Category Archives: Update of the Avatar

Update of the Avatar #109 – 2015.01.23: SotA at PAX South, Banks, In-Game Backer Rewards, Novia Overworld, Game Informer, and More!

Greetings Fellow Avatars!

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

  • SotA at PAX South
  • Banks in Release 14
  • Changes to Store Credit Conversions
  • First Glimpse of Novia Overworld
  • SotA in Game Informer Magazine
  • MMORPG.COM – Release 14: Strong Start to a New Year
  • Shack News: CES Interview with Starr Long
  • GDC Next – Crowd Sharing: Crowd Sourcing + Crowd Funding
  • In-game Community Weekend Events
  • New Britannia Theater Troupe: Live Double Feature
  • Last Chance Exclusives: The Axe and Wood & Plaster Homes
  • Steam Access Keys Available for All Backers
  • How to Cancel Monthly Payment Plans
  • Upcoming Events
SotA at PAX South
Richard Garriott, Starr Long, and Finn Staber are at PAX South, demonstrating the game and talking to the press. You can find them in the Texas Indie Game Lounge presented by Microsoft (booth 1343) at the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center in San Antonio, Texas.
Richard and Starr are there today only, but Finn will be demonstrating SotA all weekend, January 23 thru 25. PAX Attendees can sign up for free access to Release 14.

Additionally, Scott “Lum the Mad” Jennings will be on the panel “Confessions of a Troll: Human Nature Online” at 7:30 PM, Saturday, January 24th.

Banks in Release 14

For the first time, backers will start receiving their pledge rewards in-game when they log into Release 14, which launches next week. For all the previous Releases we would freely populate these reward items throughout the game for anyone to find. But those reward items will no longer be freely available starting with R14. Instead, you will be able to find your Add-On items and the rewards included in your pledge tier at banks located in various towns (there are some Add-On and Pledge reward items that have not been built yet so you may notice some of your items not showing up in your bank).

Here are a few interior shots of the new banks:

Changes to Store Credit Conversions

If you wish to convert any of your purchased Add-On items to Store Credit, you will need to do so before logging into Release 14, which launches next week at 10:30 am CST, January 29, 2015.

The instant you log into R14 all of your available Pledge reward items and available Add-On items will be flagged as “claimed” and deposited in your in-game bank. Once the Add-On items are “claimed” they cannot be converted to Store Credit until the next wipe (which is currently unpredictable). After you’ve logged into R14, the “Convert to Credits” button on your account page will be deactivated for all those items available in the game, so if you had any plans to sell back some of your Add-On items, make sure you do it before you log into R14!

We intend to change the claiming process in an upcoming Release so that items are not automatically claimed when logging in, but will require you to actively claim them in your bank before they can be used.

Once R14 launches, if you purchase any new Add-On items, or upgrade your Pledge tier, those new items and upgraded rewards will automatically appear in your in-game bank the next time you log into the game (providing those items are available in the game).

First Glimpse of Novia Overworld

Abe Robertson has has started work on Novia Overworld, which we hope to show in Release 15. Here’s a sample of his work-in-progress:

SotA in Game Informer Magazine

site-logo_betaWe were pretty excited about Game Informer magazine including a preview of Shroud of the Avatar in the February issue of their print magazine!

Physical magazines are becoming more rare with each passing year, and it always feels kind of special when you can see your game written about in an actual magazine you can hold in your hands. Especially one as prestigious as Game Informer. With over 8 million monthly subscribers, the popularity of the magazine has grown to become the 3rd largest consumer print publication in the United States and the largest digital publication in the world.

For those of you that may not have a subscription to Game Informer, here are a few excerpts from their preview:

With a focus on player housing, crafting, exploring the sandbox world, NPC interactions, and combat, Shroud of the Avatar takes a different approach to the now-standard, theme park MMORPG model….

One major difference in Shroud of the Avatar is that the housing system is not instanced and is part of the world itself…landowners in Shroud of the Avatar have their buildings front and center in player-occupied space. Customization options are impressive…The housing system goes even further, allowing guilds and players to become owners of entire towns.

Instead of pigeonholing players into archetypal classes, you’re free to dive into combat and magic schools, combining Chaos magic with ranged combat or Moon magic with heavy armor. Players can also specialize in crafting – a complex web of gathering, refining, and production that should keep even the most enthusiastic crafter bustling and busy.

In stark contrast to many other MMORPGs today, Shroud of the Avatar features a fully offline single-player mode that’s expected to have over 40 hours of content, including ethical dilemmas and player choices that have meaningful impact on the story. Multiplayer is also different than the norm, where players can opt to play solo, with friends, or with the greater community.

The project is still in Early Access alpha mode, but already we’re seeing a solid core gameplay loop become established, featuring freeform exploration and combat…

If you’re looking for a fresh MMO experience with an open-ended sandbox core, keep an eye on Shroud of the Avatar…

MMORPG.COM – Release 14: Strong Start to a New Year

Red Thomas was at Portalarium last week getting an early glimpse of Release 14 for his MMORPG.com article. Here’s an excerpt:

The folks at Portalarium are getting ready to roll out their 14th release for Shroud of the Avatar, and of course they timed it just as PAX South was kicking off. I’m sure it was a diabolical plot to force me into cramming this article in before I get sucked into the pending media storm that follows any PAX. That’s why I drove up to Austin this week. I wanted to look Starr Long and Richard Garriott in the eye when I told them just how rapid a turn around this article was going to have to be in order for me to slip it out before all the PAX coverage…

[read the rest of Red's Release 14 preview at MMORPG.com]

Shack News: CES Interview with Starr Long

At CES 2015, Shroud of the Avatar: Forsaken Virtues Executive Producer Starr Long was at the Plantronics booth discussing crowd development and the latest improvements to the Portalarium MMO RPG in this exclusive interview:

GDC Next – Crowd Sharing: Crowd Sourcing + Crowd Funding

Starr Long’s presentation on crowd sharing at GDC Next 2014 is now available for free viewing on the GDC Vault:

In-game Weekend Community Events

avatars-circle-logo-concept-7[1]Our amazing community has another great lineup of in-game events planned for this weekend. If you missed out on these player events during the previous Releases, we highly recommend you check some of them out this weekend. Here is the latest schedule of player events from the Avatar’s Circle Community Events calendar (http://avatarscircle.com/community-events/):

Saturday, January 24
9:00am CST – PaxLair Working Hours – Host Winfield (Valemark)
9:00am CST – New Britannia Theater Troupe Presents: A “Live” Double Feature (on stage of Port Phoenix, Kingsport)
11:00am CST – Church of the Dark Star – Saturday Service (PaxLair, Valemark)
1:00pm CST – Beginner’s class – Making money with crafting! (Port Phoenix Fairgrounds, Kingsport, or “/zone Kazyn Phoenixfyre”)
3:00pm CST – Housewarming Party at the Kross house (PaxLair, Valemark)
8:00pm CST – R13 Grand Tour Quest by MGT (Owl’s Head Town Square)

Sunday, January 25
5:30am CST – Explore Novia with royalsexy (Owl’s Head entrance)
7:00pm CST – PaxLair Meeting (Valemark)
8:00pm CST – Fishing with Winfield (some lake or pond, “/zone Winfield”)

Time is Running Out to Get Your R13 Grand Tour Quest Reward

Better hurry if you want to add the Yule Hat to your collection because the R13 Grand Tour Quest ends on January 29 when we launch Release 14. If you need help getting your R13 Yule Hat reward, then check out The Mad Hermit’s video guide to completing the R13 Grand Tour Quest:

New Britannia Theater Troupe Presents a “Live” Double Feature
The-New-Britannia-Theater-Troupe[1]

Last weekend The New Britannia Theater Troupe presented The Avatars Chronicles I – Return of the Avatar: Special Developer Edition. If you missed the performance you can listen to the podcast at TheCaverns.net.

Get ready for a “Live” Double Feature this weekend, as reported in the Community Events Calendar:

January 24th, 2015 at 9am NBT (central time) New Britannia Theatre Troupe will be blowing our minds again with another fantastic stage production. You watched them in PaxLair performing “They who dwell in darkness”. You heard them on Avatars Radio performing “The Avatars Chronicles I – Return of the Avatar”. Now presented for your enjoyment, live in Port Phoenix Fairgrounds (middle of Kingsport). The New Britannia Theatre Troupe presents – “Of Shadows and Light”.

There was a sneak peek in Avatars Chronicles I, of the story of Gabriel Nightshadow. Join us as the story unfolds before our eyes on stage and on Avatars Radio. Together we shall embrace the story in more of its entirety. “Of Shadows and Light”. May the shadows keep you safe within their lights this Saturday!

We would like to place a special spot light on the up and coming new playwright to our Theatre Troupe. Womby, of The Round Table. Will be our opening act as we are presented with his first on stage production “The Helpful Mage”. In which we are presented with the outcomes of love, lust and deception. This play is sure to keep you on the edge of your seat…

Last Chance Exclusives

Every week going forward we are removing select items from the Add-On Store, so if you want them you better get them before they are gone! Over the past few months we’ve phased out over 25 items, including such items as the Scissors of Prosperity, Blade of the Avatar Cloak, and Shingle-Roof Village Homes. This week, the following items are available for an additional 20% off, and then will no longer be available in the Add-On Store.

The Axe of Prosperity

This unique, indestructible axe increases the quality and quantity of the wood harvested as well as increasing the speed of harvesting. While axes with similar effects can be crafted and purchased in the game this particular axe never needs repair.

Wood & Plaster 3-Story with Open Floor Plan Village Home

In our line of Wood & Plaster homes is this 3-story, 4 room village home with an open floor plan.

Wood & Plaster 2-Story with Balcony Village Home

In our line of Wood & Plaster homes is this 2-story, 4-room village home, with a second-story side-facing deck.

Steam_logo

Steam Access Keys Available for All SotA Backers

SotA successfully launched on Steam Early Access on November 24, and we’ve made Steam Access Keys available to all our backers as part of their basic pledge rewards! Once you’ve redeemed your Steam Access Key you’ll have the option of playing SotA either with the Steam client or the regular game client (or both).SotA_SteamTradingCards2_small

Click here for instructions to redeem your Steam access key and installing the Steam SotA client…

If you play SotA on Steam you can collect the SotA Trading Cards! Collect a full set of SotA trading cards to earn SotA badges, profile backgrounds, and emoticons that help you customize your profile and show off your Shroud of the Avatar gameplay. Check out Steam’s trading card FAQ for more information.

How to Cancel Monthly Payment Plans

Remember that Pledge payment plans are not canceled automatically after reaching the desired pledge. You must manually cancel your monthly payment plan, which can be done at anytime on your SotA Account page. We apologize for any inconvenience this might cause, but it is a result of how recurring billing functions with PayPal, Amazon, and Stripe (our credit card service).

Upcoming Events

2015.01.23 – SotA at PAX South
2015.01.29 – Release 14
2015.02.26 – Starr Long delivers Keynote at ICPHSO’s 2015 Annual Meeting and Training Symposium
2015.02.26 – Release 15
2015.03.13 – SotA at SXSW Interactive
2015.03.26 – Release 16
2015.04.03 – Duke & LotM VIP Design Roundtable w/Lord British and Portalarium Studio Tour (it was such a big hit last year that we are again inviting our guests to attend Portalarium’s Family Easter Celebration in Castleton (Richard’s lakefront property on beautiful Lake Austin)

Project Update #108 Recap

If you missed our last update, here were the highlights:

  • The Mad Hermit’s Lay of the Land Video
  • SotA at PAX South Next Week
  • Hangout of the Avatar ~ Release 13 Postmortem
  • Duke Pledge Reward: Upgraded Basement
  • Benefactor Knight & Knight Marshal Stonework Refinements
  • Flesh Flayer
  • Geothermal Steam Catchers
  • Boreas, The Titan of Truth
  • The Avatars Chronicles I – Return of the Avatar: Special Developer Edition
  • In-game Community Weekend Events
  • Last Chance Exclusives: The Pickaxe and Wood & Plaster Homes
  • Steam Access Keys Available for All Backers
  • How to Cancel Monthly Payment Plans
  • Upcoming Events

Relics by Rild

Community member Ben Pritchard (aka Rild) has launched his new website, Relics by Rild (http://www.relicsbyrild.com/), your source for officially licensed Shroud of the Avatar merchandise! Here are a few samples:

DARKSTARR -VS- LORD BRITISH CHALLENGE COIN

  • Expertly designed by New Britannia’s own Sir Frank, this detailed coin features the personal symbol and motto of Lord British on one side, and those of DarkStarr on the other. This finely crated piece represents the dual nature at the heart of every Avatar. Virtue and Chaos… Which side will YOU choose?
LORD BRITISH BEANIE (SILVER ON BLACK)

  • Stay warm and comfortable under the banner of your Liege in this gray knit skullcap featuring the crest of Lord British. In this harsh world and others, the shimmering silver serpent serves as a beacon of Truth, Love and Courage.

Ye Olde Add-On Store

Don’t forget about these other great offerings that are still available:

Player Owned Town

  • Have you ever wanted to own an entire scene? Now you can! A Town is just a bit smaller than the size of Owl’s Head in the Hidden Vale.
Wedding Dress

  • This elegant wedding dress is a must-have for those of you with a wedding to plan (or just wanting a different look while cavorting about New Britannia)!
The Black Cat

  • Want the purrrrfect pet? Then you’ll want this cute, furry feline (available in the Add-On Store). The black cat is a non-combat pet that can stealthily pad along with you wherever you go.
The White Raven

  • The White Raven is a flying, non-combat pet that can follow you wherever you go.
The Silver Serpent Necklace

  • Few remember the great earth snake, from whence Lord British took on this symbol. Now all those who would fight by his side, wear it, so they might know each other and recognize their mutual devotion to the lands of New Britannia!
Lord British Cloak

  • Be the first in your neighborhood to get the new Lord British cloak, beautifully adorned with Lord British’s Coat-of-Arms! There is a secret in-game effect that wearing Lord British’s cloak will invoke.
The 6-Pack of Prosperity 

  • Get this set of Prosperity items for a discount in our 6-Pack of Prosperity bundle! Includes the Fishing Pole, Axe, Pickaxe, Skinning Knife, Sickle, and Hoe.
Viking Village Home

  • With the Viking Village Home we experimented with a style that allowed for a larger variety of color, yet still appropriate for the time period and overall art style. The Viking home is a two-story dwelling, with a single large room downstairs and a wrap-around loft on the second floor!
Windmill Village Home

  • Ever wanted to live in a Windmill? Well here’s your chance! This 2-story Windmill Village Home, has comfortably sized room on each floor and an external stairway leading to a wrap-around deck on the second level. And yes, the windmill blades actually spin!
Village Stone & Timber Split-Level Basements

  • This Village Stone & Timber Split-Level Basement is comprised of 5-floors with sub-divided rooms.
Tower Home

  • The Tower Village home has a spacious entry-level floor, with an equally spacious second story floor, which also has an adjoining outdoor deck!
  • The Tower Town home has a spacious entry-level floor, with stairs leading up to the second story and down to the lower level floor. There is an equally spacious second story floor, which also has an adjoining outdoor deck!

