Avatar’s Update #290: Play Release 56 Now & Global Visual Improvements

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 56 Now!

Release 56 successfully launched yesterday, July 26, 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 56 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 56 Player Instructions

Release 56 Known Issues

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

Cordelayne: Whoa this is a lot of stuff! Great work.

Steevodeevo: That is a really cool monthly update, A+ have you guys slept at all?

nonaware: wow that before and after pick of the visual improvements.

Global Visual Improvements: 

We have started overhauling some of our global systems to dramatically improve the visual quality throughout the game. The main focus is on shadows, lighting, and full screen visual effects. While many of these changes will not arrive until R57, a few have made their way into R56, including improvements to distant shadows in the top two quality modes. To see the difference, simply toggle between “Good” and “Best” in an outdoor scene.

  • Before:
  • After:
  • Before:
  • After
  • Before:
  • After:
  • Animated Before/After Comparison: Click on the picture below to see an animated comparison

Release 56 Livestream – August 3, 2018 (Cosmos Themed)

Another release livestream is upon us! The Release 56 Livestream is set for Friday August 3!

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. At the suggestion of one of our players (Redfish) the theme for this livestream is Cosmos in honor of the comet which is making its closest approach during Release 56! All of the items will prominently display our Sun Magic, Moon Magic, or some other celestial symbol like stars.


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: Player Owned Towns
  • 4:30PM: Q&A (+ more Ep 2 goodies)
  • 5:30PM: Deep Dive 2: Combat with Bosses (Aether Creatures, Unicorns, oh my!)
  • 6:30PM: Q&A
  • 7PM: Ending Announcements

STRETCH GOALS (Cosmic 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 August 3 from 12:00 PM to 11:59 PM CDT (August 3 17:00 to August 4 05:00 UTC). At the suggestion of one of our players (Redfish) the theme for this livestream is Cosmos in honor of the comet which is making its closest approach during Release 56! All of the items will prominently display our Sun Magic, Moon Magic, or some other celestial symbol like stars.

All purchases during the twelve hour window will count towards the stretch goals, not just the four hours of the livestream! You can also earn the stretch goals by being part of our Rewards Program.

  • $10K: Aether Lich Statue (Foyer Size)
  • $25K: Aether 1H Sword and Aether Shield
  • $35K: Double XP Every Weekend in August
  • $50K: Aether Bow & Aether Crossbow
  • $65K: Box of Replenishing Aether Dye
  • $80K: Aether Dragon Statue (Village size)
  • $90K: Aether Axe, Aether 1H Spear, Aether 2H Bludgeon
  • $100K: Celestial Themed Wizard Robes

*Please keep in mind that stretch goal rewards take time to develop and will most likely not be available until Release 59 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 (August 3 17:00 to August 4 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!
  • Observatory Village Home (digital)
  • Large Ornate Telescope
  • Ornate Hourglass & Ornate Tabletop Moondial
  • Ornate Moondial
  • Ornate Village Moondial
  • Ornate Keep Moondial
  • Ornate Clock Tower
  • Clock Complete Set (digital)
  • Wall Clock Set (digital)
  • Sun Magic Sign 9-Pack & Moon Magic Sign 9-Pack
  • Sparkle Dyes Mega Pack

We will be giving prizes away on an hourly basis with many being given away multiple times. PRIZE UPDATE: Enter for a chance to win a prize by either logging into the game and typing “The sky is falling” into chat OR by purchasing any item from our store during the livestream!


We will be answering questions throughout the livestream, so submit them in the comments section of the 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!

Release 56 Dance Party

[From a Forum Post by “Alleine Dragonfyre”]

Avatars Radio Presents
Royal Warrant: Release 56 Dance Party with DJ @DarkStarr 
Tuesday, July 31st, 2-4pm
Caelestis Canton
(nested POT inside PaxLair)

Ah we can dance if we want to, we can leave your friends behind
Cause your friends don’t dance and if they don’t dance
Well they’re are no friends of mine
I say, we can go where we want to, a place where they will never find
And we can act like we come from out of this world
Leave the real one far behind,
And we can dance
-Men Without Hats

Directions to Caelestis Canton via PaxLair: Due west of Brittany on the southern coast of Spindrift Bay on the banks of the Brisach River. Once inside PaxLair head to the bridge by the main square (big paved area by the water) and look for the POT connections. Take the wagon to Caelestis Canton.

