After spending a few more days around "The Burbs", I decided to get my feet wet (or sandy, in this case) exploring further out into the wasteland. What made this tremendously less difficult was my recent barter for a horse. A kind woman in the local LifeNet facility tasked me to some odd jobs, and she rewarded with me a horse.
I use the word "horse" lightly, as this old nag was nothing more than a pile of flesh and fleas on legs. It served its purpose, although its appetite for feed was ridiculous. I swear I went through four sacks a day for that first week.
Regardless, she served her purpose while she was alive. Yeah, as much pain as that steed gave me, she finally keeled over one day while I was scavenging through some old tires for any useful scraps of rubber. Let me tell you, that walk back to town was no picnic.
Most of what I hauled back with me in my pack was traded to a man for some books on horse training. I figured I would do it right this time and learn to train a horse to be my own -- and at a much younger age. I eventually worked up enough chips to buy an untrained brown horse he had in the back of his stable and trained her according to that useful book. I read that thing cover to cover and it was the best thing I ever did. I find that I actually really enjoy reading, as it opens my eyes to so many parts of this world -- and the world before this.
With a new horse, an empty pack and a few chips left in my pocket, I headed back to South Burb to see if anyone had responded to my flyer I had posted a few days before.
The postman on duty that evening was more than happy to see me. He told me that a handful of people had responded to the flyer, looking for work... and an identity. Of course I was excited by the prospects of this, but I must admit, I was also a bit apprehensive.
The next morning, I arrived at the rendezvous point as stated in my original flyer. There were already a few people waiting patiently. I was happy to see that they all had their own horses, in varying states of ill-health. But still, this meant we could be more efficient than we would on foot.
One of the men -- a farmer from the southern town of Mumford -- told me about another group up in Terance that might be willing to join up with us as well. He said they were having some issues with an old abandoned LifeNet facility over-run by these zombies, and we could probably earn some good money helping out.
When this farmer said a few zombies, he wasn't kidding. I didn't know exactly what to expect by the term "zombies", but I guess these things could best be described as lumbering humans, infected by some flesh-rotting disease. They were a bugger to kill, too. Luckily I was able to barter for a decent crossbow, otherwise I'm not sure I could handle hand-to-hand combat with these things.
That night in the underground facility taught me a few things. It's one thing to kill a few mutated chickens pecking at the dirt, but it's another thing to be surrounded by these... creatures that want nothing more than to rip your arms off and eat them.
I'm sad to say, out of our original group, we lost a few good people that night. I was under the impression that we clones were immortal, but it seems that either some members of the group actually weren't clones, or their DNA was too far along to be recoverable.
If the latter were true, it made me realize even more that we need to find this alpha clone and save as many clones as we can, before it's too late.
We spent that night in Terance, enjoying the very best that town had to offer, thanks to a very grateful mayor. The next morning, those of us who remained set out to see what some of the nearby towns had to offer.
Depot 66 turned out to be slightly larger, and more organized town, but not without its share of deep problems. The highlight of that day was watching a play put on by a few members of the local "theater group". I had to admire their dedication, but the play was just awful.
After another restful night we set off for Zanesville, which was a nice change to the shanty town shacks we've seen so far. Zanesville is built out of an old pre-war military fort. The locals there weren't too keen on inviting a group of rough riders into their secure little bridge town, but they couldn't deny hard workers who were willing to shed some blood for some chips. I'm not entirely sure how I feel about these leatherneck Enforcers just yet, but I respect their organization, if not their style.
I'm not sure exactly where we'll go from here, but I'm happy to say that my travels thus far have been productive and very educational. I'm learning the ways of the wasteland, and the importance of camaraderie. I've posted another flyer here in Zanesville, in Depot 66 and in Terance as well, hoping to get a few more faces in our group.
While asking around, I keep hearing word of three large cities that might pay us a bit better than these smaller towns. They're called Embry Crossroads, Odenville and Oilville. I'm sure we'll hit one of these up within the week.
Although our first night together as a group of Massively readers was pretty chaotic (i.e. we died a lot), the second night was much more eventful. We decided to ditch the idea of only doing AP quests to focus on one town at a time, knocking out all quests. That way we won't miss anything when three or four quests have objectives in the same area. We did this with Depot 66 on Monday night and it worked much better.
Aside from these group nights, several of us have been playing on the "off" nights by ourselves, which I do encourage. In fact, even though the group and the polls will move us ever-forward with a progressive storyline, I plan to take those off nights to go back and clean up the other starter towns and any other stuff we missed along the way.
So up for the vote this week is a choice between Oilville, Embry Crossroads or Odenville. One of these cities will be our focus for the group nights, but I certainly encourage anyone to clean up any quests in the remaining starter towns, as they offer crafting books, weapons and clothing that will help tremendously.
Although we were severely under-leveled for the Terance quests (poor planning on my part), it was still a good time. So for this week, the vote is up for which larger city we will dominate with the group.
Embry Crossroads -
A hub town located in the southern part of Sector One. Some of the town's features include the beginning of the ATV building quests, as well as a Monster Hunt, which acts like a public quest of sorts.
The leading oil-driller in the area, Oilville is rich in wealth and quests. It seems everyone here has something for you to do.
This town is the smallest of the three, but still has plenty to do. It's also the furthest south.%Poll-40031%
As for my opinion on the game during these get-togethers, I would say that overall I'm pleased and still loving this game, but there are still so many bugs that need to be addressed. These bugs are usually amplified when in a group, for some reason. There's a well-known bug in the game for people with older computers where the entrance to underground caves or instances simply doesn't let them in. The entrance doesn't render and if they try to enter, they get stuck. We had to leave a man behind because of this bug, which doesn't exactly look good for the game.
The four of us who played together on Monday night finally formed the clan, affectionately named The Rolling Clones (thanks to the wonderful suggestion by Kalam Mekhar). I encourage anyone who wants to try out the game, or wants to roll a new alt and join us to come by waypoint X-4206776 Y-3265629 for our next group night on Friday, January 15th at 9pm EST
. If you're not familiar with waypoints in Fallen Earth
, they're a wonderful feature. Simply press Alt-P to bring up the Waypoints menu. Click "create" and enter in the numbers above. This will create a yellow X on your map that you can follow on your mini map. I'll probably use these waypoints as definite rendezvous points from now on.
We have five people in the clan right now, but we need more! A minimum of 10 needs to be in the clan after 10 days or it will be disbanded, according to game rules. Meet up with us for our next group play night on Friday, January 15th at 9pm EST to be invited to the clan and have fun in the wasteland! You can also add me to your friends list (Gator Boudreaux) for a clan invite or to play together while I'm on line between our regular group nights.
Hope to see you all there!