| Mail |
You might also like: WoW Insider, Joystiq, and more

Wasteland Diaries

Wasteland Diaries: Launch 2.0

Sci-Fi, Fallen Earth, Economy, Patches, Free-to-Play, MMOFPS, Wasteland Diaries, Post-Apocalyptic, Crafting

The Los Alamos auction house
Fallen Earth is officially free-to-play with patch 2.0. There are very few restrictions on the free accounts, so if you haven't at least tried it out, you really have no excuse. If it's been a while since you've played, you might want to pop in and check it out. A lot has changed, and there's no need to sub up to take a look. The world is pretty well populated now. Even Los Alamos was crowded again, like it used to be over a year ago. The starter towns were packed with new players all running around with their axes and air rifles. The population is certainly healthy at the moment; hopefully it will last.

It's been over two years since Fallen Earth went live, and it's also probably been over two years since the wasteland has had so many people in it. LifeNet gear is back in style again. Players are trotting around on "Old Nags," and the Help channel is a fusillade of questions that many of the more helpful and knowledgeable players try to keep up with. I spent a few hours traveling around and watching the crowds. Seeing the swarms of players and the dead mobs littering the desert sand in Sector 1 reminded me of launch day back in September of '09. But the difference is this: There are more players everywhere, which means many of the old players have returned as well. I've noticed some big changes already, and I'll share those with you right after the cut.

Continue Reading

Wasteland Diaries: Player-run economy

Sci-Fi, Fallen Earth, Economy, Patches, PvP, PvE, Opinion, MMOFPS, Wasteland Diaries, Post-Apocalyptic

Fallen Earth screenshot
The economy in Fallen Earth has been stagnant for a while. The auction house has been just a place for trader clones (with maxed social skill) to post wares with a small markup from the NPC vendors prices. In some cases, these traders would post mats that could only be bought in PvP conflict towns or found in secret or dangerous scavenging spots. It was hard to be competitive in a market like that. Every resource had an unlimited supply thanks to the vendors. There were a few items that actually worked on the supply and demand principle, like vibrant and volatile chemicals and pre-fall tech. These items had prices that were dictated completely by the players. Through competition, the prices got pretty reasonable (and I even bought a few pre-fall techs to allieviate the Citadel grind).

All that has changed now, and the Fallen Earth team has made some massive changes to the way the economy works. In this post, I'll take a look at what has changed. I'll try to give my best guess about what will happen to the economy in the coming weeks. A great many players are already freaking out about this concept on the forums and in global chat. While I admit it's too early to tell what will become of us in the near future, there's no need to panic. People were rage-quitting the game mere hours after the changes were made. If you ask me, it's a bit premature to make a decision like that. Nobody really knows what will happen, but click past the cut to see my best guesses.

Continue Reading

Wasteland Diaries: Factions and you

Sci-Fi, Fallen Earth, Game Mechanics, MMOFPS, Wasteland Diaries, Post-Apocalyptic

Sunset in Blockade
There was a time in Fallen Earth when the factions were more diverse. When I say diverse, I don't mean in ideology. I am talking about the game mechanics. These days, they are a bit more homogenized. Before everything was de-factionalized, your build would have a great bearing on which faction you chose. Sometimes, if you were a min-maxing PvPer like I am, you would wind up in a faction you didn't necessarily like. That was the main reason I didn't like the faction diversity. The ideology of the factions didn't appeal to me, but the factions' perks complemented my playstyle. I'll get into that a bit later in the post.

Another problem with the wide diversity between factions was the issue of balancing. It's hard enough to balance the three weapon classes, but once you have six different factions with six different sets of abilities, mutations, and capstones, it gets worse. I still see people asking in game about which faction is the pistols faction or which faction has access to Nano-manipulation. The short answer is all factions do. There is a misconception that your faction is still dependent on your build. It isn't. There are still a few artifacts of the old system lying around, but by and large, most of them are just minor annoyances. In this post I'll look at what is really important in choosing a faction in the new Fallen Earth.

Continue Reading

Wasteland Diaries: PvE like a boss

Sci-Fi, Fallen Earth, PvE, MMOFPS, Wasteland Diaries, Post-Apocalyptic

I have slain a rat
Fallen Earth PvE can be anywhere from laughably easy to downright frustrating. I guess that's a good thing since you get a gamut of difficulty levels, but much of the leveling span leans toward the easy end of the scale. I tend to get bored with PvE combat fairly quickly in MMOs (not just Fallen Earth). Other people love to struggle against the environment. Some even refuse to do anything remotely akin to PvP. I'll only throw the term "carebear" at those who think all PvPers are maladjusted psychopaths. I'm not talking about them; I'm talking about regular hardcore PvEers: players who would rather play against the NPCs than against other players.

