Greetings Fellow Avatars!
Significant changes to the Crafting System have been implemented! Players can now enjoy increased success and exceptional chances during crafting! The recently announced food and drink changes are live as of Release 87. Every food and drink consumable now has a specific purpose and each is scaled and balanced with all foods and drinks available. Also, 23 additional food recipes will arrive to the game for Release 88. For those wishing to participate in any community activities, upcoming one-time and recurring community events have been announced! Be sure to also review the Players Guide and Known Issues list for additional information on recent changes and upcoming fixes. Now, let’s see what we have for you in this week’s edition of Update of the Avatar:
Crafting System Changes!
Crafters of New Britannia, take heed! Significant changes to crafting have occurred which will change the frequency of exceptional/critical results! Some of the upcoming changes to salvage are also explained below:
- Crafting success chance maximum has increased from 95% to 100%.
- Exceptional/Critical chance maximum has increased from 33% to 50%.
- Grandmasters now receive a bonus to Exceptional/Critical chance! This means having skills above 100 will continue to add to Exceptional/Critical chances up to the new maximum of 50% even when your base success chance has already maxed at 100%.
- One decimal point of precision is now displayed for each percentage.
- A variety of engraving kits have received stat improvements which will provide increased success chances to some crafting skills such as Agriculture, Alchemy, Butchery, Cooking, Smelting, Tanning, Textiles, and Fishing.
- Background work for improving salvage has begun, although these changes are not yet ready for player consumption. Players can expect GREATLY improved component “drop rates” from salvage in the future, though the gold values of components received from salvage will be reduced proportionally. Once this work is completed, more details will be revealed. These changes will enable subsequent development work such as increasing the number of items that can be salvaged, and improving what components are obtained when artifacts are salvaged. The aforementioned salvage changes will be tentatively applied throughout R88 and R89.
We hope you enjoy these crafting improvement items. Many more changes to crafting are inbound throughout the year, so keep your crafting tools at the ready, Avatars!
Latest News Q&A Friday Livestream!
The weekly Community Livestream is Friday, February 26th at 4PM CT on Twitch! Join Chris “Atos” Spears and other members of the development team for a community 1-hour livestream!
To enter the prize drawings, type “love is in the air” into any in-game chat channel OR make a purchase on the website Add-On store. Please submit questions into Twitch Chat by inserting !question at the beginning of your text. Watch on Twitch, Friday at 4 PM CT!
Atos and other members of the Shroud of the Avatar development team go live very frequently on twitch.tv/shroudoftheavatar — be sure to get these channels on follow for notifications so you can join us right as we go live! Also, if you’ve missed our latest streams, check out our archive of content at our YouTube Channel. Like! Follow! Subscribe! Prizes!!!
Don’t forget to also join the Shroud of the Avatar team and community over at all our social media venues:
Support the Family of CatherineRose!
Avatars! CatherineRose, a beloved member of our community, is going through troubling challenges as one of her family members is battling cancer. If you are able to, please lend their family support during these trying times. Even if you are not able to provide monetary assistance, providing well-wishes, thoughts, and prayers go a long way towards helping a family through such hardships.
An auction run by the Aerie Fund is underway! Interested players can bid upon a Lord of the Isle Bundle in this forum thread. For more information about the auction fundraiser, please also see this thread. All proceeds will go towards the GoFundMe fundraiser supporting Wendy Barry’s fight with cancer.
Also, Thradia with The Avatar Express, has posted information on the forums about portions of this fundraiser. Please see this forum thread for more details.
Weekly Update & Release Cycle Changes!
Through the years, Shroud of the Avatar has maintained an incredibly ambitious Weekly Update and Monthly Release schedule. Now, with 87 Releases behind us, ALL of which were published on-time, the development team has decided to greatly change how we provide game update information to players in an effort to free up more developer time for tasks which improve the game itself.
In the past, the team size was much larger, and therefore more members were available to work administrative tasks such as customer support, community management, and providing game update information. Now that each developer is also capable of working on in-game improvements, content, and bug fixes, we’re changing how we provide information to the players to free up developer time for additional game development.
