Phantasy Star Online 2: New Genesis First Impressions

I’ve been thoroughly enjoying my time in Phantasy Star Online 2: New Genesis this week. Sure, it has it’s issues, lag being the main one, but I’ve played Trove long enough that lag doesn’t bother me as much as it used to. I’ve been eagerly awaiting it’s release since I played the beta and I’ve logged on every day since it’s been out. Something I can’t say often about any game. What makes things even better is that the squad has started playing as well!

After the beta I was torn between a few main classes to play: Fighter, Techer, or Force. I ended up going with Techer as my main class as it has a mix of support, melee, and ranged techniques. I haven’t felt the need to re-roll which is a good sign that I’m enjoying the class. The main mechanic of the class revolves around matching elemental attacks to the enemies weaknesses and throwing out a damage boost/incoming damage reduction buff. I chose Force as my sub class which gave me access to some close range AoE spells and a skill tree to keep my PP (mana) up. So far, I’m really enjoying the playstyle.

I’ve seen a lot of criticism that there isn’t enough content right now which I personally find is a non issue. Jumping in to the original PSO2 last year was a nightmare of menus, systems within systems, and really weird controls. There was a ton of content but so much that I didn’t want to sift through it all. I bounced pretty hard after a week or so. In New Genesis, there’s a lot less going on all the time and I can actually sit down and learn the few systems that are in place. The skill tree isn’t huge and for the most part I understand what each one does and how it would impact my character. The weapon upgrade system has some quirks but is understandable overall. The map is on the small side but the zones are varied enough that I don’t feel like I’m seeing the same things as I go through it.

I’m about 10 hours in and feel like I have a good thing going with this game.

That’s not to say it doesn’t have it’s issues. The lag is the biggest one hands down. Those first few days I couldn’t even follow the people I was playing with around because they’d be rubberbanding all over the place. Menus would take a long time to load. Sometimes, enemies will just stand there and not take any damage until things catch up and they’re just dead. It’s gotten better over the last week but it’s still there.

The other issue I’ve run in to is materials not respawning when the daily quests reset. If you collect too many materials in a zone and tomorrows daily quest happens to be getting those materials in said zone, you’re out of luck. It seems like materials are on a 24 hour timer from when you collect them rather than with the daily reset. This has lead me to not collect resources out in the world until I get the daily quest to do so. I’m hoping this get’s resolved because it’s terrible system when you need those resources to upgrade things.

I’ve also seen reports that there’s a bug that takes large amounts of currency when you teleport with the quick travel system. I personally haven’t experienced it but there’s enough posts on the subreddit about it that I’m constantly checking my in game wallet. The game is a week old though so hopefully all the issues will be ironed out in time.

Overall, I really like this game and hope to be here for a while. Plus it looks gorgeous!

Blogger Succession Game: Operation Blood Fist

I’ve played XCOM 2 before for a brief period of time. A quick look at my old save files says I last played in 2017. I remember enjoying the game and likely fell off of it when something new and shiny came along. Since it had been a while, I started up the tutorial to refamiliarize myself with the controls and mechanics. Feeling confident that I knew how to move, use cover and take shots, I loaded up the succession save.

Operation Blood Fist

Objectives: Avoid destroying critical supplies, Neutralize all enemy targets

The first decision I had to make was who to take with me on this mission. Everyone pre-selected for the mission was already a corporal or seargent so I thought I might take one of our rookies with me. But I vaugely remembered my playthrough from 2017 and seemed to recalled getting a lot of people killed…This being my first mission I thought it safer to bring soilders with some skills rather than subject a Rookie to my playstyle.

So I assembled the Dream Team from Rambling Redshirt’s mission:

  • Corporal Rambling “Ramblin Red” Redshirt
  • Corporal Lizz “Magi” Winterfield
  • Corpral Tessa “Endalia” Hastjarjanto
  • Seargent Easha “Silentdeath” Dustfeather
  • Corporal”Rakuno “Three” Venmuel

The mission started, in the rain, with the squad on top of a hill. There was a derailed train to the north and no enemies in sight. I had Magi scout ahead a bit to see if we could spot some enemies. Not far from our initial landing site, Magi spotted two Advent Solders but was not detected. They moved down the hill towards the train. The rest of the squad followed just out of detection range. Sargent Silentdeath was tasked with flanking around the train.

