Free Trial: Choose Any Path!

With Release 50Free Trial users can now choose any of the three paths (Truth, Love, or Courage) to start, but after selection are locked to that single path going forward. We changed this from locking them to a path that we had chosen (Courage) because we felt this misrepresented a core part of the brand of the game, which is “choice in all things” (ex. choosing your path, no classes, choose virtue/non-virtue, etc.).

Free Trial access allows you to play the entire game in any of the Online modes with a few key differences in game play. You will be able to explore hundreds of scenes, talk with thousands of players, adventure through the opening quests, and gain experience and skills as you get used to the world of New Britannia!

Here is the updated list of Visitor limits:

  • The term (Visitor) is appended to their character name
  • Max skill level set to 50
  • NEW! Limited to a single Story Path (Truth, Love or Courage)
  • Cannot purchase nor sell items via Player Vendors nor Public Vendors
  • No ownership of player property nor use of player property signs
  • Cannot move/interact with items on a player property (even if given permissions)
  • Cannot interact with public chests
  • Cannot give items to other players via Trade or Mail
  • Cannot flag as Open PVP
  • Cannot gain nor create ransom items when you kill or are killed in PVP (in Open PVP zones)
  • Character data may be deleted if not eventually upgraded to a paid account
  • Cannot play in Offline Mode

Join us in New Britannia for free today!

R50 & R51: Skill Unlearning 100% Return

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

For R50 and R51, all skill unlearning will return 100% of the experience that was spent on them. We made this change because of the major changes to combat math, ransom, and movement speed that some players might feel invalidate skills they invested in.

As a reminder here are those changes from the R50 Instructions:

  • New Combat Math: We have made major changes to how combat math is calculated. We have done away with the old 0-100 system and replaced it with a weighted scale system. The vast majority of players will not notice any difference but high end players will likely notice that some of their tricks to completely avoid being hit will no longer work. Additionally, the attack roll is now split into multiple rolls which makes it possible to have a combination of things happen. For instance, it is now possible to parry a critical hit or get a glancing blow that you also block with your shield.
  • Ransom Changes: We have made several changes and improvements to how ransoming items works that are gained in PVP (either through combat or pickpocketing).
    • Notification: You now get an onscreen notification that you have lost an item through PVP or pickpocketing. There is an intentional 5 minute delay before a ransom icon appears after being pickpocketed. As in life, you don’t often notice theft until it’s too late.
    • Duration Increase: The time to pay the ransom has increased from 2 hours to 24 hours, to give players plenty of time to gain their items back.
    • Valuation: Crafted items and artifacts are now worth much more when ransomed.
    • Item Selection: The way items are randomly selected for ransom has changed so that we only consider each item type once, so many small stacks of an item type only count as a single chance during the selection process (i.e. those of you that have been using many different stacks of items as “defense” are out of luck).
  • Max Movement Speed Check: Effects that modify movement speed can only allow stack to a maximum of two. Additionally, their effects add together instead of multiplying each other as they did previously. This should fix the issue where stacking various buffs and artifacts with movement effects would produce insane movement rates.

Release 50 Instructions

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


Please read this entire message, as well as the linked instructions and known issues.

Thank you for being a loyal backer and follower of Shroud of the Avatar. Release 50 access for all Early Access backers begins this Thursday, January 25, at 10:30 AM US Central Standard Time (15:30 UTC).

Release 50 is the first release in which we focused on the current iteration of our Top 10 Priorities for Launch (from Q1 2018 post). I am so proud of this team, which was able to address almost every single item on that list in some fashion. We made incredibly strong progress on performance, improved reward cycles, clearer direction, new user polish, story polish, and UI polish. We also have finished key elements of our physical goods like the cloth map and are getting final bids for production. Meanwhile we made steady background progress on launch readiness (example: EU data compliance & server monitoring upgrades) and localization. We did all of this while also planning our launch activities around SXSW.

I know that I say this every time, but this is definitely one of the largest and most ambitious releases we have ever done.

