8 January

December 2019 Community Journal

By Serpentius

Salutations Elyrians!

December was a crazy month for a variety of reasons. Let’s go over what transpired in this shorter-than-normal last month of the year in our recap below.

A look back:

  • December 2nd was the last day to purchase Premium and Standard Longest Night calendars as our Black Friday/Cyber Monday 20% off sale ended. Congrats to all of you who got your premium calendars!
  • Never having been shown before, these Erishé character models were a hit! If you missed it, check out these discoverable tribe screens shared by none other than the Spider Queen herself.
  • It was a busy week, but that didn’t stop Snipehunter from sharing new concept drawings and artwork on Elyrian Souls made by Heat.
  • The Settlers of Elyria event launched but did encounter a hiccup after its initial debut. While still being worked on for re-release, you can view the original announcement about it here, as well as review the event FAQ.
  • Our final shiny of this short month (it was short due to American holidays that the studio celebrates) was all about scary and glowy! Check out the Sailfin in this final shiny of 2019!
  • With the postponement of the Settlers of Elyria event, we posted an update thread to keep everyone in the loop about our progress towards restarting it.
  • Finally, knowing the holiday was upon us and wanting to ensure we set your expectations, we posted a final Settlers of Elyria event update before the break.

Studio additions!

In December, Ash Kain joined us as Producer. In his most previous roles he has worked on Camelot: Unchained and also Star Citizen. You can find him in Discord under the handle “Kain”.

In January, two new members joined the team. First we welcome CortanaV to the team as our new UX/UI designer! She previously worked on Destiny through to Destiny 2, and Shadowkeep, to name a few. You can find her on our official Discord server in blue as “CortanaV”.

Next we added a senior UI artist to our team of merry developers. His previous accolades include Halo Infinite and start to finish efforts on Halo 4 and 5. He’s logged into our Discord server as “Mokume_Hada”.

If you see any of them participating in chat make sure you say hello!

Discord Server Boosts

This feature provided by Discord gives server communities more perks to spruce things up and share their love for their favorite(s) server(s).

You can learn about the benefits the varied levels of Server Boosts provide at the link above, and since you can only choose 1 or 2 servers to dedicate your love towards (depending on your Nitro benefits), we'd like to thank the following members whose boosts helped us gain or maintain our perks in December!

Note: Boosts verified on 1/6/2020 at 9:33am pacific time.

Gold boosters (24 months* or more)

None yet!

Silver boosters (13-23 months*)

None yet!

Bronze boosters (6-12 months*)

  • Caspian (7)
  • Blankwindow (7)
  • Zenko (7)
  • Serpentius (7)
  • Ranulf the Grey (6)
  • Kaeolin (6)

Iron boosters (2-5 months*)

  • Agent Neran Nitro (5)
  • Mimots (5)
  • DarioZ (5)
  • Dragendave (5)
  • Levi Symond (5)
  • Zazulu Kintridge (5)
  • Waffle (4)
  • Waverinn (4)
  • Luminin (4)
  • Ineluki (4)
  • Lycoh (4)
  • Kira Lyallvaldr (4)
  • Vladimirr (4)
  • Soul (4)
  • ThatGuy209 (4)
  • Duke Aeson Holf (4)
  • Chojin (3)
  • Kel (3)
  • Morbis (3)
  • Sport (3)
  • Dreamar (3)
  • huntsmaster (2)
  • mmaamm (2)
  • Klaus Snovinter (2)
  • Ser Medieval (2)

New to this list, welcome!

  • Rovaan of Roenack
  • Lync
  • pursuedCoffee
  • HorseFan
  • Xeyska
  • Bruerag Zyzax
  • Polite
  • z3rocoo1
  • Cannon
  • TANNER
  • Konlet
  • Keeby
  • Draguta
  • Desonance
  • Sage Alluvial "Alvy" Maris
  • Magtaius
  • Jaidic
  • Quokka
  • Strumtrooper
  • Master Drukat

* = The number in parenthesis indicates how many times the booster appeared consecutively on this list.

