Release 53 Instructions

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


Please read this entire message, as well as the linked Player Instructions and Known Issues.

Release 53 is our first release since launching out of Early Access. As promised, we are continuing our cadence of monthly releases, just as before. Release 53 of Shroud of the Avatar goes live this Thursday, April 26, at 10:30 AM US Central Daylight Time (15:30 UTC).

Release 53 is the first release in which we focused on the current iteration of our Top 10 Priorities (from Q2 2018 post). We were able to address most of the items on that list in some fashion. We made strong progress on performance, localization, physical goods, improved reward cycle, user interface polish, player direction and story polish. We will be spending more time on enemy behaviors and repeatable content in the next two releases.

Story Polish and Side Quests: We continue to polish the story with additional side quests, balance, and dialogue additions including backer NPCs for the cities of Northwood and Brittany Wharfs. We also polished many scenes with new content, including the addition of the remaining Reward Blessings that we introduced in Release 52.

New Scenes: Steady progress continues on rebuilding scenes that were previously cloned from other scenes. In Release 53, we uncloned two more adventure scenes and gave them both a pirate theme: Tenebris Harbor and Penmawr Island. We also uncloned the town of Eastmarch.

Looking for Group: A party leader can add their party (aka “group”) to a public listing of open groups for others to join. Players who are looking for a group to play with can use this listing to find an open group.

Loot Improvements: We made massive improvements to loot. Player crafted items sold to merchants will now appear in supply bundles, decorations have been added in multiple places including toadstools on mushroom enemies (how ironic is that?), worn armor can now be found on humanoids, lot deeds and homes now appear in rare supply bundles, and drop rates have been increased for all items in Offline Mode!

Virtue Effects for Gear: We now have a system that allows us to add effects to gear where those effects are controlled by your avatar’s virtue. For example, the Plate Chest of Courage now raises or lowers health based on your avatar’s virtue.

Heraldry: Heraldry is now open for everyone through the sale of Heraldry Eternal Patterns in the Add-On Store and Crown Merchants. We also added a Cloak to the growing number of items on which you may display your heraldry.  Note that these items are visually distinct from the Founder versions delivered in Release 52.

I want to express a huge amount of gratitude to the players who tested the items listed below on our QA server. They found many bugs and also provided editorial feedback on this post so that it is easy to read and actually matches what is in the game.

Before offering feedback and/or reporting a bug, we kindly ask that you read this whole message and the linked Player Instructions and Known Issues to get up to date on the current game state. To keep up to date, please check out the Patch Notes.

By taking a few moments to read through this information, a great deal of our time and effort can be focused on new “unanswered” questions and addressing critical issues that impact 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 the schedule for player-run events (via the player-run websites: NBNN Community Calendar and Events of the Avatars). 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 53.


  • Plain Text: The original plan for the Release deliverables from the Q2 2018 Schedule Update. We intentionally preserve the original text so that our backers can compare plan versus actuals.
  • Italics: Detailed notes of what was actually delivered.
  • Strikethrough: These are items that did not make the release (but are still planned).

RELEASE 53, April 26, 2018

    • Story: We will continue to work on adding side quests and polish to the Paths of Truth, Love, and Courage. Also, we will continue to add and update maps for the in-game map system. We will also add backer NPC conversations to Northwood and Brittany Wharfs. Finally the scenes Tenebris Harbor, Eastmarch (town), and Penmawr Island will be rebuilt from scratch.
      • Scene Rebuilds: The following scenes were previously clones of other adventure scenes but were completely rebuilt for this release.
        • Eastmarch: Eastmarch is a village on the southeast coast of Drachvald near the Vauban pass. The famous song by the bard Iolo, “The Baron of Eastmarch,” was written about a baron of this town before the keep fell into ruin following repeated attacks by the undead. In fact there is a bard who lives there, Millicent Davis, who still sings the song “Baron of Eastmarch” and supposedly has copies of the sheet music. In recent times, the locals have been strengthening their defenses with watchtowers and patching up the ruined keep walls so that the keep can be used as a refuge during undead attacks. Eastmarch was originally based on the Forest 01 POT template but has been rebuilt for Release 53. As with other town rebuilds, the locations of player lots, merchants, and scene exits have not been changed.
        • Penmawr Island: Penmawr Island is a Tier 4 island in the Bay of Storms in the South Paladis region directly south of Jaanaford. The island includes a safe haven for plunderers but a recent shipwreck nearby threatens the inhabitants with a horde of undead.
        • Tenebris Harbor: Tenebris Harbor was once a thriving shipbuilding town on the coast of the Bay of Storms in the South Paladis region west of Jaanaford. The town has recently been overrun by plunderers who have ransacked and burned down whole sections of the town. For the first few days of the release, parts of the town will be on fire and the bodies of the residents will litter the streets but soon those fires will go out, the bodies will get cleaned up, and the town will settle into the long-term plundered and ruined state. This is a Tier 5 scene, so be prepared for a challenge! An old prospector will reward players who help him find something precious for him, while another quest rewards players with the Blessing of Elusiveness.
      • Side Quests: (SPOILERS)
        • You Be the Judge: Avatars are asked to be the judge in Blood Bay, since the previous judge met an untimely demise. Speak to Mayor Hinkley in town to get the scoop. However, not all is as it first seems. A mysterious individual, simply called the Orator, makes the player an offer they can potentially refuse, but maybe should think about very carefully. Plus, passing judgement will reward the player with the Judge’s Wig wearable.
        • Lucky Nugget: Learn the new /oldprospectordance in Tenebris Harbor from Zan, the old prospector for a limited time as Zan may not be around forever (prospecting is a hard life after all).
        • Spurred Bounty: After you’ve turned in at least one bounty slip to a bounty master, offer to “help” them and be tasked with your own bounty hunting job.
        • Precious Wood Duck: Lars Trong, a retired merchant and insatiable duck enthusiast that can be found in Random Plains Encounters , wishes to update his flock of pet mallards to include a cuddly wood duck. He commissioned an odd chap, named Rehctelf, to find him the best example of the duck, but has not heard anything from the fellow in over a week. Naturally, Lars will ask the player to track him down and retrieve his new, beloved wood duck. Hopefully, there’s no miscommunication betweeen Lars and Rehctelf, but you never know.
        • Catalyst of Hate: The scouts within hills sieges and forest sieges have a new priority: Take away the alchemical catalyst used by Siege Engineers to trigger their catapults. Bring alchemical catalyst to the scouts for a reward in this repeatable quest.
        • Pain and Suffering: Journey to Braemar and enter the newest edition of the Compendium of Pain and Suffering (see Scene Polish section below). Inside its mystical dimension, the mysterious Narrator will challenge you to survive his quest fraught with “Pain and Suffering.”
        • Virtue Armor Quests: The quests to obtain the various pieces of the Virtue Armor have been fixed so that all the armor items  have the correct material bonuses. Example: Leather Armor Leggings of Love. NOTE: In R54 we will be attempting an item migration for everyone who got the items before this fix.
        • Defeat the Cabalists: The devotional caretakers need your help! Talk to each caretaker and mention the name of a cabalist that hates their patron virtue. Most caretakers will ask you to eliminate that cabalist, while the caretakers in Resolute, Aerie, and Ardoris will ask you to eliminate four of them.

