8 January

DJ #16: The Weight and Measure of a Lifetime

By Caspian

Hi Folks, welcome to the first design journal of 2016! This one doesn't have any fancy screenshots as it normally would as it's not about what we've added to the world, and is instead about our business model. Over the last few months Chronicles of Elyria has been gaining more and more attention, and with that added attention comes quick judgements, assumptions, and while not intentional, miscommunications. Perhaps the most widely miscommunicated bit of information is how spirit walking effects your overall play time, and how that effects your wallet.

Given that, I wanted to take this opportunity to nail down the specific details regarding the lifespan of characters in Chronicles of Elyria, and touch on the "Death Toll" that's applied to your character any time they spirit walk.

"By the toll of a billion deaths man has bought his birthright of the earth..." - H.G. Wells

The Elyrian Lifespan

Elyrians are for the most part a healthy breed and while Children of Mann are not human their anatomy and physiology is similar to our own. As a result, the typical Elyrian lives somewhere between 80 and 120 years (averaging ~100 years), based on the genetics of their bloodline.

In addition, you take control of your Elyrian at either age 12 or 15, depending on whether you're creating a ward or joining a family. We assume most people will want to join a family, at least for the first few lives, and so for the remainder of this journal I'll assume you've created a family member.

Given that Elyrians naturally live between 80 and 120 years, and you gain control at age 15, that means you have between 65 and 105 (avg. 85) Elyrian years of play time.

Now, an Elyrian year is 100 real-world hours. That equates to roughly 4 days. Doing the math, that means if I divide both 6,500 and 10,500 by 24 hours per day that ends up being between 270.8 and 437.5 days. If we drop the decimals you're looking at between 270 and 437 (avg. 354) days of play. At 354 average days of play, and 365 days per Earth year, it means you're looking at an average of a week and a half shy of one year of play, per Spark of Life.

For Whom the Bell Tolls

Those numbers are great and all, but it assumes your character lives a long, healthy life with no spirit loss. Unfortunately (or fortunately), we all know Elyria is a dangerous place. So let's talk briefly about spirit loss.

To begin with, the base spirit loss for a death is 2 real-life days of play, each time you are forced to Spirit Walk.

So that means that if you are someone who dies very rarely, maybe once per month, and would have otherwise lived an average lifespan of approximately 12 months, then at the 11 month mark you would have shaved off approximately 22 days of play time, ending your character's lifespan. Put differently, someone who dies on average once per month can expect to live an average of 11 months without needing to buy a new Spark of Life.

Now, let's assume you die a bit more frequently, maybe once per week. Each death would shave off the same 2 days of play time. As a result, every 7 days would actually count as 9 days of play time. If you divide the average of 354 by 9, you get approx. 39 weeks. So if you're someone who dies an average of once per week, you can expect to live approximately 8.75 months without needing to buy a new Spark of Life.

Continuing on with the same model, if you died an average of 2 or 3 times per week, you could expect to live for either 7.25 months, or 6 months (rounded to the nearest week) respectively.

Now let's assume you die very frequently. You're out adventuring every day doing extremely dangerous activities. Every day you die once. That means every day counts as three days of play time. The average of 354 divided by 3 is 118 days. That's 16 weeks, or approximately 3.75 months before you need to buy a new Spark of Life.

I know what you're thinking, "3.75 months! That sounds like a very short period of time!" It does sound like a short period of time. However, there's two things to remember. First, that number is if you die every day. If you even skip a day in between deaths, that increases all the way to 5.5 months. So if you don't play 7 days a week, but maybe just 4 or 5, if you die each time you play, or even twice each time you play, you're still looking at roughly 6 months of play.

The other thing to consider is the cost of a Spark of Life. If you only live 3.75 months, then for our currently estimated price of $29.99 per Spark of Life, it still means you're only paying approximately $7.99 per month. That's half the price of a WoW subscription! That's right. If you're an active, daring player who plays every single day and manages to die every single day... you can continue to play CoE for 1/2 the price of a WoW subscription.

On the other hand, if you manage to cheat death, don't play regularly, or do so in the safety of a hamlet, town, or city, then you're looking at anywhere from 9 to 14 months of play... for roughly $30.

The Price of Fame

Chronicles of Elyria is unquestionably a story-based game. We want the world to feel like you're living in a low-fantasy adventure book. But what kind of a story would it be if the main characters died over and over again, with no apparent consequences? Not very believable. It would also make those main characters feel like they didn't have an impact on the world. If someone is special, their presence should be missed and their absence should be noticed.

Because of this, CoE uses a multiplier system in order to increase the death toll for more famous or impactful characters. Intuitively, this makes sense. If some unknown farmer dies, it probably won't have an impact on the overall story or plot. However, if a king (or queen) dies, it should ripple across the whole continent.

Given all that, Chronicles of Elyria breaks up fame into 7 different categories. These categories ultimately identify what the multiplier is. The categories and multipliers are:

  1. Unknown (x1)
  2. Notable (x1.5)
  3. Prominent (x2)
  4. Famous (x4)
  5. Renowned (x8)
  6. Exalted (x16)
  7. Legendary (x32)

So in the previous examples of a person who dies once per month, once per week, 2-3 times per week, or daily, that all assumed you were a largely Unknown player. If you've become tightly integrated into the story however, your impact on the world makes you more susceptible to spirit loss. Someone who's Legendary, for example, could die no more than 6 times before they'll have to re-roll a new character (more on this in the next design journal).

