The Ultima Codex The Ultima Fan Network Mon, 11 Dec 2017 13:18:55 +0000 en-US hourly 1 The Ultima Codex 32 32 33386326 Shroud of the Avatar – Update of the Avatar #257 Mon, 11 Dec 2017 13:18:55 +0000 Greetings Friends! Here’s what we have for you in this week’s edition of Update of the Avatar:

The Making of East Longfall Wetland


Here we have some screenshots of the East Longfall Wetland scene that is being worked on as an early level area for players.


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

A few more scenes in East Longfall Wetland: 

The Making of Elysium Mines (cont.)

While digging some of the deeper tunnels for the Elysium Mines the Satyr miners discovered an elaborate labyrinth with two giant statues looming over the entire complex. Legend has it that the statues are of two brothers and one of the brothers killed the other and that deadly feud is the source of the undead haunting the maze.

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

Hey folks, here are some updated screenshots.

CavernsSatyr CampLower Tunnels

Soltown Inn Remodel

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

Hello Avatars!

Many of you frequent the Inn in Soltown, whether to have a drink, access the bank, follow a quest, or relax and enjoy music from some of Novia’s finest bards. There were some small issues with the lanterns used inside the last version of the inn (they were ‘outside lanterns’ and therefore spawned moths, and the NPC guards kept trying to turn them on and off). While we were adjusting them, we thought it’d be nice to just do a remodel of the ground floor entirely!

I hope everyone enjoys the improvements! It should feel a lot cozier and more pleasant to spend time in. I look forward to seeing everyone in the newly remodeled Soltown Inn!

The banker automaton had his little station updated to indicate more of a ‘banky’ feel

Always a popular spot, the space around the piano is now much cozier for listeners and accompanying musicians. 

Drink sales have been good enough that Richard could afford a full redo of the bar area!

The common room now has more space for dancing and congregating.

Thanks for following our progress!

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Byte-Sized Virtue: Season 5, Episode 1 – Simplicity & Attachments Sun, 10 Dec 2017 04:08:12 +0000

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Podcast Topic

A couple of weeks ago, I created a poll on the Ultima Dragons group on Facebook, soliciting a topic for this season of Byte-Sized Virtue. The Virtue of Humility was the overall winner of that poll, and so for this first episode I recorded some initial thoughts not on Humility directly, but on the concept of ontological simplicity as applied to persons and the roles they find themselves in.

A lot of inspiration from this episode came from some comments in this episode of The Liturgy Guys, a podcast about the Catholic liturgical tradition, with some additional inspiration coming from a recent homily given by Bishop Robert Barron.


New Magincia,from the Ultima 9 Soundtrack

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Shroud of the Avatar – Update of the Avatar #256 Tue, 05 Dec 2017 12:45:47 +0000

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

Game Development

The Making of Elysium Mines

While digging some of the deeper tunnels for the Elysium Mines the Satyr miners discovered an elaborate labyrinth with two giant statues looming over the entire complex. Legend has it that the statues are of two brothers and one of the brothers killed the other and that deadly feud is the source of the undead haunting the maze.

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

Hey folks, I have a few screenshot of our uncloning of Elysium Mines. In our new version, Satyrs are looting and mining from and ancient labyrinthine city. The mines are also home to a horde of spirits and undead who serve the ghost of one of the “Twins” who’s spirit was trapped by his bother in the labyrinth. The visual inspiration for this mine comes from the Minoan City of Knossos in Crete, where the original Labyrinth from Greek mythology was said to have been. The glowing river is partially inspired by the river Styx, and is closely associated with the spirits wandering the labyrinth.

Due to feedback we received from our uncloning of other mines, I’ve decided to split this mine into two areas that will serve different player interest. The lower area of the mines will be resource rich, and comparable to the original mines. The upper areas will have more enemies, puzzles and traps, for players who want more of an adventuring experience. This scene is still a work in progress.

Chris Wolf
Level Designer

Release 48 Postmortem Telethon Results

The Release 48 Postmortem Telethon was a success and achieved a bunch of Stretch Goal Rewards!  The total as of 07:00 PM CDT, December 1st was:

** $75,000 **

Watch R48 Postmortem Telethon from shroudoftheavatar on

As promised, Telethon Funding Stretch Goal Rewards will be rewarded to any backers that pledged a minimum of $5 from 12:00 PM CDT to Midnight December 1st (Spending Store Credit to make $5 minimum purchase does not apply). These rewards should show up on your account page within the next couple of weeks and will begin showing up in the game over the next few releases starting as soon as Release 50.

  • ACHIEVED! $10K: Icicles Pattern Cloak
  • ACHIEVED! $25K: Ice Hot Tub
  • ACHIEVED! $35K: Ice Elemental Statue with icy effects
  • ACHIEVED! $50K: Ice Sword & Ice Shield
  • ACHIEVED! $65K: Ice Crown, Ice & Snow Themed Gown, and Ice Wand
  • $80K: Ice Dragon Statue with icy effects

NOTE: They stopped tracking towards stretch goals at the end of the telethon at 7:00 PM CDT.


