Well, that was a very interesting and exciting month for certain!
After we finalized Kingdom selections from monarchs, Domain and Settlement Selection took a pause while the team refined our world creation algorithms. But in the meantime, a lot has gone on. Let's recap it below for anyone who missed it!
As mentioned above, here are the final kingdom selections made by the monarchs for all 4 servers:
With that, we have our official launch kingdoms, huzzah!
We consistently review surname reservations on a daily basis. Each month, we like to share a few from the past period that caught our eye.
Most attempted theme: Tolkien
Each month we'll spotlight one or two of our favorite memes that were shared via the forums or Discord.
Marovec (Finn) shared this meme that was not only on topic, but quite humorous as well:
Kypiq are a contentious tribe, players seem to either love them or hate them. The White Mask is obviously in the former group based on his meme:
There were so many memes this month (I'm looking at you Huldric), we figured we'd share a 3rd for fun.
This meme shines a humorous light on the many challenges some tribes will face in their native biomes:
Thanks Banduri Daelyn Marcaigh!
If you'd like to see your meme highlighted, share it with us in our Discord or forums and it may show up here one day!
All my reading couldn’t have prepared me for what I saw, and it wasn’t long until the environment started to shift. At first it was gradual, a fern here, a mushroom there, and I paid it no mind, being singularly focused on retrieving the plant as quickly as possible. It was this haste that blinded me to the change until I suddenly found myself standing in a completely alien environment. The first thing that caught my attention wasn’t the shift in flora or the bodies of water that now appeared throughout the landscape that indeed made up so much of it, but the presence of this…miasma that seemed to blanket everything. It was upon taking note of this that it dawned on me how different it felt to the woods I knew.
There were trees there too, but they were... different. Ancient and daunting in size, and with a pallor that suggested the presence of copious amounts of water, as if they were rooted in place not of their own volition but by the weight of the liquid locked within. Only much later in life would I journey far from home and learn of trees more massive than these; the Ironwoods that filled the land and skies of the forests of the Kypiq.
My progress soon became impeded when hard soil became soft loam and then gave way to mud and muck. Frustration started to build inside me, but it was quickly overshadowed by the apprehension and concern that came with realizing that I could no longer clearly make out where I was. A thick fog blanketed my surroundings, so much so that I could see no further than 3 meters ahead. I could feel the wet seeping into my bones, sapping my strength with each laborious drag of my feet, the fog oppressive and claustrophobic. Strange sounds emanated out from the mist; organic sounds made by creatures my imagination all too readily supplied the images of. My fingers clenched with fear, and it was the sensation of paper crinkling in my hands that reminded me of the drawing that I still clutched; the Marcher’s Flower.
The wisewomann once told me that it was named during the age when the people of the swamps were forced to undertake their great sojourn; when they were banished from their original homes. Legend has it that the Dras could be seen carrying these azure blossoms, appearing like mournful banners to a nationless people.
I knew nothing of where to look to find it, but I knew what to look for: the drawing showed a plant with a cluster of flowers, described as true blue in color, each flaring out like a bell as they grew further away from the cluster. 4-7 inches long each, the plants lay as a rose might, but with blooms tightly condensed in a cluster, resembling the scales of a pinecone.
The scene replayed in my mind vividly, the wisewomann shaking her head regretfully, my mother on her soon-to-be deathbed. I steeled myself and pushed forward despite any danger that may be, these words echoing in my head ad nauseum: I must save her.
I continued to make my way through the swamp for some time, no longer running but moving at an unerring pace – the mantra playing over and over in head -- until my focus was interrupted by a sound from somewhere behind me. It was unnerving, and I hastily attempted to push it aside. It wasn’t until the sound of a breaking branch directly behind me rang through the fog that I did stop and turn, apprehensive but hopeful it was simply my imagination.
Those hopes were quickly dashed when I saw the large figure appearing as a shadow in the fog, moving closer to me. My legs suddenly rediscovered their speed at the same time as my heart discovered true terror, and I began to flee from whatever horrible fate surely awaited me. I ran and ran and ran, and each time I stumbled a certainty of my own demise filled me, and yet I continued to recover just in time. Nearby I spotted a very large tree with massive roots the size of Trison and in my desperation came up with the ill-conceived plan to vault over the nearest root and take shelter behind the tree. With adrenaline coursing through my veins, I leapt as high and far as I could once I was within 2 meters of the root, and somehow managed to scramble up and over it.
I did not, however, come to land upon the flat ground I had imagined to be there. Instead, the ground began to slope severely, and as my feet made contact, the ground gave way, and I slid over the side of the slope. I tumbled and slid down the slope, too fast to center myself or glimpse where I was going. My body collided with organic objects resilient enough to bruise but not to hold, and I shut my eyes to the pain. At last, my descent’s end was announced by both the sound and sensation of ceramic pots breaking against my body.
I lay there, motionless, eyes closed, half-certain I was either dead or about to be, the shadow having caught up with its clumsy prey. An eternity passed before I finally opened my eyes, looking to see what had broken my fall. To my horror, I realized that what I had landed upon was not ceramic, but bones. Perhaps I truly was dead, I thought to myself. As if to answer my question, a sound emanated from directly before me, and I slowly gazed upward to get a look at my end.
