Release 43 Instructions

Avatars,

Please read this entire message, as well as the linked Instructions and Known Issues. Join the discussion of this update in the forums.

Thank you for being a loyal backer and follower of Shroud of the Avatar. Release 43 access for all Early Access backers begins this Thursday, June 29, at 10:30 AM US Central Daylight Time (15:30 UTC).

Release 43 contains both a huge amount of new content and a major improvement in performance that will generally improve everything about playing the game (and I do not exaggerate). Framerates have been improved in every scene, doubled in some! This really will make playing the game feel so much better in every way. Additionally, one of our biggest and most complicated scenes ever, Blood River Outskirts, goes live this release. Three scenes got completely rebuilt and four more scenes got major polish passes. Finally, we are expanding the mail system to allow player-to-player mail as well as expanding and balancing the Offline Economy!

On top of all this new content, we also launched our SeedInvest Crowd Equity campaign to raise funds for our commercial launch later this year. Speaking of later this year… stay tuned tomorrow for our Q3 Schedule Update to find out what we will be working on for the next three releases!


Performance: The programming team spent three weeks focusing most of their efforts on improving performance. We looked at every aspect of how we run the game to find everything that could be changed to improve performance. We are happy to report that we made significant progress! Frame rate is getting very close to where we want it to be, and is now almost double where it was previously (our long term goal is 30 fps on minimum spec. computers playing in Ardoris). Load times are also better, but there is still more work to be done.

Story: The Path of the Oracle continues to expand greatly with two more Colossus scenes: Sequanna Colossus & Boreas Colossus. We have also improved the Path of Truth by adding Blood River Outskirts, which is the zone that new users are sent to directly after Blood River Massacre. This scene makes extensive use of the Factions system introduced in Release 42. We are also now directing players to move back and forth between the three paths so that their level stays on pace with the challenge of each path. Additionally, several scenes were rebuilt, polished or expanded, including Celestis, Libris Ruins, Graff Gem Mines, Isle of Storms, and Crypt of the Avatar.  



Offline Economy: Merchants in Offline Mode now have a different “Buy Price” for player-crafted items than merchants in Online Mode. This allows players to sell crafted goods for a profit to NPC merchants in Offline Mode. Additionally, Merchants in offline mode now have an additional stock list that will eventually include all items from the Add-On Store, Pledges, Bundles, etc. In Release 43 many of those items are now listed for sale and more will be added over time.

I want to express a huge amount of gratitude to our Dev+ backers who tested all of the items below on the QA server and uncovered lots of bugs. They also provided editorial feedback on this post. They are a big reason that this post actually matches what is in the game and that it is easy to read.

While we are getting closer to launch, we are still in a constant state of change. We do not yet have all of the in-game systems needed to inform players about these changes, and to help them to explore new content and systems. This means we rely mostly on this message, and the linked Instructions and Known Issues to convey the current game state. We regularly have to answer questions or filter bug reports because some players elect not to read this valuable information.

By taking a few moments to read through this information, a great deal of our time and efforts can be redirected to focus on new “unanswered” questions and addressing critical issues impacting each release. We greatly appreciate you taking the time to review this post and for all the truly valuable feedback you continue to provide.

Also, remember that while we are providing new content with each release, our community is working overtime to make new events for you to enjoy. Be sure to check out a couple of the event calendars run by our community members (via in-game book or the player-run website: Avatars Circle). You can also get the latest official events on the Main Website.

Without further ado, here is a list of what you can expect to see in Release 43.

Key:

  • Plain Text: The original plan for the Release deliverables. We intentionally preserve the original text so that our backers can compare plan versus actuals.
  • Italics: Extra notes and new deliverables.
  • Strikethrough: These are items that did not make the release (but are still planned).