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Got an Android Device? Here’s an Ultima Online Soundboard For It! Thu, 30 Nov 2017 19:47:35 +0000 If you happen to be a user of an Android device and a fan of Ultima Online, RelExpo has created a soundboard app that may be of interest to you:


You can grab the APK for the app at RelExpo’s Neocities website, which is delightfully old school in its layout and design (fitting, really, given the subject matter). The app is not available via Google Play, so it will have to be sideloaded; you’ll need to ensure in your device’s settings that installation of third-party apps is allowed. RelExpo has built the app to work with (roughly) Android 3.0 and up.

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New Utility: Ultima Mapper Thu, 30 Nov 2017 19:24:54 +0000 Fenyx, who manages the Codex of Ultima Wisdom wiki, has released a utility on Github for viewing maps of the dungeons in Ultima 4:

Tool made for the The Codex of Ultima Wisdom for displaying dungeons

Files from Ultima games are not included in this repository. You will need to place *.DNG files, CHARSET.EGA and WORLD.MAP from PC version of Ultima 4 in the Maps directory.

If you for some reason don’t have an on-hand copy of Ultima 4, you can grab one for free from GOG. Fenyx’s tool, meanwhile, can be downloaded from its Github page.

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Spam Spam Spam Humbug 94 – The Lost Richard Garriott Interview Wed, 29 Nov 2017 19:10:39 +0000

A previously unpublished 2014 interview with Richard Garriott, in which he discusses Ultima 9, Ultima X, Shroud of the Avatar, and other things besides.

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This episode of Spam Spam Spam Humbug is brought to you by our Patreon backers; thank you to everyone who supports Spam Spam Spam Humbug and the Ultima Codex by that means. And, as always, a hearty thank you to our Patreon co-producers: Seth, Dominik, Chris, Violation, Adam, Erik, Thorwan, Pascal, Helgraf, Aaron, the Hearth of Britannia, Edward, Stirring Dragon, Cranberry, Slegnor, and Bruce.

Podcast Topic(s)

Back in 2014, I had a lengthy chat with Richard Garriott on the occasion of Ultima 9’s 15th anniversary. Even recording the interview was a bit of a challenge; I wound up having to record audio off of my phone on the built-in microphone on my laptop. As such, the audio quality is…not all that great.

But the interview itself is fantastic. In addition to talking about Ultima 9 and its development history, the iterations of its story, and the internal politics at Origin Systems and Electronic Arts, we get into a discussion about the cancelled Ultima X, and (of course) about Shroud of the Avatar. Richard Garriott even explains, quite pointedly, just how the lore of Shroud of the Avatar connects to that of Ultima, and how we can understand the relationship between Novia (the setting of Shroud of the Avatar) and Britannia.

Support Spam Spam Spam Humbug

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Join the Ultima Community | Ultima Dragons on Facebook | Ultima Dragons on Google+ | Follow the Ultima Dragons on Twitter | Ultima Dragons on Slack | The Weyrmount | Ultima Dragons on Discord

Send Feedback

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Where to Find Us Online

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Richard GarriottTwitter | Website | Shroud of the Avatar


Ultima VI Gates of Creation by OC ReMix

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Ultima-Style Character Creation in Divinity: Original Sin 2 Wed, 29 Nov 2017 18:10:28 +0000 Windemere has been around the modding scene for a while; he produced, among other things, some Ultima-themed mods for Neverwinter Nights 2. So it should come as no surprise that he has taken to the modding tools for Divinity: Original Sin 2 and used his considerable talent therewith to produce an Ultima-style character creation sequence within that game:

It even works in multiplayer mode:

Windemere’s mod is called, at least for now, Shadow Over Moonglow; you can track its development in this thread over on the Larian Studios forums. Some basic details about the mod:

Shadow Over Moonglow is a standalone campaign for 1-2 players. It is set in the Ultima world of Britannia just prior to the events of Ultima 5. The players are founding members of the Resistance who are called upon to help discover the whereabouts of former Great Council member Goeth who has gone missing after being sent on a recruitment mission to Moonglow. The campaign will primarily take place on Verity Isle.

Goals and Highlights:

8-12 hour campaign for 1-2 players with a maximum party size of four when companions are included.

Click on through to read more about the planned features for the mod, as well as some of the limitations facing its development at present.

At present, you won’t be able to find the mod on Steam Workshop; it’s very much a work in progress for now. Still, it’s neat to see a quite excellent approximation of the gypsy sequence can be realized in Divinity: Original Sin 2, even if (at present?) one’s stats aren’t determined by a casting of the Virtues.