Thank you very much to all of our boosters!

Surname reservations:

We consistently review surname reservations on a weekly basis. Each month, we like to share a few from the past period that caught our eye.

Due to the holidays, we have a few on our list still to be reviewed. Of those we have gotten to, here are some samples of some faves and declines:

Random declined surnames:

  • The Cosmic
  • Beowulf
  • Hautkopft
  • imfinewiththedefalt
  • Slapentius
  • Snortpentius
  • Balthz Deep
  • the Bronx
  • Declineplz
  • Skywalkor
  • Forge-Master
  • lego
  • Machiavelli

Most attempted surnames: Names that appear to be a title

Random standouts:

  • Parsily
  • Briadvailea
  • Nuajek
  • Douzery
  • Thraxvágr
  • Shauddt

Domain name reservations

We consistently review domain name submissions on a daily and weekly basis. Here are some examples of ones that were declined and a few of our favorites.

Random declined domain names:

  • Erotica
  • Upperhorndog
  • Lowerhorndog
  • Coruscant
  • Chik Fila
  • Delphi
  • Rubicon Trail
  • Tutorial
  • Storm’s End
  • Namegoagain
  • Venerealheim
  • Caemlyn
  • Ered Luin

Most attempted: Mythological places specifically Norse

Random notable domain names:

  • Scarhelm
  • Yijmarhol
  • Natalisia
  • Angol Thramlynd
  • Keskenia
  • Calranrian
  • Seornai
  • Ngo’Waer

About name reviews

We receive domain name and surname reservations seven days a week. For a variety of reasons, we receive and still process between 50-100 names a week and we don’t see that slowing down anytime soon.

Normal response times are between 2 to 5 days, but due to the holidays we’re a little backed up. We anticipate getting the lists cleared within the next week or two, so thank you for your patience!

Random Memes

Each month, we'll spotlight a few random memes that were shared via the forums, Discord, or Reddit.


Sanguinesh really wanted us to understand what his favorite midnight snack will be once in Elyria :


Rhysith had this Marvel-ous interpretation of a Souls image the studio recently released:


Thank you to everyone who shared their memes with us. Whether funny or not, we appreciate your submissions and know humor is wildly subjective.

If you'd like to see your meme highlighted, share it with us in our Discord, forums, or our subreddit, and it may show up here one day!

Ask a Dev

A new column in the Community Journal, this section will highlight and provide answers to interesting questions submitted to us by the community.

Here is this month’s question submitted to the form below:


Baron Shield asked:

Q: "If tribes could use knowledge (meta knowledge, not obtained in-game) in order to understand how to 'treat and utilize' ironwood. Kypiq closely guard this knowledge, in-game, but does the character require the knowledge in-game in order to utilize that knowledge?"

Snipehunter replied:

A: "Absolutely - in Chronicles of Elyria we make a strong distinction between what you know, and what your character knows. Mostly this is done to make sure that things like looking up a recipe online won't create an in-balance where one player has to go through in-game means to acquire information while another just looks it up and bypasses a ton of the effort that was meant to be involved. However, treating character knowledge the way we do also means that you will need to take your character out into the world to learn the things you want your character to know. Even as a Kypiq character, you won't simply be "born" knowing how to treat Ironwood. (Unless you spark into a Kypiq artisan who has already learned the secret, of course!) Instead, you will need to seek out an NPC with the knowledge and convince them to teach you their secrets. Good luck!"


If you would like to submit a question for the Ask a Dev column in hopes it will get answered in a future Community Journal, use this form.

Moderators

(Formerly the Meet a Mod column)

Our volunteer Moderators are not only bastions of peace in our community; they are a helpful hand whenever you need assistance.

They are very knowledgeable about Chronicles of Elyria and provide valuable feedback that helps keep our community amazing.

Each month in the past, we provided a little insight into who they are and what makes them tick.

All current moderators have been interviewed, look to previous Community Journals to learn more about them!

