Update of the Avatar #243 – 2017.01.09: Play R45, Postmortem Telethon Sep. 6, The Crags and North Shattered Hills, Dragon Con Contest, R44 Raffle Winners, Community Events, and More!

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

Game Development

News Announcements

Community Updates

Play Release 45 Now!

Release 45 successfully launched yesterday, August 31, with thousands of backers downloading, patching, and logging in to check out the changes! There’s lots of new content to explore, including:

  • Scene Polish
  • Quest Polish and Side Quests
  • User Interface Polish
  • Siege Encounters and Courage
  • Sacrifice for Dread Reagents
  • New Pet Dance Emotes!
  • New Healing Blast Icon (Life Spell)
  • Stealing Fines Lowered
  • Shogun Crafting Pavilion Homes
  • Pirate Galleon Town Homes
  • Removal of Preplaced Keep & Castle Lot Walls
  • More Inns! Elven and Obsidian
  • Tenant ID on Items
  • Clothing & Cloaks as Decorations
  • Clock & Number Decorations
  • Burled Wood Furniture Collection
  • Sigil Tapestries
  • Lord British Birthday Telethon Items
  • R44 Lot Deed Raffle Winners

…and much more!

Check out the Release 45 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 45 Player Instructions

Release 45 Known Issues

Making of The Crags

[From a Dev+ Forum Post by Chris “Sea-Wolf”]

Hey folks,

I have a few screenshots to share today of The Crags, which I am currently uncloning! The scene’s arid environment is inspired by arches national park in Utah. The Crags includes an obsidian citadel which is occupied by Satyr looters, and an undead horde, which has been raised by the Satyrs through their meddling in obsidian magic. The scene also includes a small hamlet, a battlefield where the undead make their siege of the citadel, a mine, and a sewer system which runs underneath the citadel.

Here are some of the first screenshots of this upcoming R46 scene!

The Citadel:

The Citadel Gate:

Inside the Citadel Walls:

The Hamlet:

The Path to the Windmill:

The Cemetery:

The Sewers:

Chris Wolf
Level Designer

North Shattered Hills

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

Hey guys!

SorcerousSteve here to give you an update on my latest map, coming in R46: North Shattered Hills!

This scene is located just south of the base of the Pillars of Night that cut through South Paladis. Long ago, a mage messed with something man was not meant to mess with. His bad magic shattered his tower and the ground beneath shook and crumbled. What is now left is this massive crater and destroyed forest as far as the eye can see…

The epicenter of the crater with the remnants of the destroyed wizard’s tower in the center…

Remnants of the explosion still linger and a greenish cloud still fills the bottom of the crater…

Looking West off in the distance lies a village which was destroyed by the cataclysmic explosion…

Numerous tunnels make their way in and out of the crater especially in areas where the earth underneath has capsized…

Stay tuned for more updates on North Shattered Hills!

Esteben “SorcerousSteve” Zaldivar
World Builder

R45 Postmortem Mini-Telethon – Sep. 6

Greetings Avatars,

Release 45’s Postmortem Mini-Telethon is going to be Oktoberfest themed in honor of our new Munich, Germany based publishing partners – Travian Games! They will be helping us kick off the livestream. As we announced last month, they are partnering with us to bring Shroud of the Avatar to other regions around the world. Travian Games is lucky enough to be headquartered where THE Oktoberfest happens every year in September, hence our choice of the theme.

This latest telethon continues our new monthly Postmortem Mini-Telethon format, as announced for Release 44 last month. See below for the details!


Telethons are livestreamed on Twitch and include answers to your gameplay questions, world building tours, prize giveaways, sales on items, and more! See what we have planned below beginning at 3:00 PM CT on September 6:

  • 3:00 PM: Introductions and Travian Games Visitors
  • 3:30 PM: R45 Postmortem Q&A
  • 4:30 PM: World Building Tour
  • 5:30 PM: Postmortem Q&A Continues
  • 7:00 PM: End of Mini-Telethon!
Schedule is subject to change. Check back here before the livestream begins!


STRETCH GOALS (Oktoberfest Themed!)