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Planet X2: An Ultima 4-Inspired Real-Time Strategy Game Tue, 28 Nov 2017 19:25:17 +0000 The 8-Bit Guyhis website is a shrine to all things 8-bit, from gaming to music — wrote and released a game for the Commodore 64 a while ago: Planet X2.

A year in the making, Planet X2 is now finished and ready for sale. For those unfamiliar, it is a real-time strategy game developed for the Commodore 64.  It may very well be the only such game in existence on the platform.  It runs on any stock C64 and any compatible floppy drive.

Features include:

  • Control up to 10 units
  • Build up to 52 buildings
  • Multi-tasking system handles up to 128 total units (player + enemy) simultaneously
  • Similar onscreen appearance to old-style turn-based strategy games such as Ultima
  • Similar gameplay concepts, which should be familiar to players of StarCraft, Warcraft, or Dune II.
  • Original soundtrack for the SID chip, as well as an included cassette with Roland MT-32 and Adlib versions.

The full version of the game isn’t currently available — the store page at The 8-Bit Guy’s website says it’s out of stock. When available, it came in three versions: a Lite version that included the game on floppy diskette, the manual, and a digital download; the Standard version that included a game box and soundtrack cassette (in addition to everything in the Lite package); and an Autographed version of the Standard package. Prices ranged from $20 USD to $40 USD.

Evidently, the store will be restocked in the next few weeks, so be sure to check back with it. If you’re in Europe, you might be able to snag a copy of the game from EOX Studios. (Note that EOX does not ship outside Europe.)

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Shroud of the Avatar – Update of the Avatar #255 Mon, 27 Nov 2017 16:14:00 +0000 Greetings Friends! Here’s what we have for you in this week’s edition of Update of the Avatar:

Armor of Truth Full Set

Here is a link to the forum post on the Truth set of armors that have been in recent news.  Enjoy!

[A Dev+ Forum Post by Starr “Darkstarr” Long]

The helms and chest pieces went live in Release 48 as part of quests in the Outskirts (helms) and the new mines (chest pieces). Starting in Release 49 the remaining pieces of the armor (gloves, leggings, and boots) will start to appear as rewards for other quests. 

Cloth Armor of Truth Full Set:

The Making of East Longfall Wetland

As mentioned previously the devs have been focusing many of the scene rebuilds (aka “un-clones”) on the lower tier scenes near the cities along the paths of Truth and Courage. These are all Tier 1 – 3 scenes that players encounter near the beginnings of their play experience. In addition to being rebuilt, they are also adding side quests to them.

In Release 49 one of these scenes is East Longfall Wetland (the companion scene to South Longfall Wetland). It is a swampy Tier 1 area directly east of Aerie in the Longfall region.

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

Hello adventurers! Here’s some early progress shots of work being done on East Longfall Wetland. It will be a Tier 2 Adventure Scene for newer adventurers around the area of Aerie.

Hope you enjoyed our progress! More coming soon!

Norgard Barbarians

Greetings Avatars,

In the wilderness of the Verdantis and Norgard regions hordes of barbarians and cannibals hold sway and terrorize the inhabitants. Occupied with their fruitless war with the Kobolds the Norgard nobility and military do little to keep the barbarian raids under control, only protecting the largest cities.

The barbarian clans each identify with an animal totem and the Dragon clan is the most fearsome.

In Release 49 we will be updating the existing placeholder NPCs with this custom art.

Barbarian Clans:
Stag Clan:
Wolf Clan:
Boar Clan:
Bear Clan:
Dragon Clan:


New Maps Added: Blood River Outskirts & Solace Bridge Outskirts

In Release 48 the devs moved over to their own version of what was formerly known as SotA Map for the in game map system which you can view on their website here. It is now hosted on Amazon Web Services so it loads much faster than before. Since it is a web service currently, and not part of the game client, they can push updates as frequently as they like without having to do a patch. This week they began adding new maps including Blood River Outskirts and Solace Bridge Outskirts.

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An Ultima V: Lazarus Writer Has a New Game Coming Out: Odd Gods, an Indie RPG Wed, 22 Nov 2017 20:05:30 +0000 Odd Gods, a newly-announced indie RPG being developed by a Melbourne, Australia-based studio called Inn Between Worlds, bills itself as “a 90s-style RPG about the 1990s,” and as an “isometric tactical role playing game about subcultures, music, spacetime travel, and facing your pop culture demons.” It also promises “90s-era difficulty…not a game for the faint of heart, but the system is ‘fair’. Friendly fire is on by default. No bullet sponges. Permadeath, mostly.” The alignment system is based on musical genres, and the game promises to be stuffed full of 90s tropes.

An odd game, in other words. But also oddly appealing.

