COMMUNITY - FORUMS - GENERAL DISCUSSION
mmorpg.com: Chronicles of Elyria: Wherefore Art Thou?
+5

I really still believe in this project. But I won't be able to continue my support and trust if I don't see smth else except walls of text, excuses, cash shop promotions and so on. This project has started about 4 years ago. It's really high time to start showing smth REAL.

As you can see from the article on the mmorpg.com below I am not alone who thinks the same way.

P.S. Caspian's answer to most concerns which were discussed in this thread can be found here:

https://chroniclesofelyria.com/forum/topic/30270/mmorpgcom-chronicles-of-elyria-wherefore-art-thou?page=7#post332985


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1/17/2019 8:45:04 AM #1
+8

Chronicles of Elyria: Wherefore Art Thou?

On an occasion I have a thousand or more words typed up, proofread and ready to go to the presses! (Contrary to appearances it takes me quite a while to fill my little corner of internet real estate with words and I do in fact proofread them, sometimes...) Then I delete all of them because I was being dishonest with myself, and by proxy breaking the number one rule of writing by being dishonest with my readers.

While this is the first time I’ve had to do this I suspect it will not be the last. I don’t write this as a columnist for MMORPG.com but as a backer of a game that regrets their purchase. Despite that fact, I’m still cheering for the studio (and the good people that work there) to find success and get to launch and not just because they don’t offer refunds! I cheer for them the way I cheer for almost every unique MMORPG in development be them PVP, PVE or even RP. Our genre has been stagnant for too long and it will take another brave game kicking down the door and lighting the house on fire to rekindle the interest, the people, the money and finally the publishers again.

I suppose that’s enough of a lead. I always knew Chronicles of Elyria was going to be a dramatic ride. That was part of its appeal! It had a fiery studio lead that was mad at the current system and wanted to rebuild it from the ground up! They called out other MMORPG devs for not having the guts to do the same and they made no apologies! The pitch for the game was as audacious as any I’d seen brought to Kickstarter. I went in cautiously with the assumption they would either pull a Han Solo, damn the odds and find a way, or go down in flames. Either way, I was willing to observe and lend a hand (or a handful of money).

I’m not saying Elyria has failed. It’s too soon for me to make that call. This isn’t about that. It’s about being a backer of a concept you loved but finding yourself increasingly frustrated with it’s creation. When we buy a crowd-funded game, we are guaranteed nothing. The most assured item we purchase is the developmental journey from the crowd-funded campaign to launch. The development-to-backer experience for Elyria has been inconsistent and frustrating at best.

I’d like to say to started smoothly but it didn’t. The launch time was widely considered undoable but rumors of a finished engine and new technology from SpatialOS provided hope. The engine is as much a mystery now as it was three years ago, SpatialOS is no longer involved with the game and the duplicitously deemed “minimally viable product” is years past its December 2017 launch date that fans were denounced for having the audacity to question.

In the beginning development updates were impressive in depth and breadth. I often called them the best in the business, and I meant it! Soulbound said they were going to set the bar for transparency, and they meant it! Then the updates stopped. After a long uncommunicated hiatus, they re-emerged with a promise of doing better on a consistent schedule again. While they have provided consistency, the content of the updates themselves has declined.

Rather than giving us an idea of how development is going, they focus first and foremost on the cash shop and the newest exclusive limited time offer they are selling. With every new pixel sold the core of the game drifts closer to pay to win. The caveat is, based on the launch concept, no person or item will be entirely safe. But when someone has literally spent thousands of dollars on in-game items what they are really doing is buying security and further protection their purchases. The more you spend the safer you are. Technically your subordinates could overthrow you but I’d be remiss if I didn’t say I’m skeptical. I fail to imagine a sustainable business model where-in your whales, the lifeblood of your game, see thousands of digital purchases go up in flames and don’t rage quit. MMORPGers have long quit games for far, far less.

