About this project
Revisiting for Updates? Check the bottom of the page for Stretch Goals, Announcements, new images, etc.
Note: Project funding will continue on our site ChroniclesOfElyria.com after the Kickstarter ends, starting Monday June 6th. We will offer the ability to upgrade your existing pledge (outright or through a layaway system) starting in ~3 weeks when the Kickstarter pledges are integrated with CoE forum accounts.
We will continue funding toward Stretch Goals through November 2016.
Chronicles of Elyria is the first MMORPG where your character ages and dies, encouraging you to think beyond your character to their role in a larger story.
Fearless in its design, it embraces a character's ability to impact other characters. 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 a dynamic world waiting for you. Local, regional, and national conflicts are continuously unfolding, giving birth to repeated opportunities for you to change the course of history.
• Aging, Dying, & Souls | An epic 10-year story line invites you to experience your character over multiple lifetimes. With each life you will develop your character and make your mark in the Chronicles. When your character eventually dies, their soul will be reincarnated stronger than before and their spirit and destiny will live on in another character of your making.
Characters age in-game over the course of 10-14 real-world months. During that time your character will grow old and eventually die, leaving their mark on history. But while alive you must choose your actions carefully, as each in-game death reduces your overall lifespan (by approximately 2 days) and brings your character that much closer to permadeath. However, if you're an influential player (the king perhaps), each in-game death is more impactful, leading to permadeath in just 4 or 5 times.
• Player Skill Matters | It's no longer about getting to level cap and pursuing the best gear. In CoE a player's skill - their timing, speed, and strategy - makes a difference. The combat system requires you to dodge, parry, and manage your stamina - not just spam buttons. Crafting also requires player skill, with mini-games designed to make crafting more than just clicking a button.
• Offline Player Characters | To maintain realism, your character remains in-game from the moment of creation until permadeath because you wouldn't want to be interacting with a merchant only to have them sign out and disappear from the world. We've solved this with AI scripts to support your character while offline. This allows you to train skills, run your shop, and defend yourself while you're AFK.
• Non-Repeatable Quests | Tired of killing 20 bunnies destroying a farmer's crops, only to see 50 other characters complete the same quest? We're doing away with NPC quest hubs by enabling other players to give out tasks. That same OPC merchant may run out of reagents, leading them to ask you to bring 10 elixirs back from a far off city, utilizing the contract system to ensure delivery.
• No World or Mini-Map | Map makers and cartographers have a place in CoE, helping players navigate their world. But watch out, because treasure maps can be faked and locations may be renamed, leading NPCs to refer to a town by the most used name.
• Game-Enforced Player Contracts | Implicit and explicit contracts enable you to develop unique, never-before-seen meta content. Signing in-game contracts between players creates a binding agreement so you can safely operate your business. Sign trade contracts to create a shipping business. Employ other players to procure hard-to-find resources. Sell your services as an expert assassin and be confident you’ll receive payment. The possibilities are endless and only limited by your creativity!
• Sparks of Life | Chronicles of Elyria utilizes a new business model never before seen in MMOs. CoE hearkens back to the coin-op arcade model where, for $30, players buy a Spark of Life that grants a soul the opportunity to live for between 10 and 14 months, before establishing your Soul in a new character of your choosing. (Note: 1 Spark of Life comes with purchase of the game.)
In CoE, bodies age and die, but Souls live forever. In your new body, whether that be your heir or someone else entirely, your Skill Ramp will get you back up to power quickly & allow you to advance further than in your previous life.
The Spark of Life system also helps reduce griefing. If you kill another character in-game, your face goes up on a wanted poster and a bounty token is created for you. This not only keeps you out of cities, but also means you can be taken to 'jail' which significantly reduces your lifespan, adding real financial repercussions to your in-game decisions.
• Influence Points (IP) and Earn to Play (E2P) | In Chronicles of Elyria, the Story Points you earn (by completing in-game activities that help advance the story) can be traded in between lifetimes in order to buy Sparks of Life. This is what we call the “Earn-to-Play” model of funding.
Influence Points (Influence or IP) are our pre-launch currency, used to track the most influential community members who earn IP by recruiting other players, substantial contributions to the community, or Kickstarter funding. IP currency features heavily in the Kickstarter campaign, allowing people to earn IP which can be spent in the IP store prior to the official launch date. Influence provides benefits such as early access, special rewards, and currency to purchase in-game property, titles, and items.
• MMORPG Meets Survival Game | With limited inventory, hunger and thirst, drowning and fatigue, and dangerous landscapes containing both sweltering heat and frigid cold, a character must be truly heroic to become a hero. The riches are real and adventurers can become the wealthiest and most powerful in the world - if they can survive the harsh environments.
