Thursday, June 30, 2011

Some Thoughts on Combat


This started as a brief explanation of what the new skills are and I’m afraid it’s sort of grown into more of a post-mortem of what was there and how we have addressed it. Now that you know the when the changes will be made, Sarah and I wanted to give you a bit of insight into our design philosophy, the how’s and whys.

Let’s start with the why.

We get feedback from a variety of different sources. No one source is any more legit or weighed more heavily than any other and no single play style has more sway with us. Combat is something we have been compiling data and feedback on for a very long time. We kept seeing the same concerns come up – no use for support characters, requests for damage-focused build options, and other well recognized build types, no variety in groups, not required or viable tactics. These were all very valid complaints and ones we needed to address while still keeping it possible for players who wanted to solo to be able to complete a large part of the game's content. We’ve always intended that players be able to do a variety of things in Fallen Earth, just not that they would be able to do a variety of things all at the same time and at the same skill level. We wanted your build choice to feel significant, and to do that we needed more distinct valid options.

The other complaint revealed a lot more about what we had implemented – too many redundant buttons. It wasn’t simply that players had a full hot bar. They had the full hot bar but only relied on 6 buttons. This isn’t as much of an issue as players gain familiarity with the system, but for new players it was overwhelming and prevented them from connecting with their character and the world. FE has a bit of a learning curve, we didn’t need to make it harder.

How:

In the new system, skill and mutation lines are each designed around filling a purpose. Each one has a different niche to fill, and we tried to include everything we feel needs to be there. To facilitate making more specialized build types (offensive, defensive, support) we assigned base statistics to those roles. For example, Endurance is defensive, and won't have a role in offensive skills - it will only increase maximums of defensive or mixed lines. A character with Endurance is either a defensive or a hybrid build.

It is possible to still build “jack of all trade” characters, it’s also possible to have other unique builds as well.

Following this is a complete breakdown of every skill line, its abilities and when each rank becomes available.

The Skills:

Armor Use provides a passive bonus to damage resistances, as well as:
• Dreadnaught – This is a stance ability that increases Primary armor and decreases speed.

Ranks at: 54, 69, 84, 99, 114, 129, 144, 159, 174, and 189 Armor Use.
• Soak Elements – This is a stance ability that increases Secondary/Tertiary armor and decreases Primary armor. Ranks at: 75, 90, 105, 120, 135, 150, 165, 180, and 195 Armor Use.

Dirty Tricks is a skill line for debuffing opponents. It offers:
• Dirty Steel – This is a prepared attack that reduces the target's armor and does damage over time. It will also stun NPCs. Ranks at: Training, 33, 63, 93, 123, 153, and 183 Dirty Tricks.
• Kneecap – This is a prepared attack that reduces the target's speed. Ranks at: 34, 75, 105, 135, 165, and 195 Dirty Tricks.

• Sabotage – This prepared attack reduces the target's armor. Ranks at: 70, 90, 130, 160, and 190 Dirty Tricks.

Dodge gives a passive bonus, opposing the extra damage provided by the Precision, Power and Weapon skill lines. It also offers:
• Duck And Weave – This stance ability converts a portion of damage taken into stamina damage. Ranks at: 57, 87, 117, 147, and 177 Dodge.

Escape Artist is a defensive skill line that affects your stealthiness on the radar map. It contains:
• Dash – A short speed increase. Ranks at: Training, 57, and 132 Escape Artist.
• Shake It Off – This ability removes negative status effects and snares. Ranks at: 12, 72, 102, 132, 162, and 192 Escape Artist.

• Lucky Break – This raises your save values for a short duration. Ranks at: 69, 99, 129, 159, and 189 Escape Artist.

• Misdirection – This increases your primary, secondary, and tertiary armor values for a short duration. Ranks at: 81, 111, 141, and 171 Escape Artist.