Gaining Fame

So, we know the more famous you are, the higher the death toll. But how do you gain fame? Well, you can think of fame or notoriety as how likely people are to know your name in the same village or town, the same county or duchy, or even throughout your kingdom or continent. Given that, there's a ton of things that can grant you fame, from owning/leasing a sizeable amount of land in your village to others, to becoming an architect people travel hours to buy plans from, to slaying a creature that's tormenting the county, to being the champion of the colosseum, all the way to being a notorious highway robber.

Among the most direct, though not necessarily the easiest way to gain fame, is to hold a position of power in the local, regional, or national government. These positions of power automatically grant you fame up to some base level, which maps as follows:

  • Elder or Village Council: Notable
  • Mayor/Town Council: Prominent
  • Magistrate/City Council or Baron: Famous
  • Count or Sheriff: Renowned
  • Duke: Exalted
  • King: Legendary

As you might expect, this means that if you're the king and someone manages to get an arrow between your eyes or a knife between your ribs just six times... "The king is dead, long live the queen!"

Before you start throwing red cards on the field, it's important to note that the fame/reputation in the land is graded on a curve. If everyone suddenly becomes notable... well, now they're no longer notable. It's as if they're all unknown again. In this way, the multipliers count not only as the amount of spirit loss you suffer when you die, but is a rough approximation of the relative fame you need to move up to the next level.

So a notable person is someone who has roughly 1.5x the average fame of an unknown person. Making it to Renowned means gaining roughly 8x the average fame of an unknown individual. Getting up to those higher levels of fame isn't as easy as it sounds - but if you do, it has its advantages as well.

Toll Caps

The last topic I wanted to touch on in this design journal are Toll Caps. Toll caps are limits on the amount of death toll you can pay in a specific period of time.

The first toll cap we're considering is limiting one toll per 2.5 hours (1 Elyrian day). This means that if you're out in the wilds and get killed by someone twice (or more) in a short period of time, there's no additional Spirit Loss, even if you're forced to spirit walk more than once. We're doing this because we recognize that if you get put into a bad position, such as being camped by others, or getting trapped near an especially dangerous enemy, it could wrack up several deaths in a short period of time.

From a story standpoint however, those all kind of act like the same death. That is, "person walks into dungeon, faces evil bad guy, nearly dies, but recovers and defeats the evil being" is just as interesting as "person walks into dungeon, faces evil bad guy, nearly dies, but recovers, nearly dies again, but recovers, nearly dies again, but recovers...and finally defeats the badguy."

You see, the stories are really the same. What happens in between the first "Spirit Walk" and the last are just details best overlooked.

The second toll cap we're looking at is during wartime. If you're on a battlefield and get coup de graced you're likely to get killed again as soon as you wake up. I mean, it's a battlefield. So while we'll talk more about the mechanics of realm vs. realm combat in a later design journal, one thing we are doing is capping it to one toll per 10 hours. However, battlefields are dangerous places and we don't want people to take up arms frivolously. As a result, the first death on a battle field will likely come with a 4x multiplier anyways. The end result is that people will try like hell not to die, but when they inevitably do (most likely more than once), it won't come with any additional penalties.


Well, that ends the design journal for now. But the fun doesn't end there. We'll be following up with another design journal in just a few short days. Our next design journal aims to ease peoples' concerns about dying while nobility, and also talks about our new "earn-to-play" model. Until next time!


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Cypher369 - 1 year ago

>So while we'll talk more about the mechanics of realm vs. realm combat in a later design journal, one thing we are doing is capping it to one toll per 10 hours. However, battlefields are dangerous places and we don't want people to take up arms frivolously. As a result, the first death on a battle field will likely come with a 4x multiplier anyways. The end result is that people will try like hell not to die, but when they inevitably do (most likely more than once), it won't come with any additional penalties.

On a battlefield, if some characters dies then manage to recovered, as there is no additional penalties for the next 10 hours, they could go berserk and rush through enemy lines.

As more fighters will be dying, the more intense the battle will go and on the side of wich more characters have died they will have an advantage because less fighters will worry about death.

If I understand, on a battlefield will it be better to "push" enemy lines rather than kill them ?

Have I missed something ?

Polite - 1 year ago

Posted By Cypher369 at 08:44 AM - Mon Aug 14 2017

If I understand, on a battlefield will it be better to "push" enemy lines rather than kill them ?

Have I missed something ?

The battlefield mechanics are not fully fleshed out so it is hard to answer your question specifically on what would hypothetically be the better way to win a battle in Elyria. I can point you to some archives on old Q&As where we got a bit more information on their idea for battlefield mechanics. See here,




(That's a search so not all the information is relevant to what you're asking but it is in there.) Overall battlefield mechanics are very much in flux as Caspian says to preface one of the answers in that Q&A and we don't know much on them so I unfortunately can't really answer more than with that information.

Takeda_Shinukage - 2 years ago

So I can spam attack someone for 2.5 hours without fear? seems unbalanced.

aciDev - 2 years ago

You are going to kill the role play with that math. If an Elyrian year is 100 real-world hours this means that the time on Elyrian runs 87.6x faster. So if my character talks for 5 minutes with another character, he wastes 7 hours and 18 minutes of his life just for few chats. If the Elyrian day/night cycle is 24 hours, in a hour of gameplay I should see 3.65 day/night cycles: one every 16 minutes. If I can play 2 hours a day every day, the time between my log-off and log-in will be 22 hours: my character will live only 7.3 days every 87.6 days, he disappear from the world for 80.3 days every time. You can think about other examples, just everything will run too fast in a non-enjoyable way.

