Update of the Avatar #219 – 2017.03.17: Making of Kas Ruins, Spring Telethon Recording, Decorations Flash Sale, World Water Day, 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 Kas Ruins

The Kas 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. Kas is the site of the ruins of an ancient Paladin fort high atop a mountainside. At the foot of the mountain is an abandoned village with a small graveyard. The entire area has become overrun by the undead.

Kas started as a clone of the Opalis Ruins, but is getting completely rebuilt this release to have a unique layout and visuals. Like all the other Ruins and Shardfalls, this is an Open PVP area so 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. Our goal is to have Kas Ruins go live in Release 41 or 42.

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

Hey guys! SorcerousSteve here to give you a peak at my latest work in progress, the Kas Ruins!

The Kas Ruins are located in North Paladis along the Tears River set against jagged mountains. It is on one of these peaks where the ruins of an ancient Paladin Fort lie. I obtained a lot of inspiration for our backdrop from the Grand Tetons and Rocky Mountains of the American West.

A Paladin Fort can be seen nested on the mountain. What secrets do these abandoned ruins hold?

The way up to the Paladin Fort is littered with traps utilized by the defenders in times of war!

Down below signs of ruined settlements.

A trap has gone off, setting a cliff side up in flames!

Stay tuned for more on the Kas Ruins!

Esteben Zaldivar
Level Designer

NPC submissions requested for Harvest


For Developer+ Pledge holders who have the pledge reward to create NPCs please see this post from Scott “Lum” Jennings.

[From a Dev+ Forum Post by Scott “Lum” Jennings]

Thank you for your continuing support of Shroud of the Avatar! This month, in addition to Estgard, we’re seeking entries for inhabitants of the village of Harvest!

Harvest is the port of entry to the kingdom of Norgard, on the mainland side of the channel. It is primarily a farming community, but sees a good bit of traffic between the Knights of Norgard bastion of Resolute and Norgard proper.

If you do NOT want your backer NPC to be in Harvest, you may want to wait. I will update this thread if we are running low on submissions – generally we are OK on duplicate submissions for characters who don’t get adopted (such as guards) but if you absolutely have a character who should be in a given city (such as Brittany) you should wait until we advertise for that city.

First, some brief notes:

  • Harvest is one of our “uncloning” scenes, where we go back post-final wipe and fill out unique content for each village and city. Thus, the NPCs are already in the game, but we can change appearance (to a degree, as seen below), gender, etc. to suit your request. If you want to pick a specific NPC (for example, one near your own house) we will do our best to accomodate you but may not be able to. Note that this process is just to make Harvest NPCs different – Harvest has already had a physical uncloning pass and its layout is basically final for release. We are backfilling NPCs that should have backstories at this point.
  • NPC visual customization, as you may have noticed, is still at a very early stage in development. Right now for the backers who want to be added to Harvest, we cannot offer any visual customization options beyond our standard gallery of NPC models. If you would like to have input over the visual customization of your NPC, you can wait for further releases when we can offer this. We will also allow a one-time visual re-customization once customization has been added if you would like to add your NPC now. We have no ETA on when this will be available.
  • Response to this will be on a first-come first-served basis for each call for responses. If your NPC doesn’t appear in Harvest, feel free to respond again in future posts. We have quite a few towns and cities to populate!
  • We are allowing people who have already submitted NPCs to submit their ideas for Harvest as well if they like, but people who have not yet submitted an NPC will take priority over those who have.
  • When responding, please list a first and second choice for profession.
  • NPCs for Harvest must be human. No kobolds, please.

Still with us? Great! Here’s what we need this month:

(Counts updated 3/6 11:00a Central)

  • 5 guards (Unlike Estgard, these are not Knights of Norgard, as Harvest is not technically within Norgard itself.)
  • 1 innkeeper
  • 1 waiter/waitress
  • 1 crafting merchant
  • 1 fishing merchant
  • 1 cooking merchant
  • 1 blacksmith
  • 1 decorations merchant
  • 1 housing deeds merchant
  • 1 magical supplies merchant
  • 1 Norgard (“viking”) crown merchant
  • 1 crafting trainer
  • 1 combat trainer
  • 1 public vendor
  • 1 banker
  • 1 town crier

If you’d like to have your namesake be a resident of Harvest please respond via private message on this forum to me (Lum) using the following format:

  • NPC name:
  • NPC gender:
  • NPC profession (first choice):
  • NPC profession (second choice):
  • NPC background (optional): A paragraph on whom your NPC is, how they would respond to nosy outlanders poking about their business, what brings them to Harvest (or keeps them there), or anything else you’d like to add. We reserve the right to edit and/or reject any background that does not fit the lore and setting of the game.

Please specify in your submission that this NPC is for Harvest.

We will respond if: your NPC is used; if it is rejected for whatever reason (such as an inappropriate name); if a supplied background is inappropriate, or if your NPC missed the cutoff for this release.

Thanks for your support, and see you in Harvest!

Spring Telethon 2017 Updates: Missed Questions Answered, Rewards Update, YouTube Upload

Missed Questions Answered: For this year’s Spring Telethon we had assistance from our community in gathering questions from live chat on Twitch and Discord. This resulted in a record number of questions assembled, a full 20+ pages of them! Starr “Darkstarr” Long spent the week gathering answers to those questions, in between SXSW duties, running the project, etc. He posted them to the forums here. There were questions about all topics including housing, combat, and even the Obsidian Septagram of Dominion!

