Update of the Avatar #225 – 2017.04.28: Play R41 Now, Moondial Madness, The Oracle, Outskirts Updates, Community Livestream, Raffle Winners, City+ Property Flash Sale, and More!

Greetings Fellow Avatars!

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


Play Release 41 Now!Release 41 successfully launched yesterday, April 27, with thousands of backers downloading, patching, and logging in to check out the changes! There’s lots of new content to explore, including:

  • Path of Truth First Playable
  • Artifice Dungeon
  • Solace Bridge Outskirts
  • Verdantis Mines Unclone
  • Kas Ruins Unclone
  • The Fall PVP Dungeon
  • Siege Polish
  • Headgear, Tools, and Shields as Decorations
  • Combat Balance
  • Taming Balance
  • Blunt Weapon Balance
  • New Moon Magic Spells
  • New Weapons
  • Spring Telethon Weapons
  • New Cloaks
  • New Decorations
  • New Recipes
  • New Patterns
  • New Emotes
  • User Interface Polish
  • R40 Lot Deed Raffle Winners

…and much more

Check out the Release 41 Instructions update for detailed information about all the new content.

We need all your help with testing the new patches, putting more stress on our multiplayer servers, and testing the new game content, so please join us in playing this Release!

If you have not backed the game yet, go to www.shroudoftheavatar.com and click the “Play Now” button. Game Early Access is also available on Steam Early Access.

Release 41 Player Instructions

Release 41 Known Issues


Moondial Madness

Recently we did some re-ordering of the celestial bodies in the heavens. Additionally there are now more game systems directly tied to the positions of these celestial bodies. For instance Town Sieges are directly tied to these. Due to these changes Richard “Lord British” Garriott has decreed that we update our orreries to not only accurately reflect these new sequences but also add the constellations in an outer ring. The first pass is to update the Darkstarr Moondial that players already own. We also created a new Silver Darkstarr Moondial that will only be available through our Referral program when that comes back online. Other variants that look very different from the Darkstarr versions will then be created including a craftable version (more mechanical in nature) and an Ornate version for the Add On Store that will come in a variety of sizes ranging from table top to a giant version that you can walk under!

The updated Darkstarr Moondial is live in Release 41. Stay tuned for updates on when the other versions will become available.

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

Yes indeed,…it’s that time again! Time for Richard to request that I add to the existing Darkstarr Moondial once more, due not only to the change in the recent order of the moons in the night sky, but also due to some slight changes in the magical constellation overlay and background stars that exists in the sky-dome itself!

Much like last time, when changes were made to the original Moondial to account for us getting much closer to our actual in-game sky and all its celestial bodies,…this time, with our system incorporating not only the correct moon order, but also the ideology and actual timing of the attacks of the Cabalists and their unholy minions, the Moondials themselves (which Richard always wanted to be functionally-accurate tools of celestial observation) needed to change once again to reflect our most recent updates…

The magical constellation overlay seen when using either the Astrolabe or the Moondials changed only slightly, with me “cleaning up” the lines a bit to organize the night sky into 12 “sectors” roughly in the middle of which each constellation can be found (with the outliers being Chaos and the Principals interlocking circles, which are not currently factored into the attacks of the Cabalists, and are bisected by a line between two sectors)… By gazing into a clear night sky when these items are invoked, you can now easily see the sector line demarcations stretching from one axis of the celestial dome to the other, with the constellations hovering between them either above or below the galactic swath. The three middle horizontal lines pass through the two outlier constellations, with the central horizontal line describing the path of the galactic swath itself. Here’s a portion you can see below.

