Stuff I have learned (since the end of the world)

January 9, 2010 at 10:20 am | Posted in General | Leave a comment
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Wotcha everyone,

Syp posted some really useful advice for starting Fallen Earthers, and seeing as I’m such a slacker, I thought I’d copy him and throw my own advice out.  It’s ok, he’s my Fallen Earth Ennabler…

Rather than come up with hard and fast numbers and suchlike (because places such as GlobalTech Atlas have already come up with far better crunchy advice than I’ll ever be able to) I thought I’d go for more of an approach style of advice.

First and foremost: Take your time.
As MMOs get older, they seem to create an aura, a belief, that “The Game Only Starts At 60”.  I say 60, because that’s what the oft repeated phrase was in Everquest when I started playing.  And of course, it became the phrase in World of Warcraft before The Burning Crusade, when suddenly “”The Game Only Starts At 70”.  Every game has that accusation levelled at it, and every game will.
I’m sure there are many reasons for it, but it seems that more and more, levelling is seen as something to race through to get to the much vaunted “End Game”.
Games don’t *have* to be like that, and Fallen Earth is proof.
There’s a lot to learn, and if you’re willing to put that time in, then you’ll have a ball.

I’m going to compare with World of Warcraft here.  Not because I think World of Warcraft is Bad And Wrong™, but because it’s a frame of reference that is common to most MMO players.

In World of Warcraft, fabulously established as it is, there are plenty of systems designed to help a player level as fast as possible.  Savagely carving up the xp requirement, the weird and arcane thing of gifting levels to a mate, to things like the random dungeon match-maker allow players to level up really, really fast.

This isn’t a bad thing; Blizzard want to allow players to get involved in “The Fun”, and that usually means “The Latest Expansion”.  Plus, no-one wants to spend time gaming by themselves in a ghost zone.  It’s also good for alt players like me, so I’m not complaining.

In Fallen Earth you get a fancy, polished, instance-tutorial where you get to find out a little of what’s going on, and you get to start your characters story.  Then you get out of your own little instance and into the world, where there’s a less polished, less action-movie oriented tutorial, where you get more of an idea of what it will be like to play the game.

Then, you’re on your own.  And it’s a pretty steep learning curve, if you decide to have a go at everything.  What got me through is a lot of experimentation, sitting and reading tool-tips, and keeping one eye on the Help channel.  And I feel better for it; I’m still no expert, but it was so rewarding.  And I’ve not powered my way through levels; if anything, they’ve popped up when I’ve least expected them, and I feel like I’m being awarded levels for learning stuff.

Sector 1 isn’t a ghost zone yet, so there’s plenty of company, and plenty to do.  And plenty of time before everyone else is level 45 and laughing at me for being such a slow leveller.

Have a go at everything.
Go on, have a go at everything.  There’s crafting of so many different types, shooting, beating stuff up, missions, gambling, resource gathering, and so much wonderful exploration that to limit yourself to just one thing seems crazy.  So have a go at it all, see what you enjoy, and keep doing it.  If you don’t like something, don’t do it.  You’ll find that someone else does, and you can play swapsies for what you need.

It’s part of taking your time, but I felt it deserved it’s own bit.  So far, I’ve been levelling all my crafting skills, picking up 90% of what I walk near (and sometimes divert to) and running missions for cash and giggles.  I’ve been using pistols and melee weapons, raising my armour skills (as much for fashion reasons as anything else) and moving through the world.

Guns for show, knives for a pro.
Yay, one of the classic quotes there.  I use pistols, because I am most certainly not a pro.  Combat is something that most MMO players aren’t used to, which is an FPS interface where the game works out, by rolling it’s little electronic dice, whether you’ve hit what your targeting reticle is over, and how much damage you’ve done.  It’s not my favourite style of combat, and I wasn’t a huge fan of it in Deus Ex (which is what it reminds me of most) but hey, it could be worse.  A lot worse.
Melee weapons are great for saving cash, but also for saving your butt when you’re out in the wilds, and you hear that “dead man’s click” signalling the end of your ammo.  They’re also kind of fun and funky to carry around; carrying a not-Stanley knife around really made me giggle in the worst sort of way…  Right now I have a meat hook and a crowbar…

Find out what you want to concentrate on by using all the starter weapons you get provided with.  Not only have Icarus been generous in the supply, but they’re generous with the ammunition too.  Try them all, find out what you like.

Don’t be afraid to spend Action Points.
I think I was level 3 when I finally realised that there was no point in hoarding my Action Points, and that thoughts of a Min-Max character were pretty silly.  I don’t know the game well enough to Min-Max the points, but the fact that there are no respecs doesn’t necessarily mean that I’ll spend them all wrong.

I have a vision of what I want my character to do.  So I’ll spend points that help that vision, and also allow me to do anything cool that I like.  And rather than spend my playing time constantly fretting that I’ve spent points in the wrong places, I shall spend them and have fun with the skills and abilities I do have.

By all means, use the character creator on GlobalTech Atlas, I highly recommend it.  But don’t worry that you’ll have a naff character, as I’m pretty sure they’ll ALL be valid.  It seems to be that sort of game.

Plus, my character is growing organically as he’s moving around the world and discovering more and more of it, and that is just so cool!  Rather than follow a pre-determined path, he’s following his own, and that’s just one of Fallen Earth’s many attractions.

This is a game that rewards the inquisitive, the curious and the patient, and that’s such a breath of fresh air after games that just want us to rush through content to get to “the end”.

Cheers,
Hawley.

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