• Character Customization | Your character is created as a part of a family, and thus is bound by the laws of genetics for that family. Joining a group of squat, redheaded bakers? You likely won’t start out as a lithe, blond haired adventurer.
However, in CoE characters change dramatically even after character creation. Your character ages from 15 to ~100, and will look their age. Scars develop and fade over time. Hair grows while in the wilderness and may be re-styled while in town.
Your character’s body adjusts to your play style, so you know when approaching a twig of a player who claims to be a blacksmith, that you probably shouldn’t trust his word. This also means you can grow out of your armor, so watch what you eat!
• Freedom of Movement | Chronicles of Elyria's combat mechanics do not rely on auto-attacks or hot-bar buttons. Instead, CoE uses Left & Right mouse buttons to chain combat techniques together into combos.
These combos are configurable in the UI, allowing players to develop their own personal combat style using different techniques for each weapon they use.
• Fully Skill-based Character Development | With dozens of skills across multiple categories including fighting, gathering, crafting, survival, bardic, and deviant, you can develop the character you’ve always wanted to. With a skill system that rewards failure instead of success, and mechanics requiring player skill in addition to character skill, you must take on ever-increasing challenges if you want to be the best.
• Family, Land, & Housing System | Be a part of a player ran family, inheriting titles, riches, and character traits from your parents and ancestors. Marry someone (opposite or same gender) and have kids, using a Child Contract, to build out your dynasty.
Use your lands to grow crops and farm, or lease land to others to build player-ran towns. Set laws, acquire resources, and grow your domain from hamlet to kingdom. The fully destructible and buildable world means you can truly create your own village from the ground up. It also means you'll protect your loot, leading to player-created dungeons.
Want to read more? We have a bunch of Design Journals to describe the various game mechanics. Here are just a few:
- Incapacitation, Spirit Walking, and Permadeath
- The Weight & Measure of a Lifetime
- Player-Created Dungeons
- Maps, Cartography and Navigation
- Identity, Disguises and Reputation
This partnership answers the fundamental question, "How are you going to build a world this large, with a hundred thousands players, and all these never-before-seen features?!" The answer is SpatialOS.
SpatialOS will act as the fabric that our game is built on. It's the server technology that will allow us to support millions of entities in the world. Built first and foremost as a scalable, distributed operating system for games, SpatialOS means we don't have to spend time developing the things that generally take the most time when building a new MMO.
We don't have to worry about networking on the server, load balancing all the entities in the world, replication of entities across multiple server nodes, cross-process communication, collision detection of millions of entities, etc. In short, we don't have to worry about developing any of the technology that makes an MMO, an MMO.
Instead, we get to focus all of our resources on developing the game mechanics that makes Chronicles of Elyria truly unique.
We've turned to Kickstarter to fund this project because traditional game publishers won't take this risk. They are incentivized to clone the latest success and merely re-skin it. But not all players want a WoW clone or to play the same game every time. Our innovative ideas come FROM gamers FOR gamers. WE want to play this game, so we turn to YOU to help make that happen.
We also realize that to effectively complete all of these amazing ideas will require a lot of cash. That's why we've invested half a million dollars to self-fund pre-production thus far and have another $500K committed from investors.
We also promised to only go to Kickstarter once we had a playable demo (combat demo released at PAX East) and substantial development to show. This is not just a concept that we're presenting. It's a game in the making that we need your help to bring to fruition.
Soulbound Studios was created to bring together experienced game developers without the constraints of previous companies. Our current team of 16 will grow dramatically after the Kickstarter, but we'll continue look for people who want to create something truly inspiring.
Sean Beeson, an Academy Award winning composer, is creating the soundtrack for Chronicles of Elyria. His epic music has already been heard on our videos thus far, and you can hear more in his CoE SoundCloud.
To take advantage of any Add-Ons, you'll need to:
- Click the “Manage Your Pledge” button. If you haven’t backed this project yet, it will read “Back This Project”.
- Increase your pledge in the Pledge Amount box by the add-on(s) you wish to purchase. Keep your pledge tier the same.
- Then add the total of your add-on(s) to the original tier value.
You can choose from these Add-Ons:
- $10 - Villager Token*
- $10 - Guild Member Token*
- $25 - 1 additional Spark of Life
- $30 - Extra copy of the game with a Carriage for Two
- $10 - 100 Influence Points (IP)
- $25 - 275 Influence Points (IP)
- $35 - 400 Influence Points (IP)
- $50 - 600 Influence Points (IP)
- $75 - 925 Influence Points (IP)
- $100 - 1250 Influence Points (IP)
* Villager and Guild Member Tokens can be given to town Mayors or Guild Leaders as a way to contribute to the group. Your Villager Token will add land to the settlement. Your Guild Member Token will add IP to your guild, enabling faster research or power advancement.