      • Scene Polish: (SPOILERS)
        • Northwood: NPCs with names and backgrounds created by our backers as a Kickstarter reward have been added.
        • Brittany Wharfs: NPCs with names and backgrounds created by our backers as a Kickstarter reward have been added. Also added a new shopkeeper at the Cooking and Comfort shop named Barclay.
        • Highvale Return, Solace Bridge Return, Blood River Return: These are the versions of the starting scenes you see when you return to them later or if you start one of the other paths. Previously, they incorrectly displayed some structures as pristine when they should have been ruined from the battles depicted in the starting scenarios. We revisited these return versions and made sure they were all properly ruined, burned down, and overgrown.
        • Compendium of Pain and Suffering: Rush to Braemar’s graveyard and enter the revamped edition of this “dungeon,” now with more reliable wave-based spawning tech, a redesigned room layout, new reward-room propping, an associated quest, and a shorter name.
        • Demig’s Battle Camp: In Release 35, we improved the behaviors and animations of the guards and patrollers around the camp. We also added emotes for Demig. We also gave the healer in the camp a unique visual. In Release 51, we furthered the polish with unique visuals and faces for Athard and Demig. In Release 53, we continued polishing this scene with conversation work. The Quartermaster now has his own conversation where he mentions working for Demig. The knights bark about training and watching out for kobolds. A “Knight-Surgeon” has a tent near the back of the camp with a few custom responses and “barks.”
        • Jaanaford: Skitter the Faun now gives a Blackblade Pass key in the same manner as Dion in Kiln.
        • Aerie: We removed some underlining in the keywords of many of the citizens of Aerie so players would not feel obliged to talk to every single person about every single fact.
        • North Shattered Hills: Added the Blessing of Elemental Tolerance (+20 resistance and -10 attunement to earth, air, fire, water) for completing the puzzle.
        • South Midmaer Way: Added the Blessing of Agility (Adds 30 Dexterity and give -10 Strength) for completing the puzzle.
        • Brittany Sewers: Added the Blessing of Magic Tolerance (+20 resistance and -10 attunement to sun, moon, life, death) for completing the wave battle.
        • Desolate Hills: If you disturb the sarcophagi in the mausoleums, a high level skeleton will attack!
        • Quel Shardfall: The initial fires set by the shardfall have now burned out. The iconic burning windmill has burned down.
        • Blood Bay: We increased difficulty of many enemies on west side of the island.
        • Oracle Colossus: We upgraded two areas with ghosts from Tier 5 to Tier 8.
        • Far Hinterlands: We replaced the spiders at the spider cave with Tier 6 versions, and added a few Tier 10 spiders that will occasionally also spawn.
        • Halls of Artifice: We added back in the original 3-Lock Door visuals, and improved various aspects of the “crusher” including custom audio and visual effects.
        • Valhold: We added five “Norgard Thane” NPCs and two “Norgard Noble” NPCs inside Valhold castle. They have a bleak outlook and sometimes bark trash about Demig.
        • Sieges: Engineers no longer have hammers and will now properly use their ranged attacks
        • Brittany Graveyard: We added a Point of Interest location for Helen’s Tomb.
        • More Wisps: We added more wisps to the game, as they were too rare. They can now be found in: Deep Savrenoc Timberland, Deep Ravenswood, South Boundless Forest, Solace Forest, Longfall Woods, South Hinterlands, Far Hinterlands, North Hinterlands, and Norgard Fens.
        • East Longfall Wetland: We made several updates to improve this scene’s puzzle and components.
        • Central Brittany: We polished the terrain visuals. We also added a book to the Brittany Castle library about Dread Artifacts that explains the reagents entitled “On The Peculiar Qualities Of The Artifacts Wielded By The Titans Of Novia.”
        • Water Ripples: We polished this visual effect for when the avatar is swimming through water so the ripple emission rate is much lower when the avatar is not moving, higher when moving. Also, fixed an issue where the ripples would continue even after avatar had left the water.
        • Exploding Doors: We have a new trap type for players to watch out for: Exploding Doors!
        • Breakaway Gates Fix: We fixed an issue where breakway gates would appear open but were not functional.
        • Novia Overworld: Improved collision along the coast to the north, east, and southeast of Northwood.
        • Crooked Shank: Cornelia the elf will no longer ask players to find the key to unlock her door if it is already unlocked.
        • Spite: Moved the crafting trainer’s home to a building much closer to the crafting pavilion to decrease travel times and therefore increase availability.
      • New & Polished In-game Maps: We added several new in-game maps.
        • Battle of Solace Bridge (small update)
