Thursday, February 2, 2012

Perspective from a New Player in 2012

Okay, I've been playing Entropia for about a week, mostly on Calypso, occasionally going to Arkadia.

And in game, I see a lot of back and forth about what new players want to see and what new players don't want to see. And what would drive new players away.

So, as a new player, I'm going to tell you what I've liked and didn't like about Calypso and Entropia and my thoughts on all the things I've encountered.

1. Complaints on the Price of Sweat.
Like any economy, it's supply and demand. More people playing means more people sweating means more sweat available means you can't sell as high as you used to. This isn't a bad thing. It means MORE people playing. It also means more people playing and getting discouraged with the low price of sweat will be more likely to deposit in game, like I did. It's not gonna sound nice to say, but people who don't or won't deposit are not really helping the economy one way or another, so if they leave over frustration. That's okay. Of course, there's exception to the rule that some sweaters do make it high without depositing, but they are the few, not the many. The rest will either pony up and deposit, content to be poor, or just leave the game. Those that leave, aren't doing any damage as they take their complaints with them!

2. Getting rich in Entropia.
Well, if you look at Entropia like a casino where the odds are 99.2% in the favor of the house, yes. There is a small chance you will be the lucky one to strike it rich. From my perspective; the entire economy of Entropia is driven by people who deposit, and that's it. The loot generated is dependent on their deposits and distributed through the masses via skill and random number generation. People spend their life looking for patterns in random numbers, and there might be, but you'll never figure it out.  Just have fun!

3. Space, lootable PvP, and Pirates.
I know this one is a big controversy right there. From what I've come to understand, planets are pretty much independent business entities, separate economies, simply linked together via this thing called space where you have the option of traveling to the others. Well, here's a few things to consider about space. First, the distance and separation and difficulty of travel from one world to another helps isolate and allow these economies to grow independently of one another. It also prevents mass exodus, if one person likes another planet more, etc. Second, pirating in space and lootable PvP.... this risk is GOOD for the economy, not bad. Without this risk, motherships would lose their value and not to mention their business because then everyone could easily carry their goods around without having to make that extra, yet small, investment in a large ship. You want to travel worlds safely? Hire a mothership and get there in 30 seconds. I've been hit by pirates and looted, big deal, and ended up stranded on Erebus for a day or so, my fault for being unprepared. It was my choice to fly... did it ruin my experience? No, it taught me to be more prepared for the world in which I play. And really, the moment you make space safe and easy to travel, the value of spaceships will drop, motherships will lose value, and their owners will lose their investments-- and when you hurt the major depositers like that, then you DO hurt the game. If a mothership owner tells you they hate that pirates loot space, they are hiding their real feelings, because that's how motherships get profit, by being the *only* safe lane through space. And don't try to tell me otherwise, because while I'm new, I know my economics, strategies, and business. Motherships are businesses, and they only exist as businesses while they fill a need, you remove that need, they go out of business-- and take their deposits with them. Someone equated pirating to theft, and it really can't be done. A thief steals from you unwillingly; when you willingly enter a lootable combat zone with a bit warning stating you items can be taken from you; you agree to that risk are a willing participant in your own theft, if that's the case. Again, if you're worried, take a mothership and stop complaining.

4. People who quote "I pay for this service I deserve equal access to space in non-PvP".
No, no you do not 'pay for this service'. Entropia, all of Entropia, is FREE to play for everyone, equally. Whether or not you deposit is a choice you make, you are neither given nor denied any service based on depositing. You want safe travel, hire a mothership, that's what their business model is about. They can get you from Point A to Point B without worrying about being pirated or looted. As for the excuse of wanting to tour space, it's an excuse. Do you know what you see in space? Fly outside a planet to the safety zone of a space station, spin your ship around-- and that's what you will see in the entirety of space for a good hour if you fly from one side to the other. The scenery, it doesn't change, trust me on that. That said, you can fly around most of space and never run into a pirate. And if you just want to tour space, leave your lootables at home and go fly for the fun of it. If by some low chance a pirate does get you, big deal, you'll rez safely at a space station where you can repair you ship and continue your journey. You want to get a lawyer friend to try to argue this difference in court, good luck with that! The only way a judge will ever see it your way is if MindArk denied you YOUR personal investments; again, if you knowingly and willingly take them into a hostile part of the world and are looted by another player where you are warned clearly beforehand, that decision is on you, not MindArk, and not the pirates who looted you.

5. The New Arrival zone in Port Atlantis.
Almost every time I pass by that are there's a bunch of people with spam bots active trashing or slandering one person, society, or another. If I had run into that on my first day here, I would have thought, "What a bunch of childish morons play this game" logged out and never looked back. Luckily, my first day there, they weren't, but most days when I pass by, yes, there they are. The Port Atlantis New Arrivals point is THE most important point on Calypso, this is where new players will choose to stay, and whether or not they will choose to deposit. The kind of activity that goes on near the Port Atlantis teleport will seriously damage credibility for new players.

6. There's not enough information or "How To" to get people started.
Yes, the mining, hunting, and sweating guides are nice and dandy, but there's little information or direction on what to do outside of that. Maybe an option to download a user guide or manual as soon as the game starts up that tells people how to do what. Quality information can be hard to find, and honestly, most people are not going to log into forums to find it.

7. People who say "Most users are against -----------" (particularly here in the forum)
Well, no. Forum users are generally hardcore citizens of a game, and usually the loudest crew. Most people are content, happy, and don't care about the changes; so they have nothing to complain about. When people are against things, they complain, when people are happy, there's silence. As a new user, I'm incredibly happy with the platform and environment Entropia provides; sure, there's bugs that need to be fixed and there could be ~more~ content, but over all the concept itself is really quite grand. When someone says "Most" they mean "Me".

And yes, in space, I may try to kill your ship if I'm feeling in the mood for combat (space needs an event PvP zone, btw!)..... and will likely fail because I suck at PvP combat, but if I see new arrivals on planet fall, I will give them free rides to the necessary teleports, teach them the game play mechanics I have learned so far, and also warn them about the occasional risk of getting blown up in space, and not to rush off unprepared.

Over all.... despite the frustrations of sweating, never finding much loot worth anything in mining or hunting, getting my butt blown out of the sky by pirates, and getting stranded on space stations.... I find Entropia to be an engaging environment filled with friends, fun, excitement, and danger.... and that's why I chose to deposit and will continue to deposit regularly.

Kaitlyn Katie Gardner

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