Release 44 Instructions

Discussion in 'Announcements' started by DarkStarr, Jul 26, 2017.

  1. DarkStarr

    DarkStarr Executive Producer SOTA Developer

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    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 44 access for all Early Access backers begins this Thursday, July 27, at 10:30 AM US Central Daylight Time (15:30 UTC).


    Forsaken Virtues Story Complete: We have now completed the Path of the Oracle (the fourth and final path) with the introduction of the Destiny Pool, the Confluence Chamber, and the final audience with the Oracle. This means that players can now play through the entire Episode 1 story from beginning to end, including all three paths of virtue: Truth, Love, and Courage. In Release 45, we will add the Outskirts scene for the Path of Courage (Highvale Outskirts), some additional side quests along the Truth and Courage paths, some visual polish, and of course general bug fixes. That is when we will also provide the story reset token that will allow players to restart the story while preserving their character.


    Dread Artifacts and the Shroud of the Avatar (SPOILERS): As players complete all four paths, they will gain possession of four powerful artifacts. These include the Shroud of the Avatar as well as the three Dread Artifacts: the Bone Steel Crown, the Heart of Sorrows, and the Scepter of Dread. The Dread Artifacts each grant a unique and powerful spell that allows the Avatar to wield great power but over time will require great sacrifices (see details below). The Shroud of the Avatar will visually display the Avatar’s current state of virtue but rumors abound that the Shroud conveys other powers as well...


    New Scenes & Scene Polish: A huge amount of work went into worldbuilding and scene polish this release. We rebuilt the final Colossus map, Grannus Colossus. This, along with the Destiny Pool and the Confluence Chamber, completes the Path of the Oracle. The Hallowed Plains was also rebuilt this release and features an ancient haunted battlefield that is being resettled by Kobolds. Three of the towns along the Path of Truth (Aerie, Jaanaford, and Vertas) were polished to better represent that path. Blood River Outskirts was also polished significantly. Additionally, guards in many scenes will now fine players who are caught stealing.


    Rent: Property Owners can now add an additional "Tenant" permission for users of their lot. This permission can be added for any permission level from Guest through Co-Owner, and allows users to securely place items on a lot without fear of losing them. Items placed as a Tenant will be owned by that Tenant and only they may pick them back up off the lot. If a Tenant loses permission for any reason, or the lot contents are sent to the bank due to a house deed change, those items will go back to the Tenant's bank. Additionally, we have added the ability for permissions to be set on individual doors so that renting can be done room per room (or the entire building).

    I want to express a huge amount of gratitude to our Dev+ backers who tested all of the items below on the QA server and uncovered lots of bugs. They also provided editorial feedback on this post. They are a big reason that this post actually matches what is in the game and that it is easy to read.

    While we are getting closer to launch, we are still in a constant state of change. We do not yet have all of the in-game systems needed to inform players about these changes, and to help them to explore new content and systems. This means we rely mostly on this message, and the linked instructions and known issues to convey the current game state. We regularly have to answer questions or filter bug reports because some players elect not to read this valuable information.

    By taking a few moments to read through this information, a great deal of our time and efforts can be redirected to focus on new “unanswered” questions and addressing critical issues impacting each release. We greatly appreciate you taking the time to review this post and for all the truly valuable feedback you continue to provide.

    Also, remember that while we are providing new content with each release, our community is working overtime to make new events for you to enjoy. Be sure to check out a couple of the event calendars run by our community members (via in-game book or the player-run website: Avatars Circle). You can also get the latest official events on the Main Website.

    Without further ado, here is a list of what you can expect to see in Release 44.

    • Plain Text: The original plan for the Release deliverables. We intentionally preserve the original text so that our backers can compare plan versus actuals.
    • Italics: Extra notes and new deliverables.
    • Strikethrough: These are items that did not make the release (but are still planned).
    RELEASE 44, July 27, 2017

