Category Archives: Update of the Avatar

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!

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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:

Read more…


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

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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!
Read more…


Update of the Avatar #59 – 02/07/14: Star Citizen Artifact, BotA, Royal Founders, Website Upgrades, Pantheon Kickstarter, Tombstone, Tinkerer Certificate, and More!


Greetings Fellow Avatars!

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

  • Blade of the Avatar Novel: Chapter 8
  • Stretch Goals: Lord British vs. Darkstarr
  • Upcoming Duke and LoM Events
  • Star Citizen Vanduul Polearm
  • Royal Founders: Recognizing our Original Backers
  • Ancestor Tombstone
  • Developer Tinkerer Certificate
  • Pets at Founder Tier: Option to get all 3?
  • Knight’s Lighthouse Animation
  • Cubit Measure of Prosperity
  • Website Upgrades: Pledge Page & Campaign Statistics Page
  • Pantheon Kickstarter Special Cross-Game Cloak
  • “Hearts of Britannia” Valentine’s Poetry Competition!
  • Only 59 Days Remain to Purchase/Upgrade/Gift Founder Pledges

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Blade of the Avatar Novel: Chapter 8

The latest installment of the serialized SotA novel, Blade of the Avatar (BotA), written by Tracy Hickman & Richard Garriott, is now available for download! If you are an Early Founder, or you purchased BotA in the Add-On Store, then you will find a download link for the current installment of the novel on your personal SotA account page (log into SotA website and click on “Account” in the top-right corner).  If you are a Kickstarter backer you’ll need to have your Kickstarter account linked to the SotA website (click here for instructions to link your Kickstarter account).

Here is a brief excerpt of the latest installment (illustration by Denis Loubet):


Chapter 8: Hilt

Evard Dirae, Craftmaster of the Cabal of Obsidians, rode his horse through the last and grandest of the gates of the fortress at Hilt. The challenge which the guards tried to voice at his approach died on their lips, each falling silent at the passage of a sorcerer.

Evard kept his cold, pale green eyes forward as he passed into the upper courts of Hilt. He did not need to look back down over the multiple concourses that formed the fortress. He had taken them all in with mounting anger as he rode up the various switchbacks, passing through each gate with increasing disdain. Now, as he passed through the final gate, he felt entirely too familiar with the grand structure and, so far as he was concerned, the true reasons for its existence were all too evident.

What had once been a small mountain bowl nestled above a steep, stony canyon, was now an unfortunately crowded construction site. A grand tower keep, far more impressive than practical, was nearly complete toward the front of the bowl just behind the still incomplete defensive curtainwall. The five cascades from the surrounding peaks contributed to the deep glacier lake at the back of the bowl. This, in turn, emptied into the swift moving river that plunged through a gap in the curtainwall and down its restricting channel over the concourses below. In every other otherwise reasonably dry spot, buildings of various size and designs were evident in every conceivable state of incompleteness. Some were cleared ground only, whose foundations had barely been laid out. Others had their walls partially completed with stone pillars standing free, either in their intended place or on their side. A very few others appear to be nearly complete, only lacking in a few finishing details such as a roof or doorway. The shod hooves of Evard’s horse rattled against the newly laid cobblestone paths which wound between the structures.

Such a pointless waste, Evard thought. A monumental conceit that served no real purpose…

Read more…


Update of the Avatar #58 – 01/31/14: Release 2 Perspectives, Pantheon Cloak, Valentine Special, Lighthouse, Pets, Smelting Tongs, Stretch Goals, and Founder Pledge Gifts!


Greetings Fellow Avatars!

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

  • Release 2 Perspectives
  • Pantheon & SotA Co-Backers Receive Special Cross-Game Cloak
  • “Hearts of Britannia” Valentine’s Poetry Competition!
  • Blade of the Avatar Novel: Chapter 7
  • Early Founder Knight Village Waterfront Lighthouse
  • Founder Tier Pets
  • Virtual Collector Iolo Lute
  • Early Founder Royal Artisan Iolo Crossbow
  • Smelting Tongs of Prosperity
  • Stretch Goals: Lord British vs. Darkstarr
  • Purchase, Transfer, or Gifting of Founder Pledges

Release 2 Perspectives

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Lord British shared his royal perspective on the Release 2 results in a post on the public forums:

Greetings Citizens,

We continue to be amazed by the outstanding community we have participating in Shroud of the Avatar! Many thousands of you joined us in the Release 2 test phase and the data we got back was invaluable. More importantly, we are learning each cycle how better to provide you the game you want. The boards have been humming with GREAT suggestions as has my twitter feed. Which, if you don’t follow, is simply @RichardGarriott. Please join me there too!

