Release 46 Instructions


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


Please read this entire message, as well as the linked instructions and known issues.

Thank you for being a loyal backer and follower of Shroud of the Avatar. Release 46 access for all Early Access backers begins this Thursday, September 28, at 10:30 AM US Central Daylight Time (15:30 UTC).

Release 46 is the first release where we are starting to truly focus on our Top 10 Priorities for Launch. While we were able to make considerable progress on our targeted work of scene rebuilding, side quest creation, new creature addition, and more, we also began to spend more time on performance than ever before.

Load Times:  After three weeks of focused work, we were able to reduce load times on even the most complex maps to approximately 30 seconds, even on platter drives. We have many more optimizations planned in the next quarter for our city maps (which are still problematic) to further reduce load times.

Worldbuilding: Once again, a huge amount of work went into worldbuilding and scene polish this release. Seven different scenes along the paths of Truth and Courage were either rebuilt, polished, or adjusted this release, including a massive rework of the Blackblade Pass area. Additionally, we created the final outskirts map: Highvale Outskirts. This new scene represents hours of new user play time along the Path of Courage.

Quest Polish and Side Quests: In addition to scene polish, we spent significant time creating and polishing quests along the Paths of Truth and Courage. We added nine new side quests, including some that reward players with new virtue banners that were created this release. We also completely reworked the Malice dungeon, where the finale of the Love path takes place.

Stealing Rework: We have done a major rework of the Stealing System. The fines associated with stealing now escalate in cost each time you are caught and start much lower than they did before. Also, the number of times you are caught is now recorded by each town’s Magistrate so they can determine these escalating fines.

Halloween Content: This is one of our favorite times of year! To help make it extra special, we have added several spooky new items to the game, including a new prison home, pillories, prison cages, jack-o’-lanterns, and an incredible Headless Horseman Grim Reaper statue.

I want to express a huge amount of gratitude to our 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 also working overtime to make new events for you to enjoy. Be sure to check out when there are player-run events in one of the calendars (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 46.


  • 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 46, September 28, 2017

  • Story: Highvale Outskirts [a new scene that players start in after the Battle of Highvale Village, will come online for the first time]  will get a polish pass and the Paths of Truth and Courage will keep growing with additional side quests. We will also continue rebuilding adventure scenes in the northwest regions of Novia, including Crooked Shank.
    • Highvale Outskirts: During the Spring Telethon 2017, we announced the game will include three new “Outskirts” maps to help improve the New User Experience. Solace Bridge Outskirts (on the Path of Love) and Blood River Outskirts (on the Path of Truth), already in the game, are now joined by the final Outskirts map: Highvale Outskirts, on the Path of Courage. After finishing a starter scene, new players will be sent to the nearest Outskirts map. Bigger in scope and with more adventuring and service opportunities than most other scenes, new players will be able to base themselves in a single Outskirts scene for their first couple of hours of gameplay without needing to also go through multiple loading screens. When their home was overrun by Obsidian Elves, Highvale Village survivors fled toward the safety of Resolute. When they reached an abandoned monastery high in the nearby mountains, their escape seems to be blocked on one side by violent Elves sweeping the area for more humans to slaughter, and on the other side by Kobolds fiercely defending their mining camp. However, something more sinister is afoot upon further investigation within the monastery and below in the lower lands – something ancient and frigid. Players entering the Highvale Outskirts will assist the soldiers and refugees in the monastery, while pursuing numerous quests and side quests. The monastery includes crafting stations, merchants, and trainers. Elsewhere can be found Obsidian elf camps, a hunter’s cabin on an alpine lake, an abandoned farm, and other captivating landmarks. Note that this is only the first pass on this scene and it will be getting another major iteration in Release 47.
    • Truth Path Addition (SPOILER): Now, when getting permission in Etceter to go to Xenos, Avitas will demand the player go into the Etceter Crag Mines and retrieve black iron ore from the bandits there. He mentions that Lady Ransom knows a bit about the place.
    • Courage Path Addition (SPOILER): New arrivals to Norgard are asked to prove their worth to the realm by rescuing a Knight of Norgard held captive by kobolds in a nearby expeditionary camp. There are several ways to complete this task, depending on which virtue one chooses to follow or ignore…
    • Blackblade Pass Area Rework (SPOILERS): For Release 46, we reworked the Blackblade Pass area to establish a “Tier 2” path through the mountains and underneath the lava. This also includes adding Tier 2 side paths in Southeast Blackblade Mountains and Northwest Blackblade Mountains that connect to the entrances to Blackblade Pass, as well as adding a Tier 2 bypass tunnel in Blackblade Pass itself.
      • Northwest Blackblade Mountains: In addition to the work above, we completely rebuilt Northwest Blackblade Mountains (it was previously a clone of another scene) and it now contains a devastated arid landscape of dragon bones, mesas, sand, and possible dragon encounters!
    • Virtue Banners: We have created banners for the 8 virtues, the 3 principles and for the unifying principle of Ethos (aka Virtue). The visuals for these were inspired by Tibetan prayer flags in size, colors, and material. These banners can be obtained by completing quests along the main paths and through various side quests. SPOILERS: For Release 46, you can obtain 6 of them.
      • Candle of Love Banner: Obtained by finishing the Solace Bridge Outskirts main quest.
      • Bell of Courage Banner: Obtained by finishing the Highvale Outskirts main quest.
      • Book of Truth Banner: Obtained by finishing the Blood River Outskirts main quest.
      • Sword of Valor Banner: Obtained by defeating the Tier 10 enemy in Courage Club.
      • Chalice of Honor Banner: Obtained from the treasure room after defeating an Ebon Dawn Shadow Master in the heart of Brittany Sewers.
      • Ankh of Spirituality Banner: Obtained by learning about the virtues from the devotional caretakers of New Britannia.

