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Q1 2017 Schedule Update

Discussion in 'Announcements' started by DarkStarr, Dec 22, 2016.

  1. DarkStarr

    DarkStarr Executive Producer SOTA Developer

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    Greetings Avatars,

    As we have stated previously, we intend to publish quarterly schedule updates for our monthly releases. Even though the goals outlined in these schedules are likely to change somewhat as we react to feedback, we feel it is important to periodically provide you with an updated roadmap.

    Our priority continues to be to deliver new content to our backers each and every month so that you can give us feedback that will help us iteratively improve Shroud of the Avatar. This collaborative process continues to benefit the game, and often results in sweeping changes such as the switch over to use-based advancement. As you have seen in previous releases, the flexibility inherent to this process means that we sometimes push things out, but we also often pull new things in.

    For the first quarter of 2017 we will be putting the finishing touches on the Path of Love while moving on to the Paths of Courage and Truth. We will continue to expand Crafting with the additions of molds for visual variations as well as polishing Agriculture and Fishing. Combat will continue to be balanced and will be expanded to include cover as well as a refactor of ammunition. The user interface will get several polish passes including refactoring of the conversation system and tutorial as well as an overall improvement to visuals and usability. We will also continue to give each region a visually distinct appearance, from the Shogunate beauty of the Perennial Coast to the Viking starkness of Norgard and Verdantis.

    We believe that we have reached the final 20% of development before Commercial Release, at which point we will transition out of Early Access. The next two quarters will be the most exciting and challenging times for the project so far. This will be when we get the final features and content in the game and make the last important balance changes. The changes will be fast and furious, and they may occasionally be hard to understand when you become accustomed to the way things were before. Please trust that we firmly believe that every change we make is best for the long term health of the project.

    As always, all dates, durations, and deliverables are subject to change as we adjust our designs based on direct feedback from you, our backers.

