Chronicles of Elyria: Domain & Settlement Selection - Kingdom Plans
I’ve been lurking around checking out this game for several years and it was only last year when I started jumping in more with the Searing Plague event and Map Selection. I did do a review of the Searing Plague event and a hint at Map Selection in a prior article last fall. Gaiscioch Magazine had the opportunity to work with Soulbound Studios to write about the upcoming Domain & Settlement Selection (D&SS). I’ve been joking about being some sort of scribe when the game goes live, and here I am getting another opportunity to write about its formative events.
The event is planned to start in April. Everyone will be able to see the server maps the entire time. First, the kings and queens can pick their kingdoms. It will then roll down through duke, count and mayor/baron. The main reason for this progression is that the monarch will pick a kingdom along with the location of its seat of power, drilling down through duchy, county and finally to the town. This allows the king to pick the area he thinks will give the greatest success for ruling his kingdom. Dukes will pick a duchy, county and town for their seat of rule. Counts will pick a county and town for theirs. The current idea is about a week for each level and a period of about four weeks overall. Regardless of what is claimed or not during that week, the selection will move on to the next level.
Land claiming will stay open after these initial controlled weeks because unclaimed lands are expected to exist. May is Kickstarterversary month and they always do something special for it. This year, per Caspian, they plan to add title claiming of specific land that is available with the various packages and encourage people to up their packages and give new people a chance to make a choice to claim a title. This will allow for people to fill in the areas left unclaimed during the organized event. They expect to see a lot more of this at the count and mayor level.
Why does Soulbound Studios do events like this? They want to keep the the players involved and allow them to have a say in how the world is formed. But what I liked best was Caspian’s analogy of Monopoly versus Risk in how the world is to be setup. In Monopoly everyone starts with nothing and it is a big rush to explore and see who conquers what first. That is how most MMOs are made. However, D&SS is like playing Risk. Early backers put out their pieces based on their rank and they will know where they stand on the continent at the start of the game.
I plan on writing about D&SS in two parts: sharing of the plans that were prelaid per server and then a follow up of how it all played out. Each server, there are four of them, has already selected their maps for their starting continent, an archipelago for the Oceanic server. Some servers have done extensive planning together about where the kingdoms will go and others have a more competitive nature. These plans are based on a high level view of the maps with the general environment and biomes given during map selection. Further details of natural resources, tribal distributions, and the locations of individual settlements and biomes will be revealed as part of D&SS. On March 27th Soulbound Studios revealed how the maps could work with a Concept Map. I like the style of the artwork and the details have led to greater speculation for D&SS.
Some of the plans are quite public and the kings have been open on how they want to work together on their server. Others seem to have no information shared at all. Some kings don’t even have anything private set up that anyone knows of.
I was able to connect with at least one monarch per server. Each discussion by server name will note who gave me the information. I let them see what I planned to write based on their information and the obvious public information.
I’ve done my best to keep it unbiased. I’ll let the private side of the dance of dynasties I know of stay private (which is not much at all). I have no land I can claim, since life has not allowed me to invest in the game that way. Instead I’ll show my support by writing about the events of this game’s creation and beyond. I thank the monarchs who were willing to share their thoughts and have them out there publicly.
Luna - North American East (NA-E)
The following information is based on what I could acquire from "Adam" (the leader of the Kingdom of Vornair), the only double kingdom of the Luna server. Of all the servers, this one seemed the most open and organized of all the kingdoms. Even the Kingdom of Fortuna with nothing planned other than seeing who plants themselves there appears on board with the process of selection.
There are 6 kingdoms to choose from and this is how it currently looks based on preplanning:
- K1 and 2 - Vornair, the double kingdom
- K3 - Alêsia
- K6 - Kairos
- K4 or 5 - Bordweall
- Fortuna will pick up whichever kingdom Bordweall did not.
Adam stated he feels there is an ethos of wanting to work together rather than against each other believing the game will give them plenty of issues to deal with in the start without the worry of kingdom wars. However, this does not mean competition does not exist and not everyone is fully transparent. They are aiming for honorable competition rather than subterfuge and backstabbing, though some of this is expected to arise as the masses fill in the kingdoms at launch.
To this end, they have four levels of how they will rank people based on their hostility against the preset plans as follows:
- Community Member (People whom our community members recognize as one of them and whom we support and who supports us.)
- Friendly (People whom are not in our community but have a net positive influence towards our community.)
- Neutral (People whom are not in our community and are actively competing with our community but in a passive non-targeted way.)
- Hostile (People whom are not in our community and are actively targeting our community competitively.)
The following map shows how detailed the northern half of the continent could possibly look for duchy layout with many of the duchies locked to where they want to be. The map topography is a guess based on the amount of detail released at Map Selection time.
