16 November

Growing Up and Going Out

By Vye

Hail, Elyrians!

The harvest season is upon us and we are beginning to see the fruits of our labor here at Soulbound Studios. Though it starts as small steps, when made continuously, it quickly becomes a journey.

Progress Report

Our last sprint saw some foundational work completed that will make our Production development be more cohesive. Very boring-sounding things such as “serialization to disk” and “establish asset standards for equipment layer system”!

How will this turn into the game we are all anticipating, you might ask? Well, these things are just part of a whole. For example, asset standards are part of “As a player, I want to be able to wear multiple layers of equipment that suit the needs of my character”. That sounds pretty useful, right?

There are other pieces to each User Story too. In the end, they are building toward the Offline Prologue, Kingdoms of Elyria, and ElyriaMUD (and eventually Alpha 1).

Small steps.

Sometimes we take more obvious steps, like this:

Figure 1 – Adolescent female

Figure 2 – Adolescent male
Adolescent versions of a female and male player character

Creating a character in Chronicles of Elyria will be a novel experience, so we are starting on that now. If you haven’t read up on our approach to character creation, it’s been covered at length in Caspian’s design journals. Here, here, here, and here.

The short version is that your character will be constrained to a range of qualities inherited from your soul and genetics. Once you enter Elyria, you’ll be an adolescent like in the pictures above. From there, you will age, as demonstrated in our aging demo.

Current Currency Clarification

Several weeks back in the update titled 'Mission: Improbable' we talked about how our over-use of the term 'Influence' was causing some confusion. To make things clearer, we renamed Bonus IP to 'Exposition Points' (EP). That was extremely well received, but there's still some confusion between Influence Points (IP) and Total Influence. Understandably so.

Well, we heard your feedback and, with the roll-out of the new store, we're taking it one step further. We're removing Influence Points (IP) as a currency altogether!

'But, then how do I get rewarded for all the effort I put in to making the game successful?' you ask, eyebrow raising slightly.

Simple. We're just giving you store credit instead.

That's right, with the launch of the new store we'll be removing the term IP from our vocabulary and instead awarding you Store Credit for all the things which used to result in the awarding of IP.

As an example, we used to award 50 IP for recruiting friends who purchased a copy of the game or contributed significantly to the community. 50 IP was the same as $5.00, due to the 10:1 ratio, so now instead of giving you 50 IP and forcing you to keep track of the conversion yourself, we're just giving you the $5.00 in Store Credit. Easy peasy.

Store credit remains the same as it is today, and can be used to purchase Tiers, Merchandise, Add-ons, or even EP to be used in the EP store.

Influence, as it was originally intended, remains and is just a measure of your overall contribution to the game's success. As community efforts are now rewarded with Store Credit, your Influence is equal to the money you spend in the store, plus all store credit you've ever received, x10. Simple.

So, when the new store opens, look for how much Credit you have and how much EP you have, as those are the only things that contribute to your buying power now. And, if you happen to make your way to the merchandise/add-ons area of the store, also take note of any merchandise credit you have.

To recap quickly...

  1. Going forward you will buy tiers, merchandise, and add-ons with Cash or Credit (or Merchandise Credit) and will purchase things from the EP store with EP.
  2. Recruiting friends who buy the game or contributing to the community will award you store credit.
  3. Any IP (Not Total Influence) you've earned thus far will be converted to store credit for you
  4. Influence is not a currency, it is a measure of your contribution to the community and can be calculated by adding all the money you've spent in the store, plus all store credit you've been awarded, and multiplying by 10.

I know you are all wondering when the store update is coming. I said mid-November, intentionally leaving it a bit vague. To give you something more specific, it will be out next week!

The Hunt for Red Meteors

Last Friday marked the end of our latest sprint and we will always conclude these with an internal playtest. This sprint, our beloved programmer Tripnull created a scavenger hunt of sorts by placing some exceptionally gaudy meteors around New Haven. He promised to buy a beer to anyone who found all three (but realized later he should have said he’d buy a beer for the first person to find all three). I shall now share our adventures with you!

Keveth sees something strange
Keveth comes across something strange in the forest.

Keveth encounters another mysterious rock
Keveth encounters another mysterious rock.

Keveth ponders putting the meteors in a catapult
Keveth ponders whether meteors would be good catapult ammunition.

Keveth finds the third meteor on his way back to town
Keveth finds the third meteor on his way back to town.

Keveth hops a fence
Keveth is too cool for roads.

Armélus gathers some herbs
Armélus gathers some herbs.

Armélus finds himself on a precipice
Armélus cautiosly looks for a way down the cliffside.

Armélus looks up after finding a path down the enormous cliff
Armélus looks up after finding a path down the enormous cliff.

Armélus makes his way through a dark forest
Armélus makes his way through the dark forest below the cliff.

Armélus strolls through the plain beyond the forest
Armélus strolls through the plain beyond the forest.

Andry surveys the lands around New Haven
Andry surveys the lands around New Haven on his journey to the town.