    RELEASE 38, January 26, 2017
    • Story: The Path of Love will get some final polish passes including the propagation of the Asian influenced assets we created for Ardoris across all of the Perennial Coast, as well as adding Brookside and Graff Island to the plot. Brookside will be getting uncloned during this process. We will be polishing the other starting scenes for the other two paths: Blood River and Highvale. We will begin polish on the entire Path of Courage. Vauban Pass will be uncloned, thereby making all the Control Points unique scenes. Finally, the all-new polished version of Xenos will be going live, in all its Greco-Roman influenced splendor, and the volcanic PVP violence of Blood Bay will debut.
    • Traps and Locks: We are going to greatly enhance the interactivity of our dungeons and other play spaces with more traps including flame jets, pressure plates, and arrow shooters. We are also refactoring our key, lock, and door system to make it easier for our developers to add locked doors and keys to their maps.
    • New NPC Conversation Interface: We will be doing a polish and refactor pass of the NPC Conversation System to make it both more immersive and easier to use.
    • Chat Windows: Chat tabs will be able to be pulled off and placed within the game window as separate chat windows.
    • Crafting: Enchanting and Masterworking level will now have much greater influence on the outcomes of item creation. The higher your skill level, the greater the power of the effect added to the item and the greater number of choices you will have. At Grandmaster level, you will even have the chance to sometimes add maximum durability back to the item. Additionally, the power of the effect is directly proportional to how many levels of masterworking/enchanting have been applied, to better balance risk versus reward. We also hope to greatly increase the number of possible Enchantment and Masterwork effects.
    • Character: Clockwork Dragons will make their appearance in the game in several versions, including the Summer Telethon pet as well as a full-size behemoth! Citizens of Ardoris and the Perennial Coast will now be adorned in Asian-influenced clothing and we will also be updating the Guards in all Perennial Coast scenes with the Ardoris City Guard outfits. Work on other Telethon reward items will also continue including Clockwork Armor, Ice Wings, and Ice Bagpipes. Finally, rumors of a yet-unnamed and unseen stealthy clockwork beast loose in the Kobold areas have been shocking to hear.
    • Player Towns & Player Housing: We will continue to expand our housing with a focus on water based housing and houses in our Shogun line. We will also be adding a water decoration surface layer, so players will be able to add decorations to the water around their water homes. Additionally, we will be doing some expansions to the Player-Owned Town toolset including the ability to clear foliage and view lot boundaries at all times. Finally, updates to Dynamic Player-Owned Towns that have locked submission forms will appear in the game.
    • Combat: We will expand the number of decks players can build and save. We will also be adding more combos, more skills, and more spells. Additionally we will begin a major polish pass on all the visual effects related to combat.
    RELEASE 39, February 23, 2017
    • Story: We will continue polishing the Path of Courage with emphasis on moving the player smoothly through this part of the story. We will also be adding another Siege Encounter map and un-cloning the Rhun Ruins.
    • Player Housing: The ability to rent rooms in a player home will start to become available to homeowners. Additionally, the Shogun bundles will come online as we continue to expand our water placeable houses and our Shogun line of houses. We will also begin the work necessary to make player equipment placeable as decorations. Also containers will begin to have limits on how many items can be placed inside them. Finally, updates to Dynamic Player-Owned Towns that have locked submission forms will appear in the game.
    • Combat: The cover system will be introduced and will modify attack and defense values when you (or your target) are behind cover. We will also be refactoring how ammunition works for ranged weapons so that we can have a greater variety of ranged weapons and introduce different types of ammunition, including the ability to craft those ammunition types.
    • Character: We will begin work polishing the Kobolds and updating them to better reflect their lore which attributes much of the technology in Novia to them. We will also begin introducing the first of the Obsidian Cabalists. Lastly, ducks will be winging their way into the hearts, minds, and yes, bellies of Novians.
    • Crafting: We will be expanding the crafting system to include molds that can be used to create visual variants for weapons and armor (Elven, Norgard, Obsidian, Kobold). We will also be refactoring the Agriculture interface and expanding functionality to include new skills like batch planting.
    RELEASE 40, March 30, 2017
    • Story: We will be doing some final polish passes on the Path of Courage and beginning to polish the Path of Truth. Additionally, a vast dungeon will be opening underneath Blood Bay. We will also be un-cloning the Kas Ruins, Elysium Mines, and a few adventure scenes. We will also be refactoring the tutorial system to improve the new user experience.
    • Character: We will begin creating Viking-inspired clothing for the NPCs in the Norgard and Verdantis areas of Novia to better define that region, including outfits for Royalty, Guards, Citizens, and Merchants. We will also be polishing the Troll visuals and creating more visual variations for our children NPCs.
    • Crafting: Fishing will be polished and expanded and Alcohol recipes will be added to the game.
    • Guild Alliances: Guilds will now be able to form alliances with each other.
    • Offline Combat Balance and Economy: A pass will be made through the game to adjust combat balance for play in offline mode with companions. Additionally, the economy in offline mode will be tuned to be better balanced for single-player. For instance, NPC merchants will buy player-crafted items at a profit to the player. Also, pledge and Add-On Store items will be available from NPC merchants for purchase with in-game gold.
    • User Interface: A polish pass will be made to the user interface to improve general usability and visuals.
    We continue to be incredibly thankful for the support we receive from this amazing community. While the funding you provide makes all of this possible, it pales in comparison with the faith you have in us, the feedback you provide us, and the content you are making for everyone to enjoy. We are humbly grateful, and we cannot wait to see you again in New Britannia!

    Before I go, I wanted to include an excerpt from my original post about our Early Release Schedule that is important to set the framework for our ongoing schedule:

    As a crowd funded and crowd sourced project, we feel it is incredibly important that we provide our backers with information and access well before game studios would normally do so in a traditional development model. Traditionally, the players are given information and access only after the development team has already decided exactly how things will be done, and at times, even after it has already been implemented. By the time the public normally has access to the product, there is usually no time to meaningfully react to the public feedback.

    Shroud of the Avatar is different than the traditional model, as we intend to offer our backers extremely early access to information and even the game itself. With that said, we also want to be very careful that we only provide access to portions of the game when they are ready for a wider range of feedback. If we can play it internally and we know it is not ready, then there is nothing to be gained by having a wider audience come to the same conclusion. In fact, it could be quite damaging to do so.

    Our strategy over the next few months is to provide you with focused and iterative releases of content. Your feedback during these releases will be critical to making the final product the best it can be, and we appreciate that you are all so willing to devote your time to helping us. <snip>. After each release we will review the results and reevaluate the plan including the duration of availability of each release.

