Release 56 Instructions

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

Avatars,

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

Release 56 of Shroud of the Avatar goes live this Thursday, July 26, at 10:30 AM US Central Daylight Time (15:30 UTC).

Release 56 is the first release in which we focused on the current iteration of our Top 10 Priorities (from Q3 2018 post). We were able to address most of the items on that list in some fashion. We made strong progress on systems polish, bug fixing, performance, user interface polish, tier adjustments, and the rewards cycle.

Bug Fixing: We dedicated a significant portion of the release to working solely on fixing bugs and reducing our overall bug count. We addressed nearly 100 issues with over 50 of them highlighted in these notes including fixes to various scenes (typos, stuck spots, etc.), crafting fixes (including a major fix to how effects get calculated), and various user interface fixes.

Performance: Ongoing performance work this release should show some improvement across the performance spectrum. Memory footprint, load times, and frame rate all have some measurable improvements.

Obsidian Trials: In Release 55, we started work on The Obsidian Trials with an early testing environment. That early version had no entrance, no timed sessions, and no win conditions. In Release 56, we have completed the first playable version with multiple features including timed matches, a poisonous boundary that reduces the play area, a revamped PVP scoreboard, two new currencies, and new rewards including emotes, potions, and titles. Best of all, when you are killed you do not lose any items, nor trophies, to the person who killed you!

User Interface Polish: We made a huge amount of polish adjustments to the user interface, including finishing the work on making most windows borderless, adding a sound cue to whispers, removing the miscellaneous messages from NPC chat, and expiring old mail.

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:

The Comet and its Influence: Astronomers agree that, based on observations of the movement of the comet, the closest approach to Novia will be sometime near the end of the Earth month of August, after which time it will begin to recede again. They predict that its approach will result in an increase in meteor activity around this time. Its proximity to New Britannia has already had an ever-increasing influence on the creatures of the world. In some cases it is merely increasing their power, but in a few cases it is actually mutating them into entirely new creatures. Three new creatures have been spotted in Novia and the Hidden Vale: Aether Dragons, Aether Corpions, and Aether Liches. It is rumored that there are rare rewards for defeating these new creatures…

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 Guide 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 & Avatars Circle). 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 56.

Key:

  • Plain Text: The original plan for the Release deliverables from the Q3 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 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.
    • Comet and Meteors: Astronomers agree that, based on observations of the movement of the comet, the closest approach to Novia will be sometime near the end of the Earth year of August, after which time it will begin to recede again. They predict that there will be an increase in meteor activity around this time as well.
    • Tier + Labeling: In Release 54, we added the ability to label scenes that had multiple levels of challenge with a plus sign. In Release 56, we went through the entire game and labeled all the scenes that had notable areas with this characteristic.
      • Brightbone Pass 5+
      • Brittany Sewers 5+
      • Dysborg Ruins 5+
      • Eastreach Gap 5+
      • Elysium Mines 5+
      • Etceter Crag Mines 5+
      • Grunvald Shardfall 5+
      • House on the Hill 5+
      • Kas Ruins 5+
      • K’rawl 5+
      • K’rul 5+
      • Libris Ruins 5+
      • Longfall Woods 2+
      • Lost Vale 5+
      • Midras Ruins 5+
      • Nightshade Pass 3+
      • Northwest Blackblade Mountains 5+
      • Opalis Ruins 5+
      • Paladis Shardfall 5+
      • Quel Passage 5+
      • Quel Shardfall 5+
      • Rhun Ruins 5+
      • Rhun Vault 5+
      • Sanctus Spine 5+
      • Superstition Canyon 5+
      • Tenebris Harbor 5+
      • The Crags 4+
      • The Fall 10+
      • The Rise 10+
      • Vauban Pass 5+
      • Verdantis Shardfall 5+
      • Vertas Pass 5+
    • Side Quests: (SPOILERS)
      • Vanquishing the Atavists of Purity: Ranees Binders in Desolis is one Novian who feels that Outlanders should be welcome in New Britannia and wants to help rid the land of the Atavists of Purity. Seek him out and be rewarded for vanquishing these intolerant natives.
      • Shooter: Shooter Jennings, in his signature pink wolf mask, seems to be everywhere these days. It is almost like he can be multiple places at the same time. How can he do that? You should talk to him and find out.
    • Scene Polish: (SPOILERS)
      • Global Visual Improvements: We are in the process of a massive overhaul of the lighting model across the entire game. For Release 55 we adjusted shadows distance, fog settings, reflections, and ambient light to create a more dynamic lighting model that should result in a dramatic improvement in visuals.
      • East Vauban Foothills: Runes have been found within this location that appear to have a connection with a mysterious obelisk on the edge of the lake. Could the runes be the key to learning the true nature of the obelisk and whatever rewards it might conceal?
      • Brittany Alleys: NPCs with names and backgrounds created by our backers as a Kickstarter reward have been added to this city. We also did some general improvements and fixes including things like making sure a general magic supplies merchant is in the Mage Shop.
      • Northwood: An astronomer by the name of Doctor Bob has taken up residence in the observatory in the town of Northwood. He has been studying celestial events of all kinds and, in particular, the approaching comet.
      • Aether Liches: These cometary-influenced undead have been sighted in Penmawr Island, Deep Ravenswood, and The Fall.
      • Aether Dragons: These cometary-influenced dragons have been sighted in Northwest Blackblade Mountains, Southern Grunvald Barrens, and in the Roving Stag Encounter (chance to appear).
      • Aether Corpions: These cometary-influenced arachnids have been sighted in Northwest Blackblade Mountains, Sunless Barrens, The Fall, The Rise, and Wynton’s Folly.
      • Boar Roving Encounters: You can now find boars on Novia and Hidden Vale with the latest addition to our Roving Encounters. They are found in the same places where you can also find wolves.
      • Obsidian Boars: These powerful versions of boars were previously only found in two scenes in the game and were therefore too rare to even be considered “in the game”. We have corrected this issue and they can now be found in Boar Roving Encounters (see above), Sawtooth Thicket, Savrenoc Stronghold, Far Hinterlands, Twins Foothills, and Greymark Forest.
  • Performance: Performance work should show measurable improvement on pretty much all fronts this release. For those who play on one of the highest two graphics settings, these gains might be somewhat cancelled out by changes to improve visual quality.
    • Shader Variant Reduction: Previously we were using more than 1700 shader variants in the game. This was reduced to roughly 500. This helps performance across the spectrum:
      • Shader variants increase the start up time of the game to build those variants.
      • Shader variants also increase the memory footprint on both the CPU and GPU to store those shaders.
      • Shader variants are a source of hitching as shaders that are not pre-”warmed” and built at start up will cause a hitch during game play as it builds the shader.
      • Additional memory usage to store variants also contributes to hitches due to system and video memory swapping.
      • Finally, shader variant reduction improves frame rate as  it reduces context switching and can increase instanced rendering.
