Update of the Avatar #224 – 2017.04.21: The Oracle and Grannus, Telethon Weapons, New Outskirts, The Fall (update), Join the Localization Team, Trophy Contest, New Flash Sales, HoBLotH IV, and More!

Greetings Fellow Avatars!

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

The Oracle and Grannus

As we are moving through the final sections of the story we are working on the characters you will interact with at critical parts of your paths. In Release 37 we added Priestess of the Wind Khasi and Shogun Siranto. In Release 41 we will be adding the Titan Grannus, currently ruler of the Norgard people. Titan Grannus is one of the pivotal characters you will encounter along the Path of Courage. He wears Viking inspired royal armor with the yellow highlights thought to keep Kobolds at bay. In Release 43 we will be adding the Oracle who watches all. This week we posted progress on these two characters.

[A Dev+ Forum Post by Fletcher “SkullMuncher34” Kinnear]

Hello all! So we’re finally creating the Oracle as an in-game NPC. Not the automatons or the outpost oracles, but the one true ORACLE. This is where we will post screenshots and works in progress as we get her ready for an upcoming release. Cheers!

 Dev+ Forum Post by Kevin “UglyFist” Wells]

Hey all! For this release I got to make Grannus – King of Norgard.

I’ve only just made the first pass on textures, so stay tuned for further polish and model/texture updates. Hope you guys like it.

Spring Telethon Weapons: Leaf Shield & Spear, Thorn Bow & Sword

Fletcher “Skullmuncher” Kinnear has been busily working on the Oracle but he has also been taking time to work on the Spring Telethon weapons. Here are the first four that have been built. The Leaf Shield, Leaf Spear, Thorn Bow, and Thorn Sword. As a reminder these were the stretch goals from our Spring Telethon 2017 for hitting $80K (Leaf Shield & Spear) and $130K (Thorn Bow & Sword). As always anyone who spent $5 or more during the telethon will be receiving these in Release 41. The other Thorn weapons will be worked on and delivered in Release 42.

[A Dev+ Forum Post by Fletcher “SkullMuncher34” Kinnear]

Greetings all! So as you may have seen during our Spring 2017 telethon, I worked on some some cool new weapons for you for the stretch goals. I will post progress shots of these as we continue to develop them but for now take a gander at the latest editions: The Leaf Spear and Leaf Shield as well as the Thorn Bow and Thorn Sword.

Leaf Shield

Leaf Spear

Thorn Bow

Thorn Sword

The Making of Highvale Outskirts 

SPOILERS: After Highvale Village was overrun by Obsidian Elves the villagers escaped to Resolute and the soldiers who were defending the village fled to a nearby abandoned monastery high in the mountains in a scene we are calling Highvale Outskirts. They have made camp there but are blocked from completing their retreat to Resolute by an encampment of Elves who are patrolling the area. Players following the Path of Courage will go directly to this scene after Highvale Village and will assist the soldiers as well as follow numerous other quests and side quests. The monastery will include some crafting stations, merchants and trainers among the soldiers who can help players outfit and train. This very large scene also contains a small Kobold mining camp, a hunters cabin on an alpine lake, and an abandoned farm. We hope to have this scene live in Release 42.

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

Hey folks, I have a few screenshots to share of the upcoming Highvale Outskirts. This is one of three new introductory areas that are designed to help new players learn about the basics of gameplay in SotA. The centerpiece of the map (metaphorically speaking) is a forgotten monastery, where the forces from Highvale have retreated. From this monastery, players will be able to take on local quests throughout the map.

The inspiration for this map is drawn from European monasteries such as the ones in Meteora Greece, where monks would study in isolation.

Most of the map is open fields and patches of forest, perfect for hunting wild game. The map also features a lake where players can fish, and even a fishing boat which circles the lake.

The Monastery Cliff-side

The Monastery Chapel (exterior)

The Monastery Chapel (interior)

The Under-croft

The Elven Camp

The Fisherman’s Hut

The Wilderness

Also here’s a sneak peak video I did yesterday for Pen of the Avatar:

As always, feel free to leave feedback!

Chris Wolf
Level Designer

The Making of Bloodriver Outskirts 

SPOILERS: Players following the Path of Truth encounter the Elven village of Bloodriver massacred by vigilantes from Aerie. The elves have fled for their lives into the forests upriver and invaded the home of an Elven hermit who dwells in a ruin deep in the forest. They have set traps to protect themselves from the vigilantes who have pursued them here and are harassing them still. Elven soldiers from Vertas are arriving from the north to protect them while Aerie soldiers are streaming in from the south east to try and stop all out war between the humans and elves. We hope to have this scene live in Release 43.

