Chat Log – Cause of War

Half-plate chain armour from Chronicles of Elyria.

One of the things that I tried to bring attention to in the last Muster was that PvP while a very important aspect of the game is not as frequent as you might be used to in other titles. I am sure we are all aware that in the real world war is a big deal, going up against another country or region is a huge risk a massive decision and one that should not be done on a whim. The same true in the game. Warfare is something that should be a last resort. The negotiating table should be the first battlefield. But what if talks break down, can we just declare war because we are bored or does there need to be a reason? A cause to fight for?

Our lovely community member Liva managed to get Caspian to let slip some information about Casus Belli. Which is great and all if you know what that means, if like me you are not so great on your Latin historical military terms that is literally ‘case for war’. So does the game require one?

You need a Casus Belli, “Cause of War”. Casus Belli generally means a Kingdom, Duchy, County, etc. can’t declare war on another regions without “Cause”.

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The Muster – PVP, PAX and Developer Discussions

Gather round as we look back over the last week and collect together some of the highlights you might want to look back on. The Muster, gather up all those interesting Q&A answers, forum posts across the net, and chatter in the IRC and give you a pointer in the right direction. This will normally go out on a Sunday night, but it is always best to be late on the first one…

This week we are looking at the plans the Soulbound Studios team have for PAX East in April, how the team see PvP working in Chronicles of Elyria, time, religion, brain food and also why the developers have not released DJ #17 as planned. And just for fun a quick bit about why you should not mess with Jeremey ‘Caspian’ Walsh! Continue reading

Journal Abridged – The Weight and Measure of a Lifetime

A bookcase hiding a hidden room from Chronicles of Elyria.

A new Developer Journal for a new year. This one is a bit different as it really tries to get to the heart of some of the misconceptions about the game. Namely the business model. Often people hear the term perma-death and their mind immediately links it with games that have a hardcore mode, one death and you are out. That is not the case here. There are different types of death, and you may have to spirit walk many times before you actually reach that final curtain. But how many times? Well that all depends, however, we now know what on and how much of a difference it makes.

If you want to read the Developer Journal in full it can be found on the Chronicles of Elyria website, or you can read on for the Journal Abridged. Just a quick note that there is a fair amount of maths in the original, so if you want to see all the working I suggest heading there as I have just cut to the chase! Continue reading

Journal Discussed – Player Housing

The architecture tool from Chronicles of Elyria.

Player housing has been the topic of the last two developers journals, and if you have haven’t caught up Part 1 is all about the concept, design and construction, Part 2 is all about digging a giant hole underneath it, using it to hide things, and also kill people. So quite different takes on the same concept! Today we are doing a bit if a different Journal Discussed as I am going to run down the top five reasons housing has got be excited.

Let’s kick this off with the most important thing I think we have learnt from the Developers Journal:

1. Housing isn’t just about houses

While throughout both developer journals most of the focus was on player housing, this can be used for any building. A public forge, a guild hall, a library, a great mansion, the fort at an outpost, it is all about player buildings. I understand why the developers have used housing, it is familiar, but I think they might have shot themselves in the foot because this is so much more!

Everything else on this list is great, it is all really good stuff, but it is important to realise these tools and concepts apply to so much more than your home. If you can not be bothered to read on, then just remember that. Continue reading

Journal Abridged – Player Housing, Player-Created Dungeons

A vault in a dungeon in Chronicles of Elyria.

This series takes the Developers Journals and gives you all the information with none of the explanation. This part two of the player housing journals, so I promise to do a round up Journal Discussed of the system as a whole at some point this week. I mean it this time.

What a system it is though! Housing is deep. Not just with the multiple uses we saw last time, but also physically deep as we found out today that tunnels, basements, and underground vaults are all a possibility. The images in this Developer Journal are gorgeous so please don’t miss out and do head over to to have a look at some point. But for now… let’s go! Continue reading

Journal Abridged – Player Housing, Architecture & Construction

An inn hallway in Chronicles of Elyria.

This series takes the Developers Journals and gives you all the facts and none of the fluff. Just straight up, no messing. If you want discussion then the Journal Discussed which will hit later this week is what you are waiting for.

