The Ultima Codex The Ultima Fan Network Sat, 20 Dec 2014 05:01:12 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Shroud of the Avatar: Update of the Avatar #104 Sat, 20 Dec 2014 04:54:27 +0000

Greetings Friends and Fellow Avatars!  As some of you have known, I have been working on a special holiday image for everyone for this Friday before Christmas.  I took to Adobe Illustrator in my spare time and recreated some of the tileset from Ultima 4 as well as create 3 new tiles that never existed in Ultima 4.  Because of the rise of Geeky Ugly Sweater and Ugly Tee designs, I bring to you… The Ultima 4 Inspired Ugly Christmas Graphic.  Now I wanted to put up downloadable copies of the Illustrator file as well as an EPS copy for everyone to download to play with and use however they wanted, but the file manager plugin is currently not in use due to security issues it has. So temporarily here is a dropbox link to a zip file.



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

  • Play Release 13 Now and Get Your Grand Tour Yule Hat
  • R13 Patch Notes
  • Vote for Shroud of the Avatar as the Most Anticipated MMO of 2015!
  • Cult of Spears Christmas Giveaway Winner!
  • $5 for $5 Holiday Bonus
  • In-game Community Weekend Events
  • Upcoming Events

Please note that December 20 – 28 and January 1 are official company holidays for Portalarium which means there will be no developer presence nor customer support on those dates.

Play Release 13 Now and Get Your Grand Tour Yule Hat

Release 13 successfully launched yesterday, December 18, with thousands of backers downloading, patching, logging in, and checking out the new changes! Lots of new content to explore, including:

  • New houses and decorations, including the much requested room dividers and hedges
  • 16 new skills, including our first Chaos magic spell
  • New consumable crafting recipes, including Smelling Salts, Explosive Potion, and Haste Potion
  • New creatures, including Earth and Air Elementals, Imp, Scorpion, and Reindeer.
  • New Desert Scenes
  • Combat balancing, especially so melee fighters aren’t so overpowered
  • …and more!

Check out the Release 13 Instructions update for detailed information about all the R13 content.
The Grand Tour Quest
Just as in the last few releases, we’ve a Grand Tour Quest designed to guide us through all the new content. And just in time for the holidays, you will be able to get the Yule Hat by completing the Release 13 Grand Tour Quest. This reward can only be unlocked during Release 13 (did someone say rares?), so be sure to log in soon and talk to all the Tour Guides!

If you need help getting your R13 Yule Hat reward, then check out The Mad Hermit’s video guide to completing the R13 Grand Tour Quest:

Please help with testing the new patches, putting more stress on our multiplayer servers, and testing the new game content, so please join us in playing Release 13!

If you have not backed the game yet, you will need to register and login at, select the “Pledge or Send Gift!” button in the right side-bar, and purchase a pledge at the $45 Adventurer level or above. The basic Adventurer level pledge is also available on Steam Early Access.

Release 13 Player Instructions

Release 13 Known Issues

R13 Patch NotesThanks to all the community members that jumped right into Release 13 and started reporting bugs. The team has already fixed quite a few of them and pushed out a couple of patches. Click here for the most up-to-date Patch Notes.

December 19, 2014

Build Number 199 (Linux, Mac, PC): 5:30 PM CST (15:30 GMT)

  • Augmented Cloth Hood no longer removes facial hair
  • Deathfield nerfed slightly
  • Obsidian Cloak now displays the proper symbol
  • Fixed a logic error that gave you bonuses and penalties to fizzle chances for standing still or moving BUT only if holding a bow. Now will apply those no matter what weapon is equipped. Also, cut the penalty in half.
  • Immolation is now enabled in the game (no really, we aren’t kidding)
  • Fixed various typos in conversations
  • Changed Launcher to default to 64 bit windows build if machine is capable
  • Various performance optimizations (should make Owl’s Head play much better)
  • Updated the get hit sound effect to something marginally better but still placeholder
  • Fixed doorways in desert buildings that were blocking fully scaled avatars
  • Books should no longer appear in the equipment tab
  • Kobold Mages and Archers should now have the correct names
  • Fixed floating fence and boulders in Wynton’s Folly (new desert scene)
  • Fixed issue that was causing multiple items to be selected in inventory, even when trying to select single items

Build Number 198 (Linux, Mac, PC): 9:30 AM CST (15:30 GMT)

