28 April

DJ #17: Bolstering & Earn-to-Play

By Caspian

Many of the game mechanics in Chronicles of Elyria are designed to appeal to a slightly older audience. The problem with the older audience is they tend to be people who've got careers, children, spouses, responsibilities, or other similarly pesky things that take away their computer time.

As a result of their busy lives, our target audience is often unable to compete with those who have more free time to spend in-game and are branded as less 'hardcore' or committed than others. To be fair, that isn't just limited to an older audience, but applies to anyone who has limited game-time. Label aside, this creates a real dichotomy for us, as we're trying to develop a game that appeals to an audience that feels like they can't get the most of out of an MMORPG due to their restricted schedules.

With Chronicles of Elyria, we've attempted to address this problem in a couple of different ways. One of the ways is by making sure people with different amounts of free time are still able to play together in an equitable and rewarding way.

A peasant and his farm. Not every role in CoE needs to be risky Figure 1 – A peasant and his farm. Not every role in CoE needs to be risky.


Before we talk about our solution, let's take a moment to look at the problem in a slightly different way. Any time you play a game solo it's possible to choose your encounters and set your difficulty based on what you're comfortable with. If you think about your favorite dungeon crawler or hack 'n slash you know what I mean. You just set the difficulty of the dungeon or encounters to suit your particular tolerance and away you go. You naturally find the right challenge and so you get the most enjoyment possible from your successes and failures.

The problem comes about when you try and play with friends who have more or less free time than you do. Whoever has the freest time is forced to sit passively by and wait for the other to sign on, or inevitably advances more quickly, making it difficult to play together.

Going back to the previous example of your favorite dungeon crawler, whenever one person is a higher level than the other, one of two things happens. Either the higher level person is forced to play down to the level of their weaker ally, quickly getting bored, or the lower level person is forced to walk around in a higher level area trying not to get one-shotted while they're carried. Again, getting bored.

Regardless of which happens, someone isn't enjoying themselves to the full extent possible from a shared experience.

In Chronicles of Elyria we've addressed this problem through a new mechanic we call Bolstering. Bolstering is that feeling you get when hanging out with people who are better than you and challenge you to do your best work. You naturally rise to the occasion and quickly find a place within the circle that allows you to play an active role.

In terms of game mechanics, Bolstering is what happens any time you're partied up with members of your in-game family. While bolstered, most of your character attributes (except Stamina) are elevated to a level that is equitable with those in your family with you.

It's important to note that only Stamina is raised to the maximum of everyone else in the family-party. The rest of the attributes are brought up to a level that is equitable with everyone else's maximum. Let me give you an example. Please note, these values are on a scale of 1 to 10 for reference purposes and don't correspond with actual values.

Let's say that a member of your family that plays a lot has the following stats:

  • Str: 10; Agi: 9; Sta: 8
  • Will: 4; Rea: 5; Foc: 6
  • Pers: 7; Int: 1; Lea: 2

That's a total of 52 attribute points.

As you can see from above, this character is incredibly strong and fast, and is very resilient. He's also focused and persuasive. On the other hand, he doesn't have a strong willpower or awareness and is neither a good leader nor particularly intuitive.

You don't play as often, but you'd like to play with your friend. Here's your stats before partying with him:

  • Str: 2; Agi: 3; Sta: 5
  • Will: 8; Rea: 7; Foc: 6
  • Pers: 3; Int: 6; Lea: 5

That's a total of 45 attribute points.

As you can see, you play a more willful character who's also got a higher reason score. You're also much more intuitive and a bit stronger of a leader.

When you group up with one another, your Stamina is automatically raised to his (we take the highest in the party) to ensure that the party can travel together without having to stop and take breaks based on the weakest link. This raises your Stamina from 5 to 8, increasing your Stamina by 3 and raising your total attributes from 45 to 48.

Next, we take the attributes of the person with the highest total attributes and we sort them in reverse order, excluding Stamina. This gives us:

10, 9, 7, 6, 5, 4, 2, 1

After that we sort your attributes in reverse order from highest to lowest and apply deltas until we get to a total maximum attribute score on-par with theirs.