    • Courage Side Quests: We have continued adding side quests to the Path of Courage. SPOILERS BELOW
      • Dare of the Witch: The children in Harvest will now dare you to spend the night in the “house on the hill” where they say the ghost of a witch resides.
      • Mail Recovery: Town Criers will now pay you for retrieving undelivered mail found in adventure scenes.
      • Minstrel’s Horse Quest: Along the South Broken Road, an unexpected troll encounter forced a wandering minstrel to run and hide. When he emerged, he found that his horse had been carried away by the troll. The troll has the horse locked in a cage, from which the player must free him, then return to the minstrel for back-patting.
      • Courage Club: In Release 45 we added the Courage Club in a couple of locations and now Central Brittany also has its very own Courage Club arena where you can test your mettle.
    • Malice Polish: The dungeon of Malice, the finale location of the Path of Love, has been reworked to make it much less confusing. Samael now joins the player as a quest companion and comments throughout the dungeon via barks, specifically pointing out when and where to search for puzzles. We have also removed the re-spawning of resources and creatures in the dungeon. Finally we polished the finale sequence with Sequanna.
      • Sequanna Finale Polish: We reworked the finale sequence with the Titan of Love so that there is less confusing cross-talk and we gave Sequanna a chair made of crystal and chains in which she is bound. Additionally, Sequanna now properly displays the visual effects of the Heart of Sorrows while she has it equipped, and it disappears from her hand when she bestows it upon the player.
    • Lower Tier Scene Rebuilds: We have been focusing many of our scene rebuilds (aka “un-clones”) on the lower tier scenes near the cities along the paths of Truth and Courage. These are all Tier 1–3 scenes that players encounter near the beginnings of their play experience. In addition to being rebuilt, we are also adding side quests to them.
      • Crooked Shank (Tier 2): This valley in the mountains of the Verdantis region is home to a very new human settlement, but older maps of the area indicate that an Elven village should be here. Why the discrepancy?
      • North Shattered Hills (Tier 3): A mage experimenting beyond his skills accidentally shattered this peaceful valley in the mountains of the South Paladis region, destroying the nearby village. The area is now uninhabitable except for Underdwellers and occasional Plunderers.
      • South Longfall Wetland (Tier 2): This swamp southeast of Aerie is home to a colony of former pirates whose ship ran aground here several years ago. They have since built a floating town from which they stage thieving raids to nearby towns and villages. Rumors also abound of a witch who also lives somewhere in the swamp but this is probably not true because the rumors also say she lives in a log!
    • The Crags Rebuild (Tier 4): While most of our focus has been on lower tier scenes (see above) we are also periodically working on some higher tier scenes too, like the Blackblade pass area (see below) and The Crags. Located in the Quel region, this jagged landscape is known for the remarkable rock outcroppings that form large mesas and spans which locals call “the Crags.” Long ago, the Obsidians built a fortress atop one of these Crags, but it has been abandoned for generations. Recently, Satyrs occupied the fortress and unearthed numerous spells and artifacts. Using these mystical relics, they attempted to raise an undead army for themselves. Unfortunately, this plan backfired and now the entire area is occupied by a besieging undead army that is attempting to wrest control of the Obsidian fortress from the beleaguered Satyrs.
    • Fire in Soltown: One of the existing quests in Soltown involves investigating a local fire, but until now there has been little visual evidence of that fire. We have fixed this in Release 46 with more burned props, a larger burned area, and several ragged red banners.
    • Abigail not Flipping: Abigail, who has recently lost her husband in the Path of Love quest line, no longer teaches the /backflip emote. We made this change because teaching this was not an emotionally appropriate action for her character. SPOILER: Tobbin Tedbare, a child in Desolis, continues to teach this.
    • Blood Bay Polish: We added more points of interest around the island including pirate camps along the backside beach.

