Avatar’s Update #286: Play Release 55 Now!

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

Play Release 55 Now!

Release 55 successfully launched yesterday, June 28, with thousands of backers downloading, patching, and logging in to check out the changes! There’s lots of new content to explore, including:

Check out the Release 55 Instructions update for detailed information about all the new content.

We need all your help with testing the new patches, putting more stress on our multiplayer servers, and testing the new game content, so please join us in playing this Release!

If you have not backed the game yet, go to www.shroudoftheavatar.com and click the “Play Now” button. Game Early Access is also available on Steam.

Release 55 Player Instructions

Release 55 Known Issues

Here are what some players are saying about the release so far:

Amber Raine: So excited for R55. Brewing looks exciting, Unicorns popping up in my favorite locations RANDOMS!! YaY!! 

Browncoat Jayson: Thank you, Starr! You and the devs have made another great release!

Inusaa: It’s really pleasant to see that at each release you make this game feel more unique :)

rpgmaniac82: Thank you team for another great release!!:D:D

Sean Silverfoot: Great release! Keep up the hard work guys!

Nikko: Thanks Devs, for all of the hard work. The game gets better and better.

Grimbone: Great release so far. Every release gets better and better. Keep up the good work!

Vladamir Begemot: Thanks for the Delete All! Thanks for Brewing! Thanks for the craziness that is East Vauban Foothills!

R55 Dance Party – July 2

[From a forum post by Amber Raine]

OMG it is already Release 55 and Darktarr is as excited as we are!!
(I think he may have already tried and tested the drinks in the new brewing system!)

Join him in Rifts End at the Evil Eye Tavern
(See.. I told you he was already testing out the drinks ;) )
As we celebrate the arrival of another great release!!

R55 – Evil Eye Tavern!!
July 2nd 2018
2pm – 5pm NBT (Central Time)
17:00 – 20:00 (GMT)

Evil Eye Tavern is located just up from the docks in Rifts End.
(literally walk straight forward, up the hill, and you will see it!)
Party folk are recommended to view the inside of the tavern before heading to the back
The party is in the back of the tavern.

To arrive at Rifts End head over to Britanny and then follow the road North
toward the Serpent Spine Forests
take a right at the fork in the road and cross the bridge
continue along this road and down to the coast
Take the boat on the coast and arrive at the docks of Rifts End

NOTE: DJ Darkstarr also published the set lists and Spotify playlist from Release 54 so you can get a preview of the kind of tunes you will hear! Check them out in the Avatar’s Radio thread.

Release 55 Livestream – July 6, 2018 (Lord British’s Birthday Themed!)

Another release livestream is upon us! The Release 55 Livestream is set for July 6, just a couple of days after Lord British’s birthday!

All Avatars from around the world are welcome to join us in the livestream activities. We will be doing deep dives, answering questions, having sales, handing out prizes, and tracking towards stretch goals. In honor of our sovereign’s day of birth, this event’s stretch goals are all Lord British themed!


Monthly livestreams are on Twitch and include answers to your gameplay questions, world building tours, prize giveaways, sales on items, and more! Here is the schedule:

  • 3PM: Introductions
  • 3:30PM: Deep Dive 1: Episode 2 Sneak Peek!
  • 4:30PM: World Building Tour: East Vauban Foothills, Norgard Fens, Encounters
  • 5:30PM: Deep Dive 2: Combat & Obsidian Trials (w/Scottie!)
  • 6:30PM: Q&A
  • 7PM: Ending Announcements


STRETCH GOALS (Lord British Birthday Themed!)

As a special bonus, we are offering funding rewards to any player that makes a minimum purchase of $5 during a twelve hour window during the day of the livestream, on July 6 from 12:00 PM to 11:59 PM CDT (July 6 17:00 to July 7 05:00 UTC). Our theme for this livestream is Lord British of course! In honor of his birthday many items will either have the silver serpent or the Lord British full crest on them. They will also be themed around things that Lord British loves like fireworks, space, and magic!

All purchases during the twelve hour window will count towards the stretch goals, not just the four hours of the livestream!

  • $10K: Blue, Yellow, Red, Silver Aerial Combo Replenishing Box of Fireworks
  • $25K: Silver Serpent Crackle Aerial Combo Replenishing Box of Fireworks
  • $35K: Lord British Silver Serpent Wand (he loves magic!)
  • $50K: Lord British Pavers
  • $65K: Lord British Round Table
  • $80K: Lord British Large Telescope
  • $90K: Lord British Sword and Halberd
  • $100K: Lord British Coronated Leather Helm and Bow

*Please keep in mind that stretch goal rewards take time to develop and will most likely not be available until Release 57 at the earliest. We will keep you updated!


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


We will be having twelve hours of sales around the livestream from 12:00 PM to 11:59 PM CDT (July 6 17:00 to July 7 05:00 UTC)! Items in the following categories will be on sale at approx. 20% off. As noted above, all purchases during this time will count towards the stretch goals!