Release 55 Livestream Part 2 Final Results and YouTube

The final results of our Monthly Livestream for Release 55 was over $86,000!!!! A heartfelt thank you from the entire Dev Team to all of you, our players, that continue to play and contribute to Shroud of the Avatar. This livestream was yet another example of your amazing support and contributions.

The amount raised by midnight CDT on Friday July 20 was an amazing:

** $86,735**

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

As promised, Telethon Funding Stretch Goal Rewards will be rewarded to any backers that pledged a minimum of $5 from 12:00 PM CDT to Midnight July 20th or who are participating in our Rewards Program. These rewards should show up on your account page within the next couple of weeks and will begin showing up in the game over the next few releases starting as soon as Release 58.

In case you missed the livestream where we revealed all sorts of amazing things about Episode 2 here is the YouTube version for your viewing pleasure:

Shooter Jennings “Shooter” Album Release Party!

You are invited to another historic album premiere inside the realm of Shroud of the Avatar! Rolling Stone lists Shooter Jennings’ latest album: “Shooter”, which releases on August 10, as one of the most anticipated albums of 2018!

For his latest album, the follow-up to his adventurous tribute to Giorgio Moroder, Countach (For Giorgio), country-rock-electronica mad scientist Shooter Jennings looked to his outlaw lineage, cutting an album of stripped-down classic country in the vein of his dad Waylon and one of his heroes, Hank Williams Jr. He also returned to where it all began, re-teaming with Dave Cobb, who produced Jennings’ 2005 debut, Put the ‘O’ Back in Country – the first album the Grammy-winning Cobb ever produced too. Simply titled Shooter, the LP will be released sometime this year via Cobb’s Low Country Sound imprint on Elektra. Says Jennings, “It’s the most country album I’ve ever done.” J.H.

The event will kickoff through a series of quests that will appear in Release 56 which goes live on Thursday July 26. The quests will lead to the party at 7:00 PM CDT on July 31st inside Shroud of the Avatar, in the Player Owned Town of Ordinis Mortis. The first players to collect the clues and finish the quest will receive prizes from Shooter himself! Those prizes will include exclusive items with Shooter’s heraldry in the game (armor, brewing casks, etc), wax cylinders with songs from Shooter’s new album, and framed art of Shooter’s heraldry that they can decorate their home with. At the party you will get an advance listen of the new album, among other festivities!

Shooter has a long history with Shroud of the Avatar. It all started when he decided to have the World Premiere of his album Countach in the game a couple of years ago! Shooter said about the event, “Having created a system where you can not only listen to streaming radio inside the game, but also having the ability to collect wax cylinders with audio stored on them which you can play on in-game phonographs, it seemed like a no-brainer to be able to share music inside Shroud of the Avatar. So I suggested we do a listening party in the game.” One news outlet dubbed it “…arguably the weirdest gaming event of all time.” He followed that up by donating wax cylinders of the album, album cover art, and other items to our Breast Cancer Make A Difference Store

He backed up this charitable work by donating items to and participating in a Think Pink Streamathon to raise funds for breast cancer which raised over $8000.

He even played our Launch Event this March at the Bob Bullock Museum! So join our longtime friend and collaborator for another night to remember on July 31 at 7 PM CDT and hear the new album “Shooter”!!


Shroud of the Avatar Rewards Program

We are excited to announce the launch of our Shroud of the Avatar Rewards Program! Earn the best rate on purchasing Gold Crowns, AND receive rare stretch-goal items from our monthly livestreams! This program automatically enrolls you in the monthly livestreams (counts as the $5 minimum purchase) along with other perks.

For the low price of $9 USD per month you will receive the following:

  • 9 Gold Crowns of the Obsidians every month
  • Automatic Participation in the Monthly Livestream Stretchgoals (counts as the $5 minimum purchase)
  • Exclusive Title every 3 months
  • Pick any Dye Pack every 6 months
  • Pick any three of the 7 Obsidian Potions every month, including:
    • Potion of Capacity: Increases carrying capacity
    • Potion of Conservation: Reduces reagent use chance
    • Potion of Expedience: Swift gathering on all gathering skills
    • Potion of Precision: Increases Meticulous Collection to all gathering skills
    • Potion of Preservation: Reduces armor and weapon damage
    • Potion of Reclamation: Increases Salvage and Repair to all production skills
    • Potion of Stamina: Decreases focus use from sprinting

Lord British Birthday Double XP Weekends

In celebration of Lord British’s birthday on July 4th, Avatars will earn double XP (Adventure & Production) every weekend through the end of July!