    • Stealing System Polish: For Release 46, we have done a major rework of the Stealing System. The fines associated with stealing now escalate in cost each time you are caught and start much lower than they did before. With this change, we have also made it so that NPCs will now call the guards even on the first offense, instead of just issuing a warning. Also, the number of times you are caught is now recorded per town by the Magistrate so they can determine these escalating fines. Since this is recorded per town, it feels a bit more immersive to try and escape your reputation. These changes should both lower the penalties for those who accidentally steal while also closing the loopholes for those who would go around stealing twice from each NPC to avoid the “third time and you are fined”. We have also added the ability for the Guards to invoke decay penalties if the offender has no gold to pay the fines. Additionally, containers owned by NPCs now say “Steal All” when the act of taking something will be considered a criminal act, instead of “Take All” for non-criminal acts, so that players will be better warned about their action before they take it.
    • Quest Items in Main Inventory: In preparation for the upcoming Quest Reset option, and to fix several issues with quest flags related to quest items not being in main inventory, we are now going to restrict Quest Items to only your main inventory. As part of this, any quest items that you have in other locations (sub-containers, the bank, etc.) will be moved to your main inventory. Note that these items no longer encumber you. Quest items can also be filtered out of the inventory list view with a new context menu option (similar to the option to show/hide equipped tools).
    • No Respawn in Story Scenes: We have removed re-spawning of monsters and resources in certain story scenes that provide quest companions including Crypt of the Avatar, Necropolis, and Blood River Massacre. Players were using these companions to bot farm the scenes.
    • Multiple Entry Points from Overworld: We now have the ability for players to unlock additional entry points for a scene, which will appear in a list when they enter that scene from the overworld. It will take us a while to update all the scenes to add multiple entrance locations. For Release 46, we updated the following scenes with this new feature:
      • Aerie
      • Ardoris
      • Blood River Outskirts
      • Brittany Alleys
      • Brittany Estates
      • Brittany Fields
      • Brittany Graveyard
      • Brittany Wharfs
      • Central Brittany
      • Highvale Outskirts
      • Jaanaford
      • Kingsport
      • Resolute
      • Solace Bridge Outskirts
      • Soltown
      • South Midmaer Way
      • Xenos
    • 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
      • Ardoris
      • Battle of Highvale
      • Battle of Solace Bridge
      • Blood River
      • Blood River Massacre
      • Blood River Outskirts
      • Bramble
      • Brittany Alleys
      • Brittany Estates
      • Brittany Fields
      • Brittany Wharfs
      • Demig’s Battle Camp
      • Eastreach Gap
      • Etceter
      • Graff Gem Mines
      • Halls of Artifice
      • Harvest
      • Hills Siege
      • Jaanaford
      • Kingsport
      • Longfall Woods
      • Middle Downs
      • Midras Ruins
      • Moors of Northshore
      • Mysterious Swamp
      • Novia Overworld
      • Owl’s Head
      • Resolute
      • Serpent’s Spine Foothills
      • Snowy Mountain Road Encounter
      • Solace Bridge Outskirts
      • South Brightbone Woods
      • South Broken Road
      • Spectral Hills
      • Spectral Mines
      • Spectral Mountains
      • Superstition Canyon
      • The Epitaph
      • The Rise
      • Twins Foothills
      • Valhold
      • Vertas Pass
      • Xenos
    • Quest Reset Delayed: We are holding the Quest Reset function until Release 47 because there are still not enough side quests along the Truth and Courage paths and performance work delayed our completion and testing of all the parts of this function.