And the lead designer on the game is none other than Gil MacLean, also known as Gileathane Dragon; you may recall him from the Ultima V: Lazarus credits, on which project he served as a writer. (Gil mentioned to us that he’s sharing the lead writer role for Odd Gods with another person, Murray Philbrick, at present, and that the project is still looking for someone to take on the lead writer role.)

Odd Gods doesn’t seem to have much to do with Ultima in terms of its presentation or gameplay mechanics, at least based on what has been revealed of the game thus far. However, if you look closely at some of the screenshots, you’ll see a few Ultima Easter eggs therein.

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OpenArthurianX6: Development Updates Wed, 22 Nov 2017 19:31:03 +0000 Slashing Dragon has written another development update blog post, detailing recent progress that has been made on the OpenArthurianX6 RPG engine…over the last month or so, as it turns out:

Forgot to post here about the latest development of OpenArthurian which actually happened around a month ago
After that first dev stream I mentioned on the last entry, I did 5 more

Adding Ranged Attacks
Adding Party Members
Controlling Party Members
Pathfinding, Day/Night cycle
More Pathfinding, level edition

Combat is almost done now, pending only adding some projectile effects for ranged combat. Next up is working on level transitions and the chunked world model.

Exodus Destiny also did some work on the game, finishing a first iteration of the Talk module as well as the Pick up / Drop functions (along with the Inventory)

And after over a month of radio silence on the project’s Indiegogo page, Slash has posted a couple updates there within the past few days:

Hey, hello all!

There hasn’t been a LOT of work since last update, however Juan Camilo finished a first iteration of the Pick up / Drop functions (along with the Inventory) which is looking pretty neat.…

As I mentioned in my blog, this month I wasn’t able to work a lot in the project since I went to San Francisco for the Roguelike Celebration and there’s another private game dev project I’m working on. HOWEVER! we still have plans to have the first alpha version released on December!

I’m also planning on the development of the community website containing tutorials and allowing people to share their creations.

Work on day/night cycles, pathfinding and map editing

Whoops, I checked back and there’s actually some fun things I worked on this month so check the out 🙂 Pathfinding and day/night cycle More pathfinding, some level edition
More cool stuff to be posted soon!

OpenArthurianX6, you may recall, is an Ultima 6-like game engine, which Slashing Dragon and Exodus Destiny Dragon successfully crowdfunded a few months ago.

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Beamdog Announces Neverwinter Nights: Enhanced Edition Tue, 21 Nov 2017 22:28:35 +0000 Beamdog – an Edmonton, Alberta-based developer comprised of several former BioWare personalities — have made a name for themselves already by releasing remastered, Enhanced Edition versions of such notable titles as Baldur’s Gate and Icewind Dale. And while rumours were recently circulating that the company was working on a remastered version of Planescape: Torment, it turns out that they had something very different — and, I’d say, far more exciting — up their sleeve:


There’s even a trailer for it:

Some details from the press release:

Neverwinter Nights: Enhanced Edition Combines all the content of Neverwinter Nights Diamond Edition with all-new enhanced features. Includes 100+ hours of award-winning adventures and the tools to create your own! Play alone, with a friend, or join up to 64 others online! Step into a fantastical world filled with magic, wonder, and adventure at every turn.

Enhanced Features

  • Improved Display: Your portrait, combat bar, inventory, and other UI elements adjust in size based on your chosen resolution including 1080p and 4k.
  • Advanced Graphics Options: Pixel shaders and post-processing effects make for crisper, cleaner visuals. Enable contrast, vibrance, and depth of field options as preferred.
  • Community Endorsed: Original developers have teamed with key members of the Neverwinter Nights community to curate important fan-requested improvements to support players, storytellers, and modders.
  • Backwards Compatibility: Works with save games, modules, and mods from the original Neverwinter Nights. A galaxy of community created content awaits.

The release is accompanied by a Digital Deluxe bundle which includes three of the original premium modules (Pirates of the Sword Coast, Infinite Dungeons, and Wyvern Crown of Cormyr), two soundtracks collecting all of the original music, and a new portrait pack. Each piece of DLC will be available to wishlist on Steam All content will be available on Windows, macOS, and Linux.

It’s the backwards compatibility that’s of particular interest here, I think; several Ultima remakes chose Neverwinter Nights as their basis, most notably two Ultima 4 remakes, and the Aurora Toolset remains one of the best examples of how to ship a toolset with a game. The Neverwinter Nights engine certainly had its limitations (it was not an engine to create an open-world game with), but it was also surprisingly versatile, and the scripting engine allowed you to modify the core game experience quite extensively. Alas, Beamdog don’t seem to be targeting this release at mobile devices, which they did with their earlier Enhanced Edition releases. Which is a shame; I’d love the opportunity to play Neverwinter Nights (and mods for it, as well) on the go.

Still, it’s good to hear that this version of the game will continue to support mods for previous versions. I might have to dust off some of my old files!

