Avatar’s Update #285: Obsidian Trials, Atavists of Purity, Double XP Weekends, & R55 on QA

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 The Obsidian Trials

We are polishing various aspects of our combat and PVP systems in preparation for the upcoming Castle Defense Scenarios feature. This includes making areas of PVP engagement where no ransom items drop, where grouping rules can be controlled (on/off), having death remove you from the scene until the scene restarts, new currencies/merchants/rewards for PVP scenarios, and better overall physical spaces for PVP. To that end we have created a combat area where we can iterate on these systems over the next several releases called The Obsidian Trials. It will be where we implement, test, and polish various systems to improve and enhance our combat and PVP systems so that they can be expanded to support Castle Defense. In Release 55 we have built the space and implemented new death mechanics, blocked grouping, and removed ransoms. In the next few releases we will be adding boundaries that change the size of the play space, win/loss conditions, timer resets, and a new PVP currency that can be spent on rewards like titles, components, consumables, emotes, and patterns.

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

Here are some early screenshots of the new Obsidian Trial zone. A subterranean pit of sheer obsidian hosts a deadly, 32-player PVP free for all!

Thanks for following our progress!

The Atavists of Purity

Some residents of Novia are not pleased with the sudden and voluminous influx of Outlander immigrants. The Atavists of Purity have vowed to rid Novia of the Outlander scourge. “Their houses crowd our fair towns! Their wares compete with those of native Novian merchants!” yells their leader, the Luminous Atavist. He and his lieutenants, the Knight Purifiers, have been known to ambush unwary Outlanders on the road. They are even swelling their ranks with common folks who call themselves Unifiers.

You will find these unwelcoming Novians in Release 55 in the Grunvald region.

Lord British Birthday Double XP Weekends

In celebration of Lord British’s birthday on July 4th, starting this weekend (June 22) and through the end of July, Avatars will earn double XP (Adventure & Production) when playing on the weekends!

Release 55 on QA Server

An early version of R55 is on the QA server along with an early version of the R55 post for review and feedback. R55 is full of new content most of which is now on the QA server for early testing. We could really use everyone’s help to test all of this amazing content before it goes live!

Testing on QA makes you eligible for Testing Incentive Rewards including gold crowns, the Ant Farm, Antennae, Bug Cloak and Paintings. 

Custom Avatar Head now Lord Forged Items

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

Greetings Avatars,

When we first did our Kickstarter so many years ago one of the rewards we planned for was Custom Avatar Head for our Duke+ level backers described as: “Direct interaction with our team artists to model custom character features for your avatar’s head, different from the avatars of all others (can be based on your own likeness; all avatar images must be approved by the development team).”

We have spent the last several years looking for any option that would be visually pleasing, non-performance impacting, and cost effective. Unfortunately we could not find a solution that met all those criteria. Most solutions would either take a very, very long time (internal resources) or be very, very expensive (external contracting), and none of them met the performance nor visual standards we wanted.

So we have decided to replace this reward with a different custom reward. Everyone eligible for this reward will now receive a custom created in-game item (decoration, weapon, or armor piece) with a custom name made by Lord British or Darkstarr. NOTE: The weapons and armor will NOT be created using any rare components (ex. Mossy Handle) but may use store or salvaged patterns.

Here is an example item:

You will also receive a lovely “Lord Forged” physical certificate designed by Scott “Scottie” Jones and signed by either Lord British or Darkstarr (there will also be an in-game decoration of this item).

There will be a webform linked from your account page where you can choose between three choices of item type (decoration, armor, or weapon) and creator (Lord British or Darkstarr). Items will be delivered as they are created on an ongoing basis. Certificates will be mailed at approximately the same time as the other physical goods but will be mailed separately.

Please accept our sincerest apologies for not being able to deliver the original reward as promised but we do hope that you will accept this new reward as a suitable and worthy replacement.

Any inquiries about further details can be posted here on this forum post or sent directly to support@portalarium.com.

Custom Static Player Owned Towns: Discontinued

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

Greetings Avatars,

When we first created Player Owned Towns we estimated only a few players (30 or less) would be interested in this feature. Accordingly we planned on creating each town as a custom static scene, much like any other scene in the game. Amazingly, and wonderfully, we had ten times the response and over 300 of you wanted to govern your own towns. We quickly realized that the best thing we could do was to create a suite of tools that and a set of town templates that allowed governors to create their own towns and modify them whenever they wanted versus wait on us to create each one by hand. To date we have created nearly 60 different templates based on 8 different biomes (islands, swamps, forests, grasslands, deserts, mountains, snowy mountains, and underground). We have created a set of tools that give governors complete control of lot placement, lot sizes, town decoration, entrance designation, music, blessings, trees, and more.