  • Marlene Graff’s quest to recover her necklace is now working properly
  • Red Sash Bandits now dropping Red Sashes again
  • Fixed text overlap issue in Options UI
  • Fixed issues with Blink letting you go through walls of player houses
  • Added more footstep sounds
  • “Random Encounter!” text replaced with “Prepare to defend yourself!”
  • Player placed lights can now be turned off
  • Partial fix for the issue that many creatures will run away from you briefly before running towards you when they notice you
  • Duke and Baron crows now work properly with hair
  • Fixed Grand Tour bug where guides sometimes don’t acknowledge you when you typed the “Progress” keyword
  • Visual Effects for Caltrops and Explosive Potions are now in the game.
  • Chest Mimics are now working again
  • Fixed rock in Link of Hyrule’s yard
  • Random Encounters are now flagged as private so they will no longer be filled with dead animals and mined out resources
  • Changed Tour Guide names so they have the place name in their name (“say name one more time *********!”)
  • Sitting with a torch while AFK no longer burns your nether regions
  • Caltrops can no longer be placed in your non-combat bar (which was locking you in place if you tried to use it)
  • Spiders in Deep Ravenswood should be more challenging/balanced

December 18, 2014

Build Number 196 (Linux, Mac, PC): 12:30 PM CST (18:30 GMT)

  • Mac Build is now working! Thank you for your patience
  • New Lord of the Manor Keep should have collision and sound effects on the doors
  • Gravity returned to Wynton’s Folly (new desert scene). Fixed floating resource node, floating building and floating tree
  • Ladders and stairs in Wynton’s Folly (new desert scene) should now work
  • Scorpions now playing spitting animation (yes just what you always wanted, to be covered in Scorpion spit, you are welcome)
  • Air Elemental now using lightning instead of ice arrow
  • Increased slow effects for Ice Spells and Combos: Ice Arrow, Ice Field, Ice Fist, Icy Puncture, and Icy Thrust
  • Players can now use /reportplayer and /reportcontent in the chat window which will send tickets to our Customer Service system for inappropriate content

Please Vote for Shroud of the Avatar for Massively’s Most Anticipated MMO of 2015!

Massively is running a Reader Poll for the the Most Anticipated MMO of 2015, so please click this link to go cast your vote for Shroud of the Avatar!

Cult of Spears Christmas Giveaway
For those of you who didnt see it, The Cult of Spears did what was the first of their SotA events this month, that ended today.  This time was an out of game Christmas giveaway.  GolemDragon (that’s me!) put up a full set of the new Shroud of the Avatar Steam Trading Cards and a copy of the classic, Dungeon Keeper. Entries were made by community members submitting a christmas recipe.  The winner was randomly selected live on stream and announced live on Avatar’s Radio and confirmed by Avatars Radio via IRC confirmation from the winner.  Community Member, Bubonic, won.  Below are copies of the Submissions. Major thanks to all 10 individuals who entered.
Winning Entery - Chosen by Random Number Generator Duke Violation Handwritten Runic Duke Violation Runic Isaiah Browncoat Jayson Runic Version fo Browncoat Jayson's Frigidazzi FanofIolo Sophi Redfish Drocis Fondorlatos Leviathan Alestorm
Duke Violation set the bar high early on with his handwritten runic entry.  While creativity or the beauty of the image did not play a role in the contest, I was still very pleased by the work everyone put into their entries.  Each entry brought something that made each community member stand out in a good way.  Way to Go… The Cult of Spears honors each of you this Friday before Christmas.

$5 for $5 Holiday BonusIf you make any purchase of $5 or more on the SotA website between 12 pm CST December 18 and 12 pm CST January 2 we will make a one-time deposit of an extra $5 into your Store Credit!


[NOTE: The $5 for $5 offer can be exercised only once during the promotion period.
$5 Store Credit should show up in your account within 24 hours of a qualifying purchase]

In-game Weekend Community Eventsavatars-circle-logo-concept-7[1]Our amazing community has another great lineup of in-game events planned for this weekend. If you missed out on these player events during the previous Releases, we highly recommend you check some of them out this weekend. Here is the latest schedule of player events from the Avatar’s Circle Community Events calendar (

Friday, December 19
10:00am CST – Dungeon Run – Braemar Cemetery
2:00pm CST – FireLotus Release Party – R13 is here! (Wody’s Tavern, Port Phoenix)
7:00pm CST – Dungeon Run – Braemar Cemetery

Saturday, December 20
9:00am CST – PaxLair Working Hours – Host Winfield (in Valemark)
11:00am CST – Church of the Dark Star – The Monsters that Dwell Within – Greed (PaxLair, Valemark)
12:00pm CST – Welcome Quest in R13 (“/zone Dara Brae” to join; details)
3:00pm CST – Yule Maze (in Owl’s Head or “/zone Net” or “/zone Riya”)
4:00pm CST – Scholarly Lecture – Flora and Fauna of New Britannia (Port Phoenix Fairgrounds, Kingsport, or “/zone Kazyn Phoenixfyre”)
5:00pm CST – PvP Tournament: 1v1 Double Elimination $$$ (Vengeance in The Brave Coast)

