Release 47 Instructions

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

Avatars,

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 47 access for all Early Access backers begins this Thursday, October 26, at 10:30 AM US Central Daylight Time (15:30 UTC).

Release 47 is the second release in which we focused on our Top 10 Priorities for Launch. We continued to make strong progress on load time reductions, story polish, and scene rebuilding. We also created more side quests and tons of other new content, including a whole new set of Make a Difference items.

Load Times: This was the second release where we focused much of our engineering time on reducing load times. As a result, we are now much closer to our goal of 15 seconds or less for scene loads. The scene with the longest load time, Brittany Alleys, went from 47 seconds to 19 seconds (on a slightly better than minimum spec machine that we use to test internally). We are going to continue working on optimization next release to further reduce load times.

Worldbuilding: Once again, a huge amount of work went into worldbuilding and scene polish this release. Ten different scenes were either rebuilt, polished, or adjusted this release, including a polish pass on Highvale Outskirts.

Story Polish and Side Quests: We focused our story polish mainly on the final dialogue between the Avatar (you, the player), the Oracle, and Arabella. We also did some work along the Path of Courage and added several more side quests to the game, including the classic Britannian “Wanna buy a duck?”

More and Better Loot: We continued making improvements to loot by adding more artifacts, improving the power of Tier 2 components, and adding new unique and named components. Additionally, we improved the chances of salvaging patterns from gear.

Make a Difference Content: In accordance with Portalarium’s founding purpose to promote good will 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 added 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 many items in the Add On Store are also tagged to share revenue with charities. Just look for the virtue symbol!

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 47.

Key:

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

RELEASE 47, October 26, 2017

    • Story: We will continue to work on adding sidequests and polish to the Paths of Truth, Love and Courage, including the continued addition of unique virtue-themed rewards for these quests. Additionally, we will be doing polish work focused specifically on the starting scenes. Finally, some adventure scenes in various regions of Novia will be rebuilt from scratch, including Blackblade Foothills, North Midmaer Way, and North Quel Way.
        • Quest Reset: Players can now reset the quest state of their character (which will delete ALL associated main story quest items/quest rewards) so that they can play through the story from the beginning again. This also resets their virtues to a near neutral state with some residual karma from their past deeds. Note that this quest reset can only be done once so choose wisely when you use it. You may want to wait until a later release when we have done more polish passes for instance. Note that this function will be performed at login and does not change your current location.
        • Quest Items Not Tradeable: To support the Quest Reset feature and fix some quest state issues we have made it so quest items can no longer be traded between players.
        • Path of the Oracle Polish: Much of the final script has been revised and rewritten to be clearer about the Oracle’s purpose, her relationship with Arabella, and how the Dire Prophecy plays into the avatar’s future. The beings the avatar meets in the Confluence Chamber have more detail to share now as well.
        • Path of Courage Polish: The Kobold Expeditionary Camp is significantly more challenging for invading groups. For individual avatars on the associated quest, the scene has not been changed, though the more peaceful path of resolving the crisis is now working as intended.