Andry is mesmerized by the soothing sound of the river
Andry is mesmerized by the soothing sound of the river.

Andry reaches the gates of New Haven after a pleasant journey
Andry reaches the gates of New Haven after a pleasant journey.

Goals and Holes

Remember last update when I talked about the next stretch goal: Pet/Mount Customization?

Well we’ve already hit it! So now our next stretch goal is $1,750,000: Tunneling.

Tunneling is no small feat, so let me talk about some of the potential design and technical challenges we would have to solve in order to include this. Keep in mind, this is not a declaration of design intent.

  1. Falling through the world – Many games detect when you fall below the ground and teleport you back above it so you don’t fall forever into a grey abyss. If we add tunneling, being below the ground plane wouldn’t be grounds for correcting that collision detection. So, what if you fell through the bottom of a tunnel? Or the bottom of a tunnel that is below the ground but above another tunnel? This starts adding a lot of edge cases to collision detection.
  2. Performance impact – When someone removes some geometry through tunneling, how often do we update the other players with that data? Each swing of a pickaxe? Proximity to the tunnel? What if the tunnel is below you but not the entrance? Edge cases erupt here too!
  3. Land ownership – Who owns underground? Enough said.
  4. The physics of caves – In real life, a tunnel may have a cave in, which could crumble structures all the way on the surface, or remain fairly localized to the section of the cave. Most games ignore this by allowing impossible geometry. Do we do that too? If not, and your support structures fail, what happens?
  5. Griefing – There are a ton of ways tunneling can be used for nefarious deeds. Sapping is a thing we’d probably want to allow, but collapsing an entire kingdom probably not so much. So how do we provide the right cost-benefit to keep this balanced?
  6. All that dirt – Where does it go? Do we conveniently make it disappear or does it need to be put somewhere? If we put it somewhere, is hill-building now a thing too? So many details to work out!

Consider this our challenge, while yours is reaching this stretch goal. We're pretty confident we will both succeed at this!

Elyria IRL

Raise your hand if you’re going to PAX East 2017?

Soulbound Studios raises its collective hand

Yes, that’s right! We will be heading to PAX East, March 10-12. We will have a booth where you can visit us and get some swag, as well as something you can play.

Badges for PAX East are nearly sold out, so get your passes while you can. For one lucky winner and companion, however, we are giving away a 3-Day pass and other prizes in our brand new, Elyria on Earth contest!

No, I don’t mean Elyria, Ohio.

Between now and January 15th, post to @SoulboundStudio on Twitter your best attempt to capture what Elyria on Earth might look like. Here’s Souzou and my entry:

Oh no! Pteroguin attack!
Vye is viciously attacked by a Pteroguin.

Think you can do better? We think you can too! Show us your photos, drawings, or videos of Elyria on Earth. The winners will be chosen by the staff at Soulbound Studios and announced on January 18th.

The Grand Prize is two 3-day passes to PAX East in Boston, MA (does not include travel or lodging) and $150 Store Credit. Second place gets $75 Store Credit. Three runners-up will each receive 250 EP.

So, Elyrians, get creative and show us Elyria on Earth! (not Elyria, OH)

Pledged to Your Continued Adventures in Life, Both Actual and Fantasy,

Vye

Discuss

Log in to post
Artemius - 6 months ago

Anyone know how to check how much store credit you have? I'm sure others are also wondering the same thing.

L0rden - 6 months ago

Haha. The girl got attacked by an idiot flyer!

DrTank09 - 7 months ago

This update made me super excited, once again. When I first read a little about this game on a media sharing website.. the concept sounded dumb and like a money sink (The PR for this game is sub-par compared to how amazing it is). Two days ago, though, I started reading a bit more about it and realized that this idea was exceptionally similar to one I came up with years back with a buddy. Of course this is much better designed and my idea was to be set in a steam-punk era, but I fell madly in love with this game and have been binge reading the updates, binge watching the youtube videos associated with it, and finally I have found myself here after the last two days.

Sorry about the rambling, but I just wanted to put that in there before I asked my question.

Seeing those meteorites was what I've been waiting to see before I asked. When the whole closed economy and finite resource concept was explained, I noticed that there would be a point in which finite resources would be destroyed through recycling. My idea was that in order to keep a set amount of resources in the game, the developers would be able to create a system of checks and balances through the use of Meteorites. Meteoric iron could be used to redistribute iron when it has been destroyed and it looks like this is already a planned natural disaster.

Orisoll - 7 months ago

I was about to say, "Those new character models are sexy," but then considered the implications and thought better of it.

GrimOdin - 8 months ago

Is there any other way we can submit pictures? Email/thread?

xxpowerofsoundxx - 8 months ago

As far as tunneling goes i would look towards Wurm Online, their system seems to work well..

Wall of Light - 8 months ago

I'm personally fascinated by the idea of undermining structures or setting up underground traps. I look forward to seeing whether or not this will be realized within the game.