Think about a 12x time speed, imho it makes much more sense: 5 minutes = 1 hour; 2 hours = 1 day; 1 week = 1 season; 1 month = 1 year.

I understand your need to monetize the project and 30-50$ is a fair fee for one year gametime, but 87.6x time speed just ruins everything in your great concept.

My 2 cents.

Blackmood - 2 years ago

Hi aciDev and anyone who might agree with him.

I'm not saying I completely see eye to eye with soulbound studios on that part, but Caspian did write "The first toll cap we're considering is limiting one toll per 2.5 hours (1 Elyrian day)." Which means that contrary to Earth's calendar, in CoE, there will be 40 days in a year with seasons of 10 days each. At least that's what I understand from what was said here and in the previous dev journals.

Sure, it may break immersion, but as the whole point of the game to be dynamic and everchanging we can't have our character live more than an Earth year.

Maybe, if you want longer days, what could be done though is to make our characters' lives shorter in term of elyrian years (like 50 years instead of 100) so that days could be longer in game. The drawback is that adolescence would be that much longer.

Well, I could go rambling like that for hours. Time to stop. See you

Hozza - 2 years ago

let a = death toll

Say I'm Famous. That's 4 * a. during war 4 * a. so total death toll will be 4 * 4 * a = 16a ?

Phydra - 2 years ago

Just want to say this post is largely the reason I decided to back the project. The ability to be renown for peaceful activity just as well as for violent ones is a significant other. I've been waiting for something like this since oh, I dunno, Meridian 59 and Ultima. Before that, really. Thank you just for giving me hope it can happen.... I really would be pleased to help in any way I can. (I don't FB, alas, but Twitter and Twitch, yes, precious... that I do.)

Aqueous - 2 years ago

I was thinking, if your player is killed they should respawn somewhere civilized, like the nearest civilized location they were, so dying in a dungeon, you couldn't die again for a couple hours but you also couldn't pickup right where you left off. And if you're killed while afk because you left your character in the desert or something, they wouldn't keep respawning and dying.

Also I think that while you should be able to die while you're offline, you shouldn't be able to respawn until you come back online (but you continue aging, it's not a way of gaming the system, more like you need recuperation time). This not only removes the threat of multiple offline deaths, but if you're an important character and you're assassinated, then there's a different kind of consequence where you can't rule offline until you come back to the game. Which I think would be super cool because it opens the possibility that you could be a king and there could be a plot to overthrow you and then supplant you while you're a way. It's like an added dynamic

kurah - 2 years ago

Magnum opus.

Rekyth - 2 years ago

Yes the game is still in development - the kickstarter just started a few days ago so I am sure the devs are very busy.

Cruseyd - 2 years ago

I noticed that there has been a long gap since the last design journal. Will there be more? This game is still in development right?

Grimfyre - 2 years ago

Did they just stop doing the Journals? This one says the next one would be a few short days, but this was way back in January... Just curious.

AirJoseph25 - 2 years ago

I love how this game is coming along, you guys are doing a GREAT job. Your ideas are bringing forth a gamers dreams. Keep going at it guys and I'm supporting you the whole way!!!

Dinmaker - 2 years ago

Thirty Dollars a year? even I could afford that one

ProfaneMessiah - 2 years ago

I don't think 3.75 months of playtime sounds short. I do however think, that a character who needs to be coup de graced 118 times to permanently die sounds pretty ridiculous. I get, that we need to stretch the life of a character because our method of payment is tied to it, but I feel like the threat of perma-death gets watered down quite a bit this way. Or maybe I just got the math wrong? I'm tired, so it wouldn't surprise me :D Other than that: totally hyped for CoE!

AllyssaHalven - 2 years ago

I think Chronicles of Elyria is going to cut off its own head with its proposed "subscription model."

Most people either want full P2P, or F2P. I think the speed of lifespans, with a character's lifespan going between 3.75 - 14 months before having to buy the game over again - essentially, that's how it will work, in the devs' own words - the hardcore players who are going to want to play a game this engrossing will be put off by the notion of having their developed characters age and die in a year or less of play time, having to essentially start over as another character, whether it's your child, or just another ward of the state.

I mean, every day will be a new season, as an in-game year is going to pass in a matter of 4 real-life days. If you start a character at age 12, play for 3 consecutive days, then have to take a week off, in a matter of 10 days, that character will have aged to be 22 years old.

That timescale is WAY too fast. It's more than 100:1 to real life, and that's simply not offering enough time to develop a single character, especially to those of us who value roleplay in the more immersive MMOs.

I think they're going to have a lot of players who will start up initially with high hopes, and within about 18-24 months, probably 3/4 of the player base will move on to something else.

The whole point of roleplaying and MMOs is longevity. That whole "don't invest yourself in a single character, but in a wider world?" Yeah, I don't think the vast majority of people are going to be very patient with that one, and I think it will die in a much faster window than the 10-year lifepsan they're planning.

That's essentially saying, "in 10 years, our game world will have seen 1,000 years pass, and you'll have watched a dozen or more of your favorite characters permanently die, having to all but completely start over each and every time."

If I'm going to invest that much money and time into playing a game, I'm sorry, but it's going to take more than genetic passage of skill dispositions and inheritances to keep me shelling out more money each time my character dies.

Just wait until piracy starts in earnest, and you have an entire ship of players just travelling from one continent to another end up with perma-death for dying on the high seas. It'll be, "Sorry, we know you just paid us $30 for your character two weeks ago, but we're going to need another $30 because pirates sunk your ship, and you have to buy a new character."

