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Lord British returns to his fantasy RPG roots with Shroud of the Avatar, hearkening back to his innovative early work.
Lord British returns to his fantasy RPG roots with Shroud of the Avatar, hearkening back to his innovative early work.
Lord British returns to his fantasy RPG roots with Shroud of the Avatar, hearkening back to his innovative early work.
22,322 backers pledged $1,919,275 to help bring this project to life.

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Release 26 Instructions

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Greetings Avatars,

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

Thank you for being a loyal backer and follower of Shroud of the Avatar. Release 26 access for all backers at First Responder level and above begins this Thursday, January 28, at 10:30 AM US Central Time (16:30 UTC).

We decided to start 2016 with a BANG by making Release 26 one of our biggest releases to date! The world expanded with five completely new scenes including new segments in the Truth and Courage storylines (along with polish across multiple scenes). We also made over 100 playability tweaks to combat to address responsiveness, playability, and balance. On top of that, we migrated to the new crafting architecture which unlocked a huge swathe of crafting changes and additions.

Yet again, I want to express a huge amount of gratitude to our Dev+ backers who tested all of the items below on the QA server and uncovered lots of bugs. They also provided editorial feedback on this post, so they are a big reason that this post actually matches what is in the game, and that it is easy to read.

While we are getting closer to launch, we are still 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 some 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.

Also, remember that while we are providing new content with each release, our community is working overtime to make new events for you to enjoy. So, be sure to check out a couple of the Community Events Calendars run by our community members (via in-game book or the player run websites Avatars Circle Community Events and Events of the Avatars calendar).

Without further ado, here are the R26 deliverables (the following is a brief excerpt of the full post, which can be found here):

Full Wipe: Once again we are going to make some fundamental changes to item and quest architecture that require us to do a full wipe for Release 26. We apologize for the inconvenience. Please note that if you have been waiting to convert add-ons to store credit, this is your chance to do so as long as you do NOT login once R26 goes live (which automatically claims the items and prevents conversion to credit).

Combat Speed: Melee combat in R26 will be much faster than in previous releases. Magic will be slightly faster but more powerful than before. Damage per second is up on both sides but players will need to pay attention to managing their focus as it is now much easier to completely deplete your focus!

Free Attack Speed and Damage: Auto-attack and a standard free attack will do the same damage per hit but free attack can be done slightly faster. Charged free attacks (click and hold) now charge faster and do slightly more damage than before. With the current settings, well timed free attacks will do about 10% more than auto attack, and very well timed charged attacks will do about 10% more than the uncharged free attacks.

Consider System: Name plates on enemies will now show the level difference between the enemy and the player. Level Difference = Monster Level - Player Level. We are considering moving this to be an active skill in the future.

Resolute: The city of Resolute is the next destination for a new avatar following the Path of Courage. Holding an amulet of testimony from a dying Knight of Norgard, the player finds a fortified town held by his companions in arms and begins to learn about what threatens that noble order, both from within and without. The geothermal vents in the area have been harnessed to generate power using Kobold technology. Knights of Norgard maintaining watch in Resolute proudly display a mighty statue of Grannus, the Titan of Courage, in the main square.Quests in this area will take new avatars on the Path of Courage back to the scene of the Battle of Highvale to assist the Knights in retaking the village.

Aerie: The city of Aerie is situated on the tip of the Longfall Peninsula, surrounded by prairies and swamps and heavily reliant on wind power. Aerie is the City of Truth, and a key stop for players seeking the secret of bonesteel discovered in Blood River. The largest city in the Verdantis plain, and for a long time the hub of commerce and daily life in the region, the people there are most recently concerned of the elven settlers north of the city—some counsel coexistence, some warn of war. In the face of prejudice and fear, truth can take more than one shade… Please note that not all NPCs may be complete for this scene on day one of R26.

