Indie sandbox Chronicles of Elyria captured MMORPG players’ attention last autumn when it began revealing details about some of its more unusual mechanics, including its character aging and death system. A new dev blog this week sheds more light on how character aging works — and how you’ll use cash money to live again once you’ve croaked for good.
Soulbound Studios says that player characters live between 80 and 120 years, equating to up to 105 in-game years, assuming you don’t go and die in the meantime. If you die infrequently, your character will live approximately a year in real-time. If you die a lot, however, those deaths are lodged against your character’s lifetime.
“If you’re someone who dies an average of once per week,” write the devs, “you can expect to live approximately 8.75 months without needing to buy a new Spark of Life.” Now do the math on dying daily: “Every day counts as three days of play time. The average of 354 divided by 3 is 118 days. That’s 16 weeks, or approximately 3.75 months before you need to buy a new Spark of Life.”
Sparks of Life are the real-world financial component of the game; instead of paying for a subscription, you’ll buy new characters when your old one dies of old age (or, you know, incompetence). They’re planned to run $29.99.
“If you only live 3.75 months, then for our currently estimated price of $29.99 per Spark of Life, it still means you’re only paying approximately $7.99 per month. That’s half the price of a WoW subscription! That’s right. If you’re an active, daring player who plays every single day and manages to die every single day… you can continue to play CoE for 1/2 the price of a WoW subscription.”
The dev blog also discusses how death tolls work, how to gain fame inside the game, and how a fame multiplier will make death for famous characters more costly.