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Fallen Earth

Massively Exclusive: Reloaded Games' CEO explains APB's layoffs

Fallen Earth, Events (Real-World), Interviews, MMO Industry, News Items, Free-to-Play, All Points Bulletin, Crime, Miscellaneous

Massively reported earlier today the unfortunate news of layoffs at Reloaded Games' APB: Reloaded. New producer Joseph "Linus" Willmon, whom you might remember as formerly having been on the Fallen Earth crew, explained to players that at least five APB staffers had been let go but that development would continue on as planned.

That's hard news for any community to take, but apparently players have reason to be hopeful all the same. "It's a little more complicated than just layoffs," Bjorn Book-Larsson explained to me during a phone call this afternoon. Book-Larsson is the CEO of Reloaded, part of GamersFirst's assortment of MMO studios. He told me that the layoffs are part of a restructuring that's seen not just layoffs but the movement of developers between the APB and Fallen Earth teams, the latter of which has been given significant autonomy in terms of how it manages its resources.

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Fallen Earth shares State of the Game birthday blog

Fallen Earth, News Items, Free-to-Play, Post-Apocalyptic, Dev Diaries, Anniversaries

Fallen Earth shares State of the Game birthday blog
While many are celebrating (or suffering) back-to-school this month, Fallen Earth is focusing its celebratory sights on a different event: its birthday! That's right -- this month the post-apocalyptic wasteland turns four years old. And as part of the festivities, AP Augmented weapons will be released, rifles are getting a power boost, and new player-requested clothing items are hitting the scene. Players can custom color a set of Phoenix Plate armor, grab a new duster with removable spiky shoulder pads, or wear a hoodie that would make Tiggs happy. All subscribers will get a revamped Lifenet suit for the anniversary.

Also coming soon are more dyeable accessories and clothes (like boots, belts, and head wear), holiday garb, and a special something in honor of the Breaking Bad series.

The Perfect Ten: Literal kill 10 rats quests

Asheron's Call, EverQuest II, Fallen Earth, Lord of the Rings Online, Star Wars Galaxies, RuneScape, Humor, Runes of Magic, RIFT, Allods Online, Perfect Ten, Miscellaneous

The Perfect Ten Literal kill 10 rats quests
Webster's Dictionary describes "kill 10 rats" as "something nerds do, now shut up and read a few intelligent words." I think the editors are getting a little lazy there at Webster's, but that's nothing compared to the OED crowd that routinely slips in paragraphs of cut-and-pasted Hunger Games fan fiction just to pad the volumes.

Anyway, we all know that "kill 10 rats" is a derogatory term for those quests that make you slaughter a certain number of things to make life happier for the quest giver. Why that quest giver has a very specific number in mind has always fascinated me, but never mind. It stems from a long-standing RPG tradition by which lowbie characters typically start their career by doing a little rodent culling in the basement of a tavern. That's how all great people got their start, Abraham Lincoln included.

With "kill 10 rats" already being a trope, developers have this habit of trying to be coy and meta by actually putting quests in their MMOs where you, yup, kill 10 rats. I get the feeling that they think they're doing something clever and cheeky, even though practically all of their competitors have done the same. So here we go: ten literal "kill 10 rats" quests that you can find in your games today.

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Fallen Earth focuses on augmented weapons

Sci-Fi, Fallen Earth, Patches, Previews, Free-to-Play, Post-Apocalyptic

Fallen Earth focuses on augmented weapons
Do you have a pool of unused, long-suffering AP sitting around on your Fallen Earth character? GamersFirst has plans for something to put those points to good use: the upcoming AP augmented weapon system.

These augmented weapons are high-end devices that can be tweaked by using players' AP to increase stats and skills. A tricked-out augmented weapon is an awesome thing, as it'll add powerful buffs to players when used.

The team said that it'll also be doing a weapons pass with many of the game's deadly instruments to make sure that the damage is balanced and consistent throughout. There were also hints regarding a "rather ambitious plan" coming in the near future: "After looking at the player response to features such as citadel and farms, we want to focus more on the players impact on the world and let everyone drive the action more."

Jukebox Heroes: Fallen Earth's soundtrack

Sci-Fi, Fallen Earth, Opinion, Free-to-Play, Post-Apocalyptic, Sandbox, Jukebox Heroes, Music

Jukebox Heroes Fallen Earth's soundtrack
How would you score the apocalypse? What would the end of the world sound like if you put it to music? Perhaps it would be wrapped in a Western twang with notes of regret, longing, uncertainty, and struggle playing throughout. Whatever the end result, it wouldn't be your typical sword-and-sorcery anthem.