I had moved Rakuno forward ahead of the rest of the squad behind a tree for full cover. When the enemies moved forward, Rakuno was in the red detection zone but seemingly not spotted. I wasn’t sure how long we’d remain concealed so when Rakuno was up I decided to take a shot. With a 78% chance to hit the shot hit it’s mark and took the first solider out. The second solider moved forward right into Ramblin Red’s overwatch position. The second solider met Ramblin Red’s bullets and is taken out as well.

Again the squad is looking at an empty field and needs to find more enemies. Magi was still up on top of the hill and moved forward in hopes of finding more enemies. More enemies were found….and here’s where I learned an important lesson.

Magi was no longer concealed so the enemies I could see could also see us. Not a huge deal, I thought, as the Viper moved towards Magi. With any luck it would miss it’s shot and we’d take it out next turn.

That was the thought anyway, until it grabbed Magi with it’s tongue and pulled them into a grapple. Now, not only did I have one squad member way behind enemy lines but also in the grips of an alien snake. Yikes!

The mission quickly turned in to Operation: Rescue Magi.

Ramblin Red moved up to positions with full cover and line of sight on the snake. Endalia moved up behind a tree for full cover and in a position to snipe the snake on the next turn. I moved Rakuno up to a position with half cover and a shot on the additional Advent solider.

As it turns out, Sargent Silentdeath was not discovered with the rest of the squad and was still concealed. Silentdeath moved up along the train to flank any other enemies that may have been around. I figured with a shotgun and a blade Silentdeath could probably get out of trouble if they ran in to any.

The next round of combat started with Rakuno taking a 73% shot at the Advent solider. Once again, Rakuno hit’s the mark and obliterates the solider marking kill number two. Magi takes a pretty hefty amount damage from the snake leaving them with 2 health left. The squad needs to take out the Viper this round or risk losing Magi to a sentient reptile.

Ramblin Red is up and even with eyes on the snake only has a 58% shot at it. I had no idea how this would work, I figured there was a very good chance I would miss the snake and possibly hit Magi but it was now or never. The shot was taken and it hits causing the Viper to drop Magi!

Unfortunately, Endalia is a bit too far to make an accurate shot at the snake so it’s all up to an injured Magi now. With Magi and the snake inches from each other, Magi has a 100% shot with the pistol to the Viper, guaranteeing the kill and picking up an Elerium Core in the process.

After the tense round to rescue Magi, the field is clear again. The squad moves closer together to avoid another such situation. Everyone is in good cover but no new enemies have been sited. Silentdeath climbs the train and finds two more enemies. Another advent solider and a Sectoid.

Magi is up and takes a 53% shot at the Sectoid and hits for 6. A good chunk of damage but not enough to down the enemy. The Sectoid induces panic in Ramblin Red but also triggers overwatch for Rakuno which misses the target. Panicked, Ramblin Red fires at the enemy (thankfully not the squad) and misses. The Advent solider moves up and triggers Endalia’s overwatch and suddenly it’s no longer moving at all. The mission ends as Sargent Silentdeath jumps from the train and finishes the Sectoid off with a quick slash.

Promotions

Upon the squads return, I was able to promote Rakuno and Magi to Sargent. For Magi I chose Deadeye – take a small aim penalty for a big damage boost. It seemed like a nice tool for a sniper to have in their kit. For Rakuno I chose Suppression – Pin an enemy down, grants reaction fire if it moves, and it takes a -50 aim penalty.

Sadly, it looks like Magi will be out for at least the next mission.

Research, Engineering, and Scanning

After the mission I went to investigate the Black Market. After a day of scanning the Proving grounds were ready so I headed over there. One of our main objectives was to research the Skulljack and I just so happened to find the Elerium Core it needed on my mission so I got that underway then continued to scan the Black Market. After 2 more days the market was opened and a mission hadn’t popped yet.