Yours are:

Will, Reason, Focus, Intuition, Persuasion, Leadership, Agility, and Strength.

When we apply the deltas we end up with:

  • Str: 2; Agi: 3; Sta: 5
  • Will: 10; Rea: 9; Foc: 7
  • Pers: 5; Int: 6; Lea: 5

That's a total of 52 attribute points.

An explorer in the wilds. Some roles are worth the risk Figure 2 – An explorer in the wilds. Some roles are worth the risk.

Notice now that you are as willful as he is strong, and you are as reasonable as he is agile. While your stats aren't the same, and you maintain a different distribution, you can rest assured that you're as good at doing what you do as he is at doing what he does. So now you can effectively play together.

One thing I should point out is that Bolstering doesn't change the number of skills you have available to you. It only makes you better at the skills you do have. Learning new skills is a different mechanic.

The other thing I should make sure to highlight is that Bolstering only works with in-game family members. It doesn't work with guilds, dynasties, etc... This prevents people from going around Bolstering everyone, as it only effects those people they likely know in real-life. It also creates an additional disadvantage for Wards, as they have nobody to Bolster them.

With all of the above said, with each new feature we add we have to make sure there are checks and balances in place. Unfortunately, while the above mechanic succeeds in adding a significant boon to people who play with real-life friends (regardless of “level” difference), it also de-values the time spent online, as you can simply have one person play a lot, and Bolster everyone else.

So we now have to create a counter-mechanic to encourage people to be online and active as much as possible. Why? Because this is a living, breathing world and the more people are online, the more they're able to contribute to and be a part of the ongoing story. When people are online completing tasks, gaining achievements, and participating in the story they're creating content for others and making the world a richer place to live.

So how do you both keep Bolstering and still encourage people to be online whenever possible? Easy - Story Points!

Story Points

Story Points (SP) are a post-launch currency awarded to players for being active and online. Put plainly, Story Points are awarded for anything that would lead to skill advancement or an achievement that you accomplish while logged on (not your OPC). This is true whether that be through completing tasks and important quests, by playing an active role in a growing economy, or by doing something noteworthy.

By granting Story Points it allows us to reward players who are contributing to the story without otherwise penalizing those who can’t play as much.

Another note about Story Points is that they are awarded in larger amount based on a character’s reputation or fame. Why? Because completing achievements and being productive in the world is more dangerous when one is a Count, Duke, King, or Legendary champion.

The amount of SP received by higher level reputation and fame is multiplied by the same multiplier as spirit lost for deaths. So “Unknown” people get a fixed amount of Story Points for achievements and completing tasks that advance their skills, while Renowned individuals get 8x the amount of SP, Exalted get 16x, and Legendary characters get a full 32x the amount of Story Points.

But why would these Story Points encourage people to be online? Because the currency can be spent in-between lifetimes in order to improve their lot in life during their next lifetime. Also… they can lead to free game-play.


It’s a well-known fact that “time is money.” Why? Because we can always spend our time making money. Of course, time we spend making money is time we can’t spend doing other things, and vice-versa. This is never more true than when talking about MMORPGs.

From the dawn of the MMO until now players have been rewarded for being online. This has ranged from a character’s obvious lack of ability to advance if the player isn’t online, all the way to the presence of daily quests which reward people with resources and items for signing in every day. Clearly, MMOs are designed and targeted toward people that have a lot of free time (and potentially less money), and not toward people with less free time (and potentially more money).

But we’ve already established that time and money are both resources that can be traded. So what we’d really like is some system of conversion that allowed people to play the game regardless of where they fell on the spectrum of Time vs. Money. That is, people who had a lot of time should have the same opportunity to play as someone who has more money. But what currency could we use to support the conversion? I know! Story Points!

In Chronicles of Elyria, the Story Points you earn while playing can be traded in between lifetimes in order to buy Sparks of Life. This is what we call the “Earn-to-play” model of funding. Now, we’re not the first to do this. There’s been a couple other games that have done something similar. But, as far as we know we’re the first to use a currency that rewards people for participating in the story, and as far as we know we’re the first do this that doesn’t use a subscription model.

