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[SOTA Official News] Release 37 Instructions

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[From a forum post by Starr “Darkstarr” Long]


Please read this entire message, as well as the linked instructions and known issues.

Thank you for being a loyal backer and follower of Shroud of the Avatar. Release 37 access for all Early Access backers begins this Thursday, December 15, at 10:30 AM US Central Standard Time (15:30 UTC).r37_instructions_v2

Performance: It has been far too many releases since we focused on issues related to performance, so we made the hard decision to push out some work on features in order to focus most of our programming team on performance. We have made a wide swath of changes that have improved just about every aspect of performance, including install size, load times, frame rate, and stability. We still have much work to do, and large cities with lots of characters and decorations can still cause some machines to struggle.

Another Short Release: Normally our release cycle lasts approximately four weeks, giving us 3 weeks of development time and 1 week of polish before the release goes live on the last Thursday of the month. However, November and December each have holidays that require us to do our release earlier in those months. That only gives us 2 weeks of development time and 1 week of polish before we release. Despite that brevity and our focus on performance, we still managed to deliver a lot of new content.

Story and Sieges: The Path of Love continued to get further refinement through the Necropolis, Spite, and all the way through to the Crypt of the Avatar. We also did some major refinements to the visuals of Ardoris to give it a much more distinct look and feel. Additionally, we completely rebuilt the Superstition Canyon control point. Finally, towns will start falling under siege and players will have to fight their way through blockades when those towns are besieged.ardoris-polish6

Yet again, I want to express a huge amount of gratitude to our Dev+ backers who tested all of the items below on the QA server and uncovered lots of bugs. They also provided editorial feedback on this post. They are a big reason that this post actually matches what is in the game, and that it is easy to read.

While we are getting closer to launch, we are still in a constant state of change. We do not yet have all of the in-game systems needed to inform players about these changes, and to help them to explore new content and systems. This means we rely mostly on this message, and the linked instructions and known issues to convey the current game state. We regularly have to answer questions or filter bug reports because some players elect not to read this valuable information.

By taking a few moments to read through this information, a great deal of our time and efforts can be redirected to focus on new “unanswered” questions, and addressing critical issues impacting each release. We greatly appreciate you taking the time to review this post, and for all the truly valuable feedback you continue to provide.

Also, remember that while we are providing new content with each release, our community is working overtime to make new events for you to enjoy. Be sure to check out a couple of the event calendars run by our community members (via in-game book or the player-run websites: Avatars Circle and Events of the Avatars). You can also get the latest official events on the Main Website.

Without further ado, here is a list of what you can expect to see in Release 37.


  • Plain Text: The original plan for the Release deliverables. We intentionally preserve the original text so that our backers can compare plan versus actuals.
  • Italics: Extra notes and new deliverables.
  • Strikethrough: These are items that did not make the release (but are still planned).