It was a massive humanoid figure, taller than many trees, with black scales covering its body where its pale white skin did not. Its head was as white, appearing as if a drift of snow had been carved into some strange semblance of a visage and its only facial features were the many holes that littered its surface. As I gazed upon them, it was as if I was looked directly into the void itself, with nothing laying underneath. It was at that time I realized that I had fallen into a field of bodies, long since dead, and this must be the vengeful ghost of the skeleton I had disturbed, here to steal me away to the abyss.
It continued to stand there, motionless, and I stared into its many eyes in resignation, waiting. When the ghost finally spoke, it spoke in a tongue that must have been only used by the dead, and when it did the sounds echoed and reverberated all around me.
I closed my eyes, and brought my hands to my chest.
“I am sorry, Mother…”
Our volunteer moderators are not only bastions of peace in our community; they are a helpful hand whenever you need assistance. They are very knowledgeable about Chronicles of Elyria and provide valuable feedback that helps keep our community amazing.
Each month we provide a little insight into who they are and what makes them tick.
As we mentioned last month when we interviewed Soulbot, we've run out of team members to interview! Being the ever-resourceful team, the mods got together and assembled this Q&A for yours truly to participate in. Hope you enjoy it!
(I have used this avatar many times before. Some of you have asked me why not a dragon or something fancier? Well, I really like this one, as it is a custom made avatar after my likeness IRL, created for me when I worked at MMOLife.)
"And now, onto some questions from the mods:"
Q: SirApetus asks: "How does working for Soulbound Studios compare to any of your previous jobs?"
A: "I have had a great career and worked at some truly amazing places. Of the many jobs I have had leading communities at game companies, high tech companies, and running my own, this is definitely one of my top 3. The reasons for that are fairly simple. When I evaluate a role, initially and over time, to ensure it remains a good fit for both me and my employer, I examine what’s important to me. Those factors include autonomy and trust from my superiors, the ability to make a difference and not just be a number on a list, and the work-life balance the company policies provide. I also try to make sure I am not the smartest person in the room, as this conveys the ability to learn and grow, and that is also important to me. Lastly, I must believe in what I am doing. Starting in Sales in the first part of my career, I never ‘sold crap to my customers,’ or tried to get them to buy something that I didn’t think was a good value for them. It is the same at any other company I have worked; if I don’t believe in the product/game/project, I can’t stand behind it, support it, and promote its success. These are factors that keep me happy and excited to go to work every day, and I am blessed to have found that before, as well as to be in that situation today. By the way, you’ll note that I didn’t include “like my co-workers” in my list of reasons. That is because you don’t have to like everyone you work with to do your job (though to be clear, I have the rare opportunity currently to work at a place where I love 100% of the people)."
Q: Hellmoon inquired: "What's the story behind your name 'Serpentius'?"
A: "Heh, great question, and one that I get asked both a lot and one that most get wrong since it is personal to me. When I was married in a previous life, I had just come out of the high tech industry where I worked in sales and marketing, and moved into the game industry. I was around the newest technology all the time: processors, graphics chips, you name it. I always had many home built PCs in the house with parts boxes lying around everywhere. With kids at home and me wanting them to be educated in tech early, I even taught them to build and maintain their own machines. I was known to be involved in the cutting edge of the latest computer processors at that time. I have always loved dragons from an early age, and my wife knew it. So when the time came to create a long-lasting and unique nickname for me to use in games and online, my then wife came up with it and it stuck. It was simply a combination of “Serpent,” to represent my adoration of them, and Pentium, which at the time was the name of a new processor that Intel had released. And there you have it: the super-secret all inclusive backstory on where my name came from. “I don’t care what you call me, as long as you call me.""
Q: She also asked: "What's been your favorite seasonal event or unique community event (Lost Vault, Queen's Gaze, etc) so far? Why?"
A: "I think my favorite would be a tie between the Searing Plague and The Free Kingdom event. Aside from community differences on a few subjects, both were exciting in their own way. The FK event was super fun to watch, it lasted almost 2 months, and towards the end things really got crazy as everyone was jockeying to be the one who received one of the free packages. I really enjoyed the battle back and forth to see who would be monarch and their immediate 6 royals. Plus, I love events where we give back to players in innovative ways such as this. My other fave is of course the Searing Plague, as not only did we see some great lore, but we also watched the community split down the middle in an epic battle to determine the fate of the outbreak. Most of all, new players to the community could be cured from being plagued and earn themselves a free Elyrian package in the process. Overall, both events were a success based on the reasons the studio produced it in the first place. There was no throwaway work because it was all part of building these four worlds we call servers, player engagement was high, and growth of our community was strong as many new players joined."
Q: Kitlandria had a few questions. Her first was: "When and how did your love of dragons begin?"
A: "I don’t know exactly at what age I started loving dragons to be honest, but it was very young. I played and later ran AD&D games through my teenage years, and my favorite novel series is Dragonlance. As a teen I visited the Orange County fair where I lived and purchased a hand drawing of a pair of dragons nestled in battle, and then returned later to have him colorize it a bit. It has survived many things and is one of my most prized possessions. Here’s a picture of it.:"
"Many people I’ve met in my lifetime have asked for a photo of it so they can get it as a tattoo. It isn’t mine to keep private, and of course I shared as I do now. Dragons: mystical, ancient, wise, and all powerful beings in so many stories and universes during my lifetime. How could you not love them?"
Q: Then she asked: "What inspired you to start the moderator team?"