North Varisalla Foothills: This adventuring area in the Varisalla foothills was once rich in copper and other ores, but a massive Satyr-run mining operation in the area effectively stripped the land bare over several decades. The miners, primarily Faun slaves, were forced to work daily shifts of 12 hours or more, even after it became apparent that the ore in the area had been over mined. Even after productivity had hit bottom, the Satyrs refused to abandon the mines in the belief that a “motherlode” was still to be found. Over the decades, the entire area became honeycombed with an interconnected network of tunnels. Several years ago, a poorly reinforced mine shaft was constructed very close to an underground lake. The shaft’s wall was breached and the lake water quickly filled it and all connected tunnels. Hundreds of miners and their overseers were killed. The mining operation was finished, but rumors still inspired Kobolds and other scavengers to search the area for the never-found motherlode.

Sanctus Spine: This control point is located on the mountainous border of where South Paladis meets North Paladis and controls traffic flowing between the two regions. Recently, Kobolds have seized control of this important landmark and seek to stop any humans moving through the narrow pass.

Dysborg Ruins (PVP): Rumours say that Dysborg was once a great city of valiant fighters loyal to Lord British and his ancient Virtues. Sadly, Dysborg fell in ancient times. It is not known if Dysborg was overtaken by the Obsidian Cabal that rose 200 years ago, or crumbled on its own, under the corrupting power of the Obsidian Shards still seen within its walls. The Dysborg ruins remain a place of ruin and strife, generally avoided in modern times by those who fear falling prey to its corrupting influence.

Grasslands Template: This newest template is a rolling grassland with a river running through it and has the largest placeable area of any of the templates. Please note that Hometown is now a Grassland Template.

Dynamic Player-Owned Towns: We added another round of dynamic Player Owned Towns to the game. We also fixed issues, converted biomes, added connections, and upgraded sizes of several POTs.

New Crafting System: After several months of preparation we finally changed over to the new architecture which removes the last few blocks we had to greatly expanding crafting, providing for material modifiers, gear naming, components, etc.

Components Tooltips: Now show their exact modifier both before and after being incorporated into gear.

Agriculture: We made some passes through agriculture to clean up some bugs and fix some balance issues.

Chaos Daemon: This master of chaos will assault players with Chaos Bolts, teleports, and even turn their own pets against them. Additionally, he randomly changes his highest Attunement, forcing players to constantly adjust their strategy. Rumors that someone was foolish enough to summon and trap one underneath Solania have yet to be verified…

Performance: For R26 we began taking some baby steps towards our long term performance goals. The focus for this release was primarily improving our worst case areas. This includes heavily populated and decorated cities and also, scenes with a large number of players in small spaces. Much of the work focused on Level of Detail (LOD). LOD is a system where lower polygon count versions of objects are made and dynamically swapped to improve performance. That swapping happens either through quality settings, distance from camera, or performance fallback routines.

Seasonal Content: In support of the Lunar New Year and Valentine’s Day, we created a set of seasonal items for sale in the Add-On Store.

Localization: Various tasks were completed and bugs were fixed to support the ongoing localization effort. All the initial languages are advancing steadily with Spanish still in the lead at over 60% and German steadily catching up with almost 50%

Grand Tour 26: As with each previous release, we will have a Grand Tour. Completing this quest is the ONLY way to gain this rare reward. The hat for this release is a Bowler. Please note that this is the final Grand Tour so we can focus on the storyline going forward.

And Much, Much, More! Click here to see all the cool stuff in Release 26!

POLL: All Content Available in Offline Mode?

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Greetings Fellow Avatars!

Back in December, Starr Long (aka Darkstarr), posted a survey in the SotA Dev+ Forums about making all Add-On Store items and Pledge Rewards available to be earned or crafted in-game in Single Player Offline Mode. We believe this will greatly increase the quality and value of the basic game experience in single player offline mode. 

There are currently 91% "Yes" votes out of the 580 responses from the Dev+ poll. Based on feedback in that thread, we feel it is important to poll our entire backer community. Please follow this link to the Public Forum Survey post and cast your vote.

Here is the full content of Starr's public forum survey post:

POLL: All Content Available in Offline Mode?

Back in February 2015 I posted about some unique items related to Single Player Offline. Item #4 of that post stated the following:

  • Content: There are a few items that we are not going to sell in game in Online mode including the Castle and Keep sized lots. However we do plan to make those available in Offline mode along with a handful of other items yet to be finalized.

