Category Archives: Update of the Avatar

Update of the Avatar #67 – 04/04/14: Too Hot in the Hot Tub, R4 Perspective, Easter Goodies, Duke Castle, Baron Rewards, and More!


Greetings Fellow Avatars!

Here’s what we have for you in this week’s edition of Update of the Avatar:

  • The Coconut Horse and Too Hot in the Hot Tub!
  • Release 4 Perspectives
  • Duke Castle Home
  • Baron Rewards
  • Easter Goodies
  • Rustic 2-Story with Balcony Village Home
  • Wood & Plaster 2-Story with Great Hall Village Home
  • Blade of the Avatar Novel: Chapter 16
  • Alienware R5 Weekend Access Keys and $20 Pledge Upgrade Coupons
  • Upcoming Events
  • This Week In The News
  • Only 3 Days Remain to Purchase/Upgrade/Gift Founder Pledges

The Coconut Horse and Too Hot in the Hot Tub!

SotA_CoconutHorseIt all started innocently enough with the question “Should we do anything for April Fool’s?” That simple question spun out to an incredibly fun and elaborate “not” prank where we made real stuff then pretended it was real, but fake at the same time. We wanted everyone to wonder for several days if we were pranking them for April Fool’s or if the items were real. It was meant to be the ultimate head fake, where at the end (which is now) we could reveal that it was in fact all real, and not a prank. We went so far as to create a new movement mode in the game that is activated by equipping items. In this case it was coconuts that would trigger a skipping animation. This is a real system that we can expand later. We also built the hot tub. The story was that the coconut horse was to be a thank you for the fundraising and the 1-Year Anniversary gift while the hot tub was to be an Add-On Store item.

We realized if we announced an Add-On Store item, but didn’t actually put it in the Add-On Store, that you would all almost immediately realize it was a prank. So we put it in the Add-On Store as a limited quantity and marked it sold out, before the update even went out! The update also went out very late in the day on April 1st whereas most April Fools pranks occur early in the day. It went out so late that most our European backers didn’t even see it until April 2nd.
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When it went out, we got lots of complaints about not being able to buy the hot tub. Complaints ranged from “I was at work!” or “My username starts with an “L” so I was too far down the mailing list to get it in time.” Some folks seemed truly angry about the hot tub being sold out before they got to buy one. Darkstarr, being the Lord of Chaos, reveled in this pandemonium. The team heard Starr yelling things like “I feast on their outrage!” or “My chaotic powers grow with each complaint!” We continued to poke at this prank by mentioning the hot tub when we launched the Add-On Store Credit Conversion, as well as during our video hangouts.

With this update, we can reveal that this was an April Fool’s prank, but not really, because both the coconut horse and the hot tub are real! There is now an unlimited supply of Ye Olde Hot Tubs available in the Add-On Store, and we’ve added the Coconut Horse as a basic reward for all SotA backers!

Thank you all for having a sense of humor about the entire thing.

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Shroud of the Avatar Sets Crowdfunding Record in March


SotA raised $333k in March, making it the highest crowdfunding month to date for the project (not counting the initial Kickstarter month of April 2013)!  All additional funds we raise are applied to the development of the game, allowing us to expand the size of the team (which has grown to 31 members), and increase the amount of content and features.

One of the features we all wished we had enough time and budget for was the addition of mounts in Episode 1, but it just isn’t in the cards. However, we have raised enough funds to give all backers the next best thing: coconuts that sound like horses when banged together! You even get to pantomime trotting around like a horse while you bang them!

SotA_Coconut_Mount

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Update of the Avatar #66 – 03/28/14: Play Release 4 Now!, Star Citizen Crossbow, Greyhound Pet, Rustic Village Home, BotA, Alienware Promotion, 1-Year Events, and More!


Greetings Fellow Avatars!

Here’s what we have for you in this week’s edition of Update of the Avatar:

  • Come Play Release 4 Now!
  • SotA’s One-Year Anniversary Events
  • Star Citizen Crossbow and Vanduul Polearm
  • Expert Crafting Stations
  • Brindle Greyhound Pet
  • Rustic 3-Story Village Home
  • Town and City Lot Homes
  • Blade of the Avatar Novel: Chapter 15
  • Alienware R5 Weekend Access Keys and $20 Pledge Upgrade Coupons
  • Upcoming Events
  • This Week In The News
  • Only 10 Days Remain to Purchase/Upgrade/Gift Founder Pledges

Come Play Release 4 Now!

