Shroud of the Avatar – Update of the Avatar #192

Greetings Fellow Avatars! Hope everyone is doing well. I am working on a post about the “Item Renaming” issue that people are divided on with this game.  As someone who expected such behavior because of human nation, I didn’t expect this issue to blow up as it did.  I will be putting it either here on Ultima Codex or on one of the other websites I regularly post articles on.  I will say this however. A random post that is only in the Forums is not a way for a game developer to lay out policy change.  Posts in-game, on the main page of the website, as well as social media and a sticky in the forums would be the best way. Especially since so many individuals no longer prefer to use the SotA forums due to the toxicity of the community.

Here’s what we have for you in this week’s edition of Update of the Avatar:

Free Lot Deed Raffle Tickets in Release 34 Raffle

SotA_FreeLandRaffleAs mentioned in the Release 33 instructions the dev team have begun the distribution of in-game Lot Deeds via Raffles. The raffles will be monthly and for this first month’s raffle we will be handing out 75 Place Anywhere (this means NPC Town, Player Run Town, or Player Owned Town.. since many were confused by Portalarium) Deeds and 600 Player Owned Town Deeds. Raffle Tickets can be purchased from Home Decoration merchants in various locations throughout the game.

For those backers who do not yet own property they are going to automatically enter you into both Raffles in Release
34! Anyone who has game access to Shroud of the Avatar, but does NOT yet own property at the beginning of Release 34 (September 29, 2016), will automatically be given a gift of 1 Raffle Ticket of each type to the First Raffle. To claim your tickets simply login to the game, go to the nearest bank and claim your rewards. The drawings will be held on October 27, 2016 and winners will be announced shortly thereafter. Deeds will be delivered in Release 35.

Backers are not eligible for this gift if they meet the following criteria on September 29, 2016:

  • Own an Ancestor Pledge or above
  • Own a Viking 2-Story Row Bundle or above
  • Own a Kobold 2-Story Row Bundle or above
  • Own any quantity of Add On Store Deeds
  • Own any deeds won through previous drawings, contests, etc.


Release 33 Postmortem

Join the dev team Friday, September 9th at 3:00 PM Central (20:00 UTC) for the monthly Hangout of the Avatar! The team will be chatting about Release 33 and looking ahead to Release 34.

Estgard Polish

Estgard is on the island of Norgard and is part of the Path of Courage. It is a cloned scene using one of our PRT / POT templates based off of the Forest 01 base template (aka PaxLair). In Release 33 the dev team did an initial rebuild (aka “un-cloning”) of that scene wherethey added a plot specific perimeter wall and a handful of other visual changes to have it more closely match the Viking like style of the island of Norgard. In Release 34 they are polishing that rebuild to bring it up to our visual standards. When they start focusing on the Courage Path in a future release it will also get an NPC polish pass.

Note that when they un-clone these scenes we do NOT change lot placements. We only make cosmetic changes of building styles, terrain, and foliage.

[From a Dev+ Forum Post by Esteben “SorcerousSteve” Zaldivar]


Hey guys, for R34 I have been tasked with polishing up the town of Estgard. Estgard is located in Norgard across the Naryad Channel from the town of Harvest.

Dockside city entrance into Estgard: This area of Norgard is heavily forested so much that moss and vines line the outer walls of Estgard.Etceterpolish1

Falls of Strymon: Located to the West of Estgard these majestic falls are located on a tributary of the Oso River which eventually makes its way into the Naryad Channel. Hundreds of thousands of gallons of water flow over the 100 foot high cliffs every second. You can see the tiny avatar dwarfed in the lower left hand corner. Truly a must see on your next visit to Estgard.Etceterpolish2

Forest: An abundance of rain water gives this area of Norgard a dense forest feel. Etceterpolish3

Cenotes: To the East several Cenotes dot the landscape. Essentially large sinkholes created when subterranean bodies of water cave in and collapse. Etceterpolish4

Hermit Hut: A hermit hut just North of Estgard.Etceterpolish5

Logging Camps: Logging camps are scattered throughout this heavily forested region.


Stay tuned for more progress on Estgard!

Esteben Zaldivar
Level Designer

Fireplaces and Chimneys

[A Dev+ Forum Post by Scott “Scottie” Jones]

Hello good folks!

