Fallen Earth Starter Towns and Crafting
At the Game Developer’s Conference, we ran into the guys from Fallen Earth who gave us kind of a whirlwind tour of their game. In this part of our guided tour through the game, we learn about the game's starter towns and crafting.
After finishing the tutorial, players are taken into a room that the developers have lovingly termed the "choose your own adventure" room. From here, players will choose one of nine different starter towns.
In most MMOs, choosing a starter town is primarily an aesthetic decision, with each town being fairly similar to or identical to each other in terms of what you will find in the town. In Fallen Earth though, each of the starting cities has a different focus. Focuses include: combat, crafting and support.
The focus of a town determines what kinds of missions players are most likely to find there. If you want, for example, to have a crafting character, you'd go to a crafting town. If you wanted to make a healing character, you'd go to a support town, etc.
The tour then took us to a town called Mumford. The town is basically built from the ruins of whatever was there before, you can even see the remnants of an old monorail system. Mumford itself contains a point of interest in the form of a crashed satellite that provides the focuses for the town in terms of storylines and missions. As you might imagine, Mumford, with a downed satellite for salvaging, has a crafting focus.
With that in mind, let's look a little bit deeper into the crafting system:
Fallen Earth is designed with crafting in mind, and according to Lead Designer Lee Hammock 95% of the items in the game are craftable and players make the best stuff.
The crafting system has real time component as well, meaning that item creation isn't instant like it is in many other MMOs. Instead, depending on the complexity and difficulty of the item that you are creating, it could take anywhere from a few minutes to a month to actually complete the item. That being said, the people over at Icarus Studios aren't trying to tie crafting characters own to a workbench for a month creating a new car. Once the crafting action has been initiated, players are free to go about their business as usual while the item is created, including logging off (crafting times will continue to progress after logout).
There are buildings in the game that can lessen the amount of time that it takes to create any given item, so if your character is in the right place where they are presumably provided with the right tools, the work goes more quickly.
Experience is earned through crafting and gathering rare resources. A character that chooses not to take the standard combat route for advancement could actually level the entire way through the game without engaging in combat.
Crafters also have the option to spend time researching rather than creating. Researching allows players to unlock higher tiers of crafting. These higher tiers translate into improvements to the items that your character can build. For example, you start out knowing how to build an ATV as a vehicle. As you advance that crafting skill through research, you gain access to building a motorcycle, or a muscle car or a dune buggy. It's progressive.
Lee also mentioned that a lot of general ammo is actually craftable, and it's much cheaper to make your own bullets than to buy them. Similarly, fuel is craftable (if your car runs on biodiesel, you can make that... If your horse runs on feed, you can craft that too).
You can see some of what we talked about here, and get all of the fine details by watching the video below:
In part four of our look at Fallen Earth, Lead Game Designer Lee Hammock introduces us to the game's crafting system, which is important because after the apocalypse you have to make your own bullets and brew your own gasoline.
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