        • Blood River Massacre (small update)
        • Boreas Colossus (New)
        • Crooked Shank (New, surface only)
        • Jaanaford (small update)
        • New Holtrot (small update, removed pre-placed Keep & Castle walls)
        • South Midmaer Way (New)
        • South Boundless Forest (New)
        • Westend – flipped map so it is correctly oriented
        • Player Owned Towns: NOTE: This will only reflect the in-game minimap rendering for these POTs. The automatic updating of POT positions on the overworld map is not yet implemented, so some of these maps may not show up when you search the map on our website.
          • Aerie Cove
          • Alexandria
          • Beregost
          • Blackrock Cove
          • Breath of Fire
          • Brickbay
          • Bricksands
          • Brickvald
          • Britt Mart
          • BurningToad Town
          • Caelestis Canton
          • Candy Mountain
          • Clevedon
          • Clew Bay
          • Constitutio Chaos
          • Crossroads Alleys
          • Da New Pitmuck
          • Dark Hart
          • Dragomir Mori
          • Flowing Waters Forest
          • Formosa
          • Forptycle
          • Goldfield
          • Great Reed Alpha
          • Hamberia
          • Hameln
          • Hero Market
          • Highland Keep of Clan MacDaddy
          • Homicide Town
          • Honor Hold
          • Illusive Passage
          • Inselberg Wastes
          • Iron Gate
          • Ishum
          • Isla de Muerta
          • Jatavern
          • Justice Hold
          • Krabnevir
          • Le Chateau Rouge
          • Light City
          • Luna City
          • Malficium
          • Memphomai
          • Murdersberg
          • Mystic Isle
          • New Addington
          • New Heaven
          • Nidhoggr Mountains
          • Obsidius
          • Ogygia
          • Port Lihan
          • Rauchbier Platz
          • Refugees Hideout
          • Rinzai
          • S Mart Factorium
          • Seers Sanctuary
          • Shangri La
          • Shogun Ridge
          • Skuggrike
          • Steubenshire
          • Stocktopia
          • Tartarus
          • Tenebrae
          • The Caverns of Kahli
          • The Caverns Under Neath
          • The Time Tunnel
          • Twilight Sparkle
          • Unterwelt
          • Vale St. Julie
          • Virtue Oasis
      • Scene Fixes: We went through many 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:
        • Battle of Highvale
        • Blood River Outskirts
        • Brookside
        • Elad’s Lighthouse
        • Graff Island
        • Greymark Forest
        • Halls of Artifice
        • Harvest
        • Highvale Outskirts
        • Hills Random Encounter
        • Kiln Cistern
        • Lost Vale
        • North Midmaer Way
        • Paladis Shardfall
        • Point West
        • Resolute
        • Solace Bridge Outskirts
        • Soltown
        • South Broken Road
        • The Clink
        • Ulfheim
    • Performance: Performance work will mainly focus on improving frame rate and reducing hitching during gameplay. Work will also continue to be done on load time reduction on the few outstanding scenes that are not meeting our 15 second load time target.
      • Destroyed City Walls: These assets were optimized to use fewer individual objects, properly use LODs, etc.
      • New Terrain Shader: In Release 52 we added a new terrain shader to the game and migrated several of our maps to use it for both improved visuals and performance. The following maps have been moved to the new shader in Release 53:
        • Alpine Player Owned Town Templates
        • Desert Player Owned Town Templates
        • Forest Player Owned Town Templates
        • Grassland Player Owned Town Templates
        • Hidden Vale Overworld
        • Island Player Owned Town Templates
        • Mountain Player Owned Town Templates
        • Swamp Island Player Owned Town Templates
        • Swamp Player Owned Town Templates
        • Tropical Island Player Owned Town Templates
        • Underground Player Owned Town Templates
      • Memory Footprint: Significant progress was made on both reducing and stabilizing the memory footprint for this release!
      • Area of Effect Fix: We fixed a huge performance issue related to area of effect spells and skills. This could be seen in several area effect over time spells and was being used to grief other players.
      • Artifact Instruments Fix: Fixed a major issue that was causing huge performance reduction in large group situations when these items were used.
      • Audio Optimization: We made a pass at improving the settings for a large amount of audio in the game. This will help with CPU load, memory footprint, and scene load times. NOTE: This work might not go live until patch 1.
      • Texture Optimization: A full pass was made at evaluating textures sizes and compression settings were made. In some cases then meant improving the quality of the texture but many more were optimized. End result should be both better visual quality, smaller memory footprint, and reduced load times.

