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News & Features Discussion  » Earthrise: The Official Review

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  SBFord

MMORPG.COM Staff

Joined: 6/28/10
Posts: 12066

 
OP  2/24/11 10:42:30 AM#1

Many players have been seeking a great futuristic sandbox MMO to play. Into this frenzied community launched Earthrise in early February. Does it fulfill the hopes of its fans? Find out in Adam Tingle's review of Earthrise.

Earthrise is the debut Sci-Fi MMORPG from small indie developer Masthead Studios. Boasting free-form and sandbox gameplay – this online-‘em-up conjures images of Star Wars Galaxies and Anarchy Online, but sadly fails to measure up to the aforementioned in either ambition or design. Where we should be playing a refined and immersive title, we find a hollow, rat race for grind, gear and cash.

Read more of Adam Tingle's Earthrise Review.

Associate Editor: MMORPG.com
Follow me on Twitter: @MMORPGMom

  Yalexy

Novice Member

Joined: 12/17/10
Posts: 1003

2/24/11 10:59:16 AM#2

/first

5.5/10 sounds fair.

The technical issues aside, this game is basically nothing else then a shooter currently. There's no real content besides meaningless PvP and grinding and the game should've been more about skill-builds and tactics instead of equipment.

The crafting is tedious and uninspiring compared to SWG and the economy isn't anywhere as good as EvE's, as everyone can be a decent crafter due to the seperate skill-pools.

It sounded good in the beginning, but the whole thing is setup just wrong in alot of areas to be as good as SWG preNGE or EvE.

The territorial warfare that will be added at some point won't make this game into a better game, as you're still forced to grind on and on to get the basic materials and skillpoints.
It will add a little bit of meaning to PvP tho, but you should ask yourself, if this is enough to turn this game into a gem.

Masthead should implement some kind of safe questing-areas, where killing a neutral player results in you being hunted down by the NPC-guards, like it is done in EvE.
Then they should implement alot of fun PvE-content such as exploration or plain and simple interesting quest-chains that let's you dive into the lore.
Last but not least, they should do away with the material-grind by killing mobs and go with harvestable nodes that can be fought over and force players to decide between being a combatant or an industrial player by reducing the system to a single skillpool.

A mix of EvE Online and SWG is what I would've liked to see, but we were given an SciFi-themed Darkfall instead.

If I would only be interested in meaningless online-shooter then I coud just aswell play Unreal Tournamnet, or if I'd be interested in a more tactical shooter, then I could play CS or TF2 etc.
I'm interested in a playerdriven world however, when I read "sandbox". A world where I have to make decisions and the descisions being somewhat meaningful, like deciding to be a crafter or a fighter, or deciding between territorial warfare or factional warfare or simply doing PvE-content.
There's no decisions to be made in Earthrise tho, and hence it's far from being a sandbox.... there's simply no sand or tools in Earthrise.

  mbygons

Novice Member

Joined: 9/30/07
Posts: 38

2/24/11 11:02:32 AM#3

Harsh at tiimes but ovetrall i think its fair

  Pilnkplonk

Advanced Member

Joined: 3/02/10
Posts: 1558

2/24/11 11:19:38 AM#4

Didn't play the game but I agree completely at this last jab at ffa full-loot PvP.

I too have no idea why all those devs believe a sandbox MMO absolutely has to have full-looting? Imo this is THE reason all those "new" (/rolleyes) sandbox games really have no chance at mainstream popularity. (ok EVE, I know I know.. but its insurance mechanic pretty much negates the effect of it).

Yes, you can have a sandbox without full-loot PvP. Why is no one attempting it? I have no idea whatsoever.

And imo, harsh death penalties detract from PvP. However counter-intuitive it might seem games with lower death penalties tend to have more PvP. Just brush up on your game theory and you'll see what I mean. Making a "PvP-centric" game with full-loot PvP is like designing a racing car with a one-speed tractor engine - it's not all about horsepower chum.