Soulbound has always done role play oriented community events. Part of the studio's charm is their line blurring roleplay development format and these events were a great example of the core philosophy behind the game in practice. Then came the latest community event. It was built entirely to utilize and sell the digital currency in the said cash shop. When I read about the MUD-like role play development the studio was planning, I didn’t imagine it would be based on coming up with new ways to get me to pay more money for the intangible.

That brings me to another old lady at the service desk in Kmart that you’re pretty sure is hiding a chihuahua in her purse, complaint. As a person waiting for a product they were promised two years ago, continually being asked to give more while receiving increasingly less doesn’t bode well. This was supposed to be a game development, not a marriage! I get it. Funds are unrelenting stress on every studio. Living a race. Trying to get to launch before the money runs out. Unfortunately, every crowd-funded game turns into that former friend that always asks for a few more dollars but never repays any of it.

The difference here is consistency in development and seeing gameplay results. I’m not receiving either from this experience. I don’t envy that position, then again, I didn’t put myself in it. I’m not bold enough for that move, that’s why I sit alone in dark places and type for a living. (I did put myself in this position and the chihuahua’s name is Tuco and I’m returning her treats because she didn’t like them and yeah, I opened them; they can deal with that!)

By far the most telling issue I’ve seen, and the very reason I moved from uncertainty to regret, is when the studio’s owner shouts down the MMORPG community and most unfortunately, Elyria's own supporters. The product we traded trust and money for is years behind and in a state of unknown and constructive criticism is shouted down and deemed the problem, but the cause is never addressed. The only word I have or that kind of behavior is regret.

I hope this doesn’t sound like I’m shutting a casket door. I’m not saying that because I can’t because I simply don’t know. After this long, that shouldn’t be the position I’m in. Soulbound was once the most transparent, in-depth studio I’d covered. There isn’t any reason they can’t be again but looking at the timetable and the experience over the last few years I believe it will take something significant to give Elyria a res in the eyes of former fans. A course correction of the backer content, a humble update and a look at what Elyria currently is come to mind as first steps. Fortunately for studios, MMORPG fans are as forgiving as a rescued stray. Some of us don’t even bite!

I wrote this out of concern as a backer and as a MMORPGer that worries yet another game feature crept off the rails, fell into a slough and is treading water trying to find a way out before hypothermia sets in. I fail to understand why Chronicles of Elyria is as much a mystery today as it was three years ago. I know they have a rich lore and concept art. Their role play community engagement is charming, and their most ardent fans love their community games. But where is the game I backed? How playable is it? I understand there is an NDA but surely by now there should be something that resembles a minimally viable product to preview?

Read more at https://www.mmorpg.com/chronicles-of-elyria/columns/chronicles-of-elyria-wherefore-art-thou-1000013349#b8JHmKVpAeCeevIG.99


1/17/2019 9:15:25 AM #2
+2

Yep that is what you get when you dont follow trough with what you say and cant prove you have done any thing at all for the last 3 years.

I told them the waters are turning bad here months ago but nobody at SbS wants to listen.

They have to do some damage control ASAP

Show what you got FFS.!..


1/17/2019 9:18:22 AM #3
+1

I understand...


1/17/2019 9:30:05 AM #4
+5

I actually appreciate the post. Now I don't have to click on that site to read it and the conversation can happen here in a far less toxic environment.

... Reading now


My friend code: 4F7B5A

1/17/2019 9:36:06 AM #5
+8

Posted By Sagan at 11:30 AM - Thu Jan 17 2019

... Reading now

watching you reading..


1/17/2019 9:49:30 AM #6
+8

watching Sarmat watching Sagan


1/17/2019 9:53:19 AM #7
+33

Just for once I took some time out of a shitty day to read a minor wall of text. Not a fan of the shortening of certain words, but I can read it, no problem.

It is an issue that certain members of the community blankly throw [Dislike]s at anything remotely close to negative views on the state of Chronicles of Elyria. Even if people just raise their concerns.