With this in mind, these are some of the changes players can expect going forward:
- Weekly Updates: We no longer will be providing Weekly Updates. Most, if not all of the new game content advertised in these updates were previews of what was to arrive in the upcoming Release, which would later be duplicated in the monthly Release Notes. Even though players can expect occasional singular articles to be published throughout the month as the need arises, large amounts of developer time will become available for higher priority tasks that impact actual gameplay since we are not spending time providing duplicated information.
- Monthly Releases: Our monthly release schedule will continue, however we’ll be alternating what is provided by utilizing what we refer to as a “tick-tock” concept. The upcoming release for R88 will be a “tick” and primarily feature game polish, fixes, and improvements, while the following release will be a “tock” and feature more new game content. The polish month (tick) will feature highly abbreviated Release Notes, while the content month (tock) will feature more robust Release Notes similar to what has been provided up to this day.
- Patch Notes: To help players visualize what has changed in the game, improvements have been made to our methods for providing updates to the Patch Notes page. Since our work submittals already feature an internal requirement to describe the submittal, an automated method has been devised to export this data into a document that we can routinely paste into the page. As we continue to enhance this process, expect the notes to improve as the developers become accustomed to formatting their submittal descriptions in a more visually appealing and informative fashion.
- Community Events: Traditionally, we’ve spotlighted community events in our Weekly and Release Updates, which will be discontinued after this edition of the Release Notes. In the future, if we spot any new events posted by players in the event forums, we will instead post information about these events directly into the Upcoming Events page as we spot them shortly after the event ad was created by the player.
- Crown Store Articles: In the future, all New Store Addition articles will forecast the upcoming store items for the entire upcoming month. The current Vault items will no longer be advertised since the process is fully randomized and automatically occurs on a weekly basis. However, if players would like to see a full list of what could appear in the Vault throughout the year, we’ve recently provided this listing which will be updated as new items are added to the Vault rotation.
- Stream Schedule: NO CHANGES! We’ll continue to provide the Community Livestreams on our Twitch Channel on a weekly basis (sometimes more often), and we hope these streams continue to improve as we enhance our methods of sharing information.
By freeing up this additional time, we very much hope players enjoy the increased amount of content, fixes, and improvements arriving in the future. We will continue to make improvements to this new version of information sharing, and we’re happy to take feedback at any time about the information we share. So much more to come, Avatars!
Food & Drink Revamp!
For the virtual food and drink lovers in Shroud of the Avatar, a robust update to food and drink buffs has arrived! Through the years and prior to the introduction of the food channel system, many food and drink recipes have entered into the game, much of which did not feature significantly unique purposes or stats, or as the game progressed and players became more powerful, many of the low level foods quickly lost purpose. Eventually, players only expressed interest in a small portion of the food and drink recipes available. Well, all that has changed, gourmets of New Britannia! A revamp of nearly all food and drink buffs has arrived for Release 87!
With this update, an extensive effort has been made to provide a unique and specific purpose to every food recipe. Taking full advantage of the food buff channel system, buffs will now be completely related and balanced to how many buff slots the consumed food occupies. Standardized buff durations will be implemented based upon the slots occupied, and standardized regeneration rates will also be provided across the spectrum. Many buff categories will have at least 3 versions of the buff in amounts relative to the slots occupied, while other buff categories might only have a single offering.
For buff durations, most foods now feature either 1-hour, 2-hour, or 4-hour durations based upon the slots they occupy. Some older, powerful foods (e.g. Dragon Stew, Troll Spare Ribs, and Spicy Phoenix Bites) may deviate from this change and retain their larger durations. Food buffs will occupy one or more slots within the corresponding channel: 1-slot foods (other than starter foods) will last up to 1 hour, 2-slot foods will last 2 hours, and 3-slot foods will last 4 hours (to provide a bit of extra duration for those looking forward to a longer play session). Having useful and scaled buffs attached to 1-channel and 2-channel foods will provide players expecting a shorter play session far more options in which foods they ingest
Similarly, regeneration rates will be greatly standardized. A variety of foods are now categorized as defensive, and provide regeneration rates benefiting health over focus, while other foods are categorized as offensive and benefit focus regeneration more so than health regeneration. Of course, players can mix and match their food intake to provide any variation of buff balancing, so there is no requirement for a player to eat all defensive foods or all offensive foods. Mixing and matching is certainly allowable and encouraged.