  • Signed Cloth Maps!
  • In-game items
  • Bank Upgrades
  • COTOs
  • RelicsbyRild.com merchandise
  • and a bunch of items we will announce on the livestream!

We will be giving prizes away on an hourly basis with many being given away multiple times. If you wish to win prizes during the event, be in Discord chat! We will be active on Twitch and YouTube chats as well, but they will not be our portal for prize giveaways.


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

Please do NOT post questions containing:

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

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

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

Watch @ShroudofAvatar updates throughout the day of the livestream. See you on Twitch!

Q3 2018 Schedule Update

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

Greetings Avatars,

As we have stated previously, we intend to publish quarterly schedule updates detailing our monthly releases and those monthly releases will continue just as before, on the last Thursday of each month. Even though the goals outlined in these schedules are likely to change somewhat as we react to feedback, we feel it is important to periodically provide you with an updated roadmap.

Our priority continues to be to deliver new content to our players regularly, so that you can give us feedback that will help us iteratively improve Shroud of the Avatar. This collaborative process continues to benefit the game, and often results in sweeping changes such as the recent balance passes to combat. As you have seen in previous releases, the flexibility inherent to this process means that we sometimes push things out, but we also often pull new things in.

Q3 Top 10 Priorities: As mentioned previously we keep a running list of our Top 10 priorities at all times that we use when building our schedule and prioritizing where to allocate our team’s resources. We often refer to it when making decisions about the project. While it has a VERY strong influence on what we work on at any given time, it does not mean that we only work on something that is on the list. It just means that if someone can assist with something that will help address an item on the list, then we will make sure they do that first before working on anything else. Sometimes team members cannot assist with anything on our top priorities, so they work on other tasks such as visual polish, combat balance, or content that helps us raise funds. Q3 will focus on performance, user interface polish, localization, and systems polish.

  1. Systems Polish: Polishing and improving existing systems will be a major focus of Q3. This will take priority over new systems.
  2. Bug Fixing: One of the shifts in Q3 will be to focus more on fixing bugs versus new content and new features.
  3. Performance: In Q2, we made huge strides forward in performance with three steady months of frame rate improvements. While the game is much more playable now we feel there is still more to be gained so in Q3 we will continue making code and content changes to improve performance.
  4. User Interface Polish: In Q2, we polished various UI elements and we will continue to do so during Q3 with a focus on visual improvements to the overall look of the user interface.
  5. Localization: In Q2, we made some progress in all our languages but we were unable to get to our goal of fully localized versions. In Q3, our goal is to complete this work.
  6. New User Experience: We will be revisiting the starting areas and new user experience to adjust balance, fix bugs, and generally improve the overall experience for new users.
  7. Tier Adjustments: In Q2, we started a long term effort where we increased the difficulty of several scenes to better match the surrounding scenes and the character’s progress along the associated story paths that bring you near those scenes. We will continue this effort in Q3.
  8. Repeatable Content: In Q2, we began addressing this by adding reward blessings to maps to provide a reason to revisit them. We also began preparations for Castle Defense Scenarios with the Obsidian Trials map which allows us to test PVP, combat, and grouping game systems. In Q3 we will continue these efforts with the goal to make both the Obsidian Trials and the Castle Defenses viable repeatable fun content.
  9. Improved Reward Cycle: In Q2, we added lots of new in-game rewards including more Virtue Armor, more Virtue Banners, recipes, patterns, emotes, virtue effects on gear, and most importantly player crafted items as part of the loot tables. In Q3 we will continue to expand these rewards with more recipes, more patterns, emotes, and more virtue effects on gear.
  10. Story Polish: In Q3, we will continue to add more compelling experiences that put you in situations that will hopefully make you care more about the world, and at the same time provide you opportunities to either fulfill or turn away from the virtues.

As always, all dates, durations, and deliverables are subject to change as we adjust our designs based on direct feedback from you, our players.

RELEASE 56, July 26, 2018

  • Story: Rumors of a new celestial occurrence swirl amongst the inhabitants of New Britannia. Strange portents in the sky herald changing conditions in the world around them as enemies grow stronger and stranger! We will be once again polish the starting scenes for balance and guidance. Additionally, we will continue adjusting Tier difficulties. We will also add backer NPC conversations to Brittany Alleys.
  • 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.
  • Bug Fixing: Time will be allocated to a general sweep through all systems, features, and content to reduce overall bug counts.
  • Crafting & Economy: We will continue to add more loot, recipes, patterns, components, and artifacts to the game including more components from Unicorns (you heartless bastard!).
  • User Interface Polish: Polish on the overall visual look of the interface will continue. We will also work on improving the friends interface.
  • Combat & Character: Several new creatures will be added to the game including Wyverns that can be tamed! Additionally, rumors abound of creatures that appear influenced by the sky portents! We will also continue iterations on the Obsidian Trials with more rulesets, currency, and currency rewards.
  • Player Towns & Player Housing: Updates to Dynamic Player-Owned Towns (POTs) that have locked submission forms will appear in the game.