RELEASE 37, December 15, 2016

  • Story: The Path of Courage polish will continue with focus on Harvest and Resolute. We will also continue expansion of the new PVP area with the addition of the dungeons area. Finally we will be going a polish and refactor of the NPC Conversation System.
    • Path of Courage Polish Delayed: We chose to spend one more release focused on the Path of Love before moving on to Courage.
    • Blood Bay (PvP area) Delayed: We needed to create some new volcanic assets so the world building on this scene did not finish until after lockdown.
    • NPC Conversation Rework Delayed: Work on performance improvements delayed this rework of the conversation UI.
    • Superstition Canyon (Unclone): South of Resolute is Superstition Canyon, a control point connecting South Paladis and Verdantis. A friendly faction of elves settled in this remote valley to escape the conflicts their human-hating brethren so crave and have since become caretakers of an ancient, abandoned fortress. Unfortunately, the violent Vertas Elves heard rumors that items of power were buried beneath the crumbling fortress. They slaughtered their peaceful cousins, started their own excavations beneath the ruins, and now dominate the canyon’s control point. Meanwhile, anyone unlucky enough to journey between Verdantis and South Paladis must fight their way through. Superstition Canyon started as a clone of Brightbone Pass, but has been completely rebuilt for Release 37. It’s difficulty has been slightly upgraded; most notably the first few waves of the control points should be harder than other control points.sota_superstitioncanyon_2
    • Ardoris Polish: We continued fixing bugs and polishing conversations, quests, and NPC behaviors around Ardoris. Additionally, we focused time on upgrading the visuals of the scene and the characters. We recently purchased an Asian-themed asset pack from the Unity Asset store and we used that to polish the visuals of Ardoris. We are also going to propagate those assets throughout the Perennial Coast region. We also polished Shogun Siranto’s outfit and added a headdress to Priestess Khasi’s robes. Additionally, we created new Asian-themed guard outfits for the Shogun’s guards, city guards, and the Priestess’s guards. Finally, we created new Asian-themed outfits for the citizens of Ardoris. This now completes the regional character art for the Perennial Coast and we will be propagating these across various other scenes in the region. These visual changes to the architecture and characters will give the entire area a more distinct regional feel.ardoris-polish2
    • Resolute NPC Behaviors: All appropriate NPCs in Resolute now have schedules and behaviors set up for them. We also made a propping pass on the Hall of Valor, and other scene improvements.
    • Oracle: The Oracle’s conversation has been given a pass for clarity (though not too much clarity) and more information on key individuals that can be found in the game. (This will be an ongoing process.) The Oracle will also have much to say about many other things….
    • Spite Polish: We created a much more defined walking path from the main entrance to the town center and added new inhabitants to the mysterious Mortuarium to better explain what goes on there. We also did a pass on NPC behaviors and schedules, added additional lamplighting guard patrols, and improved NPC interactability on local light sources. Additionally, we cleaned up some areas of the map that needed some decorative finish work.
    • Crypt of the Avatar Polish: We did a pass through the quests, conversations, and general play of the scene to make it easier to follow, flow better, and be better balanced. A new quest has also been added so that players can give the long-suffering defenders of the crypt a deserved rest.
    • Necropolis: We made some balance changes to this scene including thinning out the earth elementals and making the skeletons near the end more powerful.
    • Brittany Estates: We added an additional exit on the west side of this scene.
    • Brittany Central Polish: We decorated several of the remaining empty buildings, though the Royal Theatre and Oracle Temple are still sealed.
    • Verdantis Shardfall: We increased the population and diversity of creatures in the shardfall to better balance the risk versus reward in this scene.
  • Town Sieges: The first iteration of Town Sieges will come online. Periodically, you will have to fight through battlelines to get into and out of a town under siege by one or more of the 8 Obsidian Cabalists.
    • Town Sieges: Towns are now coming under siege according to Celestial Mechanics. As the eight planets pass through the twelve sections of the sky representing the virtues, the cabalist(s) whose planets are in front of a given constellation join a siege that is set upon ANY towns that contain “devotionals” to that Virtue. Devotionals could include things like statues of the Titans of Truth, Love, and Courage, for example. When a town is under siege, catapults and signs of battle will appear outside that town on the overworld. When you try to enter that town, you will instead enter a Siege scene. These scenes will eventually consist of different biomes and scenarios depending on the location. Like Control Points, there will be a main path that takes you directly to a challenging (and rewarding) battle, and a side path for those who seek a less-challenging but longer route. NOTE (Experimental): This does mean that we will be experimenting with making POT Blessings linked to Town Sieges when POT Blessings come online in a future release.
