Avatar’s Update #259: Happy Holidays Community!

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


Making of Yew

The Elven city of Yew has been shielded from outsiders by a nearly constants shroud of fog that only clears during certain alignments of the heavenly bodies. The city itself is full of wonderful Elven architecture and because of the natural foggy defenses has never been fortified. Yew is currently a clone of Jaanaford but is being rebuilt for Release 50. As with other town rebuilds the locations of player lots, merchant locations, and scene exits will not be changed.

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

Hey guys! SorcerousSteve here to give you a sneak peek on my latest map!

For Release 50 I have been hard at work on uncloning the town of Yew. Located in North Paladis the town of Yew will be shrouded along its perimeter with a dense fog. In designing Yew we wanted the town to be built around these giant hero trees, and from these trees we created a town that had its structures built around them, giving life to a new elven town…

From the ground level a system of bridges connects the outside areas of the town to the center gazebo, while a system of elevators and stairs takes you up into the canopy where elevated platforms support elven homes.

At nighttime Yew comes to life in a wonderful display of color.

Small little streams which feed from a nearby spring crisscross the lower level of the town of Yew.

A dash of light tears through the canopy of the Yew trees, our volumetric lighting at work.

Another direct shot of the center of town this time during the day, in the background the giant town tree towers above all.

See you next time!
Happy Holidays!

Esteben “SorcerousSteve” Zaldivar
World Builder


Map System Updates

Kory “Rok Yrikk” Kirk has started a thread where we will be posting new Map features and content as they come online along with instructions on how to use them. We will be doing this because they will often go live out of sequence with our releases because the map is a web service. The biggest step forward this week is integration of our account system with the Map system which now allows for Personal Points of Interest and Player Owned Town Updates.

[From a Forum Post by Kory “Rok Yrikk” Kirk]

The online version of the map can be found here.

Or you can navigate to it from our navbar on the home page Media -> Maps

Map Features:
The map is accessible online and also in game. The in-game map has different features than the online map.

Browser:
Map Search

  • The search bar is found in the top left.
  • If you start typing in the search bar it will show results that match.
  • Any Point of Interest that resides within the current map can be searched.

User login

  • You need to log in to your ShroudoftheAvatar.com account in order to access some features of the map.
  • A login shortcut can be found on every page of shroudoftheavatar.com, and it is on the top right of the map.

Personal POI Placement

  • Anyone who is logged in can place Personal Points of Interests.
  • Enable editing on the map by clicking the menu that says “Edit:Off” and Selecting “On.”
  • Select the Personal POI Placement tool on the toolbar in the bottom left corner
  • Select an icon that you want to represent your POI.
  • Click on the map where you want your POI.
  • Click on the POI to bring up the edit screen.
  • Now you should be able to see your Personal POI with information!
  • Player Owned Town Updates
    • If you own a POT that is on the map, you should be able to modify that POT.
    • Navigate to your POT’s map in the web browser.
    • Log in with your shroudoftheavatar.com account that owns the POT.
    • Enable editing
    • You should see 5 new tools come up on your toolbar

      • Point Of Interest Placement
      • Label Placement
      • 3 Building placement tools.
    • The POI Placement allows you to put icons that everyone can see, with descriptions. These are searchable.
    • The Label placement allows you to put Text on the map.
    • The building placement allows you to put Images of buildings on your map.
    • To update or delete any existing items, simply click the item in Edit mode, and you will be given options on the right side bar.

In Game:
Character Tracking

  • The map in-game will automatically change when you change scenes, in addition there is a marker that indicates the player’s position and direction.


Wild Boars

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

For a while now we have had Wild Boars in our backlog as a wild creature that we need to expand our bestiary. However it has always been the victim of other priorities until we started making our Norgard Barbarian Clans which are each based on an animal. Each clan wears a headdress based on their totem animal; be it stag, bear, wolf, boar, or dragon. Each clan got an awesome animal hat, except the poor Boar Clan! Without any Wild Boars in the game they were forced to wear a simple leather hat. Poor Boar Clan! Well this would not stand!

Norgard Barbarian Clans: Everyone has a Proper Hat, Except the poor Boar Clan

Therefore in Release 50 our bestiary is expanding again to include Wild Boars! These beasts will attack with a ferocious charge that can knockdown and then they will tear with their sharp tusks to bleed out those who encroach on their forest territory. There will be Elder and Obsidian visual variations in addition to the base version. This of course means we will also have a Boar Hat and the Boar Clan will finally get a proper hat!

