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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 48 Instructions

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Greetings Avatars,    

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!

Sincerely,  

Starr Long
aka Darkstarr
Executive Producer

Release 47 Instructions

18 likes

Greetings Avatars,

Thank you for being a loyal backer and follower of Shroud of the Avatar. Release 47 access for all Early Access backers begins this Thursday, October 26, at 10:30 AM US Central Daylight Time (15:30 UTC).

 

Release 47 is the second 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 scene rebuilding. We also created more side quests and tons of other new content, including a whole new set of Make a Difference items.

Load Times: This was the second release where we focused much of our engineering time on reducing load times. As a result, we are now much closer to our goal of 15 seconds or less for scene loads. The scene with the longest load time, Brittany Alleys, went from 47 seconds to 19 seconds (on a slightly better than minimum spec machine that we use to test internally). We are going to continue working on optimization next release to further reduce load times.  

Worldbuilding: Once again, a huge amount of work went into worldbuilding and scene polish this release. Ten different scenes were either rebuilt, polished, or adjusted this release, including a polish pass on Highvale Outskirts.

 

Story Polish and Side Quests: We focused our story polish mainly on the final dialogue between the Avatar (you, the player), the Oracle, and Arabella. We also did some work along the Path of Courage and added several more side quests to the game, including the classic Britannian “Wanna buy a duck?”  

More and Better Loot: We continued making improvements to loot by adding more artifacts, improving the power of Tier 2 components, and adding new unique and named components. Additionally, we improved the chances of salvaging patterns from gear.  

Make a Difference Content: In accordance with Portalarium’s founding purpose to promote good will and make a positive difference in the world, we are excited to add more “Make a Difference” charity items to our store as a channel through which our community of backers can contribute to causes that they support. In Release 47, we added a Kobold Indoor Toilet for Water.org’s International Toilet Day, as well as a whole suite of hospital themed items to support Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals and Doctors without Borders just in time for the Extra Life Streamathon on November 4. In the giving spirit of the holidays we have also expanded the Make a Difference concept outside the confines of the Make a Difference Store and now many items in the Add On Store are also tagged to share revenue with charities. Just look for the virtue symbol!

For all the details, please read the entire R47 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!  

Sincerely,

Starr Long
aka Darkstarr
Executive Producer

Release 46 Instructions

13 likes

Greetings Avatars,   

Thank you for being a loyal backer and follower of Shroud of the Avatar. Release 46 access for all Early Access backers begins this Thursday, September 28, at 10:30 AM US Central Daylight Time (15:30 UTC).

 

Release 46 is the first release where we are starting to truly focus on our Top 10 Priorities for Launch. While we were able to make considerable progress on our targeted work of scene rebuilding, side quest creation, new creature addition, and more, we also began to spend more time on performance than ever before.  

Load Times: After three weeks of focused work, we were able to reduce load times on even the most complex maps to approximately 30 seconds, even on platter drives. We have many more optimizations planned in the next quarter for our city maps (which are still problematic) to further reduce load times.  

Worldbuilding: Once again, a huge amount of work went into worldbuilding and scene polish this release. Seven different scenes along the paths of Truth and Courage were either rebuilt, polished, or adjusted this release, including a massive rework of the Blackblade Pass area. Additionally, we created the final outskirts map: Highvale Outskirts. This new scene represents hours of new user play time along the Path of Courage.

 

Quest Polish and Side Quests: In addition to scene polish, we spent significant time creating and polishing quests along the Paths of Truth and Courage. We added nine new side quests, including some that reward players with new virtue banners that were created this release. We also completely reworked the Malice dungeon, where the finale of the Love path takes place.  

Stealing Rework: We have done a major rework of the Stealing System. The fines associated with stealing now escalate in cost each time you are caught and start much lower than they did before. Also, the number of times you are caught is now recorded by each town’s Magistrate so they can determine these escalating fines.  

Halloween Content: This is one of our favorite times of year! To help make it extra special, we have added several spooky new items to the game, including a new prison home, pillories, prison cages, jack-o’-lanterns, and an incredible Headless Horseman Grim Reaper statue.

 

 I want to express a huge amount of gratitude to our backers who tested all of the items and uncovered lots of bugs. They also provided editorial feedback on this post. 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. We do not yet have all of the in-game systems needed to inform players about these changes, and to help them to explore new content and systems. This means we rely mostly on this message, and the linked Instructions and Release Notes 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. 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!  

Sincerely,

Starr Long
aka Darkstarr
Executive Producer

Release 45 Instructions

19 likes

Greetings Avatars,

Thank you for being a loyal backer and follower of Shroud of the Avatar. Release 45 access for all Early Access backers begins this Thursday, August 31, at 10:30 AM US Central Daylight Time (15:30 UTC).

