chronicles of elyria

Official Site: Chronicles of Elyria

Chronicles of Elyria recaps development over the month of March

It's been a busy time for Chronicles of Elyria as the development team has worked on putting together a portion of the game to show off for GDC and PAX East. If you've missed the recent developments, the game's official newsletter is the place to get caught up on everything from the addition of female models into the game to the presentation offered to crowds in a Boston auditorium. (You can also catch that below the break, if you'd prefer.)

The studio is also planning a live Q&A session streamed online on March 29th, so if you're eager to find out more about surviving in the game world you may want to tune in. (It contains more valuable information than just "don't let your health bar empty," presumably.) There's also more information planned on the prologue area showed off at PAX East in the near future, so keep your eyes peeled if you're wondering what specifically makes this dank abandoned mine more interesting.

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Make My MMO: Star Citizen's subber promo, Planet Nomads' early access, Project Gorgon's bards (March 25, 2017)

This week in MMO crowdfunding, Star Citizen capped off a week of DirectX revelations and mega map explanations with a round of celebrations -- for its fifth year of subscriptions. Folks who join the game's dev subber program pick up a magazine, discounts, and extra test access; sub before April 17th while the promo is live, you get vending machine flair for your hangar. At least you'll have cold beverages while you wait for the game, right? (Thanks, Cotic!)

Elsewhere in space MMOs, congrats are due to Planet Nomads, which was Kickstarted last year and is now plotting an early access launch for April 18th.

And in epic news for fans of the best video game class of all time, Project Gorgon rolled out the bard support skills for testing this week. Don't think you're just going to pick up a lute and start strumming, either: "As you advance in Bard skill, you will also need to improve other skills, including performance, vocabulary, and poetry appreciation." Bring your thesaurus!

Meanwhile, ECO patched in some major upgrades to its economy, Starfighter is nearing half its goal with 20 days remaining (thanks Crow!), Ever, Jane's beta picked up horseback riding features, Camelot Unchained danced with its own bot army, City of Titans previewed its core archetypes, SOTA nabbed a new newsletter layout, and The Exiled's early access began its second season.

Read on for more on what's up with MMO crowdfunding over the last week and the regular roundup of all the crowdfunded MMOs we've got our eye on.

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Betawatch: Pathfinder Online isn't dead yet (March 24, 2017)

You could be forgiven for kind of thinking that Pathfinder Online was dead in the water, but it turns out that there's still hope. A surprise announcement stated that the game is moving forward once more, that it's going to be finished, and that there's reason to be hopeful from here on out. So if you're a big fan of the game or what the designers originally promised, don't give up just yet!

Other beta news this week was... well, let's face it, it was weird. What do I mean? See for yourself.

See what I mean, though? It's been a weird week. Perhaps you can feel a bit better about the week by checking on the list just below, which has all sorts of games on it. Of course, some of them may have crept into a different test status without our notice, which is also weird, so please let us know in the comments if you spy that.

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Chronicles of Elyria clarifies server and domain selection process moving forward

The staff behind Chronicles of Elyria has been on a whirlwind tour of events, and you can read all about it in the most recent dispatch from the team. You can also learn a lot about booth layout, if that's something that you find fascinating. And you can also find out the latest plans regarding the game's server and kingdom selection, which starts with the fact that players are still going to be jockeying for space as predicted. Players will be selecting servers first, then selecting kingdoms in order of influence.

This is, of course, part of the problem, as the game's plans do not wind up including enough land for all of the people who paid to have kingdoms in the first place.

It's worth noting that servers are selected in order of seniority, not influence, so things become a bit muddier, and it's quite possible for you to have a later pick of server and an earlier pick of land within that server due to backing late but having a lot of influence. Players can also convert to a lesser package and receive an advance pick of their chosen duchy, although those picks will also be in order of influence. Check out the full rundown and the details on the upcoming Q&A session in the official entry.

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Chronicles of Elyria limits how many $10,000 monarchs will rule over its lands

If you decided to eschew the purchase of a reasonably priced car in favor of buying your way to a pretend throne in a video game, you would probably want assurance that your money would be well-spent. But what if loads of other players tried to buy their way to the top too? What if there were too many kings? What if you couldn't feel superior for having blown so much cash?

Soulbound Studios is dealing with the increased demand for Chronicles of Elyria's $10,000 monarchies by putting a fixed cap on the number of kingdoms (and hence, monarchs) for each of its planned four servers. The new number for this "pay-to-rule" is six: six monarchs ruling over six kingdoms per shard (with 12 dukes per kingdom and 24 counts per duchy).

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PAX East 2017: Jumping and climbing through Chronicles of Elyria's pre-alpha

I admit to my weakness: Despite years and years of games using it again and again, I still enjoy the simple gameplay benefits of jumping between ledges. I like parkour. Admittedly, I like it in a purely academic sense, as my actual vertical mobility is somewhere between "no" and "hell no," but I like games that allow you to dash hither and yon, springing from wall to wall, running along things, all of that fun stuff.

The pre-alpha build of MMORPG sandbox Chronicles of Elyria on display at PAX East did not feature that. It featured parkour that was more on the level of God of War's process of mantling ledges, jumping between them, and so forth. Still, that's a welcome change from the fact that far too many MMOs don't even grant you that degree of mobility. Even in games that encourage you to move about with jumping puzzles and the like, how many MMOs allow you to actually use your hands to grasp a ladder?

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Make My MMO: Shards becomes Legends of Aria, The Repopulation revivifies (March 11, 2017)

This week in MMO crowdfunding, Shards Online surprised the gamer community by announcing a namechange -- to Legends of Aria -- and a scope-change, the good kind of scope change if you're an MMO player, as the game just got bigger.