I was particularly fond of people joining my party so that we could group chat which, while a temp hack, foreshadowed what is coming soon in Release 3! While we still have TONS of work to do, I think / hope now that people can easily tell where we are heading and that the clarity should grow with each release. If you are seeing the rich world interaction detail like Ultima VII, the start of a deep virtue based story ala Ultima IV, and the diverse interrelated professions such as combat, crafting, gathering, and player created content, then you see where we are going.

The team in Austin is exceptionally happy that you continue to play and offer feedback of such quality. Every day at the office is a day of joy. We are working hard in your service!

Thank you,
Richard “Lord British” Garriott

Join the conversation with Lord British on the public forums!


Starr Long (Executive Producer) also shared his perspective on the forums:

Greetings Avatars,

Thank you all for helping us test Release 2. We feel even more strongly now that we are on the right path to make a great product with all of you. The tight feedback loop we are establishing is already making things better. With Release 2, we were able to respond to your feedback from Release 1 by adding features like jumping. We took this a step further and during Release 2, we released multiple patches to fix bugs and even add features (e.g. highlighting crafting icons on crafting tables and invert mouse look). This was a great test of the team and our patching abilities but also hopefully an indication of the kind of responsiveness we strive for.

Release 3 will be the first time we enable Open Multiplayer Mode and that will consume all of our resources to make happen. Even the simple act of enabling this requires us to solve a myriad of issues like seeing other players’ equipment/customization/animation, creating rule sets for how interactive items work (so two people can’t sit in the same chair for example), creating rules for spinning up instances when zones get full, propagating changes players make across all those instances (for when housing is re-enabled), etc. Making all those things work is why we won’t be adding new major systems until Release 4. However, as with Release 1, we really want to respond to feedback you are giving us about Release 2. Specifically we are adding these stretch goals to R3…

Read more…


Update of the Avatar #57 – 01/24/14: Play Release 2 Now, BotA Chapter 6, Founder Bow, Ankh of Virtue, Silver Serpent Necklace, Scissors of Prosperity, 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 2 Now!
  • Blade of the Avatar Novel: Chapter 6
  • The Spoony Interviews
  • Early Founder Royal Artisan Starter Bow
  • Immortal Adventurer Ankh of Virtue Necklace
  • Lord British’s Silver Serpent Necklace
  • Scissors of Prosperity

Come Play Release 2 Now!

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Release 2 successfully launched yesterday, January 23, with thousands of backers downloading, patching, logging in, and exploring the content! We need all your help with stress-testing the servers and testing the game systems, so please join us in playing Release 2.

In this release we’ve added the second town of Kingsport, a list inventory, increased character customization, recipe books, jumping and the very first stages of crafting. Crafting will initially focus on refining and production for smithing, tailoring and carpentry. There are more than 100 recipes with chests full of crafting resources spread throughout the land.

[Note: This early release is single player online only. Release 2 access will end on Saturday, January 25, at 10:00 PM Central Time]

Hurry and join us in playing Shroud of the Avatar while Release 2 access is open! If you have not backed the game yet, you will need to register and login on www.shroudoftheavatar.com, select the “Pledge” button in the right side-bar, and purchase a pledge at the $45 Adventurer level or above.

(click here for more complete instructions on downloading and playing Release 2)

Read more…


Release 2 Instructions


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[Starr Long posted this on the forums today]

Hello Everyone,

Thank you to our loyal backers of Shroud of the Avatar. Release 2 access for all backers at First Responder / Adventurer level and above begins this Thursday, January 23, at 10:30 AM Central Time. Release 2 access will end on Saturday, January 25, 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 not only are we are going to deliver just about every single Release 2 item (except for Shopping) but that we also were able to put in some extras. Here are those deliverables again, along with some extra notes and the bonus deliverables in italics.

