Update of the Avatar #229 – 2017.05.26: Play R42 Now, New Mail System, Libris Ruins First Look, Final Free Trial Weekend, Next Week’s Summer Telethon, Community Events, and More!

Greetings Fellow Avatars!

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

Play Release 42 Now!

Release 42 successfully launched yesterday, May 25, with thousands of backers downloading, patching, and logging in to check out the changes! There’s lots of new content to explore, including:

  • New Mail System!
  • Path of Truth First Pass Playable
  • Path of the Oracle Playable
  • Oracle Colossus Final Polish
  • Battle of Solace Bridge, Battle of Highvale, and Bloodriver Massacre Tutorial Polish
  • Solace Bridge Outskirts Improvements
  • Starting Scene Polish
  • POT Signpost Teleport Networks
  • Decoration Additions and Improvements
  • Advanced Skill Training
  • Combat and Skill Balance
  • Enemy AI and Pathing Tweaked
  • New Crafting Recipes
  • New NPC Building Decorations
  • New Equipable Decorations
  • Weapon Decorations Now Wall AND Floor Placeable
  • New Items, Both Craftable and Store
  • Numerous Scene Fixes
  • General Performance Improvements
  • …and much more!

Check out the Release 42 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.


New Mail System and Player Town Teleporter Signpost Networks!

New Mail System:

It’s finally here! After countless feature requests, we’re excited to show off the initial iteration of our Mail system.

With Release 42, players will be able to receive mail notifications based on vendor transactions. When a vendor item is sold, expired, or removed, players will receive mail that notifies them of the event. The mail will also include the proceeds or refund from the transaction. Mail can be accessed at mailboxes, which are located at all banks throughout New Britannia. Mailboxes can also be crafted and placed at your house.

Work is ongoing to eventually allow players to send mail to each other in future iterations.

Player Town Teleporter Signpost Networks:

All Player Owned Towns and Player Towns now feature a network of “local destinations” signposts!

These interactive teleporters can be found at each major entrance/exit, as well as the main docks and central bridge/crossroads locations of these scenes. Interaction brings up a list of local destinations, which includes the locations of all other signposts in the scene. Simply select a location from the list to fast-travel to that location!

“Note that these signposts cannot be used while in combat…”


Libris Ruins Scene First Look

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

Hey guys SorcerousSteve here to give you an early sneak peak into Libris Ruins! The images below are currently a work in progress.

Libris Ruins is located in North Paladis along the Sanctus River. It is the old seat of Justice and will feature a ruined prison alongside the ruins of an ancient court. From this angle looking North we can catch sight of the prison built along the cliffs overlooking the Sanctus River while on the upper right hand corner we can spot some skycells meant to house prisoners at high altitudes.

Various cells and enclosures once meant to house Novia’s most dangerous criminals will fill this ancient prison.

Dead leaves and pine cover the outskirts of the ancient prison.

Inside one of the prison blocks.

Stay tuned for more as I continue to flesh out Libris Ruins!

Level Designer
Esteben Zaldivar


R41 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 42 Lot Deed Raffle has begun! Details in the forums.


Final Free Trial Weekend!

The third test of our Free Trial system is live now and runs through May 31. This will be the longest test so far of the system so that we can gather even more data about uptake, drop-off, conversions, etc. If you know anyone who would like to try the game for free, then send them to the download page. These tests are invaluable for us in order to improve the New User Experience and the Free Trial System itself.

Free Trial access allows you to play the entire game in any of the Online modes with a few key differences in game play.

  • Free Trial Current Time Period: May 10 – May 31, 2017
  • The term (Visitor) is appended to their character name
  • Cannot give items to other players via Trade
  • Cannot purchase nor sell items via Player Vendors nor Public Vendors
  • No ownership of property nor use of lot signs
  • Cannot interact with public chests
  • Cannot move/interact with items on a plot even if they are given permissions
  • Cannot flag as Open PVP
  • Cannot gain nor do they create any ransom items when they kill or are killed in PVP (in Open PVP zones)
  • Character data may be deleted after Free Trial period is over if character is not upgraded to a paid account
  • Items purchased in the Add On Store cannot be accessed after the Free Trial Period is over unless you purchase Game Access
  • Cannot play in Offline Mode
  • Can only start on the Path of Love

You can still explore hundreds of scenes, talk with thousands of players, adventure through the opening quests, and gain experience and skills as you get used to the world of New Britannia! If you wish to continue playing after the free trial concludes, you can obtain an Early Access account here.

