Monday, December 12, 2011

2.27 – Faction Territory Control, World Events and More – Wednesday 12/14!

Hey everyone!

After several weeks of PTS testing, we are ready to roll out version 2.27, which includes Faction Territory Control, World Events, our overhauled map, better group XP, our initial Steam F2P integration and much more. We will be taking the servers down at 8 AM PST, 16:00 GMT this Wednesday, 12/14 to update to 2.27. We expect to be down for roughly 2 hours, and will be sure to keep you updated on Facebook and the forums regarding uptime.

This is a big patch for Fallen Earth, and we are excited to hear your feedback, so make sure to let us know here or on the forums. For full patch notes head here, and if you are still curious about Faction Territory Control, we’ve got some more details from Neverender below:

Map Icons

A huge part of how players will be given information about the current state of Territory Control will be the dynamic “objective” icons we place on the map. These will be icons representing the Faction that currently holds each control point. Flames are added to the icon if that point is under attack or the flag is contested, and a shield is added if the control point has immunity (more on that later). If you mouse over these icons, their names and descriptions will provide additional information about what is going on.

Control Points

There are 13 total Control Points in the Territory Control area. These are represented by flags that players click on to take over control of an area. If your highest faction is different from the faction that currently holds the control point, clicking on the flag object will put the control point into a “contested” state. If the specific player that clicked on the flag stays alive and close enough to the flag for 5 minutes, their faction will take over control of the point. During this time, the name of the icon when you mouse over it will update each minute reflecting the time left before control changes to a new faction.

Keeps

The 6 control points farthest away from the center of the map are just flags out in the open on the street. The inner “ring” of 7 control points (including the center point) all are inside of “keeps”. 6 of the keeps are basically identical to one another, each with a door that enemy players have to break down to gain access to the keep (where the control point flag is). The 7th keep is much larger and is in the very center of the map. That one has 2 doors and 2 walls (a destructible barrier on each side of the keep).

Keep Teleporters

Each keep has teleporters on the inside and outside of it. They allow players that belong to the Faction in control of the keep to get in and out of the keep easily. Using a teleporter will put an effect on you that keeps you from teleporting again for 15 seconds. The main keep has 4 teleporters on the inside and 4 teleporters on the outside. If anyone from a Faction other than the one in control of the keep clicks on a teleporter, it should tell them in chat “Only the keep controllers may use this.”

Keep Amenities

All of the 7 keeps should have the following things in them:

- Sector, Barter, VIP, and Utility vaults

- Mailbox

- Auctioneer

- Crafting Facility

- All-Purpose Vending Machine

- Death Toll Keep Upgrades Merchant

- Death Toll Merchant that sells the old Death Toll Gear (Gunslinger’s, Marksman’s, Pulverizer’s, and Rejuvinating)

Additionally, there is a third Death Toll merchant that each keep has, but the merchant is different depending on which keep it is. This merchant will always have ammo, vehicle-related items like fuel and repair kits, and a Death Toll Assembly recipe book that teaches the recipes for crafting all the new Death Toll gear. The part that is different about each keep is that they sell a different Death Toll Tradeskill Component. Looking at the Territory Control map, the top left and bottom right keep merchants should sell the “Kinetic Amplifier” item. The top middle and bottom middle keep merchants should sell the “Revitalizing Matrix” item. The top right and bottom left keep merchants should sell the Alloy Plating item. The central keep merchant should sell all 3 of those items and also the Dynamic Grip Tape item.

Keep Upgrades

The keep doors and walls (main keep only) can be upgraded, as well as a LifeNet Generator that will enable keep respawning capabilities. The Death Toll Keep Upgrades Merchant mentioned above sells items that are to be used on whatever you want to upgrade.

There are now NPCs that stand next to each upgradeable object and will provide the current upgrade status if spoken to.

Keep Barrier Tier Upgrade items, when used on the door or wall of the keep, will increase the progress towards the next Tier Level of the door. This will significantly increase the door’s health. Keep Barrier Reinforcement items will “reinforce” the door, giving it more defenses and effectively lowering the amount of damage it takes from attacks. Each time the tier level of the barrier changes, it will lose any reinforcement status it may have had. Additionally, as the Tier Level of the door increases the door model will change. Each of the 4 Tier Levels has a different appearance. There is a known bug that causes the model change not to show up for anyone near the door at the time of the upgrade. If you log out and come back in or just run far enough away and back, you’ll see the correct model. The wall only has two models. It will appear one way for Tiers 1-3 and then another way for Tier 4 (max).

The LifeNet Generator will start out as a “Broken LifeNet Generator”. While in this “broken” state, players are not able to respawn at the keep and the LifeNet Generator should not be able to take damage. The Broken LifeNet Generator cannot be upgraded for 5 minutes after it spawns in. This is typically only a factor when enemy players destroy the LifeNet Generator and then it should very quickly respawn as a Broken LifeNet Generator. The LifeNet Generator should never be missing from the keep for more than about 10 or 15 seconds.

When the LifeNet Generator is upgraded from “Broken” status to Tier 1, the model will change to a repaired version and players will respawn inside the keep with 25% health when they die. They also should not lose any consumable buffs like they would if they respawned in a normal LifeNet facility. Upgrading the LifeNet Generator to Tier 2 will allow players to respawn at 50% health. Tier 3 is 75% health, and Tier 4 respawns at 100% health and also grants a small buff. Gamma and Stamina levels are affected similarly, but they are never lowered below the value they’re at when you die.