Chalkii - 9 months ago

This is probably an unpopular opinion, but I don't care for tunneling all that much. It's an interesting concept, but I have a lot of worries about it, much like the one's you mentioned, and I'm not sure it's worth the time and resources to implement it. Honestly, when I found out about this game this past summer I was interested in it immediately, regardless of tunneling. Anyway, that's just my two-cents...although, my friends are just as worried as I am about it causing more problems than it's worth.

Rune_Relic - 9 months ago

Goals and Holes

Rules... Tunnels can only be x/y/z (N/S/E/W/Up/Down) linear. Door nodes are the only nodes that can break surface. Path nodes must be adjacent and at least 1 Door node below ground. Junctions nodes allow a change in direction Junction nodes can not exist within 20 path nodes of each other.

Reasons... Door nodes limit where entry/exit can be placed. Path nodes limit vector and prevent local cave ins with minimum depth. Junction nodes limit tunnel density and mass cave ins.

This way you will need accurate maps and good measurement to predict exactly where the door nodes will open.

Problems... tunnelling up into a river/wall. Thus proximity enabler for door nodes.

As you have an x,y,z 3D 20x20x20 grid array. You can use that to drive procedural tunnels, rather than manual assets. Thus you dont have to update each client with massive amounts of data....just the node positions.

You could of course have double, triple, quad path nodes to build caverns as long as they were minimal depth. You have a 20 node lattice to play with for caverns.

Jasik - 9 months ago

I think that the tunneling and cave ins could be a good idea but to stop griefing make it so there is a high chance that the player will get caught in the cave in trapping or killing them. also if you made it so only a small amount of problems happen on the surface that could be really cool. maybe something like a small contained sink hole that could maybe destroy a wall or say half a house but not the whole thing would be a good idea.

GdoubleU - 9 months ago

I think of you go with the tunneling idea, you should keep the dirt. Make it as lifelike as you can. Don't make tunneling easy tho, I'm sure in that Era, it took a good amount of time to establish a decent tunnel. Pitfalls would be a great idea for hunting.

Fiddelz - 9 months ago

I love what CoE is trying to do but I am also hesitant of Tunnels. I am already a little bit worried that this is going to take too long. Do we really think its nesseccary? I think for this day and age you can never get enough variety..

Oracle - 9 months ago
@Fiddelz:

Posted By Fiddelz at 01:51 AM - Tue Nov 29 2016

I love what CoE is trying to do but I am also hesitant of Tunnels. I am already a little bit worried that this is going to take too long. Do we really think its nesseccary? I think for this day and age you can never get enough variety..

I think the key bit here would be "If it's going to cause a holdup can it be introduced later?"

stubs - 9 months ago

Though I'd be happy if you guys get more funding, I'm a bit apprehensive about the next stretch goal.

The only goals I'm keen to see are the sensory map and the mounted combat. Though admittedly mounted combat might have to wait

randys22 - 9 months ago

They hinted at last week but most likely got pushed to this week on wednesday with newest update.

Xaar - 9 months ago

"I know you are all wondering when the store update is coming. I said mid-November, intentionally leaving it a bit vague. To give you something more specific, it will be out next week!"

Any news on this yet?

I don't want to complain, but saying "next week" and then nearly two weeks later there hasn't even been a comment that "sorry but this is slipping by another 1 or 2 weeks -- we'll keep you informed" is kinda poor.

Winterhawk - 9 months ago

Guys, please, don't do it! You'll ruin the game. Please make simple good complete game with free pvp, full loot system etc. and after that if you see that you could do tunneling or some other stuff, do it in addons. Ambitions ruined darkfall adn many other good games, please, don't let it happened with chronicles of elyria. (sorry for my english)

Sc4ndal0uS - 9 months ago

This is closest thing to SAO (Sword Art Online) anime in term of realism. I'm not sure that you need tunneling but if you decide to make it, maybe restrict digging depth so there won't be cases like tunnel under a tunnel (just make the ground under some lvl solid so people can't go beyond that level).. I don't think people will enjoy digging as much as other things in CoE (at least I hope Sorry for bad english, not my first language.

Chapter - 9 months ago

I very rarely participate in forums and even more rarely actually register. I just wanted to throw it out that what you kids are doing is inspiring. Keep at it; stay true to your original motivations. Cool thought: Statues! In game pictures of your character traded to a profession to create a statue of yourself or a heroic moment....... ya know it would be cool cause you know your gona die and all......

TheBlackGriffin - 9 months ago

Hey! So i read in you're last upload...blog...thing (sry, i frgot what it's called) that you were gonna make a gambling system and add poker or somthing. Personally, i don't like those type of card games and find them quite confusing.

So i thought if you guys could make a card game like hearthstone or gwent ( from witcher) or card wars (from adventure time). Or maybe some other epic (or should i say epic-er) version of chess, like a turn based stratedgy. It doesn't have to be extreme fantasy style animations like other card games or turn based strategy games, maybe some light effects so that it has more, pazzaz?

Lemme know what do you think.

