Tag Archives: Fallen Earth
This is Victor Stillwater, coming to you live from the future. Present Victor is currently indisposed as he was/is writing a paper on the possible effects of dividing by zero and was/is thus stuck in the fabric of space-time between parallel universes. For that reason, instead of the brand-spanking new computer I was supposed to use in December 11, 2010, I am instead using our reliable gaming computer from 2009, which is a dedicated Windows XP machine.
I just wanted to update folks on what’s been happening to me, Future Victor, in the year so since the time-space warping or possible reality distortion of Present Victor. It’s been a pretty exciting year for gamers, what with the many great releases and other life-altering events that occurred since… well, I’m not even sure if there is a “since,” given that I may be from an alternate future reality. Who knows, really?
Anyway, after resubscribing to Lord of the Rings Online, I spent a good couple of months just enjoying the content, trying to get myself to 65. Apparently, Present Victor’s gamble paid off, and there was a Christmastime discount on subscriptions and Mirkwood, so I got to enjoy Mirkwood for a little while.
I also learned to juggle multiple games. I’m not a multi-tasker but for some reason, when February rolled around, and White Knight Chronicles came out for the PS3, I knew I had to learn how to adapt to multiple awesome releases, especially since Final Fantasy XIII would come out four weeks later. I did manage to finish White Knight Chronicles and skirmish my heart out in LOTRO, just in time for Final Fantasy XIII’s release, and I can safely say, Final Fantasy XIII’s storyline is just as good, if not better than Final Fantasy VII’s, thanks to the inclusion of Day One DLC for Final Fantasy XIII: Sephiroth.
Of course, I had to take a change in subs as I was extremely curious about Final Fantasy XIV, which came out a week ago in Future Victor time. It’s still got some of the nagging issues of requiring some miniscule amount of grinding, but crafters will rejoice, as it manages to enhance the crafting system found in EVE Online and Fallen Earth by allowing people to queue up items to be created through an online application that can be accessed through internet-capable phones. Best of all, in Final Fantasy XIV, you don’t even need to store items in your inventory to create them! Just log out near a bank and you can craft using anything you have in your inventory AND in your bank vault.
Sadly, I, Future Victor, never got to play Fallen Earth again. Connection issues still remained.
In any event, folks who’d want to try blogging from the future may best be served by writing a paper on the possible effects of dividing by zero and see where it goes from there. There’s a lot of game space out there in 2010, and there’s bound to be a gem or two that I’ve missed, and a couple of dead MMOs that I’ve not discussed for fear of destroying the barrier that surrounds the parallel universes.
The Future Victor Stillwater, who’s reportedly just as awesome as the present one, albeit slightly slimmer.
It was the best of times, it was the worst of times; it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness; it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity; it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness; it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair; we had everything before us, we had nothing before us; we were all going directly to Heaven, we were all going the other way.
-Charles Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities
There is something to be said for losing yourself in an alternate reality. Sometimes though, when we want to escape the realities we’re given, but we’re forced to choose from diverging paths. we have a tough time choosing where we want to go. This is how I feel right now.
I have to choose between fighting the forces of Sauron or surviving a post-apocalyptic wasteland. Let me tell you, the choice isn’t easy. Even though I’m leaning towards one world already, I have no idea if it’ll stay that way.
You see, as much as I love Fallen Earth, my ISP hasn’t given me a timetable as to when my issue will be resolved, much less whether it’ll be resolved to begin with. At the same time, I love Lord of the Rings Online, and don’t have connection issues there, but after Fallen Earth’s crafting system, it feels as if everything pales in comparison.
Both have intriguing storylines, one serious and steeped in existing lore, and the other with a world that’s constantly being developed and expanded upon. Both have satisfying systems of progression, and make an awesome ding sound when you level up. Both have tons of loot begging to be taken, and I’m still weighing my options.
Right now, I’m leaning towards going to Middle Earth, since the connection is relatively stable for that game, and it’s been revamped with the Mirkwood expansion, and I have an established guild waiting for me on one server and some trusty blogging friends on another. Still, I’m thinking of what to do, seeing as I don’t know how long I can maintain playing the game. I guess I’ll just have to be patient and wait a little while longer for some sort of answer to come to me.