RELEASE 43, June 29, 2017

  • Story: Polish will begin on the Finale of the plot, including work on the Destiny Pool and the Oracle Chamber. Blood River Outskirts, a new scene that players start in after Blood River Massacre, will come online for the first time.
    • Path of the Oracle: The Path of the Oracle continues to expand with connections to the Sequanna Colossus and Boreas Colossus scenes as well as other polish.
    • Blood River Outskirts: New players who choose the Path of Truth will now experience the first iteration of this new scene that comes directly after Blood River Massacre. Extensive use of the Factions system, introduced in Release 42, makes this scene particularly engaging. We plan to do more work on this scene in Release 44 as well. SPOILERS: The vigilantes of Aerie believe that the elves of Blood River attacked a human settler caravan, unprovoked. The retaliation on the village was justified by this alleged assault. The elves tell a different story of the vigilantes attacking their village because they were an easy target and the land was desired by the vigilante leader. The Aerie regiment that is encamped nearby is indeed there to prevent all-out war. However, they do not yet have solid proof of who is telling the true story. It is up to you to gather evidence and prove who is truthful, or manipulate the evidence for your own agenda. Choices! Are you truthful or are you deceitful?

    • Celestis: This wealthy city in the Perennial Coast region was updated significantly in Release 43 to give it a unique appearance, while also making it match the Asian-inspired architecture, costume, and flora themes of the region. The terrain is heavily influenced by Zhangjiajie National Forest Park in China, while the cultural decor is influenced by feudal Japan. It features a new town center and harbor, several gardens including a rock garden, several koi fish ponds, and a Noh/Kabuki stage which can also double as a dance floor. There are also a few Easter-eggs throughout the scene which pay tribute to some of developer Sea Wolf’s favorite chambara (classic samurai films). As with all uncloned scenes, locations of player housing and scene exits remain completely unchanged, and major services and NPC shops are still located in the same town center area as before.

    • Libris Ruins: The Libris 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. Libris was once the former stronghold of Justice where the most dangerous criminals were tried and then jailed or executed. The ruins of the courts and the sprawling cliffside prison remain but are overrun with Obsidian corruption, plants and creatures. Libris started as a clone of the Opalis Ruins, but was 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 expressly focused on being sure the map has interesting setups for PVP conflict, with plenty of space for hiding, escaping, ambushing, and skirmishing.
    • Libris Vault: Now that Libris Ruins has been rebuilt we have added the Libris Vault beneath it and also connected the vault to the Underground Network.
    • Sequanna Colossus: The Path of the Oracle will send you to, among other places, the four Colossi. The Sequanna Colossus is the Love section of this Path and is located in the deserts of the Grunvald region. The map features a few scattered ruins, a village oasis (part of which has sunken into a sinkhole), a bandit camp and a nomad camp. Some of the inspiration for this map comes from the Rub’ al Khali in Saudi Arabia, and Goblin Valley in Utah.
    • Boreas Colossus: The Path of the Oracle will send you to, among other places, the four Colossi. The Boreas Colossus is the Truth section of this Path and is located in the Quel Peninsula, south of Etceter. Many fiendish puzzles and surprises await those avatars who seek to find the truth of this place…

    • Solace Bridge Outskirts Polish: Solace Bridge Outskirts has gotten another polish pass that includes: more Ore nodes closer to the bivouac, Sedgewick now suggests making arrows when you finish his quest, the alchemist now defends himself from the undead, the conversations for Captain Kinsey and Hartley the fence have expanded, an out-of-the-way climbable vine has been added to help access the town from the river, and lots of bug fixes as well as overall general polish.

    • Isle of Storms Polish: Since this is the very first scene players encounter we felt that it could use some additional visual polish so we spent time this release making various improvements to lighting, terrain, visual effects, flora, and props.

    • Crypt of the Avatar Polish: The Crypt of the Avatar went live originally in Release 29 but the focal point of this scene, the actual Crypt and Sarcophagus of the Avatar, have been placeholders until now. In Release 43 we created the actual Sarcophagus as described in The Sword of Midras and redecorated the interior of the Crypt to also match. We furthermore took the time to do a pass to make numerous fixes and improvements to the rest of the scene to insure proper use of modular pieces, switch out and refine materials where needed, add new Principal symbols in the upper areas where appropriate, and to remove all clones of Obsidian-specific symbolism and artifacts that were carried over from architecture gleaned from other scenes during the initial build long ago.

