Lore - General
05-17-2011 07:16 PM
It's own language? No, every RACE has it's own language. Every race in our game has 10,000 years of back story, heroes, villains, language, music, style, color palette etc. RA and the team truly "BUILT" the world, from the ground up.
There will be nothing 'just there', another reason this has taken and will take, as long as it has.
One thing we did was look at where Middle Earth ended up. Given the work done by fans in the past 50-60 years, you see what the truly hard core fans will create absent a driving force.
Now that can't mean you need to get into that stuff to enjoy it, you absolutely do not, but for those that do love lore, and all that goes with it, no one has the amount of history we've created for Amalur.
05-18-2011, 04:39 PM
Originally Posted by NgrukThe genesis of Amalur is a bit older than 38. We, the core group, started with what we thought was a pretty cool idea and story, then pitched it to RA and Todd, who both bought in.
At that point RA went into hiding with his team, and came out with the world of Amalur, and it's 10k year history outlined. For about 3 years RA and the 38 team led by Mr Danuser, filled in pretty much every blank there was in addition to creating massive new branches.
I knew we were heading somewhere special when RA came to me one day about 2 years ago and said "I'm done, I can't do anymore, the stuff they're showing me is 100x better than what I would have come up with".
So ya, RA is the backbone, and the story in game, in both games, is from the canon they created.
08-10-2011 10:27 AM
Originally Posted by TiberiusYup, there are hundreds of readable books/scrolls in the game. Some are serious, some are funny, some are specifically for quests and some are just meant to give flavor and depth to the world. They range from a cheerful book of gnomish nursery rhymes to a blood-stained suicide note. We’ve also got something called Lorestones that…well, we’ll talk about them more later.Originally Posted by OutlanderAgain to reference Elder Scrolls, will there be readable books in-game? Whether that is lore, fiction, comedy, a journal, whatever. Books are one thing I really love about Elder Scrolls. It gives a whole separate layer of believability to the world.
09-07-2011 11:57 AM
Originally Posted by CoreFractureNot only do we have an extensive team of Functional Quality Assurance testers (FQA, the bug hunters and breakers of the game) but we also have a team of Playthrough Quality Assurance Testers (PQA), or as they like to call themselves "Team Raptor".Originally Posted by FalkonWhen play-testing the game, do you get feedback from testers if they understand the plot and storyline/lore, or are you just testing game play?
The PQA team works directly with the design department and bridges a commonly open gap between QA and Design. Their work primarily focuses on taking direction from the designers on what areas to test, and provide extensive feedback on those areas. They have a weekly meeting with design leads where they discuss balance concerns, gaps in gameplay, and other things they feel generally don’t make the game fun! Along with PQA’s feedback on the previous areas, the entire QA department also keeps an eye out for any potential breakdowns in the story arc, plot, and / or other instances of unclear lore and dialog.
09-07-2011 04:59 PM
Originally Posted by MoorgardIt will be easier to understand the geography when you have a larger map to look at rather than just the Faelands. (One day...)
In the Age of Arcana, Alfaria and Fortenmar are two of the major land masses of the known world. The Faelands actually spans both; Erathell, Detyre, and Dalentarth are in Alfaria, while Klurikon and Alabastra are in Fortenmar.
The Ljosalfar and Dokkalfar kingdoms are collectively referred to as Alfar. When speaking of elves in the collective sense, a person in Amalur is likely to simply refer to them as Alfar.
Glen Suthain lies far to the west of the Faelands. Both types of elves lived there until the Dokkalfar moved eastward and founded Rathir. Both kingdoms of elves remain the closest of allies throughout Amalur's history, although the differences between them become more pronounced the further forward in history you go.
With magic on the rise during the Age of Arcana, we see both Alfar kingdoms stretching their legs a bit, venturing out into the world more so than in most other times of history. There are some consequences to this behavior, and lessons to be learned. Such lessons tend to come at a high price.