I am readying myself for dislikes.

This was worth the read and the author gets his/her points across in a well manner. And after finish reading I cannot help but to see my own concerns being similar to some of the things the author points out. It is never a fun thing to look at oneself with critical eyes. I should know as I am painfully harsh to myself sometimes, still.

The author may not paint the most pretty picture, but sometimes pretty is just that, pretty. It does no service to forget to look both at the good and the bad. Every coin has two sides, this must never be forgotten. Sometimes the hard questions must be asked in order to move on.

I recall Caspian mentioning in Discord a few weeks ago that he was looking at doing a little write up in early January. I cannot remember what it was to be about, but I remember holding myself of from commenting "Caspian, this is early January" as it was.

Concerns must not be frowned upon, but taken into consideration at times. Yet, we do see some rants against the game that clearly have missed a note or five, and these are just annoying. Just to me it seems that we have gotten so used to the rants that almost each time someone brings up a concern with a little criticism, it is quickly marked as a rant. That is not a welcoming community.

I generally share my concerns with very few people. I am not here to rant on CoE, hell I used to run a livestream show talking about it. I hailed the game as a true online roleplaying game, similar to pen and paper. I still have hope that it will become such, but I am running low on joy and the December Event certainly did not add any fuel to the tank.

Looking past all of this we have D&SS coming up soon. How soon, well no one knows... or some people might. Still looking forward to this milestone to potentially see communities start to flourish again and grow even more. What comes next is anybody's guess. The wind whispers Prelyria, but I am no windspeaker so do not take my word for it.

This was not supposed to be this long, but sometimes there is just a lot bottled up inside. Feel lucky thou, that my rage did not come out, to tired for that right now.

Domain and Settlement Selection here we come!!!

EDIT Took my time to write this, but happy to see some Likes have taken over at the moment.


1/17/2019 9:59:38 AM #8
+0

Posted By Ibenholt at 11:53 AM - Thu Jan 17 2019

Domain and Settlement Selection here we come!!!

No, guys. No "Domain Selection". That is just one more completely virtual thing.

That is not I was talking about in my first post and that is not what is covered in the article.


1/17/2019 10:12:24 AM #9
+8

Well, everything here is virtual and so will the game be...

But I get it that you are focused on something more than just events, cash events etc. You want gameplay, or even better a gameplay experience, a show of how far the virtual world of Elyria has come.

Same here mate, same here.


1/17/2019 10:14:26 AM #10
+6

Posted By Ibenholt at 8:53 PM - Thu Jan 17 2019

I recall Caspian mentioning in Discord a few weeks ago that he was looking at doing a little write up in early January. I cannot remember what it was to be about, but I remember holding myself of from commenting "Caspian, this is early January" as it was.

Caspian was referring to the 0.5.0 update and the State of Elyria blog post. It's due next Thursday I do believe.


1/17/2019 10:14:57 AM #11
+19

A response to the articles important comments

"The development-to-backer experience for Elyria has been inconsistent and frustrating at best."

Absolutely agree. Without hesitation.


"The engine is as much a mystery now as it was three years ago"

Not entirely, but the sentiment is spot on. This is a problem.


"the duplicitously deemed “minimally viable product” is years past its December 2017 launch date that fans were denounced for having the audacity to question."

I've never seen anyone being denounced for simply asking the launch date. In this community, almost flawlessly, even with the Community Ambassadors, people are told up front the current state of affairs when asked. There is no fluff, no debate, just cut and dry answers. That changes when the inevitable reaction from the person asking is "well I hear what you're saying but none of these answers are as specific as I'd like" and they get frustrated. THAT is when people to denounce them, and rightly so. It's their mistake as a consumer for treating this game like the standard Alpha game they purchase off the steam market. This is a PREALPHA development. Asking for dates and deadlines is impatient behaviour that leads to nothing but frustration to everyone involved. Again, this is a PREALPHA. Be a responsible consumer and be aware of that before spending money.


