima Dragons 25th Anniversary Event
Feb 28, 2017 – GDC Community Management Summit: Care and Feeding of Wild Fansites
Mar 17, 2017 –
 SXSW Gaming: Is Video Game Early Access Too Early?
Mar 30, 2017 – Release 40
April 2017 – Spring Telethon
Apr 27, 2017 – Release 41
May 25, 2017 – Release 42
June 29, 2017 – Release 43

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.

Event of the Week:

Hear ye! Hear ye! Biographers, Historians, Diplomats, Journalists, Story Writers, Quest Designers, Videographers and Musicians! RPOTA.COM is in dire need of your amazing talents! Role-Players of the Avatar is hosting a monthly contest to award those most famous with their quill, camera, piano or lute! Simply have your creations submitted by midnight of the last day of every month to be eligible for that month’s contest! See Elgarion for (details)

Community Spotlight: Styx – Player Owned Town

This latest Player Owned Town spotlight explores the Crossroads Village of Styx. Styx is a small island located off of the shores of Elysium, and is a short boat ride from the bustling city of Xenos.

Styx has only a short history as small but vibrant farming community, delivering much needed supplies to the resource heavy southern isle. It offers respite to travel weary adventurers and exhausted miners.

With the late Duke Kharon’s passing, his merchant son Kastagir returned from sea to assess his newly acquired estate and title. It had been many years since he had called this land home, and the island felt almost unknown to him upon his return.

Kastagir Kharon, the town Governor, waved from the city wall as I disembarked the mainland ferry. The journey was short, but the sea was choppy due to the storm and I was glad to be on dry land.

“Hello! Welcome to Styx!” Kastagir exclaimed as he shook me by the hand. “Come, you must be soaked? I have arranged food and board at the Ferryman Inn. We can see the sights in the morning when the weather has cleared. It’s going to be a fine day tomorrow!”

It was almost pitch black when I first arrived during the storm. I could barely make out the path beneath my feet, and a handful of faint silhouetted buildings as I was led to the inn. Sure enough, morning came and the storm lifted. We met back at the main gate and began the tour.

[Read More…]

Community Holiday Party at Portalarium!

Hear ye, hear ye! Let it be known far and wide that a Grand Holiday Party will be held at the Portalarium Studios and in Shroud of the Avatar on:

Wednesday, January 11, 2016
5:00 PM to 10:00 PM Central Standard Time (US)
(2300 UTC to 0400 UTC)
The Grand Holiday Party is completely planned, hosted, and paid for by the player community! The Portalarium team thanks you so much here – this means a GREAT deal to them, and they are very excited to be celebrating with you during this event!

To attend either on-site at Portalarium, or celebrate with us online, please RSVP!

Community Resources – Players Helping Players


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.

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

Recommended Projects to Back

Don’t Just Back Crowfall… Invest!

Why just back Crowfall for rewards, when you can invest in the company — and potentially see a financial return!

ArtCraft Entertainment (creators of Crowfall) and Indiegogo.com are partnering to offer this unique crowdfunding investment opportunity.

Check out the offering at: https://equity.indiegogo.com/offerings/artcraft-entertainment/

Crowfall is ArtCraft’s flagship title. It is a massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG), a persistent virtual world that can be shared by hundreds of thousands (or millions) of online players. It is unique in that it has been designed as a “Throne War Simulator,” offering gamers a very different in-game experience compared to traditional MMO titles. Crowfall combines the persistence of an MMO with the ability for players to change the virtual world, allowing teams to win (or lose), as in a strategy game. Thousands of players are vying for control of a virtual throne, where the only options are to win or to die.

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!







Comments are closed.