Based on the robustness of the tools and the variety of templates we have created we have made the decision to discontinue the option for Custom Static Player Owned Towns. Only Dynamic Player Owned Towns will now be supported.

Company Status

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

Greetings Avatars,

Now that we are almost complete fulfilling our Kickstarter promises (brewing coming online in R55, physical rewards shipping very soon, progress being made on castle defense, etc.), we are adjusting our team size to better match our current monthly revenue. This will give us the balance we need to begin work on Episode 2 while ensuring we can support the online service. To do that means having, at least for now, a smaller team.

Right now we will shift our focus from creating new content to polishing our existing systems. This means making a stronger new user experience, fixing bugs, reworking the quest system, performance improvements, user interface polish, and more. At the same time we will continue the Tier adjustments in progress which will rework our existing scenes to more appropriate difficulty levels based on our current player population.

You will be a big part of our preparations for Episode 2 as we relaunch the Stretch Goal Store! You will get to vote on some of the Episode 2 features by purchasing rare items related to Mounts, Flexible Lot Placement, the Elven Playable Race, and Pack Animals. Stay tuned for more information soon!

Darkstarr & Lord British

(SPOILER) POT Row Lot Deed Reward for Completing Story (R55)

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

Greetings Avatars,

We know that while property ownership is not a required component of the Shroud of the Avatar experience it is a very compelling one. So much so that we want all players to have a clear path towards that goal. We already have the deed raffle and deeds that drop as loot but those are random chances versus certainties.

Several members of our community suggested we reward property for a significant achievement in the game, some huge feat.

We really love that idea so, starting as soon as Release 55, all Avatars who complete the entire story will receive a Player Owned Town Row Lot Deed (Taxed) from the Oracle! This means completing the Paths of Truth, Love, Courage, and the Path of the Oracle. This will be retroactive so anyone who has already completed the story will merely need to revisit the Oracle and enquire about property to receive their lot deed.

This lot deed will not be tradeable between players and there will be a limit of one lot deed per account (i.e. you will not be able to earn one for each character you have). The no-trade and account limit are to prevent farming.

Note that in Offline Mode this lot deed can be used anywhere, not just in Player Owned Towns!

For those concerned about taxes a reminder that the Oracle provides 500 gold per day for consulting with her which is the same amount of taxes owed for a Row Lot per day.

NPC Submission Requests: Brittany Alleys (extended to R56)

Earlier this month Scott “Lum” Jennings posted our latest request for NPC submissions for Brittany Alleys. This is for Developer+ level backers who are eligible for the “Design an NPC” reward “Help create and name a character in the game”.

For reference here is our current status on which towns we have done this work on and which towns remain to be done:


      • Aerie
      • Ardoris
      • Braemar (no backer NPCs)
      • Brittany Wharfs
      • Central Brittany
      • Desolis
      • Estgard
      • Etceter
      • Graff Island
      • Jaanaford
      • Kiln
      • Kingsport (no backer NPCs)
      • Northwood
      • Owl’s Head (no backer NPCs)
      • Resolute
      • Solania (no backer NPCs)
      • Soltown (no backer NPCs)
      • Spite
      • Xenos
      • Yew

In progress:

      • Brittany Alleys

To be done:

      • Bramble
      • Brittany Fields
      • Broochash
      • Brookside
      • Celestis
      • Eastmarch
      • Elad’s Lighthouse
      • Fortus End
      • Goti
      • Mud
      • Noreach
      • Point West
      • Port Graff
      • Storm’s Reach
      • Westend

NOTE: We are extending the submissions for another release.

Humility[From a Dev+ Forum Post by Scott “Lum” Jennings]

Thank you for your continuing support of Shroud of the Avatar! This month, we move from the jewel of the realm to its seamy underbelly – the district known as Brittany Alleys. The dark streets of the Alleys are full of mysteries and stories, perhaps one of which is yours…

Because of Brittany Alleys’ size, this will be the only area we are adding backer NPCs to for this release. If you do NOT want your backer NPC to be in Brittany Alleys for whatever reason, or if you absolutely have a character who should be in a given city not named Brittany, you should wait until we advertise for that city. We do plan on eventually populating every city in the game with unique NPCs!

