Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Economy

One of our long term goals has been “fixing the economy,” by which we really mean improving how often components drop to establish rarity by design and enable us to truly give value to basic, improved and advanced recipes. Sounds easy enough right?

In order to accomplish this goal we had to in some cases actually create rarity where there was none or, in the case of dozens of cooking components, create common items where there were only rare and uncommon. As we changed rarity in components we also adjusted how they were used in recipes. Generally speaking, basic recipes will only use common components, intermediate recipes will use common and uncommon components, and advanced recipes will use common, uncommon and rare components. While this will alter existing recipes, it will give more value to recipes that SHOULD be more valuable while making all basic recipes easier to craft than more advanced ones.

The changes to cooking are along the same lines, but a bit more extensive. Cooking currently has some issues that are unique to its recipes and components, where a lack of truly rare ingredients is compensated by requiring large numbers of various common components for advanced recipes. In order to make cooking more fun and make component gathering less of a grind we’ve removed many equivalent level redundant components (rat meat, rabbit meat, chicken leg) and added tiers of uncommon components. This should add the necessary cost to the recipes without filing them with large amounts of ingredients that are difficult to gather.

Along with this whole process we are also looking at the buffs that consumables give. We want to make sure that players are getting their components worth and that each tradeskill’s consumables have something different to offer. Per our usual disclaimer, more details will be available closer to release

M

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

State of the game

State of the Game

So it’s been a quiet few months around the FE offices…nah just kidding. Things have been insane here. At this state we’re about 9/16ths of the way through the transition to Free2Play. We’ve already seen a nice boost in both active players and subscriptions since joining G1. It’s been a learning experience for everyone involved and while things may not have been a seamless as we would have liked, the heavy lifting is over and we can all get back to the business of continuously evolving FE.

Which segues nicely into what’s happening in the coming months; this week we will have what we are calling the Fast Travel Patch. We have added fast travel locations to the major towns in each sector to alleviate some of the frustration players have with the long distances in regards to grouping and socializing. Being able to move about the world more freely should lend itself to increased player interactions, both cooperative and competitive, while aiding in roleplaying as newer players can participate

Also in this patch we have tweaks to the combat system including but not limited to a change in the formula used to derive health. This will now mean you’ll get three health per level, three per point of Strength, and four per point of Endurance. We’ve also increased the damage bonus from critical hits, and changed what we call the “damage variance”, meaning players will only ever receive a positive bonus to damage (whereas before it had an equal chance to be positive or negative), and raising damage per attack slightly across the board, increased precision’s critical hit chance bonus, and added the Rest stances to help PvE players get back into combat faster.

We will be posting the compete patch notes shortly (actually we already did, I'm just late posting this) , so I don’t want to get into too much detail about the other changes we have made but rather take this time to talk about the upcoming months.

In September Fallen Earth turns 2! In MMO years we’re in the bratty teenager stage so we’re looking to celebrate by stealing a car, getting a fake id and partying until the cops come for us. (Legal Disclaimer: the fallen Earth Staff does not condone or recommend any illegal activity, and if you see the photos they were totally photoshopped).

Actually we’ll be adding a major new feature to our quickly evolving “sandpark” – World Events. The world events will be large scale events that will drive players to unite to accomplish a goal, for example - save the town from raiders, provide medical support to townspeople, clear hostile creatures in order to scavenge resources or defend faction towns from enemies. World Events will be available in all sectors and provide dynamic repeatable content across all levels.

In September we will also be starting to put in place the economic changes we have been developing for the past few months. This will break into a two step process over the September and October patches. The first step is making sure that the rarity for all components is correctly represented by their drop rates from nodes or mobs. From there we will be looking into making sure recipes use the right component for their level and value. There will be a few changes in terms of how certain components are obtained and used but the crafting system itself will be the same. We are extremely proud of crafting in Fallen Earth, and intend to leave the system functioning as is, but make higher end crafting far more rewarding—especially for dedicated crafters.

We will also have a nice live event to celebrate our 2 year anniversary…but more info on that when we get closer to the actual date.

October is another large month for us as we roll out the new Territory Control PVP system. Factions will be able to take control of parts of the world and use them to generate resources, so long as they defend them from other factions. The rarity work we have been doing leading up to this will ensure that these areas are worth holding as well as make significant improvements to resource availability and demand. When we are done with the component availability improvements we will be able to address the issues present with component merchants and what they should be selling.