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It’s Not Friday Yet, But GOG’s Black Friday Sale Is On Now Tue, 21 Nov 2017 19:59:14 +0000 Black Friday is technically at the end of this week, but that hasn’t stopped the folks at GOG from kicking off yet another sale:

Our Black Friday sale values both your time and money: free games for shopping or just dropping by, awesome offers, and a cool seven days to take in the selection.

Get MDK for FREE during the first 48 hours of the sale. First released in 1997 to critical acclaim, this is a classic your library deserves – a unique sci-fi shooter with tons of personality, humor, and gameplay variety. Go to the main page and claim your free MDK by clicking on the giveaway banner.

Every purchase you make during the sale will bring you closer to unlocking StarCrawlers for FREE when you spend 15 USD. StarCrawlers is one of 2017’s best hidden gems, think Legend of Grimrock in space, think cyberpunk meets Firefly, think ruthless corporations competing for power… and your morally questionable services in the midst of it all.

Finally, find over three hundred deals up to 90% off among all-time classics and greatest premieres of the year, including: Furi (-40%), The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt GOTY (-60%), Heroes of Might and Magic III (-75%), Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice (-25%), Dungeon Keeper 2 (-75%), Titan Quest Anniversary Edition (-80%), Little Nightmares (-50%) and many more.

Also worth noting are fantastic games under 2 USD: We Are The Dwarves with a whopping 92% discount; plus Total Annihilation: Commander Pack, Medal of Honor: Allied Assault War Chest, Populous and others!

The Black Friday sale ends on November 28, 11PM UTC. The MDK giveaway ends on November 23, 2PM UTC. Unlocking StarCrawlers requires total spendings of 15 USD (or the local equivalent) on any products while the sale lasts.

I did notice that the Ultima series is on sale for between 69% and 74% off (depending on how many games in the bundle you buy).

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Shroud of the Avatar – Update of the Avatar #254 Mon, 20 Nov 2017 14:05:53 +0000 Greetings Friends! Here’s what we have for you in this week’s edition of Update of the Avatar:

Play Release 48 Now!

Release 48 launched November 16. Feel free to log in to check out the changes! There’s new content to explore, including:

…and much more

Check out the Release 48 Instructions update for detailed information about all the new content.


Release 48 Player Instructions

Release 48 Known Issues

Release 48 Postmortem Telethon – Dec. 1


The next Postmortem Telethon, for Release 48, is already fast approaching! The winter season has fully set in and the devs are celebrating with holiday stretch goal items ready to be achieved. This telethon is on December 1!

The R48 telethon is going to mark a new format for some items. They will be somewhat going back to briefer Deep Dives. Also, they will be focusing more on related questions to those Deep Dives. Please see below on what questions they will and will not be taking.


Telethons are livestreamed on Twitch and include answers to your gameplay questions, world building tours, prize giveaways, sales on items, and more! See what the devs have planned below beginning at 3:00 PM CT on December 1:

  • 3:00PM: Introductions and Postmortem Q&A
  • 3:45PM: Deep Dive 1: Advanced Combat, Skills, Leveling
  • 4:30PM: World Building Tour
  • 5:30PM: Deep Dive 2: Economy, Crafting, Artifacts, Loot
  • 6:15PM: Postmortem Q&A Continues
  • 7:00PM: Ending Announcements
There are NO expirations this telethon. Schedule is subject to change. Check back here before the livestream begins!

STRETCH GOALS (Frosty Themed!)

As a special bonus, the devs are offering funding rewards to any backer that pledges a minimum of $5 for twelve hours during the day of the telethon, on December 1 from 12:00 PM to 11:59 PM CT (Spending Store Credit to make $5 minimum purchase does not apply) .

NOTE: While the livestream ends at 7pm CT, everyone will have until 11:59 PM CT to spend $5 to get the stretch goals. We will announce the final total on the following day.

  • $10K: Icicles Pattern Cloak
  • $25K: Ice Hot Tub
  • $35K: Ice Elemental Statue with icy effects
  • $50K: Ice Sword & Ice Shield
  • $65K: Ice Crown, Ice & Snow Themed Gown, and Ice Wand
  • $80K: Ice Dragon Statue with icy effects


StarrDancingFor every $2,500 donated, all developers on camera have to either dance, sing, or perform some other act of amazement.

Additionally, they will be spinning the Wheel of Fortune! The wheel will have 12 different categories of sales plus the Lord British and Darkstarr wildcards where they get to choose any category! Each time a category comes up it will go on sale at approx. 20% off for 1 hour.



  • Frosty goodies!
  • Bank Upgrades
  • COTOs
  • Store Credit
  • merchandise
  • and a bunch of items we will announce on the livestream!

