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Reader Comments (43)

Posted: Sep 12th 2010 12:28PM WitchDrAsh said

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Does sound pretty interested, tried it when micro-transactions were seen as totally evil and couldn't bring myself to dropping any money on the game, these days spending a bit here and there doesn't seem nearly so bad so might take another look.

Posted: Sep 12th 2010 1:41PM swarmofcats said

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>>>Exchanging USD to PED gets you everything from gear to weapons to real estate. On top of that, it's a necessity to play the game in the first place. My ship doesn't break and vanish if I don't buy a time-code with in-game currency.

To be fair, you can't play EVE without forking over money. Your ship may not break or vanish but you would have no way of knowing if you couldn't get past the log in screen.
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Posted: Sep 12th 2010 2:05PM WitchDrAsh said

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True, but subscriptions were seen as the norm, having it free and then put as much as you want in seemed a bit odd at the time I tried, now it's in every other game.
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Posted: Sep 12th 2010 12:36PM (Unverified) said

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Project Entropia/Planet Calypso got much of its gambling criticisms due to the fact that everything costs PED and all of the items you use degrade through use and can even break entirely. All the world-item drops are ridiculously worthless and you can't really get anything of value without paying real money into the system -- you saw as much for yourself.

That's fine and all, but it's very much deceptively hidden from the player until you're actually involved within the system. Hunting and mining is exactly the same as a slot machine.

But even that doesn't concern me as much as some elements of MindArk's ToS that make you agree that you won't complain about the service in a public place or you risk having your account closed. Not just on their forums, but other forums, blogs, even IRC channels:

"n. You cannot spread any rumors about MindArk, the Entropia Universe, and MindArk Staff or Partners, that can be considered potentially damaging, using the Entropia Universe, IRC or any other public forums in any media now known or not currently known, including but not limited to a web space."

I can think of only a handful of services, much less games, with a similar stipulation.

I've always been bothered by Massively's coverage of Entropia and the fact that the serious (and shady) negatives of the company behind it are rarely mentioned or commonly downplayed. If someone wants to be involved in a casino masquerading as a MMOG, that's their prerogative, and while Entropia/Planet Calypso certainly is beautiful, I personally have no interest in being involved financially with a company that makes such amazing contractual obligations as to its customers' ability to speak out about the product on sites MindArk doesn't even control.

Posted: Sep 12th 2010 12:46PM Beau Hindman said

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You seem to think that I am covering up for some kind of shady practice, when in fact I am not. First of all, I played over the last week for the first time in over a year. I admit to not seeing anything shady, but that I only played for a short amount of time.

In other words, I never say there is no shady element -- just that I did not see one bit of it.

While items degrade, after my gift of 125 PED, I have been able to sell all my items I gathered from hunting, both solo and in groups, to keep up with demands of repairs. So, despite your claims of shady practices, that has nothing to do with the fact that I met dozens of people that have had, and are still having, a very good time. And for the fact that I will probably not spend any more than the equivalent of a monthly sub. Even then, I am already keeping up with myself -- something that the higher level players told me is very possible. But, I wrote that to achieve *greater* things (like actually making a living or a good profit from the game) that you *would* have to put some in. Where's the cover-up?

There are shady practices in EVE, something we cover a lot (more than the good stuff) but you would never claim that there are no good times to be had in the game. And, in fact, a "normal" subscription can be seen as degrading equipment that demands more money -- if not paid, your experience completely stops.

Again, I am not covering up anything, nor denying that anything goes on behind the scenes. Like I said, though, what does that have to do with how much fun we've had?

Beau
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Posted: Sep 12th 2010 1:03PM (Unverified) said

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If you step back far enough to actually read my comment you wouldn't see much in there to take as a personal attack against yourself.

I didn't say anything about you, I was commenting on Massively's coverage of Entropia as a whole. Personally I'm of the opinion that it's inaccurate to cover it as a legitimate game instead of what it is -- an elaborate, and certainly beautiful, ponzi scheme with elements of a casino wrapped up in a sci-fi shell of a ridiculous plot.

I also didn't say anything at all about the other players, but the company itself. I'm sure that people there enjoy themselves and have a good time, but I'm certain that those who go to a casino are enjoying themselves as well. In the end, people pay into the hunting/mining system because they're hoping to hit the jackpot and pull virtual money out of the system into something that can make them "rich" in real life. You have to put more into the system to make a return and every time you do it's simply pulling the slot in the hopes that you make back more than your investment. Everyone who plays knows the stories of the people who are huge players in Entropia and have made significant RL money for themselves as a result. I don't think it would be wrong to say that's the ultimate goal for the majority of users.

