Category Archives: Release Instructions

Patch Notes 03Feb

Build Number 212 (Linux, Mac, PC) 

Notes:

  • Fix for items in corpses not being loot-able
  • Fixed issue where some decoration item (like hedge maze pieces) could not be placed when rotated near a lot boundary
  • Fixed issue where some items would sometimes not be placeable (Hearth of Britannia Cabinet, Butchery Crafting station, etc.)
  • Fixed issue where players would sometimes get stuck when the User Interface was toggled off
  • Fixed an issue where encumbrance was being incorrectly calculated when taking containers off of lots
  • Changed error message for low performance
  • Removed logwarning that seems to indicate an error if steam is not running
  • Fixed issue where Tour Guides in control points were attackable

Known Issues:

  • Many pledge, add on, and stretch goal items have not yet been built and/or do not yet have tech support. These will not be complete until later this year
  • Pledge tiers from First Responder to Developer are fully stocked with real or placeholder items – pledge tiers from Citizen on up are stocked with real items but no placeholders. No add-ons or stretch goals have placeholders, but all Player Owned Towns have placeholders
  • Many chests in the game no longer work (side effect of us removing all pledge and add on items)
  • Merchant inventories will sometimes appear empty
  • “Iron Rectangle Shield”, “Iron Round Shield”, and “Iron Triangle Shield” that players have in their inventory or have equipped prior to this patch will appear as buckets in their inventory due to the renaming mentioned above

Release Notes 31 Jan

Build Number 210 (Linux, Mac, PC) 

Notes:

  • Fixed an exception related to lot loading.
  • Fixed an exception related to local chat.
  • Added logging to help us identify issues.

Known Issues:

  • Many pledge, add on, and stretch goal items have not yet been built and/or do not yet have tech support. These will not be complete until later this year
  • Pledge tiers from First Responder to Developer are fully stocked with real or placeholder items – pledge tiers from Citizen on up are stocked with real items but no placeholders. No add-ons or stretch goals have placeholders, but all Player Owned Towns have placeholders
  • Many chests in the game no longer work (side effect of us removing all pledge and add on items)
  • Merchant inventories will sometimes appear empty
  • “Iron Rectangle Shield”, “Iron Round Shield”, and “Iron Triangle Shield” that players have in their inventory or have equipped prior to this patch will appear as buckets in their inventory due to the renaming mentioned above

Release Notes 30 Jan

Build Number 209 (Linux, Mac, PC) 7:00 PM CST

Notes:

  • Fixed issue where players were sometimes appearing with no head and/or incorrect gender (this time we actually think we fixed it, no kidding around, really)
  • Added recipe for 1 Handed Spear
  • Fixed sulfurous ash node in South Valeway that could not be harvested
  • Fixed collision on railings of crafting pavilion
  • Fixed exit boundary around desert scenes so it will now correctly trigger camera iris effect
  • Fixed stuck spot in Grunvald Shardfall
  • Recipe book should no longer skip pages
  • Removed red visual effects on Air and Water Elementals that were making them look pinkish and purplish

Known Issues:

  • Many pledge, add on, and stretch goal items have not yet been built and/or do not yet have tech support. These will not be complete until later this year
  • Pledge tiers from First Responder to Developer are fully stocked with real or placeholder items – pledge tiers from Citizen on up are stocked with real items but no placeholders. No add-ons or stretch goals have placeholders, but all Player Owned Towns have placeholders
  • Many chests in the game no longer work (side effect of us removing all pledge and add on items)
  • Merchant inventories will sometimes appear empty
  • “Iron Rectangle Shield”, “Iron Round Shield”, and “Iron Triangle Shield” that players have in their inventory or have equipped prior to this patch will appear as buckets in their inventory due to the renaming mentioned above

Build Number 208 (Linux, Mac, PC) 3:45 PM CST

Notes:

  • Added hint for Combos
  • Pine Wood staff should now be equippable (we mean it this time)
  • Eating food no longer triggers combat mode
  • Inventory now displays “Total Weight”
  • Death Penalty now does not trigger until Level 10
  • Ardoris ferry now takes you back to Kinsport
  • Grunvald Tour Guide progress message now displays correctly in Journal
  • Banks now have lights in them
  • Veimor is now friends to all creatures and is no longer always locked in combat.
  • Chillblain’s Compendium of Pain & Suffering (aka Challenge Dungeon) now has loot again
  • Fixed ladders in Owl’s Head that were missing tooltips
  • Avatars will now animate properly on the overworld even if over-encumbered
  • Items in your shortcut bar no longer appear if they are in your bank
  • Boats no longer have physics attached to them so they won’t fly or float away (although that looked super cool)
  • Townsfolk in Braemar and Ardoris are now aware of banks and where they are located
  • Tour guides in Brightbone Pass and Grunvald Shardfall will no longer be attacked by nearby monsters
  • Price adjustment for Weapon Cut Ruby
  • Various fixes for recipes that use wooden ingredients
  • Ectoplasmic Residue will now appear in the Crafting tab instead of the Equipment tab (although this is not yet an ingredient in any recipes)
  • Fixed ratio of iron ore to bars and ingots
  • Fixed various recipe names including adding the word “Disabled” to removed recipes
  • Swapped Rustic 3-Story with Rustic 2-Story house deeds in add-on purchases so these rewards should show up correctly in game based on your purchase
  • Added 5 Story Row Basement deed to pledge rewards in game
  • Distortion effect when dead is now disabled if “Disable Screen Effects” is toggled in Options menu
  • Added 5 new player villages to the Vale, greatly increasing available lots
  • Added text about items in character inventory being deleted to the second character deletion confirmation
  • Removed Founder Cutlass from Ferig’s Battle Camp and a few other scenes
  • Renamed “Iron Rectangle Shield”, “Iron Round Shield”, and “Iron Triangle Shield” to “Round Shield”, “Triangle Shield”, and “Rectangle Shield”

Known Issues:

  • Many pledge, add on, and stretch goal items have not yet been built and/or do not yet have tech support. These will not be complete until later this year
  • Pledge tiers from First Responder to Developer are fully stocked with real or placeholder items – pledge tiers from Citizen on up are stocked with real items but no placeholders. No add-ons or stretch goals have placeholders, but all Player Owned Towns have placeholders
  • Many chests in the game no longer work (side effect of us removing all pledge and add on items)
  • Merchant inventories will sometimes appear empty
  • “Iron Rectangle Shield”, “Iron Round Shield”, and “Iron Triangle Shield” that players have in their inventory or have equipped prior to this patch will appear as buckets in their inventory due to the renaming mentioned above
  • Players will sometimes appear on screen without heads and the wrong gender

Build Number 207 (Linux, Mac, PC) 10:00 AM CST

Notes:

  • Fixed several issues where players were not displaying correctly to other players. We are not 100% sure these are fixed so please let us know if you keep seeing them. Fixes include:
    • Fixed issue where players were sometimes appearing with no head and/or incorrect gender
    • Fixed issue where players were sometimes not animating (just sliding around in “t-pose”)
    • Fixed the infamous “invisible friend” bug that would sometimes show players with their arm out like they had their arm around the shoulders of someone who was not there
    • Fixed issue where items in the left hand were not being held correctly (i.e. torches were horizontal instead of vertical)
  • Moved resource nodes (trees, ore, etc.) that were too close to the exit boundaries on the random encounter hills map
  • Renamed inventory “Decorations” tab to “Housing” tab and moved deeds to this tab
  • Fixed the left hand of the Royal Founder Plate gauntlet
  • Fixed stuck location in Brightbone Pass
  • Lord Marshal Helm will no longer remove hair
  • Banners on Vale overworld now properly display as North Valeway and South Valeway
  • Added the player island of Estercove back into the game (thereby increasing housing locations)
  • Moved Tinkerer certificate from Founder to Benefactor pledge packages
  • Removed pledge rewards from Dragon Cave and replaced them with non-pledge rewards
  • Fixed issue where some items would disappear from inventory during player to player trade
  • Added recipes for Two Handed weapons (sword, polearm, and hammer)
  • Increased bank item limit from 250 to 1000
  • Knight’s Cape now has correct icon
  • Royal Founder Shield now has correct Icon
  • Fixed encumbrance bug that was draining focus as soon as encumbrance limit was exceeded. Should now not drain focus until you are at least 2 – 3 times over encumbered
  • Nailed all the town crier’s feet to the floor so they no longer wander off/fall through the world
  • You can now enter your basement even if you do not have the basement deed in your inventory
  • House ownership sign will now display the proper house even if the house deed is not in your inventory
  • Kingsport exit to overworld fixed
  • Leveling up will now fully restore health and focus
  • Fixed some issues where visual effects were not showing up on enchanted items
  • Default Video setting increased to Beautiful from Fastest
  • Added secondary confirmation on character deletion to remind players that they will be deleting the items on that character (including pledge rewards)
  • NPCs should wander more often
  • Fixed recipe that was creating duplicate blade mold

Known Issues:

  • Many pledge, add on, and stretch goal items have not yet been built and/or do not yet have tech support. These will not be complete until later this year
  • Pledge tiers from First Responder to Developer are fully stocked with real or placeholder items – pledge tiers from Citizen on up are stocked with real items but no placeholders. No add-ons or stretch goals have placeholders, but all Player Owned Towns have placeholders
  • Many chests in the game no longer work (side effect of us removing all pledge and add on items)
  • Merchant inventories will sometimes appear empty

Release Notes 29 Jan

Build Number 205 (Linux, Mac, PC) 2:25 PM CST

Notes:

  • Bronze Ingot recipe now actually creates a Bronze Ingot (instead of a Constantan Ingot)
  • Pine Wood Staff can now be equipped
  • Fixed gap under window in Duke Founder Keep
  • Gap on basement trap door fixed
  • Fixed Textile section of Recipe book which was not displaying past the first page
  • Fixed journal issue with Braemar guard Halmar who was listed incorrectly as Michael in the journal
  • Attached the merchant’s pants to his legs
  • Fixed the infamous indestructible Ravenswood Bandits to be more destructible
  • Iron and Meteoric Hilt recipes will now appear in the Recipe book when learned
  • Wolves should sound much more like actual canines
  • Fixed stuck spots in the Dragon Skull objects that were trapping players aka Curse of the Dragon Skull!
  • Corpses no longer move across the ground when opened (was happening in Solace Bridge starting area)
  • Added tooltips to ladders in Kingsort
  • Fixed geometry issue with stairs in the Inn building
  • Moved South Valeway resurrection ankh location to be farther from hostiles
  • Lord Marshal helm now works in bag inventory mode
  • Made invisible Iron Halberd less invisible (hopefully)
  • Fixed issue with coal not being able to be traded between players
  • Limited number of decimal places when displaying stat values for Strength, Dexterity, and Intelligence

Known Issues:

  • Many pledge, add on, and stretch goal items have not yet been built and/or do not yet have tech support. These will not be complete until later this year
  • Pledge tiers from First Responder to Developer are fully stocked with real or placeholder items – pledge tiers from Citizen on up are stocked with real items but no placeholders. No add-ons or stretch goals have placeholders, but all Player Owned Towns have placeholders
  • Two Handed Weapon recipes missing
  • Knight Cloak has Lord Cloak icon
  • Royal Founder Shield has Founder Shield icon
  • Many chests in the game no longer work (side effect of us removing all pledge and add on items)
  • House ownership sign will display as “Empty Lot” even if there is a house on the lot if the house lot deed is not in your inventory
  • Players will sometimes appear on screen without heads and the wrong gender
  • Offhand animations will sometimes break resulting in torches/shields/etc being held low versus up, will also sometimes make it look like you have a hand around the shoulders of an invisible friend
  • Merchant inventories will sometimes appear empty
  • Kingsport exit to overworld broken
  • Founder and Royal Founder backers of high level pledges may start with more items than the item bank limit
  • Cannot enter basement if deed is not in your inventory

Build Number 204 (Linux, Mac, PC) 10:30 AM CST

Known Issues:

  • Many pledge, add on, and stretch goal items have not yet been built and/or do not yet have tech support. These will not be complete until later this year
  • Pledge tiers from First Responder to Developer are fully stocked with real or placeholder items – pledge tiers from Citizen on up are stocked with real items but no placeholders. No add-ons or stretch goals have placeholders, but all Player Owned Towns have placeholders
  • Lord Marshal Helm does not work in bag mode
  • Two Handed Weapon recipes missing
  • Knight Cloak has Lord Cloak icon
  • Royal Founder Shield has Founder Shield icon
  • Many chests in the game no longer work (side effect of us removing all pledge and add on items)
  • House ownership sign will display as “Empty Lot” even if there is a house on the lot if the house lot deed is not in your inventory
  • Players will sometimes appear on screen without heads and the wrong gender
  • Offhand animations will sometimes break resulting in torches/shields/etc being held low versus up, will also sometimes make it look like you have a hand around the shoulders of an invisible friend

Release 14 Instructions

Greetings Avatars,

Thank you to our loyal backers of Shroud of the Avatar. Release 14 access for all backers at First Responder level and above, as well as those who signed up at CES and PAX South, begins this Thursday, January 29 at 10:30 AM Central Time (16:30 UTC).

Please read this entire message, as well as the linked instructions and known issues.

This far from launch, we are in a constant state of change and we do not yet have in-game systems to inform players of these changes, or to share ways to help them to explore new content and systems. This means we rely entirely on this message, and the linked instructions and known issues to convey the current game state. We regularly have to answer questions or filter bug reports because players elect not to read this valuable information. By taking a few moments to read through this information, a great deal of our time and efforts can be redirected to focus on new “unanswered” questions, and addressing critical issues impacting each release. We greatly appreciate you taking the time to review this post, and for all the truly valuable feedback you continue to provide.

Release 14 is our first release of 2015 and represents several major new features (Banking, Pledge Rewards, Encumbrance, Enchantments) as well as overhauls to existing features (Crafting). It is also a milestone because now more than half of the Adventuring schools (magic and combat) are complete! Of course, with new content comes new bugs and balance issues, so help us out by posting bugs and feedback in our official forums.avatars-circle-logo-concept-7[1]

Also, remember that while we are providing new content with each release, our community is also working overtime to make new events for you to enjoy, so be sure to check out the Community Events Calendar (via in game book or the player run website Avatars Circle).

Without further ado, here are the R14 deliverables.

Key:

  • Plain Text: The original plan for the Release deliverables and what was actually delivered.
  • Italics: Extra notes and new deliverables
  • Strikethrough: These are items that did not make the release. We intentionally preserve the original text so that our backers can compare plan versus actuals.