A: "I have always enlisted the aid and support of my fellow community members in every community I have led. It seems natural to me as they already know the people in that community. In the case where I start a community new, it takes time to find mods. But in the CoE community, it didn’t take long after I joined to see there were more than a few amazing individuals that would be willing to volunteer to help maintain a friendly and inclusive environment. They did, and the rest is history!"
"I’ve had teams of admins and mods ranging from a few to dozens or hundreds (Gaia had 310+) to thousands (HomeLANs volunteers exceeded 2500). For me, existing community members lend insights into the history of the community, offer varying points of view and often act as devil’s advocates in situations where it calls for it. The only time when a volunteer moderator team didn’t make sense was when I ran a B2B community portal. Otherwise, it just makes sense and will be in my playbook forever."
Q: Kit then inquired "What would you say is your biggest success with regards to CoE?"
A: "Probably a combination of the two things I was hired to do, if I may toot my own horn."
"First, customer support at Soulbound Studios has a very professional SLA or Service Level Agreement, at this time. This means the amount of time that passes before we respond to your support inquiry, follow up with you, or resolve it. Not all tickets can be solved immediately, but we now let folks know we got their inquiry, heard them, and are looking into it. I won’t quote numbers, but the Soulbound Studios 2018 Support report from the January Community Journal speaks volumes as to how our service has improved since I first joined. I take pride in providing the best customer service possible, regardless of where I work. And I am always looking for ways to continue to make it better for our players."
"Secondly, with the introduction and further refinement of the volunteer programs I created (Mods, Ambassadors, Subject Matter Experts), participants have gotten involved in ways neither myself nor the mods or ambassadors could have imagined. They’ve helped our community soar to new heights with their engagement, support for our players, and promotion of the culture we all want to see in a burgeoning and healthy community. Without our volunteers, life would be a lot harder, messier, and more toxic. I can honestly say many things have improved since these programs were introduced, and it can only get better from here. So thank you to all of you who have stepped up to help and continue to do so day in and day out. My hat’s off to ya!"
Q: Her next question was: "What is your all time favorite video game and why?"
A: "Probably ToonTown by Disney. I know that seems an odd choice, but there’s a reason for this. As I mentioned earlier, having kids that I wanted tech savvy, they all had their own PCs. But they all had different likes and weren’t necessarily into the same things as the others. This often made finding things to do together as a family difficult. During WoW’s heyday, which only my youngest son and I would play together, ToonTown was released by Disney. For the ages of my kids at the time, and the level of excitement a Disney product brings from a child, it was an instant hit in our house. Playing a game, cooperatively (max teams were 4 in TT and I had 3 kids living at home at that time) with them for several years was definitely one of my most memorable and enjoyable gaming experiences."
Q: And her final question: "What about your current favorite to play? Why?"
A: "DOTA2 for certain (Defense of the Ancients, game 2). I’ve got over 11,000 hours in game either watching or playing in matches. I enjoy many types of games: RTS, FPS, MMO, A/RPG. But for the last few years, DOTA2 with its origins rooted in MOBAs from the Warcraft days just hits my sweet spot. I can jump into a match, have a unique experience every single time, and spend only 45 minutes to an hour playing and then get back to what I was doing. The lack of a long term commitment definitely was a plus for me, coming from someone who used to prepare for and raid in WoW for 8-10 hours every weekend day. My lifestyle and work today lends itself to this type of game, and as far as MOBAs go, after playing DOTA for so many years, it is hard to play any other MOBA."
Bonus answer: My favorite hero - Riki.
Q: Ikkerens offered: "In the past with HomeLAN, you also had to manage a moderator team, albeit a significantly larger one. How would you say the teams compare, aside from size?"
A: "Great question. The team at HomeLAN was structured differently in some significant ways. We had NDAs for those that participated in the most complex and private matters, but we also had a larger group that I interacted with a lot less than I do here at Soulbound. At HomeLAN, the structure I created for my team started off small; it was myself and 2 producers. But as more volunteers were added to support our exploding popularity and support our player base, the structure had to be expanded. In the end, we had the HomeLAN Federation (HF), comprised of levels 0 (me) to 6, with growing numbers of members at each level. HF had about 600 people signed up. Then we had the HomeLAN Alliance, ranging from levels 7 through 13, with another 1500-2000 people inside. It was a staging area for folks who one day hoped to ascend and attain the ranks of the Federation and possibly one day become a paid moderator (we called them Admins) at the time. Level 1 were paid employees. Level 2 were paid contractors. Levels 3+ were volunteers."
"Unlike here where you can’t apply, at HomeLAN, the way I structured the policies and procedures, you could decide you wanted to learn how to become an admin/mod one day, and join the Alliance. Then after periods of time, evaluation, and education, you could rise up through the ranks and one day ascend to the Federation, where the most important roles (and even paying jobs) were contained. Now at Soulbound, you can’t apply to become a mod, but it is reasonable to assume that the highest level of Super Mod who has proven themselves, if the opportunity presented itself, would be considered for the role of Community Manager. Community Managers for Soulbound are blue in Discord and paid employees. Most of the time, I would argue with anyone that no better person for such a role could be found but from the existing Super Moderator team."