SotA_Release4

Release 4 successfully launched yesterday, March 27, with thousands of backers downloading, patching, logging in, and exploring the new content!

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Release 4 Instructions


SotA_Release4
[A Public Forum post by Starr Long]

Darkstarr

Hello Everyone,

Thank you to our loyal backers of Shroud of the Avatar. Release 4 access for all backers at First Responder level and above begins this Thursday, March 27 at 10:30 AM Central Time. Release 4 access will end on Sunday, March 30 at 10:00 PM Central Time. Starting today, you can begin installing and patching (see instructions below), but login will not be enabled until Thursday morning.

We are happy to say that we are going to deliver almost every single Release 4 item and a few extras. Here are those deliverables again, along with some extra notes and the bonus deliverables in italics.

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Update of the Avatar #65 – 03/21/14: Founder Emotes, Lord Servant, Golden Eagle Pet, BotA, Alienware Promotion, and More!


Greetings Fellow Avatars!

Here’s what we have for you in this week’s edition of Update of the Avatar:

  • Founder Teachable Emotes
  • Founder Lord House Servant
  • Golden Eagle Pet
  • Blade of the Avatar Novel: Chapter 14
  • Alienware R5 Weekend Access Keys and $20 Pledge Upgrade Coupons
  • Upcoming Events
  • This Week In The News
  • Only 17 Days Remain to Purchase/Upgrade/Gift Founder Pledges


Founder Teachable Emotes

Get ready to show off (and teach) your unique emote, included in the Founder rewards of every pledge tier! Here are five of those emotes:

Immortal Adventurer: Muscular Flex Emote

SotA_Founder_ImmortalAdventurer_FlexEmote

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Update of the Avatar #64 – 03/14/14: Alienware Promotion, 1-Year Anniversary Events, Lord of the Manor Castle Lot, Baron Galleon, Lord Rewards, and More!


Greetings Fellow Avatars!

Here’s what we have for you in this week’s edition of Update of the Avatar:

  • Alienware Sponsors 1000 Release 5 Weekend Access Keys
  • SotA’s One-Year Anniversary Events
  • Lord of the Manor Castle Lot
  • Founder Baron 2 & 3 Waterfront Galleon
  • Lord’s Throne
  • Founder Lord Lynx Pet
  • Town Stone Arena Basement
  • Blade of the Avatar Novel: Chapter 13
  • Upcoming Events
  • Only 24 Days Remain to Purchase/Upgrade/Gift Founder Pledges

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Alienware Sponsors 1000 Release 5 Weekend Access Keys

Every week for four weeks, starting March 24th, 250 members of the Alienware Arena Shroud of the Avatar Group will receive Weekend Access Keys to SotA Release 5, scheduled for April 24-27.

Giveaway Periods:

  • March 24 – 30
  • March 31 – April 6
  • April 7 – 13
  • April 14 – 20

250 members of the Alienware Arena Shroud of the Avatar Group will be able to gain weekend access to SotA’s Release 5 during each giveaway period. For more details, jump on over to the Alieware Arena site and make sure you’re registered in their Shroud of the Avatar Group!

[Note: Weekend Access Keys are non-transferable; Make sure that your SotA account uses the same email address as your Alienware Arena account in order to utilize the Weekend Access Keys]

Alienware Sponsors $20 Pledge Upgrade Coupon

Alienware’s powerful gaming rigs are a perfect match for Shroud of the Avatar! To show their support, Alienware is sponsoring $20 SotA Pledge Upgrade Coupons to members of their Alienware Arena community!

These coupons can be used to start a SotA pledge account (for new backers), or to add $20 to an existing pledge account. If, for example, you have a $90 Royal Artisan Pledge, you can use the Alienware coupon to bump you up to a $110 Virtual Collector Pledge.

Pretty sweet deal, right? So, hurry over to the Alienware Arena website and get your $20 Pledge Upgrade Coupon now!

