Saturday, 27 May 2017

End of the Line

After much deliberation, I've decided that CoE is not looking like the game for me. I've lost interest in it and, as such, I won't be updating this blog again. I'll leave it intact until the domain expires in May 2018 just in case there's something here of interest to anyone.


Thursday, 4 May 2017

Update 62: It Takes An Adventurous Spirit

Soulbound Studio released update 62 on 4th May 2017. It's quite a large one, here's a summary. You can read the original on the Chronicles of Elyria website.

Progress Quest

We  learned that the team is effectively split into groups for the purposes of developing Chronicles of Elyria with various responsibilities depending on their talents, etc. They've been given 'interesting' names, as follows...

Elyrian Zoological Society

Members: Mudokon, Racronos, Irreverent, Vanimus Prime, Souzou

Presumably responsible for the wildlife in the game, this group is currently working on the horse, the primary beast of burden and workhorse (!)

The prologue will have wild animals that players will probably encounter on their travels so the teams are working on the archetypes to assist with producing the the animation rigs and behaviour patterns.

League of Extraordinary Locomotion

Members: Strider, Tripnull

Working on movement animations including jumping, running, etc. We learned that CoE is not a 'one size fits all' game where all characters are equal. Size really does matter in CoE and mechanics like jump height will differ based on character size, fitness, etc.
Here's a direct quote from the update since I couldn't think of a shorter way to write it for the summary:
In addition, they've been improving the blending, movement speeds, and inverse kinematics that will provide the necessary connection between the character and the world to make it feel "real".

 Asset Archival Alliance

Members: Wiz, Raevaniel, Vanimus Prime, Irreverent

Working on the asset management, pipeline, and organization. Basically improving the subsystems and data management in game development (and, presumably, maintenance). This will allow the various assets to be utilised more efficiently by the rest of the team.

The Tribe Foundry

Members: Caspian, Heat, Souzou

This team is creating concept art and dossiers for each of the twelve Tribes (details of the tribes we released in an earlier update). There's a live Q&A coming up soon about tribes and Caspian will post a Design Journal prior to the Q&A so people can ask questions.

Order of the Online Play

Members: Cynax, Tripnull, Glaive, Michael

Getting the game on its supporting platform, i.e. Spacial OS. We have little information on this so far except that they have actually fired up the system and have a 'blank canvas' in which to run around. As Vye said, "it's the first brick in the foundation of online gameplay and we're thrilled!"

Protectors of the Web

Members: ZRO, Death, Cynax, Glaive, Scarlet, Michael

 Responsible for the website and all its assets, including the interface between backers and the databases, etc. They've been very busy lately with the Kickstarter Anniversary promotions and such like.

Enter the Dragon

The team grows! Adam Vener (otherwise known as "Serpentius") joins Soulbound Studio as a Community Support Lead. To affirm his geek credentials, he left us with his favourite quote:
"The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few, or the one" - Spock ST2

That's it for now. As always you can read the original over on the CoE website in the official CoE blog, formerly known as the Developer Journals!

Saturday, 29 April 2017

Update 61: Celebrate Our Kickstarter-versary!

As the 1 year anniversary of CoE's awesome kickstarter success looms, Soulbound Studio have come up with a way to share the good tidings with their community. There's a lot going on and you'll want to head on over to their website to read up on it all.

There's a lot to read there, so here's the short version

The celebrations start on 1st May and are 'split' into weekly chunks.

At the start of the celebration period, existing backers receive a (non cumulative) reward based on the amount they pledged.
  • Below $250 : 10% Store Credit
  • $250-$349 : Bonus Spark of Life
  • $350-$499 : Spark of Life + $10 Store Credit
  • $500-$749 : Elyrian Package + $10 Store Credit
  • $750-$999 : Pioneer Package + $10 Store Credit
  • $1,000-$2,499 : Settler Package
  • $2,500-$4,999 : Mayor Package
  • $5,000-$9,999 : Magistrate Package
  • $10,000 and up : Courtier Package

Week 1

Introduces a 10% discount on  all pledges made during May 2017 and a 100% influence and store credit earned on friend codes used during the month.

Week 2

An exposition point sale starts plus a very nice looking offer of 3000 EP for $200.

Week 3

For the last two weeks of May, Soulbound will be running a couple of raffles, one for Villager Tokens and one for Guild Tokens. Raffle prizes can't be announced till after server selection because there'll be a winner on each server.
Players will be able to transfer their guild tokens from the third week in May.

As a furher incentive to do this:
  • The winning settlements are guaranteed to have a major story event occur in their settlement!
  • The winning organizations will be written into the lore and history of Elyria as we continue to develop the game!