Many of my posts center around PvP. If I didn't PvP (and since I'm not a big roleplayer), I doubt I would still be playing Fallen Earth. That's just what I spend most of my time doing in the wastelands. So I tend to write a lot about it. But all PvPers have to PvE. PvE has its own set of challenges for the player. Granted, these challenges are quite static, and once you find a way to overcome them, you are done. But they are challenges nonetheless, and knowledge is power as much in PvE as it is in PvP. In this post I will give you some tips and tricks that might help you get through that next tough mission. Much of this stuff is common sense, but it may not occur to you until it's too late. So click past the cut and let's get started.

Continue Reading

Wasteland Diaries: Scavenger's guide

Sci-Fi, Fallen Earth, Economy, Game Mechanics, MMOFPS, Wasteland Diaries, Post-Apocalyptic, Guides

Killing White Crow
The economy in Fallen Earth is due to get a major overhaul in the next month. The devs have been pretty tight-lipped about what exactly is going to change. They may do something as bold as doing away with NPC vendors altogether (unlikely) or maybe just tweaking the rarity of materials (confirmed). Since we aren't exactly sure what is going to change, we can't really prepare ourselves properly, can we? We can guess which materials are going to become rarer with the revamp by looking at the recipes, but they will be undergoing changes as well. So trying to figure out what to hoard for the new economy is purely a guessing game.

I don't want to get into theorycrafting on what may or may not change economy-wise. I'll leave it up to your best guess as to what materials you think you'll need to stock up on. My purpose in this post will be to help you get said materials. I can't think of a single material in the entire gameworld of Fallen Earth that is out of my grasp. I'm pretty sure I can find anything. I have compiled a list of useful materials and the best places that I know of to find them. There are some things that I will not divulge, but I'm going to be very generous considering most of the loot tables will be drastically altered very soon. Click past the cut and have a look at the list.

Continue Reading

Wasteland Diaries: F2P -- What to expect

Sci-Fi, Fallen Earth, Business Models, Patches, MMOFPS, Wasteland Diaries, Post-Apocalyptic

Emerging from the cloner
Fallen Earth is going free-to-play on October 12th. That's the plan, anyway. Four different subscriber levels will be available. The free accounts will actually have quite a bit of freedom with in the game (in fact, I'm shocked at how few restrictions they will have). The highest tier is a bit pricey for what you get, but we don't want a pay-to-win system, right? There's a fine line between giving paying customers something worthwhile and upsetting the balance of the entire universe. I'll discuss each subscription level later on in the post.

There are still a few concerns that many in the Fallen Earth community (including me) have about the F2P transition, and not all of them are technical concerns. I'm really not sure what to expect exactly as far as numbers of players, but I'm sure we'll see a huge influx of players both new and returning. How many exactly? I don't have a clue. I'll cover the sub levels first and then discuss my fears about what's to come afterward. So click past the cut and let's get started.

Continue Reading

Wasteland Diaries: The old vs. the new

Sci-Fi, Fallen Earth, Game Mechanics, Patches, PvP, PvE, MMOFPS, Wasteland Diaries, Post-Apocalyptic

Bunker bar
When it was first introduced, the new combat system seemed pretty awkward and cumbersome. As with all new game systems, you just have to get used to it. Luckily, due to the extreme familiarity I have with Fallen Earth, I adapted fairly quickly. But I didn't like it much at first. It was too healer-centric in PvP, and it was nearly impossible to die in PvE with such a large health pool and awesome self-heals. Instead of grinning and bearing it, I complained and hoped for a fix. It got fixed, and though it's not perfect, it's pretty close.

In this post, I will take a look at the new system and how it differs from the old one, now that I've had some time to think it over. I'm still not sure whether I like it better than the old system yet, but it's growing on me. There's a lot of stuff that I miss from the old system and a lot of stuff I'll never miss. Knockdown and stuns are two of those things. A lot of players were worried that the new combat system would take ages to tweak, but it seems like it's pretty close to the mark already. A few minor adjustments might be needed, but it's already close to a finished product from what I see. After the cut, I'll tell you why I think that.