RELEASE 2: January 23 – January 25 2014

  • Crafting: We will be opening up crafting for testing with more than 100 recipes. Chests full of crafting resources will be provided. Crafting will initially focus on refining and production for smithing, tailoring, and carpentry.
  • Shopping: Shopkeepers will be open for business for selling and buying.
  • Town 2: An additional municipality (likely village sized) will be open for business! Entering the swirling blue portal in the ring of stones will take you from one town to the other. We chose Kingsport for Town 2.
  • List Inventory: For those who prefer spreadsheets to immersion. The inventory battle royale continues! Setting this option will change all containers into lists except for crafting tables (coming in R3).
  • Character Customization++: Characters from R1 will be wiped, but you will now have even more options when creating your character! Now there are even more ways to look unique, including: facial features, scaling, and more content (hairstyles, head shapes, skin tones, hair colors, etc.) We were also able to include helmets and offhand items (torch and shield).
  • Jumping: Tired of not being able to jump that fence? Well tire no more as we now have jumping. And not just any old jumping but player controlled height jumping. A quick tap on the spacebar barely lifts the player but holding down the spacebar allows the player to clear those pesky walls with a high jump. Long term jumping will use focus and will likely be affected by weight carried.
  • Run Speed: Many of you commented on the slow run speed so we increased it by 50%, which feels much more satisfying. We will continue to tune this and balance it with an upcoming Dash skill that uses Focus as well as the Sprint buff in the Light Armor School of combat.
  • Mac & Linux: OSX and Linux support is now working (with a few caveats). The game currently requires a two button mouse and while a trackpad technically works we are not fully supporting it yet. For Linux, Unity only officially supports Ubuntu so if you are running other versions it may not work.
  • Recipe Log: We had originally planned to put crafting in R2 without a recipe log but quickly discovered how amazingly not fun that was. Discovery is great but not having any record of that discovery is just punishing. So we got in a recipe book that will track your recipes.

So now that it is clear what you can expect we should also be as clear about what you should not expect:

Read more…


Update of the Avatar #56 – 01/17/14: $3 Million Milestone, Release 2 Countdown, BotA Chapter 5, Edelmann Cabana, Founder Weapons, Cooking Pot, and More!


Greetings Fellow Avatars!

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

  • Lord British Hosts Hangout to Celebrate $3 Million Milestone
  • 6 Day Countdown to Release 2 Launch!
  • Blade of the Avatar Novel: Chapter 5
  • The Spoony Interviews
  • Founder Edelmann Village Waterfront Cabana
  • Founder Melee Weapons
  • Cooking Pot of Prosperity
  • Village Lots Make A Comeback
  • 80 Days Remaining for Early Founder Pledge Prices

Lord British Hosts Hangout to Celebrate $3 Million Milestone

Shroud of the Avatar has crossed the $3M milestone thanks to your generous support! The team and I would like to express our deepest gratitude to all of our Backers for your belief in both our team and our vision for New Britannia!

To celebrate our $3 Million milestone, and the launch of Release 2, I’m hosting a late night Video Hangout next Thursday, January 23. We’ll post more details about the video hangout next week.

Your Humbled Servant
~Lord British


6 Day Countdown to Release 2 Launch!

We’re only 6 days away from the launch of Release 2 and the team is working feverishly to get it ready! We’re all looking forward to another great turnout from our backers, so please come check out the new features and content, and help us find bugs and provide design feedback! Stay tuned for a special update next Wednesday, January 22, providing all the details about Release 2.

Release 2 is only available to backers starting at the $45 Adventurer Pledge Tier (and $25 Early Founder First Responders), so if you want to play and haven’t backed the game yet, then please make sure you have registered on our website and made your pledge.

Read more…


Update of the Avatar #55 – 01/10/14: BotA Chapter 4, SotA #1 on Indie MMO Top Ten, More Spoony, Citizen Waterfront Cabana, & More!


Greetings Fellow Avatars!

Welcome to another edition of Update of the Avatar! The team is working hard to get Release 2 ready for this month’s launch, and the excitement is mounting! Stay tuned for more Release 2 launch information in an upcoming update. Here’s what we have for you this week:

  • Blade of the Avatar Novel: Chapter 4
  • SotA on More Top Ten MMO Lists for 2014
  • The Spoony Interviews
  • Founder Citizen Village Waterfront Cabana
  • Founder Royal Artisan Taming Creature Call
  • Carpentry Hammer of Prosperity

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Blade of the Avatar Novel: Chapter 4

Chapter 4 of the serialized SotA novel, Blade of the Avatar (BotA), written by Tracy Hickman & Richard Garriott, is now available for download! If you are an Early Founder, or you purchased BotA in the Add-On Store, then you will find a download link for the current installment of the novel on your personal SotA account page (log into SotA website and click on “Account” in the top-right corner).  If you are a Kickstarter backer you’ll need to have your Kickstarter account linked to the SotA website (click here for instructions to link your Kickstarter account).