    It is important to note that all dates, durations, and deliverables are subject to change.

    Sincerely,
    Starr Long
    Executive Producer
    Shroud of the Avatar
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 22, 2016
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  2. Diminio

    Diminio Avatar

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    Sounds wonderful, look forward to these releases and beyond! ☺
     
  3. Lyndoman

    Lyndoman Avatar

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    Love the way the game is progressing, it's so interesting to watch the process and even be a part of it.
     
  4. brhanson2

    brhanson2 Avatar

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    Awesome!
     
  5. Sean Silverfoot

    Sean Silverfoot Avatar

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    Thanks for the update!
     
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  6. Browncoat Jayson

    Browncoat Jayson Legend of the Hearth

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    Will the Shogun line feature Blue Tile Roof versions of the other housing sizes? Daisho (matched set of katana/longsword and wakizashi/shortsword)? Rain cherry blossoms emote?

    Now I have to go watch Magnificent Seven. :p
     
  7. Atticus Gryphonheart

    Atticus Gryphonheart Legend of the Hearth

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    @Darskstarr was wondering if in an plans this quarter to add potential calls for NPC creations as originally mentioned in Kickstarter.

    Will there be any calls for NPC creation this quarter, and/or do you plan to put them in future quarterly goals?
     
  8. DarkStarr

    DarkStarr Executive Producer SOTA Developer

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    Yes there will be Shogun styled housing in all sizes, and even water homes.

    Yes a katana is planned.
     
  9. SteelCore

    SteelCore Avatar

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    I like the announcments, especially of the crafting section...
     
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  10. Mirellani Brave

    Mirellani Brave Avatar

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    There is sooo much to look forward to :). Love what you do and admire your work dear Portalarium Crew!
     
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  11. Barugon

    Barugon Avatar

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    I hope crossbows get a boost. As it is, they're not quite as good as longbows because they get no strength bonus (even though the strength bonus is very low for longbows).
     
  12. Phox

    Phox Avatar

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    This ! Can't wait for this !! Thx for the info ;)

    Edit : question @DarkStarr : new skills so skill tree revamp ? Will there new skills in the current tree or new branches ? How would prerequisites skills behave regarding currently gained skill ? :)
     
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2016
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  13. Bamboozle

    Bamboozle Avatar

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    Wow love the updates. Especially crafting! Now GM crafting will actually mean something.

    @DarkStarr -- have you thought about making changes to basic crafting skills? For example, enchanting and MW will now be better if your skill level is higher. But for skills like carpentry and tailoring, GM still doesn't mean much (80 tailoring is pretty much the same as GM tailoring). Any plans here?
     
  14. Kara Brae

    Kara Brae Avatar

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    @DarkStarr Regarding the following planned for R39:
    Sad news. :( Even if the number of containers per lot is not restricted, it would make it hard to decorate things beautifully. Who wants stacks of 5 containers all over the place?

    At least give the ladies a bottomless pocketbook. Everyone knows that they can hold everything, including the kitchen sink.:D
     
  15. Retlaw

    Retlaw Avatar

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    I think basements just got way more useful (although I understand a lot of those are decorated nice too).
     
  16. Rufus D`Asperdi

    Rufus D`Asperdi Avatar

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    LAWN MOWER!!! So long I've waited! :)
    Perhaps this, DarkStarr? :)
    I will likely have rooms devoted to this.
    A Welcome addition!
    Shogunate too?
    I WANNA BUY A DUCK! Duck pet perhaps? :)
     
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2016
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  17. Paladin Michael

    Paladin Michael Avatar

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    Well, January Release will be one of the first highlights of 2017 :) Looking forward seeing the new skill(changes) ...
     
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  18. Almar

    Almar Avatar

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    [​IMG]
     
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  19. Randbo

    Randbo Avatar

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    Use-based advancement?

    also, elysium is the fastest respawning mine of them all.
    why dont you unclone one of the other 9 mines first?
    let us keep our crafting xp generator so that we can get our skills up before you go to use-based advancement.
     
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2016
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  20. Barugon

    Barugon Avatar

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    Um... use-based advancement was implemented quite a while ago.
     
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