    • More Lunar Rifts: As Lord British recently stated in a forum post, we have added 5 additional Lunar Rifts to Novia to increase their use. We also added tooltips to each stone so you now know the destination of the rift when the energy is pointing to the stone.
    • Cross Connections between Quest Paths: When following one of the three paths (Truth, Love, or Courage) a player can sometimes find themselves advancing to a part of that path that exceeds their current abilities. This has always meant to be solved by leaving your current path temporarily and exploring one of the other paths and then returning later after you have gained more power. However, we have never guided the player to do that until now. In Release 43, Arabella now guides players early along the three paths to consider exploring the other paths.
    • Graff Gem Mines: We have expanded the mines by adding a large cavern area at the bottom infested with Kobolds and Water Elementals, and encrusted with tons of crystal nodes. The rest of the mine remains identical, except where we have opened up connections to the large cavern.

    • Plains Encounter and Plains Road Encounter Polish: Now, when encountering a roving dog on the overworld, it will send you to a sheep (via shepherd mutt) or cows (via husky mutt) encounter. Killing some of these animals will draw out their owners, who will justifiably attack the player to defend their herd.
    • West Ravenswood Polish: We made various updates to this scene including moving all the spawns to being dynamic, setting up a number of patrols, adding a Kobold leader and his tent, and generally improving spawning in the area.
    • Ravensmoor: Spawning in this scene was also improved with better dynamic spawn grouping, emotes for skeleton patrollers, an enthroned Tier 4 skeleton “boss”, proper dens for bears, and other changes.
    • Ardoris Plague: A horrific plague hit the town of Ardoris and devastated the population there. Only a fraction of the humans and animals survived. Even the gondoliers, whose constitutions were the hardiest, were not immune. Please refrain from civic disorder while Siranto and Khasi work towards recruiting the guards that were lost. In all seriousness we had to significantly reduce the NPC population for performance reasons.
    • Wild Ducks: Mallard Ducks have been added to various adventure scenes including Nightshade Pass, Hallowed Plains, Verdantis Foothills, and 20 others.
    • Brittany Estates Puking: A certain pub-goer has reduced his intake and now throws up much less often.
    • Naval Siege Visuals: Island POTs that are under siege now have better, more unique visual indicators.
    • Bear Traps: We have a new kind of trap: Bear Trap!
    • Oracle Chamber: We actually added the Oracle Chamber when we introduced The Path of the Oracle in Release 42.
    • Scene Fixes: We went through tons of scenes in the game fixing major and minor bugs including conversations, stuck spots, floating assets, missing assets, bad NPC patrols, inaccessible ore nodes, missing collision, audio issues, falling through the world, tree issues, etc. The list includes:
      • Aerie
      • Battle of Highvale
      • Battle of Solace Bridge
      • Brittany Cemetery
      • Broochash
      • Caverns of Skrekk
      • Central Brittany
      • Chillblain’s Compendium of Pain and Suffering
      • Crypt of the Avatar
      • Elysium Mines
      • Epitaph
      • Etceter
      • Hallowed Plains
      • Harvest
      • Jaanaford
      • Kas Vault
      • Kiln
      • Mariah Overlook
      • Middle Downs
      • Moors of Northshore
      • Mountain Road Encounter
      • Mysterious Swamp
      • North Brightbone Woods
      • Novia (overworld)
      • Owl’s Nest
      • Penmawr Island
      • Port Graff
      • Resolute Sewers
      • Rhun Ruins
      • Serpent’s Spine Mines
      • Snowy Mountains Encounter
      • Solace Bridge
      • Solace Bridge Outskirts
      • Solania
      • Solania Catacombs
      • Soltown
      • Southeast Blackblade Mountains
      • Spectral Mines
      • Spindrift Passage
      • Sunless Barrens
      • Tenebris Harbor
      • The Fall
      • Twins Foothills
      • Valhold
      • Verdantis Shardfall
      • Vertas
      • Westend
      • Xenos
    • Destiny Pool Delayed: SPOILERS: Plot work related to the pages of the Dire Prophecy and the Destiny Pool has been delayed because we need the rebuilding of the Grannus Colossus map done at the same time.