After reading about how negatively many backers (and external folks as well) view our Pledge structure and Add On Store we thought a powerful gesture would be to make ALL content available in Offline mode including ALL add on store items and pledge rewards. Players would still have to earn enough gold to purchase them or gather enough resources to make them in game, unless they purchased them which in that case they would start the game with them just like they do now.

Our only concern is that backers who did pay for the content might feel upset that content they believed exclusive was available to any player (even if only in offline mode).

Last month I started a poll in Dev+ to get some initial reaction from the group with the "most to lose". That poll is currently standing at over 90% positive, so at the request of several Dev+ backers we have decided to expand the poll to ALL our backers (here). Thank you in advance for participating.

Notes:

  • Earned/Crafted: As mentioned above all these item will have to be crafted or purchased with gold. The bigger items like LotM house will only be affordable after many, many hours of play. You will NOT just get them all at the start, unless you purchased them. That is the purchase value in offline: you start with items everyone else has to earn.
  • Offline Firewalled: Offline mode has ZERO connectivity to online modes. Nothing can move between the two modes.
  • Online only items: Some items have functionality that is only useful in online mode (ex. Fyndoro's Tablet, Noble Discourse Orb, etc.). In most cases these items will be reduced to non-functional decorations but in a few cases we will try to make an offline function.
  • Hacking: In Offline mode hackers will create mods that unlock all the content anyway

Release 25 Instructions

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Greetings Avatars,

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

Thank you for being a loyal backer and follower of Shroud of the Avatar. Release 25 access for all backers at First Responder level and above begins this Thursday, December 17, at 10:30 AM US Central Time (16:30 UTC).

As 2015 comes to a close with our final release of the year, we are making major strides forward and gaining more momentum every release. The Story continues to march across the map with multiple new scenes every release. Agriculture completes the final major missing component for Crafting.

Increases with multiple dye options, and PVP expands to include Guild Warfare. We are also making steady progress with Localization thanks to our player translators.

While there is still much work left to do on areas such as performance, service hardening, game balance, and a handful of missing features, we feel pleased with the progress we are making. Thank you for helping us not just progress, but progress the right way. Your feedback and guidance is helping us make the game we all want to play. So ring in the New Year by playing Release 25 and congratulate yourself (not us!) on a job well done!

Yet again, I want to express a huge amount of gratitude to our Dev+ backers who tested all of the items below on the QA server and uncovered lots of bugs. They also provided editorial feedback on this post, so they are a big reason that this post actually matches what is in the game, and that it is easy to read.

Also, remember that while we are providing new content with each release, our community is working overtime to make new events for you to enjoy. So, be sure to check out a couple of the Community Events Calendars run by our community members (via in-game book or the player run websites Avatars Circle Community Events and Events of the Avatars calendar).

Without further ado, here are the R25 deliverables:

