As well as communicating through Developer Journals, the official forums, the forums over at MMORPG.com, Twitter and Facebook, the developers also use live chat. Yes they really like to talk to us all that much! Now the ‘official’ live chat hours are every Monday, after a Developer Journal, from 10am to 11am PDT. However, you will find the developers are willing to share information far more often! This series brings things from the live chat out into the world.
This post is about connecting the dots. Taking the features we have heard about and putting it together to give you an example of how everything is intertwined, everything works together. Jeromy ‘Caspian’ Walsh explained how those mechanics add up to great things. How great? Well I will let you decide:
Congratulations. Welcome to player-generated content. You’ve just build your first dungeon/raid.
Personaly I think that sounds interesting to put it mildly, and a big shift in MMOs to get your head around. Hopefully this post will give you an idea of how the developers see the systems they are designing naturally working together to make that sort of player-generated occur in the game.
It all starts with resources and items. Elyria works on a closed economy, that means that anything in the economy has to have been made by someone, somewhere. If you go to a vendor the items they have on them were crafted, maybe by an NPC, but they are not going to be able to sell you infinite numbers of them plucking them from the ether like in other MMOs. This means players are going to have to go out into the wilds, or on to their lands, to farm, gather and collect their resources and their items encouraging travel and trading.
If you are gathering resources you need somewhere to put them, and it will not all go in your backpack. Iventory is far more limited in this game, what you can carry is a bit more realistic and a lot more visual. If you are making the most of your time you might want a cart or wagon with you to load up. If you are not ready to defend yourself perhaps using the contract system to hire some guards to protect you might be a good idea. After all who knows who or what is on the roads. Step one and the economy is already encouraging us to work with other players.
Once we have, hopefully, returned safely with all the resources or wealth we have found on adventures we will then need somewhere to store it. We could put in our house, but is that safe enough? There is a real risk that other players may break in. Even locking the doors only prevents those who do not know how to pick locks from gaining access. Maybe the bank is a better bet. Then again, that is just like any other building and can still be robbed by the right group of players. It sounds a bit scary, nothing we have is safe. I will be honest it is one of those things that is scary, is hard to get your head around and really deserves the title of ‘game changer’. Perhaps our homes are the best place for our loot, we just have to consider our security a little more in Elyria.
Firstly we can hide out wealth, lets not leave it by the front door. We could place it on higher stories or even in underground areas that we have constructed. With the ability to use players who are skilled in the Architecture skill to draw up building plans we could commission a unique house. That way other players will not know our homes layout, it’s hidden rooms. There are also other things we can do such as add traps. That gives the possible bonus of not only protecting what is ours but returning home to the body of a would be thief. You can loot them, increase your own wealth, before dragging them outside to leave in the street. Of course other players can learn to disarm traps they spot so it is not a fail-safe method.
Extra security. This is where animal taming can come in to it’s own. Spend your time and skill training wild animals and beasts you have found to form yet another line of security. This sounds incredible, but I worry about the state of the carpets! So I would use the human equivalent. The contract system can be used to hire NPCs, or even Offline Player Characters (OPCs) who want to earn money while they are off living their real lives, as guards for your valuables. Choose the best trained individuals, the strongest, or perhaps those with talents to make them even harder to kill.
Now… you go out and explore, adventure, farm and bring your items back to your subterranean hiding place, or large tower, with your treasures hidden in them so that nobody can just take them. Among your underground lair or tower are traps and beasts. Along with Talented thugs, etc. who guard your items for you while they’re offline. Congratulations. Welcome to player-generated content. You’ve just build your first dungeon/raid.
Quite a combination!
This is the first time I have heard how these systems will work together, and this is just one permutation. Even if we stick to hiding your treasure imagine adding in other players casing the joint by using disguises to cover their identities and finding a ruse to come inside. Hiding in your guild, pretending to want to work as a guard. There are so many alternatives, so much contracts can do to make the world alive, and so much that the other systems can add in on top. Elyria is going to a very interesting, if a little scary, world to live in.