Continue Reading

Wasteland Diaries: Why do I PvP?

Sci-Fi, Fallen Earth, PvP, Opinion, MMOFPS, Wasteland Diaries, Post-Apocalyptic

A break from the grind.
Lately I've been asking myself, "Why do I PvP in Fallen Earth?" The game isn't designed around PvP combat; it's more of a sideshow. The factional conflict was what made me decide to try it out in the first place. But after getting to max level, I realized that there wasn't a true faction conflict. There were just sporadic skirmishes arranged by the same core of players. So what is it that motivates me to do it? What is it that motivates other PvPers to do it? I can think of a few possibilities, but even if I look at my best reasons as objectively as possible, they aren't even remotely good reasons. Yet I keep doing it.

In this post I will take a look at what drives one to PvP in Fallen Earth. What are the benefits? What are the risk vs. reward factors? Are there objectives or goals? When I look at the cold, hard facts, I'm still not quite sure what motivates me (or the others who still hang around). After the cut, I'll go over all the potential reasons to PvP in FE (that I can imagine) and possibly narrow it down.

Continue Reading

Wasteland Diaries: Mutations 2.0

Sci-Fi, Fallen Earth, Game Mechanics, MMOFPS, Wasteland Diaries, Post-Apocalyptic

Sunset over Citadel
We have a new skills and abilities system in Fallen Earth. I wrote a short guide about the new skills a couple of weeks ago, so this week I'd like to cover the new mutations. If you haven't played Fallen Earth in the past few months, you will log into a very empty hot-key bar and have a very messed-up build. You will have a lot more AP than you did, though. But that AP is useless if you don't know how to spend it. There are no more capstones to plan builds around; you'll have to build a clone that will suit your particular play-style. My skills post and this post will give you a pretty good idea of what each line does and what abilities or mutations they offer.

All clones still have alpha mutations, but they are only low-level mutations and are intended to introduce new players to the mutation system. These mutations are based soley on Charisma now rather than Willpower. Every mutation line also has a primary stat attached to it, which determines 75% of the maximum attainable skill level. The other 25% is determined by Willpower. Total gamma (gamma is the mutation stamina pool that you deplete when you use mutations) is now determined by Charisma and Intelligence. Willpower is not nearly as important to mutation-heavy characters as it used to be. Those are the fundamental changes to mutations, and after the cut I'll describe what each line has in its arsenal.

Continue Reading

Wasteland Diaries: It's fixed

Sci-Fi, Fallen Earth, Patches, PvP, PvE, MMOFPS, Wasteland Diaries, Post-Apocalyptic

Victors at Blockade
During the past couple of weeks, I haven't been playing Fallen Earth too much. I have been waiting for some changes to come along. I found the new combat system to be a bit too slow-paced and dull. It was very centered around healing. He who healed the best generally won the fights. I prefer a system in which he who deals the most damage is more likely to win. There are, of course, other tactical considerations involved in both types of combat, but the overall feel was just plain wrong in the healer-centric combat system.

I'm happy to report that some changes have been made to the system. There are still a few things I don't like about the 1.9 patch, but 1.9.2 fixed almost all of these issues. I won't say it was a perfect patch, but it was very close. There are still some minor issues I'd like to see addressed, but these are probably conscious design choices that are working as intended. In this post, I'd like to cover what has changed, why it's so great, and what we will see in the coming months. The urge to log into Fallen Earth is coming back to me, and it is all due to this new patch. After the cut, I'll explain why.

Continue Reading

Wasteland Diaries: I got skills

Sci-Fi, Fallen Earth, Game Mechanics, Wasteland Diaries, Post-Apocalyptic

Sector 4, a new skill and abilities system and a new... well, a new everything has come to Fallen Earth. Even the forums will be migrating over to GamersFirst's little piece of cyberspace. While the transition hasn't gone completely smoothly, it could have been a lot worse. I don't know why they decided to do all this stuff at once, but it went well, considering how major an undertaking it probably was. The skills and abilities (also known as the "combat system") didn't fare too well with the wastelanders, and the devs have promised some fixes. With everything going on right now, I don't think we'll see them any time soon, though I may be wrong.

One thing is for sure: The new combat system is here to stay. Many of us would like to see them scrap it, go back to the old system and just patch up its imperfections (it was so close). But, I have been told emphatically that it's here to stay. So, instead of dwelling on the what-ifs, I'd like to take a look at all of the new skills and mutations, since they are definitely permanent -- although they may be changing a little bit in the coming days while this brand-new system is tested and balanced.

