Shroud of the Avatar: Release 41 Began Today

Release 41 of Shroud of the Avatar went live on their servers this morning. And, as we’ve come to expect, Starr Long posted instructions and change notes for the Release on the game’s website yesterday evening:

Release 41 (R41) is another leap forward in progress with an incredible amount of new content (5 new scenes!) as well as a ton of balance and polish. The Path of Truth is now playable from beginning to end, including the twisted Halls of Artifice, Solace Bridge Outskirts now eases new players into the game at a much better pace, more gear can be placed as decorations, combat got lots of balancing including Taming, and Localization has resumed.

Truth and Artifice: The Path of Truth is now playable to completion with the addition of the Halls of Artifice. In this single-player, plot-driven experience, the avatar will delve into the mystery of why the satyrs of Elysium are welcoming pilgrims into a life of bliss… Of course, I am sure that a place called Artifice along the Path of Truth would not be filled with lies, right?

Solace Bridge Outskirts and Interface Polish: We are continuing to focus on steady improvements to the new user experience. This effort is twofold. First, we have begun to  create new “Outskirts” maps, which will be expansive scenes in which  new players will be able to explore many different aspects of the game. Solace Bridge Outskirts appears in Release 41, with more to follow in upcoming releases. Second, we have continued to make incremental improvements to the user interface. One such improvement in R41 is the addition of an information button to several interfaces that brings up help information. A myriad of other UI fixes and improvements are detailed below.

Ruins of Kas, Verdantis Mines, and The Fall: These three new scenes bring an incredibly diverse range of play opportunities to the game. The Ruins of Kas provide a vertical fortress assault in an Open PVP area. Verdantis Mines is a dungeon full of danger and ore. The Fall is a PVP free-for-all full of crazy powerups centered around a giant vertical shaft.

Decorations: What you can decorate your home with got yet another dramatic expansion this release with over 200 new pieces of gear now placeable as decorations. This includes all shields, tools, and headgear (as well as some additional weapons). We also expanded the Patterns/Reshaping system to work with decorations so that custom covers may be applied to books.

Combat Balance: Improving balance in combat was a major focus for Release 41. We made major improvements to Taming, Summoned Creatures, the entire Bludgeons combat school, creature resistances, and more. We also added two new Moon Spells, new weapons, and our first new ranged weapon since ranged combat was introduced: Crossbows.

Localization: We are very excited that localization has started again with our amazing international community using the Zanata platform.

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. They are a big reason that this post actually matches what is in the game and that it is easy to read.

Click on through to check out the complete — and, as per usual, extensive — change notes.