Just a quickie

Unfortunately I’ve not had much time to play fallen earth the last couple of days, as much as I’ve wanted to. I have been playing around with crafting a bit more and I thought I’d share a few tips with those just starting out and getting to grips with the system.

Craft early, craft often: as you are gathering various materials, always make sure you are crafting something- even if you don’t really need it. Stuff you make that isn’t of any use can be salvaged to get some of your materials back.
Don’t buy trade skill books: most of the low level books can be obtained in the starter towns for free by doing quests for various NPC’s. I bought all the Lv. 1 armour crafting books, only to get them all for free from the next quest chain I did (they weren’t cheap either!!!)
In fact, don’t buy any trade materials: Everything you need can be found for free in Fallen earth, or traded/bought from auction. Vendors are crazy expensive, the disparity between the prices they buy and sell at mean if you make a habit of buying crafting components from vendors you will be broke pretty often.
Mark good scavenging/mining areas with waypoints: when you find a good spot for getting trade mats, right click it on the map and stick a waypoint on it. Don’t forget to rename it to something that will remind you what it is!
Get off the beaten path: don’t be afraid to go a bit out of the way, there are plenty of neat little places to discover and the extra travel time will be worth it when you don’t have to fight over nodes with dozens of other players.

That’s just a few things that I’ve had to learn the hard way so far, do yourself a favour and heed them well. You’ll also want to get onto crafting the best armour you can wear as soon as you possibly can. I found it helped no end in making my crafter a bit tougher than a wet paper towel.

On a more random note, I tried harvesting a copper node the other day and it gave me 3 furry onions. It would seem anything is possible in the post apocalyptic world of FE.

Fallen Earth: Really quite good!

OK, I got FE today as you may know. I've only played it for roughly 6 hours so this is by no means a difinitive review (unless you're Eurogamer?), more of an 'initial impressions' piece.

Lets start at the beginning- the options for character creation are fairly limited. There's lots of options you can change, from the usuals like hair style & eye colour to more unusual things like height and body hair. There are 2 different slots for facial hair (one for beards, one for a moustache iirc) 2 slots for piercings, and 2 for facial tattoo's and 2 for 'face paint'. You also get to choose the style and colour of the clothes you start out in. These are all great but I just felt there wasn't enough options in each category for my liking.

On first stepping foot in the game I couldn't help but be surprised by the quality of the graphics. What I had read about the game led me to believe that they were quite medicore, but even with them just under maxed they looked sharp and pleasing to the eye. Some of the animations on the other hand, looked slightly unnatural at best, but the majority are fairly well done (you wouldnt believe how many dance emotes there are!)

The game starts with an essentially single player tutorial which is a must do if it's your first toon in FE. Although it looks like a fairly generic MMO, with the typical UI layout, it most definately doesnt play the same way. If you dont do the tutorial you'll be pretty cluless when you get into the game. Please, if only to save the plyers nice enough to sit in the new player channel answering questions a headache, DO THE TUTORIAL.

the comabat is a breath of fresh air in the MMO genre, grinding mobs in a turn based system, for me, becomes monotonous very quickly. The FPS style real time combat keeps it chugging along and is actually a challenge- I had died several times before I reached level 3. Sure I was getting used to the mechanics still but it meant I had to really concentrate on what I was doing, always making sure I had the upper hand in the fight. Admittedley, levelling up takes a lot longer then in the usual MMO's. I played for the best part of a day and logged off as a level 4 character. Far from being in any way a negative thing, I thought this was great- it makes attaining that next level of so much sweeter! My only gripe with combat is that lag can make it hard to land a hit if your target is moving, and if you're on at primetime the lower framerate can make aiming tricky.

The crafting system bears similarities to the EVE way of doing things minus the need for blueprints to work from. You can research or buy trade skill books which will then allow you to craft various items in that category (eg the jackets 1 book will let you make various low level jackets) and then the materials must either be bought or harvested/scavenged. I've not done a huge amout of crafting yet so I'll leave it for now and post a more in depth review of it later.