They will be giving prizes away on an hourly basis with many being given away multiple times. If you wish to win prizes during the event, be in Discord chat! They will be active on Twitch and YouTube chats as well, but they will not be our portal for prize giveaways.


They will be answering questions throughout the livestream, so submit them in the comments section of the original post or on Discord chat during the event.

Please do NOT post:

  • More than 3 questions in total
  • Bugs or other problems best posted in the bug forums
  • “When is this coming”, “Why isn’t this in the game yet”, or anything related to schedule (for those answers please refer to the dev’s quarterly updates or post release plans)
  • Questions with more than a couple of sentences. Please keep them brief! They will likely understand the context of your interest, so just ask the question and they’ll be able to respond.

For bug reports and extra idea suggestions, please use forums for this purpose.

Keep an eye on @ShroudofAvatar for updates before, during, and after the livestream. See you on Twitch at 3:00 PM CT on December 1!


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Spam Spam Spam Humbug 93 – Getting Caught Up Thu, 16 Nov 2017 23:33:09 +0000

We talk about Ireland, hurricanes, Star Wars, and eventually Shroud of the Avatar.

Subscribe on iTunes | Subscribe on Google Play | Subscribe on TuneIn | Subscribe on Stitcher | Subscribe on Podbean | Subscribe on Android


This episode of Spam Spam Spam Humbug is brought to you by our Patreon backers; thank you to everyone who supports Spam Spam Spam Humbug and the Ultima Codex by that means. And, as always, a hearty thank you to our Patreon co-producers: Seth, Dominik, Chris, Violation, Adam, Erik, Thorwan, Pascal, Helgraf, Aaron, the Hearth of Britannia, Edward, Stirring Dragon, Cranberry, Slegnor, and Bruce.

Podcast Topic(s)

This episode was originally intended to be a discussion about Shroud of the Avatar and the current state of that game. And, to be fair, Boolean Dragon does lurch us over to that topic when he joins the conversation roughly halfway through the episode. But before then, we just…talked. We haven’t done a session recording like this in a goodly long time, and so the opportunity to just get caught up — and to banter — proved too great to resist.

We cover such topics as WtFD’s recent trip to Ireland, hurricanes and Atlantic storms, Star Wars, LEGO, and Ultima along the way. And Gradilla Dragon also introduces us to a new podcast concept — not yet launched — that he and Boolean Dragon are working on; if you’re an enthusiast for old CRT technology, this will be one to watch for!

Support Spam Spam Spam Humbug

Patreon | Buy Games at GOG | Like Ultima on Facebook | Follow the Ultima Codex on Twitter

Join the Ultima Community | Ultima Dragons on Facebook | Ultima Dragons on Google+ | Follow the Ultima Dragons on Twitter | Ultima Dragons on Slack | The Weyrmount | Ultima Dragons on Discord

Send Feedback

Send Us an Email | Leave a Voice Message | Join Us on Discord

Where to Find Us Online

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GoldenflameTapestry of Ages Games | Twitter | Facebook | SoundCloud

GradillaFacebook | SSSH Discord

Vanzilar DragonTwitter


Ultima VI Gates of Creation by OC ReMix

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Shroud of the Avatar – Update of the Avatar #253 Mon, 13 Nov 2017 13:20:34 +0000 Greetings Friends! Here’s what we have for you in this week’s edition of Update of the Avatar:

Game Development

Armors of Courage and Love (Full Sets)

Last week Portalarium showed off the first pieces (helms and chest pieces) of the armors of the three principles of Truth, Love, and Courage. Over the next few weeks they will be showing us the full sets of those armors.

[A Dev+ Forum Post by Starr “Darkstarr” Long]

The helms and chest pieces will be going live in Release 48 as part of quests in the Outskirts (helms) and the new mines (chest pieces). Starting in Release 49 the remaining pieces of the armor (gloves, leggings, and boots) will start to appear as rewards for other quests. 

Plate Armor of Courage Full Set:


Leather Armor of Love Full Set:


Scottie’s Yuletide Objects of 2017 (cont)

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

So! For today’s post in this ongoing thread I get to show off the 2017 Yule Stockings I mentioned I was working on! As has been my recent trend, You can see them as they appear in Max, and I’ve arranged them so that you can see the comparison between last year’s and this year’s… There’s even a new Craftable version in a beautiful blue variation!