In Xsyon, for example, you have ffa full-loot PvP ... but this is actually compatible with the stated fact that it is NOT a PvP game - a point lost on the usual crowd of game-jumping "hardcore PvP-ers" (read "noob gankers" in majority of cases). Quite simply - you stand to loose much more than win in a PvP encounter so you naturally tend to avoid it.. unles you're sure you'll win... which in turn leads to ganking. Please please please! If you're making a "pvp-centric" game DON'T put full-looting in! Trust me on this!

  randomt

Novice Member

Joined: 3/27/05
Posts: 1110

2/24/11 11:20:26 AM#5

You left out the problem with Turtles and related spawns, and a few things struck me as not quite accurate, but all in all it's a fairly decent review.


For instance, alligators drop organic crafting parts because those are parts of the alligator you cut off.. Minor detail :D.  This model of resource gathering is nothing new, and usually works pretty well.  The mobs in ER drop stuff that suits what they are, such as metal parts from robots, plastics and synthetics from humanoid armors and so on.


That being said, the game sums up to: Grind turtles (or equivelent), or grind one of the three 2-mat crafting recipes over and over.
 
 
Lastly.. I agree.. there's nothing sandbox about this game, in the pure sense of the term. People mistake "skill based class system" for "sandbox" way too much these days.


----
my sig: firefox users, install flashblock addon to get rid of annoying flash advertisements. Stupid flash.

  VowOfSilence

Novice Member

Joined: 6/13/09
Posts: 581

2/24/11 11:31:42 AM#6

Haven't played the game, but this was an exellent review!

Hype train -> Reality

  Expiry

Apprentice Member

Joined: 5/12/10
Posts: 73

Everything is a competetion, life is a competetion

2/24/11 11:37:50 AM#7

wow, nail in the coffin anyone?

  Blindchance

Novice Member

Joined: 2/21/09
Posts: 1078

2/24/11 11:50:50 AM#8

Sad but true. I find it amusing that some of developers think that today creating a sandbox game means rejecting all of the MMO genre evolution.

  TweFoju

Hard Core Member

Joined: 6/27/09
Posts: 895

2/24/11 11:51:30 AM#9

a fair review i would say, and 5.5 is just about right

i didn't buy the game at all, but i was in CB for around 2 weeks, so i kinda understand about the review

i feel sorry for MHS, i mean they have the big ambition, but it just wouldn't work the way they want, i hope 1 years from now ER will be there

So What Now?

  xpiher

Elite Member

Joined: 8/22/08
Posts: 3235

2/24/11 12:23:46 PM#10

The score is fair but the review, as usual, is done by someone who can't stand FFA Full Loot PvP and thus instantly hates the game.  Earth Rise doesn't even have full loot IT HAS INSURANCE! 

The reason why all sandbox games have FULL LOOT is because it makes the game exciting and gives meaning to death. When you die in every themepark game you never care unless its a raid wipe and you wasted hours trying to beat the boss. Furthermore, in full loot games, gear typically doesn't matter as much as it does in Themepark games. You don't spend months grinind out raid bosses to get badass gear, you buy the best gear from players instead and it can be replaced within a few hours/days most of the time. 

Also, there is nothing new about Themepark games. All of them go back to EQ. They are all gear grind with RGN.


Games:
Currently playing:Nothing
Will play: Darkfall: Unholy Wars
Past games:
Guild Wars 2 - Xpiher Duminous
Xpiher's GW2
GW 1 - Xpiher Duminous
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Warhammer - Xpiher

  Yamota

Hard Core Member

Joined: 10/05/03
Posts: 6384

There's a beast within every man that stirs when you put a sword in his hand

2/24/11 12:37:52 PM#11

Very well written review. In particular I like that the author understands that a sandbox MMOG does not equal not having an early tutorial or getting started and there needs to actually be elements in the game that drives you forward to build castles in the sandbox. 

Just throwing you out in an empty, soul less 3D engine with some mobs thrown in does not a sandbox make, not a good one anyway. You need lore and possibility for players to actually shape the world. Also I agree that they need to get rid of full loot PvP, it only discourages people from engaging into PvP and makes griefing so more prelavent.

