Shroud of the Avatar – Update of the Avatar #262

Greetings Friends! This week we have more scene update info for you in today’s edition of Update of the Avatar:

Making of Sunless Barrens

As devs wrap up rebuilds of all the Tier 1 and 2 scenes they are now moving on to Tier 3 scenes like Sunless Barrens. This area is located west of the Hellfire Rift between the Jade River and the Blackblade Mountains in the South Paladis region. It’s sunless name comes from the smoke and steam coming from the lava of the Hellfire Rift as it cuts through the rock of Novia and pours into the Bay of Storms. Geysers, lava flows, Ebon Dawn Cultists, Fire Elementals, and Plunderers are amongst the dangers, and potential rewards that await travelers to this perilous area. Even before the Cataclysm this area was rich in mineral deposits and efforts to extract those continue to this day despite the many obstacles.

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

I have a few screenshots to share of the uncloning of Sunless Barrens, a volcanic tier 3 adventure scene. Cultists have taken refuge in an ancient geothermal facility in the upper geyser fields, which overlooks lava flows infested by Fire Golems, and Plunderer settlements nestled in forested mesas. The look for this scene is inspired by sulfurous hot springs throughout the world, including Yellowstone, as well as the magma flows in Hawaii.

The Lowlands

Plunderer Settlement

“The Hellfire Fingers” lava flow

Path through the Geyser Fields

The Cultist’s lair

Chris “Seawolf” Wolf
Level Designer

Making of South Drachvald Spur

South Drachvald Spur is a Tier 2 scene in the Drachvald region and is one of the very last lower tier scenes to be rebuilt. It is an arid hilly area once populated by a powerful equestrian people, now lost to the ravages of the cataclysm. Their horse carvings can still be seen on the buttes of the region and rumors abound of ghostly horse riders appearing at night.

[From a Dev+ Forum Post by Travis “Vas Corp Por” Koleski]

Here’s some early shots of our progress on South Drachvald Spur.

This is a Tier 2 scene, fashioned after steppe-land and inspired by Mongolia, as well as the fantasy ‘Wickan’ race of peoples (a nod to one of my favorite writers, Steven Erikson). Without giving too much away.. this area was once peopled with a horse-loving culture, evidence of which can be seen in the carved and half-carved horse sculptures in and around the natural rock formations. Those people are long gone, but their rituals seem to retain some amount of power, in that the spirits of the descendants of their proud steppe-ponies are in danger. (All background fluff, with a puzzle implemented by @PlagueOfLocust !)

Thanks for following our progress!

Travis “Vas Corp Por” Koleski
Level Designer

Making of Yew (cont.)

The Elven city of Yew has been shielded from outsiders by a nearly constant shroud of fog that only clears during certain alignments of the heavenly bodies. The city itself is full of wonderful Elven architecture and because of the natural foggy defenses has never been fortified. Yew is currently a clone of Jaanaford but is being rebuilt for Release 50. As with other town rebuilds the locations of player lots, merchant locations, and scene exits will not be changed.

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

Hey guys, SorcerousSteve here to give you the latest update on the final detail pass for the city of Yew!

Detail Pass:
As I was wrapping up work on Yew this week, I decided to go back and do another pass this time focusing on pushing the elven aesthetic even further and the overall forest feel. Below you can see ivy and roots adorning the town entrance to Yew. 

Utilizing our Real Ivy tool I was able to hand paint roots onto the town entrance and create some self supporting root/ivy archways.

Real Ivy – Procedural Ivy Generation!/content/86134

Archways consisting of roots and ivy adorn the Moonlight Spring. 

The roads leading up to player housing have been manicured, elven colors line their length.

Another spring located just outside the town, nestled among the deep woods. 

Esteben “SorcerousSteve” Zaldivar
Level Designer