6 foods are now also provided that feature increased regen rates as their primary function, so if players would prefer higher amounts of regeneration, they’ll have 1, 2, and 3 slot foods of both offensive and defensive varieties to incorporate into their buff choices.
With standardized concepts in mind, players will likely only need to consider the unique stats the food provides when shopping or crafting, since regeneration and flat rate health and focus provisions are uniform based upon the number of slots the consumable utilizes.
In the same fashion, each food now provides standardized amounts of additional health and focus. Defensive foods provide +25, +50, or +75 additional health depending upon the slots occupied, and offensive foods provide those same numbers to focus based upon the slots occupied. Also, 6 foods provide additional amounts of health and focus as their primary purpose, with 3 for health and 3 for focus being available and to scale with the number of slots occupied.
Players have also come to know that a significant number of crafted foods were also available as loot or can be purchased at an NPC food merchant. All of these items have been removed from merchants and loot to ensure crafting or trade between players is the sole source for every crafted food.
Starter foods have been notoriously useless since their buff durations were so miniscule (1 to 15 minute buffs usually), and their buffs provided little meaning to gameplay. Now, 8 starter foods have been identified and balanced so that all occupy 1 slot, and each feature the standardized regeneration rates and flat rate health or focus typically provided by 1 slot foods, however the durations for starter foods were only increased to 30 minutes.
Players will find these starter foods readily available in loot, for sale on NPC merchants, or even distributed as world decorations which can be stolen, but these 8 starter foods will not be crafted. However, all 8 starter foods will eventually be introduced into crafting as crafting components, so even higher level players can find them beneficial to utilize. Most will recognize the 8 starter foods as common items already available in-game:
- Lemon Bun
- Short Bread Loaf
- Slim Bread Loaf
- Braided Bread Loaf
- Bread Loaf
- Sugar Cookies
- Wheat Bun
As foods were shifted into standardized categories, many “holes” were identified in regards to what buffs are available in the food system across the spectrum. To fill these “holes,” approximately 23 additional food recipes will be introduced to the game for Release 88 on March 25th.
All of these recipes will focus on using underutilized crafting components, and with these recipes only in prototype, there’s still plenty of time for players to provide input on recipe names and ingredients. The proposed names for the upcoming new recipes are as follows, and the names should provide players a significant hint as to what underutilized component will gain new purpose:
- Black Cutworm Cupcake
- Bone Broth
- Cinnamon Cake
- Coelacanth Chips
- Corpion Cake
- Dragon Egg Omelet
- Emerald Ash Egg Roll
- Entrails and Eggs
- Hemlock and Ham
- Ichthyosaur Fried Ice Cream
- Lard Bread
- Nut Butter and Ooze Sandwich
- Oozy Omelet
- Phoenix Fingers
- Pickled Plant Pollen
- Plesiosaurus Pie
- Pop Crackle Candy
- Shadow Slaw
- Shadow Snacks
- Shark Jerky
- Spiced Tea
- Tarpon Tart
- Trilobite Chomps
Food and drinks with crafting and gathering buffs are now greatly expanded, with no changes being provided to 1 Year Whiskey, 2 Year Whiskey, or 7 Year Whiskey. New buffs available across such recipes are as follows:
- Decorated Cake Slice: +50% Cooking Production Time Bonus
- Baked Pacu: +5 Fishing Range, 2.5% Bait Recovery, +10 Fishing Skills
- 25 Year Whiskey: +3% Meticulous Mining Chance
- Harvest Wheat Bear: +3% Meticulous Foraging Chance
- Obsidian Bacon: +3% Meticulous Field Dressing Chance
- Squirrel Stew: +3% Meticulous Forestry Chance
For pet foods, only one change is inbound which is for Fishy Nibblers. Formerly it provided an adventure level buff which is not useful for pet applications, and will instead provide an additional 250 Health to a pet. Also a pesky bug where the food could apply the buff to the character with no pet summoned has been fixed.