        • Highvale Outskirts Polish: We spent a good amount of the release polishing Highvale Outskirts so players following the Path of Courage would have a very guided experience that was well-paced and free of bugs. Here are a few examples of the changes we made:
          • There is now a trainer that teaches players about the utility bar.
          • All characters in the scene now have names.
          • Ghostly Echoes have POI markers when players are within ~50 meters. There is also a pop-up message giving a hint at its location.
          • Esmeralda now tells the player that there are four ghostly echoes, at least that’s what local spirits told her. Also reflected in the quest journal.
          • Marissa, the crafting trainer in the monastery, now has a gathering quest.
          • The keyword “rumors” always displays on guard dialogues to provide info about potential questing opportunities.
          • We honed the dialogues of Esmeralda and Captain Burnes to better indicate quest progression.
        • Battle of Solace Bridge Polish: The boat that takes you to Solace Bridge Outskirts has been moved to a new pool of water that is directly at the end of the bridge. The boat is now in immediate view from the end of the bridge and should make it much easier for new players to find it.
        • Blood River Massacre Polish: The end of the bridge has been blocked off with barricades and a new gate house leads down to the water where the boat to Blood River Outskirts awaits. Much like the changes to Solace Bridge mentioned above, this should make finding the boat much easier for new players.
        • Battle of Highvale Polish: There is now a wagon, very close to the end of the bridge right outside of Highvale Village, that takes you to Highvale Outskirts. Much like the changes to Solace Bridge mentioned above, this should make finding the connection to the Outskirts much easier for new players.
        • Outskirts Trainers and Merchants: We have greatly simplified the trainers and merchants in the Outskirts maps so as not to overwhelm new players with large numbers of skills and items. The trainers now only train Tier 1 and 2 skills (they previously trained up to Tier 3).
        • Outskirts Gear Upgrade Quest: We have ensured a quest is in each of the Outskirts maps that advises new players to upgrade their gear in the next town they visit. For example, Bancroft the blacksmith in Solace Bridge Outskirts sends the player to Annika the blacksmith in Soltown.