    • Forest Road Siege: The first Siege scene is a forest where the Cabalist army has set up a fortified camp and blockaded the road. Defenders have hastily mounted a defense and a pitched battle is taking place. If you choose to take part in the main battle, you must focus on taking out the catapults and their engineers. If you manage to take out all of them, one or more Cabalists will appear for an epic battle. Please note that, in Release 37, the Cabalist is a placeholder using a Lich model and is not using any unique visuals or behaviors.forest-siege-2
  • Combat Cover: The cover system will be introduced and will modify attack and defense values when you (or your target) are behind cover.
    • Combat Cover Delayed: Work on performance delayed this feature
    • Stealth on Overworld: Players can now use Stealth skills on the Overworld to sneak past other players and avoid Roving Encounters.
    • Damage Bonus Based on Elevation: A modest damage modifier is now applied based on elevation between yourself and your target. Note that this modifier only applies to melee and ranged weapons (not spells). A max modifier of 25% is achieved with around a 7 meter elevation difference, but even a 1 meter difference will give around 10% extra (so this is not just for archers). Having the higher ground and attacking down gives a bonus and likewise, attacking up will decrease your damage accordingly. So the most extreme case would be 2 archers exchanging fire, one is on the ground and the other in a 7m tower. The archer on the ground would be doing 75% of normal vs 125% for the archer in the tower.
    • Spellbinder Stance and Chaotic Feedback: These two spells will now overwrite each other instead of stacking.
    • Gustballs: These are no longer invulnerable to damage. This will fix a whole slew of exploits that were being used related to these.
    • Multiplayer Mode and PVP XP Bonus: NOTE: This was an R36 Experimental Change. After observing player behavior and the metrics, we are satisfied with the results of this experiment we launched last release and are going to continue this bonus going forward. We are going to modify the bonus slightly so that Multiplayer mode offers a 10% bonus and PVP mode offers a 10% bonus and together they offer a 20% bonus (a 5% reduction from R36). Additionally, we have fixed the issue where scenes flagged for Open PVP (Shardfalls, Ruins, and POTs) were not awarding this bonus.
    • 40 Meter Requirement for XP Gain: NOTE: This was an R36 Experimental Change. We are also satisfied with this experiment based on metrics and behavior observations and will continue forward with the requirement that party members must be within 40 meters of at least one other member of their party to gain experience.
  • Player Towns & Player Housing: The first iteration of Player Owned Town Blessings will go live where monuments placed in POTs will grant long term buffs whose power and/or duration will be based on the population of the town. Also more Obsidian homes for the Obsidian bundles will appear. Additionally the ability to Rent Rooms in a player home will become available to homeowners. Finally updates to Dynamic Player-Owned Towns that have locked submission forms will appear in the game.
    • POT Blessings Delayed: Work on performance delayed this feature
    • Renting Rooms Delayed: Work on performance delayed this feature
    • Grassland POT Template: We flattened areas by the shoreline of the river near the town center at the request of several town owners.
    • Floral Meadow POT Template: This new POT template was a suggestion from the players and is a variation of the Grasslands template. This flower carpeted plain has a river running through it. Like all Grassland templates, it has more available space for lot placement than any other templates. You will be able to preview the new template on the POT templates page or view it directly in game where it will be linked from Hometown. If you wish to switch to this new template we will begin those updates in Release 38.
    • POT Water Lot Deeds: After repeated requests from the community, we are releasing a limited number of special Taxed POT restricted deeds that can be used to claim land AND water lots in Village, Town, and City lot sizes. The total numbers made available in the Add On Store will be smaller than other lot deeds because there are much fewer water lots available in POT templates than land lots. Next week, we will start adding new water homes to the game including water variations of existing homes as well as completely new water homes. Here is a partial list of upcoming water homes:pot-city-water-lot-deed