 
  • Hilt Fortress: Within the Blackblade Mountains, between South Paladis to the west and Midmaer to the east, is the narrow cleft of Nightshade Pass. At its center, the winding pass opens up into a bowl-shaped canyon in which rests a shimmering lake fed by icy water flowing down from glaciers hidden higher in the mountains to the north. On the south end of this valley can be seen the tall volcanic mountain of Hilt that gives this region its name. It's on the north end of the canyon, however, that the area's most interesting feature can be found. It is now over 200 years ago (during the time depicted in the Blade of the Avatar book) that the Obsidian general Karpasic ordered the building of the fortress at Hilt. It was created as a conceit for the glory of the Obsidian military power... something which didn't please the Cabal of the Obsidian Sorcerers. Furthermore, according to legend, it was where the military discovered, deep below the earth, the wondrous Obsidian Forge. During its time, however, the excuse of its building was to further fortify and secure Nightshade Pass itself, since enemy armies could not easily travel through the valley pass without using the bridged ford located between the lower walls of the fortress, exposing them to fire from soldiers and mages stationed on the battlements above. These days, 200 years after the fall of the Obsidians, the abandoned fortress has been overrun by wild animals and even darker creatures that either wish to make a lair of this ancient edifice, seek the treasure buried within, or desire the power offered by the Obsidian Forge (if the ancient legends hold any truth). But travelers beware! Bandits haunt the shadowed trails of Nightshade Pass, trolls and kobolds have been seen wandering the ruins, the undead of the ancient armies poses a constant threat, and the terrible might of the volcanic mountain of Hilt is a constant reminder of the elemental fury of nature itself. NOTE: In R25, this scene is in and includes creatures to fight but the Obsidian Forge is not yet functioning.
  • South Varisalla Foothills: For centuries, the Varisalla Mountain Range has been a highly spiritual place. A large temple resides in the foothills that was once a beautiful retreat, dutifully managed by its elven caretakers. For generations, the temple was a home of thoughtful contemplation for scholars and pilgrims of all races. Decades ago, internal strife among the elves came to the center. Peaceful elves quarreled with their warmongering brothers. Disharmony turned to violent conflict, which eventually erupted into a brutal civil war. The center was overrun by the warmongering elves, who slaughtered every other temple resident in a virtually one-sided battle. The victors vandalized the structures and looted or destroyed the intellectual and spiritual treasures within. The institution never recovered. There are rumors that a handful of scholars escaped with precious tomes and works of art and hid them in the hills before being caught and killed. Scavengers still remain in the area, including human freebooters and warmongering elves.
  • North Naryad Pinelands: For as long as anyone can remember, the Pinelands have been the primary source of lumber for Harvest and other nearby communities. Scores of dedicated workers have enjoyed good, fulfilling lives among the trees...until recently. A lumber company took a first step toward exploring mining opportunities in the area and accidentally released something horrible. It's not yet clear what's happened, but all the workers are dead or missing and bandits are already picking through the now-abandoned operation.
  • Agriculture System: Players can now plant seeds, nurture them, and harvest resources from them on player properties in this first iteration of the Agriculture System. Public Farms and Gardens will hopefully appear in Release 26, so this will not be restricted to only player properties in the long term. Plants go through multiple stages (seedling, immature plant with no produce, mature plant with produce) and must be watered (and fertilized in a future release). Current plants take 1 to 3 days to mature.
  • Dye Recipes: There are now 31 different dye colors that players can craft at the Tanning crafting station. Please note that we do not yet have all the proper ingredients in (especially for the warmer colors which historically used roses) so, for now they are using placeholders that correspond to the color (ex. bananas for yellows).
  • Guild Warfare: Guild Leaders can now declare war against another guild by delivering a Guild War Challenge to another guild leader. If the other guild leader accepts, the two guilds are now at war and all guild members are flagged "Open PVP" for the duration of the war. The guild leader can set that duration to be between one to ten days. At the end of the war, the guild with the best kills vs. deaths ratio wins the war. The winner receives an in-game decorative plaque that commemorates the war. Long term, the system will expand to include enforced minimum guild size, cost for challenge payable by both guilds, and rewards with game functions.
  • Grand Tour 25: As with each release, we will have a Grand Tour. Completing this quest is the ONLY way to gain this rare reward. The hat for this release is a fur hat.

And Much, Much, More! Click here to see all the cool stuff in Release 25!

Release 23 Instructions

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

Thank you for being a loyal backer and follower of Shroud of the Avatar. Release 23 access for all backers at First Responder level and above begins this Thursday, October 29, at 10:30 AM US Central Time (16:30 UTC).

Release 23 is all about moving, literally and figuratively. In fact we literally packed up and moved our entire office during the release! Thanks to our amazing community though, we did not do it alone, and minus the packing, unpacking, and setup it only took us three hours to relocate everything.

When we announced we were going to save backer money and move ourselves we had no idea the response we would get from all of you. I keep thinking I will start becoming used to what an incredible community we have and then they remind me again with something like this. We are so grateful to have this community supporting us in all ways.

The move almost overshadowed my favorite holiday: Halloween! For as long as I can remember I could not wait to dress up in costume and run around our neighborhood. I actually did not care as much about the candy as I did the pretending that was involved.