    • Shadow Optimizations: Due to our large number of dynamic lights, shadow casters have always been one of our biggest contributors to our performance in highly congested scenes. It contributes a sizeable chunk to both the GPU time to render things and the CPU time to figure out what shadows need to be rendered. We are trying out a new system that reduces the number of shadow caster lights when performance is degraded. In some of the worst case scenes. like heavily decorated POTs, this will show a dramatic improvement
    • Unity Engine Upgrade: We have finally moved all platforms from Unity 2017.2 to Unity 2018.1 version. While this may some minor improvements, it gets us one giant step closer to Unity 2018.2 which has a number of huge improvements in it and exposes the scriptable rendering pipeline to us which could result in optimization options in the future.
    • Particle System Migration: Approximately 10% of the particle effects in the game were using the old system. These have all been migrated to the newer, more performant system for particles.
    • Run Time Allocation Reduction: Allocations that occur at run time cause hitches in game play when the system later has to go back and free those allocations in a process called garbage collection. A pass was made to eliminate more than 20 spots where frequent allocations were occuring. This includes replacing some Unity Engine functions to bypass allocations in their system.
    • High Player Count Optimizations: A number of general code systems that showed performance issues in high player situations were addressed. These were items that we previously had not been able to detect that only were significant when player counts reached 100 or higher. These code refactors should result in better performance in GM events, dance parties, and at events such as Shooter Jennings’ upcoming album release!
  • Bug Fixing: Time will be allocated to a general sweep through all systems, features, and content to reduce overall bug counts.
    • Stacked Items from Lots: We fixed an issue where items picked up from housing lots were not stacking
    • Will-O-Wisp Summoning Text: We fixed some grammatical issues with this text.
    • Summoned Daemon Trident: The Daemon you learn to summon in the Chaos magic tree now has his trident!
    • Roving Encounters Reset: We fixed an issue where roving encounters were randomly resetting themselves resulting in all sorts of odd issues like empty chests, waves repeating themselves, etc. Roving encounters should no longer reset.
    • Nearby Player List: We fixed an issue where this UI element would not close via the ESC key.
    • Party Loot Roll Window: We fixed an issue where the party loot roll window could not be moved while Auto Roll was enabled.
    • Combo Key Remap: We fixed a bug where if you remapped your combo key it would appear above the close “X” in some of the UI elements.
    • Watered Plant Tooltip: We fixed an issue where watered plants were not showing the plant type in the container in the tooltip, only the container itself.
    • Crafting Station Messaging: We removed an unneeded message that was popping up when you were transferring items between containers while the crafting station UI element was open.
    • Merchant Window Resizing: We fixed an issue where the merchant window would not resize properly when you resized your game window.
    • “Evidence” Quest: We fixed an issue with this quest in Blood River Outskirts by properly flagging some of the required items as quest items so you could not get two conflicting items at the same time.
    • Reagent Loot Stacking: We replaced the No-Value reagent bag (which gave players No-Value reagents), with a treasure chest that contains normal-value reagents. NOTE: Existing No-Value reagents will still not stack with normal-value reagents.
    • UI Flash after Intro: We fixed an issue where the user interface would flash on screen after you exited the intro movie by pressing escape.
    • Stinging Poison Typo: We fixed an issue where this poison would display a shortened name with no spaces when applied.
    • Clicking on Dye Confirmation Fix: We fixed an issue where if you clicked on the confirmation for applying a dye and there was another UI window underneath it would pull that window forward instead of confirming the dye application.
    • Wave Battles in Roving Encounters Fix: We fixed an issue where there was an invisible object blocking interaction when the wave battles would initiate in the roving encounters.
    • Character Creator Hue Fix: We fixed an issue where the character clothing would get hued along with the skin when skin color was changed.
    • Locking Open Doors Fix: Fixed an issue where if you locked a door that was open it would not actually prevent players from going through the door.
    • Artifact Low Durability Fix: We fixed an issue where artifacts were sometimes appearing in supply bundles with very low durability.
    • Boots of Skulking Fix: We fixed an issue with the Boots of Skulking artifact that was preventing its effects from working.
    • Mooneater & Nightstep Fix: We fixed the text with these Moon Magic skills so they better described how they work with time of day.