RELEASE 14, January 29, 2015SotA_BrightbonePass1

  • 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).
    • Brightbone Pass:This dangerous control point sits high atop the Brightbone Mountains near the Necropolis, city of the undead. Hordes of undead haunt this ancient fortress and block all who would venture through.SotA_Shardfall_day
    • Grunvald Shardfall: The Continent 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 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. This particular shardfall is located near the desert town of Desolis and is our first example of a scene built in the shardfall biome.
    • 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
    • Owl’s Head Polish: Shop signs have begun to be added, and we have relocated merchants and shops to more logical locations
    • Blackblade Pass Entrances Delayed: The entrance maps to the underground Blackblade Pass have been delayed in order to give us more time to work on the Novia overworld map that we are targeting for Release 15.
  • 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.
    • QA Version: We have made significant progress on our port to Unity 5 and we hope to have a QA version to test the week after R14 goes live.
  • 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.SotA_Bank_Interior2
    • Local Banks: Banks are local only. You can see your items in other bank locations (they appear in location tabs), but you can only access the items in the bank you are currently at. Pledge rewards are an exception to this and can be accessed from any location until claimed.
    • Current Bank Locations: In R14, there will be a banker NPC in every map where there is player housing because when you switch houses or unclaim a lot, all the decorations will go to your bank. In most locations the Town Crier is now also a banker. Long term, there will only be banks in towns and cities like Owl’s Head, Kingsport, Ardoris, etc.
  • Encumbrance: The weight of items will now factor into how much you can carry. Your carrying capacity will be derived from your Strength stat.SotA_Encumbered_icon
    • Encumbered Debuff: When you are encumbered you move more slowly and a “debuff” icon will appear on screen to indicate that you are encumbered. Please note that all weights are only a rough first pass and will be tuned continuously.
  • 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.
    • Available vs. Unavailable: Pledge Rewards, Stretch Goals and Add Ons that have been created and/or have tech to support them will now be available in the bank in the “Rewards” location (available in all banks until claimed). Any items that we have not yet created will not be available.
      • Available: Lot Deeds, House Deeds, Some Basement Deeds, Wearables (cloaks, helmets, armor), Weapons, Prosperity Tools, and Decorations
      • Not Available: Pets, Vendors, Servants, Titles, Emotes, Crafting Stations, Physical Goods, Some Basement Deeds, etc
    • Add On “Convert to Credits” Disabled: Once you create a character in R14 you will no longer be able to melt down your add on items until the next server wipe.SotA_DukeWaterfront4
    • Trading of Rewards, Add Ons, etc.: All pledge rewards, add on store items, stretch goal store items, and grand tour quest hats will revert to the original owner everytime we wipe. So any trades made before launch are only temporary.
    • Water Lots: For R14, Water Lot claiming is available to all players who have Village Lot Deeds (or larger). Starting in R15 only Citizen Founders (or higher) can claim water lots.
  • Customization: A pass will be made to improve hair and facial hair.
    • Hair and Facial Hair delayed: We are waiting until we convert to Unity 5 to invest effort in this because the shaders we use for these are changing.
    • New Wearables: 3 new wearables were added to the game including the Lord Marshal Coronated Helmet, Knight Cloak, and Baron Cloak
  • Combat: Various skills will be added to finish out Earth, Water, Ranged, Blades, Bludgeon, Tactics, and Heavy Armor schools.port_Blade_Speed_combat_icon
    • New or Modified Skills / Spells: We added 10 new skills and modified 5 existing skills in R14. Even more exciting is that 11 of the 18 schools are now complete (until we change them) including Blades, Bludgeons, Polearms, Tactics, Earth, Fire, Death, Air, Water, Life, and Focus!
    • Blades: This school is now complete! In general we removed defensive values from innate skills and added more innate effects that directly improved DPS to emphasize DPS as the defining characteristic of Blades.Blade Speed: Increases attack speed bonus for Blades. Moved from Tier 3 to Tier 2
      • Vital Points: This skill now increases critical hit chance for bladed weapons.
      • Blade Mastery: This skill increases base weapon damage of bladed weapons. NOTE: This replaces the Defense Skill
    • Bludgeons: This school is now complete! In general we replaced long term effects (gear damage) with immediate effects (debuffs) to improve in-combat effectiveness of this school.port_Breaker_combat_icon
      • Break Weapon: This attack now adds a timed debuff to the target that reduces weapon damage. NOTE: This skill formerly did direct damage to the target’s weapon
      • Break Armor: This attack now adds a timed debuff to the target that reduces damage resistance. NOTE: This skill formerly did direct damage to the target’s armor
      • Breaker: This innate skill increases the strength damage bonus for bludgeons. NOTE: This skill formerly increased damage to armor and weapons
    • Polearms: This school is now complete!
      • Armor Weak Points: This innate skill now increases critical hit chance for Polearms. NOTE: This skill formerly did direct damage to the target’s armor
    • Tactics: This school is now complete!
      • Armor Preservation: Armor durability damage reduced.port_Heavy_Lifter_combat_icon
      • Weapon Preservation: Weapon durability damage reduced.
      • Heavy Lifter: Increases carrying capacity
    • Death: This school is now complete!
      • Death Shield: Converts a portion of damage received into health
    • Earth: This school is now complete!
      • Shield of Crystal: Creates a shield of crystal around the caster that absorbs a certain amount of damage before shattering. NOTE: This replaces the Wall of Stone spell
    • Chaos:
      • Mirror Image: Creates an exact visual copy of the caster that can be commanded using pet commands. The perfect decoy!
    • Water: This school is now complete!
      • Summon Water Elemental: Summon a Water Elemental that will heal the summoner as needed. NOTE: This represents our first support pet AI!
    • Air:
      • Chain Lightning: Powerful lightning attack that has a chance to hit multiple enemies beyond the initial target. Now actually chains across multiple targets (only hit a single target in R13).
    • Armor Slugs Removed: With encumbrance coming online we felt that slugs as an armor penalty was doubly punishing and not required. For R14 we are leaving armor as without an encumbrance penalty. For future releases expect to see an encumbrance multiplier on the weight of armors that can be reduced with skills.
    • Tooltip Improvements: Spell tooltips now accurately reflect fizzle chance and include the effects of reagents
    • Max Hand Size: It is now increased to 10 (from 9)
    • Tool Weapons: Tools are now flagged as weapons (albeit very weak ones) so they can be wielded in combat and will display properly (prior to this they were triggering the unarmed combat stance and therefore would stab into your face!)SotA_Village_Lot_Shingle_small
  • 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.
    • Lot Deeds: Lot Deeds are now in the game and are required in order to claim a lot. They will return to your inventory when you unclaim a lot or lose a lot due to inactivity. Lot Deeds can be found on the Realty merchants in the Owl’s Head Bank.
    • Stone Basements: 6 Stone Basements are now in the game (5 for pledge rewards and add-ons, 1 for general usage)
    • New Decorations: The Edelmann birdbath and snowball box are now in the game (but do not yet have their special abilities)
  • 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.
    • Materials Effects for Gear: Formerly the crafting system was a fixed (aka deterministic) model where there was always a strictly defined output and input for any given recipe. Now we are moving to a more dynamic model where the materials in a recipe can be variable and therefore produce variable results. We have also added the concept of “materials memory” so that a finished good “remembers” the base materials and uses that memory to determine the modifiers and effects on the weapon (ex. +stats). This will allow a much wider array of gear that can be tuned to specific play styles based on the modifiers from the materials and also introduces a level of experimentation heretofore unavailable. In R14, this did not result in new recipes but instead resulted in a wider array of gear coming from those recipes. For example, crafting a Dagger with an Iron Dagger Blade and a Copper Hilt results in an Iron Dagger of Haste (+Melee Damage from the Iron Blade and +Attack Speed from the Copper Hilt). Another example is crafting a Plate Helm with Iron Sheets and Hard Leather Straps results in an Iron Plate Helm of Defense (Damage Resist from the Iron Sheets and Damage Resist from the Hard Leather).
    • Enchantments: Gear can now have gem sockets added to it via Smithing. Two sample Gem Enchantments are now in the game: Weapon Cut Ruby and Weapon Cut Sapphire. The Weaponized Ruby adds Flame effect and Flame damage to a weapon, and the Weaponized Sapphire adds Lightning damage to the weapon. Please note that the exact process of how player made enchantments are made is still being developed, so some steps are missing and ingredients are not yet finalized.
    • Recipe Book & Prosperity Tools: The recipe book now recognizes prosperity tools and prioritizes them when you autoplace items on the crafting table.
  • 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.
    • Price Fluctuation: As the frequency of purchase increases in a shop, prices on those goods will increase; as frequency decreases the price of goods will decrease thereby simulating supply and demand.
    • Buy/Sell Lists: Certain vendors now have defined lists that control what they will buy or sell and/or determine prices of what they buy
    • Sold Goods Destroyed: We do not yet have a system to control what items a vendor displays beyond their predefined stock. This results in vendors being overstocked with items players have made or looted from the world. For R14, we have temporarily removed those items from vendors stock.SotA_FleshFlayer
  • Creatures: Our bestiary will expand to include Man-Eating Plants, Water Elementals, Greyhounds, and various Human Enemies (mages, archers, etc.).
    • Flesh Flayers: These giant carnivorous plants are found in Shardfall areas.
    • Water Elemental: These powerful elementals are our first example of support pet AI and will heal players who summon them. Note that the final visuals for the Water Elemental are waiting for our new water shader in Unity 5.
    • Air Elemental Visuals: We have iterated on the visuals for the Air Elemental to improve the way she appears.
    • Bound vs. Unbound Elementals: In order to make summoned elementals visually distinct from “wild” Elementals we have added visual bindings to all summoned elementals.
    • Greyhounds and Human Enemy Variants delayed: We decided to prioritize the updated elemental visuals over these new creaturesSotA_Earth_IceElemental_bonded
  • Fall Damage Revamped: Falling damage is now calculated based on distance fallen versus time that the character is in a falling state. This should fix most of the crazy falling damage bugs (ex. killed jumping off a fence but surviving a fall from the top of the lighthouse).
  • Control Point Looping Elite Waves: When players take over a control point, ever increasingly difficult waves of enemies will try to take the control point back from the players, culminating in a wave of “elite” enemies. Now those elite enemies will continue to come in repeated waves until they can regain the control point. Note that previously, the waves would loop back to the easiest wave once the “elite” wave was defeated.
  • Book Content: We have begun to replace blank, pre-placed books in Owl’s Head and Kingsport with books that have stories in them. Please note that currently, you have to have a book in your inventory to read it.
  • NPCs: “Barks” (what NPCs say to each other and to you as you pass) have been retuned so you will hear them more often, but only once every half hour or so. More clues for questing opportunities in your area, less desire to murder the barkeep who keeps repeating themselves.
  • Knight & Flourish Emotes: These emotes now show your equipped weapon so they finally look correct
  • Chats During Transitions: Chats received during level load (or any time that there is no chat window) are no longer lost.
  • General Visual Improvements: While we have been porting over to Unity 5 and investigating all the visual improvements we can make once we move over completely, we discovered some issues with the way we were rendering some of our effects and lighting. In some cases, we were rendering effects in the wrong order so they never looked quite right, bloom being an example. In R14, we took the opportunity to fix some of these draw sequence issues to improve general visual quality across the game. Additionally, high definition rendering is now enabled after working through some graphics problems that it was causing on approximately half of the video cards. The result is complete elimination of color banding and tone issues. Finally, with the other rendering issues dealt with, we have started enabling some color mapping features to bring an even more vibrant color set to the users.
  • Windows 32 Bit Support Dropped: Our minspec for Windows has been Windows 7 32 bit with 4GB of RAM. That 4GB is the maximum memory that a 32 bit Windows OS can use, so even if your system has more memory it cannot be addressed. To make SotA run in this environment, we have spent considerable effort to reduce runtime memory utilization. This results in longer load times and reduced quality on many assets. Recently, Microsoft announced that Windows 10 (to be released in October) will be a free upgrade to Windows 7 (and higher) customers. This removes the upgrade price barrier for those who are still running 32 bit Windows 7, and therefore we are no longer going to support Windows 7 32 bit as our minimum spec. Our new min spec will be Windows 7 64 bit with 6GB of RAM. For R14, we will still provide a 32 bit build, but we will no longer provide support of any kind for that version.
  • Mac 64 Bit Builds, 32 Bit Support Dropped: We finally got a fix in Unity 4 that allows us to create 64 bit builds for Mac. This should solve many of the performance and stability issues that mac users were facing. For R14, we will still provide a 32 bit build, but we will no longer provide any support of any kind for that version.SotA_R14_GrandTourReward
  • QA Version: In R13, we were able to get a QA version of the game working for Dev+ backers so they could do some early testing of the releases. Unfortunately, it only worked through Steam. For R14, we have managed to make the QA version accessible with or without Steam.
  • Grand Tour 14: As with each recent release, we will have a grand tour that will take players through the new scenes and scenes that have changed the most. Completing this quest is the ONLY way to gain this rare reward. The hat for this release is a Hennin (aka Princess hat) that we hope you will all enjoy.
  • Character and Property Wipe: There will be a complete wipe of all characters and property in R14. However we will be preserving Guild and Friends data.

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

  • Performance: We have only done rudimentary optimizations, and we do not yet have a full suite of performance fallbacks (LODs, etc.). This means the game will be quite slow on older machines, and due to memory usage, might be unstable in certain conditions (like densely decorated areas). With each release, we will be doing further optimizations and adding to our fallbacks to improve performance.
  • Crafting: The crafting system is in the game as a framework, but is still missing some key components like events. Skill checks are also not in yet, so results are always 100% successful. Long term, the percentage chance to make items will depend on a myriad of variables and can result in a variety of results including: making the item desired, making a simpler version of the item that will need to be enhanced, or making a damaged version of the item that needs repair.
  • Game Loop: Release 14 is a further iteration on our rudimentary game loop, but it is still very bare bones, even though we now have a first pass at player advancement. Expect this to expand with each subsequent release, but it won’t be truly complete until we hit Beta later this year.
  • Advanced Player Housing: There are some advanced features for player housing, including advanced permissions and ceiling decorations that are not yet integrated. Expect to see these appear in future releases.
  • Visual Quality: Efforts to improve visual quality are ongoing. We will continue to iterate on these until we have highly competitive visuals
  • Pledge Rewards: Pledge Rewards that have been built and have tech to support them are in the game, all other rewards are awaiting either content creation or tech support (ex. vendors).
  • Persistence: As part of development we will need to periodically wipe data including characters, property, etc. As we near official launch the frequency should decrease but there will definitely be a wipe right before launch. So consider everything gained during early access temporary.