Gromschlog - 9 months ago

if/how many support structures are needed and how fast tunneling is should depend on the material you tunnel through. Tunneling through sand: very fast, nearly no sound, very unstable, structures needed for every part of the wall, not only each meter, every bit. Tunneling through granite: very slow, very loud, very stable. Structure maybe needed for VERY big caves, but usually not needed. And there are many meterials inbetween obviously. And digging through foundations, just like digging through granite, should be a mess and very loud and therefore very easy to localize and counter.

DeltaNemesis - 9 months ago

Tunneling !? Wow your budgets growing fast, congrats. But , tunneling?! You know it's a mess (and a maze) why did you put something that hard-to-do-in-codes for such a low budget(comparatively) while putting Mounted Combat so high up (it's not that hard. CoE is not high fantasy, so just people with lances on horseback). Anyway too late fpr that now. CoE so far looks like a great game. So I hope so much work wouldn't leave any gamebreaking glitches and bugs. And honestly at this point I'm worried about system requirements. Back to Tunnels. When I first saw the word I looked away from the screen and thought of possible bugs and problems. And when I looked back I was happy to see the devs have realised them too. So far I only have one solution for this and it's not pretty; make digging hard and time consuming. Sorry for the long comment. Here's a potatoe.

Klex_Aelm - 9 months ago

You should definitely have cave-ins that don't affect the surface. The standard way of doing them is x meters away from a support a cave-in has a chance of x% ,usually 10%, when new ground is dug and every meter dug after that the chance is increased by 5 -10 %. support could be cave walls or structures.

DeltaNemesis - 9 months ago
@Klex_Aelm:

100m in with no support structures, pay for a new spark of life.

Anyway thats a good thought in preventing the over-usage of tunnels.

Cervantes - 9 months ago

I have to agree with much of what is said about the griefing aspect of this feature. Defending against such a feature and tactics seems like it would become a nightmare. So I think tunneling in general is a bad idea.

That being said, I think having the mechanic in place for digging tunnels for mining, or build your multi-layer dungeon on your own properties is a good idea. I especially liked your vision of the dungeon master scenario that one may build over time. That was pretty cool.

I think that before you implement such a feature you should think long and hard about the pitfalls many in this thread have already discussed.

Ahaek2 - 9 months ago

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cUlsRm--80Y

CoE Game review check it out (: Can´t wait^^

Dialmos - 9 months ago

Tunneling should be added!

Tunneling would be a very interesting concept to add open-world and could potentially add another way to travel like boats and water or flying in the air.

Falling through the world

I've encountered this problem in many games...many cheap Korean MMOs.

What some of them did to combat the "falling through the ground" or "falling forever" bugs was add a feature to "return" after a little wait (usually around a minute) to the player's "home" or wherever they revive. It doesn't solve the problem, though. Perhaps make tunneling only an option on designated areas or marked spots that combat this bug better.

Performance impact

Many games do a "crafting mode" where the player is no long in "combat mode". Update the players when the tunnel is done being built and the player switch out of crafting. Restrict the tunnel from being entered by other players while it is being worked on.

Land ownership

If... Land can be possessed like that and the person who dug it wants it, then it's theirs

Else... No one.

The physics of caves

Unless you want the tunnel to cave-in for game-play purposes, I would not add caving-in due to player's design/structure failures. If the rules for designing a cave so that it would prevent a cave-in were simple, maybe (since most players probably don't have a degree in civil engineering).

If cave-ins happen, the ground should not sink in. This could cause way too many problems. I appreciate good physics in games but sometimes, less is more.

Griefing

Like I said above -The tunnels should not cause holes that can collapse -Restrict the tunnel from being entered by other players while it is being worked on

As for cost-benefit, depending on how you want tunnels to be used, there could be a few things. Like mounts for water, flying, or on ground, tunnels could provide quick access to hard to reach areas or possibly exclusive/secret areas. Also- treasure! Isn't that one of the main reason why people mine and dig in tunnels?

Dirt

That really depends on what you want. Is the dirt craft-able? How much will it make when? How much can you carry?

If not, make a hill or a pile. Maybe sifting through it can provide gems or something else valuable.


Thoughts and ideas

Tunneling could be a temporary map alteration. The tunnel is made over time with a tool (shovel, pickax, minecrats, ...on top of a badgermole, etc). When the player design them, support beams could be an option that will extend the time the tunnel will exist until it caves-in or the player can collapse it at any time (TNT would be fun). Some areas' tunnel could last longer or less depending on the location and skill of the player.

Costanius - 9 months ago

I don't like tunneling. Griefer heaven. In my opinion tunneling should be limited to mountains for mining, but should not be possible near towns and settlements!

Bernard7620 - 9 months ago

Does this mean it is possible to tunnel into say a castle for that Assassination contract you picked up?

Gromschlog - 9 months ago
@Bernard7620:

Posted By Bernard7620 at 10:46 AM - Sun Nov 20 2016

Does this mean it is possible to tunnel into say a castle for that Assassination contract you picked up?

if the people constructing said castle forgot the fundament, then yes.

