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