Summing it all up: this week we’re adding Fast Travel, which supports the upcoming inclusion of World Events. Together these two features form the backbone for realigning resource rarity, and ALL of this becomes the foundation for Faction Territory Control, which helps accomplish our strategy of making faction and PvP “matter” more.

It’s been a busy year for us and we’re not planning on slowing down anytime soon! We’ve got some major projects on deck after October that are much more time and resource intensive, but players have been asking for them since forever ago and we really feel like if things keep moving in the direction they are we’ll be able to make them a reality. More info on those will follow …soon™.

See you in the wastelands

M

Friday, August 5, 2011

1.9.2 Patch Notes & More

There's kind of a lot going on. Not sure if that was obvious!

Patch 1.9.2 will go out during our scheduled weekly maintenance on Wednesday morning. We may start it a bit earlier than usual.

Now to the fun stuff! Here are the version notes for the upcoming patch:

1.9.2 Version Notes

Combat

• The armor reduction values of Bend Metal, Dirty Steel, and Overwhelm have been increased.

• Power/Precision bonuses have been changed to 90% Power/Precision and 10% weapon skill from 75% Power/ Precision and 25% weapon skill.

• Players once again gain faster Health, Stamina, and Gamma regeneration rates from sitting, sleeping, lounging, and related stances.

• The Stamina Regeneration penalty from movement has been decreased.

• Precision's critical hit chance bonus has been increased.

• The damage bonus from critical hits has been increased.

• Gamma regeneration is now also reduced while moving.

• The Health derivation is now: Three per Level, Three per Strength, Four per Endurance.

• NPC resistances in low to mid-level ranges have been reduced.

• Experienced gained from PvP kills has been increased.

• Combat damage variance is now 0 to + 10% (previously it was -10% to +10%)



Skills and Mutations

• Added skill/mutation books to level appropriate trainers across all sectors.

• Stanch Wounds 7 can now be used while moving.

• Benevolence will no longer heal vehicles.

• The errors in the text on the Benevolence 5 and 6 injectors have been corrected.

• Soften 'Em Up now reduces opponent resistances by the stated amount.

• Renew has had its activation time decreased.

• Dent Armor now lasts ten seconds and has had its stamina cost reduced.

• Lucky Break's stamina cost has been reduced.



Recipes

New volatile weapon recipes have been added:

• Volatile Redstone .40

• Volatile Z. I. Custom

• Volatile M-Croall Shark

• Volatile Bloodvine Axe

• Volatile Heater Club

• Terminal Weapon, Armor and Ballistic upgrade books have been renamed to Volatile Weapon, Armor and Ballistic upgrades.



New Fast Travel System

• A new fast travel system has been added to the game. Players can travel between certain LifeNet pods.



Activating the Fast Travel System

• Previous Fast Travel destinations (Watchtower, New Flagstaff, Trader's Flat, Los Alamos, and Shackleton) remain enabled. Players who already have these destinations unlocked will be able to travel between them with the new system immediately.

• Other destinations must be activated as players help restock LifeNet's supplies. Players need to turn in missions at each LifeNet pod to unlock the ability to use Fast Travel in those pods.



How to Use Fast Travel


• Once a destination is unlocked, all you need to do is talk to the LifeNet Transport Terminal. By talking to the terminal, you will get Knowedge required to transport to this location.

• The list of destinations has a red "exit" x if you do not qualify for that desination. You can select that destination for more information about what you need to enable transportation there.

• The list of destinations has a yellow "conversation" arrow if you meet the qualifications. Any cost associated with that destination is also listed.



Fast Travel Requirements

• The currently used requirements for Fast Travel are the Knowledge for each destination, the chip cost, positive Faction for any Faction towns, and player Level.

• The level requirements are 1 for Sector 1, 15 for Sector 2, 23 for Sector 3, 35 for Deadfall, 35 for Terminal Woods, and 45 for Sector 4.

• New Flagstaff and Barret Manor have a level requirement of 1 to allow low level players easier access to player-run events that often occur in New Flagstaff and Barret Manor.



Setting a LifeNet Pod to Home

• You can set any LifeNet pod as your Home position and transport there with a new item on Reward Point Merchants, the LifeNet Hack: Return Home. Once you have set a pod as your bind point, you can transport there at any time by using the LifeNet Hack: Return Home item.



Other Changes to Fast Travel

• Fast Travel now costs chips based on your level and the distance traveled.