      • Pirate Galleon
      • Rustic 3-Story Village Water Home
      • Elven Town Water Home
      • Obsidian Tower Village Water Home
      • Obsidian Tower Town Water Home
      • Gothic Mansion 3-Story with Widow’s Walk Village Water Home
      • Viking Village Water Home
    • Obsidian Bundle Homes: We have greatly expanded the Obsidian line of homes beyond just the original two towers in the Add On Store to include 5 new homes for the Obsidian Bundles.obsidian-3-story-rowhouse
      • Obsidian 2, 3, and 4-Story Rowhouses: These rowhouses have the signature dark stone and spikes of the Obsidian style. They are also the only rowhouses to feature rooftop access! The 3 and 4-story versions have top-story patio.
      • Obsidian Village Home: While only consisting of one room, this home still commands an imposing presence with its Obsidian spikes and dark stone. It also has a ladder on the back wall that provides access to the roof.
      • Obsidian City Keep: This monstrous keep begins with a sprawling 2-story edifice at ground level with multiple rooms. This is crowned with 4 of the 3-story Obsidian Village Towers at each corner whose balconies are connected by catwalks.
    • R36 Lot Deed Raffle Drawing and Winners: The drawings for our Third Lot Deed Raffle will be held on December 15, 2016 and winners will be announced shortly thereafter. Deeds will be delivered in Release 37.
      • Place Anywhere Deeds (20):
        • Row: 10
        • Village: 6
        • Town: 3
        • City: 1
      • Player Owned Town Deeds (150):
        • Row: 80
        • Village: 40
        • Town: 20
        • City: 10
    • R37 Lot Deed Raffle Tickets: This will be the Fifth Lot Deed Raffle. For this raffle, we dropped the numbers lower to better match current demand and pace remaining stock. As always, Raffle tickets can be purchased with in game gold. As with R36, each person can only win a single deed of each type (maximum of one place anywhere and one POT). The drawing and winners will be in R38.
      • Place Anywhere Deeds (10):
        • Row: 5
        • Village: 3
        • Town: 1
        • City: 1
      • Player Owned Town Deeds (75):
        • Row: 40
        • Village: 20
        • Town: 10
        • City: 5
    • Stone Statues (including Dragons): We cleaned up some data flags on these to make sure they were all consistent and could all be placed on floors, ground, and in POTs.
    • Upscale Stables: These can now be used as a POT decoration.
    • Tree Clearing in POTs: The following items are now set to clear trees when placed in POTs (NOTE: this is not a substitution for the tree clearing tool coming in a future release):
      • Awnings
      • Stables
      • Fountains
      • Dragon Statues
      • Tents
    • Multi-Scene Teleporters: We now have tech allowing single teleporters to access multiple scenes. Interacting with a teleporter of this type brings up a list of scenes to which the teleporter has access, allowing the player to choose their destination. Wagons, boats, and balloons set up this way are identified by a blue canvas. Central Brittany and Hometown have been set up to show off this new functionality.
    • Fall into Winter Telethon Rewards:
      • 2016 Snowball Box: Each December, this magically replenishing snowball box will refill with 100 snowballs that can be thrown or used to build snowmen. Previous years only contained 50 snowballs!
      • Frozen Fountain: This large fountain has a giant frozen cascade of water in the center. Even though it is filled with ice, it can still be used to harvest water.butterfly-chair
    • Testing Incentive Program Items: Another round of insect-themed items from the Testing Incentives program are complete and will start to be delivered to testers who have earned them.
      • Insect Leg Table: Make sure to always watch it so it doesn’t walk away.
      • Butterfly Chair: It is so pretty to sit on!
    • Add-On Store:
      • Porcelain Vases: These two large porcelain vases would make lovely additions to any home.
      • Ornate Gustball Field: No longer do you need to slave away building a Gustball Field from component parts! This ornate purchasable field includes the field, goals, and referee stand. It can be placed in a POT, on a lot, or even in an interior (provided you can find a house or basement with a large enough open space).
      • Lord British versus Darkstarr Battle Banner: The original battle banner expired with our Fall into Winter expiration event last month, but fear not! You can purchase the new Battle Banner that symbolizes the friendly struggle between the virtues of Lord British and the chaos of Darkstarr. Of course, most know that these two are not actual enemies since Chaos does not actually oppose Virtue and Virtue does not actually directly represent Order so these banners are mainly meant for use in sporting events and tournaments (in fact, this particular banner was a suggestion of Emperor Borg to support his Jousting events).sota_obsidian_wall_lights
      • Obsidian Wall Lamps and Street Lamps: For a long time, players have been requesting that these glowing crystal lamps be made into decorations and now they are!
