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Another Combustible Update?

By Tim Eisen on October 14, 2016 | Columns | Comments

Another Combustible Update?

Just when I had an entire column typed up and ready to go the belated Chronicles of Elyria update popped into my inbox! I closely follow several Kickstarted projects and of all of them only Elyria’s updates make me nervous. Why? Because upon clicking one of two things is likely to happen.

  1. You read a well-rounded and deep but not too deep project update that I’ve often called one of the best in the business.
  2. Your computer bursts into flames as the wave of fire that the update generated overtakes the MMORPG universe!

Before I click this I want to let all my haters and even my fan know if one thing is said about me, let it be known I loved the MMORPG business…as much as I hate it. Here, we, go!

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(Puts on flame suit, covers face, clicks link and begins to read through his fingers.)

The Elyria store is up and running. Before I continue I need to get some things straight as to avoid confusion fires. The current store sells game tiers. Those tiers come with “Influence Points” (IP). An additional store (launched in November) will sell IP alone. “Death, ZRO, Scarlet, and Heat are all busy putting together the graphics and tables necessary for the IP store.” Either they contracted GIJoes to build that store of their developers are using pseudonyms. Either way that sounds like a serious crew.

All IP must be spent before or during the 3-month game head start called “Exposition”. Upon launch day IP will no longer be a thing (it converts to Story Points) but the stuff you bought with IP during Exposition will be in the game. Still with me?

Unfortunately, we don’t yet know exactly what we can buy with IP. We have had several items mentioned like “land, buildings, resources, supplies, and patterns and techniques necessary to be the land owners, shop keepers, and trainers at launch” but we don’t know how much any of it will cost. A chart is said to be coming soon and I hope it comes before the IP store launches. Currently it’s a bit odd looking at game tiers that have IP and not clearly understanding the value of that IP.

The proceeds from the tier store (and maybe the IP store but I’m not 100% sure on that) go toward stretch goals, I can’t say I agree with that. With a multimillion dollar gap standing between the backers and this game launching I’d rather all proceeds go to lowering that gap amount so less is required of an investor thusly investing might be less of a risk and more attractive to such an individual(s). Then again I sit in dark places that I’m afraid to leave writing about games I won’t play for years so what the hell do I know about business or life for that matter, almost nothing, ok maybe less.

As far back as I can recall I’ve seen people wonder if IP was pay to win. Well, I’d say yes, just like every crowd funded MMORPG with tiers that offer starting advantages. Let’s be honest, almost all crowd funded MMORPGs are pay to win-on launch day. It’s how long it takes before the rest catch up that matters. Most developers are shy about saying it but it’s true. It is, what it is and it’s something you have to tolerate if you live within the crowd funded MMORPG universe.

My young self (that had time) hates it but with every passing year I find myself realizing I have less and less time (don’t we all) and thinking a few bucks here or there for a bitter old MMORPG vet to catch up wouldn’t hurt anything would it? Like so many things, it’s easy to have a firm opinion until it happens to you.

Don’t like it? Blame us. Consumers dictate the market. I take that back, blame the parents that would rather hand their console kid a plastic price inflating credit card than interact with them. Then again I was raised by a Nintendo I built myself and look how well adjusted I am!

I see the Elyria set up as a challenge. I’m pretty excited to watch all of the chaos ensue. Buying a Kingship was very expensive and it did make you a King on launch but that position is not secure. The real royalty will be the ones that earn it by force, politics or by maintaining what they purchased. After X amount of time skill and tact will, I imagine, more often dictate your position than what you paid for months ago; at least I hope that’s the case. If royalty is too secure I’d consider the game broken. If you can’t afford paying to get ahead or if you just flat out hate it, then you have a chance to take all of it away from someone who had that money and paid for a position.

The last morsel we got from the update was some concept art for the Otter Bear. I don’t know how much you guys know about Otter’s but they are fast, smart and very capable predators. I wonder if this little guy has a cousin named the Otter Grizzly, that one could be interesting as well as terrifying to the humanoids of Elyria.

While it wasn’t one of the classic around the office updates that I’ve enjoyed so much prior I’m pretty happy with it. No fires, not even a spark or some smoke that I could see. Let’s hope this trend continues for a bit. 

Tim Eisen / In my columns I walk the line between fan and critic as I document the development of Camelot Unchained, Crowfall, and Chronicles of Elyria.
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