Thank you to our loyal backers of Shroud of the Avatar. Release 4 access for all backers at First Responder level and above begins this Thursday, March 27 at 10:30 AM Central Time. Release 4 access will end on Sunday, March 30 at 10:00 PM Central Time. Starting today, you can begin installing and patching (see instructions below), but login will not be enabled until Thursday morning.
We are happy to say that we are going to deliver almost every single Release 4 item and a few extras. Here are those deliverables again, along with some extra notes and the bonus deliverables in italics.
RELEASE 4: March 27 - 30, 2014
- Performance Optimizations: Introducing multiplayer in Release 3 exposed some performance issues that needed resolution sooner than later. To that end, we made this a top priority for Release 4 so more players can enjoy the game.
- Overworld Map System: Our dual scale navigation system will launch and players will be able to use it to navigate between towns and adventuring areas.
- 10 Scenes: The Hidden Vale, a hidden island northeast of the mainland, will be complete with 10 scenes, including towns, wilderness, caves, and dungeons. NOTE: We actually have 14 scenes (although two are merely placeholders).
- Combat: Those first scenes will have nasty beasts in them, so we’ve decided we should give you a way to fight back! This first release of combat will be extremely simple and focus just on auto swing using your equipped weapon. Death will also be kept simple for now: you will auto resurrect at your death location after a short time interval.
- Quests: Players will be able to participate in quests that will send them around the world and even change game state in the scenes based on quest flags. Testing this early is important because our quest system operates differently than the current standards (e.g. no exclamation points or convo trees). We will also provide the first version of the journal. NOTE: For R4 we were unable to get the Journal UI implemented but you can still get the data by typing /journal in the chat window.
- Loot: Killing those nasty creatures you encounter and quests you complete will generate loot, including gold and resources.
- Crafting: Resource Gathering will be added to crafting including resource nodes placed in the world. More recipes will also become available. NOTE: For R4, gathering includes tree chopping (wood), field dressing (animal hides), harvesting (cotton) and mining (ore).
- More Recipes: 16 more recipes bring our grand total to 169.
- Player Housing: The housing system will be re-launched with persistence in the online space. Since we are still on the small island of Hidden Vale there are not yet enough lots to go around. To continue to allow everyone to try out player housing, the ownership of the lots will cycle every hour or two. NOTE: While waterfront housing and basements are not working yet, we wanted you to still be able to view them. Waterfront houses (Frigate, Galleon, Houseboat, Lighthouse, Duke Island Castle, etc.) can be found in Kingsport and basements can be found in various buildings around Owlshead, Kingsport, and Braemar. These are static buildings / scenes and not player owned.
- Parties: We will continue to expand our social systems by adding a Party system so players can group together and adventure.
- Mac/Linux Patching: No longer will you have to download a full executable whenever we release a new patch. Mac and Linux versions will patch just like the Windows version.
- Swimming: Jumping was just the first step to giving players a much greater feeling of movement freedom. Like jumping, swimming will eventually be governed by game systems like encumbrance and focus.
So now that it is clear what you can expect, we should also be as clear about what you should not expect:
- Combat: As noted above combat does not yet include skills, magic, decks, or advancement.
- Performance: We have only done rudimentary optimizations and we do not yet have a full suite of performance fallbacks (LODs, etc.). This means the game will be quite slow on older machines, and due to memory usage, might be unstable in certain conditions (like densely decorated areas). With each release we will be doing further optimizations and adding to our fallbacks to improve performance.
- Navigation: We have not yet put in a compass or a mini-map, so navigation can be quite challenging at times.
- Crafting: The crafting system is in the game as a framework, but is still missing some key components like repair, events, and enhancement. Skill checks are also not in yet, so results are always 100% successful. Long term, the percentage chance to make items will depend on a myriad of variables and can result in a variety of results including: making the item desired, making a simpler version of the item that will need to be enhanced, or making a damaged version of the item that needs repair.
- Game Loop: Release 4 is the first time we will have a rudimentary game loop, but it is still very bare bones. Expect this to expand with each subsequent release but it won’t be truly complete until we hit Beta later this year
- Advanced Player Housing: There are some advanced features for player housing, including waterfront properties, basements, home exterior decorations, and ceiling decorations that are not yet integrated. Expect to see these appear in future releases.
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.