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

Sincerely,
Starr Long
aka Darkstarr
Executive Producer

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 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. The basic Adventurer level pledge is also available on Steam Early Access.

Release 14 Player Instructions

Release 14 Known Issues

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

Release 12 Instructions

Greetings Avatars,

Thank you to our loyal backers of Shroud of the Avatar. Release 12 access for all backers at First Responder level and above begins this Thursday, November 20 at 10:30 AM Central Time (16:30 UTC). Steam Early Access will begin on Monday, November 24 at 10:00 AM Central Time (16:00 UTC). Starting today, you can begin installing and patching (see instructions below), but login will not be enabled until Thursday morning.

Please read this entire message, as well as the linked instructions and known issues. Also, please note that there has been a data wipe for Release 12.

This early in development, we are in a constant state of change and we do not yet have in-game systems to inform players of these changes, or share ways to help them to explore new content and systems. This means we rely entirely on this post/email, and the linked instructions and known issues to convey the current game state. We regularly have to answer questions or filter bug reports because players elect not to read this valuable information. By taking a few moments to read through this information, a great deal of our time and efforts can be redirected to focus on new “unanswered” questions, and addressing critical issues impacting each release. We greatly appreciate you taking the time to review this post, and for all the truly valuable feedback you continue to provide.

We started Release 12 with a very aggressive and large set of deliverables, as well as a goal to launch on Steam Early Access. We quickly realized that these were not necessarily complementary goals. Prepping for the Steam launch ended up taking much more time than we had initially estimated. We also ran headlong into the network effect of ever more intertwined systems. The network effect I speak of is that each time you add a new system or a new feature to an existing system, you increase the number of connections all systems have with each other. That means each new feature that goes in requires more work than the previous feature, and often requires some level of rework on several existing features. This is a natural progression of a project’s development, but for some reason we were optimistic that it would not require us to move at a slower pace.

However, it was indeed the case that for a few of the larger new features (like Encumbrance, Banks, and linking Pledges to Accounts) that we had to go a bit slower to make sure that they had all the proper connections to everything else. This required us to take longer than one release to finish them, and so they did not make it into Release 12. We also spent a significant amount of time on performance and stability which came at a cost. However, there are a lot of other things we did get in, including a prototype of our “First Time User Experience” that shows a lot of promise.

SteamEarlyAccess_logoWe are very excited about the launch on Steam Early Access on November 24th. We believe it will be a very important milestone for us, and it has the potential to increase our amazing community even more. We launched the store and community pages last week, and I want to express how much we appreciate that the community is already showing off Shroud of the Avatar with great screenshots, videos, and discussions.

Without further ado, here are the R12 deliverables, along with some extra notes and new deliverables in italics. Please note that text that has strikeouts through it is information and/or deliverables that have either changed or been pushed from this release. We purposely keep all the original text (even when it changes) for transparency.

RELEASE 12, November 20 – 26 2014 (and then 24/7 starting Dec 1) :