    • Story: Polish will continue on the Path of the Oracle (aka the Finale) including work on the Destiny Pool and the Grannus Colossus (which is getting completely rebuilt). This will make the core of the story for Episode 1 complete and playable from beginning to end along all three paths (Truth, Love, and Courage). Blood River Outskirts, the new scene that players start in after Blood River Massacre, will get a polish pass. Also, the first three cities along the Path of Truth (Aerie, Vertas, and Jaanaford) will get visual polish passes to better show off the fact that they are cities of Truth and to generally improve visuals (terrain, flora, etc.). Finally some adventure scenes in the northwest regions of Novia will be rebuilt from scratch, including Hallowed Plains.
      • Path of the Oracle: Confluence Chamber, Destiny Pool, and Oracle Finale: We have now completed the Path of the Oracle with the introduction of the Destiny Pool, Confluence Chamber, and the final audience with the Oracle. Note this also included providing a connection to the Confluence chamber through the Underground network (i.e. non-PvP). SPOILERS: After collecting all the pages of the Dire Prophecy and the lenses you can now proceed to the Confluence Chamber to assemble the Book of the Dire Prophecies. Once you return to the Oracle she grants you the Shroud of the Avatar (see below) and the story completes.
      • [​IMG]
      • Grannus Colossus: SPOILERS: Now that all three paths (Truth, Love, and Courage) are playable we are finishing work on the Finale part of the plot, aka The Path of the Oracle. Crucial destinations along that path are the Colossus scenes, of which there is one for each Titan and the Oracle. So far, we have released the Oracle, Boreas, and Sequanna Colossus scenes. For Release 44, we have completed the final Colossus scene: Grannus Colossus. This scene was temporarily a clone of another scene but was completely rebuilt to test the courage of all Avatars.
      • [​IMG]
      • Hallowed Plains: On the outskirts of the Boundless Forest and to one side of the Broken Road is the Hallowed Plains, a sacred site to humans where a massive battle was once fought. Kobolds do not have the same respect for this land and have begun building along the road despite opposition from locals. This scene was temporarily a clone of another scene but was completely rebuilt for Release 44.
      • [​IMG]
      • Blood River Outskirts Polish: Blood River Outskirts is now replete with side quests including a couple of repeatable errands that can be completed once per day. We also fixed tons of bugs and gave it a general polish pass for playability and balance.
      • Cities of Truth (Aerie, Jaanaford, Vertas) Polish: As we have focused on the Path of Truth, we are spending time to not only polish the story elements (dialogue, NPC names, quests, etc.), but to also update visuals along the path as needed. For Release 44, this included polishing the visuals for three of the towns you visit along the Path of Truth: Aerie, Vertas, and Jaanaford. Each of these towns was updated to include more color (especially blue, the color of Truth), more visuals related to Truth (books, libraries, statues of the Titan of Truth, etc.), and general polish (terrain, foliage, etc.).
      • [​IMG]
      • NPC Guards Impose Fines for Stealing: NPCs will call the guards when they catch players stealing. Guards will now impose fines of 100 gold plus 100 times the value of the objects being stolen. Starting with Release 45 if players do not have enough gold on them they will have to sacrifice part of themselves (see the Dread Artifacts “sacrifice” mechanic below).
      • Path of Courage Polish: We did significant work on the Path of Courage to bring it up to where we think it is ready for all avatars to challenge their courage. This is especially noticeable in the quest conversations in Valhold, Valhold Palace, and the Battle Camps.
      • NPC Conversations and Movement: NPCs should now be more attentive to a player while in conversation and therefore they should stop walking away midway through conversation without warning. When an NPC has a scheduled home or work transition they will now give the player a message and exit conversation mode gracefully after 30 seconds. With that said it's still entirely possible for a NPC to stop conversation suddenly due to a critical interruption like getting attacked.
      • Vertas NPCs: More NPCs in Vertas now have unique names, conversations and behaviors.
      • Aerie Fast Travel: Aerie now has a network of fast travel signposts near all the major entrances.
      • Imps: These creatures were only visible in a handful of scenes in the game which was unfortunate because they have one of the more unique creature behaviors (gold stealing). We have fixed this in R44 and they now appear in additional scenes including Blood Bay, Sunless Barrens, Penmawr Island, Shaminian Hills, and Sequanna Colossus.
      • Opalis Vault: The last remaining vault beneath the Ruins has been connected to both the Opalis Ruins and the network of Underground scenes (i.e. non-PvP).
      • [​IMG]
      • Demig’s and Ferig's Battle Camps: The locations of these two camps have been adjusted to better reflect the plot. Ferig’s camp has been moved farther north and Demig’s camp has been moved farther west, closer to Skrekk.
      • Overworld Stag Encounters: Travelers beware! Overworld Stag encounters now include the risk of randomly encountering high-tiered Obsidian Stags or Dragons.
      • Overworld Troll Encounters: The Troll who had besieged the only road leading to Aldhaven has now moved along and no longer constantly tries to eat those trying to enter or leave the beleaguered town of Aldhaven.
      • Celestis: In Release 43, we updated Celestis to match the Shogun themes of the Perennial Coast. In that process we mistakenly moved the locations of the Bank and Crafting Pavilion from their original locations instead of just changing their appearance. This has been fixed.