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

Hey guys, SorcerousSteve here once again to give you a sneak peak of Bloodriver Outskirts!

Tucked away in a dense forest, Elven survivors from the recent Bloodriver Massacre have sought refuge and built a camp atop a woodland plateau. They protect themselves from the humans who pursue them they have chosen this reclusive spot and have booby-trapped the surrounding area!

Elven Camp

Bloodriver: Here is the blood red river as it cuts through the dense forest.

Vigilante Camps: Scattered throughout the scene are these camps led by humans to capture and kill elves. Pictured below are pens, and cages meant to hold the elven captives, truly a grim sight.

Traps: Some new traps will make their way into Bloodriver Outskirts like this “Indiana Jones” inspired rolling boulder trap. Run!

See you next time!

Esteben Zaldivar
Level Designer

The Making of The Fall (update)

No one is quite sure who built this mysterious dungeon beneath Blood Bay, but it is filled with an incredible array of dangers, and rewards. The Fall gets its name from the giant vertical open space that defines the middle of the dungeon with crisscrossing bridges and elevators. This dungeon is an Open PVP area, so enter at your own risk! We hope to have this live in Release 41.

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

An update to The Fall:

This area is the duel arena where players can come and participate in or watch duels. The doors to waiting rooms can be opened by a MC above for fair timing. There’s a couple moving platforms to make it interesting (if you fall in the holes they’re full of nasty spikes but you can jump back up via vents on either side).The layout is somewhat bare to avoid collision issues and ensure better performance.

From a duelist’s perspective:Thanks for following!

Travis Koleski
Level Designer

Autism Awareness Month Sale

April is Autism Awareness Month so we are putting all the Autism Make a Difference items on sale for 20% off until Monday May 1. Portalarium will donate 50% of the net purchase price of these items split equally between The National Autism Association, (a parent-run advocacy organization and the leading voice on urgent issues related to severe autism, regressive autism, autism safety, autism abuse, and crisis prevention) and The National Autistic Society, (the leading UK charity for people on the autism spectrum [including Asperger syndrome] and their families). Both provide information, support, services, and campaign for a better world for people with autism.

Here is a complete list of Autism Make a Difference items that will be on sale for the rest of April:

Shortly after kicking off the sale, we heard back from a representative at The National Autistic Society on the last payment we sent them:

“I’d like to say thank you on behalf of everyone at the National Autistic Society and those we work with; your support means a great deal and will help us to keep working so that people with autism can lead the lives they choose. Approximately every 1 in 100 people is autistic, which in the UK means over 700,000 people are on the autism spectrum. Together with their families, they make up over 2.8 million people whose lives are touched by autism every day. Your support helps us to deliver projects and services which will give the information, advice and support that individuals and families so desperately need.”

R40 Decorations Weekend Flash Sale

We added over 30 new decorations to the game in Release 40! This does not include the hundreds of weapons that can now be placed as decorations! Several of the new decorations were added as in-game recipes, but many were added to the store as well! To celebrate we are putting all new Release 40 decorations on sale this weekend for 20% off.

Here is a complete list of the Release 40 decorations that you will find on sale this weekend:

*Not all decorations are on sale! Please see the add-on store for “SALE” marked ones.

Tech Talk Tuesday Episode 4

Community member Violation Clauth reached out to our Technology Director Chris “Atos” Spears about doing a regular hangout where they dug into the the details of the “numbers”. Chris of course agreed and this wonderful thing is now a regular semi-regular thing! Enjoy!

[From a forum post by Violation Clauth]

Join the Localization Team

[From a forum post by Attenwood]


Thank you for your interest in helping our team localize Shroud of the Avatar: Forsaken Virtues!

We are reestablishing development support translating our game to Russian, Spanish, French, Italian, German, and Portuguese languages! In order to meet the vast translation needs of our project, we return to you, our amazing community, in search of qualified volunteers with a passion for seeing our project reach many more players!

Joining the Localization Team

As we get started rebuilding our teams and community, all potential applicants will be required to send an email to rromero@portalarium.com with a subject of “Localization Application: [Username]” from the email address tied to your Shroud of the Avatar Account. Applications from emails not associated with an SotA Account will not be accepted.

The content of the email should include the following information:

  1. Your forum Username (preferred) or desired Username
  2. Your desired translation Language (We currently support localization volunteers for Spanish, French, Italian, German, and Portuguese)
  3. Any notes/comments on experience or interest in volunteering.

As our localization teams restructure, we will eventually start to work through and rely on the support of our Localization Leads for community outreach, and reviewing candidates before applications are accepted.