What this means, as far as the Darkstarr Moondial is concerned, is the addition of an extra ring around the outside to which are attached iconic versions of the primary constellations (mimicking the Devotional depictions, of course), and the alignment of their “sectors” as compared to the various moons in orbit around our world…. One then uses the Moondial more easily and accurately now by merely standing beside the Moondial facing the planet at its center, visually aligning yourself with the constellation representing a Devotional within the town you’re interested in, and seeing which moons fall within that sector slice that angles in from the sector edges on either side of the constellation toward the center of the world… The Cabalists representing the antivirtues of those moons should be attacking any city bearing that particular Devotional at that time… In the example below you can see that towns hosting a Devotional of Honor are being currently attacked by Avara while Dolus prepares to withdraw his minions, and Nefas is readying his forces in vicious support that is soon to come!

In addition to upgrading the Darkstarr Moondial in this way, I was also tasked to create a variation on it which is a silver version held aloft by a hand of bluish-purple marble. I’m not sure how this will become available, but I enjoy its alternate color scheme… While I like the gold/bronze warmth of the original, blue and silver are some of my favorite color combinations!

And lastly, having created these, I was asked to begin work on two other versions of the Moondials. I’m quite excited by these, because one is a version you’ll be able to craft yourself, made out of materials such as brass, copper, silver, wood, and various mechanical parts and pieces (recipe yet to be determined), and the other is meant to be an “ornate” version you can purchase which will come in four sizes (tabletop, “room”-sized like the ones above, Village Lot sized, and Keep Lot sized)… The exact scale of these has yet to be determined.

Below you can see them in their beginning stages as compared to the existing Darkstarr version. The Craftable Moodial (lower left), will eventually be seen as made from multiple materials as described above, and has a “naturally-mechanical” look to it, with no magically-floating elements, and sports a slightly tilted “cage-dome” representing the tilted axis of the world itself as roughly compared to the abstractly-depicted rotational plane of the moon and suns. The discs bearing the supports that hold up each of the celestial elements rotate independently upon the base column. The central Moondial is the beginnings of the “Ornate” version, which will appear in the four sizes mentioned, and unlike the others can be walked beneath when large enough. It showcases cool, glowing “Aetheric Energy” elements that typify some of the more arcane/technological devices in our game, such as the orbital rings of the moons, and the magically-projected celestial dome that surrounds the construct as a whole in which the constellations can be seen.

I hope you all enjoy these so far. Stay tuned, and I’ll update this thread with more images and progress descriptions as I keep working on them!

Take care everyone!

Scottie ^_^


The Oracle (update)

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 43 we will be adding the Oracle who watches all. This week we started putting her inside her temple and connecting her to all of the monitors.

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

More pictures of the Oracle!


The Making of Highvale Outskirts (update)

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 updated screenshots to share. Enjoy!

The Wilderness

The Fisherman’s Hut (updated)

The Hunter’s Cabin

The Kobold Mining Camp

The Crypt

Chris Wolf
Level Designer


The Making of Bloodriver Outskirts (update)

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 to give you an update on Bloodriver Outskirts!

Nestled deep in the forest a group of survivors from the Bloodriver Massacre has sought refuge. To defend themselves against the human vigilantes that hunt them they have booby trapped areas surrounding their forest hideout. Below, a swinging log trap, one of the many traps in the arsenal of the Bloodriver survivors.

The dank forest environment provides a great place for flora to thrive.

The forest is filled with mysterious caves from spider lairs to even a rumored psilocybia den.

This camp on the western side of the map belongs to Aerie soldiers investigating reports of trouble in the area. Far off in the distance you can spot a temple pyramid hidden among the dense forest. More on that on a future update!

A low lying mist fills the lowlands of the Bloodriver Forest during sunset.

To the north a group of Vertas elves is investigating the recent attacks and ongoing hunts by vigilante squads against the Bloodriver survivors.

See you next time!
Esteben Zaldivar


New and Improved Store Purchasing Interface

This morning we updated the store purchasing interface with a new and friendlier design! For all items purchased though the ‘STORE’ menu on the main website, you now have an easier view of which transaction options are available with which to purchase items:

You will notice that we do not have Bitcoins listed as we did before this change. It was necessary to remove the option while we explore an improved compatibility with Bitcoin transaction processes and the new store interface.

Bitcoins will make a return! We do not have an exact date on this return just yet, but will let you know as soon as we have one to announce.