"Lastly, the teams are different in that at Soulbound. Our moderators are representing one game, Chronicles of Elyria. At HomeLAN, we hosted over 40 different games, on 500+ nationwide servers, and on many offered 24/7 admin support; for quite a few, we provided exclusive hosting and monitoring of their games around the clock. So members of teams at HomeLAN had to know about many games and how they work, as well as how to admin them using the built-in and custom tools that either the developer or our team would provide. The functions of the roles were different, but HomeLAN members were required and expected to be the most professional and impartial members of the community, which is no different from here at Soulbound Studios."
Q: He also asked: "Do you have any fun/good stories from support? Any that made you laugh and are willing to share?"
A: "With all of the support roles I’ve had, I have a ton of stories, most of which I have already shared with my team, but I don’t mind sharing again. Briefly, to put into context the variety I have dealt with, I have calls from major publishing companies to remove leaked excerpts from unreleased Harry Potter books, reported persons to FBI field offices for posting threats against schools, explained how basic technology works literally thousands of times, and listened to every sob story that may or may not have been true that probably exists in this universe."
"One of the most memorable stories of support came from a call I took once at Gaia Online when I was in charge of Membership Services. This included both paid services and the community/support teams. We had 15 employees, and 310+ volunteer moderators. After one of my customer service agents spoke to a customer, they needed to escalate it to a supervisor. When the supervisor escalated the call to me, I knew it was important. After talking with the parent of a teen that had used our site and made purchases in our online store, I realized what needed to be done. I gathered the details of the situation and an understanding of how his daughter’s computers were setup, and then I was ready to respond. There was no direct connection between the dad and daughter’s machines (They each had their own connection via a 56k modem). As politely and professionally as possible, I explained to the gentlemen that it was practically impossible for his daughter’s computer to have traveled through the internet to his computer, stolen his credit card from his machine, and then used it to spend money on virtual goods. I told him I was sorry if he didn’t understand that technology doesn’t work that way. He was... pleased? I apologized for the confusion and explained that the more likely story was that his daughter had borrowed his credit card and used it to make a purchase without his consent. After a minute of silence, the gentleman apologized to me, and thanked me for explaining how the technology worked. All’s well that ends well!"
Q: Rhaegys asks: "What’s your obsession with jelly beans?" and then Ikkerens added "And how do you keep them in stock? Does every employee have a favourite?"
*A: *"The Jelly Belly is a premium jelly bean, and I love them because of the high quality of the ingredients and the variety of flavors available. Plus they make it really easy to order them and offer a rewards program!"
"I have a volume account with the Jelly Belly factory store, and get them delivered fresh to me every week or two, depending on needs. Sometimes, when a flavor is really popular, I just purchase a 10 pound bulk box so I don’t have to pay for 16 ounce bags to be shipped once a week."
"Every team member that enjoys the candy does have a favorite; some aren’t into jelly beans, so I try and accommodate. For instance, Caspian’s favorite is Pomegranate, Orlando loves Sizzling Cinnamon, I love Buttered Popcorn, and JazzHands enjoys Orange Creme Soda. Some on the team aren’t jelly bean fans, but Vye enjoys the chocolate rocks I provide, Irreverent appreciates the mini peanut butter cups, and Lio DeBeer is a fan of double salted black licorice, which sadly Jelly Belly doesn’t offer. Those treats and more are provided to the team, free of charge, because I love my job, and I love my teammates. I hope that helps to satisfy your candy knowledge of the studio!"
Q: Zenko wanted to know: "What kind of gamer are you? Are you into battle games or do you prefer something deeper?"
A: "I like lots of kinds of games. To me, it isn’t the type of game - it’s the content provided."
"When I was a kid, I loved puzzle games such as A Fool’s Errand on the Macintosh. Later, I got really into adventure RPGs like the King’s Quest, Police Quest, and Leisure Suit Larry series from Sierra On-line. After that I started getting into FPS games of all kinds,(during the HomeLAN days), which included Doom, RotT, Wolfenstein, the Quake, Unreal Tournament, Tribes, and Half-life/CS series, and more. Later on in my life, I grew tired of the constant energy of FPS games and looked for something more immersive, and my love for MMOs was born. It was a natural progression that I moved from FPS games (team based mostly) to RTS favorites. The Diablo type games were huge, and I loved them, but I really got into WC1, WC2, Starcraft, Total Annihilation, and the C&C series. From there, I evolved and started to play MMOs and that continued for over a decade (WoW alone for 7 of them), and then my work life changed in such a way that a time-intensive game like an MMO just won’t work anymore. Since then, I prefer games where I can scale back the commitment requirement, and thus I’ve fallen in love with MOBAs – and DOTA2 specifically."
"I should add that I have also played tabletop games like D&D, Warhammer, Car Wars, and Iron Crown, as well as games like Shogun and Catan. Games are in me! I love practically all of them."
Q: He then asked: "Dragons keep hoards. What are you stockpiling?"
A: "Wouldn’t you like to know? To be honest, I collect fantasy trinkets, have tons of them from being in this industry, and have been collecting them most of my life. Wizards, Dragons, Faeries: anything mystical or magical interests me. I hope one day I can live in a big enough place where I can display all of them again as I did once a long time ago. Maybe one day, and if I do, I’ll be sure to share with everyone!"
Q: Finally, Melizenn offered our last question: "What is the CoE tribe you find most interesting, and why? Were you surprised by any of the lore around them?"