Not zero death penalty, which makes a PvP death pointless, like in WoW and not full loot, something in between would be nice.

  Admin

Administrator

Joined: 1/29/02
Posts: 4924

Gaming is life...

2/24/11 12:47:40 PM#12
Originally posted by Blindchance

Sad but true. I find it amusing that some of developers think that today creating a sandbox game means rejecting all of the MMO genre evolution.

 

 Of course, had they done this than a whole wave of people would be shouting "WoW Clone!" ;-)

- MMORPG.COM Staff -

  Dolmong

Novice Member

Joined: 3/11/04
Posts: 516

2/24/11 1:00:41 PM#13

Lost $49.99 for a dumb fxxk game -.-

sorry I'm a bit agressive, but nothing can settle my madness now because of this game!

  Coman

Hard Core Member

Joined: 8/29/04
Posts: 1860

2/24/11 1:06:23 PM#14

"Earthrise offers nothing particularly new as the game will only ever call for a Tank, a Healer, a Support, and the ever-green DPS. Allowing players to pick and choose suitable abilities is only really giving the illusion of choice."

That is just nonsense to say the least! First off all what is a tank in this game? What is a a DPS focused player in this game? Everyone will have a weapon they have maxed out! Everyone will most likely have some buff of debuff ability to support his team (This could be healing or dot or whatever) and people can choice there armour. 

Offcourse as someone who focusses on healing you want to have a power armour so you can keep healing. As a melee person you might want to have some speed so you could take the armour that help you with that or actually mix certain armour so that you have a decent sprint and health. Sorry, but I really believe you came to this conclusion way to fast!

" This a slightly more emergent system but slightly fails when someone butchers  you, claims your items, and sends you back to square one."

You can insure you items. Beside that tier 2 items are free and will not drop so you never be send back to square one!

"Why you may ask that a crocodile is hoarding materials? Well this is one of the many mysterious that evolve in a post-nuclear world."

Because that is clearly less realisticly then chopping on the same tree and node over and over again untill the game tells you the node is empty for the next 4 hour after with a god will come around and magically fills it up again :P. However with territorial warefar there should be nodes to conquere or use...if they implement that right offcourse.

"To make a chest-piece you must build a frame work, which is  a pattern in itself, and then provide 3 organic, 2 synthetic, and 1 metal material-"

Way to easily explained. To create a chest piece you need to create two other elements first and for those you might need some other element created. Getting enough money and crafting points to create a chest-piece is actually time consuming (Maybe even to much of a grind). This system really works best when you work together and is nothing like Lord of the Rings online. Then there is also the fact you might even need to look for crafting station outside of save zones. 

"and PvP is nothing more than an annoyance which most players navigate by pressing the teleporting /unstuck or further alt+F4."

There in the process on fixing this. Unstuck bug is already fixed shamefully they have yet to fix alt+f4

 

 

Do not get me wrong the 5.5 is really fare enough the game as it is is not to great, but claiming it lack potentiol is saying more about the writer of the review then the game. The game has potentiol. They have a  great engine that needs tweaking and have a interesting world. I really hope they can deliver the territorial warfare. Is it a sandbox? Who cares! People including developers themselves need to stop putting there game in a cubicle! I do however have the feeling the writer has not put a lot of time into the game or to the very least simply made some conclusion way to fast.

The game will not resolve around tanks, healers and support classes. There is to much variaty in the game. True people can focus on reducing the damage they take and increasing there health and you will have dedicated healers and people who might focus on support. Everyone however is a DPS'er. Everyone can max out there weapon! The crafting is also more involved then how the writer explains it. True it is still bland, but it not just get X+Y and create the items. Unless you have a lot of time it will be hard for a person to be able to create every item needed to create an top tier chest armour piece, eventually they will, but most crafter will not be able to do that for along time and working together in this aspact will mean you and a groups of friend guilding can make tier 10 armour in weeks where an solo crafter might take months if not years. 

