Living the Apocalypse

darktwrv32One of the reasons that I’ve gotten so into Fallen Earth is that it’s tapped into a longstanding fascination of mine: post-apocalyptic settings.  I dig movies like Doomsday, Mad Max and (naturally) Solarbabies, watch TV shows like Jericho, and I’m an avid reader of “quiet Earth” books like The Road, The Stand, The Dark Tower.  Zombies, plagues, weather abnormalities or whatever — just give me a contemporary setting where 99% of the population has gone bye-bye and the remainder are carving out a new life in the wasteland, and I’m hooked.

Setting makes a HUGE difference for me in gameplay.  For instance, while I enjoy fantasy titles, I have never really fantasized about being in those worlds.  There’s no part of WoW or LOTRO or Guild Wars that has made me feel as if I was finally living out my favorite dream.  On the other hand, when it comes to science fiction or superheroes or post-apocalyptic madness, well, those have a long-standing contract with my imagination.

I’ve often made fun of people who can’t think past generic fantasy names like Drizz’t or Legolas or Gandalf for their character, but I understand why they do it.  For them, they’re finally able to live out what they’ve always imagined, and that’s the experience they want.  It might be what everyone else is doing, but it makes them happy — so be it.

My journeys across the wasteland of Arizona are enriched by my imagination and fond memories of the genre.  At times, I look at the crumbling buildings, the rusted cars, and the downtrodden inhabitants and feel a tinge of despair, for a world that has gone away and left behind nightmares, hard work and uncertainty.  Last night I finished up a series of quests in Odenville and was about to leave for good, when the quest giver told me that I was actually talented at commerce and should stick around, make a home in the town.  For some reason, that connected with me — that I was going to have to say “no” and resume a nomadic trek across the desert, whereas if I was actually in that character’s shoes, I might feel the pull to really set up shop and carve out a comfortable existence.

The thing that does keep me going is that I really want to help these NPCs.  I want to make this fallen earth a better place, even if it’s subject to MMO conventions where my actions make no difference whatsoever when the quest is done.  When I came across a small camp of people who had been run out of their town by mutants, I went in with guns blazing just to recover a wedding ring of a woman whose husband died protecting her.  I am the vengeance of the apocalypse, the savior of petty wrongs, and a force to be reckoned with.

Also, I just like killing mutants.  Who doesn’t?

18 thoughts on “Living the Apocalypse

  1. Sleepysam September 30, 2009 / 9:10 am

    Does FE have an armory for us to watch your progress, especially those of us that are living vicariously due to RL playtime constraints?

    This game is so different than what I am used to reading about, so I find it much more interesting to see how your toon changes and progresses over time.

    Ok, I also want to see what kind of club you have now.

    Regardless, enjoying the updates on this new MMO.

  2. Ryver September 30, 2009 / 9:16 am

    If you have not heard it yet, over on lagwar, they have a Fallen Earth podcast called LifeNet. I’m listening to those now.

    Hopefully tomorrow I can pick up the physical DVD. I have been teetering back and forth on this, but finally decided I want to try it out.

    I enjoy lots of settings, but I’m worn out on fantasy MMOs. I played EVE for a bit. I like the space/science aspect, but never really connected with the ‘world’. I felt even more insignificant in that game than many others.

    Post-apoc games/settings are interesting to me. It makes me wonder if I could use any skills to actually survive in such a setting. And being a science geek, I like seeing what type of science still exists in such a world.

  3. Squirt September 30, 2009 / 9:17 am

    Hey Syp if you like the post apocalypse setting, you should buy/watch the new Battlestar Glactica. It ran for 5 seasons and was amazing. Probably one of the best si-fi post apocalypse shows I have seen in a very long time. It is very good. So go that we purchased the first 4 seasons on dvd.

  4. Slurms September 30, 2009 / 9:50 am

    You mimic my exact thought on post apocalyptic setting in games. But, I think my love stems from the fact that the first and only p&p rpg I played was R.I.F.T.S. and I’ve long lusted over the idea of that type of game being an MMO. I plan on checking out fallen earth eventually, even if only for the first month. I didn’t pick it up right off the bat because I didn’t enjoy what I saw in beta. I know it’s changed since then, so I figured I’d let some of the kinks work themselves out, and give it another go.

