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I'm in the midst of writing up a paper trying to detail every mechanic in Elyria. Mainly by reading through EVERY Dev Journal since 2015. I'll also admit, I copied a couple chunks straight from these journals cause they were so too the point, there was really no point in trying to reword it. Anyway, I'll give out a full release when I'm finished with it, and it'll have all sorts of fancy text things, such as using bold and italics to get key words across. As well as line spacing so it's much easier to read.
In my research, even I, the mighty Shilling King have found really cool **** I didn't know about before. Even so, we'll still be retreading old territory (especially with this post) just for the sake of formality.
This release is basically going to be about what the game is at its roots, and what it wants to achieve. Along with core mechanics that'll be important to understand.
Currently have 33 pages of this report, and I'm still going strong, so stay tuned!
What is Chronicles of Elyria?
Chronicles of Elyria (CoE for short) is an MMO that has been over a decade in development. It hopes to break the norm for MMOs, by introducing a dynamic world, closed-economy, finite resources, non-repeatable quests, a 10 year storyline, and a fully destructive environment. In a gigantic world where local, regional, and worldwide conflicts, both violent and political, are occurring.
Now, these are all great buzzwords, but how about we go in-depth on the actual plans Soulbound Studios (the development team) has for how the game will function. Please keep in mind, the game is still in development, so anything that looks unpolished or half-finished will eventually get better, and things may flat out change. I’ll do my best to keep this paper as updated as possible.
I ask that if at any point, you find a deal breaker some sort, I ask that you read on anyhow. Most people only have problems with certain features when they look them from the surface, I will go in-depth on the actual implications of these features, and hopefully you will come to understand and accept them.
Part 1: Core Mechanics
The 4 big features of this game will be aging, permadeath, souls, and reincarnation. Every character has a standard year of life (52 weeks), and over this course of this period, your character will age. This game features a dynamic appearance shift (as seen above) for your character, not only will you visibly grow old, but they may also get fat, or muscular. Aging is not just a visual effect; it will also affect your attributes (Physical, Mental, and Social). With age, you will find younger adventurers have a leg up against you in terms of physical prowess, and people never want to listen to your elders, so you shall find both skills harder to train. However, you have a much easier time focusing with mental attributes.
After your standard 52 weeks of life, your character suffers permadeath. In this game, there are 3 main states of “death”.
Unconsciousness simply renders you unable to move, but you can still hear the things going on around you.
Soul-walking is a state that occurs when someone (or something) decides to Coup de Grace your unconscious body. In this state, your spirit wakes up in the middle of some otherworldly forest, with a silver string attached to your waist. You must follow this string to your corpse. This is a traumatic experience for the character, and it will shave days off of their lifespan based on how famous you are. Your average farmer would only suffer a 2 day penalty to their life; while a king may lose a handful of months per soul walk. As a bit of help, not only do you respawn a bit away from where you died, you also get a 2.5 hour immunity period (10 hours in times of war) where you can’t lose any more days from being Coup de Graced.
As you age, this silver string connecting you to your body will become harder to see, and eventually you may not be able to make it back in time. If you don’t find your body in time, you face permadeath (if you get Coup de Graced while offline, this timer won’t start until you’re back on). This and aging are only one of a handful of ways to suffer permadeath. The others being old age, being killed by a soulmate (will get into just what that is later) of an opposing alignment, getting crushed by a giant boulder, or even drowning in deep ocean water. Now that your character is dead, you would probably want to make a new one. Either using the soul you were using or a new one.
While permadeath may make the whole endeavor of advancing skills seem futile, the way souls work, do much more than simply negating this feeling. Souls act as a sort of record of what you did in life. Most of these things will have an impact on your future characters. Such as what skills you had and how good you were at them, affinity towards good or evil, or the different levels of achievements you can get (Achievements everyone can get, achievements that can only be claimed by one person at a time and achievements that can only ever be claimed once on a server.).
For affinity, it’s much more than just a track record of your morality, but it’s a slippery slope that can affect your destiny. Say you started going down the darker side of life, you’d see a gradual change in the quests, from delivering stuff, to pickpocketing people. Eventually, nearly all of your quests will be performing some misdeed. This can either be a nightmare for people who would like to fight back to a neutral standpoint or a boon for people who'd go evil.
A word on achievements, you will be granted benefits based on the ones you hold. Although, when you are reincarnated, you will only be left with a trace of the benefit granted until you can re-unlock that achievement, and receive a compounding effect.
Finally, reincarnation is the usage of a previously used soul. As stated above, whatever skills you advanced in life, would become etched into your soul. These skills now take on the form of skill ramps. These are boosts in skill gain based on how well you were trained in them with your previous life. You see, skills in this game don’t follow the standard “spend an hour to gather resources, and then mash the button to craft”, or anything all that grindy. So, even if you dedicate 100% of your time to training a skill, you still will not be able to reach a certain level. The highest level you can achieve, legendary, will only be available to those who have trained the skill throughout several lives, and built up the necessary skill ramps.
Do keep in mind, there are these things you earn in-game called story-points. You accumulate them both passively by just playing your character, and actively by doing story-affecting actions. You use these points to buy a new life, or more souls to use. It takes as little as 3 months of active play to earn a free life; though, if you do not have enough at the end of your lifespan, you will need to pay around $20 for a new life. This is both used to help deter griefers, and people seeking to abuse the reincarnation mechanics.
The next release I'll do is going to be all about the Soulborn engine, an engine specially designed for this game to manage the world and its story.
I hope this post got you interested in the game if you haven't already been.
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