The LifeNet Generators are visible from outside the keep and can actually be damaged by players from outside the keep if their weapon has enough range.

Immunity

For 60 minutes after a new Faction takes over a control point, that point will have immunity. This prevents any opposing player from taking control of the flag and also prevents them from attacking the keep doors, walls, or LifeNet Generator. A control point’s immunity status will be reflected on the map icon with a shield and mousing over that icon will reveal the approximate time the point will remain immune for.

“Under Attack” Icon Status for Keeps

The map icon for a keep will go into “Under Attack” status if any door, wall, or LifeNet Generator gets attacked. It should stay in “Under Attack” mode as long as any of those targets have player aggro on them (this can potentially last for several minutes after the target is no longer being attacked). Also if a door or wall is destroyed, the “Under Attack” status will remain for as long as the keep is open and vulnerable to being lost (because anyone can run inside now that there’s no door/wall). The icon will just say “Under Attack” during this time. The countdown “timer” will only show up if the actual flag for the keep is being contested.

Control Buffs

If a Faction is holding one or more Control Points, all players in the Territory Control area belonging to that Faction will get a buff that raises their Pistol, Rifle, Melee, Power, and Precision skills, as well as how much Experience, Faction, and Death Toll they earn. There are 4 ranks of the effect. You gain one rank per control point your Faction holds, and that caps out at rank 4 (4 or more control points held).

Keep Defense Missions

A Faction quest-giver is inside all 7 keeps. They give out a Keep Defense mission that only players of the controlling faction can take. The defense mission requires you to stay in the vicinity of the Keep and make sure your Faction doesn’t lose control of the keep. The mission will fail if you lose control of the keep. If you stray too far away from the keep you’re defending, the timer will stop ticking down and you’ll be told to return to the keep area to continue defending. These missions should be repeatable, and once completed they can be turned in at any keep your Faction controls.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

December State of the Game

Hey Wastelanders,

Before I get to release dates and upcoming features I wanted to take a minute to talk about some of the less sexy but ultimately critical things we’ve been working on. Game stability has been a major issue for us since the conversion to free-to-play (players!) and every relevant resource has been working on isolating and fixing the issues that led to crashes, strange attributes for players and mounts, and the rare but still impactful chickening. Fixing these issues has taken much longer than we would have liked, but as of this STOG, we feel that we have eliminated the major issues allowing us the opportunity to address some of the legacy issues and “pre-existing conditions” such as rubber-banding and frame rates . Programming will address the rubber banding, while the Art team works on frame rate issue starting with the town that affects the most players – Embry.

In order to fix the Embry issues Devo and his team have redone the majority of the assets for the town, replacing older high-poly, high-batch buildings with newer ones that will improve performance and the overall aesthetic appeal of the town – in short the town looks and functions better. During this process Devo has developed new methods of town-building that will allow us to quickly address other towns that have similar frame rate issues, we have our list of known offenders, but we also want to hear from you. Post towns that you regularly experience issues with in the comments or on the forums!

So, while programming and art have been working on stability and frame rate issues – along with some other projects Devo may have been hinting at on the forums, scripting and content have been continuing to work on improving and developing new features. Neverender has been testing and tweaking Territory Control on the PTS – huge thanks to everyone who has gotten on and tested with us -while Affa has been working on…well everything from World Events and Faction Mechanics to Harvesters for Territory Control. He and Maenad and the whole team really have also been working on a ton of future content in the form of Farms and my personal favorite new system…the augmentation system! We started preliminary work on this earlier, but its back and better than ever. More details once we get closer to a release date.

Fafnir and the content folks have been putting the X-mas event together as well as working on some missions for that dreadful 30-35 gap. We’ll be taking the opportunity to get into some more LifeNet and Global Tech storyline as well as start to get to know one of our favorite villains a bit better. Our goal with content is to parallel track the addition of more sandbox features with more storyline and lore. There are some plot threads we want to pick up and run with, so the next few months we will be gearing up for some major stuff on the plot side cumulating in what will be one of our biggest events ever.

Okay, so - dates. Territory Control, a more useful Map, the first World Events and New Embry will be mid-December along with any other features we can ninja in before the QA cutoff date.

Early next year, we will be taking Territory Control Globally and making the shoulder faction changes , check out the last blog for more details.

You guys know how much I hate to give dates so from there things get a little less specific, but shortly after Global Territory control we will be adding more progress towns, farms, the augmentation system, and a few systems still too new to mention.

It’s going to be busy around here, but we always try to find time to read the forums and be in game to hear what you have to say.

See you in Territory Control!

M

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Thanksgiving and PTS

Hey everyone,
In case you haven't heard, we've got some fun stuff going on for Thanksgiving right now, namely our in-game event and Turkey Piñata. More info from the website:

Prairie Turkeys are breeding like mad and have inundated the Wasteland! Help your fellow Wastelanders get a handle on the epidemic by looking for any new faces in Embry, Needle Eye, Sunshine corners, Trader’s Flat and Los Alamos. They’re working to get to the bottom of the situation, and need your help! Expect some twists and turns along the way, but you will be rewarded for your efforts!

If you are more in the mood for celebration and gifts, head to the Fallen Earth Marketplace for our Thanksgiving-only Turkey Piñata, which offers you the chance to win the exclusive and unreleased-until-now Chopper, along with a slew of other prizes. Bust open the Turkey Piñata as many times as you like (1 Piñata per purchase, no purchase limit) and keep winning!