Weekend Flash Sale: Music!

Shooter Jennings is doing another album release party in Shroud of the Avatar on Tuesday July 31 and to celebrate we are putting all musical items on sale this weekend, including the Countach items in our Breast Cancer Make a Difference store that Shooter donated!”

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 31, 2018 – Release 56 Dance Party
July 31, 2018 – Shooter Jennings Album Release Party
Aug 3, 2018 – Release 56 Livestream
Aug 10 – 11, 2018 –Syndcon
Aug 21 – 25, 2018 – Gamescom
Aug 30, 2018 – Release 57
Aug 30 – Sept 3 –Dragon Con
Sept 7, 2018 – Release 57 Livestream
Sept 27, 2018 – Release 58
Oct 5, 2018 – Release 58 Livestream
Oct 11-13, 2018 – SOTACON Austin 2018
Oct 25, 2018 – Release 59
Nov 2, 2018 – Release 59 Livestream
Nov 15, 2018 – Release 60
Nov 30 or Dec 7, 2018 – Release 60 Livestream
Dec 13, 2018 – Release 61
Dec 21 or Jan 4, 2018 – Release 61 Livestream

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.

The Grand Duke Event & PVP Tournament

[From a Forum Post by “Cerus”]

Chapter 1
The Grand Duke & the Visitor

A Grand Duke, a noble man. Someone with high standards. He has always been a man of great wealth.
It is said that there were times when he walked through the streets of towns across New Britannia scattering gold and Obsidian Crowns to show off his wealth.
Some folks saw him as a generous man and loved him for that, while others envied him for his riches or even loathed him for his apparent arrogance.

Recently, a mysterious traveler visited him in his domain. The traveler apparently sought to do business with him. A trade of a special kind…

Chapter 2
The Deal

The Grand Duke made a deal and obtained some land deeds from the mysterious traveler. To his surprise, the traveler didn’t ask for a single coin.

“Thou canst hold these deeds for free,” he spoke. “But thou must do something for me in return…”

Some of the deeds were not to remain with the wealthy man. Instead, they were to be given to strongest and fiercest Avatars of New Britannia.
And it was now the Duke’s task to find them those worthy few.
And he accepted the task without further argument…
Chapter 3
The Grand Duke’s Tournament 

A noble envoy was sent out to spread the Duke’s announcement. 

“Hear Ye! The Grand Duke generously announces that he is willing to give away 3 of his precious land deeds to noble and strong Avatars!
But not just any Avatars! Only those who can truly show their muster!”

“The Grand Duke is therefore organizing a Tournament, in which Avatars shall compete against each other in teams. And he will reward the victorious groups of Avatars for their strength and glory.

[From a Forum Post by “Cerus”]

The Grand Duke’s Tournament

This Event is organized by Portalarium and Travian Games and supported by members of the Shroud of the Avatar Community! No purchases necessary.

The Grand Duke hereby announces the rules for the big tournament, to find the strongest Avatars of New Britannia (as requested by the mysterious traveler)


  • This event is made for Groups of 5 (Party PvP).
  • The matches will take place in a 5 vs 5 setting.
  • The tournament will take place if (at least) 8 teams submit.
  • Avatars of all adventurer levels are encouraged to participate! If sufficient teams of different adventurer levels apply, separate leagues (high-level, mid-level, low-level) might be created with adjusted prizes. This depends on the number of participating teams as well as the variety of adventurer levels.
  • Exact details such as schedule, leagues and pairings will be announced once the registration period is closed, on August 1 (We will try to schedule all matches on weekends).


  • The tournament will begin with qualification matches (group games). Each team will fight at least 2 matches before either being eliminated or proceeding to the next rounds.
  • Those qualification matches will take place in an Arena (location to be disclosed) on Saturday, August 4 at 1:00PM CT (20:00 CEST)
  • The matches will take place on several days (most likely on weekends) and in different locations. All locations provide space and facilities for spectators to watch and cheer for their teams.
  • The final matches (KO-System), including the grand final with the 2 best teams, will take place on the weekend August 10 – August 12.
    • Exact times and location to be announced after the qualification rounds.
    • The Grand Duke and his associate, the mysterious traveler, will be there to congratulate the wining team.