    • Masterwork & Enchantments Fixes: We fixed an issue where several mastework and enchantment effects were not being calculated correctly. They were being displayed with high chances of success but were being calculated at a full decimal place lower. This has been fixed so they will now calculate properly against their displayed value. The effects include:
      • Charge Stun Chance
      • Crushing Blow Stun Chance
      • Gust Chance
      • Knockback Knockback Chance
      • Knockdown Knockdown Chance
      • Leg Sweep Knockdown Chance
      • Attack Speed Chance
      • Critical Bonus Night Chance
      • Heal Chance
      • Ignite Weapon Chance
      • Strength Bonus Day Chance
      • Shield Bash Knockback Chance
      • Skewer Root Chance
    • 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:
      • Aerie
      • Battle of Solace Bridge
      • Blood River Forest
      • Brittany Alleys
      • Compendium of Pain and Suffering
      • East Vauban Foothills
      • Etceter
      • Desolis
      • Graff Gem Mines
      • Halls of Artifice
      • Harvest
      • Hidden Vale Horse & Cow Encounters
      • Highvale Outskirts
      • Kingsport
      • Kobold Expeditionary Camp
      • Lost Vale
      • Necropolis
      • Nightshade Pas
      • Norgard Fens
      • Owl’s Head
      • Rhun Vault
      • Solace Bridge
      • Solace Bridge Outskirts
      • Spite
      • Valhold
    • Map Fixes: We fixed various issues with maps in the game including arrows pointing the wrong way, updated tier difficulty labels, incorrect orientation etc.
      • Forest Siege
      • Jade Valley
      • Port Phoenix
    • Map Tier Updates: 11 maps in R55 had their difficulties adjusted but the in-game map labelling was not updated to match. This has been fixed.
  • 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!).
    • Unicorn Components: We have added more components that can be gained from unicorns (you bastard!).
      • Unicorn Horns: Unicorn horns can now be used to craft daggers or spears. The horn is used in place of the dagger blade/spear head component when crafting to make Dark and Light Sylvan Daggers and Spears. The bonuses from these components are powered by a player’s total virtue. The Light Sylvan weapons give bonuses to players with positive virtue, while negative to players with negative virtue. The opposite is true of the Dark Sylvan weapons.
      • Unicorn Hair: Unicorn Hair can now be used to craft Dark and Light Sylvan Bowstrings. The bowstrings are used in bows and crossbows when crafting. The bonuses from these components are powered by a player’s total virtue. The Light Sylvan bowstrings give bonuses to players with positive virtue, while negative to players with negative virtue. The opposite is true of the Dark Sylvan bowstrings.
    • “Brewed By” on Casks: In Release 55, we introduced brewing to the game. This new cooking process included the creation of casks which included a maker’s mark. These casks are then used to mature various alcohols (beer, wine, whiskey). Unfortunately, those brews did not carry a maker’s mark. We have fixed this issue in Release 56 so that the casks will now show a maker’s mark for the brews inside them via a tooltip. NOTE: This will only affect brews made starting after Release 56 goes live. Any brews started before that time will lack this information.
    • Clay Pipe Recipe: Way back in Release 32, we added three craftable pipes (metal, clay, and wood). Unfortunately, we never added the clay pipe recipe to any merchant. This has been fixed and you can now purchase this recipe from the blacksmith in Resolute.
    • Alcohol Economic Balance: During Release 55, we had to patch a reduction in value to alcoholic beverages due to an exploit and some economic imbalances we discovered. In Release 56, we have fixed the underlying exploit and we have done an overall economic balance pass. Beer and Wine, which have relatively short maturation periods of 3 and 7 days respectively, are now balanced for a profitability more in line with other agricultural products. Whiskeys, which have long maturation periods of 30 days or more, have been returned to 60-80% of their original pricing and therefore remain the most profitable endeavor of brewing. NOTE: We are considering a change to inventory limits so they will no longer be infinite on characters. If we implement this change in Release 57 we could possibly return Beer and Wine to their previous pricing as this will close the current loophole that is causing economic imbalance.
    • Kobold Gunners: Kobold gunners now drop crossbows as loot instead of hammers. Long term they will drop various Kobold guns that players will be able to wield and salvage for parts to craft their own ranged weapons.
    • Fustian Straps Balance: To better balance these against cotton straps they have been set to give flat focus bonus instead of percent.
    • Constantan Sheets and Coils Balance: To better balance these against bronze versions these have been set to give a flat focus bonus instead of percent.
    • Meteoric Iron Bindings, Sheets, & Coils Balance: To better balance these against bronze versions we increased the defense value of these items.
    • White Iron Sheets and Coils Balance: The health bonus has been increased for these items to better balance them against White Iron Bindings.
