Q3 2017 Schedule Update

Starr_avatar

[From a forum post by Starr “Darkstarr” Long]

Greetings Avatars,

As we have stated previously, we intend to publish quarterly schedule updates for our monthly releases. Even though the goals outlined in these schedules are likely to change somewhat as we react to feedback, we feel it is important to periodically provide you with an updated roadmap.

Our priority continues to be to deliver new content to our backers each and every month so that you can give us feedback that will help us iteratively improve Shroud of the Avatar. This collaborative process continues to benefit the game, and often results in sweeping changes such as the upcoming addition of the Outskirts scenes. As you have seen in previous releases, the flexibility inherent to this process means that we sometimes push things out, but we also often pull new things in.

Performance: One of our biggest priorities for the third quarter will be to improve performance. A significant portion of each release will be spent on improving client stability, framerate, memory usage, and load times.

New User Experience (NUE): Another large priority for the third quarter will continue to be about improving the new user experience. These efforts will include adding the final two Outskirts maps and polishing the User Interface.

Story Complete: Our goal is to complete the story no later than the end of Q3 (most of it will actually be done in R44 minus one Outskirts map), so story efforts in Q3 will be focused on finishing the Path of the Oracle (aka the finale) as well as polishing the paths of Truth and Courage (including adding side quests along those two paths), and refining the last two Outskirts map. Since the story will be complete in Q3, we plan to allow all players to make a one-time-only reset of the story status for their character (so they can start fresh with their current character) at some point during Q3.

To repeat what I said in the Q1 post:

“We believe that we have reached the final 20% of development before Commercial Release, at which point we will transition out of Early Access. The next two quarters will be the most exciting and challenging times for the project so far. This will be when we get the final features and content in the game and make the last important balance changes. The changes will be fast and furious, and they may occasionally be hard to understand when you become accustomed to the way things were before. Please trust that we firmly believe that every change we make is best for the long term health of the project.”

As always, all dates, durations, and deliverables are subject to change as we adjust our designs based on direct feedback from you, our backers.

RELEASE 44, July 27, 2017

  • Story: Polish will continue on the Path of the Oracle (aka the Finale) including work on the Destiny Pool and the Grannus Colossus (which is getting completely rebuilt). This will make the core of the story for Episode 1 complete and playable from beginning to end along all three paths (Truth, Love, and Courage). Blood River Outskirts, the new scene that players start in after Blood River Massacre, will get a polish pass. Also the first three cities along the Path of Truth (Aerie, Vertas, and Jaanaford) will get visual polish passes to better show off the fact that they are cities of Truth and to generally improve visuals (terrain, flora, etc.). Finally some adventure scenes in the northwest regions of Novia will be rebuilt from scratch, including Hallowed Plains.
  • Performance: Significant focus will continue to be made on performance including stability, framerate, memory, and load times.
  • Player Towns: Updates to Dynamic Player-Owned Towns that have locked submission forms will appear in the game.
  • Rent: Property Owners will be able to add an additional “Tenant” permission for users of their lot and also set those permissions on doors.
  • Combat: Avatars will be able to wield the Dread Artifacts (Heart of Sorrows, Bone Steel Crown, Scepter of Dread) for the first time and unleash their powers, if they dare. We will also continue our polish pass on all the visual effects related to combat. Additionally work will continue on overall combat balance.
  • Character: We will 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.
  • Looking For Group: A tool to help players find a group to adventure with will appear in the game.
  • Economy: Loot on mid-level creatures will be adjusted to be more rewarding while still maintaining game balance.