Lady_Zalfira_Feltree - 9 months ago
@Gromschlog:

Depending upon the route they take this will still be a trying effort. After all you ARE mining through the foundation of a large building, I feel this would require sufficient skill and time to do such, as it Does damage the foundation; This process would also not be a quiet one especially as you tunnel further into the foundation.

Edit: it is highly unlikely someone would be able to build a structure, such as a castle, without a foundation. Seeing as Castle or similar structures as NOT light and they wouldn't want nature to just decide to take the ground from under them, soo easily, so a Foundation may be essentially Required to build such structures as a Castle.

Tanyika - 9 months ago

Tunneling also brings up the idea of building pit traps for man or beast. Building mounds to funnel movement of troops or beasts into a particular area as I presume a few seasons will make a diversion mound look more part of the landscape. This could lead to whose map or information is correct? Could we close in the end of a tunnel or pour oil in and light it? Oh what treacherous fun it could be. And here I planned to be one of the good guys.

Sleep - 9 months ago
@Tanyika:

With tunneling I think pitfalls are a good idea; Though I wonder if that could be balanced well(could lend itself too well to griefing, or be over-powered.) Would be useful against both man and beast.

I like your ideas about mounds. For both pitfalls and using dirt, if they do either one, I wonder if they would wait until we reach the dig/bury stretch goal.

Alaric17 - 9 months ago

Keep the dirt and I will build Minas Tirith lol All will be in awe at the glorious city of whomever my King and Queen shall be.

LorenzW - 9 months ago

Where exactly are we to present our offering(S?) for the contest?

Also, I can't afford the trip to "Bah-Stin" for Pax Anything (Come West and Maybe I could make it if it's in WA......), but still want to participate.

VictoriaRachel - 9 months ago
@LorenzW:

Posted By LorenzW at 1:51 PM - Fri Nov 18 2016

Where exactly are we to present our offering(S?) for the contest?

Entries should be submitted on Twitter directed to @SoulboundStudio

TheTartofWar - 9 months ago

Just viewing the Andry pictures again and was curious if you're planning on only using the stone look on walls (castles too) or if you will also have harling render options (the medieval stone structures we know today, when they were built had a lime render over them) - only asking because so far I'm seeing stone only in your pics, hoping you're considering it :) )

Gromschlog - 9 months ago

please dont let dirt disappear.

hill-building is a nice thing, and it makes digging somehow obvious which is good. I dont consider it cool, if you can start digging in your house which is part of a city and dig a tunnel to the local bank and steal everything and vanish through your other tunnel and no one is warned, because no one enters your house and your house would be the only thing that shows that you are tunneling. there should be dirt that needs to be moved out of the tunnel. about the same amount of tunnel-volume.

about the falling through the world thing... why not just add a water-level? obviously, you cant dig much deeper than the waterlevel because your tunnel would be filled with water and you get wet and cant really work and its a mess to get the water out without the technologies of new age. then, when falling through the world, you put the teleport-mark some meters below water-level and from there on teleport back up. how deep is diving planned?

btw: if we make wells for our villages/towns, will he have to dig till water-level? we should, shoudnt we?

Dialmos - 9 months ago
@Gromschlog:

Oooh, didn't think about water levels, interesting. What if there are areas where they don't want reach-able water levels, though? Like a desert?

Gromschlog - 9 months ago
@Dialmos:

Posted By Costanius at 01:50 AM - Mon Nov 21 2016

I don't like tunneling. Griefer heaven. In my opinion tunneling should be limited to mountains for mining, but should not be possible near towns and settlements!

anyone that ever dug a tunnel knows, that its very time-consuming. i dont see very time-consuming things as things the usual griefer likes. as long as its time consuming to dig a usual tunnel and dirt does not disappear and its even more timeconsuming to "dig" through solid material, griefers wont have much fun with it.

Posted By Dialmos at 10:20 AM - Mon Nov 21 2016

Oooh, didn't think about water levels, interesting. What if there are areas where they don't want reach-able water levels, though? Like a desert?

theres a waterlevel everywhere. its just very deep in deserts. you'll just have to dig 50 meters deep instead of five in a desert... if you think its worth it... go for it^^

Whiteboy671 - 9 months ago

i would love to play this game when it finally comes out. just sitting here bored with nothing to do till then.

TheTartofWar - 9 months ago

Freckles! And they look so good. As one freckled gamer it's always been a drag seeking out the freckle option in character creation. Either there is no freckle option, or if there is, it's only one option which looks more like dirt than dots. The freckle struggle is real my fellow gamers so it's great seeing proper ones on those adolescent examples.

RedDoggybone - 9 months ago

EQ Landmark had tunneling. Though nothing could collapse in it. I had quit a elaborate tunnel system under my castle with secret rooms, vaults, prisons, a suncken playhouse and even a giant underground pool. If that flawed game could pull it off I am sure this game can. I myself like the idea of moving the dirt around and maybe building other things with it.

BronzeWalker - 9 months ago

yupp keeping the dirt should definitely be a thing. The idea of making a moat around a castle, as well as "exstra high" somewhere strategic intrigues me. How could you think of making the dirt disappear?