I think many of us on the team have that same love of the holiday and as promised, we delivered a plethora of spooky content. As we have done in the last few releases, we are trying to better balance how much content we put in the add on store versus in the game as craftable goods. Because we are still actively raising funds, we still lean heavily towards the add on store but we are making more effort to always try to include at least one item of the type we are selling inside the game.

We continued the work of the last few releases on massive changes to combat in an effort to make it more balanced, playable, and interesting. The biggest change is an entirely new combat tree that players have been asking for; Subterfuge! This tree will eventually encompass a well rounded set of rogue-ish skills that mixes new skills (Poison Weapon) along with moving skills from other trees (Silent Movement). We also did a complete rebalance and recalculation of how armor works and completely revamped how resistances work with something we call Attunement. Finally, we continued to expand my favorite magic tree: Chaos!

Woodsman types will be pleased to see expansions of Fishing and Taming. Taming has been restructured to support having an array of tamed creatures at your disposal. This also paves the way for an economy to be built up around the buying and selling of tamed creatures. Fishing has new skills and fishing hotspots along with improved visuals.

All the work with Fishing caused us to look at our current water more than we wanted to and it made us realize that we really, really needed to upgrade it. For this release, we started experimenting with a new system and implemented it in a few island scenes. We hope to move completely over to this new system eventually. We also upgraded to Unity 5.2 which fixes a bunch of very ugly visual issues.

Player homes and towns will certainly be more interesting now that players can finally place their servants, house pets, and town NPCs (guards, merchants, bankers, etc.). Players can also spice up their homes with interactive objects like the phonograph (which now plays wax cylinders of game music) and teletypes (which plays Richard’s very first game).

Last but not least, story continues to leap forward with another single player starting scene, more scenes in the truth and courage quest lines, and the addition of the enslaved fauns (along with their parasitic/symbiotic relationship to their Satyr masters).

I want to express a huge amount of gratitude to our Dev+ backers who tested all of the below on the QA server and found lots of bugs. They also provided editorial feedback on this post so they are a big reason that this post actually matches what is in the game and that it is easy to read.

While we are getting closer to launch, we are still 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 some 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.

Also, remember that while we are providing new content with each release, our community is working overtime to make new events for you to enjoy. So, be sure to check out a couple of the Community Events Calendars run by our community members (via in-game book or the player run websites Avatars Circle Community Events and Events of the Avatars calendar).

Without further ado, here are the R23 deliverables.

RELEASE 23, October 29, 2015

  • Full Wipe: We are going to make some fundamental changes to item architecture that require us to do a full wipe for Release 23. We apologize for the inconvenience. Please note that if you have been waiting to melt down add-ons, this is your chance to do so as long as you do NOT login once R23 goes live (which automatically claims the items and prevents melt down).
  • Halloween Content: Prepare for an explosion of spooky stuff! Masks, decorations, statues... the works!
  • Subterfuge Skill Tree (Combat): The new Subterfuge tree is comprised of new skills and appropriate skills relocated from other combat schools where they made less sense.

And Much, Much, More! Click here to see all the cool stuff in Release 23!

Release 22 Instructions

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

Thank you for being a loyal backer and follower of Shroud of the Avatar. Release 22 access for all backers at First Responder level and above (as well as DragonCon attendees) begins this Thursday, September 24, at 10:30 AM Central Time (16:30 UTC).

Release 22 feels like a turning point for us. We are starting to gain real momentum on being able to tell the story through new scenes added each release. This release in particular is important for the story because one of those new scenes is the Isle of Storms—our homage to the beloved starting experiences of Ultimas, where questions answered determine your starting path.

We are also expanding the breadth of our sandbox experience with new ways for players to engage with the world (fishing) and each other (musical instruments and emote teaching). This expansion in two axes is exemplary of the kind of game we are trying to make, while at the same time very illustrative of how challenging it is to do so.