Wild Boar

Elder Boar

Obsidian Boar

Boar Hat


R48 Telethon Items

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

We have begun creating the items from the Release 48 Postmortem Telethon. The theme was once again Icy and our very own Fletcher “Scathana” Kinnear and Reid Rollo have been hard at work freezing their hands off sculpting new frozen treats for you!

Ice & Snow Gown

Ice Hot Tub (it makes no sense! :) )

Ice Sword


New Movember Items

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

We were so excited after our successful month of Movember fundraising ($2,889!) that we had to add more Movember items! We are adding a Moustache Shield to the Movember Make a Difference Store and special Darkstarr and Lord British color variants of the Moustache Cloak, Moustache Helm, and Moustache Shield to the Cloth Map Bundle as well as the Darkstarr and Lord British Follicular Reliquaries. NOTE: The Darkstarr Follicular Reliquary and Cloth Map Bundle have already sold but the Lord British Follicular Reliquary is still available!

Moustache Shield

Lord British Moustache Cloak

Darkstarr Moustache Cloak


R49 Postmortem Telethon

Greetings Avatars,

The winter season has set in and we’re beginning preparations to celebrate the arrival of what is going to be an exciting 2018! We’re announcing this release’s postmortem telethon with new holiday Stretch Goal Items ready to be achieved, Prizes to give away, and more informative Developer Deep Dives. And all of this is coming up fast on January 8!

As was started with the R48 telethon, we’ve changed the format for these livestreams. We will be somewhat going back to briefer but more focused Deep Dives. Also, we will be focusing more on related questions to those Deep Dives. See below on what questions we will and will not be taking.

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 January 8:

  • 3PM: Introductions (Black Sun) and Postmortem Q&A
  • 3:45PM: Deep Dive 1: Advanced Combat/Skills/Leveling
  • 4:30PM: World Building Tour
  • 5:30PM: Deep Dive 2: Story
  • 6:15PM: Postmortem Q&A Continues
  • 7PM: Ending Announcements

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

EXPIRING ITEMS:

There will be NO expiring items this telethon.

STRETCH GOALS (Icy Themed!)

As a special bonus, we are offering funding rewards to any backer that pledges a minimum of $5 for twelve hours during the day of the telethon, on January 8 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: /jugglesnowballs
  • $25K: Ice Pipe
  • $35K: Snowdragon (snowman dragon made of sticks and such)
  • $50K: Ice Chess Set
  • $65K: Ice Halberd, Ice Spear, Ice Axe
  • $80K: Ice Dragon Statue with icy effects

*Please keep in mind that stretch goal rewards take time to develop and will most likely not be available in-game at Release 51 at the earliest.

CHEER ON THE DEVS!

StarrDancingFor every $2,500 donated, all developers on camera have to either dance, sing, or perform some other act of amazement.

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.

SUBMIT YOUR QUESTIONS!

We will be answering questions throughout the livestream, so submit them in the comments section of the original post or on Discord chat during the event.

Please do NOT post questions containing:

  • More than 3 questions in total
  • Bugs or other problems best posted in the bug forums
  • “When is this coming” or anything related to schedule (for those answers please refer to our quarterly updates or our post release plans)
  • Questions with more than a couple of sentences. Please keep them brief! We will likely understand the context of your interest, so just ask the question and we’ll be able to respond.

For bug reports and extra idea suggestions, please use the forums for this purpose.

A Final Thought: We see a LOT of repeat questions and requests. Please consider reading one of the  other missed question posts, watching one of the previous post mortems, reading one of the post mortem transcripts, and/or reading our Post Episode 1 plan post before posting a question. Your question might have already been answered.

Keep an eye on @ShroudofAvatar for updates before, during, and after the livestream. See you on Twitch at 3:00 PM CT on January 8!

Happy Holidays, Avatars! See you next year!

[Read More…]


New Free Trial Began This Week!

The now always-on Free Trial has begun! Here are the detailed changes to the Free Trial system as of Dec. 14, 2017:

As a reminder this version of the Free Trial has a few changes in it. We are moving Free Trial users to the Path of Courage because using melee weapons is an easier introduction to the combat system. We are also going to limit interaction with the story to only the Path of Courage. Visitors will no longer be able to start the other story paths. Also, we are now going to limit how far Visitors can advance their skills to only level 50.

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!