ALSO, PTS Faction Territory Control testing round 2 starts TODAY, at 3 PM PST (23:00 GMT), and completed Monday, Nov. 28 at 12 PM PST (20:00 GMT). Patch notes can be found below, and remember to post feedback via /bug or the PTS forum.

Art:

Fixed an exploit in the wall of the southern keep in Territory Control based on PTS feedback.
Fixed the sunken door archways based on bug reports from PTS.
Fixed the destructible wall collision based on bug reports from PTS.
Added an underground bunker to central keep in Territory Control based on PTS feedback.
Added more cover objects throughout Territory Control based on PTS feedback.
Added a spark particle to overhead powerlines in Territory Control.
Smoothed out collision on ruined piles in Territory Control.
Removed ruined piles from central keep in Territory Control.

Fixed custom colors on female Dreadnought armor.

Faction Territory Control

Harvesters:

Test Harvesters have been added to the PTS. These are currently available via cheat merchants in each Faction Camp around the Territory Control Area. The final harvesters may not work the same way. The harvesters must be placed within a certain proximity of a Control Point that your Faction is in control of.

Keeps:

Per player feedback, a 15 second cooldown has been added to the Keep Teleporters.

The central keep now has a teleporter on all four sides of the keep, allowing the players who control the keep more ways to get inside.

The LifeNet Generators are now upgradeable:
(Note: These values subject to change)

Tier 0 – Broken

Tier 1 – 25x Keep LifeNet Repair Kits

Players of the controlling faction are respawned at +25% Health, Stamina, and Gamma (capped at 100%)

Tier 2 – 50x Keep LifeNet Repair Kits

Players of the controlling faction are respawned at +50% Health, Stamina, and Gamma (capped at 100%). The Generator has more health than Tier 1.

Tier 3 – 75x Keep LifeNet Repair Kits

Players of the controlling faction are respawned at +75% Health, Stamina, and Gamma (capped at 100%). The Generator has more health than Tier 2.

Tier 4 – 100x Keep LifeNet Repair Kits

Players of the controlling faction are respawned at Maximum Health, Stamina, and Gamma, and also receive a buff to those stats as well as Melee and Ranged Defense. The Generator has more health than Tier 3.

All LifeNet Generators should be vulnerable to attack from outside the keep, including the central keep.

Per player feedback, the keep doors and walls take longer to respawn after they are destroyed (and they will not respawn at all if the flag is being contested). They will also take longer to be fully repaired after a ceased attack.

The doors and walls will more accurately update the “Under Attack” icon on the map to properly reflect an ongoing attack.

The main keep now has an underground respawn area the same way the smaller keeps do.

Death Toll Gear:

New Death Toll gear has been added. There are 3 custom-color suits that are available for purchase on the Death Toll merchants inside the 7 FTC keeps. Certain suits are available at certain keeps. Obtaining this gear has been simplified for testing purposes.

Other Bugs/Fixes:

You no longer have to go /PVP to capture a control point. The whole area is in a PvP zone (except for the Faction camps), so you should now be able to contest a flag without needing to enable World PvP

There was a bug that was causing you to be mailed rewards for taking a control point, similar to in Faction Control Points. This was not intended and has been disabled.

You are no longer able to place the Faction Control Guard Bundles from Faction Control Points near Faction Territory Control flags.

Map Icons:

Icons have been added to the map for Progress Towns, non-timed Conflict Towns, and Town Events.

World Events:

A few world events have been enabled for testing. They include random nodes throughout the world and one event in each Sector 3 Faction Town.

And for those who celebrate it, have a Happy Thanksgiving!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Happy November (and Factions)!

Happy November!

It’s been a while, but the PTS is now back in action! We’ve got the first version of Territory Control up for testing, and we’ve been reading all your feedback and having some really great design conversation, so keep testing and keep posting!

Next week we will be starting our Thanksgiving event. There will be questors in Embry, Needle Eye, Sunshine corners, Trader’s Flat and Los Alamos, so be sure to talk to any new faces you see hanging out in those towns. They’re eager to reward clones with a new trinket and Achievement for helping them out.

In addition to the PTS and Holiday events we’ve also been working on changes to the way player get faction. To explain the technical aspects I’m going to hand this over to Affa:

The Future of Faction

We will require players to choose a "main" faction if they want to participate in Territory Control or Conflict Towns. This choice will affect which titles you have access to, which faction channel you belong to, how you appear to other players, and what faction you give when killed. You cannot change this choice easily. You can choose to officially join any faction you are friendly with (not just your current highest faction) by visiting a mission giver in each faction town. Once you've made your choice, you can only change it by going negative with that faction. At that point, you no longer have a chosen faction and can choose again from your current friendly factions. We want players to be able to choose a new faction, but we don't want it to be easy.

You will not need to choose a faction to run missions in Faction Towns or do any PvE content. Your chosen faction will only affect PvP systems.

We are also removing shoulder factions. If you do a mission that gives you Enforcer faction, you will only lose CHOTA faction. If you kill a Tech, you will only gain Vista faction. This will open up more content to players who have maxed two factions instead of having all three. This prevents players from being punished for running missions for both shoulder factions, and it will open up the possibility for players to have unusual alliances. If you want to max Tech, CHOTA, and Lightbearer, you will be able to do so. But as far as PvP is concerned, you are only one of those three factions. This will also fix some bugs where players who have maxed two factions are sometimes treated as one faction and sometimes treated as the other faction.