We also continue to remain dedicated to being responsive to all of your feedback and our analysis of gameplay data. We will continue to make iterative changes to the game to make it better, even if it costs us time. In Release 21, that dedication led us to move to a use-based advancement system. In Release 22, we finish the bulk of the work to complete that change-over. Going forward, we can now balance the game based completely on use-based advancement; no more lingering hidden player levels to hinder this progress. That responsiveness also led us to pull in PVP Loot and Ransom this release, because we felt that the PVP experience was not even close to where it needed to be and it had been too many releases since we had expanded PVP play in any meaningful way.

Release 22 also brings us to the culmination of this entire quarter’s creature work. Many of you may remember that we first began with the Troll in Release 20, trying to see how big we could make creatures and how different we could make the experience of fighting large-scale enemies. This led us to solve technical challenges, like them turning around properly and their head tracking their current target, which in-turn led us to solve turning and head tracking. It also brought us cool features like trajectory-based knockback, allowing these big creatures to knock us off tall things (to better soften us up before eating). In Release 21, we started solving problems around combat with flying creatures with the Phoenix. Now we come to Release 22, where all that learning combines into our largest and most complex creature yet… the Dragon! We still have more polish on these large creatures to get them to the quality standard we all want, but they are already inspiring to see and fight.

We also were finally able to make some time for a round of optimizations that have greatly increased performance in our worst areas. Some say Ardoris is even playable! We plan to get even more performance improvements in Release 23, when we hope to upgrade to a newer version of Unity 5. Speaking of Release 23, tomorrow I will be posting our Fourth Quarter Schedule Update as usual. It will show the roadmap for the next three releases after Release 22 so everyone can see how we plan to finish out 2015 (spoiler: we don’t finish the game).

I want to express a huge amount of gratitude to our Dev+ backers who tested all of the below on the QA server and found lots of bugs. They also provided editorial feedback on this post so they are a big reason that this post actually matches what is in the game and that it is easy to read.

While we are getting closer to launch, we are still 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 some 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.

 Also, remember that while we are providing new content with each release, our community is working overtime to make new events for you to enjoy. So, be sure to check out a couple of the Community Events Calendars run by our community members (via in-game book or the player run websites Avatars Circle Community Events and Events of the Avatars calendar).

Without further ado, here are the R22 deliverables.

Maps

  • Isle of Storms: Long ago, incredible magical forces crafted this island on shards of the shattered moons where it still floats high above New Britannia. Arabella greets new avatars coming from Earth and guides them with a series of questions that will determine which path they start down: Truth, Love, or Courage. These paths not only determine which plot thread you begin with, they also determine what your starting abilities are and what equipment you have. Building this scene required some new solutions for terrain to allow us to show the island floating in space.
  •  Blood River Massacre: This single-player map is the aftermath of the massacre of a peaceful Elven village. It is the first step in the Truth quest line. Please note that because we do not yet have the rest of this quest line, nor the map areas around it, we are temporarily sending all players to Soltown upon completion of this scene. Also note that this map does not yet contain any tutorial content but that will come in Release 23.
  • Blood River Settlement: When players return to the Blood River map later in the game, they find that native wildlife and bandits have taken over the former thriving settlement, despite periodic attempts by the Vertas elves to reclaim it.

Creatures

  • Dragon: Burninating is finally happening! Dragons can be seen flying over several scenes and rumors abound of players being ambushed in the plains of Drachvald or atop the mesas in the Barrens. The dragon is our first attempt to have a creature that freely moves between ground and aerial combat, and has a complex set of abilities—including a flame breath weapon that leaves persistent fires on the ground, tail sweep, bite, and wing slap. The Dragon takes advantage of the flying tech we used to get the Phoenix airborne as well as the trajectory based knockback tech and head tracking we created for the Troll. Over time, we intend to make these the premier creatures to fight in-game and incorporate whatever can be scavenged from their remains into the higher end items of the crafting system. For now, please help us test fighting the second of our very large creatures.
  • Ravens: The black and white raven pets can now be summoned in the game.
  • Troll Polish: We did a pass polishing the Troll, including textures for the body, hands, and feet. We also rebuilt the mouth (including teeth) and retextured the armor (including the Bear skin). We also improved and added visual effects.
  • Phoenix Polish: The Phoenix now uses the same head tracking tech as the troll and uses the updated flight model we created for the Dragon. It also benefited from a visual effects polish pass.
  • Undead Resurrection Polish: Undead resurrection behavior is now a percent chance based (up to a limit of 3) versus a hardcoded number of times they will revive.