I moved down to rescue a special forces solider. We welcomed Klaus Weiss aboard, a sharpshooter already due for a promotion. That’s when the next mission triggered.

Looks like UnwiseOwl over at Leaflocker will be heading up Council Mission: Operation Gasping Shroud.

Here’s the link to the save!

Back to Planet Calypso

I arrived back on Planet Calypso much the same way that I left it the first time. Being ferried by some one else. Except this time it was Greg and not some one my friend paid to pick me up.

Planet Calypso is the largest planet in Entropia Universe. As far as I can tell, the map here is about twice as big as Arkadia or Next Island. It’s also the most popular planet in the game and I believe where it all started. I distinctly remember those “MMOs you should play in (insert year here)” lists always having Planet Calypso and not Entropia Universe listed. There might have been some ads too that said Planet Calypso as well but I’m not quite sure.

The planet also boast the largest economy in the game. Often, I’ve seen suggestions of taking goods from one planet back to Calypso to sell because the market is bigger. A dangerous proposition as Space is an open lootable PVP zone. Go figure….

Like all of the other planets, Calypso has it’s beginner quests that give you free stuff. Guns, mining probes, a healing device. All things I’ve seen before and don’t seem to a lot of use to me now. But in a game such as this one does not forgo free stuff. So I ran around to different NPC’s with the exclamation marks to pick up my free goodies.

I tried to pay attention to the story being told. But honestly, I can’t remember a lick of it. I left off getting something off a beached boat for someone for some reason. I’m usually the read every quest or line of dialoge guy but Entropia’s writing isn’t’ doing it for me. Next time I go back to questing I’ll make an effort to pay more attention. If it’s anything like the last two planets I don’t think I’m missing out on too much. Maybe some fun dialogue here or there. Besides, shooting different shaped, sci-fi, slot machines is the real entertainment here right?

Speaking of hunting, Calypso does have a nice feature of the Codex. The Codex is a little progress bar that fills up depending on how many and what maturity level of mobs you’ve killed. Once a rank has been filled up, you get to choose a reward that is x amount of PED to a skill. This makes targeting skills/professions you want to level up easier. As the rank increases, the amount of mobs needing killed to fill it up increases but so does the reward. This replaces the old iron missions that I saw on Arkadia. I can’t decide if filling up a percentage bar is as satisfying as killing 5000 caraboks but the rewards are certainly better. I’ve been using mine towards the Paramedic Profession so I can use auto loot pills one day.

It’s worth noting that Next Island had this too but I totally forgot to write about it….plus I didn’t have much experience with it there.

We’ve been on Calypso for about a month now but I haven’t been playing nearly as much as I was in March. By far, the most interesting thing we’ve did was a team hunt with eight or so other players.

There was an event running a few weeks ago where Marcimex came to the surface. Typically, these guys are hard to get to and there’s some sort of boss you need to kill before you can get to where they spawn. For this event they were just in a field ready to be shot at. So Greg gathered up his friends list and we went out there with low powered weapons to hunt these things.

The idea is everyone was using weapons that did about the same DPS. Loot in this game is based on damage done so this spreads the loot out evenly. The bigger creatures can lead to bigger drops and you can potentially get more than you would taking one down by yourself. We were out there for a few hours, it was cool seeing other people in the game in a large party setting and we even got a few decent drops. I don’t think it was enough to cover the costs of what was spent (because why would it be?) but it was something a bit different to do.

Entropia’s new game smell and the initial curiosity I had for it is starting to wear off. I find my self logging in on my own less and less. I guess the novelty of it all is wearing off. I feel like I’ve seen a lot of the game in the last 3 months. There’s still pet taming I haven’t tried out yet and two more planets I haven’t visited so there are at least a few more posts to come.

Beta Vibes

I spent some time this weekend in the Phantasy Star Online 2: New Genesis “Closed” Beta. Closed to those, it seems, who were willing to not only install the Xbox Insider App but risk downloading PSO2: NG from the Windows Store again.

