Conflict Can Be Fun…Or Not

So, now that I’ve done Kristo’s Rest, which included having to buy Scrap Wires on the auction to finish the final mission there, I’ve been trying to get the missions in the conflict towns done. The last Kristo’s Rest mission sent me to Dieseltown, but I quickly discovered that there’s nothing for me to do there until I hit level 30 so I headed back to Sector 2. I dinged 29 earlier today, but I wanted to see if I could get some of the conflict towns done, especially since Hollister Point rewarded my efforts with access to some pretty spiffy armor from the faction merchant there.

I got a couple of missions done at The Dump earlier, but this one player kept coming after me and killing me. I was able to do some pretty significant damage and almost killed him once, but eventually that got old and not very productive so I headed toward Windfarm to see what I could accomplish there. As luck would have it, real life intruded at that point so I had to stop playing and deal with it. I’ll jump back in later and hopefully it won’t take me too much longer to ding level 30.

*****

Y’know, I have to say I’m thoroughly unimpressed with the way G1’s been marketing this game since they took over. First they offer that stupid invisible armor and don’t even offer it for the slots players actually care about, now their latest brainstorm is this idiotic contest they’re running where you have to collect these computer parts in order to win a mid-level PC. Despite the fact that I already own a slightly higher than mid-level PC I might be interested in this if it didn’t require you to basically stop playing the game and run around collecting these parts in order to have the most and win the PC.

For a game that’s rated 17+ and played by a lot of adults, this is a really dumb way to run a contest. Just how does G1 think players are paying for this game? Adults have responsibilities like going to work and taking care of family needs. Most of us can’t just sit in front of our computers for hours and hours collecting these parts, so we’re going to be at a significant disadvantage to kids who have nothing else to do but run around the wasteland all day looking for these things.

It seems to me that G1 needs to take a minute and get to know and understand their player base a little better before they roll out any more of their marketing schemes. They need to figure out exactly who’s playing this game, what our wants and needs are, and market FE accordingly. Right now it seems like G1 is marketing this game as if it were all kids, not adults, playing. Anyone who takes the time to read the forums knows very well that that’s just not the case. This is America, not Japan.

It would have made far more sense if G1 had run this contest more like a lottery, with each computer part representing a chance at winning the prizes. At least that way players would feel it was worthwhile to try to collect the parts, instead feeling like I do, that it’s just a waste of time because there’s guaranteed to be some kid who sits in front of his PC for hours and hours I don’t have to devote to this contest in order to collect a bazillion parts for a shot at the PC. In addition, the way this contest is designed, you have to essentially stop playing the actual game and focus on collecting parts if you want even a chance of winning it. That doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to me. It’s not what I play Fallen Earth for.

It seems pretty obvious to me that G1 still has a lot to learn about marketing adult games to American players. It’s a pity that despite their name it’s clearly not gamers that this company is putting first.

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Wandering…

For really the first time since I began playing this game, I don’t have a clear idea of what I’m going to do next.

I managed to fix my faction problem with the Techs quite accidentally. I was doing Hollister Point and came in when the Travelers had control, but then control went to the Techs while I was there right in the middle of a mission. I also managed to upgrade several pieces of armor while I was doing those missions. Apparently when I turned in the faction mission you get in the tunnels there, it was enough to put my faction with the Techs back to green. Noticing that, I immediately rode over to Picus Ridge and started doing missions there. I’m now balanced just about perfectly, mainly Traveler with a roughly equal amount of green faction with both the Techs and the CHOTA.  Not bad for level 28 I suppose.

On a whim I decided to go back to Sector 1 for a little while, but I’m quickly realizing that the missions I didn’t do back there aren’t paying off very well now. Right now, I’m in Embry Crossroads, mainly because I knew it was a place where I hadn’t done the missions. Thing is, I’m two-shotting everything and it’s barely worth the effort. I think when I log in next I’ll try something a bit further north.