That being said: i wouldn't mind if the transport of said dirt will be a little easier than real life.

Keep up the good work

Jute - 9 months ago

TRAITORS! You went to PAX East -twice- now and you have yet to visit PAX West. Where's the hometown love? Do you hate us in Seattle? We suffer with thou! Comest to our PAX! (Trying to word this so Vye will nag you into going).

Thanks for the awesome update, I am sure the community is off-the-charts-excited with release of children images and internal play-testing. Keep rockin' on SBS!!!

_Kenna_ - 9 months ago

Very very excited about this game! :D Some thoughts I had about tunnelling.. Could tunnels/mines be flooded? I'd imagine this would make things a huge amount more complicated.. but perhaps could be a danger to prevent going too deep? or perhaps a way of foiling someone's plan to dig under your structure? What about digging near to rivers, could this divert the flow?! That could be something entirely different.. My brain just might explode :P

Shriyk - 9 months ago

Just curious how I can see if the EP purchase from my tier. I currently have merchandise credit which would have been for the addon Journeyman IP package.

Mandos - 9 months ago

On the little point you guys made about what you would do with waste soil from digging tunnels: please, please make it realistic! Don't make the soil magically disappear. It means that we can do so much more stuff. We could dig out motes and create motte and boiley castles on raised hills, it means that during sieges, attempts to undermine castles would be more involved and require more labourers and better-planned logistics etc etc.

Lord_drexy - 9 months ago

All that dirt – Where does it go? Do we conveniently make it disappear or does it need to be put somewhere? If we put it somewhere, is hill-building now a thing too? So many details to work out!

Please please make dirt a thing! I'd love to be able to see people digging under my walls or make it that much more of a task to try hide it XD

Davheid - 9 months ago

Tunnelling Under the Horizon

Okay, so I was going to say something about tunnelling being on the horizon (as in coming up next), but really? It's tunnelling. So it's under the horizon.

This is just my take on tunnelling, and what it should look like from a player perspective. Whether or not SBS will even take this on-board – I have no idea. I just want to get this off my chest as I've been thinking about this for far too long.

I'm going to start with the points Vye mentioned and expand on those.

Please keep in mind I know precisely sweet FA when it comes to what has to be done to make this magic happen.

Falling through the world.

Yeah, this sucks. Yes tunnelling will make it harder to get right. And from the player perspective there isn't really much else to add. About the only question I will raise here is: How deep is it before we hit the floor (to borrow from minecraft we're talking impenetrable bedrock)?

Now my thinking behind this question. There is of course the obvious reasons for this question that don't really relate to falling through graphics. But there is also a subtler reasoning that does relate. As the update said - when falling through the graphics you hit a point where the standard game detects this, and reset you onto the surface. Would it work to make that detection point just past the deepest allowable tunnel?

Performance impact

Again, player perspective wants this minimised. I don't even have a suggestion for this one.

Land ownership

13th century Italian scholar, Accursius, has been quoted as saying “whoever owns the soil, holds title all the way up to the heavens and down to the depths of hell”. Granted he probably said it in 13th century Italian, but that’s foreigners for you. This quote is generally considered the starting point for property law in the western world, and everything tends to get really fuzzy and on a case by case basis after that. I'd love for this to be the same in-game – if you own the land, you generally own everything below it. There are already concepts in place that can be leveraged to handle trespass and theft (such as minerals) in-game – extending these to the subterranean (or is it subelyrianian?) is simply another dimension of in-game social interaction that has potential to make the story even better

The Physics of caves

Oh yes! Cave ins! From the player perspective, in a world where building integrity degrades over time, to have a tunnel (another construction) not do the same thing is ludicrous. But how to handle it?

As a concept, having a character being able to design appropriate tunnel/ceiling supports is already incorporated into the game design – it's similar enough to building an above ground structure, it's not much of a stretch to take that character role below ground. It's easy to see how a deeper tunnel, or a one that needs to support a bigger weight (like a castle) would require a greater tunnelling skill to do successfully. While cave ins are oft unpredictable, even if appropriate ceiling supports are in place, it may be better to simplify the circumstances under which a cave in occurs. So many things are a RL factor in cave ins such as unevenly settled earth, fractures in load bearing bits of rock/earth, etc... that it may be prudent to limit these to some of the more predictable causes of cave in. For example, the risk of cave may be limited to when the supports start to fail due to lack of maintenance, and when the working face of the tunnel extends too far beyond the last lot of supports, and still maintain enough similarity to RL that it's believable.

This leads onto surface (and potential building) collapse. It just doesn't make sense from player perspective for this to not be a thing when you consider the rest of the world mechanics. This is also where we start to tie hostile action during war. If the goal of your tunnel is to collapse a building, then tunnelling should require the same amount (if not more) of effort than constructing the building or tearing that building down with siege weapons. The tunnelling skillset can also extend into the defence of a building against such tactics – being able to notice the effects of subsidence on a surface building can allow time for a defensive action to be taken before it's too late.