Due to this level of preplanning on Luna, it will be interesting to see what really happens. Adam is not expecting a major upset, not even from Fortuna, who is doing what I call going along for the ride and seeing who actually bothers to settle under him. A lot of discussion has gone on for up to two years for how these kingdoms would reside together and some of the kings have even met each other in person.
Good luck to you all on Luna and may your plans lead to a great dynamic when the game comes to life.
Selene - Europe (EU)
The following information is based on a discussion with Dragor, King of Nirath. Selene has organized meetings with a set number of representatives for each kingdom to discuss major events and then each kingdom has time to have their citizens vote on it. Compromises have been made.
There is an understanding where they expect each kingdom to go. Of course, some things could be up in the air based on not knowing the order based on the king’s influence and a vying for a more popular area. There is more popularity with wanting Neran and Brudvir over other tribes. Deeper map details of the lay of the land and biomes could influence some changes when revealed for the selection process.
The current understanding for the kingdoms is the following:
- K1 and 2 - Demalion
- K3 - Nirath
- K4 - Tryggr
- K5 - Al’khezam
- K6- Arkadia
Overall, Dragor thinks there will be more issues of ducal placements rather than the kingdom placements due to the tribal demands of the people and not enough duchies to accommodate them all. Some with higher influences for earlier picks may cross over boundaries to get what they and their citizens really want. This could knock truly loyal dukes from getting into the kingdom they want to swear allegiance to. Some areas in each kingdom seem to be ignored or not wanted by the pledged dukes leaving these open to others. The ducal picks could totally turn this server on its head. This tension includes some not wanting to be on the borders in the south if the kingdoms fall as planned. Also, not all the dukes have declared a kingdom to support and will go wherever they want, which could displace loyal dukes with less influence.
Any major changes to the accepted kingdom plan will happen unannounced and cause unhealthy surprises due to how these kingdoms have worked by meetings and citizen votes. There is no plan for another meeting upon the release of further information and start of D&SS.
Good luck to all on Selene. Here’s to the land rush working out for the majority that leads to a healthy and fun competition.
Angelica - North American West (NA-W)
The following information is based on a talk with Azeron, King of Valyria. I will note I believe this server may have the most interesting outcome at the kingdom level because it doesn’t have a full agreement by all at this time. Influence for order of selection could mean a lot here.
The following is the expected layout by the majority per what I can glean and is what Azeron would like to see for the greater good of Angelica.
- K1 - Ashland
- K2 - Valyria
- K3 - Tyria
- K4 - Aranor or Riftwood
- K5 - Blackheart
- K6 - Aranor or Riftwood
Will the server wind up like this? There’s a chance it won’t due to the lack of full agreement of all current monarchs. A monarch change has occurred this year and he is not going public with what he will do. It had appeared there would be an agreement before this change. With this unknown, anything could happen. When the dust settles we will know if Angelica has a more peaceful existence or one fraught with war. We shall see what risks the monarchs want to take setting the board for this game.
I’ll be watching this one more closely due to the high level possibility of conflict depending on where the kingdoms really wind up. May the outcome be one that all can enjoy despite the drama that could ensue here.
On a side note, I got a peek of how organized the Kingdom of Valyria plans to be due to several things they have written up and diagramed. It will be interesting to see how this will work for them, but I found it quite detailed and should leave few questions of how things will work internally.
Again, good luck to all and may the gaming board be to your liking.
Oceanus - Oceanic (OCE)
The following information is based on a talk with Katlynna, Queen of Tylsia. Oceanus is a smaller community and has less land mass to claim. It’s starting continent is an archipelago, which will lead to a far different dynamic for trade and information across some of the kingdom borders due to the need of ships to do so. The rest of the servers can go by land to all kingdoms.
This smaller community has led to a group that is more closely knit than others. Some have known each other for years through other games and the existence of gaming communities they have or still run. Two of the monarchs started as barons, one as a count and one as a duke. Most increased their contribution to Soulbound Studios over time to step into monarchy ranks. An abdication of a king on this server due to real life reasons led Soulbound Studios to run the Lost Vault event in hopes it would help this server out.
The following is where the four kingdoms plan to go and they have all aired this publicly.
- K1 - Aequitas, led by Emery
- K2 - Tylsia, led by Katlynna
- K3 - Lor Voskara, led by Xakorai
- K4 - Caprakan, led by Preacher
Despite the close bonds, there is no lack of drama on this server. However, they tend to settle things quietly before it can get out of hand. Of course, it is possible someone is dancing the dance and will cause a problem, but they even have an idea of the kingdom pick order. That order could be: Xakorai, Katlynna, Emery, and finally, Preacher.