[NOTE: Only one Alienware Pledge Upgrade Coupon can be used per account. Coupon does not apply to Add-On Store items]

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Update of the Avatar #63 – 03/07/14: Dev+ Test Results, PvP & Death Megapost, Alienware $20 Pledge Upgrade, Knight Rewards, BotA, Domesday Certificate, Black Cat, and More!


Greetings Fellow Avatars!

Here’s what we have for you in this week’s edition of Update of the Avatar:

  • Post-Mortem: Dev+ Party on the Baron’s Frigate
  • PvP & Death: Current Thinking Megapost
  • Knight’s Round Table
  • Founder Knight House Servant
  • Patron Domesday Certificate
  • Black Cat Pet
  • Blade of the Avatar Novel: Chapter 12
  • Alienware Sponsors $20 Pledge Upgrade
  • Upcoming Events
  • This Week In The News
  • Only 31 Days Remain to Purchase/Upgrade/Gift Founder Pledges

SotA_DevPlus_Party_Baron_Frigate

Post-Mortem: Dev+ Party on the Baron’s Frigate

Last week we invited Dev+ backers to join us for a one-hour, online party on the Baron’s new frigate in Kingsport to test performance enhancements the team’s been working on since Release 3. Here’s what Chris Spears (Technical Director) had to say about the results:

Thanks to all Dev+ backers who took part in the impromptu performance test!  While performance was better, there were a number of huge finds that came up by getting real players in the game that we will be addressing before doing another performance test, likely next week!  The biggest items impacting frame rate were a bad error function that happened when one player’s network view got out of sync somehow, name plates being handled VERY poorly, footstep sounds being played far too much and in a costly manner, animations being played for things that weren’t visible, and no cap on the number torches that cast shadows!  These were all things that didn’t come up in our personal testing that quickly become horrible problems with lots of players present. We’ll get these and other issues fixed and do another test sometime in the next week or so! Thanks again!

[Check out Chris’ Performance Test Results conversation in the Dev+ forums (Dev+ forum access available to backers at the Developer Pledge level, or above).]

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Update of the Avatar #62 – 02/28/14: Alienware $20 Pledge Coupon, R4-R7 Schedule, R3 Perspectives, PvP, BotA, Baron Frigate, Pets, and More!


Greetings Fellow Avatars!

Here’s what we have for you in this week’s edition of Update of the Avatar:

  • Alienware Sponsors $20 Pledge Upgrade
  • Early Access Schedule Update: Releases 4 – 7
  • Release 3 Perspectives
  • PvP Current Thinking
  • Combat-Ready Elves!
  • Blade of the Avatar Novel: Chapter 11
  • Founder Baron Waterfront Frigate
  • Benefactor Edelmann Automaton
  • Benefactor Edelmann Great Dane Pet
  • Founder Citizen Owl Pet
  • Cleaver of Prosperity
  • Dev+ Party on the Baron’s Frigate: Post R3 Performance Test
  • Upcoming Events
  • Only 38 Days Remain to Purchase/Upgrade/Gift Founder Pledges

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Alienware Sponsors $20 Pledge Upgrade Coupon

Alienware’s powerful gaming rigs are a perfect match for Shroud of the Avatar! To show their support, Alienware is sponsoring $20 SotA Pledge Upgrade Coupons to members of their Alienware Arena community!

These coupons can be used to start a SotA pledge account (for new backers), or to add $20 to an existing pledge account. If, for example, you have a $90 Royal Artisan Pledge, you can use the Alienware coupon to bump you up to a $110 Virtual Collector Pledge.

Pretty sweet deal, right? So, hurry over to the Alienware Arena website and get your $20 Pledge Upgrade Coupon now!

[NOTE: Only one Alienware Pledge Upgrade Coupon can be used per account. Coupon does not apply to Add-On Store items]


Early Access Schedule Update: Releases 4 – 7

[A forum post by Starr Long]

SotA_OracleHead_Statue_thumb

It has been an incredible journey so far has it not? When we first proposed this monthly release schedule back in November of last year we were hoping for the best, but expecting the worst. As Chris Spears, our Tech Director, likes to say we were “doing it wrong but in the best way.” Not only were we giving access to players earlier than most any game but we were also committing to definite dates of releases every month with detailed lists of deliverables! Were we crazy? I am pleased to say that our faith in this community was rewarded and you completely understood what we were doing and were able to give constructive and valuable feedback.