They'd immediately have to overhaul their entire promised system, making themselves look like they didn't seriously consider the system's implications to the subscriber, or they'd lose their player population in a matter of a few months.

And sorry, but the "life on the high seas is dangerous" argument simply won't cut it when you enrage your subscribers. They are the ones who keep the lights on, after all.

I think as beautiful an idea as this could be, it's going to be an absolute disaster, instead.

As the old saying goes: if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

paddybardic - 2 years ago

I have been peering through these Developer Journals, absolutely at the edge of my seat for more information. You can definitely count me in when the Kickstarter goes live!

Ekim Kuynafets - 2 years ago

It seems many people forget about the unconscious feature. Seems that's going to be the most common experience of death....you won't spirit walk on every pve knockout. The creature has to be particularly evil or significant for that to occur, according to earlier journals, I thought. PVP wars is something that needs to be tweaked. Now another feature i'm curious about that hasn't been discussed much it seems is...religious cultural impacts. Churches...cults, etc. Laws governing religious freedoms, sects, allowable acts and things like required contribution for such things. Just curious!

I'm out of things to read about for this game and I'm thirsty for more info! Haha, I'm beyond excited for this game!

Biglulu - 2 years ago

Wait. This game is pay to play, plus buy to pay? I just spent like 2 hours reading all the dev blogs, and I think that this is the most amazing MMO I've ever heard of. I would've easily paid a purchase price of ~$80 for a fantastic AAA game like this. I thought the dev was really interested in pushing the MMO genre to its full, beautiful potential, and the game's design certainly supports that.

Of course, I should've known there had to be something fishy when I saw that "free copies of the game" was a possible reward for Influence Points. Even pledging on Kickstarter for a copy of the game is more or less a sham — you're not getting a copy, you're getting one character.

This would've very likely been the first Kickstarter project I ever decided to go for and actually back. Kickstarter projects have had iffy reputations, but I really believed that this game was visionary.

However, I will not support companies "renting" a game out to people. Which is what pay to play is. You're renting out time, nothing more. I prefer to own my games. Sorry.

Wolfguarde - 2 years ago

Think of it this way... you're paying for a sub-based game with an ongoing fee loosely based on how intensely into the game you are. One that's still a good deal cheaper than most MMO subs on the market at present, that will possess content and features that are literally not present anywhere else on the market.

xxpowerofsoundxx - 2 years ago

you never own digital content, you own a license to it, that's all. If steam were to go offline or shutdown, you no longer own any game in your steam library and their under no obligation to make them available. It's like $3 - $8 a month. It's less than I spend on mcdonalds. If you have a problem with the subscription Feel free not to play, I promise we won't miss you.

Dogstarmage - 2 years ago


Dogstarmage - 2 years ago


Edulahin - 2 years ago

Bummer, I though I just had to buy the game once, now it seems is subscription based and will milk money every 3 monts or so :P There is a reference to WoW. Funny another game i dont play for the same reason.

xxpowerofsoundxx - 2 years ago

If you die six or seven times a week yeah. Play strategically and don't die and it adds up to $30 a year. that averages $3 a month. thats.... nothing. Its a little more than a quarter a day. I spend more that on gum...

Snarfy Jones - 2 years ago

We'll be following up with another design journal in just a few short days. <--- hmm gotta wonder how time works over at the studio :P nearly 2 months time those few short days has lasted now XD

But other than that loving the info and that we finally got a crowdfunding date ^^ Keep up the good work <3

Luffor - 2 years ago

Sorry this has nothing to do with this journal, but will there eventually be one detailing more on the possible magic systems or traits in the game?

xxpowerofsoundxx - 2 years ago

they've got snippets around. but honestly talents aren't something the majority of us need to worry about.

TheMercWithAMouth - 2 years ago

Will sparks of life be required to buy? or could you just create a new character?

xxpowerofsoundxx - 2 years ago

have to buy them. thats the whole business model

traimp - 2 years ago

Interesting model, rly

Alejandro De Rienosa - 2 years ago

Hi guyz, love the informative design journal, I do have a concern I was hoping Caspian or someone informative can correct for me. From what I get is that affinity is carried from one soul to another,, so if you are good for multiple lifespans it will get harder to change your affinity later on giving you negative points or whatever.

This worries me however since if I want to be a thief in the first life, assassin in the second, then a good willed forensic agent and a lawyer then eventually a benevolent king. However it will be harder because the engine will force me to do bad things in my next lives as well even though I want to turn a new leaf.

Instead I thought it would be easier say if I was bad in the last life, it would be twice as easier to be bad in this life however twice as hard to be good, all the while the engine staying neutral at the start of every lifespan.

Anichent - 2 years ago

So you are actually encouraging people not to "play" in most of the fun adventurous ways by punishing them, in their real world wallet, for taking risks and death.

7.99 being less than WoW may sound smart to you, but the world is moving away from subscription gaming. I like paying for a game and playing thousands of hours without coughing up more money every few months. I bought your game, don't tax me for doing it! I was really thrilled about this game until I understood you pay pretty much for 6-12 months of playing and then need to essentially buy the game again.

Unless this game has the greatest development team and support of all time, you'll screw yourselves as people just stop playing once they have to pay more for the same game (since paying more adds zero to the game, juts lets you play)

xxpowerofsoundxx - 2 years ago

Gotta pay the bills. With F2P games it's usually pay to win, Gold-selers all over the place, and $50 for a shitty mount or cosmetic upgrade. I'm fine paying $8 a month for something awesome. If you're not then I'm sorry, go make your own game then come back and tell us about your amazing financial plan to keep it going.