We’d Love Your Comments

Shroud of the Avatar is all about community collaboration and we’d love your feedback, so please click here to post any replies you may have about the content in this update.
This edition of Update of the Avatar written by Dallas Snell, COO/Co-Founder, Portalarium

Update of the Avatar #108 – 2015.01.16: Mad Hermit’s Lay of the Land, PAX South, R13 Postmortem, Duke’s Basement, Flesh Flayer, Steam Catchers, and More!

Update of the Avatar #108 – 2015.01.16: Mad Hermit’s Lay of the Land, PAX South, R13 Postmortem, Duke’s Basement, Flesh Flayer, Steam Catchers, and More!

The Mad Hermit’s Lay of the Land Video

Need a high-level overview of where the various cities, towns and villages are in Shroud of the Avatar? Jump in the Mad Hermit’s hot air balloon as he surveys the land from high-up above! Although most of SotA’s Pre-Alpha content is confined to the “Hidden Vale” at this point, boats and Lunar Rifts allow access to some of the cities and points of interest that exist on the Island of Novia (where the core part of the story will eventually take place).

SotA at PAX South Next WeekSotA will be at PAX South next weekend, January 23-25. We will be in the Texas Indie Game Lounge presented by Microsoft (booth 1343) at the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center in San Antonio, Texas.

We are demonstrating SotA all weekend, January 23 thru 25. PAX Attendees can sign up for free access to Release 14. There will also be daily prize drawings including: Plantronics headsets, Alienware mouse, t-shirts, and more!

Additionally, Starr Long and Richard Garriott will be on hand to demonstrate the game and do press interviews on Friday January 23rd, and Scott “Lum the Mad” Jennings will be on the panel “Confessions of a Troll: Human Nature Online” at 7:30 PM, Saturday, January 24th.

Hangout of the Avatar ~ Release 13 PostmortemWe had a great Hangout of the Avatar this week, with Richard, Starr, and Chris chatting about Release 13; recounting their favorite moments while they also looked ahead to Release 14. And as usual, we spent a fair amount of time answering questions from the original post comments as well as live from the chat room. Check it out here if you missed it
Duke Pledge Reward: Upgraded BasementIn keeping with the Duke’s lot size increase from City Lot to Keep Lot, we’ve upgraded theDuke’s Basement pledge reward from a 3-story City lot size to a 2-story Keep lot size (the equivalent of 4 City lot sized basements)!
Benefactor Knight & Knight Marshal Stonework RefinementsWhen we introduced the Benefactor Knight and Benefactor Knight Marshal homes we intentionally made the stonework a bit warped to reflect the large structures “settling” in their foundations. However, we received feedback from our Knights and Knight Marshals requesting that we make the homes look a bit more upscale by straightening the warped stonework. Below are some before and after shots illustrating Bob Cooksey’s stonework refinements:

BEFORE (Benefactor Knight on left; Benefactor Knight Marshal on right):

AFTER:
Flesh FlayerMuch in the world has changed since the moons collided and shards of the fragmented moons fell upon the earth. If the immediate destruction, fall of civilization and disruption of magic wasn’t enough… the shard fall locations are rife with strange powers that drive creatures crazy and mutate plants and animals alike to odd and malicious forms.

One such terror found near these polluted areas is the Flesh Flayer! When dormant, they are quite innocuous looking giant plants but once aroused by the smell of flesh, the Flesh Flayer will squirm about seeking that which it desires. Once the desired meal is located, the Flayer will rend the flesh from the bones of any creatures that wander too near. Sadly, it is rumored that even keeping your distance from an aroused Flesh Flayer is difficult because they are able to attack even from afar. My recommendation is to avoid them altogether!

Below is the original concept art for the Flesh Flayer from Stephen Daniele (labelled “Maneater”), as well as the in-game version.

Geothermal Steam Catchers

“Kobolds were the first to harness the powers of wind, water, and volcanism to generate and transmit aetheric energies. However, these mechanisms are now becoming more common in large human settlements. Windmills, waterwheels, and steam catchers are often used to turn aetheric generators to power a wide range of newfangled equipment such as moon towers, aethereal amplifiers, energy fences and even some new types of weapons. Uses for this new aethereal energy seem unbounded, yet finding new sources of mechanical power is always of utmost importance.” – Lord British

This scene shows several Steam Catchers that capture the heat and steam from volcanic activity and use it to spin fans or funnel the steam directly into a boiler. The fan based steam catchers use the spinning fans to turn generators, while the boiler based catchers use the steam directly to build pressure and then route the steam to appliances like radiators to keep houses warm.

Boreas, The Titan of Truth“After the moons collided and civilization fell, three great and powerful leaders rose to become the Titans of Truth, Love, and Courage; the surviving principles of the times before the fall. Great are they, and great are the monuments built to them. While the Titans themselves may no longer exist, we are still inspired by colossal statues in their likeness which are occasionally found throughout New Britannia.”           - Lord British

The below image shows Stephen Daniele’s original concept art for Boreas (leftmost image) and the in-game WIP version by Andy Cortez. Look for the Titan of Truth in-game in an upcoming Release.

The Avatars Chronicles I – Return of the Avatar: Special Developer Edition
The-New-Britannia-Theater-Troupe[1]The New Britannia Theatre Troupe along with AvatarsRadio.com and TheCaverns.net are proud to present a theatrical voice presentation of astronomical proportions. The long awaited sequel to Once Upon A Time Lord; The Avatars Chronicles I – Return of the Avatar: Special Developer Edition. Coming to an Aether Vibration Amplifier near you Saturday January 17th 2015, 11am Central Time.

…Set on another New Britannia, in a parallel universe this saga chronicles the adventures of an unlikely group of heroes who have banded together to save their realm from dark forces which threaten its very existence…

30 amazing voice actors from our very own community. Four of the communities favorite developers: Richard Garriot, Starr Long, FireLotus and Stephen Daniele. Hundreds of hours of work. All come together to bring the community one of the most epic sized productions to be entered into the history books.

We invite you to join us all, this Saturday, January 17th, in the Church of the Dark Star in PaxLair, Valemark in the Hidden Vale and on Avatars Radio for a fantastic listening party! Be one among your friends to be able to say “we were there when this happened!”.

The Avatars Chronicles I – Return of the Avatar: Special Developer Edition. The heroes look forward to seeing you there.

Sir Stile Teckle is also holding a contest during this event for great prizes. You will need to be listening in order to win! Among these prizes are dice from great community groups such as: The New Britannia Theatre Troupe, TheCaverns.net and the Round Table. Grand Prize will be randomly drawn from a list of entrants who answer all questions correctly. This grand prize will be: One Foil Print Shield of the Avatar signed by Lord British.

Be sure to be listening to Avatars Radio and keeping a watch on TheCaverns.net and The Shroud of the Avatar Forums for further information, contest rules and the questions to be answered to enter into the grand prize drawing.

In-game Weekend Community Eventsavatars-circle-logo-concept-7[1]Our amazing community has another great lineup of in-game events planned for this weekend. If you missed out on these player events during the previous Releases, we highly recommend you check some of them out this weekend. Here is the latest schedule of player events from the Avatar’s Circle Community Events calendar (http://avatarscircle.com/community-events/):

Saturday, January 17
9:00am CST – PaxLair Working Hours – Host Winfield (Valemark)
11:00am CST – New Britannia Theater Troupe Presents: Avatars Chronicles I – Special Developer Edition Listening party (at Church of the Dark Star, PaxLair, Valemark)
1:00pm CST – Beginner’s class – Making money with crafting! (Port Phoenix Fairgrounds, Kingsport, or “/zone Kazyn Phoenixfyre”)

Sunday, January 18
5:30am CST – Explore Novia with royalsexy (Owl’s Head entrance)
12:00pm CST – The cake is not lie – Basement maze run #2 (“/zone Net”)
1:00pm CST – Bürgertreffen in Drachenfels (Ravensend; “/zone Albert” to join; meeting will be in German)
2:00pm CST – All Reporters Gathering (Paxlair, Valemark, or “/zone Winfield”)
7:00pm CST – PaxLair Meeting – cancelled due to PaxLair Anniversary events in Old Britannia
8:00pm CST – New Britannia Press Meeting (via Avatars Circle Teamspeak)

Time is Running Out to Get Your R13 Grand Tour Quest RewardBetter hurry if you want to add the Yule Hat to your collection because the R13 Grand Tour Quest ends on January 29 when we launch Release 14. If you need help getting your R13 Yule Hat reward, then check out The Mad Hermit’s video guide to completing the R13 Grand Tour Quest:
Last Chance ExclusivesEvery week going forward we are removing select items from the Add-On Store, so if you want them you better get them before they are gone! Over the past few months we’ve phased out over 25 items, including such items as the Scissors of Prosperity, Blade of the Avatar Cloak, and Shingle-Roof Village Homes. This week, the following items are available for an additional 20% off, and then will no longer be available in the Add-On Store.

The Pickaxe of Prosperity

This unique indestructible pickaxe increases the quality and quantity of the ore mined as well as increasing the speed of mining. While pickaxes with similar effects can be crafted and purchased in the game this particular pickaxe never needs repair.

Wood & Plaster 2-Story Village HomeAn open floor plan, 2-story home with both floors comprised of single, spacious, great rooms (this home is also used as an NPC home in Owl’s Head and is included in the Town Lot Property Deed).
Wood & Plaster 2-Story with Overhang Village HomeA 2-story, 3-room, wood & plaster village home (also used as the College of Arms building in Owl’s Head).
Steam_logoSteam Access Keys Available for All SotA Backers

SotA successfully launched on Steam Early Access on November 24, and we’ve made Steam Access Keys available to all our backers as part of their basic pledge rewards! Once you’ve redeemed your Steam Access Key you’ll have the option of playing SotA either with the Steam client or the regular game client (or both).SotA_SteamTradingCards2_small

Click here for instructions to redeem your Steam access key and installing the Steam SotA client…

If you play SotA on Steam you can collect the SotA Trading Cards! Collect a full set of SotA trading cards to earn SotA badges, profile backgrounds, and emoticons that help you customize your profile and show off your Shroud of the Avatar gameplay. Check out Steam’s trading card FAQ for more information.

How to Cancel Monthly Payment PlansRemember that Pledge payment plans are not canceled automatically after reaching the desired pledge. You must manually cancel your monthly payment plan, which can be done at anytime on your SotA Account page. We apologize for any inconvenience this might cause, but it is a result of how recurring billing functions with PayPal, Amazon, and Stripe (our credit card service).
Upcoming Events2015.01.29 – SotA at PAX South
2015.01.29 – Release 14
2015.02.26 – Starr Long delivers Keynote at ICPHSO’s 2015 Annual Meeting and Training Symposium
2015.02.26 – Release 15
2015.03.13 – SotA at SXSW Interactive
2015.03.26 – Release 16
2015.04.03 – Duke & LotM VIP Design Roundtable w/Lord British and Portalarium Studio Tour (it was such a big hit last year that we are again inviting our guests to attend Portalarium’s Family Easter Celebration in Castleton (Richard’s lakefront property on beautiful Lake Austin)

Project Update #107 Recap

If you missed our last update, here were the highlights:

  • SotA #1 Most Anticipated Game of 2015 in Ten Ton Hammer Readers Choice Awards!
  • SotA at CES
  • Shroud of the Avatar- A Year of Portalarium: 2014 in Review
  • Release 14 Grand Tour Quest Reward: The Hennin
  • Air Elemental
  • Dragon Pass Progress
  • The Avatars Chronicles I – Return of the Avatar: Special Developer Edition
  • In-game Community Weekend Events
  • Last Chance Exclusives: Skinning Knife, Wood & Plaster Row House and Town Home
  • Steam Access Keys Available for All Backers
  • How to Cancel Monthly Payment Plans
  • This Week In the News
  • Upcoming Events

Relics by Rild

Community member Ben Pritchard (aka Rild) has launched his new website, Relics by Rild (http://www.relicsbyrild.com/), your source for officially licensed Shroud of the Avatar merchandise! Here are a few samples:

DARKSTARR -VS- LORD BRITISH CHALLENGE COIN

  • Expertly designed by New Britannia’s own Sir Frank, this detailed coin features the personal symbol and motto of Lord British on one side, and those of DarkStarr on the other. This finely crated piece represents the dual nature at the heart of every Avatar. Virtue and Chaos… Which side will YOU choose?
LORD BRITISH BEANIE (SILVER ON BLACK)

  • Stay warm and comfortable under the banner of your Liege in this gray knit skullcap featuring the crest of Lord British. In this harsh world and others, the shimmering silver serpent serves as a beacon of Truth, Love and Courage.

Ye Olde Add-On Store

Don’t forget about these other great offerings that are still available:

Player Owned Town

  • Have you ever wanted to own an entire scene? Now you can! A Town is just a bit smaller than the size of Owl’s Head in the Hidden Vale.
Wedding Dress

  • This elegant wedding dress is a must-have for those of you with a wedding to plan (or just wanting a different look while cavorting about New Britannia)!
The Black Cat

  • Want the purrrrfect pet? Then you’ll want this cute, furry feline (available in the Add-On Store). The black cat is a non-combat pet that can stealthily pad along with you wherever you go.
The White Raven

  • The White Raven is a flying, non-combat pet that can follow you wherever you go.
The Silver Serpent Necklace

  • Few remember the great earth snake, from whence Lord British took on this symbol. Now all those who would fight by his side, wear it, so they might know each other and recognize their mutual devotion to the lands of New Britannia!
Lord British Cloak

  • Be the first in your neighborhood to get the new Lord British cloak, beautifully adorned with Lord British’s Coat-of-Arms! There is a secret in-game effect that wearing Lord British’s cloak will invoke.
The 6-Pack of Prosperity 

  • Get this set of Prosperity items for a discount in our 6-Pack of Prosperity bundle! Includes the Fishing Pole, Axe, Pickaxe, Skinning Knife, Sickle, and Hoe.
Viking Village Home

  • With the Viking Village Home we experimented with a style that allowed for a larger variety of color, yet still appropriate for the time period and overall art style. The Viking home is a two-story dwelling, with a single large room downstairs and a wrap-around loft on the second floor!
Windmill Village Home

  • Ever wanted to live in a Windmill? Well here’s your chance! This 2-story Windmill Village Home, has comfortably sized room on each floor and an external stairway leading to a wrap-around deck on the second level. And yes, the windmill blades actually spin!
Village Stone & Timber Split-Level Basements

  • This Village Stone & Timber Split-Level Basement is comprised of 5-floors with sub-divided rooms.
Tower Home

  • The Tower Village home has a spacious entry-level floor, with an equally spacious second story floor, which also has an adjoining outdoor deck!
  • The Tower Town home has a spacious entry-level floor, with stairs leading up to the second story and down to the lower level floor. There is an equally spacious second story floor, which also has an adjoining outdoor deck!