09-14-2011 10:02 AM
Originally Posted by TesseractWell, luckily, the history also comes in time-line form, for easy reference! But yes, several years ago, when 38 Studios had just acquired Big Huge Games, our entire narrative team sat down and went through the core docs. I think there was something like a 90 page history written out. An engrossing read for an IP you're about to embark on!Originally Posted by JDTwoSixTwoSince R. A. Salvatore wrote 10,000 years of history, did any of you have to read through all of this history? If so, how long did it take to read?
09-14-2011 10:02 AM
Originally Posted by TesseractSo from what we've put out on the internet so far, you can glean a good bit about our main story and what's going in the world. There's a war between mortals and Fae; you, the player, have been mysteriously resurrected, leaving you free from Fate.Originally Posted by MemoryKillCan you tell us a bit more about the story of Reckoning? We'd love to know more of what we are fighting towards.
What you might not know is how big and rich a world we've wrapped around those things. We have six factions. Each tells its own story, and at the same time, tells a story about some part of the world. The way that R. A. Salvatore designed Amalur, there are gears turning within gears. Some factions hint at what age our game takes place in, and at what ages might be to come. Other factions reflect back on the nature of a race in the game, the war, and the player's identity.
There's another story to Reckoning, and that's what life is like in every area on the map. The way we designed our side quests, we custom tailored a story for every space. Again, every space tells its own story and fills in the world as a whole. Sometimes they involve war veteran and mortal-fae relations -- and sometimes they simply explain the region of Amalur, because, remember, these lands stretch backward and forward in history. We are laying cobblestones on paths that will be dirt roads a thousand years ago, and gleaming thoroughfares a thousand years from now.
09-24-2011, 10:19 AM
Originally Posted by NgrukGiven the sheer depth and breadth of the story I imagine the team, and RA, will try to get a ton of it out pre launch to avoid HAVING to tell the backstory in game if you don't want it.
That's one of our challenges, everything in this world has a reason, and the reasons aren't 'theory' or 'just because', they've been spelled out, they're deep and meaningful, and NOT having to tell it in game is different than not having it in game, it will be there, be in many places for you to read about and soak in if you want it, but it can't be needed to enjoy the game.
10-05-2011 10:07 AM
Originally Posted by MoorgardI won't go into details on our plans to roll this out yet, but I can tell you a bit about our philosophical approach to sharing lore.
Often a brand will reveal a bit of its lore to the public, but hold back huge swaths of it in order to protect some notion of secrets. The trouble is, things get so buried that the truths never get revealed. Thus all this background lore that so many people worked on just gets lost.
We intend to reveal a lot of history and background lore. A *lot*. We're not going to spoil the franchise mysteries, as there are many thematic details we want you to find on your own. It's one thing to know that Person A killed Person B in a certain year. But to realize the motive behind it, and what impact that action had on history, and how it directly impacts the game you're playing or book you're reading or whatever--that's a much richer experience.
We realize that the vast majority of people who play our games will not care about all the depth and nuance. But for the audience that does--you folks here, our early adopters, our most ardent advocates--we intend to reward your patience with unprecedented layers of depth. Because we think that if we lay out the details, and let you uncover the themes and mysteries, then you will tie the deep threads of story together on your own, and your experience will be the richer for it.
10-05-2011 12:34 PM
Originally Posted by xaelYou can listen to any and all lore that you have found via Lorestones in the world through the Lorestone page, found under the in-game Status sub-menu of the main menu. On the Lorestone page you can see the area, name, and description of all Lorestones as well as the reward for finding all of the Lorestones in a set. Once you have found a Lorestone in the world, you can go into that set and listen to the individual pieces of lore. Accompanying the audio is a transcription of the spoken lore, which ranges from the comedic to the morbid. I hope you enjoy them as much as I enjoyed writing them!Originally Posted by Ajwol SemrethIs it possible to re-listen to a specific Lore Stone, once we have found and activated it, through the Lore Stone menu option without having to revisit that particular Lore Stone?