More good news: The Repopulation is expected to come back online for original backers and Steam buyers tomorrow. Idea Fabrik expects the sandbox to once again be for sale on Steam later this month.

Still more good news! As I write this, indie VR MMO OrbusVR has nearly tripled its Kickstarter goal already. Its whirlwind one-week campaign ends on Monday.

Meanwhile, gamers pledged over $12K US to bring Swedish brawler RUiN to a winning Kickstarter a few days back, but Caribbean Conquest wasn't so fortunate: Its Kickstarter ended unsuccessfully earlier this week. Plus, Dogma: Eternal Night worked on its character module, Grim Dawn talked itemization, and AdventureQuest 3D hyped The Dragons of Ashfall.

Read on for more on what's up with MMO crowdfunding over the last week and the regular roundup of all the crowdfunded MMOs we've got our eye on.

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PAX East 2017: Chronicles of Elyria teases its PAX demo

Chronicles of Elyria's devs recently streamed a "speed-run" version of their planned PAX East demo for players. But we think that to really get a feel for how convention demos work for press, players would have to also do the following:

  • Drive around for a few hours. Overpay for parking. Stand in line, a lot.
  • Run to a couple of appointments. Forget to eat lunch. Wonder what that weird smell is.
  • Wait in another line. Run to more appointments. Get lost at least once.
  • Crap, is it 6 p.m. already?! Too tired to go to any parties.
  • Write all night and throw a pile of articles at the editor. Collapse in a heap.
  • Wake up. Repeat.

Really, we should all just stay home and watch a demo video. The things we do for games! Check it out below, and stay tuned for our take on the real thing this weekend!

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Chronicles of Elyria devs answer questions about its trio of 'pre-alpha experiences'

While the full MMO of Chronicles of Elyria is a ways off just yet, the developers want to get players involved and in the world "ridiculously early." This is why the team, in addition to making the MMORPG, is also crafting a trio of "pre-alpha experiences" for players.

In a new video Q&A, the dev team answers community questions about these games, which include a single-player prologue, the web-based Kingdoms of Elyria, and the text-based ElyriaMUD.

If you're more partial to reading, you can zip over to the main site to catch an overview of these experiences from late last month. "Put plainly, pre-alpha experiences are opportunities for players to jump into some form of the game as early as possible -- even before pre-alpha, to provide feedback," the team explained.

Interested in Elyria? Set aside a half hour to drink in the video below (there's also a two-hour version if you swing that way), and stay tuned for our meeting with the team this weekend at PAX!

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Make My MMO: The Exiled arrives to mixed reviews on Steam (February 25, 2017)

This week in MMO crowdfunding, The Exiled was released to the wilds of Steam early access. Formerly called Das Tal, the buy-to-play indie sandbox attempted to raise funds through Kickstarter back in 2015 but pulled in only €33,000 of its €50,000 goal and resorted to website preorders instead, forging ahead to now. Reviews on Steam so far are mixed; once you subtract the confused trial players who seem surprised to see PvP in a PvP sandbox, the main complaints revolve around crafting grind and lag.

Meanwhile, Ship of Heroes teased its Kickstarter, Shroud of the Avatar released R39, Albion Online settled on a July release, Life is Feudal rolled out its second beta, Pantheon brought on more new employees (thanks, Reht!), Dual Universe planned a GDC community meetup, Star Citizen explored the Magnus system and released a new concept ship, HEX got a new publisher, and Elite: Dangerous did science and turned... beige.

Closer to home, games critic and veritable prince of Patreon Jim Sterling scored a victory for games journalism in the courts as a judge dismissed with prejudice a game developer's libel lawsuit against him. (Thanks to everyone who tipped this our way!)

Read on for more on what's up with MMO crowdfunding over the last few weeks and the regular roundup of all the crowdfunded MMOs we've got our eye on.

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Chronicles of Elyria shores up PAX East demo, hires WoW cinematic artist

The clock is ticking down to PAX East on March 10th, and the Chronicles of Elyria team is whipping itself up into a frenzy to get everything prepared for its public debut.

In addition to all of the hardware and booth decorations, the team is putting in a few late nights to get the demo done for the show. According to this week's dev blog, the demo will feature the Silver Run Mines and the countryside. Playable females, climbing animations, underwater filters, and damage filters are all expected to make an appearance.

Amid all of this hubbub, Soulbound Studios has added a tech art lead to the team. Dennis Price comes to Chronicles of Elyria fresh from Blizzard, where he worked on the cinematic team for World of Warcraft, Diablo III, and StarCraft 2.

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Massively Overthinking: Are MMOs designed for 'low-skill gamers'?

Ages ago on the MMORPG subreddit, a player made a bold statement: MMORPGs are designed for low-skill gamers.

"I remember being dazzled by EverQuest and Ultima as a child," he wrote, reminiscing about his memory of high difficulty old-school games. "I recently loaded up [Star Wars: The Old Republic] again, and I'm shocked. Piss easy. Everything. XP falling from the sky. Mobs dead in one GCD. Brainless. The same reason I quite every MMO. I never meet people, I never feel challenged. I just feel bored. 'Wait till endgame' isn't gonna cut it anymore. I'm over it. I'm done. I feel like I'm just hitting the 'Reward' button again and again and again, solitary and alone, like a stupid little rat in the cage." He then basically blames the perceived shift of the genre on people who don't want games to be "like a job": "The genre just seems to be fueled by mediocre, anti-social "consumers."

I wanted to pull this back out to see whether our staff and writers agree with the claims -- and whether we all have some advice for this fan, who concludes his rant by asking people to change his mind. Howsabout it, Overthinking fans?

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