RELEASE 45, August 31, 2017

  • Story: Highvale Outskirts, a new scene that players start in after the Battle of Highvale Village, will come online for the first time. We will also focus on adding sidequests and polish to the Paths of Truth and Courage. Finally some adventure scenes in the northwest regions of Novia will be rebuilt from scratch, including Longfall Woods.
  • Performance: Significant focus will continue to be made on performance including stability, framerate, memory, and load times.
  • Single-Player Offline Combat Balance: We will adjust and balance combat for play in offline mode with companions.
  • Player Housing: Players will be able to claim property in Blood Bay, in our first Open PVP housing area. Additionally, updates to Dynamic Player-Owned Towns that have locked submission forms will appear in the game.
  • Combat: We will continue to polish visual effects related to combat, and we will continue work on overall combat balance.
  • Character: At least one new creature will appear in the game as well as several new weapons.
  • Crafting: More recipes and more patterns in gear that is dropped from enemies will appear in game.
  • User Interface Polish: Time will be spent polishing the user interface.  This will include the ability to separate chat tabs into separate windows.

RELEASE 46, September 28, 2017

  • Story: Highvale Outskirts will get a polish pass and the Paths of Truth and Courage will keep growing with additional sidequests. We will also continue rebuilding adventure scenes in the northwest regions of Novia, including Crooked Shank.
  • Performance: Significant focus will continue to be made on performance including stability, framerate, memory, and load times.
  • Offline Spawning Rules: The rates and rules for how creatures and resources respawn will be adjusted to work differently in Offline mode so that while some areas (wilderness) can be “farmed” with regular respawns (just like in online mode), and other areas can be cleared/conquered (dungeons and story-related areas).
  • Crafting: Polish will be done on Agriculture and Fishing including the additions of new skills and functionality like Batch Planting. Additionally the ability to brew and consume Alcohol will come online.
  • Character: At least one new creature will appear in the game as well as several new weapons.
  • Player Housing: Tools for Player Owned Town Owners will come online to assist with building and maintaining their towns includings a lawn mower. Updates to Dynamic Player-Owned Towns that have locked submission forms will appear in the game.
  • Combat: We will continue our polish pass on all the visual effects related to combat and continue work on overall combat balance.

We continue to be incredibly thankful for the support we receive from this amazing community. While the funding you provide makes all of this possible, it pales in comparison with the faith you have in us, the feedback you provide us, and the content you are making for everyone to enjoy. We are humbly grateful, and we cannot wait to see you again in New Britannia!

Before I go, I wanted to include an excerpt from my original post about our Early Release Schedule that is important to set the framework for our ongoing schedule:

As a crowd funded and crowd sourced project, we feel it is incredibly important that we provide our backers with information and access well before game studios would normally do so in a traditional development model. Traditionally, the players are given information and access only after the development team has already decided exactly how things will be done, and at times, even after it has already been implemented. By the time the public normally has access to the product, there is usually no time to meaningfully react to the public feedback. Shroud of the Avatar is different than the traditional model, as we intend to offer our backers extremely early access to information and even the game itself.

Our strategy over the next few months is to provide you with focused and iterative releases of content. Your feedback during these releases will be critical to making the final product the best it can be, and we appreciate that you are all so willing to devote your time to helping us.

It is important to note that all dates, durations, and deliverables are subject to change.

Sincerely,
Starr Long
Executive Producer
Shroud of the Avatar

 



9 Comments


  1. thoregundithoregundi

    as a person in Drug and Alcohol Recover,

    its very sad, and personally disappointing that you would add Alcohol to crafting, really spoils the mood for me, but ya know I can only change how i see it, I can’t change what you do…

    1. BerekBerek

      Hi thoregundi,

      Our sincere apologies that this causes concern, and we completely understand. Our goal is to provide what is considered a normal game theme in Shroud of the Avatar as well. Like our other items, they have their own place in the game, but of course they are not intended to be thought of or used in such an extreme manner. It is a social experience only that we are trying to achieve here.

      1. thoregundithoregundi

        Hey Berek,

        Thanks! I hear ya, and I understand, on a liter note! maybe if you’re gonna add brewing, .. . then maybe they can add coffee ‘ …so us peoples that traded the booze for the coffee can open us up a coffee joint’ … in place of a .. pub’

        Good Luck’
        Thanks,
        Thore Gundi




  2. ApplerustApplerust

    @Fingers Some people really share a connection with the game and/or really get into the role playing aspects. I can’t say I totally understand this level of connection, but I accept it.

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