Once I get them in the Unity Editor I base their material on the one used for 2016 to maintain consistency, but of course the variations in both the 3-D mesh as well as the new texture set I’ve created allows for some fun differences in look and feel! For me, it’s hard to break away from the “crocheted” style (since that’s the kind my mom used to make), but this year, instead of the more triangular dags with bells on the stocking cuffs, I’ve opted for a gentler “wave” pattern with dangling “pom-pom” puff-balls! Last year sported the whole striped look, while this year features swaths of solid color with three new designs; a smiling Sun (Sol Invictus!), Moon, and delicate snowflakes (at least as delicate as the simulated hand-stitching can manage)… A differently-configured and textured set of goodies inside helps complete the new look!After seeing them displayed starkly in Unity’s broad daylight, it’s now time to throw them into my cozy little Yule scene, with its roaring fire and properly festive surroundings. This is honestly where they were meant to be seen, and the various elements begin to take on the life they were meant to have as the candy glistens, the silver bells shine, and the holly takes on its natural waxy characteristics… Here, with closer, interior lights shining upon them, the details generated by the normal map I created help make the crocheted weave really stand out and sell the illusion of its somewhat rustic, hand-made appearance…Hopefully you’ve found the look of this year’s stockings delicious! My goal was to compliment last year’s in a way that would warm your heart as you present your guests with any of these variations side-by-side…

Up next I’m beginning work on some completely new Yuletide decorations in the form of a set of Garlands to compliment our existing holiday wreaths!

Scottie ^_^

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

Hello Everyone!!!

Today I was able to finish a new category of Yuletide decorative item that folks have been asking for! Allow me to present, the Yuletide Garlands!

There are two sets I’ve created for 2017, based on this year’s Yule Wreath created by Reid. There will be two set versions; the Ornate Garland set and the Craftable Garland set. Each set is composed of two kinds of elements (the shallow, U-shaped “Swag”, and the slightly fancier hanging “Ribbon Strand”) in two different sizes (small and large). You can see these below, having been completed in Max.They will be made to function in the same way as the wreaths, in that they are made to be hung on the walls (and other vertical surfaces large enough to accept them) to accompany wreaths from either this year or last year. This initial image below shows three pieces from the small Ornate set used in conjunction with this year’s wreath!And this image displays three large Ornate pieces set in a similar configuration! Of course, once these are made into proper deco items that I can give my character, I’ll be able to test their collision to make sure they do what I want them to do in a “live” house on an actual plot using the Deco Interface (as I tested the stockings and chimneys and such).In this final image for the garlands I’m showcasing the simpler, Craftable versions, and comparing their look with last year’s Craftable wreath. I think they complement each other quite nicely! You can see here that I used five different Craftable Garland pieces to create this arrangement, and in this manner (assuming all the deco tech functions properly), players should be able to adorn the walls of their house all around most rooms!I hope you enjoyed these additions to the Yuletide cheer.

Up next, I’ll be designing our first Yule Card you can give to your friends and loved ones! They should function just like our Valentines cards, but with a festive winter theme!


Scottie ^_^

Oh! And as a special, last minute bonus,…here’s the added pieces I created for the Yule Garlands, that allows you to decorate horizontal surface edges (like the stockings can)! You can see them at work here on a fireplace mantel, large and small! Depending on how you arrange them, you might even be able to fit a stocking or two along with them!

These are about 1/3rd the size of the small wall garland versions, as requested by Dallas, to allow for multiple garlands on such shelf-like edges, so you can trim a table, bookshelves, mantels. and any surface that has been given a horizontal collision shape…


Scottie ^_^

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

OK! So here I am at the last moment before Lockdown sneaking in my final Yuletide asset just before midnight! As promised, I was able to barely squeak by with my time and cram in everything I was hoping to accomplish, including the final hoped-for item,…the Yule Card!!!

Here it is laid down in broad daylight in the game, for comparison against the detail level and size of the earlier Valentines Day cards…Rich in color and detail, the 2017 Yule Card can has general winter-themed designs of a classic style with illuminations reminiscent of medieval fashions mixed with vintage painted borders and holly border elements. As such it could be easily labeled by a player to be used for all sorts of winter-themed holiday festivities…And once you invoke its interface, either in one’s inventory or by double-clicking on it in the game environment as a deco, you can enjoy seeing its illustration in even greater detail as you compose the perfect season’s greetings!Assembling this one from antique references was quite the chore, but well worth it… It’s going to be hard for me to top the beauty of this one for next year! ^_^Hopefully you’ve enjoyed checking out all the Yule celebratory items I cooked up for this 2017 season… Thank you so much to everyone who inspired and urged me to push that extra few steps forward to make these new items a reality!

I’ll be talking about all of these in the upcoming Live Stream!!!

Take care, my friends!

Scottie ^_^


Mage Duels: Getting Back to It Thu, 09 Nov 2017 23:06:42 +0000 We haven’t heard from the Mage Duels team in over a year, so some of you could be forgiven for having forgotten what that game intends to be all about. Put succinctly, it’s an arena battle game that takes a lot of design inspiration from Ultima Online.

And after roughly a year of radio silence, the developers want us to know that they’re working on the game still:

It has been over a year since I last checked in here. A lot has changed.

The new developer didn’t work out. However there was a lot of back and fourth with the new game designer Kirk. We went over many different iterations of changes that could be made to the game. Ultimately we settled on a new system that I will be detailing later.