First Aid is a support set, with:
• Resuscitation – Resurrects your target. Ranks at: 39, 99, and 159 First Aid.
• Stanch Wound – This heals your target and increases their health regeneration for an hour. Ranks at: 1, 36, 66, 96, 126, 156, and 186 First Aid.
• Suck It Up – This ability will counter weak status effects and has a short cool-down. Multiple applications will remove stronger status effects. Ranks at: 12, 72, 102, 132, 162, and 192 First Aid.
• Renew – This ability will remove strong status effects and snares. Ranks at: 84, 114, 144, and 174 First Aid.

Group Tactics is also a support set, focused on auras:
• Give 'em Hell – This aura increases your team's Power. Ranks at: 60, 90, 120, 150, and 180 Group Tactics.
• Offensive Coordination – This aura increases your team's critical chance and stamina regeneration, but reduces their ranged and melee defense. Ranks at: Training, 30, 60, 90, 120, 150, and 180 Group Tactics.
• Combat Endurance – This aura increases your team's maximum stamina and gamma, as well as their stamina and gamma regeneration. Ranks at: 42, 72, 102, 132, 162, and 192 Group Tactics.
• Overwhelm – This lowers the target's armor, ranged defense and melee defense. Ranks at: 69, 99, 129, 159, and 189 Group Tactics.

Heavy Weapons offers the player the ability to use grenade and rocket launchers, as well as:

• Soften 'Em Up – This reduces the fire and piercing resistance of those in a small radius around your target. Ranks at: 150 and 180 Heavy Weapons.

• Caltrops – This ability slows those in a small radius around your target. Ranks at: 195 Heavy Weapons.

Melee, together with Precision and Power, determines your bonus critical chance and damage percentage when using Melee weapons and also offers:
• Charge – A short duration ability that gives a bonus to movement, speed and damage. Ranks at: 60, 90, 120, 150, and 180 Melee.
• Provoke – This ability will increase your threat and reduce your opponent's ranged/melee defense. Ranks at: 45, 60, 75, 90, 105, 120, 135, 150, 165, 180, and 195 Melee.

Pistol, together with Precision and Power, determines your bonus critical chance and damage percentage when using Pistol weapons and in addition contains:
• Incendiary Strike – This prepared attack adds a fire DoT onto your regular attack damage. Ranks at: 60, 90, 120, 150, and 180 Pistol.
• Concentration – This toggled ability increases your Precision and Weapon skills, but decreases your melee and ranged defense. Ranks at: 60, 105, 150, and 195 Pistol.

Power, together with the appropriate weapon skill, determines your bonus damage percentage and has:
• Attack Posture – This stance increases your damage. Ranks at: 63, 93, 123, 153, and 183 Power.
• Dent Armor – This prepared attack temporarily reduces your target's armor. It will also stun NPCs. Ranks at: 51, 81, 111, 141, and 171 Power.

Precision, together with the appropriate weapon skill, determines your chance for a critical hit and provides:
• Precise Hit – This is a prepared attack that does additional damage. It also reduces the speed of NPC targets. Ranks at: 51, 81, 111, 141, and 171 Precision.
• Perfect Timing – This is a short duration buff that increases your chance of a critical hit. Ranks at: 63, 93, 123, 153, and 183 Precision.

Rifle, together with Precision and Power, determines your bonus critical chance and damage percentage when using Rifle weapons, plus:
• Agonizing Wound – This prepared attack slows your target. Ranks at: 54, 84, 114, 144, and 174 Rifle.
• Bullseye – This prepared attack does additional damage. Ranks at: 60, 90, 120, 150, and 180 Rifle.

Social, in addition to its financial benefits, is a personal aggression control set and has:
• Flag Of Truce – This stance prevents faction NPCs from seeing you as an enemy. NPCs who have already begun to attack you will not be fooled. Only one rank, at 165 Social.
• Inconspicuous – This ability greatly lowers your threat from a targeted enemy. Ranks at: Training, 45, 75, 105, 135, 165, and 195 Social.
• Diplomatic Immunity – While this short-duration ability is active, you are unable to take other actions, but you have increased armor, melee defense and ranged defense. Ranks at: 60, 90, 120, 150, and 180 Social.