 

Will also note that the last patch did impress me. I have hardly seen such a solid patch! True it has taken them 2 weeks to get out and there are companies they patch more, but this patch has not braken anything and there QA did a good job. I just wonder why they could not properly fix there game before releasing it. 

  eric_w66

Advanced Member

Joined: 1/12/06
Posts: 1004

2/24/11 1:36:59 PM#15

Those who proclaim that full loot PvP "gives meaning to death" never played EQ1 back in the early days.

Die, and lose days, perhaps weeks of effort. And possibly all your gear (your corpse would time out in 1 week real time). So, what happened? People did everything they could to avoid death. You never took risks, because the tiny amount of extra xp killing an even con monster didn't outweigh the much harder and dangerous fight it took to kill it. So you ground low-blues forever, even in groups (as they were faster kills = more xp over time).

The "meaning" of death when you have harsh death penalty is not about skill or hardcoreness... its about wasted time. People hate wasting their time. I don't see anyone "zerg" monster in WoW, even though it's death penalty isn't very harsh. So death has meaning there too.

 

And of course, if you feel that Game X doesn't have a harsh enough death penalty, you could always:

 

1) delete all your gear upon death to simulate full loot, thereby returning "meaning" to your death and all the fun it entails!

 

2) permanently delete your character upon death to simulate perma-death returning "meaning" to your death and all the fun it entails!

 

But of course, being hypocrites, they won't :D they want everyone to "suffer" equally.... lol.

  GnatBug

Novice Member

Joined: 12/10/10
Posts: 83

2/24/11 1:44:59 PM#16

I had my lesson with Cryptic's Star Trek Online ...I kown how you feel about waisting your money. Now learn from this and dont ever rush into a game on HYPE. 

 

Rule #1) Never Pre-Order unless you have played in the open beta of a game!

Rule#2) Never buy a lifetime subscription before you have played a game!

Rule#3) Always google the game to find out what others think, then make up you mind.

Rule#4) If Cryptic is developing...a game WAIT 5days before buying it ...Just to make sure it has content!

Rule#5) HE WHO HAS GAS ...Travels at the back of the line!

!!

  Koddo

Novice Member

Joined: 6/07/04
Posts: 151

The strong needs not valor...Only a relentless will that goes against fate...

2/24/11 2:06:50 PM#17
Originally posted by Coman

"Earthrise offers nothing particularly new as the game will only ever call for a Tank, a Healer, a Support, and the ever-green DPS. Allowing players to pick and choose suitable abilities is only really giving the illusion of choice."

That is just nonsense to say the least! First off all what is a tank in this game? What is a a DPS focused player in this game? Everyone will have a weapon they have maxed out! Everyone will most likely have some buff of debuff ability to support his team (This could be healing or dot or whatever) and people can choice there armour. 

Offcourse as someone who focusses on healing you want to have a power armour so you can keep healing. As a melee person you might want to have some speed so you could take the armour that help you with that or actually mix certain armour so that you have a decent sprint and health. Sorry, but I really believe you came to this conclusion way to fast!

" This a slightly more emergent system but slightly fails when someone butchers  you, claims your items, and sends you back to square one."

You can insure you items. Beside that tier 2 items are free and will not drop so you never be send back to square one!

"Why you may ask that a crocodile is hoarding materials? Well this is one of the many mysterious that evolve in a post-nuclear world."

Because that is clearly less realisticly then chopping on the same tree and node over and over again untill the game tells you the node is empty for the next 4 hour after with a god will come around and magically fills it up again :P. However with territorial warefar there should be nodes to conquere or use...if they implement that right offcourse.

"To make a chest-piece you must build a frame work, which is  a pattern in itself, and then provide 3 organic, 2 synthetic, and 1 metal material-"

Way to easily explained. To create a chest piece you need to create two other elements first and for those you might need some other element created. Getting enough money and crafting points to create a chest-piece is actually time consuming (Maybe even to much of a grind). This system really works best when you work together and is nothing like Lord of the Rings online. Then there is also the fact you might even need to look for crafting station outside of save zones. 

