Greetings Fellow Avatars!
Here’s what we have for you in this week’s edition of Update of the Avatar:
- Clockwork Attack!
- Town Blessings Update
- The Making of Rhun Ruins
- The Making of K’rawl
- Spring Telethon and Expirations Reminder
- Clockwork Pets & Shogun Bundle / Decorations
- Weekend Flash Sale
- Origin PC Steam Key Bundle
- Alienware Steam Key Giveaway: Lowered to Level 4
- R38 Offline Data Format Change – Character Preservation Notice
- Spring 2017 Crafter’s Competition
- Boss Battle of the Avatar – Screenshot Contest Winners
- Community Livestream – Exploring Rhun Ruins
- Doug’s (IronMaiden) Chemo Relief Fund
- Upcoming Events
- Community Resources – Players Helping Players
- Recommended Projects to Back
The City Kobolds defend their territories fiercely, and part of their defenses are an army of Clockwork beasts. Players have already seen some of these in previous releases including the Shock Monkey and Clockwork Dragon. In R39, the Clockwork menagerie expands to include Attack and size variants of some of our existing Clockwork beasts. The Clockwork Attack Dogs and Cats (who are mountain lion sized) are used by Kobold guard patrols to knockdown and tear up trespassers. The Clockwork Attack Ravens have confusion fields that make fighting them especially challenging. We will also introduce giant versions of the Shock Monkey that have stomp and throw attacks as well as a scaled down version of the Clockwork Dragon that works for interior spaces. Finally, there will be giant versions of the Oracle Flyers and Oracle Crawlers that shock and stun players who try to fight them.
In celebration of these new nasty clockwork beasts, all clockwork pets are on sale this weekend for 20% (see below for details).
So, we’ve made some baddies out of our clockwork pets. These are definitely not pets. We’ve made them bigger, badder, and way deadly. These clockwork creatures are designed to take as much blood from you as they can with their razor sharp claws, teeth, spikes, and a bad attitude. The idea was to make them dark and stealthy. The models may be updated a bit here and there before I call them finished – but as they are, they are already bad news.
Town Blessings Update
In Release 39, the first iteration of Town Blessings will be going live. Owners of Player Towns will have the ability to place 11 different Devotionals to the 8 Virtues and 3 Principles in their towns.
Each Devotional offers a different blessing and the power of the blessing is based on how many people live in the town. To receive a blessing you merely need to stand near a Devotional that has been placed in a POT (or NPC town). Players can only have one blessing active at any time, so visiting a Devotional while another blessing is active will overwrite the current blessing. These Devotionals also attract the attention of the Cabalists and there is a chance that your town will come under siege if you have them placed (this will come online in R40).
Here is a list of the base level Devotionals that are included with each POT and the associated blessings (each one listed is a placeable decoration, see pictures):
- Truth: Intelligence Buff
- Love: Dexterity Buff
- Courage: Strength Buff
- Humility: Magic Resistance Buff and Fishing Bait Recovery Buff
- Honesty: Focus Buff and Alchemy Buff
- Justice: Fizzle Reduction and Cooking Buff
- Honor: Focus Regeneration Buff and Agriculture Buff
- Spirituality: Adventuring Level Buff and Fishing Level Buff
- Compassion: Dodge Buff and Tailoring Buff
- Sacrifice: Health Regeneration Buff and Carpentry Buff
- Valor: Health Buff and Blacksmith Buff
Devotionals are considered NPC buildings, so are therefore limited by the number of NPC buildings your town can support. Those NPC Building limits per town are:
- Holdfast: 1
- Hamlet: 2
- Village: 3
- Crossroads Village: 4
- Town: 6
- City: 10
- Metropolis: 15
These devotionals will also appear in NPC towns starting in R40. Please note that these Devotionals are new decorations and not the original items tentatively planned to be associated with Blessings (Hooded Statue, Titan Statues, Dragon Bones, etc.). All town owners will receive these new devotionals as rewards and the original items can continue to be used as NPC Buildings. You will need to claim rewards at a bank to receive these rewards.
