Greetings Fellow Avatars!
Here’s what we have for you in this week’s edition of Update of the Avatar:
- City Kobolds and Kobold Chests
- Patterns: Gear and Decoration Reshaping
- The Making of Upper Fortus
- The Making of Rhun Ruins
- The Crawl to K’rul
- R38 Postmortem Recap
- Kobold Weekend Flash Sale
- Origin PC Steam Key Bundle
- Alienware Steam Key Giveaway: Lowered to Level 4
- R38 Offline Data Format Change – Character Preservation Notice
- Boss Battle of the Avatar – Screenshot Contest
- Community Livestream – Exploring Blood Bay
- Community Spotlight: Saint Haley – Player Owned Town
- Doug’s (IronMaiden) Chemo Relief Fund [Update: Telethon with Dev Crafted Gear Auction]
- Upcoming Events
- Community Resources – Players Helping Players
- Recommended Projects to Back
City Kobolds and Kobold Chests
In Release 39, we began work on what we are calling our City Kobolds. These are the Kobolds that live in Skrekk and other places like K’rul. They are much more advanced than anyone else in Novia and the source of almost all of the technology that you see in the game, including clockwork creatures and aether vibration amplifiers. City Kobolds use advanced armor and weaponry including chainswords, electric axes, gas guns, electric blunderbusses, grenades, etc.
In some cases, City Kobolds are friendly to players (depending on story elements) and there are rumors of City Kobold Merchants who sell rare Kobold technology to players. The other Kobolds players have interacted with until now have been what we call Village Kobolds, and will remain what players encounter in outdoor zones and small Kobold habitations. In Release 39, you will be able to find our first round of City Kobolds in K’rul. In Release 40 we will be updating Skrekk with City Kobold, including a new unique visual for King Kobarr.
Below you can see a post from our very own Fletcher “SkullMuncher34” Kinnear, including some Sketchfab posts, one of which is a Sketchfab Staff Pick!
Speaking of Kobolds, we did an audit on the contents of all our bundles and realized that the Kobold bundles were the only bundles that did not have chests! So we are fixing this in Release 39! Kobold 2-Story Row House Tax Free Player Owned Town Lot Bundle now has a Kobold Metal Chest in it and the Kobold Village Home Tax Free Player Owned Town Lot Bundle now has an Ornate Kobold Metal Chest in it (see pictures below).
In celebration of our new City Kobolds and the addition of the Kobold chests to the Kobold bundles, we are having a 20% off weekend flash sale on all things Kobold! This sale includes Kobold Bundles, all Kobold decorations, the Darkstarr Blood Reliquaries (in the Make A Difference store), the Airship Homes, and anything else that uses Kobold technology like the phonographs (see Kobold Weekend Flash Sale section below for a complete list).
So as some of you know, we’re starting to flesh-out the Kobolds in our game. Giving them their own unique gear indicative to their culture and technology. We just now got done modeling the Brawler and Gunner types. In the next release, they will be equipped with chainswords and electric blunderbusses respectively. In addition, we are also working on touching up the sounds and voices they will make — which are gnarly to say the least…
Patterns: Gear and Decoration Reshaping
In Release 39, we are going to be launching our system for reshaping items in the game that we call “Patterns”. This system will allow players to change the visual appearance of many items in the game while preserving the functionality and data associated with that item. In the case of a weapon, that means that it will still retain all of its stats including damage per second, durability, enchantments, etc. even though it looks different. Patterns will work on gear and decorations.
For R39, we are focusing on Patterns for gear (armor and weapons). Patterns are used to reshape existing pieces of gear in much the same way you would enchant that gear at a crafting station. You take a weapon or a piece of armor to the appropriate station (ex. Longbow to a carpentry station) and then use a pattern to reshape that item into something visually different. Patterns can be obtained through purchase and from inside the game.
Purchased: This includes items from pledges, add-on store, and bundles.
- Patterns in Pattern Packs: These patterns are consumed when used, so can only be used exactly once. They come in packs of 6 or more.