Griefing

This is something that is going to happen regardless of how well we think we've planned against it. To a large extent, the game design already has methods in place to curb some of it, and as I understand them, they will transfer over to tunnelling easily enough. Here are some of my thoughts on tunnelling in general that could help to curb the potential griefing.

Noise. Tunnelling is not a quiet affair. The only way it's quiet, is if the source of the noise is occurring far enough away

A deliberate attempt to undermine someone’s building without a casus belli, should be akin to building a siege weapon and trying to knock their house down without a casus belli. It should take just as much (or more) effort, planning, skill, time and resources to accomplish.

Tunnelling into your neighbours cellar to steal their mead should come with all the difficulties of standard tunnelling, and then having to knock their cellar wall down. Think about that. Knock a wall down (requires siege engine) while underground. Yeah, good luck with that. Saying that, it would be EPIC to see someone pull it off!

Undermining someone’s land to steal their mineral wealth. I think this is the area that will be most exploited by griefers, and possibly the hardest to limit. Someone come up with something here!

Death due to cave in. This is may ruffle a few feathers – but I'm going to stick my guns and say it should be a thing. Think about it. If you're tunnelling away to build your massive city of Anthilltopia, and a section of tunnel collapses on you, how likely are you to survive? Maybe you'll survive the initial collapse, but you'll be injured. And you'll have to dig your way out, in complete darkness (because your light would have gone out). You'd also have no idea if you're digging in the right direction. You also wouldn't be likely to have your digging tool, and even if you did, you'd have no room to swing/use it. Permadeath shouldn't be too far away when the body is trapped like that. Maybe your friends can dig you out in time, but digging into unstable collapsed earth is pretty dangerous itself – they'd have to be risking a new collapse of their own

All that dirt

HILL-BUILDING! Nuff said. From a player perspective, that’s an awesome perk of tunnelling It also brings rise to the opportunity of deliberately creating strategically placed elevated fortified positions, something every kingdom wants to have. Any good king that wants to have these would be motivated to sponsor tunnelling – makes you wonder to where?

illuminator - 9 months ago

I live 2 hours from Elyria , OH . XD

Taryl - 9 months ago

If Keveth wants to live a long and productive life, he needs to run (not walk) away when he sees something like that. Then inform X-COM. Then run some more.

Sword and plate armour are not going to cut it, sir.

Kalminroth - 9 months ago

Tunneling will also make mining a far more interesting and realistic profession.

MadmanTampa - 9 months ago

The game looks insane! great work fellas keep it up!

Jdfskitz - 9 months ago

May I suggest checking out wurm online/wurm unlimited for tunneling

Oracle - 9 months ago
@Jdfskitz:

Posted By Jdfskitz at 03:21 AM - Thu Nov 17 2016

May I suggest checking out wurm online/wurm unlimited for tunneling

Great update as always!

I've played that too :)

It's a bit of a shame really.. the game could have been so much more, but felt lifeless and abandoned. Everything was packed in too. Elyria seems to be correcting so many of those mistakes. Adding NPCs and AI is a core component that adds the feeling of population if done well. Really is critical that's done right.

The other most obvious letdown with Wurm was the UI. The way tunneling was done, it was really tedious and not user friendly. The design of the game was highlighted all the more by the complete lack of users playing on it, barring a couple of very small overpopulated servers, with no free land.

On the upside, the almost "sims-style" building design was a plus. I built many interesting buildings. I flatly refused to design bog-standard "boxes" for houses though. Courtyards, Overhangs, Extensions etc. All had to be part of the design :) On that note, I hope we have "troughs with trellises" at least, so we can grow vines and plants by walls. Really makes a difference visually if used well.

I'm worried about how tunneling is going to be handled in Elyria. I guess I don't want to see a landscape turned into a dug up mess. Plot ownership could extend below ground which would potentially simplify things.

One possibility that might simplify development is "doorway" mechanics. Entrances to tunnels might require some form of shelter. Even a simple "lean to" style shack for mines etc. Simply something to prop it open and stop the earth sliding back in! Perhaps Mausoleums etc for dungeons. That could move dungeons "off realm" rather than littering the landscape with giant "Canis Rabbit holes". Not sure how I feel about huge heaps of earth everywhere too. The "underground realm" would essentially have the roof mapped to fit the overground layer. Digging up or down through the "roof" would require creation of a new "gateway" building. That could be validated ie not near another gateway above ground. Potentially not on another building. digging up into a stone wall might not be manageable either. Would that simplify updates for other players? ie handling just buildings above ground, and tunnels under?

If above ground plots were mapped underground, it could be seen as criminal activity if discovered digging under someones plot. That would make good sense. Digging up into it would be the same as illegally erecting a building, so all fit with the mechanics.

Sapping I'm not sold on personally. Feels too much like trolling to me, but there are people who support it. I feel like tunneling itself should be sufficient as a mechanic for troublemakers, and war times potentially. Geometry is less of a concern where "underground roof penetration" is prevented unless there's a clear spot to build the "exit" structure.