Here are all the Devotional symbols:
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 the final update on the Rhun Ruins!
I spent this past week really detailing the map, adding plenty of traps, and making sure all the POI areas were in place and aligned with the team’s vision.
Hope you guys look forward to visiting Rhun in R40!
The Making of K’rawl
The underground 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 (including a jump)! Our goal is to have a first iteration of this dungeon live in the game for Release 39.
Spring Telethon Reminder (and Last Chance Exclusives)
Reminder that our Spring Telethon is only three weeks away! We will be streaming for 12 hours with deep dives into game systems and answering your questions. We will be giving out tons of prizes, there will be lots of flash sales, and items will be expiring! Additionally anyone spending at least $5 during the telethon will receive the Spring themed stretch goals:
- $10,000: /flowerleap emote (leap into the air and throw flowers)
- $25,000: Butterfly Mask
- $35,000: Stained Glass Hand Lantern
- $50,000: Floral Pattern Stained Glass Oil Table Lamp (3 Pack)
- $65,000: White Flowered Topiary Creature Statues (3 Pack of Dragon, Bear, Satyr)
- $80,000: Leaf Shield and Leaf Spear
- $100,000: Large Spring Themed Fountain with Floating Candles
- $130,000: Shield of Thorns and Thorn Sword
- and more to be revealed if we hit these goals…
Clockwork Pets and Shogun Bundles / Decorations Weekend Flash Sale
In celebration of the new nasty clockwork beasts coming online, we are having a 20% off weekend flash sale on all clockwork pets! Additionally as part of our Perennial Coast improvements we created a new Castle / Town wall set based on the Asian assets.
We just finished turning that into a player decoration kit called the Shogun Castle Wall Set which we have added as a “coming soon” item to the Add On Store. In celebration of this addition, we are having a 20% off weekend flash sale on the Shogun Bundles and all Shogun Decorations.
Here is a complete list of all the Clockwork Pet, Shogun Bundle, and Shogun Decoration items you will find on sale this weekend:
- Blackened Metal Baby Clockwork Dragon
- Silver Baby Clockwork Dragon
- Silver Clockwork Monkey
- Silver Mini Automaton
- Brass Clockwork Cat
- Silver Clockwork Dog
- Brass Clockwork Raven
- Shogun Starter Bundle
- Shogun Weapon & Armor Bundle
- Shogun Mandarin Duck Bundle
- Shogun Tool Bundle
- Shogun Tool & Potion Bundle
- Shogun 2-Story Row Tax Free Bundle
- Shogun 3-Story Row Tax Free Bundle
- Shogun 4-Story Row Tax Free Bundle
- Shogun Village Tax Free Bundle
- Shogun Village Keep Tax Free Bundle
- Shogun Town Tax Free Bundle
- Shogun City Tax Free Bundle
- Shogun Castle Wall Set
- Large Guardian Lion Statue
- Giant Guardian Lion Statue
- Bamboo Tree 6-Pack
- Potted Bamboo Tree 3-Pack
- Ornate Shogun Room Divider 3-Pack
- Shogun Wall Light 3-Pack
- Shogun Streetlamp 6-Pack
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 started on January 26 and runs through February 22.
Spring 2017 Crafter’s Competition
Fire up those kilns and ready your hammers! The Spring 2017 Crafter’s Competition has begun! This first event will be a Gear Design Contest with other events, possibly quarterly, kicking off throughout the year.
In the last contest segment we had you capture a fight with a boss monster in the game. To survive such an intensive fight, a great deal of armor and powerful weaponry must be wielded! In this follow-up contest, we want you to design the most powerful weapons and armor you can muster.
As we receive submissions, they will be announced on Twitter and Facebook with eventually a gallery of all submissions on Facebook. If we get enough of them, we may make this a regular quarterly crafting event!