You may have noticed that we have limited physical item tiers. We chose that intentionally, knowing the fulfillment of loots has sunk projects in the past. Also, some people are really interested in tchotchkes, while others aren't.
So rather than doubling our rewards tiers, we chose to use Merchandise Credits for a store on our site. This means that money isn't wasted fulfilling items for people who could care less (don't use the credit if you don't want the item), and those who want a lot of loot can choose what their hearts desire.
Items in the merchandise store will include these items, many of which can be signed by the team:
- Collector's edition box
- 3D printed figurine
- Art book
- Custom Soulstone USB stick
- Concept art poster
- CoE decal
ANNOUNCEMENT - Bank error in your favor! Time to celebrate! We messed up on Sparks of Life when creating the Kickstarter reward tiers.
Here are the actual additional Sparks of Life (note: 1 is included with the game, not mentioned in this list) that are awarded in each tier, each with a retail value of $30:
- $75 : +1 Spark of Life (total of 1 extra)
- $150 : +1 extra Sparks of Life (total of 2 extra)
- $350 : +2 extra Sparks of Life (total of 4 extra)
- $750 : +3 extra Sparks of Life (total of 7 extra)
- $1,500 : +3 extra Sparks of Life (total of 10 extra)
- $2,500 : +5 extra Sparks of Life (total of 15 extra)
- $5,000 : +5 extra Sparks of Life (total of 20 extra)
Note: This overwrites any mentioned of Sparks of Life in the reward tiers. You can also see these changes reflected in the reward tier chart images below.
Read more about these Stretch Goals, the reasoning behind the spread, and more in this Update.
**Above are some of the kits you will be able to purchase with IP
Risks and challenges
Game development is never easy and MMOs are the most demanding of the lot. We know these risks and have planned and estimated accordingly.
We have an established team of 16 people, funded from CEO, Jeromy Walsh’s, own money for the last year.
Soulbound Studios promises to:
• Continue developer transparency & the access levels we’ve become known for
• Publish & update our schedule on the CoE website
• Use ALL Kickstarter funds on ONLY the development of Chronicles of Elyria
A: We have lots of new backers, and thus many questions about how Kickstarter works. Here are a few answers:
When you make your pledge you choose a reward tier. Your pledge can be changed (or cancelled) at any time during the live campaign. Your card is only charged at the end of the campaign, on June 3rd, if we meet our goal.
After June 3rd we'll send out a survey to the email you used in your Kickstarter account to follow up on your pledge, including linking it to your CoE forum account. At that point you'll tell us more about your reward and add-on choices.
If you have more questions, feel free to use the Ask a Question button or look at the official Backer Questions FAQ here: https://www.kickstarter.com/help/faq/backer+questions
A: We're offering a limited number of early backers the ability to get a higher level reward at a discount (the early bird gets the worm). The early bird tier contain the exact same rewards at their higher versions, just at a discount.
For example, while early bird tiers are available, you can get the $35 tier for $25, the $60 tier for $50, the $100 tier for $90, and the $200 tier for $175. Once those tiers are full, the reward will only be available at the higher level.
Yes. You’ll need to update your pledge to include the additional Add-On amount (in this case, $30) to get the additional copy. Kickstarter does not allow you to choose a second reward tier, so if your friend wants any of the additional perks found in our tiers, you’ll need to have them back the game at their chosen tier with a different Kickstarter account.
A: No. You simply purchase the game (either now through a Kickstarter tier or after release for $50), which comes with a Spark of Life, and start playing.
Depending on your level of play, that Spark of Life will typically last you 10-14 real months (but could be shorter at higher level fame). Once you reach permadeath at the end of your lifespan, you'll need to purchase another Spark of Life (retail $30 or via a Kickstarter tier or add-on) to continue playing with another character.
A: Our family and inheritance system means that you could reserve your child (the title's heir) for your next lifetime which would allow you to continue playing as that title. Inheritance also works to pass on loot and money within the family. But if you choose to live your next life in an entirely separate family, then your title wouldn't travel with you.
Keep in mind that you could also lose your title,and land while your character is alive if your County (or Duchy, etc.) is overthrown.
Q: I want to purchase one of the add-on items. How much should I pledge? And how will I choose my add-on?
A: Add the amount of the add-on to your pledge level. For example, if you want to get the $350 tier and a $10 add-on, then you’d change your pledge to $360.
When the campaign ends and we send out the survey, you’ll choose which add-ons you want with the extra money above your tier level.