“Home is where the heart is” however, if you have read the latest two page Developer Journal over at you will also know that home is so much more than that. Oh and you will also know how to build one! Did I mention it was two pages this time? Better crack on!
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Journal Discussed – Technology and Research Part 1

Dynamic worlds are becoming something more Developers are striving for. To me the reason for it is clear. A changing world is simply a more interesting place to be long term. However, the way different developers approach adding that feeling of change can be very different. Often it is quite limited and does eventually loop back around on itself, more interesting than a static world but still not catering to the player who wants to stay in that game for the next year or more. Chronicles of Elyria seems to be piling on the layers when it comes to dynamic gameplay.

We know about dynamic characters with aging and dying. We know about the dynamic story with the main story lasting ten years. We know about the dynamic world, with seasons, weather and more. Now we also know about the technology of the world. And to be honest out of all those systems this is the one that captures me. This week’s design journal talks about what Soulbound Studios mean when they say technology and how that can be researched by players leading to the introduction into the game of whole new items. If you haven’t read it yet I suggest jumping over to the Journal Abridged and then jumping straight back as we have had a lot of really interesting information from the developers since that went live! There is in fact so much more information I have had to split this into two parts. So today we are talking about what sort of technology we can expect and on Sunday we are going to be looking into the patent system.

Let’s start on the wider view. We know that technology is going to advance over time. However, where are we starting from? Perhaps more interestingly, where are we going to end up? During the weekly Q&A, hosted over at DM21 Gaming, Caspian responded to those two questions. Continue reading

Journal Abridged – Technology & Research

A telescope in Chronicles of Elyria.

This series takes the Developers Journals and gives you all the information simplified and listed out. It means you can just get the recipe and not have to put in the research yourself. If you want discussion then you are going to have to wait for the Journal Discussed which will hit later this week. I’m guessing Thursday this week, let’s see how far out I am.

Soulbound Studios have said from the outset that they intend to make a living world. What makes it living? Living characters, that age and die. Living environments with seasons and weather. Living communities with political change. The other part that changes over time is the technology of the world, Elyria advances through time. It is us as players that cause that advancement with the research we undertake. We are the ones that decide what we want to know next, where we want to push the world. If that sounds as exciting to you as it does to me then you might want the full version over on, but if you just want to get straight in and find out all the highlights read below.

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Journal Discussed – Identity, Disguises, and Reputation

A character wearing a hooded cloak in Chronicles of Elyria.

In most MMOs we play the hero, coming into town to solve everyone’s problems. From the rats in the basement to the fact most of the town folk have been slaughtered by some great evil. What if we do not want to play the good guy? What if we want to be the great evil that is slaughtering the town folk? Hey, maybe we were the ones that let the rats in! Living that sort of evil life is not great for your reputations. So what if we could live a double life? Hide our true identity, commit crimes in another’s name, even frame our nemesis. In Chronicles of Elyria that is possible and if you haven’t read all about identity, disguises, and reputation then go to the Journal Abridged. If you want a bit more head below!

Jeromy ‘Caspian’ Walsh was in the hot seat again answering questions that our lovely host BicycleWalrus of DM21 Gaming had gathered from the forums. You can watch the video in full here, or if you are a more text based kinda person then Maygus and Xilana have got you covered with their transcript over here. Remember to join the community and keep an eye on the forums for new Q&A threads so you can get your questions answered. All sorts of topics were covered but there were a lot of great information shared about identity, disguises, and reputation that you certainly need to know so lets jump in. Oh and lets go in reverse order to mix it up! Continue reading

Journal Abridged – Identity, Disguises, and Reputation

NPC Naomi Jade wearing a disguise in Chronicles of Elyria.

This series takes the Developers Journals and gives you all the information in a nice bullet point list. I like bullet points, but I still do not get why they are named after bullets. If you want discussion then you are going to have to wait for the Journal Discussed which will hit later this week, I’m guessing Sunday!

Who we are in the game is incredibly important to those of us who role-play. However, in Chronicles of Elyria it is going to be something that everyone starts to focus on much more. Not only who we are, but who other people think we are, and what they think about us. The constant risk of someone not being quite who they say they are. Identity, disguises, and reputation are actually all intricate systems and a lot to cover in one journal. So if you want to get all the detail the full version is up on, but if all those facts are a little overwhelming the abridged version is below. Continue reading