Exploring Fallen Earth

I’ve been struggling over the last month or so, trying to define the ways I enjoy playing Fallen Earth and I’ve not had much luck. Maybe if I just start hitting the small points, a bigger picture will form.

I first started playing and everything was confusing. Somehow I found I enjoyed this. After all, I am a clone that just woke up and realized what is happening in the world around me. Things would be confusing. Soon I escaped from the Hoover Damn and joined the outside world.

There were a lot of quests to do but I kind of felt tired of questing so I went in to town to see if I could learn more about crafting. It didn’t take long before I was questing anyway in order to learn how to craft. It seemed more interesting as the rewards were often crafting skill books which allowed me to craft more items.

I learned quite early on that pretty much anything you need can be acquired in one of 3 ways: craft it, buy it, or gather it (harvesting or hunting). This opens up a lot of doors for playing how you want to. If you like to craft, make it. If you are in a hurry, buy it. If you want some adventure, go out and find it.

The form of currency used is poker chips which I get a kick out of. Kind of makes sense really. I earned enough chips just from harvesting around town and selling the goods in order to purchase an untrained horse which I then trained with a crafting skill. Level 2 and I have transportation, thank you very much.

In many games I learn about a large carrot that I decide to work for and then I get it and start to lose some interest. One of those large carrots for me is a mount. Having this out of the way so soon had me worried. What else would hold my interest? It was not long before I decided to cancel my account before the free time ended.

Over the next week or so, I keep sitting at my computer only to find my largest desire was to go back into Fallen Earth for some reason. I figured I better follow my wish and reactivate the account. Back in I went.

At this point I should mention how nice it is to be in a clan of helpful folks. I’m still connected in with the Casualties Guild and we had a few folks interested in Fallen Earth so I joined up with them to officially start the clan. This opens up the wonderful feature of a shared clan bank vault.

Most of my clanmates have left me in the dust but that is ok with me. I found myself enjoying the slower pace of exploration. I feel very connected with the setting. It’s a wasteland and we are all struggling to get by. I enjoy that aspect of the game so being alone just feels right.

I’ve been able to use the hand-me-downs from my clanmates and that has been really nice. I was able to equip myself up with some nice armor and weapons. By armor I mean rubber boots, brown cargo pants, t-shirt, camo jacket, goggles and a motorcycle helmet. By weapons I mean baseball bats, box cutters, carving knives, a samurai sword, paintball guns and finally an actual pistol.

FE

I have learned how to make my own bullets so that was a big project for me. I spent some time gathering the ingredients for gun powder. After I made several batches of this, I was able to make the bullets with the gun powder and using some scrap metals. Crafting occurs in real time, but you can craft while you do anything else, including logging out. This is great for me as I can kick off a dozen sets of bullets and then log off and go to bed. When I next decide to play, the bullets are long since finished.

This brings up another thing I have enjoyed. You get XP for doing almost anything in Fallen Earth. Crafting, hunting, harvesting, etc. It all adds to your level. You get what is called “Action Points” for doing things. These points can then be spent on whatever you want to. Raise your pistols skill, armor use, or raise one of your attributes (or do all three). Your choice.

I think the biggest thing pulling me into the game is the sense of a “real world” that I get. I get on my horse and ride off into the wilderness. Come across a camp of bandits and decide I want to fight them because I can see there are a lot of scrap piles for me to dig through. Now I need to find a safe space to leave my horse, because it is attackable as well and it does not disappear into my backpack. This helps to feel more real.

I can then approach the bandit camp. Now I decide what to do. Should I start off with some ranged attacks with my pistol and then switch to my samurai sword when they close in? Should I just try to sneak in a harvest the scrap piles without them seeing me? I think the wide range of choices really appeals to me.

Eventually the camp is wiped clean and I have full packs (my horse also has a pack which I can fill up too) and head back to town. My first stop is always the bank vault to drop off any crafting goods I may want to use later. Then I sell anything that has no real use (which is not usually much). It is not unusual to also find an NPC in town that wanted me to take down the bandit boss and return with his hat to prove I did so. I already had the hat so that is an easy quest.

I enjoy heading off looking for interesting things. I’ve found an old theme park with a roller coaster. An open pit mine filled with ores to mine. Underground caves filled with strange creatures. Giant rabbits. I’m told there is a city filled with gorillas somewhere nearby. Even the quests feel different. The writing is enjoyable and I actually find myself wanting to help these folks.