First, some brief notes:

      • Brittany Alleys has many NPCs which are not currently unique. Thus, the NPCs are already in the game, but we can change appearance (to a degree, as seen below), gender, etc. to suit your request. If you want to pick a specific NPC (for example, one near your own house) we will do our best to accommodate you but may not be able to.
      • NPC visual customization, as you may have noticed, is still at a very early stage in development. Right now for the backers who want to be added to Brittany Alleys, we cannot offer any visual customization options beyond our standard gallery of NPC models. (Do note, however, that we frequently add to that gallery – the pool has doubled over the past 6 months, for example.) If you would like to have input over the visual customization of your NPC, you can wait for further releases when we can offer this. We will also allow a one-time visual re-customization once customization has been added if you would like to add your NPC now.
      • There are MANY NPCs within Brittany Alleys’ walls. Although we will be accepting submissions on a first come first serve basis, if you are a Developer+-tier backer (as in, you can see this post), you are welcome to submit an NPC of your own design, but people who have not yet submitted an NPC will take priority over those who have. If your NPC doesn’t appear in Brittany Alleys, feel free to respond again in future posts. We still have quite a few towns and cities to populate!
      • When responding, please list a first and second choice for profession.
      • Due to the great number of NPCs to populate this release, the amount of custom dialog we can add will by necessity be limited. If you would like specific custom dialog added for your NPC, it would help us GREATLY if you could submit in the form of [keyword that triggers a response] [the response desired] so that we have a better idea of how you would like that NPC implemented. We reserve the right to edit or change any dialog submitted, or not use it if we feel it inappropriate for the NPC or the game in general.
      • Things that will cause Lum to send you a regretful message saying we can’t use your NPC’s background: if your NPC has a backstory that contradicts the lore of the game (“my grandfather helped Aren Bennis win the Obsidian Wars”), thinly-disguised advertisements for your player-owned town or guild, references to races or major events that do not appear in-game (“my mother was an orc”), or a name that is an obvious reference to a real person, popular fictional character, or historical figure.
      • This is currently for the district of Brittany Alleys ONLY.
      • NPCs for Brittany Alleys should be primarily human, but we will consider submissions of elven migrants.

Still with us? Great! Here’s what we need for Brittany Alleys:

      • 40 38 guards
      • 89 86 citizens/travellers
      • 24 20 children/orphans
      • 1 guild registrar
      • 2 1 bankers
      • 3 1 town criers
      • 2 public vendors
      • 2 combat trainers
      • 1 crafting trainer
      • 1 alchemist
      • 1 blacksmith
      • 1 weapons salesperson
      • 1 butcher
      • 2 cooking supplies salespersons
      • 1 housing deco salesperson
      • 1 housing deeds salesperson
      • 3 2 fisherfolk
      • 2 farming supplies salespersons
      • 1 baker
      • 2 innkeepers
      • 1 tavernkeeper
      • 2 waiters/waitresses

If you’d like to have your namesake be a resident of Brittany Alleys, please respond via private message on this forum to Sannio using the following format:

      • NPC name:
      • NPC gender:
      • NPC profession (first choice):
      • NPC profession (second choice):
      • District NPC appears (optional):
      • NPC background (optional): A paragraph on whom your NPC is, how they would respond to nosy outlanders poking about their business, what brings them to Brittany Alleys (or keeps them there), or anything else you’d like to add. We may or may not use this background, and reserve the right to edit and/or reject any background that does not fit the lore and setting of the game.

Please specify in your submission that this NPC is for Brittany Alleys.

We will respond if: your NPC is used; if it is rejected for whatever reason (such as an inappropriate name); if a supplied background is inappropriate, or if your NPC missed the cutoff for this release.

Thanks for your support, and keep a tight hold of your coinpurse when in the Alleys!

Lord British Birthday Game Sale: $19

In celebration of Lord British’s birthday on July 4th we have discounted the cost of the base game access bundle from $39 to $19 through July 6th!

Weekend Flash Sale: Basements

In Release 54 we created a wide array of new Basement Hatches in various themes including one that can display your Heraldry! We also created Basement Inns so you can expand the rental capacity of your Inns underground. To celebrate we are putting all Basements and Basement Hatch Patterns on sale this weekend.

And more items are available! Visit the Main Store to view them all! Also, you’ll want to explore the game in detail for many more craftable items available!

Upcoming Events Calendar

June 28, 2018 – Release 55
June 29, 2018 – Lord British Birthday Feast
July 2, 2018 – R55 Dance Party (Monday)
July 6, 2018 – R55 Livestream: Lord British’s Birthday!
July 26, 2018 – Release 56
Aug 10 – 11, 2018 –Syndcon
Aug 21 – 25, 2018 – Gamescom
Aug 30, 2018 – Release 57
Aug 30 – Sept 3 –Dragon Con
Sept 27, 2018 – Release 58
Oct 11-13, 2018 – SOTACON Austin 2018
Oct 25, 2018 – Release 59
Nov 15, 2018 – Release 60
Dec 13, 2018 – Release 61

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.

Royal Gardeners Wanted! New Decoration Contest (new Party date!)

Once upon a time, somewhere in New Britannia, a mysterious Outlander arrived.
Nothing was known about his origin, a curious place today known as “The Otherworld”.
Nobody knew of his intentions and the reasons of his arrival.
Nobody, not even the outlander himself could have forboded the fateful consequences of his arrival. Consequences that were to change New Britannia forever.
He, who was the first Outlander of our lands, is today known as Lord British, the keeper of Virtues.