- Eternal Patterns inside Gear: When you buy a suit of armor or a functional weapon (add on store, pledge, bundle, etc) this gear has starter level stats, is non-lootable, is indestructible, and cannot be enchanted/masterworked. If you want to use the item in crafting it can be salvaged for an “Eternal Pattern”. When you do this salvage you have a 100% chance to get the Eternal Pattern from the gear. Please note that this forfeits all of its protections from destruction and PVP loot-ability. That eternal pattern can be used just like a regular pattern with the critical difference that it can be recovered by salvaging the item that it was applied to. This allows anyone who purchased gear or got gear from pledges to make exactly 1 item at a time from their gear if they choose. This also preserves the rarity of those items while allowing them to be used in the crafting system.
In-Game: These are patterns gained from loot in the game. Note that these will be visually distinct from the purchased patterns.
- Patterns inside Gear: These are gained from salvaging gear found on enemies in the game. These will be the primary source of patterns inside the game. We intend to have at least as many of these in-game patterns as there are of the purchased variety, if not more. There will be varying degrees of rarity for these patterns. For instance, katana patterns might be fairly easy to gain by salvaging katanas from bandits along the Perennial Coast, but the pattern for the Dastardly Vile Sword that Nefario the Obsidian Cabalist wields in the Town sieges might be almost impossible to get. Note that your chance to get a pattern from salvaging in-game items will depend on your salvage skill and the level of the item.
- Other Patterns: We are also considering having some patterns found directly as loot or available for purchase in game for gold from merchants, but this will be an exception.
Crafting: There will be a series of recipes similar to enchantments (with wildcards) with no skill requirement, such that anyone can use these patterns at a crafting station to remake their gear. Everyone will automatically have these recipes in their recipe book as well. The recipes will be based on item type and crafting station type. Reshaping will be restricted to the item type so that you can only reshape a 2-handed sword using a 2-handed sword pattern (i.e. you can’t make a 2-handed sword look like a dagger). Please note that Patterns do NOT replace any recipes nor do these allow you to make any items from scratch. These only allow you to modify existing crafted items.
- Reshape 2-Handed Sword: (Blacksmithing)
- Katana Pattern
- Any 2-Handed Sword
- Chunk of Coal (2)
- Smithing Hammer
- Reshape Leather Chest Armor: (Tailoring)
- Elven Elder Chest Armor Pattern
- Any Leather Chest Armor
- Wax (3)
- Tailoring Scissors
- Reshape Longbow: (Carpentry)
- Ornate Elven Longbow Pattern
- Any Longbow
- Wax (3)
- Carpentry Hammer
To celebrate the launch of the Patterns system, we are releasing our first pattern the Ornate Flamberge for a limited time! Our very own Fletcher “Skullmuncher” Kinnear designed this beautiful sword and it will only be available through the end of the Spring Telethon. Flamberge Pattern Packs, as well as the weapon itself (with the eternal pattern inside), are available for purchase in the Add-On store.
The Making of Upper Fortus
The Fortus River runs south-to-north through a large canyon in the North Paladis region near the Sanctus Spine Control Point. Kobolds have established a mining facility here using steam to soften the terrain. Bandits have a camp nearby and have been raiding the shipments of ore and therefore, the Kobolds have been ramping up their defenses of the mining facility. Expect strong resistance when trying to raid the Kobold mining camp; and the bandits are not going to be too friendly either!
This scene started as a clone of North Varisalla Foothills but is being completely rebuilt for a live date hopefully in Release 39.
I have a few updated screenshots to share. Enjoy!
The Making of Rhun Ruins
The Rhun 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. Rhun was a city devoted to Compassion but has since been overrun with the undead. It is located in the Drachvald region in the northeast of Novia.
Rhun started as a clone of the Dysborg 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.
Hey guys! SorcerousSteve here to give you an update on progress on Rhun Ruins!
This week I began further detail work on areas of the map, alongside adding more traps and making sure there are plenty of corridors, alleys, destroyed buildings and overall environmental clutter to provide an engaging PVP experience.
Areas like the one below, nicknamed “The Killing Fields” by Lord British, are filled with plenty of deer blinds and perfect places for archers to stand guard and attack. In building this map, I was inspired a lot by the architecture found in the city Minas Tirith, such as this sloping city street that features multi-story buildings alongside jagged cliffs.
See ya next time!
