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The Wolf reviews: Entropia Universe

I've played the game for some time now. I found it a little difficult to get by in the beginning, but now it's very addictive, especially now that I don't have to deposit quite so often. Don't believe the bad press surrounding Entropia Universe, some of it's been generated by EU's rivals and by players who didn't play smart.

What is Entropia Universe?

In short, Entropia Universe is a massive virtual universe with a real cash economy, provided by swedish developer MindArk. Think of it as Second Life and World of Warcraft combined, with elements from other games thrown in for effect. Being a real cash economy, you need to purchase game credits, or PED (Project Entropia Dollars) with real cash, but there are opportunities to make money in other ways, such as via Trade. The assets you acquire can then be exchanged back into real world funds.

What is Entropia Universe about?

Well the planet Calypso is being repopulated by earth's Federal Empire after the horrible robot wars, which resulted in humans winning, but at great cost... Many died but countless others were mutated into many strange forms by the radiation, which was caused by the robots contaminating Calypso's Biosphere... The radioactive mutants still haunt calypso to this day, and bots still come in stealth ships to steal Calypso's resources...



Together with people you meet online from all over the globe you experience adventure, you form societies, and you are a part in the creation of a brand new world.

Audio:

The music in the game is a little repetitive if you've been playing for a while. But there are some really nice music tracks in the selection and more are added every so often. The animal sounds are fine and there's not much I dislike about them, though some are annoying, but that's to be expected I suppose.

Ability to turn down the volume of the various ads is a nice ingame feature. Turning down the volume does not seem to affect the loots.

total: 7.5 (Good)

Graphics:

My original impressions were "what the?" as the graphics at the time were awful, they just didn't seem right... But the graphics are better then when I started back in February. I have it on good authority that graphics overall should improve once again mid 2008/early 2009 when CryENGINE is scheduled to be integrated.

No bloom and/or HDR lighting... Why oh why?

Not enough options to do with graphics.

total: 4.5 (Below Average)

Gameplay:

A fair bit of grinding and repetitive action, like the hit World of Warcraft, which is not entirely a bad thing. The community in Entropia is generally helpful and friendly.

Relies too heavily on the player base to make events, Ones made by MindArk have the same kind of theme (ie. Mass mob spawn @ X location).

Skills don't seem to mean much and it takes too much money and time to get the highest skills, but on the plus side you can buy and sell your skills, which you cannot do in WoW.

May be difficult for newer players to get into the game, due to the fact it could take hours/days/weeks to gather sweat for enough money to get far in the game if new players aren't willing to deposit.

There are no strict levels in Entropia Universe, players could become whatever they wanted to be. What the player does is only limited by the PED (Project Entropia Dollar, the currency in Entropia Universe. The name is a relic of the days of Project Entropia) card at the end of the day.

You don't need to deposit 100US a month to be happy, It's very possible get by with far less than that... I will tell you though that you should be ready to spend a little money, otherwise it will be a drag and a grind for a long time while you work for hours just to get a few pennies from players that were willing to deposit into the game...



total: 5.5 (Average)

Value:

You can get a fair bit of bang for your buck if you play smart. You are not, I repeat, NOT going to beat Neverdie if you constantly waste PEDs . You really do have to watch your money. After all it's a Real Cash Economy and works similar to the real world one.

It can be quite addictive, so there is some replay ability there.

total: 5.5 (Average)

OVERALL RATING: 6.25 (Above Average)

Difficulty: Hard to Just Right

Learning Curve: 4 or more hours

Play Time: 600 hours total

 

Sick of playing Entropia Universe? Want to quit, but don't want your hard earned money to vanish? Give your items to ME :-)

Comments

  • AlphaGeekAlphaGeek Member Posts: 190

    Nice review, thanks!

    Alpha AG Geek
    Founder- Manticore Society

  • MegaDragonMegaDragon Member Posts: 10

    Pretty misinformative review.

    Entropia Universe is a game where you invest real life money for virtual items.  Technically, you can start off without investing any real life $ into it, but you'll have to act as a chinese sweat farmer to do so. And I am being totally, 100% serious.

    IE: You start off with a skill called "Sweating" -- you walk out into the field and use this skill on monsters, and collect sweat off of their bodies, and resell the sweat to other players for less than Pennies in real life. You see, it doesn't sound that bad, but the skill has a Very High Chance to fail--even at the highest level. And the skill ranges from 8~15 seconds to finish...so...it's TEDIOUS AS HELL.

    After 3~5 days of sweating monsters, you should accumulate enough PEDS (Project Entropia Dollars) to buy a weapon. (NOTE: Each time you fire/use your weapon, you will lose durability on it. Buying the durability back--at 0 durability--is equivalent to 1/2 the weapon's retail value.) Also, add in the value of BUYING BULLETS FOR YOUR GUN, if you are using a gun, and realize that you are always going to be losing money. Basically, hunting in Entropia is like wasting real money. It will take years to build your character's skills up high enough to hunt any monster that would even remotely drop an item of greater value than the weapon's durability and bullets and medicinal kits and armor that you spend in battle.