  • Performance: Significant focus will continue to be made on performance improvements, including stability, framerate, memory, and load times.
    • Load Times: As we recently posted, our number one priority is to reduce load times. Most of our programming time this release was spent researching ways to improve load times. We started by having a dedicated machine that automatically loads every map in the game and records the load times from an SSD and also from a platter drive. We then map those load times against different builds to see what effects our changes are having on a day to day basis. While we have identified a number of additional fixes that will happen in future releases, the work done this release has already shown dramatic improvements with many maps loading in roughly half the time of R45.
      • Shader cleanup: More than a dozen additional shader copies were purged from the project. These were causing both some memory bloat and also increasing load times as the shaders were compiled.
      • Purging of Unity Standard Assets: With great effort we managed to remove all the built-in Unity assets. These were adding as much as 60MB to each scene file load.
      • Built in Shader Removal: Some built in “Standard” shaders were removed from the project. This cuts load time and memory footprint and was essentially a set of duplicate shaders as the PortShader has all standard functionality and more. This is not a small task as many things in Unity are hard coded to insert these shaders by default, and work to fully remove Built in Shaders will be ongoing.
      • Deferred Initialization: Work was done to defer the registration and initialization of a few object types including lights and doors.  Those near the player are initialized immediately but the ones further away load in over time.
      • Object Startup Optimizations: Many game objects had inefficient code for initialization. The worst of these were cleaned up but many more need work.
      • Object Pooling: Many objects were moved to use recycled pool objects instead of recreating them on each map load. This reduces memory thrashing, is more performant in most cases, and stabilizes the memory footprint.
    • Build Size: A side effect of some of the cleanup work we’ve been doing is a reduced install and patch size. Work is still ongoing but the initial changes cut the install size by almost 2GB on Windows.
    • Memory Footprint: While this wasn’t our focus this release, we did manage to shave several hundred MBs off the memory footprint. Additionally, memory fluctuation from scene to scene has been reduced though lots more work will be done on this in future releases.
  • 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).
    • Offline Spawning Rules Delayed: While this feature is incredibly important to make offline game play work properly, we felt it had to remain secondary to work on performance so we chose to postpone this work until we can solve our performance issues.
  • 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.
    • Agriculture Batch Recipes: Planting, watering, and harvesting can now be done as targeted area of effect skills that increase in size and speed as you improve them. Increasing the size of your targeting ring for each skill means more seeds you can plant, more plants you can water, and more plants you can harvest at once. For the planting function, you can now drag the seed you want to plant to your utility hotbar and then use that to trigger your Planting skill. Note that tool effects on agriculture will be coming in a later release.
    • Recipes:
      • Grandfather Clocks (2)
      • Mantle Clocks (2)
      • Wall Clocks (2)
      • Prison sign
      • Pillory
      • Prison cage
      • Antique Furniture Collection
        • Coffee table
        • Round end table
        • Dresser
        • Dining table
        • Dining chairs
        • Hallway table
        • Chair
        • Curved arm chair
        • Drawer tables
    • Gear Patterns:
      • Angled Tabard Gambeson (Loot from Mid-High tiered Mages and Archers)
      • Buckled Cross Hatched Gambeson (Loot from Mid-High tiered Mages and Archers)
      • Buckled Gambeson (Loot from Mid-High tiered Mages and Archers)
      • Fancy Doublet (Loot from Mid-High tiered Mages and Archers)
      • Leather Doublet (Loot from Mid-High tiered Mages and Archers)
      • Split Tabard Gambeson (Loot from Mid-High tiered Mages and Archers)
      • Ancient Bastard 2H Sword (Loot from Mid tiered Liches)
      • Ancient Montante 2H Sword (Loot from High tiered Skeletons)
      • Montante 2H Sword (Loot from Mid tiered Skeletons)
      • Basket Guard Rapier 1H Sword (Loot from Mid tiered Elves)
      • Swept Guard Rapier 1H Sword (Loot from Mid tiered Elves)
      • Limehouse 1H Sword (Loot from Mid tiered Ebon Cultists)
      • Messer 1H Sword (Loot from Mid tiered Red Sash)
      • Battle Scythe 2H Polearm (Loot from High tiered Liches)
    • Fallen Trees Fix: We fixed a longstanding bug where harvested trees would reappear as fallen trees when a scene was reloaded.
    • Fishing Polish and Alcohol Delayed: A combination of working on performance and preparing for the Quest Reset forced us to delay work on Fishing and Alcohol.
  • Character: At least one new creature will appear in the game as well as several new weapons.
    • Reaper: This powerful ancient tree creature is the living embodiment of the forest and will devastate anyone who dares to exploit the resources of nature. When at rest, they appear just as a normal tree but when aroused they will attack with a variety of powerful attacks, including a swarm of roots that captures everyone standing still around the Reaper, vicious swipes of his branch claws, tearing bites with his amber teeth, and a blinding spray of leaves that makes it hard to hit anything. SPOILER: For Release 46, these powerful beings can only be found in two maps (Savrenoc Stronghold and Ulfheim) but we will expand their locations over the next few releases.

    • Norgard NPC Skin Tones: The residents of the Norgard region now have a wider variety of skin tones.
    • Viking Merchant Outfit: The clothing being worn by the Merchants of Norgard is now available in the Add-On Store. A craftable version of the citizens’ clothing will be available in Release 47.
    • Norgard Braids: The braided hairstyle worn by citizens of Norgard is now available as a hairstyle option for male and female avatars.
    • Yellow Dragons: In Release 44, we created more color variations of the dragons but only introduced a couple of these variants into the game (like The Sisters). For R46, we have added Yellow Dragons that can be found in Northwest Blackblade Mountains (see above).