  • In order to participate, get together in a Team of 5 warriors.
  • Each player may participate in one team only.
    • Pick a name for your Team.
    • Teams are encouraged to wear a consistent team color.
    • Optional: During the tournament, all teams and the score-status will be published on the SotA Community platforms. We would like to display your team with your individual team emblem. If you like that idea, use the Blazon Builder to create an individual Blazon for your team and send a capture of the emblem to @Cerus@Katla@Ikas or @Menja (This is not mandatory).
  • Once you have a team of five Champions, register your team <HERE> until August 1.


For the Winning Team

  • 1 x Tax-Free City Lot Deed (POT deed)
  • Heraldry Cloak Eternal Pattern for each team member
  • 45 COTOs for each team member

For the Second Place

  • 1 x Town Lot Deed (POT deed)
  • Heraldry Cloak Eternal Pattern for each team member
  • 19 COTOs for each team member

For the Third Place

  • 1 x Village Lot Deed (POT deed)
  • Heraldry Cloak Eternal Pattern for each team member
  • 9 COTOs for each team member


  • Each match will be overseen by at least one SotA staff member.
  • Portalarium and Travian Games may disqualify any member or team for fraud attempts, bug exploits, use of third-party-software and/or breach of Community Rules.
  • Every team and warrior may use any gear or item during the battle.
  • Each team may appoint 1 standby warrior as substitute in case one of the team members is unable to attend a match.
  • If multiple team members are unable to attend a match at the given time, the team may still proceed with a reduced number of warriors.
The search for the strongest Avatars of Novia has started. May the best Team win!

Good Luck, Avatars


The Grand Duke Event Sale

In support of the Grand Duke Tournament all Dyes and Heraldry Wearable items are on sale so that your team can show their colors and possibly a team sigil! The sale will go from July 27 through Aug 10.

Welcome Quest Release 56

[From a Forum Post by Duke Gréagóir]

By Appointment to
His Majesty Lord British
Welcome Quest Makers​

You are invited to join the Welcome Quest in Release 56.

It will be held on Saturday, July 28, 2018 starting at 12 pm (noon) central time/New Britannian time and lasting an hour. It is added on the Avatar’s Circle community calendar for easy time zone conversion at http://avatarscircle.com/community-events/ Plus it is in your in-game Events book.

Greagoir Pendragon will be active 30 minutes before the event and during the event.

We are traveling to the town of Racuhbier Platz, nested in Central Brittany and Brittany Alleys.

Are you with us?


The Welcome Quest is a quest for all people to see many towns and establishments. It is created as a way for people to visit many player-ran locations. It involves each town and establishment to give the quest person some information and then instructions to go to the next location (a town or establishment) to do something. The path may be sequential from place to place or in parallel to multiple places at the same time. The goal is for towns and establishments to showcase their places, educate the people, and work with other player-ran towns/establishments.

We are proud to be the first player-ran quest in SotA! We do it for all of you. :)

More information is located at SotaWiki.

Welcome Torch changes – testing and answers due to burnout

With Release 38, all torches changed physically. The durability started to decrease when the torch is held onto. This change also affected the Welcome Torch you receive from the Welcome Quest.

With Release 41 you now can repair your own Welcome Torches with a carpentry repair kit and a carpentry table.

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!

Project to Support – Avatars Radio

Avatars Radio is a community run and community funded radio station founded by community member Amber Raine. They air plays, music, sermons, speeches, and they organize the monthly release dance parties. You can listen to Avatars Radio on their website or through one of the Aether Amplifiers inside Shroud of the Avatar. Consider helping this community endeavor by supporting their Patreon!

“This station was created with the love of our community and fellow citizens in Lord British – Richard Garriott’s new world of Shroud of the Avatar. Our dream desire is to serve and share (simply by airing) communities work through the moon towers. We have an open welcoming of all submissions from our community. Talented musicians (be it instrumental, vocal, or mixer), poets, designers of station identifications and other sound bytes, or perhaps you have the face and voice for radio and would like to try your turn behind the desk as a DJ? This station shall always welcome the creative works of the community weighed over that of earthly!”

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.