      • Side Quests: We added several side quests. SPOILERS BELOW!
        • Courage Club: We added this to more scenes including Valhold, Westend, and Mud. Additionally, there are more options for the final challenger and each one has a unique name. Additionally, the explanations of Courage Club given by the referee has been updated to make its purpose and ramifications more clear. Finally, Courage Club no longer allows other members of your party to join you inside.
        • Caged Elves: Elf prisoners are imprisoned in the South Longfall Wetland—will you free them?
        • Patrator: This is a side quest that starts in Aerie related to the elf prisoners in South Longfall Wetland (mentioned above) where you will ultimately have to choose whether you will tell a truth or a lie.
        • Wanna Buy a Duck?: A reimagining of a Britannian classic! Players can now obtain the rare white duck pet. Start this quest by talking to Jean Christian Dupre at the Cozy Goat Tavern in Brittany Fields.
        • The Witch’s Solution: A witch living deep in the forest of North Midmaer Way needs your help to create a special formula to keep the local reapers docile. Those who assist her are rewarded with a “Framed Anti-Principles and Anti-Virtues Parchment” wall hanging.
        • Kiln Cistern’s Bonus Reward: Ivar in Kiln has an additional gift for anyone who has successfully completed his Kiln Cistern quest—a “Framed Principles and Virtues Parchment” wall hanging. (If you already completed Ivar’s quest, say “gift” to him to find out more information.)
        • Samael’s Ring of Remembrance: Players that seek out Samael in Brookside will now find an additional side quest to assist him  in restoring a cherished item before continuing to Spite in search of Sequanna.
        • Ankh of Spirituality Banner Polish: The quest to obtain the banner by learning about the virtues from the devotional caretakers of New Britannia has been updated since Release 46. It is now a quest with a defined beginning and end versus how it was previously tracked and awarded without any notification or defined start/stop.
      • 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 beginning of their play experience. In addition to being rebuilt, we are also adding side quests to them.
        • Blackblade Foothills: Blackblade Foothills is an arid area in the South Paladis region directly southwest of Nightshade Pass. Kobold prospectors have recently begun investigating the ore rich mesas in the area and sometimes come into conflict with the caravans that stop at the nearby oasis.
        • North Midmaer Way: North Midmaer Way is a spider-infested, densely packed forest of old growth trees in the Midmaer region. Rumors abound of a hermit who will grant travelers rewards for completing tasks but some find those tasks a bit unwholesome…
        • North Quel Way: North Quel Way is a forested road in the Quel region that features a caravan-friendly trading post that has been overrun by undead. Can you find any survivors?
      • Scene Polish:
        • Resolute: The child refugees of Resolute have found a temporary home at the guards’ barracks, where they will now sleep at night.
        • Ruins of Ravensmoor: We revisited this Hidden Vale scene, adding more reasons to inspect sarcophagi, and fixing the broken torch puzzle by recreating it using our modern interactive tech.
        • Oracle Temple: We have finally completed the interior of the Oracle temple, including the addition of the monitors that represent the visual feeds from all of the Oracle’s myriad watchers, confirmatories, mirrors, thrones, etc. as well as animations for the Oracle herself. SPOILER PICTURE!
        • Boreas: The Titan of Truth now reacts with appropriate animation and visual effects when you take the Dread Artifact out of Artifice.
        • Oracle Colossus & Blackblade Pass: Improved the look of the bubbling lava.
        • Novia Overworld: We have begun polishing the Novia Overworld as we perform optimizations on this scene. This involves various changes like updating the Perennial Coast to Shogun Streetlamps to match style of the area and fixing bugs like the road to Port Graff not leading all the way. It also includes upgrading the looks of a variety of tree, rock, and boulder props, and restoring prop placement that had been absent due to ongoing renovations.