  • Character: The Oracle herself will appear for the first time in the game as will the Shroud of the Avatar. We will be doing polish work on various creatures in the game, such as the Troll. We will also begin creating Viking-inspired clothing for the NPCs in the Norgard and Verdantis areas of Novia to better define that region, including outfits for Royalty, Guards, Citizens, and Merchants.
    • The Oracle: We actually introduced her in Release 42 when we introduced The Path of the Oracle.
    • Arabella: The mysterious companion to Lord British who guides the player periodically towards their fate now has a custom model and unique appearance.
    • Player Instrument Range: We have doubled the range at which these can be heard. Finally concerts can be had!
    • Assassin’s Armor: This new leather outfit was suggested by our backer Majoria and comes in two styles. Both versions are available in the Add-On Store.
    • Epic Cloth Armor Polish: We did a polish pass on this outfit including adding and improving the cloth simulation across the entire outfit.
    • Ornate Kobold Backpack: The backpack that the Kobold Merchant wears is now available as a player wearable that can be purchased in the Add-On Store.
    • Summer Telethon 2017 Part 1 Items: The first round of items from the Summer Telethon has been completed and will be in players’ banks ready to be claimed.
      • /smokevirtue emote
      • Virtue Balloons
      • Flame Stained Glass Table Lamp x3
      • Flame Shield
      • Flame Scimitar
    • Magic VFX Polish: We continued our polish pass on the Magic visual effects to improve them to a much more competitive state.
      • Fireball
      • Immolation
      • Death Touch
      • Death Ray
      • Tap Soul
      • Stone Arrow
      • Healing Burst
      • Purify Burst
    • /whittle emote: This animation looks like the avatar is carving a small piece of wood. SPOILER: Ennius (“Elf Whittler” until you ask his name) in Blood River Outskirts will teach this to you.
    • SeedInvest Golden Character Items: See SeedInvest page for details.
    • Gear Fixes: Fixed various issues with gear including sorting, dyeability, etc.
      • Black Aeronaut Outfit
      • Cabalist Robes
      • Rusted Elven Sword
      • Thorn Mace
      • Virtue Cloak (missing light)
      • Wizard Hat
    • Shroud of the Avatar Delayed: While we were able to finish the actual mesh and texture work for the Shroud, we still want time to work on the visual effects. Additionally, we did not want to add this item to the game until all of the Path of the Oracle is complete.
    • Norgard Clothing Delayed: We have been working on more variations for the Elves, including females as well as more clothing. We have also been working on the actual Shroud of the Avatar. Both of those should appear in Release 44, however they did delay the Norgard clothing work which should resume in Release 44.
  • Performance: Significant focus will be made on performance this release with emphasis on stability, framerate and load times.
    • Framerate: With Release 43, we were able to make significant improvements to framerate in every scene. Some scenes are running at double their previous framerate and most scenes have improved by at least a third. Additionally, settings of “Good” and below have seen some new optimizations.
    • Load Times: Load times have decreased by at least 25% but our long term goal is to reduce them to less than 10-12 seconds on target spec machines, and we are not yet there.
  • Bug Fixes and Game Balance: Much of this release will be spent on fixing bugs and balancing game systems.
    • Daily Login Bonus: Once a day, players now get 10,000 experience points added to their pooled EXP in both adventuring and production.
    • Combat/AI Spacing: We fixed several bugs where creatures would stand on top of the avatar during combat. They now space themselves out properly when fighting.
    • Skill Changes:
      • Fizzle Rates for Death Magic: Death magic was incorrectly set to get easier at higher tiers instead of harder. This has been fixed and all skills in death magic were added to the 100% experience return when using the “Unlearning” skill option.
      • Escape: Escape will now correctly apply the proper aggro values to AIs.
      • Sawblade Sweep: Fixed to properly target things in a 360 degree arc. Also updated to use the Whirling Blades damage bonus.
      • Air’s Embrace:  Now also includes a small amount of damage resistance penalty.
      • Enlightenment: Now includes a small amount of max health penalty.
      • Strength of Earth: Now includes a small amount of max focus penalty.
      • Celestial Blessing: Now includes a small amount of max focus penalty. Additionally, the max benefit of attunement to the effect has been capped.
      • Douse: The max benefit of attunement to the effect has been capped.
    • Equipment Light Sources: We have restored light sources to player equipables that had gone missing in Release 42. Light sources attached to certain cloaks, headwear, and gear enchantments will once again be visible.
    • Weapon Attack Range:  Axes and a few other weapons were set to have a frustratingly short ranges. These have been extended to more appropriate ranges.
    • Performance versus Bug Fixing: We ended up spending most of our technology and systems time on Performance and Offline Economy work so we did not get as much time to do bug fixing as we hoped.

