Fallen Earth is one of three post-apocalyptic massively muliplayer online games currently in development that are a far cry from the fantasy titles which have proven most popular in the MMO world. IGN scored an exclusive two part developer diary from Fallen Earth writer and content developer Wes Platt who discusses creating the PvP starter town of Terance. Namely, he explains how and why the Fallen Earth team has been putting so much work into Terance and the challenges and pitfalls faced in differentiating the PvP-centric area from other more standard towns in the game.
The first part is "Building the Town of Terance". It paints a picture of a post-apocalyptic aftermath setting where a psychotic artificial intelligence, long since sealed away underground by its corporate progenitors and forced into a century of dormancy, is woken with dire consequences. Now powered up, the AI -- TETRAX -- prepares once again to work towards the extermination all human beings in its vicinity. Human beings in Terance may find themselves on the run, hunted by AI-directed zombies called Diggers, as well as mutants and vermin.
This leads Platt to the second part, "Building a Nightmare", where he explains how certain locations in Terance would become 'focal points for player activity'. Platt writes, "The town proper, a collection of old suburban ranch houses and ramshackle commercial buildings, would serve as the mission hub. We would send players to Brenhauer Gorge, a deep ravine that cut past the town, over the bridge to the TETRAX-controlled underground complex, to a mutant-infested junkyard outside the community proper, and up the hill to the Phillips Mansion."
The TETRAX facility is where much of the storyline for Terance plays out, where the mission target zones are also PvP areas, creating numerous possibilities for players to interrupt the progress of others. Platt writes, "It's a town controlled by death and chaos, on the verge of destruction," but the developers feel that this free-for-all vision they've had for Terance might not be as fun for the players as they'd predicted.
Some of the original concepts the devs had of creating a PvP starter town work better in theory than in practice, and in order to make sure Terance doesn't become a hive of noob griefing the devs will have to create a more balanced way to introduce new Fallen Earth players to PvP.
For some reason, this is where the IGN article cuts off, so for the time being we're left hanging wondering whether Terance will incorporate many of these design aspects Platt has detailed or whether this PvP town will see some radical changes before launch.