It was just around this time last year that I was looking forward to playing PSO2. From the lack of follow up posts, I can tell you I didn’t stick with it very long. I wanted to like the game but I found every time I logged in I was bombarded with information and decisions that had to be made. After a few weeks, I never found my groove with it, uninstalled it, and never came back.

I didn’t have much interest in New Genesis for the longest time either. I thought it was just a re-release of PSO2 with updated graphics. It wasn’t until a few weeks ago that I went back and figured out it was a different game entirely. That intrigued me. And the fact that it was open world instead of lobby based. So I got my Xbox insider app, signed up for the beta, and marked my calendar.

After spending a few hours on Saturday with it I’ll say I’m impressed. New Genesis is the exact kind of Phantasy Start game I want to be playing. The game looks and runs great on my machine. The movement feels almost as good as Warframe. And the open world is giving me a bit of Guild Wars 2 vibes. Most importantly, I felt way less anxious starting this game up than I ever did with PSO2. The little guided quest line was enough to get a feel for the game, a feel for the class, and left me wanting to play more. I wasn’t constantly reading tutorials and having system upon system thrown at me and I appreciated that.

The first character I made was a C.A.S.T. Hunter. I played through the initial quest line with him until I got to the end and was tasked with talking to a bunch of NPC’s for some more side quests. At that point I was around level 10 and had been to enough zones to know that I wanted to continue playing the game but I also wanted to try out the rest of the classes while I could. I didn’t want to spend too much time with it and sate my interest prematurely.

You’re limited to 3 character slots per server but you can buy more. Thankfully, I had 20,000 of the premium currency on my account when I logged in which was plenty to unlock three more slots and create a character for every class. While I enjoyed the Hunter class a big sword seems a bit boring flavor wise for me. My top three classes are Techer, the melee and magic hybrid class, Force, the all magic class, and Fighter, a melee class with fist weapons. Ok, honestly, I just want to be a big robot that punches things with that last one….

Time will tell how much I’ll latch on to New Genesis. My friends are interested which is a huge plus. I’m excited now and I’m hoping that excitement carries into June for the release. Maybe by then I’ll figure out where it stashed my screenshots……

Backlogged: World to the West

Time To Finish: 14.25 hours

I haven’t done one of these in almost a year. Has it really been a year since I beat a single player game? There might have been one last year that I beat and didn’t write about. But yeah, it’s been about a year since I completed a game.

World to the West has been on my to play list for a very long time. I’m not exactly sure how it ended up in my library. A bundle no doubt. I’ve started and stopped it many times and had accumulated 2.5 hours in it according to Steam. But I’ve wanted to sink more time in to it because I there was a lot to like about it. I remember the writing being funny, the graphics were nice and cartoony, and the gameplay was fun. But I never got around to it.

World to the West is the standalone sequel to Teslagrad. I vaguely remember playing Teslagrad as one of my first PS Plus free games many years ago. I had no problem following the story here and actually don’t feel the need to play through Teslagrad after finishing this one.

Now that I’ve gotten around to playing it all the way through I can confidently say “I should have done this sooner!”

Things I Liked:

The Gameplay: Always important to like the gameplay of a game right? There are 4 characters each with their own movement set and each character is needed to progress through the map. I loved finding all the different ways of getting one character from one teleporter to another. I also found that unlocking locations and finding batteries gave me that “one more turn” feel.

Usually, with puzzle games there’s a certain point where they seem to get really complicated. This didn’t happen in World to the West which could be a good or bad thing depending on how you look at it. For me, I felt like there was just enough challenge where it felt good to figure something out but not too much to break the flow of the game.

Overall, I found the gameplay itself totally engaging. I even went through and collected all of the batteries on the map for the achievements. Something I never do!

The Writing: Big props to the writer here for the dialogue alone. There were plenty of times I laughed reading through the dialog in this game. The story itself was pretty straight forward but the way the characters and NPC’s talked to each other made me want to see every conversation.