This was the task given to the Fallen Earth team of Lead Composer Enrique Varela and Audio Director Michael Franke: to put the apocalypse to music. In addition to faction themes, the team wanted to create music to compliment the emotions that players would most likely experience while traveling the wasteland. "My intentions were to have a range of moods, playing with dichotomies," Varela said. "You have negative or dark moods such as fear, sadness, suspense, danger, and then you have positive or light moods like triumph, tranquility, security."

Franke put it best, not just for Fallen Earth but for all MMO music, when he said, "I really wanted the audio to melt into the game's setting, and become another believable part of the world. For me, the highest compliment is when a player can leave that little check-box for sound alone."

It's a Western apocalypse, and it's all ours to listen to in this week's Jukebox Heroes!

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Choose My Adventure: Firefalling

Betas, Sci-Fi, Polls, Fallen Earth, PvP, PvE, Free-to-Play, MMOFPS, Choose My Adventure, Firefall, MMORPG

Choose My Adventure Firefalling
Well folks, it was an epic battle. The communities of Firefall and Fallen Earth rolled out in force to support their favorite game in last week's Choose My Adventure poll, and the contest came right down to the wire with thousands of votes pouring in from both sides. Most impressively, despite the efforts of a few bad-apple commenters and forum trolls, it was a war fought with courtesy and genuine respect for the passions of the competing community. Well done.

It's true that only one game can win a slot in Choose My Adventure, and this time around Firefall topped the charts. But let's take a moment to recognize the awesome turnout from both groups of fans. Your communities called you to action, and you responded with dedication and enthusiasm. Frankly, that's the type of stuff we love to see.

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Fallen Earth is opening up in June

Sci-Fi, Fallen Earth, Patches, Previews, News Items, Free-to-Play, Post-Apocalyptic

Saint's Row the Post-Apocalyptic.
While the pace of its updates is a little slower than it used to be, Fallen Earth is still the same basic game -- a post-apocalyptic wasteland with plenty of ways for players to kill or maim one another in a harsh landscape. And the June State of the Game address takes a moment to mention that, reminding players that traveling through PvP areas is supposed to be a dangerous venture. The developers are also adding in The Dome and another open PvP area in the near future, so there will be new places for players to experience that danger.

Not interested? That's all right because there are also plans to add a new area to the game's PvE side, which will offer players a chance to explore some of the game's biggest lore mysteries. Ever wondered if anything else is intact outside of the Grand Canyon area? That's something for players to look forward to in the future, and the developers are promising it'll allow you to explore the wasteland in a new fashion. So that's something to look forward to.

Fallen Earth recruiting for high-level arena testing

Sci-Fi, Fallen Earth, Events (In-Game), MMO Industry, Free-to-Play, Post-Apocalyptic

Fallen Earth recruiting for highlevel arena testing
Calling all high-level Fallen Earth players! GamersFirst is looking for some level 55 wastelanders to help alpha-test the new Dome arena. The Dome is a PvE challenge that was previewed in the March State of the Game, and it's now ready for the next step of development with your help.

If you're interested, send your forum name, typical hours of play, build, and PvE vs. PvP ratio to DeconLead@gamersfirst.com for review. Take note that involvement in this test doesn't mean you're in the elite Decon testing team, as this is more of a one-off event. Check out the Fallen Earth May State of the Game for more details.

Fallen Earth rolls out the '13 Vandal

Sci-Fi, Fallen Earth, Previews, Post-Apocalyptic, Dev Diaries, Sandbox

Fallen Earth rolls out the '13 Vandal
April Fools in the wasteland of Fallen Earth is just like our holiday, except that pranks tend to be a lot more radioactive and fatal than ours. But just as funny, y'know? What isn't a joke is the new Fallen Earth state of the game post, in which the team unveils the latest car coming to the game: the Vandal.

The Vandal is a decked-out car with as much style as it has armor. While the model on display was a uniformly plain gray vehicle, the devs promise that there will be several different paint jobs available when it rolls off the assembly line.

The team is also working on resolving issues with Blood Sports; it says that these issues should be resolved soon if they aren't already.

Fallen Earth prepares new Deathtoll weapons and the perilous Dome

Fallen Earth, Game Mechanics, News Items, Free-to-Play, Post-Apocalyptic, Dev Diaries

Fallen Earth introduces new Deathtoll weapons and the perilous Dome
It's March! Spring is in the air, bringing with it the lilting cries of embattled players and their screams of horrific agony floating on the breeze. March is bringing its springtime magic to Fallen Earth in the form of new Deathtoll weapons, a new two-player PvE gauntlet, and the long-awaited AP Augmentation system.

Players will soon be able to snatch up the Jet Engine Hammer and the sawn-off Murder of Crows Shotgun for their arsenal. These Deathtoll weapons will be some of the first to use AP Augmentation. We don't have a lot of details on this new customization system yet, but we do know that "weapons will have various stats that players can put AP in that will enhance aspects of the weapon." The system will be introduced with weapons for max level characters and expand to armor later.