    Glad to see people enjoying it!

  5. Ethic September 30, 2009 / 9:52 am

    Stop posting about Fallen Earth! I am at work and cannot play. Please, my family depends on my salary…

  6. Syp September 30, 2009 / 9:55 am

    @ Sleepy – No armory or whatever, but I’ll be taking pictures. It is interesting how many spots for armor there are — I just got my shoulder pads and upper arm armor in the past day or so.

    @ Squirt – Yup, watched the entire series.

  7. Sleepysam September 30, 2009 / 10:03 am

    @Ethic – so true.

    @Syp – very much looking forward to the pics.

    @Ryver – thanks for that tip – I’ll go hunting for that in a bit.

  8. Victor Stillwater September 30, 2009 / 10:24 am

    Hi again Syp.

    I definitely echo your sentiments about playing in a post-apocalyptic world. It’s the stuff of nightmares, and is probably pretty horrible in reality, but the right mix of safety and danger makes me want to try a post-apoc game so much more than a typical fantasy one.

    🙂

  9. Jason September 30, 2009 / 10:33 am

    It’s odd, but when I played Fallout 3 I always thought in the back of my mind “Hey, this place isn’t so bad. I could actually live in a post-apocalyptic D.C. and learn to like it. Mutants and all.”

    Jason (resident drunken idiot of Channel Massive)

  10. Longasc September 30, 2009 / 11:26 am

    I am more the standard fantasy MMO guy. This is why I regret the eastern setting and feel of Aion so much. LOTRO should use Aion’s animations and engine, at least for the character animations.

  11. Llokki September 30, 2009 / 4:17 pm

    I love that the game has a half decent (ie. useful) charisma attribute and social skill. Finally I get to play a smooth talker that can sell ice to eskimos…anyone know where I can find some ice?…and eskimos for that matter?

  12. Dblade September 30, 2009 / 5:50 pm

    I’m surprised you didn’t put your minister hat on for this one. Apocalyptic settings and ideas are one of the legacies of Christianity that endure even when secularized, and its a little curious to me that you enjoy the secular style in games and art, while holding to a faith which believes in a real one in the future.

    I’m also curious if you like westerns, since a lot of the reasons why you seem to engage with Fallen Earth remind me not so much of an apocalypse but of a western, the lone cowboy wandering across the west righting wrongs. It’s not much of a surprise that so many of them tend to borrow western imagery as well.

  13. Rog September 30, 2009 / 6:17 pm

    Damn you! *shakes fist in Charlton Heston style*

    All these good posts about Fallen Earth are beginning to break down my resolve to wait until the game has been out a few months. =P

  14. Llokki September 30, 2009 / 9:21 pm

    Faaaaaaaaaaaaaaall Rog, faaaaaaaaaaaall! Faaaaaaaall for Faaallen Eaaaaarth! 😛

  15. Ryver October 1, 2009 / 6:48 am

    @Rog: It got the better of me also. I picked it up from Steam last night. They were still giving out the key for the free in-game t-shirt.

  16. Xerb October 1, 2009 / 8:07 am

    You have a way with words Syp. I had looked at this game during its beta and I didn’t think it was that great looking. Now I read posts like yours and those from Werit and it gets me interested.

    I love Fallen Earth and now I am beginning to beleive I may like this as well. Damn you! I have WAR, Champions and Aion to play … I can’t keep buying all these games!!! HAHA my wife is going to kill me!

  17. Xerb October 1, 2009 / 8:08 am

    Doh … I meant I loved Fallout 3. Need an edit button LOL.

  18. Ziss October 6, 2009 / 8:01 pm

    Actually, Fallen Earth does have an item database….

    http://www.co-laboratory.com/scripts/mgwms32.dll?MGWLPN=LOCAL&MGWAPP=ewdwl&app=FE&page=FE

    And also, Globaltech Atlas is a great resource site for guides. But the first link is like ur thottbots and that kind of thing.

    Have been playing since late Alpha testing and loved it then, love it even more now. It’s a tough game, and that will push many players away, but I think that’s what keeps me going. I really enjoy the challenge.

    @ Ryver: Thanks for the FE podcast plug : )

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