Avatar’s Update #251: Play Release 47 Now!

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 47 Now!

Release 47 successfully launched yesterday, October 26, with thousands of backers downloading, patching, and logging in to check out the changes! There’s lots of new content to explore, including:

  • Reduced Load Times
  • Story Polish
  • More Side Quests
  • Highvale Outskirts Polish
  • Starting Scene Polish
  • Blackblade Foothills (new)
  • North Midmaer Way (new)
  • North Quel Way (new)
  • New Artifacts
  • Unique Components (Elven Bowstrings)
  • Named / Boss Components (Torc’Dawl’s 2H Axe Blade)
  • Increased Pattern Salvage Chances
  • New Recipes
  • Scene Labels
  • Scene Information
  • Combat Balance
  • Fall Holiday Items
  • Telethon Items
  • SeedInvest Items
  • Hospital Make a Difference Items
  • New Emotes
  • R46 Lot Deed Raffle Winners

…and much more

Check out the Release 47 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 47 Player Instructions

Release 47 Known Issues


The Making of the Oracle Temple [SPOILERS!]

[From a Post by Michael “Hutch” Hutchison]

SPOILER ALERT! This post contains spoilers for the Oracle Temple scene that is the story climax of Episode 1…

Hello All,

With R47, we have finished the art requirements for the climactic Oracle Temple scene! When I stopped to consider the long road leading up to this point, I was struck by how this scene, perhaps more than any other single scene in the game, involved contributions from nearly every member of the Shroud team, either directly or indirectly. It is also a great example of how our iterative process worked to build one thing upon another.

Like anything else it all started with an idea. In this case, it was Richard’s initial idea that was the creative spark, and what followed was a process of evolution over years, as ideas changed, and grew, and became fully formed. Development of the objects, characters, and story followed a sequence of connected tasks, each one informing the next. Over time, it was this deliberate process that built all the smaller parts that contributed to the cohesive whole.

The importance of the Oracle becomes evident from the very first moments of the game, when you meet her in the Confirmatory on the Isle of Storms. That’s part of what makes the Oracle so special – she is there when you start the game, is present throughout your progress, and is there when you ultimately reach the story climax. But long before the Confirmatory was included on the Isle of Storms map in Release 31, the Oracle had already undergone several iterations.

Early Development

Everything started, of course, with Lord British himself. During the initial development of what became Shroud of the Avatar, Richard worked directly with concept artists (beginning very early with Scott Jones and then a bit later with Stephen Daniele) to develop the look of the Oracle architecture, her Watchers, and the Oracle herself.

Early Oracle design as seen in concept art…

…and with the 2013 statue head decoration

While the initial glimpse of the Oracle came in December of 2013 with the Oracle Statue Head (made by former team member Jay Reichman), it would prove to be merely a teaser of what was to come…

[Read More… TLDR: It’s really cool!]

Michael “Hutch” Hutchison
Art Lead


Release 48 Major Artifact Changes

[From a Forum Post by Starr “Darkstarr” Long]

Artifacts will undergo a major refactor in Release 48 in order to better align them with the rest of the economy. In order to not have them directly compete with crafted goods they can no longer be repaired like regular items.

Instead they will only be able to be repaired by salvaging other artifacts to get “Artifact Essences” that will be used in Artifact repair. This will cycle Artifacts out of the economy and require players to re-acquire them periodically or destroy other artifacts (thereby simulating “production”).

Additionally we will make Artifacts a bit more dynamic by giving players the ability to enchant and masterwork them.


More Make a Difference and Fall Item Screenshots

As mentioned in a previous update we created several new threads to show off content that we have been creating for SeedInvest Perk Packs, Telethons, and the Holiday Season. We will be making and posting in these kinds of threads going forward so that our players can stay up to date on the latest images of these items as we make them. In the case of the Telethon and holiday content they will first go in Dev+ and then later be included here in the Weekly Update.

This week we added some new Make a Difference items we are working on for Water.org and Children’s Hospitals / Doctors Without Borders and a new Fall item.

Make a Difference:

[From a Dev+ Forum Post by Starr “Darkstarr” Long]

After reviewing the first set of Hospital assets we decided that they would become in-game craftable versions and that the store versions would include a custom version of a caduceus and be made of brass vs. steel.