Here is the updated list of Visitor limits:

  • The term (Visitor) is appended to their character name
  • Max skill level set to 50
  • Start on and limited to the Path of Courage story line
  • Cannot purchase nor sell items via Player Vendors nor Public Vendors
  • No ownership of player property nor use of player property signs
  • Cannot move/interact with items on a player property (even if given permissions)
  • Cannot interact with public chests
  • Cannot give items to other players via Trade or Mail
  • Cannot flag as Open PVP
  • Cannot gain nor create ransom items when you kill or are killed in PVP (in Open PVP zones)
  • Character data may be deleted if not eventually upgraded to a paid account
  • Cannot play in Offline Mode

Join us in New Britannia for free today!


Job Opening: Office Admin / Executive Assistant

Thank you for your interest in Portalarium! We currently have an opening in Austin, Texas for a full-time, Office Administrator / Executive Assistant position, as described below. If you’d like to join the Portalarium Tribe, the team building the ground-breaking Shroud of the Avatar game, please submit your resume/cover letter to: jobs@portalarium.com

Job Description:

Coordinating general office activities and operations to secure efficiency and compliance to company policies, maintain stocks of office supplies, manage phone calls and general office correspondence (e-mail, letters, packages etc.), support budgeting and bookkeeping procedures, create and update records and databases with personnel, financial and other data, assist colleagues whenever necessary. Assist founder/CEO with company and personal administrative tasks including: managing calendars, making travel plans, meeting and event arrangements, payment and filing of invoices, managing mail, preparation of reports, and errands.

Requirements:

At least 2 years experience as an office administrator or executive assistant to a C-level executive

Presentation/Communication/Writing skills

  • Has a professional writing style that represents Portalarium and CEO well
  • Able to follow creative/technical/business conversations
  • Has a professional writing style, with the ability to craft business emails, as well as ~750 word articles when provided general ideas to develop

Organization skills

  • Able to efficiently translate assigned tasks (verbal or written) into prioritized checklists/schedules and can effectively manage those checklists/schedules.
  • Is able to self-organize and self-prioritize when necessary
  • Expert Outlook Calendar management, able to clearly detail pertinent event information

Research skills

  • When given research materials or  a publicly available topic to research, will be able to conduct search and summarize key points on a topic efficiently.

Other critical skills

  • High attention to detail
  • High adaptability & takes feedback well
  • Self-driven with high work ethics, able to stay focused on work-related tasks, seeks out tasks during down time.
  • High level of self-reliance
  • Willingness to tackle all kinds of tasks for any and all admin needs
  • Proficiency with Microsoft Windows environment and Microsoft Office (Excel, PowerPoint, Word),  Adobe Acrobat, Docusign, etc.

Optional skills

  • Basic accounting including use of Quickbooks
  • Familiarity with Google Docs, Google Sheets, Dropbox, Slack, and JIRA


Party: Portalarium Studio Grand Holiday Party – Jan. 12

Let it be known far and wide that a Grand Holiday Party will be held at the Portalarium Studios and in Shroud of the Avatar on Friday, January 12, 2018 at 5:00 PM to 10:00 PM Central Standard Time (US)(2300 UTC to 0400 UTC).

We are going to have a lot of fun and activities for people attending in Austin AND also all those online from around the world:

  • Meet the Developers
  • Plenty of Drinks and Food
  • White elephant gift exchange
  • Games, Storytelling and Jokes
  • Live in-game party in Shroud of the Avatar
  • Video live stream
  • Live music
  • Twitch streaming
  • Audio streaming
  • Discord chat

Visit the discussion forums for details on this community hosted party!


Weekend Flash Sale: Winter Holidays

In honor of this holiday time during the winter season, we are putting yuletide items, pulse dyes, and various icy related items on sale this weekend! Get a look at the lineup below. All of the sale items are available on the Add-On Store, and several are also available for sale on in-game Gold Crown Merchants (located in Ardoris, Central Brittany, Resolute, Aerie, and Owl’s Head):


Upcoming Events Calendar

Jan 8, 2018 – R49 Postmortem Telethon
Jan 12, 2018 – Portalarium Grand Holiday Party
Jan 25, 2018 – Release 50
Feb 2, 2018 – R50 Postmortem Telethon
Feb 22, 2018 – Release 51
Mar 9 – 18, 2018 – SXSW
Mar 21 – 23, 2018 – GDC
Mar 22, 2018 – Release 52: Launch Candidate

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.


AERIE Fund Dev Crafting Competition & Charity Auction Results

2017 MASTER OF THE FORGE – RESULTS 

Thanks to our awesome developers and community members AERIE Fund raised an amazing $5,571.32 during the Master of the Forge auctions! These funds will be put to good use as we continue to help members of our community who are in need, and will provide us the needed operating resources to keep the AERIE Fund going for the year ahead.

