Fallen Earth: Adjusting to free-to-play

Last week Fallen Earth finally made its official transition to a free-to-play/hybrid format.  And while I was pleased as punch that it did so, life conspired against me to keep me away from the game for most of the week.  The nerve!

Personally I’m psyched that Fallen Earth is now F2P, since I really wanted to keep playing it but didn’t want to keep up another subscription.  At this point, I’m juggling three MMOs without a single subscription fee and wondering how I got so lucky.  I think GamersFirst did a great job with the different tiers of F2P/subscriptions, offering a choice for just about all play levels and interests.

For me, this means that I’m dropping down into pure F2P at the slightly snarkily named “Scavenger”  tier.  It’s been a little bit of an adjustment, but not as huge as I was fearing.  Instead of focusing on selling quest packs or putting a cap on levels, GamersFirst decided to focus most of the penalties for F2P on crafting.  So now, free players have to contend with longer (~6 seconds) scavenging and harvesting times, slower crafting speeds, an 8-hour maximum allotment of daily crafting time, and so on.  Since crafting is such a core part of the game, it’s going to be an adjustment to the slower pace for me, but it’s not so bad that it’s driving me nuts.  And since I get everything else for free, I’m not fretting it.

It’s amusing to watch the Fallen Earth community react to the huge influx of lookyloos and new players.  I’ve seen this in a half-dozen MMOs so far, and it pretty much all goes the same.  Lots of weirdos, jerks, questions, excitement and so on in the first two weeks.  Veterans are split between the joy of seeing their game grow and getting the press, and the fear that their sheltered community was now open to the unwashed masses.  This too shall pass.

It was cool to log in and see that I got a number of veteran presents from my one month subscription, including a removal of the chip cap, a spiked chopper motorcycle, a couple outfit pieces, and a creeper pet.  In fact, with the chopper for my long-range travel and the prairie chicken for my local mount, I don’t see why I’d really want to be making more mounts.  The chopper is incredibly cool-looking, by the way.

I’m much less thrilled with all the monkeying about in the crafting arena.  The devs have changed locations of nodes, modified recipes, and done so much tinkering that I now have no idea what mats I’m holding are worthwhile and which are commonplace.  The devs threw most of the really good nodes in the middle of PvP zones, which is very unfortunate for the many players who love crafting but hate PvP (which I’m going to go out on a limb and say are the majority).

Another change with the update is the addition of the wardrobe (cosmetic outfit) system.  Great to have it, but I was really let down to see that you have to buy, with reward points, each slot.  So free players aren’t going to have this, and even subscribers are going to need to purchase a few if they want the fluff.

But all in all, I’m still in and still really enjoying the journey.  I just realized that I overlooked another starter town, Terrance, so I backtracked to take care of it even though it’s giving me rewards and XP that’s next to nothing.  It’s so cool how all of the quests tie in to a main storyline (in this case, the owner of the town who dug up a malfunctioning lifenet station that started pumping out zombies all so he could resurrect his wife).  Coming across a backyard full of clones — including one very deformed one — was a wonderfully creepy moment.

Fallen Earth really is a game of details.  Instead of reusing the same structures over and over, there is a remarkable amount of diverse art here.  It makes you want to look at everything, especially for the funny, sad, and sometimes scary details.  Seeing “modern” gear being used in different ways for a post-apocalyptic world is endlessly interesting, and I keep trying to imagine what this all looked like before the world fell.

So if you haven’t checked it out yet, there’s no excuse now — Fallen Earth is free, it’s awesome, and I hope to see you in game!

9 thoughts on “Fallen Earth: Adjusting to free-to-play

  1. paeroka October 17, 2011 / 3:37 pm

    I don’t think you missed too much. 😉 I’ve been looking forward to trying out this game ever since I first heard about it going f2p. But so far, it’s been laggy and buggy. Just tonight, I’ve had the issue of not being able to mount. I saw the countdown on top but the actual mounting never happened. In the end, I did get a timed quest with 30 minutes ticking down. I walked (because it didn’t let me mount), went to attack a mob, wondered why it didn’t take any damage, realised the chat said I’m mounted (! – I certainly had walking speed on my client), died but nothing happened after that, so I relogged. My mount was next to me (which I’d parked at the entry of the town half an hour ago). I attacked another mob and that one totally ignore me. Nothing happened.

    Or, in other words: I still find the game very interesting and what I’ve seen so far looked promising and like I could enjoy the game for a longer time (especially the crafting). So I think it’s very, very sad that the performance is so bad. People are complaining about lags and I’ve noticed those as well. Also the disconnects and the long times of server down. I really hope they can fix it soon or other people will leave again without having given the game a fair chance… not me, though. I’m already kind of hooked. 😉

  2. hordemaster October 17, 2011 / 3:42 pm

    I would give it a whirl but how is this game different from playing say, Fallout or any other game set in a post-apocolyptic world?

  3. Trippin Ninja October 17, 2011 / 3:58 pm

    The cool chopper definitely made me come back to check this title out again. I’m glad it went F2P because now I can poke around in their world without worrying about getting my 15 bucks worth. This weekend had a bunch of down time because the servers seemed to not be able to handle the load of newbies and I was glad I was already in sector 2 because I heard sector 1 was super laggy and crashing sometimes.

  4. Gank October 17, 2011 / 5:46 pm

    Zombie wife huh? That’s something I could look into- in-game of course 😉

  5. TBTSan October 18, 2011 / 6:34 am

    I wonder, does FE has something like wowhead.com for wow? I.e. to look where I could find/obtain item in game.

  6. Bede October 18, 2011 / 2:25 pm

    @TBTSan – Nothing like WoWhead for Fallen Earth. The most useful items are all made by players.

    @hordemaster – Nothing at all like any of the Fallout games. And way too much to tell you in a less than War and Peace length post.

    There have been frequent transition teething problems, but the FE developers and community team have been burning the candles at all ends to resolve them quickly. As of today things seem much more stable.

    It’s great to see so many people in the towns and settlements, many new characters and lots of returning characters.



  7. Drew October 18, 2011 / 3:50 pm

    Terrance is far and away the best of the early Sector 1 storylines – I really enjoyed that plot. The best part of Fallen Earth, to me, has always been the writing. Great stuff that always – always – has me reading the quest text. Just the right amount of dark humor without going over the top.

    I understand S1 is a bit of a mess from the influx of players, but S3 has been nice and smooth, and I’m really glad to be back in the Wasteland.

  8. snickeringcorpses October 21, 2011 / 11:16 am

    I’ve jumped in a couple of times to try it out for a bit since the f2p launch, and so far reached level 4. It’s not as responsive as I’d like, but this becomes the most evident in combat when trying to shoot moving targets while zoomed in on scope. Since the combat is essentially FPS-style, excluding the abilities quickbar, I’m hoping their adjustments for the player load will fix this and make precision a bit easier.

    Still getting used to not having a dismount button. In the tutorial, I got on the ATV and then realized I’d missed looting one corpse. Took me 3 or 4 minutes of clicking on things to accidentally find out that clicking on the vehicle was the way to dismount.

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