|This game is currently in development. There is no download or playable content as yet. All information is based on Developer Journals, the Kickstarter, and community discussions with developers.|
- 1 Soul Selection
- 2 Character Selection
- 3 Birthdate Selection and Astrology
- 4 Genetics
- 5 Starting Traits
- 6 Names
- 7 Talents
- 8 Media
- 9 References
Soul Selection[edit | edit source]
Character creation in Chronicles of Elyria is a multi-step process. The first step of Soul Selection takes place within the Soul Chamber. As mentioned in design journal #1, the Soul Chamber is where souls go in order to rest, recuperate, and plan the time and place of their next incarnation.
To begin you must select which soul you want to use. Each account starts with three souls and the option to add more by purchasing Soul Packs. Most souls will be blank slates that are "Once Born" meaning they have never lived a life before this one. However, some souls will randomly be assigned past lives with any combination of skills and affinities.
In the soul selection screen (See Figure 1) you can see the name, age, affinity, skill ramps, and past achievements of each soul. The latter—achievements—won’t be visible the first time you play a character. After selecting a soul you will use a Spark of Life to place it in a character
Character Selection[edit | edit source]
After you have selected the soul you want to use, you must select the NPC character you wish to inhabit with that soul. There are two types of NPCs you can select.
Open NPC: An NPC which either is not descended from a PC, does not have a PC child, or was opened by a PC with the NPC code to expand their family. Anyone can inhabit these NPCs if they have enough Story Points.
Closed NPC: To inhabit a closed NPC you must have the NPC code. If two NPC parents have children when a PC inhabits a child the parents will become closed and that player will receive the parents NPC codes. They will also receive the NPC codes for their siblings and nephews/nieces but those NPC will not become closed. PCs can also choose to close their children and grandchildren as long as they are not children of another player. If you close one of your descendants it will automatically close all of their descendants from then on.
Non-Traditional Characters[edit | edit source]
A Non-Traditional Character (NTC) is an NPC older than 18 that you take control of instead of customizing a child character. You have significantly less control over your character, as their look, name, skills, and abilities are all pre-determined based on the life the NPC has lived up until then. However, you can begin the game with an established business, as a reputable adventurer, or even as an existing nobleman. If you select an NTC, Character Creation ends here and you enter the world as that character.
Child Characters[edit | edit source]
If you select a child character you will proceed to customize to whatever extent is available that character before you take control of them in the world.
Wards of the State[edit | edit source]
Wards of the state are given more character customization in exchange for the benefits that come with being part of a family. As a result, their process of family selection and character customization is a bit different.
First, after selecting the path of a Ward, you’ll be given the option to select which orphanage you’d like to join. Not all villages or towns have orphanages and the number of residents supported is based on the orphanage's size. When selecting an orphanage you’ll have the ability to filter based on location, as well as which apprenticeships are available in that town. Your choice of the orphanage will determine your starting location.
Wards begin character customization by identifying which tribe or bloodline they’re a part of. This sets the basic parameters for physical appearance, as well as their starting attributes. While a ward isn’t constrained by any particular parents, they’re still constrained by the wider features of their tribe.
Next, wards are able to use a point-buy system to set the skills they earned from birth to age 12. The idea behind this is that without a family to learn skills from, the ward chose to learn whatever skills they wanted. As with characters who are part of a family, wards receive the usual regional skills associated with growing up in their selected environment but none of the bonuses of being part of a family.
Birthdate Selection and Astrology[edit | edit source]
The second phase of character creation is birthdate selection. Selecting your age does three things.
The first thing selecting your birthdate does is to determine your character’s starting age. The younger your character begins the more time you’ll have to tailor their skills to your liking. This is especially true if you create a teenager. Creating characters less than 18 years old gives you a period of advanced skill development called “Adolescence”. During this time, characters gain new skills more rapidly as a way to experiment with different skill trees. But, being an adolescent isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. Starting with an older character means more financial stability, an established occupation and skill tree, and more time focused on building a family and settlement. Creating characters over a certain age will not be possible after Exposition.
Second, it helps filter out which families you can join in the next phase of character creation. Wards of the State will be 12 years old starting out, but when given a choice of families for traditional characters some may not have children near the age you have specified.
Third, your birthdate influences your astrology and destiny. The Soulborn Engine uses a form of astrology to determine the types of conflicts your character will encounter as they roam about the world. At that precise moment, your character is born, each celestial body holds some position in the heavens - their gravitational force pulling you in different directions. Like a map of the future, the position of each planet charts a course that dictates the theme of your character’s life and the types of obstacles you’ll face. When your character finally grows old and dies, the passing of time will necessitate a new birthdate, and with it a whole new set of adventures.
The moment your character is born a large set of story quests are dynamically generated and silently follow you around wherever you go. Any time you come in contact with another NPC, loot an item, reach a certain age, commit a crime, or a slew of other things, the Soulborn Engine looks at your pre-defined list of plot hooks to determine if any of them have been triggered. Like a key turning a lock, if everything lines up and all preconditions have been met a story will unfold. You could spend twenty Elyrian years searching for your destiny, only to retire to your farm and launch a story arc digging up some artifact while tilling your fields!
Genetics[edit | edit source]
Selecting your Path, Family, and Character Customization is what defines "Genetics".