Delux - 2 years ago

When the game launch?

Lapidem - 2 years ago

Right now, this is just guess calculation. I don't believe respawning will be this cheap in reality. There are many things I believe weren't considered here.

1) I mean, what happens when you are in an dangerous PvP region where Players hunt for other Players constantly? Or a battlefield for example? You just spirit-walked back to your body, just to find yourself getting killed again by another player as soon as you get up?

2) Or what if you logged off in the middle of nature where it's hard to survive. Maybe you walked days there to explore something new. Suddenly something in reallife happens and you aren't able to login for a few days... As we all know, our characters continue to exist while we're offline. Now what if something happens to them i. e. they die of hunger/thirst or get killed by a wild npc. After walking days towards your destination... not even not getting there would be frustrating, but also having to pay for a respawn because you died when you weren't even able to play.

3) What if you want to play some assassin or whatever kind of bad guy? If you kill another player to play your role correctly, you're effectively costing someone money in real life. That's something I wouldn't like to do, even though I sometimes like to play the asshole. This game mechanic is making you way too responsible. Just consider someone who cannot afford the 30 $ to pay for a new character right now, but he's a very 'passionate' player... suddenly he gets killed. That's how real life death threats happen. Death should be a game mechanic, not a real life insult/damage to someone.

4) What if a player is a known youtuber or twitch streamer. He/She will be constantly hunted by other players. Not even famous people, also just random people who might show some achievements on youtube. Let's say I get a really rare weapon or armor piece... I couldn't even show it on youtube to some people without the possibility of getting hunted afterwards. Not bad enough that I would lose the armor piece and the character if someone kills and loots me, but I would also have to pay for a restart...really?

5) Taking risks will cost extra. Everything outside of a town or in dangerous regions would be a privilege for the players with a good paycheck in real life. You cannot even start learning the game mechanics of survival in the wild without the risk of having to pay. How are you supposed to get to know game mechanics without taking the risk of dying? Well you can, as long as you can afford it....great.

There are many more problems with this kind of payment system, but I want to leave it to those for now. I'm not sure if one of the devs will read this, but if so, why not "paying per soul" instead of "paying per death"?

Everyone gets 1 soul to choose in the beginning of the game. If they're not happy with what they skilled, or that it can't use magic, they reroll or buy another soul for money. This way, it would be ensured that not too many characters are played at the same time, while it also gives the people who aren't happy about their first choice a chance to restart or play a second character. Also, death would be an ingame mechanic again and not a real life insult. This would lead to more people playing interesting risky characters.

I really like the concept of the game, and I would love to play it someday (if it becomes what it wants to become). But if the payment system stays the way it is, I am not sure if I'll play it at all. Ingame death should hurt ingame, not in real life.

Dogstarmage - 2 years ago

I assume you haven't read anything. You don't die when an assassin comes up behind you and stabs you or when a soldier cuts you open in battle, you just go on a spirit walk that brings you closer to death. It takes many, many, spirit walks to completely die. As the devs said above you would have to spirit walk multiple times every day to have a game time under 3ish months. Not only that, but there is a grace period where only 1 spirit walk per every few hours actually removes from your spirit stat and brings you closer to the final death. You would have to actively seek combat with extremely evil and dangerous mobs, or be in the world's most dangerous PVP zone and sit there to die that fast. finally, OPCs, or player characters when you are away, Have your skills, so unless you log them out in a dragon's cave, your character will be able to do everything you did to get to your position.

Anichent - 2 years ago

many people will not play or stop playing if the payment system stays how it is. Only the greatest of games can survive consistent expansions, and the point of paying more is usually more was added to the game. Here we're paying just to keep playing...its a tax plain and simple. Its pretty silly to think you can tax your players and have them keep playing your game. Its also a giant risk because if your game takes time to take off in popularity, you've quashed it right off the bat.

xxpowerofsoundxx - 2 years ago

Caspian's said he's not worried about making a lot of money. He just wants to make something amazing. WOW is $15 a month. This game is 100x better than WOW in my opinion for like half the monthly price. And thats only if I die every other day. I don't tend to die that much in MMO's so at most i need to save like $8 a month and I'm set. If this game is even HALF as awesome as what the journals make it seem. I'm cool with a little taxation :P

Phoenixvamp - 2 years ago

Loved reading this can't wait for the game to come out to play. ^^

Cracker_Jack - 2 years ago

A couple of flaws I see in fame multiplier...first off who is to say that you guys don't just give fame out easily to make ppls more notable so when they die they lose more life thus making them have to buy a "Spark" soon in the end making you guys more money (I am most worried about this as well as everyone else that plays the game should be...exploit to make more money from us) secondly if your fame goes up there needs to be a great beneficial in game perks that you receive to offset the amount of time you lose when you die otherwise why gain notoriety.

SirRantsalot - 2 years ago

I'm curious. Is there going to be magic in this or is it going to be more medieval style?

xxpowerofsoundxx - 2 years ago

low-fantasy. Magic is basically a myth, though som souls will be born with magical talents. a VERY low number of souls.

Certaindeath - 2 years ago

This all sounds amazing, however.. You keep mentioning RVE and "servers".

shouldnt the main focus point of this be its all one world. Not multiple servers like WOW or other games.