For now I am working on merging months of changes from different prototypes back into the main branch. Because of the rapid changes that were happening at the time, I wasn’t able to blog most of it.

It’s good to see that this project is continuing, and it will be interesting to see what changes their various iterations and prototypes will bring to the game.

Legends of Aria: Final Alpha Recap Wed, 08 Nov 2017 19:55:56 +0000 The final alpha test for Legends of Aria (formerly Shards Online) concluded a while ago, and Citadel Studios have shared with us their thoughts on how everything went therewith:

…Over 2500 players logged in during the 2 ½ week period and played for a total of 33,000+ hours! We have spent the last few days collecting all the feedback and reading through every single bug report.

Of course, we will continue to iterate on all the core parts of the game like character progression, combat, and crafting. Your feedback in these areas is extremely valuable to us – as we begin to finalize implementations we will be making them available on our NDA protected experimental server for testing and balance. We will also be inviting users to take part in PvP focus tests to ensure that we reach the right balance for launch.

The team is excited to begin the shift towards bugs, polish and balance as we approach Beta. Almost every system in the game is going to get a polish pass between now and Beta. As many of you who have been following us know, we are not going to release Beta until we are where we want to be. Stay tuned for a more specific announcement about the release date.

If any of you reading this were able to take part in the alpha test, please do share with us your thoughts! It would be good to hear what your impressions of Legends of Aria were.

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Ultima Online: Publish 98.2 Released; Sorcerer Dungeon Issue Being Addressed Tue, 07 Nov 2017 19:39:01 +0000 Broadsword Online Games have released Publish 98.2 for Ultima Online to all of the game’s shards. Notable changes in this update include, per the change notes:

Veteran Rewards

  • 4 Year – Monster Statuettes that play a sound when locked down and activated within a house,
    • Stratos
    • Hydros
    • Pyros
    • Lithos
  • 7 Year – Enchanted Writing Desk
    • House addon crafting power tool for Inscription that allows up to 5000 charges to be stored.  Animation can be toggled on and off via item context menu.
  • 10 Year – Koi Pond
    • Animated house addon available in three sizes
  • 20 Year – Rideable Ethereal Serpentine Dragon

Holiday Rewards

  • All players logging into a production shard that are at least 30 days old between December 1, 2017 at 12:01am ET and December 31, 2017 at 11:59pm ET will receive a holiday gift token
  • Each gift comes with a gingerbread cookie inside one of 8 common gift boxes and 1 rare gift box available in a variety of hues, including 8 rare hues.
    • Holiday Bells – each “embossed with the likeness” of one of 36 different characters from Ultima history
    • Holiday Ribbon – each “hand tied” by a member of the Event Moderator team
    • Candy Cane – each “hand dipped” by a member of the UO Development Team
    • Firefly Garland – each “hand strung” by one of 26 different creatures
      • Animated item that is also a light source which can be toggled on an off by double clicking.
    • Jewelry Box
      • House add on that must be locked down to use.
      • Can be dyed with furniture dyes, natural dyes, and pigments
      • Holds up to 500 pieces of jewelry and requires 1 lockdown

Artisan Festival
The Artisan Festival returns for another year with new rewards, reverse city order and revised submission thresholds!

Additionally, in response to an issue that cropped up with the Sorcerer Dungeon in the game, Broadsword have announced a fix:

Starting with European shards on 11/1/2017 the issue with the drops in the Sorcerer’s Dungeon will be resolved with this evening’s maintenance. All other shards will receive the fix during regularly scheduled maintenance period.

We are disabling MyUO for Atlantic until we resolve the issues causing the server crash.

Hopefully, by the time you read this, the issue has been completely rooted out.

Sir Cabirus’ Ultima Underworld Walkthroughs Updated Tue, 07 Nov 2017 19:08:13 +0000 Sir Cabirus Dragon has, for quite some time, maintained one of the best Ultima Underworld walkthroughs available on the Internet. And recently, he made a number of changes and updates thereto:

After the release of my Ultima Underworld 2 walkthrough I wasn’t satisfied with my Ultima Underworld 1 walkthrough any longer. The Ultima Underworld 2 walkthrough has bigger pictures which one can invoke from the different maps. And these pictures are shown more centred. The Underworld 1 walkthrough had smaller pictures which appeared in the upper left corner of the browser.

Therefore I decided to make a major reworking of the Underworld 1 walkthrough. I resized 209 pictures and movies, changed 20 pages for the new resolution and corrected some errors. I also added some new screenshots and movies.

The reworking of my walkthrough is dedicated to Optician Dragon / Mark Morris who passed away in 2012. Optician was my main proofreader back in the days when I created this walkthrough the first time. Rest in peace my friend – see ya on the funway!

So, if you’ve been struggling to make your way through either Underworld game…you know where to go.