    • Looking for Group: A tool to help players find a group to adventure with will appear in the game.
      • Looking for Group: Looking for Group is a separate window that is accessed via Alt-F. It can also be opened from the Social window Party tab by clicking the “Join Party” button (while not already in a party). A party leader can add their party (aka “group”) to a public listing of open groups for others to join. Players who are looking for a group to play with can use this listing to find an open group. This is also a great tool for Hospitallers to let other players know they are available to provide help. Hospitallers can add listings for groups that want generalized help, or specific groups that teach crafting, or combat, or taming, etc. For this first iteration, the party leader can enter a simple description in a text entry field that includes whatever information they wish (Tier 1-5, PvP, Help, Roleplay, specific scene, etc) and then those looking for groups can filter by any term. Future iterations may include terms like these as pre-defined checkboxes.
      • Teleport to Party: As part of this change, we have extended teleport scrolls to now include party members as targets.

    • Crafting & Economy: We will add more loot to the game like Worn Armor (to complement the Rusty Weapons) on humanoids. We will also introduce the system where player-crafted gear sold to merchants will start appearing as loot in the game. Finally, the drop rates for rare items like artifacts and rare components will be greatly increased in Offline Mode.
      • Worn Armor: When fighting low level humanoids you will often find rusty weapons as loot when you defeat them. Players have often asked “why don’t we also find rusty armor?” Starting in Release 53, low-level humanoids will drop worn armor which can be equipped or salvaged for patterns (note no pattern for the cloak). These will come in all armor types and a cloak: Rusty Plate Armor, Rusty Chainmail, Ragged Leather Armor, Dirty Cloth Armor, and Worn Cloak.
      • Player-Crafted Items as Loot: Any player crafted items with the “Crafted By” tag (weapons, armor, and non-stackable decorations) sold to NPC merchants now have a chance to appear in loot, specifically as one of the possible items in supply bundles. Gear loot is sorted by power, so the more powerful items will appear in supply bundles found on more powerful enemies. Which bundles exactly? You’ll have to discover those bundles for yourselves!
      • Offline Drop Rates: In Online Mode, the drop rates were tuned based on the assumption of player trade. For example, the rarity of recipes was meant to be offset by the fact that they would be sold on player vendors to other players and/or they could be taught between players. In Offline Mode, none of that works, of course , and therefore the game was unnecessarily difficult—in some cases, veritably impossible. For R53, the drop rates for almost everything has been increased in Offline Mode. This means that resources (ex. ore), artifacts, recipes, gold, and components will now all appear at much greater frequency.
      • Lot Deeds and Homes Loot: Place Anywhere and Player-Owned Town Lot Deeds will now appear occasionally in Rare Supply Bundles along with an assortment of Home Deeds. Which bundles exactly? You’ll have to discover those bundles for yourselves!
      • Decorations Loot: We have begun adding more decorations as loot items. Toadstools (literally mushroom chairs) can be gained by defeating the mushroom creatures (Psilocybin, Amanita, Conocybe Filaris, Paxillus Involutus). Additionally, various items that were previously only found in NPC homes (and would therefore trigger virtue loss as stolen items) can now occasionally be found in chests in adventure areas (just beware of mimics!). Also, animal skins and heads can now be used to craft Animal Skin rugs!
      • Crafting Failure = Durability Loss: Triggering a failure when adding Enchantments and Masterworks to gear will no longer automatically destroy the item. Instead, it will simply decrease the durability of the item. When any gear reaches 30 durability (or less), no further Enchantments or Masterworks are allowed (which is the same durability threshold as before). We decided to eliminate item destruction since we were adding the ability for player-crafted gear to become loot and a source of income or resources for crafters. This now gives them the option when they fail to either salvage for resources or sell the lower durability item to merchants to put it into the loot table.
      • Ring of Chrysopoeia (artifact): This artifact now benefits Enchanting along with other alchemy crafting.
      • Player Vendors Sitting: We extended the time to 14 days before they will sit down. We also gave them the ability to sit in a nearby chair if one is available, instead of just sitting on the ground.
      • Harvestable Resources Visibility: Garlic, Nightshade, and Mandrake Root are all now easier to see. Garlic also has been made larger, with leaves added. Additionally, Nightshade and Mandrake Root have the whole plant pulsing, instead of just parts of those plants.
      • Masterwork/Enchant UI: The item you are attempting to Masterwork/Enchant is now visible during the process.
      • Aeronaut Boots Fix: These can now be Masterworked and Enchanted.
      • New Recipes & Patterns:
    • User Interface Polish: We will make various improvements to the in-game map system, including support for localization and Linux.
      • Jump on spacebar “down”: When we first implemented jump in our game we did not want players constantly “bunny hopping” during combat so we implemented various solutions like the “stillness bonus.” We also put in “charged jumping” where the longer you held down the spacebar the bigger your jump. This meant that the actual trigger for the jump action became releasing the spacebar versus the more traditional pressing the spacebar down. This counterintuitive interface choice has since cost us new players while not actually discouraging combat jumping. So we have now made the default jump action triggered when you press down on the spacebar. The height of this jump is the maximum height at which you would have done a fully “charged” jump in the old system. For those who were accustomed to the old method we have preserved that as an option in the Options menu. You can read more about this change in Chris’s blog.
      • “Loading” Map: Due to various internet connections speeds, map sizes, the amount of information on any given map, how many quests you might have, etc. in-game maps can take several seconds to load sometimes. To let you know that something is happening during those times, we added a “loading” message to in-game maps.
      • Map Lot Automation: Starting in R53, lots and houses will be automatically populated on the in-game map. This has implications for POT owners who have been managing houses manually. This is how it will work once Lot Automation goes live next week:
        • POT owners will still be unable to modify lots.
        • There will be a new layer for houses that is automatically populated.
        • Houses that have been placed on the mini-map that overlap with lot placements will be moved to a new layer. This layer will be invisible by default, but can be re-enabled using the layer selector. This is to prevent the old, manually placed houses from overlapping with the automatically placed houses. This layer is intended to help POT owners who were placing things manually maintain anything that overlaps with lot placement. This will be a one-time transition. If a POT owner wants to put down housing icons on top of a lot, they will be able to after Lot Automation deployment. If you would like to have all the Lots, Houses and POIs wiped from your town, please send me a message on the forums with your town name from the account that is Governor (this is important).
      • Chat filter for “Loot”: There is now a filter in chat that lets you filter out loot messages. This will be unchecked by default so you will need to check the “Loot” box in your chat tab settings to see loot messages again.
      • Razer Chroma Refactor: We have completely refactored our support for Razer Chroma peripheral lighting devices and updated to their latest software. This includes new hardware lighting effects for death, dance, and level up. We have also added support for Hue.
      • NPC Directions: Did you know that you can ask many NPCs for directions, simply by asking “Where is the bank” or “Where is the town crier”? We have made many improvements to this system over past releases including automatically unlocking compass points and marking them on your in-game map when learning about them. With this release, if you ask an NPC where something is and they don’t know, they’ll respond with a brief list of everywhere they can direct you to.
      • Map Localization and Linux Support Delayed: Unfortunately, the plugin used for the map system has still not been ported to Linux and the owner of the plugin still has provided no ETA on when, if ever, that port will happen. However, we have been able to obtain the source and have made some attempts at the port ourselves but those attempts have yet to be successful. This has once again delayed Linux support and secondarily delayed localization support.