More about Mods

As you may already know, our volunteer Moderators and Super Moderators spend countless, often tedious hours supporting and helping the community to ensure peace and happiness across all of our platforms.

In December, aside from trying to take a break for the holidays, the moderator team continued providing feedback on the Soulbot project to further refine our custom bot, and we started delving into statistics on our server and how they can help us make this community even better.

If you ever want to talk to a Moderator, you can find them in the forums with a Moderator title, or in our official Discord server in purple (Moderator) and gold (Super Moderator).

Becoming a mod:

If you have an interest in becoming a Moderator for our team, please, don't call us, we'll call you! There is no application process; we constantly seek out capable, kind, considerate, helpful, and supportive individuals who have a reputation in the community of being upstanding players who are honest and have integrity. If that sounds like you, and you are present in our community, keep up the efforts! We'll find you!

Meet an Organization

Each month we spotlight an organization from our community.

We have many creative members who are building amazing groups in Elyria, and this is one way we can help bring them to your attention.

Today, we introduce you to the Wissenheim Institute of Technology, shared with us by their Headmistress Argyn.

Official Organization name: Wissenheim Institute of Technology
Server: Angelica (NA-W)
Kingdom affiliation: Blackheart
How did you form? "The school formed after seeing a gap in the current atmosphere of CoE. Although many well-known and great schools exist, much of the community lack real-world educational institution experience and felt we might be able to add something to the conversation. Additionally, most of our community have dreams of pushing the research and technological advancement aspect of CoE to the extreme and felt a school/institute would best support these lofty goals.”
Tell us about the leadership: "Wissenheim Institute of Technology is run by several real-world professors, teachers, educators, administrators, and researchers, interested in creating a simulated institute at the forefront of knowledge acquisition and academic rigor and as such strive for a major shift from the more mundane and traditional educational centers planned for CoE."
Organization purpose: "We aim to advance knowledge and educate students in science, technology, and other areas of scholarship that will best serve the kingdom and all of Elyria today as well as the days to come. The institute is committed to generating, disseminating, and preserving knowledge, and to working with others to bring this knowledge to bear on the kingdom’s and world's greatest challenges. Additionally, we are dedicated to providing our students with an education that combines rigorous study and the excitement of discovery with the support and intellectual stimulation of the community. We seek to develop in each member of the community the ability and passion for working wisely, creatively, and effectively for the betterment of mannkind and defense of the realm."
Motto/Slogan: "Scientia Praesidium Regnum (Knowledge, the Guardian of the Kingdom)"
Fun Fact: "The school was founded (at least on paper) prior to the settlement in which it will be located and thus the vast majority of the settlement's leadership will be the members on the board of regents for the school."
Discord: Here
Recruitment thread: Here

Thanks Argyn for giving us a better understanding about your organization!

NEW: Submit your CoE Organizations!

We want to highlight you in a future Community Journal. If you have an active CoE organization and are able to provide all of the information requested, we’d love to hear more.

For the first time, we are now inviting all organization leaders to utilize this form and submit your organization details and we may spotlight your organization in a future CJ!

Let us know if you have any questions, or go submit your info now!

Meet a Kingdom

Over the course of the last 2 years, we’ve interviewed almost every kingdom across all four servers on a rotating basis each month. There are only so many kingdoms in each version of Elyria, sadly, which means this column has come to an end.. But, you can still find all of the Kingdom interviews by browsing Community Journals from the past! Find them here under the titles “Community Journal: date”.

Thank you for reading these interviews, I hope you found them as informative and interesting as we did conducting them.

Meet a Duchy

A new column this month, enjoy learning about one of the many player-ran Duchies in the world of Elyria.

Today we spotlight the Duchy of Thearyn as described by its Duke, (Varuian) Maulvorn.