    • New POTs/POT Changes
      • Ahnen Hain: Upgraded to Hamlet. Interconnections (with Brittany Alleys, Brittany Wharfs, Elad’s Lighthouse, and POT Praga).
      • Beregost: Converted to Forest 01a.
      • Braeside Castle: Interconnection (with Storms Reach).
      • Caelestis Canton: Upgraded to Crossroads Village.
      • Cape Havoc: Renamed (formerly Minock). Converted to Swamp Island 01. Rotated to Left. Ownership changed. Changed location. Flagged for PvP.
      • Darkshire Hills: Renamed (formerly Leoni d’Amore). Converted to Forest 02. Rotated to Left. Changed location. Removed interconnection (with Serenite).
      • Insulam de Nocte: Renamed (formerly Reverie). Converted to Forest 01b. Ownership changed. Changed location. Removed interconnections (with Port Graff and Dragon’s Fall).
      • Ironhall: Converted to Forest 01c.
      • Isle of Ghosts: Upgraded to Village.
      • Mörkrädd: Ownership changed. Downgraded to Village. Interconnections (with Harvest and Estgard).
      • Outlander Welcome Center: New addition.
      • Sanctus Solus: Converted to Tropical Island 01. Rotated to Right. Changed location (minor).
      • Shadow’s Rest: Upgraded to Metropolis.
      • Solitude: Upgraded to Metropolis.
      • Stormsong Vale: Upgraded to Town. Changed location (minor).
      • Twilight Sparkle: Renamed (formerly Ambrosia). Converted to Snowy Mountains 01. Rotated to Right. Ownership changed. Changed nested interconnection to within Kingsport. Upgraded to Hamlet.
      • Valoria: Changed location (minor).
      • Verat Chaos: Renamed (formerly Vesper). Ownership changed. Converted to Grassland 01. Rotated to 180. Changed nested interconnection to within Dawn’s Keep.r37map_of_novia_pot
  • Crafting: Fishing will get an expansion and polish pass. We will also expand weapon recipes to include more visual variants (Elven, Norgard, Obsidian, Kobold)
    • Fishing Expansion/Polish Delayed: Work on performance delayed this feature.
    • Visual Variant Recipes Delayed: Work on Xenos polish delayed the asset support work needed for these recipes.
    • Watering Confirmation Removed: Now that water can be harvested (versus only purchased), we have removed the confirmation on every plant-watering event in Agriculture.
    • Armor Durability Damage Normalized: We fixed some bugs in the formulas about how durability damage was being calculated and distributed across armor. At lower amounts of damage, this will likely not be noticeable But at higher damage rates, there will likely be a slightly accelerated amount of durability damage being applied.
    • Recipe Discoverability Limited: NOTE: This was an R36 Experimental Change. We are satisfied with this experiment based on metrics and behavior observations. Discoverability on Recipes will remain as no longer universal to all recipes. Certain recipes can only be found through purchase, quest rewards, or as loot. Please note that this is not fully implemented and recipes are mainly only available for purchase.
    • Scaled Full Durability Repair Cost: NOTE: This was an R36 Experimental Change. We are satisfied with this experiment based on metrics and behavior observations. Every repair of maximum durability will still only cost 1 COTO, but how much it fixes will decline each time going forward. The first repair is 100%, then 66%, then 50%, then 40%, then 33%, and so on. By the 20th repair, it only fixes 10% to the maximum durabilty.
    • Porcelain Vase Recipe: A lovely addition to your home that can be crafted.
  • Character: Valhold will be the second city where we begin adding region specific clothing (Viking themed) for the residents including unique armor for guards, clothing for citizens, garb for merchants, and regalia for royalty. We will also begin introducing the first of the Obsidian Cabalists.
    • Valhold Regional Clothing Delayed: We chose to spend more time on the Ardoris clothing so this, in turn, delayed us moving on to Valhold.
    • Obsidian Cabalists Delayed: We chose to spend more time on the Ardoris clothing so this, in turn, delayed us moving on to the Obsidian Cabalists.
    • Shogun Siranto and Priestess Khasi Polish: We polished the textures and colors on Shogun Siranto’s outfit. We also added a headdress to Priestess Khasi’s robes.ardoris-composite
    • Ardoris Guards: Guards around Ardoris can now be seen wearing three different sets of armor including the Shogun’s guards, the Priestess’s guards, and the City guards. The city guard models will also replace other Perennial Coast guard models in future releases.
    • Catapult: This new siege engine creature type was created to support Town Sieges. We hope to create other siege engine types and also to make them craftable in future releases.
    • Merchant Shirt & Skirt: At the request of Jack Knyfe, we adjusted the dyeable fields of these assets to better align to the materials (fur stays fur damnit!).
    • Emotes:
      • /mimewall & /mimerope: Ask Quant in Vertas about humans to learn them.
      • /march: Chuck Hamilton (guard in bank) in Spite will teach this if asked about Malice.