    • Combat: A pass will be made on combat balance looking at different combat and magic schools.
      • Virtue Effects for Gear: We now have a system that allows us to add effects to gear where those effects are controlled by your avatar’s virtue. For example, the Plate Chest of Courage now raises or lowers health based on your avatar’s virtue. Here are all the items we added virtue effects to:
        • Plate Armor of Courage
        • Leather Armor of Love
        • Cloth Armor of Truth
        • Dread Artifacts (Bonesteel Crown, Heart of Sorrows, Scepter of Dread)
        • Shroud of the Avatar
      • Starting Skills/Spells: During one of our previous polishing passes on the new user experience, we reduced the number of skills/spells that we started new players with to only two skills/spells on their combat bar to prevent overwhelming them with too many choices. Unfortunately, many players never realized they had more than those two abilities before they quit the game! So we have gone back to populating the combat bar with all 6 of the active skills/spells that a new player has.
      • Chaos Bomb: This new area-of-effect combo randomly teleports and confuses everyone (including the caster and his party members flagged as PvP!)
      • Auto-Attack and Neutral Targets: We have tuned Auto-Attack so it should now favor hostile targets much higher than neutral targets in combat situations.
      • New Icons: Unique icons have been added for Pugilism, Backstab, Chaotic Shield, and Valiant Warden.
      • Watchers and Virtue: Killing peaceful Watchers now once again reduces your virtue. Feel free to kill as many hacked watchers as you want in K’rul and other Kobold-controlled areas without affecting your virtue!
      • Visual Effects for Chaotic Step: Chaotic step now has unique VFX.
      • Douse: This Water magic spell now removes 2–4 Fire DOT effects (instead of all of them every single time).
      • Buckets of Water and Fire: Buckets of water can now be used from your non-combat bar to remove a single fire DOT effect. Each use has a 20% chance to consume the bucket on use so there are roughly 5 uses per bucket.
      • Shadow Form: We fixed the issue where the duration was not increasing at night and we removed the reagent requirement for this spell to better balance it against Silent Movement.
      • Experimental: Blood Bay Level Cap: As a test, we are enabling a player level cap of 80 and a skill level cap of 100 for this scene. We’re going to watch this for the first few days of the release and then will likely roll it back. Players over the level limits will still be able to play in these scenes but adventurer level 80 and skill level 100 will be used for calculations for skills over those caps.
      • Damage Absorption: Damage Absorption, the cap to how much damage resistance can be applied in a hit, was reduced significantly.
      • Engage: The cooldown for the engage skill has been reduced to 15 seconds.
      • Water Elemental Healing Fix: We fixed an issue that would stop the Water Elemental from healing you during combat, which was kind of the only point of having this elemental summoned in the first place!
      • Body Slam Fix: Fixed an issue where sometimes casting this would cause the character to visually run in place. Also fixed an exploit where [REDACTED]
      • Blood Bay Decay: Decay from death is now happening again properly in Blood Bay for deaths vs non-player characters.
      • Focus Death Decay Fix: Dying from Torpid Torment or Chaotic Feedback should not cause decay.
      • Stealth Fixes: We fixed various issues that were causing players to be visible while stealthed when they shouldn’t be.
        • Self Cast Buffs: Fixed an issue where certain self cast buffs would be visible after using stealth (Strength of the Earth (bracelet), Shield of Crystal, sprint/dash effects and the shimmer of Celestial Blessing).
        • Icy Effects: Fixed an issue where icy effects (ex. Virtue Ice Sword) were visible when characters were stealthed.
        • Ignite Weapon: Fixed an issue where flame effects on weapons were visible when characters were stealthed.
        • Nameplate: Re-casting stealth no longer reveals your nameplate to others.
      • Subterfuge Specialization Fix: The Sap dexterity debuff effect should now work properly.
      • Knockback Tooltip Fix: The Knockback tooltip now properly reads that bludgeoning specialization increases the damage caused by Knockback (instead of Knockdown).
      • Shadow Form Tooltip Fix: Fixed an issue where the tooltip incorrectly indicated that Lunar Specialization added a longer mez effect to Shadow Form.
      • Cowbell of Reaping Fixes: Fixed a typo in the description and flagged it properly as an artifact so it will now properly yield artifact essences if salvaged (not that anyone in their right mind would salvage a precious cowbell because we need more, not less, cowbell).
      • Blessing of Tamer Fix: This now properly adds +10 to Taming instead of just +5.
      • Trip Tooltip Fix: We removed any mention of “duration” from the tooltip as that is a variable.
      • Ignite Weapon VFX Fix: We fixed an issue where the visual effects for Ignite Weapons were not aligning properly to weapons if you were standing on a slope.
      • Banish Undead AOE Fix: Should now correctly target up to 4 undead creatures.
      • Artifact Instruments Fix: All issues with the artifact instruments should now be fixed including the performance drag in large group situations!
      • Sap Fix: The subterfuge skill, Sap, should now correctly give bonuses based on your Subterfuge Specialization skill.
      • Focus Damage Floaties Fix: We fixed an issue that made the focus damage floaties from spells like Shield of Air visible from very far away.
    • Player Towns & Player Housing: Updates to Dynamic Player-Owned Towns (POTs) that have locked submission forms will appear in the game.
      • Haunted Pirate Galleon City Homes: Our newest city-sized homes are haunted pirate ships! These rotting hulks are festooned with skulls, spider webs, and jolly rogers. With their vast numbers of holes, we are not sure how the water version is still afloat and the land version is literally a shipwreck! These are both available in the Add-On Store.
      • Bathtubs: Feeling like you need a good soak after a long day of battling dragons or smithing swords? Not in the mood for socializing in a hot tub and want some quality “me” time? Well then you need one of the many bathtubs we offer! For R53 we created a bewildering array of bathtubs including one of each our main styles (Viking, Elven, Shogun, Obsidian, and Kobold) as well as Polished Copper and Marble. All of these are available in the Add-On Store. In R54 we will be adding Wooden and White Porcelain craftable versions as well.
      • Ornate Elven Lights: Even though Elves can see well in the dark (supposedly) they still furnish their homes with lights as a courtesy to the occasional human guest. This array of ornate elven lights comes in a variety of sizes and placements (floor, ceiling, wall). They are available in the Add-On Store and in R54 we will be adding craftable in-game versions as well.
      • Kobold Inn: This Kobold stylized version of the Inn features the same layout as the other inns including a ground level floor with a large common room and a single private room (suitable for a kitchen or innkeeper’s room) as well as 3 upper floors that each have 5 rooms (for a total of 16 rentable rooms). You can find it in the Add-On Store.
      • Ornate Tea Service: Looking for the perfect thing to serve your friends Daemon Tea with? Well then you absolutely must have the Ornate Tea Service from the Add-On Store! In R54 we will be adding a craftable Tea Service as well.
