Avatar’s Update #272: Launch is Next Week!

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

The Making of Northwood (cont.)

The town of Northwood is located in the grasslands far to the north of Brittany near the western coast of Spindrift Bay in the North Paladis region. Rumors are spreading that the town boasts some remarkable similarities to locations on Earth known as Britannia Manor and Castleton but surely that must be coincidence?

Northwood is based on the Grasslands POT template and is being rebuilt for Release 52. As with other town rebuilds, the locations of player lots, merchants, and scene exits will not be changed.

[From a Dev+ Forum Post by Travis “Vas Corp Por” Koleski]

A few more shots of progress:

…and here’s some shots of some special points of interest.

Many of you may be familiar with Britannia Manor, Lord British’s residence for many years, as well as the village known as ‘Castleton’ and its various landmarks.

Within Northwood, many of those landmarks can be found. Avatars can relive fond memories of Castleton and mark some new ones!

The Curtain Theater

Stockades outside of the tavern

The Pirate Ship / Fort battleground

Ye Olde Rope Bridge

Britannia ManorOutdoor Chapel

Thanks for following our progress!

World Builder
Travis “Vas Corp Por” Koleski

The Making of South Boundless Forest (cont.)

South Boundless Forest is a Tier 3 adventuring area in the North Paladis region far north of Yew, along the road to the Kas Ruins. This forest of ancient redwoods is the site of a major Kobold logging operation that is supplying lumber to Kobold locations as far away as K’rul. Stag clan barbarians have also taken up camp here in the ruins of an ancient colosseum from pre-cataclysm times.

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

Hey folks, I have a few more screenshots to share!

The Halls of Eating

Sacrificial Altar

Kobold Logging Outpost

World Builder
Chris Wolf

The Making of Blood River Forest (cont.)

Blood River Forest is a Tier 3 adventuring area in the Longfall region, north of Blood River Outskirts. Elves in the region have built a fish hatchery by diverting local waterways. These elves are highly suspicious of all outsiders due to the recent events around Blood River involving vigilante groups. The area also includes the ruins of an ancient stepped pyramid and an abandoned copper stripmine.

This scene contains a puzzle that awards the new Invigoration blessing (see New Blessings in Combat Section below for details).

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

Hey guys, SorcerousSteve here to give you the latest on the Blood River Forest!

Well of Invigoration

Ancient paintings line the walls of the Pyramid complex.

Looking North to the fish hatchery, on the left smoke can be seen coming from the fish smokehouse while on the right we can see some of the fish pools.

Inside one of the fish ice houses an elf takes inventory.

Copper Golems wreak havoc on the open pit copper mine.

A pack of wild boar charges through a section of the Blood River Forest.

The moment where a meteor from the ongoing meteor shower swings by the pyramid backdrop.

Hope you guys enjoy R52!

Esteben Zaldivar
Level Designer

The Companions of Truth, Love, and Courage (cont.)

This week we continued development on the companions by working on their custom gear. Last week we introduced Fiona’s Lute and Conrad’s Shield. This week we introduce Ariel’s Staff and Fiona’s Crossbow.

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

Ariel’s Staff: Sometimes called the Staff of Truth, Ariel’s quarterstaff has the book of truth rendered in stone with metal pages held in the twining branches of a gnarled wooden pole.

Fiona’s Triple Crossbow: Why settle for a single bolt in your enemy when you can riddle them with three? Fiona’s triple crossbow is the answer. Bearing Iolo’s signature maker’s mark this is an incredibly complex and deadly weapon.

Co-op and World Launch Videos

We’re gearing up for Launch next week (March 27 is the date!) and have a couple of brand new videos to get you excited for what’s coming! Watch them below on our YouTube channel. Be sure to subscribe to the channel to receive updates on future videos!

Shroud of the Avatar Co-op Video

Shroud of the Avatar World Video

For more videos and livestream, subscribe to www.youtube.com/portalarium!