Sunday, December 21
5:30am CST – Explore Novia with royalsexy (Owl’s Head entrance)
12:00pm CST – Port Phoenix Storytelling Event! (Port Phoenix Fairgrounds, Kingsport City Center, or “/zone Kazyn Phoenixfyre”)
1:00pm CST – Learn to Gather (Owl’s Head crafting pavilion)
2:00pm CST – Hangout of the Avatar – Economy & Chat systems (details)
4:00pm CST – All Towns Gathering (Dara Brae)
6:00pm CST – Fishing with Winfield (some lake or pond, “/zone Winfield”)
7:00pm CST – PaxLair Meeting (in Valemark or “/zone Winfield PaxLair”)

Upcoming Events

2014.12.18 – Release 13 Access
2015.01.06 – SotA at CES
2015.01.22 – Release 14 Access
2015.02.19 – Release 15 Access
2015.03.13 – SotA at SXSW Interactive
2015.03.26 – Release 16 Access

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Ultima Underworld on Golem Retro Fri, 19 Dec 2014 04:12:08 +0000

German IT news site has launched a new video feature called Golem Retro, which in its first season has been taking a look at some classic games of yestermillenia. The third entry in the series focuses on Ultima Underworld, and considers how its engine and freeform gameplay style influenced later games…all the way up to Deus Ex, BioShock, and Skyrim.

The Golem site, and the video, are in German, so those of you who don’t speak the language will be out of luck when it comes to giving it a listen. But maybe someone who does speak German will be so kind as to summarize the main points for us.

(Hat tip: Toltec Dragon)

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Miss Lord of Ultima? This Might Be a Game to Check Out. Fri, 19 Dec 2014 03:54:31 +0000 crown-of-the-gods

If you were a fan of EA Phenomic’s Lord of Ultima and were sad to see it shut down, Crown of the Gods may be something you want to check out.

Someone going by the handle AvalonLady left a comment describing the game thusly:

If you liked Lord of Ultima (for it’s own merits, despite not actually being a part of the Ultima franchise) and were one of the people waving a torch and pitchfork in front of EA HQ when they announced that they were killing it – all hope is not lost. Gaming Addict Studios, a group of developers and strategy gamers from around the world, have come together to create a unique strategy MMO called Crown of the Gods.

Crown of the Gods is past alpha testing and development is almost done. There is a kickstarter in progress (it met goal in 17 minutes!!) to pay for the final artwork, and hopefully expanded goals as well, and the first beta will be open soon after the kickstarter closes. Players have already gathered and are setting up alliances for the 3rd Beta.

You can check out what the game is about — although they are a little light on screenshots — at its website proper, and if what you see interests you, there is also its ongoing Kickstarter campaign, which has about 22 days left to go.

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Is Shroud of the Avatar Your Most Anticipated MMO of 2015? Go Vote For It! Fri, 19 Dec 2014 03:33:31 +0000 SotA_R13_GraffGemMine1

Massively is running a survey to assess what is the most anticipated MMO of 2015, according to their reader base.

Naturally, Shroud of the Avatar is one of the options, and in fact it seems to have captured the top spot in the survey for the moment (although both EverQuest Next and Camelot Unchained have similar, and only slightly lesser, scores). So if Shroud is the game you are most looking forward to next year, head on over to Massively and register your support for it…just to shore up its lead, of course.

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Shroud of the Avatar: Release 13 Instructions Posted Thu, 18 Dec 2014 03:58:33 +0000 SotA_DesertBiome2

With the thirteenth pre-alpha test release — colloquially known as Release 13 — of Shroud of the Avatar beginning tomorrow, Starr Long has of course posted instructions and change notes for the release on the game’s website:

When we first released our Q4 2014 schedule over 3 months ago we were quite optimistic about how much we could accomplish in that period of time, while at the same time transitioning to 24/7 uptime with persistence. While we were able to complete as much work as we had planned (and in many cases more) that work ended up being very different than what we first planned. This is what comes out of a very iterative and responsive approach to development. Our velocity is almost exactly what we had hoped but the direction of our efforts varies.

We believe that this approach will result in a much better game than if we simply marched along with a rigid plan that had no room for adaptation. We hope you share that belief and continue to support us on this unique journey.

Release 13 is our first release since launching on Steam Early Access last month and we believe that the changes and additions we have made are making the game both more beautiful and more playable. From the incredible stark beauty of the desert scenes to the rush of flames engulfing your axe, you will find much to enjoy. Of course with new content comes new bugs and balance issues, so help us out by posting bugs and feedback in our official forums.