Arguments for either world would be much appreciated though.
Note: This post is actually a paper I’m writing for one of my Grad School classes, but I’m using the blogpost format as I have an easier time thinking when it’s in WordPress rather than on OpenOffice. I say this with no malice meant towards other games as it is simply the feeling that strikes me at the moment, given what I know of the massively multiplayer online role-playing games out at present.
Combined with the setting of Fallen Earth and nature of the game world’s item scavenging mechanics, Fallen Earth’s crafting system is one that attempts to balance the the fantasy behind a game world, the reality of crafting actual items and the convenience that comes from gaming.
In Fallen Earth, each player can use materials he finds in the game world to create thousands of different implements, from dyes to change the color of clothing to vehicles that allow players to travel around the game world faster. Fallen Earth’s crafting system allows players with the right ingredients and recipes to place their desired crafting projects in a queue, which will then be automatically processed in real-time, with simple craft items taking minutes to complete and more complicated things taking a few dozen hours. You can even queue items for creation so that they can be processed while you’re not playing the game.
Fallen Earth’s setting and scavenging mechanics allow the crafting system to be a major driving force in the game. Since the game is set in a post-apocalyptic Grand Canyon, everything you find is ultimately valuable and useful. For instance, a piece of scrap wood you found can be combined with some scrap metal to make an effective crossbow bolt. Because everything is valuable and useful, and because you use and look at everything as potential crafting material, it really feels as if you’re eking out a living in the wasteland.
The excitement of crafting items has to tempered by some suspension of disbelief, however. Fallen Earth attempts to balance the reality of crafting and the convenience of gaming by placing a timer indicating how long it’ll take for an item to be made. Once good point to the timer system in Fallen Earth’s crafting mechanics is that you can keep on playing while items are being made, which allows you to further immerse yourself in the world.
At the same time, however, the timer acts as a detractor from the game’s immersion, since no one actually creates something just by waiting. Even if one did hire a group of skilled, hypothetical workers to create something for you while you’re off running around the Grand Canyon, it would take far more materials and far more time to create a motorcycle from scavenged junk. I feel that the compromise works in the favor of gamers though. It delivers an easy way to craft things and keep playing that turns into a small bit of additional micromanagement game for those savvy enough to want to make 15 dozen batches of bullets, and a full adventuring outfit while they’re out at work.
Ultimately though, what I can say about Fallen Earth’s crafting system is that the setting enhances the crafting experience, and the compromise between reality and convenience makes for one accessible crafting system that is easy enough to pick up, but requires dedication and time to fully appreciate.
Just a bit of news today before I go to write a paper for one of my classes.
Steam’s offering a rather epic sale this week. As of this writing, you have 6 or so hours to pick up a ton of discounted games, including Dragon Age: Origins and Fallen Earth. When the timer reaches zero, a new set of games will be made available for people to go and buy at discounted prices. If you’re itching for an MMO or want to try your hand at shooters, or even want to pick up a pack of games, it’s all available there on Steam, right now.
I’d personally go for the DA:O sale, the Far Cry 2 Sale, and Fallen Earth, if I had the money, time, or connection speed. Check it out.
Reading Syp’s latest post on Collectors’ Edition versions of MMOs made me think about something I hadn’t put into mind a long time ago: I may have been able to prevent my current connection issues with Fallen Earth.
Since the NDA for Fallen Earth has long since gone, I can now safely say that I was in the beta for Fallen Earth. It was a frustrating experience to say the least, because the connection issues I’m experiencing now, I experienced then. While writing a comment on Syp’s blog, it came to me that I may have been partly to blame for my own annoyance now, because I didn’t do my job as a beta tester and wheedle out the issue that was causing my connection to be crap.
There are many uses and gratifications for a beta testing phase. Some use it to really test the game. Others use it to play an MMO for free. Some use it as a means of getting a feel for a game they’re interested in. There are still numerous other reasons why people would enter a beta testing phase, but for devs, the one about testing the game is probably paramount in their minds.