Alpha Mutations are intended for the early game, when players do not yet have a full skill bar. They will only increase up to rank 4. The available alpha mutations are:
• Disrupt – This targeted ability reduces your target's melee defense, ranged defense and save ratings for a short time. Ranks at: 9, 30, 51, and 72 Alpha.
• Patch – This is a healing ability that also cures status ailments. Ranks at: 9, 30, 51, and 72 Alpha.
• Gird – This toggled ability raises your maximum health. Ranks at: 9, 30, 51, and 72 Alpha.
• Bolster – This toggled ability raises your maximum stamina and your damage. Ranks at: 9, 30, 51, and 72 Alpha.

Empathy is a support set with:
• Share Life – This combat resurrect ability brings a friend back to life faster than other such abilities, but it does so by lowering your own health. Ranks at: 48, 66, 84, 102, 120, 138, 156, 174, and 192 Empathy.
• Benevolence – This is a direct healing ability which will restore health to you or a target, but the amount restored is greater when used on someone else. Ranks at: Training, 45, 63, 81, 99, 117, 135, 153, 171, and 189 Empathy.
• Restoration – This is a single target, short duration heal over time. Ranks at: 75, 93, 111, 129, 147, 165, and 183 Empathy.
• Preservation – This ability removes status effects from the target. Strong status ailments will require more than one application. Ranks at: 54, 72, 90, 108, 126, 144, 162, and 180 Empathy.

Enhancement is a support line with additional personal defense:
• Calibration – This aura increases your team's primary armor. Ranks at: Training, 48, 66, 84, 102, 120, 138, 156, 174, and 192 Enhancement.
• Ablate – This stance raises your armor. Ranks at: 72, 90, 108, 126, 144, 162, and 180 Enhancement.
• Resilience – This aura raises your team's saves. Ranks at: 60, 78, 96, 114, 132, 150, 168, and 186 Enhancement.


Illumination is a support line providing additional resources and regeneration:
• Endless Reserves – This toggle raises your maximum gamma and stamina, but lowers your maximum health. Ranks at: 60, 78, 96, 114, 132, 150, 168, and 186 Illumination.
• Meditation – This aura raises your team's stamina and gamma regeneration. Ranks at: Training, 51, 69, 87, 105, 123, 141, 159, 177, and 195 Illumination.


Nano-Manipulation is an teammate-focused support set:
• Reconstruction – This resurrects teammates in a cone-shaped area. Ranks at: 48, 66, 84, 102, 120, 138, 156, 174, and 192 Nano-Manipulation.
• Filtration – This ability requires you to aim at your target, but if you hit, it is a very strong status removal that also restores health. Ranks at: 57, 75, 93, 111, 129, 147, 164, and 183 Nano-Manipulation.
• Vital Osmosis – This is a team-only heal in a cone-shaped area. Ranks at: Training, 45, 63, 81, 99, 117, 135, 153, 171, and 189 Nano-Manipulation.
• Revitalize – This ability raises the health regeneration of all allies close to the caster. Ranks at: 72, 90, 108, 126, 144, 162, and 180 Nano-Manipulation.


Patho-Transmission is a support set that debuffs your opponents:
• Sapping Sickness – This is a small targeted area of effect ability that reduces the speed of those hit by it. Ranks at: 72, 90, 108, 126, 144, 162, and 180 Patho-Transmission.
• Wracking Pains – This ability lowers your target's regeneration. Ranks at: Training, 48, 66, 84, 102, 120, 138, 156, 174, and 192 Patho-Transmission.
• Debilitating Weakness – This causes those around you to suffer lowered Power and weapon skills, reducing their damage. Ranks at: 60, 78, 96, 114, 132, 150, 168, and 186 Patho-Transmission.