Q: Which reward items stack vs. upgrade? Mounts, cloaks, titles, packs, design experiences? Do I get all previous items or just my tier level?
A: Titles, cloaks, and packs all stack - You get your tier’s item and each previous. This means that if you back at the $500 Count tier, you’d not only get the Count’s title & cloak, but also the Baron’s title and cloak. You can either keep this for yourself or appoint a friend as your Baron. Keep in mind that they won’t have the same level of IP, so they may be at a disadvantage in that role.
Most mounts also stack (you get your tier's mount plus earlier tier's mounts) - the exception being the Ursaphant which is upgraded to the War Trison.
A: Before our 3 month game intro Exposition, you'll use a web interface to select your land. This will start with the highest nobility and descend within them by IP. The Kings will choose their Kingdoms first along with the rest of their land (Duchy, County, etc.). Then the Dukes will choose, likely aligning themselves with a King. Then the Counts will do the same. Finally the Barons go last.
During your selection period you'll know a bit about the land - natural resources, city and population size, neighbors, etc. - which will help you choose where to establish yourself. You'll be able to make alliances on the forums and communicate with players choosing land near your own.
Land owners without a title will enter Exposition via choosing a family, and may then choose their land in-game.
A: No & no. A higher level nobility player cannot simply take your land or title without declaring war via Cassus Belli (writ of authority), and to actually take over the land would require sieging, etc.
Similarly, the nobility won't be able to enter the game and name all their friends as their Barons/Counts/etc. They can encourage their friends who backed at that tier to choose land in their territory, but cannot create new titled players. You can work your way up to a title through marriage, inheritance, or war.
A: Yes, IP is a cumulative from each previous tier. For example, if you backed at the $500 tier, you’d not only get 450 IP, but all values below it for a total of 1,390 IP.
A: We have a large fan base in both Europe and Australia, so we plan to start with servers hosted in the US, EU, and APAC regions. This will enable you to play with people in similar time zones and will also help keep ping under control.
Q: Forum borders/badges. Do all forum borders/badges stack? Do we display all of them? Do we choose the one we want to display? Do we display the one for the highest pledge?
A: All forum badges will be displayed on your profile page. Your forum border will be selected from your highest tier with a forum border, and this is what will show next to individual forum posts.
A: Just for PC currently. However, we're using Unreal 4, which provides support for PC, Mac, Linux, and console. So depending on funding levels and player interest, we will consider other platforms.
First, here’s the FAQ on IP on our site: http://chroniclesofelyria.com/guide/faq#Influence. Second, the IP list will be updated on the Kickstarter page as it becomes available.
In general, IP is something you earn prior to launch for helping make the game successful, whether that is backing on Kickstarter or promoting the game elsewhere using your friend code via your CoE forum account.
IP will be available to spend on in-game items or titles directly prior to and during the 3 month game introduction Exposition. IP that is not used by launch date will be converted (at a loss) to Story Points, our way of rewarding heavy contributors to the in-game story.
Q: When will I receive my in-game rewards (titles, mounts, etc.)? Will they be available at Alpha, Beta, or full release?
A: In-game rewards will be available during the Exposition (3 month game introduction period), but not for alpha/beta testing. However, we will be giving titles, mounts etc... at differing intervals in order to test out the various mechanics.
Any rewards which are used in Alpha or Beta will be re-generated for the start of Exposition.
A: Absolutely. The family system fully supports official marriages between characters of same or differing genders. Same gender families can also have children by finding someone of opposite gender in the world who is willing to have a child using the Child Contract.
A: We’ll send out a survey after the project has been funded to get contact information, including your current forum email address and Alias.
No. In fact, we have quite a few community members who don’t want the Fame that comes with a title because of the game mechanics tied to Fame - increased penalties for death, notoriety on the server, etc.
There will be a procedure in our survey to select the details of your reward tier, which will include declining a title. The alternative will be additional IP which can be chosen at that time.
A: Yes to both. You will have the ability to use a controller while playing on the PC and keys can be re-mapped as needed for your play style.
A: We will have an option to back via PayPal on our site, but we’re waiting until the campaign is fully funded before offering as an option. Please keep in mind that if you fund via PayPal, you won’t have access to Kickstarter updates or the survey through their system.
Also, after the Kickstarter ends, you may be able to back on our site, but the rewards will be different than these Kickstarter only rewards.
A: It depends on our funding levels, as that will enable us to hire more staff to allow for concurrent development. Right now we’re aiming for December 2017 for full release. Alpha & Beta dates have not yet been released, as we’ll need to iterate on development and internal testing before each of those releases, so things are more fluid in those stages of development.
A: At this point, only English. We have had interest in Spanish language, but can’t make a commitment at this time.
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