• Removed the transport cooldown. You can now use Fast Travel as often as you want, provided you have the chips required

• The missions to unlock Fast Travel have been removed. Players who have already done these missions will still be able to Fast Travel to the old locations.

• The level restriction to enter Alpha County from the terminal near The Wall has been removed. These terminals are not attached to the new Fast Travel system.

• The old LifeNet Collar Hacks have been removed from Reward Point Merchants.



New ATV Mission Chain

• The ATV chain has been streamlined for clarity and optimal gameplay experience. This chain will now begin with a system pop-up in your quest log and/or can be taken from John Harris in Embry Crossroads starting at character level five. These new missions will grant the knowledge required to craft an ATV in entirety (including components). Previous ATV missions will remain in the game and now reward components from the ATV recipe – this remaining content is entirely optional. You do NOT need to play the old ATV content in order to craft your vehicle.



Missions

• Road Rally missions will now fail if you die or use any form of Fast Travel.

• Fixed an issue that could cause Escort missions to stop working when crossing a server boundary.

• Fixed a case where the hostile Veterans in Enforcer missions in Alpha County would not despawn.

• Fixed an issue where Sergeant Ives would not complete the mission "Food on the Go" in Post 88.

• Moved the waypoint for the missions "Those You Heal" and "Return to Help" in Blockade to the correct location.

• Adjusted creature positioning around Shackleton so that they will no longer attack players in the crafting facility.

• Fixed an issue where Blockade's town faction guards are not spawning.

• Adjusted the final waypoint for the mission "Food on the Go" in Post 88.

• Fixed a typo in the mission "A Curse on the Blessed."

• Changed the mission "Zone Blitz" in The Repository so that it no longer requires an old skill book.

• Changed the mission "Falling Stocks" in The Repository so that it no longer requires an old skill book.

• Adjusted the mission log text for the mission "Best of the Rest" in Kristo's Rest to properly reflect the required actions to complete the mission.

• Changed the mission "Ants, Schmants" so that both the Venomous Worker Ants would count towards the goal in addition to the Venomous Warrior Ants.

• Changed the mission "Disabling Assault" so that the mission item is no longer depleted until the mission is complete.

• Adjusted pathing issues in the instance "Pathogenic Prognosis".

• Adjusted the goal requirements of the missions "Bethesda" and "Scorpion Bites" in Clinton Farm.



System Missions

The following missions will pop-up in your quest log starting at certain player progression levels. These missions cover various plotlines throughout the game:

• You’re Dying – level 5

• Building Your ATV – level 5

• White Crow Battalion – level 7

• Global Tech Storyline – level 13



Progress Towns

• Added a Crafting Bundle to Progress, Stronghold, and Citadel. This creates a general crafting facility that works for all tradeskills.

• Increased the effectiveness of the Medical Units.

• The Attackers in Progress Town are now level 25.

• The Attackers in Citadel are more dangerous.

• Increased the number of possible attackers per wave.

• Decreased the mission lockout timer to 15 minutes.

• Increased the prices on the the special component merchants.

• Attacker bosses have slightly more loot.

• Decreased the component cost of the Medical Units.

• Many buildings now use updated models which look better and are more efficient.

• The collision on the Bunker model has been updated.



Camps

• Increased the default range of Camp buffs.

• The Camp creator now has to be in range of the Camp to get the buff.

• Team members can no longer choose to destroy camps. Only the creator of a camp can destroy the camp.

• When you deconstruct regular camps, there is a chance you will get some salvage from the camp.

• Added an Auctioneer Camp Bundle to Advanced Camps 2.

• Players who attack a Camp in a Progress Town or in a non-PvP area when either the attacker or the camp's owner is not World PvP flagged will be very sad.

• The Training Dummy and Firing Range camps now create multiple targets with different stats.



Faction Control Points

• Faction Control Point guards in Blockade now chat in Region when they are attacked.

• Fixed a bug that prevented a Faction Control flags from finding the correct system event.

• Fixed a bug that prevented Faction-specific harvest nodes from spawning in Blockade.

• The Faction Control Towers have been updated again with different collision. If you still see players or NPCs on these towers popping between the terrain and the surface of the tower, please report it.



New Reward Point Items

• V.A.L.E.T. and W.H.I.S.P.E.R. create a temporary Garage Manager or Stable Manager so you can tow your mount or do one minute worth of mount management.

