Welcome back to the Akashic Records. A series of posts about the lore of Chronicles of Elyria. In this post, we are not going to look at a certain feature of the lore but instead, focus on a post made by the developers about their attitude to lore as a whole.
There are several parts to lore in my opinion ‘background’, ‘progress’ and ‘engagement’. Soulbound Studios seem to have already considered them all as Jeromy ‘Caspian’ Walsh told us in a thread about In-game Lore started by Luccheno. He started by talking about some of the backgrounds for the game:
To me, the lore of a world is a combination of cultural norms, religious beliefs, mythology, cosmology, and ancient history. All of these exist in Chronicles of Elyria. In fact, they exist in multiple versions! In Elyria there are many different peoples, several of them with disparate views of how Mann-Kind got to Elyria, whether there is one god or many, whether the gods are still listening or whether they’ve abandoned us, and most importantly – who or what the greatest evil is. This is by design.
He delved further into the idea of providing ‘religions’ in the game in order to provide preformed groups and a reason to go to war against each other. I think having that sort of lore is important in a world, it gives a solid foundation for us as players to build on. Having some background and basis for ideas means we can develop characters and communities that fit together more easily. Have a shared reason to come together, or to go war. It just makes this flow much more easily if everyone is singing from the same hymn sheet. After all, while freedom to create whatever character you like seems ideal, starting with a completely blank slate with no suggestions on where to take your character runs the risk of people having ideas so vastly different they do not work in one story.
Background is great but this will be a living world, so we need to look at ‘the now’ as well (although of course currently as the game has not yet been released ‘the now’ is ‘the future’, but I am still calling it ‘the now’, because it will be in ‘the future’, you keeping up?). The world progress when we are a part of it, the lore will develop:
Now, as many of you have pointed out, that mostly focuses on what came before your characters (and provides a setting for future events). What happens once you enter into Elyria will be a combination of your own play and the many different metas you think up, as well as the ten-year story and how the Soulborn Engine chooses to drive it forward. As was pointed out previously, each server, depending on player actions, could take dramatically different paths, and end up in very different places at any given point in the timeline.
I can not wait to see how different the various servers become, whether they even feel like the same world. With NPCs aging just like characters there really will be progress in this world, things constantly moving on and not waiting to see if you are ready for them. That is real progress, not gated quests, but a world that doesn’t care if you miss the big stuff you should have been there (but don’t worry you can actually access some of the chat channels from outside the game so if something big is going down people can let you know!).
The final element of lore is engagement, making people want to get involved. This normally takes the role of stories and art that pull people in and get them excited, and I do hope we see that here too. However, Chronicles of Elyria is also taking a slightly different route to get people to engage:
With all that said, we really want this to be your world, not ours. So in the coming weeks we’ll be opening up additional community sections here on the website that will allow YOU to write stories about historical events such as wars and natural disasters, create NPCs, name locations, etc…
Now that really was unexpected! Hopefully, before they start us running we will get a few more examples of things that have happened already in the world, or settlements that do exist to give us a flavour to work towards. Obviously, not all the ideas put forward by the community will get into the game, there is a voting system to be put in place. Even then I doubt the beautifully crafted lore we make about that time a wormhole opened and we all got to actually visit Elyria will actually make it in how many votes it gets.
All in all, it looks like Soulbound Studios have thought about lore. They want there to be a solid footing but also a lot of room for expansion and excitingly they want that expansion to come from us. So get involved, after all, there is Influence at stake!