The Music: Each area of the map has it’s own track. The tracks are long enough between repeats that it doesn’t get annoying to listen to. Which is great considering there are a lot of times I found my self backtracking or getting stuck figuring out an area. I even found myself bouncing along to some of the tracks as I played. I especially like the one that plays in the tavern in Carte Blanche: Ukulele of Time. I went in that tavern just to hear that song anytime I was in town….I’ll probably listen to this entire soundtrack on it’s own a number of times.

Things That Could Have Been Better:

Boss Fights: The only thing I didn’t like about this game were the boss fights. The controls work great for the puzzle/exploration portion of the game but feel clunky when doing the action oriented boss fights. I was playing with a controller and found it hard to aim quickly or get out of the way when I needed to. Because of this, I had to repeart fights 3-4 times before I understood what I was suppose to do and do it quick enough to beat the encounter. It really put a stop in the flow of the game every time one came up.

GTFO: Saying Goodbye to Rundown 4

I haven’t written about GTFO since *checks notes* November. That was around the time that Rundown 4 came out and we rejoiced with the addition of difficulty tiers for each mission. I even went as far as to say we might make it to the bottom this time.

That did not happen.

We did make it farther than the last few rundowns ending up in Tier C. Every mission on this tier features some sort of boss creature at the end. We just weren’t prepared for that. We had a few runs that got us to the boss chamber but we never could quite finish the missions off on any difficulty. At least we got to see them!

As a group, we saw our most improvement in this rundown. We learned how to clear rooms quickly without waking them up which lead to shorter runs. A shorter run makes things more enjoyable as we got to the fun part of alarm doors quicker. Don’t get me wrong, it still took us at least an hour and a half to clear a mission but we got it down from 2 hours. We also dropped the Bio Tracker in favor of an extra turret. While it’s helpful to get a rough estimate of how many sleepers are in a room or where a scout is, we found the extra firepower more helpful.

Last night, we did some practice runs on harder missions in preparation for the next rundown. Greg and I got pretty far in C2 “Pabulum” with just the two of us. We made it all the way to the boss door but weren’t preprepared for an alarm on the door.

We did a few more runs of other missions but took them way less seriously. It gave us the opportunity to try out some weapons we hadn’t used all rundown. For the majority of this rundown, I’ve been using the Assult Rifle and combat shotgun and didn’t really try any of the other weapons. It turns out, the Hel Revolver was really fun to use last night. I’ll definitely do some early experimentation with all the weapons in Rundown 5 this time around.

This is one of the more intriguing notes about the upcoming rundown:

System Updates – This is a major feature that we’ve been working hard on. A lot of progress has been made and so far is coming along well. The goal with this feature is to give you more reasons to play, and change up the gameplay a bit, even if when you die!

I’m interested to see what additional reasons they’ll be adding to play even when you die. My guess is some sort of cosmetics. I’ll suffer through just about anything to get a cool hat or weapon skin….But there’s also the bit about changing up the gameplay. I have no thoughts on what this could mean but if I’ve learned anything from GTFO it’s that things can always get more difficult….

Rundown 5 releases April 29th. I’ll let you know how it goes!

Next Island and Ancient Greece

This is the second post attempting to sum up everything I’ve done in Entropia since March.

Next Island was our next stop on the tour of Entropia Universe. There awaited beaches, roving hordes of monkeys, and the end of my mentoring. This is where most of April was spent.

Next Island was a colony set up to be a utopia built on science and reason. Separate from Earth and far away from all of it’s problems. A colony ship was sent, and this “First Wave” was sent with a bunch of robots to help set up the colony. The second wave was suppose to bring more people. They never came and the robots went about building anyway.

First off, I want to say that the writing on Next Island is much better than Arkadia. The quests have some humor to them and there’s a lot more exposition to set up the planet. Some time’s there’s too much but overall it’s a much better written set of quests. My favorite of which is Helen’s Super Epic Hunting Adventure.

Go forth and kill 10 boar. No! That’s way too easy! Go forth and kill 25 boar! No! There’s nothing epic about that! Kill 25 boar and 17 papoo! But not the smart talking papoo like Sebastian, of course.

