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

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

The Mad Hermit’s Lay of the Land Video

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Geothermal Steam Catchers

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Pickaxe of Prosperity

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

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

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

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

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

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

Project Update #107 Recap

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

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

Relics by Rild

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


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

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

Ye Olde Add-On Store

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

Player Owned Town

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

We’d Love Your Comments

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

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