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The game would have used the Well of Souls, a plot element introduced in Reckoning, as both the in-world explanation for respawning players and also as a plot hook, a mix I would have potentially found very interesting had the project survived.
Here are a couple of quotes from Salvatore that detail the reasons for this choice and the philosophy he and the team were applying to the story:
â€œYou have to come back from the dead â€” thatâ€™s level one, every MMO has it, whether you spawn naked in Freeport and have to do a corpse run,â€ the author continued, referencing one of the original EverQuestâ€˜s finest and most punishing features.
â€œWhat does it mean to the societal structures of the world when all of the sudden youâ€™ve got immortality?â€ the author asked. Itâ€™s one of those deep questions my generation would ponder back when it was in its late teens, the party dying down and the munchies running out. â€œThe obvious answer was everybodyâ€™s going to be happy, weâ€™re all going to live forever!â€
But itâ€™s not so simple. Population, for one thing, doesnâ€™t stop growing. The world becomes more and more crowded.
â€œThis was the philosophy of Amalur. When you did something that was going to have implications you had to explore those implications,â€ Salvatore explained. â€œInstead of giving me a quest series to go collect 11 rat earsâ€¦ give me the quest about the woman that doesnâ€™t want to go through the Well but her family wants me to. Give me the quest about the bitter person thatâ€™s trying to get back at the Gnome who she thinks created the Well of Souls in her town because her son died before. Give me those kind of quests. Thatâ€™s what we were trying to do.â€
While on one hand I find this kind of premise very interesting, especially in how it merges a tried-and-true MMO convention with the title's lore and story, I can't help but wonder if the usual mechanics we've come to expect from the genre wouldn't have hurt this kind of storytelling focus.