Ornate Wheelchair:

Ornate Hospital Cloth Room Divider:

Ornate Hospital Bed:

Ornate IV Stand:

Ornate Surgical Tray with Instruments:

Doctor’s Outfit:

Nurse’s Outfit:

Ornate Head Bandage:

Head Bandage (in game pattern for R48):

Fall 2017 Items:

[From a Dev+ Forum Post by Starr “Darkstarr” Long]

2017 Fall Cornucopia: 


Make a Difference Expansions

In accordance with Portalarium’s founding purpose to promote goodwill and make a positive difference in the world, we are excited to add more “Make a Difference” charity items to our store as a channel through which our community of backers can contribute to causes that they support.

In Release 47, we are adding a Kobold Indoor Toilet for Water.org’s International Toilet Day, as well as a whole suite of hospital themed items to support Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals and Doctors Without Borders just in time for the Extra Life Streamathon on November 4.

In the giving spirit of the holidays we have also expanded the Make a Difference concept outside the confines of the Make a Difference Store and now over 90 items in the Add-On Store are also tagged to share revenue with charities. Just look for the virtue symbol! In total Release 47 represents an expansion of over 100 items that will Make a Difference.

Water.org Kobold Indoor Toilet

This ingenious contraption brings bodily evacuations indoors through the clever use of Kobold technology. It even flushes when you use it!

This is in support of Water.org’s World Toilet Day on November 19, 2017. World Toilet Day is about inspiring action to tackle the global sanitation crisis. Today, 4.5 billion people live without a household toilet that safely disposes of their waste.

The Sustainable Development Goals, launched in 2015, include a target to ensure everyone has access to a safely-managed household toilet by 2030. This makes sanitation central to eradicating extreme poverty. In 2013, the United Nations General Assembly officially designated November 19 as World Toilet Day. World Toilet Day is coordinated by UN-Water in collaboration with governments and partners.

You can purchase the Kobold Indoor Toilet in the Water.org section of the Make a Difference store.

Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals/Doctors Without Borders Items

We are very excited to announce the support of two new charities in our Make a Difference store through the addition of a whole set of hospital themed items. Of the 50% revenue we will contribute to charity for these items, half will go to the Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals and half will go to Doctors Without Borders. We timed creation of these items with the Aerie Fund’s Extra Life streamathon which supports CMNH.

Note that many of the items below will have craftable version in game for Release 48.

Make a Difference Items in Add On Store

In the giving spirit of the holidays we have greatly expanded the Make a Difference concept outside the confines of the Make a Difference Store and now over 90 additional items in the Add On Store are also tagged to share 10% of revenue with charities.

Just look for the virtue symbol on Add On Store items and read the description to see which charity the item supports. We chose items that generally supported the themes of the charities we currently support. For instance water items for Water.org and trees for Autism Awareness.

Movember Foundation

Water.org

Autism Awareness

Breast Cancer Research Foundation

Hospitals (Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals / Doctors Without Borders):

 


R47 Postmortem Telethon – Nov. 3

Greetings Avatars,

The next Postmortem Telethon, for Release 47, is already fast approaching! New frosty cool stretch goal items are ready to be achieved to celebrate the release, which is due to go live this October 26. The following week after the release will be the telethon on November 3!

LIVESTREAM SCHEDULE (Central Time Zone)

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 November 3:

  • 3:00 PM: Introductions
  • 3:30 PM: Postmortem Q&A
  • 4:30 PM: World Building Tour
  • 5:30 PM: Postmortem Q&A Continues
  • 7:00 PM: End of Telethon!

Schedule is subject to change. Check back here before the livestream begins!

STRETCH GOALS (Frosty 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, November 3 from 12:00 PM 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 goals. We will announce the final total on the following day.

  • $10K: Snowflake Pattern Cloak
  • $25K: Big Silver Fur Hat
  • $35K: Winter Pattern Stained Glass Oil Table Lamp (3 Pack)
  • $50K: Ice Staff & Ice Bow
  • $65K: Ice Elemental Statue with icy effects
  • $80K: Ice Dragon Statue with icy effects

CHEER ON THE DEVS!

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

Additionally, we will be spinning the Wheel of Fortune! The wheel will have 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.

WHEEL OF FORTUNE FLASH SALES:

WIN THESE GREAT PRIZES!

  • Frosty goodies!
  • 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.

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

[Read More…]


Portalarium at SXSW 2018

SXSW (March 9 – 18) has made programming announcements for 2018 and Portalarium will be there! Starr Long is moderating a panel during SXSW Gaming entitled “The Ever Evolving Nature of Game Crowdfunding”:

Working with communities has expanded beyond mere feedback loops between developers and players. It has formalized with the growth of Crowdfunding platforms like Kickstarter and marketplaces like the Unity Asset Store and most recently equity ownership via platforms like SeedInvest. Attendees will gain expert knowledge about all the various options and platforms available in this constantly evolving world using real examples from industry veterans Mary Flanagan, Starr Long and Gordon Walton.