Utility foods are also being introduced which either provide additional carry capacity or skill learning bonuses. The foods will be distributed throughout loot, the crafting system, and many can be obtained from a replenishing confections platter periodically available in the Crown Store Vault. Also, the confections platter can now be utilized monthly to receive 4 of these items. These initial utility foods will be as follows:
- Bacon (Crafted, +25% Encumbrance Carry Capacity)
- Decorated Cupcake (3% Grey Bundles or Replenishing Confections Platter, +25% Skill Learn Bonus)
- Elderberry Cream Cheese Sugar Drops (10% Yellow Bundles or Replenishing Confections Platter, +25% Skill Learn Bonus)
- Petit Fours (25% Blue Bundles or Replenishing Confections Platter, +25% Skill Learn Bonus)
- Thumbprint Cookies (100% Orange Bundles or Replenishing Confections Platter, +25% Skill Learn Bonus)
- Slice of Lord British Birthday Cake (Looted in Lord British’s Castle, +100% Skill Learn Bonus)
Very close attention will be paid to the scarcity of components for all food and drink recipes. We realize some of the components are obtained from exceptionally rare drops such as dragon eggs, phoenix talons, sharks, and rare lava fish, but a “feed the village” concept will be utilized when players craft food recipes containing scarce resources. The scarcer the components, the output for the recipes will be increased proportionally. For example, fishing a shark out of salt water is very rare, but, when you do? You’ll be able to “feed the village” in a sense and make many food items to utilize or trade.
Maintaining the scarcity of the drops will still allow trophies and other rare items to keep their value, while providing a modicum of excitement knowing these drops will also provide very significant food output at a crafting table. Balancing of these outputs may take some time to normalize through future game patches, but ultimately we hope they settle upon output levels which makes the food or drink very viable for routine and affordable use. Players can expect scarcity adjustments to go live on R88, with perhaps some patching in during R87.
There were a small number of food and drink items which provided magical resistance bonuses directed at a particular school of magic. These buffs will no longer be available with food or drink consumption, and will instead be provided by various potions being introduced into the alchemy system sometime in the future.
With development time during 2021 being strongly focused upon balance and fixes, this initial work in the food system is only the beginning. Players can expect similar work to address imbalances in other game systems, with uniformity and standardization concepts to be applied throughout. Ultimately, when each side system is balanced, subsequent efforts for balancing can be appropriately applied to the skill trees themselves knowing that all side systems feature an already balanced array of available buffs and categories.
Also, we realize some players could be significantly inconvenienced when their favorite foods or drinks have been adjusted to provide different buffs amounts, durations, regeneration rates, health, focus, slot numbers, or even a shift into an entirely new buff category. We implore with the community to please understand the importance of these balancing efforts and to work with us by providing constructive feedback and suggestions.
For those wishing to participate in feedback for the upcoming changes, please do so in this forum post. Please understand that all adjustment passes are not yet complete, the potential changes to recipe difficulty or output are not complete, and the team is very interested in hearing feedback from the community.
We hope players come to enjoy the expanded food buff system. Our efforts aim to provide an improved crafting, gathering, and buff selection experience while also affording a much larger breadth of useful food and drink recipes throughout the game. More balance efforts will be introduced in coming months, so stay tuned!
Additional Game Updates!
Below are a list of additional game updates that are live as of R87. This list is generated from an automated process which captures description information from our routine work submittals. We’ll be working to improve the formatting of these descriptions in the future, but using this automated process allows for us to truly capture every change as well as saving considerable amount of developer time. Please be patient with us as we work to improve this process.