A comparison to EVE is irrelevant. It doesn't imply that it's free to play, has no mechanism for paying for things with real life money, and its price is fixed every month. The shady behaviour commonly associated with it is perpetuated by the players themselves (a group who, again, I said absolutely nothing about with my previous comment) and well within the rules established by CCP. I will never spend more in EVE than I do for my monthly subscription. The same can be said for Entropia in a technical sense, but when the game itself is designed as a slot machine and triggers the same reward centres of the brain that produce euphoria in gamblers, I don't think it's really at all fair to put it on the same level as a game with a fixed monthly subscription cost.

Dismissing my comment as accusing you of a cover up is a bit dramatic. I didn't. But even most free-to-play games with microtransactions or item shops don't engineer the same "casino" system that Entropia has. It's gambling, plain and simple. If that's entertaining to you, by all means you should enjoy it. But my overall complaint is towards the fact that other articles (yes, including this one) downplay or don't mention the very real casino aspects to the game.

Or on a practical level how the majority of areas are devoid of other players and largely ghost towns. The major port cities will have people, but if you travel beyond that you're going to be totally alone.

Your comment also said nothing at all about the section of the ToS I highlighted. I have no opinion about people who play the game itself, but I think the company behind it is authoritative and deceptive and articles like this and other ones on Massively do them unfortunate favours for their image that, frankly, I don't think they deserve.
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Posted: Sep 12th 2010 1:07PM Beau Hindman said

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I covered everything in the article and in the comment, so I'll leave my response to that. As to EVE -- you do know that there very much are mechanisms for paying for things with real life money?

You buy a time-code with real life money, you sell the time code for in-game money. Last time I played EVE, I had to catch up: I sold 3 time codes and had a new BS and a couple smaller ships within a week. Essentially, a player can play EVE for free -- they just buy time codes from players with ISK.

Correct me if I am wrong.


Beau
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Posted: Sep 12th 2010 1:13PM (Unverified) said

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The time-code thing is relatively recent. It's a roundabout way to pay for things with RL money, sure, but at best it gets you a subscription. Exchanging USD to PED gets you everything from gear to weapons to real estate. On top of that, it's a necessity to play the game in the first place. My ship doesn't break and vanish if I don't buy a time-code with in-game currency.

If anything, the fact that there are illicit currency exchanges for EVE and WoW and Aion and every other MMOG would be more relevant.

But, as I said, the ISK/time-code thing has only been around in the last year or two? They've also been extremely controversial to the player base. The casino aspects of Entropia have been there since the game launched. Nobody plays Entropia regularly for its storyline or quests, they're playing the slot machine. I suspect that if you continue with it for a month or two, you'll come to the same conclusion.
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Posted: Sep 12th 2010 1:20PM Beau Hindman said

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Please, let's not go back and forth about a game that I am not talking about. I told you my experience, in both games -- and you don't seem to believe me.

1) I was given 125 PED, and have been able to maintain repairs from loot.

2) Being "recent" (2 years is not recent) does not mean it does not exist. I bought 3 times codes, and bought a fleet. If I spent enough, I could have bought the largest ship in game, weapons and mods, implants and I believe even characters.

Beau
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Posted: Sep 12th 2010 1:24PM Beau Hindman said

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For further EVE reference, showing how any game that involves real-life money can be considered by some, as a "gamble": http://www.massively.com/2010/09/11/eve-online-player-steals-45-000-worth-of-isk-in-massive-investm/

Beau
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Posted: Sep 12th 2010 1:42PM swarmofcats said

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oops I posted a reply to the wrong thread. See above.
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Posted: Sep 12th 2010 2:32PM (Unverified) said

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I tried this game around 4 years ago. Before the graphical overhaul, before the name change. Even then, I thought it had great potential. What made me stop playing (after only a few days) was that I realized that even if you bought PED with real money, it quickly dissipated, with no real way to effectively earn back your investment. Granted, I heard from higher level players that once you drop X amount of cash on it and get sufficiently geared and skilled, you can actually make enough money to afford things without buying more and more PED, but it seemed a long way away for me and I didn't want to pay that much in microtransactions at the time. I do think they are more acceptable now like Ash stated, so it might not be quite so hard to stomach these days.