      • /leanback, /leanleft. /leanright: Nob the Stableboy in Owl’s Head teaches all of these when asked about his job.
      • /hiss: Roper Holiday (banker) in Aerie will teach it when asked for help.
    • Summer Telethon Part 1 Brass Clockwork Monkey: No respectable Organ Grinder can play their street organ without having a monkey capering about! Now you can have the respect due all Organ Grinders with this Brass Clockwork Monkey. This finally completes all of the Summer Telethon Part 1 Rewards—sorry it took us so long! Brass Monkey, that funky Monkey, Brass Monkey junkie, that funky Monkey.
    • Fall into Winter Telethon Rewards:/autumnleaves: You can use this emote to bring down a lovely cascade of autumn leaves that you don’t even have to rake up afterwards!
      • Autumn Leaf Crown: Encircling your head this beautiful wreath of autumn leaves will remind you that all things die in the end but when they do die there can be a beauty in that death and that beautiful death can be purchased* and worn. *NOTE: As with all telethon rewards you had to have purchased five dollars worth of anything (with new money) during the telethon.
      • Autumn Fairy Leaf Dress: Wrap your body in this lovely dress made up of the decaying energy gathering devices of trees so other tree zombies  will think you are a tree zombie and not attack you. NOTE: There are actually three pieces to this outfit: dress, arm wraps, and leg wraps.sota_redtufted_squirrel_pet
      • Autumn Leaf Wings: Wearing these gorgeous giant leaves on your back will make you feel as if you might float away on an autumn breeze, never to return, but you won’t because these wings don’t actually make you float.
      • Red Tufted Squirrel Pet: Nothing says autumn more than the image of squirrels busily foraging nuts and storing them for winter. While this little squirrel does not actually forage he is cuter than anything else in existence which begs the question: Could this little squirrel be cuter? The answer is that it could not possibly be any cuter. You are welcome.
    • Add-On Store:lb-shield
      • Dragon Mask: Rawr! I’m a scawy dwagon! Fear my fiwey dwagon bweath!
      • Lord British Shield: Show your allegiance to the virtues by sporting this shield with Lord British’s symbol emblazoned on it.
      • Darkstarr Shield: Show that you follow no rules and only seek chaos by sporting this shield with Darkstarr’s chaos symbol emblazoned on it.
      • Silver Clockwork Monkey: Brass clashes with your outfit? Miss the telethon? Building an army of Clockwork Monkeys? You don’t need to justify your reason to me! You can purchase one of these Silver Clockwork Monkeys to go with your street organ and become an Organ Grinder!
      • Jabbering Bertha: This Underworld Ascendant linked item is now finally available as an equippable item. However, she does not yet have the ability to speak — but we hope to have the functionality working in Q1 2017.
    • Testing Incentive Program Items: The first round of insect-themed wearables from the Testing Incentives program are complete and will start to be delivered to testers who have earned them.
      • Antennae: When worn on your head these do not grant any extra senses, supposedly.
      • Ant Cloak: This cloak has a single giant ant on it.
      • Ants Cloak: This cloak displays a pattern of many ants.
    • Custom Clasped Gauntlet Cloaks: More customized versions of the cloaks are being delivered to the following event backers:
      • EVL Annual Guild Meeting
      • SotA Con East 2016 (second round)
  • Performance and Stability: We have made a wide swath of changes that have improved just about every aspect of performance including install size, load times, frame rate, and stability. As stated above however, we still have much work to do and large cities with lots of characters and decorations can still cause some machines to struggle. The biggest change that was made this release was to move to a completely new resource scheme. While this gives us a small performance improvement now, it will allow us to greatly improve our loading performance in future releases.
    • Startup Time: The time from starting the app to reaching the login screen has been greatly reduced for players who are not on SSDs. Players on SSDs will see a modest improvement as well.
    • Map Load Times: These have improved based on tests, but not as much as we had hoped. The asset system overhaul has opened up lots of optimization opportunities, but we were not able to take advantage of many these features for R37. You can look forward to improved times in future releases though thanks to the foundation that was laid this release.
    • Greatly Reduced Hitching: We describe hitching as when your screen freeze for more than a tenth of a second. This was rated by many players as the biggest issue with our performance. Even in scenes with other wise good performance, the hitching would still degrade the play experience. This should now be greatly reduced, especially in high action areas with lots of players, creatures, and spell effects.
