Shroud of the Avatar – Update of the Avatar #225

Greetings Fellow Avatars!

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

  • Play Release 41 Now!
  • Moondial Madness
  • The Oracle (continued)
  • The Making of Highvale Outskirts (continued)
  • The Making of Bloodriver Outskirts (continued)

Play Release 41 Now!Release 41 successfully launched  April 27 with backers downloading, patching, and logging in to check out the changes! There’s lots of new content to explore, including:

  • Path of Truth First Playable
  • Artifice Dungeon
  • Solace Bridge Outskirts
  • Verdantis Mines Unclone
  • Kas Ruins Unclone
  • The Fall PVP Dungeon
  • Siege Polish
  • Headgear, Tools, and Shields as Decorations
  • Combat Balance
  • Taming Balance
  • Blunt Weapon Balance
  • New Moon Magic Spells
  • New Weapons
  • Spring Telethon Weapons
  • New Cloaks
  • New Decorations
  • New Recipes
  • New Patterns
  • New Emotes
  • User Interface Polish
  • R40 Lot Deed Raffle Winners

…and much more

Check out the Release 41 Instructions update for detailed information about all the new content.

Release 41 Player Instructions

Release 41 Known Issues

Moondial Madness

Recently the devs did some re-ordering of the celestial bodies in the heavens. Additionally there are now more game systems directly tied to the positions of these celestial bodies. For instance Town Sieges are directly tied to these. Due to these changes Richard “Lord British” Garriott has decreed that the devs update the orreries to not only accurately reflect these new sequences but also add the constellations in an outer ring. The first pass is to update the Darkstarr Moondial that players already own. They also created a new Silver Darkstarr Moondial that will only be available through our Referral program when that comes back online. Other variants that look very different from the Darkstarr versions will then be created including a craftable version (more mechanical in nature) and an Ornate version for the Add On Store that will come in a variety of sizes ranging from table top to a giant version that you can walk under!

The updated Darkstarr Moondial is live in Release 41. Stay tuned for updates on when the other versions will become available.

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

Yes indeed,…it’s that time again! Time for Richard to request that I add to the existing Darkstarr Moondial once more, due not only to the change in the recent order of the moons in the night sky, but also due to some slight changes in the magical constellation overlay and background stars that exists in the sky-dome itself!

Much like last time, when changes were made to the original Moondial to account for us getting much closer to our actual in-game sky and all its celestial bodies,…this time, with our system incorporating not only the correct moon order, but also the ideology and actual timing of the attacks of the Cabalists and their unholy minions, the Moondials themselves (which Richard always wanted to be functionally-accurate tools of celestial observation) needed to change once again to reflect our most recent updates…

The magical constellation overlay seen when using either the Astrolabe or the Moondials changed only slightly, with me “cleaning up” the lines a bit to organize the night sky into 12 “sectors” roughly in the middle of which each constellation can be found (with the outliers being Chaos and the Principals interlocking circles, which are not currently factored into the attacks of the Cabalists, and are bisected by a line between two sectors)… By gazing into a clear night sky when these items are invoked, you can now easily see the sector line demarcations stretching from one axis of the celestial dome to the other, with the constellations hovering between them either above or below the galactic swath. The three middle horizontal lines pass through the two outlier constellations, with the central horizontal line describing the path of the galactic swath itself. Here’s a portion you can see below.

What this means, as far as the Darkstarr Moondial is concerned, is the addition of an extra ring around the outside to which are attached iconic versions of the primary constellations (mimicking the Devotional depictions, of course), and the alignment of their “sectors” as compared to the various moons in orbit around our world…. One then uses the Moondial more easily and accurately now by merely standing beside the Moondial facing the planet at its center, visually aligning yourself with the constellation representing a Devotional within the town you’re interested in, and seeing which moons fall within that sector slice that angles in from the sector edges on either side of the constellation toward the center of the world… The Cabalists representing the antivirtues of those moons should be attacking any city bearing that particular Devotional at that time… In the example below you can see that towns hosting a Devotional of Honor are being currently attacked by Avara while Dolus prepares to withdraw his minions, and Nefas is readying his forces in vicious support that is soon to come!

