Forum Finds – World Size

Today’s topic is one that I find fascinating because it contains numbers, and I like those! However, there is something very important for you to understand about these numbers and that is that they are subject to change. We are still in relatively early days of development for many aspects of the game. It is clear the developers have a good handle on what they want and how they want to get it, but some of the detail will only come through testing and iteration. That is the case when we discuss the size of the world, or more accurately the time it takes to travel across it.

When the news came to the forums this week that we are looking at 48 hours to cross from one side of the map to the other, I was, well… rather confused! I have mostly played theme park games up until now and try to get from one side of the map to the other just isn’t a useful metric. Let’s take the behemoth World of Warcraft. How long does it take to get from one end of Kalimdor (a continent) to the other? Who cares! It is never something you are going to do as part of normal game play. When quests lead you between areas with much back and forth the overall time to travel a continent is irrelevant, even if it is less than an hour as the crown flies (according to this source).

In an open world sandbox game where people are encouraged to travel and explore, like Chronicles of Elyria, it can really make a difference. But is that a good travel time? It is across the whole map, but how are we travelling? What does that actually mean for a player? How will that impact my game? Continue reading

Chat Log – Land Ownership

Home. It is quite an emotive word just all by itself. However, when you think of all that goes with it, your house, your belongs, those precious mementos that might seem like nothing to someone else but to you mean the world. The idea of having somewhere like that, but in a game, is quite fascinating. We know player housing will be a crucial part of Chronicles of Elyria, but where will you put that house? Land ownership is one of the features of the game we are still awaiting information on, but we now have some insights after the last live chat.

Before jumping in with the new information, lets make sure we are all on the same page. Previously the developers have explained that all land is owned in some way. Now that may not be by an individual, it could be by the ‘state’. The world is broken down into Kingdoms, which contain Duchies, that are made up of Counties. It is one of these ‘states’ that owns any land that doesn’t yet have a title deed.

If all that land is owned by someone how do you make it your own? How much do you get? What can you do with it? Well that is what this Chat Log is hoping to answer. Continue reading

Chat Log – Weather

Weather is something that is appearing more often in MMOs these days. Though in the games I have experienced it is simply audio/visual effects added to the world. That does add some immersion, at least in game where it affects all players simultaneously, but that is about all. Nothing about the way you play is affected. Your character isn’t weighed down by their sodden cloak, or parched from fighting in the heat. As so often seems to be the case Chronicles of Elyria will be a little different.

During this week’s live chat with the developer community member Deffcon_1 asked about how dynamic weather would actually be. He wanted to know if it was as basic as rain makes things wet, or would it respond to terrain pooling in low points perhaps even rolling off roves. Jeremy ‘Caspian’ Walsh had some of the answer for us:

We know we want there to be an impact on water tables…. water levels lowering and raising, crops getting sunk under water, etc…. We know it’ll also be possible to fill water bottles, etc… in lakes. And, given the nature of survival, if it does begin to rain, I plan on making it so people can refill their water bottles in the open. As to whether it’ll roll off rooftops… I doubt it. But as you can see in our latest screenshots, there are puddles.

Continue reading

Chat Log – Interacting with Terrain

This weeks Developer Journal is not hitting until later in the week so things are a little out of order. However, it means you have plenty of warning for the live chat with the developers which is scheduled for Thursday 24th at 10am PDT. To get you in the mood we are going to dive into the last official live chat and look at two different questions that related to the same broad topic. Lets talk about interactions with the in game terrain. Lets talk about we are going to navigate trees, walls, mountains and the ground itself!

Community member Xilana has rather eagle eyes and noticed in the last character customisation developer journal that there was a reference to those living in jungles spent a lot of time climbing up and down trees. I missed it entirely but they jumped on it, asking the developers if we could do that in game? What about climbing walls, or up mountains?

Yes. I’ve long said I want the game to feel more like an action-platformer… ie. Tomb Raider or Assassins creed. We want adventuring to feel like an adventure…

Continue reading

Forum Finds – Finite Resources

The world of Elyria will be different to that of a lot of MMOs we are used to. From what we have heard, it will be far more alive. Non-player characters (NPCs) moving around the world going about their business, even setting up camps in untravelled places so they are a surprise to stumble across. Offline player characters remaining in the world following a huge host of behaviors, that really could mean they appear just like any other player character. However, as well as the characters of the world we also have the animals, materials, and resources. Will those feel as alive?

From the looks of it, yes! Continue reading

Forum Finds – World Building

It is amazing how frequently large amounts of information are being shared by the developers in the forums. Chronicles of Elyria is so large and detailed, with so many interlocking systems there always seems to be something new to tell us about. This Forum Find focuses on the world itself. How it is built, how it is populated and how it feels to be playing in it.

Community member Zultra started a thread asking how the world would be created. Was this the world going to contain procedurally generated features? Our ever friendly forum Dev Caspian soon picked up the scent and gave a long and detailed answer that began:

Great question, Zultra. Much/most of the world will be procedurally generated. Remember, each of our servers will have completely different continents in order to guarantee that stuff discovered on one server doesn’t ruin it for another server.

Well, that solves that, on to the next forum find…Oh okay, there is more. Continue reading