      • Trainer Conversations: Many master trainers did not tell you about what they would train you in. This has now been fixed for the following trainers:
        • Blake in Kiln
        • Serena in Jaanaford
        • Marianne Cooke in Resolute
        • Parker and Reston in Ardoris
        • Jeremy in Kingsport
        • Natalia in Solania
        • Arcadian and Eris in Etceter
        • Corsten in Desolis
        • Vonda and Wilhelm in Jaanaford
        • Deborah and Mark in Owl’s Head
      • Obsidian Stag Distribution: We reviewed our Obsidian Stag distribution, and while coverage was fair, decided to add them to some scenes in underrepresented regions:
        • Southeast Blackblade Mountains
        • Necropolis Barrens
        • Verdantis Foothills
        • Ulfheim
      • Reaper Propagation: The trees have eyes, and teeth. We’ve added more of these ambush predators, which can now also be found in the following scenes:Greymark Forest
        • Verdantis Shardfall
        • North Hulenholt
        • Naryad Moors
        • Whispering Woods
        • North Midmaer Way
      • Multiple Entry Points from Overworld: In Release 46, we added the ability for players to unlock additional entry points for a scene when they enter that scene from the overworld. In that same release, we added that functionality to a few scenes. In Release 47, we have added this to most scenes in the game, including the following:
        • Restless Woods
        • South Brightbone Woods
        • North Brightbone Woods
        • West Perennial Trail
        • Spectral Foothills
        • Solace Forest
        • Solace Bridge Outskirts
        • Desolate Hills
        • Necropolis Barrens
        • Spectral Mountains
        • Whiteguard Foothills
        • South Celestial Wetlands
        • North Celestial Wetlands
        • West Veiled Swamp
        • East Veiled Swamp
        • East Perennial Trail
        • Approach to the Shuttered Eye
        • South Varisalla Foothills
        • North Varisalla Foothills
        • Crooked Shank
        • Verdantis Foothills
        • Upper Tears
        • South Fetid Swamp
        • North Fetid Swamp
        • South Boundless Forest
        • Hallowed Plains
        • East Sanctus Forest
        • West Sanctus Forest
        • Ulfheim
        • Upper Fortus
        • Serpent’s Spine Foothills
        • Grannus Colossus
        • Dysborg Ruins
        • Kas Ruins
        • Libris Ruins
        • Northwest Blackblade Mountains
        • South Hinterlands
        • North Hinterlands
        • Far Hinterlands
        • Tenebris Harbor
        • North Shattered Hills
        • South Shattered Hills
        • South Broken Road
        • Middle Downs
        • Blackblade Foothills
        • Highvale Outskirts
        • Penmawr Island
        • Sunless Barrens
        • Longfall Woods
        • Blood River Forest
        • Blood River
        • South Longfall Wetland
        • East Longfall Wetland
        • South Longfall Road
        • Oracle Colossus
        • Opalis Ruins
        • Solace Bridge
        • Harvest
        • Noreach
        • Point West
        • Vertas
        • Westend
        • Fortus End
        • Northwood
        • Yew
        • Estgard
        • Goti
        • Mud
        • Owl’s Head
        • Braemar
        • Celestis
        • Solania
        • Soltown
        • Etceter
        • Elad’s Lighthouse
        • Kiln
        • Desolis
        • Broochash
        • Brookside
        • Eastmarch
        • Graff Island
        • Port Graff
        • Spite
        • Bramble
        • Storms Reach
      • 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:
        • Deep Ravenswood
        • Kobold Expeditionary Camp
        • South Valeway
        • Superstition Canyon
        • Plains Dragon Random Encounter
        • Blackblade Pass
        • Brittany Sewers
        • Point West
        • Crooked Shank
        • Ardoris
        • Soltown
        • Valhold
        • Kiln
        • Bramble
        • Vertas
        • North Varisalla Foothills
        • Hilt Interior
        • … and many others