But why would we do such a thing? If our business model is to charge people for Sparks of Life, why would we introduce a way for people to play without buying a Spark? The answer is straight forward. Because some people have a lot of time to invest in the game, but not much money. When they spend time in the game trading, completing achievements and interacting with the story they add content and value to the world and make it a better, more interesting place for others. In short, they’re paying us in other ways. We want such people in the world. We’re even willing to trade people a Spark of Life for it.

Some roles are so important to the story that risk – and death – is nearly inevitable. Figure 3 – Some roles are so important to the story that risk – and death – is nearly inevitable.

Earn-to-Play and Risk vs. Reward

Before we close out I wanted to make one final note. One of the challenges we face with our business model and reputation system is that characters in higher levels of fame/reputation suffer more spirit loss (and thus have less gameplay time) than those with less fame. We did that because it adds a necessary element of risk to the more powerful positions and it also encourages continuity of the story. If a King dies, it should have significant impact on the world.

The problem is that it could result in people with a higher disposable income being more willing to take risks and take on positions of power in the game that someone with a lower income. That’s one of the reasons we made it so people with higher levels of fame receive more Story Points for doing similar actions as someone with lower fame.

It means that while a Legendary character may die 32x faster than an Unknown character, they also receive Story Points (and a free Spark of Life) 32x faster. So if a character would normally have lived a full year if not for their fame, then when they die they’ll have accumulated enough Story Points that they can buy the next Spark of Life for free. So a King who dies after 3-4 months may have to start over with a new life, but it won’t cost them any more than the same $30-$60 per year as everyone else.


In this design journal we took a look at Bolstering and Earn-to-Play funding - two methods we’re using to create equality between players. When all is said and done we want Chronicles of Elyria to be a game that’s accessible to everyone, whether they enjoy playing alone or with friends, whether they play every day or only on weekends, or whether their stage in life finds them with more money or more time.


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lococat - 1 year ago

This was posted two years ago, and I was wondering if there have been any changes to the mechanics of bolstering and ETP as expressed by Caspian?

As someone who spends a great deal of time in games, the fact that family and friends can benefit from my efforts seems like a wonderful perk. I welcome the offer to earns sparks, it should encourage some risk taking that will propel story lines.

lordurano - 1 year ago

awesome info, awesome Ideas.

DPierre - 2 years ago

Wow.. this is really brilliant...

I can't even figure out how to exploit it (right now)..

SleepyFox - 3 years ago

Doesn't the Bolstered player now have 55 attribute points?

Str: 2; Agi: 3; Sta: 5
Will: 10; Rea: 9; Foc: 7
Pers: 5; Int: 6; Lea: 5

^^ = 52 points but you still have to increase stamina to 8, meaning he has an extra 3 points compared to the unbolstered guy.

So, whoever has the highest stamina will end up with the least points after the group is bolstered.

mademoisellemurasaki - 3 years ago

I apologize if someone has already asked this.

If one does not earn enough story points to purchase a new Spark of Life before their character dies, will the accumulated points count towards a partial reward (i.e., a half-price discount for half the necessary points)? Or will the story points just carry over to the next character so the player must continue saving up to earn the next one?

Caspian - 3 years ago

The story points carry over and accumulate from life to life.

Takeda_Shinukage - 3 years ago

Posted By Caspian at 7:34 AM - Sun Aug 28 2016

The story points carry over and accumulate from life to life.

Would there be certain talent that story points can buy?

Subaru - 3 years ago

Posted By Wicked FlamezZ at 3:18 PM - Sun Aug 28 2016

Posted By Caspian at 7:34 AM - Sun Aug 28 2016

The story points carry over and accumulate from life to life.

Would there be certain talent that story points can buy?

No offense but that is a stupid idea as talents were meant to be random.

Takeda_Shinukage - 3 years ago

Posted By Subaru at 3:26 PM - Sun Aug 28 2016

Posted By Wicked FlamezZ at 3:18 PM - Sun Aug 28 2016

Posted By Caspian at 7:34 AM - Sun Aug 28 2016

The story points carry over and accumulate from life to life.

Would there be certain talent that story points can buy?