We’d Love Your Comments

Shroud of the Avatar is all about community collaboration and we’d love your feedback, so please click here to post any replies you may have about the content in this update.
This edition of Update of the Avatar written by Dallas Snell, COO/Co-Founder, Portalarium

Update of the Avatar #107 – 2015.01.09: SotA #1 in TTH Readers Choice Awards, SotA at CES, 2014 Year in Review, R14 Grand Tour Reward, Air Elemental, and More!

Greetings Fellow Avatars!

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

  • SotA #1 Most Anticipated Game of 2015 in Ten Ton Hammer Readers Choice Awards!
  • SotA at CES
  • Shroud of the Avatar- A Year of Portalarium: 2014 in Review
  • Release 14 Grand Tour Quest Reward: The Hennin
  • Air Elemental
  • Dragon Pass Progress
  • The Avatars Chronicles I – Return of the Avatar: Special Developer Edition
  • In-game Community Weekend Events
  • Last Chance Exclusives: The Sickle and Village Ring of Stones
  • Steam Access Keys Available for All Backers
  • How to Cancel Monthly Payment Plans
  • This Week In the News
  • Upcoming Events

SotA #1 Most Anticipated Game of 2015 in Ten Ton Hammer Readers Choice Awards!

TTH_ReadersChoice_image_logo

Wow! Our amazing community demonstrated to the world just how passionate and supportive they are by casting their vote for Shroud of the Avatar and making it the #1 Most Anticipated Game of 2015 in Ten Ton Hammer Readers Choice Awards! And this followed closely on the heels of all of you driving SotA to the #1 spot in the Massively Readers Choice Most Anticipated MMO of 2015 and Beyond!

Thank all of you so, so much for your passion and your support!


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MMORPG’s Players Choice Awards for Most Anticipated MMO of 2015

Winning these Readers Choice awards is extremely valuable in helping to spread the word about Shroud of the Avatar and our passionate community to those people who haven’t heard of us yet! We really appreciate all of you that responded to our request earlier this week to vote in the MMORPG Players Choice Awards. You quickly drove us to within 4 points of EQ Next at the #1 spot.

But the competition at MMORPG has been fierce and over the past couple days we have slid to the #4 spot, behind EQ Next, Black Desert, and Warhammer. It would be pretty awesome if we could make this a “three-peat” but with such fierce competition we’re really going to need all of your help to regain our forward momentum! Some of you reported in the forums that MMORPG asks a lot of questions during their registration process, which is required before you can vote. We agree that they appear to ask for a tad more information than other sites, but we hope that doesn’t put you off from voting!

Winning these awards helps grow our community, which helps all of us to make SotA even better, so please help make that happen and follow this link to go cast your vote for Shroud of the Avatar in MMORPG’s 2015 Players Choice Awards!


SotA at CES

SotA_CES_2

Richard Garriott and Starr Long spent most of this week at CES in Las Vegas demoing how awesome the SotA audio sounds with Plantronics headsets! They were able to schedule several interviews with the press, so be on the lookout for those articles coming out soon.

Gamers Nexus got the jump on the other news sites and already published their article entitled “Shroud of the Avatar Trailblazes Future of RPG Community Involvement – Richard Garriott Interview.” Check it out if you haven’t seen it yet!

SotA_CES_1

If you’re a fan of Plantronics Gaming Headsets (like we are), then check out their Plantronics Gaming Facebook page, and if you like what you see then give them a “Like”!


Shroud of the Avatar- A Year of Portalarium: 2014 in Review

SotA_IntroCinematicGolemDragon posted an amazing article on the Ultima Codex site entitled “Shroud of the Avatar- A Year of Portalarium: 2014 in Review“. He starts the article by saying:

As Kenneth likes to do “A Year in Review”posts on Ultima Codex, He and I are both pleased to bring you, Shroud of the Avatar – A Year of Portalarium: 2014 in Review, in which we look at the news related to Richard Garriott, #Portalarium, and #LBSotA that came out in the last year. As you can see we have everything organized monthly. Enjoy!!!

He then provides a summary of the key SotA events for each month, with links to the original material. He closed by saying:

It really has been an amazing year. Alot has changed for Shroud of the Avatar. We have multiple systems that have been created and are in the stage of being expanded, changed, and polished. Other systems still have yet to be developed and so 2015 will be another year of major changes. Many community members have only just started their own community projects or have moved on from past projects to new projects. May you all look back on 2014 as a good year of development for SotA and look forward to all 2015 may bring us.

We encourage you to check out GolemDragon’s 2014 in Review article at Ultima Codex because it truly captures what an amazing year 2014 was for all of us traveling this journey together!


Release 14 Grand Tour Quest Reward: A Hennin

Just as in our past few releases, we’re including a Grand Tour Quest in R14 designed to guide you through all the new content. By completing the R14 Grand Tour Quest you will be rewarded with a Hennin (popularly known as a “princess hat”). This reward can only be unlocked during Release 14 (did someone say rares?), so be sure to log in to R14 starting January 29 and talk to all the Tour Guides!


Time is Running Out to Get Your R13 Grand Tour Quest Reward

Better hurry if you want to add the Yule Hat to your collection because the R13 Grand Tour Quest ends on January 29 when we launch Release 14. If you need help getting your R13 Yule Hat reward, then check out The Mad Hermit’s video guide to completing the R13 Grand Tour Quest:

 


Air Elemental

Elementals are powerful beings that mages can summon to fight for them. In Release 13 players were able to summon a very early version of the Air Elemental. This week we are nearing completion of the Air Elemental; which is the first elemental to show our new visual language to differentiate summoned Elementals from wild Elementals.

SotA_AirElemental1

SotA_AirElemental2

Summoned Elementals are surrounded by magical bindings that keep them under the thrall of the summoning mage whereas wild elementals are free of these constraints. Here are the Earth and Ice Elementals with and without the bindings:

SotA_Earth_IceElemental_bonded

While we were doing this work we also decided to create another class of creatures similar to Elementals called Golems and we decided to use our former Ice Elemental as the model for them while making the Ice Elemental use the same mesh as the Earth Elemental. You can expect to see all these new elementals and Golems to begin appearing in Release 14 and 15.

SotA_Earth_Ice_Golums


Dragon Pass Progress

SotA_DragonPass_v1

Last week we showed Andy Cortez’s work-in-progress of the Dragon Pass sculptures based on Stephen Daniele’s concept art. Andy made significant progress during the week, and here’s an in-game shot of the latest version:

SotA_DragonPass_v2


The Avatars Chronicles I – Return of the Avatar: Special Developer Edition
The-New-Britannia-Theater-Troupe[1]

The New Britannia Theatre Troupe along with AvatarsRadio.com and TheCaverns.net are proud to present a theatrical voice presentation of astronomical proportions. The long awaited sequel to Once Upon A Time Lord; The Avatars Chronicles I – Return of the Avatar: Special Developer Edition. Coming to an Aether Vibration Amplifier near you Saturday January 17th 2015, 11am Central Time.

…Set on another New Britannia, in a parallel universe this saga chronicles the adventures of an unlikely group of heroes who have banded together to save their realm from dark forces which threaten its very existence…

30 amazing voice actors from our very own community. Four of the communities favorite developers: Richard Garriot, Starr Long, FireLotus and Stephen Daniele. Hundreds of hours of work. All come together to bring the community one of the most epic sized productions to be entered into the history books.

We invite you to join us all Saturday, January 17th 2015 in the Church of the Dark Star in PaxLair, Valemark in the Hidden Vale and on Avatars Radio for a fantastic listening party! Be one among your friends to be able to say “we were there when this happened!”.

The Avatars Chronicles I – Return of the Avatar: Special Developer Edition. The heroes look forward to seeing you there.

Sir Stile Teckle is also holding a contest during this event for great prizes. You will need to be listening in order to win! Among these prizes are dice from great community groups such as: The New Britannia Theatre Troupe, TheCaverns.net and the Round Table. Grand Prize will be randomly drawn from a list of entrants who answer all questions correctly. This grand prize will be: One Foil Print Shield of the Avatar signed by Lord British.

Be sure to be listening to Avatars Radio and keeping a watch on TheCaverns.net and The Shroud of the Avatar Forums for further information, contest rules and the questions to be answered to enter into the grand prize drawing.


In-game Weekend Community Events

avatars-circle-logo-concept-7[1]Our amazing community has another great lineup of in-game events planned for this weekend. If you missed out on these player events during the previous Releases, we highly recommend you check some of them out this weekend. Here is the latest schedule of player events from the Avatar’s Circle Community Events calendar (http://avatarscircle.com/community-events/):

Saturday, January 10
9:00am CST – PaxLair Working Hours – Host Winfield (Valemark)
11:00am CST – Church of the Dark Star (PaxLair, Valemark)
1:00pm CST – Port Phoenix Storytelling Event! (Port Phoenix Fairgrounds, Kingsport City Center, or “/zone Kazyn Phoenixfyre”)

Sunday, January 11
5:30am CST – Explore Novia with royalsexy (Owl’s Head entrance)
1:00pm CST – Cagefight (with bets!) – watch the forums for details
3:00pm CST – Vengeance 3×3 Tournament $$$ (Vengeance Castle in The Brave Coast; details)
7:00pm CST – PaxLair Meeting – (“/zone Winfield”)
8:00pm CST – Fishing with Winfield (some lake or pond, “/zone Winfield”)


Last Chance Exclusives

Every week going forward we are removing select items from the Add-On Store, so if you want them you better get them before they are gone! Over the past few months we’ve phased out over 20 items, including such items as the Scissors of Prosperity, Blade of the Avatar Cloak, and Shingle-Roof Village Homes. This week, the following items are available for an additional 20% off, and then will no longer be available in the Add-On Store.

The Sickle of Prosperity

This unique, indestructible Sickle increases the quality and quantity of the foraged items (herbs, mushrooms, berries, etc.) as well as increasing the speed of foraging. While sickles with similar effects can be crafted and purchased in the game this particular sickle never needs repair.

 

Village Ring of Stones

For those of you looking for something truly unusual that makes a statement (or if you’re just really into Druids), then the Village Ring of Stones is just the thing for you! You may recognize this structure as the stones surrounding the Lunar Rifts in the game.

 

 


Steam_logo

Steam Access Keys Available for All SotA Backers

SotA successfully launched on Steam Early Access on November 24, and we’ve made Steam Access Keys available to all our backers as part of their basic pledge rewards! Once you’ve redeemed your Steam Access Key you’ll have the option of playing SotA either with the Steam client or the regular game client (or both).SotA_SteamTradingCards2_small

Click here for instructions to redeem your Steam access key and installing the Steam SotA client…

If you play SotA on Steam you can collect the SotA Trading Cards! Collect a full set of SotA trading cards to earn SotA badges, profile backgrounds, and emoticons that help you customize your profile and show off your Shroud of the Avatar gameplay. Check out Steam’s trading card FAQ for more information.


How to Cancel Monthly Payment Plans

Remember that Pledge payment plans are not canceled automatically after reaching the desired pledge. You must manually cancel your monthly payment plan, which can be done at anytime on your SotA Account page. We apologize for any inconvenience this might cause, but it is a result of how recurring billing functions with PayPal, Amazon, and Stripe (our credit card service).

SotA_MonthlyPaymentsCancel


SotA_InTheNews_ReadingScroll

This Week In the News

December 26 – Massively: Shroud of the Avatar’s Richard Garriott and Starr Long on how SOTA wins at player-generated content
December 27 – Massively’s Perfect Ten: New MMOs to watch in 2015
January 8 – Gamers Nexus: Shroud of the Avatar Trailblazes Future of RPG Community Involvement – Richard Garriott Interview


Upcoming Events

2015.01.14 – Live Dev Hangout: R13 Postmortem
2015.01.29 – SotA at PAX South
2015.01.29 – Release 14
2015.02.19 – Release 15
2015.03.13 – SotA at SXSW Interactive
2015.03.26 – Release 16

Update of the Avatar #106 – 2015.01.01: SotA #1 Anticipated MMO, Brightbone Pass, Shardfall Biome, Holiday Specials Ending, and More!

Greetings Fellow Avatars!

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

  • Shroud of the Avatar #1 Most Anticipated MMO of 2015 and Beyond!
  • SotA at CES Next Week
  • Brightbone Pass
  • Shardfall Biome
  • Wyrmsands
  • Dragon Pass
  • In-game Community Weekend Events
  • Last Chance Exclusives: Skinning Knife, Wood & Plaster Row House and Town Home
  • Holiday Specials
  • Steam Access Keys Available for All Backers
  • How to Cancel Monthly Payment Plans
  • Upcoming Events

Shroud of the Avatar #1 Most Anticipated MMO of 2015 and Beyond!

There’s no better way to bring in the New Year than to be voted the #1 Most Anticipated MMO of 2015 and Beyond!

On December 18th, Massively opened a Reader’s Poll for the Most Anticipated MMO of 2015 and Beyond. During the early hours of the poll, EQ Next/Landmark commanded a sizable lead for #1, which also reflected the Massively Staff Pick. Shroud of the Avatar was a distant #2, with Star Citizen only 2 votes behind at #3. However, within the next few hours, Camelot Unchained raced past everyone to claim the #1 spot, leaving SotA choking on its dust in the #3 spot!

But the SotA supporters rallied to the fray, and by early evening Shroud of the Avatar inched its way past Camelot Unchained to claim the #1 spot. And in the almost 2 weeks since the Reader’s Poll opened, SotA supporters have driven SotA into a commanding lead on Massively’s Most Anticipated MMO of 2015 and Beyond! Here are the Top 5 standings as of the time of this writing:

  1. Shroud of the Avatar (25.4%)
  2. Camelot Unchained (18.9%)
  3. EQ Next/Landmark (15.1%)
  4. Skyforge (11.3%)
  5. Star Citizen (9.0%)

Ten Ton Hammer Reader’s Choice – Most Anticipated Game of 2015

We couldn’t have won the Massively Reader’s Poll without the tremendous support from all of you! And now we’ve just learned of another Reader’s Choice poll for Most Anticipated Game of 2015 being held by Ten Ton Hammer. This poll appears to be more “official” than the Massively poll, and should have a follow up article on TTH once the results are finalized on January 7th.

So, what do you think? Can we keep the mojo going? Can we win two Most Anticipated Reader’s Choice polls for 2015! I bet we can, but we’re going to need all your help (again) to do it, so please follow this link to go cast your vote for Shroud of the Avatar!


Only 1 Day Left to Get Your $5 for $5 Holiday Bonus

If you make any purchase of $5 or more on the SotA website between 12 pm CST December 18 and 12 pm CST January 2 we will make a one-time deposit of an extra $5 into your Store Credit!

