Elder Tale is a massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG) that is the setting of the series Log Horizon. It is described as the world's largest and most popular MMORPG in history that has earned a dedicated following of millions of players over the course of its 20-year history. On the Japanese server alone, there are about 100,000 active players who have created some 1,200,000 unique characters.
Elder Tale was originally an American MMORPG created by Atharva Inc. Over time, as Elder Tale's popularity grew, the number of servers expanded up to 13, when Elder Tale became a fully-global MMO with a server on every continent. Each server has its own company running the game, coming up with their own special events, classes, and subclasses. However, transferring to another server is as simple as taking a Teleport Gate or a Fairy Ring to another server.
Homesteading the NoosphereEdit
- Main article: Homesteading the Noosphere
Since its original release, Elder Tale received numerous updates that vastly improved the game's content and graphic engine, but during the release of its twelfth expansion pack, Homesteading the Noosphere, 30,000 Japanese players and several hundred thousand players worldwide who were logged-on at the time of the update became trapped in the game. Players call this event the Apocalypse. It is currently unknown whether the people from the real world knew about it or not.
Virtual Reality ExperienceEdit
Prior to the apocalypse, players logged onto Elder Tale and played online via PC. However, after the players became trapped inside of the game, they experienced the world literally and interact with their surroundings as though they are physically there.
One of the main difficulties that players encountered was the use of in-game menus during combat -- specifically that accessing these menus is impractical while in the heat of battle. Instead of using the menus, Shiroe realized that he could create voice shortcuts for all of his spells.
In addition, Naotsugu quickly realized that fighting in-person would be quite different from combat as viewed from behind the computer monitor. While it was easy to rotate the camera on the computer screen to quickly scan the entire battlefield, vision during real on-the-ground combat has physical limitations and blind spots, especially when fighting large enemies would be significant.
In the game, when the players' avatars receive damage, they feel pain. In the Light Novel and manga, there was blood, but in the anime, only bruises and scratches appeared.
The world of Elder Tale is based on Japan's Half GAIA Project (ハーフガイア・プロジェクト), a half-scale model of planet Earth. The differences between the GAIA Project and the world of Elder Tale is the post-apocalyptic setting.
Elder Tale is set in a world similar to Earth with different names for the five major continents. Thanks to the Half GAIA Project, the long distance between locations have been reduced by half. In Elder Tale, the world has been set in a post-apocalyptic setting.
In Elder Tale, the physical surroundings are the ruins of the modern world in the post-apocalyptic event, all buildings, roads, and monuments, etc. covered with overgrown forests that grew around it.
Initiation and Character CreationEdit
Logging into Elder Tale is similar to all MMORPGS by registering one's profile and email adress. Then after registering, the gamer begins to create their character. They can adjust their characters' appearance of their own choosing if they want to be of an opposite gender, a character similar to their real life bodies or an entirely different one.
The gamer can choose any of the Races in Elder Tale, each with their special attributes and skills.
After selecting a race, the player can choose a class of his/her choosing. Once a class is being selected, it is permanent. Each class has unique strengths and weakness.
There are numerous subclasses in Elder Tale: roleplaying, production, and special titles. Unlike classes, they can be changeable as long as the gamer is willing to start over from scratch once choosing another subclass.
In Elder Tale, players can use their skills outside safe zones when fighting monsters or PKing victims. All fights are not allowed within safe zones as the Royal Guard will intervene and kill the attacker without mercy.
Interaction with other PlayersEdit
Elder Tale features two methods of communication with other players, voice chat and regular typed-up messages, although voice chat is the more popular form, with typing reserved mostly for roleplayers like Akatsuki prior to the Catastrophe. The event, however, naturally cut off the option of typed messages. Because it was possible to travel to other servers and thus meet players who spoke different languages, Elder Tale featured an automatic translator that translated everything aside from puns (which probably wouldn't make sense in different languages) accurately after a slight delay.