Shroud of the Avatar – Update of the Avatar #250

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

SotAMap Acquired by Portalarium

SotAMap was recently aquired by Portalarium after being intigrated into the game earlier this year. This isn’t the first time developers have taken advantage of the creativity and projects by community members, but as always the hope with such acquisitions is that it improves the game as well as be improved by the access of the developer’s resources.  Starr Long made a post about it that I am sharing below.

[From a Forum Post by Starr “Darkstarr” Long]

Greetings Avatars,

Our original plan for maps in Shroud of the Avatar was individual hand drawn maps of various quality levels for each scene. These would be found, collected, quested after, etc. by the players and then could be used to navigate the world. We managed to implement a few of them but the scale of production involved in making them prevented us from staying abreast with the pace of the hundreds of scenes we were creating. They also failed to account for scenes with player housing that would dynamically change, sometimes dramatically.

Then along came the incredible tool, SotAMap, created by community member Jakub White and contributed to by other community members. Using a Google Maps type functionality, this amazing third party external application maps the entire world of Novia and allows POT owners to customize their town maps.

We liked SotAMap so much that we officially integrated it into the game in Release 40 back in March of this year. We quickly realized that this would be a fantastic solution to our problem of creating maps for every scene. After testing it out in the game for a couple of releases, we decided to approach Jakub about acquiring SotAMap so that we could make it a fully integrated and optimized feature of the game. We are very excited to announce that we have now come to a purchase agreement for SotAMap with Jakub White!

This means we can now proceed with a large list of changes that will improve the experience of using SotAMap. These will be broken up into two phases. We hope to have Phase 1 complete by the end of the year and Phase 2 by Launch.

Phase 1: Make what is there work better

  • Server Hosting: We plan to move SotAMap to a faster server with a better internet connection
  • House Data Automation: Right now house ownership data has to be entered by hand. We plan to automate this with the option to “opt out”
  • Map Creation: Get missing maps created (Outskirts, uncloned scenes from last few months, etc.)
  • Community: Restart community submissions of maps and customization of maps (POTs)

Phase 2: Feature additions

  • Game Play: Quest locations (NPCs, objects), Exit locations, Stores & Services locations, Difficulty, Scene Type
  • Social: Party Members, Friends, Guildmates
  • Linux & Offline Support
  • Optimization: Examine the data and code structure and execute optimizations

Let us know if you have any questions about us acquiring SotAMap! Stay tuned for more information about how you will eventually be able to contribute to the project. More updates to come soon!

R47 Postmortem Telethon – Nov. 3


The next Postmortem Telethon, for Release 47, is  fast approaching! New frosty cool stretch goal items are ready to be achieved to celebrate the upcoming release, which is due to go live October 26. The following week after the release will be the telethon on November 3!


Telethons are livestreamed on Twitch and include answers to gameplay questions, world building tours, prize giveaways, sales on items, and more! See what we have planned below beginning at 3:00 PM CT on November 3:

  • 3:00 PM: Introductions
  • 3:30 PM: Postmortem Q&A
  • 4:30 PM: World Building Tour
  • 5:30 PM: Postmortem Q&A Continues
  • 7:00 PM: End of Telethon!
Schedule is subject to change. 

R46 Postmortem Missed Questions

The dev had pages of questions left unanswered after the R46 Postmortem! Thedev team we were able to get to those questions and  posted them to the forums Thursday.

Here are the questions that we did not have time to get to during the R46 Postmortem. I tried my best to answer these (with help from the rest of the team) but some we just don’t have details yet to provide. I probably won’t have time to do any follow ups to these. The community did a great job assisting us this telethon to make sure we didn’t miss a single question.

Please note I deleted a bunch of duplicated questions and also deleted any questions that we answered with the Q4 post or with the release of R46.

Jirrc: Hey Chris, a great stat for the Postmortem would be: how many people had decay penalties Under 10K and how many had over 10K? I’m curious how many times people’s death decay couldn’t be covered off by the 10K xp bonus.
Chris: I don’t have exact numbers logged in such a way I can correlate data for this exact question. What I can confirm is that any player under level 70 would have their daily decay countered by the login bonus.

Jirrc: What is the largest amount of xp loss that that anyone has incurred for a single death?
Chris: Current record is just a hair over 1 million xps lost on a death. I know that sounds like a lot but the player that lost that much can make that back in 1 to 2 hours of playing.

Discipleofweb: Does training field dressing increase chance to get a carcass – wolf, bear, stag?
No just increases success chance.

Discipleofweb: In Twins Foothills, I have had an obsidian stag drop a stag carcass instead of obsidian carcass. I think there is an open bug report for that and obsidian wolves, ETA on a fix for these?
This is not a bug. They sometimes drop regular carcasses.

Paladin Michael: What about the Pick Locks skill? Can we expect an icon for it and … maybe more?
No ETA on making this skill function.

Amethyst25: I vaguely remember that roses would be used in dye recipes. Is that still the plan? Is there an ETA when that will take effect?
Yes that is still the plan. No ETA

Bioxide: With 1 mine that everyone feels they have to go to, any chance you can split up silver and gold in elysium mines? Silver and gold in the same mine = OverPowered.
We have a plan. Stay tuned

Bioxide: I know skill progression involves multiple trees, is there any concern it’s too easy to take lots of skills to 80 after only a month or two of play?
Chris: Not a concern but rather the intended design. We are a classless game but we still want players to be able to play multiple roles if they choose. So the intended design is that we make it easy for players to become pretty good at many things and then we limit their play options by having a finite of easily accessible options they can use in combat. In UO, they limit how many skills you can learn. In games like WOW, they limit skills through strictly defined classes. In SOTA, we let players learn as many skills as they want and then limit them through a finite number of things players can know at any given time. That is why we have a finite number of combat buttons and also why there is a significant cost to swapping bars in combat. This allows us to let players build what ever kind of build they choose but still confine their power.

[Read More…]