    • Scythes: In honor of the Halloween season we have introduced a new visual for 2-handed polearms: scythes! For Release 46 there is a 2017 rare version that is only available in the add-on store for a limited time and an in-game Battle Scythe that can be gained by fighting high-tiered Liches.
    • Doublets and Gambesons Loot: In Release 45 we introduced some Ornate Gambesons and Doublets to the Add On Store. In Release 46 we have added 6 additional Doublets and Gambesons to the game that can be gained by fighting mid to high-tiered Mages and Archers.
    • Swords Loot: There are 7 new swords in the game that can be gained by fighting mid tiered humanoids (Skeletons, Liches, Elves, Ebon Cultists, and Red Sash Bandits)
    • Quivers: The quiver we introduced with the Elite Elven Archer armor was met with many requests for more quivers so we have introduced two new quivers this release. The Ornate Leather Quiver can be found in the Add On Store and the Leather Quiver can be crafted in the game. We have also made the feathers on quivers dyeable after several players suggested it.
    • /smellgood & /smellbad: Ah, smell the bread! Phew, smell the fish! These two new emotes are now added to all avatars and some NPCs are already using them.
    • New Clothing:
      • Ornate Leather Quiver (Add On Store)
      • Leather Doublet (Loot from Mid-High tiered Mages and Archers)
      • Fancy Doublet (Loot from Mid-High tiered Mages and Archers)
      • Buckled Gambeson (Loot from Mid-High tiered Mages and Archers)
      • Buckled Cross Hatched Gambeson (Loot from Mid-High tiered Mages and Archers)
      • Angled Tabard Gambeson (Loot from Mid-High tiered Mages and Archers)
      • Split Tabard Gambeson (Loot from Mid-High tiered Mages and Archers)
    • New Weapons:
      • Ancient Bastard 2H Sword (Loot from Mid tiered Liches)
      • Ancient Montante 2H Sword (Loot from High tiered Skeletons)
      • Montante 2H Sword (Loot from Mid tiered Skeletons)
      • Basket Guard Rapier 1H Sword (Loot from Mid tiered Elves)
      • Swept Guard Rapier 1H Sword (Loot from Mid tiered Elves)
      • Limehouse 1H Sword (Loot from Mid tiered Ebon Cultists)
      • Messer 1H Sword (Loot from Mid tiered Red Sash)
      • Battle Scythe 2H Polearm (Loot from High tiered Liches)
    • Community Cloaks: We created two cloaks to support community events this release:
      • Think Pink Community Cause Cloak
      • Stinging Tree Hollow 2017 Eclipse Viewing
    • Pet Sit Command: We introduced pet sitting animations in R46 that happen by default whenever your pet is idle. Now, you can command non-combat deco pets to sit from the Right-Click menu.
    • Bug Fixes:
      • Gear Equipped from Equipped Container
      • Elite Elven Fighter Armor
      • Shroud of the Avatar
      • Ornate Floral Kimono
      • Elite Elven Mage Armor
      • Ladies Riding Chest ARmor
      • Arabella Cloak
      • Plate Leggings
      • Plate Boots
      • Hoods: now no longer force bald hairstyle
      • Flute Animations
      • Pitch Bending instruments while moving
  • Player Housing: Tools for Player-Owned Town Owners will come online to assist with building and maintaining their towns, including a lawn mower. Updates to Dynamic Player-Owned Towns that have locked submission forms will appear in the game.
    • More Inns: With the launch of the Tenant and Door permissions systems, we have started creating buildings specifically tailored to facilitate renting rooms. Each Inn features a ground-level floor with a large common room and a single private room (suitable for a kitchen or innkeeper’s room) as well as 3 upper floors that each have 5 rooms (for a total of 15 rentable rooms). So far, we have created the Wooden & Plaster, Viking, Elven, and Obsidian styles. For Release 46, we have continued creating additional Inns in a variety of other styles. All of these can be purchased in our Add-On Store.
      • Shogun Village Inn: This inn displays the paper walls and blue-tiled roof of the Shogun style.
      • Gothic Village Inn: The distinctive roofline, wall paper, and other Victorian stylistic characteristics really set this inn apart.
      • Haunted Gothic Village Inn: After guests started disappearing from the inn, no one came around much anymore and eventually the local magistrate ordered the place boarded up. At night, they say you can still hear the screams of those long lost guests, or is it just the bats circling above?
    • 3-story Stone Prison Row Home: One of our themes for Halloween this year was “prison” and so we created an entire prison home! It’s a 3-story prison tower that fits on a row lot. It includes an intake area and interrogation room on the ground floor, 4 cells on the second floor, 5 cells on the top floor, and a guard post on the roof. You can purchase the prison home in the Add-On Store.
    • Prison Row Basements: As part of the prison theme we have also created prison basements. They are identical in layout and style to the Prison Row Home (above); only inverted from top to bottom. The 2-story version has a top floor with an intake area and interrogation room and then below that is a floor with 5 cells. It can be purchased in game from merchants. The 5-stor version also has a top floor with an intake area and interrogation room and then below that each floor has 4 cells with the bottom floor having 5 cells. It can be purchased in the Add On Store.
    • Pillories and Prison Cages: Continuing with our prison theme are the pillories and prison cages decorations. When the pillories are used, the avatar will put their arms and legs in them, perfect for punishing ne’er do wells in your towns! The prison cages have useable doors on them and are a more secure way to imprison the aforementioned nogoodniks! There will be ornate and simple versions of both the pillories and cages. The ornate versions are inscribed with magic sigils and runes to help when immobilizing and imprisoning powerful magical beings (like Outlanders). These ornate versions will be available in the Add-On Store while the simpler versions will be craftable.
    • Prison Signs: Once you have your Prison Row Home placed, or you have repurposed another location as a prison using the aforementioned pillories and/or prison cages you need to advertise your prison services! What better way than prison signs! There are fancy versions available in the Add-On Store and a simple wooden version that is craftable in the game.
    • Ornate Bone Chimes: Nothing welcomes the day like the wind blowing through the bones of the dead. This elaborate version can be found in the Add-On Store and a craftable version will be available in Release 47, just in time for Halloween.
    • Number Decorations: We have added 10 number “1” items to the Ornate package of number decorations in order to better facilitate numbering for inns.
    • Craftable Clocks: We have added 6 craftable clocks to the game, including 2 mantle clocks, 2 grandfather clocks and 2 wall clocks. All of the clocks have working hands that are aligned to New Britannian time.
    • Antique Furniture Collection: There are 9 unique pieces in this craftable style including multiple kinds of chairs and tables, as well as a ceramic pot.
    • Sigil Tapestries: These three large tapestries that represent the three schools of Combat, Magic and Crafting are now available on Crown Merchants in R46. Note they were added to the Add-On Store in R45.
    • House and Furniture Fixes: Fixed various issues with homes and furniture including places where decorations could not be placed, where stairs could not be climbed without jumping, where furniture could not be used, etc. The list includes:
      • Carnal Vile Shield: can now be placed as a decoration
      • Rusty Axe: can now be placed as a decoration
      • Elven Town Home: First floor deck now flagged as interior
      • Viking 2-Story with Dual Balconies
      • Town Tower
      • Wood & Plaster Village Inn
      • Obsidian 3-Story Row House
      • Ornate Shogun Pavillion
      • Blue Tile Roof Row Homes
      • NPC Combat Shop
    • R45 Lot Deed Raffle Tickets: The drawings will be held on September 28, 2017 and winners will be announced shortly thereafter. Deeds will be delivered in Release 46.
      • 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
    • R46 Lot Deed Raffle Tickets: Raffle tickets can be purchased with in game gold from home merchants. Each person can only win a single deed of each type (maximum of one place anywhere and one POT). The drawing and winners will be in R47.
      • 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:
      • Anrose’s Rest: New addition.
      • Arcadia: Upgraded to Crossroads Village. Interconnections (with Xenos and Fons Vita).
      • Astrum: Upgraded to Metropolis. Interconnections (with Central Brittany and Elad’s Lighthouse).
      • Avallon: Renamed (formerly BattleDale). Converted to Forest 01c. Ownership changed. Changed location. Interconnections (added Xenos, Fons Vita, Faubourg d’Avallon, Isle of Xee, Styx, and Arcadia; removed Chateau du Lys). Removed PvP flag.
      • Beran’s Reach: Ownership changed.
      • Bravehaven: Upgraded to Hamlet.
      • Caladruin: Upgraded to Crossroads Village.
      • Dragon’s Hollow: Renamed (formerly Vale Halla). Converted to Underground 01. Upgraded to Town. Interconnections (changed nested interconnection to within Crossroads; removed Central Brittany and Elad’s Lighthouse).
      • Goldfield: Upgraded to Crossroads Village.
      • Grunvald Oasis: Renamed (formerly Prime Mori). Converted to Desert 01c. Ownership changed. Changed location. Interconnections (removed Antilles Cove; added Desolis).
      • Haunted Keep of Solania: Upgraded to Town.
      • Iron Gate: Converted to Grasslands 01a. Interconnections (with Phoenix Fields and Sparrowfall).
      • Jade Oasis: Renamed (formerly Saint Haley). Converted to Desert 01b. Ownership changed. Changed location.
      • Knight’s Watch: Upgraded to Metropolis.
      • Neath: Removed interconnection (with New Britannian Market).
      • New Fawn: Upgraded to Crossroads Village.
      • Obsidius: Renamed (formerly Sunset Shimmer). Converted to Underground 01. Ownership changed. Interconnections (changed nested interconnection to within Soltown; added Oracle Oasis).
      • Oceania: Upgraded to Hamlet.
      • Owl’s Rest: Upgraded to Hamlet. Interconnection (with Owl’s Wash).
      • Rinzai: Renamed (formerly Toad Town). Converted to Desert 01b. Ownership changed. Interconnections (changed nested interconnection to within Desolis; removed Faubourg d’Avallon).
      • Seers Sanctuary: Renamed (formerly Glasgow Oasis). Converted to Swamp Island 01. Rotated to 180. Ownership changed. Interconnection (with Oceania).
      • Serenite: Upgraded to Metropolis.
      • Serpent’s Watch: Upgraded to City. Interconnection (with New Britannian Market).
      • The Caverns Under Neath: Changed nested interconnection to within New Britannian Market
    • Player Owned Town Tools Delayed: Work on performance and partner support for Black Sun delayed work on the the POT tools like the Lawn Mower.
  • Combat: We will continue to polish visual effects related to combat, and we will continue work on overall combat balance.
    • Puncture: The polearm skill, Puncture, will now cause an additional bleeding effect.
    • Damage Avoidance Skills: The following 5 skills, Dig In, Fortify Defenses, Glancing Blow, Evasion, and Shield of Ice will now only allow any two to be active concurrently. Casting a third will overwrite the oldest. All five of these skills have been added to the 100% unlearn list. This change was to address overpowered damage avoidance gained by unlimited stacking that was making players virtually unhittable in certain situations.
    • Absorb Impact: The duration of Absorb Impact has been increased dramatically to be in line with other similar skills.
    • Inner Strength: Now usable on the overworld to help with encumbrance challenges.
    • Chaotic Feedback: The focus burn effect (taking damage for each focus used) has been increased from 1x to 2x.
    • Spellbinder’s Stance: Now includes a spell critical hit chance bonus that increases the longer the stance has been active.
    • Boss Immunity to Movement Effects: Large creatures (Trolls, Dragons, etc.) are now immune to movement effects that are triggered from abilities like Gust, Knockback, etc.
    • Scaling Spell VFX: We wrote new tech to support scaling VFX on large or small NPCs so that the VFX will display properly.
    • Spell VFX Polish: We continued polishing the visual effects for various magic spells, including the following:
      • Chaos Bolt
      • Confusion
      • Dazzling Rays
      • Gust
      • Moon Beams
      • Vanish
      • Night Step
      • Shadow Form
      • Celestial Blessing
      • Animal Charm
  • User Interface Polish:
    • Toggle All for Skills: You now have an option on the skills screen to set all skills in a school to Train, Unlearn, Not Train, or Maintain.
    • (UPDATED) Keyword Ordering: The most recent keyword to appear in conversations with NPCs will now appear as the first keyword in your keyword list.
    • (UPDATED) Merchants/Bankers/Trainers: These NPCs that offer services to the player now open their interfaces immediately upon interaction. You no longer have to enter conversation and say the word “Buy”, “Bank”, or “Train”.
    • UI Elements Sound Effects Support: We have added sound effects to the user interface to better give feedback when you have interacted with the various UI elements. There is also now an additional volume slider in the options menu to control these sound effects.
      • Journal Select
      • Crafting Window Open/Close
      • Report a Bug
      • Open Upgrades/Add Ons
      • Journal Select
      • Character Sheet Open/Close
      • Generic Select & Drop
      • Inventory Window Open/Close
      • Journal Window Open/Close
      • Map Window Open/Close
      • Options Window Open/Close
      • Recipe Book Open/Close
      • Skills Window Open/Close
      • Store Window Open/Close
  • 2017 Halloween Rare Items: The following items are only available in the Add-On Store until November 27 (aka Cyber Monday).
  • Summer Telethon 2017 Item: Virtue Flame Armor: We have finally completed all the stretch goal rewards from the Summer Telethon 2017 by completing the final item: the Virtue Flame Armor (leather). For everyone who is eligible, the following items should appear in your bank for claiming in Release 46. You can see if you are eligible in your Account page on the Special Rewards tab: if so, it says “Summer Telethon 2017 Telethon Rewards.”
  • Lord British Birthday Telethon Items: We have completed the stretch goal rewards from the Lord British Birthday telethon by completing the final item: the Pet Broom! We also did some polish on the Lord British Helmet. For everyone who is eligible, the following items should appear in your bank for claiming in Release 46. You can see if you are eligible in your Account page on the Special Rewards tab: if so, it says “Lord British Birthday Bash Telethon Rewards.”
      • Lord British Helmet
      • Pet Broom