*****

Ok, so I broke down and got the invisible hat. I’d already unlocked the head wardrobe slots, and even though the mask thing is still an issue, the hat I’m wearing right now is an ugly yellow hardhat so even with the mask still visible just getting rid of the hat is an improvement. I also got the back group of slots unlocked and invisible shoulders. I”m wearing these really ugly white athletic pads with my mostly black outfit so I decided those had to go too.

Yeah, I know…on the one hand, considering what I’ve said about the invisible armor it seems kind of hypocritical to then turn around and go buy some. Maybe it is and maybe it isn’t, but the reality is that it brings me closer to the way I want my toon to look. I could make a stand on principle here, but that’s not why I play Fallen Earth. I play to have fun. Once I can make my face look the way I want it to I’ll be happier.

 

How Annoying Is This?

I’ve been going around Sector 2 trying to finish up missions I couldn’t do the first time around. I just finished the one where I had to kill three local leaders in Last Stop  for Ben Carson. When I completed that one, Ben Carson told me I should go visit Miller Grantham in Trader’s Flat. I never did mark where the Last Stop fast travel pod was so instead I headed back up to New Flagstaff, scavenging along the way to make some chips, and fast traveled to Trader’s Flat from there.

When I got to Trader’s Flat I spent a while looking for Miller Grantham and finally found him in the ruins of an old church. When I tried to talk to him, his response indicated that I needed to be level 40 (I’m currently level 27) in order to do his mission.

Now, Trader’s Flat is deep into Sector 3 so it makes sense that the missions there would be at that level, but shouldn’t there have been some sort of indication that this would be a level 40 mission so I didn’t end up spending 1500 chips on fast travel for no good reason? Yeah, sure, fast travel is totally a chip sink put in so that players will have to spend more time scavenging to keep themselves flush, but come on now! The way it was written, Ben Carson’s suggestion to go up there seemed to indicate that it was the immediate next step in that quest chain, not something I’d have to gain 13 more levels before doing. I don’t have a problem with waiting until I’m the right level to get to the next step in a quest chain, but I do have a problem with being led to believe that I should go up there immediately.

Had this been before the advent of fast travel or even just before I’d had Trader’s Flat as one of my registered destinations, this would have involved a long road trip into Sector 3. As it is, I’m out 1500 chips for no good reason, an expense I could have avoided if the dialog had included something that indicated that I’d have to achieve a higher level before I attempted this.

It’s not like other missions don’t have this. There was one I just did that specifically said it as for level 25+. It just seems a kind of cheap way to get mid-level players to go out into the wilds of Sector 3 before they really have a good reason to with no useful benefit to be gained from making the trip.

Maybe this is a leftover from the Icarus days that didn’t take into account new missions chains and/or requirements. I don’t know. All I know is that it was a royal pain in the ass.

Ah well, I guess it’s back to cleaning up Sector 2. I’ve still got plenty to do there.

More soon.

Somebody’s Not Being A Good Listener

When my brother and sister-in-law admonish my 8-year-old twin nephews to pay attention, they often use the phrase I’ve titled this post with. As anyone who plays Fallen Earth knows, however, it’s not just young kids who need to hear it from time to time.

G1 went live with their new invisible armor in the premium shop today, and anyone who’s been paying attention to the forum discussions on this topic knows that the G1 folks either haven’t been paying attention to what’s being said there or they just don’t give a shit what the players want, only what the suits apparently believe will generate the most cash for G1. Thing is, it’s usually what the players want most that they’re going to be willing to shell out for. It boils down to that classic maxim of of marketing and salesmanship: Give the people what they want.

What the people want, as has been expressed repeatedly on the forums, is a way to turn off the appearance of ugly pieces of armor which don’t fit the visual concept a player has of their own toon, particularly (in my own case) masks, and (for others) arm and thigh armor. So what do we get from G1? Legs, torso, hats, boots…everything we didn’t ask for and nothing that we did. Is this really the kind of clueless marketing we can expect from G1 in the future? If so, I suspect they’re going to quickly discover that they’re generating a lot less sales in the premium shop than they probably could be if they just paid attention to what their players are actually asking for.

