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Entropia Universe

Planet Calypso's new content takes players on a wild ride

Entropia Universe, Events (In-Game), Hands-On, Virtual Worlds, Planet Calypso

Planet Calypso is one of the more unusual games that we cover here at Massively, mostly thanks to its real cash economy. Massively's Beau Hindman spent some time in the game recently for Rise and Shiny, giving his experience as a new player.

Our newest peek at the game is a bit more advanced and a lot of fun. Planet Calypso is in the middle of the Harbinger event, an ongoing new challenge that introduces players to new areas, new enemies, and some formidable new foes. The Planet Calypso team was kind enough to invite me on a tour of the event, so follow along after the jump for a closer look!

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Entropia's Club NEVERDIE sets new record for most expensive virtual item sale

Sci-Fi, Entropia Universe, Culture, MMO Industry, News Items

If you're a frequenter of Entropia Universe, chances are you've heard of Club NEVERDIE, the virtual night spot purchased by John "NeverDie" Jacobs in 2005 for the tidy sum of US $100,000. The club, located on a giant asteroid orbiting the planet Calypso, was history's most expensive virtual item for a number of years until it was surpassed by the purchase of the Crystal Palace Space Station in 2009 (a US $330,000 sale).

Now, an Entropia Universe fansite is reporting that the remaining portions of Club NEVERDIE have been sold to a gamer named John Foma Kalun in a transaction valued at US $335,000. Jacobs had previously sold zones of the asteroid, known as Biodomes in game terms, for US $300,000. Read all about it at EntropiaPlanets.com.

[Thanks to Peter for the tip.]

Entropia Universe expands with treasure hunting on Planet Arkadia

Sci-Fi, Entropia Universe, Business Models, News Items, Free-to-Play, Virtual Worlds

Planet Calypso is one of the more interesting concepts in the free-to-play arena, as it's a game in which you can theoretically make real money from playing the game. It looks like the concept is expanding a bit with the announcement of Planet Arkadia, an environment for virtual treasure hunters. Part of the same overarching concept and universe as Planet Calypso, the game will be a chance for players to enjoy the thrill of treasure hunting without the actual logistical issues of stealing things and then selling them.

The game is going to bear another similarity to its predecessor, however, in that the treasures being unearthed will potentially be worth real-world currency. That should provide players of the game with a little added incentive, along with concept art by Feng Zhu and the promise of an immersive virtual world. Tentatively set for release in early 2011, Planet Arkadia already boasts a site with preview images and more information on the game environment. So if you've always wanted a chance for your virtual treasure to translate into real money, your dream might be closer to fruition than you think.

This week on the MMO Report

Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Entropia Universe, News Items, Opinion, Star Trek Online, Humor, Champions Online, Star Wars: The Old Republic, The MMO Report, TERA

The MMO Report returns to its familiar studio digs this week, and host Casey Schreiner has a lot of ground to cover in the segment. In between shots at the Tea Party and senator-elect Rand Paul, he even manages to discuss a few MMOs. First up is the new user generated content tool in Star Trek Online, called the Foundry and currently undergoing beta testing.

BioWare's new The Old Republic Imperial Agent video also makes an appearance, along with a brief discussion of Entropia Universe's new Van Helsing monster planet. Finally, Casey reveals his soft spot for TERA via the newly released Slayer video, and also talks a bit about Cryptic's decision to go F2P with Champions Online.

As always, you can find The MMO Report after the cut, and on display every week at G4TV.

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One Shots: Wheee! *splat*

Screenshots, Entropia Universe, One Shots, Virtual Worlds

Falling damage probably isn't something many of us stop to think about, unless we play Monks, Rogues, or other classes that have the ability to level up a safe-fall type of ability. But for people who have been inhabiting Entropia Universe, falling damage is something new and shiny -- an option that was only recently put in. Today's One Shots from Razormat features the silliness that arose after falling damage was added: players tossing their avatars off the top of the tallest structures they could find! Razormat writes in to explain: "In this picture you can see the avatars in mid-air after they jumped off the Port Atlantis Tower. Recently fall damage was introduced in Entropia Universe, and the players are always looking for new ways to have fun."

Do you take part in a world we don't see often? Want to show off a silly moment from your MMO day? We're always interested in what you're up to. If you'd like to take part, then send your images to us here at oneshots@massively.com along with your name, the name of the game, and a description of what we're seeing. We'll post it out here for everyone to enjoy and give you the credit for sending it in.

