Thank you for being a loyal backer and follower of Shroud of the Avatar. Release 48 access for all Early Access backers begins this Thursday, November 16, at 10:30 AM US Central Daylight Time (15:30 UTC).
NOTE: The last two releases of the year are much earlier in the months than normal due to the holidays (Thanksgiving and Christmas). However despite the brevity of this release you will see that we still managed to get a huge amount of work done!
Release 48 is the third release in which we focused on our Top 10 Priorities for Launch. We continued to make strong progress on load time reductions, story polish, and creation of new scenes. We also created more side quests and tons of other new content, including virtue armor and holiday content.
Load Times: This was the third release in which we worked on reducing load times. We updated to the latest version of Unity (2017.2), which resulted in an overall reduction in load times across all scenes by approximately 5 seconds! Our latest load time tests (on a slightly better than minimum spec machine) put most scenes at or below our 15 second goal for our target spec machine. However, big cities and large adventure scenes are still above 20 seconds, so we will continue to work on optimizations until we get those scenes down to 15 seconds as well.
Volumetric Lighting: We have upgraded our lighting model this release to “Volumetric Lighting”, which lends depth to the environmental lighting by simulating the scatter of light as it passes through particulates in the air (such as dust, smoke, or humidity), and allows the viewer to see beams of light shining through the environment (“crepuscular rays”).
Worldbuilding: Once again, a huge amount of work went into worldbuilding and scene polish this release. Three new low-level mines were added to the game, multi-entrance locations were added to a ton of additional scenes, and four scenes got polish passes, including Solace Bridge Outskirts.
Story Polish and Side Quests: We made various tweaks to the story along all four paths (Truth, Love, Courage, and Oracle). We also continued adding more side quests across the game, including quests that grant pieces of the new virtue armor.
Artifact Changes and Better Loot: Artifacts can now be enchanted and masterworked, but must also be repaired using ancient essences that can only be salvaged from other artifacts! We also continued adding unique components that can be salvaged from gear found on enemies.
Audio Polish: Our new sound designer has been focused on the Oracle, Isle of Storms and footsteps to really improve the opening audio experience of the game and change the tone of the Oracle and her minions to be much less threatening.
For all the details, please read the entire Instructions and Updates Notes post, as well as the linked Instructions and Known Issues within the post to ensure a smooth update to your game client.
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. Be sure to check out a couple of the event calendars run by our community members.
Thank you again for your continued support. This is truly the most amazing community we have ever worked with, and we are proud to be on this journey with you!