Aging is an important game play dynamic and one of the most important components to keep in mind when starting a character. Real time is converted to in-game time; there are approximately 4 earth days per Elyrian year with each earth day equaling an Elyrian season (See Time). This is important to understand because your character's physical appearance and attributes are effected as they age in real time.
Players have three options when starting a new character, they may choose to start as a ward of the state and thus start at age 12 (see Ward), they can also choose an age 15 child in a family through a family selection process in character creation (see Family), or they may choose from an existing NPC who has their own set of uniquely advanced professions but may be at any age. From there, the player will age in real time until they reach old age (anywhere between 80-120 years depending on how they have lived their life). When their time comes, the character passes on, which causes permadeath and that character is no longer playable, the entire lifespan of a character is somewhere between 10-16 earth months. The player keeps the soul from the character and may start the process over again in another character with a Spark (which is bought with real currency - paying for another life, arcade style).
Effects of Aging Edit
Age effects characters in multiple ways, including change in physical appearance and attributes. Some physical changes include tightening skin, balding, liver spots, and even height reduction in later years. Attributes are also effected by aging, as a character ages some attributes will naturally atrophy while others will become increasingly easier to learn (see Attributes). "Strength, Agility, and Stamina all become more difficult to maintain while Will, Reason, and Focus become easier. For social skills, it’s about half and half. Persuasion becomes harder to level (nobody listens to their elders), while both Intuition and Leadership become easier."
Offline Player Characters Edit
see Offline Player Characters page Edit
Since everything in the game world occurs in real time, offline play must be addressed. A player can not simply pop on and off the game as they please and age their character when they want to, it would break immersion. To address this, Offline Player Characters (OPC) were created.
"Whenever you sign off, Artificial Intelligence takes over and plays your character for you. But, we all know AI is never as good as the real thing, so we’re working on a system that allows you to create and trade scripted Behaviors for your characters.
These Behaviors will let you do things like train character skills, run a storefront, perform weekly trade routes, do some gardening, and many other things. While we plan to provide a lot of pre-canned behaviors at launch, we’re really excited to see what the community can come up with, and plan to provide a lot of support to those players interested in expanding the game in this way."
- ↑ Walsh, Jeromy "Caspian" Dev Journal 3: Time, Aging, & Offline Player Characters