  • Steam Prep:Uptime will expand to 7 days and we will conduct a Steam test with all our current backers followed by a launch on Steam Early Access Dec 1st.
    • Steam Early Access: We made the call last release to allow all backers to play via Steam for the entire release (which we extended to almost 3 weeks). For this release, we will be launching on Steam Early Access on November 24. We plan to mostly leave the servers on full time going forward.
  • Maps: We will continue to expand the mainland scenes to includeThe Necropolis (the main underground Undead area in the game), The Graf Gem Mines surface area, andthe Tower of the Shuttered Eye. We will also add the Desert biome to the game along with a desert scene.
    • Veiled Swamp & Tower of the Shuttered Eye: These are the newest locations on the mainland of Novia. The Veiled Swamp is the scene where the Tower resides. From the lore: “The Tower of the Shuttered Eye appeared in the swamps of southeast Novia not long ago. No one saw it being built, because few ventured into the swamps other than those in search of rare reagents from time to time. As soon as it was known to be there, rumors began to arise about its inhabitants and their activities. Some visitors find the tower empty, filled only with cobwebs and rats, yet others, who visit on dark and stormy nights see hooded figures going in and out by torch light, often followed by lightning and thunder emanating from the top of the tower. Today, most avoid these swamps altogether, even those who seek rare reagents usually seek elsewhere!”
      SotA_TowerShutteredEye_external1b
    • Updated Hidden Vale Scenes: We did a massive pass through almost all the places on the island of Hidden Vale. Changes included increases in playable space, clear visual variations for each map, and spawning polish on the Valeway maps so creatures are not just “standing around”. Scenes modified include: Valeway South, Valeway North, East Ravenswood, South Ravenswood, West Ravenswood, and Kingsroad
  • Character Advancement: The advancement system will expand to include Skill Trainers
    • Trainers: Trainers can now be found in Kingsport, Owl’s Head, Ardoris and Braemar. They are now required to unlock skills in your skill trees and you will have to spend skill points and gold. For now, there are only two kinds of trainers: Combat and Magic. In the future, there will be more specialized trainers, including trainers for specific schools, and even trainers for the most powerful and rare skills (ex. Summon Lich). Also, in future releases, trainers may require certain tasks to prove your worth before they will train you.
  • Spells & Skills: Lifeand Death Magic will expand to include more spells.The combat schools of Tactics andPolearms will also expand, and more combos will be added to the game.
    • Skill Polish / Balance: All magic attack spells have received a balancing pass and are now MUCH more effective. We also made it so that some skills gate further progression on the skill tree by requiring multiple levels. Finally fizzle rates for many spells were greatly reduced, primarily those in the Life, Earth, and Water trees.
    • 15 New Skills: We added a wide variety of skills, mainly to Polearms, and also added some new Combos. We also modified function on some existing skills (Douse & Body Slam)
      SotA_Combat_Skill_Bar
    • Polearms:
      • Skewer: Attack that also roots the target
      • Leg Sweep: Attack that has a chance to knock down the target
      • Spinning Attack: Spinning attack that hits multiple targets around the caster
      • Block: Increases defense value
      • Pull: An extended range melee attack that pulls the target into normal range of the polearm
    • Life:
      • Healing Grace: Restores hit points on the target over time
      • Healing Burst: Heals all friendly characters in a radius around the target
    • Water:
      • Douse: Now includes a 1 minute fire resist buff.
    • Bludgeon:
      • Break Weapon: Attack that increases damage done to target’s weapon
      • Break Armor: Attack that increases damage done to target’s armor
    • Heavy Armor
      • Body Slam: Now when used has chance to cause increased damage to the caster’s armor
      • Absorb Impacts: Buff that increases defensive value, but increases damage to caster’s armor
    • Light Armor
      • Escape: Decreases all aggro accumulated so AI are less interested in caster allowing them to escape
    • Combos: Note that these new combos don’t yet have icons
      • Piercing Breeze: Gust + Aimed Shot = Long range attack that has chance to push back the target
      • Smoldering Shiv: Thrust + Flame Fist = very long duration but low damage fire attack
      • Splintering Strike: Stone Fist + Crushing Blow = attack that has stunning effect, does high damage to armor, and temporarily reduces defense values of target’s armor
      • Glacial Glissade: Ice Fist + Push = Long range attack, pushes target backwards, slows them and has chance to knock target down
  • Housing:Lot Deeds will be introduced to the game so property claiming will first require purchasing a lot deed in the game (just like house deeds worked in R10)
    • Basements: Players will finally be able to attach Stone & Timber style basements to their houses. This will be a first pass, so expect to see fun things like basement hatch entrances on upper floors, on boats, etc.
      SotA_TimberStone_Basement_overhead_angle
    • Images in Deeds: House Deeds now have images in the tooltips so players can better see which house they are purchasing
    • Price Increase: Houses and Lots are now 10 times more expensive to better reflect what we believe future pricing might be like.
    • Lot (Property) Deeds: Getting basements working and also closing up some loopholes in house deeds used up our available schedule time so we were unable to get to lot deeds for R12
  • Crafting:Crafting skills will start to come online and be used during crafting to modify results. We will also be adding more Cooking and Alchemy recipes and ingredients including the ability to put enchantments on gear.
    • Material Variation: With R12 we are starting to introduce different materials (pine, maple, copper) beyond the simple base examples (wood, iron) we have seen to date. These different materials bring different properties to the finished goods. So Copper Armor has a different set of properties than Iron Plate or Iron Plate with Cotton Straps is different from Iron Plate with Leather Straps. This introduces a vaster array of items and much greater variation in their properties.. Getting this foundation built and adding example recipes of this was deemed more important than our original R12 crafting goals ( crafting skills, cooking recipes, alchemy recipes, and enchanting).
    • 50+ New Armor / Weapon Recipes: We added many new recipes for armor and weapons that represent the material property variations mentioned above. Some examples include:
      • Iron Plate Leggings with Cotton Straps
      • Iron Plate Leggings with Leather Straps
      • Copper Chainmail Chest Armor with Leather Straps
      • Maple Shortbow with Cotton Bow String
      • Maple Shortbow with Leather Bow String
      • Pine Short Bow with Cotton Bow String
      • Copper Mace with Maple Wood Handle
      • Copper Mace with Pine Wood Handle
  • Creatures:Our creature list will continue to expand with Ghosts, Fauns, Emps and Wisps added to the game.
    • New Creatures Pushed: We made the decision to prioritize the female avatar rework (see Customization below) over the new creatures (which are fully custom pieces).
    • Turkeys: Just in time for the season, turkeys make their first appearance (note these are based on a purchased asset versus fully original like the creatures we pushed). For now, they are merely ornamental like the dogs and cats, but long term they may be formidable and hard to track…
      SotA_TurkeyCall_Turkey
    • Wolf & Bear Variations: Wolves and Bears now appear in a variety of colors. There are also top tier versions that have larger claws and teeth (the better to eat you with, my dear).
  • Combat:The cover system will be introduced that modifies attack and defense values when you (or your target) are behind cover. The Death System (including ghosts) will come online, and PVP will expand to include an Open PVP flag players can set on themselves. Ranged ammo types will now be linked to Ranged skills. So, Piercing Shot will require Bodkin Points (armor piercing) for example.
    • Death System: The Death System expands with Ghosts. Upon death, players will now transform into a ghostly form, and they can wander around in that form. Other entities appear as simple balls of light while you are in this form. So, the scouting ability of ghosts is limited.
      SotA_Death_R12
    • Open PVP: By talking to the Oracle in the Confirmatories of Kingsport or Ardoris players can request removal of the Blessing of the Oracle (which prevents Outlanders from killing each other whenever they want). If players change their minds, they must return and request to receive the blessing.
    • Ranged Ammo Types: Ranged skills now require specific ammo in order to work. This ammo can be found at the Archery shopkeeper in Ardoris
    • Magic / Ranged Weapons vs Melee Balance: We have made several updates to combat math and data in order to make Magic and Ranged combat better balances with/against Melee.
  • Customization: New armor and clothing items will appear in the game.
    • Skin Shader Rework: We continue to iterate on the shader for the character skin to display better in varying light conditions, provide more visual detail, and better show darker skin tones.
    • More Skin Tones: We have doubled the number of skin tones you can choose during character creation.
    • Female Face Rework: We continue to iterate on our female character to make her look as good as we possibly can. For R12 we have completely redone the default female face based on feedback from our players.
    • Lip & Mouth Sliders (and more nose sliders): Facial customization expands with new sliders for lip, mouth, and nose.
    • New Wearables: 5 pieces of Elven Armor, a Wizard hat, and the Steampunk Top Hat were added to the game.
    • Hair / Facial Hair with Hats/Helmets Pushed: The rework of the female face and the skin tones ended up taking most of the release which cost us making helmets work with hair. We hope to tackle this in R13
  • Overworld: Traveling across the overland map will incur the chance that you might have a random encounter that pulls you into a scene.We will also release the first version of the overland map for Novia (aka the mainland).
    • Random Encounters: Travelling through plains, hills, swamps, or forests in the Hidden Vale will sometimes create a random encounter. These encounters will put you in the middle of a scene where you will have to choose to stand and fight or run for the exit.
      SotA_Overworld_R12
    • Hidden Vale Polish: We did more polish work on the visuals for the Hidden Vale Overworld including better foliage, better town layouts, more defined roads, and visual effects like volcanic smoke.
    • Camera & Movement Controls: The movement and camera controls are now identical to the rest of the game, the only exception being that there is a limit to how far down you can bring the camera (you can’t look up).
    • Terrain affects Speed: Terrain types affect how fast you can move with roads being the fastest.
    • Novia Overworld Pushed: Based on player feedback about the overworld visuals we decided that polishing Hidden Vale Overworld (and other maps, see above) was higher priority than getting a working Novia Overworld.
  • Guilds: Players will now be able to start forming Guilds in the game with basic functions like Guild Name, membership, and Guild Officers.
    • R12 Guild Function & Location: Seek out Marcus the Guild Registrar in Owl’s Head to begin creating a Guild. Marcus can be found in the Owl’s Head barracks. Bring plenty of funds, as creating a guild costs 25,000 gold. Right click on an existing Guild Member (who is displaying their guild tag) and select the appropriate option from the context menu to join a guild. To leave a guild, right click on yourself and choose the option from the context menu. (You may need to enable “Target Self With Mouse” under the options menu.) Be aware that if the last guild member leaves a guild it will be dissolved, and an additional 25,000 gold fee must be paid to create a new one. Creating or joining a Guild will add a Guild tab to your Social menu. From here you can view Guild membership. The Guild tab also allows you to toggle displaying your guild name on your nameplate on or off. Guildmates share access to an exclusive chat channel, available with “/g”. Guilds are still rudimentary and will likely see many changes and additional functionality in coming releases, especially to how joining and managing a guild works.
  • 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
    • Pledges Tied to Account Pushed: This turned out to be a very complex task with a lot of interdepencies because it touches almost every single system in the game. While we did make some progress on this we did not feel comfortable pushing it out before it was completely finished and thoroughly tested so we are pushing this to a later release.
  • 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.
    • Banks Pushed: Banks are a natural extension of inventory and non-mobile storage (chests). Therefore they are not the most complicated feature for us to implement. However work on the Hint/Tutorial and First Time User Experience ended up costing us this feature for R12. We hope to get it in very soon, perhaps in R13.
  • Encumbrance: The weight of items will now factor into how much you can carry. Your carrying capacity will be derived from your Strength stat.
    • Encumbrance Pushed: This is a system that touches a lot of other systems and is one of the core drivers of the loop that takes players between adventures and towns. While we have it working internally we did not feel like we could enable it without working banks because players would end up having more than they could carry.
  • Tutorials: Tutorial text will now start appearing the first time you attempt an interaction (moving, talking, crafting, fighting, questing, etc.)
    • Tutorial Hints: These are now hooked up to just about every major interaction in the game and should be invaluable in helping players ramp up.
      SotA_NewUserExperience_R12
  • First Time User Experience: The new hint system is very powerful, but after experiencing it we still felt it was not enough for new users (mainly because it required you to try systems you did not know how to use in order to learn how to use them!). While that would work over time as purely trial and error, it completely lacked guidance. So we pulled in this task from much later in the project and we have begun iterating on the First Time User Experience. The goal of this is to guide you through the most fundamental issues (movement, equipping items, inventory, combat, and conversation) while also providing some level of entertainment. Our first attempt puts you in the aftermath of the Battle of Solace Bridge, which will actually be one of the three main starting areas in the final game. To make this work, we added a new feature that allows us to force a player into conversation with an NPC. We plan to iterate and polish this experience each release, so please provide us feedback to make it as strong as possible. It is important to note that in the final version of the game, players will have had one experience prior to this that will be our version of the Gypsy starting experience in Ultima.
  • 40 New Songs: We added 40 new and incredible songs to the game this release, all of them player made!
  • NPCs & Doors: Several releases ago we started making NPCs more aware of their surroundings and we began giving them the ability to act on that awareness. Our first implementation was giving them the ability to turn lights on and off depending on time of day. In R12, we continue to expand this functionality so that NPCs are now aware of doors and able to use them. This may sound simple, but it is actually a complex issue that touches how we do movement and collision in the game and how those must be completely dynamic. You can expect much more of these kinds of things that bring the game to life in future releases. Please note that this is a work in progress so you might still see some NPCs run through closed doors or not be able to open a door right in front of them.
  • Drawbridges: Drawbridges were a commonly used defensive technique used in Castle fortifications. We plan to use them as puzzles (like in Obsidian Keep) and for Control Points and sieges. Like doors, they seem simple, but are actually quite complex and require dynamic navigational meshes in the game.
  • Energy Fences: The moon towers that channel aetheric energies in cities like Owls Head and Ardoris are used to beam energy to various devices, including defensive energy fences surrounding these cities. It is the only way those cities have been able to steadily grow, as the lands recover from the Great Cataclysm, the continuous wars, and the recent mass risings of undead. In R12, we have gotten the first of these energy fences built around Owls Head.
  • Sprint Animations: We added sprinting (double tap W) in R11. In R12 we have added a specific suite of animations to visually show that your character is sprinting
  • Message of the Day: We now have functionality for a Message of the Day at login and broadcast into chat.
  • Player Event Schedule Book: Our community continues to create an amazing series of events each release. Long term we are brainstorming ways for that to appear as a feed to players in the game. For R12 we are going to provide players a book in their inventory which will list all the events we know of.
  • More Player Towns: We initially lowered the number of player towns to increase player density. However, now that we are extending access beyond a mere four days we need to give players more places to own property. Thus, we are adding back in several of the player towns and islands.
  • Bloom: We added bloom visual effects (linked to Tone Mapping) several releases ago, but at some point it got disabled as a side effect of some other optimizations. We have reenabled this effect in R12. It still needs some fine tuning, but it already greatly improves the visual quality of the game.
  • Minimap Zoom & More Minimaps: You can now zoom in closer on the in game minimaps, and we created minimaps for all the wilderness zones in the game
    SotA_MiniMap_zoom_R12
  • AlienFX: Alienware keyboards and cases have lights in them that can change color and can be linked to game events. For Shroud, we wanted this functionality to be helpful in indicating game states in the following ways:
    • White = non-combat mode
    • Blue = NPC Convo Mode and Crafting
    • Green = Combat mode full health
    • Yellow = Combat mode taking damage
    • Red = Combat mode, near death
    • No lights = Dead
    • Dancing = flashing colors
      AlienFX_image
  • Durability and Pricing: NPC shopkeepers will now factor durability of items into the price they will pay for them. The more damaged the item the less money you will receive.
  • Quests: More quests were added to Braemar and the surrounding wilderness, and we will continue to add to them. Many quests now give experience points as well.
  • Quick Reference Card: We created a first draft of a quick reference card for players. Many thanks to Stile Teckel who made one for the community.
  • Explorers Guild Quest: The Grand Tour returns in R12. You can talk to any Tour Guide (one is near where new players appear, in Braemar after Solace Bridge) to begin the quest. Visiting all the Tour Guides (who are stationed near the new content introduced in this release) will earn a reward for your account. The Pilgrim hat (also known as a Cockel) is the prize for the R12 grand tour in celebration of the American holiday of Thanksgiving. This reward can only be unlocked during this release (did someone say rares?). So, be sure to complete the Grand Tour before the release is over!
    SotA_R12_GrandTour_PilgrimHat_caption