No offense but that is a stupid idea as talents were meant to be random.

Actually not all of em are random so good job buddy. Some talents are given to those who best fit the algorithm.

Mesis - 3 years ago

Posted By Subaru at 3:26 PM - Sun Aug 28 2016

Posted By Wicked FlamezZ at 3:18 PM - Sun Aug 28 2016

Posted By Caspian at 7:34 AM - Sun Aug 28 2016

The story points carry over and accumulate from life to life.

Would there be certain talent that story points can buy?

No offense but that is a stupid idea as talents were meant to be random.

On the other hand, the person with higher story points than general poppulace will have probably better chance getting one

3ng3l - 3 years ago

I love the concept of Earn to play and Risk vs Reward, but i am not sure for the Bolstering ...

I need to read back all the post to better understand it i think.

PS: I am not english speaking, sry for the bad english :( I am french.

Flashman - 3 years ago

Great to hear, Baron Axiarch!

Axiarch - 3 years ago

Hey! I'm very appreciative of this thoughtfulness put forth into the lives of the everyday working person! I'm very impressed with this game fully and I have been solely supporting and trying my every best possible way to spread the word of this game from my livestream to just sending out messages to my friends and even giving away a copy of the game on my money to someone upon release! You honestly have won my heart and my full support, being a working man myself IRL working some of the most dangerous jobs you can think of, working in a super max prison, my week days are often full of a busy morning, working 8 hours until night then a little fun before bed. So I really appreciate seeing the time and effort to try to appeal to not just everyone but us as well! Thanks so much! ~Baron Axiarch

Gabrielxon - 3 years ago


Marieke - 3 years ago

So basically, let's say I'm a hero who defeated the most powerful and evil players and I'm well known around the world. I gain a lot of Story Points and, if I gain enough, I can buy a new Spark of Life that lets me play again in another body for free. Did I get it right? I'm not sure if I understood.

randys22 - 3 years ago

that is one messed up message

does not show up right

randys22 - 3 years ago

I hope the earn to play does not take a whole lot of time sink. This sounds great.

FinalFart - 3 years ago

I like how it makes people want to be more engaged in the worlds story line to earn rewards.

this will defiantly make tons of interactions in the story :D

good luck keeping a important figure alive with all the assassins you guys will have

Adriac1993 - 3 years ago

I know it's not set in stone number-wise, but if you multiply the Story Points awarded by exactly as much you multiply the spirit loss, doesn't that mean there is no longer any additional risk in being more famous since it all balances out in the end?

Akiryx - 3 years ago

Well keep in mind there they still have skills reset and must start over as a child again. Sure they get skill ramps etc. but they still have to start over.

Feneris - 3 years ago

Very interesting read! I also think this post should be highlighted if we talk about the game, as it tackles some of the core problems of online MMO(RPG): active play time.

Tuirseach - 3 years ago

Looks great. The earn to play system is a fantastic idea and caters to the gamers who have mountains of time to spend, while the ability to purchase sparks of life with cash, as well as scripting OPC's, gives the freedom needed for those with less time and more cash.

One suggestion I might make is to possibly include split payment for Sparks of life, for those with a deficit of both time and money. Eg. A spark of life cost $30 or 500 Story Points, so you buy it with $15 and 250 Story Points.

Sium - 3 years ago

I love you guys You guys just making our dreams come true :) We must share this with most as much people as we can.

Void Bloodstone - 3 years ago

I really like the ideas that they make for this project. Its brilliant and different as a gamer I think different is what we need. I'd love to play a game where the players are kinda equal. I hope they keep up the good work.

JaeMe - 3 years ago

Being a casual player (one of those with more money [kof, kof] than time), I like this idea.

This game sounds very intriguing, but the fact that I can't always play any game on a daily basis (and sometimes for a week or more at a time), makes me hesitate.

Henchy - 3 years ago

At long last, a game geared a bit toward the original Everquest players. I'm 45 and have been hoping for this style of game. I was very saddened about E.Q. Next's cancellation. I don't fit the profile target in respect to my finances/age but sounds balanced well. Even an old dedicated hermit with little money knows a good opportunity when he sees it :) good luck and take your time developing but i hope not too long.

