We are happy to announce the release date and content set for Elphame's Arena!
Before we start, we would like to express appreciation for all of our beta testers sharing feedback during our beta!
What is it?
Elphame's Arena is our first seasonal server. Seasonal servers are a way for us to add new disruptive mechanics in a server that has a limited life span. When a season starts, every character will be brand new starting from scratch and at the end of the season the server will be deleted permanently. During the season, you will be able to earn unique rewards which are claimable on our Finvarra's Fortress server.
Being able to start a new server with a limited lifetime allows us to build radically new content in a way that isn't a continuous treadmill of progression. It also allows everyone to capture that initial wonder of entering a new world again with absolutely nothing, scrapping for every bit of gear you can find.
Although radically new mechanics are being developed for these short-lived servers, Finvarra's Fortress will continue to receive scheduled updates and will serve as our permanent "home" server where rewards from seasons can be claimed on. New ruleset changes or content that is well received may get implemented into the Finvarra's Fortress ruleset.
How long is a season?
Elphame's Arena will launch on April 16th, 2021. The server will have the same access as Finvarra's Fortress (available for free to play and subscribers). No character data is transferrable between servers.
The first season of Elphame's Arena will end on June 26th, 2021. After this time, the server will be taken down and all data erased. All rewards from the server must be purchased before the server is taken down in order to ensure they are accessible on Finvarra's Fortress.
What happens when the season is over?
Following the season end, player feedback will be incorporated to tweak rulesets into a new season. Between seasons, there will be a delay (likely two months or longer) in order to give time to develop new mechanics changes to keep things fresh.
All seasonal characters are deleted upon completion of a season.
Who can play?
Elphame's Arena will be accessible to all game account types: free to play (citizen) and subscribers (noble citizen). Unlike Finvarra's Fortress, no content will be gated behind subscriptions however subscribers will get the benefit for bonus silver and experience in hot zones.
What are the rewards?
Rewards on Elphame's Arena work by giving you the item you want but also giving you a redemption code to claim it again on Finvarra's Fortress. All rewards are bind-on-pickup so they cannot be resold or traded after redemption.
There are three types of rewards:
Seasonal Flower Baldric
A flower baldric is awarded once your character has achieved level 100 on Elphame's Arena. This flower baldric is the first baldric we have ever made with multiple customizable color channels and dyeing. Using the baldric will teleport you to Elphame's temple.
Decorative House Banners
These are purchased via the silver shop on Elphame's Arena.
Show off your prowess by hanging banners of your fiercest foes on your house! There are many different banners with different enemy faces.
Each banner has three variants to determine it's angle. There are multiple "tiers" of banners with more prestigious ones costing more silvers.
Ring of Illusion
These rings are found in rare drops among the hardest enemies in Elphame's Arena. Finding and opening this chest will grant you a ring on Elphame's Arena and a redemption code on Finvarra's Fortress.
Wearing these rings will give you the appearance of a monster as long as it's worn. These are similar to the illusions you can get now with event potions with the difference being these illusions are permanent and cannot be dispelled. (Note level restriction on Elphame's Arena is level 50). Every season there will be a different set of illusion rings to collect. This season we will have the Ratling, Skeleton and Faery rings available for collection.
Below is a comprehensive listing of the ruleset for this server, this is a copy of the "Server Ruleset" book in your character's inventory.
The main philosophy behind Elphame's Arena's ruleset is this: choice matters. If you choose to equip one item over another, there is a decision to be made. If you invest buildpoints in sorcery you are compromising on investing buildpoints somewhere else. A strong forcing function to encourage decision is to introduce scarcity. Scarcity of gold, scarcity of buildpoints, scarcity of mana. When you have limited resources you will need to make a decision that will fundamentally make one character different than another. We're excited to see where players take this!
In order to promote build diversity, we have reduced the maximum level from 1000 to 100. This means you will have a limited number of build points to spend. In order to compensate for the lower level cap, the experience rate has been lowered and bell-curved to make the experience 0-60 relatively fast and the remainder more challenging. To help Noble Citizens, all zones are considered hot zones and will reward 50% bonus experience to subscribers. Also to encourage decisions about character composition, we have reduced the max group size from 6 to 2.
To compensate for lower level cap and encourage player interaction, the playable area and some higher level content have been adjusted. At launch the playable areas will be:
- Three cities: East Leinster, West Leinster and Kurz
- Six open world regions: Ratling Run, Havenwood, Deadly Wolf Woods, Leinster/Kurz Road, Killing Fields, and Forest of Death
- Nine shared dungeons: Fenris Cave, Festering Hate Pool, Fuloran's Abode, Imp City, Targoth's Tomb, Warrior's Abode, Tulor's Caverns, Thieves Hole, and Ogre Caverns
For dungeons, it's also important to note that dungeons are now shared zones. This means that you are competing for the same monsters as other players and you will often find other players in your dungeon crawling. Due to this, loot in dungeons has been moved from treasure chests to bosses that can spawn as any normal open world boss would. Additionally, to maintain consistency between dungeons and open world we have disabled NPCs jumping players in all zones.