    • Jar of Vinegar, Brace of Lapine, Ardoris Coleslaw & Darkstarr Smoked Duck: These recipes used to require purchased or found bottles of wine. They have been updated to now require crafted wine and will no longer work with the previous bottles. We also changed Ardoris Coleslaw to use the Jar of Vinegar instead of the bottle of wine in the recipe.
    • Granite Block Recipes Adjustment: We adjusted crafted granite block recipes to better represent cost to size. Swapped cost of 1Wx1Hx2L(22 to 15) with 1Wx2Hx2L(15 to 22).
    • New Recipes & Patterns:
      • Aether Corpion Poison (Alchemy Recipe, Discoverable)
      • Aether Dragon Trophy Head (Carpentry Recipe, Discoverable)
      • Clay Pipe (Blacksmith recipe from Blacksmith in Resolute)
      • Dark Sylvan Bowstring (Tailoring Recipe from Unicorn Foals)
      • Elven Bed (Carpentry recipe from Elven enemies)
      • Elven Chair (Carpentry recipe from Elven enemies)
      • Elven Coffee Table (Carpentry recipe from Elven enemies)
      • Elven Dinner Table (Carpentry recipe from Elven enemies)
      • Elven Dresser (Carpentry recipe from Elven enemies)
      • Elven Side Table (Carpentry recipe from Elven enemies)
      • Elven Sofa (Carpentry recipe from Elven enemies)
      • Heavy Plate Armor (Pattern Pack & Eternal Pattern, Add-On Store)
      • Heraldry Throne (Eternal Pattern, Add-On Store)
      • Heraldry Round Table (Eternal Pattern, Add-On Store)
      • Light Sylvan Bowstring (Tailoring Recipe from Unicorn Foals)
      • Shogun String Light (Carpentry Recipe from Ardoris decoration merchants)
      • Vial of Distilled Aether (Alchemy Recipe, Discoverable)
      • Wood-Framed Novia Map Painting (Carpentry Recipe from Brittany decoration merchants, unique component from bookstore in Brittany Estates)
      • Wooden Round Table (Carpentry recipe on Etceter decoration merchants and all carpentry merchants)
      • Wooden Throne (Carpentry recipe on Ardoris decoration merchants and all carpentry merchants)
  • User Interface Polish: Polish on the overall visual look of the interface will continue. We will also work on improving the friends interface.
    • Borderless: In Release 55, we began a major visual overhaul to the user interface which included removing the borders around most of the interfaces. We have finished that work in Release 56.
    • Friends List Zone Sorting: You can now sort your friends list by scene. Additionally, when sorting by location, friends in your scene should sort to the top.
    • Show Location in Friends Option: You can now toggle the visibility of your location in the Friends list via the Options menu.
    • Miscellaneous Messages in NPC Chat: We have made it so that miscellaneous messages like “Player X has logged off” will no longer appear in chat with NPCs, thereby preserving the immersion of those discussions.
    • Audio for Whispers: When you receive a direct message via whisper (/w) from other players there is now an audio cue that plays.
    • Mail Expiration: After a piece of mail has existed for 2 weeks players will receive a notification that the mail will expire soon. The next time the player opens their mailbox after the notification a 5-day expiration timer begins for this old mail. After the 5-day period, that mail is deleted and added to the players “DiscardedMail” log file on the player’s hard drive. Any items associated with the mail are sent to the player’s bank.
    • Merchant Conversations: When interacting with Merchant NPCs, we now no longer bring up both the trade interface and the conversation window at the same time (which cluttered the window). Instead we now bring up just the conversation window in which you can choose “Buy” (or type it) to bring up the trade window (and then close the conversation window). We have introduced a key modifier (Alt) that you can hold down that directly bypasses conversation and goes directly to the trade window. Additionally, the option to always “Skip Conversation With Merchants” is still available in the Options menu.
    • Cooldown Contrast: We have increased the contrast on skill icons to better show the difference between skills that are ready to be used versus skills that cannot be used due to cooldowns.
    • Heraldry Auto-Email: When Heraldry Blazons are rejected we now automatically send you an email with the reason for the rejection.
    • Last Name Optional Note: Last names have almost always been optional (i.e. your character can have a single unique name) but many players have not realized that because the interface did not properly inform them of this. This has now been remedied and the interface now displays that character last name is optional.
    • New Player Handbook: We added a paragraph to this in-game book that describes how to equip items: “To wear equipment, open the character sheet (C key), drag the equipment onto the display-avatar or corresponding highlighted equipment slot, and release the left mouse button. You may also right-click on items in your inventory and choose to equip them from the dropdown menu. Non-equippable Items will automatically be added to your inventory if they are dragged onto the Avatar within the world.”
    • Recipe Book Page Saving: The current page in the recipe book is now saved when the interface elements are closed when entering NPC conversations, as well as between play sessions.
    • Crafting Window Size & Position Saving: Previously the size and position of the crafting window was not being shared between different crafting stations. All crafting stations now share the same window size and position.