It should be like eve online in this regard.

Eldrielphor - 2 years ago

I didn't like the system that when you permadie you have to pay $30 to get another life because I live in Brazil and I really wanted to play this game but it would be to expensive for me. :'( I hope that the prices will fall or that you only have to pay once even being an expensive game.

Caspian - 2 years ago

Hi Eldrielphor,

It takes between 6-14 months to die, generally. So that $30 should last you plenty long enough. We honestly can't go any lower than that.

Kossuth - 2 years ago


That doesn't seem to fit with the figures above at all. Worse if you're active and/or build up a reputation you perma-die far more quickly that an inactive player.

You stay in game right on logging so do deaths while logged count towards the perma death counter?

Malitias - 2 years ago

I do not think the last part about wars is a good way to go about it. Limiting the death penalty further, but increasing the first death multiplier will result in those who died once becoming a totally reckless zerk, making their behavior in a war inconsequential for them personally. That feels wrong to me. The result is that even in a 10 vs 50 both sides are probably going to have the same percentage of casualties because of the long time you fight.

Chronicle - 2 years ago

Very interesting! I'm hoping that this system sticks, as it is something that's never been seen in an MMO. Please, keep up the great work!

Shadukar - 2 years ago

Not sure i like any kind of death penalty in PvP. Most games don't have penalties in pvp because characters tend to die every few seconds or minutes. Typically any kind of defense or damage mitigation in pvp is useless. Which means you usually do raw damage to your opponent. That's just Melee, it doesn't even include magic such as fire, ice, lightning or arcane damage types, I assume there will be these things because this is a fantasy MMORPG. Either way point im trying to make is that death penalty in pvp is a bad idea because of the frequency of character death. There just shouldn't be one at all.

Malitias - 2 years ago

This is a low-fantasy setting. I doubt you will have magicians throwing fireballs on a full-automatic gun level everywhere on the battlefield. The PvP Death has to have a penalty. This PvP is not meant to be a pointless skirmish with no long-term effects (I guess). It is war and as such requires to involve risks that affect the soldiers as well in a long-term effect to feel meaningful.

Jadow - 2 years ago

you guys are the best i love you approach to this!!!

Luccheno - 2 years ago

Indeed quite the juicy cool piece of info hehehe

Ai - 2 years ago

And paying 30$ to play again sounds so..If we can just pay once and play for the rest of the time without paying to play twice if you die in a day the game would be more exessable so I think I would just play once.

Ai - 2 years ago

The info was good but it would be good to know when the game will be released.

xxpowerofsoundxx - 2 years ago

middle of 2017 at the earliest. Guessing it depends on how well the kickstarter goes. I mean if they manage to up their profit to 2 or 3 million dollars I'd say they could get the thing out far faster with the ability to hire to more people to work on it

Jessikat - 2 years ago

Great info. Loved it.



stubs - 2 years ago

Sounds brilliant to me :)

I like the element of risk, I look forward to see the affect it will have on people's gameplay choices

Foxxley - 2 years ago

I'm excited for this game, but this just kinda makes me iffy to play it. Everytime someone dies, all they're going to think is "damn, just lost 2 days of game time.." and even worse when you start doing better. Just really not digging those multipliers for higher renown.

Wolfguarde - 2 years ago

On the flipside, the game A: puts massive penalties on repeated killing of other players, B: acceptable mitigation on chain deaths, and C: Accelerates your character's learning process in the skills they've trained in previous incarnations. You might lose game time on your character, and something of your progress. That gives your character value and means your death has a very real weight that you're invested in not allowing to occur often.

I very much like how this game is looking, and this mechanic is one of the main reasons; it creates responsibility in how one plays if they value their character. Griefing will still be possible, but I can easily see that sort of play itself becoming a form of roleplay and thus being subsumed into the greater culture the world will create. This might be the first MMO release to actually create an environment which is immersive for all playstyles, to the point where one's actions on their character are indistinguishable from roleplay.

Styrax - 2 years ago

I take it that fame is tied to the character rather than their identity so that wearing a disguise doesn't reduce your penalties. Or is it implemented that once someone dies, either knockout or coup de grace, their real identity is revealed.

Caspian - 2 years ago

Their real identity is not exposed, though someone could determine they're wearing a disguise.

The fame is tied to the character, via the max fame of all of their identities.

Vaskel - 2 years ago

Love the way everything was cleared up.

Sabbicat - 2 years ago

One of the few times the discussion of math doesn't hurt my head but actually makes me happy. Well done Caspian. Thank you for sharing this information.

Arzey - 2 years ago

Drowning is perm death right? so if i drown i have to pay 30$ to play again? that does not sound very appealing to me.

Omega59er - 2 years ago

RIP anyone raided by pirates. RIP pirates for that matter.

Foxxley - 2 years ago

Lol, better not swim out into the ocean then.

Caspian - 2 years ago

You can only drown out in the deepest parts of the ocean. But yeah, don't do that.

Bongo - 2 years ago

Good info about time. It does make me wonder though, as a casual player who could put in maybe 6-10 hours a week on the high side, how valuable my character will be, getting another year or so older each time I log in. If each day is a season, how much of my game time do I want to spend on each activity? Spending an hour negotiating a contract, or finding the brigands opinion the town, or a suitable husband for my daughter?

The game wil make me think differently about gaming and I'm excited about that. But only time will tell if it's the kind of game I can fit into my life.

That said, Caspian said "colosseum," and I can't wait to hear more about that!!