Following the suggestions by those who, like me, take their nesting instincts very seriously when it comes to home decoration, I present the work-in progress for my task of place-able fireplaces and chimneys! The goal here was for me to create a system by which our homeowners could hope to assemble a decent fireplace, from ground-floor hearth to roof, with a limited set of pieces using our deco system. Here you can see the almost-complete initial variation sets built in Max prior to export into Unity!01 Max File

To make this work, it was important that I take into account the fact that deco-system items can only collide with other items in very specific circumstances, while I also wanted to be able to let the final chimney piece intersect the roof so it could be seen from the outside. To add to this (in cases where the player has access to the roof), while the roof chimney extension can intersect with the roof and interior floors fairly freely, I also wanted to make sure that a player couldn’t simple “walk through” it as if it were a hologram… Since all our player homes have been built with a variety of floor to ceiling sizes and configurations, this was no easy task!02 Set with effects

Once imported, I was able to add all the effects and lay them out for review. Above you’ll notice the sets being filled out as I expand each variation type. For this first group there will be two variations you can craft yourself (a rustic-looking stone hearth, as well as a stone and wood version) as well as their attendant chimney set pieces…03 Set with effects

These simpler ones were then followed by three “ornate” variations you’ll be able to buy in our add-on store (two of which you can see toward the back), which will be “Ornate Stone” (small and large, in a somewhat baroque visual style that will match many of Bob’s up-scale manor houses he’s made), “Ornate Stone and Wood” (small and large, made to match the Norgard visual style of some of the Lord Marshall items I’ve made), and finally an “Ornate Metal” version (small and large, mimicking the style of the cast-iron radiator decoration I’ve made), which I haven’t finished creating yet… Below you can see the initial two “Ornate” ones a bit more closely, which include their basic “flat” primary chimney pieces on top…04 Purchased with effectsEach set will, in most average cases, allow the owner to create one fireplace type from the first floor of any home and extend it up on each floor and finally through the ceiling! To make sure this idea worked, I took my initial group (the rustic craft-able all-stone hearth) and got Rick to help me set them up to function in our deco system. I then went through each and every player home type, testing all the pieces to make sure that I could build at least two full fireplaces in each home in key locations where most folks would consider placing them. In the image below you can see the two different placement versions; the one on the left tests the look of the base hearth with its angular chimney topper meant to indicate that it passes through the wall to the outside, where the chimney pieces can stack past the roof,…and the one on the right tests the look of a the same set rising up toward the ceiling to indicate an interior chimney arrangement. You’ll notice that the use of these limited pieces, due to small variances in each building’s design, can’t always be perfect (such as the chimney addition on the right, in this particular home, not completely reaching the ceiling in this particular house design), but I did measure each of our limited number of pieces to fit fairly well together in most circumstance, with just a little “mix and match” effort. ^_^05 First Floor Variations

Another thing you’ll notice is that, like our bookshelves and tables and such, there are flat areas, mantles, and shelves on most of these pieces that will allow you to place favorite small decorations on your fireplaces. I particularly enjoyed loading mine up with all kinds of fun stuff! In the image below you can see a floor extension I placed on the second floor of this house to make it look like a fireplace is extending through the interior, and it too is equipped with a small shelf upon which I’ve placed a ceramic jar.07 Multi_floor Extension

On the exterior of the house you can see further building I’ve done placing chimney pieces from the ground to the roof! By simply stacking them one upon the other, it was fairly easy to get just the look I wanted. On top you can see my second interior chimney set poking up above the other, and a quick run up the stairs to the roof will let you see the intersecting roof extension as well as the taller floor extension placed on the roof to simulate the second chimney piercing through…06 Outside Chimney Configuration08 Roof PenetrationWith other less “conventional” house configurations, the set seemed to work well too! Here you can see merely two pieces of the set (the main hearth and the roof extension) used in our Elven Village Hill Home, seen from the inside as well as seen from the outside, so you can appreciate the way it nicely intersects with the roof!09 Elfhouse 0110 Elfhouse 02

The fun part, honestly, is playing with all the pieces in several different house and room configurations to find the assembly that works best in any given circumstance… Trial and error is the name of the game with these sets, since (as with all deco items) they won’t always work in every single situation, but I’m betting you’ll be surprised by their versatility! Once all of these are finished and ready for you to have, I’m really hoping you’ll all have a great time playing with these props.

Take care!

Scottie ^_^