      • Etceter Crag Mines: Fixed the main puzzle in the mine, which has been broken for a “long time.”
      • Brittany Sewers: The catacombs section accessible from Brittany Graveyard has been extended to reach the main tunnel system, although one must solve a new puzzle in order to do so.
      • Oracle Colossus: This scene is now connected with Nightshade Pass. The previous exit to Novia now leads to Nightshade Pass, and a new exit to Novia has been added from the east (which better matches the Overworld terrain).
      • The Fall: We changed the functionality of the magic +300 attunement gas in The Fall. Now players will have to work together with allies in order to gain this powerful buff.
      • Town Sieges: Fixed issue where Sieges were not taking into account celestial events below the horizon (which makes Moondials particularly useful). Also fixed an issue where players were being forced into siege scenes when trying to enter towns from their respective sewers and catacombs.
      • New Lunar Rift POIs: The new Lunar Rifts that were added in R43 now have Points of Interest so they will now show up on the Compass.
      • Destroyed Titan Statues: We created destroyed versions of the Titan Statues and used them in scenes where previously we used the pristine versions including the ruins of Midras, Libris, Opalis, and Rhun.
      • Indoor Lights and Lamplighters: NPCs no longer turn off indoor lights during the day.
      • Harvest to Estgard Travel: The boat teleporter to Estgard in Harvest has been removed. Players can still travel from Harvest directly to Estgard by speaking with Khary the Ferryman who can be found near the docks. Note that the Novia boat between Harvest/Estgard on the overworld has not been removed.
      • Switches Refactor: We did a major refactor on how interactive switches worked to make them work better in multiplayer scenes when players enter the scene at different times (a situation where previously they would often break). This affects traps, doors, etc. but not every one of these items has been updated to the new code in every scene so there may still be lingering issues. We hope to have all switches migrated by Release 45.
      • Bank Mailboxes: R44 has finished adding mailboxes to accompany banks/bankers in NPC scenes that had been previously missed. This includes bankers in Harvest, Estgard, Port Graff, Soltown, Jaanaford, and Kiln.
      • Sky Fixes: Every scene in the game was inspected for a bug we discovered which resulted in skies not working as expected. Specifically, the moons of Novia being absent, weather-based clouds not appearing during changes to weather, and the Astrolabe not displaying constellations. We fixed all scenes where this problem was found.
      • Scene Fixes: We went through tons of scenes in the game fixing major and minor bugs including conversations, stuck spots, floating assets, missing assets, bad NPC patrols, inaccessible ore nodes, missing collision, audio issues, falling through the world, tree issues, etc. The list includes:
        • Aerie
        • Ardoris
        • Battle of Highvale
        • Battle of Solace Bridge
        • Blood Bay
        • Blood River Massacre
        • Boreas Colossus
        • Brittany Central
        • Brittany Estates
        • Brittany Sewers
        • Celestis
        • Crag Foothills
        • Deep Ravenswood
        • Desolate Hills
        • Desolis
        • Elad’s Lighthouse
        • Estgard
        • Etceter
        • Etceter Crag Mines
        • Graff Gem Mines
        • Graff Island
        • Harvest
        • Highvale
        • Isle of Storms
        • Jaanaford
        • K’rawl
        • Kas Ruins
        • Kingsport Sewers
        • Libris Ruins
        • Malice
        • Midras Ruins
        • Moors of Northshore
        • Nightshade Pass
        • Oracle Colossus
        • Paladis Passage
        • Resolute
        • Rhun Ruins
        • Sequanna Colossus
        • Serpent’s Spine Mines
        • Skrekk
        • Solace Bridge
        • Soltown Catacombs
        • Southern Grunvald Barrens
        • Spectral Mines
        • Spindrift Passage
        • Spite
        • The Epitaph
        • The Fall
        • Valhold
        • Verdantis Mines
        • Verdantis Shardfall
        • Vertas
        • Wyrmsands
        • Xenos
      • Quest Reset Delayed: As we want to ensure that the main story is free of errors that would require a major player reset, we are planning to make this available to players in Release 45.
    • Performance: Significant focus will continue to be made on performance improvements, including stability, framerate, memory, and load times.
      • Performance Delayed: Features work and bug fixes dominated our time in Release 44 and we were unable to devote the time we had originally planned to improving performance. Consequently performance in Release 44 remains unchanged from Release 43 (where there were significant improvements). We plan to revisit performance optimizations in R45 and R46.
    • Player Towns: Updates to Dynamic Player-Owned Towns that have locked submission forms will appear in the game.
      • Clothing and Armor as Decoration: 85 wearables were made placeable as decorations this release including the following highlights (not a complete list):
        • Aeronaut Suit
        • Ballet Outfit
        • Kilts
        • Rotten Armor
        • Satin Bodice
        • Wings
      • Viking Wooden Palisade Castle Walls: The Viking version of the Palisade Castle Walls have the knotwork and green roof tiles you come to expect from the Norgard and Verdantis regions of Novia. You can purchase this kit from the Add-On Store.
      • [​IMG]