Getting Started

Once your application is accepted you will be contacted through both email and Private Message on our forums with introductions, instructions, and details for how to get started translating.

An account will be created for you on our internal Localization server using the Zanata platform. Your account will automatically have privileges set to immediately dive into translating text strings for your selected Language Group.

We highly encourage applicants to engage with other Localizers, especially those that are members of the same language team. They will be invaluable resources to help answer questions and address issues going forward.

In addition to your private Zanata Localization account, your SotA account will have forum permissions applied that will allow you to have access to the Localization Team subforums where community discussion and translation/text/content bug reporting can be submitted, and feature requests and concerns made.

Further details will be provided in the application acceptance message.

Translation Incentives

In recent months we introduced as part of our Bug Reporting effort the Testing Incentives Program to provide rewards for players that provide valuable ongoing support to the growth and quality of our project. We would like to provide similar incentives here!

Unique Titles: By dedicating your time to Localizing our Project, whether it be translating directly, submitting bugs, or assisting in reviewing and fixing content/keyword errors, you will receive the unique in-game title of “Scribe” reserved for the great writers or New Britannia.

Volunteers that have provided significant contribution to Project Localization will be rewarded with the highest honor of “Royal Scrivener” and will be recognized for their outstanding work and dedication.

COTO: As with the Testing Incentives Program, volunteers that have contributed significantly in Localization over the course of a Release cycle for will be rewarded 5 Gold Crowns of the Obsidians.

We want to reiterate that these are volunteer roles and that incentives are provided as appreciation (not payment) for the time and work submitted. The real worth and reward from this process is a localized game that better brings broad communities together.

Upcoming Events Calendar

Apr 27, 2017 – Release 41
May 25, 2017 – Release 42
May 31, 2017 – Summer Telethon Part 1
June 29, 2017 – Release 43
July 27, 2017 – Release 44
Aug 10 – 14, 2017 – Syndcon (Austin)
Aug 31, 2017 – Release 45
Sept 1 – 4, 2017 – Dragon Con
Sept 22 – 23, 2017 – Ultima Online 20th Anniversary Party
Sept 28, 2017 – Release 46
Oct 13 – 15, 2017 – SotA Con 2017 (Austin)
Oct 26, 2017 –
Release 47
Nov 9-12, 2017 – HoBLoTH IV

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.

Trophy Room Contest Begins!

Get your houses ready for the most intense contest yet this year! Over the next several weeks, you will have the fun opportunity to show off your hunting heroism, crafting coordination, and trophy triumphs in this new three part contest kicking off today.

PART 1: Hunt down a creature, kill another player (to get their skull), or catch a fish!

PART 2: Craft the trophy from that creature (human skulls come as-is, no preparation needed…)

PART 3: Display your trophy triumphs in a single room of a house you have access too!

As we receive contest submissions, they will be announced in the forums and on social with eventually a gallery of all submissions put together.

[Read More…]

Community Spotlight: Port Phoenix – Player Owned Town

This week’s Player Owned Town spotlight has me, ‘Berek’ as I go by in the community, travelling by boat to visit the popular town of Port Phoenix on the Isle of Elysium. I received a direct invitation from Count Kazyn Phoenixfyre, who I met while admittedly getting a bit lost exploring the nearby Elysian Plains.

I arrived late in the evening on the docks and was immediately taken by the calm, quiet beauty of the townscape. With little energy for the evening, we made are way to the Once and Future Inn for a room for myself and a hot meal. Kazyn helped me get checked in and then departed until we planned to meet after I got some needed rest.

[Read More…]

Community Event of the Week

Prism and Diamond Fields Presents a Fishing Derby – Apr. 22nd @1pm CT

From Lace: “I really fell in love with the water platforms in the game. While some use them as water bridges and we are mostly using them as sunbathing/fishing docks, we wanted to formalize their usage with an event and encourage other POT owners to find creative uses as well.

I need a total of 6 platform judges to verify the incoming fishes and had out success passes. Each judge will receive 5 cotos or 5 dollars store credit for their aid. You must volunteer ahead of time for this, and will be required to wear a specific colored hat as shown in video.”

[Read More…]

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

HoBLotH IV – Libertines of the Hearth

Thou wilt enjoy four days and three nights of adventuring on Lord British’s private lake front property in Austin, TX with not only the very best, personally vetted fellow players by myself, Rustic Dragon, but also many famous former Origin developers, role-playing their in-game alter egos from the Ultima series! This event shalt create the experience of being in Britannia (and New Britannia!) as realistically as possible.

This shalt also highly likely be the last HoBLotH on Lord British’s property, so register today to be considered for acceptance to the hearth!

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!

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