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Discussion in 'Entropia Universe in the Press' started by NotAdmin, Jul 22, 2013.
This is the excerpt currently showing in my Google News feed for this article:
Yep read this. Not sure what I think about it... I think I will re-read it again. Thanks for the link. :)
its a big wall of text...bad formatting also makes it hard to read
Entropia Universe is the most lucrative game you've never heard of.
by Karol Sultanescu on 19th Jul, 2013
Entropia Universe is a beast of a game that many people don't know anything about. That aspect has always struck me as odd, as the game is now more than 10 years old and has gone through a multitude of updates and even an entire engine change. The game has also won three Guinness World Records for the most expensive virtual objects ever sold. Despite this, the player numbers are on the low side.
We sit down with experienced player "John Freelancer Smith" to find out how to better acclimate to the unique environment of Entropia.
Karol Sultanescu: What is Entropia Universe, what is it that makes it special?
John Freelancer Smith: There would be a lot to say about how many things a new player sees in this game. It’s a crazy game. A long-term game. An MMORPG with a 10-year lifespan, it’s clear it is a game where various stuff happens. Avatar professions have to be varied, because nobody can play for 10 years using their same avatar for so long practicing the same profession all the time. The player has 87 professions at his disposal, all of which can be found in the profession list. These professions come up in the 3 main areas of the game activities: hunting/mining/crafting.
I, for instance, am a hunter and spend most of my time hunting. Alongside these three main ways to play the game, the game permits other such professions, like trader/sweater/taxi driver/healer and so on. All of these secondary professions you can do are just ways of earning money in the game, except for healing, which is based on avatar skills and doesn’t directly earn anything. The same thing can be said about space pirates and planetside PVP zones. Yes, you can do those. The PVP zones have different rules from location to location, but I won’t detail that here.
On first look, the game tempts you from two points of view. It is a free-to-play game and it directly seeds the idea that you can earn money just like in real life, as long as you’re moderate and you pay attention to all details presented to you. As soon as you run the game, you’re bombarded by the messages in the main chat where you can see all the prizes other players like you have won. This will make intrigue you and work your psyche at the same time. You immediately start asking yourself questions about what you need to do to start winning just like they do.
It’s a game created to bring together players of all kinds of ages, from different real world social layers, in the same virtual environment. Of course, there are rules that apply in the case of minors which protect them from losing large sums of money, since they cannot deposit any money without a parent’s consent. What I can tell you about this game, however, is that the sums circulated in the virtual environment of this game are impressive compared to other games, and this shocks any player, experienced or not. You hear about all kinds of players who have gotten rich playing Entropia, and this seems extremely hard to start with, since a newbie’s life who doesn’t deposit any money has a limited set of things he can do. The game doesn’t however limit your right of trying to survive as much as possible without spending any real life money until you are completely sure you know what you are going to do with them.
The way you start your virtual life in this game is very important. You start by creating your avatar, setting up all the different parameters, like size, how you want it to look, name, sex and so on. While this aspect is seen as normal in other games, appearances are important in Entropia because of the real money transactions going on.
Also important is how much information you are willing to research as a new player about the game, because you find out what deserves attention in the game. EU offers your avatar a great deal of progression potential when talking about skills and professions. But the duration it takes to obtain these skills are directly proportional with how much you practice the professions during your play time, as well as the money you possess and how you use them.
As a beginner, you realize from the get-go that this is a game for real players. A game for people who pay a lot of attention to detail. EU is the game in which you can always become a partner of the developers, from being a player. They offer you the right of possessing property, territory, stores, apartments, even home planet stock. Prices are sometimes dazzling, but for whoever has a good grasp of their resources, Entropia offers the tools necessary for the development of a real business.
The EU stock market is very well designed and intensively used by players, respecting many of the real stock market principles. Stocks have a very important role because it really offers the chance for a player to “play” the game when they aren’t playing, receiving part of all the sums transacted as any real company stockholder. The more stocks held, the more cash you get on a weekly basis. Up until now the stock exchange has been rising continually and I can say that the revenue is considered by many players as being better than the interest obtained from a bank in the real world.
There’s so many things to talk about in the game that I don’t even know what else to mention.
If you’re a player and you want to find a game you can play for years without getting bored and feeling like you’re playing something redundant, then EU is your game. Through the way it is created, it gives everybody a chance to play it. The competition lasts as long as you offer competition, and you decide what league you want to play in. You can be a freelancer, you can be a member in a society, you can even found one. You can hunt as a team. You can be a spaceship pilot, gunner, repair crew or even captain. EU offers the ability to play as a team in motherships or fregates, in which every avatar can have its own role. Space is a madness [sic] that every player needs to try.
It’s an MMORPG which has the advantage of being Free-to-Play. It offers the benefit of being in contact with the developer through social communication channels. It benefits of dedicated forums in which experimented users give you precious information, and this is very useful for MMOs that don’t offer you as much information from the beginning of the game.
The ability of putting money in the game and taking money out of the game.
KS: What drew you to it? What was the hook?
