I am waiting for a deeply immersive storydriven next-gen multiplayer sandbox role-playing game. I see only two good candidates on horison, Revival and Chronicles of Elyria.
Two candidates is better than one, but which one would I play if they both get released succesfully with all the planned features?
I don't care about any differences in their business models because I can afford any of them. I imagined dividing my gameplay time evenly between these two games, until I realised how stressful it could be to play two games that have obligations and risks for houseowners, toll on offline player characters, decay of skills, everchanging and evolving world and storydriven approach. A much more realistic approach would be to invest and dedicate myself a lot more to one of these games and play the other casually without pressure to keep up with its world changes, evolving storylines or fear that something happens to the house or items while I am playing the other game.
So, which one would I choose as my primary game if they both get released with all the planned features? I had this difficult question last time when I was trying to decide my primary theme-park MMORPG, Neverwinter or Elder Scrolls Online.
Revival and Chronicles of Elyria represent same genre and game category. They also share a low-fantasy theme and a lot of similar innovative game mechanics, features and goals, but each of them also has its own flavour that distinguishes it from the other game.
I have made a list of ten things revealed in 2015 that sparked my interest in each game. These are things which might be missing or noticeably less prominent in the other game.
CHRONICLES OF ELYRIA will have (partially or completely exclusive to it in comparison with Revival):
1. Subterranean building that enables players to build their own underground dungeons
2. Path to becoming a vampire or lich for certain players
3. Role of genetics and family ties in character creation, time on the astral plane and other game features.
4. Soul mate features
5. Research in item crafting and curious balance between production and research
6. Realistic approach to item inventory and backpack space.
7. Use of architecture tool for house building
8. Unique skill or talent randomly attached to certain souls
9. Reincarnation of a soul after 8-12 months into a physical body that is more apt to learn skills
10. Offline player characters staying around in the world
REVIVAL will have (partially or completely exclusive to it in comparison with Chronicles of Elyria):
1. Professional live dungeon masters with DM toolset lurking behind scenes on gold servers
2. Focus on dark fantasy and horror with Lovecraftian setting, gritty world, scheming gods
3. House decoration mode and neighborhood politics for house owners
4. Monstrous appendages or slow transformation into a monstrous shape for certain players
5. Tag system features tied to many game systems and features
6. Fortune-telling skills, origin matrix in character creation process
7. Simple mundane magic and hard to discover deep or ancient magic that can lead to madness
7. Magic based on use of verbal incantations, consumed material components and/or persistent focus item
9. Good and evil karma which is not black and white but more like grey or relative in a mature way, karma with individual gods
10. Realistic approach to farming and growing crops and animals
Here is also a list of some things that both Chronicles of Elyria and Revival aim to have, though not necessarily in completely identical form. The list is longer but I am too lazy at the moment to remember all of the things that these games seem to have in common.
1. Cartography and next-gen approach to maps (creating maps, sensory mini-map features etc.)
2. Astrology (the sky of the game world and position and movememtn of stars on the sky affect astrology and/or fortune-telling)
3. Disguises, reputation and identity
4. Ageing and heritage
5. Contracts between players
6. House management tools (if house owner wants to dedicate a room or some part of a house to another player or NPC)
7. Effects of weather (wearing full armor in hot desert or not enough clothes in cold environment being dangerous and other such things)
8. Player character's body and appearance changing depending on amount of physical exercise or hygiene.
9. Crafting skills based on mini games that mimick actions performed for that type of skill in real life.
10. Complex smart active NPCs (that go about their business and don't just stand with an exclamation mark above their head)
11. Goods and information have to be carried with caravans, couriers, ships or other means in the game world.
12. Resources are finite in the game world and some goods can perish or decay.
13. Gold and goods have to be stored physically in banks or warehouses.
14. No global chat like in existing MMO games.
15. Special plane of existence where player character's are sent when they die (Astral Plane in CoE and Plane of Animae in Revival)
16. Taming and complex management of creatures and henchmen.
17. Different types of ships, fishing and whailing professions.
For now I remain undecided which game will be more interesting as the primary game, but perhaps now in 2016 there will be more clues to help with the decision.