Following a successful Kickstarter campaign last year, Soulbound Studios are seeking further crowdfunding to finalise Chronicles of Elyria and bring it to launch.
Chronicles of Elyria will be an MMO like no other. Rather than focusing on an individual character’s progress, level-ups and getting to final end-game content, in Chronicles of Elyria players focus on their character’s legacy. Characters will be born, age and eventually die over the course of approximately a year in real-life time.
The environment will also change over time, forcing players to think of a longer-term legacy. There will be finite resources, a closed market economy and unrepeatable quests which will make each character’s playthrough unique.
Each character starts as part of a ‘family’. This can be either an NPC-run family or a player character family. This determines where your character starts, plus what their possible skill bonuses and physical attributes are. Players can also create ‘wards of the state’, who have no family ties.
Players must purchase a Spark of Life for $30, which gives a character one lifetime (approximately one year of real time). When your character dies, their Soul can then be reincarnated into a new character of your choosing — either an heir or someone totally new. The new character’s Skill Ramp will then help your new character’s skills quickly progress to where you were before, allowing the player to advance further in the game each time.
It is a unique concept for an MMO. As the payment model is based around lifelines, Soulbound Studios has put in barriers to discourage player v. player deaths and ‘griefing’. Murderers have their face on a wanted poster and a bounty token is created, which means they have to avoid cities and other players or face jail-time — which significantly reduces their character’s lifespan.
There are several stages of death, too, to make it fairer for players. During normal play, characters can be knocked out or receive a fatal wound in which their soul temporarily leaves their character’s body. Permadeath only comes at the end of a player’s lifespan, when they reach their maximum age. However, each death shortens a character’s lifespan, making life choices very important throughout the game.
Chronicles of Elyria has a classless system, instead having the skills you use determine what you are good at. Details of the skills available are yet to be released, but ideas of character paths include gathering resources, crafting items, running a shop or merchant caravan and being an adventurer. Quests can be given by other players, too.
You can watch pre-Alpha Chronicles of Elyria footage in the video below. The game is due to launch in December 2017.
Pledges start from the basic $45 Elyrian package, which includes 1 Spark of Life and 3 Souls, all the way up to $10,000 for a Monarch package, with the ability to name a star or constellation, name a historical location, design a custom in-game item, recipe, or pattern, as well as join the developers for the Launch Party and a weekend of gaming. Visit the Chronicles of Elyria shop to view all the various options and to select your pledge.