Because these are large changes, we will add new faction respec missions, each of which resets one axis (i.e. one mission will reset just your Traveler and Lightbearer factions to zero). Just like the existing faction reset missions, they will set those factions to 0 and each one can only be used once. Since players will no longer be receiving extra points from shoulder factions, we will increase faction rewards to match.

So, that will be showing up on the PTS before too long. We know it’s a large change, and we want to get plenty of feedback on it.

Hope everyone has a happy and safe November!

See you in the Wastelands

Aro Sei

Friday, November 11, 2011

It's a Comin'...

Wastelanders!

We have some news that should incite a brief sensation of joy in the dedicated. The PTS (Public Test Server) is coming back next week, complete with Faction Territory Control!

This means two things:

  1. You get to take part in testing and providing critical feedback on Faction Territory Control. This feature (and sector) forms the basis of our work over the next few months. Global Faction Territory Control will launch early next year everywhere, so this is an awesome chance to help us improve the foundation the future Fallen Earth content will be built on!
  2. If you want to join us, you need to be prepared! Below is some info that should prove useful to getting yourself up and running on PTS come launch.

So, first things first: When will PTS be open for business?

Well… We’ll be opening up the PTS on a limited time basis to test major updates to Fallen Earth’s content and balance. ALL players will have access to the server during these dates and times, but we will only keep the PTS up for about a week at a time. This first round of testing, our first round of public testing on Faction Territory Control will start next week and run about 4-5 days, depending how things go. We’re looking at a live date of Wednesday 11/16, but that could move slightly.

How do I get access to PTS?

You will need to install another instance of the Fallen Earth client that points to the Public Test Server. The easiest and fastest way to do this is to copy your current Fallen Earth folder into a new directory, and simply download our PTS updater, which will “convert” it to a PTS client. Full instructions on how to do this are available here. Note, the FETestUpdater file will be posted on 11/14.

How do I login to PTS?

Simply login with your GamersFirst account and password, the same one you use to access the live servers. All of your characters will be there waiting for you.

I am still a newbie, can I help test Faction Territory Control and future high level content without grinding on PTS?

Yes! There will be trainers in each newbie town that will level you up and grant you all the AP and gear you need to succeed in the Wasteland.

What about World Events? Will those be on the PTS too?

Our World Events testing will commence in the weeks following Faction Territory Control testing. We’ll keep you posted on the blog and forums about those dates as we get closer.

So, with all that said, Neverender is here to tell you a bit more about Faction Territory Control, how it works, how you can get involved, and stuff you should look out for while playing.

Anyone can participate in Faction Territory Control, although it would probably be best to be higher level as most players in the area will be max level. You will be identified as belonging to whatever Faction you are the highest in. Each of the Faction camps in the FTC area will have cheater NPCs that will level you up, give you chips and Death Toll, sell you respecs and faction-altering items, etc. To reach these camps you can use the Personal Bus Stop 4 ability. There is an option there to travel to the Territory Control camps.

Once you are there, you can view the Strategic Map of the Territory Control area. There are 13 control points, all clearly indicated on the map as well as which Faction currently controls each point. You can buy a vehicle key from the cheater merchant to help you get around more quickly.

Each control point has a flag, similar to the existing Faction Control Points. To take control of a point, you click on the flag and then have to stay alive and in range for 5 minutes. 7 of the 13 control points are located inside of keeps throughout the sector, with one of the keeps being much larger than the others, located in the center of the map.

There are teleporters on the inside and outside of each keep that players belonging to the controlling Faction that they can use to easily get in and out of the keep. If anyone else wants to get in they’ll have to break down a door or wall. The 6 smaller keeps have a single door, while the larger keep has 2 doors and 2 walls.

Each keep has a Death Toll merchant inside that will sell items that allow you to upgrade the doors/walls. Upgrading the door tier will increase the amount of health the door has, while reinforcing the door will reduce the amount of damage it takes. The upgrade items are sold in stacks of 10, and should be used directly on the door or wall you want to upgrade (have it targeted).

Here are the current costs to upgrade the Doors/Walls:
Upgrade Tier 1 Door to Tier 2 – 25x Keep Door Tier Upgrade
Upgrade Tier 2 Door to Tier 3 – 50x Keep Door Tier Upgrade
Upgrade Tier 3 Door to Tier 4 – 100x Keep Door Tier Upgrade

Costs to reinforce the Doors/Walls:
Reinforce a Tier 1 Door – 5x Keep Door Reinforcement
Reinforce a Tier 2 Door – 10x Keep Door Reinforcement
Reinforce a Tier 3 Door – 20x Keep Door Reinforcement
Reinforce a Tier 4 Door – 50x Keep Door Reinforcement

When a door is upgraded to a new tier, it will need to be reinforced again (A reinforced Tier 1 door will no longer be reinforced once the door is upgraded to Tier 2). For the main keep in the middle of the area, each door and wall must be upgraded individually. If a door/wall is destroyed or control of the keep changes hands, the door will reset back to Tier 1 (and not reinforced).

The keeps also have a LifeNet Generator that starts out in a Broken/Disabled state but can be repaired and made operational. Currently it takes 25x Keep LifeNet Repair Kit to repair a broken LifeNet Generator, which allows players of the controlling faction to regenerate at that keep. Also, there will be additional bonuses for upgrading LifeNet Generators once things are finalized. The LifeNet Generators can be destroyed, which disables regeneration at that keep until the generator is repaired. You will always be regenerated at the nearest active LifeNet that your faction controls. That could either be at a keep where you’ve repaired the LifeNet Generator or back at your Faction camp on the outskirts of the area.