    • Load Time Reduction: Various changes and optimizations will continue to be made to the game to reduce load times for all scenes. These changes will include code and content changes.
      • Load Time Reductions: The focus this release was on improving the load times of the slowest loading scenes and our internal testing tool shows massive improvements. Brittany Alleys, the slowest loading map in R46, went from 47 seconds to 19 seconds (on a slightly better than minimum spec machine that we use to test internally)! Other large scenes also showed great improvements, some taking less than half as long to load. Sadly, POTs saw fewer improvements with the work this release but those will continue to receive improvements in future releases.
      • AI Optimizations: We have begun some major refactoring of how we load our AIs into scenes. Before R47 all the NPCs, creatures, etc. would preload before the scene would start therefore causing major delays in a scene startup, especially in scenes with lots of AIs. Now we load in AIs more intelligently to prevent this long delay. This optimization has reduced load times in scenes by as much as 30 seconds!
      • Scene Optimizations: We did targeted optimizations on the following scenes that had load times that were greater than 30 seconds, even after general optimizations. The targeted optimizations involved looking for items that were used only a few times and deleting them or replacing them with more often used items. It also involved the opposite which was looking for items that were overused and looking for ways to combine and/or optimize them. For example if a stone was used over and over to line the edge of a roadway we would combine that stone into a longer edge piece.
        • Aerie
        • Brittany Estates
        • Brittany Wharfs
        • Central Brittany
        • Etceter
        • Graff Island
        • Hidden Vale Overworld
        • Novia Overworld
        • Spite
        • The Rise
        • Xenos
    • Player Towns & Player Housing: Updates to Dynamic Player-Owned Towns (POTs) that have locked submission forms will appear in the game.
      • Prison Cot and Wall Shackles: These craftable items can be used to complete the look of your prison areas or bedroom. We don’t judge, unless you ask us to.
      • Lord British, Arabella, and Darkstarr Paintings: These beautiful paintings (originally concept work by Stephen Daniele) are now available from the art Crown merchant, Caravaggio’s Wolf, in Ardoris.
      • Bone Chimes: These gruesome wind chimes are crafted from the bones of thine enemies!
      • Weather Collision: We have added a collision layer underneath the roof of all buildings to help prevent rain and snow from coming inside. While this should significantly improve the experience for players on higher graphics settings, users running lower graphics settings will still observe some particles entering buildings. With this is in mind, please report any individual issues you encounter (provided you are running on a higher quality setting) as we may have missed one of the hundreds of structures in the game during our initial pass.
      • 2-story Row Stone Prison Basement: This can now be purchased from home merchants in-game.
      • Basement Lighting: Basement scenes have had their lighting unified along with increased default ambient values to make them brighter. While still dark, Avatars should no longer find themselves in pitch black spaces when entering basements.
      • Virtues and Anti-Virtues Framed Parchments: We have created two framed parchments that list all of the virtues and anti-virtues. These can be obtained through two side quests in the game (see above).
      • Oktoberfest Banner: In addition to the Virtue Oktoberfest Banner (see R45 Telethon below) we have a regular Oktoberfest Banner for sale in the Add On Store!
      • 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:
        • Kobold Three-Story w/ Open Deck (Town)
        • Haunted Gothic Inn
        • Blue-tiled 2-story Row Home
        • Pirate Galleon Town Home
        • Ornate Bulletin Board
        • Shogun 3-Story Keep Village Home
        • Baron Benefactor City Home
        • Obsidian Row House
        • Gothic Inn
        • Elven Inn
        • Golden Row Home
        • Duke Benefactor Keep
        • Baron’s Frigate
        • Founder Knight’s Keep
        • Village Arena Basement
        • Small Old Keep
        • Ornate Shogun Crafting Pavilion
        • Grand City Chateau
      • R46 Lot Deed Raffle Tickets: The drawings will be held on October 26, 2017 and winners will be announced shortly thereafter. Deeds will be delivered in Release 47.
        • 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
      • R47 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 R48.
        • 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:
        • Arcadia: Upgraded to Town. (Changed interconnections from via wagons to via boats.)
        • Clevedon: Renamed (formerly Formosa). Converted to Forest 01. Downgraded to Holdfast. Interconnections (changed nested interconnection to within Etceter; removed Central Brittany, Brittany Estates, Brittany Fields, Brittany Alleys, and Elad’s Lighthouse).
        • Formosa: Renamed (formerly Clevedon). Converted to Forest 01. Upgraded to Crossroads Village. Changed location. Interconnections (added Central Brittany and Brittany Alleys; removed Elad’s Lighthouse and Clevedon).
        • Isle of Xee: Upgraded to Crossroads Village.
        • Lux Sanctuary: Upgraded to Town.
        • Oceania: Upgraded to Village.
        • Tartarus: Renamed (formerly Faubourg d’Avallon). Converted to Underground 01. Ownership changed. Interconnections (changed nested interconnection to within Spite; removed Fons Vita, Gravewater Shores, Isle of Xee, Styx, and Avallon).
        • Veritas Sanctuary: Upgraded to City.

