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A new Kickstarter update for Richard Garriott's Shroud of the Avatar informs us that Release 47, a significant new update for the Early Access build of the game, is about go live on October 26, at 10:30 AM US Central Daylight Time (15:30 UTC). This particular update focuses on reducing load times, polishing the game's story, and adding loads of new content. Here's an overview of all the new stuff:
Release 47 is the second release in which we focused on our Top 10 Priorities for Launch. We continued to make strong progress on load time reductions, story polish, and scene rebuilding. We also created more side quests and tons of other new content, including a whole new set of Make a Difference items.
Load Times: This was the second release where we focused much of our engineering time on reducing load times. As a result, we are now much closer to our goal of 15 seconds or less for scene loads. The scene with the longest load time, Brittany Alleys, went from 47 seconds to 19 seconds (on a slightly better than minimum spec machine that we use to test internally). We are going to continue working on optimization next release to further reduce load times.
Worldbuilding: Once again, a huge amount of work went into worldbuilding and scene polish this release. Ten different scenes were either rebuilt, polished, or adjusted this release, including a polish pass on Highvale Outskirts.
Story Polish and Side Quests: We focused our story polish mainly on the final dialogue between the Avatar (you, the player), the Oracle, and Arabella. We also did some work along the Path of Courage and added several more side quests to the game, including the classic Britannian “Wanna buy a duck?”
More and Better Loot: We continued making improvements to loot by adding more artifacts, improving the power of Tier 2 components, and adding new unique and named components. Additionally, we improved the chances of salvaging patterns from gear.
Make a Difference Content: In accordance with Portalarium’s founding purpose to promote good will and make a positive difference in the world, we are excited to add more “Make a Difference” charity items to our store as a channel through which our community of backers can contribute to causes that they support. In Release 47, we added a Kobold Indoor Toilet for Water.org’s International Toilet Day, as well as a whole suite of hospital themed items to support Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals and Doctors without Borders just in time for the Extra Life Streamathon on November 4. In the giving spirit of the holidays we have also expanded the Make a Difference concept outside the confines of the Make a Difference Store and now many items in the Add On Store are also tagged to share revenue with charities. Just look for the virtue symbol!
You can also check out the official Shroud of the Avatar website for the complete patch notes and some additional details.