Launch Event Photos

Before our booth opened up at SXSW last week, we had a fantastic party with the community at the Bullock Texas History Museum here in Austin. Later in the evening Shooter Jennings cranked up the tunes by putting on a great show with his band!

Have a look below at some of the photos from the evening’s celebrations:

Also check out these great videos from community member Corv!

See last week’s update for photos from our SXSW booth!

MassivelyOP Celebrates with Portalarium the Launch

MJ Guthrie from MassivelyOP.com was eager to attend our Launch Event in Austin last week. She got around to chatting with our team and many members of the community that attended! This week MassivelyOP released an article about the visit, and the much anticipate launch of the game on March 27:

The day is finally arriving: Shroud of the Avatar is formally launching next week. It’s been a long journey. The path to this new old-school MMO started back on Kickstarter on March 8th, 2013. Now, five years almost to the day, SOTA is emerging. On March 27th, release #52 will be the official launch of episode 1. And fans didn’t have to wait until the end of the month to celebrate; Portalarium hosted a launch party this past week in Austin, Texas.

Besides hanging out with devs and fans at the shindig, I visited the studio’s offices for a tour and interview with Richard Garriott and Starr Long. There, I got to see memorabilia from the very beginnings of Garriott’s game-making career as well as a sneak peek of the events that will occur at SOTA’s launch. After that, it was celebration time at the awesome From Pong to Pokemon exhibit at the The Bullock Texas State History Museum (which happened to have a display of some of Garriott’s early gaming goodies!)

Before the party got underway, I went to the offices (not the original small cabin by the lake, sadly) to have a chat with Garriott and Long. We talked about how far the game had come, the benefits of the open development (instant feedback!) as well as the negatives (why isn’t the game done when I can play it?), the team’s pride in never missing an on-time launch of any of the 51 releases, communication, and the upcoming marketing push that will happen right after launch. I also queried them about housing, finances, in-game spreadable diseases, the possibility of mobile companion apps, and combat. I got to tour the results of the in-game launch event as well as tour the office itself. (I also learned a couple of fun facts: Ultima IV was forged from the desire to make a game about virtue after getting fan mail from Ultima II and learning that people were killing off all the NPCs and Lord British; and Garriott’s favorite cover is Ultima VI, because of how it relates to the game.)

[Read More…]

Release 52 on the QA Server with Special Rares!

An early version of R52 went live on the QA server last week and players started testing almost immediately. They also started reviewing and offering feedback on an early version of the R52 post.

R52 is full of new content most of which is now on the QA server for early testing.

  • Framerate improvements
  • Scene Rebuilds: South Boundless Forest, Northwood, Blood River Forest
  • New Companions
  • Offline Spawning
  • Tons of new side quests including the final Virtue Banners
  • New Recipes and Patterns: Bacon, Wood & Plaster Inn, Female Shopkeepers, and more!
  • Heraldry
  • Multiple Characters
  • New Adventure Scene Blessings
  • Malefic Liches & Obsidian Lich
  • Dragon Wing Gust Attack
  • and more!

Testing on QA makes you eligible for Testing Incentive Rewards including gold crowns, the Ant Farm, Antennae, Bug Cloak and Paintings. We also brought back limited time Special Rares like the Corpion Chair for R52 testing!

The Ambassadors Program: How You Can Help

Dear Avatars,

To prepare for the growth of the Community after launch, we are looking for passionate Avatars, longtime citizens of Novia, to be volunteer Ambassadors of Shroud of the Avatar. We need those who exemplify the value of Avatars in the way they interact with the Community and help welcoming, onboarding, and supporting newcomers in their native language.

We are excited to initiate this project that empowers our Community to have even more impact and influence on its own expansion and evolution!

SotA Ambassadors will have a multifunctional role, being representatives and also caretakers of the Sub-Communities of a specific language. Their mission is to welcome and onboard the outlanders who are new to the Community, in their native language, and maintain the respective language forum as a fun and friendly place. In order to do so, the Ambassadors will have some moderation permissions for the section of the respective language, on the Forum as well as on Discord.