      • Shogun Ship City Water Home (and Drydocked Version): This richly detailed ship is covered in Asian inspired details as found along the Perennial Coast. Two decks below and two decks above make this a spacious living abode with striking red sails normally seen on Chinese Junks. You can purchase the water and drydock versions on the Add-On Store.
      • [​IMG]
      • Gazebo: This lovely garden decoration will make an attractive addition to the lawn of any home and can be found in our Add-On Store.
      • [​IMG]
      • Fire Elemental Statue: This statue of a fire elemental includes fire visual effects. Players who are eligible for Summer Telethon 2017 rewards can now claim this from their bank.
      • Fixed Reservations Bug: In R43, we introduced a bug where POT owners could no longer reserve a lot for another player. This has now been fixed in R44.
      • POT Stewards and Decorations: Stewards can once again place decorations in POTs.
      • Fixed Basements for Sale In-Game: We fixed a bug where basements were only for sale in-game in Offline mode. They are once again for sale on Home Merchants in Online Mode as well.
      • House and Furniture Fixes: Fixed various issues in homes and with furniture including places where decorations could not be placed, stairs that could not be climbed without jumping, furniture that can’t be used etc. The list includes:
        • Adobe 2-Story with Upper Deck
        • Adobe Stables
        • Banners
        • City Stone Arena Basement
        • Copper Longswords
        • Druid Tree Home
        • Duke Keep Water Home
        • Elven Hill Home
        • Elven Mage Staff
        • Elven Wardrobes
        • Flame Scimitar
        • Flame Stained Glass Lamp
        • Founders Knights Keep
        • Frosted Lamps
        • Grand City Chateau
        • Hafted Axe
        • Harpshichord
        • Knight Marshal Benefactor
        • Kobold 3-Story w/ Left Alcove Row Home
        • Large Vase
        • Long Club
        • Long Spiked Club
        • Lord of the Manor Keep
        • Obsidian Village Tower
        • Ornate Canopy Bed
        • Ornate Skull Candle
        • Potted Mushrooms
        • Potted Roses
        • Pristine Gothic Mansion
        • Radiant Energy Capacitor
        • Royal Warrant
        • Shingle Roof 2-Story w/ Balcony Village Home
        • Shingle-Roof 2-Story w/ Balcony Row Home
        • Stone 2-Story Row Home
        • Stone Bear Statue
        • Stucco 3-Story w/ Left Alcove Row Home
        • Viking 3-Story w/ Left Alcove Row Home
        • Viking 3-Story Stronghold
        • Wizard Tower
        • Wood and Plaster 2-Story with Balcony
        • Wood and Plaster Inn
      • R43 Lot Deed Raffle Tickets: The drawings for our 11th Lot Deed Raffle will be held on July 27, 2017 and winners will be announced shortly thereafter. Deeds will be delivered in Release 44.
        • Place Anywhere Deeds (10):
          • Row: 5
          • Village: 3
          • Town: 1
          • City: 1
        • Player Owned Town Deeds (10):
          • Row: 5
          • Village: 3
          • Town: 1
          • City: 1
      • R44 Lot Deed Raffle Tickets: This will be the 12th Lot Deed Raffle. As always, Raffle tickets can be purchased with in game gold. Each person can only win a single deed of each type (maximum of one place anywhere and one POT). The drawing and winners will be in R45.
        • Place Anywhere Deeds (10):
          • Row: 5
          • Village: 3
          • Town: 1
          • City: 1
        • Player Owned Town Deeds (10):
          • Row: 5
          • Village: 3
          • Town: 1
          • City: 1
      • New and Updated Dynamic POTs:
        • Aelasar's Forest: Upgraded to Crossroads Village. Interconnection (with Brittany Alleys).
        • Ahnen Hain: Converted to Forest 01c. Upgraded to Crossroads Village. Interconnection (with Astrum).
        • Caer Dracwych: Upgraded to Hamlet.
        • Dara Brae: Upgraded to Village. Interconnection (with Twin Traders).
        • Dark Hart: Upgraded to Hamlet.
        • Dawn's Keep: Upgraded to Metropolis.
        • En Nox: Upgraded to Hamlet.
        • Fallin' Green: Converted to Forest 01c. Upgraded to Town. Interconnections (with Oceania and Painted Caves).
        • Festival: Upgraded to Village.
        • Findupre: Changed location.
        • Forgewright: Upgraded to City.
        • Highland Keep of Clan MacDaddy: Converted to Grasslands 01. Upgraded to Hamlet. Changed nested interconnection to within Soltown.
        • Honor Hold: Converted to Forest 01b. Upgraded to Village.
        • Insulam de Nocte: Upgraded to City.
        • Isla de Muerta: Upgraded to City.
        • Isle of Xee: Upgraded to Village.
        • Justice Hold: Renamed (formerly Isle of Mists). Ownership changed. Interconnections (changed nested interconnection to within Crossroads; removed Sequanna's Peace and Granite Gardens).
        • Knight's Watch: Upgraded to City. Interconnections (with Kingswood, Littlecreek, Forewind, Dara Brae, Beregost, and Jade Island).
        • New Fawn: Upgraded to Village.
        • Oracle Oasis: Upgraded to Crossroads Village.
        • Outlander Welcome Center: Upgraded to Village.
        • Rauchbier Platz: Upgraded to Town.
        • Reed's Glen: Upgraded to Town.
        • SeaHaven: Renamed (formerly Recluse). Converted to Forest 01c. Ownership changed.
        • Sunset Shimmer: Renamed (formerly Twilight Sparkle). Converted to Grasslands 01a. Ownership changed.
        • Tempest Reef: Upgraded to Village.
        • Tenebrae: Upgraded to Crossroads Village.
        • Twilight Sparkle: New addition.
        • Twin Traders: Upgraded to Hamlet. Interconnection (with The Brave Coast).
        • Ullr Ridge: Renamed (formerly Green Acres). Converted to Snowy Mountains 01. Ownership changed.
        • Zerpville Bay: New addition.
        • [​IMG]
        • [​IMG]
    • Rent: Property Owners will be able to add an additional "Tenant" permission for users of their lot and also set those permissions on doors.