JFS: A RL friend of mine told me about the game. I started to play and was instantly attracted by its magnitude.The planets all show a huge universe, there’s a ton to explore. Everything is made to last a long time. For many people the time it takes to grow a character can be discouraging, since many people want to join the ranks of the ubers very quickly. (Interviewer’s Note: the Ubers are the very high-level players who’ve played the game for many years and invested a lot of money to grow their avatars. Because of the time and monetary investment, reaching their level is very expensive)
You can get there quickly only if you can afford buying skills, but they cost a hell of a lot and don’t offer you the same satisfaction. You would start off with a huge amount of money lost and the game may show you that you aren’t made to play it for long enough for the initial investment to be worth the money. The fact that you have a multitude of missions that offer skills at their completion is a good thing. Truth is most players don’t enjoy the missions very much because their story just doesn’t say much. Everybody just does them for the reward at the end, and this seems like a negative point to me.
Otherwise, the game experience is impressive. The universe is futuristic and sends you into a future in which people conquer and colonize other planets, have special abilities and use sophisticated equipment which helps them keep the economy on its feet. What makes the game be so complex and almost complete is the multitude of things you can do.
Socializing and events are another important side of the game. Being a game for people who research forums and think a lot before undertaking a costly activity, you start creating bonds with people over long periods of time (years), people from everywhere, and you will enjoy your time with them even without actually doing anything. The parties in the game, the radios that some players have made for other players, everything makes EU a wonderful game. Many times you might get pissed off, but overall the game offers you a nice way to spend your time meeting smart, educated people. The illusion of money motivates some while demoralizing others. It’s truly an entropy. It’s a game that closely emulates the way in which people struggle to survive in real life.
KS: How long have you been playing?
JFS: I created my avatar back in 2007. Been playing for a year, then I took a longer break, until 2010, when I got back and continued my adventure in EU. The interesting thing is that it took me a very short time to acclimate to the new version of the game (Interviewer’s Note: EU changed their engine to the CryEngine 2 in 2009). There were SUVs, VTOLs, the prices of items changed a little bit, and it was the time when people were used to constantly fly their own ship on an asteroid to hunt or mine. Initially, there was a single planet, the asteroid and other planets as well as the idea of the space between them coming later.
KS: What is it that kept you playing for so long?
JFS: The fact that the main idea of the game hasn’t changed. There are important changes sometimes, but they haven’t disappointed me so far. I’m still hoping for an engine update to the CryEngine 3 and the fixing of some annoying bugs, but this doesn’t annoy me enough to put me off.
KS: How would you describe your character's evolution in the game over the years you've played it?
JFS: This is the most painful subject of every player - the fact that the avatar is difficult to grow and the drop rate of important items is very low. But it’s a game you play for years. What would a market flooded with very good items and constant finds mean when it can take you upwards of two years to close a challenge mission in this game?
Here’s where I can tell any new player something: the hardships he encounters, we all have encountered. I’m not an uber player, I’m just a player of medium skills, even lower than medium. But I know what the idea of quitting when you’ve just begun means, and I know what disappointment feels like in this game. Everything feels very hard to do at first, you almost don’t understand why all the achievements are so hard to obtain. That’s why I spur all players to find themselves a mentor in the game. This is possible within the game and is called just that - a disciple-mentor relationship.
Ask as much as possible and find out as many answers to your questions as you are able from your mentor and more experienced players. Read the forums of the game and try not to throw yourselves into suppositions about the game thinking you know everything in the first month. Put value into all information you find out from experienced players and don’t give up. It’s easy to play other, more popular, games in which reaching the endgame and becoming an uber doesn’t take much effort nor time. It’s hard to resist in a game which really puts your capacity of survival in a virtual world to the test. The player’s satisfaction is unimaginable when he finds a rare item, or when his loot is consistently high and full of desired items.
K: How hard is it to break into the in-game industry and actually earn something? The game is 10 years old, the barrier of entry has to be hard, right?
JFS: It’s like RL. When you are a kid, all you do is watch and learn. As you grow, you start to see different aspects in life. Usually this kind of view applies to many games, but this game has a lot more to show when it comes to this.
At first everything feels insurmountably difficult to do. After about a year, everything becomes a competition. You’re constantly competing with yourself. You’ll always set your aim higher. You have to stay determined to play at least a month. It takes time to adapt to the game’s rules, but once learned, everything will feel easy to interpret. Anyway, communication and the role of the mentor are important.
K: What should be improved at this point?
JFS: It should be easier on a new player. I don’t know if the developers of the game take this into account or simply want to keep the game for the people who really want a complete and complex game with a significantly higher difficulty level than most other games of its type currently found on the market. There’s a series of bugs which really piss some players off and MindArk doesn’t seem to show much interest in them yet.
A lot of the time, the reaction speed of the developers is delayed when it comes to remedying some problems. The time it takes to solve problems raised by players towards the support team is rather long. I haven’t raised many cases, but a lot of people are complaining about it. I like the game and frankly I generally take the game as it is, letting other people worry about what is wrong with it. The game has pleasantly surprised me from many points of view and I can say that when I lose money, while I’m not happy, it’s easy to accept it.
I don’t know if it’s proper to easily accept the rigidity of the game’s system, I don’t even want to think about the fact that I’m a sheep following the herd. I try to find the good parts of the game, noting when something is wrong, but without making an obsession of constantly seeing the mistakes. It’s a game with a real economy. The important systems of economy/security/money are functional and haven’t offered nasty surprises to players. Overall, this game is the best MMORPG for a long-term player who desires ample involvement in a game which offers satisfaction but also a long waiting time until the noob emblem disappears from your avatar.
K: Thank you for your time, John.
You can join the Entropia Universe at http://www.entropiauniverse.com/. Ask for John. He’ll see you through.
After reading the interview it reminded me of these :
No hard feelings please, just trying to bring some humor! :)