All players of your faction will receive a buff based on how many control points your faction owns for as long as they remain in the area. If your faction controls 1 of the 13 points, you get the Tier 1 buff. 2 points gets the Tier 2 buff, and so on with maximum buff coming at Tier 4 (for 4 or more points held). The buff boosts your offensive abilities (Melee, Pistol, Rifle, Power, Precision) as well as the Experience, Faction, and Death Toll you earn.

One of the main things we’re interested in getting feedback on at this point is balance. How hard is it to take or defend each type of control point (Free-standing flags out in the street, the 6 smaller keeps, and the larger keep)? There are not currently any Faction NPC guards at the control points, but that is something that will likely be added. We’d also like to hear more generalized feedback as well, and of course any bugs that are encountered during testing.

Once PTS is up for all of you I’ll be popping in from time to time to check on things. I hope to see you all on PTS!


Regarding not-as-exciting-but-equally-important-stuff news, we want you to know that we ARE spending a lot of effort and working hard on resolving some of the more annoying issues that are affecting players every day. Namely, effect/consumable bugs, the dreaded “paused” crafting queue and of course, general server stability, are top priority, and we have fixes for each of this issues on the way in the coming week(ish). You have probably noticed us doing maintenance to apply “server hotfixes” quite frequently. These are directly tied to improving stability and weird bugs that cause lag or can (and do) disrupt service. While we know downtime is an inconvenience, we also know that you (and we!) want to be able to enjoy Fallen Earth uninterrupted on your weekends, evenings etc.

I also would like to introduce myself for those of you that don’t know me. My name is Asa Reed and I am Linus’ right, and often left, hand when it comes to Fallen Earth (aka the Producer at GamersFirst). You may sometimes see me post on the forums as Napalm, and I tend to spend my time working with the Reloaded team on future content plans, building functionality on the GamersFirst side, and counseling Tiggs to maintain her sanity.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Upcoming: World Events & Faction Territory Control


Greetings everyone!

So Free2Play happened, which was awesome.

Even while we sorted through the server issues, lots of fun things that get industry types in suits get excited about like "concurrent users" and "unique logins" and whatnot all decided to climb high enough to set some records. Then when we finished sorting through the server issues they went up (of course). But I'm sure you're not here to read about that! You're probably interested in what's next content-wise.

To that end, guest posters AFFA and Neverender have decided to drop some knowledge on y'all re: World Events and Faction Territory Control that should be coming soon (once we have a PTS up). From here on out divest yourself of all but your scrollin' finger and your sense of amazement, because they're all you'll need!

World Events

Hey, it's AFFA, and I'm here to talk about World Events.

Have you ever seen waves of rotters attack Kristo's Rest?
Have you ever protected Chemtown from a CoG invasion?
Have you ever seen El Cadejo escape from Brigg's Point and go rampaging across the wastes?

Well, as Microsoft used to say: you will.

Types of World Events

The World Event system is Fallen Earth's answer to dynamic content. The system itself is very robust. We can create an event anywhere in the game and we have several types of events that can be combined to do almost anything.

There are currently three basic kinds of World Events: Node, Attack, and Effect. Node events spawn harvest nodes at a random location. Attack events can spawn a creatures in a random area or creatures that attack a specific point. They can spawn creatures in waves, as regular generators with a respawn time, or all at once. Effect events can apply an effect to all players, all NPCs, or just certain NPCs. This could be used to temporarily lower merchant prices in a town (Social debuff on merchants), start a disease spreading, or give all players in an area a buff.

We also have a more advanced World Event which we call Goal events as each one can have five separate goals that players must complete. The good news is that these Goal events can do almost anything. And if they can't do something yet, it is very easy to add new features. They are limited only to things available in the Scripting API, which is not much of a limit. The bad news is these events are extremely complicated and time-consuming to set up, and we don't have as many of these in the game yet as we'd like. In addition to spawning nodes, spawning creatures, and applying effects, these events can create objects, create buildings, change NPC behaviors, add new mission givers, and much more.

World Map Icons

The ability to draw on the world map, called the Objectives system internally, is something we've wanted for a long time but were only recently able to implement. World Events require map icons since they can occur at random, but there are other systems in the game that will benefit from the ability to draw on the world map, such as Conflict Towns, Progress Towns, and Town Events. We have plans to add more systems that make use of this feature, such as Territory Control (keep reading!).

All players in the game receive the icon, name, and position for every Objective on the map. All players should be able to see at a glance which faction owns a Territory Control keep, where a random boss has spawned, or where additional resource nodes are. You can see all the Objectives in the game on the map, not just the ones for your current sector. If you mouseover any Objective icon, a more detailed description will pop up.

Rewards

World Events track player participation. When a World Event succeeds, all players who have participated get a mission that instantly completes itself and offers rewards. The rewards can be anything a mission can give you: experience, items, AP, faction, chips, defense tokens, etc. The rewards are scaled based on your participation. Someone who killed 50 rotters will get a larger reward than someone who killed just 1. If you stop participating for too long or go offline, you may not get any reward. And of course there is no reward for failure.

Future Possibilities

Any World Event can chain to another World Event on creation, on success, or on failure. With this capability, we can eventually build chains of events and make Fallen Earth a much more dynamic game. Currently the event for Kristo's Rest above is just waves of rotters. But in the future, if you kill all the rotters, perhaps that will chain to a World Event to fix the LifeNet pod. And if you fail, perhaps that will chain to a World Event that makes all the NPCs go indoors and rotters roam freely in the town. There are a few examples of this working internally, but they are minor. For instance, if you finish one of the Papermill  World Events, it chains to a Node event that spawns crates of paper as part of the reward.