As a special bonus, we are offering funding rewards to any backer that pledges a minimum of $5 for twelve hours during the day of the telethon, on September 6 from 12:00 PM CT to 11:59 PM CT (Spending Store Credit to make $5 minimum purchase does not apply) .

NOTE: While the livestream ends at 7pm CT, everyone will have until 11:59 PM CT to spend $5 to get the stretch goal rewards. We will announce the final total on the following day.

  • $10K: Virtue Bierkrug (aka Beer Stein) (NOTE: image is placeholder)
  • $25K: Virtue Oktoberfest Beer/Pretzel/Sausage Banner
  • $35K: Virtue Oktoberfest Tent with Garland Decoration hanging from ceiling
  • $50K: Virtue Dirndl: traditional female Bavarian outfit
  • $65K: Virtue Lederhosen: traditional male Bavarian outfit
  • $80K: Virtue Flaming Tuba


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 12 different categories of sales plus the Lord British and Darkstarr wildcards where they get to choose any category! Each time a category comes up it will go on sale at approx. 20% off for 1 hour.



  • Bank Upgrades
  • COTOs
  • Store Credit
  • RelicsbyRild.com merchandise
  • and a bunch of items we will announce on the livestream!

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 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.


This telethon we will have no expiring items.


We will be answering questions throughout the livestream, so submit them in the comments section of the original post or on Discord chat during the event. 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. Please keep it to 3 total questions in the comments section below.

Keep an eye on @ShroudofAvatar for updates before, during, and after the livestream. See you on Twitch at 3:00 PM CT on September 6!


Warning: Telethon is Rated PG-13 for Alcoholic Content
(might get upgraded to Rated-R depending on rate of pledges)

Portalarium is Hiring: Web Developer

We currently have an opening for a Web Developer for Shroud of the Avatar. Qualifications for the ideal candidate are:

  • Minimum 5 years industry experience
  • *nix experience (OpenBSD or Linux)
  • Web development experience (PHP, web services, JavaScript)
  • Relational database architecture experience (MySql preferred)
  • Server deployment and cluster orchestration (virtual and/or dedicated machines)
  • Server load balancing, traffic prioritization, etc.
  • Extensive experience with server security
  • Strong debugging skills
  • Ability to work in unstructured, non-hierarchical environment
  • BONUS SKILLS (any one or more of these):
    • NoSQL experience
    • Strong C#/C++ skills
    • Windows programming experience
    • ASP.NET
    • Mac development
    • MMO game development experience
    • Minimum of at least 1 shipped game

If you’d like to join the Portalarium Tribe working on the ground-breaking Shroud of the Avatar game, please submit your resume to jobs@portalarium.com. Provide links to your work (if possible), including gameplay, video footage, and document forms (images, maps, and event descriptions).

Shroud at Dragon Con

If you are attending Dragon Con this year you will have plenty of chances to see Richard Garriott and Starr Long as they are on 11 different panels between the Video Game TrackSpace Track and other miscellaneous tracks.