Go forth and slay 63 Mutant Boar and 63 dumb papoo! And by dumb I mean mute because it’s rude to judge the intelligence of a creature you can’t even talk to. 

Helen Venture

Words to live by for sure.

Next Island’s native wildlife include mostly, you guessed it, Papoos and Boars. There’s Red Papoos, and Yellow Papoos, and Grey Papoos. And then there’s village boars, mutant boars, sand boars…ect.

But then there’s also GIANT elemental drakes and snakes. So you get some variety.

Next Island has a bunch of different wave events. Once you walk in to the area the wave event starts and you better hope you have enough ammo to get through it. It spawns ever increasing amounts of creatures at various levels. You would think this would culminate in a boss fight but we only found one wave event with an actual boss. The rest just kind of ended. Pretty anti-climatic.

I watched Greg lose 100 PED killing these birds….

The issue for me with Next Island is there wasn’t really much I could do at my level. Mobs that I can kill on my own either take to many shots for the loot they give or don’t have good enough spawns to make hunting there enjoyable. I think once I have some more levels on me, Greg and I could come back here for sure. I also noticed a decent size community here. I even logged on one weekend to see a giant Hide and Seek community run event going on in chat.

Ancient Greece

Ancient Greece is a sub area on Next Island that can be accessed by a teleporter in Orpheus Cave. Much like Next Island, it doesn’t feature a whole lot to do for a player at my level but it does feature some pretty landscapes and cities. With Greg along, I did get to see some of the native wild life. Mainly, Cyclops and Minotaurs.

We didn’t stick in Ancient Greece long but we did stay long enough to grab a few teleporters if we wanted to visit again. I also ran a quest chain which gave me a nice beginner unlimited sword for when I want to train melee.

Finishing Mentoring

The whole reason we came to Next Island this early was for me to get the Atlas armor when I finished the Mentoring program. When we arrived I was at about 95% completed so I just needed to get out there and hunt for a bit to fil it up . It was a bit slow to fill since the aforementioned level problems for me here but I did manage to fill it up after a few Papoo hunts.

When you’re ready to graduate there’s a button you have to press on the mentoring menu. The mentor then has to log in to approve it and once approved both parties get their rewards. The rewards for the disciples are much better than for the mentors. I think that’s to encourage new players to link up with old ones when starting out.

Like everything in this game so far nothing goes right the first time. I clicked my button, Greg approved it, I saw a nice flashy congratulations animation. I opened my inventory to find….a Pixie Armor set….That’s the set you get if you finish mentoring on Calypso and it looks terrible. Apparently this happens so often there’s forum posts about it dating back years. .

So I did something I’ve never had to do in an online game before: I put in a support ticket. Which was an adventure all on it’s own. I was descriptive as can be and armed with screenshots and time stamps. Only to get through the whole thing only to be told there was an error and to contact support….Attempt number two went through though adnd 3 days later my garish Pixie armor was replaced with my sleek Atlas Armor

Yay!

Leaving Arkadia for the Moon

Since it’s been a bit since my last Entropia post I’m going to try and summarize the events of the last month in two posts. This is the first.

The whole reason we started on Arkadia was to fill up the Mentoring experience as quickly as possible. The rewards are too good to pass up: an armor set with some nice stats and a vehicle. The mentor doesn’t get much, I think Greg got some gloves or something.

Once my mentoring experience was around 95% we planned to leave Arkadia behind and go over to the planet of Next Island. So when I completed my mentoring I would get the reward armor from Next Island. I thought the Atlas armor looked the coolest.

Once I was around 93% we left the Carabok fields and headed over to Akaas so Greg could show me instances. With instances, instead of killing mobs outside, you get to kill mobs inside. And for that privilege you need to craft/buy a key to enter the instance. Luckily, it’s only one key per person.

Oh, and you also enter the area through the head a giant snake.

As with most things in Entropia, it’s not exactly user friendly to get in there. Greg and I spent a good 20 minutes trying to figure out how to start the thing. It involves talking to NPCs and then a door in the correct order otherwise you get a 2 minute loading screen that can’t be closed out of until it fails to load anything….