Narendur - 2 years ago

A small reminder for people: If you get Coup de Grace'd, the other play will most likely take everything from your backpack and your pockets. You can't just run into battle again, not having to think about the consequences. You're still limited by the amount of weapons your army has, etc. It's not just the Spirit loss you've got to deal with.

Atom D Chopper - 2 years ago

Completely forgot this one. But would you really take the time to search the pockets of your defeated enemy when you stand right on the ruleless battlefield?

Tora - 2 years ago

<3 Love it so much, that's about £21 for a spark. How about initial starting soul prices?

You get 3 souls and 1 spark.. (I believe) What will the estimated prices of that be?

HLRZ - 2 years ago

Very interesting! With this being said, I wonder if we'll have the option to pay a a certain amount per month to keep our lives going?

Caspian - 2 years ago

Yep. $30 each time your character dies. :-) We have no plan to offer a subscription model in the traditional sense - at least not for lives. The closest we might come is allowing a subscription where you automatically get a new Spark of Life every 3, 6, etc... months that you can apply when you die.

Derp.Circus - 2 years ago


CHufi - 2 years ago

So, concerning battlefield, you say that "the first death on a battle field will likely come with a 4x multiplier" so " people will try like hell not to die".

I do understand that and it is awesome.

But at the same time if I DO get killed, I can come back and just throw myself right in the mélée because I know that I won't suffer any additional spirit loss !

So wouldn't we see 2 type of players during battlefields, Some playing carefully because it's their first life, and the others just rushing in because they fear no consequences ?

Spidersuit90 - 2 years ago

You forget something: in a battlefield if you die is almost impossible that you will re-spawn with your gears and items on yourself. So, even if you can't get others Spirit Loss for that period, you still have no equipment and items on yourself, so to rush in the same battlefield after you re-spawn is useless.

Caspian - 2 years ago

Indeed - kind of a blood lust. What do you think will happen when the two types meet?

Brdy4 - 2 years ago

Same loved reading through this I'm getting very excited for the release its definitly change to the average mmorpg and really on being smart surviving and making a name for yourself, getting a little scared this may be the next thing to steal my soul for the next year

Weswyn - 2 years ago

Very nice to have the details now.

I had actually hoped it would be a bit more punishing than it turns out to be but I guess it's fine. Well ok, honestly the main problem I have is with the 2,5 hour toll cap for PVE.

IMO the toll caps should be different for PVP and PVE. I think the 2,5 hour cap makes sense as an anti-grief measure but 2,5 hours sounds waay to high for PVE unless I misunderstand something.

To me it sounds like if you've set out to a dungeon or a dragons lair or whatever as long as you're fine with dying once you basically have another 2,5 hours to zerg the living hell out of the inhabitants which doesn't sound all that epic to me.

The way the game is set up it makes sense to protect people from dying within aggrorange of a deadly creature repeatedly but depending on the size of a dungeon/cave/whathaveyou couldn't this be accomplished by like a 15min or maybe 30min toll cap depending on how big things are and how respawns in dungeons are handled (if the way out remains clear or not), that should give you enough time to retreat or even have another 1-2 tries or something but not just bang your head against the wall for 2 hours because you want your money's worth out of the death that already happened :)

I personally wouldn't feel that way, my bother with it is simply that it cheapens killing something dangerous if you kill it without dying or dying once and some other guy also kills it but took 2 hours longer with no extra risk to his name.

Obviously these assumptions have been made with incomplete information all I know so far is all the Q&As and DJs so maybe the 2,5 hours do make sense in PVE. We will see, in any case I'm so amped about this game it becomes unbearable :P

TL;DR 2,5 hours toll cap for PVE sounds too long unless yet unknown factors come into play - rest sounds amazing :)

Cheers, Wes

KumaCave - 2 years ago

I just want to point out that something you are overlooking (which at this point in time is easy to do since there really isn't a game out yet.) Is that even if you come back to life #1 that doesn't mean you come back full health perfectly ready to zerg the hell out of whatever killed you, and #2 that the thing you are trying to zerg has remained in the same condition whole time just sitting there waiting for you to continue your zerg. In my opinion even if the penalty for being killed is removed the difficulty of the situation is probably going to remain the same when you get back so giving you another 3-4 or however many chances to bang your head against a death wall without penalty is most likely not going to have much effect unless it was already a close call.

Quinstephel - 2 years ago

Actually, I think it would be best to remain true to the game engine's continuous mechanics. Its like this, you die once, 1 penalty. You die immediately or shortly after 1/2 penalty, then 1/4, then 1/8 and so (just making up numbers here, obviously it should be a bit more sophisticated than this). So now if you accidentally get cornered by a dragon in a canyon, and it kills you repeatedly, you lose much less lifetime, but you still have an incentive to not die in that time. Also, there would still need to be a brief grace period, so if I camp your character like a %#$%&, then you don't lose any lifetime. Just an idea, I think this mechanic could help soothe the problems you pointed out here.

VictoriaRachel - 2 years ago

I think the main misunderstand is that there is no clear line in this game between a PvE and PvP activity.

Firstly there is no re-spawning of NPCs, if you have killed something it is dead it does not re-spawn. It might be that over time a different creature/being comes and takes over the vacated space but that all depends on what is happening in the space in the meantime. Secondly the evil beings you need to defeat in order to protect your town might not be NPCs!