Read more…

Shroud of the Avatar Launch Event! March 14, 2018

Greetings Avatars,

In video games it is traditional to have a launch event. These events generally come in two flavors. They are either a party in which the development team has an opportunity to celebrate their achievement, or it is a press event meant to create enthusiasm with journalists and influencers. On rare occasions it is a mix of the two. On even rarer occasions these events are made open to the fans. Twenty years ago we did that very thing with the launch of Ultima Online and had a party with the fans at a nightclub called Paradox here in Austin, TX.

We are happy to say that we are going to do the very same thing with Shroud of the Avatar! The launch event includes our team, press, AND the game’s loyal backers, who are cordially invited as guests to the event. We feel very strongly that community is what this game is all about, so we want you to join us! The event is being made possible by our partner, Travian Games, who is co-sponsoring and will be in attendance.

The event is going to be one spectacular and historic celebration (literally). It will take place at the Bullock Texas History Museum in the Pong to Pokemon video game history exhibit that Richard Garriott and Starr Long helped design and contributed artifacts to show. Shooter Jennings will also be in attendance and playing a short concert.

Space is limited! In order to attend you must be a backer (game access purchase or higher) and in good standing with the community. We are only able to accommodate one person per registration. We can only accept the first 100 confirmed backers due to event space. We will inform the community when registration is closed.

Event Details

Where: The Bullock Texas State History Museum

When: March 14, 2018 6:30 – 10:30 PM


  • BBQ Buffet Dinner
  • Cash Bar (Admission comes with 2 drink tickets, attendees must be age 21 or older)
  • Shooter Jennings Concert
  • Mix & Mingle with the Developers


  • Backer (Game Access Purchase or Higher Required)
  • First Come, First Served (100 person limit)
  • Good Standing (Approval Required)
  • Travel & Accommodations NOT provided
  • Dress: Dressy Casual to Black Tie (No Shorts, T-shirts, Athletic Wear)
  • Consent to Photography: By attending the event you consent to photos and videos of you being taken and shared for promotional purposes.
  • Aged 21 or older


Fill out this form to submit your request to attend

We look forward to seeing you at the event! If you are unable to attend, fret not! There are going to be several in-game celebrations planned as well (details on those as soon as they are finalized).


Lord British & Darkstarr

Avatar’s Update #263: New Wolves Attack!

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

New Wolves Attack!

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

The wolves throughout New Britannia are getting a makeover! We originally purchased our wolf from the Unity Asset store to save time and money, but it was not visually competitive. To address this shortcoming, Kevin @UglyFist Wells completely rebuilt the wolves for Release 50, including all the variations, the wolf hat, wolf mask, wolf trophies and the wolf clan barbarians. The wolf trophies will be updated in Release 50 with the updated Timber Wolf and in R51 we will add all the variants!

Timber Wolf

Read more…

Community Livestream – Wild Boars & Wolves

Wild Boars and Wolves strike tomorrow! Matt Schmitz kicks off the livestream by catching a few Wild Boars and Wolves in the wilderness of Novia. We search out these creatures to introduce you to the newly introduced boars and the changes made to the existing wolves.

After a successful hunt, Michael Hutchinson will reveal the Release 50 Watermill Home, and then Esteben “SorcerousSteve” Zaldivar ends the hour with a revisit to the now completed scene of Yew.

There’s also a ton of news to share, and as usual, we will be giving away seasonal prizes to those who watch the livestream. Speaking of prizes, we’re also announcing the winners of the recent Video Walkthrough Contest!

The fun begins on Twitch this Friday at 4pm CT. Also join the community watching on Discord chat to ask questions about what’s presented:

Avatar’s Update #262: The Making of Sunless Barrens and South Drachvald Spur

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

Making of Sunless Barrens

As we wrap up rebuilds of all the Tier 1 and 2 scenes we are now moving on to Tier 3 scenes like Sunless Barrens. This area is located west of the Hellfire Rift between the Jade River and the Blackblade Mountains in the South Paladis region. It’s sunless name comes from the smoke and steam coming from the lava of the Hellfire Rift as it cuts through the rock of Novia and pours into the Bay of Storms. Geysers, lava flows, Ebon Dawn Cultists, Fire Elementals, and Plunderers are amongst the dangers, and potential rewards that await travelers to this perilous area. Even before the Cataclysm this area was rich in mineral deposits and efforts to extract those continue to this day despite the many obstacles.