  • Crafting & Economy: We will continue adding more loot to the game, including unique components for crafting.
    • Pattern Salvage Chance: We have increased the rate at which patterns are gained from salvage. This should result in a higher number of patterns entering the economy from salvaging gear gained from loot.
    • Tier 2 Component Power: We have increased the power of Tier 2 components (ex. Meteoric Iron) in order to better balance the effort versus reward. This change was made after reviewing the data and seeing that very few players were using Tier 2 components because the power output did not match the level of effort required to produce them. Note that this is retroactive.
    • New Artifacts: We have added 15 new artifacts to the game including 3 epic artifacts that must be assembled.
    • Unique Tier 3 Components: We have begun adding unique components that have a chance to be gained by salvaging weapons from certain enemies. These new  components offer unique effects that can only be gained by using them as components in gear when crafting. The following unique components were added for Release 47:
      • Elven Bow String: Salvageable from Elven Woodwind Short Bows and Elven Woodwind Longbows.
      • Elven Hilt: Salvageable from Elven swords including Elven Koncerz,  Elven Estoc, Basket Guard Rapier, and Swept Guard Rapier.
    • Named (aka Boss) Weapons and Tier 3 Components: In addition to unique components, we are also adding named weapons and named components inside weapons on Bosses that also have unique special effects. The following named weapons and components were added for Release 47:
      • Torc’Dawl’s Slicer: 2-handed Axe that can be salvaged for Torc’Dawl’s Two-handed Axe Blade and a Savage Handle.
      • Torc’Dawl’s Basher: 2-handed Hammer that can be salvaged for Torc’Dawl’s Two-handed Hammer Head and a Mossy Green Handle.
    • PVP Trophies Cannot be Ransomed: Trophies (Skulls, Hands, etc.) can no longer be ransomed. Upon claiming a headstone through victory in PVP, trophies will be automatically deposited in your inventory. The victim can no longer pay the ransom to get them back. Other items (gear, consumables, etc.) will continue to work as before with the ransom system.
    • Clothing now Armor: All clothing in the game has been converted to be low level cloth and leather armor.
    • New Recipes:
      • Skull Goblet
      • Prison Cot
      • Wall Shackles
      • Bone Chimes
      • Hospital Sign
      • Earthenware Bierkrug
    • Icons for Batch Agriculture Skills: We created unique icons for the new batch agriculture skills we introduced in Release 46 (watering, sowing, harvesting).
    • Agriculture EXP Bug: Fixed a bug where EXP was not being gained for using agriculture skills.
    • Recipe Auto-Fill Bug: While crafting, equipped gear will no longer be considered as valid ingredients for Masterwork or Enchanting recipes when using the recipe auto-fill feature.
    • Dropped Artifact Durability: Previously, artifacts could drop in a nearly-destroyed state. This has been adjust so artifacts always have at least 40% durability when they are dropped.
    • Teleport Scroll Drop Rate: We have slightly lowered the frequency that teleport scrolls appear as loot in order to better support alchemists who craft them and wish to sell them to other players.
  • User Interface Polish: We will add more information and labeling to the overworld and on screen that will include such things as scene difficulty, quest locations, scene types, and more.
    • Scene Type and Difficulty Labels: These are now displayed on the compass and on the overworld (above the “Enter Area” button).
    • Scene Information: You can now mouse over the small the letter “i” on the scene labels on the overworld to get more information about a scene including a list of shops and services in that scene.
    • Compass Quest Indicators now Sparkle: Quest indicators on the compass now have a sparkle in addition to being blue.
    • Gathering Progress Bar: We have moved this from being locked to the bottom of the screen to where it is now in the center of the screen so that it is more in line with the target of your gathering.
    • NPC Conversation Keyword Bar: This now defaults to “On.”
  • Seed Invest, Telethon, & Holiday Content: We will add the second (and final) set of Golden Seed Invest items to the game including the Golden Viking Home, Golden Viking Palisade Walls, the Golden versions of the magic emotes, and all the rest. We will also add the R45 Oktoberfest Telethon items and the 2017 Fall Holiday items.
      • Seed Invest Perk Pack Items: We have completed the second (and final) set of Golden items for the Seed Invest campaign. These can be claimed in 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.
        • Golden Ornate Streetlamp
        • Golden Ornate Iron Fence
        • Golden Automaton
        • Golden Lord British Helmet
        • Golden Lord British Throne
        • Golden Clockwork Dog
        • Golden Clockwork Cat
        • Golden Remote Bank Device
        • Golden Trimmed Tuxedo
        • Golden Pristine Gothic Mansion
        • Golden Obsidian 4-Tower Keep City Home
        • Golden Viking Palisade Walls
        • /goldenbirdtrick
        • /goldenflowerwand
        • /goldenmouthcoil
      • Release 45 Postmortem Telethon Items: We have completed all the stretch goal rewards from the R45 Postmortem telethon that was themed around Oktoberfest in honor of our Munich-based partners Travian Games! For everyone who is eligible, the following items should appear in your bank for claiming in Release 47. You can see if you are eligible in your Account page on the Special Rewards tab: if so, it says “Release 45 Telethon Rewards.”
        • Virtue Bierkrug
        • Virtue Dirndl
        • Virtue Oktoberfest Banner
        • Virtue Oktoberfest Tent
      • 2017 Fall Rare Items: The following items are only available in the Add-On Store until February 1, 2018.

