With the excitement around the Searing Plague event coming to a close, and any-and-all attempts by the community to prepare for such future occasions, we decided to provide some insight into our annual set of events and promotions!
We've never called these out before on the development roadmap (which focuses primarily on the game's development) but we're always planning and executing as an outreach team on ways to exercise our community's unprecedented ability to organize and enhance everything that Soulbound Studios initiates!
So here you'll find our monthly calendar for promotional themes and community events at a high level. Exact details of the lore, store items, or any event mechanics during those months will vary so expect those kind of details in the announcement post for that month.
January is the time for the first of our two community engagement events each year. These events are about engaging and growing the community! They may feature lore, prizes, a companion app or web page, and - like the Free Kingdom or Searing Plague events - far-reaching consequences! The community-focused theme for our January events will sometimes mean that it's tightly integrated with the game, but sometimes it will focus more outwardly on the awesome folks in our community, such as the Elyria on Earth competition.
Love is the inspiration for our February promotion, but we're not making it all about romance. Tokens of fellowship, tribute, and the advent of spring fuel our February! There's no better time to show your affection and share something sweet with friends or that special someone whom you hold dear. Like the Elyria & Chill promotion, expect some things to be a bit tongue-in-cheek. Limited-time items will typically be available in the online store during this time, and some lore may drop as well, but we'll all still be recovering from January's event so there's not likely to be a companion game this month.
Earth's third month marks the Time of Renewal in Elyria! Every 26 years, Elyrians celebrate the ebb and flow of life and death at this natural point of solemn reflection. Most cultures and religions have observances and traditions during this span, and players will see these in-game even after launch. You've already seen the Cardinal Miracle of the Second Age and how it has led to the Pilgrimage of Renewal as a secular tradition, the Festival of Virtue for the Virtori, and the omen of Laezhen Memorialus among the Drasean Tifa. Since this time coincides with an important cycle in Elyria's calendar, expect the focus to be on lore in March.
April, I'm told, is a time for fools and showers. Every 52 years in Elyria, the planets of Selene and Libodos align in the sky. The convergence of celestial bodies brings with it a strange combining of influences, bringing Betrayal and Change into the same space as Secrets, Conspiracy, and Mystery. As such, April on Earth corresponds with a period of Illusion in Elyria, as not everything is what it seems and the only certainty is you can expect the unexpected.
The Anniversary of our Kickstarter is a special time for us because it's when Chronicles of Elyria became greater than just Caspian's vision and infected all of us with his madness! Now we live and breathe and dance and die by this gift and we want to show our appreciation to our backers! Expect a lot of community appreciation and special events or promotions that attempt to capture our gratitude to the folks who have taken a chance on this dream.
Every 52 years, when the planet Selene is farthest from Elyria, followers of the Qindred feel the Qin of Solitude's celestial influence - or absence thereof - quite keenly. The position of the planet is not lost on the the denizens of the other religions or the various cultures, and many have observances during this time meant to reveal inner truths or seek enlightenment. Scholars argue whether a Sedecim that occurs during this time is advantageous or folly, with neither side having yet conceded. Since this time coincides with an important cycle in Elyria's calendar, expect the focus to be on lore in June.
Here is another one of the times we plan on doing big, community events! Sometimes, like with the Searing Plague, the event will be combined with our theme for either June or August for an even bigger splash! These events will typically be a good time to recruit since we'll often be providing tools or incentives for getting friends on board with the game and to share in this great community!
Soulbound Studios is dedicated to building a new world, but we're also dedicated to bettering our own so, each August, we are going to do a World Bettering project, which could take many forms: spreading awareness to support for our favorite charities, donating a percent of proceeds from store sales, volunteering to help a worthy cause, and more. The exact form will depend on the specific cause, so be prepared to be flexibly philanthropic with Soulbound Studios in the dog days of summer!
In contrast to the Festival of Renewal in the third month, the ninth month on Earth coincides with the Festival of Passage in Elyria. The Festival of Passage is a time of transition and transformation, as the Faedin observe various rituals and ceremonies marking the transition of what once was, to what soon will be. To honor this time of transformation, each of the Faedin tribes - the Brudvir, Kypiq, and Janoa - hold several months-long events or rights of passage which, when combined, mark a year-long series of festivities. Not to be left out of the fun, many of the non-Faedin tribes join in on the celebrations or, as the opportunity arises, capitalize on them. Since this time coincides with an important cycle in Elyria's calendar, expect the focus to be on lore in September.
Not to be outdone, another comet makes its eerie presence known in Elyria every October on Earth. You've seen, already, how many cultures use The Eye as a reminder to honor the fallen, and how the Qindred see the shape and shadow of creation in its contours. But it is the Al'tifali who recognize this ghostly visitor as the gaze of the Two-Fold Queen and hold this time as terrible and precious. Though many will only ever see the comet once in a lifetime, the omen is one of significance the world over. Since this time coincides with an important cycle in Elyria's calendar, expect the focus to be on lore in October.
Once The Eye passes from horizon to horizon, Elyrians know it's only a matter of time until the Longest Night. As such, the years following The Eye are frequently one of fellowship, farming, and settlement building, in preparation for the long winter. In contrast to February, which is all about showing your appreciation for that special someone, November is a time to give thanks to your family, settlement, and organizations. As we're not immune to the intense commercialism known as Black Friday and Cyber Monday, we celebrate November here at Soulbound with promotions that take the shape of settlement and community-building, as well as rare and limited-quantity items in our online store. Depending on the promo, items may also be entwined with December's themes as well, as was the case with the Free Kingdom of Elyria event.
No Elyrian can simply ignore when the sun is eclipsed for years at a time so, each December on Earth, we will respect the icy umbra of Elyria's Longest Night. This long, dark winter has countless observances by all cultures and religions, as seen in the initial lore surrounding this celestial event. Since this time coincides with an important cycle in Elyria's calendar, expect the focus to be on lore in December.
If you're one of the many who get inspired by the world of Elyria and the involvement of this community, you'll be excited to know that information about our September lore and promotion will be available next week!
So make sure to check back soon to learn more about the Festival of Passage, and how the Tribes of Mann celebrate this period of transformation in Elyria.