  • Friday Sept 1: 10:00 AM EDT
    • Future of Video Gaming: What’s next in video games? What new technologies are on the horizon and who’s making it happen?
    • Panelists: Starr Long
    • Location: Augusta E-G – Westin
  • Friday Sept 1: 01:00 PM EDT
    • Androids and Automatons: This presentation will cover the history of artificial life from the ancient Greeks to modern automata artists. Techniques for creating your own automata will also be shared.
    • Panelists: Brett King, Richard Lord British Garriott de Cayeux, Anthony Francis
    • Location: Augusta – Sheraton
  • NEW TIME/DAY: Friday Sept 1: 04:00 PM EDT
    • Avoiding Tropes and Stereotypes: Panelists will identify common pitfalls that lead to boring plot lines and unoriginal characters and discuss ways to avoid them.
    • Panelists: Alison Carrier, Starr Long, David Haddock
    • Location: Augusta E-G – Westin
  • Friday Sept 1: 04:00 PM EDT
    • How to Write the Game Everybody Wants: If your goal is to write a game the gaming masses will love, be here for this panel! Experts share their experience & knowledge to help you on your journey.
    • Panelists: Richard Lord British Garriott de Cayeux
    • Location: International North – Hyatt
  • Friday Sept 1: 05:30 PM EDT
    • An Hour with Lord British: A deeper dive into the past and future adventures of Lord British covering subjects like the Ultima franchise, space travel, deep sea exploration, IP development, and game design principles. There will also be a discussion of Richard’s new book, “Explore and Create”
    • Panelists: Richard Lord British Garriott de Cayeux, Jason Gonding
    • Location: Augusta B-D – Westin
  • Friday Sept 1: 07:00 PM EDT
    • Space Tourism: Private Access Needs Private Destinations: Commercial space launches for private citizens are not far in the future but where are they going to go? Russia can give access to their section of the ISS but not something they will do unless they are paid for bringing that person up. Not happening these days so what’s left?
    • Panelists: Richard Lord British Garriott de Cayeux
    • Location: 212-213 – Hilton
  • Saturday Sept 2: 11:30 AM EDT
    • Behind the Scenes of Commercial Space: Rocket launches seem to get all the news regarding commercial space but that encompasses just a few big name companies. Many smaller companies lay behind the scenes pushing forward the needs for commercial space and what makes it go.
    • Panelists: Richard Lord British Garriott de Cayeux, A.C. Charania, Sam Ortega, David J. Hewitt, Andy Dykes, Laura Seward Forczyk
    • Location: 212-213 – Hilton
  • Saturday Sept 2: 02:30 PM EDT
    • World Building 101: We examine different takes on world building, whether it be for a game, movie, or video game! What does it take to create a believable, breathing world?
    • Panelists: Richard Lord British Garriott de Cayeux, TBD
    • Location: Centennial I – Hyatt
  • Sunday Sept 3: 10:00 AM EDT
    • Living & Working on the ISS: Being in the Space Station is cool! Flying through the modules in zero gravity, ask anyone who’s been there – they’d do it again! But it’s not always easy & if you’re there you’ve got work to do!
    • Panelists: Richard Lord British Garriott de Cayeux, Garrett Reisman, Rebecca Kim
    • Location: Grand East – Hilton
  • Sunday Sept 3: 01:00 PM EDT
    • Shroud of the Avatar Q&A: Lord British will provide a development update and host an open Q&A on the current status of his latest project.
    • Panelists: Starr Long, Richard Lord British Garriott de Cayeux
    • Location: Augusta B-D – Westin
  • NEW TIME: Monday Sept 4: 11:30 AM EDT
    • Crowdfunding – How to Successfully Kickstart Your Game: Join industry professionals who have successfully kickstarted games in a discussion on what worked and didn’t work for them, followed by Q&A.
    • Panelists: Starr Long, David Haddock, Mark Jacobs
    • Location: Augusta B-D – Westin

Dragon Con 2017 Cosplay Contest

Calling all Dragon Con Avatars!

We know that some of you attending Dragon Con may be in cosplay… perhaps even of a Shroud theme :). We want to see your costumes! Tweet @ShroudofAvatar and/or #LBSotA with a photo of you in costume with either Richard “Lord British” Garriott and/or Starr “Darkstarr” Long at Dragon Con 2017 to enter into our Dragon Con Cosplay Contest!

You have until 11:59pm CT on September 4 (last day of Dragon Con) to submit your entry. The top three winners will receive a complete Shroud of the Avatar in-game outfit of their choice (must be currently available in the add-on store)! All other valid entries at Dragon Con with Richard and/or Starr will receive $10 in Store Credit.

Bonus points and recognition for making your costume Shroud themed!

To find Richard or Starr during the event, you can attend any of their panels.

All valid entries will be placed into a photo album on Facebook.

We can’t wait to see your costumes!

In The News: Conversations With Giants Ep. 39 – Richard Garriott

What’s it like being trapped under the Titanic? Richard Garriott joins John on risk-taking and how fear can be the ultimate motivator for creativity and entrepreneurship! Watch the interview on ‘Conversations With Giants’ YouTube channel here:

New Pet Dance Emotes!

Have your pet do a dance! With dozens of pets to choose from, now you can get a specific dance emote to go with them. Emotes apply to non-combat Deco Pets.