The robots are rising on Planet Calypso

Sci-Fi, Entropia Universe, Events (In-Game), News Items, Free-to-Play, Virtual Worlds, Planet Calypso

It's not one of the largest games out there, so most people might not know what you're talking about if you mention Planet Calypso. Those who do might well only think of the highly publicized auctions and trades, in which players have spent large amounts of real-world money to purchase land and facilities (which bring in plenty of real-world money themselves, for the record). But beyond that there is an actual game world, complete with an ongoing storyline. As spotlighted in the newest game newsletter, that storyline is being turned up by a new event -- an ominous approach by robots.

The last major assault by the robots left the previous capital city a smoking ruin, and not coincidentally coincided with the game's graphical update to CryEngine 2. This time, the colonists have begun decoding messages sent by the robots, and defenses are gathering to ensure that a repeat of the last event doesn't take place -- even as the robots field a new technology known as "Hydra." Several helpful links for information may be found within the newsletter, which promises plenty of enjoyment for the players in Planet Calypso.

One Shots: Gimme

Screenshots, Entropia Universe, One Shots, Virtual Worlds

While Entropia Universe tends to only make major headlines when players buy or sell something that can translate into a bunch of real-world cash, we still like to keep up with what's going on in this interesting virtual world. For example, we noted that vehicles were coming to Entropia Universe recently -- and that freebies would be given out. Today, we have a screenshot from reader Vivian K., who was there, and tells us more about the giveaways:

"Entropia was a madhouse as scores of players dashed from teleporter to teleporter today searching for Emma, who was handing out vehicles to a few lucky players. I caught up with her a few times - and in this shot she's buried under a crowd of rowdy Entropians and I'm just about to crash. I never did get a vehicle but it was fun haring after her, even though, as one player said, the amount of sheer begging was somewhat sickening. I've got other screenshots, including players making offerings and the cars themselves, but this sums up the day's event nicely."

One Shots needs you! While we try to cover as many worlds as we can, we don't always get to see the interesting events. That's why we love to hear from readers who can give us the insider scoop! If you'd like to tell us more about your favorite MMO or something interesting that's happened there, then email your screenshot to us here at oneshots AT massively DOT com. Be sure to include your name, the name of the game, and a description of what we're seeing. We'll post it out here and give you the credit.

Planet Calypso and Entropia Universe unveiling vehicles

Sci-Fi, Entropia Universe, Patches, News Items

Entropia Universe, the long-running virtual world from MindArk, has announced the introduction of in-game vehicles in their 11.2 patch which is tentatively scheduled for today. Ground-based vehicles are the tip of the proverbial iceberg, as MindArk has plans to implement boats, aircraft, and spacecraft in the near future.

"With this new system, the whole community now has the opportunity to build vehicles. The features included in today's release are just the beginning of the vehicle system content. The development teams are already working with upcoming features [including] boats. It will soon be possible to cruise the lakes and oceans on the planets of Entropia Universe. Several different types of boats will be available," MindArk said in a press release.

Check out the news posting over on the official Entropia Universe website.

The Virtual Whirl: Questions from the virtual mailbag

Entropia Universe, Business Models, Economy, MMO Industry, There, Opinion, Second Life, Blue Mars, Virtual Worlds, HiPiHi, The Virtual Whirl

This week, in The Virtual Whirl, we're going to take a selection of reader questions that we've received in comments and in the virtual mailbag and do our best to offer up some useful answers. Join us as we whirl through the mail. Not surprisingly, the two most frequently asked questions involve the demise of virtual environment, There.com.

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Planet Calypso welcomes their new community manager while looking to the future

Sci-Fi, Entropia Universe, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, News Items

The team over at First Planet Company, the minds behind the MMO/Second Life hybrid Planet Calypso, have recently welcomed a brand new community manager onto their staff -- Hanne Einan Gulbrandsen. Gulbrandsen is the game's first dedicated community manager, bringing the virtual world in line with the company practices of other MMO companies.

But, while Gulbrandsen settles into his new office and title, First Planet Company has also detailed their development roadmap for this year -- going over future additions such as vehicles, a new questing/mission system, and the addition of fish to the world (as shown above.) The mission system will finally give Calypso MMO style storyline quests, offering players a new way to play the game and experience the planet's lore. How these new quests will impact the game's real money-based economy will be interesting, especially if doing them offers in-game rewards.