Official duchy name: Thearyn
Family name: Maulvorn
Kingdom affiliation: Alesia
Server: Luna (NA-E)
Ducal leadership: Duke Varuian Maulvorn
Formation date: January 1st, 2018
Goals of the County: ”To ensure the constituent communities of Thearyn are as prosperous and strong as possible as that ensures the Duchy is one of the Strongest in Alesia!”
Primary focus: Industry, PvP, Religion and Agriculture
Duchy lore (optional): “Thearyn was formed when the Mad King of the old empire collapsed and the House of Maulvorn asserted control over what is now Thearyn by politics, conquest and economics”
County colors: Brown and Golden Wheat
County graphic representation:

Notable details (optional): ”1. The Duchy came into being due to being 3rd in the Free Kingdom event.
2. The only Duchy in Alesia to have a County levy plan to have every count provide a xxx amount of manpower with the Duchy funded Levy gear.
3. Thearyn lies on a likely lucrative trade route facilitating Fortuna and Vornair trade!“

Discord: Here
Official forum post Here


Want your domain showcased here in a future Community Journal? Submit it via one of these forms!


Meet a County

Another new column this month, each month we’ll highlight one of the many player-ran Counties in the world of Elyria.

This month, we learn about the County of Drake from their leader West.

Official county name: Drake
Family name: Drake
Duchy affiliation: Coast of Aritaur
Kingdom affiliation: Vornair
Server: Luna (NA-E)
County leadership: Count Vestan Drake
Formation date: July 4th, 2018
Goals of the County: ”Come join one of the largest and most active homegrown communities in all of Elyria! Our coastal county is a land of opportunity for menn and womenn of all tribes and professions. We will create a mature and relaxed environment where people of diverse backgrounds, interests, and play styles can work together to create the game experience they desire. Here you will find a home and friends to help you find your destiny. Together we fly!”
Primary focus: Trade
County colors: Orange and Black
County graphic representation:

Discord: Here
Official forum post Here


Want your domain showcased here in a future Community Journal? Submit it via one of these forms!


Meet a Settlement

The final new column this month, here we plan to show off one of the many player-ran Settlements in the world of Elyria.

May we introduce you to the Settlement of Vargland, as told by their esteemed leader, Vaulgrm.

Official settlement name: Vargland
Family name: Norseblood
County affiliation: Broadharvest
Duchy affiliation: Turadh
Kingdom affiliation: Tryggr
Server: Selene (EU)
Settlement leadership: Vaulgrm Norseblood and Hruni (councilor)
Formation date: March 8th, 2017
Goals of the settlement: ”Safety and security of the county of Broadharvest. Guarding the river that leads into Tryggr, as well as serving as a home for my mercenary order Wolves of Carnage.”
Primary focus: Military and the breeding wolves that shall be used as beasts of war.
Settlement lore (optional): ”Vargland is the land of wolves, it was originally located in the far north and was home to the clan Brudvir named Clan Norseblood. They were a clan of warrior that fought all over the continent in the name of honour and coin. Finally after ages of being a roaming pack of warriors they settled in Tryggr and built a new home bearing the name of their ancestral home in the north, Vargland.”
Settlement colors: Black and crimson
Settlement graphic representation:

Notable details (optional): ”1. Vargland is located next to the river that leads into Tryggr, thus likely to see a lot of trade.
2. While we will focus primarily on mercenaries and breeders, we will need people of all craft to support the settlement and warriors.
3. All roles are welcome and all types of players and play styles as well.”

Discord: Here
Official forum post Here


Want your domain showcased here in a future Community Journal? Submit it via one of these forms!


Community Spotlight

Each month in this column we share artistic creations the community has made that specifically relate to Chronicles of Elyria.

If you would like to be considered for this spotlight, please submit your content here.

Important: Please continue to share your creations! We want more of them! Utilize the link above so we can show off your efforts for all Elyrians to see!

Remember, even if your submission wasn't featured this month, we may still use it in the future.

Thank you for continuing to send us your wonderful creations!


Athorias shares this version of the “Tavern scene” in a depiction created by their friend Nanashi. According to them, ”Janoa and Hrothi have beards.” Can you imagine!?