Richard Garriott is participating in a panel during SXSW Interactive about the future of mass transit entitled “Overhead Transit: Cable, Hyperloop, PRT & Drones”:

Urbanization is creating a congestion crisis in and between cities. But when we go to add mass transit we find little usable eminent domain. The streets and highways are full. Yet if we look up we find space in fields or between buildings & above streets. This session will examine technologies that can add mass transit in that overhead space. Urban Cable, Personal Rapid Transit, Hyperloop and Aerial Taxis. The technology amplifies other modes leading to Smart Transportation Cities.

Stay tuned for exact dates and times as they are revealed.


Nightmares of New Britannia – Halloween Contest Ends Next Week

Spooky content abounds in New Britannia this Halloween season, some of old, some of new! Here’s your chance to show it off to the rest of the community in your own unique style!

This month is a two-part challenge of decorating a home or property in a spooky theme, or wearing a themed costume. You can submit an entry for both segments, though you are only eligible to win in one of them. As we get entries, we will announce on social media the latest entries in a Facebook gallery. You will also be able to view the entries as they are posted in the forums.

Submit your entries in a single post reply to this forum thread. The submission cutoff has been extended to Oct. 31!

[Read More…]


Introducing Kory “Kor” Kirk – Portalarium’s New Web Developer!

Starting a new position at Portalarium has been a lot of fun, and I have been learning a lot. It’s only my second week, but it feels like I have done so much here already. It seems to me that everyone who works here “wears different hats” depending on what is needed. Right now the only hats I have are “Web Developer” and “Bug Chris about Combat Imbalances.” One thing that I like about my job is that I am not bound by the monthly releases. I work on the web software, so don’t have to wait until release time to update our websites.

Our recent acquisition of SotAMap has fallen into my hands. I have been working to convert the original source code to a version we can easily maintain on our own servers. I am excited that we have control of this project now, as I have seen a lot of cool suggestions coming from the community about how to make it harder, better, faster and stronger.

Some community members have been asking me if I can still play the game like I was now that I am a developer – of course I can! I have been playing SotA since persistence, and transitioning from a community member to a developer has been interesting for me. Feel free to continue to treat me as a community member, because I will continue to be one. I will still be interacting on discord and the forums, playing my non-dev characters in game, and streaming SotA gameplay on Twitch!

Kory “Kor” Kirk
Senior Web Developer


Free Trial Test – Nov. 1-15

This latest Free Trial Test runs from November 1st thru the 15th. As with our previous tests this will let us continue to gather data about uptake, drop-off, conversions, etc. These tests are invaluable for us in order to improve the New User Experience and the Free Trial System.

Free Trial access allows you to play the entire game in any of the Online modes with a few key differences in game play. You will be able to explore hundreds of scenes, talk with thousands of players, adventure through the opening quests, and gain experience and skills as you get used to the world of New Britannia!

Join us in New Britannia for free when the test starts!


Cyber Monday Crown Bonus Continues

‘Tis our favorite time of year: the holiday season! It is that special time where you purchase gifts for the ones you love (including yourself) and it is that special time where we release all sorts of fun holiday goodies for Halloween, Fall, and Winter.

To celebrate we are rewarding all purchases of $15 or more with a bonus of Gold Crowns.

Here is the exact award chart (NOTE: Dollar amounts between tiers will be awarded the Gold Crown amount of the tier below it. E.g., Spending $100 will get you 10 Gold Crowns.):

  • $15      =       2 Gold Crown
  • $35      =       5 Gold Crowns
  • $70      =     10 Gold Crowns
  • $165    =     25 Gold Crowns
  • $325    =     50 Gold Crowns
  • $665    =   100 Gold Crowns
  • $1665  =   250 Gold Crowns
  • $3325  =   500 Gold Crowns
  • $5000  =   750 Gold Crowns
  • $6665  = 1000 Gold Crowns

The above will be awarded for all new purchases (including bundles, bundle upgrades, add-on items, player owned town upgrades, and Make a Difference items) between 10:30 AM September 28, 2017 and Midnight CST, November 27, 2017 (6:00 UTC, November 29, 2017). NOTE: This will not count for purchases made with store credit.

[NOTE: The crown bonus is calculated every day for all purchases within the previous 24 hours and then added to your account]

Original post here.