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Crystal Palace Space Station auction tops 330,000 US dollars

Sci-Fi, Entropia Universe, Culture, Events (In-Game), News Items, Virtual Worlds

Remember a while back when we mentioned that the Crystal Palace Space Station went up for sale in Planet Calypso, marking the start of another insane bidfest to claim what could be a very real source of income? Well, the auction is over and the winner has been declared -- Buzz "Erik" Lightyear has taken control of Crystal Palace for the very, very hefty sum of 3,300,000 PED. For those of you who want to know the real world value, you're looking at a cool 330,000 dollars.

While this seems insane (and it probably is, to some degree), Mr. Lightyear will be looking at revenue coming in from the hunting conducted on the space station, plus the purchases made there. In short, this space station is a walking money generator, especially as it's the only place to find alien body parts used to make high-end armor. All Buzz has to do is let the station run, set a decent tax rate, keep it stocked with things to hunt, and he can take all the PED he earns and translate it into cold, hard cash.

For all of the bidding insanity, check out the full coverage of the auction over at Entropia Planets.

Patch 10.6 for Planet Calypso brings item enhancements and a new critter

Sci-Fi, Entropia Universe, Game Mechanics, Patches, News Items, Virtual Worlds

The hybrid virtual world / MMORPG Planet Calypso has recently leveled up to version 10.6 and has introduced the brand new system of item enhancement to the game as well as the winner of a community contest.

Item enhancement is very much like it sounds -- a way to upgrade and customize your weapons and armors -- but it works more like an item leveling system than a crafting component. As players use items, they will now rank up into tiers. Tiers upgrade the item itself, but they also unlock spaces on the weapon called sockets. Players can add connectors onto the sockets to further customize the item's statistics, but be careful! Connectors can break during the use of an item, but they can be stacked to minimize damage.

Also, the large Proteron has made an appearance on the planet! The creature is the result of the community "Create-A-Critter" contest, so congratulations are in order for Apsara Sofia Rozenkreutz! Congratulations!

For all of the patch note goodness, check it out on the main site.

Who wants to buy a virtual spacestation?

Sci-Fi, Entropia Universe, Culture, Economy, Events (In-Game), News Items

You sir! Can I interest you in this pristine virtual space station? No? Ma'am! Over here ma'am! How would you like to live amongst the stars in a brand new virtual space station?

If you think this post is a silly post, then think again. Planet Calypso (formerly Entropia Universe) really is auctioning off one of their virtual space stations to their players, making this the third time that a major piece of Calypso property has been auctioned off to a private party. This time it's the Crystal Palace Space Station that's up for auction, one of Calypso's long time prime off-world hunting grounds.

What makes this auction so newsworthy is the fact that it will be conducted through Planet Calypso's auction systems using PED (Project Entropia Dollar), which basically makes the virtual space station worth real money, as the PED needs to be purchased by the player with real world currency.

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Go out and steal oil in Planet Calypso's 10.1 update

At a glance, Sci-Fi, Entropia Universe, Economy, Game Mechanics, Patches, PvP

In a move to make our virtual lives eerily more like our real ones, the First Planet Company has re-opened the oil pumping station on Planet Calypso with patch 10.1, offering all players the chance to make a quick profit by grabbing oil from the pump -- if you can make it out alive, of course.

The pumping station is not only in the middle of the wasteland, but it's also surrounded by angry NPCs (the wastelanders) and it's right in the middle of an open PvP area. Sure, you can make a tidy profit by grabbing oil from the station, but you have to be efficient and sneaky about it. Otherwise, you'll just end up with a bullet in your back and your blood mixed with the oil.

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The second golden age now occuring in Planet Calypso

At a glance, Sci-Fi, Entropia Universe, Events (In-Game), Patches, Free-to-Play

CryEngine 2 is pretty. Really pretty. So pretty, in fact, that we added a rainbow to the above picture, just to amplify the already intense pretty with more pretty. Ronnie James Dio would be proud of us today.

But, if you haven't guessed, Planet Calypso is back online and is proudly sporting their new graphics engine with glee. Did you know that this is the first time the night ever passed over Calypso, as they never had a day/night cycle before? Now you know.

Also, as promised, today marks the opening of The Second Golden Age of Calypso event along with the upload of version 10.5. During this event, special rare items will be dropped throughout the world. These items will only be available for this event, so if you're an avid player of Planet Calypso or were looking to give the free-to-play game a try, now would be a pretty good time to do it.

However, you don't have to rush if you don't want to. The Second Golden Age will continue all the way until Christmas, so that gives you a good four months of event time to rack up all of those special goodies.

[Thanks, Dargon!]

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