 

 Release 45 is our first release after reaching the Story Complete milestone last release. We are now able to focus on polishing the game experience. This release, we have rebuilt multiple scenes, added more quests, polished the user interface, and continued to balance combat.   

Scene Polish: Once again, a huge amount of work went into worldbuilding and scene polish this release. One of the main towns along the Path of Truth is Etceter. We took time in Release 45 to polish this town to better align it with its description in The Sword of Midras, as well as with the Greco/Roman styles of the nearby city of Xenos. Additionally, we rebuilt three scenes: Longfall Woods, Middle Downs, and South Broken Road. Over the next several releases, we will continue rebuilding scenes along the Paths of Truth and Courage.

 

 Quest Polish and Side Quests: In addition to scene polish, we also spent significant time polishing quests along the Paths of Truth and Courage, as well as creating more side quests along those paths. Avatars who have obtained the Dread Artifacts can now sacrifice themselves at each Titan Colossus in order to obtain the Dread Reagents that power those artifacts. The new side quests this release include a repeatable Courage activity, but we can’t talk about it because of the first rule of… wait, I’ve already said too much.

 

 User Interface Polish: We were able to polish various aspects of the user interface, as well as implement major new features such as the ability to separate chat into multiple windows! We also implemented the first iteration of Discord integration which, while still only rudimentary, is already quite powerful! Additionally, we added a “Private Property” tooltip to help prevent accidental thefts, improved tooltips for equipment that indicates the type of pattern that can be applied, autocomplete for the “/w” whisper command (a player suggestion), and a host of other improvements.

I want to express a huge amount of gratitude to our 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. 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. We do not yet have all of the in-game systems needed to inform players about these changes, and to help them to explore new content and systems. This means we rely mostly on this message, and the linked Instructions and Release Notes 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. 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!

Sincerely,

Starr Long
aka Darkstarr
Executive Producer

Release 44 Instructions

13 likes

Greetings Avatars,         

Thank you for being a loyal backer and follower of Shroud of the Avatar. Release 44 access for all Early Access backers begins this Thursday, July 27, at 10:30 AM US Central Daylight Time (15:30 UTC).

 

Forsaken Virtues Story Complete: We have now completed the Path of the Oracle with the introduction of the Destiny Pool, Confluence Chamber, and the final audience with the Oracle. This means that players can now play through the entire Episode 1 story from beginning to end including all three paths of virtue: Truth, Love, and Courage. In Release 45 we will add the Outskirts scene for the Path of Courage (Highvale Outskirts), some additional side quests along the Truth and Courage paths, some visual polish, and of course general bug fixes. That is when we will also provide the story reset token so that players can start the story over while preserving their character.

 

Dread Artifacts and the Shroud of the Avatar (SPOILERS): As players complete all four paths, they will gain possession of four powerful artifacts. These include the Shroud of the Avatar as well as the three Dread Artifacts: the Bone Steel Crown, the Heart of Sorrows, and the Scepter of Dread. The Dread Artifacts each grant a unique and powerful spell that allows the Avatar to wield great power but over time will require great sacrifices (see details below). The Shroud of the Avatar will visually display the Avatar’s current state of virtue but rumors abound that the Shroud conveys other powers as well…

 

 New Scenes & Scene Polish: A huge amount of work went into worldbuilding and scene polish this release. We rebuilt the final Colossus map, Grannus Colossus. This, along with the Destiny Pool inside the Confluence Chamber, completes the Path of the Oracle. The Hallowed Plains was also rebuilt this release and features an ancient haunted battlefield that is being resettled by Kobolds. Three of the towns along the Path of Truth (Aerie, Jaanaford, and Vertas) were polished to better represent that path. Blood River Outskirts was also polished significantly. Additionally, guards in many scenes will now fine players who are caught stealing.

 

 Rent: Property Owners can now add an additional “Tenant” permission for users of their lot. This permission can be added for any permission level from Guest through Co-Owner, and allows users to securely place items on a lot without fear of losing them. Items placed as a Tenant will be owned by that Tenant and only they may pick them back up off the lot. If a Tenant loses permission for any reason, or the lot contents are sent to the bank due to a house deed change, those items will go back to the Tenant’s bank. Additionally, we have added the ability for permissions to be set on individual doors so that renting can be done room per room (or the entire building).

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. 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. We do not yet have all of the in-game systems needed to inform players about these changes, and to help them to explore new content and systems. This means we rely mostly on this message, and the linked Instructions and Known Issues to convey the current game state. Please also see the complete Instructions and Release Notes on the main website. 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. 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!  

Sincerely,

Starr Long  
aka Darkstarr  
Executive Producer