A: "To be honest, like Caspian, I have enjoyed all of the tribes as they each have their special bits that make them unique and interesting. But for the explorer type I plan to play at launch, I feel that Neran will suit my needs best to start. As I am going to be visiting all sorts of places in game, I want to make sure I have as much freedom of passage as possible, and from what I know about them, they seem one of the best for this purpose alone."
"So far, the lore of the game hasn’t affected my decision of which tribe to play at launch, but later on, I may play a Kypiq because I can! XD"
Thanks to my team for always taking care of me, and taking care of ensuring this column didn't end this month (heart)
As you may already know, our volunteer Moderators and Super Moderators spend countless, often tedious hours supporting and helping the community by ensuring peace and happiness across all of our platforms.
In the last 30 days, we've finalized and launched our recruitment channel update in Discord, soft-launched our new Voice Moderator program to assist in voice channels, and continued to investigate and brainstorm ways we can further empower and support our burgeoning community!
If you have an interest in becoming a moderator for our team, please; don't call us, we'll call you! There is no application process, we constantly seek out capable, kind, considerate, helpful, and supportive individuals who have a reputation in the community of being upstanding players who are honest and have integrity, If that sounds like you and you are present in our community, keep up the efforts and we'll find you!
Each month we spotlight an organization from our community.
We have many creative members who are building amazing groups in Elyria, and this is one way we can make sure you know about them.
Today we present to you the The Gilded Rose, introduced to us by their leader, Lady Eleanor Wilvynne.
Official Organization name: The Gilded Rose
Server: Selene (EU)
Kingdom affiliation: Demalion
How did you form? "Every idea starts out as a collection of many. A group of friends inspired by the potential of the world of Elyria with a heart for roleplay. Add some idealism, passion, medieval fantasy tropes and game mechanics to the mix and there you have the Gilded Rose!"
Leadership: "I, playing Lady Eleanor Wilvynne, am the leader of the Gilded Rose. Though you can perceive that leadership as more a supervisor than a boss, really. Making sure that each of the Roses run well and be the one for others to reach out to when needed. Each establishment of the Gilded Rose will have their own matron and leader figure. Together, the matrons make up the leadership of the Gilded Rose as a whole. I chose to have the same name across every establishment to make it an easily recognizable organisation, so that players will always know what to look for when they need us."
"Lady Eleanor Wilvynne was once an orphan with very little hope for the future. She was however lucky enough to become an educated, legitimate child of the Wilvynne family. Now that she has grown up and possesses the right skills to survive, she has the ideals of giving other girls and women the same chances she once was given. Provide them with a steady income, family and home within the Rose. She wishes to expand her ideals further, in the form of orphanages, to continue to spread her dream for people across Elyria."
"Essentially, the Gilded Rose is an RP community hub that interweaves with game mechanics to make it an interesting place for any kind of player. Whilst mainly providing an escort service to nobility, there are more areas in which the Rose will bloom and branch out into. The organization consists of a network of taverns with employee lodging, including both high and low class establishments, bearing the same name across the Duchy. It is a refuge for women in the kingdom, giving them a chance to succeed and maintain a comfortable, independent life in Elyria."
"The women of the Gilded Rose find boarding at their establishment, they will be educated in skills such as reading and writing, etiquette, art such as music and poetry and are allowed to take up hobbies of any kind such as tailoring, cooking, farming, etc. The purpose of this is to provide the Gilded Rose a sense of professionalism and classiness. Of course men are not to be excluded from the business. They could serve as bouncers or bards or fulfill other roles if so desired by both parties and county standards. Each of the establishments will focus on their county or settlement’s desire to make it a varied organization with a place for -everyone-."
Motto/Slogan: "If treated right, a beautiful rose can blossom from every bud."
Fun Fact: "Did you know the Gilded Rose is part of a much larger network of businesses? Keep an eye out on the forum for more information to come soon!"
Recruitment thread: here
Thank you for helping us learn more about the The Gilded Rose!
Today we hear from the Demalion 'empire'.
Their monarch and leader, Vaizer, was merciful and provided the following official details without beheading the messenger.
Official Kingdom name: Demalion
Server: Selene (EU) - Kingdoms 1 & 2
Leadership: "Emperor > Imperial councilor >Ministers > Dukes"
Kingdom colors: "Dark reddish orange"
Goals of the Kingdom: "Trading, adventuring, pvp'ing & to create a healthy community where we can enjoy playing together"
Fun Fact: "We are the only double kingdom on the Selene server."
Recruitment thread: here
To be considered for this spotlight, submit your content here.
Thank you for continuing to send us your wonderful creations!
Important: Continue to share your creations. We need more of them. Please utilize the link above so we can show off your efforts to all Elyrians!
Remember, even if your submission wasn't featured this month, we may still use it in the future.
Quintero of the Talqamar shared what he calls "A True and Honest Recounting of the Events Around the Signing of the Grand Charter of Alésia and the End of the Warring States Period."
Give a read to The Baker's Dozen here
Bombastus provided this image and described it as "illustrated tribes of Alésia in action poses in celebration of King Phyllain claiming Kingdom 3 on Luna. Medium is digital, and it took me about 6 hours to complete."
Eyes of Cimeies (Chimaera Corbeau), a regular artist contributor to the Spotlight submission, provided these new gems. The first described with the caption "Charmed, I'm sure"
Their second entry this month appears to be of a different tribe this time, can you guess which?
"Meet "Count Val'tar."