Also remember while we are providing new content with each release, our community is also working overtime to make new events for you to enjoy so be sure to check out the Community Events Calendar (via in game book or the website).

Please note that December 20 – 28 and January 1 are official company holidays for Portalarium which means there will be no developer presence nor customer support on those dates.

You can check out a shortened summary of new features that Release 13 brings to Shroud of the Avatar at the event entry for it here. A full list of change notes — including features that were initially planned but later cut from Release 13 — can be found in Starr’s post.

And in case you need to reinstall the game, instructions for that can be found here.

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Ultima 8 Pagan in Minecraft: Milestone 1 Video; New Downloads Thu, 18 Dec 2014 03:23:00 +0000

kodenkm left a couple comments on the project entry for his Minecraft-based remake of Ultima 8. In the first, he announces that he has made progress on the remake (always a good thing to hear):

Progress Update

I’ve got enough done now for a milestone 1 video and map download. Its still far from complete though.
There is a map file and basic place holder resource pack for some texture changes.

Of course, with downloads at the Codex offline for now, he then went on to provide download links of his own, for all of you to make use of if you’re interested in testing out his work:

I fixed an issue with the default starting location and uploaded a new zip file. This one should at least put the player in the start room and in the correct Adventure game mode.

Here are some more direct download links:

It’s good to see this project progressing! Minecraft seems oddly well-suited to the task of remaking Ultima 8.

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Exult: Teleport Cheat Fully Implemented Thu, 18 Dec 2014 03:10:40 +0000 exult-coordinate-teleport

Dominus left a comment on the recent post about his efforts to restore Ultima 7’s teleport cheat functionality in Exult, announcing that the implementation of the cheat has now been completed…with a bonus feature, even:

…the teleport cheat screen is now finished with all of the options working. As I’m really really not a programmer I’m actually a bit proud of myself. BUT I did need help from wjp of our team or I’d be stuck a couple of times.

Especially the geographic teleporter is quite useful – the original didn’t have that

And during the course of testing his work, he discovered something interesting about how The Black Gate and Serpent Isle handle in-game coordinates:

Curios thing I noticed while working on the teleport cheat screen for Exult:

Geographic 0°/0° in The Black Gate is where the throne of LB is. (you could guess that with the map if you look closely).

When you look at the Serpent Isle cloth map you see that 0°/0° is in Fawn which is kind of an okish location. BUT… in the game the *actual* 0°/0° is somewhere in the frozen north close to the entrance of Skullcrusher. This is likely caused by the teleport storm map trick they do in the beginning.

I’m just curios, I can’t possibly be the first to notice that, right?

(btw. it’s not a problem of Exult, the original shows the same coordinates in SI)

Did anyone else ever take note of that?

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Elderlands: New Beta Patch; GM Troubles Wed, 17 Dec 2014 05:30:46 +0000 elderlands-chat

As the latest update to the Elderlands website expains, its ongoing beta has been updated to version 1.00.015. It brings a number of changes to the game, including several significant bug fixes and numerous interface adjustments. As well, a dungeon called the Lower Crypt of Ildor is now open, and some new high-level creatures now have special rare loot on them.

Oh, and the Mage class’ Explosive Touch ability has been nerfed. Some Cleric abilities are also now available.

Meanwhile, on the Elderlands Facebook page, Jason Ely informs the community about a GM who was briefly hired on and…subsequently proved to be very problematic:

Recently we discovered that a newly added GM had violated the GM code of conduct and engaged in some activity on Land of War server which is not acceptable.
Violations consisted of the following:

  • Spawning Creatures with high drop tables for their friends.
  • Using GM teleport powers to take friends back to their bodies.
  • Creating high end items that are not yet in the game loot tables and handing them out to friends.
  • Attempting to sell high end items to other players via their in game Alt player.

The GM was removed from service and all of their accounts have been

It’s good that the Elderlands team were able to respond to this issue as quickly as they were. And they are overhauling their recruitment process and tools to prevent such abuses in the future.

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Ananias: Version 1.45 Released, With Ultima Fan Fiction Too Wed, 17 Dec 2014 04:46:42 +0000 ananias-v1.45-2014-12-15-at-11-22-06-pm

Slashing Dragon has released version 1.45 of Ananias; it is, per usual, available to be played online or on Android devices.

In this update, arrows gain a small chance to be re-usable after being fired, and arrows will be automatically loaded when picked up. Weapon descriptions will now show, and garbage and blood graphics will no longer be placed on fountains.

As well, Slashing Dragon has penned an interesting bit of Ultima fan fiction, concerning a character called Flaco the Alchemist. Worth the read!

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Sylph: Project Miyaji Alpha 5 Released Wed, 17 Dec 2014 04:20:20 +0000

Kevin Fishburne has released Alpha 5 of his SHMUP for Linux, Sylph: Project Miyaji.