  • Mail: Players will be able to send mail to each other through an in-game interface.
    • Mail: In Release 42, we introduced system generated mail along with mailboxes to receive your mail. In Release 43, players can now send each other mail! We also now have more craftable and purchasable mailboxes that players can place on their property which they can use to send and receive mail.

  • Offline Combat and Economy Balance: A pass will be made through the game to adjust combat balance for play in offline mode with companions. Additionally, the economy in offline mode will be tuned to be better balanced for single-player. For instance, NPC merchants will buy player-crafted items at a profit to the player. Also, pledge and Add-On Store items will be available from NPC merchants for purchase with in-game gold.
    • Offline NPC Buy Pricing: Merchants in Offline Mode now have a different “Buy Price” for player-crafted items than merchants in Online Mode. This allows players to sell crafted goods for a profit to NPC merchants in Offline Mode now.
    • Offline NPC Merchant Stock: Merchants in offline mode now have an additional stock list that will eventually include all items from the Add-On Store, Pledges, Bundles, etc. In Release 43, many of those items are now listed for sale and more will be added over time.
    • Offline Combat Balance Delayed: We chose to focus more time on performance, Offline Economy, and Story which has delayed work on Offline Combat Balance.

  • Player Housing: Updates to Dynamic Player-Owned Towns (POTs) that have locked submission forms will appear in the game. Additionally, the ability to rent rooms in a player home will start to become available to homeowners.