Mostly what we have now is what we are going be using. Some of them are the same, but by and large, this new system is an entirely different animal. You may recognize some of the names, but most of the abilities (actually, I think all of them) function differently. After the cut, we will take a look at every skill and their associated abilities in the game.

Continue Reading

Wasteland Diaries: The story of the fall

Sci-Fi, Fallen Earth, Lore, Wasteland Diaries, Post-Apocalyptic

I've determined that I'll make this week's post a bit of a history lesson. How did Fallen Earth fall? I'll tell you, because if there is one thing I can't possibly fault about the Fallen Earth dev team, it's their writing. Though it's a little far-fetched (in my opinion), the background lore is pretty good. The game dialogue is second to none, but it's the lore we are going to take a closer look at.

Much of the story unfolds and is fleshed out throughout the game while talking to various NPCs. But knowing the back-story will help you understand a little better about what is going on in the Grand Canyon Province, especially how the factions inter-relate. So click past the cut and let's get started.

Continue Reading

Wasteland Diaries: Triumphant return

Sci-Fi, Fallen Earth, Wasteland Diaries, Post-Apocalyptic

I remember way back when the Fallen Earth team released Deadfall there were many people didn't partake because they were waiting for Sector 4. And Deadfall was a pretty major update. It was practically a sector unto itself, with the level cap raised by four. As far as content goes, it wasn't far behind Alpha County in terms of scale.

Yet for some reason, many players were holding off on re-subbing until the elusive Sector 4 raised its mythical head. Hopefully those players are willing to wait another week or two. Sector 4 is finally here, but I don't feel it's quite ready yet. It's not S4 itself, it's a slew of other things which I'll cover that later.

The important thing is if you decide to head into Alpha, be prepared. You might be a little rusty after all of this time away from the wasteland and in need a refresher course in the finer points of not taking a Kaibab dirtnap. If that's the case, don't sweat it, we all are still working out kinks due to the new combat system. But even if you are stumbling back into the game in the most ungainly of fashions, an ounce of prevention is still much better than a pound of cure. There are a few things you can do to help yourself thrive in the new sector. After the cut, I'll give you some advice that may or may not help you along your way. I'm hoping on the former.

Continue Reading

Wasteland Diaries: Exploring the Citadel

Sci-Fi, Fallen Earth, Expansions, Opinion, Wasteland Diaries, Post-Apocalyptic

Normally, I prefer to PvP in Fallen Earth. It gives me the biggest sense of accomplishment and it's a handy way to gain tons of faction rep. But, while I'm leveling up my PvP clones and getting used to the new combat system, I've been doing mostly PvE. I went to Alpha County and ran some missions, but I'll go into more detail on that later in this post. I also got a chance to check out the progress towns. I have to admit, they are fun, and rewarding too!

I actually had more fun messing around in the progress towns back in Deadfall than I did roaming around in Sector 4. Sure, I didn't do every mission in Alpha -- I probably didn't even do half of them. After a while, I decided to put my time to use in the progress towns. After the cut, I'll tell you why I left Sector 4 and came back to Deadfall.

Continue Reading

Wasteland Diaries: A fond farewell

Sci-Fi, Fallen Earth, Expansions, Opinion, Wasteland Diaries

Fallen Earth's Alpha County: the first installment of Sector 4 is here at long last. There was a time when the place was considered a myth by many wastelanders, but it has finally become a reality. If you want to see what it has in store, check it out for yourself. It's very likely that's what I'm currently doing.

Since the patch date got pushed back a day, I wasn't able to do a piece on my first impressions of the new zone. Maybe I'll handle that next week. I've instead decided to do a retrospective on what I am leaving behind in Fallen Earth, a fond farewell to some of the things that will no longer matter. There are a great many things I will miss as I cross over into S4, and there will be a great many things I won't miss. As a creature of habit, I fear change, but I'm trying to be as optimistic as possible. With that in mind, after the cut, I'll try to concentrate on some of the changes that I'll be pleased about.

Continue Reading


Featured Stories

WRUP: WildStar's sadface

Posted on Oct 25th 2014 10:00AM

Betawatch: October 18 - 24, 2014

Posted on Oct 24th 2014 8:00PM

Engadget

Engadget

Joystiq

Joystiq

WoW Insider

WoW

TUAW

TUAW