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

Greetings Fellow Avatars!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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


SotA at CES Next Week

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

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


Brightbone Pass

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

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Shardfall Biome

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

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

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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.

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Dragon Pass

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

SotA Forgotten Desert

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

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In-game Weekend Community Events

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

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

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

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


The R13 Grand Tour QuestSotA_R13_GrandTourReward

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

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


Last Chance Exclusives

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

The Skinning Knife of Prosperity

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

 

Wood & Plaster 3-Story Row House (digital)

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

 

Wood & Plaster 2-Story with Front Porch Town Home

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

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Only 4 Days Left for Holiday Specials

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

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Steam Access Keys Available for All SotA Backers

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

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

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


How to Cancel Monthly Payment Plans

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

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Upcoming Events

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

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