In addition to upgrading the Darkstarr Moondial in this way, I was also tasked to create a variation on it which is a silver version held aloft by a hand of bluish-purple marble. I’m not sure how this will become available, but I enjoy its alternate color scheme… While I like the gold/bronze warmth of the original, blue and silver are some of my favorite color combinations!

And lastly, having created these, I was asked to begin work on two other versions of the Moondials. I’m quite excited by these, because one is a version you’ll be able to craft yourself, made out of materials such as brass, copper, silver, wood, and various mechanical parts and pieces (recipe yet to be determined), and the other is meant to be an “ornate” version you can purchase which will come in four sizes (tabletop, “room”-sized like the ones above, Village Lot sized, and Keep Lot sized)… The exact scale of these has yet to be determined.

Below you can see them in their beginning stages as compared to the existing Darkstarr version. The Craftable Moodial (lower left), will eventually be seen as made from multiple materials as described above, and has a “naturally-mechanical” look to it, with no magically-floating elements, and sports a slightly tilted “cage-dome” representing the tilted axis of the world itself as roughly compared to the abstractly-depicted rotational plane of the moon and suns. The discs bearing the supports that hold up each of the celestial elements rotate independently upon the base column. The central Moondial is the beginnings of the “Ornate” version, which will appear in the four sizes mentioned, and unlike the others can be walked beneath when large enough. It showcases cool, glowing “Aetheric Energy” elements that typify some of the more arcane/technological devices in our game, such as the orbital rings of the moons, and the magically-projected celestial dome that surrounds the construct as a whole in which the constellations can be seen.

I hope you all enjoy these so far. Stay tuned, and I’ll update this thread with more images and progress descriptions as I keep working on them!

Take care everyone!

Scottie ^_^

The Oracle (continued)

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

More pictures of the Oracle!

The Making of Highvale Outskirts (update)

SPOILERS: After Highvale Village was overrun by Obsidian Elves the villagers escaped to Resolute and the soldiers who were defending the village fled to a nearby abandoned monastery high in the mountains in a scene the devs are calling Highvale Outskirts. They have made camp there but are blocked from completing their retreat to Resolute by an encampment of Elves who are patrolling the area. Players following the Path of Courage will go directly to this scene after Highvale Village and will assist the soldiers as well as follow numerous other quests and side quests. The monastery will include some crafting stations, merchants and trainers among the soldiers who can help players outfit and train. This very large scene also contains a small Kobold mining camp, a hunters cabin on an alpine lake, and an abandoned farm.

[A Dev+ Forum Post by Chris “Sea Wolf” Wolf]

Hey folks, I have a few updated screenshots to share. Enjoy!

The Wilderness

The Fisherman’s Hut (updated)

The Hunter’s Cabin

The Kobold Mining Camp

The Crypt

Chris Wolf
Level Designer

The Making of Bloodriver Outskirts (update)

SPOILERS: Players following the Path of Truth encounter the Elven village of Bloodriver massacred by vigilantes from Aerie. The elves have fled for their lives into the forests upriver and invaded the home of an Elven hermit who dwells in a ruin deep in the forest. They have set traps to protect themselves from the vigilantes who have pursued them here and are harassing them still. Elven soldiers from Vertas are arriving from the north to protect them while Aerie soldiers are streaming in from the south east to try and stop all out war between the humans and elves.

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

Hey guys! SorcerousSteve here to give you an update on Bloodriver Outskirts!

Nestled deep in the forest a group of survivors from the Bloodriver Massacre has sought refuge. To defend themselves against the human vigilantes that hunt them they have booby trapped areas surrounding their forest hideout. Below, a swinging log trap, one of the many traps in the arsenal of the Bloodriver survivors.

The dank forest environment provides a great place for flora to thrive.

The forest is filled with mysterious caves from spider lairs to even a rumored psilocybia den.

This camp on the western side of the map belongs to Aerie soldiers investigating reports of trouble in the area. Far off in the distance you can spot a temple pyramid hidden among the dense forest. More on that on a future update!

A low lying mist fills the lowlands of the Bloodriver Forest during sunset.

To the north a group of Vertas elves is investigating the recent attacks and ongoing hunts by vigilante squads against the Bloodriver survivors.

See you next time!
Esteben Zaldivar