John Holy - 3 years ago

Super! Finally a innovative mmo!

Fatigued - 3 years ago

I think a large aspect that people are not pointing out is how these sparks of life help against issues that other "survival" games have.

For example in rust you can lose everything you have on you but once you have a home and a bedroll dying becomes a lot less of a problem. Sure your home can get raided and that will set you back but actively attacking others is generally safe in the long run.

However if you have to literally pay to keep your character alive and going you will be a lot less likely to randomly attack others. You will need to take time and plan and work with other is some capacity.

Single Kringle - 3 years ago


Torg - 3 years ago

Make this happen.

Fitch - 3 years ago

Hmm, I know this will probably label me a naysayer, or a hater, or an elitist, or whatever. But I don't know if I really back this decision to "bolster" an individual to the same stats as someone who has put forth more time building their character to that status. People put in more effort to stand out from others, they want to be rewarded for the time and effort that they spend. If all it takes to achieve the same level as someone else is grouping with them, it sort of defeats that purpose.

Don't get me wrong, playing with friends that have different schedules and time investments is great. But that shouldn't make us all equal. Implementing features like this, to me, is just adding to the causual epidemic that is plaguing all of the dying MMOs.

Softstrider - 3 years ago

That's a valid point, consider it this way.

If an ambitious player wants to make a name for himself, he can invite his less dedicated friends to play with him in the same family. He gets ahead while the others play at their own rythm. But this man has plans, big plans. He's going to turn his family's hamlet into a vibrant city one day. One where people all across the land would flock. Resources are abundant, pastures are lush and the sellswords easily bought. But for this he needs his friends, which is why during the little time they play together, they too can help forge a new dysnasty.

Endless Shogun - 3 years ago

The mechanics and design features are inspiring. I may be biased, as a full-time worker with more money than time on my hands. But as a single person, I still have so much time on my hands for gaming. I would gladly pay a subscription fee to see this game continue.

MadPrim8 - 3 years ago

I want to play this GAME !!!! AMAZING , give us founder's pack i want to buy and play the game :P Great Job guys !!!

Benbrada - 3 years ago

I love the Bolstering idea but not so much the family restriction, though I can see how this restriction is needed. I'm guessing "family size" will be limited to a small number.

stubs - 3 years ago

Would the party lose their stats if the higher level player were to die/disconnect or leave party (say while the rest of his lowbie friends were still in a high-level danger zone)?

Could you party with a high-level friend who is on the other end of the continent to remotely bolster you as you as each go about your own business in completely unrelated affairs?

Also how would this affect XP gain? If you killed a mob that was much higher than you normally, but much lower after bolstering, would your xp gain adapt to the changed stats?

And what about PvP? Can a team of lowbies with a vet you were ambushing transform into a full party with vet-stats at the click of a button? How big can families/parties be?

Personally not too sure how I feel about this mechanic. Though I agree it is nice that people with limited game-time (like myself) can tag along with higher level friends I worry it may take away from the accomplishment of someone who worked his butt off to reach his level of stats.

Ubar - 3 years ago

My 3 month old question has been finally answered , and yes it was worth the wait. As a long former quake III arena Pro /Magic the gathering champion Iam used to the highest end of competition , that 3% bracket who only looses to the rest 2,99% However as years pass by, Iam now comfortable not to be in that 3% or even in top 10% having extremely limited only weekends free time.

Coe is proposing this bolstering only family system that could keep me and my kin competitive to a point we feel important and usefull to the hardcores, hope it applies in PvP as good and deliver us from common mmos.

OrodNaur - 3 years ago

Man, this gets better and better in ways that I wouldn't forsee.

Loving it. Keep up with the good work.

Zackery - 3 years ago

This reminds me so much of "Mortal Online" same idea aside from the ageing and earn to play. Both games focus on the realities of life and also both have a player run economy which is pretty damn cool. Check out "Mortal Online" and you will get an idea of what this game will be like

Avera - 3 years ago

How difficult will it be to be in the same family as your friends? It seems like if you start playing at the same time, at beta or launch, it would be difficult coordinate.