Our next submission was submitted by Sparrow and is their envisioning of a Janoan Warbow. Tell us what you think? (Kudos for submitting an animated image!)


Next we get to enjoy a lovely commission by one of our regulars here in the CJ, Hellmoon, as she shares this creation of the Coldwater family crest:


Our last submission is more of a coloring effort by Sparrow, their 2nd entry this month. Let them know what you think of their effort on the Janoan artifacts we’ve previously shared in grey scale:


More submissions are always needed!

If you have art, songs, poems, or any creation that relates to Chronicles of Elyria you'd be willing to share in a future CJ, find the link at the top of this section, submit, and maybe you will be spotlighted!

Thank you to all of those who submitted your fan pieces!

Meet a Dev

To help you get to know our team better, we try and interview one developer each month, or as often as is possible.

This month, we talk to Cullen, also known online as Lio DeBeer, a senior gameplay programmer at the studio working on Chronicles of Elyria.

Q1: At what age did you first get into technology and why?
A1: ”I started programming seriously in my early twenties. I decided I wanted to try making video games, so I should probably learn some skills.”

Q2: Are you self-taught or did you go to school to learn engineering/coding?
A2: ”I am self-taught. I went to school for civil engineering, and was fortunately able to make a pivot to game development after college.”

Q3: Rumor has it you like very salty black licorice, how did that happen?
A3: ”I bought some while on a trip to Sweden to let my kids try it, as a joke, and we all wound up liking it.”

Q4: Any other food tolerances you have that some might find interesting or unusual?
A4: ”I eat a lot of hot sauce? That’s not that interesting really…”

Q5: We know you have quite the beard, how long have you been growing it?
A5: ”About 12 years? It’s my wife’s fault. She got tired of me not shaving regularly, and suggested I just let it grow out.”

Q6: Favorite movie and why?
A6: ”My old answer to this was always Cannibal Holocaust. It’s a beautifully made, brutal film that really captures how ugly humanity can be. Maybe I’m in a good mood today though, so I’m going to pick Sing Street. I grew up in the 80s playing in some bad bands, and that movie really resonated with me. I think that might make an interesting double feature. Kind of captures the full range of human experience.”

Q7: What are you working on right now at the studio?
A7: ”Implementing the traversal mechanics.”

Q8: What was the first programming language you feel you “mastered”? Why did you learn that language?
A8: ”C++ (although I wouldn’t claim to have mastered it in an interview). It was the only real choice for making games back in the day, and arguably still is.”

Q9: What mechanics or concepts in Chronicles of Elyria are you most excited to work on (not play)?
A9: ”The economic simulations, AI, and story engine. Anything that will bring out the living/changing world elements of the game.”

Q10: Why did you decide to join the team here at Soulbound Studios?
A10: ”The opportunity to work with a small team on a game that we own. You don’t find that very often in the game industry these days. COE also presents some very interesting challenges you don’t always find in the average game dev job.”

Q11: What would you say is the most difficult engineering task you’ve ever had to execute on?
A11: ”Maybe creating the AI for a sci-fi aerial combat game? Had to develop tools to analyze arbitrary 3d levels with various tunnels and obstacles to create nav data for pathfinding, and then make the AI able to fly various aircraft using that data.”

Q12: If you could say anything to the entire community right now, what would that be?
A12: ”Thanks for all the support. I really value all the trust you have put in our studio, and will do everything I can to get you a game that meets your expectations, hopefully in a timeline people find acceptable.”

Thanks Cullen for helping us understand a little more about you, glad to have you aboard!

Reddit community

Chronicles of Elyria has a Reddit community, lovingly managed by Hellmoon, Mickdude, ImbuedGreen, SirApetus and now, LegendaryNeurotoxin!

You read that right! ”Legendary” gamer and co-host of the popular TheoryForge streaming channel on Twitch, Legendary Neurotoxin, joins our Com Mod team on our official Subreddit!

Welcome Neuro and thank you!