If you have art, songs, poems, or any creation that relates to Chronicles of Elyria you'd be willing to share in a future CJ, find the link at the top of this section, submit, and thank you!
Thank you to all of those who submitted your fan pieces!
To help you get to know our team better, we try and interview one developer each month, or as often as is possible.
With a symbol of a flower during our final day of May, this month we meet JazzHands, one of the newest technical game designers at Soulbound Studios!
Q: Thanks for agreeing to share a little about yourself JazzHands! First things first, where are you from? Have you always lived in Washington state?
A: "I've been a Washingtonian (no not D.C.) all my life! I experienced the 2001 Nisqually Earthquake, the greater Seattle area's Snowmageddon earlier this year, and of course lots of rain."
Q: Anything interesting happen that you’d like to share growing up?
A: "Periodically my mother and I would find ourselves adopting two stray kittens. When you do that often enough, and insist on two so that the kittens have a friend, you can end up with 8 cats at once. Which resulted in three or so cuddle buddies at one time."
Q: What was your first memory of video games?
A: "Conjunction Junction, what's your function?! The first video game I can remember playing is Schoolhouse Rock: Grammar Rock on the computer. There was also lots of singing."
Q: A little birdie told me you taught youth soccer in your past, what was that like? And what got you into American football?
A: "My sister played soccer and taught me how. So when the mass of other little kids were chasing the ball around, I stayed in my defense position on the correct side of the field. I continued playing through high school, which is when I volunteered to coach soccer at the YMCA for ages 3-5. It was quite amusing to once again see a group of kids follow the ball. I at least got them to stop picking up the ball though."
Q: Like Caspian and Vye, I believe you attended the prestigious Digipen Institute of Technology? What was that like compared to regular college/school?
A: "I only went to community college prior to DigiPen and that was pretty easy. At DigiPen we were jamming around 5 years worth of credits into 4 years so there were many 9am to 9pm days on campus, some 9am to midnights, and likely weekends on campus too if your game team met there. As a result, my video game playing time drastically decreased."
Q: I hear you worked at Minecraft? Are you a fan of the game? What was that like?
A: "I hadn't played Minecraft for a long time, so it was fun to see how much had been added. I was programming for Minecraft: Education Edition and general Bedrock; for a time I focused on accessibility. Having Minecraft on so many platforms is great for players, but testing all of those when bug fixing or adding something new feels like it takes forever. My favorite memory is being near the playtest room and hearing shouts of "A creeper just killed me!" from kids and adults alike."
Q: Consoles or PC gaming? And why?
A: "A few years ago I would have said handheld consoles since you can take them with you and don't need internet. Now it's PC gaming, though I much enjoy using my console controller with PC games when I can. I can still play the games anywhere if I have internet, and backwards-compatibility isn't nearly as much of an issue as it is for consoles."
Q: Do you have any other hobbies outside of technology you’d like to tell us about?
A: "I like doing jigsaw puzzles, especially those by Thomas Kinkade. Taking a bunch of scattered pieces and meticulously connecting them until they become a beautiful picture is lovely."
Q: As one of only two women on the Soulbound team, do you have anything you could share to aspiring women wanting to break into this industry?
A: "As a woman, you don't need to do anything extra. We don't have to be extra hard, or fierce, or absolutely better than everyone in order to make games. Be yourself. Surround yourself with people who support you and your goals."
The following applies to anyone who wants to enter the game industry: don't be a jerk. Connections are important so try not to ruin any future industry relationships (a.k.a. don't burn bridges). You'll want an online portfolio that shows you have experience in the area you want to work in. If you're in a position to do so, then try your hardest to get an internship in the game industry. It's hard to get that first job in the industry and it's advised to jump at the first offer, just make sure you've researched the company and know if the role will help further your career.
Q: Any plans on what you’ll do inside of Elyria once the game is live?
A: "I want to do some farming, not sure what though. And attempt to befriend all of the animals, except maybe the ones that try to eat me."
Q: What element of technical game design do you find the most challenging and why?
A: "When brainstorming new ideas my creative side can get carried away, leading to my more practical side saying "you know we can't do that" for various reasons like time or technical limitations. I appreciate this side of my brain, I'd just wish it would do that after I'm done brainstorming. The free flow of thoughts can lead to lots of unrealistic ideas, but they will have fun aspects. I suppose the challenging part then is figuring out how much of this idea is really needed to get to the fun part."
Q: What do you think about this "little" project the studio has been preparing recently called D&SS?
A: "Domain and Settlement Selection was one of the first things I worked on here. It was a lot of fun working with Vye to implement the algorithms needed for generating settlement data like tribe distribution and settlement names. It's been fascinating to watch it evolve from words on our wiki page to visual representations of the settlements and the biomes they're in."
I am certain the community will be appreciative of learning more about you, thanks again JazzHands!
Chronicles of Elyria has a Reddit community, lovingly managed by Hellmoon, Mickdude, ImbuedGreen, and SirApetus.
We recently surpassed 4,000 subscribers, and continue to grow every month! Keep up the great effort everyone and if you have an interest in helping spread the word about Chronicles of Elyria, join in!
