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!