Primal is a very physical mutation with:
• Primal Vigor – This toggled ability lowers your maximum gamma to raise your maximum health. Ranks at: Training, 48, 66, 84, 102, 120, 138, 156, 174, and 192 Primal.
• Beast Might – This prepared attack costs health, but deals extra damage and has a short cool-down. Ranks at: 72, 90, 108, 126, 144, 162, and 180 Primal.
• Rampage – This ability raises your damage and health for a few seconds and then leaves you weakened. Ranks at: 60, 78, 96, 114, 132, 150, 168, and 186 Primal.

Sonic Influence is a damage-focused set with:
• Sonic Lance – This ability must be aimed at your target, but if you hit, it will cause sonic damage. Ranks at: Training, 48, 66, 84, 102, 120, 138, 156, 174, and 192 Sonic Influence.
• Rending Vibrations – This ability sends out sonic waves that cause damage over time in a cone-shaped area. Ranks at: 72, 90, 108, 126, 144, 162, and 180 Sonic Influence.
• Catastrophic Dissonance – This ability does damage to those nearby. Ranks at: 60, 78, 96, 114, 132, 150, 168, and 186 Sonic Influence.

Suppression is a redistribution support set containing:
• Denial – This lowers your target's maximum stamina and gamma. Ranks at: Training, 48, 66, 84, 102, 120, 138, 156, 174, and 192 Suppression.
• Sap Stamina – This steals some of your target's stamina and adds to your team's. Ranks at: 72, 90, 108, 126, 144, 162, and 180 Sap Stamina.
• Siphon Energy – This steals some of your target's gamma and adds to your team's. Ranks at: 60, 78, 96, 114, 132, 150, 168, and 186 Suppression.

Telekinesis is focused around aimed mutation attacks, with:
• Bend Metal – If you hit with this attack it will reduce your target's armor. Ranks at: 72, 90, 108, 126, 144, 162, and 180 Telekinesis.
• Propel – This has a long cool-down, but does high damage if it hits. Ranks at: 60, 78, 96, 114, 132, 150, 168, and 186 Telekinesis.
• Always Armed – This is a shorter cool-down attack that does lower damage when it hits. Ranks at: Training, 48, 66, 84, 102, 120, 138, 156, 174, and 192 Telekinesis.

Thermal Control is a damage skill set:
• Cold Snap – This will damage your target with cold. Ranks at: Training, 45, 63, 81, 99, 117, 135, 153, 171, and 189 Thermal Control.
• Hypothermia – This will cause your target to take cold damage every second for a duration. Ranks at: 48, 66, 84, 102, 120, 138, 156, 174, and 192 Thermal Control.
• Napalm – This will cause your target to take fire damage over time for a short duration. Ranks at: 57, 75, 93, 111, 129, 147, 165, and 183 Thermal Control.
• Molotov Cocktail – This will cause fire damage to your target, but has a long cool-down and requires standing still while activating. Ranks at: 72, 90, 108, 126, 144, 162, and 180 Thermal Control.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Welcome to blog number 2!

Since we briefly covered free2play last week I figured I’d give the floor over to Marie to discuss upcoming developments, and the possibilities that moving to free2play will open up in terms of development. This will all build into a clear roadmap of where we intend to take the game as a result of our working together, but for now go ahead and bask in the warming glowing glow of some upcoming contenty goodness.

Without further ado, Marie, take it away!
Hey guys,

First things first - I know everyone has been eagerly awaiting the release of Alpha County, the combat changes and Progress Towns. Right now, we’re targeting a release date of July 6th. I know this is later than the intended Q2 release date, however GamersFirst has given us the resources for additional testing and polish so we wanted to take full advantage of that.

For all the newcomers to the Wasteland, Alpha County is a new county that raises the level cap to 55, introduces new recipes and gear, missions, crits, as well as a new conflict town full of rare resources to fight over. While I don’t want to give too much away, the storyline of the Grainway starts to dig into GlobalTech’s shady history as well as looking at some of the deep dark secrets of the factions. We really start laying the ground work here for some later events that will have serious consequences across the entire world.