- Fixed an issue with fireplace recipes
- Adjust drops for T10 and T15 reagent resource nodes
- Adjusted gathering chances and added GM bonus
- Refined gems and jewels may now be fractured
- Damage sources that do less than 1 point of damage will no longer break stealth
- Sap will now require a melee weapon (not ranged)
- Auto attacks will no longer target a stealthed player. Active attacks/spells will have a greatly reduced attack angle and distance
- Scenes may now show custom backgrounds for the load screen
- The Breach will now have more air elementals that spawn faster
- Vrul will no longer be attacked by undead
- POT Lightbringer Isle: Added new metropolis north of Brittany
- POT Greymorn: Added new POT northwest of Brittany
- POT Haven Ridge: Upgraded to Crossroads Village from Village
- POT Jagged Hold: Changed biome to Forest 01b and upgraded to Municipality
- Blood Bay: Players that can survive at the top of either volcano may find it possible to do some lava fishing
- Overworld Boats: Added better LODs to some boats used in the overworld scenes
- Kobold Expeditionary Camp: Improved some kobold commander responses and improved how a related task archives itself
- Well of Aldur: Updated the reset settings for a treasure chest
- Well of Aldur: Added a minor jumping puzzle
- Ardoris: Improved the logic for the Students of Virtue quest. Added compass markers
- Grunvald Shardfall: Adjusted NavMesh data to improve how NPCs move through the scene
- Northwest Blackblade Mountains: Jumping into the well that leads to Bunker C will auto-teleport the player to that location
- Hills Encounter: Created a new “dragon” scenario that can appear on all three overworlds
- Owl’s Head: Updated some logic for the quest from Morgan to discredit Myra. Added compass markers
- Shaminian Hills: Adjusted temple architecture to block players from squeezing through certain tight holes
- South Majestic Forest: Updated stairs on Preben’s house to better accommodate NPC walking
- Spectral Mines: Fixed an issue that prevented an ore node from being mined
- Middle Downs: Fixed a stuck spot on a mound
- Eastmarch: Fixed typos in responses from the devotional caretakers
- South Hinterlands: Fixed a rug that was poking through a wall
- Well of Aldur: Fixed an issue with missing collision on a wall
- Tanglemire: Updated tiered resource nodes (cotton, garlic, trees, ore, and mandrake) to ensure they are all tier 10
- Maple Trees and Pine Trees: Adjusted the LODs to stop a “split” from appearing at close distance
- Ruined Keep: Adjusted a section of the terrain where trolls were having navigation issues
- Wynton’s Folly: Players selecting the East Entrance option when entering from Hidden Vale will now arrive at the correct location
- Obsidian Keep Tops: Updated the collision at the top of these custom prefabs
- Snowy Tundra Encounter: Added a floating crystal node to the ground
- Well of Aldur: Fixed several collision issues. Blocked off a “stuck spot”
- Soltown: Improved the method of archiving the “Tell Abigail About Charlotte” task when talking with Abigail
- Bunker C: Fixed a stuck spot in the lava pool
- Solania Catacombs: In the daemon chamber, added teleporters that are active only when the wave battle is not ongoing
- Highvale Outskirts: Updated some of the doors in the monastery. Updated some of Esmeralda’s responses
- Jaanaford: Players will now “unlock” Thibodeaux’s name when she shares it with them
- Novia: Added a compass marker at Kiln for the “Ask About Bonesteel in Kiln” task
- Brookside: Players entering from the lunar rift will now unlock the town crier compass marker
- The ONBE title will now include a Dame option
- Fishy Nibblers no longer applies to the character when a tamed pet is not available
- Adjusted Confections Platter to monthly
- Slice of LB Birthday Cake no longer labelled as Premium nor No Trade since being introduced to loot at LB’s Castle, but will have a chance to drop in PvP
- Improved tooltip descriptions for Shrines by adding mention of attunement bonuses provided
- Fixed typo in Citrine (Unrefined Gemstone) display name.
- Increased spider eye drop amount T8 through T15 spiders
- Disabled Shrine size scaling. Enlarged buff fields for each Shrine and recentered so rotating Shrines does not affect availability of buff field
- All 3 of the new off-hand artifacts (15 items Common to Epic) now properly display female characters
- Significantly increased drop rates of taming artifacts on destroyer animals
- Added an additional loot table for destroyer animals to have increased amounts of hides, suet, and entrails
- Heart Heraldry Shield pattern should now properly apply to items
- Improved loot drops for Envy Bow and Quiver
- Reworked visuals for the Ankh of Sacrifice and Ankh of Wala fto include the new shrine visual effects
- Added a small chance to get the Shrine of Gaiaism recipe to Sand Elementals
- Well of Aldur: Added splash screen to load scene info
- Well of Aldur: Some improvements to unreleased nested scene.
- Jotungrund: Creating and improving unreleased showy expanse scene.