I really think there is so much put in this game to help pull you into that setting that it really appeals to me. There is no zoning that I’ve encountered. There is no fast travel (yet). If I want to go check out a town on my map, it is an adventure. It’s strange because some of these same things I used to complain about. Over time, I guess I have found out that sometimes I really enjoy taking a game at a slower pace. I’m in no rush to get to some sort of end game. I’m truly enjoying the ride. Nothing so far has made me feel like I’m grinding towards some goal. Just surviving in the post-apocalypse seems enjoyment enough.

Before I go, I should probably mention some of the things that bother me. Hmm. I got nothing. Sorry.

Wait, I think I have one. The skill system is kind of strange. I would like to have my pistol skill raise when I use it, but instead I must spend Action Points to raise it. I’m a pretty big fan of the “use a skill, gain some skill” design. This seems like it would be a good game to use that system. Also, some of the animations are a little off. Oh and combat is not real exciting so far but it’s different enough that I like it. My character actually swears when she gets hit. Fun.

– Ethic

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Ethic

I own this little MMO gaming blog but I hardly ever write on it any more. I'm more of a bloglord or something. Thankfully I have several minions to keep things rolling along.

17 thoughts on “Exploring Fallen Earth”

  1. That’s one of the best write-ups of Fallen Earth I’ve seen. It’s the most potterable game I’ve played for years, and it’s crafted with a very high standard of detail and imagination.

    I was playing it pretty much non-stopfrom the day I downloaded the free trial until this Sunday, when I got Dragon Age, which is ridiculously moreish. But Dragon Age is finite and FE is open-ended. I’ll be back soon.

  2. I think years of playing MMOs that start once you get to X have conditioned people not to care how they get to X, but just to get there asap. Game design follows, and the path to X gets more and more generic, which only makes people hate it more.

    Then a game like FE comes along, tells you to stop looking at X and just relax, and people remember that there is more to an MMO than just showing off your list of achievements. Most don’t ‘get it’, and still try to rush to some imaginary X because that’s what they do, walking away disappointed. But those that actually stop and look around are indeed finding out that the journey and the setting, rather than the final reward, are far more enjoyable.

    Hopefully this trend continues.

  3. It is interesting that Zubon’s post right after this one is about Champions Zone architecture and how easy this makes it to play with friends. Besides the fact that it is not popular enough to have multiple servers, FE does not have the features to really make it good for playing with friends. However the lack of things like zoning and “fast” travel are at the same time are what makes FE appealing as real world and I agree that is one of its biggest strengths.

    Technically FE is quite remarkable for its ability to have private instances of areas without going through a normal zoning experience. The skeletal control they have for doing animations is also very good. However the ability to do an animation such as taunting with the middle finger is marred by terribly executed animations that you see all the time like jumping.

    FE does have features like conflict towns that could lead one to say the good stuff does not start until you get to level X. For the most part the people attracted to play FE don’t appear to think this way. I think would be interesting to determine why.

  4. I only spent little time with the game (got pulled into some other stuff and the trial ended up expiring).

    I have to echo Ethic’s comments above, with the caveat that I have to do it with less enthusiasm. In other words, everything he said (as far as I could tell in-game) is true and is certainly there, but those things might not click with a lot of players. Myself included.

    Not saying it’s bad, not saying it’s good. Simply saying the whole thing is an acquired taste that transcends a simple enumeration of features, both for good -and- bad. It’s like when you finally meet the girl all your friends have been raving about, then you get there and she’s as plain as dishwater. Maybe she was great when your friends were around, or maybe she has having a great day then and she’s depressed now. Happens. Whatever the case it’s not clicking, and you can’t force the click.

    My advice: By all means, do try it. Don’t expect the sacred fire of anything to happen to you, though.

    1. I had a similar experience with LOTRO, I actually decided after the trial not to buy it, but returned while still waiting for Aion release. Now I have cancelled Aion and am still playing LOTRO.

      I guess Fallen Earth might take some time to get used to as well.

      But this is probably still nothing like trying to really get into EVE. It finally “clicked” in my third trial attempt IIRC.

      1. Actually, while we are on the subject of loose relationship analogies, my thing with LOTRO was like marrying a girl -just because- she looks good and you remember growing up with her as a friend from way back. So what could possibly go wrong?

        Lasted for a few good months, then all the little stuff piles up, things get boring and repetitive and you realize she’s not really that different from the rest of the mortals and you shouldn’t have been so quick to commit, good-looking as she might have been. You realize that there really was no click, and (once again) you can’t force it to click.

  5. Thanks for the write up. I’ve been on the fence about this game but after reading this I’m going to pick it up.

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