Once inside, the structure of the instance is kill creatures in the room to unlock the next room. After a certain amount of rooms you go down a level. Lather, rinse, repeat until you get to the ground floor with the big boss! Kill the boss, open the chests and leave. It’s basically a dungeon.

The levels of the mobs and the density of them increase depending on the level of instance door you open. What makes instances different is the monsters don’t drop any loot. All of the loot is given at the end. I believe the split is based on damage dealt. I assume so anyways, There’s a nice little score board that tells you how much damage each player in the instance is doing. So it’s either there for that or just so you can yell at your friends for not pulling their weight.

The highest we went was the Akaas 3 door. That one was rough for me since I couldn’t do enough damage to clear out mobs fast on my own. Greg definitely carried me through that one. I did end up looting an actual item from the chest that run: a mind force chip worth about 12 PED. I got lucky though for doing so little damage over all.

After finishing up the Akaas instances we headed off to the Arkadian Underground to take a look and the mobs there and run some different instances. These instances were much the same as the Akaas instances but they had cool Sci-Fi tunnels. They were also a lot shorter, taking about 5 minutes to complete.

We also took a look at some of the mobs in the Underground. I have to hand it to Entropia, it has some of the most interesting creatures.

Like this one:

And this one

The Underground was our last activity on Arkadia. We got is Greg’s ship and flew to the Arkadia Moon. Which really didn’t have a lot to do. There were some creatures we could hunt but weren’t really worth it. There’s also a daily quest there which awards 2 PED of universal ammo. That’s not a ton but it’s something.

The daily also awards pieces to a Hazmat suit. The way you get the quest to even start this is talking to an NPC choosing a very specific set of conversation topics before he let’s you start it. This quest has to be run 18 days in a row to get the full hazmat suit. I ran it once and that was enough for me.

This is the most exciting thing I did on the Arkadia Moon

We didn’t stay there long before leaving for a Next Island. Where my mentoring armor awaits me!

Eight Thousand Caraboks

This is a Carabok.

For the last two weeks, when I’m not out and about with Greg, you can find me in the carabok fields outside of Celeste Quarry. There, the caraboks spawn in the hundreds, as far as the draw distance can display.

The caraboks are small, defeneless creatures, with 10hp. But they’re also level 4 which makes them great for leveling skills on the cheap. And right now, leveling skills is my top priority.

As far as I can tell, skills experience is rewarded sometimes on hit but always on a kill and they’re awarded semi randomly. Based on the weapon used, there’s a pool of skills that can gain xp. These assortment of skills in turn level up Professions which are sort of like classes but are mostly just more skills.

For example hunting with a laser rifle will guve xp for skills related to the laser rifle and hunting. Once enough points are obtained in those skills The professions related to laser rifle hit and damage will level up. But there are also skills shared by various professions so sometimes I’ll see a BLP weapon profession level up without every using that weapon type. The Profession levels seem more important than the individual skills as they determine what equipment can be used effectively.

At this time, Planet Arkadia still has the classic Entropia missions. These ask you to hunt x number of creatures. Once turned in, they award skill points and offer the next tier of the mission which is to kill more of that creature.

The carabok started out with a mission to kill 75, then 400, then 5000….and now I’m here on the kill 10000 missions with 3,000 more hunted.

I know the spawns, I know where to look for more when there are too many people on my ureent hunting ground, I can spot a carabok from a mile away.

I’ve become one with the carabok.

EU: Space Taxis and Sweat Sellers

For the past few weeks Greg has been planning the best way to introduce me to Entropia Universe. I made sure I followed his instructions to the T. I set up my account, downloaded the launcher, downloaded the correct planet data, and made sure I could actually log in, and purchased the Starter Gold Pack. All of this had to be ironed before hand out since we were going to stream the whole thing.

The plan was to start on Planet Arkadia because Greg thought it was the planet with the best new player experience. There’s a nice quest chain that takes the player around the map and teaches the basic mechanics of the game. It also rewards a hoverpod (pictured above) to drive around. It also has some good skilling spots which would be beneficial after I ran the opening quest line.

