Shroud of the Avatar – Update of the Avatar #217

Greetings Fellow Avatars!

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

The Obsidian Cabalists (SPOILERISH)

The Obsidian Cabalists are ancient sorcerers of the Obsidian Order who have prolonged their lives through twisted use of magic. They look alot like what many of us envisioned the Shadowlords of Ultima 5 looked like.  These entities worship the eight anti-virtues and seek to fulfill the Dire Prophecies by laying siege to the towns of Novia. Starting with Release 40 they will be found in Town Sieges wielding unique vile artifacts that players who are able to defeat them may be able to loot. Those artifacts include unique hoods and weapons for each cabalist as well as the robes. Below is the list of the Cabalists and their (current) powers. Please note that these powers may change during implementation.

  • Dolus: The Cabalist of Deceit who causes confusion in the ranks, whose symbol is the Two Faces of Deceit.
  • Temna: The Cabalist of Despite who turns allies against each other, whose symbol is the Torn Heart.
  • Nefario: The Cabalist of Dastard (Cowardice) who strikes terror into those who dare oppose him, whose symbol is the Raised Arms of Capitulation.
  • Nefas: The Cabalist of Injustice who causes enemies to beg for mercy, whose symbol is Imbalance.
  • Avara: The Cabalist of Punishment who inflicts huge amounts of damage that lingers for long amounts of time, whose symbol is the Flail.
  • Indigno: The Cabalist of Dishonor who generates large clouds of poisonous gas, whose symbol is the Poisoned Chalice.
  • Corpus: The Cabalist of Carnality who forces opponents to “disrobe”, therefore losing all their defensive protection, whose symbol is Intercourse.
  • Fastus: The Cabalist of Vanity who mesmerizes opponents, whose symbol is the Vortex of Self Absorption.

[A Dev+ Forum Post by Kevin “UglyFist” Wells]

Hey all. I just finished working on our Obsidian Cabalists. They were so fun to make. There are eight of these dark enemies: Dolus, Temna, Nefario, Nefas, Avara, Indigno, Corpus, and Fastus. You can tell them apart by their masks which reflect their anti-virtues. They are also intimidating – I was tasked with making them stand as tall as our liches float, so they’re very big and looming.

I also broke up the Cabalist’s mask and hooded robe into wearable parts for players. When integrated, you’ll be able to take the hood and mask for a head wearable – as well as the dark ragged robe for a full-body wearable. I hope you guys like them.

This a turn-around of the art – the mask here is of Dolus:

Here are all eight:

Player-wearable hood with the mask of Nefas:



Storing and/or Moving a Decorated Lot or Basement via the Property Manager (aka Magic Movers)

As mentioned in the Release 39 Instructions we added a really powerful new feature to Player Housing where:

“Players can now save a fully decorated lot or basement and reload it later onto that same lot or onto a different lot in that same scene (as long as that lot is the same size). Players will start with 5 slots and, in future releases, will be able to purchase more for Gold Crowns. In a future release, we will expand this feature to allow movement of a fully decorated lot/basement between separate scenes for an, as yet, undetermined cost.”

We added detailed instructions for how to use this new feature in the Player Instructions document as well and those are reprinted in full here in this post.

Storing and/or Moving a Decorated Lot or Basement

You can use the Property Manager window to store a fully-decorated lot or basement and unpack it to either that same lot or another empty lot of the same size that you have claimed in that same scene.

You can access the Property Manager window from the Stained Glass menu icon, the Lot Deeds options menu, or from any lot sign in any scene. The left side of the window shows your available slots and their current storage status. Each player has 5 storage slots. The right side of the Property Manager window shows all of your claimed lots. Each lot includes the name of the deed used to claim the lot, the location of the lot, and the size of the lot. Each lot also has two slots: one for the primary contents of your lot (including the house), and one for the basement and its contents.

Hovering over a slot will display a tooltip that includes an item count. If the number of items placed on a lot changes, click the “Refresh” option in the top-right of the Property Manager window to ensure the item count is up-to-date.