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

  • Performance: We have only done rudimentary optimizations, and we do not yet have a full suite of performance fallbacks (LODs, etc.). This means the game will be quite slow on older machines, and due to memory usage, might be unstable in certain conditions (like densely decorated areas). With each release, we will be doing further optimizations and adding to our fallbacks to improve performance.
  • Crafting: The crafting system is in the game as a framework, but is still missing some key components like events and enhancement. Skill checks are also not in yet, so results are always 100% successful. Long term, the percentage chance to make items will depend on a myriad of variables and can result in a variety of results including: making the item desired, making a simpler version of the item that will need to be enhanced, or making a damaged version of the item that needs repair.
  • Game Loop: Release 12 is a further iteration on our rudimentary game loop, but it is still very bare bones, even though we now have a rough first pass at player advancement. Expect this to expand with each subsequent release, but it won’t be truly complete until we hit Beta next year.
  • Advanced Player Housing: There are some advanced features for player housing, including advanced permissions and ceiling decorations that are not yet integrated. Expect to see these appear in future releases.
  • Visual Quality: Efforts to improve visual quality are ongoing. We will continue to iterate on these until we have highly competitive visuals.

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

Sincerely,
Starr Long
aka Darkstarr
Executive Producer


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 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. 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


timeIsRunningOut6

Only 13 Days left to get your 15% Black Friday Bonus!

SotA_15PercentBonus

If you were thinking of pledging your support to the development of Shroud of the Avatar, upgrading your existing pledge, or purchasing an add-on item, player owned town, or stretch goal item, now’s a great time to do it! From now thru Black Friday Weekend we’ll add an additional 15% bonus to your Store Credit! Here are the details:

For all new purchases (including pledges, pledge upgrades, add-on items, player owned towns, and stretch goal items) between 12:00 am CST October 10, 2014 and 12:00 am CST December 2, 2014, we will add an additional 15% bonus to your Store Credit! You can use your Store Credit toward any additional purchase (including pledges, pledge upgrades, add-on items, and player owned towns).

[NOTE: The 15% bonus is calculated every day at 1:00 pm CST and added to your Store Credit account; Store Credit cannot be applied toward stretch goal items]

For example, if you have the $45 Adventurer pledge and really want to upgrade to the $90 Royal Artisan pledge which includes Episodes 2 and 3 as pledge rewards, you would normally pay the extra $45 for the upgrade. But using the 15% bonus you can immediately save $5. To do so, you would first purchase $40 worth of Store Credit Gift Coupons (via PayPal, Amazon, Bitcoin, or credit card; excluding existing Store Credit) then use the “Convert to Credits” option on your account page to transform the Store Credit Gift Coupons back into Store Credit. Within 24 hours an additional $6 bonus ($40 x 15%) would be applied to your Store Credit account, bringing it up to $46. You would then use $45 of your Store Credit to upgrade to the $90 Royal Artisan pledge.


Release 11 Instructions

[A Public Forum post by Starr Long]

Darkstarr

Greetings Avatars,

Thank you to our loyal backers of Shroud of the Avatar. Release 11 access for all backers at First Responder level and above begins this Thursday, October 23 at 10:30 AM Central Time (16:30 GMT). Release 11 access will end on Monday,October 27 at 10:00 AM Central Time (16:00 GMT. Starting today, you can begin installing and patching (see instructions below), but login will not be enabled until Thursday morning.

Please read this entire message, as well as the linked instructions and known issues. This early in development, we are in a constant state of change and we do not yet have in-game systems to inform players of these changes or share ways to help them to explore new content and systems. This means we rely entirely on this post/email and the linked instructions and known issues to convey the current game state. We regularly have to answer questions or filter bug reports because players elect not to read this valuable information. By taking a few moments to read through this information, a great deal of our time and efforts can be redirected to focus on new “unanswered” questions and addressing critical issues impacting each release. We greatly appreciate you taking the time to review this post and for all the truly valuable feedback you continue to provide.

Steam_logoWe are moving full steam ahead (oh yes, I went there) towards our Steam Early Access launch on November 24. We were nervous at first about moving to Steam, but are feeling great now based on the overwhelmingly positive and speedy results of our Steam Greenlight campaign, and the incredible support Steam has been giving us. With that said, we need this launch to be super smooth. So we need your help in R11 to play the game through Steam if you are willing. As a reminder Steam is optional for playing Shroud. You can still play without using Steam.

We have lots of new content for you to play with (over a hundred!), and some major changes, including the addition of advancement (finally a sense of progress through gameplay), modifications to combat systems (movement penalties, sprinting, encumbrance, durability, etc.), crafting (cooking, repair, alchemy), and a major change to how wilderness scenes work on the Overworld map (see below for more details).

Without further ado, here are the R11 deliverables, along with some extra notes and new deliverables in italics.

RELEASE 11, October 23 – 26 2014:

  • Steam Prep: We will make downloading and playing the game through Steam functional, and will conduct a Steam test with our backers at Developer level (and above).SotA_SteamSteps1
    • Steam for all Backers: After some internal deliberation, we decided to open the Steam test to all backers in order to get the most data prior to official Steam Early Access Launch on Nov 24. As a reminder Steam is optional for playing Shroud. You can still play without using Steam. Here are instructions on how to link your SotA account to your Steam account:
      • Log into SotA and go to your Account page
      • Scroll to the bottom of the page and you’ll see a box on the right side labeled “Play SotA through Steam”. Click on the link that reads “…click here to redeem an access key by signing in through Steam!“
      • You’ll be instructed to Sign in through Steam (NOTE: make sure you are signing into the correct Steam account! Steam does not support unlinking if you make a mistake here)
      • Click the “Allow” button to redeem and activate the SotA key on your Steam accountSotA_SteamSteps3
      • You’ll see a SotA “Congratulations” message confirming successful Steam activation. Click the “account page” link to return you to your SotA Account page.
      • Scroll to the bottom of your account page and you’ll see “Play SotA through Steam” box now states that your Steam access key has been redeemed, and displays the Steam Account it is associated with.
      • You will need to launch your Steam desktop client to see Shroud of the Avatar in your Steam Library (because SotA is not yet available in the Steam Store to the general public, it will not show up in your library if you view your Steam account through a web browser)
      • Select Shroud of the Avatar in your Steam Library and click on “INSTALL”
      • Follow the Steam installation instructions and once the download is complete you will be able to launch SotA from Steam
  • Maps: We will continue to expand the mainland scenes to include Solace Bridge (one of the three starting maps that is the aftermath of a village that defended itself against an undead army) and the Kobold Battle Camp (one of three battle camps in the game). We will also add the Swamp biome to the game, along with a swamp scene.
    • New Overworld Wilderness Scene Strategy: After playing ourselves and also observing new players in the game, we have decided to change the way we associate wilderness scenes to the Overworld. Previously, our plan was to repeat generic wilderness maps (road, forest, desert, swamp, mountain, etc.) in each hex location, and allow player to enter any hex. This had some negative effects on gameplay. The biggest, was how difficult it made it to coordinate meeting people out in the wilderness, because there was no named location to refer to; “meet me at the second tree off the road”. The second, was that it artificially spread players out, because there was a practically infinite number of scenes. Another issue, was that by repeating these scenes yet linking them to specific location it seemed to highlight the currently low number of scenes we have. The biggest issue, however, was simply learned behavior versus new behavior. Years of playing games with overworld maps taught us to go to locations with names on them. In some games, that was all there was, but in others (Ultimas, JRPGs, etc.) you might get pulled into a random encounter along the way. So, our original plan fought against that learned behavior, and made navigation counter intuitive. This has led us to experiment this release with moving to a more traditional model for the map, where every location that a player can enter is marked on the map with a name, and often a “marker” of some sort (village, dungeon entrance, tower, castle, etc.). We are also moving towards each of these maps being visually distinct (albeit similar when part of the same area). The result, we feel, is a map that is MUCH easier to navigate and coordinate with other players. We know this is slightly different than what we have presented in the past, but we feel this is the right direction for the game.SotA_Overworld2
    • Solace Bridge: This is one of the very first examples that shows how we plan to dynamically change the state of scenes in the game, either through random events, player actions, or updates to the world. There are two versions of this scene that can be visited in R11. The first version, the Battle of Solace Bridge, depicts the aftermath of a village defending itself against an undead army. This post-battle state of the scene will be players first view of Solace Bridge when they start the game. When/if players return to this scene later during gameplay, there may be another pitched battle between villagers and undead already underway (which is another game state). Solace Bridge is the version of this area that players will usually see if/when they return later, and represents the Solace Bridge scene sometime after the battle when things have been rebuilt and the land has recovered a bit. Both versions (Solace Bridge and The Battle of Solace Bridge) can be accessed via the Lunar Rift in Owl’s Head. Note that in R11 the war torn version is flagged as an Open PVP area. Solace Bridge will be where one of the three working Lunar Rifts can be found on the mainland, and is thus a key strategic location for the Perennial Coast of Novia, and one of the three common entry points for “outlanders” from Earth. Normally the Perennial Coast is considered a region that celebrates the Principle of Love, however the Perennial Coast leaders in nearby Ardoris are rumored to be discordant. This discord could not have come at a worse time, because undead hordes have been pouring South from the Drachvald region. The armies of Ardoris do their best to repel these armies, but perhaps only Outlanders can turn the tide…SotA_BattleSolaceBridge1
    • Kobold Battle Camp: The conflict between humans and Kobolds, which has of late erupted in the Northwest of Novia, is particularly distressing in the Courageous lands of the Norgard. Kobolds were once considered an ally, and they have helped humans with key advancements in military technology; such as siege engines, moon towers, and ethereal amplifiers. So, it is both sad and worrisome that this clever and brutish race has suddenly turned against us. Kobold hunting parties seeking human prey, thought to come primarily from Skrekk (the underground city of the Kobolds), are fanning out across Norgard and have even been seen in Verdantis! Travelers should be wary of their battle camps, set up for regional influence primarily in the Northwest of Novia. Not only will they attack humans on sight, but they are usually well armed, and have been seen to carry unknown and advanced weaponry! However they do not seem to have the same animosity towards Outlanders as others do, so they might be willing to talk to someone they view as a peer on the battlefield…SotA_KoboldBattleCamp
    • Swamp Variations: As we move to this new strategy for the overworld, we want each map to have variations of not just creatures and resources, but also variations in layout and decorations. The first examples of this are the three variations of swamp that can be seen in the Hidden Vale swamps and marshes on the eastern coast. Those scenes are The Mysterious Swamp (one of the R11 Grand Tour destinations), Southmarsh, and Northmarsh. Note that we will continue this strategy of map variations by working on the Ravenswood forest maps (in the southern end of Hidden Vale) in R12, but in R11 all three Ravenswood scenes share the same map.SotA_Swamp_Biome1
    • Obsidian Keep: This is an “in progress scene” but we loved it so much we decided to put it in the game even in this early state. This undead fortress is based on one of the earliest concept sketches we did. It is a great example of how we plan to introduce some strategic interactivity into our maps with locked doors, sequences of fortifications, etc. In R12 we plan to add even more functionality to this scene, including a functioning drawbridge with a crank on the other side of the wall you approach.SotA_SpalshArt_GatehouseSotA_ObsidianKeep2
    • Map Entrance Changes: We moved the temporary entrances to the PVP Arenas and the Challenge Dungeon to their new “semi-permanent” locations. You can find the Team PVP Arena in Ardoris just off the main square and the Open PVP Arena is now opposite the entrance to the Clink. The Challenge Dungeon is now a “spell” cast by using the book in the graveyard in Braemar.
    • Riot in the Clink: This scenario in the Clink is another example of how we plan to change the state of scenes. In this case, each time you enter the Clink under Owlshead, there is a random chance that a prison riot has just occurred. It makes one wonder if they might need a new, less brutal warden…
  • Character Advancement: Our first pass at advancement will allow players to begin accumulating experience points and levels, while earning skill and attribute points that can be spent.
    • New Starting State: We are now starting players at an approximate level 5. I say approximate, because this is just our first pass at what “level 5” means, as far as gear, skill points, attributes, etc. We are also starting everyone with Blade skills and blade gear only in locked mode, so that we can ease people into deck combat after they have played the game a bit. For now, you can immediately switch to deck mode, but long term we will have this be an unlock at level X. Also, note that if you want to immediately respec to play a mage, archer, etc. there is now a starting gear vendor in Braemar.
    • XP for Combat Only: Right now, the only thing that grants experience is combat, but we will expand that each release to encompass other activities, including quests and crafting.
    • Leveled Content: The forest and swamp maps around Braemar have had a pass at leveled content, so that the further you move away from Braemar the harder it gets. This is just a very early pass. So, the mix and placement of creatures is not meant to feel final in any way. Yes, we know that bears don’t roam around in packs! :) Note that none of the other maps have been balanced for low level characters. So, be careful.
  • Spells & Skills: Death Magic will expand to include summoning skeletons (formerly zombies) and liches (formerly ghouls)
    • Attributes as Passive Skills: we decided to move increasing attributes to the skill trees, because it kept all advancement spending in one place, and it was a better way to balance increasing attributes against increasing skills. This change resulted in several changes to the Tactics, Focus, and Heavy Armor Skill Trees as you can see here. It also resulted in the elimination of the Brawl and Field Repair skills.Focus Skills Tree (4)SotA_Tactics-Combat-Tree-3bSotA_Heavy-Armor-Combat-Tree-4b
    • 9 New Skills: We added the following skills:
      • Death Magic:
        • Summon Skeleton: Summons a Skeleton Footman (melee) to fight for the caster.
        • Summon Lich: Summons a powerful Lich to fight for the caster.
        • Death Field: Creates a field that drains life of those who are in it
      • Light Armor:
        • Escape: Light Armor buff that decreases agro on the caster allowing them to attempt escape or at least shift the target of aggression away when fighting A.I. This is a great skill for soft and crunchy casters to have!
      • Heavy Armor:
        • Taunt: Heavy Armor buff that increases agro on the caster to shift the target of A.I. aggression onto the caster. Works well in synergy with Escape in party situations where heavily armored melee fighters want to protect soft and crunchy casters.
      • Ranged:
        • Blinding Shot: Ranged skill that damages target and adds a debuff that lowers the target’s accuracy.
      • Tactics:
        • Dexterity: Innate skill that increases dexterity (note that the icon is temporary)
        • Strength: Innate skill that increases strength (note that the icon is temporary)
      • Focus:
        • Intelligence: Innate skill that increases intelligence (note that the icon is temporary)
  • Housing: Housing functionality will expand so players will finally be able to attach Stone & Timber and Stone style basements to their houses. This will be a first pass, so expect to see fun things like basement entrances on upper floors, on boats, etc.
    • Basements Pushed: We were able to get a version of basements working internally, but there were too many issues to address related to permissions, teleporting back and forth between linked instances, ownership of multiple linked spaces, etc. We hope to get this in before end of year.
    • House Deeds Relocated: Our “help wanted” request for an in-game realtor has still not been answered, so we have moved all the House Deed items from the bartender in Owl’s Head to the Decoration Vendors in the same town.
    • House Deeds Renamed: We edited all the House Deed names to make them more descriptive and self consistent (and by “we” I mean Lord British himself named them).
  • Crafting: A first pass at cooking and alchemy will come online, and gear will now take damage and will be repairable. We are also going to make a resource spawner distribution pass across most maps to add new resource spawns (reagents) and balance resource distribution.upload[4]
    • 29 Cooking, Butchery and Alchemy Recipes: Alchemy makes its first appearance with the ability to craft health and focus potions. Cooking also premiers, albeit with some placeholder art, and many ingredients only available through vendors, as we do not yet have the art done (ex apple trees, many of the meats, etc.).Repair Kits: In order to repair your damaged gear you will have to use a repair kit. These can be crafted or purchased, and are consumed upon use. For R11, there is just a single generic kit that repairs all kinds of gear. Long term, we plan to have varying degrees of specialized repair kits for each type of armor and weapon, in addition to generic armor and weapon kits. The more specialized the kit is, the more effective it will be. We will also likely have varying qualities of repair kits. We also plan to have repairing at a crafting tables as being much more effective than using a repair kit, and it will probably be the only way to recover maximum durability on an item.
      • 2 Alchemy Recipes: Health and Focus Potions
      • 7 Butchery Recipes: Bovine, Mutton, Venison, Pork, Rabbit, Chicken, and Duck
      • 20 Cooking Recipes:
        • 6 Refined Ingredients: Salt, Yeast Culture, Oil, Flask of Vinegar, Vegetable Stock, and Beef Stock
        • Cheese, Garlic Cheese, Banana,and Bark Bread
        • Ardoris Coleslaw
        • Grannus Beef Stew
        • Iolo’s Cat Gut Gulash
        • Dupre’s Duck Stew
        • Son of Owan Regicide Stovies
        • Gorn’s Venison Roast
        • Sauteed Bass
        • Apple Pie
        • Baked Trout
        • Planked Salmon
    • Arrow Recipe: Archers rejoice! You can now be more self sufficient by crafting your own arrows.SotA_ArrowCraftingRecipe
    • Resource Spawns: We have made a pass to greatly increase the density, frequency, and variety of resource spawns including spawners for all 8 magic reagents. The goal is to make them readily available for players so they have an alternative to purchasing from vendors. Many of these spawners do not yet have the correct art, nor are they in the correct biomes. For instance, sulphurous ash will eventually only appear in volcanic (or recently volcanic) regions. For now, you can find it in the forests, and it uses the placeholder white disc. Each release, this will improve as we add the correct biomes and we create the art..
    • Auto Harvesting Tool Choice: We now automatically select a harvesting tool from your inventory if you do not have one in your non-combat bar. This makes harvesting while adventuring much faster.
    • Recipes for Purchase: You can now purchase recipes to add to your recipe book from various vendors in the game.
  • Creatures: A pass will be made through the creatures to add more variety to them via skills and behaviors. We are going to target the Liches as an example, and give them the ability to summon skeleton allies, stun/root multiple players, and generate area of effect spells around them.SotA_R7_PlayerCapture15
    • Ranged AI: In addition to giving the Liches more powers we also updated the AI for ranged combatants so they will try to maintain ranged distance from the players versus allowing the players to just run up and melee attack
  • Combat: We are going make movement have an effect on ranged combat, so that running will decrease the effectiveness of ranged attacks, while standing still will confer a bonus. We are also removing the requirement to equip arrows in the offhand, and instead, will pull them straight from your inventory.
    • Locked Card Changes: Locked cards now have cooldown and focus cost multiplier based on the number of levels in the skill. These range from 3.0x at skill level 1 to 1.25X at skill level 5.
  • Control Point: Vertas Pass will become our first prototype of a control point. If you manage to defeat the Dark Elves holding Vertas Pass, then you can attempt to hold it against increasingly difficult waves of Dark Elves.
    • Control Point Prototype: We have a very early version of this working with Vertas Pass. For R11, players can claim the control point by standing next to the flag and the elves can do the same. If the players own the point, then the elves will attack in waves. For R11, the A.I. cannot open or destroy the gates, so they have to remain locked open. However that tech is coming in an upcoming release (R12 perhaps?). We also want to add the ability for multiple players or A.I. to speed up the time it takes to claim the control point (like most capture the flag scenarios work). Even at this early stage, it feels fun and brings back some great memories of trying to hold a base against the waves of the Bane army in Tabula Rasa.vertas_pass6
  • Customization: Hair will now play nice with helmets and hats so you will no longer suddenly become bald when you equip headgear.
    • Hair with Hats/Helmets Pushed: This task ended up being more complex than originally estimated, and the risk of breaking all the hairstyles and helmets was not worth it for R11. We hope to tackle this in R12
  • NPC Conversation: When you talk to NPCs, they will now become the focus of your screen (blurring out the background) with a dedicated chat window for the discussion.
    • Conversation Camera: This new mode is now in the game, and we feel it is a dramatic improvement over the previous attempt. Getting the camera to pick a good angle where your character and the NPC are in view is quite challenging, but it’s cool when it works! We even made it so if the camera can’t find a good angle with both characters, it just goes into first person view focused on the NPC you are talking to. There are still some lingering issues when talking to non-human NPCs who are of different heights, but we will polish those out over the next few releases.
  • Sprinting: Getting into and maintaining range is quite challenging when everyone moves at the exact same speed and the game can easily devolve into optimizing predictive paths to your target. To help with this, we have added an experimental sprinting mode that you execute by double tapping the W key while you are running. This increases your run speed, but it drains focus. So, use it strategically and sparingly!
  • Resurrection at startpoint of map: We hope to get a first pass of the Death system in R12, but for now, we put you at the entrance to the map to save you from getting spawn camped by the monsters. You are welcome. This also adds real value to resurrect spells for party members.
  • Dusk and Dawn Longer: The cast shadows during dawn and dusk are some of the most visually striking moments during our game. So, we decided to extend the time that the game spends at dawn and dusk while decreasing the length of night.
  • 54 New Wearables: We added a huge number of new equippable and wearable items into the game. They can be found (for now) on the Merchant at the College of Arms in Owl’s Head (the one with the big banners when you first come through the gates).
    • Admiral’s Clothing Set (5 Pieces including the hat)
    • Benefactor’s, Founder’s, and Royal Founder’s Tunics
    • Blade of the Avatar, Elven, Obsidian Order, Oracle, and Founder’s Cloaks
    • Elven Bow
    • Founder’s and Royal Founder’s Cloth, Leather, Mail, and Plate Armor Sets (4 Pieces each)
    • Founder’s Shield
    • Lord Marshal’s Drinking Horn
    • Riding Clothes Set (4 Pieces)
    • Spyglass
    • Sword of the Ba’Heer
  • 24 New Decorations: We added lots of new home decorations to the game including:
    • Lord Marshal Throne (Benefactor and Founder)
    • Lord Marshal’s Great Hearth
    • Chess Set (Life Size)
    • Wind Generators (two sizes)
    • Stretch Goal Buildings: Stables, Greenhouse, Garden Shed, and Knight’s Tents (3 sizes)
    • Knight’s Table (Benefactor and Founder)
    • Artisan Box of Plenty
    • Baron’s Bed (Benefactor and Founder)
    • Fyndoro’s Tablet of Finding
    • Lord British Birthday Cake
    • Puzzle Box
    • Hot Tub
    • Saddle Stands (with bags and without)
    • Wooden Wall DividerSotA_ChessSet1
  • Explorers Guild Quest: The Grand Tour returns in R11. You can talk to any Tour Guide (one is near where new players appear, in Braemar) to begin the quest. Visiting all the Tour Guides (who are stationed near the new content introduced in this release) will earn a reward for your account. For R11 we have a Carnival Mask Tricorn Hat (very similar to the traditional Venetian Bauta) in celebration of the American holiday of Halloween. This reward can only be unlocked during this release (did someone say rares?). So, be sure to complete the Grand Tour before the release is over! Also for R11 we have made the quest more challenging, so be sure to level up and form a group for some of the more challenging sections (like the Mysterious Swamp).