    • Item Moving Message: When you attempt to move an item in another scene in the bank or property manager you now get a proper message.
    • Right Click “Destroy” Plant: We changed the message on planters to display “Destroy” instead of “Remove” since that is what happens when you remove a plant from a planting container (instead of harvesting it).
  • 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.
    • Obsidian Trials: In Release 55, we started work on the Obsidian Trials with an early testing environment. That early version had no entrance, no timed sessions, and no win conditions. In Release 56, we have a first playable version with multiple features. There is an entrance on the Novia Overworld near the east entrance to Nightshade Pass. Play sessions begin every 10 minutes with one minute of preparation time between matches. During the match, a poisonous boundary that deals extraordinary amounts of damage rapidly reduces the amount of playable area. If you are caught in the boundary you will die quickly so you must stay ahead of it. There is a lobby area where players go when they die during a match, prepare for new matches and replenish supplies from a merchant. The lobby is where you can also spend the currencies you earn from playing in the Obsidian Trials. We also modified the PvP scoreboard to display the timer for the match, show numbers of players in the match, display the winner, and to reset for each match. When you are killed you do not lose any items, nor trophies, to the person who killed you!
    • Obsidian Skull Coins: Making any kill during an Obsidian Trial match will earn you Obsidian Skull Coins, which can be spent on temporary items like consumables (potions, scrolls, etc.)
    • Obsidian Medallions: Winning an Obsidian Trial match that includes at least 5 players earns you Obsidian Medallions which can be spent on more permanent items like emotes and titles (eventually we will be expanding this to also include unique patterns, gear, and components).
    • Victory Emotes: You can celebrate vanquishing your foes by calling up one of these amazing emotes in which your avatar floats up from the ground and energy flows through your body. They can be purchased with Obsidian Medallions.
      • /victoryrising
      • /victoriousrise
      • /victoryfloat
    • Obsidian Trial Titles: As you earn more Obsidian Medallions, you can spend them on ever more grand titles to signify your prowess!
      • Corporal
      • Sergeant
      • Lieutenant
      • Captain
      • Major
      • Colonel
      • Lieutenant General
      • General
    • Obsidian Trial Consumables: These consumables can be purchased with Obsidian Skull Coins. For Release 56, this includes 5 potions and a unique teleport scroll locked to the location of the Obsidian Trial. In the future, this will expand with more consumables including unique poisons, dyes, repair kits, etc.
      • Elemental Resistance: This potion of conflict greatly increases protection to elemental magic while decreasing non-elemental magic protection. This potion can only be used in scenes flagged as Open PvP.
      • Unstable Explosive: Someone devised a way to a more powerful explosive potion! Unfortunately it is highly unstable and will occasionally blow up in the users hands. This potion can only be used in scenes flagged as Open PvP. Note, this potion can not only hurt the user but also his party members so use with caution!
      • Magic Resistance: This potion of conflict greatly increases protection to non-elemental magic while decreasing elemental magic protection. This potion can only be used in scenes flagged as Open PvP.
      • Physical Resistance: This potion of conflict greatly increases resistance to physical attacks at the expense of lowering resistance to all forms of magic. This potion can only be used in scenes flagged as Open PvP.
      • Unstable Power: This incredibly unstable potion increases the drinker’s power dramatically over time but when the potion expires, so does the drinker!
      • Teleport to Trials: This teleport scroll will take you directly into the location of the Obsidian Trial. You do not need to have a friend nor a bind point there.
    • Aether Dragon, Aether Lich, & Aether Corpion: The comet that is rapidly approaching New Britannia has had an ever-increasing influence on the creatures of the world. In some cases it is merely increasing their power but in a few cases it is actually mutating them into new creatures altogether. Three new creatures have been spotted in Novia and the Hidden Vale: Aether Dragons, Aether Corpions, and Aether Liches. It is rumored that there are rare rewards for defeating these new creatures…
      • Aether Orb: Few have survived encounters with the Aether Liches but the few that have whisper of a strange aetheric orb clutched in the claws of these powerful undead wizards! Who dares wield such a thing? Would you?
      • Aether Corpion Poison: This poison does instant and powerful damage and also drains focus!
      • Vial of Distilled Aether: This potion, that is distilled from Aether Dragon blood, gives a large buff to the max focus pool.
    • Poison Ranged Weapon: You can now use the Poison Weapon skill on your bows and crossbows! Note that this will only work on the first shot fired from skills like Rapid Fire.
