Massively Multiplayer Online games have had a slump lately where content has started to feel repetitive and old. New games come out and gain a huge surge in numbers, only to quickly dwindle down as the players start to get bored when they notice that many aspects of one game are seen in another. It’s not to say that each game doesn’t have a whole new set of fun and exciting mechanics, but usually only die hard fans stick around while others hop on to the next MMO. There is one game on the horizon however that looks to break the mold by making sweeping changes to how people go about playing these types of games all together, and usher in a whole different kind of MMO experience: Chronicles of Elyria.
Chronicles of Elyria takes a new spin on not just mechanics, but the entire way the game and community is structured, giving prospective players hope that they might once again have a large online game that they can really get into. Unlike other MMOs, CoE is dedicated to having their players focus on building up their characters, towns, and nations more than just having a mad dash to the end game content. The way they plan to do this is by cutting out the layers of tacked on MMO copy/paste material, and making the players create their own content with the rest of the community.
Instead of being a player in a huge NPC driven world, where you are just one of millions of other adventurers in the same exact place in that virtual life, your character is truly unique. Players will fill the roles of kings, dukes, and everything on down to basic peasants. This means that players really have to want to work at making something out of their character, or they will be on the bottom of the food chain for the entire game. It will be player characters that run the shops and provide the only place to buy, sell, and trade gear or supplies with one another. While offline, that character will still persist in game to fulfill the role of a vendor, meaning that your character is always a part of the game world.
Instead of your average run to X location to kill or gather Y quests, CoE will have players create the quests for each other. It may sound odd, but with their contract method you won’t be running out to kill 20 rabbits for some unknown NPC farmer. Instead you will be out killing 20 rabbits because some other player is needing the rabbits to cook up and doesn’t have the time because they are busy running their shop. The game has a closed economy, meaning that this is the only way to get money aside from trade or robbery. Again, there is importance in the quests you do, because if you don’t fetch those rabbits, the shop can’t sell the cooked meat and player characters literally starve. This game quickly starts to look like a feudal era, fantasy simulation as much as it is a game.
The last truly remarkable mechanic that sets CoE apart is that majority of the buildings, especially villages and small towns, are all made by the players. You get your own land and then build on it however you want to, then others start building nearby and before long you have a hamlet. Plop down a tavern, get some more people, and now your hamlet has turned into a village. Add even more people, get a town hall and then you have yourself a town. With this dynamic way of users creating the towns, quests, and royal hierarchy the story of the game will unfold completely differently based on what the players do.
There are a slew of other things that make the game differ from others on the market such as animal breeding, skill based combat, their version of paying for each character’s life. All of these things will be hit or miss however, and some might stick out to be unique enough to call revolutionary, but the way they make the content player driven is what really stands out the most for this game. Currently this game has a Kickstarter with a completed goal, which will end on June 3rd. After their Kickstarter however, they will keep the rewards going so that there is more time to get the game at the reduced price, or pay more in order to start the game off higher up in the monarchy food chain.
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All images are copyright Soulbound Studios.