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**Warning: Long ass post**
Hi everyone. My name is John Capital and I'm a Calypsian in the Entropia Universe. Some friends of mine pointed me to this site, noting the number of "this game sucks" comments. So I thought I'd tell you my personal experience in Entropia after over 2 years of playing.
First about myself IRL. I'm a late 30+ male who has never played WoW, SL, EVE or anything else. Why? Well, quite frankly, I may be a kid at heart, but these online games struck me as just plain silly. (More about this later.)
However 2+ years ago, I heard about folks actually making money in these online games. Being the nerd I was, (and looking for supplemental income ) I decided to check things out. I researched a few games based on online reviews & info and the one seemed the most money oriented (and possibly fun) was Entropia. So, I downloaded the game, created my avatar and away I went....
...into nothing like I expected. WTF was this? Where's the game info? How do I move? What do I do? Help me! Only thing is, I heard horror stories of folks getting swindled for $1,000s in this universe, so I refused any help and talked to no one. So without a guide, without an instruction manual, without a clue, and nothing to my name (since I refused to deposit) I s-l-o-w-l-y learned my way around.
I can totally understand folks who come into this universe, learn how to sweat, buy their first gun and quickly find out how fast it's gone. I completely understand why folks get frustrated and leave, thinking this place sucks. I get it. I was there.
But the aspect of exploration and learning new things captured my attention. I had to force myself to brute force through the initial learning period. I was so dumb on this game it was 3 months before I learned the concept of 1st person view. I played the entire game in 3rd person view, because I didn't know any better. (Don't even ask me how I navigated and moved around. It's embarrassing. ) However, I learned how to sweat, I got a gun and ammo, and went on TP runs and explored the areas. I got very upset when I first read the "your gun is almost broken. Please repair it." message. I didn't even know about "item decay" until then.
So stupid and ultra-N00b as I was, I still learned how to survive in this universe.
Now a quick message about the whole "sweating" thing. The game itself is free. There's no monthly fees. You can quit playing for months and not worry about a thing. Entropia gets its money from "deposits", or folks using their credit card to "buy peds" (peds are the Entropia Dollar) You spend those peds on equipment (guns, mining gear, crafting supplies, whatever) and you use those items to play. The items decay. If you make more loot then the decay, you played for free. If your decay costs more than your loot, you are paying to play. Simple.
But how can MindArk (Entropia's creator and manager of this universe) convince folks to pay for a game? Simple. Offer a "free to try" version.
Except the "free to try" version and the "pay to play" version are the exact same game. In fact they are vitally connected. (My thanks to sweaters who keep my teleporter chip fueled for me.) You can play for free, or you can deposit. If you deposit, you can do $10 or $100,000, the choice is completely yours.
I understood that Sweating was the "try it free" part of the game. I got that from the beginning. I like that they offer that move. I wasn't forced to pay anything before deciding whether I was a permanent resident or not.
2 months after playing for free, I made my first $10 deposit.
Oh the freedom! You have no idea how wonderful 100 peds is when you have been scraping by 5 peds at a time. So I was able to do more. Learn more. Have more, dare I say? fun!
But I knew I didn't want to spend too much on just a game. So I set a limit. a max amount I would deposit per month. This was my "entertainment fund." My goal was to make that deposit last as long as possible, and maybe try to make a profit.
So here I am just over 2 years later. How did I do?
Some times, I've played months for free. Other times, I invested a lil bit to buy some equipment I wanted. On average, I've deposited $50/month. Over 28 months, that's $1,400 I've spent on 2+ years of fun and games.
Did I make a million dollars? Nope. Did I profit? Nope. My overall loot is pretty typical, meaning not great.
"Dude! You lost money on that game? You suck!" Maybe this could be the response I get from some of you. However...
If I were to cash out right now, I would get back ~$1,200.
That's right folks. Although I've spent $50/month. At the end, I'll have lost only $200. For 2 over years of fun and friendships, that's a price I'm certainly willing to pay. Now I'm not sure if this type of situation is possible in WoW, SL or anywhere else. Frankly, I have no desire to find out. I'm sorry guys. Entropia is my home and I have no desire to jump from universe to universe. For those that do, I respect you and hope you have tons of fun. I simply choose a different path.
My wife plays now too. She just started after watching over my shoulder for too too long. She loves it there.
So there you are. Entropia's hard to start. It's a harsh universe. There's tons of cash there but everyone's working hard trying to make sure you don't get the lion's share of it. You'll likely not make a profit in Entropia, but like I said, what other game offers you a substantial rebate in the end when you decide to leave? (Again, not playing other games, I'm not sure if this is typical or not. If it is, great.)
Don't look at Entropia as a place to get rich. (I don't think the other games have cries of "I lost money" do they?) If you do get rich here, great and gratz. However most of us are simply happy deciding exactly how much we want to pay for our entertainment.
Good luck and Happy hoffing to you.