      • Tenant Permissions: Property Owners can now add an additional "Tenant" permission for users of their lot. This can be added for any permission level from Guest through Co-Owner. This permission allows users to securely place items on a lot without fear of losing them. Items placed as a Tenant will be owned by that Tenant and only they may pick them back up off the lot. If a Tenant loses permission for any reason, or the lot contents are sent to the bank due to a house deed change, those items will go back to the Tenant's bank.
      • [​IMG]
      • Door Permissions: We have added the ability for permissions to be set on individual doors so that renting can be done room per room (or the entire building).
      • Payments: Collection of rent payments is something that must be arranged directly between players and must be collected / sent manually either through secure trade or the mail system. The game currently does NOT support any automatic collection of rent payments.
    • Combat: Avatars will be able to wield the Dread Artifacts (Heart of Sorrows, Bone Steel Crown, Scepter of Dread) for the first time and unleash their powers, if they dare. We will also continue our polish pass on all the visual effects related to combat. Additionally, work will continue on overall combat balance.
      • Dread Artifacts: As Avatars complete the three paths of Truth, Love, and Courage they acquire the three Dread Artifacts that provide great power, and bring great doom to all who would wield them. They even brought down the mighty Titans! In Release 44, Avatars can choose to rule the battlefield with these incredible totems of power that give the Avatar a unique spell. Casting that spell requires a unique reagent and for Release 44 you will only have one reagent for each artifact so choose wisely when you cast the spell. In Release 45 you will be able to gain more reagents but the only way to acquire them will be to sacrifice yourself at one of the Colossus statues. By sacrificing yourself you “die” and a little bit of you decays away. This is expressed by the death penalty being incurred without you actually dying.
      • [​IMG]
        • Heart of Sorrows and Wave of Sorrows: Wearing the Heart of Sorrows (a necklace) gives you the ability to cast the spell Wave of Sorrows. This sad spell causes all enemies in a huge radius around the caster to fall down weeping (an AOE stun that will also include a weeping animation in R45).
        • Bone Steel Crown and Cloud of Wasting: Wearing the Bone Steel Crown allows you to cast the spell Cloud of Wasting which drains the life and focus of all around the caster in a huge radius.
        • Scepter of Dread and Blast of Dread: Wielding the Scepter of Dread allows players to cast the Blast of Dread which knocks back and knocks down everyone in a large cone in front of the caster.
      • Healing Blast (New Life Spell): R44 introduces a new high-tier healing spell in the Life tree, Healing Blast. This powerful healing spell (roughly 4x the power of Healing Ray), can only be cast on others, and is designed for dedicated healers.
      • Melee Combat Animation Polish: We have begun polishing the animations for Melee Combat, especially to address how these animations look while the Avatar is moving. For Release 44 this includes the animations for the following:
        • 1 Handed and 2 Handed Blades:
          • Thrust
          • Ripost
          • Double Slash
          • Whirling Blades
          • Rend
          • Coup de Grace
        • 1 Handed Bludgeon:
          • Auto Attack
          • Break Weapon
          • Break Armor
          • Crushing Blow
          • Ground Pound
          • Knockdown
          • Knockback
      • Attunement Changes: Attunement calculations for magic schools has been updated to only take the top 10 highest skills into account. This will address attunement conflicts caused by adjustments or additions to skills in trees.
      • Dodge: Dodge has been changed to only work vs targets in the front half of the avatar. This change has been considered for some time, and finally implemented as we believe it will provide greater opportunities for melee players to remain competitive in PVP.
      • Enemy Flee Behaviors: We adjusted these so creatures do not flee as often or as fast.
      • Obsidian Cabalist Indigno: We fixed his broken teleport combat skill so he should be much more challenging to fight when he appears in Town Sieges.
      • Scene Load/Resurrection Invulnerability: Now includes invulnerability to secondary effects like Knockdown and Knockback. Also fixed issue where the visual effect was only visible on male characters.
      • Hamstring Combo: This combo now properly uses the range of your equipped weapon.
      • Stinging Poison Potion: This poison now properly increases in duration with the level of your Poison Weapon skill.
      • Root: Fixed an issue with Root where some skills like Charge could still move the target even though they were Rooted.
      • Stealth: Fixed an issue that would prevent players from being able to regain stealth around some enemy corpses (especially undead).
      • Opportunity Strike: Fixed typo in description.
      • PVP List: Fixed an issue where players remained listed as a “?” in the PVP list even after being targeted.
      • Hotbar Color Overlay: Fixed issue that was preventing glyphs from updating their color correctly based on targeting information. So they will now properly go gray if you do not have a valid target.
      • Night Vision: Fixed issues with the visuals for Night Vision that made it impossible to see the status bars (health, focus) and also the conning colors of enemies. These are both now visible when using Night Vision.
      • Soothing Rain: Fixed issue where VFX were ending before the healing effects of the spell were complete. These are now properly synched.