The only part of the game I haven't tried out is PvP, which is a shame because if it turns out good it'll be one of the things im most excited about in this game.

Some minor problems are present as to be expected in any fresh MMO blood: some resource nodes still show after another player has looted them, performance isnt great, lag is a problem in populace hubs, lots of graphical and game world glitches. The most annoying thing Ive found so far is that when you find/craft an item for a quest it often doesn't update the quest tracker. One quest today involved me having to aquire 7 ragged cotton. I had 15 in my bags (it's also a pretty handy crafting ingredient) but the quest tracker only counted 1. You can work around this by abandoning the quest and visiting the NPC again but it has gotten quite irksome already.

Before this turns into a wall of text, ill leave it here for now and post up some additional thoughts after I've had a bit more time with the game.

Tl:dr version- it's got the usual new MMO problems, but is still an entertaining game with huge potential.

Oh. Here we go again...

I've been following the beta/release of Fallen Earth for a while now and been pretty interested in it, so today I've decided to take the plunge and buy the game, mainly thanks to posts like this one from syp and a few others that are now buried in my google reader.

I'm really liking the sound of a sandboxy, crafing heavy MMO, especially one with FPS style combat! I've still got a month left on my WAR subscrption, and I'm still enjoying it but FE proved too much of a temptation to resist. I think I'll play the free month and if I enjoy it more then WAR ill be moving over for good.

I would love to play both at once, but I bareley have the time free to play one MMO, let alone two. Ill let you know how it pans out.

The Changer of ways deems it so....

On the WAR Europe homepage they've added a letter from Nate Levy, Production lead at Mythic detailing some tasty sounding changes that are coming to the game over the next few patches, you can read the whole thing if you follow the link but this following snippet is the one that really interested me being a Chosen player:

“Secondly, another aspect of allocation that we're working towards as a long-term goal is to slowly shift the general distribution of Crowd Control to be more common on defensive careers—such as the tank archetypes—and away from DPS-focused careers.”

It would seem that the tank archetypes are getting a bit more love from Mythic and hopefully having a bit more utility added to our arsenal in oRvR. As always the changes are going to be spread out over several patches, a method which seems to have served Mythic well in the past. I have to say I'll be looking forward to seeing how this affects the game play for my Chosen warrior.

More thoughts on this later if I can find the time...

A quick update..

Yes, I know its been a while. Thinking of and writing blog post takes a lot more time and effort then you may think though (of course, if you're a blogger yourself you already know this!).

Unfortunately It's been a bit hectic for me at the moment. What with my band practising twice a week, coming down with shingles, working way too much (and still always being skint) and getting out at the weekends (maybe that's why?), I've found precious little time to play, let alone blog about, Warhammer.

I have been able to sample defending a keep after the addition of the second ramp, and I have to say it makes it a lot more interesting, if difficult, to fend off attackers. the choice of routes keeps you on your toes and always wondering "should I go check the other ramp?". Both times I defended a keep we used a fairly simple tactic consisting of 'run between each ramp and see where the enemy's coming from' which worked for us but probably wouldn't against a more cunning Warband, or if we had been outnumbered.

To me combat still feels a bit disjointed with delays before abilities firing, and I really haven't noticed much of a difference in the animations or smoothness when in combat. The new social windows neater than before and on the whole I think its an improvement, though I cant say I've needed the 'recently interacted with' feature. On the whole an OK patch from Mythic, I cant experience how its affected the city sieges but from what I've read it seems mainly positive so I guess its a +1 to mythic for a fairly decent patch.

In other news, I've joined up with a guild called Havoc who have been around for a looong time (I think they're one of the oldest Destro guilds on the server) and they seem like a nice bunch of people. Mainly focused on the endgame RvR and instance runs, I'm gonna have to get my Chosen to 40 asap so I can join in the fun.