    • Leather and Cloth Armor Decorations: Over 40 additional equippable items can now be placed as decorations, including all Leather and Cloth armor pieces.
    • Bulletin Boards and Flyers: Players can now place a bulletin board on their property (or in their POT) and place Flyers on it to share information. This is simply a placeable decoration with decorations that can in turn be placed on it. There is a craftable version of the Bulletin Board and an ornate version that can be purchased in the Add-On Store. Blank Bulletin Flyers can be crafted by tailors.
    • Wooden Palisade Castle Walls: Players can now craft Wooden Palisade style Castle Walls.
    • Decoration Hotbar Polish: The housing/decorations hotbar now includes a summary of the player’s current decoration permission options.
    • Renaissance Bedroom Set: This elaborately carved 5 piece set includes a bed, 2 end tables, a dresser, and a tallboy dresser. It is available in the Add-On Store.
    • Glowing Mushroom Lights: There are now 3 different colors of giant glowing mushrooms in 2 different styles (potted or not potted) that players can place on their property or in their POT that serve as light sources. These are available in the Add-On Store.
    • Grand Pianos: Upright pianos not big enough, not grand enough for you? Well now we have Grand Pianos! There is a Black Grand Piano that can be crafted and an Ornate Grand Piano that can be found in the Add-On Store.
    • Wood & Plaster Village Inn and Viking Village Inn: Property owners who wish to use the new Tenant permissions system to rent out space to other players (when Rent comes online in R44) might be interested in these two new Village sized homes built especially for this purpose. Each inn is 4 stories tall and has a big open space with one room on the bottom floor suitable for a kitchen and tavern area (or anything else the owner dreams up!). The top 3 floors contain a total of 15 rooms that can be rented out. Both of these can be purchased in the Add-On Store.
    • Giant Grim Reaper Statues: We made giant versions of our Grim Reaper statues from the past couple of years. These are available in the Add-On Store.
    • Lord British Birthday Cake 2017: This silver and blue version of Lord British’s cake is available in the Add-On Store and each year generates a surprise item.
    • Iron Great Hall Chandelier: This craftable iron chandelier is three times the size of the normal Iron Chandelier.
    • Ornate Wall Mailbox: If you really want the mail carrier to know how important you are then you need one of these Ornate Wall Mailboxes on the front of your house so that each time they put a letter in your mailbox they think to themselves, “Wow they must really be important to have such a fancy mailbox!” You can find these elaborate boxes in the Add-On Store.
    • Post-Mounted Mailboxes: If you do not want to take up valuable wall space with your mailbox then you can craft or purchase one of these mailboxes on a post. The simple version is craftable and the ornate version can be found in the Add-On Store.
    • Flame Pattern Stained Glass Oil Table Lamp (3 Pack): These lamps are part of the first round of items from the Summer Telethon that have been completed and will be in players’ banks ready to be claimed.
    • Music Sign: This was actually delivered in Release 42, but we forgot to tell anyone and it was never marked as a new item on the front page of the Add-On Store. Doh!
    • SeedInvest Golden Housing Items: See SeedInvest page for details.
    • POT Crafting Shop: This inadvertantly got changed to a book printing shop in a previous release. It has been fixed now and is once again an actual Crafting Shop.
    • House Fixes: Fixed various issues in homes including places where decorations could not be placed, stairs that could not be climbed without jumping, etc. The list includes:
      • Adobe 2 Story Village
      • All Obsidian Homes
      • Druid Tree
      • Dry Docked Pirate Galleon City Home
      • Elven 2 Story Home
      • Elven Globe 2 Story Greenhouse
      • Elven Town Home
      • Elven Village Home in a Hill
      • Knight Marshal
      • Lord Benefactor Town Home
      • Lord Marshal Home
      • Ornate Greenhouse Row Home
      • Pirate Galleon
      • Rustic 3-Story Village Water Home
      • Shogun Village Home
      • Small Old Keep
      • Stone 2-Story Keep with Courtyard
      • Twin Spire City Home
    • R42 Lot Deed Raffle Tickets: The drawings for our Tenth Lot Deed Raffle will be held on June 29, 2017 and winners will be announced shortly thereafter. Deeds will be delivered in R43.
      • Place Anywhere Deeds (10):
          • Row: 5
          • Village: 3
          • Town: 1
          • City: 1
        • Player Owned Town Deeds (10):
          • Row: 5
          • Village: 3
          • Town: 1
          • City: 1
      • R43 Lot Deed Raffle Tickets: This will be the Eleventh Lot Deed Raffle. As always, Raffle tickets can be purchased with in game gold. As with R41, players can only win a single deed of each type (maximum of one place anywhere and one POT). Drawing and winners will be in R44.
        • Place Anywhere Deeds (10):
          • Row: 5
          • Village: 3
          • Town: 1
          • City: 1
        • Player Owned Town Deeds (10):
          • Row: 5
          • Village: 3
          • Town: 1
          • City: 1
      • New and Updated Dynamic POTs:
        • Castle Barataria: New addition (nested in Oceania).
        • Dawn’s Keep: Interconnection (with Brittany Fields).
        • Finchfield: Upgraded to Town.
        • Grumpie Hermit’s Hide-a-way: Converted to Swamp Island 01.
        • Illusive Passage: Converted to Snowy Mountains 01. Downgraded to Holdfast.
        • Insulam de Nocte: Ownership changed. Changed location. Interconnection (with Elad’s Lighthouse).
        • Isla de Muerta: Renamed (formerly Bay Lunaire). Converted to Island 01a. Ownership changed. Removed interconnections (with Vale Halla and Celestial Gardens).
        • Isle of Xee: Upgraded to Hamlet.
        • Jade Island: Upgraded to City.
        • Jade Mountains: Downgraded to Holdfast.
        • Mediolanum: Changed location (minor). Interconnection (with Owl’s Head).
        • Perfectus Mori: Changed location. Interconnections (with Aerie and Dragomir Mori).
        • Rauchbier Platz: Renamed (formerly Brickmaer). Converted to Snowy Mountains 01. Rotated to 180. Ownership changed. Upgraded to Village. Interconnections (changed nested interconnection to within Central Brittany; added Brittany Alleys).
        • Siken: Upgraded to Village.
        • Vastata Insula Innectis: Upgraded to Village.
        • Vengeance: Removed PvP flag.
      • Rent Delayed: We made a lot of progress on the Rent system in R43 and had several fundamental parts of the framework in place, including a new permission level called “Tenant”. The Tenant permission level is a fundamental change to the item ownership architecture that allows Tenants to retain ownership of the items they place on the lot.  We also polished several housing UI components to better support the Rent system. We considered releasing the Rent system in this state as “Phase 1”. However, some parts of this system were not completed until very recently, so we felt they would not be adequately tested before the release. Additionally, we did not have enough time to implement Door Permissions, an important supporting feature for Rent. For all of these reasons, we have chosen to delay the release of the Rent system until Release 44.
    • Crafting: Most of our systems work in Release 43 was spent on Offline Economy (see above) but we still managed to get some new recipes in!
      • New Recipes:
        • Bulletin Board
        • Bulletin Board Flyer
        • Black Grand Piano
        • Wooden Palisade Castle Walls
        • Post-Mounted Mailbox
        • Iron Great Hall Chandelier
    • User Interface Polish:
      • Camera Distance: We have increased the distance at which the camera can be zoomed.
      • Compass Current Task Indicators: These now appear in the color blue on your compass to make them stand out more.
      • Auto-Fade Maps: An option for this already existed: “Enable Transparency on Maps.” We renamed this option “Auto-Fade Maps” and improved the wording of the tooltip. Also added a context menu button (gear icon) to the SotA Map window that allows this option to be toggled without having to hunt it down in the options menu.
      • Tab Targeting:  Previously, if not used recently, tab targeting could reselect the current target and it would appear to do nothing. This has been changed and it will always select a new target.