We have also reduced the maximum animation speed out-of-combat to encourage player interaction.
Continuing along the lines of scarcity forcing decision making, we have increased the impact of current gold sinks (Insurance and Repair costs) and decreased the value of selling items to vendors. With the exception of seasonal rewards, no items are bound to a character or account. This means equipment you find can be sold or traded to anyone!
Mana has been changed to a regenerating resource. This adds a dynamic of decision making when casting spells in combat as casting a high risk spell such as mysticism may end up harming you in the long run when you are out of mana. To compensate for this, many mana costs of spells have been tweaked as well as some spell damage or effectiveness. Mana regenerates based on your meditation skill and your max mana pool is primarily dictated by the gear you are wearing. Use of magic items instead of spells may be something to consider given mana will not regenerate in combat.
Also to help with the constrained nature of mana in combat, the effectiveness of theurgism as a skill with magic items has been significantly increased. However, recharging magic items such as orbs or wands has also been disabled.
Lastly to give more "chase" to spell casters, master and grand-master spells are find-only, which means they cannot be purchased in a store anymore.
We are bringing things back to basics for itemization on Elphame's Arena. This means no new items from Finvarra's Fortress will be available on the server (e.g. Familiar, Proficient, and Expert armor). Instead, we will be revitalizing existing items during the 3.x era of The Realm. Also, because this is a temporary server we can increase drop rates while also removing item binding (i.e. bind on equip, bind on pickup) for equippable items.
Items are divided into four tiers which each increasing tier being found on higher level content. As the tiers are increased, so are the chances of better item rolls for randomized stats.
Base Tier List
Tier 1: Mythril, Troll Leather
Tier 2: Obsidianite, Imp Skin
Tier 3: Adamantium, Daemon Skin
Tier 4: Finvarra's items, Plate of Invulnerability, etc…
The highest tier items, including the iconic The Wrath can only be found on the hardest enemies in Elphame's Arena. Metal-based armor will favor melee players with generally more hitpoints than manapoints. Leather based armor is created for wizards to have a gear progression associated with them to give bonus manapoints more than hitpoints. Acquiring better leather armor will be vital for wizards to be effective in combat.
To make getting a new item a continuously exciting experience, we are also introducing item randomization. Every time an item from any of these tiers is created, it is randomized to change: Armor Rating, Weight, Min/Max Damage, +Hitpoints, +Manapoints, with an extra rare chance of adding an enchantment. Any item that has a rarity applied to it (i.e. any item that has a color associated with its name) has randomization and enchantments applied to it. A very high roll will upgrade the rarity of the item. When you see an item drop with the updated rarity that's a good indication that it's a powerful item. This includes items like magic rings, amulets, belts, and so on. Continuously hunting for and upgrading your armor will be vital to take on the hardest encounters in Elphame's Arena.
Continuing the philosphy of "decisions matter", to avoid stat-bloat as has been common on The Realm since 3.x we are disabling the ability to add enchants to items or weapons via spell casting. The only way to get an enchant now is by finding an item with an enchant on it. This will but heavy emphasis on your original stat allocation when creating your character so choose wisely! To compensate for lower overall strength and dexterity as a result, we have increased the threshold of encumbrance as a penalty to 65% and changed combat movement to be primarily dictated by the acrobatics skill.
Here are some examples of item rarities and randomization:
A few key changes to melee combat are meant to empower melee as a more viable option than they were on Finvarra's Fortress. These are aimed to balance the game so any player can be effective whether they are an Adventurer, Thief, Warrior or Wizard.
First, player characters will now stay focused on their selected target when they are attacking. This means they will no longer "lose" attacks to retaliation against targets they don't intend on hitting. Secondly, we have significantly increased the base damage of cleave to make fighting larger groups of NPCs more viable as melee. Lastly, we have significantly increased the effectiveness of armor rating and shield rating for damage mitigation.
Player vs. Player
The final core ruleset to go over is the always-on PvP of Elphame's Arena. This means every character has PvP enabled and cannot turn it off. To help newer players, we are disabling PvP in the havenwood and city areas but once you venture outside of there you are vulnerable. When a player is killed by another player, an announcement will be displayed in the Bosses tab. This will show who killed who and where. Whether you build a reputation as a hero or a villain is up to you.
To reduce the impact of ganking, if you are attacked and your attacker is 10 levels OR 25% higher level than you, then you will not lose experience or drop any items. This only applies to defenders (i.e. the players being jumped).