  • Character: We did some base polish on the character (seams) and animations (combat movement) in addition to adding new content like emotes and drinking vessels.
    • Seams Polish: We did a pass on the characters to smooth out the seams where the head connects to the body, hands connect to the arms, and feet connect to the legs. While the seams are still visible in certain lighting conditions they are much better than before.
    • Combat Movement Animation Polish: When moving while in combat stance, (walking, running, and sprinting) the avatar’s arms are no longer stiff (held in a still pose). Instead they now animate naturally with the moving character. This is noticeable with all weapons and shields while single-wielding and dual-wielding.
    • Skull Goblet: This grisly and gorgeous drinking vessel is crafted from the skull of your enemies, whose names will be etched upon the vessel for all time. It can be equipped and also used as a decoration.
    • Bierkrüge: We created four different Bierkrüge (a.k.a. Beer Steins) for equipping and/or decorating. The lids even animate opening when you drink from them!
    • Emotes:
      • /formalcourage: A new formal Courage stance emote can now be learned from Horatio in Highvale Outskirts. This emote loops, so you can stand at attention while showing your support for the principle of Courage. (Note that /formallove and /formaltruth will be coming in future releases.)
      • /spank: At the opposite end of the spectrum we have this naughty little emote that players can now learn from the Orphanage Matron in Brittany Alleys, as well as a citizen in Ardoris whose identity will remain confidential for privacy reasons.
      • /akimbo: This new stance has the avatar standing with their hands on their hips. It is now one of the default emotes that all players start with.
      • /eat: Players can now use this emote at dinner parties when they want to show that they are enjoying the food they have been served (if they are not actually eating). It is now one of the default emotes that all players start with.
    • Community Cloaks: We created two cloaks to support community events this release:
      • Extra Life 2017 Community Cause Cloak
      • 2017 Dragon Con community cloak
    • Squirrel & Rabbit Animations: We created custom rigs and animations for the squirrels and rabbits so that we can support new features like the pet dances.
  • Combat: A number of small changes and bug fixes were made this release to improve the balance of the mid to late game combat. For R47, we believe the combined result of these changes will make high end combat for even the most skilled players far more challenging. This is largely by design but we will keep an eye on thing for this release to make sure some difficulty elements don’t need to be turned down a bit. TL;DR version, R47 combat for high level players will be harder by design.
    • Earth Magic Strength Damage Bonus Reduction: The spells Earthquake, Obsidian Arrow, and Stone Fist have all had the bonus damage for strength reduced by approximately 25%. These three skills were added to the “100% experience return on untrain” list.
    • Heavy Armor Torso Fizzle Rate: The fizzle rate of plate chest pieces has increased by 4% and the fizzle rate of chain chest piece has increased by 2%.
    • Imbecile Incantation: This skill had a math error which resulted in it not being as powerful as other stat debuffs.
    • Stand Your Ground:  This shield passive now also increases the damage a shield stops on successful block.
    • Lance Mastery (New Polearm Passive): The polearm skill tree gets a new passive skill that increases the max amount of damage a polearm can do on a critical hit.
    • Removal of Stacking Bonus for Long Duration Buffs: Spells that buff the player in some way that have a duration greater than 1 minute will no longer receive effectiveness bonuses for stacking or charging them. They will still receive a reduced focus bonus. The list of skills that this impacts includes Air’s Embrace, Berserker Stance, Celestial Blessing, Death Shield, Defensive Stance, Douse, Earth’s Embrace, Enlightenment, Ignite Weapon, Inner Strength, Passive Stance, Reckless Stance, Shield of Air, Shield of Crystal, Shield of Ice, Spellbinder’s Stance, and Strength of Earth.
    • Increased Damage from Glancing Blows: This was actually a bug fix but one that will have a significant impact on players. Glancing blow was doing roughly 1/6th the damage of a normal hit before damage resistance was applied and was supposed to be doing 1/3rd damage before armor on average.
    • Critical Hit Reduction: The critical hit reduction (or increase) provided by skills like Fortify Defense and Firefly and items like the Gambler’s Ring, will now modify the max hit damage for a critical instead of the % chance of getting a critical hit. The Gambler’s Ring, for example, now adds a 0.5 Critical Damage modifier which means instead of doing 1x max normal damage to 2.5x max damage, like normal critical hits, it will instead do 1x to 3x.
    • Summon Undead: The strength and decay rate for summoned undead have been improved. Undead will now have a base survival time of approximately 2 minutes before any bonuses from skills. They have had their strength bonus from skills doubled as well which will result in them having more health and doing more damage.
    • Blind Spell and Other Debuffs: There was a math error in combat logic that only manifested itself when a target reached a negative amount of a defensive skill. The primary result was that it would reduce the likelihood of criticals occurring. The most common place that this occurred was in the Blind school but other defense debuffing skills/spells could also have cause the same bug. This is now fixed for all cases.
    • Base Attack Chance Increase: The chance for new players to hit has been increased dramatically.
    • Nameplate Difficulty Colors: The values governing the perceived relative difficulty for a zone or NPC (nameplate color) have been adjusted to better reflect actual difficulty.
    • Starter / Pledge / Purchased Armor Balance: We took a pass through all the starter, pledge, and purchased armor to make sure the stats were consistent.
    • School and Spell Specific Targeting VFX: We now have the ability to use specific visual effects for each spell, skill, or school when you cast a spell or use a skill that involves targeting the ground (ex. Fireball, Watering plants, etc.). For Release 47 we created unique targeting visuals for:
      • Fire
      • Water
      • Air
      • Earth
      • Death
      • Moon
      • Distract
      • Caltrops
      • Explosive Potion
    • Sand Elemental VFX Polish: Polished the visual effects of the rocks trailing behind so they matched the sand color.
    • Night Vision VFX Polish: Night Vision has been refactored to be slightly brighter and more greenish white in tone as well as brighter in the middle versus the edges.
    • Chaotic Step Icon: Chaotic Step no longer shares an icon with Night Step, and has a shiny new icon of its own.