• Weak Anabolic Enhancer is a speed boost that can be used on horses and other living mounts. Note that this can also be used on pets, so be careful about your target when you use this item.

• Clan Banners can be placed in any outdoor area. These either give a buff to all clan members nearby or give a debuff to all non-members nearby. Clan Banners only debuff players who are not in your Clan in PvP areas, but they can debuff NPCs anywhere.



Bloodsports

• Updated the list of destinations available in the failsafe LifeNet pod to include Terminal Woods and Alpha County. This pod is only reachable when a problem occurs while transporting a player out of Blood Sports.

• Blood Sports eligibility is no longer obtained from an event in game, and associated questors have been removed from the world. Instead, all clones will become eligible automatically upon reaching level 5. NPCs discussing the history of Blood Sports and each of the match types will remain in the world, unaffected.



Trainers

A new family of clones has settled the Wastes in recent weeks! Meet the Halls: Lance, Samantha, James, Dallas, Annie, Bert, Christopher, and Sally. They’re determined to provide a harder, better, faster, stronger training regime, and they’re ready to go anywhere and to any lengths to meet your needs. The Halls have modified their clone collars for fast travel – going to Trader’s Flat? They’ll meet you there. Need a little training in Shackleton? It’s their next stop, baby. And luckily for you, this service-oriented family troupe is specialized in mutation, combat, support, and physical ability lines. Looking to learn some Suppression techniques – Samantha’s where it’s at. Dallas prefers First Aid among other abilities while James is into Nano-manipulation. The only thing we have to wonder with this group is just who’s a brother/sister duo and who’s husband and wife! So stop by any of these towns on their trade route and introduce yourself today:

• Sector 1 - Oilville, Spider Hill, Coppermine, Watchtower, Trumbull, Odenville, Embry Crossroads.

• Sector 2 - Sunshine Corners, New Flagstaff, Thorne’s Bluff, Haven, Post 23, Picus Ridge, Fracture, Credit Bend.

• Sector 3 & Deadfall - Banker’s Hole, Chemtown, Warhall, Gaia, St. Sebastians, Black Hill, Trader’s Flat, Diesel Town, Los Alamos.

• Sector 4 - Camp Sagan, Desolation, Post 88, Mercy, Scorcher Base, Redemption, Shackleton.



Vehicles

• The Interceptor Security Model no longer states that it cannot be repaired.

• The Interceptor Security Model now has four inventory slots.



Alpha Fixes


• Added Barter and Utility Vaults to Shackleton.

• Added a Bunker Bar in Shackleton.

• Added a garage near the teleport pod on Alpha Zone's side of the Wall.

• Added barter, sector, and VIP vaults to Blockade.

• Added a mailbox to Blockade.

• Added colorful junk scavenge nodes to Blockade and Alpha Zone.

• Added faction nodes to Blockade.

• Added walls to the central area of Blockade.

• Added a crafting facility to Blockade.

• Added crafting facility signs to all towns with crafting facilities in Alpha Zone.

• Replaced the vault models in Alpha Zone.

• Added repeatable missions to gain faction in each faction town in Alpha Zone.

• Mailbox in Scorcher Base is now working correctly.



PvE Faction

• Repeatable missions have been added to Redemption, Desolation, Camp Sagan, Scorcher Base, Post 88, and Mercy to facilitate players earning faction through PvE.



Art Fixes

• Modeled and textured new building asset for progress town social building.

• Modeled and textured new building asset for progress town crafting building.

• Modeled and textured new building asset for progress town storage building.

• Modeled and textured new oil derrick.

• Updated texture, collision, and pathing on faction control tower for Blockade.

• Added a Bunker Bar to the north eastern corner of Shackelton.

• Fixed a fire particle that was floating near the Shackelton garage.

• Added a Garage to the entrance Lifenet facility in Alpha County.

• Changed splash screen.

• Modeled and textured new building asset for progress town merchant building.



Other

• Players who have left the tutorial will no longer respawn at the LifeNet Pod in the Town Chooser room.

• Adjusted the placement and pathing of the Hulk Troopers to the southwest of Los Alamos.

• Added faction nodes to Fender Gate.

• Added faction nodes to Haietta.

• Fixed an issue where several coyotes were spawning as merchants.

• Added a garage to the LifeNet pod between Reyes Mine and Spider Hill.

• Fixed a stamina issue being caused by Black Velour and Maroon Interceptor.

