The Muster – Talents, Art and Jail Time

It might have seemed that without any Developer Journals this was another slow news week. However, looking over what we did learn that is not the case. In fact, far from it! One of the changes revealed in this week’s Q&A was a pretty major shift in a core aspect of the game that is likely to split opinion. If that wasn’t enough the images that have come out of Soulbound Studios are worthy of a news post in themselves. That is before we get on to all the other bits and pieces that have been gathered up for this Muster.

Want to know more about the proposed change to Talents? See some more striking screenshots? Want possible adjustments we might see to the jail system? What about learning more about fish farming, server locations or how the developers are handling the pressure of a hyped community? Well, hopefully, I can help.

Talents

One of the first, and still one of the most controversial, systems that we were introduced to in Chronicles of Elyria was talents. Talents were abilities that gave players a lot of power over the story of the world. The reason they were so controversial was because they were so rare, only a few percent of souls would have the chance of getting one. While they were never intended to be a form of character progression, they are there for the story, it did leave people a little put out.

A lot of people know we updated our talent design, initially we wanted it so talents are attached to the soul and if you had a talent you had it generation after generation … we just found that the system worked so much better if talents are not bound to the soul. But they’re instead randomly given to you at character creation time. You still have to unlock it you normally would, it’s not something that happens automatically that’s not changed. [Source – YouTube Q&A]

So they are still rare. However, while the number of characters with talents will stay the same, your chance of getting one has improved. Perhaps not in your first life but over time with talents moving between souls there is a much better long-term prospect. They are still story elements rather than long-term character progression. They are certainly going to impact that particular character, but that is all. It is not like the rest of your soul which can carry on move your legacy forward. This is probably a one-time deal, and the way you choose to handle that is going to really matter. Personally, really like this change and can’t wait to hear more about it in future Developer Journals.

Art

And now for a beautiful interlude:

A boreal forest in Chronicles of Elyria.

That is a screenshot of actual in-game footage. That is the world we get to be a part of.

The social media is starting to get quite a few images going so I suggest checking out the official Facebook or Twitter and following, liking, or what whatever it is you do on them.

Jail

Sometimes in the Q&As the wonderful host that is BicycleWalrus throws in a question we think we know the answer to just so that new members of the community can get caught up. That happened last week when he asked about jails, except we didn’t get the answer we were expecting!

It was initially just spirit drain, but … we’re actually toying more and more with the idea of going to jail. But trying to make that experience as interesting as being out of jail. Not so much that people want to go to jail, but when they do go to jail there’s stuff they can do, and work to be done probably more than anything to stay safe. … We’re undecided at this point but we’re leaning towards making an in jail experience. [Source – Youtube Q&A]

That’s right there was another possible change. We have already seen talents adjusted and now jails too! I will be honest there is not enough here for me to pass judgment on the system. I worry that spirit loss is required in order to impact people’s wallets in a clear way and reduce the time they have to spend on that character meaning they will be weaker in their next life too. I can’t deny that the in jail system sounds interesting though especially when we hear things like this:

There might actually be reasons you want to go to Jail. There might be certain resources that you can only get, certain networks that you can only establish in jail. Similarly, there might be information and things you can only acquire in the Astral Plane.

While there might be reasons to go to Jail, will there be enough there to keep people playing Chronicles of Elyria if they find themselves there less on purpose? We do not know what things might land someone in prison, we do not know what laws Kings can set, it might well be many of end up there at some point even if we intend to play good characters. The balance between punishment and still keeping that person wanting to log in is going to be a hard one to find.

Anyway, who cares about jail time… what might we acquire from the Astral Plane?

Fish Farming

Because farming is the thing I am interested in, I am afraid that if any farming news does appear it has to feature! This week one of the questions that didn’t make it into the Q&A was regarding the possibility of farming fish in Chronicles of Elyria. Luckily for us, with the IRC, the Q&A never ends!

Stocking fish is do-able. Similar to farming. You just have to have a way to transport them. [Source – Caspian IRC]

I have no idea how you do transport fish. I am not sure you can put them in a barrel, or if the popular phrase is a little misleading. Though if you do know how, and you can translate those skills to Elyria you could well make yourself a tidy profit.

Server Location

We haven’t heard much about server locations of late but in the IRC the following servers were suggested for launch:

Yes. Two NA servers, an EU server, an AU server, a JP server. Maybe more, depending on how popular we get. [Source – Caspian IRC]

While this is what a lot of people thought already it is nice to know in this week of topsy-turvy some things haven’t changed.

Developer Pressures

Communities matter. You going to the forums, the IRC, social media and telling the Developers “Hey I want to play this game.” matters. It was asked this week on the forums if they hype building around the game was causing unneeded pressure on Soulbound Studios:

It doesn’t build the pressure, it eases it. We already know the game we’re trying to make, what we don’t know is whether it’s a game people want to play.

The positive feedback builds confidence that we’ll be successful in our fundraising, and will have the means to finish what we’ve started. That’s where the real pressure comes from. [Source – Official Forums]

So hey, if you haven’t joined the official community yet why not take this chance to register and tell the Developers that you want to see what they can do, that you want this game to make it out into the world. Hug a Dev!

Muster Point

Talents will now only last for one character lifetime. They are no longer attached to souls. While they will still require unlocking, if you do get a talent you have to decide how to use it in that lifetime. Please make good choices!

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