"In the beginning development updates were impressive in depth and breadth. I often called them the best in the business, and I meant it! Soulbound said they were going to set the bar for transparency, and they meant it! Then the updates stopped."

For most informed and responsible consumers who are considering investing in a PreAlpha one of the factors that comes into play is the fact that there is very likely going to be a period of time (at some stage) where the shiny pictures, mechanical information and new animal rigs stop being pumped out because shit has gotten real. Its time to code. And that is a lot of work that takes a lot of time, especially for a small team. Which makes me wonder if this person even considered that a possibility before spending his money. I'm sorry to say but this is your mistake, its not a fault of the studio. Its just the nature of a PreAlpha development and for some reason it looks like that reality has taken him by surprise.


"Rather than giving us an idea of how development is going, they focus first and foremost on the cash shop and the newest exclusive limited time offer they are selling."

Incorrect, the team for designing the game and the team for the item shop is separate. The game is still being built at full speed even as the community team work on items for us to consume and learn about.


"With every new pixel sold the core of the game drifts closer to pay to win."

You are correct. But this only applies for one life time. If a whale manages to generate enough Story Points to inhabit their rich and famous hiers, they get to have another round at attempting to hold onto their loot. This essentially means that the more they buy and use only for themselves, the more pressure there is for them to interact with the game in a meaningful way. In this case, the "win" is for everyone around them, and not just the person with the loot hoard.


"I fail to imagine a sustainable business model where-in your whales, the lifeblood of your game, see thousands of digital purchases go up in flames and don’t rage quit."

I believe this will happen, and is coming. A lot of the whales are gunna ABSOLUTELY flip out. There are gunna be claims of the shop being a scam. There are gunna be claims of people saying they were mislead. But the raw, cold and honest truth is they simply jumped the gun and with bare minimum information. All SBS does is open up a stall, and these people start behaving like starved animals. Mostly because A LOT of them are Alpha rookies and even more are total noobs at PreAlpha.


"The product we traded trust and money for is years behind and in a state of unknown and constructive criticism is shouted down and deemed the problem, but the cause is never addressed."

I'm not sure where the narrative of being "shouted down" is really coming from. A reply isn't shouting. Telling you your expectations were too high is not "shouting you down". That aside, he's still totally right. People didn't just pay in cold hard cash, but in trust. And in case SBS has forgotten our trust is still in their possession being used as a commodity. They need to repay us in kind and show some trust back, or they should anticipate an exodus. Trust is not refundable. If you break it, you keep it forever, and we lose it forever.

Sorry for the wall of text people.


My friend code: 4F7B5A

1/17/2019 10:19:02 AM #12
+1

Posted By Ineluki at 12:14 PM - Thu Jan 17 2019

Caspian was referring to the 0.5.0 update and the State of Elyria blog post. It's due next Thursday I do believe.

nice! really waiting for it

but still hope there will be smth more than just another Wall of Text ©

sure it would be perfect if we could test that 0.5 PreA, but some videos of the work done also would do for a start


1/17/2019 10:19:19 AM #13
-1

Like how your text wall looks, Sagan, so will read it when I get home.


1/17/2019 10:21:09 AM #14
+5

Posted By Sagan at 12:14 PM - Thu Jan 17 2019

People didn't just pay in cold hard cash, but in trust. And in case SBS has forgotten our trust is still in their possession being used as a commodity. They need to repay us in kind and show some trust back, or they should anticipate an exodus. Trust is not refundable. If you break it, you keep it forever, and we lose it forever.

Nice!


1/17/2019 10:21:38 AM #15
-3

Posted By Ibenholt at 8:19 PM - Thu Jan 17 2019

Like how your text wall looks, Sagan, so will read it when I get home.

F%#&ing nailed it then.

Cheers mate!


My friend code: 4F7B5A

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