Fallen Earth: Day 1

Today was the launch day for Fallen Earth pre-order customers. Which is kind of strange since I guess the game is now launching Sept. 22nd? So we get almost 13 days of Early Access. Not that I’m complaining, mind you.

The launch hasn’t been perfect, but launches are such a small part of the long-term experience of an MMO that I’m not going to dwell on that. And Fallen Earth isn’t for everyone. If you think EQ2 is too complex, or if you don’t like to have to read tutorial screens, you’re going to *hate* Fallen Earth. It’s old school in a lot of ways, which means frankly lots of sharing data with other players and lots of figuring things out.

I’m enjoying the heck out of this aspect, frankly. I feel like I’ve stepped back 10 years in some ways. Actually, if you have fond memories of killing birds to harvest their feathers to make arrows to hunt with in Ultima Online, then you should give Fallen Earth a look.

The graphics aren’t state of the art, but the music is awesome and some of the voice talent is quite good. The ambiance works if you take the time to read quest text (or listen in the case of spoken quests). It’s a post apocalyptic world set in the Grand Canyon area. Lots of people ride horses and it has a kind of Old West vibe in some ways (the music really helps there).

I laughed when I got a quest to literally kill ten large rats because I know how many people would sniff with disdain at encountering such a quest, but the fact is I was hunting the rats even before I got the quest. Hunting them and harvesting the corpses to get meat and chemicals for crafting. So adding a quest to what I was already doing was just a bonus.

But yes, this is the kind of game where you start out weak and poor enough that harvesting rat meat is worth your time.

In fact so far my time has been split 3-ways. 1 part roaming around, getting the lay of the land and figuring out how the game works, 1 part hunting various animals to harvest crafting materials, and 1 part doing quests.

As a pre-order bonus, I got an ATV. It appeared in the form of a key in my inventory. Once I used that key, up popped an ATV. But gas is expensive and I really didn’t need to travel very far. I figured I’d be better off walking for now. I didn’t want to just leave my ATV sitting around where who knows what might happen to it, but I couldn’t for the life of me figure out how to get it to change back into a key in my inventory.

I finally found out that this can’t be done. So what to do with this ATV? Find a garage. Where’s the garage? Well someone told me it was on the outskirts of town, so I had to roam around until I finally found it, and then I parked the ATV there. Other pre-orders got a horse, and the garage also offered stables. (BTW, the horse seems a lot cooler than the ATV, but the ATV has more storage space.)

If that level of ‘reality’ sounds tedious and annoying, then you’ll hate Fallen Earth. But if you’re ready for a bit of a step back to a time when MMORPGs were a bit different, a bit more opaque but in many ways richer for being more opaque, then keep watching this space as I dig deeper into the game. I think I’m going to throw my lot in with the Vistas, a sort of post-apocalyptic Greenpeace offshoot. They can teach me to shoot with a rifle AND to farm. A good combo for us lone wolf types.

8 thoughts on “Fallen Earth: Day 1

  1. I played a few days of the open beta, and it was not bad. I really like the combat, I thought it was great. I just don’t know how well it will do eventually with Champions and Aion this month.

    I like the ‘reality’ of the game, and I am interested in Fallen Earth still, but I already have so much on my plate. To me Fallen Earth would almost make a great single player game.

  2. Is the combat still very FPS-ish? That was my main issue with it — I am SO crap at that, basically, that I kept getting my weak crafter ass killed. And no, I have no interest in learning how to be good at shooters.

    The crafting was fun. They overhauled it at one point so suddenly it wasn’t fun, but that was a while back and the reaction to it was pretty overwhelmingly negative, so I’m certain they kept tweaking. My biggest issues with FE weren’t the game (though I didn’t like the shooting) but rather the performance. And since it was a beta (and early at that), the issue lay not with the game but with me — I needed a break from poor-performing clients after WAR and FE and a couple other games I played during 2008.

    I suspect the base skill-point spending system is why I’m enjoying Asheron’s Call again right now — it works in similar ways, and it’s nice to feel as though I have SOME control over my character development other than through gear.

    Anyway, have fun. ๐Ÿ˜€

  3. Glad to see you trying out FE, and looking forward to reading more about how you like it.

    I was in the beta for a bit and really enjoyed it. I really liked the crafting aspect of it, but I’m eager to see if there’s much “meat” to the game beyond crafting. I think there’s supposed to be a heavy PvP feel, and I’m not sure I’m gonna be up for that.

    I was glad to find that the FPS aspect that scared me off wasnt as bad as I thought it was gonna be. I’m still not sold on the shooter style yet though ๐Ÿ™‚

    I plan on giving it a try when it launches fully, as I’m currently spending September playing CO. I have a feeling that while I’m enjoying it now, CO will probably not be a long term MMO for me, and while I was in the beta also, I’m not convinced Aion is gonna be the game for me either. Found it a bit bland PvE wise.

  4. I was in the beta and liked the crafting, it’s the game’s strongest point. The skill and XP system is also good. Being able to have a mount at the start is good as well.

    But I couldn’t deal with the switch to Aim mode and back for combat. I’m fine with FPS games, but FE’s hybrid switching wasn’t working for me.

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