Thursday, August 20, 2009

Surviving in a new world...

The Fallen Earth NDA has been lifted, this means I can make some comments on the game I was beta testing.

Fallen earth is a standard quest/xp grind MMO with an interesting story to be discovered as you adventure. It is set in the Southwestern United States following the downfall of society.

Your attributes are raised by 1 point when you level and can be increased as you wish with attribute points. Your attributes are used to calculate the max lvl of your skills, in addition you can use APs to raised the max level. The only way you can raise the actual value of your skills is through use. So if you want to get good at cooking it's time to start putting together some of that grilled tainted goat and get your skill up. The crafting areas you get are: Armorcraft, Ballistics, Cooking, Geology, Medicine, Mutagenics, Nature, Science and Weaponry.

The equipment and abilities you can use are limited by the amount of skill you have in a particular area. For example, a light crossbow is not usable until your skill in rifle has exceeded 21, the mutation "patch 2" is not available until your alpha mutation skill is over 15, etc. If you have ever played Asheron's call you will get the idea, its a skill based system, and I expect that it will have issues with minmaxing just like Asheron's call. I did not get a character very far into the game, so I can't comment on how much of a problem it is with the game in it's current state.

What I did see was very interesting. You gain xp for completing missions, killing monsters, gathering resources and crafting items. The game is very crafter friendly, it seems like you could probably level up completely by gathering and crafting, though some defensive skills might be handy when that mutated chicken is guarding the old barrels you want to look through. Crafting takes time in the game, from 2 minutes for small things to 15 minutes for more complicated things like a gun. I believe some of the higher level items took even longer, I seem to recall someone saying that crafting an item took 6 hours. The nice thing is that your character can be crafting items while you are not logged in, as long as you have something in your crafting queue when you log out you can get something done while you're sleeping. Another nice thing about the crafting system is that nearly anything in the game is craftable, chances are the clothes you're wearing and the ammo you're using will all be made by you or your clanmate crafter. I saw some items drop from human mobs, but by that time I was already wearing something better that I crafted myself. I felt like I was a survivor taking what I could scrounge up and making use of it. I really liked what was done with the gathering/crafting system.

My highest level character was 9th lvl. I know it doesn't sound like much but that was a decent amount of play time, not the first 9 levels in 60 minutes or less you get from WoW. I think I probably took about 20 hours of play time to reach that level. Luckily there is quite a bit to do in that level range, the newbie town you start in can easily get you through the first 5 levels and after that you will be visiting many other scattered town and enclaves. You have a chance to "train" a horse by crafting it before you get to 5th level, with a horse the long distances that really help make this game immersive. Early on you are also started down a quest path to gather parts for an ATV to get you zipping around the post-apocolyptic waste.

I still haven't decided if I liked the game enough to buy it and subscribe, I can't decide if it's really ready for release yet.

I know I didn't cover everything about the game, it really is quite extensive. I will keep posting thoughts as I have them and I will answer any questions people might have.

1 comment:

  1. I've going to be messing with the open beta next week, I hope. So busy this summer....