      • Purify: Fixed an issue where the lasting VFX of this spell would not display if no effects were removed.
      • Summoned Skeleton: The Summoned Skeleton in the Death Magic School now has a sword equipped.
      • Immolation: Fixed a bug so that this Fire Magic spell can now be properly dismissed.
      • Dash: Fixed issue where sheathed weapon would momentarily flash when this skill was used.
      • Ring of Brittle Brawn: Fixed a rounding issue with maximum health when it was affected by equipment stats that was causing players to be unable to get to 100% health with certain gear equipped like the Ring of Brittle Brawn.
      • Combat Skills VFX Polish Delayed: Work on VFX for the Shroud of the Avatar, Dread Artifacts, Dread Artifacts Spells, and the Confluence Chamber delayed this work.
    • 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.
      • Shroud of the Avatar: This unique cloak uses new tech which displays a hood when nothing is equipped in the head slot. SPOILER: Upon completing the story the Oracle presents the Avatar with the Shroud of the Avatar. The Shroud visually shows the Avatar’s current state of virtue with the cloth appearing white for those following an overwhelmingly virtuous path, grey to those whose stance with the virtues is neutral, and black for those with negative virtue reputation.
      • Titan of Truth Boreas: Each Titan has received unique visuals and for Release 44 the final Titan, Boreas, the Titan of Truth is getting his turn. His fate, entwined with the Bonesteel Crown, is now reflected visually.
      • [​IMG]
      • Norgard Guards: The first Viking-inspired clothing for NPCs in the game are guards in the Verdantis and Norgard regions.
      • Elite (Female) Elves: Elite Mages, Archers, and Fighters amongst the Elves are females and they will now appear in all scenes in the game where Elves are present.
      • Elven NPC Variations: Elves across the game (male and female) now appear in a much greater variety of armor color variations that correspond to their relative difficulty level. We used the martial arts belt colors for a rough guide in this so that black are the highest level and white are the lowest.
      • Fire Death Animations: R44 introduces the “Death by Fire” animation. Now if killed by flame spells, or standing a little too close to the campfire for too long, your avatar will flail desperately to put out the flames before collapsing to the ground.
      • Just 1 Life Community Cause Cloak: This is another customized clasped gauntlets Community Cloak created for the event that the AERIE fund held for Just 1 Life.
      • /emotes:
        • IK for Emotes: Inverse kinematics have been enabled for emotes that need them so that feet will now properly align to slopes when those emotes are animated.
        • /happydance emote: Dance for joy and show off your moves with the new Happy Dance emote. SPOILER: This new emote can be acquired in Soltown by speaking to Kitty near the refugee camp.
        • /thank emote: Display your gratitude to others with this new grateful emote. SPOILER: You can learn it from News Hawkers in Aerie by tipping them.
        • /zombie emote fixed: In R43, in an attempt to fix an emote that should not have been player facing (/smokeship) we accidentally broke /zombie. This has now been fixed.
      • Light Spell:
        • Light Spell Location: The Light Spell has been moved to be directly overhead so it will no longer sort into walls.
        • Multiple Casts Issue Fixed: An issue in R43 that caused the Light spell to frequently break or require multiple casts to illuminate has been fixed and should no longer be visible in R44.
        • Light Spell versus Torch Brightness: We have adjusted the brightness of the torch versus the Light Spell to give advantage to the torch to better balance between giving up an equipped slot versus a spell.
      • Lutes (and 1 Man Bands): Lutes (and 1 Man Bands) can now play lower octaves. This fixes an issue where the lute sounds would skip like a “broken record” (or not play at all) when attempting to play lower octaves.
      • Turn Speed (with keyboard): We doubled the turning speed of the character when using the keyboard.
      • Wearable Fixes:
        • Assassins Armor
        • Ballet Outfit
        • Benefactor Cloth Tunic (fixed tradeable flag)
        • Epic Cloth
        • Fur Collared Cloaks
        • Highland Defenders Sword
        • Ornate Clockwork Wings
        • Rabbit Bodice
        • Vile Chekan
      • Party Hat: This simple paper hat will certainly put you in the mood for a party. Currently this is only available as part of the prize package for the Rock me Avatarus party contest but in R45 it will be craftable from a recipe.
      • Elite Elven Wearables: The new Elite Elven outfits (Mage, Fighter, Archer) are now available in player wearable versions in the Add On Store.
      • [​IMG]
      • Arabella Armor and Cloak Wearables: Arabella’s armor and cloak (using the new hooded cloak tech mentioned above) are now available as player wearables in the Add On Store.
      • Dragon Color Variations: Previously, the color variations of the Dragons in the game were done as simple color overlays but that resulted in unnatural monochrome and overly bright results. We spent the release creating color variations that are much more natural and then updated all the existing Dragon variations in the game like The Sisters.
      • Virtue Miner’s Helmet (Summer Telethon 2017): The Virtue Miner’s Helmet (Summer Telethon 2017) now has a visible flame and a spotlight. This means we will now finally award this Summer Telethon version of the miner’s helmet to all eligible backers (it can be claimed in your bank). In R45 we will have a recipe for a craftable version as well.
