Fallen Earth – Head Shot, Baby!

It’s been ten days or so since the spousal unit and I started playing Fallen Earth, and it’s been engrossing enough so far that I haven’t logged in to anything else (read: EQ2) even once. I don’t think I’m abandoning EQ2, but in these last few days I’ve realised a couple of things: one, that I’ve missed games with more sandboxy elements; and two, that I’m a little overstuffed with fantasy MMO fare.

Which means Fallen Earth came along just at the right time — synchronicity, if you will.

Regular readers will know what a raging altoholic I am, and newer readers will just have to take it on faith. My name is Ysharros and I am an inveterate altoholic. This means my progress through games is generally much slower than most, and it also means that my concept of that progress itself isn’t really the norm. I don’t care about reaching the level cap. I don’t care about making a name for myself as El Grande Adventurer or El Mucho Raider. I do care about experiencing as many playstyles as a game will offer, which is partly why EQ2 has been such an enduring draw.

With respect to Fallen Earth it’s a little different. There aren’t a million different classes, for one, since there aren’t really any classes. The game is level- and skill-based, and is deceptively simple. You have attributes (Strength, Endurance, Charisma etc.) from which skills (rifle, armour use, cooking) are derived. Both are capped at a certain maximum value depending on your level. As you gain experience points you also gain Ability Points (AP) which can be spent to raise attributes and/or skills — and in fact should be.

Fallen Earth stats/skills - click to enlarge

So essentially the attributes and skills you choose to raise determine your “class” — if you put tons of points into rifles instead of pistols or melee, you’re a Rifleperson, and so on. The tough thing about that right now in Fallen Earth is that there’s no such thing as a respec*, so you have to decide fairly early on what your character is going to be when they grow up. If you’re a min/maxer this decision is life or death; if you’re a slacker like me it’s less of a headache, but even then I would prefer not to gimp my character into unplayability. (That said, my best Asheron’s Call memories come from my ridiculously gimped starting character and not from the zomgwtfbbquber character I made later on when I knew what I was doing. A little gimpitude builds character. (Geddit?))

Right now Ysharros — the designated smacketeer — is level 7. Altair — one of the crafters — is level 9 and not sure where she’s going, and Eloise — now the main crafter — is level 10. We realised something over the weekend, which is that if you can master all crafts on a single character (and you can, though it’s a lengthy process, since all crafting skills depend on the same 2 attributes) there’s no real need to have two or even *cough* three. Especially when your other half also has a crafter, and your old college friend who picked up a free key also has a crafter and you’re all in the same clan.

Oh yeah, we made a clan. Say hello to the South Burb Trading Company when you’re in Embry! (We might recruit. More anon.)

What this means for my chars is that, ahem, I have too many of them. Altair makes horses and food and languishes by the bank in Embry otherwise, having been pushed out of the top crafting spot by Eloise. (There was hair-pulling.) Ysharros is waiting for all this supposedly super-spanky gear the crafters can make her, except they keep offering her stuff she doesn’t have high enough skill for — though I’m really looking forward to using my new machete. And Spyder Leggz hasn’t even made it out of the tutorial yet.

Which reminds me — I apparently have a bloodthirsty sniper streak. Mort made Eloise (a crafter with rifle skills) a kickass rifle and she’s been shooting… well, just about everything that moves — in the head. Most of the time it doesn’t take more than a few shots. Pop-pop goes the air rifle, crumple goes the distant Blade Dancer. YEEHAH! goes the player at her keyboard. I think I’m going to want “Head shot baby!” on my Tombstone.

Resources have been an issue, but they’re fun to get if you can elbow your way past the crowds. Forget beaches — junkyards are where it’s at in post-apocalyptic Grand Canyon province! Scrap fasteners are used in everything from holding your pants up to holding your gun together. And ants have a really long aggro range.

Got crabs?

Last but not least – the clan. Mort and I almost always make a guild in games we play — assuming one of our older/larger guilds isn’t already present — and this time was no exception. It’s a friends and family guild, literally: there’s us, my old college buddy (and his significant other soon, or so I gather), and a couple of our oldest & best Asheron’s Call buddies. If you’re playing Fallen Earth and you want to join it you need to know a couple of things:

– Dickness won’t be tolerated unless your name actually is Dick.