If you are one of those Avatars who can call New Britannia their home, uphold the Community Guidelines in an exemplary way, and are willing to actively help the Community Management team with this mission, keep reading to find out more about this role!

[Read More…]

Free Trial: Choose Any Path!

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 are the few Visitor limits:

  • The term (Visitor) is appended to their character name
  • Max skill level set to 50
  • Limited to a single Story Path (Truth, Love or Courage)
  • 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!

Weekend Flash Sale: Pets!

In honor of the new tamed pet dances and new bears, we are putting a selection of pets on sale this weekend! We’ve got everything from cute cats and dogs of varying types to even clockwork dragons! You can also view each item individually in the Add-On Store:

Upcoming Events Calendar

Mar 27, 2018 – Release 52: Launch Candidate
April 26, 2018 – Release 53
May 31, 2018 – Release 54
June 28, 2018 – Release 55
July 26, 2018 – Release 56
Aug 21 – 25, 2018 – Gamescom
Aug 30, 2018 – Release 57

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.

Traditional Release Dance Party (New Time!) – Mar. 30 at 5pm CT

Dance Party

Join us for a special dance party to celebrate Release 52 and the game’s official launch! Dance parties are put on by the community, hosted in a player owned town in-game. This dance party is being held in the town of Ordinis Mortis. Celebrate The Launch with DJ Darkstarr!

Special End of the World parties by all of the DJs of Avatars Radio this week:

**Celith Wraine** – March 22nd 2018 6pm – 8pm – Special Happy Birthday set
Under the Queen of Chaos, Rifts End
**Ember Flame** – March 22nd 2018 10pm – midnight (disclaimer adult content)
Evil Eye Tavern, Rifts End

**Wind Silvermoon** – March 23rd 2018 – noon – 2pm – Chaos Garden, Blue Rose Isle
**Alleine Dragonfyre** – March 23rd 2018 6pm – midnight –
Clubsidius in Obsidius (nested in Soltown hosted by @Paulie Walnuts

**Amber Raine** – March 24th 2018 noon – 2pm
In the Church of the Dark Star, Port Phoenix.
**Mick Foley** – March 24th 2018 4pm – 6pm
Port Phoenix
**Gabriel Nightshadow (Bear Cub) ** – March 24th 2018 6pm – 8pm
Wizards Rest
**Brazen Spirituality** – March 24th 2018 8pm – 10pm

**Stryker Sparhawk** – March 25th 2018 9am – 11am
White Hart Stables, White Hart
**Lady Addy** – March 25th 2018 7pm – 9pm
White Hart Stables, White Hart

**Grumpy OldGamer** – March 26th 2018 2pm – 4pm
Blue Rose Isle

To listen in in-game while at the dance party, double click on an Aether Amplifier (a radio/speaker looking device) and select Avatar’s Radio or listen directly from the Avatar’s Radio website!.

See Amber Raine for (details)

Charity: AERIE Fund – Ripple Effect Streamathon

AERIE Fund Live

RIPPLE EFFECT 24 Hour Streamathon is happening this weekend! When: Saturday March, 24th (TONIGHT!), Starting: 12:01 AM CST, Where: twitch.tv/aeriefund

Join us for another 24 hours of gaming fun for a great cause! We’ll be streaming for 24 hours straight in support of the Ripple Effect Campaign.

We’ll be playing games, giving away a ton of prizes all day long, and spreading awareness about the Global Water Crisis and Water.org So get your exclusive in-game 2018 Ripple Effect Glowing Mug and Cloak and join us on twitch and in New Britannia for a day long celebration of all things water!

Watch their Streamathon this weekend on www.twitch.tv/aeriefund!

Spotlight: S Mart Factorium – Player Owned Town

Welcome to another Community Spotlight! These spotlights are dedicated to community generated in-game content and activities. Content is usually about a player town or gathering area, and can be featured by a single individual or an entire guild. It is up to the community to decide what we spotlight!