Here is a brief excerpt of Chapter 4 (illustration by Denis Loubet):


Chapter 4: Messages

“Captain Bennis!”

Aren awoke with a start, sliding his feet over the edge of the cot and coming to sit in the familiar gloom of his tent. He was awake at once, though noted he was feeling a few aches and pains that were unfamiliar to him. He still wore the tunic and the breaches from the previous day. He reached for his nearby boots, dragging them on even as he spoke.

“I am here,” he called out, his voice still a little hoarse. “What is it?”

“General Karpasik requests that you come at once!”

The captain stopped what he was doing immediately, dropping the second boot and then running his hand back through his untamed hair. The cascade of actual emergencies that had suddenly flooded into his mind along with each of their dire and immediate responses fled from him. “And did the general say what it was that he wanted?”

“He… He would like to inquire as to just how soon the Victory March might begin.” The voice from beyond the tent flap was young and high-pitched. Aren felt some sympathy for the young warrior. Few soldiers in the Army of Conquest received a message from the general with politeness.

“The Victory March?” Bennis shook his head in disbelief. “Is the general in some particular hurry?”

“The General has received orders from the Obsidians,” came the muffled voice beyond the canvas of the tent. “We are to leave a garrison force, but the bulk of the Army is to strike the encampment and prepare to march.”

“So the General has received orders to move the Army, but he still insists on having his parade,” Bennis muttered, shaking his head once again. He raised his voice slightly so that the messenger could hear him clearly. “Please inform the General that I will report to him shortly.”

“Yes, sir! And… Err…” “What is it, boy?” Aren could hear the hesitance in the voice outside.

“The General asks that you bring the tribute that you discovered in the ruins yesterday,” the warrior said, tripping over his words.

Download your copy of the latest installment of BotA to read the rest of this exciting chapter!

Read more…


Update of the Avatar #54 – 01/02/14: SotA on 2014 Top Game Lists, More Spoony, Benefactor Cloak, Add-On Store Conversion, Darkstarr Salute, Hammer of Prosperity, & More!


Happy New Year Fellow Avatars!

Welcome to our first edition of Update of the Avatar for 2014! We hope all of you enjoyed your holidays and brought in the New Year with a bang! We’ve got some cool stuff to help get your New Year off to a great start:

  • SotA Makes the Forbes and MMORPG.com Top Games Lists of 2014
  • More Spoony
  • Benefactor Cloak
  • Add-On Store Conversion
  • Let’s Talk About Lots
  • Darkstarr Salute
  • Hammer of Prosperity
  • Sigil Capes
  • Changes to Chat

SotA Makes the Forbes and MMORPG.com Top Games Lists of 2014

MMORPG.COM Ranks SotA #2 Most Wanted MMO of 2014!

The staff at MMORPG.com are kicking off the New Year with their Top 10 List of The Most Wanted MMOs of 2014, and Shroud of the Avatar came in at #2!

“The spiritual successor to Ultima Online, driven by much of that game’s staff, and featuring both MMO play and completely offline adventuring. Need we really say more?”

Here’s their complete 2014 Top 10 List:

  1. Wildstar Online
  2. Shroud of the Avatar
  3. EverQuest Next: Landmark
  4. Elder Scrolls Online
  5. World of Warcraft: Warlords of Draenor
  6. ArcheAge
  7. Destiny
  8. The Division
  9. Elite Dangerous
  10. The Repopulation

Forbes Includes SotA in their Best Video Game RPGs of 2014 and Beyond!

“When it comes to roleplaying video games, it often feels as though the golden days are behind us…But when you start looking at all the incredible games coming out in the next couple years, you begin to realize that there are in fact quite a few great-looking RPGs in the works…From the creator of the old Ultima games, Richard Garriott, Avatar is a crowdfunded RPG that promises to bring back some of what made those games great.”

Read more…


Happy Holidays from the SotA Team!


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We Wish You the Happiest of Holidays!

 

From the entire Shroud of the Avatar Development Team

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The Replenishing Snowball Box

And in the spirit of the season, we’ve added the Replenishing Snowball Box to the basic rewards of all pledge tiers as a holiday gift for our backers. This magical box of 50 snowballs regenerates annually during the holiday season.

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