    Now that it is clear what to expect, we should also be as clear about what to NOT expect:

    • Stability: Stability should be much better than previous releases now that we have upgraded to Unity 5.6.
    • Performance: With Release 43 we were able to make significant improvements to framerate in every scene. We still have work to do on reducing load times.
    • Game Loop: Release 43 is a further iteration on our game loop, but is still missing a few key components and balance. Expect this to expand with each subsequent release.
    • Visual Quality: Efforts to improve visual quality are ongoing. We will continue to iterate on these until we have highly competitive visuals.
    • Pledge Rewards: Pledge Rewards that have been built and have tech to support them are in the game; all other rewards are awaiting either content creation or tech support. You can find an updated list of these items in the known issues.
    • Delayed Content and Features: As mentioned above, some features scheduled for this release did not make it (and in each case we explained why). In some cases items from previous releases move into the next release but often they will move further out, either into the next quarter, or even farther. About once per year (around mid-year) we put out a Road Map that details all content built to date and all remaining content.

    Here are links to the Instructions and Known Issues. Thank you again for your continued support. This is truly the most amazing community we have ever worked with, and we are proud to be on this journey with you!

    Sincerely,
    Starr Long
    aka Darkstarr
    Executive Producer

    With assistance by:
    Mathew Anderson
    aka Berek
    Senior Community Manager

    Rhys Romero
    aka Attenwood
    Associate Producer



26 Comments





  1. Dereck VisaardDereck Visaard

    Excellent release! I cant wait to see it. Bummer about the rent system delay but great that the system will be much more complete when it comes online!



