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.