SotA_StoreCredit_Coupon_5_small

[NOTE: The $5 for $5 offer can be exercised only once during the promotion period.
$5 Store Credit should show up in your account within 24 hours of a qualifying purchase]


SotA at CES Next Week

SotA_E3_pic2

We are excited that Shroud of the Avatar will be a featured game at the Plantronics booth at CESnext week. We want the audio landscape of SotA to be as immersive as the visual landscape and Plantronics is a great partner for us to work with on achieving that goal.

If you’re a fan of Plantronics Gaming Headsets (like we are), then check out their Plantronics Gaming Facebook page, and if you like what you see then give them a “Like”!


Brightbone Pass

This dangerous control point sits high atop the Brightbone Mountains near the Necropolis, city of the undead. Hordes of skeletons and ghosts haunt this ancient fortress and block all who would venture through. Some say a group of ancient Lich’s also call this their home.

SotA_BrightbonePass1

SotA_BrightbonePass2

SotA_BrightbonePass3

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Shardfall Biome

In an age past came the end of two celestial beings, the birth of Daedalus, and a cataclysmic storm in the form of Shardfall! New Britannia was forever changed as celestial debris rained down upon the surface. What strange secrets will be unlocked within the craters of Shardfall? The Obsidian Order understood the power unleashed and sought to harness it: mutation, corruption and blight…

The Island of Novia will have a number of these Shardfall areas where the Blessings of the Oracle do not hold sway and all who venture in them are at risk of conflict (open PVP). With that risk though there is rumor of even greater reward for the Shardfall both generates and exposes more resources than anywhere else in Novia. Release 14 will feature our first scene to use the Shardfall biome; pictured below (image is early work-in-progress).

SotA_Shardfall_day

SotA_Shardfall_night


Wyrmsands

This desert in the southwest corner of the Vale is also known as the graveyard of dragons. No one knows why these beasts came here to die in such large numbers. Some say those same dragons left behind great treasures upon their death, but few have dared to venture too far in these wastes to find out.

SotA_Wyrmsands


Dragon Pass

Those who carved these beasts into the desert cliff faces have faded into memory, but these edifices remain in the deepest deserts of Novia.

SotA Forgotten Desert

Environmental artist Andy Cortez is currently modeling the Dragon Pass sculptures based on the above concept art by Stephen Daniele. Keep an eye out for it in an upcoming Release!

SotA_DragonPass_model


In-game Weekend Community Events

avatars-circle-logo-concept-7[1]Our amazing community has another great lineup of in-game events planned for this weekend. If you missed out on these player events during the previous Releases, we highly recommend you check some of them out this weekend. Here is the latest schedule of player events from the Avatar’s Circle Community Events calendar (http://avatarscircle.com/community-events/):

Friday, January 2
10:00am CST – Dungeon Run – Braemar Cemetery
7:00pm CST – Dungeon Run – Braemar Cemetery

Saturday, January 3
11:00am CST – Church of the Dark Star – The Monsters that Dwell Within – Sacrifice (PaxLair, Valemark)
12:00pm CST – Welcome Quest R13.5 (“/zone Dara Brae” to join; details)
1:00pm Port Phoenix Storytelling Event! (Port Phoenix Fairgrounds, Kingsport City Center, or “/zone Kazyn Phoenixfyre”)
5:00pm CST – PvP Tournament: 1v1 Double Elimination $$$ (Vengeance in The Brave Coast)

Sunday, January 4
5:30am CST – Explore Novia with royalsexy (Owl’s Head entrance)
12:00pm CST – Bear Tavern Brawl 1v1 R13 (details)


The R13 Grand Tour QuestSotA_R13_GrandTourReward

Just as in our last few releases, we’ve included a Grand Tour Quest designed to guide you through all the new content. In celebration of the holidays, you will be able to get the Yule Hat by completing the Release 13 Grand Tour Quest. This reward can only be unlocked during Release 13 (did someone say rares?), so be sure to log in to R13 and talk to all the Tour Guides!

If you need help getting your R13 Yule Hat reward, then check out The Mad Hermit’s video guide to completing the R13 Grand Tour Quest:


Last Chance Exclusives

Every week going forward we are removing select items from the Add-On Store, so if you want them you better get them before they are gone! Over the past few weeks we’ve phased out over 20 items, including such items as the Scissors of Prosperity, Blade of the Avatar Cloak, and Shingle-Roof Village Homes. This week, the following items are available for an additional 20% off, and then will no longer be available in the Add-On Store.

The Skinning Knife of Prosperity

This unique, indestructible knife increases the quality and quantity of meat, hides, poison sacks, etc. gathered when field dressing. While knives with similar effects can be crafted and purchased in the game this particular knife never needs repair.

 

Wood & Plaster 3-Story Row House (digital)

In our line of Row homes is this Wood & Plaster 3-story, 6-room row house.

 

Wood & Plaster 2-Story with Front Porch Town Home

In our line of Wood & Plaster homes is this 2-story, 2-room with second-story loft, town home (also used as the Fire Lotus Tavern in Owl’s Head).

SotA_WoodPlaster_2Story_FrontPorch_Town_home_exterior1


Only 4 Days Left for Holiday Specials

The season is coming to a close and there are only 3 days remaining to get any of your favorite holiday items. You can get all 7 of the 2014 holiday items at an even greater savings with the 2014 Holiday Bundle! Includes Taming Turkey Call, Taming Reindeer Call, Cornucopia, Yule Tree, Menorah, Replenishing Fireworks Box, and the Replenishing Snowball Box. Available thru January 5th in the Add-On Store.

SotA_2013_Holiday_Bundle


Steam_logo

Steam Access Keys Available for All SotA Backers

SotA successfully launched on Steam Early Access on November 24, and we’ve made Steam Access Keys available to all our backers as part of their basic pledge rewards! Once you’ve redeemed your Steam Access Key you’ll have the option of playing SotA either with the Steam client or the regular game client (or both).SotA_SteamTradingCards2_small

Click here for instructions to redeem your Steam access key and installing the Steam SotA client…

If you play SotA on Steam you can collect the SotA Trading Cards! Collect a full set of SotA trading cards to earn SotA badges, profile backgrounds, and emoticons that help you customize your profile and show off your Shroud of the Avatar gameplay. Check out Steam’s trading card FAQ for more information.


How to Cancel Monthly Payment Plans

Remember that Pledge payment plans are not canceled automatically after reaching the desired pledge. You must manually cancel your monthly payment plan, which can be done at anytime on your SotA Account page. We apologize for any inconvenience this might cause, but it is a result of how recurring billing functions with PayPal, Amazon, and Stripe (our credit card service).

SotA_MonthlyPaymentsCancel


Upcoming Events

2015.01.06 – SotA at CES
2015.01.14 – Live Dev Hangout: R13 Postmortem
2015.01.29 – Release 14 Access
2015.02.19 – Release 15 Access
2015.03.13 – SotA at SXSW Interactive
2015.03.26 – Release 16 Access

Update of the Avatar #105 – 2014.12.26: Space Bards Cover of “Stones,” Scepter of Dread Artifact, Q1-2015 Schedule Update, $5 for $5 Holiday Bonus, and More!

SotA_HappyHolidays

Happy Holidays!

 

From the Shroud of the Avatar Team

SotA_Team_tan_background_2014.09.10


Please note that December 20 – 28 and January 1 are official company holidays for Portalarium which means there will be no developer presence nor customer support on those dates.


Greetings Fellow Avatars!

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

  • The Space Bards’ cover of Iolo’s “Stones”
  • Scepter of Dread Artifact
  • First Quarter 2015 Schedule Update
  • $5 for $5 Holiday Bonus
  • In-game Community Weekend Events
  • Steam Access Keys Available for All Backers
  • Holiday Specials
  • Last Chance Exclusives: Smithing Hammer, Village Pavilion, and Barn Village Home
  • How to Cancel Monthly Payment Plans
  • Recruitment Bonus Allocation Expiration
  • Upcoming Events

RecapThe Space Bards’ cover of Iolo’s “Stones”

One of the backer rewards for The Space Bards (aka Recap) Neon Milk album Kickstarter was “Set our course by having us cover any song of your choice“. Richard “Lord British” Garriott’s requested cover song was “Stones” by David Watson (aka Iolo).

“We Recapped the hell out of this one for you,” said Space Bards Dom, Dan, and Steven. “Pray Iolo doesn’t decide we should awaken with a few bolts in our chest for it.”

Here, for your listening pleasure, is The Space Bards cover of “Stones (opb. David Watson A.k.a. Iolo)“:

Stones_CoverSong_Recap


Scepter of Dread Artifact

SotA_ScepterDread

Legend says the Scepter of Dread will cause all who gaze upon it to fall to the ground in fear. Others claim that if such an artifact existed, then the Obsidians of old, would have wielded it to consolidate their dominion over Novia. Since none have seen it, it remains the stuff of legend and rumor.


First Quarter 2015 Schedule Update

As the fourth quarter of 2014 draws to a close it is time to look ahead to what we have planned in the coming year. Here is Starr Long’s public forum post where he outlines the First Quarter 2015 Schedule Update:

Darkstarr

Greetings Avatars,

As we stated in previous posts, our goal is to once-per-quarter post an updated schedule for our monthly releases. Even though these goals will likely change somewhat as we react to feedback, we feel it is important to provide you an updated road-map periodically.

Our goal continues to be to deliver our backers content each and every month so that we can get feedback, and use it to iterate improvements. This has already paid off, with additional game features like jumping and swimming, as well as improvements to systems like crafting, conversations, and combat. 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.

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 14, January 29, 2015

  • Scenes: Brightbone Pass and Blackblade Pass Entrances will expand the mainland while another Desert scene will expand the Vale. We will also add the Shardfall biome to the game, along with a shardfall scene (this is the biome for our Open PVP scenes).
  • Unity 5: We will begin transitioning the project to the latest version of Unity. For R14, it will most likely be a separate build, purely for testing.
  • Banks: Players can now start storing things in the bank. This is also where all your pledge rewards will be at the start of the game, so you won’t start so encumbered that you cannot move.
  • Encumbrance: The weight of items will now factor into how much you can carry. Your carrying capacity will be derived from your Strength stat.
  • Pledges Tied to Game Account: Your pledge will now be tied to your game account. This means you will start the game with your pledge rewards in your bank storage.
  • Customization: A pass will be made to improve hair and facial hair.
  • Combat: Various skills will be added to finish out Earth, Water, Ranged, Blades, Bludgeon, Tactics, and Heavy Armor schools.
  • Housing: Lot Deeds will be introduced to the game so property claiming will first require purchasing a lot deed in the game (or receiving one via pledge rewards). Also, more basements will be available.
  • Crafting: We will also be adding more Cooking and Alchemy recipes and ingredients including the ability to put magical enchantments and stat enhancements (durability, weight, value, etc) on gear.
  • Shopkeepers: Prices will now fluctuate based on available stock, and each vendor will have “I will buy” and “I will sell” lists. This means that the fruit vendor might not be interested in buying that sword from you.
  • Creatures: Our bestiary will expand to include Man-Eating Plants, Water Elementals, Greyhounds, and various Human Enemies (mages, archers, etc.).

RELEASE 15, February 26, 2015:

  • Maps: We will continue to expand the mainland scenes to include Resolute, Xenos, Desolace Town, The Necropolis, and the Verdantis Shardfall.
  • Spells & Skills: Sun and Moon Magic will expand to include more spells. The combat schools of Shields will also expand, and more combos will be added to the game.
  • Housing: Property ownership will now incur regular fees (unless you are using a tax free deed from a pledge). If the fees are not paid, the player will lose their claim, and their possessions (including the house and decorations) will be moved to their bank.
  • Crafting: Crafting skills will start to come online, and be used during crafting to modify results.
  • Creatures: Our creature list will continue to expand with the Fauns, the Phoenix and Wisps.
  • Combat: Stealth mechanics will begin to appear.
  • Customization: Clothing and Armor will now be dye-able.
  • Overworld: Roving encounters (patrolling creatures) will now appear on the overworld map and can be engaged (pulling you into a scene) or avoided if you wish to sneak past. We will also have the first pass of the Novia map.
  • Player Titles: Players will now be able to display their title in the game.
  • Emote “Teaching”: Emotes will now be teachable to other players. Some emotes (like the ones tied to pledges) will only be teachable by the original owner. For now, “teaching” will be trading a consumable item that adds the emote via secure trade.

RELEASE 16, March 26, 2015

  • Steam Achievements: Players will now be able to earn Steam Achievements
  • Maps: Mainland scenes will continue to come online including Blood River Village, Vertas, and the Grunwald Shardfall.
  • Spells & Skills: Chaos Magic will expand to include more spells, and more combos will come online.
  • Housing: Permissions for property will greatly expand to better support groups sharing of property, including tools to rent rooms and set “per area/room” permissions.
  • Crafting: Crafting will now have events that occur during the crafting process that the player can interact with to influence the results.
  • Creatures: Our creature list will continue to expand with Emps and Chaos Demons added to the game.
  • Combat: The cover system will be introduced that modifies attack and defense values when you (or your target) are behind cover.
  • Customization: New armor and clothing items will appear in the game.
  • Player Made Books: Players will be able to write in blank books in the game, and share them with other players.
  • Localization: We will begin crowdsourcing the translation of the game into various languages

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. With each release, we will have specific tests we will ask you all to make. As we get closer, we will send instructions on how to download, install, report bugs, etc. After each release we will review the results and reevaluate the plan including the duration of availability of each release. Please note that game data will be wiped periodically during early access.

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

Sincerely,
Starr Long
Executive Producer
Shroud of the Avatar


$5 for $5 Holiday Bonus

If you make any purchase of $5 or more on the SotA website between 12 pm CST December 18 and 12 pm CST January 2 we will make a one-time deposit of an extra $5 into your Store Credit!

SotA_StoreCredit_Coupon_5_small

[NOTE: The $5 for $5 offer can be exercised only once during the promotion period.
$5 Store Credit should show up in your account within 24 hours of a qualifying purchase]


In-game Weekend Community Events

avatars-circle-logo-concept-7[1]Our amazing community has another great lineup of in-game events planned for this weekend. If you missed out on these player events during the previous Releases, we highly recommend you check some of them out this weekend. Here is the latest schedule of player events from the Avatar’s Circle Community Events calendar (http://avatarscircle.com/community-events/):

Friday, December 26
10:00am CST – Dungeon Run – Braemar Cemetery
7:00pm CST – Dungeon Run – Braemar Cemetery

Saturday, December 27
9:00am CST – PaxLair Working Hours – Host Winfield (in Valemark)
11:00am CST – Church of the Dark Star – The Monsters that Dwell Within – Forgiveness (PaxLair, Valemark)
1:00pm CST – Scholarly Lecture – Shardfall and the Sundering (Port Phoenix Fairgrounds, Kingsport, or “/zone Kazyn Phoenixfyre”)
5:00pm CST – PvP Tournament: 1v1 Double Elimination $$$ (Vengeance in The Brave Coast)

Sunday, December 28
5:30am CST – Explore Novia with royalsexy (Owl’s Head entrance)
7:00pm CST – PaxLair Meeting (in Valemark or “/zone Winfield PaxLair”)


The R13 Grand Tour QuestSotA_R13_GrandTourReward

Just as in our last few releases, we’ve included a Grand Tour Quest designed to guide you through all the new content. And just in time for the holidays, you will be able to get the Yule Hat by completing the Release 13 Grand Tour Quest. This reward can only be unlocked during Release 13 (did someone say rares?), so be sure to log in to R13 and talk to all the Tour Guides!