Progress towns are found in sectors 2,3 and south of Deadfall. These are areas where you can clear out hostiles and craft buildings with different benefits, such as access to merchants, vaults, questors or buffs. You’ll also have to place defenses for your towns, landmines, guard bunkers or other things that will prevent the raiders from taking their land back.

Past Alpha County we have a full production schedule going into Summer/Fall. With the support from G1 we’ve been able to accelerate the dev time on some of our already in progress projects.

Our first priority is looking at the player’s ability to socialize and move about the world. So along those lines we will be making some improvements to the Fast Travel system as well as smoothing out the new player experience and giving players some more direction for major features such as vehicle crafting and factions. We’re not dumbing anything down - just putting emphasis on the features that drive the game.

After that we will be implementing some major dynamic features starting with World Events and then…Faction Territory Control!

The World Event system will allow us to add a different type of content than we have previously used in Fallen Earth and better create the feel of a true post apocalyptic world, one under siege while rebuilding. Adding this dynamic will add another layer of participation, defending towns from hostile creatures and people, saving towns from rampant viral outbreaks , and defending merchant caravans and other wasteland fun.
Faction Territory Control will come shortly after the world events. We will be carving out parts of the world for factions to claim and craft resource stations then defend and fight over them. To fully take advantage of your faction territory you’ll need to get your crafters and fighters involved. The resources found in these contested territories will be in high demand in the world giving factions solid motivation to take and hold the land. To drive that demand we will be addressing some of the economic and rarity issues currently found in the game. We understand that, given the way factions work right now there will be a lot of questions about how this might work. That’s a really good thing – rather than explain exactly what’s in development, we’d rather you do ask those questions so we can explore all angles together.

Along with both of these new features we will be adding a system to display these and other existing world goals on the Strategic map so players can see what’s going on across the canyon and get to the action quickly.

We’ll be getting you more info and screenshots as we get closer to the release dates for everything. If you haven’t added the Fallen Earth page on Facebook yet, do it!

See you in the wastelands!

M

We’ll be going into detail about each a bit more in the future. Before we go, a couple of quick notes:

PTS – PTS is still being built out, and will come back Sometime™. As Marie mentioned above, the G1 QA team is helping out with testing based on the results gleaned from the last PTS push. We’ll of course still be keeping an eye on the forums and Facebook for reports of things we need to check out, so let us know if anything crops up once Alpha County’s out the door.

Server performance – New monitoring tools are being put in place to keep track of some of the weirdness going on. We see the reports, and understand that these issues exist for some, so now we’re in the mode of definitively identifying why they happen and then stomping them out.

And finally, we noticed that there have been, since the beginning of time it seems, requests to add a Full Respec Injector to the Fallen Earth Store. This introduced a bit of a quandary, as it’s a good idea to add things to the store that can fuel further development of the game—especially when they’re requested by the community—but on the other hand, we are of course going to give one out for free when the combat changes go live and thus didn't want to make everything think we're going to do the combat changes then force you to buy one. Eventually we decided it would be OK to put it in the store just so long as anyone who wants to purchase one understands that we WILL be giving one out for free soon! If you want to pick one up, you may go to the store and do just that, as well as the new Two Chupacabras perfume that will reset your faction (though I don’t blame you if you don’t want that, as who really wants to smell like a Chupacabras?). We haven’t made a big deal out of these items yet so that’s why you haven’t seen a lot of mention of them, but they certainly are there if you find the need to avail yourself of their functions.

- Linus

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Welcome to the Fallen Earth development blog!


Starting today we’ll be using this space to post ideas and discussions about the conversion to free-to-play, as well as patch notes, details about what’s currently being worked on, issues related to Fallen Earth, the post-apocalyptic setting, and anything else that relates to the development of the game. Our goal is to fully explore ideas along with the community to make sure we’re all on the same page AND that we are accountable for communicating exactly what it is we intend to do, along with schedules, plans, and all sorts of scary details make me rethink whether talking about this stuff before it’s done is a good idea :)

If you are allergic to walls-o’-text, though, look away! This one's massive.