  2. PaulieWalnuts

    Looking forward to seeing the performance increases! Also, good call on the rent system delay. No one wants to lose their stuff if it can be avoided.





  3. AstirianAstirian

    YUSS! Been waiting for performance increase for ages. UI is starting to look good too, in that classic rustic Ultima way! (from looking at that mail screenshot). Can’t wait to see the single-player experience come together, roll on the end of the year! :D




  4. Camro

    What happened to the Looking For Group feature? I was very eagerly awaiting that last release and you said it was delayed, but now it’s not even mentioned??


  5. skeggyskeggy

    great work I look forward to the changes in this release. A lot of new things and changing to the abilities will be interesting to see how they play out in gameplay.


  6. BrokeModelBrokeModel

    You know after reading this I am very disappointed! I started playing again in December after being one of the first to donate on kick starter. I used to play UO after getting it as a Christmas present in 97, and the choices that where made in game drove me to a private server. I love what you guys are trying to do here To this point I have kept my mouth shut because its not my place to tread on a creative designers vision, but enough is enough. I have see the player base drop over the past few months I used to have 25-50 online people on my friends list now I see 5-10. It is great that you guys are adding new content, but you are failing to grasp that every time you Nerf something it effects your current loyal players happiness with the game. I have always had different characters on UO , but what I always play as my main is a death/nerco/chaos mage. This has over the past few updates from having decent build options to being borderline weak, and to see on this update your going to Nerf it again even more! What I do not get is the Nerf Is something that makes no sense if I read this right….. Your going to punish hard working players who GM skills by making them less effective, and your justification for this is “This has been fixed and all skills in death magic were added to the 100% experience return when using the “Unlearning” skill option.”DID YOU TAKE INTO ACCOUNT HOW HARD IT IS TO RAISE DEATH MAGIC ??? Maybe the players who use death magic and worked it up do not want to spend 30 hours switching the build they have created around? Getting 100% of experience back does not matter to players who can no longer play the build they want. I do not want to be a sun mage or fire mage. I want to be a death mage and I want what is one of the most popular builds to stop be recklessly assaulted by designers and programmers. I challenge you to do the analytics and see what classes the players are that have stopped playing. or new players that sign up and give up. A few months ago I bought my friend from UO an account with a $1600 dollar bundle so he would come over and play with me…. He said after 2 days how weak the death mage class was and went back to UO. So I ask you this ? ” Why would someone turn down a free $1600 bundle account” I know that if this update for fizzle makes me unable to heal myself and unable to play the game how disappointed I will be in something that I have put 7 months of my time into no longer is enjoyable to play. I should not keep having to switch around my build every month! It is not fun. Death now seem weaker then every other skill tree. I can do more damage with my fire skills in the 40’s then my death skills in the 80-90’s ? and if balancing is your goal then I have no idea what kind of balance your ting to do ? I can be reasoned if you can show me logical explanations for it? Cause to be “Balanced would be if you do something to one skill tree you do it to them all starting with most obviously life” Why does heal not fizzle more as its gets higher? Why doesn’t becoming a GM in a skill mean it only works 1/2 the time for everything? It is not fair to people who work hard at something for you to just take it away from them! I know its driving my playing hours down and I am sure if you had a survey done of players that stopped playing that quite a few would feel the same way. If you need a company to conduct lost client surveys feel free to message me I can recommend a few since in my industry you do everything you can to keep a paid member paying. So please I beg of you stop messing with everyone’s hard work!

    1. BerekBerek Post author

      Hi BrokeModel! I’ve accepted your comment here. We would love to further answer this on the telethon livestream next week. If you could please write a single sentence question that relates to your concern here, we can get it answered for sure! Thanks!!



  7. scornscorn

    Not sure why, their buffs, why would you penalty us for using a buff just saying.
    Air’s Embrace: Now also includes a small amount of damage resistance penalty.
    Enlightenment: Now includes a small amount of max health penalty.
    Strength of Earth: Now includes a small amount of max focus penalty.
    the rest look good


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