The Making of K’rawl
The undeground Kobold lab called K’rul is connected to the Kobold capital city of Skrekk through a long shipping tunnel called K’rawl that includes moving mine carts! Our goal is to have a first iteration of this dungeon live in the game for Release 39.
More to come soon!
Hangout of the Avatar – Postmortem 38 Recap
Our Release 38 Postmortem was this past Tuesday and it was great! We announced the new Patterns system (see above) and gave out some more details about K’rul (and the K’rawl which connects it to Skrekk). The community of course had a TON of questions (14 pages between the web post and Discord!) and we answered as many as we could in the 2 hours we had. As always we gave away lots of in-game prizes including:
- Ornate Flamberge
- Ornate Flamberge Pattern Pack
- Small Longboat Water Decoration
- Gondola Water Decoration
- Ardoris Guard Armor
- 2017 Valentine Cards
- Silver Clockwork Armor
- Store Credit
- and more!
We also ran a 24 hour 20% sale on all Water items and all Gear to celebrate the new water decoration system that we launched in R38 and the new Patterns system that is launching in R39! If you missed the sale don’t worry! We plan on doing more sales like this during Release weekends and there is the upcoming Spring Telethon which will have all sorts of flash sales!
We got through about 4 of the 14 pages of questions during the broadcast, so Starr “Darkstarr” Long got on the forums afterwards and answered the remaining 10 pages of questions that were missed (with some assistance from various team members) here.
Here’s the video for those who missed the postmortem:
Kobold Weekend Flash Sale
In celebration of our new City Kobolds and the addition of the Kobold chests to the Kobold bundles we are having a 20% off weekend flash sale on all things Kobold! This sale includes Kobold Bundles, all Kobold decorations, the Darkstarr Blood Reliquaries (in the Make A Difference store), the Airship Homes, and anything else that uses Kobold technology like the phonographs.
Here is a complete list of all the Kobold items you will find on sale this weekend:
Kobold Bundle Store
Kobold Starter Bundle
Kobold Wings Bundle
Kobold Clockwork Pet Bundle
Kobold Tool Bundle
Kobold Tool & Potion Bundle
Kobold 2-Story Row Tax Free Bundle
Kobold 3-Story Row Tax Free Bundle
Kobold 4-Story Row Tax Free Bundle
Kobold Village Tax Free Bundle
Kobold Village Keep Tax Free Bundle
Kobold Town Tax Free Bundle
Kobold City Tax Free Bundle
Kobold 2-Story with Rooftop Deck Village Home
Kobold Dwelling Village Home
Kobold Dual Spire Village Home
Kobold 3-Story with Right Alcove Row House
Kobold 3-Story with Left Alcove Row House
Kobold 3-Story Tower Village Home
Kobold 4-Story Great Hall City Home
Kobold 3-Story with Open Deck Town Home
Airship City Home
Kobold Outdoor Decorations
Stone Kobold Statue
Kobold Corkscrew Wind Power Generator
Kobold Wind Power Generator
Kobold Rotunda Gazebo
Kobold Spiked Streetlamp 6-Pack
Hot Air Balloon
Kobold Radiant Energy Coil
Kobold Radiant Energy Capacitor
Kobold Home Decorations
Kobold Ornate Four Poster Twin Bed
Kobold Ornate Steam Radiator
Kobold Tiled Long Dining Table
Kobold Tiled Square Dining Table
Kobold Red Velvet with Nailheads Bench
Kobold Red Velvet with Nailheads Chair
Kobold Clockwork Wings
Leather Clockwork Wings
Aeronaut Wearable Pack
Aeronaut Hot Air Balloon Pack
Ornate Black Leather Aeronaut Helmet
Black & Chrome Ornate Aeronaut Outfit
Brown Steampunk Goggles
Star Citizen Aeronaut Helmet Starter Bundle
Star Citizen Airship City Home
Cordovan Ornate Street Organ
Umber Ornate Accordion
Ornate Metal Phonograph
Ornate Automated 16-Cylinder Phonograph
Automated 8-Cylinder Phonograph
Aether Vibration Amplifier Console
Brass Clockwork Cat
Silver Clockwork Dog
Brass Clockwork Raven
Silver Clockwork Monkey
Silver Mini Automaton
Remote Bank Access Device
As we announced in Update #210, we have started a new partnership with Origin PC. We, of course, love the name of their company. We also found out that their community manager and one of their founders are huge Ultima Online fans! Our very own Richard Garriott uses Origin PCs for his desktop and laptop computers, so this partnership is a mutual admiration party. In Richard’s own words:
“I have been a hard core PC developer and gamer since the beginning, including when I was making some of my earliest games for Origin Systems. Origin games, like Ultima and Wing Commander, always pushed the envelope on what gaming machines were capable of. And to develop them, I knew I needed the best gaming hardware available. The same holds true for my current game, Shroud of the Avatar; a spiritual successor to Ultima which is in now in development at Portalarium.