"and PvP is nothing more than an annoyance which most players navigate by pressing the teleporting /unstuck or further alt+F4."

There in the process on fixing this. Unstuck bug is already fixed shamefully they have yet to fix alt+f4

 

 

Do not get me wrong the 5.5 is really fare enough the game as it is is not to great, but claiming it lack potentiol is saying more about the writer of the review then the game. The game has potentiol. They have a  great engine that needs tweaking and have a interesting world. I really hope they can deliver the territorial warfare. Is it a sandbox? Who cares! People including developers themselves need to stop putting there game in a cubicle! I do however have the feeling the writer has not put a lot of time into the game or to the very least simply made some conclusion way to fast.

The game will not resolve around tanks, healers and support classes. There is to much variaty in the game. True people can focus on reducing the damage they take and increasing there health and you will have dedicated healers and people who might focus on support. Everyone however is a DPS'er. Everyone can max out there weapon! The crafting is also more involved then how the writer explains it. True it is still bland, but it not just get X+Y and create the items. Unless you have a lot of time it will be hard for a person to be able to create every item needed to create an top tier chest armour piece, eventually they will, but most crafter will not be able to do that for along time and working together in this aspact will mean you and a groups of friend guilding can make tier 10 armour in weeks where an solo crafter might take months if not years. 

 

Will also note that the last patch did impress me. I have hardly seen such a solid patch! True it has taken them 2 weeks to get out and there are companies they patch more, but this patch has not braken anything and there QA did a good job. I just wonder why they could not properly fix there game before releasing it. 

 

 +1

Thank you for attempting to shine the light on the misinformation. The people here will most likely completely ignore what you have said though. They are too busy hopping on the "ffa pvp sandbox fails" bandwagon. I really enjoy how people agree to the review when they haven't even played the game and go off what other people who may or may not have played the game.

With all the misinformation that people keep throwing out there about the game, it's clear they have not played, or have not played long enough/taken the time to find out about the game. As evidenced by everyone thinking there is no insurance mechanic at all.

Doesn't have EvE's economy? Are you kidding? Of course it doesn't. Economies need time to grow before you can even say that. EvE's economy starting out was total crap too. It's had years to grow, it doesn't just happen overnight.

They are just hoping the game fails, so they are saying nearly anything to attempt to help it along. Schadenfreude at it's best I'd say.

Does the game need fleshing out? Indeed it does. Did they release too early? Yes they did. Did they want to? No they didn't. They had to. Money was probrably starting to dry up, and if they released a bit later, they would have to contend majorly with a bunch of hyped up mmo's. So their window for possibly getting people in, and hopefully keep the game afloat so they can finish it was now.

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The pen is mightier than the sword, and authority is mightier than the pen, but the sword is mightier than authority.

If you can't beat 'em, hold 'em off 'till you come up with a better plan.

  marcust

Existentialist

Joined: 12/12/03
Posts: 414

2/24/11 2:44:18 PM#18

The reviewer is correct, the game in its present state is not engaging.

You can only kite so many mobs with your T2 armour and guns for BP before it becomes an utter bore.

However, that does not mean the game cannot turn out to be a great title, it is possible.

The real question is, will it keep enough subs to get to the point where there is enough to do to make it worthwhile? We wont know the answer to this for 6 months.

Imo the devs should offer everyone that buys the game now at least 3 months of free play, because while it may be worth subbing in the future, I cannot see many people paying monthly subs in its current state.

Did they sell enough boxes to cover costs for 6 months and do they have the skills to turn this game into something special in 6 months time. That is the interesting game thats been played just now, not the one that occurs when you log in.

Excellent review.

Playing: ESO
Also played/worth mentioning: UO, WoW, Lineage2, Lotro, Darkfall, TSW

  User Deleted
2/24/11 2:51:58 PM#19

Oh well. On to the next MMO. Back to LOTRO till then.

  Rogoo

Novice Member

Joined: 4/17/08
Posts: 6

2/24/11 2:52:24 PM#20

And they want ~70USD (50 EUR) for this game. Lol.

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