Krace - 3 years ago

I really like the system you've come up with to reward players for contributing to the game world, but I'm curious to know why you're only offering Sparks of Life as a subscription model.

You're only asking for $30-$60 per year which is much less than what other games charge. Is there any thought to offering an unlimited package where I don't have to worry about how many Sparks of Life I have?

Personally, I just don't like having to break out my credit card all the time. It creates a barrier to the game. As excited as I am for this one, I just hope that the process is smooth.

ChipsAhoyMcCoy - 3 years ago

This is beautiful! The whole thing about working during the week and having the weekends for gaming is so true for me, while my friends have more time than me. This is perfect!

Saker - 3 years ago

This is the only game currently in-development (that I'm aware of) that I deeply truly am excited about. There's just nothing with this level of creativity in-the-works, not just a game but an immersive world. I SOOOOooo hope it comes together as planned! I will become SOOOooo addicted to this, in a good way like hasn't happened in years.

Arkade - 3 years ago

The numbers are wrong in the Bolstering example.

When we apply the deltas we end up with:

Str: 2; Agi: 3; Sta: 5 Will: 10; Rea: 9; Foc: 7 Pers: 5; Int: 6; Lea: 5 That's a total of 52 attribute points.

That is indeed a total of 52 points, but it doesn't include the 3 extra stamina. With stamina at 8, I'm guessing that Focus should be 6 and Persuasion 3.

lightning90 - 3 years ago

Most games nerf the hardcore players in favor of the paying, has-a-life crowd. Glad to see that you're throwing neither under the bus.

Mihai Soltan - 3 years ago

This game ideas are so ambitions so ground breaking no wonder so many people don't understand how every thing should work ..... Guys you need a new format more videos and more chat with you .....most of people who heard about this game have wrong views and wrong info and views on it ...

Treava - 3 years ago

Love these game mechanics - Your gonna have the people who are gonna complain that this will "break" the game for them or others. But I personally can't see how. Especially if this game is being targeted for an "older" audience. Maybe targeted being a strong word for it. But from personal experience with other MMO's that started catering to the very much younger crowd, it made those games not worth the time or money to put into it. I am very much looking forward to seeing these mechanics in game. Especially the bolstering mechanic so its easier to play with my friends who can only put in a couple hours here and there.

Keep up the awesome work! Making it very hard to be patient for the first release... lol

Altanis - 3 years ago

This is a really interesting mechanic. Being a completely solo player in this game seems to be quite the disadvantage. Though the idea of using story points as a way to pay for game time is great, it adds more of an incentive to play as a heroic character.

Dworvin - 3 years ago

This is genious!

I am a hard believer in peoples age not mattering when they are playing online games save when it comes to your team (the adults and kids that you play with) can't keep playing due to funding issues.

Instead the game even balances out the lack of life experience the young players would have with how power full they would be from playing often, thus making families even seek out young players with more free time to join them.

I can confidently advertise this game to my gaming group again knowing that they will all be excited about this game instead of a small handful of them.

Nue - 3 years ago

So... you could run a family group as no stamina points on anyone except 1 guy who's pure stamina, and everybody he groups with would get a bunch of free stamina?

BicycleWalrus - 3 years ago

You don't assign attribute points. You earn it through play. If you do things to increase the Stamina attribute, it will increase. I would imagine most players who choose an active career will have high base stamina points than those who are scribes, bakers, dukes, barons, or kings.

KumaCave - 3 years ago

I think the idea seems a bit broken but honestly this wouldn't be the best for a group if it was really implemented. First off you need to have that one guy willing to just spend all his time increasing stamina. Second that guy always has to be on otherwise your whole family is slow and tired. Finally this would require a family to be constantly sitting around doing one thing at a time because you would lose the stamina if he goes off with someone else.

Tigari - 3 years ago

This is what I thought firs too. What stops a family from creating a "Stam dump" character, who does everything possible to just up his stam, while everyone else focus on other things. Then when they group up, everyone else gets the bonus of this awesome stam. The probably grows as the allows party size does.

I LOVE the earn to play model thought! Ever since I learned of PLEX in EVE, I liked the business model. When WoW started doing it and I could actually use it (since i never really played EVE), I started to like it even more.