11-07-2011 06:46 PM
Originally Posted by MoorgardThe Amalur.com site is still young, and you haven't been exposed to the details of the Concordance yet. But just as in our own world, it's safe to say that no global power achieves prominence without getting its hands dirty.
Conversely, the members of the Amaranthine certainly don't see their own actions as treacherous or evil. On the contrary, they liberated the world from the rule of the Kollossae--independence is a key value among the kingdoms who have made their way in the harsh lands of Fortenmar.
There are no clear good guys or bad guys in Amalur. As in any history, it's all a matter of perspective.
11-09-2011 10:48 AM
Originally Posted by DoctorSpookyThe power of the Fateweavers is not absolute and they are viewed with skepticism by many. Their readings are often murky and metaphorical and often seem to say things entirely different from what actually happens. In fact, many mortals doubt the existence of the Tapestry of Fate at all, since the Fateweavers are the only people that can view it and only the Fateweavers claim absolute knowledge of Fate's existence.Originally Posted by KazeeCan you tell us more about Fateweavers? So far, I think all we know is that Fateweavers can read the Fate anyone with certainty, and alter Fate for a person who has none (at this point in the story, only the playing character qualifies.) What is the general public perception and relative station of Fateweavers? Are they feared and avoided for the most part, or are they respected like an oracle or soothsayer would be?
Are there any spiritual mechanics that prevent a Fateweaver from abusing their gifts to manipulate or become wealthy and powerful? Is the power of Fate alone the energy that fuels their power, or is there a spiritual or godlike source?
Are the Fateweavers' abilities becoming increasingly less reliable due to the playing character's disruption of Fate? (And as a result, do certain Fateweavers hate the PC for this reason?) Or, does this mean their visions are equally reliable but can change rather than being static?
Fate itself is viewed much in the way that religion in the modern world is viewed: There are some who have an unshakable faith that it exists and guides all mortal actions, while others consider Fate to be a foolish concoction meant to sooth troubled minds in times of crisis. The difference is: Fate's weave does exist as a quantifiable force that directs and compels the actions of mortals. Although the Fateweavers can see, feel, and tap in to the Weave, even their view of it is often unclear.
During a reading, a Fateweaver taps into the weave and allows the magic of Fate to guide her hand through her focus (most Fateweavers use cards, although the cards themselves vary by order). She then interprets the reading as best she can. A proper reading is always accurate but because the interpretation of the focus is subjective, a Fateweaver doesn't always interpret things correctly. Among the Fateweavers, the ability to accurate interpret the reading is what separates a good Fateweaver from a bad one.
Although they are the only ones who can see the weave, the Fateweavers do not claim to know who (if anyone) it is that has woven the Tapestry. This is perhaps the greatest issue of debate among them. Some Fateweavers claim that the Tapestry is the product of the eternal struggle between the gods Mitharu and Telogras. Other Fateweavers argue passionately that the Tapestry is born of the natural struggle to force chaotic beings into order. Yet others argue that the Tapestry was set at the beginning of time and is itself, purely random. However, it is all speculation. No one, not even High King Titarion, who taught the first Fateweavers how to glimpse the Tapestry, knows for sure.
The subjective nature of the readings has lead society at large to vary wildly in its view of Fatewavers. Some rulers hold the predictions of the Fateweavers in high regard. In some areas of the world, they are outlawed. Each land, kingdom, and person views Fate and the Fateweavers differently.
In the settlements of the Faelands, and the cities of Rathir and Adessa, Fateweavers are largely accepted and in cases such as Agarth, viewed with affection among the general population, even if their predictions are not always taken seriously. As far as what will happen to them as a result of the Player's existence? Well, we don't want to give it all away, do we?