The World Events we have written so far are very modest and don't use the full capability of the system. We also have some additional work to do before we can make mission givers, merchants, and other town NPCs react to World Events. The first batch of World Events will be mostly random harvest nodes and creatures attacking a single town, but we have big plans for this system in the future.

Territory Control

Hey guys, Neverender here. I've been busy working on the upcoming Territory Control system. Here in the office we've started to have some early play tests of some of the mechanics, and I think it's going to be a lot of fun. I have to say, the area looks amazing. Our artists have done some excellent work and I am pumped for this stuff to go Live so I can run around and kick some ass in this war zone they've created. You probably want to hear some more about the mechanics of Territory Control, so I thought I'd share a few things.

Territory Control area, with large central keep (left)

Territory Control Area 

When Territory Control goes Live, we will introduce a new area north of Blaine where everything--at least initially--will take place. We plan on expanding Territory Control after that, but to give you an idea of the size I'd say the whole area is around the size of Terminal Woods. The area can be reached by taking the road north from Blaine. Once there, you'll be able to activate a Fast Travel point at your respective Faction camp along the outskirts of the area.

Control Points

The Territory Control area has 13 control points that Factions can hold. These control points work a lot like the existing Faction Control system, but with some nice additions. Six of the points are out in the open and will be harder to defend and maintain control of. The other seven points are actually inside of keeps (including one bad-ass huge keep in the middle of the area) that will provide much better defense, as well as some other nice perks.

One of six smaller keeps
Keeps

The keeps will feature destructible doors and walls with defenses that can be upgraded and reinforced once your Faction has taken control. The keeps also come equipped with some out-of-service LifeNet pods, but don't worry-- you can fix those too! You may want to protect them though, as they might make a nice target for any attackers that have their hearts set on taking over your keep. There will also be Faction NPC guards and bosses that help add some extra defense.

The barriers and LifeNet pods can be upgraded by spending Death Toll. Some perks for holding a keep (on top of the much better defensibility) will include vaults, a mailbox, a crafting facility, and more. Players from the faction that currently controls the keep will be able to use a re-purposed LifeNet Pod to teleport themselves inside. 

One of the doors to the main keep getting destroyed. As an attacker, it's rewarding to see the keep's defenses literally crumble at your feet!

Rewards

If your faction holds any of the 13 control points in the area, you'll get a nice buff that will improve based on the number of points you control. That improvement will max out at 4 control points. The buff will increase death toll, faction, and experience earnings and will also give a nice boost to the major offensive combat skills.

And then there's what you're all really fighting over: resources. When you control a point, you'll have the ability to create and place your own harvesters that will generate some nice resource nodes in the area surrounding your control point. Be sure to defend your area though, because if another faction moves in and takes over you'll lose your hard work!

Capture Mechanic

Currently the capture mechanic works a lot like Faction Control Points. The control points each have a flag. If there are Faction NPC guards or bosses defending the flag, you'll need to take them out before you can attempt to take control. If the control point is inside of a keep, you'll need to breach the keep's door(s) before you can even do that. Whenever you take control of one of these points away from another Faction, your flag will be immune to attacks for a short while. We also plan to add exciting new ways to take control of an area in the near future.

Each control point will have an icon on the strategic map representing the Faction that currently controls it, as well as what state it is in. The 3 states that the icon will indicate are Controlled, Under Attack, and Immune to Attack. Each faction has 3 icons that represent each of those states, so players anywhere will be able to see how their Faction is doing at all times.

Well, that covers most of the basics. I'm excited to see all of this in action. Thanks for reading!

-Neverender

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Congratulations and Welcome to the Fallen Earth Free2Play Launch!


Welcome to new players and old to the Fallen Earth Free2Play Launch. With this Fallen Earth has hit new milestones tonight… Fallen Earth has succeeded in having the most players logged in simultaneously since the launch day. This is huge for us and for you as players.

We want to also assure you that we are addressing the server instability that has arisen due to the server load (more players, woot!) and will have this addressed in the next few days. As more players stream in we will do all within our power to keep the servers from bogging down.

Remember that we do have Game Master coverage 24/7. For game issues you can contact one of our Game Masters in-game directly, and for anything billing or technical related please email support@fallenearth.com

Thank you all again for making this a very successful launch of Fallen Earth Free2Play and in the next few weeks you will start to see many fun events happening in game as we move forward to a fun filled game for all.

The Fallen Earth Team

On Free2Play and Beyond!


In this issue: 
Inc. Free2Play! • Gifts Recap • Patch Notes / World Events Delayed • Economy Big Picture

Inc Free2Play!

We're on the cusp! 

Today marks the day we've been building up to for the last four months. As of today, everyone with an account will be able to log in and play Fallen Earth without buying a box or paying for a sub! Free players will be able to gain every level, craft every item, join and create clans, and visit every place in the world (including all instances) without paying a dime. Current subscribers will be upgraded for free to the Commander Premium Subscription (until their current sub or game time ends or re-ups), and everyone who has ever bought the game or had a sub will be receiving their Spiked Chopper. Check this page out for the full rundown on playing free or supporting the game with a Premium Subscription.

We know the ride hasn't always been smooth, but it's been a crazy fun journey and we're honored to be taking it with you!