More music by Mordi (no more placeholder songs by Mecano Associates, Mark Seibert and Joey Carbone and Richie Zito), better bullet and laser collision detection by ordering/sorting ships, partial and full crew ejection from damaged and destroyed ships, proper base stage entry and exit, improved ship ground physics, ship part debris collision detection and deflection and the usual endless rounds of refinement and bug killing. While this is still an early release, I hope the well-documented debug features will prove amusing and a good test of the engine.


With Sylph‘s “engine” nearing completion I’ll continue to create final assets such as stages/areas, ship models/textures, effective and interesting AI, weapon balancing, score (Mordi) and ensuring a balanced progression across the twenty stages.

You can find install instructions and a list of controls in Kevin’s news post about it. And do check out the gameplay video above!

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Ultima Journeys: The Path to Virtue (Ultima 4) Wed, 17 Dec 2014 03:36:06 +0000 u4-avatar_010

Linguistic Dragon has found time to post another entry in his ongoing chronicle of his journey through Ultima 4. Much of this gameplay session involved moving between towns: monsters were slain, equipment was purchased, and companions were found and asked to join the party.

Now, Linguistic is trying to play through the games with the mindset that his character is the same person in each adventure. Not that the Ultimas track this, of course; what you do in one game has no impact on how NPCs react to you in the next game. But it made for this amusing sequence, even if the trepidation existed only in Linguistic Dragon’s head and heart:

It was with trepidation that Dupre, Iolo and I entered the city deep in the forest, and nearly everyone I talked to expounded to me on the nature and value of justice, which only deepened the guilt I felt for Aric’s past deeds here. It all came to a head when I was directed to talk to Talfourd about the rune, and he asked me a question: could I honestly claim to never have been guilty of any crime whatsoever?

I know I’d definitely appreciate a little understanding here.
I’d committed many within the boundaries of this very city. I told him the truth, and he sent me to do some time in a cell with the felons. And yet, there in the depths of my despair as I contemplated the nature of justice and how appropriate it was that I found myself here… there it was, right within the cell, the Rune of Justice. Perhaps there was hope for Aric yet.

So heartened, I left Yew behind to make my way to Jhelom, where I did indeed ask about sextants at the pub, and was informed that I could purchase them at guild shops – so long as I asked the proprietor in the right way. I made a note to do so at the earliest chance I got, one of those would certainly come in handy. While I managed to discover the mantra of valor, I couldn’t find anything out about the rune just yet – I’d have to come back later. A ranger on his way to Yew expounded on the finer points of his native Skara Brae, so I made that my next destination.

Do read the whole thing. And keep checking in on Linguistic’s journeys; he is headed for Magincia next.

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Shroud of the Avatar – Update of the Avatar #103 Sat, 13 Dec 2014 16:04:25 +0000

Greetings Fellow Avatars!

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

  • The Heart of Sorrow Artifact
  • Release 13 Grand Tour Quest
  • Ignite Weapons in R13
  • SotA Community is Rockin’ It!
  • In-game Community Weekend Events
  • SotA Merchandise Available at Relics by Rild
  • R12 Steam Access Keys Available for All Backers
  • How to Cancel Monthly Payment Plans
  • Recruitment Bonus Allocation Expiration
  • This Week In the News
  • Upcoming Events

The Heart of Sorrow Artifact


The Heart of Sorrow is a legendary item rumored to be a powerful artifact of the ancient world. Some say it is a powerful weapon capable of driving foes into deep despair. Others say that it is a cursed item, that serves only to cause the one who possesses it to become lost in sadness.

The Release 13 Grand Tour Quest

Just as in our past few releases, we’re including a Grand Tour Quest in R13 designed to guide you through all the new content. Just in time for the holiday season, you will be able to get this Yule Hat by completing the Release 13 Grand Tour Quest. This reward can only be unlocked during Release 13 (did someone say rares?), so be sure to log in to R13 starting next week and talk to all the Tour Guides!




Time is Running Out to Get Your R12 Grand Tour Quest Reward

Better hurry if you want to add the Pilgrim’s Hat to your collection because the R12 Grand Tour Quest ends next week when we launch Release 13

(NOTE: We’re not sure of the exact date that R12 ends. We’re striving to keep R12 open until 10:00 am CST December 18 by opening a test server for R13, but we don’t have confirmation of that at the time of this writing. We’ll post an announcement once we’ve locked down times)

Ignite Weapons in R13Wish you had a flaming sword? Now you can ignite any weapon with the new Fire Magic spell in Release 13!  This has me super excited as a melee player… now I have a reason to get more then just a healing spell in the magic trees and consider a hybrid build.