 Musical Instruments

  • Musical Instruments via ABC/MML: Players can now play music in the game using the ABC and MML formats. For now, players can add files to the Songs directory and then play them. Long term we plan to provide an in-game interface for file management and song selection.
  • Synchronized Play: Players in a party can play synchronized songs together.
  • Lute: The lute represents our first handheld instrument and there are two versions in the game: Iolo’s Lute (pledge reward) and the Lute (crafted in game). Over time we plan to expand the handheld instrument list to include flutes, harps, lyres, tambor drums, triangles, cowbells, coconuts, and more.
  • Piano: The piano is our first example of large stationary instruments that can be played and there are two versions in the game: Benefactor’s Piano (pledge reward) and the Piano (crafted in game). Over time, we plan to expand the list of these instruments to include harpsichords, standup bass, kettle drums, harps, and more.

 Fishing

  • In R22, Fishing will work in any area where the water is deep enough to swim (it is not node based like other harvesting). For now, all water is the same (no salt vs. freshwater) and shallow water (e.g. swamps) cannot be fished in, but more water types and associated fish types will get added in later releases. In R22, there will be three fish types and at least one cooking recipe for each (including Butchery recipes to clean and filet the fish as well as crafting trophy decorations). Long term, we have tons of features and modifiers that we will be adding to fishing, such as seasons, time of day, hot spots, reeling, fish sizes, leader boards, etc. Please note we don’t yet have any visual effects for fishing so you won’t see the line going into the water or fish being retrieved.

Crafting

  • Specialized Repair Kits: There are now three different types of repair kits linked to the appropriate crafting stations: tailoring, smithing, and carpentry. For R22 generic repair kits will continue to function but we will remove them in R23.
  • Refining and Production Skills: Each type of Refining or Production type has at least one skill now. We will expand this over time.
  • New Recipes: We added a variety of new recipes to the game, including Rough Stone Building Blocks, Fishing Poles, Lute, Piano, Coconut Bra, Trophy Fish, Specialized Repair Kits, & Gravestones.

Player Owned Towns

We added another round of dynamic Player Owned Towns to the game, as well as fixed issues and upgraded sizes of several PoTs.

 Emotes

  • Emote Teaching: There are now multiple types of emotes including innate (emotes that everyone knows), teachable (these emotes can be taught but cannot be retaught by the recipient) and re-teachable (these emotes can be taught and retaught endlessly). For example, Pledge Reward emotes are Teachable but not Re-Teachable.
  • Starting Emotes: Players will now start with all innate emotes and any emotes that are part of their pledge rewards. All other emotes must be learned.
  • Emote Quests: Players can learn various emotes from characters in the game by performing various tasks. Try to guess who teaches the fine art of nose picking!

PVP

  • The Oracle’s Price: PVP finally has some real risk! Dead players can be looted! Looted items include gruesome trophies (skulls, jawbones, etc.) and gear. Players will have an opportunity to pay a ransom to get their loot back.

