These "short three to four day tests" greatly help, and now multiplayer functions will be thrown into the mix. An 'add friend' menu now exists as so does a new village.
Braemar can now be explored alongside the already unveiled Owls Head and Kingsport. Crafting has been improved as well with Release 3 of their early access build.
"It’s been almost a year since we first announced Shroud of the Avatar and started our Kickstarter launch,” said Portalarium creative director and co-founder Richard Garriott. “In the last eight weeks we’ve asked our backers to enter the world so they can experience our progress first hand. The momentum is building and now we have a chance to see how our multiplayer functionality stands up to the test. These short three to four day tests allow us to see how we are doing and to close the loop with our fans so we can make the game they want and we want.”
Pressing the 'F' key will now access the add friend menu, and merchants now grace the virtual world so players can sell crafted goods. Several songs have been added too thanks to the player-run guild, The Bards of Poets’ Circle. The current early access test slot runs from now until Saturday, February 22nd at 10:00 PM Central Time.
Instructions for Release 3 are published on the official Shroud of the Avatar.
RELEASE 3: February 20 – 22, 2014
▪ Open Multiplayer Online: FINALLY we will let you see what the other players look like
▪ Chat: You know, so you can talk to your friends! The chat interface now sports a tabbed interface and filters for different channels.
▪ Emotes: More than 30 18 emotes online so you can look like a clown with your friends. NOTE: We wanted to use facial animations in several of the emotes so they ended up taking a bit longer than planned. Also the additions of jumping and walking took up animation time. Our final count of emotes is 19. On a brighter note we just added another animator to shore up our animation efforts so our animation speed is going to rise dramatically.
▪ Town 3: A third municipality opens up (the tiny forest village of Braemar). This is a new type of village that starts tiny and overgrown. The forest gradually becomes cleared out as it becomes more populated.
▪ Shopping: Shopkeepers will be open for business for selling and buying. NOTE: Now that we have this functionality coupled with crafting we have removed many of the loot chests and greatly reduced the content that can be found in them. The chests mentioned in the Ten Ton Hammer article were only for very early testing of R3.
▪ Configurable Controls: We completely understand the myriad reasons why players desire the ability to play the game with different control schemes so we have started adding this functionality. This first version is quite basic so expect us to expand what controls this can change as we get further in the schedule.
▪ Crafting Improvements: We made a bunch of improvement to make crafting more useable while preserving the experimentation and discovery aspect.
- Auto Place: Once you discover a recipe you can double click on it in the recipe log to automatically place all ingredients and tools on the table.
- Take All: There is now a “take all” button that removes everything on the table
- Starter Recipes: Crafting Log now starts with a handful of recipes
- Recipe Status: Recipes now display the status of whether they can be crafted including details about what ingredients you have, or do not have, in your inventory
- More Recipes: 52 more recipes bring our grand total to 153.
▪ Walking: With the run speed increase it became increasingly obvious that we need an option to walk.
▪ Friends & Anti-Friends (Blocking): Friends and Blocking were originally R4 goals but we managed to sneak them in for R3.
▪ Player Housing in SPO: We originally planned to disable all housing in R3 because of the complexity of dealing with ownership in multiplayer. We realized though that we could leave it functional in single player online without having to spend time solving the multiplayer issues in R3. This means you can still experience house ownership and decoration, but only in single player online mode.
▪ Player Made Music: The Bards of Poets’ Circle Guild selected a set of songs for us to include in the game and we have spread them around the three maps for your listening pleasure.
▪ Ladders: Using ladders will now teleport you to the next floor of a structure