Things didn’t exactly go as planned.

The first sign of trouble was immediately out of character creation. I had entered into Genesis, the tutorial zone for Planet Calypso, not Planet Arkadia. We thought I might need to get through this basic tutorial and at some point I would be able choose what planet I wanted to start on. So I went about doing various tasks: learning how to use my weapon, learning how to mine, learning how to interact with the world and how to spawn a vehicle.

Mostly, I learned how to navigate the obtuse UI. The normal key mappings are there: J for quest Journal, M for Map, I for inventory. There’s also an Action library that lists all of the actions available in the game. These are buttons ranging from emotes to system preferences all in one long list. At least it’s searchable.

Each action can be placed on the screen too quicker access. There isn’t a typical hot bar but these icons can be moved around like desktop icons. F10 also brings up a keyboard lay out to map icons to keys. It’s a bizarre layout, probably due to it’s age, but now that I’ve played with it for a few days it’s not so bad. The one nice thing about the UI is that every window can be moved around. I haven’t quite figured out if it can be resized though.

Once I reached the end of Genesis I frantically looked around for a way to start on my preferred planet. We traveled over to the wiki which clearly showed there should be some teleporters around to choose a spawn. The wiki must have been out of date because there were no teleporters to be found. So hoping for the best I talked to the NPC to take me out of Genesis thinking I might get a choice right at the end.

I was deposited straight on to Planet Calypso and Camp Icarus. A literal world away from my friend. What had happened was that I was suppose to download the launcher from Planet Arkadia’s website instead of the Entropia Universe website. I was also suppose to make an account over there as well in order to start on the planet. I still don’t quite understand why but that turned out to be what the problem was.

But for the time being we had to solve the problem of getting me off of Calypso and on to Arkadia. And this is where I got my first introductions to warps.

From my understanding, players own ships that can travel real fast between planets and they sell this service to other players. Space can be traversed by smaller and slower craft but since we were streaming we didn’t have time to wait for an hour an a half one way for Greg to come pick me up. Before I knew it I was getting a private message from a pilot who would come pick me up in 5 minutes. Fresh out of the tutorial, I had no idea what to expect but I kept getting messages about how it would all work. I would be summoned to the ship, we would be making a stop at another planter, Toulan, and then I would be brought to Arkadia Space station for Greg to pick me up. Space is also a PVP zone so it was recommended to log out if I had tradable items on me during travel. 10 minutes later, I was in Arkadia Space station and it only cost Greg the price of a small cup of coffee.

So now I’m in the correct place, on the correct planet, with the guy who’s going to show me around the game. So far so good. I get in Greg’s little flying vehicle and we make the short journey from the space station to the planet itself. Once there, we land at the Arkadia Welcome Center and I make my way to the NPC to start the starter quest chain. There’s just one small problem, he won’t talk to me. He tells me I’m not a citizen of Arkadia and will need to talk to the passport Official next to him. The passport official tells me I’m not a citizen either and won’t issue me a passport either. Well he will, but I have to pay him a bribe of ten thousand bottles of sweat…..oh boy.

At this point Greg’s reaching out to his various contacts to see what we’re doing wrong. What was suppose to be a 15 minute tutorial has turned in to 2 hours. Eventually, we arrive on the answer, we need the passport to start the quest chain. And so the hunt for a sweat seller commences.

Lucky for us, sweat is plentiful as it’s the main resources people who want to play for free collect to sell. The general consensus is it costs more money in electricity to run your computer than you would make sweating monsters. But people do it any way. In fact, the first time I had ever seen Entropia Universe was years ago when Greg was AFK sweating on his laptop while we were playing some other game…it did not look appealing at the time. So of course, it would all come full circle and back to sweat to get this adventure started.

We found a sweat circle in all of it’s glory at Celeste Outpost. In about 5 minutes Greg was able to rustle up a seller. Finally, after about 4 hours I was able to start the quest chain on Arkadia, got my hoverpod, and actually started going through what Greg thought would be a good introduction to the game.

I can’t think of a better introduction to a game than what it took us to get to that point!