    • Memory Footprint Reduction: Both our main memory footprint and video memory footprint have been reduced somewhat for this build but more work is needed to get this into the range we want to be in.
    • Disk Footprint Reduction: Our goal was to shrink the installed size by half. We fell slightly short of that goal but still made significant improvements. R36 installed size was around 17GB and R37 checks in at 11GB. This helps load times, patching speeds, and also helps reduce bandwidth usage for people on limited connections.
    • Frame Rate Improvements: Frame rate in CPU intensive situations should be greatly improved this release. Encounters with even 50+ creatures and players are now possible at high frame rates.This will greatly improve the PVP experience, as well as the ever popular dance parties! GPU improvements were more modest, so those limited by a slow video card will see fewer improvements in especially graphics intensive scenes.
  • More Gold Crown Merchants: We have added three more Gold Crown Merchants as well as a few exclusive gold crown items (gravestones).
    • Kobold Crown Merchant: This merchant is located in the town of Skrekk and sells all the Kobold homes and all the Add-On Store items that appear in the Kobold Bundles.
    • Caretaker (Spooky) Crown Merchant: These merchants are located in the Aerie, Brittany Graveyards, Owlshead, Spite Mortuarium, and the POT NPC. They sell all the spooky and graveyard themed items like the Gothic Mansion, Crypt, skeleton decorations, etc. They also sell some exclusive gravestones.
    • Obsidian Crown Merchant: This merchant is located in the towns of Spite and Desolis. He sells all the Obsidian homes and all the Add-On Store items that appear in the Obsidian Bundles.sota_ornate_obsidian_sarcophagus
  • Obsidian Bundles: These bundles include some unique Obsidian-themed items as well as an assortment of other new items to the game. New items for Release 37 include the following:sota_obsidian_bundles_composite
    • Bundle Exclusive Items:sota_obsidiancloak_orig
      • Obsidian Sarcophagus (container)
      • Ornate Obsidian Sarcophagus (container)
      • Ornate Vile Mace
      • Ornate Vile Halberd
      • Obsidian Cloak (note this is different from the Obsidian Order cloak previously sold in the Add On Store)
    • Add-On Store/Crown Merchant Items:
      • Obsidian 2-Story Rowhouse
      • Obsidian 3-Story Rowhouse
      • Obsidian 4-Story Rowhouse
      • Obsidian Village Home
      • Obsidian City Keep
      • Obsidian Wall Lamps
      • Obsidian Street Lamps
  • Skill Decay Start at 40: Skill decay now does not apply to skills that are below level 40. Once a skill achieves Level 40 skill decay begins applying as before.
  • Loading Screen Tips: Various tips on how to play the game will now appear on the loading screens. We are also finally going to show different random art backgrounds on the loading screens, so you will no longer have to stare at that same exact drawbridge battle over and over and over and over and over…
  • Offline Reward Delivery: Reward delivery for Offline Mode is now available to players using this mode to play. This means that if you have a pledge, bundle, or any items purchased from the Add On Store, you will now finally be able to claim those rewards at a bank in Offline mode.
  • Audio: Updated and/or added new audio to the following areas of the game
    • Interactives: Doors, Gates, Sarcophagi
    • Emotes: Golf clap, Burp, Sing, Hiccups
    • Footsteps: Snow, Rock, Dirt, Grass
    • Monsters: Slimes, Crocodiles, Monkey
    • UI: Picking up, Training
    • Instruments: Street Organ, Flute

So, now that it is clear what you can expect, we should also be as clear about what you should NOT expect:

  • Stability: Stability should be better with Release 37 overall. However, there still seems to be the one remaining major issue with Unity and AMD A8 integrated graphics chipsets used in laptops that make the game unplayable (this affects other games using Unity as well). Unity is aware of the problem and working on a fix but we do not have an ETA from them on this.
  • Performance: While Release 37 laid some great foundations for performance improvements, we still have more work to do. We plan to make steady improvements each release until the game is running smoothly on minimum spec machines in big cities.
  • Game Loop: Release 37 is a further iteration on our game loop, but is still missing a few key components and balance. Expect this to expand with each subsequent release.
  • Visual Quality: Efforts to improve visual quality are ongoing. We will continue to iterate on these until we have highly competitive visuals.
  • Pledge Rewards: Pledge Rewards that have been built and have tech to support them are in the game; all other rewards are awaiting either content creation or tech support. You can find an updated list of these items in known issues.

Here are links to instructions and known issues. Thank you again for your continued support. This is truly the most amazing community we have ever worked with, and we are proud to be on this journey with you.

Starr Long
aka Darkstarr
Executive Producer



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