Another thing that’s been repeatedly asked for but not made available is the ability to buy premium game time with G1 credits, something I’ve discussed here before. It amazes me that G1 seems to refuse to make this available as it would surely generate more premium game time sales.

Personally, I just don’t get it. From both a gamer’s perspective and a marketing perspective it makes no sense to me why G1 apparently isn’t willing to sell the things that players are actually asking for, the things that would almost certainly generate plenty of sales, and instead seems to be going the route of trying to nickel and dime the player base for stuff many find only marginally attractive, if at all. If they truly want to maximize profits from Fallen Earth, why aren’t they offering the items and services that their own player base, you know, the people paying the bills, is actually asking for? It’s almost like they want to piss off players and sink Fallen Earth before it’s barely out of the gate as a free-to-play game.

I think I speak for a lot of Fallen Earth players here when I say: “You want my money, G1? Sell me what I tell you I want, not what your marketing people think I might want. Pay attention to me and what I want from this game to help make it the best possible experience, not what makes sense to some corporate marketing executive who probably doesn’t even play the game.”

You want this game to be successful as free-to-play, G1? The solution is really no more complicated than that.

Moving Right Along

After a busy RL week, I got a chance to play this weekend and took full advantage. I finished off some uncompleted missions, including the one in Aesterly where you have to kill the guy named Deverau. This was kind of interesting as I think I may have inadvertently stolen a kill in order to finally get it done.

I’d decided to approach the mission by trying to kill him from a distance. Doing it close up just wasn’t working. Using my Scoped Rimfire rifle, I took out a few of the guys wandering around the area, then went for the through-the-window shot at Devereau. Just as I fired my first shot, I noticed the tag of another player who fired at Devereau a split second after I did. Between the two of us we kept him in place and dropped him, but I got credit for the kill, I guess because I fired first. I’m not sure if we both get credit for something like that, but I’m not complaining. It’s not like I knowingly tried to steal the kill, but I also wasn’t going to stop firing just because another player just happened to be trying the same thing I was at the same time.

This was after I’d done most of the missions in Blaine earlier. When I turned in the mission in New Flagstaff, the NPC sent me right back to Blaine where I completed that quest chain but was offered nothing new afterward. So, off I went to do some more missions in Burnside. I got several done there, then headed out again to go collect some items required to complete a few more.

Now I’m headed back toward Burnside to try to finish up there. One thing that’s a bit of a pain is that some of the NPC’s in Burnside you have to talk to in order to complete missions only appear at certain times so you have to pretty much basically hang out and wait for them to appear before you can complete the missions and take new ones.  I think I’m almost done with the other missions there, so after that I think I’ll probably head toward The Gallows to finish up there and then go check out other conflict towns.

I’ve also now traded in my Scoped Rimfire for a better rifle I got as a reward for completing a mission, and it’ll be interesting to see how that works for me.

*****

On the FE official forums, I started a thread in which I asked why players can’t make individual pieces of armor invisible but still keep the stats from wearing it, and that apparently gave birth to a second thread on the topic, this one specifically about the new invisible armor being added to the premium shop. This is a basic functionality in most of the MMO’s I’ve played which use vanity armor and even some which don’t. Now it seems that G1 is going to offer invisible armor for a price rather than allowing players to turn the visuals on and off on the stuff we already own. Personally, I think that’s really unfair and amounts to double-dipping, charging players for a functionality that should be basic, especially for already purchased/earned items. It just seems to me that this, like the crafting limit, amounts to placing a price tag on basic game functionality instead of what should reasonably be considered extras, like vanity and convenience items. If the forums are any guide, this is not going to play well with the player base as a whole.

I mean honestly G1, if even money-hungry Sony can give us this functionality for free in DC Universe Online, surely you folks can find a better way to make money on the game than this, can’t you? Give the players a break and give us the full control over our appearances we should have a right to expect, especially when we’ve already paid for it once.

*****

Ok, that’s it for now. More soon.

Going Down…

…and I’m not writing this in an elevator.

The server’s been kinda funky all day and now it seems it’s become pretty much non-functional. It sucks, but at least I can get a post out.