Week 4

Yet to be announced, it's described on the CoE website as a surprise so we'll just have to wait and see :)

Other News

But that's not all. We also learned that people who bought multiple packages can merge them with the purchased items, etc. stacking - except for Kingdoms, Duchies, and Counties which, instead, become double domains. Settlements become 2x in size.

We found out how gifting works: basically you keep the influence, the person receiving the gift gets everything else.

Similar thing happens if you transfer your title and lands. You keep the influence and all the package items but your beneficiary gets all items under the Titles & Nobility along with the accompanying villa or manor

NOTE: All of these promotions will end at 10AM PDT on June 1st.

Friday, 28 April 2017

Highlights from April 27th Q&A

The Q&A started with a parcel unwrapping ceremony. Soulbound Studio, it seems, are recipients of many gifts from the community, including mugs, backdrops, food and drink (!), etc. - so they must be doing something right!

Anyway, here are some important points I picked up on from the Q&A (see my disclaimer at the bottom of the article!).
  • We're coming up to CoE's Kickstarter 1 year anniversary. It's actually next Wednesday but Soulbound Studio will be starting celebrations on Monday (1st May). Keep an eye on their website for further details on the party!
  •  New staff members are expected to be starting in June. The team is still expanding nicely, that can only be good for the future development of the game.
  • We learned that the commonly touted number of 100k players on a server is in fact a minimum target not a maximum player cap as had been thought.
  • Caspian made a brief statement suggesting that everyone should have their layaway items fully paid off next month. He refused to elaborate further.
  • It seems that the Prologue system won't be 'thrown away' after launch. It'll be kept as part of a system put in place to assist users in testing their OPC scripts.
  • Following a large number of questions about tribes, Caspian decided that next months Q&A will be about Tribes.

You can watch a video of the Q&A for a short time on Soulbound's Twitch Channel or a more permanent video on Youtube.

My disclaimer...

The actual Q&A was at midnight for me and I was a bit sleepy. I'm sure I missed something but I'll keep an eye open for further information and update this page as it comes in...

Here's a potentially important bit that I didn't miss though, reiterated here because it is potentially very important...

Caspian: "Domain selection is coming up very soon. I will add, I will stress. Make sure you get your layaway stuff paid off next month. That would be a good month to do that in. We'll just leave it at that"

No further explanation was forthcoming so you can make of that what you will :)

Saturday, 22 April 2017

Creating a Map

With the lack of (new) news, I thought I'd post a quickie showing map creation. It's just a screenshot but it helps to show the impressive depths of Chronicles of Elyria. We start out with little idea of where things are and rely on explorers and adventurers (players) to go out to find things and report back to cartographers to create maps of the areas. These maps, made by skilled cartographers (also players) are likely to be quite valuable.

Remember CoE is currently pre-alpha, things are very likely to change!

And... don't bother printing off that map as a reference, the continents are going to be procedurally generated so each server will most likely have a completely different map :)

Thursday, 20 April 2017

Update 60: April Showers Bring Elyrian Flowers

April Showers Bring Elyrian Flowers

A fancy heading for something vital to the gameplay experience: weather...

Chronicles of Elyria will have a weather system. The climatic conditions have a direct impact on the players experence in the game. To quote from the update: "muddy roads and snow banks will affect travel and increase strain on people and vehicles that dare to venture outdoors."

A Little Damp

Nice Weather for Ducks

Where's That Inn?

And when the temperature drops, all that rain turns to snow...

Hope Snowshoes are a Thing in CoE

Silver Run Mine Slowrun

A video was released showing exploration of the Silver Run Mine. It shows off some of the exciting moves/abilities the players will have access to in the game. This is definately no ordinary MMO!
What's a slowrun? The original video was a mad rush, a race to get to the end. This new video is an exploration of the mine with commentary by Soulbound Studio's World Designer Miguel "Souzou" Sierra. Bear in mind, this is (pre) pre-alpha, the mine was created as a demo and will be used in prologue.

Open Topic Q&A on April 27th

Soulbound Studio have decided to hold an open topic Q&Q session on their channel. If you want to ask a question, pop on over to their reddit page and add it to the list. For anyone who misses the live Q&A session, the video will be available on their twitch channel for a short time and then on their Youtube channel.

Chronicles of Elyria is getting more interesting by the day! See you there...

Monday, 17 April 2017

OTG Joining Kingdom of Vornair

Here's a bit of news :)

Indications are that OTG (a large guild of players aged 25+) will be joining Adam Burrfoot's Kingdom of Vornair on Chronicles of Elyria's NA-East server. Details are sketchy at this time, we have no idea how many players will be joining or where in the Kingdom's hierarchy they'll be setting up. 

