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Pics, PAX & PvP

Tim Eisen Posted:
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(Reads a list of mass marketable terms.)

Hello adoring MMORPG.com Chronicles of Elyria community how are YOU all doing? (ducks rotten fruit from CoOE fans and critics alike) I wrote this fantastic column just for You. You know who you are, my loyal readers that make it possible for me to put fingers to keys and smash out manic ramblings. Thank YOU and remember to like share and kneel…I, I mean follow... ;) 

Every time I do a COE piece I get called a shill so I figured I’d try it. /shrug (2/10 too obvious.) Maybe I’ll get one of those social media bots that shills for me like everyone on social media. Back in my day social media was called a Myspace and you used it to keep in touch with old friends if you had any. Nowadays it’s more like those annoying phone calls and emails offering you a treasure chest full of gold for nothing more than a shipping fee! It’s gotten a lot darker too. I get the sense that when they ask you to follow what they really want you to do is kneel! Worse yet many oblige that command but not the mighty. The mighty don’t kneel, or shill for that matter.

Yet, more than ever before in 2017 clicks make the world go round! We are trapped in a never ending continuous escalation for retention. Without clicks our columns, our sites, our forums, our games, our micro universes cease to exist! Maybe that is all businesses? Maybe in 2017 that is…everyone?

(You write tangent riddled incoherent columns in which you cram topics that have nothing to do with the insignificant niche within a niche within a niche you write for. The fact that anyone that isn’t hyperactive can understand this is astounding.)

Quickly moving on, how about that COE huh? (ducks more fruit) The first thing I noted in the COE update was the mass amount of images because who reads words when you have pics am I right? (Sigh, they just went back to the pics.) Like I’ve said COE is looking pretty. The image above is actually of a glitch. I’m not using it for snarky reasons but rather because, in an over marketed industry like gaming, I always enjoy when a studio shows us the nitty gritty.

Work on a demo for PAX East continues. I’m always divided on doing game conventions. (And just about everything else in life.) It takes a lot of work to get ready for a show; work that might be better served elsewhere. On the other hand, doing shows can bring in more money which helps hire people that make development go faster. It’s also a chance for fans to meet and directly interact with developers which is pretty cool for people that are into that sort of thing. You know, going out, meeting people, doing things. I prefer to keep that sort of stuff in the digital world far away from the shadow realm that is reality. To each their own.

They recently added a female rig and are developing the parkour system. I’ve only seen one MMORPG feature parkour. It will be interesting to see what Soulbound can do. They continue to work on physical character change such as being lazy and eating a lot resulting in your character getting fat and your clothing getting dirty as you wear it. All of that sounds fantastic if not improbable in a MMORPG but then again much of COE always did. I’m glad to see Soulbound is already working on some of the more obscure ideas.

Speaking of improbable, and I don’t just mean Soulbound’s tech partner, Soulbound also continues to inch toward the Prologue; The Awakening – the offline isolated feature testing area, Kingdoms of Elyria – the mobile history setting app and ElyriaMUD the MUD version of Elyria. The strategy behind those systems is intriguing. They plan to isolate sections of the game and open them up for focused testing. It sounds like a clever way to test the game while it grows. That said I’m still nervous about Soulbound being able to get all three concepts up running in a way that fans will engage them all while trying to develop the rest of the main game. I don’ think it’s ever been done like this before.

Being a barstool developer (aka someone what doesn’t know anything about the process), I’m not sure what I’m seeing in these images. It appears to be the development of the game world itself. Maybe even an offline version. How they take this world, connect it and add thousands of players is the Mount Doom moment for MMORPGs. When exactly that happens seems to depend on the studio and their strategy which seem to be as unique as the studios themselves. That is one of the neat things about MMORPGs, how to build them is still open for lots of experimentation.

I love the way the screen shots are looking but I’d feel more comfortable if they were featuring multiple players. In my MMORPG experience (14 years now BAWGHAD!) it’s easy to look great and allow a player to run around. Once mass PVP gets introduced chaos tends to follow. PVE might take longer and be more expensive but PVP brings games to their knees. COE will be attempting both! We can’t yet know how all this turns out but looking at the update its clear Soulbound isn’t backing down from their proposed concepts.


Tim Eisen

I roleplay a wordsmith that writes about the technological and social evolution within the game industry