If you are interested in joining our subReddit, find it here
The Chronicles of Elyria community is a busy one, and has been for a long time now. It’s so active that there are many live shows hosted each month. To help you be aware of them, and attend these enlightening and often revealing events, we've summarized those we know occur consistently each month. If you host a show on CoE and want to be included here, please contact us at [email protected]
As a recent change, if your channel hasn't added any new content in the last 90 day period, we'll remove it from this list. If you feel your show was removed accidentally, please contact us or reach out to Serpentius.
TheoryForge. "This veteran team of streamers began a new show on Friday, May 10th, focusing on Chronicles of Elyria. The current hosts have all purchased packs with Alpha I access, and are excited to become more active members of the community. We are drawn to CoE because of its unique mechanics, and the migration of the Revival community."
Follow them at the link below, they are live every other Friday at 9pm EDT, 6pm PDT.
The BBC "(Bordweall Broadcasting Company) livestream deep dives into the latest developments from Soulbound Studios. Watch and discover what has them so excited about CoE, then join them and their guests in the CoE Discord voice after party and find out why they believe CoE is going to define a whole new genre in online gaming!"
They stream live every other Tuesday at 8pm Eastern/5pm Pacific. Watch the CoE forums for their announcements!
The Town Crier is " a live informational show/podcast featuring Morbis (Duke of Vornair), Adam (King of Vornair) and Mickdude (Count from Alésia). The topic is typically the latest goings on with the game or in the CoE community, theorycrafting about things Caspian says, or watching them blunder around with recurring technical difficulties with all the grace of a three legged giraffe. Super entertainment!"
You can catch them live every Thursday at 3pm (PT)/6pm (ET)/10 pm (UTC).
A Pirate's Guide to Elyria. It is "an interactive Lore and RP based CoE Talk Show, hosted by Captain Seli and Zigsmash, where we casually dive into the world of Elyria and talk about its lore! Each episode will cover a range of topics from the Tribes of Mann and their Religions, to the solar system and everything in between. Chat from the audience is highly encouraged, and we'll discuss theories and fan lore as well!"
"Show times are determined by how much rum the crew has had the day prior, so stay alert for announcements of when (Generally Tuesdays around 2PM Eastern, but could happen any day and time)!"
Learning Elyria is "a series hosted by Jason and Ryan from Jbros (forum names Duyo and MeltedWater). We are a new weekly show that covers different topics from Chronicles of Elyria as well as starting a weekly lore show."
A CoE Talk show from and for German speaking community members is online, hosted by Olaf Biebelix, Loki and Creamas.
"In our CoE Talk we discuss the latest CoE news, previously prepared topics and answer questions from the viewers. All of that in a fun atmosphere. We want to bring this awesome game to a group that isn't able or willing to translate everything on their own so they can be a part of an awesome community. It's hosted every Wednesday at 8 pm."
Run by Anibal and co-hosted by our Spanish-speaking Ambassadors and long-time community supporters, Gammea and Daedhel, Taberna Elyria is "a monthly podcast in Spanish where they introduce Chronicles of Elyria and its news to spread the word to all Spanish-speaking gamers."
"Join Anibal, Daedhel and Gammea in this new adventure!"
"The Arkadian Herald focuses on creating presentation videos for CoE from the Kingdom of Arkadia in different European languages to help people that don’t speak English. or speak very little, to learn about the game and its major features. As of now the covered languages are : English, French, Italian and Russian. A new series of videos exclusively in English, focusing on debating on specific matters regarding the game are being worked on right now. We hope to see you soon to help us spread the world of CoE to the World!"
Conclave 360 is “a community based discussions channel that seeks to help people find their home in the larger Elyrian community. Videos focus on topics ranging from introducing local community leaders, guilds, associations, and schools to discussions on how the mechanics “as described so far” will impact those people and institutions."
"Free at 1pm PDT/4pm EDT on Sundays? If you're looking for a home in Elyria, tune in to Face the Conclave and find one!"
Oceanus FM is "a collaborative broadcasting effort hosted by Alleykat and featuring all OCE Kings including Aequitas, Lor Voskara, Caprakan, and Tylsia as regular co-hosts. The channel was created to provide an Oceanic time zone live stream and video series, to talk about issues relevant to the Oceanus server of Chronicles of Elyria."
"Oceanus FM does not follow a strict broadcast schedule due to shift work. Watch out for announcements!"
We love running contests, promotions, and events for our players — but it turns out our players love running them as well! To help you keep track of all of the different contests and events at any given time, we've summarized them into one directory and stickied it in our General Discussion forum.
With Domain and Settlement Selection upon us, the number of community contests has risen! Don't miss out on these fun and exciting events, check out the link now!
There are a ton of talented artists in our community, many who share their creations in our forums and on our Discord server. Recently, some of those artists (including our super awesome Hellmoon) have created an official Chronicles of Elyria group over at the ultimate web destination for all art, Deviant Art.
Explore the creations, add your own or just support the creativity of our members in the CoE Deviant Art group!
Each month we'll get to know one of our esteemed Ambassadors, as well as let you know the status of current nominations and votes!
Let's meet and talk to Daemon Redwyne. He's a veteran Ambassador with many interests!
(I see he has access to his own hype train!)
Q: Where did you grow up? Can you tell us anything interesting about it?