For this week’s spotlight we are taking a walk through the unique town and factory of S Mart Factorium.

By Vladamir Begemot: “Nestled on a mountain between Resolute and Highvale, the S Mart Factorium draws crafters and adventurers whose contributions are sold across all of Novia. Adventurers bring raw materials to the factory. There they are refined by crafters and made into furniture which can be seen on display in the large showroom.

[Read More…]

SOTACON 2018 Convention Announced! Oct. 11-13, 2018

SOTACON in 2018 has been announced! A community run event, SOTACON Austin is going to be the place for interaction with the developers of Shroud of the Avatar and having fun celebrating your time in the game. Join your fellow community members this coming October 11-13, 2018 in Austin, TX!

When: October 11-13, 2018 (Thursday to Saturday)
Where: Renaissance Austin Hotel, Austin Texas
Website: https://www.sotaconaustin.org

Registration for the Shroud of the Avatar Convention – Austin 2018 is now open! Admission tickets, cloaks, and VIP packages are on sale now at our Eventbrite Site.

For the players and completely run by the players, this second Convention in Austin brings new activities and great opportunities for attendees and SotA developers. You will experience:

    • A relaxing and social Thursday evening with an icebreaker at a local pub/restaurant.
    • An action-packed Friday with ceremonies, speeches, prizes, panel sessions, group photos, live action role-play (LARP) duels, dinner, and Shakespearean play at Richard Garriott’s Curtain Theatre. (medieval garb encouraged on this day, but not necessary).
    • A convention/business style Saturday with panels, break-out discussions, feedback given directly to the developers, and prizes.
    • A blow-out social Saturday evening with a dance party to include DJ, cosplay, prizes, contests, and stories.
    • A relaxing and open Sunday for guilds, player towns, communities and friends to hold their own activities to enjoy Austin and meet with friends.
    • In addition, a special Thursday afternoon and evening is for our special VIPs to include a Portalarium tour and private reception dinner.

Your admission ticket price covers many, but not all, of these activities; details are forthcoming as Convention sales get underway (think “stretch goals”).

Go here to view the Convention schedule! For plenty of other information, visit the SOTACON website at https://www.sotaconaustin.org.

To support the event by purchasing cloaks and tickets, go to the Eventbrite Site.

Join us at SOTACON – Austin this Oct. 11-13, 2018 and take your place in history!

Greyhaven’s Complete Regions Guide to Novia

What are some of the many areas to explore on New Britannia’s continent of Novia? Have a look in this community made Guide to Novia!

If you have a gameplay tip or strategy to share with the rest of the community, send them to Berek and we may feature it in one of these weekly updates!

Recommended Projects to Back – REEF

Radical Empathy Education Foundation (REEF) is an Austin-based nonprofit leveraging game technology to fight one of the 21st century’s greatest evils: Human Trafficking. REEF’s first VR experience, TRAPPED: A VR Detective Story, places users in the shoes of Lisa, a 14 year old victim of sex trafficking, and educates them on how a normal teenager can become a victim of this horrible scourge.

TRAPPED’s mission is to raise awareness of the issue (40M worldwide victims of modern slavery), generate empathy for its victims and survivors, and stop perpetrators by granting all funds raised in excess of dev costs to law enforcement agencies and NGOs. REEF’s President, Billy Joe Cain, has over 25 years in the game development industry and has known Richard and Starr since the early 90s (he was lead designer for Wing Commander: Prophecy and Ultima 7 Black Gate for SNES).

To learn more or make a donation, please visit www.radicalempathyfoundation.org/download

Resources – Players Helping Players


The official SotA New Player Welcome Forum and the Player Created Resources Forum have the best player created resources for Shroud of the Avatar, whether it’s a Player Written Guide, a Video Walk-through, or a Wiki-type Website.

Visit the official Community Resources page for a complete listing of all things community.