The real question of Oceanus is the sheer number of open nobility slots on the server that will fill over time after this initial flurry of placements. Many of the slots may not fill until the Kickstarterversary event after D&SS has done its rounds with the existing nobility. A lot is still in the shadows even at the duchy level and the ability to upgrade or buy into open places once D&SS closes makes it quite unpredictable.
Good luck Oceanus, and may your community grow to be full of many exciting adventures.
The above were based on the information I received from the named monarch and I tried to keep things to the facts to be as diplomatic as possible since I did not get to talk to all of the monarchs. However, I did my own nosing around, definitely made some assumptions based on feelings and vibes, and will now play devil’s advocate of what I think will happen. This is definitely speculation and could be wrong.
I’m going to start with Angelica (NA-W) because it has the best chance of blowing up at the kingdom level. I think the monarchs are going to grab what they really wanted in the first place if their influence points allow them. Who knows what influence the new king has, which definitely plays a huge role in how this goes. The vibes I got digging around are making me wait to see the mushroom cloud.
Luna (NA-E) will probably have one of the most peaceful land claims of all the servers since it has the most locked down and agreed upon setting even at the ducal level. Also, the double kingdom will probably pick first and get exactly what they want clinching a rather set north. It’s the south that might be interesting to watch here, but at ducal and lower levels. I’ll even go as far as the king with no confirmed followers, who agreed to pick last, gets dukes who will be willing to help the kingdom thrive.
Selene (EU) could possibly have a change at the kingdom level if more detailed information given makes them change their minds. Even if this did happen, I don’t expect it to be as dramatic as Angelica. I will agree with Dragor that the dukes will be the ones determining the lay of the land and the feel of the kingdoms in the end. I’m going to say the kingdoms claim as planned or close enough that there are no major issues, but the duchies will be the ones causing any wars to be had. I don’t expect a nuclear melt down at the ducal level, though I foresee some fun political dynamics to be had.
Oceanus (OCE) will have no surprises that I can foresee since most everyone there has publicly announced what they want. Sure some drama will occur and they will not be surprised if it does. However, I see this server having a fairly quiet D&SS, but a very interesting growth due to the events to follow to allow people to move into open nobility areas still unclaimed after D&SS.
I love how Soulbound Studios is not only making a dynamic world, but allowing the players to mold how it will look. D&SS definitely feels like the setting of the Risk board as Caspian stated. However, this is only the beginning. There will be the ability to claim open spots even after D&SS is done. A Kickstarterversary event will help encourage people to upgrade or buy into open slots. The land claiming will not be at an end with D&SS, but a lot of the primary things will be known.
There is still plenty of time before the game goes live and who knows how people will come and go. The dynamics will continue to change up to launch. Once we can play who knows what will really happen, but I do know none of the servers are going to feel like the same game. Each will have a very distinct flavor.
I thank Soulbound Studios for giving Gaiscioch Magazine the opportunity to write this article.
For further information about the event, check out the announcements released on 4/8/2019 by Soulbound Studios.
For further information about the servers and the associated kingdoms, check out the following links:
About the Author
Althea "Briseadh" Damgaard
Althea joined Gaiscioch back in October of 2009 and has been here ever since with only a few month hiatus between Warhammer and Rift. As soon as she knew they were in Rift, she jumped ship to Faeblight and has followed them onward through every chapter since with a few side games thrown in for spice.
She has been an avid player of RPG style games since 1980 when she first played Dungeons and Dragons. Since then she has created her own tabletop gaming world used with various rule sets as D&D progressed. Once she could get online she played MUDs. Her MMO days started with Everquest and have moved through over a dozen games with some lasting only a month's time in her life and others going for years. She has tested several games from the perspective of a disabled gamer with hand issues due to her multiple sclerosis.
When not writing about or playing games, she can be found writing novels, reading and doing various art projects. She also writes items based on her faith and is working on publishing a novel. She also does editing for a gaming developer.
About Chronicles of Elyria
Quests generated just for your character, a fully destructible environment, closed economy, finite resources, and survival elements, means Elyria is experienced differently for every player! Each time you log in there is something new to do. No daily grind! Local, regional, and national conflicts are continuously unfolding, giving birth to repeated opportunities for you to change the course of history. Enter Chronicles of Elyria as a member of a player or NPC-ran family, then work your way up from a humble adventurer to a landed vassal, develop your dynasty, and work your way to King. Not interested in running a kingdom? The fully skill-based system and lack of classes means you're rewarded with the ability to create the exact character you want to. Full of dramatic opportunities, Chronicles of Elyria pulls the best from sandbox and themepark MMOs to create a new type of game - an event-driven story we call a Multiplayer Evolving Online World or MEOW.