Erik_Ulfdraugr - 3 years ago

I have a tons of respect for the developers. However the current payment model as got to go. It's awful. Charge a monthly $15 fee. Or go buy to play and make cash shop (no pay to win) sales.

The game isn't going to make much money this way at all and suffer. That's just the bottom line.

You can't expect people to play this type of game a few hours a day. It's just not possible. Charging someone to play...from a complete restart... will simply kill the game.

Sorry just hard truths. I think the developers need a actual marketing team, more than 2 people... and look at actual successful mmo's past and present.

HajimeSaikou - 1 year ago

Posted By Erik_Ulfdraugr at 07:05 AM - Fri Apr 29 2016

I have a tons of respect for the developers. However the current payment model as got to go. It's awful. Charge a monthly $15 fee. Or go buy to play and make cash shop (no pay to win) sales.

The game isn't going to make much money this way at all and suffer. That's just the bottom line.

You can't expect people to play this type of game a few hours a day. It's just not possible. Charging someone to play...from a complete restart... will simply kill the game.

Sorry just hard truths. I think the developers need a actual marketing team, more than 2 people... and look at actual successful mmo's past and present.

You mean assumptions and opinion, not hard truths otherwise cough up the good quality evidence to support your *opinion.

Stop trying to pass off your own person beliefs as concrete fact. There are always naysayers and people who want to live their sheltered lives, never challenging the status quo.

This prevents innovation and improvement and the fallacy that the better way is "the way it has always been done!".

I welcome SBS's challenge to the current paradigm. Frankly the current status quo sucks and I for one have felt unfulfilled by games for a long time.

Niv - 3 years ago

Posted By Tiberius Theron at 11:05 PM - Thu Apr 28 2016

I have a tons of respect for the developers. However the current payment model as got to go. It's awful. Charge a monthly $15 fee. Or go buy to play and make cash shop (no pay to win) sales.

The game isn't going to make much money this way at all and suffer. That's just the bottom line.

You can't expect people to play this type of game a few hours a day. It's just not possible. Charging someone to play...from a complete restart... will simply kill the game.

Sorry just hard truths. I think the developers need a actual marketing team, more than 2 people... and look at actual successful mmo's past and present.

I can tell you that if its made a monthly sub with all the money that I've poured into this game I WILL NOT play it. I am firmly against sub's to play and I think a lot of other gamer's share that sentiment. They will make money not just off of souls but off of an in-game store. GW2 has had success with it. BDO has had success with it.

Paying monthly wouldn't even make sense in a game where you live to die. This isn't WoW or Archeage, its not a themepark MMO. What Soulbound is creating is an experience, not some dull cash grab mmo.

Panthea - 3 years ago

The thing is, the payment model has another function than just being a payment system - primarily that it massively discourages the hazardly play that is griefing

Endless Shogun - 3 years ago

I couldn't agree with you more. I have always paid monthly subscription, or membership fees (for premium versions) of games willingly because it 1) gives me the most out of the game, and 2) helps support the continuity of the game. If this game only charges roughly $30 per year, for SOME of the players, I feel like that will not be enough to maintain servers or continue content development and customer support.

Kayden - 3 years ago

Inb4 opinions are truths ;)

CoE isn't intending to fit the mold of current P2P MMO games or become a freemium model.

They have specifically designed the game around mechanics that have impact in reality making everything you do substantial on a much higher individual level. I'm sure that there will be cosmetics and additional cash shop type items but when CoE delivers on its promises WoW's subscriber numbers in it's best day won't compare to CoE's player base.

Valerien - 3 years ago

I would personally favor a monthly fee, but I'm interested to see how this plays out and will give the designers the benefit of the doubt on this one. I just don't want to see a game that is seriously skewed towards Pay to Win yet somehow is able to generate enough funds to keep improving and evolving the game.

graou13 - 3 years ago

I also think a monthly fee would be better but I think one between $5 and $10 would be enough. It's low enough to gather a maximum of players (it's the price of a meal at mc donalds) and high enough to earn money (between $60 and $120 per year)

BicycleWalrus - 3 years ago

I strongly disagree with you. This is one of the most important mechanics in the game. Without it, CoE will not be as impactful as desired.