Upcoming Events Calendar

Nov 1 – 15, 2017 – Free Trial
Nov 3, 2017 – R47 Postmortem Telethon
Nov 4, 2017 – Extra Life 24-Hour Event
Nov 16, 2017 – Release 48
Nov 22 – Dec 13, 2017 – Free Trial
Nov 27, 2017 – Cyber Monday Crown Bonus Ends + Spooky Rares & Recurring Items Exit Store
Dec 1, 2017 – R48 Postmortem Telethon
Dec 14, 2017 – Release 49
Feb 1, 2018 – Fall + Winter Rares & Recurring Items Exit Store
Mar 9 – 18, 2018 – SXSW
Mar 21 – 23, 2018 – GDC

Visit the official Community Calendar to see the great lineup of activities our amazing community has planned for this weekend! And be sure to check out this month’s Release Events thread in the SotA forums for additional events.


Community Livestream – The Oracle Temple

SPOILER ALERT! The Oracle Temple tour is going to reveal the finale of the game story, so do not watch if you wish to discover all the story secrets on your own!…

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


Extra Life Schedule and Livestreamers Needed – Nov. 4

From the AERIE Fund:

This year we’re going to run an Extra Life team event to see who can raise the most support for the Children’s Miracle Hospital Network. If you haven’t heard about Extra Life, I recommend you visit their site to learn more about Game Day, which is on Nov. 4, 2017.

And, while you’re there – sign up to join one of our SotA teams! For 24 hours we’ll be raising funds for the CMHN, while doing what we love to do: playing games! Oh, and it’s free to join.

Thanks AERIE Fund for all the great work you do in the community!


Think Pink 24 Hour Stream-A-Thon Results

And big congrats AERIE Fund on a successful Think Pink 24 Hour Stream-a-Thon to raise awareness and support for breast cancer research, and thanks to Shooter Jennings for hanging out to support the event!

Visit their main announcement in the forums, and check out some event screenshots on Facebook!


R47 Welcome Quest in Moonglade – Oct. 28

You are invited to join the Welcome Quest in Release 47! It will be held on Saturday, October 28, 2017 starting at 12pm (noon) central time/New Britannian time and lasting an hour. Greagoir Pendragon will be active 30 minutes before the event and during the event.

We are traveling to the town of Moonglade! Located in the North Paladis region next to the the village of Yew. This town is governed by @Asbury Baker.

[Read More…]


EVL Presents: 2017 Halloween Fashion Show – Oct. 29

It is with great pleasure that Every Virtue is Lasting cordially invites everyone to our quarterly community fashion show on Sunday October 29th at 4:00PM NBT (Central-Server-Time). This event will be held in the charming village of Cottage Grove.

Put on your finest attire & strut your stuff!! Walk down the catwalk to try and be crowned the best in show. Charm the judges, win the crowd over!

[Read More…]


Mynwent Haunted House Dance Party – Oct. 31

Join us a the Mynwent Haunted House Dance Party! Event is located in the Player Owned Town Mynwent at the City lot owned by Vooch (381.8, 46.3, 218.4). After you enter the Player Owned Town of Mynwent, turn around and head East along the dirt road. You will see the Haunted House on the left island. The basement entrance to Mynwent Haunted House is located inside the Foyer and then to the left: at Mynwent (385.5, 47.0, 245.9).

P.S. This house has an innovative audio home tour feature, so be sure to bring your Portable Aether Vibration Amplifier if you would like to take the Haunted House Tour! We recommend showing up 30-45 minutes into any hour (tours begin at HH:49). Twilight Tempest or Vooch would be more than happy to give you a private tour during the month of October 2017 as that is the best way to enjoy the experience! Happy Halloween everyone!

[Read More…]


Resources – Players Helping Players

SotA_NewPlayerWelcome_Forum

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 Project to Back – Torment: Tides of Numenera

The thematic successor of Planescape: Torment, Torment: Tides of Numenera is a single-player, isometric role-playing game, set in Monte Cook’s Numenera, and with original team members like Chris Avellone, Colin McComb and Mark Morgan involved, inXile is looking to deliver a deep story-driven experience reminiscent of the original Torment.

If you haven’t already backed Torment: Tides of Numenera, then check it out, currently on sale this weekend on inXile’s 15th Anniversary event on the Humble Store for 55% off!


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.



3 Comments



    1. BerekBerek

      Hi oldasdirt!

      We’ll get you in the game and started. Since you are a backer, you should be able to download and run the client here. Please give it a try:

      https://www.shroudoftheavatar.com/?page_id=4557#tab-client

      Let me know if you have trouble accessing this page. You will need a Shroud website account that links from your Kickstarter account if you haven’t done this already:

      https://www.shroudoftheavatar.com/?page_id=19#faq_87

      Let us know how we can help!

      Cheers,
      Berek

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