  • Release 44 Postmortem Telethon Items: We have completed all the stretch goal rewards from the R44 Postmortem telethon that was themed around the Oracle! For everyone who is eligible, the following items should appear in your bank for claiming in Release 46. You can see if you are eligible in your Account page on the Special Rewards tab: if so, it says “Release 44 Telethon Rewards.”
    • Oracle Eye Sparklers
    • Oracle Eye Mirror
    • Oracle Eye Hood (previously called a Helmet)
    • Oracle Eye Throne
    • Oracle Cable “Wings”
    • /juggleoracleeyes
  • Seed Invest Perk Pack Items: We have completed the first set of Golden items that were listed when we started the Seed Invest campaign, along with a couple from the items we added later (fireworks and moondial). These, along with the lot deeds, can now be claimed in Release 46. The second set of items that we listed after the campaign started (magic emotes, additional homes, additional pets, etc.) we hope to complete and start delivering as soon as Release 47. NOTE: These items are exclusive to those who participated in our crowd equity campaign and invested in Portalarium. They are not available anywhere else.
    • Box of Replenishing Golden Fireworks
    • Golden Sword
    • Golden Cloak
    • Golden Clockwork Armor
    • Golden Lord British Shield
    • Golden Clockwork Raven
    • Golden Clockwork Dragon
    • Golden Rowhouse Greenhouse
    • Golden Airship
    • Golden Kobold Great Hall
    • Golden Castle Walls
    • Golden Lord British Moondial
  • Localization Support:
    • Localized Installer: The installer now has the ability to be localized and will look at your system settings when choosing the default language.