    This game is a gigantic gamble--or possibly even worse than a gamble--because the company has full control over the drop system.

    And even mentioning the legendary character "Neverdie" and beating him is complete bullcrap. He GAMBLED 100,000 USD on the game, and managed to come out on top.Wanna gamble? Be my guest. But you'd probably have a better and MUCH FASTER chance of getting paid by going to a real casino and playing the slot machine. You'd generally be investing just as much money into it, but get faster results.

    As for the music in the game... it's alright. Nothing great, but not bad either. I'd probably place my own mp3's in the game's music folder and listen to my own music....

    The graphics system was supposedly going to be upgraded to the Cry Engine 2, and make the game look super good. But this was announced almost a year ago, and so far it hasn't happened yet. I smell bullshit. 

     

    YOU SEE, the further you go into the game, the more you'll have to spend. Stronger weapons cost more money. Better armor costs more money. Better med kits cost more money. You even need stronger bullets for your stronger weapons. I mean, the spending never ends. To progress, you must invest your own money. Where's the fun in that?

     

    AND THERE'S ALMOST NO CHANCE THAT YOU'LL GET A DROP THAT WILL AMOUNT TO WHAT 

    YOU'VE SPENT ON THAT HUNT.

    The game is a gigantic, crappy, steaming pile of gamble garbage.

     

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The above review is the scenario that you will most likely experience out of Project Entropia/Entropia Universe/Planet Calypso. This game has limited redeeming qualities, and what rakes people into the game is the promises of riches and fortune if you play it. Only suckers would invest their hard earned money into this game.

  • Nytewolf2k7Nytewolf2k7 Member Posts: 181

    Hence why I rated the game low, 6.5 isn't exactly good, above average yes.

    Sick of playing Entropia Universe? Want to quit, but don't want your hard earned money to vanish? Give your items to ME :-)

  • AlphaGeekAlphaGeek Member Posts: 190

    Granted, getting free stuff in EU costs time. There is a reason for that though. The items you aquire  in game have RL value and can be transferred out of the game should you decide to quit for good.

    Now compare some of the other games that  have start up fees or box sets... lets  see...

    Star Wars Galaxies-    14.99

    Tabula Rasa-           49.99

    Ultima Online-         29.99

    Asherons Call-         19.95

    City of Heroes-        19.95

    Dungeons & Dragons-    29.95

    Everquest II-          19.95

    Final Fantasy IX-      19.99

    LOTR-                  49.99

    WOW-                   19.99

     

    That's what starter kits for games that offer them cost. As I've illustrated in another posting here, those same funds will but you a basic set of armor, a weapon, a FAP (First Aid) and a fair chunk of change in your pocket for ammo and walking around money. I'm sure some of those also have free download clients, but the RCE nature of Entropia makes it difficult to give every new account something with value. There would be streams of noob accounts every day, ammassing freebies to cash out, sucking loot from legitimate players and cash from MA's corporate bottom line. You have to admit, that'd be no way to run a railroad.

    If you're really adamant about spending no money to try Entropia, you can try sweating or fruit & dung gathering.  That being said, sweating is a hard row to hoe, and most seasoned  players will recommend putting 10 or 15 USD in to get equipped. Depositing beyond that is up to you, but it will make the early days of gameplay on Calypso much easier and more like the traditional MMORPGS that most folks try to keep comparing Entropia to.

    About getting your money OUT of the game: The cash card system as advertised is currently non-existant, and the players ride MA's ass about that weekly. There is however, withdrawal to your bank account. The minimum amount that MA will initiate a transfer for is 100 USD, so if your total expenditure in the game is less than that you can kiss it byebye. If you have more that that much stuff to liquidate in game, Mindark will send you the funds. I don't know of too many other MMORPGS where the company itself will hand you your money back.

    Before you start going screaming "fanboi" at me, let me introduce myself.  I'm the guy that 2 years ago attempted to organize an in-game strike over extreme movement bugs in what was then called "Project Entropia".  The result of that was that I was temporarily banned from the game. There was in-game backlash, and I was sent several screenies of teams getting globals under the name "Free AlphaGeek!"

    My account was restored. A couple of patches later, the movement problems were corrected. Since that time, I've been a regular depositor and continue playing Entropia.  I like the game enough to pay for it.

    I've had some issues with the way MA does things. I still do to some degree. Things like the ATM card really piss me off.

     

    To the plus, MA has recently put the game that was called "Project Entropia" under a seperate subsidiary company, First Planet. MindArk will continue working with First Planet and other companies as the platform developer, and the partner companies will develop their own content on that platform for their own planets.  The person MA gave the helm of First Planet to is Marco Berhmann, MA's former community relations person, and a game developer in his own right.

    While First Planet is still  getting its feet under it, I'm rather optimistic about this change, as it has a gamer in charge. That's something Entropia has never really had before.

     

    So yeah. Sweating is hard, just like getting free money in RL is hard.  Skilling is hard too, because the equipment and even the skills themselves can add up to a tidy sum. If you amass enough and want to quit, you get your money back. Entropia is different, and that's probably why I like it. 