      • Novia Map Tapestry: This tapestry version of the Novia map is the perfect addition to the wall of any home. You can obtain this fine wall hanging in the Add-On Store. In R54 we are adding a craftable version of the map in a simple wooden frame.
      • Elf Statues: Six new striking bronze statues commemorate these unique beings who, while originally constructed for war, now try to forge a more complete existence. You can find them in the Add-On Store.
      • Craftable Banners: We created a short and long banner to hang on the wall of your home. In a future release, when the decoration dye system comes online, you will be able to make these custom colors. You can also use the Heraldry Banner patterns on these to display your heraldry (see Heraldry section below)
      • Toadstools: These mushroom chairs can be gained by defeating the mushroom creatures (Psilocybin, Amanita, Conocybe Filaris, Paxillus Involutus)
      • Animal Skin Rugs: We created an assortment to animal skin rugs based on creatures you can hunt in the game. As mentioned above, these can be crafted from the skins and heads of these creatures. Note that only the predator rugs have the heads intact (just like on Earth).
        • Brown Bear Skin Rug
        • Boar Skin Rug
        • Cow Skin Rug
        • Crocodile Skin Rug
        • Deer Skin Rug
        • Timber Wolf Skin Rug
        • Arctic Wolf Skin Rug
        • Desert Wolf Skin Rug
        • Grizzly Bear Skin Rug
        • Obsidian Wolf Skin Rug
        • Obsidian Bear Skin Rug
        • Patriarch Bear Skin Rug
        • Polar Bear Skin Rug
      • Standing Torch: These tall (taller than a human) decorative torches are now for sale on decoration merchants.
      • Phonograph Improvements: We did some polish work on the wax cylinder players. We removed light sources from all of them so they will no longer count against your light count (but they still glow!). We also made it so the wax cylinder will appear properly when you are playing it and the color of the wax cylinder will properly match (pink for countach wax cylinders, green for winter wax cylinders, orange for spooky wax cylinders, etc.). We also added an option to allow you to turn off the phonograph filter effect so you can hear the wax cylinders without the extra scratches and hisses (note this is the same option that disables the radio filter).
      • Island POT templates: We extended the signpost teleporter network to include the small mainland docks.
      • Gustball Fields: Based on feedback from the Gustball League we have separated the tower and field for both the Ornate and Craftable versions of the Gustball Fields.
      • Door Permissions Fixes: We fixed some issues with the door permissions system to make it more robust so the issue where some permissions were getting cleared should no longer happen.
      • R53 Lot Deed Raffle Winners: Tickets for the R53 Raffle were sold during R52, the winners of the raffle will be announced the day after R53 goes live. Deeds will be delivered shortly after that.
        • Place Anywhere Deeds (50):
          • Row: 20
          • Village: 15
          • Town: 10
          • City: 5
        • Player-Owned Town Deeds (100):
          • Row: 40
          • Village: 30
          • Town: 20
          • City: 10
      • R54 Lot Deed Raffle Tickets: R54 raffle tickets can be purchased during R53 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 will occur and winners will be announced in R54.
        • Place Anywhere Deeds (50):
          • Row: 20
          • Village: 15
          • Town: 10
          • City: 5
        • Player-Owned Town Deeds (100):
          • Row: 40
          • Village: 30
          • Town: 20
          • City: 10
      • 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 Great Hall City Home (rain fix)
        • Ornate Brass Darklamp
        • Twin Spires Manor
        • Obsidian 4-story Row Home
      • New and Updated Dynamic POTs:
        • Anathema: Renamed (formerly Sionann). Converted to Swamp 01a. Ownership changed. Upgraded to Crossroads Village. Interconnection (changed nested interconnection to within Wizards Rest).
        • Banzai Bay: Renamed (formerly It’s a Town). Converted to Forest 01c. Ownership changed. Interconnection (changed nested interconnection to within Resolute).
        • Chao Insula: Ownership changed. Upgraded to Hamlet.
        • Coral City: Renamed (formerly Owl Sky City). Ownership changed. Changed location.
        • Crossroads Alleys: Upgraded to Crossroads Village. Interconnections (with Justice Hold and Dragon’s Hollow).
        • Dragon’s Hollow: Converted to Tropical Island 01a.
        • Heartwood: Interconnections (changed nested interconnection to within Ardoris; kept Oceania; added Redmill and Aldwater).
        • Hitomi’s Respite: Renamed (formerly Grunvald Oasis). Ownership changed.
        • Immortal City: Renamed (formerly Isle of Xee). Converted to Island 01a. Rotated to Right. Ownership changed. Interconnections (changed nested interconnection to within Etceter; removed Avallon).
        • Isla de Muerta: Upgraded to Metropolis.
        • Isle of Valhalla: Upgraded to Village. Interconnection (with Noreach).
        • Mystic Isle: Upgraded to Town.
        • Rauchbier Platz: Upgraded to City.
        • Refugees Hideout: Converted to Underground 01. Upgraded to Town.
        • Shogun Ridge: Upgraded to Town.
        • Silverdale Market: Renamed (formerly Neath). Converted to Forest 01c. Ownership changed. Changed location. Interconnections (with Ordinis Mortis, Brittany Fort, and Britt Mart).
        • Tenebrae: Upgraded to Metropolis.
        • The Devereux: New addition.
    • Physical Goods:
      • Physical Manual: Denis Loubet has completed all of the illustrations for the manual. We are making final changes based on our last review, and we will be sending it to the printer next week.
      • Runic & Quick Reference Card: Our version of the “Rosetta Stone” helps you translate Runic to English. On the reverse side is a quick keyboard commands reference card. The art has been completed, it is undergoing a final review, and we will be sending it to the manufacturer for printing very soon.
      • Our Epic Origins: This compendium of Richard’s first Dungeons and Dragons character and dungeon designs, plus the Story of Mondain, has been completed, is being reviewed even now, and will be sent to the printer next week.
      • Collector’s Box Cover: Our final changes have been made based on our last review, and we will be sending these files to the manufacturer for printing tomorrow.
      • Ankh Pendant: This fine artifact, digitally sculpted by Denis Loubet, has reached the stage where the initial physical master has been produced, approved by us, and is ready for its brushed silver finish. Manufacturing of the full run will soon begin in earnest. NOTE: Picture is before silver finish has been applied.
      • Cloth Map: The most recent proof of our wonderful Cloth Map has been received, approved, and the manufacturing process has begun.
      • Tinkerer’s Certificates and Property Deeds: The printing process for all of these is complete, and they are all being trimmed down now to fit nicely within the Collector’s Box. We will be receiving these by the end if this week.
      • DVD with Installer and Soundtrack: We have received the final art templates for these, have already begun the art production process, and should have these complete within a few weeks to send off to the printer.
    • Localization: We unblocked translation for books.