If you need help completing the R13 Grand Tour Quest then be sure and watch The Mad Hermit’s video guide and he’ll take you through it step-by-step: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CiC2bH4MWOw


Steam_logo

Steam Access Keys Available for All SotA Backers

SotA successfully launched on Steam Early Access on November 24, and we’ve made Steam Access Keys available to all our backers as part of their basic pledge rewards! Once you’ve redeemed your Steam Access Key you’ll have the option of playing SotA either with the Steam client or the regular game client (or both).SotA_SteamTradingCards2_small

Click here for instructions to redeem your Steam access key and installing the Steam SotA client…

If you play SotA on Steam you can collect the SotA Trading Cards! Collect a full set of SotA trading cards to earn SotA badges, profile backgrounds, and emoticons that help you customize your profile and show off your Shroud of the Avatar gameplay. Check out Steam’s trading card FAQ for more information.


Holiday Specials

Yep, it’s that time of the year again. Over the past couple of weeks we’ve brought back all of your holiday favorites. You can get all 7 of the 2014 holiday items at an even greater savings with the 2014 Holiday Bundle! Includes Taming Turkey Call, Taming Reindeer Call, Cornucopia, Yule Tree, Menorah, Replenishing Fireworks Box, and the Replenishing Snowball Box. Available for a limited time in the Add-On Store.

SotA_2013_Holiday_Bundle


Last Chance Exclusives

Every week going forward we are removing select items from the Add-On Store, so if you want them you better get them before they are gone! Over the past few weeks we’ve phased out over 20 items, including such items as the Scissors of Prosperity, Blade of the Avatar Cloak, and Shingle-Roof Village Homes. This week, the following items are available for an additional 20% off, and then will no longer be available in the Add-On Store.

The Smithing Hammer of Prosperity

This unique, indestructible, smithing hammer increases the ability to make higher quality items, enhance existing items and repair damaged items. While hammers with similar effects can be crafted and purchased in the game this particular hammer never needs repair.

SotA_Hammer_Prosperity

 

Village Pavilion

This Village Pavilion is perfect for late night hot tub parties, or set up as your own crafting workshop! (you may recognize this building as the public crafting pavilion in Owl’s Head)

SotA_Village_Pavillion_exterior1

 

Barn 2-Story Village Home

Ever want to live in a barn? Well, now you can with this rustic, 2-story, 4-room, barn village home (this home is also used as a barn in Owl’s Head).

SotA_Barn_Village_home_exterior1

 


How to Cancel Monthly Payment Plans

Remember that Pledge payment plans are not canceled automatically after reaching the desired pledge. You must manually cancel your monthly payment plan, which can be done at anytime on your SotA Account page. We apologize for any inconvenience this might cause, but it is a result of how recurring billing functions with PayPal, Amazon, and Stripe (our credit card service).

SotA_MonthlyPaymentsCancel

 


Recruitment Bonus Allocation Expiration

The Recruitment Bonus Program ended at 12:00 pm CST December 2, 2014, but you will have until midnight CST December 31, 2014 to alter the allocation of your recruitment bonuses on your Account page. After the deadline, the “Recruits” user interface on your Account page will no longer be available, and any unallocated recruitment bonuses will be automatically applied to your pledge (or to your highest valued pledge if you have more than one).

SotA_RecruitBonusUI_Expiration


Upcoming Events

2015.01.06 – SotA at CES
2015.01.22 – Release 14 Access
2015.02.19 – Release 15 Access
2015.03.13 – SotA at SXSW Interactive
2015.03.26 – Release 16 Access

Update of the Avatar #104 – 2014.12.19: Play R13 Now to get Yule Hat, Vote for SotA, $5 for $5 Bonus, Earth Elemental, and More!

Greetings Fellow Avatars!

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

  • Play Release 13 Now and Get Your Grand Tour Yule Hat
  • Vote for Shroud of the Avatar as the Most Anticipated MMO of 2015!
  • $5 for $5 Holiday Bonus
  • SotA Community is Rockin’ It!
  • In-game Community Weekend Events
  • Steam Access Keys Available for All Backers
  • Holiday Specials
  • Last Chance Exclusives: Smelting Tongs and Blue Tile Roof Row Houses
  • How to Cancel Monthly Payment Plans
  • Recruitment Bonus Allocation Expiration
  • This Week In the News
  • Upcoming Events

SotA_EarthElemental_R13

Several new creatures made it into the game for the first time in Release 13, including this intimidating Earth Elemental


Please note that December 20 – 28 and January 1 are official company holidays for Portalarium which means there will be no developer presence nor customer support on those dates.


Play Release 13 Now and Get Your Grand Tour Yule Hat

Release 13 successfully launched yesterday, December 18, with thousands of backers downloading, patching, logging in, and checking out the new changes! Lots of new content to explore, including:

  • New houses and decorations, including the much requested room dividers and hedges
  • 16 new skills, including our first Chaos magic spell
  • New consumable crafting recipes, including Smelling Salts, Explosive Potion, and Haste Potion
  • New creatures, including Earth and Air Elementals, Imp, Scorpion, and Reindeer.
  • New Desert Scenes
  • Combat balancing, especially so melee fighters aren’t so overpowered
  • …and more!

Check out the Release 13 Instructions update for detailed information about all the R13 content.

The Grand Tour Quest
Just as in our last few releases, we’ve included a Grand Tour Quest designed to guide you through all the new content. And just in time for the holidays, you will be able to get the Yule Hat by completing the Release 13 Grand Tour Quest. This reward can only be unlocked during Release 13 (did someone say rares?), so be sure to log in soon and talk to all the Tour Guides!

If you need help getting your R13 Yule Hat reward, then check out The Mad Hermit’s video guide to completing the R13 Grand Tour Quest:


We need all your help with testing the new patches, putting more stress on our multiplayer servers, and testing the new game content, so please join us in playing Release 13!

If you have not backed the game yet, you will need to register and login atwww.shroudoftheavatar.com, select the “Pledge or Send Gift!” button in the right side-bar, and purchase a pledge at the $45 Adventurer level or above. The basic Adventurer level pledge is alsoavailable on Steam Early Access.

Release 13 Player Instructions

Release 13 Known Issues


If you are new to Shroud of the Avatar we highly recommend taking a few minutes to watch the excellent New Player’s Video Guide from community member The Mad Hermit:

Click here to check out all of The Mad Hermit’s amazing SotA how-to videos!


R13 Patch Notes

Thanks to all our community members that jumped right into Release 13 and started reporting bugs. We’ve already fixed quite a few of them and pushed out a couple of patches. Click here for the most up-to-date Patch Notes.

December 19, 2014

Build Number 199 (Linux, Mac, PC): 5:30 PM CST (15:30 GMT)

  • Augmented Cloth Hood no longer removes facial hair
  • Deathfield nerfed slightly
  • Obsidian Cloak now displays the proper symbol
  • Fixed a logic error that gave you bonuses and penalties to fizzle chances for standing still or moving BUT only if holding a bow. Now will apply those no matter what weapon is equipped. Also, cut the penalty in half.
  • Immolation is now enabled in the game (no really, we aren’t kidding)
  • Fixed various typos in conversations
  • Changed Launcher to default to 64 bit windows build if machine is capable
  • Various performance optimizations (should make Owl’s Head play much better)
  • Updated the get hit sound effect to something marginally better but still placeholder
  • Fixed doorways in desert buildings that were blocking fully scaled avatars
  • Books should no longer appear in the equipment tab
  • Kobold Mages and Archers should now have the correct names
  • Fixed floating fence and boulders in Wynton’s Folly (new desert scene)
  • Fixed issue that was causing multiple items to be selected in inventory, even when trying to select single items

Build Number 198 (Linux, Mac, PC): 9:30 AM CST (15:30 GMT)

  • Marlene Graff’s quest to recover her necklace is now working properly
  • Red Sash Bandits now dropping Red Sashes again
  • Fixed text overlap issue in Options UI
  • Fixed issues with Blink letting you go through walls of player houses
  • Added more footstep sounds
  • “Random Encounter!” text replaced with “Prepare to defend yourself!”
  • Player placed lights can now be turned off
  • Partial fix for the issue that many creatures will run away from you briefly before running towards you when they notice you
  • Duke and Baron crows now work properly with hair
  • Fixed Grand Tour bug where guides sometimes don’t acknowledge you when you typed the “Progress” keyword
  • Visual Effects for Caltrops and Explosive Potions are now in the game.
  • Chest Mimics are now working again
  • Fixed rock in Link of Hyrule’s yard
  • Random Encounters are now flagged as private so they will no longer be filled with dead animals and mined out resources
  • Changed Tour Guide names so they have the place name in their name (“say name one more time *********!”)
  • Sitting with a torch while AFK no longer burns your nether regions
  • Caltrops can no longer be placed in your non-combat bar (which was locking you in place if you tried to use it)
  • Spiders in Deep Ravenswood should be more challenging/balanced

December 18, 2014

Build Number 196 (Linux, Mac, PC): 12:30 PM CST (18:30 GMT)

  • Mac Build is now working! Thank you for your patience
  • New Lord of the Manor Keep should have collision and sound effects on the doors
  • Gravity returned to Wynton’s Folly (new desert scene). Fixed floating resource node, floating building and floating tree
  • Ladders and stairs in Wynton’s Folly (new desert scene) should now work
  • Scorpions now playing spitting animation (yes just what you always wanted, to be covered in Scorpion spit, you are welcome)
  • Air Elemental now using lightning instead of ice arrow
  • Increased slow effects for Ice Spells and Combos: Ice Arrow, Ice Field, Ice Fist, Icy Puncture, and Icy Thrust
  • Players can now use /reportplayer and /reportcontent in the chat window which will send tickets to our Customer Service system for inappropriate content

Please Vote for Shroud of the Avatar for Massively’s Most Anticipated MMO of 2015!

Massively is running a Reader Poll for the the Most Anticipated MMO of 2015, so please click this link to go cast your vote for Shroud of the Avatar!

http://massively.joystiq.com/2014/12/18/massivelys-best-of-2014-awards-most-anticipated-for-2015-and-b


$5 for $5 Holiday Bonus

If you make any purchase of $5 or more on the SotA website between 12 pm CST December 18 and 12 pm CST January 2 we will make a one-time deposit of an extra $5 into your Store Credit!

SotA_StoreCredit_Coupon_5_small

[NOTE: The $5 for $5 offer can be exercised only once during the promotion period.
$5 Store Credit should show up in your account within 24 hours of a qualifying purchase]


SotA Community is Rockin’ It!

It’s time again to celebrate the quality and diversity of Shroud of the Avatar music being created by the amazing composers within our community. Enjoy!

Love, by Holt Ironfell: https://soundcloud.com/poetscircle/holt-ironfell-love
Grandmaster Bard Holt Ironfell provides us with the beautiful feminine version of the “Love” theme, for use in Ardoris, where we will hear both this piece and the masculine form to be heard across the city.

Kobold Invention, by Kailef: https://soundcloud.com/kailef/jarrod-kailef-sota-major-track-kobold-invention-version-2-w-lb-requested-changes
Kailef has composed “Kobold Invention” for our pleasure. The kobolds of New Britannia are far more than a simple foe. In fact they created many of the advancements citizens of New Britannia benefit from. Often, this fact is at the root of the difficult discourse between kobolds and humans as they bicker about who steals ideas from who!

Blood River Settlement “Elven Sadness”, by Dougyfresh: https://soundcloud.com/doug-yassen/evlen-sadness-major-piece-shroud-of-the-avatar-final-mix-v2
Another masterwork by Dougyfresh is “Elven Sadness”, a piece that showcases the softer side of the often maligned Elven race. Most in New Britannia think of Elves as the brutish and warlike race, as they were created by the obsidians ages ago. In fact, since the obsidian wars, elves have struggled to find a place and a purpose in the new world. Suffering and strife is far from unknown in their ranks.

Underground “Deep Dungeon”, by Sharm: https://soundcloud.com/sharmie/blindsong-cobra
Sharm provides us the wonderful environmental piece that is “Deep Dungeon”. The depths of New Britannia often hold riches that draw people in to seek them, but just as often the mystery and the beauty comes with less obvious value, and even danger!

Villages “Work & Play”, by Ome: https://soundcloud.com/omethebard/circle-of-stones-toned-things-down-a-bit-1
Ome The Bard crafted this piece, which is one of my personal favorites, “Work and Play” or “Circle of Stones”, which beautifully encapsulates the spirit of New Britannia, as it both revels in possibility yet must work hard to achieve its goals.

– Lord British

Are you a composer who is interested in helping to shape the sounds of Novia? Then visit our forums (https://www.shroudoftheavatar.com/forum/index.php?threads/music-submission-process.12808/) to find out how you can get involved!


In-game Weekend Community Events

avatars-circle-logo-concept-7[1]Our amazing community has another great lineup of in-game events planned for this weekend. If you missed out on these player events during the previous Releases, we highly recommend you check some of them out this weekend. Here is the latest schedule of player events from the Avatar’s Circle Community Events calendar (http://avatarscircle.com/community-events/):

Friday, December 19
10:00am CST – Dungeon Run – Braemar Cemetery
2:00pm CST – FireLotus Release Party – R13 is here! (Wody’s Tavern, Port Phoenix)
7:00pm CST – Dungeon Run – Braemar Cemetery

Saturday, December 20
9:00am CST – PaxLair Working Hours – Host Winfield (in Valemark)
11:00am CST – Church of the Dark Star – The Monsters that Dwell Within – Greed (PaxLair, Valemark)
12:00pm CST – Welcome Quest in R13 (“/zone Dara Brae” to join; details)
3:00pm CST – Yule Maze (in Owl’s Head or “/zone Net” or “/zone Riya”)
4:00pm CST – Scholarly Lecture – Flora and Fauna of New Britannia (Port Phoenix Fairgrounds, Kingsport, or “/zone Kazyn Phoenixfyre”)
5:00pm CST – PvP Tournament: 1v1 Double Elimination $$$ (Vengeance in The Brave Coast)

Sunday, December 21
5:30am CST – Explore Novia with royalsexy (Owl’s Head entrance)
12:00pm CST – Port Phoenix Storytelling Event! (Port Phoenix Fairgrounds, Kingsport City Center, or “/zone Kazyn Phoenixfyre”)
1:00pm CST – Learn to Gather (Owl’s Head crafting pavilion)
2:00pm CST – Hangout of the Avatar – Economy & Chat systems (details)
4:00pm CST – All Towns Gathering (Dara Brae)
6:00pm CST – Fishing with Winfield (some lake or pond, “/zone Winfield”)
7:00pm CST – PaxLair Meeting (in Valemark or “/zone Winfield PaxLair”)


Steam_logo

Steam Access Keys Available for All SotA Backers

SotA successfully launched on Steam Early Access on November 24, and we’ve made Steam Access Keys available to all our backers as part of their basic pledge rewards! Once you’ve redeemed your Steam Access Key you’ll have the option of playing SotA either with the Steam client or the regular game client (or both).SotA_SteamTradingCards2_small

Click here for instructions to redeem your Steam access key and installing the Steam SotA client…

If you play SotA on Steam you can collect the SotA Trading Cards! Collect a full set of SotA trading cards to earn SotA badges, profile backgrounds, and emoticons that help you customize your profile and show off your Shroud of the Avatar gameplay. Check out Steam’s trading card FAQ for more information.