For those in the Free Trial, we would love your feedback! We have opened up of our Release 41 Feedback Forums. If you have a constructive comment about this release that will help the game to improve, please post it there. You can also say hello in the New Player Forum!

Have fun, and thanks for trying out Shroud of the Avatar in Early Access!

Summer Telethon 2017 Part 1

Avatars, get ready to soak up the summer sun with us! The upcoming Summer Telethon is nearly here. Telethons are livestreamed on Twitch and include a complete schedule of developer Deep Dives, answers to your gameplay questions, community activities, prize giveaways, sales on items, and more! See what’s all included below…

Summer “Hot Air” Expirations Sale Begins!

In honor of the waves of hot air that will be blowing over us this summer we are expiring all of our hot air Aeronaut items. At Midnight CST, May 31, 2017 (5:00 UTC, June 1, 2017), we are expiring the following content from the Add On Store (and the in-game Crown Merchants). This means that these items will no longer be available at all after this date.

Before the following items expire for good, we have put them on sale at approx. 20% off. Check out what’s now on sale:

Help us to achieve the following goals during this next event!

As a special bonus, we are offering Telethon Funding Stretch Goal Rewards to any backer that pledges a minimum of $5 from the start of the telethon, until Midnight (Spending Store Credit to make $5 minimum purchase does not apply). The Summer Telethon 2017 Part 1 Funding Stretch Goal Rewards are:

  • $10,000: /smokevirtue: blow the virtue symbol in smoke from a pipe
  • $25,000: Balloons: a small cluster of balloons held in your hand. These particular balloons are black with a silver virtue symbol.
  • $35,000: Miner’s Helmet with flame on top (generates light)
  • $50,000: Flame Pattern Stained Glass Oil Table Lamp (3 Pack)
  • $65,000: Fire Elemental Statue with flame effects
  • $80,000: Flame Shaped Shield and Scimitar
  • and more to be revealed if we hit these goals…

Did you see what was unlocked in the last telethon? This one might be even bigger!

Cheer on the Devs!

StarrDancingFor every $2,500 donated, all developers on camera have to either dance, sing, or drink a shot of alcohol.

Additionally, we will be spinning the Wheel of Fortune! The wheel will have 14 items at any given time, but dozens of sales will happen! Each time an item comes up it will go on sale for approx. 20% off for 1 hour.

As the wheel is spun, what is selected will be replaced by something else. Items already selected will be removed for a time (some may not come back onto the wheel for the rest of the telethon). Keep in mind that some of these may never come up, so cross your fingers for your preferred item!

Wheel of Fortune Flash Sales:

  • Pattern Packs
  • Make A Difference incl Blood Reliquaries
  • Kobold Bundles
  • Viking Bundles
  • Shogun Bundles
  • Elven Bundles
  • Obsidian Bundles
  • All Lot Deeds
  • Water Homes & Decorations
  • Pattern Packs
  • Greenhouses (incl Ornate Glass Roof Rowhouse)
  • Music
  • Emotes
  • Fireplaces and Lamps
  • Pavers, Fences, and Walls
  • Trees & Statues
  • Signs
  • Row Homes
  • Village Homes
  • Town Homes
  • City Homes
  • Clothing and Wings
  • Pipes, Fans, Umbrella & Cane
  • Hats & Masks
  • Pets
  • Games & Gustball Court
  • Dyes
  • Basements

Telethon Schedule*

  • 12:00 PM: Welcome to the Summer Telethon!
  • 12:30 PM: R42 Postmortem (Chris, Richard, Starr)
  • 2:00 PM: Player Housing & Player Owned Towns Deep Dive (Starr, Hutch, Bob Cooksey)
  • 3:00 PM: World Building Tours (Esteben, C-Wolf, Keith, Dan)
  • 4:30 PM: Story Deep Dive (Lum, Richard)
  • 5:30 PM: ONBE Awards & Community Hour
  • 7:00 PM: Crafting & Economy Deep Dive (Chris, Starr, Richard, Brandon)
  • 8:00 PM: Boss Fight! (Chris, Richard, Starr)
  • 8:30 PM: Combat & PVP Deep Dive (Chris, Starr, B, Richard)
  • 10:00 PM: Artifice Tour and Lore discussion (Scottie, Lum, Richard)
  • 11:00 PM: Q&A / Wrap-up (Chris, Starr, Richard)

* Schedule subject to change. Check back here before the telethon to for final schedule.