So, about a year ago, I went looking for the best game system available to me, and I bought my first Origin PC. I was incredibly impressed! Everything from the ordering process through the delivery was top notch, and performance is that of a clearly superior machine. I was indeed so impressed, I now use Origin computers for both my home and office desktops and, of course, have an Origin laptop for when I travel. I could not be happier with these machines, and the great service at Origin PC!”
Our latest promotion with Origin PC is their “Share the Love” February bundle where, when you purchase select desktops or any 10-Series laptop, you get an Early Access Steam Key for Shroud of the Avatar (and other goodies). If you have friends who have been wanting to try Shroud and are looking for a great new computer, send them to the promotion here.
Alienware Steam Key Giveaway: Lowered to Level 4
If Alienware’s powerful gaming rigs are your preferred hardware, we have teamed up with Alienware Arena to give away Shroud of the Avatar Early Access Steam keys to Alienware Arena members.
This week they have opened the promotion up to Level 4+ members (it was previously only available to Level 6+ members). You can learn more by clicking here.
R38 Offline Data Format Change – Character Preservation Notice
For Release 38, the Offline Mode save game format is changing to support new and upcoming gameplay features.
Here’s what you need to do in order to preserve your Offline Mode save games and characters:
- Patch your game client to Release 38.
- Load each saved game and then re-save. This will convert your save file into the latest format.
If you do not convert your saved games during Release 38, your saved games (from releases prior to R38) may not load in releases after Release 38. In other words, we cannot guarantee the ability to load pre-R38 saves after R38.
Our sincere apologies if this change causes any disruption in your gameplay. We always make every attempt to avoid having to make these kinds of requirements of our players when we make changes like this. After very careful consideration, we’ve deemed this change, and the accompanying requirement, as necessary. Please note that this change will not affect the online game or characters in any way.
As a reminder, Release 38 starts on January 26 and runs through February 22.
Boss Battle of the Avatar Screenshot Contest
Be ready with your sword and shield, or destructive magical powers, Avatars! Whatever deathly mechanics suit your fancy, you will need them today. We are kicking off Boss Battle of the Avatar, a screenshot contest that pits the nasty of the nasty creatures throughout New Britannia against the finest combat and screenshot taking skills players can muster.
All you have to do is fight (to the death if necessary) any recognized boss or mini-boss, capturing screenshots of the deathly scene unfolding. Examples are below. You can be alone or with as many others that are needed to take down the creature. As we receive submissions, they will be announced on Twitter and Facebook with eventually a gallery of all submissions on Facebook.
- Clockwork Dragon
- Ghost Corpion
- Lich bosses from the Town Sieges
- or one of the new named mini-bosses that now appear in the final wave of Control Points!
Community of the Avatar Livestream – Exploring Blood Bay
We explore the new Blood Bay scene in this latest Community of the Avatar Livestream! Blood Bay is a mixed scene with many new features, dangers, and dragons… watch on YouTube here:
Follow the game on Twitter at www.twitter.com/shroudofavatar for news of the next livestream!
Community Spotlight: Saint Haley – Player Owned Town
When I stepped out of the boat that brought me here, the first thing I noticed was the breeze coming from the sea. The lack of other noises besides the soft crashing of waves along the shoreline, and the sound of the seagulls high in the air, instantly calmed myself from the rough boat ride. I also noticed the glow of the obsidian lights and the towering Oracle statutes off to my right.
I walked up the slope and found myself at a massive walled fortress. It was clearly an ancient Obsidian outpost with its dark walls and pointed spires.