Boss Battle of the Avatar – Screenshot Contest Winners
And the winners are in! Congrats to the following participants:
Community of the Avatar Livestream – Exploring Rhun Ruins
Doug’s (Iron Maiden) Chemo Relief Fund Update
The Auction of Iron Maiden’s holdings begins Monday February 20. Sunday is the deadline to receive the cloak and to qualify to participate in the auction.
Update on funding from community member Thexedor Markhamm:
The total funding raised to date is: $21,370 (GoFundMe total) + $2473.67 (Dev item Auction) = $23,843.67
$1,156.33 to go to hit our 25k fundraising goal. Deadline: Sunday 2/19/17
So…if you wanna see my head shaved (and I know you do) we need to push just little further. Share the word, donate on your friends’ behalf, or increase your donation amount (remember: $100 in total donations gains you an invite to the Iron Maiden Holdings Auction – and all donations stack). And, if you’re a new donor – join the coolest gaming community outreach initiative in history: $25 or more gets you the sweetest cloak in-game to date: the IMCRF cloak.
So, who’s with me? Can we do it? I bet we can.
Update on Doug:
I spoke with Doug at length the last few days as we moved hundreds of items from his 7 accounts to prepare for the auction. We normally don’t discuss the negative stuff, but I did ask him today where he was physically and emotionally. I’ll share with you what I can (and is appropriate).
1. Doug was blown away by the telethon. Made so many new friends that night, and really felt both humbled and honored that so many of us care. We were all, until 30 days ago, strangers, and now we are all part of community striving to make a difference.
2. Doug, who had not played much (until recently) is reinvigorated and excited to keep playing with us (don’t worry, I am making sure he maintains an account, a lot, and some special holdings) to continue his adventure in NB. One of my favorite quotes from him came while he watched his first-ever gustball tourney at the telethon:
“This gust ball thing..I LIKE IT.”
2. Doug is undergoing rigorous chemotherapy. He is positive and upbeat about it, saying that the chemo itself is ‘not so bad.’ However, he has lost 50 pounds since December due to his liquid-only diet. He’s looking forward a better diet and to stop losing weight so rapidly.
3. The good news is that Iron Maiden is responding well to treatments and may be moved to a more nutritious liquid diet soon. Right now he can only eat broth and Ensure drinks. If things keep improving he will be able to blend up heartier soup and even enjoy some ice cream. He hasn’t had any sort of ‘real’ food (besides broth and Ensure) since 12/23 – two days before last Christmas. Talk about a hard adjustment.
4. Emotionally and mentally Doug is tough and sharp. He’s determined to beat the beast. He draws energy and inspiration from his grand kids and sees them often. He is also heartened by our community and our effort to help. He told me that “no matter what happens” this sort of charitable activism needs continue in SoTA.
D@*n right it does, @IronMaiden. And, it will.
Here’s to keeping Doug in our thoughts and hearts! Our support further bolsters his spirit (and our own).
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.
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.
Event of the Week: Prism Presents a Grandmaster Tutoring Event in Diamond Fields
We invite all grandmaster Crafters to come and share their knowledge to new and would be grandmasters. If more grandmasters donate their time then even more can be mentored. You must bring your own materials to this event. There are merchants very near by the crafting pavilion in Diamond Fields but prices may increase due to turn out. A banker is also near buy so you can shuttle in your raw materials and squirrel them away ahead of time for the event.
You can teleport to Lace Delamorte, or zone into Port Phoenix and take the first boat on the left to Diamond Fields. Hope to see you there!
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
Eric “Wingman” Peterson and team are bringing back six-degrees-of-freedom combat by blasting 90’s action game favorite, Descent, into the 21st Century with current-generation gaming technology. Descent: Underground is more than a graphics upgrade. Get ready for multiple types of customizable ships! Prepare for upgradable weapons and sensors with richly-detailed tech trees. Brace yourself for destructible voxel maps with new power-ups and mod tools to make your own maps and more!
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!