  • Character:
    • Worn Armor: As noted above, these are new loot items found on low-level humanoids. These are worn down, torn, or rusty versions of armor and a cloak. All armor types are represented and these are full sets (helm, chest, gloves, leggings, boots).
      • Rusty Plate Armor (5 pieces)
      • Rusty Chainmail (5 pieces)
      • Ragged Leather Armor (5 pieces)
      • Dirty Cloth Armor (5 pieces)
      • Worn Cloak
    • Plunderers (aka Pirates): Our Plunderer NPCs are a faction of the bandit types that players will encounter in many scenes in the game. Inspired by the piratical themes of Tenebris Harbor, Penwawr Island, and Blood Bay, we decided to make the visuals for these enemies be pirate themed. In a future release, we will make player wearables out of their clothing!
    • Female Shopkeepers and Peasant Faces: We decided we were not satisfied with the last round of female faces we produced during recent polish passes. For Release 53, we created another round of faces and we have replaced most of the female shopkeeper and female peasant faces with these new (hopefully better) faces.
    • Animated Attachments for NPCs: NPCs can now use items that have attached animations when they emote, combat, etc. An example of this is a guard using the spyglass.
    • NPCs Drawn vs. Stowed Weapons: Friendly NPCs are now instructed to not have weapons drawn by default. However, for the most part, guards and soldiers will always have their weapons drawn.
    • Sitting NPCs: Many NPCs in scenes will now sit on the ground when not engaged in some way:
      • Children: Brittany Alleys, Harvest, Spite
      • Prisoners: The Clink
      • Fauns: Mariah Overlook, South Midmaer Way
      • Campers: West Perennial Trail, North Varisalla Foothills
    • Playing Music As a Group: Use the command sequence “/play <nameofsong> sync” to play a song together with a group. You’ll get a local message that you have prepared a track for /playstart (the method in which parties can synchronize music). Previously, that message only went to the person starting the song. Now, that message is broadcast to everyone in the party.
    • Streamer’s Old Time Camera: This new version of the equippable camera has silver metal highlights, dark wood and purple cloth. When used, it takes a black and white screenshot of the game (just like the original version). It is a reward for our streamers program.
    • Judge’s Wig: Inspired by the long white curly wigs popular in Europe starting in the 17th century, this item can be worn in the hat slot. You can obtain it by completing a quest in Blood Bay (see Sidequests section above).
    • Epic Plate Armor Polish: We have slightly reduced the torso size of the Epic Plate Armor to help with sorting issues in various poses and animations.
    • 3 Skull Staff Polish: We upgraded and polished the visuals of the 3 skull magic staff.
    • Crossbows Polish: We polished the position for how these weapons are held when standing, walking and running.
    • “Use Item” Animations: We created new animations for using items. They replace the previous “slap” placeholder animations which are most often used when avatars interact with puzzles (levers, buttons, rotating statues/stones/etc). The animations include swipe left, swipe right, swipe up, swipe down, one-handed push, and one-handed pull.
    • NYC Launch Community Cloak: Clasped Gauntlet Community Cloak to support the player meetup in New York.
    • Emotes:
      • /oldprospectordance: This jovial new folk dance can be obtained for a very limited time in Tenebris Harbor (see Story section above).
      • Meretz Yoga emotes: We have created another set of emotes that can be unlocked via the Meretz app. These are yoga emotes including: /boat, /warriorone, /warriortwo, /namaste, /tree, and /balancingstick.
    • New Fireworks and Polish: We created four new kinds of fireworks and we fixed it so that fireworks (rockets, missiles, fountains, etc.) now properly stay in place once started instead of following the avatar around.
    • Spellcasting Animation Polish: We polished the spellcasting animations so if you have weapons equipped they will no longer crash through your head (ouch!).
    • AFK Polish: The /afk command can now be used in more situations (sitting, lying down, overworld) and now properly displays your afk state when you are in those situations.
    • Leather Guard Armor Patterns: A pattern pack for the Leather Guard Armor has been added to the Add On Store.
    • Rotation for Networked Players Fix: We found and fixed an issue that was causing player rotation for networked players to look incorrect.
    • Emotes with Attachments Fix: Emotes with attachments (ex. juggling) would stop synchronizing in low performance situations so the items would stop lining up with the avatar (ex. juggled objects would not appear in the avatar’s hands). This has now been improved so that even in low performance situations these should remain visually aligned.
    • Piano and Lute Fix: Holding down a key no longer repeats notes on these two instruments.
    • Corpse in “First Person” Fix: We fixed an issue where you could not see your own corpse in first person view.
    • Pipe and Emotes Fix: Fixed an issue where the pipe would stay visible during emotes like /readpaper and /readbook.
    • Raven Eyes Fix: Fixed an issue where eyes on the ravens were not visible.
    • .ABC Speed Fix: We added a note “density” rule so that songs that exceed 50 notes per second are not played.
    • Gear Fixes: We made cosmetic fixes (gaps, dyes not applying correctly, sorting errors, etc.) on several assets.
      • Boreas Bonesteel Crown
      • Short Skirted Satin Bodice
      • Witch Hat
      • Perennial Coast Farmer
  • Audio:
    • Lost Vale: We did a polish pass on the soundscape for this scene focusing on ambient sounds for the forest, battle scene, portals, water, etc.
      • Night time forest sfx
      • Temple interior sfx
      • Mystical ambience loops
      • Ethereal mist sfx
      • Waterfall and stream loops of varying sizes
      • Distant battle sfx
    • Low Health Heartbeats: The heartbeat sound effects that play when your health gets low have been replaced.
    • Artifice Crusher: The machine that crushes people in Artifice has new gruesome sounds of the crushing.
    • Exploding Door Trap: This newest trap has new explosion sounds to go with it.
      • Magical door explosion
      • Regular trap door explosion
    • New Fireworks (existing fireworks may have previous sfx)
      • Fountain
      • Pinwheel
      • Aerials
      • Elysium Candle
    • General volume adjustments: Part of an on-going pass through the game to equalize volumes.
  • Monthly Livestream and Make a Difference Items
    • Release 51 Livestream Items: We have completed all the stretch goal rewards from the R51 Livestream that were Darkstarr themed. For everyone who is eligible, the following items should appear in your bank for claiming in Release 53. You can see if you are eligible in your Account page on the Special Rewards tab: if so, it says “Release 51 Rewards.”
      • /mosh
      • Darkstarr Morningstar
      • Darkstarr Chaos Shield
      • Darkstarr Coronated Chain Helm
      • Darkstarr Chainmail
      • Darkstarr Crossbow
      • Darkstarr Dagger
      • Darkstarr 2-handed Sword with Black Flames
      • Darkstarr Pavers
      • Darkstarr Throne
      • Darkstarr 2-handed Staff
      • Darkstarr 1-handed Spear
      • Darkstarr Clocktower
      • Water.Org Glowing Mug
      • Water.Org Fur Collared Cloak