Holiday Specials

Yep, it’s that time of the year again. Over the past couple of weeks we’ve brought back all of your holiday favorites. You can get all 7 of the 2014 holiday items at an even greater savings with the 2014 Holiday Bundle! Includes Taming Turkey Call, Taming Reindeer Call, Cornucopia, Yule Tree, Menorah, Replenishing Fireworks Box, and the Replenishing Snowball Box. Available for a limited time in the Add-On Store.

SotA_2013_Holiday_Bundle


Last Chance Exclusives

Every week going forward we are removing select items from the Add-On Store, so if you want them you better get them before they are gone! Over the past few weeks we’ve phased out almost 20 items, including such items as the Scissors of Prosperity, Blade of the Avatar Cloak, Shingle-Roof Village Homes. This week, the following items are available for an additional 20% off, and then will no longer be available in the Add-On Store.

The Smelting Tongs of Prosperity

These unique, indestructible smelting tongs increases the quality and quantity of items produced when smelting. While smelting tongs with similar effects can be crafted and purchased in the game these tongs never need repair.

 

Blue Tile Roof 2-Story Row House

In our line of Blue Tile Roof Row homes is this 2-story, 4-room row house.   (NOTE: You will need a Property to place this item in-game)

SotA_BlueTileRoof_2Story_Row_home_small

 

Blue Tile Roof 3-Story Row House

In our line of Blue Tile Roof Row homes is this 3-story, 6-room row house.    (NOTE: You will need a Property to place this item in-game)

 


How to Cancel Monthly Payment Plans

Remember that Pledge payment plans are not canceled automatically after reaching the desired pledge. You must manually cancel your monthly payment plan, which can be done at anytime on your SotA Account page. We apologize for any inconvenience this might cause, but it is a result of how recurring billing functions with PayPal, Amazon, and Stripe (our credit card service).

SotA_MonthlyPaymentsCancel

 


Recruitment Bonus Allocation Expiration

The Recruitment Bonus Program ended at 12:00 pm CST December 2, 2014, but you will have until midnight CST December 31, 2014 to alter the allocation of your recruitment bonuses on your Account page. After the deadline, the “Recruits” user interface on your Account page will no longer be available, and any unallocated recruitment bonuses will be automatically applied to your pledge (or to your highest valued pledge if you have more than one).

SotA_RecruitBonusUI_Expiration


SotA_InTheNews_ReadingScroll

This Week In the News

December 15 – MMORPG.com: Shroud of the Avatar Column: Release 13 – Get Lucky
December 17 – Beboop Podcast – Episode 23: Special Guest Starr Long
December 18 – Massively: Shroud of the Avatar’s Richard Garriott and Starr Long on MMO community
December 18 – Crowd Power: The Future of Video Games


Upcoming Events

2014.12.18 – Release 13 Access
2015.01.06 – SotA at CES
2015.01.22 – Release 14 Access
2015.02.19 – Release 15 Access
2015.03.13 – SotA at SXSW Interactive
2015.03.26 – Release 16 Access

Update of the Avatar #103 – 2014.12.12: Heart of Sorrow, R13 Grand Tour Yule Hat, Ignite Weapons, SotA Swag by Rild, and More!

Update of the Avatar #103 – 2014.12.12: Heart of Sorrow, R13 Grand Tour Yule Hat, Ignite Weapons, SotA Swag by Rild, and More!

Greetings Fellow Avatars!

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

  • The Heart of Sorrow Artifact
  • Release 13 Grand Tour Quest
  • Ignite Weapons in R13
  • SotA Community is Rockin’ It!
  • In-game Community Weekend Events
  • SotA Merchandise Available at Relics by Rild
  • R12 Steam Access Keys Available for All Backers
  • Holiday Specials
  • Last Chance Exclusives: Brindle Greyhound and Oracle Statue Head
  • How to Cancel Monthly Payment Plans
  • Recruitment Bonus Allocation Expiration
  • This Week In the News
  • Upcoming Events
The Heart of Sorrow Artifact
The Heart of Sorrow is a legendary item rumored to be a powerful artifact of the ancient world. Some say it is a powerful weapon capable of driving foes into deep despair. Others say that it is a cursed item, that serves only to cause the one who possesses it to become lost in sadness. Whatever it’s true purpose, those willing might someday catch a glimpse of it’s elusive powers… if they dare shoulder the sacrifice of seeking it.
The Release 13 Grand Tour Quest

Just as in our past few releases, we’re including a Grand Tour Quest in R13 designed to guide you through all the new content. Just in time for the holiday season, you will be able to get this Yule Hat by completing the Release 13 Grand Tour Quest. This reward can only be unlocked during Release 13 (did someone say rares?), so be sure to log in to R13 starting next week and talk to all the Tour Guides!

SotA_R12_GrandTour_PilgrimHat_caption

Time is Running Out to Get Your R12 Grand Tour Quest Reward

Better hurry if you want to add the Pilgrim’s Hat to your collection because the R12 Grand Tour Quest ends next week when we launch Release 13

(NOTE: We’re not sure of the exact date that R12 ends. We’re striving to keep R12 open until 10:00 am CST December 18 by opening a test server for R13, but we don’t have confirmation of that at the time of this writing. We’ll post an announcement once we’ve locked down times)

If you need help getting your R12 Pilgrim’s Hat reward, then check out The Mad Hermit’s video guide to completing the R12 Grand Tour Quest:
Click here to check out all of The Mad Hermit’s amazing how-to videos!
Ignite Weapons in R13

Wish you had a flaming sword? Now you can ignite any weapon with the new Fire Magic spell in Release 13!

SotA Community is Rockin’ It!

It’s time again to celebrate the quality and diversity of Shroud of the Avatar music being created by the amazing composers within our community. Enjoy!

Power of Virtue, by James Stratton-Crawley (aka Holt Ironfell)https://soundcloud.com/poetscircle/holt-ironfell-power-of-virtue
Grandmaster Bard Holt Ironfell took on the challenge of crafting the major Truth, Love and Courage themes for Shroud of the Avatar’s main virtue themes. This was especially hard because we wished to find separate themes for Truth, Love and Courage, as well as instrumentation, that could all play separately and play well together at the same time. To add to the challenge, we would eventually want minor versions to represent anti-virtues, and for Love we needed a masculine and feminine version. All in all, a very tall order. The Power of Virtue is a towering example of the successful combination of Truth, Love and Courage! Hear the bells ring true, hear the love of the strings and the brassy horns of courage. Then combined with orchestration and vocals. It is a masterpiece of composition!

Truth, by James Stratton-Crawley (aka Holt Ironfell)https://soundcloud.com/poetscircle/holt-ironfell-truth
The first of the 3 principle virtue break outs, Truth, by Grandmaster Bard Holt Ironfell, showcases the Principle of Truth, as a pure, and aspirational ideal!

Hail Novia!, by Tuomas Pitkänen (aka Aftermath_FIN)https://soundcloud.com/tuomaspitkanen/travel-map-hail-novia-submission-version-2-feat-jenna-holdway-on-vocals
Composed and arranged by Tuomas Pitkänen with the marvelous vocals of Jenna Holdway, Hail Novia beckons to explorers of this first continent of New Britannia to come and seek their destinies, in the rich open lands full of adventure and promise. All visitors to our lands will be inspired by works such as this!”

Travesty of Justice, by Douglas Yassen (aka Dougyfresh)https://soundcloud.com/doug-yassen/travesty-of-justice-shroud-of-the-avatar-final-mix
Many have forsaken the virtues in the lands of Lord British. Players will oft come across a place where a “Travesty of Justice” might be found and need righting. Douglas has composed this masterwork, that will both inform, yet beckon unto adventurers to bear witness and take action!

Combat & Control, by Jarrod Ivan Soloman (aka Kailef)https://soundcloud.com/kailef/combat-and-control-lb-approved-by-kailef-and-holt-sota-major-track-percussive-negotiation
A brilliant collaboration between Kailef and Holt, Combat & Control echoes in the hills and canyons where the good people struggle to resist the forces that would otherwise destroy civilization in New Britannia!

– Lord British

Are you a composer who is interested in helping to shape the sounds of Novia? Then visit our forums (https://www.shroudoftheavatar.com/forum/index.php?threads/music-submission-process.12808/) to find out how you can get involved!

Release 12 In-game Weekend Community Events

avatars-circle-logo-concept-7[1]Our amazing community has another great lineup of in-game events planned for Release 12 this weekend. If you missed out on these player events during the previous Releases, we highly recommend you check some of them out this weekend. Here is the latest schedule of player events from the Avatar’s Circle Community Events calendar (http://avatarscircle.com/community-events/):

Friday, December 12
10:00pm CST – Dungeon Run – Braemar Cemetery
7:00pm CST – Dungeon Run – Braemar Cemetery

Saturday, December 13
9:00am CST – PaxLair Working Hours – Host Winfield (in Valemark)
11:00am CST – Church of the Dark Star – The Monsters that Dwell Within – Sacrifice (PaxLair, Valemark)
12:00pm CST – Port Phoenix – Governor’s Office Hours (Kingsport, Port Phoenix Town Hall)
1:00pm CST – Learn to Gather (Owl’s Head Crafting Pavilion; details)
3:00pm CST – Sky Arena PvP Tournament, Winner gets 250,000 Gold! (Island Castle on The Brave Coast; sign up here)

Sunday, December 14
5:30 am CST – Explore Novia with royalsexy (Braemer cemetery)
7:00 pm CST – PaxLair Meeting (in Valemark or “/zone Winfield PaxLair”)

SotA Merchandise Available at Relics by Rild

Community member Ben Pritchard (aka Rild) has launched his new website, Relics by Rild (http://www.relicsbyrild.com/), your source for officially licensed Shroud of the Avatar merchandise! He’s just getting started and lots of awesome items are on their way soon. Here’s what he has available now, so better hurry and get yours before they sell out:

Steam_logo

Steam Access Keys Available for All SotA Backers

SotA successfully launched on Steam Early Access on November 24, and we’ve made Steam Access Keys available to all our backers as part of their basic pledge rewards! Once you’ve redeemed your Steam Access Key you’ll have the option of playing SotA either with the Steam client or the regular game client (or both).SotA_SteamTradingCards2_small

Click here for instructions to redeem your Steam access key and installing the Steam SotA client…

If you play SotA on Steam you can collect the SotA Trading Cards! Collect a full set of SotA trading cards to earn SotA badges, profile backgrounds, and emoticons that help you customize your profile and show off your Shroud of the Avatar gameplay. Check out Steam’s trading card FAQ for more information.

Holiday Specials

Yep, it’s that time of the year again. Over the past couple of weeks we’ve brought back all of your holiday favorites. You can get all 7 of the 2014 holiday items at an even greater savings with the 2014 Holiday Bundle! Includes Taming Turkey Call, Taming Reindeer Call, Cornucopia, Yule Tree, Menorah, Replenishing Fireworks Box, and the Replenishing Snowball Box. Available for a limited time in the Add-On Store.

Last Chance Exclusives

Every week going forward we are removing select items from the Add-On Store, so if you want them you better get them before they are gone! Over the past few weeks we’ve phased out the Scissors of Prosperity, Cubit Measure of Prosperity, Cooking Pot of Prosperity, Blade of the Avatar Cloak, Combat Sigil Cloak, Crafting Sigil Cloak, Magic Sigil Cloak, Shingle-Roof Village Homes, Rustic 2-Story Village Home, Rustic 2-Story with Balcony Village Home, and the Wood & Plaster 2-Story with Balcony Town Home. This week, the following items are available for an additional 20% off, and then will no longer be available in the Add-On Store.

Brindle Greyhound

Brindle Greyhounds are quiet, gentle, loving, and loyal, enjoying the company of their humans and other pets. The brindle greyhound is a non-combat pet that can follow you wherever you go.

Oracle Statue Head

The influence of the Oracle has waxed and waned over the many years of her existence. Statues of her have been erected and demolished, only to be erected again. The scattered remnants of these statues are prized amongst collectors, especially intact heads, as they can invoke a secret in-game effect. Be one of an exclusive few who own these Oracle Statue Heads that you can proudly display.  (NOTE: You will need a Property to place this item in-game)

How to Cancel Monthly Payment Plans

Remember that Pledge payment plans are not canceled automatically after reaching the desired pledge. You must manually cancel your monthly payment plan, which can be done at anytime on your SotA Account page. We apologize for any inconvenience this might cause, but it is a result of how recurring billing functions with PayPal, Amazon, and Stripe (our credit card service).

Recruitment Bonus Allocation Expiration

The Recruitment Bonus Program ended at 12:00 pm CST December 2, 2014, but you will have until midnight CST December 31, 2014 to alter the allocation of your recruitment bonuses on your Account page. After the deadline, the “Recruits” user interface on your Account page will no longer be available, and any unallocated recruitment bonuses will be automatically applied to your pledge (or to your highest valued pledge if you have more than one).

 

Update of the Avatar #102 – 2014.12.05: SotA Trading Cards, New R13 Desert Scene & Deco Items, Magical Reagents Video, and More!

Update of the Avatar #102 – 2014.12.05: SotA Trading Cards, New R13 Desert Scene & Deco Items, Magical Reagents Video, and More!

Greetings Fellow Avatars!