Oh, and cant forget to mention that Rivs of a High Latency Life has decided to dip his foot back in the tepid waters of WAR and start up his old Way of the Chosen blog. I used to enjoy reading his posts there and will be following how does. You should too :).

Huh? Blizzard? Who're they....

While it would seem that almost every other blog in the MMO blogosphere is talking about the news of Blizzards latest expansion, I for one, am not all that bothered by it. The updates to the ‘old world’ (Kalimdor/Eastern Kingdoms) sound interesting, and I may have to download a trial of the game after it’s released just to see what changes they’ve made.

BUT…. I know for a fact that I won’t be subscribing again. The rest of the features in the expansion follow the tried and tested blizzard game play extension method- add more grind (and more shinys to make it seem worth it). And even though they seem to be actually trying to do something with the PvP, They’ve never been able to get it right before and I doubt they will now. I suppose they may surprise me but I won’t hold my breath.

Right now in WAR I’m having a lot of fun in the lower tiers, My Chosen, Athekkhar, is Lv 23 and I ventured into the RvR lake in Tablacland for the first time last night to defend a keep. The initial 8 of us in the group managed to hold off the 12 or so Order players until our WB had filled up. So had Orders’, who came back for a big push and got through the outer doors, only to be beaten back by the brave defenders before they managed to enter the keep proper.

What followed was a rampage through Tablacland, the frenzied host of Destruction managing to hold a roughly equal Order force at bay while capturing all the Objectives and locking the zone! I have a suspicion that this was almost certainly due to several fantastic healers keeping us all alive, but it was a great introduction to T3 RvR none the less!

And speaking of healers my little Shaman Gazgreb is still in Tier 2. Progress has been pretty slow with him due to me playing almost exclusive PvP when I log him in, healers don’t seem to get all that much experience when purely healing; surely someone else must have noticed this? Or maybe I’m just not all that good at playing a healer :)

Still formulating my thoughts on patch 1.3.1 but I’ll probably be posting them in a couple of days, my general impression so far is fairly meh, but ive net had chance to examine the changes in any detail yet so it would be unfair to comment!

downtime blues

So im sat here waiting for this huuuge new patch to download, even though I thought I'd been clever and downloaded the bulk of it last night. Just skimming through the notes, I'm liking the sound of the improved performance for the animations. My rig isn't the best in the world and on balanced settings with 2x forced anti-aliasing it gets pretty choppy when the PvP heats up. Hopefully this will be sorted but I'll have to wait and hope for now.

In other news I've been enjoying oRvR over the past few days, there's definately more of a drive to keep hold of the zone after all the objectives have been capped to get that sweet lockdown bonus. This has led to some pretty determined scraps between Order and Destro in tier 2, the only problem is when Order doesn't come out and play, it can get a bit boring waiting around in the RvR lakes waiting for scenarios to pop.

My only negative experience so far has been trying to take the keep in Shadowlands- a small army of destro had assembled in all its vile glory before the keep doors, only to be held at bay for what seemed like an eternity by battlements quite literally bristling with Order scum, cackling gleefully through mouthfulls of juicy renown points as they farmed us for all we were worth. Seemingly no amount of focus firing at the oil would destroy it and try as we might we just couldnt get though the gates without being mown down by a torrent of righteous flame and AoE spammage from the bright wizards and friends.

I'm really hoping that the extra ramp added to the keeps in 1.3.1 will help even the odds when there's a lot of defenders, but then I think it'll also make it nearly impossible for a small group to defend against a much larger one without being over-run. The question is will the improvements outweigh the negatives? this WARrior says an optimistic, and possibly uncertain yes.

Ahh, the patchers at 90%, time enough to squeeze in an hour (or so) before bed :)

*EDIT* Had a quick play last night and got a few impressions of patch 1.3.1 i want to jot down. I'll have a longer session tonight and write my initial thoughts up soon.