Whew! You made it all the way to the end of the post! Congratulations! Release 53 is going to be amazing thanks to all your support and the rest of Q2 (R54 and R55) is going to be incredible too! Brewing, more features for LFG, side quests for Companion Gear, Castle Defense Scenarios, Vendor polish, Pirate clothing, and UI polish are just a few of the things coming up! We just have so much more to show you!

As a reminder here are links to Player Instructions and Known Issues. Thank you again for your continued support. This is truly the most amazing community we have ever worked with, and we are proud to be on this journey with you.


Starr Long
aka Darkstarr
Executive Producer



  1. Andrew SilverstonAndrew Silverston

    Awesome! Looking forward for some more changes to offline mode though, like removing group requirements to kill bosses/trolls/dragons etc. Drop rates is a good start, but there are so many more adjustment that need to be done, in order to make offline game a single player experience.

    1. SergornSergorn

      I feel the most important thing for Offline mode is to have a REAL save system that actually saves what you do and where’s you’re at. As of now if you save and had to quit…. the scene will have enterirely respawn when reloading the game, reseting possible things you have done too. This is really annoying. Ditto for scenes always respawning when leaving and reentering.

      There lot of others fix to do (like removing some online related stuff, no need to have NPCs around telling you “Sorry I’m only of use online”) but that would really be important.

  2. VulgarenVulgaren

    Another awesome release! Glad to see those toadstools made it in to the game, thank you for that, as well as all your other hard work!

  3. Pounce

    oh boy, thats a long long long long long list!

    I hope no developer suffered permanent harm with that workload.

    1. Daigoji GaiDaigoji Gai

      You know? It seems like over the past 8 releases, the lists have been getting longer and longer.
      Wondering if we should have a local “comfort puppy” company send the devs comfort puppies to cuddle until the next release in, oh, another 30 days?

  4. 4ophe

    Hola, si fuera rico les donaría plata para que mejoren mas este juego tiene buen futuro… pero por ahora solo me conformo con comprarlo je… nunca se olviden que aunque sea estilo old los modos como desarrollan los diferentes tipos de pvp es mucho muy importante.

    Hi, if I were rich I would donate money so they can improve but this game has a good future … but for now I’m just satisfied with buying it … never forget that although it’s old style the ways in which different types of pvp develop are very very important (g traductor)

    atte: un jugador veterano

  5. Tulmar the BarbarianTulmar the Barbarian

    Thank you GUYS… Thanks for making our Fantasy becoming True! Regards from Italy!

Comments are closed.