• Slowing Poisons and Snare Grenades no longer stack, and now correctly trigger That All You Got?!

• Added additional metal scavenge nodes across the Lower Plateau.

• The Omega Arms Asclepius now uses the correct ammunition.

• Kinetic hammer damage has been adjusted to the appropriate level.

• Removed Alpha Instructions 4 and higher from vendors.

• Crude, scrap, average and improved gas masks now as stated only provide poison, acid, radiation and disease resistance.


Besides this, I trust everyone has, by now, merged their accounts to GamersFirst, so I won't harp on that any longer. I think any time a large integration along the lines of what we just did happens it's an inherently confusing process, but it was very heartening to see the vast majority of players did exactly what was asked without any real difficulty; they logged in with their G1 accounts, logged in with their Fallen Earth accounts, confirmed the merge, then logged into the game with their G1 accounts. It was also inspiring to see that the day after the merge -- presumably when, if there were a major issue, logins would be low -- the numbers of total logins and concurrent online players were some of the highest they've been all year. My hat is off to everyone in this process, from the teams here at GamersFirst to all the players for undertaking it. We're all working very hard at all hours of the day and night to make this work, and it's great to see even in the early stages that it's beginning to pay off!

Last bits of business! If you had merged your actively subscribed Fallen Earth account with a GamersFirst account by Friday, August 5th at 11:59 PDT, you will be receiving a small "thanks for merging!" stipend of 320 G1 Credits directly to your account tomorrow.

You may exchange them for such wonderful additions to the Fallen Earth store as the new Flame Pants; alternately, you may save them until something else comes around that you fancy; or you can find people with no G1 Credits and lord your recent windfall over them.

Note that resubscribing, in the case of PayPal and ClickandBuy users, was not necessary to get the free credits. We certainly hope you have--or if you haven't, that you will--but this was just for merging an already active account. Thanks everyone; we know it wasn't super-smooth in every case, so thanks for hanging in there :)

The next blog will be from Marie on the latest State of the Game. It includes some exciting info on what's coming down the pipe from the development team!

Like the patch notes? Like free G1 Credits? Like leaving comments on blogs? Well then you, sir or madam, should leave a comment on this blog.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Accounts Transition Recap

Changing the foundational infrastructure of a live MMO and keeping it operational in the process is a gargantuan undertaking -- some might call us insane for even attempting it! From the beginning, though, we've had no intention of bringing Fallen Earth offline while we update the hardware, software, account system, payment system, and gameplay, so we're moving forward! There are a few outstanding issues that we're tackling left and right, so on behalf of everyone here I'd like to extend a big thank you for your support while we get everything taken care of. If you've been affected in any way, please send an email to support@fallenearth.com. Most problems will be resolved in time without your having to do anything, but we do want to make sure that we're communicating individually together throughout the process to make sure everything works for you.

What's Done So Far:

On Friday we completed the account transition: GamersFirst accounts can now be used to log in to Fallen Earth; new accounts automatically start a 14 day free trial the first time they log in. Pre-existing Fallen Earth accounts can be linked to GamersFirst at a ratio of one GamersFirst account per Fallen Earth account. Having seen the numbers over the weekend, I'm happy to report that the vast majority of players completed this process without incident in just a few seconds, which was our goal. We've noticed that some continued to try to log in with their Fallen Earth account, but once they realized they had to log in with their GamersFirst account things got sorted quickly.

When the merge process launched there was functionality included for correcting a merging mistake; if you, for instance, merged the wrong Fallen Earth account with your GamersFirst account, you could merge a different Fallen Earth account with GamersFirst on top of the old one. We have since discovered that there were far more people trying to merge multiple FE accounts into a single GamersFirst account than were trying to use that functionality for its intended use, so we have disabled it; now it is not possible to merge more than one Fallen Earth account with a GamersFirst account yourself. If you wish to do this, please email support.

On Saturday we brought subscriptions back online, as well as the item marketplace (if it interests you, we also added the new Spirit Mask that you see on the right, as well as the Lightbearer and Traveler T-shirts -- for a limited time only, of course). These can only be purchased with credit cards for the time being, because...

What still needs to be done:
  • PayPal - we're still working to bring PayPal online to use when purchasing or renewing a subscription. ETA is...as soon as possible.
  • Expired accounts - Some accounts are erroneously reporting to be expired. We are fixing these now. If you are experiencing this, do email support.

On a lighter note, have you ever been planking in the wasteland? We have!