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

SotA_HappyHolidays

Happy Holidays!

 

From the Shroud of the Avatar Team

SotA_Team_tan_background_2014.09.10


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


Greetings Fellow Avatars!

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

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

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

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

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

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

Stones_CoverSong_Recap


Scepter of Dread Artifact

SotA_ScepterDread

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


First Quarter 2015 Schedule Update

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

Darkstarr

Greetings Avatars,

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

Our goal continues to be to deliver our backers content each and every month so that we can get feedback, and use it to iterate improvements. This has already paid off, with additional game features like jumping and swimming, as well as improvements to systems like crafting, conversations, and combat. Meeting that monthly goal is our highest priority, but we require flexibility in our deliverables to meet that goal. As you have seen in previous releases, sometimes we push things out, but we also often pull new things in.

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

RELEASE 14, January 29, 2015

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

RELEASE 15, February 26, 2015:

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

RELEASE 16, March 26, 2015

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

We continue to be incredibly thankful for the support we receive from this amazing community. While the funding you provide makes all of this possible, it pales in comparison with the faith you have in us, the feedback you provide us, and the content you are making for everyone to enjoy. We are humbly grateful, and we cannot wait to see you again in New Britannia!

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

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

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

Our strategy over the next few months is to provide you with focused and iterative releases of content. Your feedback during these releases will be critical to making the final product the best it can be, and we appreciate that you are all so willing to devote your time to helping us. With each release, we will have specific tests we will ask you all to make. As we get closer, we will send instructions on how to download, install, report bugs, etc. After each release we will review the results and reevaluate the plan including the duration of availability of each release. Please note that game data will be wiped periodically during early access.

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

Sincerely,
Starr Long
Executive Producer
Shroud of the Avatar


$5 for $5 Holiday Bonus

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

SotA_StoreCredit_Coupon_5_small

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


In-game Weekend Community Events

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

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

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

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


The R13 Grand Tour QuestSotA_R13_GrandTourReward

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

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


Steam_logo

Steam Access Keys Available for All SotA Backers

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

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

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


Holiday Specials

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

SotA_2013_Holiday_Bundle


Last Chance Exclusives

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

The Smithing Hammer of Prosperity

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

SotA_Hammer_Prosperity

 

Village Pavilion

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

SotA_Village_Pavillion_exterior1

 

Barn 2-Story Village Home

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

SotA_Barn_Village_home_exterior1

 


How to Cancel Monthly Payment Plans

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

SotA_MonthlyPaymentsCancel

 


Recruitment Bonus Allocation Expiration

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

SotA_RecruitBonusUI_Expiration


Upcoming Events

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

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

Greetings Fellow Avatars!

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

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

SotA_EarthElemental_R13

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


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


Play Release 13 Now and Get Your Grand Tour Yule Hat

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

Release 13 Player Instructions

Release 13 Known Issues


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

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


R13 Patch Notes

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

December 19, 2014

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

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

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

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

December 18, 2014

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

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

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

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

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


$5 for $5 Holiday Bonus

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

SotA_StoreCredit_Coupon_5_small

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


SotA Community is Rockin’ It!

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

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

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

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

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

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

– Lord British

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


In-game Weekend Community Events

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

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

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

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


Steam_logo

Steam Access Keys Available for All SotA Backers

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

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

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


Holiday Specials

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

SotA_2013_Holiday_Bundle


Last Chance Exclusives

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

The Smelting Tongs of Prosperity

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

 

Blue Tile Roof 2-Story Row House

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

SotA_BlueTileRoof_2Story_Row_home_small

 

Blue Tile Roof 3-Story Row House

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

 


How to Cancel Monthly Payment Plans

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

SotA_MonthlyPaymentsCancel

 


Recruitment Bonus Allocation Expiration

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

SotA_RecruitBonusUI_Expiration


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This Week In the News

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


Upcoming Events

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

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

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

Greetings Fellow Avatars!

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

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

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

SotA_R12_GrandTour_PilgrimHat_caption

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

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

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

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

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

SotA Community is Rockin’ It!

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

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

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

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

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

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

– Lord British

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

Release 12 In-game Weekend Community Events

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

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

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

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

SotA Merchandise Available at Relics by Rild

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

Steam_logo

Steam Access Keys Available for All SotA Backers

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

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

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

Holiday Specials

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

Last Chance Exclusives

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

Brindle Greyhound

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

Oracle Statue Head

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

How to Cancel Monthly Payment Plans

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

Recruitment Bonus Allocation Expiration

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

 

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

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

Greetings Fellow Avatars!

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

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

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

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

Steam_logoSteam Access Keys Available for All SotA Backers

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Order of New Britannian Empire

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

Royal Warrant

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Obsidian Cloak

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