[From a A Dev+ Forum Post by Chris “Sea Wolf” Wolf]

I have a few screenshots to share of the uncloning of Sunless Barrens, a volcanic tier 3 adventure scene. Cultists have taken refuge in an ancient geothermal facility in the upper geyser fields, which overlooks lava flows infested by Fire Golems, and Plunderer settlements nestled in forested mesas. The look for this scene is inspired by sulfurous hot springs throughout the world, including Yellowstone, as well as the magma flows in Hawaii.

The Lowlands

Read more…

New Clasped Gauntlets Cloak Option for Community Events

In October of 2016 we created the Clasped Gauntlets Cloak for community events. 

“We believe very strongly that community events that extend into the real world are very important and we have always worked hard to support them. We have been considering for a long time now how players who attend these real world events can display their attendance inside the game.”

Any Shroud of the Avatar community event, of any size, is eligible to receive a base cloak for each attendee. The organizer will need to submit a request for approval and then once approved provide the number of cloaks needed and which of the organizer’s characters the cloak will be delivered to.

Large charity, wellness, or in-person real life events can also request a customized version of one of these cloaks with a unique color scheme (main color and trim color) and a custom name.

Since we started this program we have created over 15 customized versions of this cloak and awarded many more of the base version!

For Release 50 Fletcher “Scathana” Kinnear has created a new in-game craftable front clasp cloak that we liked so much we decided to make it an option that players can choose when requesting a community cloak! Check it out below:

Here is what the craftable front clasp cloak (without the clasped gauntlets) looks like in-game.

If you have an event that qualifies for a cloak, please email support@portalarium.com.

DJ Darkstarr’s Revenge: The Sequels (Holiday Party & Release 50)

Fresh off his premier at the R49 Dance Party, DJ Darkstarr (aka Starr Long) has signed on for at least two more DJ sets!

This Friday January 12, starting at 5 PM CST, DJ Darkstarr will be spinning his own special groovy holiday mix for the Grand Holiday Party. He will be assisted by a bevy of other DJ’s! Tune into Avatar’s Radio and join us in the game at Berek’s Keep in Hometown (the 5-story City Elven Home).

Since Chaos never sleeps, DJ Darkstarr’s next gig after the Holiday Party will be spinning at the Release 50 Dance Party on January 26 at 2 PM CST in Rift’s End!

Starr once again promises that “you will laugh, you will cry, it will be better than Cats! You might even shake your bootie.”

“I am a D.J., I am what I play
I got believers
Believing me, oh”
– David Bowie

Release 49 Postmortem Telethon – Jan. 8, 2018

** $45,000 **

Telethon Funds Raised

Watch R49 Postmortem Telethon – Jan. 8, 2018 from shroudoftheavatar on www.twitch.tv

Telethon Stretch Goal Rewards:

  • ACHIEVED! $10K: /jugglesnowballs
  • ACHIEVED! $25K: Frost Pipe
  • ACHIEVED! $35K: Snowdragon (snowman dragon made of sticks and such)
  • $50K: Ice Chess Set
  • $65K: Ice Halberd, Ice Spear, Ice Axe
  • $80K: Ice Dragon Statue with icy effects

Greetings Avatars,

The winter season has set in and we’re beginning preparations to celebrate the arrival of what is going to be an exciting 2018! We’re announcing this release’s postmortem telethon with new holiday Stretch Goal Items ready to be achieved, Prizes to give away, and more informative Developer Deep Dives. And all of this is coming up fast on January 8!

As was started with the R48 telethon, we’ve changed the format for these livestreams. We will be somewhat going back to briefer but more focused Deep Dives. Also, we will be focusing more on related questions to those Deep Dives. See below on what questions we will and will not be taking.

Read more…