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[SOTA Official News] Update of the Avatar #206 – 2016.12.09: Ardoris Polish, Making of Blood Bay, Community Spotlight – Aldwater Player Town, Obsidian


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Greetings Fellow Avatars!

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


Ardoris Polish

In Release 37, we are spending time on polishing the visuals for Ardoris and making them more distinct from the rest of the game. We had already given Ardoris a vaguely Asian theme but we wanted to push that further, so we purchased an Asian-themed asset pack from the Unity Asset store to provide us with additional assets for this purpose. Over the course of Release 37 and Release 38, we are going to propagate those assets (along with the new character assets we are building) throughout the Perennial Coast region to give that entire region its own distinct visual identity. You can expect to see similar treatment to start appearing in adventure scenes, other NPC towns, and PRTs over the next several releases.

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

Hey guys, SorcerousSteve here giving you a sneak peek at the visual improvements made to Ardoris this R37.

One of the major new alterations to the scene has been the addition of roads leading out to the East and West resembling those present on the overworld map. Alongside this new Asian architecture/foliage has been added to the scene in key areas.

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Expect to find new Chinese gardens sprinkled throughout the map, such as this one located inside the castle grounds.

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West Road coming into Ardoris ending in a dock from which you can grab a boat into town.

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Gardens surrounding the Oracle Confirmatory, a grass topiary bear can be spotted in the garden.ardoris-polish4

Koi Pond. Well maybe one day we can have coy fish in it. :)ardoris-polish5

Areas for inhabitants to do Tai Chi. Shoutout to level designer Dan Brennan for setting these NPC schedules up.ardoris-polish6

New foliage, including Cherry Blossoms and Bamboo, have also been added to the scene. Shoutout to Art Lead Michael Hutchison for the art support.ardoris-polish7

New street lights have also been added to further accentuate the Asian Theme.ardoris-polish8ardoris-polish9

Be sure to pay a visit to Ardoris this upcoming R37!

See ya next time.

Esteben Zaldivar
Level Designer


The Making of Blood Bay (cont.)

Blood Bay is going to be an Open PVP area with two NPC towns, player housing, adventuring areas, and entrances to underground adventure areas. It is going to be a testing ground for several systems that will, in turn, propagate to other parts of the game if successful. We hope to have a first iteration of this map live in Release 38. We showed the scene during the Telethon and talked more about how we hope to have certain systems working. This is the third update we have posted so far on this map.

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

Blood Bay continued:

South shore housing area

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Beware the quicksand pitsblood-bay-10

Back (West) of the islandblood-bay-11

Magic-boosting shardblood-bay-12

South-side of the island zoom-outblood-bay-13

Thanks for keeping up with the updates!


New Obsidian Bundles

For those of you that love the Obsidian style, we’ve started adding new Obsidian Bundles to the Add-On Store! We’ll have all twelve Obsidian bundles in the store in time to be delivered in-game in Release 37, starting December 15, 2016.

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Community Spotlight: Aldwater – Player Run Town

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This latest community spotlight takes a new twist in covering the first Player RUN Town (PRT) of Aldwater! We are touring all kinds of towns and talking with guilds and other groups throughout this spotlight series, brought to you by Berek, your community wood elf druid.

In Shroud of the Avatar, we have three primary types of towns: Player Owned Towns (POT) (where a player owns the town), Player Run Towns (we establish the town and some basic infrastructure, but the players ultimately manage the town’s functions), and standard NPC towns like Brittany, Owl’s Head, Soltown, etc. Up until this spotlight, we’ve been exclusively touring POTs.

aldwater_map.jpgNestled along a busy stretch of the Perennial Coast in Novia, Aldwater is quite easy to find. The town is located right next to many famous towns and centers of commerce where new players take the first step on their journey through New Britannia. As I neared the entrance of the town (after paying a quick visit to the fine clothing shops in the bustling neighboring town of Ardoris), I immediately noticed the beautiful cliffs with extravagant mansions overlooking the bay:

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I saw a great many curiosities in Aldwater that drove me to write down my tour. As I entered the town and began exploring the many cobblestone streets, I paused in front of someone’s house upon noticing a curious set of decorations on the front lawn…

[Read More…]


Upcoming Events

Dec 15, 2016 – Release 37
Dec 16, 2016 – Community of the Avatar livestream
Dec 20, 2016 – R37 Postmortem
Jan 26, 2017 – Release 38
Feb 23, 2017 – Release 39
Feb 25, 2017 –
 Ultima Dragons 25th Anniversary Event
Feb 28, 2017 – GDC
Mar 17, 2017 –
 SXSW Gaming
Mar 30, 2017 – Release 40

Visit the official Community Calendar to see the great lineup of activities our amazing community has planned for this weekend! And be sure to check out this month’s Release Events thread in the SotA forums for additional events.


Grimace’s Birthday Party!

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From community member Stella Emily Moon: Celebrate with the community good food, drinks, dancing, music, and fun! Everyone is welcome to Grimace’s birthday party. Please make plans to travel to Soltown (Asher Silvarian’s lot) on Sunday, Dec. 11th at 5pm CT. Grimace asks that you wear your favorite mask :). See you there!


Community Resources – Players Helping Players

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Visit the official Community Resources page for a complete listing of all things community.


Recommended Projects to BackCitadel_Final_11-300x160.jpg

Don’t Just Back Crowfall… Invest!

Why just back Crowfall for rewards, when you can invest in the company — and potentially see a financial return!

ArtCraft Entertainment (creators of Crowfall) and Indiegogo.com are partnering to offer this unique crowdfunding investment opportunity.

Check out the offering at: https://equity.indiegogo.com/offerings/artcraft-entertainment/

Crowfall is ArtCraft’s flagship title. It is a massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG), a persistent virtual world that can be shared by hundreds of thousands (or millions) of online players. It is unique in that it has been designed as a “Throne War Simulator,” offering gamers a very different in-game experience compared to traditional MMO titles. Crowfall combines the persistence of an MMO with the ability for players to change the virtual world, allowing teams to win (or lose), as in a strategy game. Thousands of players are vying for control of a virtual throne, where the only options are to win or to die.


Job Opening: VFX Artist

VFX ArtistSotA_Emote_Breathe_Fire

We currently have an opening for a junior-level to senior-level VFX Artist for Shroud of the Avatar to build Visual Effects for spells, creatures, avatars, weapons, environments (ex. water), and interactive objects (ex. lamps that turn on and off). Qualifications for “ideal candidates” are:

  • Minimum 2 years industry experience for junior-level (preferably on a shipped game)
  • Minimum 5 years industry experience for senior-level (minimum of at least 1 shipped game)
  • Unity3D proficiency
  • Ability to build craft compelling visual effects from scratch
  • Ability to modify and optimize existing visual effects
  • Experience in developing a VFX  “visual vocabulary” that effectively communicates a variety of spell types and ability types to players
  • BONUS: Scripting ability
  • BONUS: Ability to model and texture in 3D art tools

If you’d like to join the Portalarium Tribe working on the ground-breaking Shroud of the Avatar, please submit your resume to jobs@portalarium.com. Provide links to your work (if possible), including gameplay, video footage, and document form (images, maps, and event descriptions).


Backer Shipping Addresses

SotA_ShippingAddressIn preparation for shipping backers’ physical pledge rewards later this year, we have added Shipping Address fields to your Account Profile page. To enter your shipping address, log in to the SotA website, select “Account” in top right corner, then select “Edit Profile” located in top left corner, beneath your Avatar image.

A reminder to be sure that support@portalarium.com is unblocked from your e-mail account!

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