Those details will likely not be known till launch but if you meet the age criteria and fancy joining a huge gaming guild which has players in most popular games, take a look at OTG... here's a snippet blatantly ripped off from the guild forum: "Laid Back, Not Too Serious, No Drama, All About The Fun."

Friday, 7 April 2017

Chronicles of Elyria Forum Software Updates

Some updates to the Chronicles of Elyria forum software have gone live.

  • Add new post count/designators to top level forums
  • Add support for reporting posts
  • Change Email Address
  • Allow users to set avatar pictures
  • Signature Preview
  • Add Preview to posting
  • Change user name
  • Shop item to purchase user name change (after the 1st) - coming soon

What we know so far:
  • The space for the avatar inside the border is 110x105 pixels and will be stretched to fit.
  • The image has to be available on the internet, accessible via a URL.
  • Avatar's are only available to accounts with a minimum of 250 influence.
  • Gifs are only animated if the avatar belongs to an account with 10k+ influence.

Thursday, 6 April 2017

Chronicles of Elyria - Project Update #59

Loads of juicy tidbits in this latest update!

Lighting the World

We have some wonderful looking images of Elyria to feast our eyes upon!
As Vye reminded us, Elyria is not Earth so they can make it look the way they want. These images were released to showcase what Soulbound Studios are looking to achieve with various lighting effects. All I can say is that I can hardly wait to get into Elyria!

Website Improvements

Updates to the website, bringing it more in line with what people would expect from a AAA title are ongoing. Registered users now have borders signifying their IP tier, it's a rough guide to their characters status ingame but not foolproof - it uses IP which can be boosted through other means than just buying into a title. Just one of many twists and turns the game offers - things aren't always what they seem with Chronicles of Elyria...

Here's a list of upcoming changes on the forum. At first glance, it doesn't seem like a great deal but it brings the forum software up to date and more in line with users expectations and is a very welcome set of improvements.
  • Free, One-Time, Username Change!
  • Update Your Own E-mail Address!
  • Set Your Own Avatar Picture!
  • Preview Your Signatures Without Needing To Post!
  • Preview Your Posts Before Posting!
  • Staff and Moderator Posts Are Visually Distinct!
  • Posts Can Be Reported!


At long last we get some information about the tribes in CoE. Followers of fashi Followers of CoE's video streams will know about all the teasing going on regarding tribes. They get a mention and a wink in nearly every stream but we've had nothing concrete...till now. Quoted directly from the CoE site so I don't mess it up...

We've done the appropriate amount of research now and I'm happy to announce the names of the Tribes of Mann.
  • TUNDRA Yoru /ˈjɔːɹ.uː/ (YORE-oo)
  • GRASSLANDS Neran /ˈnɛɹ.ən/ (NEHR-uhn)
  • SAVANNAH Owem /ˈoʊ.əm/ (OH-um)
  • ARID DESERT Erishé /ˌɛəɹ.ɪˈʃeɪ/ (air-ih-SHAY)
  • BROADLEAF FOREST Kypiq /'kɪp.ɪk/ (KIP-ik)
  • ALPINE FOREST Brudvir /ˈbɹuːd.vɪəɹ/ (BROOD-veer)
  • MOUNTAIN STEPPE Hrothi /'h͡ɹɑː.ðiː/ (HRAH-thee)
  • TROPICAL RAINFOREST Janoa /d͡ʒʌ'noʊ.ə/ (juh-NO-uh)
  • SEMI-ARID DESERT The Waerd /'wæɹd/ (WAIRD)
  • FRESHWATER WETLANDS To'resk /tə'ɹɛsk/ (tuh-RESK)
  • SALTWATER MANGROVES Mydarri /mɪˈdɑːɹ.iː/ (mih-DAR-ee)
  • SWAMPLANDS Dras /ˈdɹɑs/ (DRAHS) 

I can honestly say I'm getting excited by what CoE has to offer. Each update brings us closer to that dream :) See you there...

The update, as always, is available on the official Chronicles of Elyria forum where it's already being discussed...

Wednesday, 5 April 2017

Kingdoms...Kingdoms Everywhere!

About Server Selection and Kingdoms

I'm going to take the liberty of quoting most of the following directly from the CoE site Developer Journal because this stuff is important and I don't want to cause confusion!

Chronicles of Elyria, unlike most other games, is a game of finites. It has limited resources and limited numbers of players at various key high ranking levels, such as royalty, nobility and aristocracy.

Tens of people have already bought into the King/Queen packages and there are, apparently, some more in layaway. At $10k (real money!) a pop this is nothing to be sneezed at, and they all need a home.