A: “I've grown up just about a little bit of everywhere. I guess it's the benefit/curse of being the son of an ex-military man. I started out in Illinois, being born at Scott Air Force Base. We lived there for ten years before heading to Virginia for a year, followed by North Carolina for four more. At the end of 2002 we left for Kentucky and ended up leaving there in 2003, heading for Tennessee. I Did nearly all of my high school days there, and Tennessee will always be my favorite place that I have lived. In 2007 I went back to Kentucky for a year before moving to St. Louis in 2008, which I stayed for a year before moving to Washington, D.C. in 2009 Where I was hired on to the railroad. I worked out there, moving from D.C. to Maryland after two years, for over five years before coming full circle and transferring back to St. Louis, moving back to the small town I'd grew up near in my childhood."
Q: Where are you now?
A: "I currently still live about an hour from St. Louis and still work there for the railroad."
Q: What was the first video game you played?
A: "When I still lived in Illinois the first time, I had a babysitter who owned an Atari, and I remember playing on that thing quite a few times. I couldn't tell you any of the games I played other than Pong haha. The first gaming system I owned personally was the Sega Genesis. I remember having an NHL game from the early 90's, Sonic, and Battle Toads (awesome game). My favorite video game of all time would have to be for the original PlayStation, The Legend of Dragoon. Although, if you count non-video games, I'm a huge Magic: The Gathering fan!"
Q: Tea or Coffee and why?
A: "Tea. Southern tea, and not the swill they serve up north either. If there isn't enough sugar to give you diabetes and enough ice to attract penguins, it ain't proper tea! By the way, coffee is gross.."
Q: Who is your favorite sports team and why?
A: "I was born in Illinois, and not far from St. Louis Missouri, but I'm neither a Rams or Bears fan. The first ever football game I watched as a child was a Green Bay Packers home game, and I thought the uniforms looked awesome, green being my favorite color, and decided I'd root for them. It just stuck with me through the years. "
Q: What brought you to the CoE community in the first place?
A: "That one requires a little bit of a backstory I suppose. One of my Professors used to have us scour the news on a weekly basis and write articles on a story that we found interesting. Even over a decade later, I still tend to browse the Yahoo news page to see if anything interesting has happened during the day. It was about the third day of the Kickstarter when they had an article about CoE on their website. I was fresh off of over a decade long run on RuneScape, and had been looking for a while to find a game that would hopefully take its place, and I just fell in love with the idea that CoE had envisioned."
Q: You created the Elyrian Assistance Program, can you tell us more about it?
A: "So, to properly explain this one, I'm going to end up spoiling your next question and answer it first. I've not always been a really giving person. I grew up constantly on the move, and we were never financially well off to begin with. So naturally, the stuff my father was able to give me, I hoarded jealously. My father was the complete opposite though. He'd help anybody that needed it, and would give the shirt off his back to do so. He passed away in July of 2017, and after a hiatus from the community to deal with everything, I decided that I'd create the EAP in honor of him. It might not be the shirt off my back, but for many CoE has become the 'dream come true' video game that they've been waiting for, and I wanted to give people who can't afford it a chance at being a part of it. Naturally it wasn't just me, and I was surrounded by a ton of amazing and super supportive people who, without whom, the entire thing would have never even taken off the ground."
Q: Have you always been this giving and helpful type of person?
A: "(See above)"
Q: What do you like about being a Community Ambassador?
A: "Since the creation of the EAP, I've grown to quite enjoy helping people. Seeing the smile and joy on their face makes it all worth while IMO. So just being able to answer peoples questions or direct them to the answer they've been seeking is enjoyable to me."
Q: Anything you don’t like about it?
A: "As with everything in life, you have unsavory people. The ones who won't be satisfied with any answer you give them and seemingly exist just to make your life more difficult. I'm sure SBS knows the type. With my actions having consequences for not just myself, but the Ambassador program and SBS, it can be frustrating at times to not be able to communicate with those people the way I'd prefer to. Sometimes you just want to give people a piece of your mind haha."
Q: What are your plans once you are in Elyria after launch, or can you share?
A: "I do some some personal side plans in place for CoE, but my counties focus will be aligned with the rest of the duchy. Our main goal is to find the Mydarri and enjoy life on the waters of Elyria."
Q: If you could say anything to all of the community, what would it be?
A: "I'd tell them that playing video games and having fun is an amazing part of life, but not to forget the people around you. Make sure to take some time away from your computer each day to spend it with your friends and family. Just as the resources of Elyria are finite, so too is our time in this world. Enjoy it, live it to the fullest, and don't waste it by being angry at the small things."
Thank you very much Daemon Redwyne for your answers!
This month we received no new nominations for the Ambassador role. We had a previous nomination from last month, but the nominee didn't qualify based on the prerequisites of the program.
Soon we'll have news regarding improvements to the Ambassador program that we're confident will surprise you!
If you want to learn more about the current Ambassador program, or know someone you would like to nominate, click on the link! Thanks for your support, as always.
The Subject Matter Expert program allows players in the community to lend their expertise to the studio to help make Elyria the best it can be!
Find our Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) in orange in our official Discord server, and identified as "Subject Expert" in the forums.
Some of you have asked us to share the specialties of the SMEs in Discord recently, and we're looking into it.
For now, here's a current summary of that group as of today:
Learn more about the SME program here
Of course many of you think only one thing matters, and in order of priority, we'd agree! But there's other things being planned down the road you should also be aware of:
From all of us at the studio, thank you for your patience and partnership as we make sure our future is spectacular. Last but not least, thank you for your gifts and words of support, it means the world to us and together we'll make history.
Until next time,
More to come...