So, now that it is clear what you can expect, we should also be as clear about what you should NOT expect:

  • Stability: Stability should be much better than previous releases now that we have upgraded to Unity 5.6.
  • Performance: With Release 46 we were able to reduce load times on even the most complex maps to approximately 30 seconds on even platter drives. We have even more optimizations planned in the next quarter for our city maps (which are still problematic) to get that even faster. However frame rate continues to be an issue and we hope to get that better starting in Release 47.
  • Game Loop: Release 46 is a further iteration on our game loop, but is still missing a few key components and some 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.
  • Story Additions: The main storyline is now complete, but many aspects surrounding the main storyline are incomplete. Various side-quests and opportunities to gain or lose virtue are yet to be added. Content of this nature will be continually added and improved upon, even beyond the commercial launch of Shroud of the Avatar.

As Lord British often says: “80% of the quality of a game goes in during the last 20% of the development.” We are in that final 20% right now. Be warned that this is a time of great change, but also a time of great improvement! In addition to completing the last few deliverables, the important work ahead of us is refining and tuning the feel of the game. If you are not yet “feeling it,” don’t be alarmed! It is perfectly normal that during this phase of development we are just now getting to the point that we can start delivering that feeling—so stay tuned!

Here are links to 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.

Starr Long
aka Darkstarr
Executive Producer



  1. Dereck VisaardDereck Visaard

    Wow, another packed release! It really feels like the momentum is building. There’s a lot of remaining work in that last 20% but the quality improves nicely every release. Thank you!! The reaper brings back so many memories and the new/uncloned scenes are quite immersive!

    1. Daigoji GaiDaigoji Gai

      You know? This is amazing – I wasn’t even expecting to start getting the telethon awards so soon but that plus all the quality of life improvements, new content and polish?

      I am so giggity right now.

      I love Portalarium.

  2. Rufus D`AsperdiRufus D`Asperdi

    Number Decorations: We have added 10 number “1” items to the Ornate package of number decorations in order to better facilitate numbering for inns.

    Save that it doesn’t really help at all.

    1. Rufus D`AsperdiRufus D`Asperdi

      I guess it would help if you wanted to number your rooms sequentially… 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, (16), without regard to the floor it’s on, but why would you do that? The floor the room is on wouldn’t be apparent from the room number, which is why inns and apartment buildings aren’t generally numbered like that.

  3. Rufus D`AsperdiRufus D`Asperdi

    What would be more useful is a set with 8×1, 8×2, 8×3, 8×4, and 3×5.

    Then you can do this:

    41, 42, 42, 44, 45
    31, 32, 33, 34, 35
    21, 22, 23, 24, 25
    11, 12, 13, 14, 15

    And choose whether the rooms on the floor above the first floor start with 1 (European) or 2 (American or Russian).

  4. Gramps

    Great ! Sounds good. Can’t wait to try it all out.
    I have a suggestion that might help load times. Don’t have so many Sieges going on at one time. There is just way to many and to often.
    Siege’s were great when they first came into play but now they are just a big pain in the keister for a lot of us.
    Keep up the good work on load time. On my old computer it is taking 5 minutes to get on the game and I get that “Shroud of the Avatar Not Responding.” message.
    Not near as bad on my new computer but anything over 1 minute is BAD.

    1. BerekBerek

      Thanks for the suggestion!! We’re still looking carefully at load times. We made a lot of great progress in R46, but more to do yet!

  5. Halfwitte

    So getting hit with the nerf bat on all the effort I have done to increase avoidance. I thought the point of no caps was to be able to reach a point of having an awesome character after having made the effort. So if I make the effort to level up the two remaining good avoidance skills to say 140 to get back what I lost from not being able to use Evasion are you guys going to nerf them again? I’ll have nearly the same awesome avoidance. Yeah it’s gonna take me a while, but completely doable. I’ll gain 8% of avoidance, change some gear for the other 4% and I’m back to pre-nerf. BUT!, If you’re going to nerf everything awesome when someone reaches that precipice, then what’s the point of making the effort? You’re destroying the whole premise of this Amazing game you have built. Not everyone is running around with awesome avoidance! Just like not everyone is running around with 215 Earth Attunement doing Earthquakes in the 1000’s on crits!

    SO, No nerf bat to all the overpowered mages stacking insane amounts of Attunement and hitting in the thousands, but as an archer the only way I have to increase my damage is dumping millions of xp into Ranged Combat with a terrible return rate. Avoidance was what I had to stay alive and you’re nerfing it not to mention Ice Shield can’t stack with other shields and increasing water attunement doesn’t increase the avoidance and Evasion is nothing compared to glancing blow since having it GM’ed isn’t as good as glancing blow at level 40. At least make Evasion as good as Glancing Blow so the light armor users can drop Ice Shield for something else instead of being pigeon holed into taking Ice shield for survival purposes. As it stands after this patch Evasion will be a useless skill. Who will use it when Glancing blow, Ice Shield, and Fortify Defense provide at a minimum 6% more avoidance, it might as well be removed from the light armor tree and be replaced with some sort of Critical Strike chance ability. While you’re at it remove the agro dump that’s worthless since as an Archer I hit so fast even if I used it and it worked it could never possibly dump enough agro for me to lose threat.

  6. craftymethodcraftymethod

    Prisons sound interesting…. I hope they can be well supported eventually gameplay wise. 10/20/30 minutes in the hole?


  7. Cage StormCage Storm

    Sounds exciting, especially looking forward to trying the new look Malice, because I have previously been unsuccessful in completing the Path of Love, so I will be interested to experience the improvements, should be a lot of fun. That Fire armor looks good and more reworked scenes to explore, there have certainly been a few surprises in the previously reworked scenes, so I’m expecting great things :)

    Also looking forward to seeing some of these golden reward items in the game, unfortunately my budget restrictions stopped me contributing, but will be nice to see them in game. Who will be the first wear their golden armor ?

  8. DarkStarrDarkStarr Post author

    Updated the OP with 2 items we missed under User Interface Polish:

    (UPDATED) Keyword Ordering: The most recent keyword to appear in conversations with NPCs will now appear as the first keyword in your keyword list.

    (UPDATED) Merchants/Bankers/Trainers: These NPCs that offer services to the player now open their interfaces immediately upon interaction. You no longer have to enter conversation and say the word “Buy”, “Bank”, or “Train”.

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