Here’s a quick rundown of what we’re looking at in this post specifically:
1. What free-to-play model will Fallen Earth follow?
2. What will change as a result of going free-to-play?
3. When will the full transition to free-to-play be complete?
4. What do I get out of all this?!1/1?!111
5. What are the design priorities during and after the switch to free-to-play?

Question the First: What free-to-play model will Fallen Earth follow?

Fallen Earth, when it is transitioned, will follow what’s come to be known as a hybrid model that incorporates the best elements of F2P combined with a tiered membership system.

Three different Premium memberships will be available, but it will be possible to play the full game from Sector 1 to Sector one billion* forever without ever paying a dime. Literally. You don’t have to buy quests or zones or classes or skills or levels or anything. You can download the game and start playing, and as long as you’ve got electricity and internet, you don’t have to pay a dime. This might sound counter-intuitive when compared to some of the current implementations of free-to-play, but we have a feeling they’ll come around soon!

One of the main reasons for going free-to-play is so that when you’re playing and having a great time, you can call your friend and have him or her join in with you. Gating cool areas behind content walls or velvet ropes doesn’t accomplish that instant join-my-buddy experience, since in the velvet-rope world your friend would still be forced to pull out a credit card in order to join you. We want you to be able to call up whomever, have them join in, and after a while hey, you’re having so much fun, maybe you want to improve the experience by buying an item or two, or maybe getting a Premium membership along the way.

Just please don’t break our poor little idealist hearts by playing free forever, okay?

Now while content, quests, levels, and all that will be available, here is the list of ‘limits’ that will exist on free accounts; free accounts will continue to have the trading and auction house limits that trial accounts currently have, they’ll have only a single character slot, a limited number of time each day in which they can craft, and a limit to the maximum chips they can hold (though this limit disappears if you make any purchase; so if, heaven forbid, you only make a single purchase, there is no subsequent chip limit). Free accounts will be able to do every quest, visit every sector and instance, have no limits on what items they can craft or gear they can use, and most importantly, their accounts won’t be locked after 30 days as is the case today. They won’t be able to send items through the mail (take that, gold farmers!) but they will be able to receive items, so you can send stuff to your buddies if they have free accounts. A free account is the perfect way to get in and experience the game for someone who casually wants to check it out, do a few quests, or catch up with old friends.

Salvage Speed, Crafting Speed, Reward Point accrual, Death Toll, and Random AP will be decreased for free players. The various Premiums (of which there will be three) will increase these, plus add a Fallen Earth Store discount.

So about those Premiums. To start off by putting things in perspective, the current game everyone is playing would technically be considered sort of the "base" level of Premium AND, when all is said and done, the price of this type of Premium will actually be lower than what subscribers currently pay (about $10). For about $15—essentially, what you’re paying now—you would get a Premium membership that grants increases to all the above-mentioned things plus adds a slight experience increase as well. The third Premium package is a bit more interesting, and again, putting things in perspective, should not necessarily be considered an escalation of the previous two but something different altogether. The third Premium grants all the same things as the previous with some minor increases PLUS you become a shining beacon of concentrated awesome because you’ll emanate a special aura that bestows some of your benefits onto your group members. So if you’re paying but your buddies aren’t, at least they can get a little leg up because you’re such a great guy or gal! We haven’t settled on a price for this level yet, but we have something special in store for veteran players that we’ll be revealing in the coming weeks. Again, this is entirely geared towards generous people -- if you want to be the one who pays but your friends don't, you can, and you can share some of your benefits with them.

Of course, as the game grows and expands in terms of features and systems we’ll constantly strive to reflect those updates by adding to the Premium memberships as well.