This system represents a cost savings to players, and influences play in a very healthy manner. People should be afraid to die. This merely enforces the idea. I like it (and it's cheaper, so ... what's there not to like?)

Also -- It's not a complete restart. Read the design journal on Death, and Souls. Death is an important part of progression; you need Skill Ramps to become necessary. Also, you can will your belongings to your future character. There is no hard restart like you are suggesting.

Atom D Chopper - 3 years ago

I don't agree with Tiberius Theron but you do understand that he speaks from Soulbounds point of view and not the players? He means that he thinks the Developers won't make enough money from the game. I understand his opinion but I'm sure they've put enough thought into it to let it work.

Vigorish - 3 years ago

I disagree, you can enjoy the game F2P if you do not take unnecessary risks. Even if you do, you get multiple chances to come back before it costs. I expect to pay 15 a month on average for sparks due to my risky lifestyle.

mickdude2 - 3 years ago

Charging a monthly fee would end up being /more/ expensive than what they currently have. $15 a month vs $30 a year? Can you not see what the better deal is?

And did you read the journal at all? They're literally saying that you don't have to spend all your time on this game. It's possible to play casually.

I think the teams marketing have done a fantastic job. There is a massive amount of hype for this game, especially following the PAX outing.

Aurora - 3 years ago
    Marketing team thanks you mickdude2 :) 
mickdude2 - 3 years ago

And I thank the marketing team!

tree_gnome - 3 years ago

Are Story Points going to be able to be used for things other than Sparks of Life, though? And if so, what sort of things could we expect?

XFullMetal - 3 years ago

Limited time ??? ahahhahahahahahahahhahahahahhhhhhahahahhahah R.I.P Chronicles of elyria

Valerien - 3 years ago

The truest hardcore of players make up less than 1% of the MMORPG community. No harm in not targeting those folks. I'm glad to see a game that is aiming to appeal to us 40+ year olds with a family who grew up on UO and EQ1 but are looking for a more involved game that doesn't require us to play 24/7 to be competitive.

So, I'll be more than happy to see the l33t players totally skipping this game. The community will be much better off for it, frankly.

Kayden - 3 years ago

Can't agree more.

KumaCave - 3 years ago

I'm not exactly why are you are laughing about limited time. I think that it is a very important part of such a dynamic game world like CoE to allow for a larger diversity of players to actually take part in and shape the world. By tweaking the world and adding aspects like bolstering you prevent the people with all the time in the world to game from taking over the game, and with a larger player base the game will be able to continue its growth rather than tailor to hardcore gamers and end up like most new titles fizzing out relatively quickly when only a small group really wants to play the game.

Magvad - 3 years ago

Awesome! Glad to see the family mechanic be buffed so people embrace the importance of family and don't go abandoning their people.

I'm excited I can play with my friends no matter the schedule as well. I just hope skill amount doesn't matter THAT much in general though. REAL skill should matter...not numbers.

Just so everyone knows, House Yernbosque is recruiting!

Join an elite family aspiring to greatness in battle, economics, politics, and intelligence.

Expeditions, Research, Construction Company, and more!

Join us early on so we can plan how we will take over the world! haha. That, or who will marry who and who gets the child codes.

Woulff - 3 years ago

Ahhh how do I join?

Aqueous - 3 years ago


CinnamonBun - 3 years ago

The game isn't live yet.

Space Potato - 3 years ago

How can one like me join up? I am certainly interested, and totally hyped for this game =)

Draeke the Deadly - 3 years ago

How do we join?

Dazzalegend - 3 years ago

house Yernbosque is recruiting, is the game live at the moment?

Cyberdasm - 3 years ago

Can i Join?

Annuile - 3 years ago

I loved this, I'm glad that you were able to clear up a lot of the common misconceptions people have with the game, this is definitely on my "read first" list for anyone I introduce to the game.

Caeoltoiri - 3 years ago

^ Indeed. Definitely going to link this to people first, or paraphrase/cite the passage regarding Earn-to-Play.