Rewards Update: If you spent $5 or more during the telethon your rewards should now be listed on your Account page under the Special Rewards tab. If they are not there and you believe they should be please contact us at support@portalarium.com. Speaking of the rewards, Fletcher “Skullmuncher” Kinnear has been busy working on the Vile Weapons for the Obsidian Cabalists but he took a few minutes to put the final touches on the Leaf Shield which you can see below.

YouTube Upload: Finally this week we have gotten the Telethon uploaded to YouTube for those of you who missed seeing it live or do not wish to view it on Twitch.

R39 Decorations Flash Sale

In Release 39 we added over 50 new decorations to the Add On Store, including Tabletop versions of Trees and Statues, Greco/Roman Statuary, Epic Trees and a Shogun Castle Wall Set. To celebrate this incredible array of decorations, we are putting them all on sale this weekend for 20% off.

Here is a complete list of decorations we added in R39 that you will find on sale this weekend:

World Water Day Make a Difference Sale

March 22nd is World Water Day and through our partnership with Water.org we are helping promote this day by discounting all our Water.org Make a Difference items by 20% from now until March 22nd. As a reminder Portalarium will donate 50% of its share of the purchase price of these items to Water.org on a bi-annual basis.

To learn more about World Water Day and how you can help please visit the Water.org website.

Here is a complete list of all the Water.org Make a Difference items you will find on sale starting today through March 22nd:

R39 Offline Data Format Change – Character Preservation Notice

Greetings Avatars,

Just like in Release 38 during Release 39, 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 39.
  • 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 39, your saved games (from releases prior to R39) may not load in releases after Release 39. In other words we cannot guarantee the ability to load pre-R39 saves after R39.

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 39 starts on February 23 and runs through March 29.

Please let us know if you have any questions on this update!


Community Spotlight: Knightmare Falls – Player Owned Town

This week’s Player Owned Town spotlight has community manager Berek exploring Knightmare Falls. Located just south of Serpent’s Spine Foothills, it is a welcome rest for those who wish to hunt kobolds and other regional creatures.

Berek: Making my way to the town, I heard a sharp whistle, followed by “Mal, we got company!” A tall man in blue greeted me before I had taken more than a few steps. “Welcome to the Falls! Name’s Vindorein.”

Vindorein, it turned out, was the steward of the main square. The town itself was broken into three parts. “You got the main square here, Knightmare Estates up the hill over there run by Daemoh,” He pointed to the West.

[Read More…]

Upcoming Events

Mar 30, 2017 – Release 40
Apr 6 – 10, 2017 – R40 Free Trial
Apr 11, 2017 – R40 Postmortem
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 – RPOTA Monthly $155 Writing Contest

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 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 – Unknown Realm: The Siege Perilous


Unknown Realm: The Siege Perilous is a new 8-bit fantasy role-playing game for PC and C64 inspired by the classic RPGs of the 80’s.

Why is it that anytime you ask an RPG fan what their favorite game is, they will almost inevitably name a game that was made 30 years ago? You know the games we’re talking about, games like Ultima, Legacy of the Ancients, Wasteland, SSI “Gold Box” titles, or some other game from the “Golden Age” of RPGs. Despite the high-end graphics and advances of modern RPGs, they still somehow fail to live up to the enjoyment found in these fan favorites of the past.

Let’s face it: those low-fidelity RPGs had something special. They had the perfect mix of presentation and gameplay that allowed your imagination to run free. Sadly, for some reason, game companies decided to stop making single player RPGs like this and thus abandoned a generation of RPG fans…until now.

We here at Stirring Dragon Games think it’s a shame no one is willing to make classic RPGs like this any more, and we’re just crazy enough to do something about it!

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!


    1. BerekBerek

      Yes indeed, a successful Kickstarter! We listed it so that there was that reference. That page has links to where you can continue to fund the game.

  1. WinfieldWinfield

    March 22 – Water Day! I remember when Portalarium started supporting Water.org – great charity by the way! It’s pretty unbelievable how important water is to people (that many of us take for granted!).

    Go to survival school, what do they teach you to get in the first 24 hours … Shelter and WATER! Then Fire and Food.

    Visit http://www.water.org and hear some of the stories… not enough water to clean the dishes (or your clothes or bodies)?

    In history there were plenty of wars about water supplies on rivers and such. See: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Water_conflict and it says “According to the 1992 International Conference on Water and the Environment,[12] water is a vital element for human life, and human activities are closely connected to availability and quality of water. Unfortunately, water is a limited resource and in the future access “might get worse with climate change, although scientists’ projections of future rainfall are notoriously cloudy” writes Roger Harrabin.[13] Moreover, “it is now commonly said that future wars in the Middle East are more likely to be fought over water than over oil,” said Lester R. Brown at a previous Stockholm Water Conference.[14]”

    Oh my… water more valuable than oil!! So we need clean, affordable water now to prevent such a crisis, and stick with it!

    I’m Winfield from PaxLair and I am a member of Water.Org. I hope you will help millions of people have clean, fresh water to survive and have a wonderful life. I will indeed help again and again.


  2. Kelly O'ShayKelly O'Shay

    I didn’t see what I was looking for. Where is a review of how the event yesterday went, where the devs came out and went hunting with the players, then went to blood bay for a pvp contest? I missed the event but wanted to know how it went.

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