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 47 we were able to reduce load times even further! However frame rate continues to be an issue and we hope to get that better starting in Release 48.
  • Game Loop: Release 47 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.
  • 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.

Sincerely,

Starr Long
aka Darkstarr
Executive Producer

 



13 Comments


  1. Belladonna RoseBelladonna Rose

    Wow. Lots of changes. Good and Bad for some folks. Very excited to see some fixes on alot of scenes. Cant wait to get out exploring again.
    Love the new sides quests scene polish and adding features to more scenes. Great way to get folks out and exploring the world.
    Multiple entry points is gonna be awesome. Reapers are taking over and its cool. Woot on the new artifacts although i dont get many anyways its nice to see new stuff added. Cant wait to see them. Love the tier 2 and 3 component thing for salvaging. Yay on the agriculture glyph changes. And woohoo more emotes.
    Great job. Now let the the game commense





  2. Dominor666Dominor666

    We spend moths gaining exp. in the vain hope that we can survive in this game and you drop this sort of hammer on us:
    Removal of Stacking Bonus for Long Duration Buffs: Spells that buff the player in some way that have a duration greater than 1 minute will no longer receive effectiveness bonuses for stacking or charging them. They will still receive a reduced focus bonus. The list of skills that this impacts includes Air’s Embrace, Berserker Stance, Celestial Blessing, Death Shield, Defensive Stance, Douse, Earth’s Embrace, Enlightenment, Ignite Weapon, Inner Strength, Passive Stance, Reckless Stance, Shield of Air, Shield of Crystal, Shield of Ice, Spellbinder’s Stance, and Strength of Earth.

    Why don’t you concentrate on doing something useful like giving us the ability to find and join a group easily this way we can survive and enjoy the game, instead of wasting your time creating things you can get us to buy






  3. QuentonQuenton

    What does a “scene rebuild” mean in this context? Is difficulty being adjusted, or just quests added in? Or what?

    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 beginning of their play experience. In addition to being rebuilt, we are also adding side quests to them.


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