Gifts Recap
If you're an existing subscriber, please check below to make sure you receive everything for which you've qualified. We've spent a lot of time on these, and we'd hate it if you missed out on them!
  • July Subscriber Appreciation Gifts: Fancy White Boots and Skindog Pet. Sent to anyone with an active subscription or game time in July. Keys sent out in August.
  • August Subscriber Appreciation Gifts: Snazzy White Hat and Chupacabras Pet. Goes to anyone with an active subscription or game time in August. Keys sent out in September.
  • September Subscriber Appreciation Gifts: Sexy White Jacket and Classic Creeper Pet. Goes to anyone with an active subscription or game time in September. Keys sent out in October.
  • Free2Play Transition Subscriber Appreciation Gift: Chest, Legs, and Groin Wardrobe Slots unlock item. Goes to all who had an active subscription in July, August, September, and October. Keys to be sent out today.
  • Vet Reward ItemSpiked Chopper. Keys to be sent out by the end of this week.
  • Commander Subscription Upgrade: Free upgrade to Commander level Premium Subscription on any game time/sub active when the game goes Free2Play. Lasts until the end of the current billing cycle.
  • Permanent Commander Subscription Discount: Permanent discount on Commander Premium Subscription ($29.99 to $19.99), available to all players who have ever purchased or subscribed to the game. Effective permanently as of October 12th.

As with all of the code-based gifts (Vet Reward Chopper and Subscriber/Transition Gifts), you can check your e-mail for the code OR find it in your account's "Codes" page.

Patch Notes & World Events Delay

Besides Free2Play, here are some changes of note:
  • Loot on many creatures fixed (drop rates shouldn't have been as low as they were)
  • Bridges fixed to lower incidents of people falling through them
  • Bandages back on merchants
  • Fastener count in recipes reduced (to reflect the fact that they are now rarer)
  • Bandages require less cotton
  • New items on Reward Merchants: "Commander's Best Crafting Kit" (can be used in place of any crafting kit) and Wardrobe Slot unlocks
We wanted desperately to release World Events along with Free2Play, but the realities of testing mean we've uncovered enough bugs and performance issues to have to push it. As a consequence, World Events will be added in next week. And they'll be awesome when they do.

Check out the full patch notes here.

Economy Overview:
Subtitle: Where are we going with all this??

We understand that before the last patch it was easy to run out to a waypoint and snag some components you knew would be there. Completely understated, it sucks to not be able to just do this now! This is the way Things Have Always Been, and changing it up is stressful to everyone that has been doing it since forever. There were, however, three huge problems with maintaining that status quo: One, it wasn't fun. Two, when things are easy to get (as they were), they don't matter as much. Three, there was no reason to interact with other players. At best, it was a simple way to get whatever components you needed with little challenge; at worst it was an unengaging pre-requisite to crafting that devalued both cooperation and final crafted products. Everyone got the resources they wanted whenever they wanted them and everyone could craft anything easily, meaning there was no real value to resources and not much of a market for components or products. Nobody needed to trade or cooperate to achieve goals, and there was never any competition for resources. While this was a fairly laid back system to participate in, it was not particularly good for Fallen Earth's long term health.

Now we're in the process of changing that up for the better, even if the changes right now seem like they make things a little more difficult. With the addition of World Events and Faction Territory Control, there will be more substance to resource gathering, and all the activities dependent on acquiring resources. Where before resource gathering meant going out to your waypoints and getting the resources you need, soon it will mean competing with opposing factions to control territory and cooperating with your faction and clan to harvest unique nodes from that territory, finding a suitable plot of land and placing your own resource harvester (and defending it), participating in dynamic World Events, hunting for resources in PvP areas, or just exploring to find resources on your own, using what you need and trading what you don't. 


You'll have to make a lot more interesting choices, and there will be more game there to play. All in all it should be a lot of fun, and we're looking forward to it -- and all the other new developments that the transition to Free2Play will enable!

Monday, October 3, 2011

Two Year Anniversary Events & Economy Patch


In this issue: 
Two Year Anniversary Events • Upcoming Patch Notes • Wardrobe Slots


Let's get business out of the way first: we're patching on Tuesday this week, rather than Wednesday. Servers go down at 8am PDT and will be down for approximately Three to Four Hours or As Long As It Takes To Patch...whichever comes first.

TWO YEAR ANNIVERSARY EVENTS

At Fallen Earth? Our events are fashionable. We have fashionable events.

How fashionable, you might ask? So fashionable that they arrive fashionably late. Sticklers will tell you that the second anniversary of Fallen Earth was technically, like, over a week ago, but you don't strike me as the kind of person that consorts with sticklers; you're a smart, funny, and/or beautiful individual who doesn't need gender-specific pronouns just to take a compliment. You're too busy jetsetting and rubbing elbows with high-society to let sticklers remind you that the actual specific second anniversary was like September 22nd or whatever.

And that, my friend, makes two of us.

So rather than focus on things we can't change (like extremely pessimistic cats) we're just going to turn our thoughts toward the positive. We're going to just dive right into what's going to happen during these Live Events (with a capital L and E, because pressing shift a couple times spices up a sentence and doesn't cost a thing).

Behold!