Win These Great Prizes!

  • Seasonal Rare: 2017 Lepus Mask (last day to get!)
  • Ornate Chainsword
  • Wood Duck pet
  • Wings and other wearables
  • Several wearables pattern packs
  • Large and Tabletop Statues
  • Trees and Tree Packs
  • Ancient Wall Sculptures
  • Baby Clockwork Dragons
  • Water Decorations
  • Lord British vs Darkstarr Battle Banner
  • Bank Upgrades
  • Remote Bank Access Device
  • COTOs and Store Credit
  • Several items that are expiring tonight
  • Plus more prizes from the Add On Store
  • And several items courtesy of RelicsbyRild.com

We will be giving prizes away on an hourly basis with many being given away multiple times. If you wish to win prizes during the Telethon event, be in Discord chat! We will be active on Twitch and YouTube chats as well, but they will not be our portal for prize giveaways.

Watch The Telethon on Twitch and the final recording will be archived on YouTube! after the event as well. Please be aware that if we have any connection problems, YouTube will be the first service to be dropped from the stream.

Submit your questions! We will be answering questions throughout the telethon so submit them in the comments section of the original post (see here) or through Discord during the Telethon. Please keep in mind that questions and feedback related to each segment will be given priority and really verbose questions may be skipped, as they can be a challenge to shorten and summarize live on the air. In brief… please keep your questions… brief. When you submit your questions in the Comments section of the original post (see here), please keep it to 3 total questions max!


Community Livestream – Magic Movers!

We kicked off last week’s Community Livestream by giving players an in-depth look at how the Property Manager helps you move your home and lot belongings (a.k.a. Magic Movers)!

“Players can now save a fully decorated lot or basement and reload it later onto that same lot or onto a different lot in that same scene (as long as that lot is the same size). Players will start with 5 slots and, in future releases, will be able to purchase more for Gold Crowns. In a future release, we will expand this feature to allow movement of a fully decorated lot/basement between separate scenes for an, as yet, undetermined cost.”

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


Tech Talk Tuesday #5

Chris ‘Atos’ Spears is on a community livestream right now talking about combat and the tech behind the game! Watch the recording here:


Localization Progress Update

With the previous Release 41 we restarted Localization of Shroud of the Avatar using the Zanata platform. Our amazing team of community volunteers are steadily translating the game into Spanish, French, Italian, German, and Portuguese and we are now almost 37% translated. German is currently in the lead at over 45% with French right behind them at over 39%.

If you are interested in assisting with the translation efforts (and earning rewards) please review this forum post by Attenwood.


Upcoming Events Calendar

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 – Austin 2017
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.


Community Event of the Week: R42 Welcome Quest

Welcome Quest

You are invited to join the R42 Welcome Quest! It will be held on Saturday, May 27, 2017 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.

This time we are traveling to Shadow’s Rest! The town is east of Brittany on Lake Equitas.


Community Cause: AERIE Fund – Just 1 Life – Artwork Contest

We’re super excited to announce our 1st AERIE Fund Community Cause Campaign: Just 1 Life!

What are AERIE Fund Community Causes?

As part of our Good Works Through Gaming Initiative, AERIE Fund Community Causes spotlight important issues that directly impact our community. Also, they showcase the players, towns, and guilds that feel passionately (or are impacted by) these issues.

The goal of this program is to 1) support a good cause, 2) learn more about important issues that impact our friends and neighbors, and 3) strengthen our community by interacting with the people we play with everyday who are passionate about playing for a cause.

Oh, and 4) make it FUN and REWARDING to get involved and make a difference!


Trophy Room Contest Ending Next Week!

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 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 BackSotA Con – Austin 2017

SotA Con - Austin 2017

SotA Con – Austin 2017 is ground zero for interaction with the developers of Shroud of the Avatar where your ideas and input are on the front lines. Based in the beautiful city of Austin, Texas, Portalarium Inc. is the home of the Shroud of the Avatar development team that are quickly being recognized for ground breaking concepts throughout the industry.

One of the most notable concepts that Portalarium is known for, is the company’s willingness to embrace it’s following as peers and value their ideas for development goals. It is considered by many to be a bold step, that all are invited to be a part of in the industry.

Join us at SotA Con – Austin 2017 and take your place in history!

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!