Here's where I start shamelessly quoting:

When Domain & Settlement Selection happens, the server, lands, and names (for family surname, region, and settlements) will become locked in.
 Players will first be given server selection and then domain selection when the time comes. Priority for server is given to those players who took the bigger risk and backed us earlier. But, within each server, the land will be selected in order of influence.
 We will open server selection ordered by date-of-purchase and tier level. Once the servers are chosen, Kingdom-holders will pick their Kingdom ordered by total influence. If the server you wanted is full, you can choose another server, but we will also be creating a new package as an alternative.

If that's all as clear as mud, Soulbound Studio provided a useful example:

Consider 3 pretend players who have purchased a King/Queen or Monarch package:
  • Purchase Date: Jan 1, 1970
  • Influence: 100,000
  • Purchase Date: Jan 1, 1990
  • Influence: 9,000,000
  • Purchase Date: Jan 1, 2000
  • Influence: 10,000
The order for server selection would be: Epoch > Millenium > Slowpoke.
The order for domain selection on the server would be: Millenium > Epoch > Slowpoke.

If you're finding all this somewhat overwhelming and confusing you're not alone! The best place to get questions answered is on the CoE website itself. If you haven't already done so, feel free to join our great community on the CoE forum.

Monday, 3 April 2017

Back to Basics

I thought I'd take a look at the thing that attracted me to Chronicles of Elyria in the first place. To quote directly from Soulbound Studios' Official Game Overview:

A closed economy, finite resources, non-repeatable quests, and a fully destructible environment means the world is experienced differently for every character. Each time you log in there is something for you to participate in. Local, regional, and national conflicts are continuously unfolding, giving birth to repeated opportunities for you to change the course of history.

Of course, images such as these helped!

The idea of a game where each character has something to offer and where each player can go their own way to help or hinder the activities of those around them is very appealing in todays MMO climate where everyone follows exactly the same path as the thousands before (and after) them. Somehow my characters don't feel 'special' in most MMO's - I'm very hopeful to see all that changing with CoE. It's very possible that Soulbound Studios are taking MMO's in a completely new direction. Maybe they're actually creating a life simulator rather than a simple game!

I was a bit reticent to take the idea that a character would age and die in a game seriously but this happens in real life, there's no escaping it, so why not in a game? Actually, when you think about it, the idea is a stroke of genius - what better way to keep people playing regularly than give their characters a limited life? Players will want to maximise the 'effect' their characters have on the game world and to do that regular logins will be very desirable... there's only so much a character can do in the players absence - yes, you may log out but your character doesn't, when you log out of the game your character becomes an npc... a special npc but an npc regardless.

Another quote:
Not interested in running a kingdom? The fully skill-based system and lack of classes means you're rewarded with the ability to create the exact character you want to. 
They got me on that one. My first thought was to run a tavern. I don't know why but it's something that I've always fancied doing, either that or some sort of entertainer. Maybe a travelling bard or something similar. There are so many options and all of them useful to the groups of players around them.

Since all 'posts' will need to be filled, from blacksmith to spy, now's the time to start talking to the people in the kingdom you're planning on spending your time in. The earlier the rulers get an idea of what their kingdom will look like, the better. Unfilled 'posts' will be taken by npc's (or rather the players are likely to take over existing npc roles when they select their starting point) but, obviously, the more the rulers know about their population the better and they're all looking for players.
If you haven't decided yet, head on over to the Guild Recruitment Forum on the CoE site and start reading ;)

Tuesday, 28 March 2017

Blogs and Character Creation

Wow, it's been a while since I posted anything here. Since Soulbound Studios are now running their own blog on their website it seemed pointless to just repeat it all. So, what to do instead...

Well, I could add a few links to their later blog entries...

Here's one, the game now has females!

Interestingly, and absolutely nothing to do with the above link, what you do in the world will affect the appearance of your character. Male or female, if you run around fighting you'll develop muscles, if you spend your days in a town cooking big fat pies, you may well become big and fat yourself. If you get wet, it'll show and if you fail to clean your clothes you'll wind up looking dirty. The implications for roleplaying here are enormous!

Here's an image from the official blog. Chronicles of Elyria looks more impressive by the day.

Since I'm big on character creation (I could easily spend hours creating a character), I've been looking with interest at the impressive developments along that line in Chronicles of Elyria. To quote directly from the website: Chronicles of Elyria uses a system of genetics that allows traits to be passed on from one generation to another.

What this means in practice is that your character is restricted to some degree by the genetics of the family you choose. Not only looks but starting attributes as well. This looks more like a life simulator than a game. That can be avoided, to some extent, by starting out as a 'ward of the state' but then you lose the benefits of being part of a family. There are a huge number of key choices to be make here even before starting to play.

More later... :)