First and foremost a soul is the complete set of memories, experiences, and past lives of a character. When transferred from one character to another, the soul brings with it Talents, Achievements, and accelerated Skill Development, providing a feeling of continuity and progression.
A soul is also the link between a living character and their physical body. In most cases, the Spark of Life cannot exist in a body without a soul. Without a soul, the body will die.
What isn’t a soul? A way to make the game seem fair. In addition to the aforementioned, the soul brings with it a degree of randomness, as not all souls are created equal. Some have special Talents not present in others, while some have experienced more past lives, making them inherently more powerful.
Soul Selection Edit
Character creation in Chronicles of Elyria is a multi-step process that takes place entirely within the Soul Chamber. As mentioned in last week’s design journal, the Soul Chamber is where souls go in order to rest, recuperate, and plan the time and place of their next incarnation.
The first step in character creation is to select which soul you want to use. In the soul selection screen you can see the name, age, affinity, skill ramps, talents, and past achievements of each soul. That latter two, Talents and Achievements, won’t be visible the first time you play a soul.
Main article: Skills
Skills are generalized into 5 categories; Bardic, Crafting, Deviant, Fighting and Survival.
Achievements in Chronicles of Elyria are a lot like Achievements in other games, with a few key differences.
First, and perhaps most important, Achievements in Chronicles of Elyria are rewards given to players for participating in the story. That means fulfilling the requirements for completing an Achievement always has a measurable and recognizable impact on the world.
In exchange, earning an Achievement comes with passive (and sometimes active) bonuses which can include new abilities, changes in social status or reputation, titles, and fame.
Second, there are three different types of Achievements in Chronicles of Elyria:
- Those that can be claimed by everyone
- Those that can only be claimed by one person at a time
- Those that can only ever be claimed once per server
An example of something that could be completed by anyone would be killing a daemon. While not common, it is possible, and in addition to other cool benefits comes with the title of Daemonslayer.
Being crowned Champion of the Colosseum is something that may only be achieved by one person at a time. These types of achievements will often be held by the same player more than once.
Finally, killing a specific, legendary evil is something that can only ever be achieved once. It should be noted that these achievements may be given to multiple people simultaneously, but there will never be another opportunity to earn the same Achievement.
Finally, Achievements are bound to the soul. Once attained, an Achievement becomes a permanent part of a soul’s memory and past-life experiences. Once the character ages and dies the Achievement will be listed on the Soul Selection screen as a reminder that the Achievement was completed by that soul.
With that said, reincarnation is a trying experience. Death, and the process of rebirth, leaves a soul without its full memories. As a result, benefits from past-life Achievements may not be fully realized upon character creation. Instead, characters will exist with partial or secondary buffs until such time as their new character is able to complete the same Achievement again (if possible). This process of re-completing a past-life Achievement, referred to as Déjà vu, unlocks the Achievement’s full potential - this time with compounding effect.
Latent abilities that souls may have. Some examples might be Magic Use (this is one of the more common ones), the ability to Travel, Shapeshifting, Healing, Animal Speak, Planes Walking, and many other things.
Talents must be activated by some sort of trigger. The trigger is any sort of experience like, killing something, meeting a soul mate or even dying in certain ways. Once a Talent has been triggered it is with a Soul from life to life, no need to reactivate it.
- ↑ Walsh, Jeromy "Caspian" "Design Journal #1 – Introduction to Souls." Developer Journals - Chronicles of Elyria.
- ↑ Walsh, Jeromy "Caspian" "Design Journal #2 – Soul Selection, Destiny, Achievements and Soul Mates." Developer Journals - Chronicles of Elyria.