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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 28 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 28 access for all backers at First Responder level and above begins this Thursday, March 31, at 10:30 AM US Central Daylight Time (15:30 UTC). 

Release 28 represents a huge expansion of the Novian landmass with 42 new scenes appearing in seven different regions. Those scenes include adventuring areas, towns, mines, and dungeons. The story continues to advance, as well, with the underground areas of Malice and Skrekk representing pivotal moments in the Love and Courage storylines. Malice and Skrekk also represent the latest in a string of visually competitive environments. In Release 28, we also took the first of many steps to make our characters as comparable as our environments by completely overhauling our male character. 

In addition, Release 28 contains a handful of general improvements to quality of life, such as increasing the top end of the Brightness slider to help those of you with darker monitors. You will notice even more of these improvements, especially in crafting. The Recipe Book has bigger and darker fonts, as well as a new table of contents with sub categories. We also introduced Bulk Crafting and Bulk Salvage.

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 R28 deliverables: 

WARNING: STORY SPOILERS IN THIS SECTION! Some players requested that we warn you that you may want to skip the story section of the update if you want the story to remain a complete mystery before you play the game. 

The Shores of Malice and Malice: This ancient underground cavern on the shores of Stormwater Lake has long been used to inter the dead, but now the dead march forth from it. The Path of Love has led you to this final confrontation with the undead legions you have been fighting against ever since your arrival in Solace Bridge. A one-player instance, adventurers who brave the halls of Malice will discover much about their enemies… and their friends. Something, or someone is being held in its depths, and that threatens Ardoris and all of Novia  – can you discover what secrets the dead hide?

Skrekk and The Caverns of Skrekk: While the Courage storyline does not yet take you to the kingdom of the Kobolds you can still visit this underground mechanical marvel in northwest Norgard. The Kobolds are the most adventuresome when it comes to technology in Novia and are the source of almost every advancement we see in the land today. These advancements have only accelerated with the onslaught of Outlanders and it is only the constant hostilities between humans and Kobolds that prevent true leaps forward in matters of science and industry. Humans brave enough to venture into the depths of Skrekk will be met with hatred and contempt but rewarded with incredible sights. The Caverns of Skrekk is a one-player instance and though you can talk to a few kobolds that are not immediately trying to kill you, in general the story content is not yet implemented for this scene.

The Rise: This new dungeon is the largest dungeon to date. The Rise is the first of the main hubs in the underworld and connects multiple dungeon maps. While simple passage through the massive dungeon for travel purposes only takes a few minutes once mastered, those fearless adventurers brave enough to take a deeper dive will find multiple hours of exploration ahead of them. The Rise is NOT for the unskilled adventurer, the faint of heart, or those who lose their way easily. It includes seemingly endless passages, dozens of chambers, multiple skill-based challenges, a half-dozen unique player experiences, and several encounters targeted at groups of skilled players. The Rise is old school, hardcore dungeon crawling at its finest. Bring friends you trust, plenty of supplies, and maybe even some graph paper!

New Male Avatar: As many of you saw in a recent weekly update and Dev+ forum post, we have done a complete overhaul of the male avatar starting with the mesh and texture. We are still doing some final tweaks on the face, and next steps will be to polish all the armor and clothing. Once that is done, we will move on to polish and expansion of the hair styles. We will then repeat the entire process for the female character.

Bulk Crafting and Station Information UI: Crafters can now Craft and/or Salvage multiple items at once. We also added a new window to the crafting stations to deliver information that includs success chance, critical chance, and whether placed items represent an unlearned recipe (which should greatly assist with experimental learning of recipes).

And Much More! Click here for the complete R28 Instructions

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!