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AGC: Hands-On

Aaron Roxby Posted:
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Fallen Earth: Hands-On Preview from AGC

Fallen Earth was set up in the Vivox booth and we got to play

Fallen Earth’s Lead Designer, Lee Hammock and Network Director Chris Pavlou were at the Austin Game Conference this week, demonstrating some of recent additions to their promising looking Sci-Fi MMORPG. In Fallen Earth, players take on the persona of mutated humans in a post-apocalyptic world. Sort of X-Men meets The Road Warrior. Player’s mutations will grant them special abilities, for example creating wall that rises from the ground, between the player and their attackers. The combat itself is in real time, with first-person shooter style controls.

Because your hands will be busy controlling your character during combat, the developers are adding Vivox Voice Over IP as part of the basic client. When you join a party, you will be automatically added to a special chat channel for that group. Microphone options can be changed via an in-game menu. In addition to in game chat, players will be able to enter the voice channel via their phones. When a new voice channel is created, it will generate a temporary phone number that can be accessed from any normal or cell phone. So if, for example, you are going to be running late to a schedule play session, you can call your group directly in game and let them know. Players will also be able to use external Instant Messaging to contact people in game. Private and public chat channels will be available as well. I was given a brief demonstration of the VOIP technology. A second player was logged in from a remote location and his voice came through clearly. While they were playing on a closed test server, the game seemed to run relatively smoothly, even with VOIP activated and the graphical detail turned up.

After the VOIP demonstration, I spoke with Lee Hammock about the game’s crafting system. Almost every item in the game will be player crafted. Components needed for crafting will be dropped by mobs. So, instead of killing a very high level monster in the hope that it drops a rare weapon, you would kill the monster to obtain a rare crafting component that is needed to make the rare weapon. As opposed to resource scarcity, crafting will be controlled by time. More valuable items will take longer to create in real time. If you want to craft a simple gun, it may take a few hours, while a car may take several weeks. The crafting time passes at a steady rate, while the player is free to head out and do other things, or even while the player is offline. Players are however limited to crafting one item at a time.

Following crafting, we discussed Fallen Earth’s PVP system. The game features six factions. If you picture the six factions as six points on a wheel, factions on opposite sides of the wheel are arch-enemies, the factions to the left and right are allies and the factions to the left and right of the arch-enemy are less than friendly, but not necessarily outright hostile. You will not need to choose a faction right off the bat, and in fact you can do missions for any factions. You will earn reputation points for helping members of a specific faction. Of course for each positive reputation point that you earn, you will loose two from the opposing faction.

Fallen Earth is shaping up to be something interesting. It has a unique setting for an MMO and the developers have a lot of interesting ideas. Currently the game has just started closed, internal testing. There is no set date for open beta or release at this time.

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Aaron Roxby