Check out these dances examples!

Example 1: Baby Llama:

Example 2: Great Dane:

Pet Dance Emotes are redeemable at a Bank after purchase in the add-on store.

R44 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). Winners can claim their deed(s) simply by logging into the game and claiming rewards at any bank.

Release 45 Lot Deed Raffle has begun! Details in the forums.

Upcoming Events Calendar

Sept 1 – 4, 2017 – Dragon Con
Sept 22 – 23, 2017 – Ultima Online 20th Anniversary Party
Sept 28, 2017 – Release 46
Sept 29 – Oct 1, 2017 – IgroMir Expo (Moscow)
Oct 13 – 15, 2017 – SotA Con – Austin 2017
Oct 26, 2017 – 
Release 47

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.

Livestream: South Broken Road

This was quite a fun livestream! We kicked it off with an introduction of our team’s new Sound Designer, Kat Wenske, showed off a surprise art piece from our Character Artist, Fletcher Kinnear, and then announced the winners of the Community Trailer Contest!

After the contest winners were announced, Travis “Vas Corp Por” Koleski showed you his polish work on South Broken Road, a Tier 2 scene comprised of a winding road through the mountains and full of various encounters, including plunderers and undead!

For more about South Broken Road, check out Travis’s recent Dev+ blog update in the forums. Not a Dev+ member? You can either get access through Bundles in the store, or check out excerpts of his blog on any of the Weekly Updates.

For more livestreams, be sure to subscribe to www.youtube.com/portalarium

Featured Events: Prism and Diamond Fields Presents…

Prism and Diamond Fields Grandmaster Tutoring Event – Saturday, Sept. 2 at 1-3pm CT

Prism Tutoring Event

We invite all Grandmaster Crafters to come and share their knowledge to new and would be Grandmasters. All Production and Refining GM’s will have at least one teacher available. If more grandmasters donate their time then even more can be mentored simultaneously.

You must bring your own materials to this event. There are merchants very near by the crafting pavilion in Diamond Fields selling fuels, but prices may increase due to turn out (other sub pots have merchants in case this happens). A banker is also near buy so you can shuttle in your raw materials and squirrel them away ahead of time for the event.

You can teleport to Lace Delamorte, or zone into Port Phoenix and take the first boat on the left to Diamond Fields. Hope to see you there!

Prism and Diamond Fields – NAME THAT TUNE – Sunday, Sept. 3 at 1-3pm CT

Prism name That Tune Event

Its easy! GUESS THE SONG, WIN THE SONG! Join us for Name That Tune in Diamond Fields at Lace’s Music Emporium located just past the crafting pavilion on the right hand side. We will ask for artist, or title Hints will be provided if needed as the song snippet plays. Overall Prizes: 20 Cotos for 1st, 10 2nd, and 5 for 3rd.

We are a sub Player Owned Town Near Twins Foothills enter Port Phoenix and take first boat on left to DF. Head north up the path past the crating pavilion and on the right hand side you will see the music shop. Head all the way to the top floor.

You can teleport to Lace Delamorte, or zone into Port Phoenix and take the first boat on the left to Diamond Fields.

Get all the details!

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 Support – Wasteland 3

Our friends over at inXile are well on their way to developing Wasteland 3! The game is a party-based role-playing game with complex story reactivity and strategic combat. It also features an engaging story utilizing a newly-revamped dialog tree system from Torment: Tides of Numenera!

By including vehicles, environmental dangers, and a revamped action system, inXile is evolving on Wasteland 2’s deep tactical turn-based combat and unique encounter design. Play solo or with a friend in story-driven synchronous or asynchronous multiplayer. Choices open or close off mission opportunities, areas to explore, story arcs, and lots of other content.

Backer Shipping Addresses

SotA_ShippingAddressIn preparation for shipping backers’ physical pledge rewards around the game’s launch period, on your Account Page, please 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!

1 Comment

  1. Tiina OnirTiina Onir

    I enjoyed Wasteland 2 quite a bit. It’s a shame InXile’s fig funding has ended, as far as I can tell. Still, they have my spiritual support!

Comments are closed.