Our goal continues to be to deliver our backers content each and every month so that we can get feedback and react to it. This has already paid off with additional game features like jumping and swimming as well as improvements to systems like crafting and conversations. Meeting that monthly goal is our highest priority but we require flexibility in our deliverables to meet that goal. As you have seen in previous releases sometimes we push things out but we also often pull new things in.

[Join the Early Release conversation in the public forums]

 

Q1-2014 Release

  • Release 4: March 27 – 30, 2014

Q2-2014 Release

  • Release 5, April 24 – 27, 2014
  • Release 6, May 22 – 25, 2014
  • Release 7, June 26 – 29, 2014

Read more…


Update of the Avatar #61 – 02/21/14: Play Release 3 Now, Backer Plaques, Piano, BotA, White Raven, Loom Shuttle, Stretch Goals Reached, Pantheon, and More!


Greetings Fellow Avatars!

Here’s what we have for you in this week’s edition of Update of the Avatar:

  • Play Release 3 Now!
  • Property Owner Backer Plaques
  • Benefactor Citizen Piano
  • Combat-Ready Skeletons!
  • Blade of the Avatar Novel: Chapter 10
  • White Raven Pet
  • Loom Shuttle of Prosperity
  • Stretch Goal Success: Lord British vs. Darkstarr
  • Last Day for the Pantheon Kickstarter Special Cross-Game Cloak
  • Upcoming Events
  • This Week In the News
  • Only 45 Days Remain to Purchase/Upgrade/Gift Founder Pledges

Come Play Release 3 Now!

SotA_Release3c

Release 3 successfully launched yesterday, February 20, with thousands of backers downloading, patching, logging in, and exploring the new content!

In this release we’ve added multiplayer mode, allowing players to see each other and interact through an enhanced chat system, friend list, and emotes. In addition to the towns of Owl’s Head and Kingsport, there is a new village to explore, Braemar. There are numerous crafting enhancements as well as merchants where you can sell your crafted goods. Also included are several new songs created by the community via The Bards of Poets’ Circle. The much requested ability to reconfigure the game controls has been added, and player housing and decorating can be fully experienced in the single player online mode.

SotA community member, The Mad Hermit, created an awesome walkthru video, Guide To Pre Alpha R3, highlighting many of the new multiplayer features and game enhancements. It’s an absolute “must see”, so take a few minutes, crank the video quality up to HD, and let The Mad Hermit give you the grand tour of Multiplayer Release 3:

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Update of the Avatar #60 – 02/14/14: Valentine Poetry Contest, Lord Houseboat, BotA, Cabinet of Virtues, Tanning Knife, Pantheon, Events Page, and More!


Happy Valentine’s Day Fellow Avatars!

Here’s what we have for you in this week’s edition of Update of the Avatar:

  • Hearts of Britannia Valentine’s Poetry Reading!
  • Extra, Extra Early R3 Test Results
  • Founder Lord Waterfront Houseboat
  • Blade of the Avatar Novel: Chapter 9
  • Hearth of Britannia Cabinet of Virtues
  • Tanning Knife of Prosperity
  • The 6-More Pack of Prosperity
  • Stretch Goals: Lord British vs. Darkstarr
  • Last Week for the Pantheon Kickstarter Special Cross-Game Cloak
  • New Events Page
  • Only 52 Days Remain to Purchase/Upgrade/Gift Founder Pledges

SotA_Hearts_of_Britannia

Hearts of Britannia Valentine’s Poetry Reading!

All the poetry submissions are in, and today, Valentine’s Day, the winners are being decided by Dame Lori, Sir Dom, Lord British, Firelotus, Stephen and Starr!

The winners will be announced and poems narrated by Holt on a special Live Hangout on February 15th. A Roast shall take place afterward where entertaining anonymous runner-ups are also narrated. The Hangout/Poetry Reading will begin at 7 pm CST, Saturday, February 15th. The hangout link will be announced 15-30 minutes ahead of time.

All winning entries will be bound into an in-game book which can be found in-game. The top winners of the Lord British and Darkstarr poems will receive the in-game Darkstarr or Lord British cloaks. We will also create a video of Richard, Starr, Gina, and Stephen reading the winning poems that were written to them.

MAY THE BEST POETS WIN LUV 4 ALL TIME!
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