On June 29th we want to gather with you in our beloved New Britannia and celebrate a very special event: Lord British’s Birthday! 

(See the program here). Inspired and amazed by the magnificent beauties, that the Community has built over the years in Novia, we want to ask you, the Community, to design the garden/plaza of Lord British’s Birthday Celebration during this contest.


      • This contest is made for groups. it is recommended to get organized in a group but it is not mandatory.
      • Every group must have a group leader (it can be the guild master, but you can also choose to have a different trusted leader for this event if you wish)
      • The group leaders are to announce which members are part of their group.
      • At the end of the Event, the group leaders of the winning garden(s) will receive the prize for the group and are trusted to distribute it fairly as agreed with the group members who contributed.


The contest begins on Tuesday, June 5 and will end on June 26, when Portalarium will decide upon the best garden(s).


      • Participants can submit their finalized Plaza in the Submission Thread.
      • Each leader posts on behalf of the whole group.
      • One post per participating group.
      • Resources cannot be reused for multiple gardens (one garden per group/lead!).
      • Helpers that tend to a garden may help others on their gardens.
      • By June 26th, each submission must include:
        • Location of the created place
        • 3 Screenshots of the place
        • A few sentences about the place
      • Updating your Submission is allowed at any time, by editing the respective post.


The submissions will be judged by their creativity, fanciness and/or originality.

The group of gardeners whose garden will become chosen “Royal Garden” shall receive:

      • 230 COTOs
      • 500,000 Gold
      • 1 x Stone Statue of your choice (Max. City Lot)
      • 1 x 2018 Lord British Birthday Cake
      • Exclusive Title: Royal Gardener
      • Host in your garden for the Lord British’s Birthday party

Up to two other beautiful gardens shall receive

      • 115 COTOs
      • 200,000 Gold

Once the prizes are handed over to the group leaders, the event is concluded. 

Any discussion related to the distribution of prizes are to be discussed with the members involved privately and not in public. 

Portalarium and Travian Games will not intervene in any discussions about the prizes after they have been handed over to the group representatives.


See the forum post for details. Good luck, Avatars!

AERIE Fund – 24-hour Streamathon, Primal Nature – June 23

When: Saturday, June 23rd (12:01 AM – 11:49PM) NBT
Where: twitch.tv/aeriefund

Snag your Primal Nature Reaper Sapling Pet and join us in New Britannia and beyond as we host the Primal Nature 24 Hour Streamathon on Twitch! We’ll be raising awareness and support for Conservation International (an amazing org protecting the environment), gaming, and giving out some neato prizes. Tune in and support your favorite streamers!

Wanna stream? Sign up and join the roster!

Win a Pair of SOTACON 2018 Tickets!

SOTACON Austin 2018 is giving away a pair of tickets and t-shirts to SOTACON Austin 2018!

Enter daily to win! To enter, get the Meretz App:

Or watch Lunch with Laz & Jack Daily for additional entries, as well a chance to win a weekly prize of a Custom SOTACON t-shirt!

Relics by Rild on Meretz: Win Shroud Swag!

Project to Support – Portrait of Scottie for Shroud of the Avatar

From community member Frank Baxley:

Scott “Scottie” Jones has long been a favorite among the backers of Shroud of the Avatar. A natural storyteller, he treats us to detailed narrations of scenes he’s designed, sings us Elvish songs, and creates poems about the scenes we experience as our stories unfold in New Britannia.

Portalarium, the creators of Shroud of the Avatar, allow us to import portraits created by significant artists, most notably Denis Loubet. Denis is well known for his work in gaming, cover artwork for the Ultima series, as well as working alongside Scottie creating the earliest concept art for the game that would become Shroud of the Avatar.

Some time ago, a call arose on the official forums to create an in-game portrait of Scottie to show our appreciation. I am answering that call and creating this Kickstarter project to fund an official portrait.

Scottie has given us permission. Denis has agreed to work it into his schedule. Portalarium has agreed to import the resulting portrait into the game as both a standard portrait and a Kickstarter exclusive version.

All we need is the funding. The price for a top-quality portrait is $2500. Kickstarter adds fees that can range from 5%-10%. Hence our goal of $2750.

Please Join Us in honoring our friend Scottie in this way!

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.


    1. Daigoji GaiDaigoji Gai

      Zealots looking to remove the “other” – sounds about right.
      I will take great pleasure cleansing Atavists.

  1. Dominor666Dominor666

    Since you are adjusting your team size, to better meet your month contributions, i hope you give us (the contributors) an opportunity to properly say goodbye to the team members making way before they leave

  2. Jonah HayesJonah Hayes

    When is LB’s Garden party? I’ve read July 2nd in the forum post, but see June 29th up here. I think this will lead to confusion.

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