11-09-2011 10:48 AM
Originally Posted by DoctorSpookyThe war between the Tuatha and the mortal races has dragged on for a long time. While the Tuatha armies have been contained inside of Klurikon for nearly ten years, many still remember the battle known as The Night of Fire and Blood when the Tuatha first swept through the Plains of Erathell. It has been a long time since the Tuatha waged open war in the lands of the Dokkalfar, and the physical and emotional scars of those battles have had time to heal, but they are not forgotten.Originally Posted by SuperNinjaHow has wartime affected the lives of the people of Amalur?
It's possible for an individual in the Faelands to live their lives ignorant of what is happening at the front in Mel Senshir. The Orbocant in Rathir quietly brings home the bodies of those who fall at the siege in an attempt to mask the common people from the continuing impact of the war. Trade continues. Crops grow. Mines still operate. But, for those that witnessed the War of the Plains or those who fought in the campaign to drive the Tuatha back into Klurikon, it's impossible to ignore the still-present threat to the east. Everyone knows that Mel Senshir cannot hold out forever, and should it fall, the Tuatha will once again spread through the rest of the Faelands. Without an army capable of holding them back, all will be lost.
Most residents of the Faelands try to push this to the back of their minds, but the closer they live to Rathir and the more personally they are touched by the war, the harder they find it to go about their daily lives. Refugees from burned towns still seek shelter all over the Plains. The settlements of Dalentarth still see veterans and deserters worn from battle. The mines of Detyre still send more ore for swords. Although distance helps tamp down the anxiety of what is to come, there are few in the Faelands who do not harbor a fear that the war will return and with it, an end to all who remain there.
11-24-2011 12:23 AM
Originally Posted by MoorgardWe intended to offer a bit more information about dates and historical calendars on the Amalur.com site, but it didn't make it for launch. It will be forthcoming. In the meantime, I'll give you the quick and dirty version.
The Erathi presented a very accurate (but complicated) calendar system to the mortals they shepherded in the early days of Amalur's history. When the Mitharan empire superseded them, the humans took the Erathi system and made it a bit more accessible. This would become known as the Mitharan Calendar, and it would be generally accepted throughout the civilized world for many ages. Dates are expressed as NW, which stands for New World.
Following the Age of Ruin, the Kollossae rallied the oppressed mortal races to unite and push back the forces of darkness. This ushered in the Age of Enlightenment, which is dominated by the rise and growth of the Hyperian Republic. The Kollossae saw the Enlightenment as a defining moment in Amalur's history--so important, in fact, that they used it as the seed for a new official calendar system, the Hyperian Calendar.
Though the Hyperian Calendar used the same basic month and day structure as the Mitharan Calendar, it revised the dating of years, designating them as either Before Enlightenment (BE) or After Enlightenment (AE). While certainly not every kingdom was a fan of the Hyperian Republic, the new calendar came into such common usage that it essentially replaced the Mitharan dating method.
11-27-2011 01:21 AM
Originally Posted by MoorgardThe simple answer is that the Mitharans saw the Emergence as a fresh start--a new world being born.Originally Posted by agraI hope there is new lore forthcoming that explains in more detail this "New World" designation. To me, it stands out as unusual given the context provided to date.
There is a less-simple answer as well, of course, but that's a tale for another time.
12-10-2011 01:19 AM
Originally Posted by MoorgardThe Spooky one speaks truth! Well said.
The thing I will add is that the theme of mortality vs. immortality is one that resonates through the whole IP. A key manifestation of this theme is the Well of Souls. When all of history has been based around a balance between mortals with their brief lifespans and magical beings like the Fae whose existence is cyclical and unending, what happens when that balance is toppled by the Well? You see the effect one fateless hero has in Reckoning; imagine a whole world of heroes touched by the Well and what impact that will have...
12-13-2011 04:30 PM
Originally Posted by MoorgardThe truth is that the Durek-Alfar war began when one of the rowdy humans spilled a drink on a Ljosalfar's couch.
Trust me, you do *not* want to mess up their furniture!