Packing the Contents of a Lot or Basement into Storage: To store the contents of a lot or basement, drag a the contents from one of the slots into any “(Empty Storage)” slot in the left side of the Property Manager window.

The storage is immediate and includes all decorations within that slot.

If you drag a storage icon to an occupied slot, you will simultaneously move your new lot into storage and unpack everything from the slot to your lot. You can also swap live and stored basements in the same way.

Unpacking a Stored Lot or Basement: To unpack a stored lot or basement, drag the stored item from a storage slot in the left side of the Property Manager window into an empty slot in the right side of the window.

A stored lot can only be unpacked on a lot that is in the same town in which the lot was originally stored. Also, the stored lot must be of the same size as the lot that it is being unpacked onto.

A stored basement can only be unpacked on a lot that is in the same town in which the basement was originally stored. Also, the stored basement cannot be larger than the lot that it is being unpacked onto.

Once unpacked, the contents of the unpacked lot or basement will become immediately available. Also, any decorations that were packed up with that lot or basement when it was stored will reappear in their original locations at the time that they were stored.

Note that you can only unpack one lot or basement every five minutes. An unpacking cooldown timer will appear at the top of your Property Manager window when you unpack a stored lot or basement.

Renaming a Lot or Basement within the Property Manager: Each lot and basement listed in your Property Manager window will have a default name, but you can rename them at any time. To rename a lot or basement, right-click on it’s icon in the Property Manager window, fill in the new name, and click “Submit.” You can also use the “Set to Default” option to rename the lot or basement to its default name.  You can also rename stored lots and basements.

Sending Stored Lots and Basements to Your Bank: You have the option to send all of the contents of a storage slot to your bank. To do so, right-click on a storage slot and select the “Send to Bank” option.

Unclaiming a Lot: Unclaiming a lot does not move a lot or basement into a Property Manager storage slot. Rather, unclaiming a lot moves all associated items into your bank.

Storage Slots are Tied to Your Account: It’s important to note that Property Manager storage slots are connected to your game account and not to a specific character. This means that, for example, if you store a lot, delete your character, and create a new character, that new character will have immediate access to the lot that was placed into storage.

King Korabar

In Release 40 the devs will be updating Skrekk with City Kobolds, including a new unique visual for their ruler, King Korabar, which you can see below for the first time.

[A Dev+ Forum Post by Fletcher “SkullMuncher34” Kinnear]

We now have King Korabar!


The Making of Underground Vaults (SPOILERS)

There are six ruined cities found in Novia that date back to the period in Novian history in which the Obsidian Order rose to power. (These were first described in the “Sword of Midras” prequel novel, by Tracy Hickman and Richard Garriott). The exact history of some of these cities has been lost to time, but it is rumored that some of them may have been abandoned even before the rise of the Obsidians. These ruins include Opalis, Libris, Rhun, Midris, Kas, and Dysborg. Deep beneath these ruins lie Underground Vaults that rumors hint are somehow linked to the Dire Prophecies. Rumor also has it that the vaults are not only connected to the ruins above but also the vast underground network of dungeons and sewers that crisscrosses Novia below. Esteben “SorcerousSteve” Zaldivar is building these rooms now and some of them may go live in Release 40.

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

Hey guys! SorcerousSteve here to give you an update on some of my latest work! Early this release I got tasked with building 6 underground rooms that are set to be located under each of the ancient ruins.
What secrets will these underground rooms hold? What will the avatar come to learn? Find out in a future release!

Midras Vault: Sunlight can be seen seeping in to the lush and overgrown Midras Vault.

Kas Vault: Inspiration for this vault crypt came from the Terracotta Army in China.

Dysborg Vault: Some vaults are flooded, like this one located in Dysborg along the Naryad Channel.

Opalis Vault: As Opalis was once ruled by the Titans, this Vault exudes a great level of wealth.

Rhun Vault

Libris Vault: This vault is a lot more cavernous filled with stalactites and stalagmites!

In addition to being six underground rooms to be located under the six ruined cities all these areas will have connections to the Underground system.

Below is one of my favorite shots from working on these vaults, thought i’d include it as a bonus pic. :)

See you next time!

Esteben Zaldivar
Level Designer