Piles of dirt may turn out to be the biggest nuisance in the kingdom, one I'd rather avoid based on experience of other titles, wurm is just one such example. I do feel it should take a great deal more effort to dig a tunnel than to fill one in though. This makes it more of a strategic decision for those building them, not something they do to annoy other people, as the victim can "fill it in" with relative ease and speed.

Perhaps if you're undecided, present some options and the likely impact on the release schedule of each and see what the general thoughts are? :)

Hunterwot - 9 months ago

If sapping is a thing, then surely building walls (and other buildings) with sapper proof foundations will be too? Otherwise putting a city under siege only has to take as long as it takes a group of sappers to dig under a wall and destroy the foundations.

Also curious as to whether building tunnels into a city will result in some kind of smuggling to avoid tariffs or taxes. Very interesting concepts, I like it.

Andrew0414 - 9 months ago

I like the idea of tunneling and hill building. It could even be used to make fortifications around an outpost or a moat around your castle. On the flip side it could be used to breach a castle during a siege which would be cool instead of the normal scale the wall to open the gate or batter the gate down.

Wolfguarde - 9 months ago

Tunnelling adds a slew of interesting issues/potential to the game... I can foresee a lot of trouble surrounding the issue of physics, whether tunnels collapse or not. I'm interested to see how issues on this front will be resolved.

One question that's been idly bouncing around my head for a while on this topic is: will there be a limit to the distance belowground we can dig? I can see such a limit distinctly affecting how people use the mechanic, depending on how shallow/deep it is.

If not... I expect we'll never see some of our diggers/builders again.

Squiddy_la_Femme - 9 months ago

Lol my parents live in Elyria

Kuj0 - 9 months ago

Meet me at PAX South @Caspian....I dare you

Aeryn Suun - 9 months ago

Thanks for the update, looking forward to Prolog: The Awakening, Kingdoms of Elyria, and ElyriaMUD.

Was the Prolog was to come out soon after this coming website store update?

LorenzW - 9 months ago

All that dirt – Where does it go? Do we conveniently make it disappear or does it need to be put somewhere? If we put it somewhere, is hill-building now a thing too? So many details to work out!

One Word, Hobbiton

Arfen - 9 months ago

Just keep going with the 'high risk high reward' mentality. Digging should be long, expensive, requiring the help of a group (you could build a cave in ten years by yourself, but well... your choice) and most of all dangerous (miner not skilled enough > terrain collapse > permadeath). During the building process it has to be visible from outside, this way you avoid a lot of troubles, especially about griefing etc.

You surely have a lot of conceptual work ahead guys. Good luck with that! :D

ShadowTani - 9 months ago

Yes to hill building! O.O Based on my experience from Salem moving dirt is a bit grindy, but made the end result that more satisfying. It will also provide a natural restriction on how much griefing can be done with tunneling in a reasonable amount of time I think.

Either way, thanks for the update Vye!

Pteroguin - 9 months ago

I feel this misrepresents all Pteroguins, the one pictured known as screech, shriek, screech (you may call him Fred in your obviously under developed language) contacted me as his legal council and as such I must strongly advise against the tarnished approach of this proud and kind Pteroguin (Fred). ;) Just kidding, that's hilarious! Awesome job. Although I would of expected a Terror of them.

Zampher - 9 months ago

I'm most curious the level skill needed to climb down that cliffside. Might be cool if like fighting it doesn't grab a new hold unless we tell it.

Wonder what type creature might like those tunnels.
Once they exist things prefer those as there home.

GonXavier - 9 months ago

Awesome! Every update come with a lot of great things to expect. Keep up with that! :)

RegisHammer - 9 months ago

Legendary!!!!

Bieito_Skybourne - 9 months ago

Love the update.....now.....Elyria on Earth....hmmmmm.........

Can't wait to see the updated store next week. Will be interesting to see the changes. Also looking forward to Prolog, KOE, and EMUD. :-)

Have you guys already selected new staffer for the custom pets/mounts? Looking forward to see some screen shots from their work in the future.

Oh one more thing, are we going to see some red meteors in the live game? hmmmm.... ;-)

VVestern - 9 months ago

Any introduction to the new hires?!

Good job with the currency update! Its fun to help people catch up on the old system, but I am sure this update will make the currency system easier to understand for the new members!

HeraldOfSanctaphandri - 9 months ago

Another excellent update Vye. The graphics look great even so early in development. Tunneling here we come :)

BaronMagisto - 9 months ago

beautiful update

Iosef - 9 months ago

Soon I'll have an underground repository for tasty taters! There's nothing wrong with boobytrapping the entrance to your root cellar is there?

AllanSteve - 9 months ago

I hope we hit the next goal so I can diggy diggy hole!

NicoTheRed - 9 months ago

The risk of getting squashed in a cave in would be a good deterrent from doing "nefarious deeds". It would also help if you made tunneling take a long time and fill up inventory realistically (no walking around with a mountain in your pockets). A fun thing would also be to add listening posts into the game, where you can hear people tunneling near you then counter sap.