Doug’s (Iron Maiden) Chemo Relief Fund [Update: Telethon and Dev Crafted Gear Auction]
Thexedor Markhamm has an update on the campaign and some exciting announcements!
As many of you know, we have been running a GofundMe campaign for our fellow Avatar, Doug (Iron Maiden), who was recently diagnosed with stage 4 colon cancer. Our campaign has run for 21 days and we’ve raised an amazing $17,000 toward our goal of helping Iron Maiden pay for the various chemotherapy treatments he needs. Thanks to all of YOU, we are nearing our goal and reaching the end of the GoFundMe donation drive. I wanted to let everybody know of a couple exciting events we have planned as we near the grand finale of our fundraising efforts on February 10th, 2017 @ 10PM CST/NBT.
When: February 10th, 2017 (8-10pm) NBT/CST
Where: Dawn’s Keep (just S. of Central Brittany)
Guest of Honor: Iron Maiden
We’ll be hosting a massive in-game telethon/party event as we countdown the end of our GoFundMe effort. We invite all supporters to join us in game. This event will include a gustball tourney, a meet and greet with Iron Maiden, and an amazing fireworks finale. Also, several ‘carnival’ type events for you to participate in to help us raise funds and awareness for colon cancer. And of course, there will be prizes. Oh yes, many many prizes (like 3 Lord British-crafted war hammers ).
For a full schedule of events and sponsors, please visit this thread.
To learn more about the BIG COTO GIVEAWAY, please visit this thread.
Hope to see everybody there (wearing blue and purple and, of course, your IMCRF cloaks!).
Where: Shroud Markeptlace
The Lord of Chaos and the Sovereign of Virtue have been so kind to spend some time at the crafting tables to donate amazing weapons and armor for this charity auction. You can bid to win extremely rare and powerful relics crafted by both Darkstarr and Lord British. All proceeds (minus PayPal fees) of these auctions will be donated to the Iron Maiden Chemo Relief Fund on behalf of Starr Long and Richard Garriott. Please don’t miss your opportunity to wield and and wear supreme equipment crafted by the most famous (and infamous) Avatars in New Britannia.
GoFundMe Donation & Reward Deadline
When: February 10th, 2017 (10pm) NBT/CST
If you have not yet donated to the Iron Maiden Chemo Relief Fund, there’s still time! We will be accepting donations until the end of our in-game telethon. All donations of $25 or more made during this window will qualify for rewards (like the IMCFR Cloak – which is AWESOME) and the COTO giveaway. Please note, I will be distributing your cloaks in-game after I have verified your donation. Simply friend Thexedor Markhamm (in-game) and I will meet you to present your beautiful cloak.
In closing, I’d like to personally say THANK YOU for everybody who has donated and supported this effort. I had faith the community would come together when I began this initiative, and BOY WAS I RIGHT. We’ve proven that good works through gaming is possible and – together – we’ve made real magic happen.
Original announcement from community member Thexedor Markhamm. For more information or to make a donation, visit the GoFundMe campaign or the community forum conversation.
Avatars who pledge $25 or more to the GoFundMe campaign will receive an exclusive, rare, cloak in-game. The cloak is one of our community even Clasped Gauntlet cloaks custom-colored in blue, purple and silver, and carries the unique name: Iron Maiden’s Chemo Relief Fund.
Last Chance Exclusives
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 9, 2017 – Spring Telethon of the Avatar 2017
Mar 17, 2017 – SXSW Gaming: Is Video Game Early Access Too Early?
Mar 30, 2017 – Release 40
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.
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“I don’t want to build a game.
I want to build a universe.”
From the mind of Chris Roberts, acclaimed creator of Wing Commander and Freelancer, comes STAR CITIZEN, a living, breathing science fiction universe with unparalleled immersion… and you’re invited to follow every step of development!
More than a space combat sim, more than a first person shooter and more than an MMO: Star Citizen is the First Person Universe that will allow for unlimited gameplay.
New Weekend Flash Sale for Star Citizen Promotional Packages
We’ve included our Star Citizen Limited Edition packages in our Weekend Flash Sale so hurry and get yours while they’re available!
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.
A reminder to be sure that firstname.lastname@example.org is unblocked from your e-mail account!