SotA Community is Rockin’ It!

It’s time again to celebrate the quality and diversity of Shroud of the Avatar music being created by the amazing composers within our community. Enjoy!

Power of Virtue, by James Stratton-Crawley (aka Holt Ironfell):
Grandmaster Bard Holt Ironfell took on the challenge of crafting the major Truth, Love and Courage themes for Shroud of the Avatar’s main virtue themes. This was especially hard because we wished to find separate themes for Truth, Love and Courage, as well as instrumentation, that could all play separately and play well together at the same time. To add to the challenge, we would eventually want minor versions to represent anti-virtues, and for Love we needed a masculine and feminine version. All in all, a very tall order. The Power of Virtue is a towering example of the successful combination of Truth, Love and Courage! Hear the bells ring true, hear the love of the strings and the brassy horns of courage. Then combined with orchestration and vocals. It is a masterpiece of composition!

Truth, by James Stratton-Crawley (aka Holt Ironfell):
The first of the 3 principle virtue break outs, Truth, by Grandmaster Bard Holt Ironfell, showcases the Principle of Truth, as a pure, and aspirational ideal!

Hail Novia!, by Tuomas Pitkänen (aka Aftermath_FIN):
Composed and arranged by Tuomas Pitkänen with the marvelous vocals of Jenna Holdway, Hail Novia beckons to explorers of this first continent of New Britannia to come and seek their destinies, in the rich open lands full of adventure and promise. All visitors to our lands will be inspired by works such as this!”

Travesty of Justice, by Douglas Yassen (aka Dougyfresh):
Many have forsaken the virtues in the lands of Lord British. Players will oft come across a place where a “Travesty of Justice” might be found and need righting. Douglas has composed this masterwork, that will both inform, yet beckon unto adventurers to bear witness and take action!

Combat & Control, by Jarrod Kailef (aka Kailef):
A brilliant collaboration between Kailef and Holt, Combat & Control echoes in the hills and canyons where the good people struggle to resist the forces that would otherwise destroy civilization in New Britannia!

– Lord British

Are you a composer who is interested in helping to shape the sounds of Novia? Then visit our forums ( to find out how you can get involved!

Release 12 In-game Weekend Community Events

avatars-circle-logo-concept-7[1]Our amazing community has another great lineup of in-game events planned for Release 12 this weekend. If you missed out on these player events during the previous Releases, we highly recommend you check some of them out this weekend. Here is the latest schedule of player events from the Avatar’s Circle Community Events calendar (

Friday, December 12
10:00pm CST – Dungeon Run – Braemar Cemetery
7:00pm CST – Dungeon Run – Braemar Cemetery

Saturday, December 13
9:00am CST – PaxLair Working Hours – Host Winfield (in Valemark)
11:00am CST – Church of the Dark Star – The Monsters that Dwell Within – Sacrifice (PaxLair, Valemark)
12:00pm CST – Port Phoenix – Governor’s Office Hours (Kingsport, Port Phoenix Town Hall)
1:00pm CST – Learn to Gather (Owl’s Head Crafting Pavilion; details)
3:00pm CST – Sky Arena PvP Tournament, Winner gets 250,000 Gold! (Island Castle on The Brave Coast; sign up here)

Sunday, December 14
5:30 am CST – Explore Novia with royalsexy (Braemer cemetery)
7:00 pm CST – PaxLair Meeting (in Valemark or “/zone Winfield PaxLair”)

SotA Merchandise Available at Relics by Rild

Community member Ben Pritchard (aka Rild) has launched his new website, Relics by Rild (, your source for officially licensed Shroud of the Avatar merchandise! He’s just getting started and lots of awesome items are on their way soon. Here’s what he has available now, so better hurry and get yours before they sell out:



Steam Access Keys Available for All SotA Backers

SotA successfully launched on Steam Early Access on November 24, and we’ve made Steam Access Keys available to all our backers as part of their basic pledge rewards! Once you’ve redeemed your Steam Access Key you’ll have the option of playing SotA either with the Steam client or the regular game client (or both).

Click here for instructions to redeem your Steam access key and installing the Steam SotA client…

If you play SotA on Steam you can collect the SotA Trading Cards! Collect a full set of SotA trading cards to earn SotA badges, profile backgrounds, and emoticons that help you customize your profile and show off your Shroud of the Avatar gameplay. Check out Steam’s trading card FAQ for more information.

How to Cancel Monthly Payment Plans

Remember that Pledge payment plans are not canceled automatically after reaching the desired pledge. You must manually cancel your monthly payment plan, which can be done at anytime on your SotA Account page. We apologize for any inconvenience this might cause, but it is a result of how recurring billing functions with PayPal, Amazon, and Stripe (our credit card service).