It’s been a crazy week. Stuff’s been happening in RL, big stuff, time-consuming stuff, stuff that’s good for me professionally but not for having FE playtime. So, this going to be kind of a short post. Monday or Tuesday something big is going to happen in my RL career, and after that I may not have a lot of time for FE for the rest of the week. So while I’ve got a few minutes, let’s catch up a bit.

I’m level 24 now, and that’s pretty cool, ten levels past where I was before the F2P gates opened. I’ve now visited just about everywhere in Sector 2 at least once except for the conflict towns. I’ve been to The Gallows and gotten a few missions done there, but none of the others. I’m looking forward to dinging level 25 so I can do Blaine and Burnside, and hopefully some of the missions I still haven’t yet been able to beat like those in Aesterly. I bought myself a Commander’s Best Crafting Kit…what the heck, with the 100% refund sale they’re running right now it really doesn’t make any sense not to. Now, if they’d only let players buy premium time with G1 credits I’d be really happy.

Right now I’m finishing up some stuff in the Underfolk area outside of New Flagstaff, and then, who knows? I’m sure I’ll find something to do.

Interestingly, I think I may have been at least partially mistaken about the impact of the 8-hour crafting limit. It hasn’t really had much of an impact on me personally thus far, then again I also haven’t tried to make anything complex that really requires a lot of crafting time since it went into effect. I dunno I suppose we’ll see what happens when I decide it’s time to make myself a dune buggy or something.

Ok, that’s it for now. If you don’t see much from me next week, don’t worry. It’s a temporary thing. Work does, of course, have to take precedence over play, and that’s going to be the case a lot next week, especially the first few days.

Stay safe out there.

Bonanza!

I did the run to Dieseltown and got my Mine Aluminum book, and on the way back discovered that when going somewhere for the first time, it’s best to do it during the daytime. When I reached Blaine I realized that the first time I’d been there, which had been in the dead of night, I hadn’t been able to see the full layout. The reason I’d died so quickly last time I was there was because I hadn’t realized that there’s really only one way to get into town, the gated entrance on the eastern side. The rest of it is fenced in and surrounded by a “moat” filled with various creatures which will quickly eat you if you try to cross it. I wasn’t able to see this setup clearly at night, but in daytime it was much easier to see the entire layout and so I was able to safely enter the town and finish the mission I had there.

After that it was back to New Flagstaff. I did a few things there, then discovered that I needed a few Simple Armor Repair Kits. These, the Fallen Earth Wiki told me, where available from two vendors within New Flagstaff, but neither vendor was where the wiki said they would be and none of the vendors which were there had the needed kits. So I was off again, this time headed south toward Devon.

The wiki had said the kits were available at vendors in not only Devon, but also in Barret Manor, which I realized was actually much closer to where I was when I checked my map as I headed south. So, when I reached Barret Manor I stopped there, found the right merchant and bought my kits, and then, as I toured around the town a bit, realized that there were plenty of fresh missions to do there, though not many vendors.

I ended up spending several hours in Barret Manor, which I realized is an excellent place to grind for chips if you need a cash infusion. In addition to a multitude of single-run missions and mission chains, there are several repeatable missions and scavenging areas which pay off fairly well, and I was able to about double my cash-on-hand while I was there. I’m quite sure it’s a place I’ll be revisiting in the future, especially since I still have a couple of unfinished missions there which require items which weren’t readily available in or around town.

Once I was done there, it was back to New Flagstaff for a bit and now I’m about to go…I don’t know…somewhere. I suppose I’ll figure it out when I log in.

*****

I’ve been thinking about joining a clan. I’ve been seeing members of The Drifters around (saw several in Barret Manor when I was there) and I like their philosophy of being a support clan for soloers. Right now, they’re the frontrunner in terms of which clan I may choose to join.

Early on, when I was still playing the first time around back in ’09, I was a member of The Saints. Great people in that clan, but it seems they’re now mainly PvP-focused and I’m not sure that’s the direction I want to go, at least not right now. I want to do a little more research on what’s available before I make a decision, but all things being (relatively) equal I expect I’ll be applying to The Drifters fairly soon.