I went in to Fallen Earth’s beta mostly because I was curious, and also because I was just playing the role of an MMO tourist who wandered into a strange new world. When I saw that the game was basically unplayable for me, I left, thinking “This game would have been cool, if I didn’t lag so badly.” What I probably should have been thinking was, “Okay, here’s the situation I have with the beta of this game. How do I report this issue so it can be resolved?”
Imagine if I had changed my attitude towards MMOs before I entered Fallen Earth. I might be able to play the game without a hitch now, or at least learn more how a game functions for future reference. I could have saved anyone in the Philippines from the troubles I’m having. I could have changed the direction of Fallen Earth with regard to tweaking how it used ports (unlikely, but I can dream). With a bunch of keystrokes and a click of my mouse, I could have made a difference in how a game is experienced by other people.
While I’m currently jumping through hoops in an attempt to rectify my situation before my trial runs out, I do not intend to make that same mistake a second time. My promise to myself is that I will not underestimate the power of a beta test, and will use my any opportunity for beta testing to make sure that the game comes out in a state that’s worth enjoying!
In any event, so ends another thoughtful rant by myself. Feel free to tell me what you think of beta tests, and how you approach them in the comments.
If you’re wondering why I have 11 hours of playtime, but only seven hours of Fallen Earth gametime, it’s quite simple: seven hours is all I’ve been able to spend actually playing. As for the other four hours, read on.
First off, let me describe those seven hours I’ve spent playing Fallen Earth. I was filled with a great respect for the people who made this game, mostly because it takes a lot of work to ensure that even trial people like me are happy, and in seven hours, I basically realized that FE is a game I could enjoy playing because everything feels like a step forward.
I crafted, scavenged, and fought my heart out in those seven hours. Saving ammunition by using a wooden plank, I slaughtered rabbits, rats, and survivalists in South Burb and managed to craft myself a belt, a headwrap, a new gun, over 130 pieces of Grilled Chicken, and a riding horse. Each step felt good, because I felt like I was eking out a living in the wasteland, even moreso than in Fallout 3. I can only assume that the game would be even give me more of this feeling as I progressed.
Now as you can guess, I’m in love with Fallen Earth. I’m only seven hours into the game, and I’ve completely grown to adore the personality this game has compared to anything else on the market, and would be more than happy to shell out my hard-earned tutoring paycheck to sustain a subscription. There’s just one thing that looks to be keeping me from playing the game.
As I mentioned previously, I was having issues with my connection in the game. I sent a ticket to the Fallen Earth support team, and even though I was on a trial, they responded in under 24 hours. Unfortunately, my “knight in shining armor” in this case wasn’t able to do much.
The guy who answered my email sent forwarded my concern to the network techs, and here’s the response from the tech:
“The issues start at the asianetcom (fixed for clarification – Victor) router so it’s something to do with the ISPs uplink to the rest of the world. There aren’t any lost packets but the response times are a bit on the high side. I don’t think there’s anything we or the player can really do about it though.”
What this means, as far as I understand it, is that one of the connection routers between my country (the Philippines) and Icarus’ game servers is keeping me from getting any information in or out. If there’s a techie sort of reader who can further explain what this means, I’d quite appreciate it.
As a result of this information, I’ve decided to track down asianetcom’s office information so I could talk to them and maybe ask them to see what can be done on their end. Apparently, they have a Philippine phone number I can call, but I don’t know if it’ll do anything really. I also emailed the Fallen Earth people back to ask them for input on what I should say to the people at Asianetcom, but since it’s the weekend in the US, I can understand if they can’t get back to me ASAP.
If there’s anyone there who’s reading this who might be able to help, or might have a better diagnosis for me, I’d appreciate the information. As it happens, I lucked out on Friday night, as I was able to get in and actually play after repeatedly restarting the game. Hopefully, that wasn’t a fluke, and maybe it means I can actually do more than just look but not touch.
And yes, I’m still dreaming about Fallen Earth, but I don’t think I’ll blame Syp anymore. Icarus, I blame you for making such a fun game.
*Sung to the tune of Holding Out for a Hero*
Where has all my bandwidth gone?
