Journal Abridged – Character Customization and Bloodlines

This series takes the Developers Journals and gives you all the information straight up. Just the neat facts here, no ice or mixers. If you want discussion then you are going to have to wait for the Journal Discussed which will hit later in the week.

Your character is how we are represented in Chronicles of Elyria. Even in a game where individual characters may pass on, we are still going to have around a year of looking at each one and using them as our means to interact with the world. Character customisation therefore is important. Luckily that is the topic for this weeks Journal which is now live over at MMORPG.com. Either head over there for the full article or read the abridged version below.

Genetics
This section relates to those characters that are choosing to be part of a family as discussed in last weeks Journal. There is a section later on regarding creating a character who is a Ward.

  • Your characters physical attributes (for example hair, eye and skin colour) are determined by their parents.
  • Attributes from each parent genetic code are randomly selected in order to give you a range of customisation that you can adjust using sliders. You can choose to look more like your mother, father or a mix.
  • Characters are not the only thing in the game with genetics. Animal breeding programs and cross pollination of plant will work on a similar, though simplified, system.

Mutations and Re-rolls

  • While the initial choices for character customisation are based on your parents, as explained above, there is a chance for mutations.
  • Mutations can introduce other attributes into the gene pool that are not common in that race. This can include unique traits such as albinism (white hair and red eyes).
  • You are given the one time option to re-roll your initial values if you are unhappy with them. However, if you choose to re-roll you will have to use the second set.

Races and Racial Traits

  • Depending on the race of your parents, where their bloodline originally came from, you will have different attributes and resistances.
  • If you ancestors were forest dwellers you will begin with higher strength and intuition. If they were from the deserts increased agility and stamina.
  • There are more than a dozen biomes which will result in different racial traits.
  • Members of the various races do travel. Having the traits of a desert dwelling race does not mean you have to start in a desert.

Regional Traits

  • Depending on the environment you are born in you are given a set of passive bonuses and skills.
  • The bonuses and skills were not released but some example environments are the frozen north, burning desert, subterranean grotto or bustling city.

Occupation, Attributes and Skills Overview

  • Your favoured occupation is based on your parents.
  • Your starting attributes are based on your race/ancestors.
  • Your starting skills are based on your starting environment.
  • Apart from your siblings no other character will have the exact same combination of all three.

What’s in a name?

  • When play as a child or Ward you start on their ‘naming day’. This is a day in the lore where a child is allowed to pick their own given name. However, you only change their first name at that time and must use the family surname.
  • You can change your surname later one by completing achievements that unlock new surnames. These could include crafting, adventuring, or even humorous achievements.
  • Most server first or server-once achievements award a surname. For example the first person to kill a Daemon will be able to call their line House Daemonbane.
  • Changing your surname does not change your Dynasty. Once you are part of a Dynasty you will remain part of it.

Wards

  • Wards have greater character customisation options then children born into families, however this is at the loss of the social and financial support a family can provide.
  • Initially a Ward selects the orphanage they want to join, this can be filtered based on location and also apprenticeships available in the area.
  • Not all towns and villages will have an orphanage, and each orphanage can only support a set number of wards based on its size.
  • Wards then choose their race. While customisation is not limited by their parents they will have to choose an appearance that fits in with the features of their race as a whole.
  • Finally the wards use a point-buy system to set their skills, which would have otherwise been inherited from their parents.
  • As other characters their regional attributes are based on the environment they grow up in, so the location of the orphanage.

How character customization extends beyond character creation

  • There are less body sliders then facial sliders and options missing that may be expected from an MMO. This is because your body’s appearance is dynamic.
  • Features such as girth or muscle mass will be dependant on how you play your character, and will change over time.
  • Warriors who fight for long periods may be muscular and lean. A blacksmith who beats iron all day may well also be muscular but as they are sedentary may have a larger girth.

So there we have it another Developer Journal under our belts, and I have to say it is certainly interesting. I was initially sceptical about a limited character creation system. However, it does make sense with this game, you do want families to look related. It also gives a way out for those who are desperate to choose exactly what a character looks like. However, dynamic appearance based on how you play your character sounds fantastic, if a little tricky to implement. We will have to see!

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