Gameplay screenshot from the 1.9.0 client
|Release date(s)||0.5.7 pre-alpha: February 13, 2003
0.8.0 alpha: September 2, 2003
0.9.0 beta: November 30, 2003,
1.0.0: August 2004,
1.9.3: February 2012
Eternal Lands (EL) is a free, multiplayer, online role-playing game (MMORPG) created by Radu Privantu in 2002. A pre-alpha version was made public on February 13, 2003. The game client is written in C using OpenGL and SDL.
The setting is a medieval fantasy world. There are historic elements such as medieval architecture and weaponry along with fictional elements such as other humanoid races and magic. It is made of up two main continents: Seridia and Irilion in the world of Draia. Seridia is the first continent, and the place in which new players spawn. It consists of 14 main maps, 7 storages, 2 main PK maps, and the only spot to find the Wraith. Irillion is directed towards experienced players.
Players begin play by selecting the race, name and appearance of their character. Skills, abilities and alignments are automatically given initial values. There are six races available; Humans, elves, dwarves, gnomes, orchans (half-orcs) and Draegoni (dragon-men). The last three races are pay-to-play races; a player must pay money to play a character of one of these races.
Eternal Lands does not have fixed character classes, and it is possible for any player to improve any of the 12 skills in game.
A computer with a 3D-accelerated graphics card and an internet connection is needed to play Eternal Lands. The software download is free.
In-game activities include exploring the 39 different outside maps (plus numerous insides and caves), questing, socializing with other players, player killing, and improving skills by fighting, gathering resources and creating items. All skills increase the "overall" experience, rewarding a player with "pickpoints", with which he can further build his character.
The productive skills are called alchemy, crafting, engineering, manufacturing, potion making and tailoring. The items can be created by inserting certain materials into the manufacturing window and attempting to mix them. If mixing fails, the materials may be lost. Success chance is defined by skill level and the item's level. If the player succeeds, the item appears in their inventory and they will receive experience.
Harvesting involves the gathering of resources, such as flowers, minerals and ores. These items can be used for creating items or be sold to NPC or other players. Harvesting some materials requires different tools.
Fighting is broken into attack and defense skills, which the player can improve by fighting monsters or players. For every successful hit landed on the opponent, attack experience is gained, and dodging a hit gives defense experience. The amount of experience is determined by the level differences between the fighting players.
It is also possible to fight with the magic, ranging and summoning skills. Ranging experience is obtained by hitting opponent with an arrow or bolt shot with one of the five different bows or crossbows. Summoning experience is obtained by successfully summoning a creature and magic experience by casting spells. Both summons and spells require certain materials that will disappear upon succeeding.
On the main Eternal Lands server, there are only a few select areas where players can attack one another, so that players don't have to engage in player versus player combat if they don't want to. However, there is also a pay-to-play PK server which allows for players to fight each other nearly anywhere. It has been out for quite some time now but is still not very populated..
The game client is open source and may be developed by anyone. However, the license does require modified clients to be approved by administrators before it is possible to connect the main servers. For testing purposes, there is a test server. The content is released under a proprietary license.
Two games were derived from Eternal Lands:
Landes Eternelles is a French port currently in development. Although it is architecturally identical to Eternal Lands and shares some of the graphics and other gameplay mechanisms, it has a different role-play approach with different races, geography, storylines, religion and quests. Landes Eternelles is currently in open Beta stage.
Other-Life is a project that attempts to create a variant of Eternal Lands that provides a different style of playing through a community oriented approach. It was started by Steven Wilcoxon (known by the nickname Learner), a server developer of Eternal Lands, and is based on that game's server and client code. The game currently has an official main server up, along with an experimental test server, as well as an unofficial community made server for players to develop some features themselves. Community decides in the Forums what changes should be made, using a poll system. At the moment there is a shop that allows you to buy vanity items.
- Eternal Lands' MMORPG Postmortem, part I, written by the lead developer Radu Privantu
- Playable races on Eternal Lands' official website
- Skills overview on Eternal Lands' official website
- PK server introduction on Eternal Lands' official forums
- License of Eternal Lands source code
- Landes Eternelles: Jeu de rôle 3D online massivement multijoueurs (Page in French)