      • Ornate Viking Short Sword and Ornate Bastard Sword: These two intricately engraved swords will be sure to impress even the most daunting enemies. The Ornate Viking Short Sword has “Courageous” carved in runes along the blade. Both swords can be purchased in the Add On Store.
      • [​IMG]
      • Norgard Citizens, Merchants, Royals Delayed: While we actually completed the work on the models for these (see Update 237) we did not have time to replace the existing NPCs in all the scenes so this will get done in Release 45.
    • Looking For Group: A tool to help players find a group to adventure with will appear in the game.
      • Looking for Group Delayed: Work on Localizing the Launcher (see below) forced us to delay work on Looking for Group.
    • Economy: Loot on mid-level creatures will be adjusted to be more rewarding while still maintaining game balance.
      • Supply Bundles: We have added Supply Bundles to enemy loot that are bags of random items of different levels of rarity, and are color coded to indicate the rarity of the items inside. For Release 44 the content of these bundles includes consumables (potions and food) and recipes. In future releases the content will expand to also include more recipes as well as crafting materials, crafting components, and reagents.
      • Recipes as Loot: Many recipes that involve working with rarer materials and/or components have been moved off of merchants and are now found as loot on mid-level enemies.
    • Crafting:
      • Recipes Locations: We have adjusted the locations of where many recipes can be found so that not all recipes are on all merchants. Recipes are now distributed through crafting merchants, decorations merchants and loot drops. The biggest changes are that the global recipe merchants have been removed from the game, recipe inventories differ per region for some merchants, and larger cities house more skilled craftsmen that sell more recipes. This means for example that decoration recipes are now only sold on decorations merchants and there is no decoration merchant in the Grunvald region. In addition equipment, consumables and simple component recipes are now sold exclusively on crafting merchants. It also means that market stall shopkeepers no longer sell recipes.
      • Broken Items and Bonuses: When items reach zero durability they no longer provide bonuses.
      • Obsidian Ingots: We increased the cost to create an Obsidian ingot using Obsidian chips from 100 to 500 for balance purposes since Obsidian crafted items are supposed to be relatively rare.
      • Merchant Shirt Gem Socketable: We fixed a bug that was preventing gems from being added to this in crafting.
      • Seeds on Cooking POT Merchant: The POT Cooking Merchant NPC now sells a selection of seeds.
      • Merchant Inventory vs. Names and Barks: We did a pass through several of these to better line them up to either their title or what they bark at passersby. For instance Drandal Picket in Spite used to bark about having apples for sale (which he did not sell) but now instead barks about bread (which he does sell).
      • Caltrops Recipe: Fixed issue where this recipe was not showing up in Blacksmith merchants recipes for sale.
      • Bedframe Recipe: Fixed issue where this recipe was not showing up in Carpenter merchants recipes for sale.
      • Mystic Graff Gems: Fixed a bug where that was causing these items to have no resale value.
      • Blank Sheet of Paper: Fixed issue where this recipe was not showing up as active on the Tailoring station.
    • User Interface Polish:
      • Launcher UI: Some polish was done to the Launcher UI
      • Localized Launcher: We are now able to localize the content of the Launcher.
    So, now that it is clear what you can expect, we should also be as clear about what you should NOT expect:
    • Stability: Stability should be much better than previous releases now that we have upgraded to Unity 5.6.
    • Performance: Performance in Release 44 remains unchanged from Release 43 (where there were significant improvements). We plan to revisit performance optimizations in R45 and R46.
    • Game Loop: Release 44 is a further iteration on our game loop, but is still missing a few key components and some balance. Expect this to expand with each subsequent release.
    • Visual Quality: Efforts to improve visual quality are ongoing. We will continue to iterate on these until we have highly competitive visuals.
    • Pledge Rewards: Pledge Rewards that have been built and have tech to support them are in the game; all other rewards are awaiting either content creation or tech support. You can find an updated list of these items in the known issues.
    • Delayed Content and Features: As mentioned above, some features scheduled for this release did not make it (and in each case we explained why). In some cases items from previous releases move into the next release but often they will move further out, either into the next quarter, or even farther. About once per year (around mid-year) we put out a Road Map that details all content built to date and all remaining content.
    • Story: The main storyline is now complete, but many aspects surrounding the main storyline are not polished. Various side-quests and opportunities to gain or lose virtue are yet to be added. Content of this nature will be continually added and improved upon, even beyond the commercial launch of Shroud of the Avatar.
    As Lord British often says: “80% of the quality of a game goes in during the last 20% of the development.” We are in that final 20% right now. Be warned that this is a time of great change, but also a time of great improvement! In addition to completing the last few deliverables, the important work ahead of us is refining and tuning the feel of the game. If you are not yet “feeling it”, don’t be alarmed! It is perfectly normal that during this phase of development we are just now getting to the point that we can start delivering that feeling - so stay tuned!