Why’s there so much lag?
Where’s the streetwise tech support who’ll fight the rising odds?
Isn’t there a white knight upon a trusty hog?
Late at night I crash and I burn on this lag through which I slog….
I NEED A HERO!
I’m holding out for a hero till the end of the night!
He’s gotta be smart, and he’s gotta be fast, and He’s gotta know FE like whack!
I NEED A HERO!
I’m holding out for a hero till the morning light!
He’s gotta be sure, and he’s gotta be soon, and he’s gotta be larger than life!
So, what is this post all about? Well, ever since I blamed Syp for my Fallen Earth-related dream, I’ve been thinking about trying FE again on a trial basis. Luckily, The Escapist has a trial for the game that’s open for people to sign up for, and I managed to get a pass.
After downloading the client, 15 hours of patching over three days (my internet isn’t as fast as EU or US nets, unfortunately), and a bit of additional sleeplessness, I managed to get myself set up for Fallen Earth and was raring to go.
All of this would be well and good, were it not for one thing keeping me from playing: bandwidth issues.
You see, ever since beta, any time I tried to play Fallen Earth, I would suffer horrible lag, and see my bandwidth drop to 0.00 on both the IN and OUT rows of the interface. I thought they would have had it fixed or somewhat alleviated since then, but it seems I was mistaken. Now, this may not even be an issue with Icarus, and it might be with my local ISP here in the Philippines, so I called them up, and the support agent told me that they don’t throttle ports at all. Which means that ideally, my ISP isn’t keeping me from getting good bandwidth on Fallen Earth.
The good folk of the forums on FE suggested I run a traceroute, and everything seemed fine and dandy on that end, which was kind of weird. This means, I have to resort to emailing the Fallen Earth folks, and while I do find my situation important, I know they have a ton of other complaints and issues that need to be addressed, so I don’t know if they’ll even get to me promptly.
In any event, I’m holding out for a hero to come and rescue me from my Fallen Earth woes.
Now, I’m a big fan of Syp of the Bio Break blog, because he writes frequently, has amazing entries, and has a passion for gaming. Thing is, there are times when his passion is infectious, and it’s hard for someone like myself to be constantly bombarded by Syp’s awesomeness.
Prior to his falling in love with Fallen Earth, it was basically off his radar and didn’t think too much about it. Now it pervades a good number of his posts.
As a gamer, I wanted to experience the post-apocalyptic world of Fallen Earth very badly. However, when I tried it during beta, it was connection issues that kept me from enjoying the game. I’ve given the game some time to develop, strengthen its weak points and whatnot, in the hope that I can come back to it at a later time. Thing is, my patience isn’t what it used to be, and I blame Syp for my restless sleep last night.
You see, even though I barely played the game, I DREAMT ABOUT FALLEN EARTH. And I want to put the burden squarely on my readings on Syp’s blog. He’s playing the game as a gunslinging tech, which is exactly want I wanted to be. He’s killing prairie chickens left and right. Most importantly, he’s enjoying a post-apocalyptic world, which I am unable to do because Bethesda hasn’t released Fallout 3 GOTY in the Philippines, and Fallen Earth’s price point is a little steep at the moment without some testing of the connection.
The timing of the compulsion brought about by the dream appears to be horrible as well, because they just finished a a trial key period, according to my research, and don’t have any announced plans of another trial period just yet.
So I’m a bit stuck, but I am doing my best to persevere by playing single-player games with extremely long storylines in them (*coughDragonAgeough*). Hopefully, this feeling will pass, at least until I can find a higher-paying part-time job or something else to distract me and keep me from dreaming about Fallen Earth.
As for what the dream was… I imagined I was in a dilapidated stadium’s locker room, with bodies nailed to the walls, six-shooter by my side, and ready to fire at any hiding bandit or raider. Then I’m approached by a lone gunslinger, which looked very much like the picture in Syp’s Gunslinger profile some time back. And it was Syp telling me that I had killed the bandits and saved his butt.
Then I woke up, and my first dream-induced thought was, “Must save Syp from MMO death.” Sigh…