The second highlight was that on December 7th, our subreddit turned 5 years old! Thank you to everyone who has participated so far, and to our Com Mods! Here’s to the next 5 years! raises a glass

Lastly, but certainly not least, December 2019 was the busiest month on record for our official Subreddit! We had traffic of over 56,000 pageviews, more than double the previous busiest month of September at 27k. Huzzah!

We continue to be amazed by our community members, even those on other sites such as Reddit. Thank you for all of your help to spread the word about Chronicles of Elyria!

If you are interested in joining our subReddit, find it here

Content Creators

If you are a content creator and would like to be able to share your community show or video(s) in our Discord server, please read on.

In order to be a content creator and

  • Utilize our #community-events channel to promote your show or content or
  • Plan to utilize the new “Go live!” feature in our official Discord

You will need the [Content Creator] role in our server.

If you are interested in gaining this role, please email us at [email protected] with the words “Content creator request” in your subject line. We will send you back the info you need to get setup.

Thank you to the 33+ content creators that already have the role and provide content for our community!

Community shows

The Chronicles of Elyria community is a busy one and has been for a long time now. It’s so active that there are many live shows hosted each month. To help you be aware of them, and attend these enlightening and often revealing events, we've summarized those we know occur consistently each month. If you host a show on CoE and want to be included here, please contact us at [email protected]

As a recent change, if your channel hasn't added any new content in the last 90 day period, we'll remove it from this list. If you feel your show was removed accidentally, please contact us or reach out to Serpentius.

Our content creators now have their very own thread in our forums & you can preview their content without ever leaving our site!

Check out the Community Shows directory here.

To easily find it in the future, it is also linked in the new Read First sticky we mentioned earlier.

Community contests

We love running contests, promotions, and events for our players — but it turns out our players love running them as well!

To help you keep track of all of the different contests and events at any given time, we've summarized them into one directory and stickied it in our General Discussion forum.

The Art of Elyria!

There are a ton of talented artists in our community, many who share their creations in our forums and on our Discord server. Recently, some of those artists (including our super awesome Hellmoon) have created an official Chronicles of Elyria group over at the ultimate web destination for all art: Deviant Art.

Explore the creations, add your own or just support the creativity of our members in the CoE Deviant Art group!

Ambassadors

Each month we'll get to know one of our esteemed Ambassadors, as well as let you know the status of current nominations and votes!

Meet an Ambassador

This month we’ve reached the end of our list of esteemed Ambassadors. We thank them all for helping us get to know them better If you would like to look at previous Ambassador interviews, check out the past Community Journals.

Ambassador Nominations

There are some incredibly helpful and amazing community members that would make great ambassadors for Chronicles of Elyria.

If you know of someone you think would be a great ambassador and they qualify for the role, nominate them!

If you want to learn more about the current Ambassador program check out this link

Thanks for your support, as always.

Subject Matter Experts

The Subject Matter Expert program allows players in the community to lend their expertise to the studio to help make Elyria the best it can be!

SMEs are interacting more and more with the designers lately as game development moves ahead. We’re hopeful to bring on more SMEs with different expertise in the near future. Keep your eyes on this space for that news!

Find our Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) in orange in our official Discord server, and identified as "Subject Expert" in the forums.

Learn more about the SME program here

What’s next?

For this final section of the Community Journal we outline what is upcoming and nearest on our calendar.

  • Our top priority is resuming the Settlers of Elyria event with all issues resolved. That should be the very next event that our playerbase can experience
  • Work continues on the core CoE game, as the Prelyria client continues to see work done in all of the areas we’ll need for initial testing to begin
  • RP enhancements to our Discord server that have been in the works will finally be realized!
  • After SoE is out, our next big project will be the Organization Faire with Personas. Look for an update on this in the future!
  • Caspian’s highly anticipated annual update blog the “State of Elyria” will be forthcoming once the Settlers event is underway.

Welcome to 2020!

Stay awesome everyone and as always,

More to come...