    • Ignite Ranged Weapon: You can now use the Ignite Weapon skill on your bows and crossbows! Note that this will only work on the first shot fired from skills like Rapid Fire.
    • Focus Consumption: We have adjusted the rate at which focus is consumed for starting and lower-level characters to make it easier at the beginning of the game. Players should now rarely ever run out of focus in the early parts of the game.
    • Creepy Dolly: Zombie children, that we introduced in Release 55, have been sighted holding creepy dollies. It is rumored that these rotten plush items might hold great power or great ill…
    • Mantle of the Storyteller: This reward for supporting the Kickstarter for the “Portrait of Scottie for Shroud of the Avatar” is now in the game. It is a dark brown and white variation of the Clasped Gauntlets community cloak.
    • Ornate Shogun Bow: Fulfill your dreams of serving the Shogun as an archer along the Perennial Coast with the amazing new Ornate Shogun Bow. You can purchase the bow itself with an embedded Eternal Pattern or a Pattern Pack from the Add-On Store.
    • Heavy Plate Armor: At the suggestion of players, we created this striking suit of plate armor by taking the Courage plate and removing the Bell of Courage and other ornamentation. You can purchase the armor itself with an embedded Eternal Pattern or a Pattern Pack from the Add-On Store.
    • Dazzling Rays Specialization Bonus: Dazzling Rays now gets an increase in radius from specialization.
    • Explosive Potion: These have been dramatically increased in power. While still only half as strong as the unstable version, these are now powerful enough to help get many adventurers out of a tight spot.
    • Ghosts: Ghosts have become significantly more resistant to physical damage.
    • Wyvern Delayed: Work on the Obsidian Trials and the Aether Creatures caused us to have to delay getting the Wyverns into the game.
  • Player Towns & Player Housing: Updates to Dynamic Player-Owned Towns (POTs) that have locked submission forms will appear in the game.
    • Elven Furniture (Craftable): In Release 55, we introduced Ornate Elven Furniture to the Add-On Store. In Release 56, we have added in-game craftable versions of all of these items. They can be found as recipes on defeated Elven enemies.
      • Bed
      • Chair
      • Coffee Table
      • Dinner Table
      • Dresser
      • Side Table
      • Sofa
    • Aether Dragon Head Trophy (Craftable): Made from the head of the rare Aether Dragon this amazing trophy will be sure to impress even the most jaded Outlanders. This recipe, like most trophy recipes, is discoverable.
    • Shogun String Light (Craftable): (Carpentry Recipe from Ardoris decoration merchants)
    • Wood-Framed Novia Map Painting (Craftable): This version of the cloth map is housed in a modest plain wooden frame. The recipe can be found on Brittany decoration merchants and requires a unique component (“Faded Novia Canvas”) that can only be found in the bookstore in Brittany Estates.
    • Round Wooden Table (Craftable): This simple round wooden table can be crafted using a recipe purchasable from Etceter decoration merchants and all carpentry merchants. Note that this is the table that you need to apply the Heraldry Round Table pattern to (see below).
    • Wooden Throne (Craftable): This simple wooden throne can be crafted using a recipe purchasable from Ardoris decoration merchants and all carpentry merchants. Note that this is the throne that you need to apply the Heraldry Throne pattern to (see below).
    • Heraldry Throne: No collection of your personal Heraldry is complete without your very own Heraldry throne for you to sit in and lord it over your companions! You can purchase the Eternal Pattern for the Heraldry Throne from the Add-On Store. Note that you will need to apply this pattern to the in-game craftable Wooden Throne (see above).
    • Heraldry Round Table: When you sit your knights around a table you need to be able to remind them who you really are and this Heraldry Round Table will definitely do that as it proudly displays your personal Heraldry. You can purchase the Eternal Pattern for the Heraldry Round from the Add-On Store. Note that you will need to apply this pattern to the in-game craftable Wooden Round Table (see above).
    • R56 Lot Deed Raffle Winners: Tickets for the R56 Raffle were sold during R55, the winners of the raffle will be announced the day after R56 goes live. Deeds will be delivered shortly after that.
      • Place Anywhere Deeds (15):
        • Village: 8
        • Town: 5
        • City: 2
      • Player-Owned Town Deeds (30):
        • Village: 15
        • Town: 10
        • City: 5
    • R57 Lot Deed Raffle Tickets: R57 raffle tickets can be purchased during R56 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 R57.
      • Place Anywhere Deeds (15):
        • Village: 8
        • Town: 5
        • City: 2
      • Player-Owned Town Deeds (30):
        • Village: 15
        • Town: 10
        • City: 5
    • New and Updated Dynamic POTs:
      • Black Mesa East: Upgraded to Hamlet.
      • Bladewyke: Changed biome to Desert. Added interconnection to Hamberia.
      • Coral City: Upgraded to Municipality. Added interconnection with Coral Markets.