RELEASE 57, August 30, 2018

  • Story: We will continue polishing the starting scenes for balance and guidance. Additional work will continue on Tier adjustments to better balance scene difficulty. We will also add a few new sidequests.
  • 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.
  • Bug Fixing: Time will be allocated to a general sweep through all systems, features, and content to reduce overall bug counts.
  • Crafting & Economy: We will continue to add more loot, recipes, patterns, components, and artifacts to the game.
  • User Interface Polish: Polish on the overall visual look of the interface will continue. We will also work on improving the Looking for Group interface.
  • Combat: We will continue iterations on the Obsidian Trials with more rulesets, win/loss conditions and currency rewards.
  • Player Towns & Player Housing: Updates to Dynamic Player-Owned Towns (POTs) that have locked submission forms will appear in the game.

RELEASE 58, September 27, 2018

  • Story: Tier adjustments to better balance scene difficulty will be completed. We will also add a few new sidequests.
  • 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.
  • Bug Fixing: Time will be allocated to a general sweep through all systems, features, and content to reduce overall bug counts.
  • Crafting & Economy: The fishing system will be expanded to include different water types (fresh vs. salt), more fish types, more loot, and other improvements.
  • Castle Defense Scenarios: Expanding on the work from the Obsidian Trials, new scenes will be created (or existing scenes modified), similar to our control points where groups of players can fight over control of a fortress. Winning these contests will grant currency which can be spent on rewards like emotes, titles, gear, components, recipes, and more. Work on this system will also help improve the existing control points.
  • Localization: All interface text and quest dialogue will be fully translated into our launch languages including English, French, German, Russian, Spanish, Portuguese, and Italian. Additionally we plan to have the website fully localized.
  • Player Towns & Player Housing: Updates to Dynamic Player-Owned Towns (POTs) that have locked submission forms will appear in the game.

We continue to be incredibly thankful for the support we receive from this amazing community. While the financial support you provide makes all of this possible, it pales in comparison with the faith you have in us, the feedback you provide us, and the content you are making for everyone to enjoy. We are humbly grateful, and we are always excited to see you each month in New Britannia!

Starr Long
Executive Producer
Shroud of the Avatar

R55 QA Testing Incentive Winners

The following prizes have been randomly drawn and delivered to the QA contributors below:

But wait there’s more!

Don’t forget Darkstarr’s chaotic extra rewards! The three signed cloth maps (as announced on the livestream) go to:

Thank you to everyone for helping squash the bugs. Want to participate for a chance to win Testing Incentive Rewards in the next release?

Participation Instructions
Each release we will randomly reward 4 of each of the following rewards (one prize per player):

  • 5 Gold Crowns
  • Ant Farm
  • Antennae
  • Bug Cloak
  • Set of Bug Paintings

In order to qualify you must meet the following requirements:

  • Install the QA version of the game
  • Login and play on QA for at least 4 hours per release
  • Report at least 1 bug in the QA section of the forums
    • Note that players will only be submitted for the lottery once per QA cycle. Continued bug reporting will not count toward additional submissions into the lottery.
    • If raffle winners are discovered to have been using multiple forum accounts to increase their lottery chances, ALL accounts will be exempted from the lottery drawing for that QA cycle.

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!

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: Lord British’s Birthday

To celebrate our sovereign’s day of birth on July 4th everything he likes (fireworks and astronomy) as well as anything with his heraldry is on sale this weekend! Note that many of these items expire on July 6th!

Follow the links to learn more about each item. Also, you’ll want to explore the game in detail for there are many more craftable items available!

Upcoming Events Calendar

July 2, 2018 – Release 55 Dance Party
July 2, 2018 –
Lord British Birthday Feast
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 Contest Winners!


[From a Forum Post by Andrej “Cerus” Raider]

Gardeners of Novia,

After a very tough decision process, the team is happy to announce the winner(s) of the Royal Gardening contest. Due to too many unexpectedly astonishing gardens, it was decided to elect 3 runners-up winners instead of 2.​

1st Place – Royal Garden:

Royal Maze in Ordinis Mortis
Congratulations to Team Minerva!!!

Runners-Up Gardens:

King’s Garden in Jade Valley
Congratulations to Team Mal Hari!!!

Nocte Hortus, Royal Garden
Congratulations to Team Hemswal Genis!!!

The Grumbridge Duck Sanctuary in Grumbridge
Congratulations to Team Ajumma Kim!!!

Congratulations to everyone who participated in this contest! We invite all of you to join us in Ordinis Mortis on Monday July 2 at 6 PM, as we celebrate Lord British’s Birthday!

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.