What’s more: We know that parting with your hard-earned money sucks, and we want to show our appreciation towards everyone who supports Fallen Earth. Each month owners of Premium accounts will receive a special gift from the teams here as our way of saying thanks.

Question the Second: What will change as a result of going free-to-play?

Content updates will happen more frequently; you can look forward to a lot more things being added to the game that have been requested by the community but which have, for various reasons prior to the acquisition, not been possible. The focus will be less on huge expansions, and more on incremental feature rollouts.

The role of Reward Points is going to change slightly. Instead of being a heap of points that you amass over time and then blow on a big purchase, we’ll be taking items from the Fallen Earth Store and putting them on the Reward Merchants, and increasing the amount of Reward Points you get as a result. The intent here is that if you are a Premium subscriber then you should be able to sort of have your run of the place without needing to buy anything additional if you don’t want to. If you want fourteen pairs of goggles in every shade of the rainbow then hey, you might end up having to fork out a couple bucks, but that’s good news for us and our families because we get to continue enjoying such luxuries as food, running water, and not being thrown in debtor’s prison (not sure if they still have those)!

I sort of feel like I shouldn’t have to say this next bit, but I will say it anyway because this is the Interwebs (with a capital I) and if you leave something up to the imagination, some imaginations just sort of run with it and draw all kinds of random conclusions. Adding stuff to the Fallen Earth Store—and into Reward Merchants—doesn’t mean that’s our only focus. It doesn’t mean the team is going to stop working on The Game just to Make Money. It means a portion of time will be spent on adding new things to the store with the express purpose of giving everyone on the dev team more freedom to develop an awesome game. Removing the payment barrier is a means to an end to allow more people to experience Fallen Earth; game mechanics, systems, and features are now--and will forever be--the primary focus, because that's why everyone started developing games in the first place and a new payment model doesn't change that.

Question the Third: When will the full transition to free-to-play be complete?

We’re looking at early Q4. Yes, that’s a ways off, and yes, that's vague, but we felt it was better to start communicating now rather than to wait a few months and suddenly do a grand reveal where we’ve suddenly changed the whole game without the input of the community. There will also be some interesting new gameplay content going out (for free) around the same time as well, which we'll expand upon in later blogs.

Question the Fourth: What do I get out of all this?!1/1?!111

First, you get a development team that can truly focus on evolving Fallen Earth and making it the best game it can possibly be, unhindered by having to focus its resources on things like business, marketing, and technical operations.

Second, we’re working on two packages to roll out for players who have stood by Fallen Earth all this time: one for players who have ever bought the game, and one for players that maintain their subscriptions throughout the conversion to free-to-play.

We’re not quite ready to reveal exactly what’s in each, but I will say that a) like I mentioned above, longtime subscribers won’t ever have to pay full price for the top-tier Premium, and b) we have some awesome gifts for you if you keep your subscription during the wait. If you want to drive yourself nuts wondering about what that is though, I can reveal that it was suggested during one the fireside chats, after which we kind of smacked our collective heads and went OHMYGODTHATISSUCHAGREATIDEAWENEEDTODOIT!!

Question the Fifth: What are the design priorities during and after the switch to free-to-play?

Anyone who’s played Fallen Earth knows there are three core groups— sometimes always at odds with one another—that form the basis of the community: PvP players, PvE players, and Roleplayers. The design priorities for the future will look towards building specific features and content aimed at each group, making the world much more robust and, we hope, exciting to experience.

To that end, I offer you these enigmatic, fortune-cookie-like bits to make you salivate until a future blog expands upon them!

To the PvPers: Factions matter. Clans matter.
To the PvEers: Hope you brought your keys, because it’s time for you to drive this economy.
To the RPers: You are a beautiful snowflake. There’s no reason you can’t be a deadly snowflake too.

Thanks everybody, that’s all for now! Remember that this blog is going to be an ongoing thing, so feel free to ask questions and leave comments. If I can answer here, I will, and if it requires a larger explanation I might make it the subject of a forthcoming blog.

- Linus