    Because of the RCE difference, there simply isn't an easy apples and apples comparison to make between EU and traditional mmorpgs. I will say it beats the pants off of Meridian 59, which I beta tested!

    AG

    Alpha AG Geek
    Founder- Manticore Society

  • Nytewolf2k7Nytewolf2k7 Member Posts: 181

    I'd love to jump in the game again, one day, but the fun just isn't there, I'd be lying to myself if I went back...

    I'm now having more fun in Neocron Especially since its technically free now

     

    Sick of playing Entropia Universe? Want to quit, but don't want your hard earned money to vanish? Give your items to ME :-)

  • sekishusaisekishusai Member Posts: 4

    Well thought out, honest and most importantly informed posts about Entropia there by both AlphaGeek and Nytewolf.  Yeah Entropia can be annoying when a new or sometimes old bug reappears following an update or VU, or you have a run of bad hunts and seem to be running out of PED.  It can be enormously rewarding in so many ways though.  Yeah you can get big loots (and by big I mean loots with items worth upwards of 10000 US$ some much more, many much less  ) but the thing people always seem to overlook is that you get nothing in life, in the real world or in gaming for free.  If you wanna be a lvl 90 Bounty Hunter in SWG, a lvl 70 Warrior in WoW, or a lvl 100 pornographer in SecondLife you need to invest a massive amount of time grinding skills and Gold to get the best equipment. 

    Now I don't know about you, but my time really is worth something to me, the days and hours required to get me the top in any endeavour is time I'm not gonna get back, or indeed earn money doing my "real" job! 

    In Entropia, there is no 'Max Level', you don't get to be "Uber" in 2 months of intensive grinding.  I've encountered people whose primary hunting skill was around level 156, the skills alone if sold on the open market will be worth 10's of thousands of dollars.  Now I accept that people at this kind of level are rare and they have been around since pre-gold times, but I know of people who have started since 2005 and are at lvl 80 or more and their skills will likewise be worth many thousands of dollars.  Yes I know these later starters have deposited, but they have all gone into the game with their eyes wide open and have the intelligence and financial freedom to put their money into this hobby.

    Entropia is going to make you think, it's going to ask questions of your gaming skills and style, it's going to demand you have the ability to understand and adapt to changing situations.  If you are impatient forget it!  If you come into the game and your first question is "what is the best way for me to make free money" you may as well turn around, get back on the arrival ship and wait to land back in la-la land!   If you land and you take time to look around, there is a huge amount to see and explore, and that is all entirely free, it can also be huge fun  .  If you take time to read the guides on the various fora and in the new arrivals area, and have a chat with people you meet ( remembering that the RCE means that the some less honest people who blight the game will take advantage of the naive or ill-informed  ) you will discover a rich community spirit and a very good place all around. 

    The one thing that all that people who are knocking this game seem to overlook in all their "it's bullshit/gambling/crap gfx/nowt to do" diatribes is, in my opinion, the most important thing.  The sense of community that you get is as strong and rewarding as any online game I have ever been involved with if not stronger. The real world meet ups happen because the players themselves organise them, because they want to meet that burbling wreck who falls asleep on the keyboard on a friday night, they want to meet the person who they have hunted with day in day out for the last year/2 years /  3 years and so on. That may seem an almost trivial thing but if you can't enjoy the company of the people with whom you will spend a great deal of time then the whole thing is pointless anyway.

     

    The future of Entropia looks interesting, to say the least.  The screenshots of the forthcoming Cryengine update are simply stunning  I have included this link so you can see the pictures if you wish to 

    http://www.marketwire.com/press-release/Entropia-Universe-754668.html    imagine Crysis as an MMO

    beyond the graphics update the Entropia Universe has entered into partnerships with several other development companies to expand the Universe with new planets.  Indeed MA are one of the final 3 companies in competition to provide the platform for the new NASA interactive learning Universe. 

    In all of this I must concede that MA have done themselves no favours with unfulfilled promises in the past, their communication with the player base could / should have been better (the Real Cash Economy causes people's passions to run high  )

    Sadly as I said, the RCE element seems to make people express their opinions most extremely.  Unfortunately a  lot of the things I read are just rants, most often it seems from the person who logged in asked "where do I go to make free money?" found out that life isn't like that got pissed off after a couple of hours or a few days and then decided the whole thing was a 'BS con-job'

    You may have guessed from my post I am a "moderately happy" Entropia player.  I am aware of the frustrations felt by other players, indeed at times my frustration have me cursing the screen and banging the keys a bit harder than normal.  There is a lot to EU, I feel there is more importantly, a lot more to come.  In the end you will get what you put into the game.  I don't mean in a financial way, although it is nice to know that all you deposit isn't lost.  I will add if you do lose loads it means you are simply being foolish ( I have days like that  )  

    I appreciate that this is a long post but It's how I feel about it!  

     

     

  • AlphaGeekAlphaGeek Member Posts: 190

    Thanks, sekishusai!  It's obvious that you put a lot of thought into your review, and understand the hilarity that can ensue when people compare apples and oranges.  :)

    Alpha AG Geek
    Founder- Manticore Society

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