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

  • SotA Steam Trading Cards
  • Release 13 Grand Tour POI: Desert Scene
  • R12 Steam Access Keys Available for All Backers
  • Hair and Hats Play Nice in R13
  • R13 Player Deco Items
  • New Mad Hermit Video: How To Find And Identify Magical Reagents
  • RECAP: Cyber Monday 12 Hour Telethon
  • In-game Community Weekend Events
  • Alienware Sponsors 1000 Release 13 Weekend Access Passes
  • Holiday Specials
  • Last Chance Exclusives: The Hoe of Prosperity and Obsidian Cloak
  • How to Cancel Monthly Payment Plans
  • Recruitment Bonus Allocation Expiration
  • This Week In the News
  • Upcoming Events
SotA Steam Trading CardsWe launched the Shroud of the Avatar Steam Trading Cards today, which includes these seven unique cards:
If you are not familiar with Steam Trading Cards, they are collectible (virtual) cards you get by playing games on Steam. Collect a full set of SotA trading cards to earn SotA badges, profile backgrounds, and emoticons that help you customize your profile and show off your Shroud of the Avatar gameplay.

You can get SotA trading cards simply by playing the game. As you play, you’ll occasionally receive trading card drops which will be placed in your Steam Inventory. You can only receive about half of the SotA cards by playing and will need to collect the other half of the set from other community members. Try the beta group discussions, community market, barter with friends, and trade discussions. You can check how many drops you have remaining on your badges page (check out Steam’s trading card FAQ for more information).

Here are images of the SotA trading card badges, emoticons, and sample profile background:

Steam_logoSteam Access Keys Available for All SotA Backers

SotA successfully launched on Steam Early Access on November 24, and we’ve made Steam Access Keys available to all our backers as part of their basic pledge rewards! Once you’ve redeemed your Steam Access Key you’ll have the option of playing SotA either with the Steam client or the regular game client (or both).

Click here for instructions to redeem your Steam access key and installing the Steam SotA client…

Release 13 Grand Tour POI: Desert SceneA desert area is one of the new scenes and biome types we are introducing in R13. It will also be part of the R13 Grand Tour Quest.
The R12 Grand Tour QuestSotA_R12_GrandTour_PilgrimHat_captionJust as in our last few releases, we’ve included a Grand Tour Quest designed to guide you through all the new content. You will get this Pilgrim’s Hat reward by completing the Release 12 Grand Tour Quest. This reward can only be unlocked during Release 12 (did someone say rares?), so be sure to log in to R12 and talk to all the Tour Guides!

Better hurry if you want to add the Pilgrim’s had to your collection because the R12 Grand Tour Quest ends at 10:00 am CST on December 18 when we launch Release 13 (and then there’ll be a new Grand Tour Quest reward)!

Hair and Hats Play Nice in R13We’re happy to announce that you will no longer have to give up your hair to wear a hat in Release 13! Yay!
R13 Player Deco ItemsThere will be many new decorations available in R13, including hedges, stone walls, room dividers, and even a stage with stairs. Can’t wait to see the R13 mazes created with these decorations!
New Mad Hermit Video: How To Find And Identify Magical ReagentsThanks to community member The Mad Hermit for providing yet another great How-To video for Shroud of the Avatar. In this video he shows you how to find and identify magical reagents in Pre-Alpha Release 12. Magical Reagents are needed for casting higher level spells and can be purchased from certain vendors. They can also be obtained by killing certain creatures, field dressing certain animals, harvesting plants and mining rocks.
Click here to check out all of The Mad Hermit’s amazing how-to videos!
RECAP: Cyber Monday 12 Hour StreamathonWe’d like to thank all the special guests that participated in our Cyber Monday 12 Hour Streamathon on December 1st! The twelve hours flew by with all the fun stories and design discussions that were shared! And thanks to all of you that tuned in to listen and post your questions!

We gave away tons of prizes, including 120 free weekend passes to Release 13 (starting December 18), twelve $100 Store Credit coupon winners, and fifteen winners of Plantronics and Alienware peripherals, including one lucky grand prize winner of the Alienware Gaming Desktop computer!

We also presented the Order of New Britannian Empire and Royal Warrant awards to the following SotA community members:

Order of New Britannian Empire

  • Fenyx4 ~ Programming
  • Melchior Meijer ~ SFX, Music and Art contributions
  • Stile Teckel (The Caverns.net)
  • Riya (New Britannia’s Builders of Bemusing Bewilderments)

Royal Warrant

  • Joseph Toschlog (Rustic Dragon) ~ Hearth of Britannia
  • Joe Garrity ~ The Origin Museum
  • Amber Raine ~ Avatar’s Radio
  • Balec ~ Accepting for the Bear Tavern
  • Duke Violation ~ Order of Vengeance (PvP Tournaments)
  • Duke Gréagóir ~ Dara Brae, The Celtic Holdfast (Welcome Quest)
  • Languard and Aartemis: Society of Dungeoneering Cartography Scene Collaboration.

You each have our heartfelt thanks for the amazing time and effort you contribute to the Shroud of the Avatar project and community!

If you missed the live Streamathon you can view it here…

Release 12 In-game Weekend Community Eventsavatars-circle-logo-concept-7[1]Our amazing community has another great lineup of in-game events planned for Release 12 this weekend. If you missed out on these player events during the previous Releases, we highly recommend you check some of them out this weekend. Here is the latest schedule of player events from the Avatar’s Circle Community Events calendar (http://avatarscircle.com/community-events/):

Friday, December 5
10:00pm CST – Dungeon Run – Braemar Cemetery
7:00pm CST – Dungeon Run – Braemar Cemetery

Saturday, December 6
9:00am CST – PaxLair Working Hours – Host Winfield (in Valemark)
11:00am CST – Church of the Dark Star – The Monsters that Dwell Within – Deceit (PaxLair, Valemark)
12:00Pm CST – Welcome Quest 12.5 – (in Northshire, “/zone Dara Brae”, details)

Sunday, December 7
5:30 am CST – Explore Novia with royalsexy (Braemer cemetery)
5:00 pm CST – PvP – 1×1 Tournament (at the Brave Coast or “/zone Duke Violation”)
6:00pm CST – Tag – Vengeance Style! (at the Brave Coast or “/zone Duke Violation”)
7:00pm CST – PaxLair Meeting – (in Valemark or “/zone Winfield PaxLair”)

Alienware Sponsors 1000 Release 13 Weekend Access PassesAlienware’s powerful gaming rigs are a perfect match for Shroud of the Avatar! To show their support, Alienware is sponsoring 1000 Release 13 Weekend Access Passes to members of their Alienware Arena community! All  you have to do is join the Shroud of the Avatar Group on the Alienware Arena site and you are eligible to win one of these R13 weekend passes. These passes allow you to play Shroud of the Avatar Release 13 for free from 10:00 am CST December 18 thru 11:00 am CST December 22!

Pretty sweet deal, right? So, hurry over to the Alienware Arena website and sign up for your free Release 13 Weekend Access Pass!

Holiday SpecialsYep, it’s that time of the year again. Over the past couple of weeks we’ve brought back all of your holiday favorites. You can get all 7 of the 2014 holiday items at an even greater savings with the 2014 Holiday Bundle! Includes Taming Turkey Call, Taming Reindeer Call, Cornucopia, Yule Tree, Menorah, Replenishing Fireworks Box, and the Replenishing Snowball Box. Available for a limited time in the Add-On Store.
Last Chance ExclusivesEvery week going forward we are removing select items from the Add-On Store, so if you want them you better get them before they are gone! Over the past few weeks we’ve phased out the Scissors of Prosperity, Cubit Measure of Prosperity, Cooking Pot of Prosperity, Blade of the Avatar Cloak, Combat Sigil Cloak, Crafting Sigil Cloak, Magic Sigil Cloak, Shingle-Roof Village Homes, Rustic 2-Story Village Home, Rustic 2-Story with Balcony Village Home, and the Wood & Plaster 2-Story with Balcony Town Home. This week, the following items are available for an additional 20% off, and then will no longer be available in the Add-On Store.

Obsidian Cloak

Looking to intimidate your enemies with legends of the past? Well, there is nothing like the greatly feared Obsidian Order (as seen in Blade of the Avatar) to strike fear into your foe. For centuries, this symbol has been synonymous with power, destruction, and dark magic. The Obsidian Cloak can be yours to wear proudly, if you dare the consequences…

Update of the Avatar #101 – 2014.11.26: Steam Early Access Launch, R12 How-To Video, New R13 Scenes, Cyber Monday Telethon, Final Days of Recruitment Bonus, and More!

Update of the Avatar #101 – 2014.11.26: Steam Early Access Launch, R12 How-To Video, New R13 Scenes, Cyber Monday Telethon, Final Days of Recruitment Bonus, and More!

Greetings Fellow Avatars!

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

  • SotA Successfully Launches on Steam Early Access
  • The Mad Hermit’s Video Guide to Release 12
  • New Release 13 Scene: Graff Gem Mines
  • SotA Community is Rockin’ It!
  • Cyber Monday 12 Hour Telethon
  • In-game Community Weekend Events
  • R12 Steam Access Keys Available for All Backers
  • 6 Days Left to Get Your Black Friday 15% Bonus
  • Holiday Specials
  • Last Chance Exclusives: Carpentry Hammer and Rustic Village Home
  • Recruitment Bonus and Alienware Pledge Upgrade Promotions End
  • Upcoming Events
SotA Successfully Launches on Steam Early AccessWhat an exciting week it’s been, starting with the Release 12 Weekend and immediately followed by the successful launch of SotA on Steam Early Access! We’ve had a great response on Steam, currently rated as “Very Positive” across 52 player reviews! During the first 24 hours we even climbed as high as #11 on the Steam Top Sellers chart (for all Steam products).Thanks to all our veteran community members that have put in extra effort to warmly greet the flood of new Steam players, providing a welcome atmosphere and guidance when needed!
The Mad Hermit’s Video Guide to Release 12Community member The Mad Hermit has crafted another excellent How-To Video, this one walking you through the various game mechanics to get you up to speed as quickly as possible in Shroud of the Avatar Release 12. It covers basic character controls, how to access various menus and interfaces, combat, experience, skill points, training, health and focus, deck building, crafting, harvesting, item repair, shopping, housing, Overworld travel, Lunar Rifts and death.
The R12 Grand Tour QuestSotA_R12_GrandTour_PilgrimHat_captionJust as in our last few releases, we’ve included a Grand Tour Quest designed to guide you through all the new content. And just in time for Thanksgiving, you will be able to get the Pilgrim’s Hat by completing the Release 12 Grand Tour Quest. This reward can only be unlocked during Release 12 (did someone say rares?), so be sure to log in to R12 and talk to all the Tour Guides!
Player Posted R12 ScreenshotsIf you haven’t seen the community posted screenshots from Release 12 we encourage you to check them out! There is a  Release 12 Screenshot Gallery in the SotA forums, as well as the screenshots posted in the SotA Steam Community Hub. Here are a few sample player posted images:

New Release 13 Scene: Graff Gem Mines

The Graff Gem Mines can be found in the farthest Northeast corner of Novia. Graff himself founded these rich mines long ago, and they have proven to be the most productive mines of the largest and most valuable gems ever known. Recently however, the difficulties with undead in the region have, hopefully, lead to their temporary abandonment. Rumors of Kobolds moving in to claim the mine’s wealth have recently been heard. Here are a few new images of the Graff Gem Mine entrances:

SotA Community is Rockin’ It!We would again love to celebrate the quality and diversity of music being created by the wonderful composers within our community. I believe we are ending up with one of the strongest soundtracks ever created for a game world. Today we offer you 3 more fine examples from 3 separate composers, and would also love to showcase the intro musical piece crafted for us by the beloved “Space Bards”, who recently produced their first album as “Recap” and played their first public full concert at the HoBLotH II:Trade and Commerce, by Sir Wombathttps://soundcloud.com/sirwombat/trade-and-commerce-1
Sir Wombat has composed an amazing piece which will be found throughout the land in growing communities as they aspire to grow from small villages to industrious towns.

Trekking in the Tall Grass, by Kailefhttps://soundcloud.com/kailef/tiptoe-version-4
Kailef provided “Trekking in the Tall Grass” to inspire explorers as they traverse the wide open plains of Novia.

Valor and Cowardice, by Peter Boikohttps://soundcloud.com/peter-boiko/valor-cowardice-final-updated-strings-1
Peter Boiko masterfully pulled off one of the more difficult requests, to begin to show the juxtaposition between the virtues and their forsaken opposites with “Valor and Cowardice.”

Dark Planet, by The Space Bardshttps://soundcloud.com/spacebards/dark-planet
Finally, here is the complete instrumental created by the Space Bards for the opening cinematic for Shroud of the Avatar.

– Lord British

Cyber Monday 12 Hour TelethonPlease join us Monday, December 1st at 10:00 AM CST (16:00 GMT) for our Cyber Monday 12 Hour Telethon celebrating our Steam Early Access launch and raising over $5 Million from our amazing backers! Richard, Starr, Chris, and the rest of our team, as well as various community members will be live on air throughout the day, hanging out and answering questions. As usual, I’ll be taking your questions and feedback live in the chat-room and also in advance,  (please post your Telethon comments/questions on the original post).Schedule (tentative): All times and content are subject to change

  • 10:00: Welcome, R12 Post Mortem & R13 Preview
  • 11:00: Meet the Devs & Office Tour
  • 12:00: Community Spot: Music
  • 13:00: Deep Dive: Story & Single Player
  • 14:00: Deep Dive: Crafting & Economy
  • 15:00: Community Spot: In Game Events
  • 16:00: Deep Dive: Player Owned Towns Templates
  • 17:00: Deep Dive: Combat, PVP, & Death
  • 18:00: Dev Team Table Top Gaming Session
  • 19:00: Community Spot: Awarding of Orders of New Britannian Empire and Royal Warrants
  • 21:00: Community Spot: Hearth of Britannia

Hourly Prizes: If you are registered on our website (no purchase required) you will be eligible to receive one of the many prizes we will be giving away every hour including: Plantronics_Logo_RigHeadset

  • Plantronics Headsets / Earbuds (1 per hour, 12 total)
  • $100 Store Credits (1 per hour, 12 total)
  • Release 13 (December 18) Opening Weekend Access Keys (10 per hour, 120 total)
  • Alienware Desktop Grandprize for the the final hour

I’ll have the link to the broadcast posted Monday shortly before we’re set to go live, and a new link every 4 hours when we change the broadcast feed.. :D See you then!