Recruitment Bonus Allocation Expiration

The Recruitment Bonus Program ended at 12:00 pm CST December 2, 2014, but you will have until midnight CST December 31, 2014 to alter the allocation of your recruitment bonuses on your Account page. After the deadline, the “Recruits” user interface on your Account page will no longer be available, and any unallocated recruitment bonuses will be automatically applied to your pledge (or to your highest valued pledge if you have more than one).



This Week In the News

December 12 – Richard Garriott’s Shroud of the Avatar is Ultima Online 2 in so many ways

Upcoming Events

2014.12.18 – Release 13 Access
2015.01.06 – SotA at CES
2015.01.22 – Release 14 Access
2015.02.19 – Release 15 Access
2015.03.13 – SotA at SXSW Interactive
2015.03.26 – Release 16 Access

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How Big Was the World In the Isometric Version of Ultima 9? Sat, 13 Dec 2014 04:31:42 +0000 ultima-9-original-world-size-comparison-u5

So in the comments to the news post about the Bill Randolph interview, a bit of a debate emerged after commenter Mark pulled up this screenshot from the Codex of Ultima Wisdom:

Original Ultima 9 Editor

Using this as a basis, he did a bit of math, and came to the conclusion that back when Ultima 9 was still being built as an isometric game, the total size of its world would have been significantly bigger. The diagram above depicts his work and reasoning.

What say you, Dragons and Dragonettes? Are his math and reasoning sound?

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Shards Online: Kickstarter Successful; PayPal Pledging Coming Soon (Correction!) Sat, 13 Dec 2014 03:41:04 +0000 Shards Online

The Shards Online Kickstarter campaign has come to an end, raising a quite respectable $105,717 to support the completion of the game’s alpha build. There was really quiet a nice uptick in pledging as the campaign drew to a close:

Shards Online: Play by your rules -- Kicktraq Mini

Citadel Studios, for their part, have posted a highlight video detailing some of their favourite footage from the various showcases of Shards they released.

I wasn’t able to tune in, but I gather that during the campaign wrap-up stream, they also announced that they’ll be adding PayPal pledging to the Shards website in the near future (December 15th seems to be “the day” for that…). Moreover, funds accrued through the Shards website will be put toward the next batch of stretch goals announced only a few hours prior to the end of the Kickstarter campaign.

The First Age of Update: A small correction to the above: the Pledge page at the Shards website is now live, and the Kickstarter tiers and rewards will be available thereat until the 15th. After that date, new tiers and rewards will be swapped in.

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The Dark Unknown: Almanac Work; Save System; Town of Stout; Graphics Updates Sat, 13 Dec 2014 03:29:22 +0000 the-dark-unknown

Goldenflame Dragon has been very busy in the month since we last checked in with him, and has made progress on a few different aspects of The Dark Unknown. He seems to have spent much of November working on the game’s manual, the Almanac:

Just wrote a big chunk of text for the Almanac, finishing the History section. Includes the creation myth that explains the names of a lot of the geographical features, and the history of the Kingdom and now explains why there is another continent in the game, why no one lives there, why there is a portal network, and who made the Palace of the Skies. As soon as I thought of how to tie those things together I had to write it all down right away. I might post a teaser after I’ve done one editing pass.

The save system also saw some work late in the month:

Hard at work (heh, right) on the save system- features can now be converted into data that I can save. Next up will be creatures, which will be more complicated, in part because they have inventories that can contain features.

But, as November drew to a close, creatures were not what he opted to work on:

Made the map for the town of Stout. Only one town left to do. I considered making a little behind the scenes video showing my map editor and what goes into making a map for DU, but I scuttled it when I realized it was incredibly boring. I may try again later with a map I have more of already sketched out in advance- this was too much of me dithering as I decided what to put where.

As December began, he turned his attention to the game’s story:

No coding or mapmaking tonight, but I did iron out what may be the last of the problems I had in plotting. The third chapter of the game feels a lot more natural now, with the player having a lot more agency in figuring out solutions rather than just being told “you’ll need this, go find all the bits”. Which, mind you, would be par for the era this mimics (how _do_ Bartenders always know such useful things?) but I like this better.

He then worked on graphics:

In the last two nights have I drawn: four bookshelves (a two-tile wide bookshelf, a one-tile wide bookshelf, and then both of those with the books all knocked over to represent a bookshelf that the player has searched), a bed, up and down stairs (unsure if I will use), a mirror, and a version of the mirror that will be able to reflect whatever stands in front of it, not just the player. Also, a blank scroll, some spider silk, and a black pearl.

I’ve made a list, I have 27 missing graphics currently, not including some spell effects I’ll eventually want. But, progress.