12-20-2011 10:21 AM
Originally Posted by MoorgardThe entire timeline of Amalur's history was built so that each age could feature its own distinct products, each with iconic heroes and villains, major events, battles, etc. Though united by themes and threads that span the entire IP, a game that takes place in an earlier era is not the prequel to one set in a later age; they are companion products that enhance the brand as a whole.
What's more, Amalur is a very big world. Even the map you see on the Amalur.com site is only a fraction of the known world (you'll see more...when the time is right). So a product set in Adelia during the downfall of the Corthian Republic would feel extremely different from one set in Jentilak around the siege of Ethenias, for example.
This is why Reckoning is not a prequel to the MMO. While the RPG focuses on some key story elements that do indeed resonate powerfully within Copernicus, at the heart of it each game really stands on its own.
01-20-2012 11:59 AM
Originally Posted by MoorgardIn a recent chat between George R. R. Martin and historical novelist Bernard Cornwell (http://www.omnivoracious.com/2012/01...-cornwell.html), Cornwell asserts that great fantasy epics are really "historical novels in an invented world which is grounded in historical reality".
This is definitely the approach we've taken in building the history of Amalur. We've based the conflicts between the great kingdoms in the same kinds of motives that have driven Earth's history over the ages: wars over dogma, land, resources, ambition, and so forth. The settings, races, and characters were created with a similar methodology. What do these people believe in? What goods do they make and who would they trade them to? Why would they care about the places they live in? And perhaps most important of all: How do they react when pressures are applied which threaten all of these things?
As for naming, you'll often see things in Amalur that are twists upon myths and folklore you might be familiar with. There is power in how these stories resonate within us. All of this was a deliberate choice on our part. While Reckoning, which is set in the Faelands, draws upon a specific style of folklore, other elements in Amalur draw upon different sources.
01-24-2012 05:07 PM
Originally Posted by MoorgardThis is correct, though even the Age of Arcana section doesn't include every detail of what happened in that age.
Some tidbits were left out because they will be revealed as you play Reckoning. Other things were omitted because they touch on our franchise mysteries--the secret stuff going on behind the scenes.
But don't worry, plenty of stuff was left in, including hints at things planned to be revealed years from now. We have a long-term strategy for how this all unfolds, and we're only on the brink of its beginning.
The history pages as you see them were culled from much more in-depth documentation that exists internally here at 38. It was challenging to restructure the info for public consumption, since it was originally written from an omniscient perspective. The pages had to be rewritten to include pertinent information while avoiding secrets, presented in a voice kind of like a historian looking back on events, yet with a more informed view than a typical historian in Amalur would have.
The summaries on the non-Arcana history pages will eventually be replaced by more thorough, detailed versions. So just because certain races like the Tyrgash and Hironar are only mentioned in one area now, don't assume that they won't show up in a lot more places as details are revealed.
01-29-2012 05:46 PM
Originally Posted by NgrukUndead are a pretty big deal. Remember our over arching storyline, immortality and the well of souls. Vampires, ghosts, skeletons and what not, we won't have undead just to have dead things alive, they'll mean something
01-31-2012 04:58 PM
Originally Posted by MoorgardThe Well of Souls (and thematically, what it represents) is one of the foundational elements of the Amalur IP. It's intended that your journey through both Reckoning and the MMO explores the mystery behind the Well and how it works. So I won't spoil that for you here.
I will remind you, though, that the Well you see in the opening sequence is only a prototype. Fomorous Hugues has been trying a lot of different strategies to get the thing to work, but so far nothing has--until the Fateless One is reborn...and your story begins.
That's just the start of the mystery, and you'll learn a number of juicy details about the Well in the course of playing through Reckoning. But there's a lot more to be discovered in the MMO's storyline, and you'll start to question some of the conclusions you came to earlier.
As I've said before, this story is a long-term deal. While all our products are satisfying, self-contained experiences on their own, there are deep threads that tie them all together. Those who pay attention to the details will find the experience richer and more rewarding.