Fallen Earth – First Impressions

After quitting Star Trek Online I took a quick stock of my recent gaming habits.  I had just gotten into Allods with my wife.  Pirates of the Burning Sea was a nice distraction but with the free time ending soon I could tell that it would not hold my interest long enough to warrant subscribing.  Heck, the free time went until March 5th and I had already stopped playing for the most part.  I was also poking around at Runes of Magic and Lord of the Rings Online again.  But I still had this itch for something new that neither Global Agenda, Allods or Star Trek Online had not quite scratched.

I don’t know why but I decided to look up Fallen Earth again.  I think it was because OTG has a full Fallen Earth chapter.  However instead of diving into it I checked out some gameplay footage on Youtube.  Fortunately I stumbled across isver’s “Let’s Play” series on Fallen Earth.  I picked a few random videos from later on in the series.  I was surprised to see that he had to be wary of where he dismounted off his horse.  In one video he returned to find it being eaten by a giant scorpion!  I then started from the beginning, which is where he first starts the game with this character, and watched as he progressed through character creation, basic combat and crafting and so on.  By about the 10th video of the series I was hooked and wanted to try it for myself.

My first character is a rifleman.  After some initial low-level growing pains I settled into the role nicely.  Fallen Earth has done something for me which hasn’t happened in another MMO in close to a decade.  Immersed me into a world that feels real, and shifted my mind into play the character and his role instead of just going from A to B.  Part of it has to do with the magnitude of the game.  Icarus Studios decided to do what Asheron’s Call did so many years ago.  Put the Massive in MMORPG. I started out in Terance, a small town in Sector 1.  Since then I have trained a mount and ridden all over the south of Sector 1.  South Burg, Oilville, Embry Crossroads and Odenville are all locations I have been to.  Traveling to each has been an adventure as there is no fast travel.  Make sure you’ve got feed in the horse’s pack, saddle up and ride!  These are not just a short run from one town to the next.  It could take a good 10 minutes to get from one town to the next.

But it isn’t just empty space.  The terrain is very detailed and interesting to watch go by.  There is plenty to do between towns so sometimes taking the direct route, IE the one off the mapped out roads, can yield adventures (and treasures) on its own.

The crafting system is deep and meaningful.  Almost everything my character uses has been made.  Almost all the materials used in that production was scrounged from the landscape.  It all fits together both in the post-apocalyptic setting and in keeping me immersed in that world.  Rummaging through old trash might yield some spare aluminum.  A broken down wreck of a car?  A goldmine of buckles, gears and glass.

The game it is not without its glitches.  The enemy AI, thus far, has been simplistic.  Some have even been glitchy.  For example sand worms zoom towards me at super speed then hit me from 2 or 3 different directions before settling down to a point where I can aim at them again.  But by an large the combat has been satisfying at these low levels and I can’t wait until I get longer ranged rifles.

It is a surprisingly relaxing game.  I logged in today to knock out a few missions, putter around Odenville.  I felt productive in that I crafted a new heavy camo jacket, a new belt and a golf-club for my rifleman.  No real pressure to level.  No need to hit the quests.  I can just ride off into the wilds and do what I want if I so desire.  There is quite a bit to into which to ride.  This is what I saw right before logging out.

Dawn over Odenville.


Rethinking Categories

Simplifying my categories.   Going back to just the basics (Ferret, Libertarian, Atheist, Gamer, Geek, Metablog, Other).  I was originally using categories as one would use tags.  All of my recent blog entries should be properly tagged for the minor points of interest within categories.  I will need to go back to my older posts and get them tagged properly.  I might expand Gamer to MMO and FPS since those are major subcategories I often write about.  But that is a decision for another time.

Quitting Star Trek Online

I canceled my STO account yesterday.  The lack of polish really got to me.  I did not like how basic information on how items and skills interacted was, if not impossible to find, so well hidden it might as well not be present at all.

Also I came to dread ground based missions.  Mowing through 20 groups of 5 mobs a piece all the while pressing “1” is not my idea of a good time.  Grindy, boring, loathsome.

Space combat was a tad better.  It, too, was grindy and simplistic.  Swat 3 ships that can barely touch you… 5 times.  *sigh*  Above all there was on real control to the type of encounters I had to go through.

All of this was solidified in my mind after I decided to give Pirates of the Burning Sea another try during the current free-for-former-players period.  Ship combat is much more satisfying, I can see how items and powers interact without having to pull the game’s teeth and while ground combat is nothing special at least it isn’t as pervasive (or dreaded) as “1, 1, 1, 1, 1” is in STO.  Yes, yes, I actually had to use more than one power to defeat those dastardly pirates in sword combat!

In a nutshell, STO was released too early, too little polish, and what parts kinda-sorta work were done better in PotBS 2 years ago.

Raw Peeves

Oh the irony.  A couple of days ago I read story from NotAlwaysRight.com about a customer who didn’t like their Sushi because it had raw fish on it. Almost 2,000 people gave it a thumbs up.  Yet I wonder how many of those 2,000 people could tell me the difference between Sushi and Sashimi.  Not all sushi is sashimi.  Sushi is a form of food presentation.  Sashimi just happens to be the most common food served in that form.

Or, put another way, a burger is a form of food presentation, but not all burgers have ground beef patties.  Some have sausages (brat burger), others have chicken (chicken burger) and others have no meat at all (veggie burger).

Do I believe that the customer is unaware that the most common food served as sushi is sashimi?  Yes.  But those who think all sushi is sashimi are making a greater error.