Since February of this year, we’ve raised an incredible $77,911.32 (including the MoF funds) and have paid out $70,584.00 to well-vetted players in need and to charities we support (Breast Cancer Research Foundation, Trevor Project, and the Children’s Miracle Hospital Network).

Thanks to your support, we’re able to provide a place for Avatars to go when times are tough, and build an altruistic gaming network inside of New Britannia and out.

THANK YOU!

For more info on AERIE Fund, you can visit our FAQ Thread or our website.

COMPETITION WINNERS:

Results are based off of cumulative ‘likes’ for submitted items.

2017 Master of the Forge (Developer):
@DarkStarr
w/31 LikesDarkstarr not only created truly epic gear, he did it twice. *Seriously* The number and quality of his pieces made this no easy feat. Not only were his creations death and chaos inspired, they were crafted over the course of days (during his off time). We’re grateful for his dedication and his support.

2017 Master of the Forge (Community):
@Boedy Arc
w/24 LikesBoedy’s Courage & Copper set was crafted with the finesse of a artisan. Those of you who know Boedy, know that he takes his crafting *very* seriously. This set was composed of nearly 1 million GP of in-game resources funneled through his impressive skillset at the crafting tables. We’re honored that Boedy donated his time and energy to this cause.

More details of the auction results at: [A Forum Post by Thexedor Markhamm]


Contest: The New Britannia Carolers Creative Writing Contest

Sing along with us! Just like last year’s contest, this one is simple and fun – for the next couple of weeks, from December 15, 2017 to January 2, 2018, we want to see what songs, poems, and other holiday stories you can come up with that are related to Shroud of the Avatar.

When you have a submission ready, please post it in this thread! You are allowed to edit your entry up until the contest deadline.

THEMES

Similar to previous contests, we will be judging entries based on the following themes:

  • “Most inventive”…
  • Romantic theme
  • Holiday theme
  • Adventure theme
  • Character/NPC theme
  • PvP/Combat theme
  • Unexpected theme

If a theme doesn’t get any entries, we will add a winner to a theme that has multiple entries. Please limit entries to no more than 800 words and 3 pages with up to 4 images (if you need imagery). Shorter is usually better, so don’t feel you need to max out these limits.

PRIZES

Each winner will be awarded 25 COTOs, as well as the 2016 Winter Holiday Soundtrack – Wax Cylinders – perfect for replaying holiday tunes well into the 2018 new year.

Have fun being a creative creator, Avatars!

[Read More…]


Contest: The Avatar’s Guide to Knowledge and Virtue – Weekly Winners!

Congrats to the following two weekly winners in the still going video creation contest!

ShurTugal’s ‘Locked Combat Deck Tutorial’

Liltipsy’s ‘Malice Dungeon Part 1’

All current entries can be found here.

The ‘Avatar’s Guide to Knowledge and Virtue’ video contest continues through the holidays. You have until Jan. 15, 2018 to design a walkthrough video for all New Britannians to use as a resource for making their way successfully in the game.

When you have a video to submit, please post it in this thread. You are allowed to edit your posts up until the submission deadline on Jan. 15, 2018 at 11:59 PM CT (Jan. 16 at 5:59 AM UTC). We will be posting all final videos on Portalarium’s YouTube channel in a Playlist after the contest ends.

Below are the details of the contest, including what you can win!

[Read More…]


Recommended Project to Support – Denis Loubet Patreon

Our good friend Denis Loubet, and the one responsible for Shroud of the Avatar’s cover art and almost every piece of cover art for Ultima, as well as many other art pieces in SotA’s early days of development, is now running his own project. Denis is creating more Science Fiction and Fantasy Art for you to enjoy. Check it out over at Patreon!

If you remember the Ultima series of computer games, I’m the guy that did most of the covers and the manual illustrations, as well as a lot of the in-game art and animation. I’ve been doing game art since the 80s for companies such as Steve Jackson Games, Hero Games, Origin Systems Inc, Kingsisle, Disney, and many more.

I want to try doing art directly for my fans, with no middleman. That’s the reason for this Patreon project.


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.


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!




5 Comments


  1. Amber RaineAmber Raine

    It has been a long while since I have been able to put a comment on the updates. It actually has been a long time since I have wanted to. However, as soon as I saw the unveiling of Yew… Oh Lordy Steve you have my heart pounding! It is absolutely beautiful!! I look forward to finding a town of our history. ((Is Vesper, Minoc, Trinsic, Moonglow, etc etc on the list… yanno inquiring minds wanna know ;) ))

    Thank you all for continuing to create memories for years to come!! Love it all!!



Comments are closed.