    Here are links to instructions and known issues. Thank you again for your continued support. This is truly the most amazing community we have ever worked with, and we are proud to be on this journey with you.

    Starr Long
    aka Darkstarr
    Executive Producer
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2017
    Ancev, Barugon, Diminio and 25 others like this.
  2. Bow Vale

    Bow Vale Avatar

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    Don't know how you manage so much each month, the workload of the team is immense and appreciated. Have been putting off all the quests up till now but looking forward to do, especially with the great rewards for each path. Well done all for completing the story in July as stated.
  3. oplek

    oplek Avatar

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    No kidding... you have people complaining "you STILL haven't implemented [minor issue #7323]?", and I look at the above and think "no wonder".
  4. Sean Silverfoot

    Sean Silverfoot Avatar

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    Hudson Valley area of NY
    Another outstanding release. Great work folks!
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  5. Rhiannon

    Rhiannon Avatar

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    Bloomington, IN
    Does this mean we can craft paper now? I was under the impression that we didn't have a recipe yet.
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  6. The Banker

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    Please reconsider removing the Troll from the Aldhaven area.

    That was one of the best additions to the world map I have seen.
  7. Earl Atogrim von Draken

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    Holy cow I love the viking wall set!
    The shogun ship.... Dunno... Got to see it in hometown I guess.

    Beside that: nice work!
    Numa and Time Lord like this.
  8. Time Lord

    Time Lord Avatar

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    ~SOTA Monk~ ~Monastery~ ~Thailand~
  9. Skyo

    Skyo Avatar

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    Pretty amazing guys! I really was hoping to see an obsidian two handed sword come out of this release and I guess I'll have to wait :-(

  10. Alleine Dragonfyre

    Alleine Dragonfyre Avatar

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    Seattle, WA
    This is exciting! What's the deadline to purchase raffle tickets?
  11. Proteus Tempest

    Proteus Tempest Avatar

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    Tempest Reef

    Does the unity up grade to 5.6 include any support for DirectX 12?
  12. Ashlynn [Pax]

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    I'll probably wait a few releases to play through the main story yet, but the past few releases have looked really promising.
    Fionwyn Wyldemane likes this.
  13. DarkStarr

    DarkStarr Executive Producer SOTA Developer

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    Alleine Dragonfyre likes this.
  14. Alley Oop

    Alley Oop Bug Brigade – Bug Hunter

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    last release was on 5.6 too. i wouldn't expect to see a change tomorrow.
  15. Trihugger

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    Thank you @DarkStarr

    If I may, is there any limitation on which mobs will possess supply bundles or can we reasonably expect to see appropriate colored versions of the bundles across loot for any mob in the game? I do hope they're not as rare as COTO's :p
  16. Alleine Dragonfyre

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    Seattle, WA
    thank you! :D
  17. mike11

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    Gonna have to say hey, nice sword there.
  18. Echondas

    Echondas Bug Brigade – Bug Hunter

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    Please don't remove the troll encounter altogether - randomize it better / adjust the respawn of it in the same spot
  19. dreamlarp

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    Florida keys
    @DarkStarr What is considered mid level monsters for the new loot bags?
  20. redfish

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    Will supply bundles be found in crates, barrels, and chests, or just in monster drops?