Take the example of "person walks into dungeon, faces evil bad guy, nearly dies, but recovers and defeats the evil being". You walk into that dungeon, it has been built and designed by players. You have to get through traps the players have set up. Fight through beasts the players have tamed and placed in your way. Work your way through a labyrinth of tunnels protected by both PC and OPC guards. Then you get to that evil being. They are a player too. Admittedly one with a great talent they have used for evil, and have been causing chaos in your town for a long time now. Now if you defeat them that story is great.

If you find you cannot defeat them do you really want to be stuck there with this player able to keep you from escaping and the PC guards able to group together to block your exit?

Weswyn - 2 years ago

The line is that the game most likely is able to tell if the player was damaged by another player or not so more likely than not it would be technically possible to set different timers for both instances seperately. Sure you could maybe walk into a player dungeon but that's not what I'm talking about here and I explicitly said I don't mind the long timeframe for pvp. Because more likely than not, especially during the first few months in the game, dungeons you're gonna walk into aren't going to be player built and you're not gonna face some super villain type player that's gonna hang out in his selfmade dungeon all day long on the offchance someone happens to come by within weeks or months of release.

I'm specifically talking about using those 2,5 hours to zerg say an ogers den or a dragon's lair (how zergable those would be is a different story but if you theoretically have a chance to defeat them then losing no additional spirit for over 2 hours would be a huge help in trying). If those npcs would loot you if they killed you that would then pretty much settle that argument because with no gear you can't just get back up and fight. Sure you could bring like a wagon or more of supplies to restock if needed but that would be fine because it's a logistical effort to bring all that stuff and risk getting it stolen while not around makes it ok imo.

So basically your whole premise hinges on me walking into a player dungeon instead of a world generated one which makes the point moot I'm sorry to say because that wasn't at all what I was talking about :)

Rhaegys - 2 years ago

Maybe, but is that alt of yours a better champion than your main? I don't I suppose you want to won that war.

Zyloth - 2 years ago

Well I've played a lot of Mortal Online, and if a castle siege is anything like it is in MO it will be on the scale of several months not days to overtake their forces. If being a well known champion has that great of a sway, then yes I'll be using my main. If not then it makes sense to me to have this faceless champion logged out in the castle walls ready to defend. Of course the character skills will be kept at a high standard. It just depends on how much if any impact being a well known champion has on character skill. I can easily see the most powerful kingdoms using this, as we do in MO.

Wolfguarde - 2 years ago

It's worth bearing in mind that your character doesn't leave the world when you log out. That champion of yours might very well decide to fight on the front lines in your absence and get himself killed while you're gallivanting off on your alt. After all - for what reason would a famous OPC stay inside when there's jackals at the door?

PixiePunchPie - 2 years ago

This brings me to a very important question, one I hope is answered somewhere I haven't found yet. I'm assuming each account will be able to have 1 character at a time (hence the 1 spark discussion from earlier) but what about multiple accounts?

Personally I think accounts should be limited per IP address to avoid botting (IE I create an alchemist that's the best in the land and also a lich so I also create an acount with a champion/body guard that follows me around and/or protects me while I sleep).

My reasoning is that if I can have an unlimited amount of accounts I can potentially have an unlimited amount of characters provided I am paying for them and potentially I have a kingdom that's run and kept entirely by me this shutting out the real worldiness of that area of the map. Granted I'm sure not many people would do this, but the potential is still there.

Also, I understand the desire to not do this from a company perspective. For example, frat houses with 20 or so people logging in from 5 computers. (No, I've never been in an actual frat house but I did see Animal House... That's the norm right?)

Anyways, I think that in this discussion of money vs. Spirit time it's kind of important to know how many spirits I can have at any given time.

EDIT: Fangirl wailing I cannot wait for this game!!!!!

karat76 - 2 years ago

Posted By PixiePunchPie at 2:04 PM - Thu Jan 28 2016

This brings me to a very important question, one I hope is answered somewhere I haven't found yet. I'm assuming each account will be able to have 1 character at a time (hence the 1 spark discussion from earlier) but what about multiple accounts?

Personally I think accounts should be limited per IP address to avoid botting (IE I create an alchemist that's the best in the land and also a lich so I also create an acount with a champion/body guard that follows me around and/or protects me while I sleep).

My reasoning is that if I can have an unlimited amount of accounts I can potentially have an unlimited amount of characters provided I am paying for them and potentially I have a kingdom that's run and kept entirely by me this shutting out the real worldiness of that area of the map. Granted I'm sure not many people would do this, but the potential is still there.

Also, I understand the desire to not do this from a company perspective. For example, frat houses with 20 or so people logging in from 5 computers. (No, I've never been in an actual frat house but I did see Animal House... That's the norm right?)

Anyways, I think that in this discussion of money vs. Spirit time it's kind of important to know how many spirits I can have at any given time.

EDIT: Fangirl wailing I cannot wait for this game!!!!!

In my youth I spent some time in frat houses and there were usually other activities going on rather than gaming. Not sure how it goes now with young men in frat house but in my time we didn't allow gaming consoles in the house though this being a computer game not sure how this would work out.

xxpowerofsoundxx - 2 years ago

when you log off a character that character persists in the world as opc's. Which from what i've read can gain skills along with manning storefronts and being hired as bodygaurds. So it seems like you could easily man multiple alts all at once on the same account if you wanna pay for it.

Zyloth - 2 years ago

So being a champion on the battlefield defending your kingdom means that you should be playing an unknown alt. The faceless soldier so to speak.

Maygus - 2 years ago

What's the point of a champion who scurries into the nearest bolt hole?

thedogs - 2 years ago

Loved reading all this new info!