Combat / Skills Balance

  • All Skills Now Updated for Use-Based System: All skills should now factor in the player’s skill level in one or more ways. A few are still missing accurate tool tips to convey the changes as they level up. 
  • All Magic Now Factors in Intelligence: In addition to using skill level, magic now uses intelligence for most damage calculations. NOTE: This was in all builds up to R20, but was off for R21.
  • Average Spell Damage Increase: Spell damages have been given a balance pass factoring in more than 20 variables and overall should do more damage than in R21. Many also have had their focus cost to be more in line with their increases.
  • Spells Can Now Critical: All damage dealing spells now have a chance for critical success damage again.
  • Damage Over Time: We fixed the issues with DoTs that were affecting skills like Flame Fist, Fireball, and Rend.
  • Knockbacks: If successful, any skill invoking knockback will now always move the target. Before, if a character got stunned, it did not move.
  • Knockdown: Knockdown has been re-enabled and and is now resistable like Stun effects.
  • Stillness Buff: The Stillness buff now only applies to magic spells, not combat skills.
  • Camera Facing: Camera Facing is now only locked to targeting if Free Attack is enabled.  
  • Elementals: Summoned Elementals now use Focus Drain instead of losing health (undead still lose health when summoned).
  • Sneak Attack: When players can execute this skill on a target from behind while stealthed, it will do three times normal damage attack with a high critical chance.
  • Vanish and Shadow Form: These skills have been changed so they can be used while in combat and also can be cast on party members.
  • Experience Bar: This has now returned so players can see how full their Adventuring and Producing XP pools are. Since this is one of the main factors that determines speed of skill gain, this visual feedback is critical.
  • Rend: Rend received a major balance pass and should now be better balanced with other melee attacks. It also now does a small amount of damage instantly.
  • Quad Slash: Focus cost has been increased to 20, but damage has been increased significantly.
  • Trip: This is now an active attack that has an instant chance to knockdown the target instead of attempting a trip on the next attack.
  • Clumsy / Air’s Embrace / Enfeeblement / Strength of Earth / Imbecile Enchantment / Enlightenment: The amount of these skills increase (or decrease) stats has been changed from a flat 10 to a new formula that factors in skill level (10 + Skill Level / 10)
  • Sympathy of Stone: This skill now gives a bonus to the maximum percentage of a hit that can be stopped by defenses.
  • Attunement with Earth & Deflection: Both skills have had their bonuses cut in half.
  • Light: Once again castable on others in your party.
  • Explosive Potion: Now has a use time of 2 seconds instead of instant.
  • Deflection: This heavy armor skill was refactored to provide a boost to the max percentage of damage that can be stopped by defenses. This won’t help much on big hits but will help with smaller hits!
  • Aimed Shot / Blinding Shot / Coup De Grace / Crushing Blow: Focus cost approximately doubled for all these skills 
  • Discharge: Average damage for this Air Magic spell was increased by 50%.
  • Glyph Speed: For those who play with the dealt system, the base dealing speed has been reduced from 2.0 to 1.4 seconds.
  • Weapon Range Improvements: Most weapons have had their weapon ranges increased slightly. Daggers received the largest range bump and should be useable again without standing halfway inside of your target.
  • Searing Ray: In addition to a damage boost, this Sun Magic spell also does additional damage during the day as well as bonus damage to undead!
  • Reveal Hidden: With the arrival of more stealth elements to the game, this skill now has an increased range that factors in skill level (5 + Skill Level / 10 meters). So a player with a 40 skill will reveal all within 9 meters (5 + 40 / 10)

New Skills

  • Deflection Skill (Heavy Armor): Innate skill that increases the percentage of damage that armor stops. 
  • Concentration Skill (Taming): This skill reduces the amount of focus drained by summoned pets. 
  • Camouflage Skill (Light Armor): This skill allows players in Light Armor to go into Stealth mode while standing still. Movement breaks the stealth. This can be used in combat. 
  • Silent Movement Skill (Light Armor): This skill allows players wearing Light Armor to enter Stealth mode and move about for a limited amount of time. This can be used in combat.

Make A Difference

We have added another charitable cause to our Make A Difference Store: Autism Awareness. As with our work with Water.org, 50% of all revenue (after costs) goes to two Autism charities. This promotion has been a cooperative effort with SpeedTree who created a SpeedTree with puzzle shaped leaves. Purchasable items include: 

  • Puzzle Pattern Cloak 
  • Puzzle Tree Cloak 
  • Puzzle Leaf Tree 6-Pack home decoration

Grand Tour 22

As with each release, we will have a Grand Tour. Completing this quest is the ONLY way to gain this rare reward. The “hat” for this release is actually a pair of goggles.

And Much, Much, More! Click here to see all the cool stuff in Release 22!