Chronicles of Elyria uses a system of genetics that allows traits to be passed on from one generation to another. Like in our world, all living things have two sets of DNA, which are randomly sampled and used to determine the characteristics of their offspring. When talking about plants and animals, this allows players to create selective breeding programs, cross-pollinating and breeding until they get the outcome they’re looking for. When talking about player customization there's a bit more flexibility, but the idea is the same.
There’s a collection of physical attributes that get passed on from parents to children that include hair, eye, and skin color, different facial features, height, and a range of other body attributes. You can see values for “Mother” and “Father” which are randomly sampled from their genetic code. The right-hand side of the creation screen shows your ability to select specific values for your character’s traits. As indicated by the slider, you're constrained by the values passed on from both parents, along with some slight variation on the outer edge of some attributes.
The constraints placed on a child’s physical appearance guarantee that family members closely resemble one another. This makes it so characters who hail from one region of the world will be easily identifiable by others. At the same time, noble Houses can become well-known for a specific set of physical traits, such as auburn hair and green eyes.
Mutations & Re-rolls[edit | edit source]
Those traits initially proposed during character customization are randomly sampled from your character’s parents - however, they can include mutations. This gives us a chance to introduce new attributes, colors, etc. into the gene pool and can result in unique combinations such as red eyes and white hair (albinism). We understand that sometimes people don't want the random mutations (though they can be cool), and sometimes they don't like the initial set of values they were provided for their physical appearance. For that reason, players are given one re-roll to use during character customization. Rerolling your attributes takes another random sample from the parents in order to create a second set of constraints. Like it or not, if you re-roll, you're stuck with the second set of values.
Starting Traits[edit | edit source]
Tribal descent, genetic bloodlines and family, and regional traits are the important variables that represent what is generally referred to as “Race” in most MMOs. Together they define your predisposed occupations, starting attributes, and starting skills. And, aside from siblings, no other characters will come from the same family, in the same location, from the same bloodline as you, creating an unlimited number of starting combinations.
Genetic Traits[edit | edit source]
As Elyrians spread out across the map and settled in different locations they began to develop adaptations that made them more suited for their current environments. Those that settled in the dense forests were sheltered from the harsh rays of the sun. The constant climbing and the relentless noise of the jungle forced the inhabitants to become both strong and alert. Those that settled in the open deserts were frequently exposed to the harsh, unforgiving sun and had to survive long periods of time with little water. Large birds of prey didn’t differentiate between Mann and other food, and occupants of the world’s deserts were required to travel in and out of the open quickly.
The slow process of evolution and the need to survive has created several distinctly different tribes across Elyria, each with their own set of resistances and starting attributes. Families whose ancestors were forest dwellers will begin the game with higher than average strength and intuition, while desert dwellers will begin with increased agility and stamina. With more than a dozen biomes in Elyria there’s a wide variety of starting attributes. And, unlike other MMOs, these genetic differences are dynamic and will evolve as new families are created with parents from different bloodlines.
Genetic traits determine your starting attributes.
Do note that characters in Elyria, upon selection, can have a mixed tribal descent. Tribal attributes can be determinant for the genetic traits of a character, but are not 'the same'!
Regional Traits[edit | edit source]
You begin the game with a set of passive bonuses and skills that come from being raised in your specific environment. Grow up in the frozen north, the burning desert, a subterranean grotto, or in a bustling city and your character will start with a set of skills they’ve learned in order to survive.
Regional traits determine your starting skills.
Playstyle Considerations[edit | edit source]
Players have many options to choose from and dependent on their own preferred playstyle, they may prefer one or more tribes and regions over others. In order to assist players in their choice, the page on tribes provides an overview of the main considerations players may have when making up their mind on the decision which would be the tribe or tribes their character inherited its main genetic traits from. This is presented here: Tribes - Playstyle Considerations.
HOLD: It is unknown if players will ever be able to select characters descending from other tribes than the original starting tribes!
Names[edit | edit source]
When selecting a family you take over the life of one of their children. This happens on what’s called a “Naming Day”. That’s the day a character less than 18 years old chooses their new name - one that more closely describes who they are than the one they were born with.
While you can give yourself a new "given name" you are, for the time being, stuck with the Surname of your family. The family name indicates which House you’re from and which dynasty you're a part of. This is what affects your reputation and fame. At server launch, there will be dozens of Surnames used across the map, so there will be plenty of variety to choose from.
Don't like the Surname you start with? That's ok too. As you play the game and complete achievements you'll unlock new Surnames. Surnames can be changed in some cases when developing a new village and in most cases when you've completed a server first or server-once achievement. For example, be the first person to slay a Daemon and henceforth your line may be known as House Daemonbane. There will be a complete set of crafting, adventuring, and humorous achievements solely for the purpose of allowing you to take on new Surnames. One other thing to note though, while your Surname may change, your Dynasty does not. Once a part of a Dynasty, always a part of that Dynasty.
CoE does not force unique names. It is possible for people to have both the same given and surnames.
Wards of the state have surnames as well. A ward's surname is based on the orphanage the ward comes from.
Talents[edit | edit source]
Each character will have a small chance to receive a latent Talent upon creation.
Media[edit | edit source]
References[edit | edit source]
- Caspian, Down the rabbit hole..., 8 August 2016
- Caspian, Design Journal #2 – Soul Selection, Destiny, Achievements and Soul Mates, 12 August 2015
- Caspian, DJ #6: Character Customization and Bloodlines, 16 September 2015
- Caspian, Chronicles of Elyria - Q&A Session with Jeromy Walsh (March 21st), 22 March 2016