If you’re a more modern reader of Bio Break, then you might be completely ignorant that for a good long while, I had a big crush on Fallen Earth. I *loved* this post-apoc MMO in a way that went above and beyond most games. I loved its humor, setting, freedom, and focus on exploration. But I also drifted away, in part because of its fading prospects following a horrible free-to-play conversion and subsequent mishandling.
I had hope that new owner Little Orbit would be able to do something good with the game, especially considering that its staff seems to have come to really like it, but it’s a tall order to sort out the mess of Fallen Earth’s code and performance. They’re trying, bless them, but it’s not enough to keep the game going. So Little Orbit is shutting it down next month with the hope that they can create a revised version to relaunch down the road. If they do that, I vow I will be there on day one.
In the meanwhile, I thought this occasion and Fallen Earth’s 10th anniversary would be a good one to go back through 140 or so blog posts I’ve written and pull out some of my favorite adventures from the past.
1. Finding your place in the world: “That said, one of the more valid criticisms levied at Fallen Earth is that the starting experience is simply too wide, too inscrutable and too bewildering for some players. You learn as you go, for sure, but the problem is that you can make a few regrettable errors at the start that you will kick yourself for later.”
2. My biggest fear in Fallen Earth: “Okay, now, normally my response to ants is a gentle amusement and wonder as to what these socially-minded insects can do, and a deep assurance that I’m able to crush half their tribe with one well-placed footstep if I’m of the mind to do so. But in Fallen Earth? There’s simply nothing more terrifying in the wasteland than these six-legged terrors.”
3. Off the beaten path: “In Fallen Earth, I have fully surrendered to the Explorer gene. I am about the worst leveler in the world — I think I’m poking around level 24, up from level 20 around Christmas — because whenever I start to do a quest, something catches my eye and I have to go see what it is. Before I know it, I’m about six miles away from my horse and not caring whatsoever.”
4. Wasting time in the wastelands: “It’s small things, like being able to go in a majority of the structures — something most MMOs, strangely enough, deny to the player. Or the funny voice quotes, or the fact that the game really isn’t about combat as it is a journey.”
5. An-ti-ci-pa-tion: “Fallen Earth. I can’t seem to stop playing it. It’s haunting my dreams, even. I think that after a year-plus in mostly fantasy worlds, it’s wonderfully freeing to be running around in a semi-contemporary environment (if one can include mutated chickens and ants in that statement), enjoying the lack of elves and exploding particle effects.”
6. One man’s junk is another man’s fortress: “The Junk Fortress is no small theme park funhouse; it’s actually a large, sprawling underground parking garage-turned-HQ for the Blade Dancers, a faction you end up fighting all across southern S1. Mobs are in high density, and if you’re at-level, you should definitely bring friends.”
7. Adjusting to free-to-play: “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.”
8. Gil and Rufus: “Fallen Earth NPCs are downright hilarious to observe, particularly since many of them have scripted conversations and actions that unfold if you stop to watch.”
9. A horse and a girl: “My recent return to the post-apocalyptic Grand Canyon of Fallen Earth has been slow-going but oddly satisfying. I don’t craft in any other MMOs at the moment, but I can’t resist doing so in this game. There’s something very compelling about constantly harvesting and queuing up recipes.”
10. It’s like riding a post-apocalyptic bike: “Back when I first started playing Fallen Earth, it took a long time before you were able to make and use guns (I think the default ranged weapon back then was a pathetic crossbow). Now the game dumps a wide selection of weapons in your inventory and lets you start shootouts the second you are able to craft ammo.”