The Dome is an abandoned football stadium that's been repurposed as a deathtrap for level 55 players. When it goes live, you'll be able to queue as a pair or get matched up through solo queue before heading in to face 10 deadly bosses. Each boss you defeat will ramp up the difficulty and rewards for your next encounter. One of the key rewards from this experience will be recipes and components for the new Augmentation system.

The Perfect Ten: Creative MMO minigames

World of Warcraft, EverQuest, EverQuest II, Fallen Earth, Lord of the Rings Online, Opinion, Star Trek Online, Vanguard, Guild Wars 2, Humor, Runes of Magic, Perfect Ten, Miscellaneous

The Perfect Ten Creative MMO minigames
Few people are without opinions on minigames in MMOs. Some love 'em, some hate 'em, and some just ignore 'em. Some even despise that I won't type "th." Takes all types, really. Personally, I'm all for including new types of enjoyable systems that can be repeated, particularly if it benefits my character in some way.

There's also this perception that minigames are just for kids. It's true that more kid-centric titles like Free Realms and Clone Wars Adventures thrive on minigames like you thrive on deep-fried butter balls, but these little diversions exist all over the place in "grownup" titles too. Holidays are a favorite time to trot them out, although there are plenty that exist year-round.

Today we're going to look at 10 creative minigames that have tickled my fancy over the year. Yes, I used the word "fancy." Whatcha gonna do about it?

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Fallen Earth introduces new coresuit armor, free respecs

Sci-Fi, Fallen Earth, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, PvP, News Items, PvE, Free-to-Play, Post-Apocalyptic, Crafting

Fallen Earth introduces new coresuit armor, free respecs
Reloaded Productions has thrown a bone to Fallen Earth players who have been getting rolled by PvPers with powerful G.O.R.E. weapons. There's some new player-crafted armor in town called a Stage 3 Coresuit which uses procs to increase survivability in both PvP and PvE.

Fallen Earth's latest patch also features revamped Gamma radiation-powered mutation skill lines as well as two free character respecs for everyone.

[Source: Reloaded Productions press release]

Fallen Earth devs prepping two-man Dome PvE content

Sci-Fi, Fallen Earth, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, News Items, PvE, Free-to-Play, Post-Apocalyptic, Dev Diaries

Fallen Earth devs prepping two-man Dome PvE content
The Fallen Earth dev team has posted a brief state-of-the-game letter for February. In it, we're treated to a preview of something called the Dome, a two-man PvE arena concept that is currently in pre-production.

The Dome stems from a desire to provide "more ways for PvEers to distinguish themselves and provide a competitive outlet to test their mettle outside of PvP." Players will trigger a series of consecutive skirmishes that get tougher as a team gets farther, and of course the rewards will scale accordingly.

Fallen Earth devs explain how schedules are made

Horror, Fallen Earth, Free-to-Play, Post-Apocalyptic, Dev Diaries, Sandbox

Fallen Earth devs give a behindthescenes tour
As January is fairly quiet for the devs working on Fallen Earth, they've used the monthly state of the game post to share a behind-the-scenes look into the production process. The team begins by making a list of all of the ideas it wants for the game, and then reviews this list quarterly. Out of the list comes the schedule to bring these ideas to reality.

Schedules are almost impossible to stick to 100%, however. Issues and limitations pop up, requiring the team to be flexible. "This is actually where the strength of the team comes into play," Napalm posted. "They're very adaptable and adept at changing direction or coming up with 11th hour solutions. And despite the best laid designs there are ALWAYS 11th hour solutions."

The state of the game does mention that the team is cleaning up some bugs relating to farming and has hopes that the new system will be more integrated in the future. There's also a sneak-peek at the sector 3 coresuit, which is currently being modeled.

GamersFirst offers exclusive deals to cafe owners and resellers

Fallen Earth, Business Models, MMO Industry, All Points Bulletin, Miscellaneous

GamersFirst offers exclusive deals to cafe owners and resellers
GamersFirst is looking to make headway in two important markets: internet resellers and gaming cafés. To do so, the company set up a merchant center to offer a partnership with business owners to help promote and sell goods for APB and Fallen Earth.

Café owners are tempted to feature these titles more prominently in exchange for a premium service. This service may, but not necessarily has to, include exclusive items, 20% more XP earned, 20% more loot earned, and login preference.

Internet resellers also have good incentive to pimp GamersFirst products, especially as the company makes the point that they can set their price once game codes are purchased. Some of the things that can be sold include monthly subscriptions, in-game items, exclusive items, player currency, and exclusive packages.

[Thanks to Hutch for the tip!]

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