Autism Awareness Month Sale – Final Weekend

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.”


City+ Property Weekend Flash Sale

We added an incredible new city sized home to the game in Release 41: the Ancient Columned City Home! This enormous home is based on the Hall of Boreus (historical spelling of the Titan Boreas) found in Xenos. With its imposing front steps, numerous tall columns, gilded details, and marble floors it is suitable for a great hall, temple, court of justice, guild chambers, or an ostentatious residence. SPOILER: It also features a secret lower level accessed via a sliding hatch.

To celebrate we are putting all City sized Homes, City Sized (or larger) Basements, and City Lot Deeds 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:


R40 Lot Deed Raffle Winners

The latest Lot Deed Raffle was drawn with deeds awarded to the following lucky winners. There were two raffles, one for each lot type:

Place Anywhere Deeds: 10 Total

  • Row: 5
  • Village: 3
  • Town: 1
  • City: 1

Player Owned Town Deeds: 10 Total

  • Row: 5
  • Village: 3
  • Town: 1
  • City: 1

Raffle tickets grant the holder a chance to win deeds of any size (Row, Village, Town, or City). Raffles will be held monthly (total deed numbers may vary each month). Place-Anywhere Deed raffle tickets are more expensive but will have fewer deeds in each raffle than POT raffle tickets, which are more affordable and will have many more deeds in each raffle. This means your chances to win a POT deed are much greater.

This is the latest raffle where we limited winners to one deed per raffle type. Winners can claim their deed(s) simply by logging into the game and claiming rewards at any bank. A reminder that you may have received multiple deeds to claim if you received tickets for a guild or other group:

Release 41 Lot Deed Raffle has begun! Details in the forums.


Join the Localization Team

[From a forum post by Attenwood]

Welcome!

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.


Community Livestream: The Rise of The Fall

Watch your step and your stamina, Avatars! We made our way carefully through the treacherous PvP dungeon known as The Fall on last week’s community livestream. World builders Dan & Travis joined us on the livestream. The Fall is now live in Release 41!

Also on the livestream, we introduced a new team member, Damien “Puuk” Foletto! He is joining the team as a Senior Quest Writer/Designer.

Watch other videos and livestream recordings at: www.youtube.com/portalarium


Upcoming Events Calendar

May 8, 2017 – R41 Postmortem Livestream
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

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 Events of the Week

Welcome Quest R41 – Apr. 29th @12pm (Noon) CT

By Royal Warrant, we present to you the Welcome Quest! You are invited to join the Welcome Quest in Release 41. It will be held on Saturday starting at 12pm (noon) Central Time/New Britannian time and lasting an hour. It is added on the Avatar’s Circle community calendar for easy time zone conversion. Plus it is in your in-game Events book. Have fun on the quest!


May Day (May 1st) – Celebrate SPRING

May Day is a time to celebrate spring, a time for Flowers, Music and Romance. Lets embrace the wonders and joy of this magical time. Dancing and revelry from 6-8pm central time with Amber Raine as DJ on Avatar’s Ratio. You can also get the new HUZZAH!! emote!

Fireworks starting at around 7:50pm. After Party in the Famous Adultima from 8pm central until we get tired! See the main announcement for details.


Community Resources – Players Helping Players

SotA_NewPlayerWelcome_Forum

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

The Bard’s Tale IV

From the creators of Wasteland 2 and Torment: Tides of Numenera comes The Bard’s Tale IV. Thirty years ago, The Bard’s Tale put Brian Fargo and Interplay on the map and launched a storied career crafting some of the most beloved cRPGs in gaming history.

Today, we return to Skara Brae for the long-awaited dungeon-crawling sequel to the Bard’s Tale trilogy — the games that helped define the genre. The Bards Talke IV it is a single-player, party-based cRPG with dynamic phase-based combat, challenging puzzles and riddles, and a game set to beautiful Gaelic music, where the Bard’s songs and melodies affect gameplay.


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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