      • Coral Markets: Renamed. Upgraded to Municipality. Added interconnection with Coral City.
      • Ishum: Change biome to Underground. Changed to PvP. Added interconnection to Rift’s End.
      • Islet of Long: Upgraded to Crossroads Village.
      • Llanvier: New POT. Added interconnection with Stormsong Vale.
      • Metallicus: Corrected entry location.
      • Moonglade: Changed owner.
      • Noshima Island: Upgraded to Town.
      • Outlander Welcome Center: Upgraded to Town.
      • Rift’s End: Added Interconnection to Ishum.
      • Sea Bear’s Black Market: Upgraded to Town.
      • Stormsong Vale: Added interconnection with Llanvier.
      • Tortuga: Changed owner.
  • Make a Difference Stores: As part of Portalarium’s founding purpose to promote goodwill and make a positive difference in the world, we’ve provided these Make a Difference charity items as a channel through which our community of backers can contribute to causes they support. For each of these items purchased, Portalarium will donate up to 50% of its share of the purchase price to the designated charity (see each item for percent contribution).
    • Nature: Inspired by the Aerie Fund’s Primal Nature fundraiser in June we have added a new Make a Difference store centered on Nature with two new items. Approximately 50% of the proceeds will be split evenly between The Nature Conservancy and the World Wildlife Fund. The mission of The Nature Conservancy is to conserve the lands and waters on which all life depends: “Our vision is a world where the diversity of life thrives, and people act to conserve nature for its own sake and its ability to fulfill our needs and enrich our lives.” The World Wildlife Fund: “Our mission is to conserve nature and reduce the most pressing threats to the diversity of life on Earth.”
      • Reaper Sapling Pet: This tiny little reaper will win your heart with his little snaggle teeth and three little arm branches. NOTE: This is not the same Reaper Sapling as the Aerie Fund Primal Nature 2018, the colors are reversed.
      • Earth Magic Cloak: This lovely brown cloak with green trim is decorated with the Earth Magic symbol. NOTE: This is not the same cloak as the Aerie Fund Primal Nature 2018, the colors are reversed.
    • Breast Cancer: By purchasing these items, you are helping to make a difference in the lives of those with breast cancer and their families. Approximately 50% of the proceeds will be donated to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation, an organization that works to achieve prevention and a cure for breast cancer in our lifetime by providing critical funding for innovative clinical and translational research at leading medical centers worldwide, and increasing public awareness about good breast health.
      • Shooter Jennings Heraldry Art: Shooter Jennings worked with us to create our Breast Cancer Make a Difference store two years ago with the generous donation of items related to the release of his album Countach. This time Shooter is donating a framed version of his Heraldry to the store.   
      • Pink Electric Sword: Not nearly as clumsy as a crossbow, a weapon for a nobler age. This pink version of the Sky Navy electric sword was suggested by our players as a worthy addition to our Breast Cancer store. You can purchase the sword itself with an embedded Eternal Pattern or a Pattern Pack from the Make a Difference Store.
  • Physical Goods: Physical goods including the cloth map, box, trinket, manual, lot deeds, etc. (and the signed versions of each) have completed production and all of the final assembly has been complete. We have also finalized the address list and final preparations are being made for shipping. We have also completed setup of the Amazon store where non-Kickstarter versions of the box can be purchased. We will be making an announcement shortly when the boxes begin leaving the warehouse!
  • Release 53 Livestream Cylinder Automaton Pet: We have finished the final Release 53 Livestream Sky Navy themed item: the Cylinder Automaton Pet! This cute little steam-driven contraption will go live in Release 56 next Thursday July 26. Everyone who participated in the Release 53 Livestream will receive it in their bank!

Thank you so much for reading all the way here to the end! Release 56 should provide plenty of fun! You just have to decide if you would prefer hunting Atavists, Aether Creatures, Unicorns, or Outlanders in the Obsidian Trials? Of course the rest of Q3 will be just as amazing with more polish, more bug fixing, tameable Wyverns (sorry they didn’t make R56!), and more!

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.

Sincerely,

Starr Long
aka Darkstarr
Executive Producer

 



13 Comments




    1. DarkStarrDarkStarr Post author

      We will post an update in the forums when we have a status on those. We are currently focused on getting the boxes done and shipped first.






  1. PunktePunkte

    With the migration to Unity 2018.1 and hopefully soon 2018.2, will there be a larger effort to further enhance player Avatar’s, including their overall look, customization, and movement transitions/animations? I know that Unity 2018.1 and .2, like you mentioned provided a way better pipeline to be able to do this kind of stuff.




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