And after logging his 1000th SVN check-in, he went on a bit of a bug hunt, adding some new features along the way:

Mirrors now reflect; searching bookshelves works. Fixed a few bugs, and started working on a map that will use some of the technology I constructed for the Palace of the Skies map, so at least that stuff isn’t going into only one map that happens to be optional… though this new map is optional, too. The Ethereal Plane.

The above update was posted yesterday, so…we are now, for the time being, caught up on what has been happening with The Dark Unknown. Even though the HoBLotH diverted some of Goldenflame’s attentions, he has still made some excellent progress on the game.

He’s also on Twitter now, by the by.

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Shards Online: Kickstarter Reaches $100,000; New Stretch Goals Announced Fri, 12 Dec 2014 19:28:30 +0000 Shards Online

The Kickstarter campaign for Shards Online has reached — breached — the $100,000 mark!

Shards Online: Play by your rules -- Kicktraq Mini

And, with a mere five hours left to go, Citadel Studios have announced a whole new batch of stretch goals:

This stretch goal will add additional skin tone, hair and face options for both male and female characters in our initial Alpha One release.

Want hot pink armor in Alpha? Well you better hope we hit this one!

Spellcrafting will allow you to create improved spell scrolls that give bonuses to your spell’s base properties. Alchemy is the art of creating mystical potions.

Don’t want to stand around peddling your own wares? Hire a merchant to do it for you.

This goal will add an additional playable race to the game at Alpha One. As we approach this goal, we will put up another poll to let you vote on which race we add.

And don’t forget to tune in for the campaign wrap-up stream taking place later today!

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So There’s a Wing Commander Easter Egg in Ultima Underworld Fri, 12 Dec 2014 19:14:49 +0000 stygian_abyss_easter_egg

Our friends at the Wing Commander CIC reported on an easter egg that someone uncovered in Ultima Underworld. The news actually went up in October, so my apologies for the delay in posting about it here.

Andi Green spotted a little known secret tucked away in Ultima Underworld: The Stygian Abyss. A set of runes includes a defiant Kilrathi message from the future! “Thou canst not defeat the Drakhri!” The old-timey English was obviously reworded slightly, but Drakhai (Kilrathi Imperial Guards) ended up becoming Drakhri (medium fighter). Both emerged about the same time (the Drakhai in SM2, Drakhri a few months later in WC2), but they’re definitely not the same thing!

For what it’s worth, there’s no mention of the Drakhri anywhere on the Codex of Ultima Wisdom, so for all intents and purposes this probably counts as a new discovery.

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Exult: Teleport Cheat Screen Partially Restored Fri, 12 Dec 2014 19:03:55 +0000 exult-coordinate-teleport

Dominus posted a photo to the Ultima Dragons Facebook group to announce a feature that he had restored to Exult, namely the teleport cheat screen.

Using Exult to play through SI, I missed the teleport cheat screen and easy looking up of geographic coordinates. So I implemented the geographic coordinates display and partially have the teleport cheat screen working.

You can teleport to NPC number and to decimal coordinates but adding the functions to teleport to geographic and hex coordinates is a bit more difficult and I’m not a real coder.
And I wanted to commit this already

So enjoy this new, very important feature in Exult

Hit up the Exult project site to grab the latest snapshot download, and give the teleport cheat a try for yourself!

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Shards Online: Kickstarter Campaign Wrap-Up; Vote For a New Map Fri, 12 Dec 2014 05:20:19 +0000 shards-online-graphics-comparison-06

The Shards Online Kickstarter campaign has, as of this writing, just 19 hours left to go, and the campaign seems to have been a success overall. As of this moment, the game has raised over $90,000 on the crowdfunding platform, ensuring the addition of a story editor to the game’s toolset.

Shards Online: Play by your rules -- Kicktraq Mini

If $100,000 can be raised, a new map will be added to the alpha release of the game…and Citadel Studios are letting their supporters vote for what that map should be on the Shards website.

As well, the development team will be hosting Twitch channel, and they will also be taking questions via the shardsonline Skype account.

If you’ve not yet pledged to Shards, there’s still a bit of time to do it. So, you know…get on that.

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Ananias: Version 1.44 Released Fri, 12 Dec 2014 05:01:44 +0000 ananias-v1.44-shot-2014-12-05-at-7-41-57-am

Slashing Dragon has updated Ananias again, bringing its version to 1.44. The major change in this version seems to be that items can now be used on pets. New spells have also been added, the Knight class has gained a Block skill (as have some enemies), and fountains in the game will now cause random effects.

And, of course, there were various balancing changes made, bugfixes, and (of course) UI tweaks.

You can play it online right now, or download it to your Android device.

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