– Lady Firelotus

[Click here to post your questions/comments for the Telethon]

Release 12 In-game Community Eventsavatars-circle-logo-concept-7[1]Our amazing community has another great lineup of in-game events planned for Release 12 this weekend. If you missed out on these player events during the previous Releases, we highly recommend you check some of them out this weekend. Here is the latest schedule of player events from the Avatar’s Circle Community Events calendar (http://avatarscircle.com/community-events/):Thursday, November 27
2:00am CST – Explore Novia with royalsexy (Braemer cemetery)

Friday, November 28
10:00pm CST – Dungeon Run – Braemar Cemetery
7:00pm CST – Dungeon Run – Braemar Cemetery

Saturday, November 29
9:00am CST – PaxLair Working Hours – Host Winfield (in Valemark)
1:00pm CST – Church of the Dark Star – Power of Chaos – The Hunger of Coveting (PaxLair, Valemark)
4:00 pm CST – Riya’s Birthday Bash (/zone Net , /zone Riya or /zone Amber Raine to attend!)
6:00 pm CST – PvP Tournament – 2×2 Double Elimination (at the Brave Coast or “/zone Duke Violation”; signup at http://challonge.com/OoVr12t3)

Sunday, November 30
5:30am CST – Explore Novia with royalsexy (Braemer cemetery)
12:00am CST – Bear Tavern Brawl R12
3:00pm CST – Guild Meet and Greet (at Castle Lot in Owl’s Head; open to all; sponsored by The Order of Drunken Elders)
6:00pm CST – Community Tag (Kingsport, details)
7:00pm CST – PaxLair Meeting – (in Valemark or /zone Winfield PaxLair)

You will also find the “Release 12 Events” book in your in-game inventory, providing a list of the community events provided by the Avatar’s Circle Community Events calendar. Here are some sample in-game images from the Events book:

Steam_logoSteam Access Keys Now Available for All SotA BackersSotA successfully launched on Steam Early Access on November 24, and we’ve made Steam Access Keys available to all our backers as part of their basic pledge rewards! Once you’ve redeemed your Steam Access Key you’ll have the option of playing SotA either with the Steam client or the regular game client (or both).

Click here for instructions to redeem your Steam access key and installing the Steam SotA client…

Recruitment Bonus and Alienware Upgrade Promotions EndThe Recruitment Bonus program that we started in August 2013 will be coming to an end after this Black Friday Weekend (12:00 am CST December 2, 2014). If you know anyone that’s been sitting on the fence about pledging their support to Shroud of the Avatar you have 6 more days to convince them to pledge and specify you as their referral so you can get your $25 Friend Referral pledge upgrade bonus. The recruitment bonus only applies to pledges purchased on the SotA website and does not apply to Steam purchases (click here for more details).alienwareHeader

We’d like to extend a special thanks and deep appreciation to Alienware for the 9 months they sponsored their $20 SotA Pledge Upgrade coupon! We had planned to announce that the program would conclude at the end of Black Friday Weekend, but compliance with Steam policies regarding pricing mandated we act sooner, so we removed the promotion yesterday, November 25th.

Alienware’s powerful gaming rigs are a perfect match for Shroud of the Avatar and we still have plenty of Alienware promotions in the works, including giving away an Alienware desktop during our Cyber Monday Telethon, December 1! Alienware will also be sponsoring 1000 Free R13 Weekend Access passes so stay tuned for details in an upcoming update.

 

Update of the Avatar #100 – 2014.11.21: Play R12 Now and get Pilgrim’s Hat, HoBLotH II, Easter Eggs, Cyber Monday Telethon, and More!

Update of the Avatar #100 – 2014.11.21: Play R12 Now and get Pilgrim’s Hat, HoBLotH II, Easter Eggs, Cyber Monday Telethon, and More!

Greetings Fellow Avatars!

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

  • Hearth of Britannia: Legends of the Hearth II
  • Play Release 12 Now and Get Your Pilgrim’s Hat
  • Release 12 In-game Community Events
  • Easter Egg: Sword of Power!
  • Lord British Weighs In on Companions, Solo Play and the Development Process
  • Community Spotlight: Scholars of Novia’s First Writing Contest Winners
  • R12 Steam Access Keys Available for All Backers
  • Get Your 15% Bonus
  • Cyber Monday All Day Telethon
  • Holiday Specials
  • Last Chance Exclusives: Cooking Pot of Prosperity and Magic Sigil Cloak
  • Monthly Payment Plan Extended Through June 2015
  • Alienware Sponsors $20 Pledge Upgrade Coupon
  • This Week In The News
  • Upcoming Events
Hearth of Britannia: Legends of the Hearth IIOn November 16th and 17th 2013, Rustic Dragon’s Hearth of Britannia opened its Indianapolis, IN doors to thirty Ultima, Shroud of the Avatar, and Lord British fans across the country for the Hearth of Britannia Lords of the Hearth (HoBLotH), a 1:1 recreation of the meal served just a month prior at Britannia Manor IV. There was Britannian food, plenty of libations, celebrity guests, themed activities, and a host of garbed attendees.Last weekend, November 15th and 16th, almost one year exactly from HoBLotH I, Rustic Dragon once again assembled a semi-exclusive group of fans for HoBLotH II: Legends of the Hearth. Forty-one adventurers from all over the globe and fifteen cast members turned Richard’s lakefront property of Castleton into Cove, the quiet hamlet East of Britain in the original Ultima games.

Saturday morning, questers stepped through the red moongate and entered a living, breathing recreation of Britannia, complete with cloth maps, trinkets, quests, NPCs, combat, and camaraderie. Saturday was jam packed with activities including a may pole dance with the eight colors of Virtue led by SotA artist Scott Jones, tipping Dr. Cat for stories and drinks at his tavern, having their fortunes read by Penumbra, a live concert by Recap (a.k.a. The Space Bards), and so much more.

The main focus of the event was to achieve Avatarhood through mastery of the principles of Truth, Love, and Courage. However, Blackthorn was also present and offered participants the ability to gain Avatarhood through Mandrake’s alternate principles of Wine, Women, and Song.

Strip the Willow Dance

Virtue Pole

The Space Bards

Recap Concert

Quest Completion

Lord Jouten Knighted

For many, the crown jewel of the event was Capture the Keg, a 50 minute battle between Lord British and Blackthorn (a.k.a. Darkstarr). Players divided into two teams and played a modified version of Capture the Flag, each side having special advantages granted to them by their leaders. Lord British could resurrect players at-will while Blackthorn could instantly kill players with special throwing weapons that only he could touch. In true Ultima form, dead players had to say the customary “ooooOOoOOoOoooOoooo” as they ran back to their base to resurrect.

Rustic Dragon Knighted

Sunday, after waking up the wonderful sounds of Iolo playing his lute and telling stories, players walked up into the hills in search of the ruins of Stonegate where they completed their quests. There, the players rang the Bell of Courage, held aloft the Book of Truth, and lit the Candle of Love to complete their quests. The finale of the event involved the awarding of two Shroud of the Avatar Orders of the New Britannian Empire, one to Joe Garrity, curator of the Origin Museum, and one to Rustic Dragon, proprietor of the Hearth of Britannia and creator of the HoBLotH. Afterwords, all players were knighted by Lord British and received a special ankh, engraved with Lord British’s silver serpent. A fabulous time was had by all and the same question is asked by everyone: “When is the next one?”

Ankh of Lord British

“Last weekend was phenomenal. The closest any of us may ever come to experiencing the world of Britannia around us. The sights, the smells, the sounds all contributed to such an immersive experience.” – Gallara Dragon

“There are other games, groups and hobbies. But it is rare to be surrounded with so many people setting ego aside and throwing themselves in so completely into a shared passion together.” – Sir Eric O’Connor

“Now we can tell everyone we played the first new Ultima game in years!” – Goldenflame Dragon

And lastly, prominent SotA member Amber Raine, Avatars Radio founder and High Priestess of Chaos, was unable to attend at the last minute. Unbeknownst to her, this special non-Ultima item was waiting for her at the event. Everyone posed with it as a toast to her missed presence. She’ll be receiving this tapestry in the mail.Event photos will be posted early next week at www.hearthofbritannia.com.Photos compliments of Harley Dwortz, Mel Soest, and Tyler Tate. Complete cast list available here
Play Release 12 Now and Get Your Pilgrim’s HatRelease 12 successfully launched yesterday, November 20, with thousands of backers downloading, patching, logging in, and checking out the new changes! Lots of new content to check out, including:

  • An in-game hint system and New User Experience
  • More than 15 new skills
  • More than 50 new weapon and armor crafting recipes
  • 40 new songs (all crowd sourced by players)
  • Skill Trainers: when a player levels up they’ll now have to go to trainers to unlock skills
  • New Maps: Ravenswood Forest, Tower of the Shuttered Eye
  • The Overworld Map now has polished visuals and random encounters
  • Guilds
  • Open PVP Flags
  • The death system now includes being transformed into a ghost when you die
  • Alien FX support for Alienware keyboards and cases
  • …and more!SotA_R12_GrandTour_PilgrimHat_caption

The Grand Tour Quest
Just as in our last few releases, we’ve included a Grand Tour Quest designed to guide you through all the new content. And just in time for Thanksgiving, you will be able to get the Pilgrim’s Hat by completing the Release 12 Grand Tour Quest. This reward can only be unlocked during Release 12 (did someone say rares?), so be sure to log in to R12 and talk to all the Tour Guides!

We need all your help with testing the new patches, putting more stress on our multiplayer servers, and testing the new game content, so please join us in playing Release 12!If you have not backed the game yet, you will need to register and login at www.shroudoftheavatar.com, select the “Pledge or Send Gift!” button in the right side-bar, and purchase a pledge at the $45 Adventurer level or above. And don’t forget, any new purchases made from now through Black Friday Weekend receive an additional 15% Bonus (see details below)!

Release 12 Player Instructions
Release 12 Known Issues

Release 12 In-game Community Eventsavatars-circle-logo-concept-7[1]Our amazing community has another great lineup of in-game events planned for Release 12. If you missed out on these player events during the previous Releases, we highly recommend you check some of them out this weekend. Here is the latest schedule of player events from the Avatar’s Circle Community Events calendar (http://avatarscircle.com/community-events/):Friday, November 21
2:00pm CST – DJ FireLotus Release 12 Party, at Fire Lotus Tavern (Owl’s Head)
6:00pm CST – PvP Tournament (at the Brave Coast, Hidden Vale or “/zone Duke Violation”; for more details use the “/sotawiki Vengeance” command in-game)
6:00pm CST – Dungeon Run – Braemar Cemetery
9:00pm CST – PaxLair Gathering -(in the upper meadow of Valemark or /zone Winfield PaxLair)

Saturday, November 22
9:00am CST – PaxLair Working Hours – Host Winfield (in Valemark)
12:00pm CST – Welcome Quest in R12 (starts in Northshire, Hidden Vale or “/zone Celtic”)
2:00 pm CST – Port Phoenix Storytelling Event (center of Kingsport or “/zone Kazyn Phoenixfyre”)
3:00pm CST – Storytelling Event in Port Phoenix (Holtrot)
6:00 pm CST – PvP Tournament (at the Brave Coast or “/zone Duke Violation”; for more details use the “/sotawiki Vengeance” command in-game)

Sunday, November 23
11:30am CST – Live Book Reading – Net’s Contest Winner (PaxLair Theater, Valemark or “/zone Winfield PaxLair”)
1:00pm CST – Church of the Dark Star – Power of Chaos – The Hunger of Coveting (PaxLair, Valemark)
2:00pm CST – Real Human Live Chess Event (meet at Town Crier of PaxLair, Valemark)
3:00pm CST – All Town Gathering (at Kingsport or “/zone Jack Knyfe”)
6:00pm CST – PvP Tournament (at the Brave Coast or “/zone Duke Violation”; for more details use the “/sotawiki Vengeance” command in-game)
7:00pm CST – PaxLair Meeting – (in Valemark or /zone Winfield PaxLair)

You will also find the “Release 12 Events” book in your in-game inventory, providing a list of the community events provided by the Avatar’s Circle Community Events calendar. Here are some sample in-game images from the Events book:

Easter Egg: Sword of Power!Some of you may have already discovered the Sword in the Stone Easter Egg hidden by designer Finn Staber in Shroud of the Avatar. For those of you that haven’t, check out this video by community member The Mad Hermit guiding you to this elusive sword:
Community Spotlight: Scholars of Novia’s First Writing Contest Winners

“In a crumbling stone tower, deep in the Shadow Wood, there live two sisters, Vomica and Repugna. Some say they are immortal, having survived from the time before the Cataclysm by the use of an enchanted hair comb. Others say they are simply two old crones who have gone half-mad eating poison mushrooms in the forest…”

This introduction to the Scholars of Novia (SoN) first player-written book contest for Shroud of the Avatar revealed the “Sisters Grim”. The strange “Sisters” received 19 book submissions through the SotA Scholars of Novia Forum, they read and savored every word, and argued for hours about which books were the best. In the end, they decided five books were the winners to be published in Shroud of the Avatar.

Winfield, one of the three Grand Masters of the Scholars said, “We Scholars of Novia are a new player group, formed over the past few months. We envision a New Britannia filled with great player-created literary works to entertain, educate, and inspire people for many, many years. We seek to foster a community which loves to read and write. We are committed to discovering and documenting lore for everyone’s enjoyment. Our contest revealed many great authors and stories worthy of being in New Britannia. The top 5 were selected:”

1. A Tale of Braemar – By royalsexy
2. The Journal of Dereck Warden – translated and with an introduction by “The Bard from Shadow Valley” (by Net)
3. The Smokehouse – Anonymous (by grnarrow)
4. Mirror, Mirror…of the Lost – by Gaelis Trajan, translated by Tolon
5. Moonlit Vigil – a selection from the Tales of Lux, from the Lux Sanctuary Library Collection (by Spoon)

The Scholars also help bring the literary artists and their books to events in New Britannia. In fact, royalsexy read his book live in Release 11 and narrated by Trevor on Avatars Radio. In Release 12, Net plans to read his award winning book as well, also narrated on Avatars Radio. Keep an eye on the Avatars Circle Calendar for all the latest events and times.

“Whiiiiiiizzzzz” is the best word to describe the sound the boy’s sling made as he
spun it over his head. He loosed the stone and startled a lizard basking on the
side of the mountain, part of the range known as the Bone Spires.

“I’m so bored! Nothing ever happens here!” the boy complained to his friend.
You can read all the Contest #1 stories on the Scholars of Novia Forum final books thread. The Scholars are currently extracting loric references from the books to be published as reference material in the SotA Wiki and will have another call for books out soon.

The Scholars of Novia are led by three Grand Masters: Winfield, Amber Raine, and MalchorII. Within their ranks they have several Scribes and Lore Keepers working with authors, Portalarium, and publishing areas such as the SotA Wiki Library. They are the notable and immensely talented Unseen Dragon, Wahooka, Miracle Dragon, Balec Fares de Cani, Bowen Bloodgood, Browncoat Jayson, and Grant MacGregor. For more information, see SoN Wiki Page  or reach any of the Scholars on the SotA Forums any time.

Steam_logoSteam Access Keys Now Available for All SotA BackersSotA will launch on Steam Early Access on November 24, but we’ve made Steam Access Keys immediately available to all our backers as part of their basic pledge rewards! Once you’ve redeemed your Steam Access Key you’ll have the option of playing SotA either with the Steam client or the regular client (or both).

Click here for instructions to redeem your Steam access key and installing the Steam SotA client…

Only 11 Days left to get your 15% Black Friday Bonus!SotA_15PercentBonusIf you were thinking of