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

  • Performance: We have only done rudimentary optimizations, and we do not yet have a full suite of performance fallbacks (LODs, etc.). This means the game will be quite slow on older machines, and due to memory usage, might be unstable in certain conditions (like densely decorated areas). With each release, we will be doing further optimizations and adding to our fallbacks to improve performance.
  • Crafting: The crafting system is in the game as a framework, but is still missing some key components like events and enhancement. Skill checks are also not in yet, so results are always 100% successful. Long term, the percentage chance to make items will depend on a myriad of variables and can result in a variety of results including: making the item desired, making a simpler version of the item that will need to be enhanced, or making a damaged version of the item that needs repair.
  • Game Loop: Release 11 is a further iteration on our rudimentary game loop, but it is still very bare bones, even though we now have a rough first pass at player advancement (minus trainers). Expect this to expand with each subsequent release, but it won’t be truly complete until we hit Beta later this year.
  • Advanced Player Housing: There are some advanced features for player housing, including basements and ceiling decorations that are not yet integrated. Expect to see these appear in future releases.
  • Visual Quality: Efforts to improve visual quality are ongoing. We will continue to iterate on these until we have highly competitive visuals.
  • Tutorials: We do not yet have any tutorials to assist players in starting the game. In general, we try to wait as long as possible to implement these so we do not have to constantly redo them as we add new systems or tweak existing ones.

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

Sincerely,
Starr Long
aka Darkstarr
Executive Producer

[Join the Release 11 conversation in the public forums]


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 11!

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. For a limited time, you can get the Adventurer pledge for only $25 with the Alienware Pledge Upgrade Coupon. And don’t forget, any new purchases made from now through Black Friday Weekend receive an additional 15% Bonus (see details below)!


Release 11 Player Instructions

Release 11 Known Issues


The Mad Hermit’s Video Guide to Install and Play on Steam

Check out this video guide the Mad Hermit put together to walk you through the process of redeeming/installing SotA on your Steam account.


BEDLAM Reaches Kickstarter Funding Goals

BEDLAM_KickstarterBEDLAM, a really cool game being Kickstarted by our friends and fellow Austinites at Skyshine Games, reached their funding goal yesterday! Way to go Skyshine!

BEDLAM is a strategic single-player roguelike turn-based RPG set in a post-apocalyptic era, created for the PC and Mac – Inspired by great games like The Banner Saga, FTL and XCOM.

“I loved Heavy Metal growing up. I read the magazine and watched the movie about a zillion times (more than Star Wars actually)”, said Starr Long (SotA Executive Producer). “…[BEDLAM] totally resurrects that Moebius 80s sci-fi look. It is also another great example of the resurrection of turn based RPGs (hallelujah!). So go check out their Kickstarter and let’s make this happen!”

Check out their video and if you like what you see then jump over to the BEDLAM Kickstarter page and pledge your support (only 2 days left)!


timeIsRunningOut6

Only 41 Days left to get your 15% Black Friday Bonus!

SotA_15PercentBonus

If you were thinking of pledging your support to the development of Shroud of the Avatar, upgrading your existing pledge, or purchasing an add-on item, player owned town, or stretch goal item, now’s a great time to do it! From now thru Black Friday Weekend we’ll add an additional 15% bonus to your Store Credit! Here are the details:

For all new purchases (including pledges, pledge upgrades, add-on items, player owned towns, and stretch goal items) between 12:00 am CST October 10, 2014 and 12:00 am CST December 2, 2014, we will add an additional 15% bonus to your Store Credit! You can use your Store Credit toward any additional purchase (including pledges, pledge upgrades, add-on items, and player owned towns).

[NOTE: The 15% bonus is calculated every day at 1:00 pm CST and added to your Store Credit account; Store Credit cannot be applied toward stretch goal items]

For example, if you have the $45 Adventurer pledge and really want to upgrade to the $90 Royal Artisan pledge which includes Episodes 2 and 3 as pledge rewards, you would normally pay the extra $45 for the upgrade. But using the 15% bonus you can immediately save $5. To do so, you would first purchase $40 worth of Store Credit Gift Coupons (via PayPal, Amazon, Bitcoin, or credit card; excluding existing Store Credit) then use the “Convert to Credits” option on your account page to transform the Store Credit Gift Coupons back into Store Credit. Within 24 hours an additional $6 bonus ($40 x 15%) would be applied to your Store Credit account, bringing it up to $46. You would then use $45 of your Store Credit to upgrade to the $90 Royal Artisan pledge.