– If you steal from the clan vaults (which have all the resources) or otherwise act in a dickish manner, we’ll hunt you down, cover you in honey (yes, there’s honey in FE) and feed you to the 3′ ants. Just sayin’.

– My decision is final. I get to be the Despot for this one and I’m going to make use of my Despot stick.

– If you’re a raging achiever you might not like this guild.

Oh and the socials window … isn’t. It consistently fails to notice when your friends are online, or even guildies for that matter. If you want to say hi in game it’s worth trying a tell just in case. Tell syntax is as follows: /tell Singlenamechar Blah blah — or /tell Two Namechar, {see the comma?} Blah blah. My characters are: Ysharros, Eloise Solclaim, Altair Jones and Spyder Leggz.

I’ll leave you with this somewhat disturbing image of Eloise doing the /breakdance emote. There’s a ton of silly dance emotes including /timewarp, /chickendance, /disco, /thriller and many many more. Hours of mindless entertainment! Any game that takes the time to do silly emotes has an edge over the “I’m too fucking serious to do emotes!” ones.

Embry's a tough crowd. Nobody cares about breakdancing!

* There is a respec item for chars created prior to the 1.4 patch, which substantially changed the way buffs and mutations worked. But in general and right now — no do-overs. Get it right the first time, noob!

7 thoughts on “Fallen Earth – Head Shot, Baby!

  1. Long-time reader, first-time commenter – I think. I can’t remember. Anyway, where was I?

    Oh, yes, yes, I’m playing Fallen Earth exclusively right now – I’ve been with it on and off since release, but since I finally let my WoW subscription run out and I’m determined to leave it that way until Catacylsm hits, I’m in full-time.

    I just joined a clan (T.A.O. – they have an awesome wiki, I’d recommend anyone to check it out) with my main, Slymm, last night, and she’s a level 22 melee/crafter. I am trying to learn every single craft in the world with her, so like you I’m taking it slow and loving the immersion. If you need something don’t hesitate to look me up!

    I’m always happy to make new friends, and I have a low-level (5ish?) non-crafter, pvp alt – at least that’s the long-term plan – available to take out if you ever want another warm body to help out, too. :)

  2. Aw shucks, you are coming close to convincing me to come back to FE. This month my MMO milk money was either going to go to EVE (Tyrannis is coming out this week!!) or Saga of Ryzom. But now you just had to throw FE into the mix too, lol. The really sad thing is that I have an inveterate desire to play LOTRO, even though I’m not all that into the actual Diku gameplay aspects of it. sigh.

    So I’ve decided to choose my MMO based on whether or not my laptop can handle it at a decent framerate (for my eyes a minimum +40fps), and so far EVE and Ryzom are the only games that really fit that bill. Maybe it would be worth seeing how FE does on it … see I am trying to talk myself into it already.

    • One thing that might influence your decision is that FE runs really hot, at least on both our machines here at home, and others have mentioned the same on the forums. I would imagine that would only be worse on a laptop.

      As far as FPS goes I have no complaints — in fact I haven’t turned the FPS meter on because I haven’t felt the need to check it, so it must be going ok. :D

      • Ahh, if only I had a more stable home environment. My desktop runs FE just fine, I just want a game I can switch between the two easily because I don’t always have access to it – it’s current home is also where the youngun’ takes his naps – which is also the main time I have to play. LOTRO also doesn’t play for squat on the laptop which is why that isn’t in the running, either. And I just resubbed to EVE, although I am continuing with my Ryzom trial.

  3. I like the skill system, but I’m a fantasy geek. If ever need a change from fantasy though I’ll take a serious look at this.

    • I’m way into fantasy also, which is why I have often played LOTRO to the exclusion of other games I would probably actually like better. Tolkien is one of my personal heroes. The cool thing about FE, though, is that it doesn’t just feel like sci-fi, but also like a cowboy MMORPG. I was really feeling this last night watching a friend play his new copy of Red Dead Redemption – I kept thinking he was playing FE, lol.

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