A lot of what we know already about Chronicles of Elyria are the details. Mechanics that will only actually affect a small proportion of the player base. However, they are sometimes the most intriguing, and talents have certainly turned out to be that. We have had some more ‘information’ about talents drop this week on the forums. I used inverted commas because I will be honest it left me more confused than when I started! Talents really are an innovative mechanic which I am not sure any of us has fully grasped yet.
So without further ado here are the three key facts that Jeromy ‘ Caspian’ Walsh decided to share with us:
- Talents are about story development, not character development
- When it comes to the Talent system, perception and reality are not necessarily the same
- The acquisition and use of Talents are always tied to the story
So is everything clear now? What, not even a little bit? Yeah you and me both! So let’s look at these in a bit more detail.
Story development seems to be the driving force behind talents, with both the first and last points going back to the story of the world. If you are not familiar with Chronicles of Elyria it is worth pointing out that the game is planning on telling a 10-year story. It is controlled by their Soulbound engine and while it has developer input to create, and GMs perhaps feeding in occasional bits of information, it is almost entirely run on AI. It looks at player actions and spins those into stories. This means if we have more than one game server (and regional servers look likely) they could end up with entirely different stories being played out.
Our characters are just actors in a story, they play their role in the greater story. We as players play ours by going with or against the flow, driving the story in different directions. It seems that talents are simply plot points. Things that will make the story more interesting, though whether for good or ill who knows! If your character has one, it will make your character different, perhaps even stronger, but it is not something you are aiming for with a character. It is not something you can work towards as Caspian clarified:
It’s extremely unlikely you’ll discover latent Talents through some kind of trial and error process. It’s far more likely that if some charlatan created an academy to determine whether or not others had Talents that they themselves would end up with some kind of Aura Seer Talent, than for participants to actually discover any latent abilities.
Before you get any ideas he did say that is not actually a way to get a talent (probably) so do not all rush out there creating academies!
So now we know that talents and the story of the world are ultimately tied together. That leaves the second point “perception and reality are not necessarily the same”. Well okay then? This doesn’t immediately release its secrets. Is this speaking of the fact that we may have talents but not know about it? Latent talents that have yet to be unlocked have been hinted at in the past, but how these would fit in with a story driven talent system is unclear. It looked like we were always meant to fill that role in the story, but actually, we just happened to be in the right spot and the right time. Perhaps there is no such thing as talents. We are not really talented, we simply think we are? The game could be trying to get across that we are all capable of super-human feats when put into the right scenario, like the mother’s who can lift a car off their baby.
Whatever the case is I think there is still a lot more to understand about this interesting part of the game. Whether it is a case of getting more details, or if it will only become clear when we actually get out hands on the game only time will tell. But I am all for getting our hands on the game!