This series takes the Developers Journals and gives you all the information in bite-sized chunks. Just the facts here, nothing else, no fluff. If you want discussion then you are going to have to wait for the Journal Discussed which will hit later in the week.
A crucial part of an MMO is the social aspects. The people you play alongside, the relationships you build up. In Chronicles of Elyria, those close social bonds will be built between you and your family. This Developer Journal fills us in on all the background to Families and Family Selection. Want to read the whole thing it is up on MMORPG.com now or the abridged version is below.
What are families?
Families are social groups of players that work together to improve their skills, build up their land, form towns, and establish dynasties.
Dynasties are multiple families joined together. They often engage in political activities and the behind the scenes acts of arranged marriages, assassination, and manipulation that comes with an advancing political career.
How does this affect you in the game?
There is a range of ways families can impact your game, beyond the basic social implication of these being the people you will be playing most closely alongside:
- Your family dictate your character’s starting attributes. This includes a wide range of things from ability scores, skills, and even attributes. These are just starting values and your char.
- The social class of the family you chose can impact how other players, OPCs and NPCs interact with you. Your starting home and land are also based on your family’s social class.
- You can send private messages to your family, as long as they are on the same continent.
- Your family can sense if you are Spirit Walking, and can find their way to your body in order to help you find your way out of the astral plane.
- Your family will impact your fame, which will affect how much spirit you lose when Spirit Walking.
- Family members increase each other’s life span.
- You share your household resources with family members, and they can legally access and interact with your land.
- Your family can always see through any disguise you wear.
How does family selection work?
The Soulbound engine will give you a list of suggested families based on the age you have chosen for your character and which area of the world can currently accommodate more players. These can then be filtered further based on five categories to find the family that matches what you are looking for. The categories, and applicable filters are:
- This category focuses on play-style. The experience of the game, hours a week played, what aspects of the game you are interested in.
- The time zones the family is active in.
Wealth, Power, and Standing
- The dynasty the family belongs to, and the number of families in the dynasty.
- The number of characters in the family.
- The social class of the family.
- The desired occupation of your characters parents, as this will impact your starting skills.
- Preferred starting attributes (physical, mental and social) inherited from your parents.
- Characteristics such as height, hair colour, eye colour and skin colour.
- Gender you want to play. While not an inherited trait, you are playing as an existing child genders will already have been determined.
Is it possible to not join a family?
Yes. There are two possible routes:
Ward of the State
- No financial or social support normally provided by the family system or any of the other benefits listed in the “How does this affect you in game?”, though none of the disadvantages either.
- Greater flexibility in character customisation, both physical, skill based and attributes.
- Starts at 12, compared to 15 of a family born child, giving them increased adolescence to further work on their skills and attributes.
- They can begin their own family and dynasty.
- If you start over 18 you can take control of an existing NPC.
- Far less flexibility in character customisation, skills, attributes, and appearance. They are all dependant on the NPCs life so far.
- Benefit from having an already established business, reputation or noble rank.
Can you join any family?
No. Children are created in a family by other players and they choose what happens to that child. There are three options that will dictate who can join your family:
- No one else. Only you can play as that character at a later date (you can change your mind, and move to one of the other options after birth).
- Any ones else. If you make the child public once they come of age, 15, your family will be available for selection as part of the process described above.
- Your friend. You can give your child to a friend (using a Child Code) so they can be a part of your family. This is the case even if the server is closed to normal entry, so your friends can always join you.
As always there is a lot to get your head around. With so much more information to go on it really shows how key your family, or choice not to have one, will be. The impact from the moment they enter the world to the moment you leave it. It is certainly going to create some tight social bonds for those who chose that path, however, the additional options are great for a different start. Which are you going to choose for your character, and which of that selection are you going to make your priority?