As Fallen Earth reaches its first anniversary, this niche MMO set in a post-apocalyptic world has been busy releasing more content, the largest patch being Blood Sports, released in May where they introduced Arena based PvP, with matches such as Capture the Flag, Death Match, Survival (the player dying the least wins) and Assault which is a team based, with the teams switching and taking turns to assault and defend.
Senior Game Designer Marie Croall was on hand at PAX to show off what they’ve been quietly working on the past year. She talked of new Wasteland Missions where players will unlock secrets in a new Dead fall area and several new event based instances. They’ve put in an achievement system, better combat animations, more live events in response to player wishes and more re-playable content, as well as a new storyline to be kicked off at PAX.
“We’ve also changed the color palettes and improved what we call the light state,” said Marie, “The lighting being a preview of what is coming.”
I watched as she moved in game towards a devastated area. Ashes swirled in the wind and smoke effects cued us to what we would find as we moved closer to the town. In this live event, a town was infected by a disease. Depending on player decisions and actions, they could have cleansed it by burning it down, as was done on the server we were on, or if they left it, it would have stayed infected. As we moved closed we found some buildings still on fire and others in smoldering ruins. The light conveying the mood and feel, heat shimmering the air, smoke obscuring some buildings as we passed through.
“Players will definitely affect the world,” said Marie as she continued on to describing Progress Towns. These are crafter driven, player built towns. Players take the lands for their factions, and once a faction has control of a territory, certain structures can be built, that players will use for further crafting. I had expected some PvP action here, but was told not. Instead, the towns can be attacked by NPC raiders which must then be repelled.
PvP is carried out in PvP zones or where there are faction controllable points which means you have to flag for PvP. If captured, harvest nodes and guards will spawn for your faction. These can be taken and retaken.
Marie also showed me their smartphone app for Blackberry, Android and iPhone platforms. This free app is a viewer that allows players to view recipes, the auction house, ballistics and also chat with other players. Their premium app which was planned for mid September will allow players to use the auction house and update their crafting queue.
Fallen Earth is a game that’s heavy on story and player crafting. There hasn’t been much color or customization in this drab dystopia, but that is being changed with their new color palettes and lighting and environmental effects. Not that it will suddenly become bright and cheery, but other changes like those to their crafting system will allow the placement of patterns on clothing and applying different dye on these patterns. These colors will bring a little more uniqueness to the world and they are working in the direction of allowing the design and placement of guild or gang logos on clothing and vehicles.
New building models were also shown in the city of Los Alamos, again, bringing some variety to the world with improved terrain as well. With all these game improvements, especially the lighting effects and the environments, with just a year under their belt, Fallen Earth’s looking like a new game.