Maybe they have also increased the return on investment somehow as well. If it's still like it used to be, though, there is pretty much no way you can get into this game without a good bit of initial investment; "sweating" creatures for money took hours and hours of real-life play time for a very small return, and it was fairly boring at that. Hopefully some of this has changed, and maybe I'll give it another shot, but for now I'm going to check out this parkour MMO, sounds quite interesting!

Posted: Sep 12th 2010 1:02PM Greyjoy said

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Think Beau's report was quite accurate considering he only played 6 days, and for him to start making claims about shady practices would be highly inaccurate and even considered lies without him experiencing it first hand

Hes done what a MMORPG reporter is suppose to do, he has played, reported and given opinions

Anything more maybe considered waffle

Posted: Sep 12th 2010 1:06PM Greyjoy said

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Oh and just for the record I don't play and have never played the game
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Posted: Sep 12th 2010 1:25PM (Unverified) said

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I'm not the one who brought EVE up in the first place in an attempt to discredit your opinion. o_0 If you don't want to talk about EVE then by all means, don't bring it up. But the ISK time codes have no relationship whatsoever to Entropia's economic system. There's no comparison, whatever you did with three time codes.

I'm not arguing with you about what amounts of PED you obtained. Six days is not enough time to come to any real-world conclusion about the slot machine system that forms the backbone of Entropia's entire in-world economy. As everything from clothing to weapons degrade over time, with more damage happening the "better" the equipment is, you will quickly discover that 125 PED and in-game loot will be extremely unlikely to maintain repair costs.

Posted: Sep 12th 2010 1:26PM (Unverified) said

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The AoL network's comment system strikes again. This is intended for the thread above.
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Posted: Sep 12th 2010 1:36PM Bhagpuss said

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I played Project Entropia when it was in beta. It barely ran at all and was absolutely no fun. Never looked at it since.

Back when it was in beta the entire sales pitch of the game was about making real-life money. All the time it's been running the publicity department has continued to push that aspect. I've never thought of it as a "game" in the sense the word as used in the term MMORPG.

Did you need to provide credit card information to play, Beau?

Posted: Sep 12th 2010 1:51PM Beau Hindman said

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Not at all. Nothing up front but the usual sign-in stuff. If I wanted to add PED to the game, I would have had to add a credit card, similar in interface to PayPal. You can do it within the game, and they take a few forms of payment. Not near the variety I see in other games (where is my cell phone payment option?? hehe) but still.

By the way: Please, the point of this column is to encourage downloading and playing of something new. If it requires a box price or sub, I will tell you. It will not bite, and you will not find yourself being robbed blind.

Try it. :) Try them all. We want developers to try new things, and to find an audience. OR criticisms.

Also, if you want to reply to someone, see if they are in a thread that is replying to someone else...just look up and reply to the original comment that started it all. For example, if you want to reply to this message, reply to Bhag's message up there. :)

Good to see you again, Bhag! You've been too quiet lately.

Beau
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Posted: Sep 12th 2010 2:52PM Shadanwolf said

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I downloaded the game yesterday and played it this AM.I deleted it this morning.Good concept abysmal execution.

Posted: Sep 12th 2010 3:21PM x0fx3 said

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My name is Johnny "Occulus" Numina in Entropia Universe/Planet Calypso. While I haven't played the game much over the past few months, due to my comp not being able to handle cryengine graphics. (In the process of building a new comp now.) I miss EU, I had a lot of fun and it is very different from more traditional mmos. A few things I’d like to say:

1. It’s a lot more mature.
2. People from all over the world.(game is on one server) I made friends from all around the world. Having been a DJ for Atlas Haven Radio and dealing with the community I can say mostly all good friendly people. (Sure everywhere has bad apples but I didn't run into many in EU)
3. As far as the money well I can say this about my personal experiences I started off putting more money in but the more I played the less money I had to invest into it. Eventually I was mining and crafting and making money in the game to cover my repairs and supplies, only having to add money once and a while. So let’s say at start I added 10 dollars in every 2 days eventually it became every 3 days then only every four days then just once a week and so on… If you’re new to EU then read some guides, pick two areas of skills and focus on them like hunting (combat) and mining. I kinda dabbled in everything so I spent more money. But I know people who played for months and months and didn’t put a dime into the game.



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