There seems to be a lot of misunderstanding surrounding permadeath in Chronicles of Elyria. Here's a short article putting forward my view on death in the game (as I understand it).
Permadeath?Yes, your character will eventually die. That's part of the game but it's important to remember that CoE is not like other MMO's. In CoE your character is just a vehicle to allow your soul to thrive. When the character dies (which it will, of old age or by some violent act) you move on to a new one, this is an essential part of your soul's progression.
I've seen lots of posts from people imagining that their character could be killed over and over and over by griefers resulting in them having to buy a new 'life.' There are a couple of important points worth mentioning here.
Firstly, normal defeats (without a coup de grace) just knock your character out for a short time, you're in a state they call 'incapacitated' in which you have a black screen with a little countdown timer. In that state you can't do anything but you can still hear what's going on around you. Your body can be bound, moved short distances and partially looted.
If your character is 'coup de graced', which is the only way for a player to actually kill you, you go into a spirit walk. The idea being that you find your way back to your body to revive it. When you get there, you have the option to actually revive some distance away from the death point so nobody can 'camp your corpse' and immediately kill you again. A coup de grace is going to be quite a long winded procedure, not a quick slash of a blade. So a friendly npc, family member or other player could come to the rescue.
Secondly, when you die, there's a 2.5 hour (not sure of this exact value) cooldown on the spirit loss you suffer when you spirit walk so even if you do die again quickly, you're protected from that loss. A spirit walk, when not on loss cooldown, costs you some spirit and shortens your character's life a little which is where the cries of woe are coming from.
The actual time taken for a spirit walk isn't yet known. it's likely to vary depending on the age of your character (it's a long time so don't worry about having to rush back!). We do know that the amount of 'spirit' lost in a spirit walk varies depending on the importance of your character in the game world. A shoemaker is likely to have a small loss whereas a king is unlikely to survive too many coup de grace's. Important characters do have other compensations though, for their life of high risk and are likely, by the very nature of their positions, to have protection against assassins, etc.
When your character's spirit is too low to make it back to the body, your character is regarded as permadead and you'll have to use a spark of life to 'inhabit' a new one.
It's worth noting that your character is online all the time, even when you're logged out, and is thus open to attack at any time. However, the spirit walk timer stops if you're not logged in so you're not going to log in one day to a permadead character that got stuck in its spirit walk. There's a 30 day limit on this, however. If you fail to make it back to your body within 30 days, your character permadies - though Soulbound Studios are working on a way for players to advise them of upcoming holidays, etc. so the timer can be extended if necessary.
But new lives cost real money!Yes, they do. That's how the game is funded. As of May 2016, it looks as if the cost of a new spark of life will be about 30 US Dollars. Unless you're dying a LOT, e.g. a pretty incompetent Zorro wannabee, you're probably going to get pretty close to a years worth of play time from that (based on information gleaned from the developer journals) which is not bad at all compared to subscription games.
There are more ways than real money to fund your game though. As the story progresses, you can gain story points which can be spent on new lives later. More 'important' characters get more points which is one of the compensations they get for having a riskier life and a potentially shorter lifespan. It's said to be possible, if you work at it, to not have to pay real money for your next life at all.
Here's a great video put together by PharazonsCoE going into great detail about life and permadeath in CoE.
Ok, sounds interesting. How do I learn more?
The best place to learn more about the game is Soulbound Studio's Website. Take a look at their Developer Journals for far more information that I could provide here.
If you think that the game sounds interesting and you decide to register on their site, please consider entering my friend code: DE2024 :)
Kickstarter for the game started on 3rd May 2016. I'm really excited for this one. I think it sounds like a breath of fresh air in a stagnant MMO market and I hope it succeeds.