Inter-factional hostilities have been steadily growing alongside the voracious plantlife in Alpha County. Finally bubbling over the Wall, these boiling tensions between the faction alliances have heated the Wastes as far down as Northfields!  The Travelers have burned too many bridges, the CHOTA are out for a blood bath, and the Vista are evolving a new philosophy on life. The Enforcers have staked their order as peacekeepers and the Lightbearers have stepped in to enlighten their wayward “friends.” The Techs are just in it for the sociology. Now the faction heads have stepped in to lay down the law -- it’s a war they’re gunning for to settle it all, and YOU are their top recruit. Which faction will prevail when the six sides go head to head in New Flagstaff? And will the town be able to handle the destruction?
The faction leaders are in a tizzy, and looking to gather vets and last-minute recruits for an all out battle-royale in New Flagstaff. The recruitment drive begins in S4 and will make its way down to S1, with the various faction leaders garnering support for their cause and engaging in skirmishes along the way.

This will be a PvP and PvE event. Meaning, there will be PvP for those so-inclined (you foul-mouthed, min-maxing lot of tea-bagging miscreants!); for those not inclined, there will be plenty of NPCs for you to beat on whilst you and other similarly minded folks of opposing factions cast viciously admonishing glances at one another.

For more deets on the Two Year Anniversary Live Event Faction War, click this internet hyperlink.

PATCH NOTES

Find them here. Of interest:

  • Node placement has been rebalanced
  • Recipes have been rebalanced
  • Merchants that sell craftable items have either been yanked or had their inventories changed significantly. One step closer to a fully player driven economy!
  • Consumable duration set back to one hour, but will no longer persist through death. This is a direct result of your feedback, woo!
  • No more character build drop down menus on the skills/attributes window. This was done because as of July they were no longer relevant, and proved more confusing than helpful
  • Resist values in the gear window display properly (they've always been calculated properly, but weren't displaying right)
  • Various performance improvements
  • Wardrobe slots will show up on the equipment window...

WARDROBE SLOTS

There's a new system eventually going into place that will allow you to spend Reward Points to unlock Wardrobe Slots -- slots that will make whatever you wear in them appear on your character instead of whatever you have equipped in that slot. Hit the G-Key if you want to look-but-not-touch before the system is active.

In case it isn't obvious, this is awesome. As great as it is to see all the fantastic looks out there already, right now you're somewhat restricted from being able to really roleplay the character you want if you also want to be competitive. A small part of me died the day my newbie-self had to give up my beloved duster for some large awful breastplate. Wearing it didn't jive with how I thought of my character, but getting destroyed by NPCs in the name of roleplaying didn't jive with how I wanted to spend my free time. I thought "Hey, why can't I just wear this obnoxious-yet-protective-breastplate under my duster?" And now I can. And so can you.

When adding this system to the game, realism was a slight concern -- how can someone wearing full body armor soak up as much damage as a dude in jeans and a t-shirt? Then we realized that trying to mesh "realism" with the concept of "hit points" is silly, and we might as well give everyone an enjoyable experience by making their character appear how they want.

You won't be able to do anything with the Wardrobe tab yet except gaze at it until October 12th, when the unlock items will be put in alongside the other minor update we're doing that day. Oh, and some of you will be getting some of these slots for free; more details on that as the system gets closer to being ready.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

September State of the Game

Fall State of the Game

Happy 2nd anniversary! A lot of exciting things going on around the offices – first and foremost being the September push.

We will be celebrating our anniversary with a live event we’re tentatively calling “Faction War”. There will be PvP, PvE, and RP components to the event, and everyone who participates will get an item that truly displays their faction loyalty to everyone. We’ll be running the event at EU and US friendly times as well as hanging out and celebrating throughout the day. This looks like it’s shaping up to be one of our most exciting live events yet.

The other major component of the September patch is part one of the Economic changes. We started by focusing on the largest issues present in the existing economy - specifically the inconsistent implementation of rarity in both recipes and node placement and the overabundance of cooking components and their application in recipes. Solving the first major issue actually went a long way towards the cooking problems as we were able to either reclassify components as uncommon or rare or create new components to fill those roles in recipes. We have also redone the placement of most of the nodes in the game- uncommon and rare components will now be found in higher risk areas, especially PvP zones. This may sound scary at first, but it’s important to remember that their being in PvP areas doesn’t make them impossible to get – they can still be found in non-PvP areas, but now we’re taking the first steps into making good on our promise to provide tangible motivations for engaging in PvP.

Many recipes have been changed to reflect the new rarity. Base recipes will now use common components, improved will have uncommon, and advanced will include rare components as well. To complement this system, we have also added components that can only be found at some merchants. These changes were made to ensure the value of the finished item would work with the value of the components.

We will also be removing finished gear merchants as well as pulling rare and uncommon components from merchants. This is an important change is it brings us closer to a player driven economy.

The second part of the economic changes will begin immediately after the push as we continue to adjust pricing and availability. Once we have completed the transition to Free2Play in October we will be able to finalize any adjustments.

Also with the Free to Play patch we will be releasing the World Event system. It was originally scheduled for September, however we wanted to put the full focus of the entire Fallen Earth dev team on both systems , necessitating a transition on the schedule from late September to early October. We want to raise the standard of quality for all of our releases – this will help us do that.

World Event system which will create random events throughout the world for players to participate in, from defending towns from hostile factions to healing sick and injured townspeople, these events will provide more content across the world while giving the canyon more life and a bit more excitement. The system used to create the events is a pretty robust one, so we will be able to create more sophisticated ways of delivering and unlocking content for players as we go forward.

Late October we should be seeing the return of a long lost friend, who can help us test these new systems. One I’m sure you’ve missed as much as we have.

Next month I’ll be able to go into detail on territory control and the direction of faction warfare. Until then, thanks for making these past two years so much fun, and here’s to two more!!

See you in the wastelands,

M