Get more details on all of this neat, new stuff after the cut.
Fast travel system
The world of Fallen Earth is a huge one, and sometimes it can take hours to drive from one place to another. I don't know why it took so long to develop it, but we finally have fast travel. Using LifeNet technology and the wonders of suicide, you can travel between Watchtower, New Flagstaff, Trader's Flat and Los Alamos. It is instantaneous and there is no in-flight meal or movie. Though convenient, this all comes at a price. There is a fee and it is in thousands of chips. Also, your mount doesn't make the trip with you. If you need your mount at your destination, you will have to pay to tow it. And in order to be able to use these specially rigged LifeNet cloners, you will need to do some small favors for either the Techs or Vistas. As this project is beneficial to all clones, the two factions have set aside their differences to bring it to fruition. There is also a one-hour cooldown on using the cloners in this way. This cooldown only counts down while you are logged in with the character in question, so plan accordingly. Server-wide events will be easier to get to now. Or, rather get from, as the GMs would usually teleport you there, but you had to find your own way back.
Speaking of GMs, the Fallen Earth team has added more GM support to the game. We will now have 24/7 GM presence on the weekends. Ever since Icarus Studios announced their "restructuring", there have been a lot of doom-sayers. But, for the most part, they have been proven wrong at every turn. The Fallen Earth team is still churning out new stuff and squashing bugs at an acceptable rate. In my eyes, the future of the game is no longer uncertain.
Remember the Office Park PvP area? Well, it isn't the PvP hot-spot it once was. The GlobalTech Circuits that were once only available there are now found in other, less dangerous places. Office Park is still slightly appealing, considering there is a multitude of GlobalTech Relic Nodes there, but it is no longer the treasure trove it once was. Office Park was a great idea to spur on some PvP action in Deadfall, and it worked. But, it left the PvE crowd with no fast (by fast, I mean not incredibly slow) way to increase their faction reputation. I found a few GlobalTech Relic Nodes in the wilderness around Rothium Ridge far from Office Park, and they were surrounded by nasty, irradiated creatures rather than blood-thirsty players.
New faction missions
While I am on the subject of faction reputation, there is a new mission for each faction in Rothium Ridge. It involves killing a number of enemies from an opposing faction, destroying their supplies and then killing their leader. It is repeatable and doesn't involve any PvP, so it is another PvE-flavored alternative to Office Park. The enemies you will be killing are all Veteran builds, making them tougher than normal, but the loot they drop more than makes up for their difficulty. Even if you don't need faction rep, these mobs drop some expensive materials, and are worth killing just for that reason alone. The leader is a level 50 Master build and is tough to bring down. I tried to solo Commander Bergeron with my C.H.O.T.A. crafter and had to make a hasty withdrawal. I would tackle these Masters with at least two players.
The "serendipity" system will randomly spawn unique creatures within a group. The creature will be of the same type as its lesser brethren, but will be more powerful and will drop unique items. The items dropped will have a unique appearance or have unorthodox bonuses or stats. Although these items will be different and rare, they will never be more potent than a crafted item of the same level. Since it's entirely random where these creatures will turn up, there is no real way to anticipate finding them. As of this writing, I have yet to stumble across one.
The weather system
I missed the Outsiders event completely, since I was running around Deadfall like a kid in a candy store. So far I've only seen some lightning in the distance. No rain or puddles on the ground nor any of the cool visual effects they mentioned on the podcast.
The Assault level is probably my favorite style of Blood Sport yet. It will probably hold the crown until Team Deathmatch comes along, which is a certainty. Assault pits two teams against each other and the clock. One side attacks while the other defends and both sides constantly blast away at each other. The attacking side has a number of objectives that range from killing a giant mutant to planting explosives. Once the attacking side completes all of the objectives, the defenders have a go at it, and try to do it faster.
There is a new type of vault in Los Alamos called a Utility Vault. When I opened it, it was empty. I didn't see anything in the patch notes about it, so I was a bit wary of putting a stack of Salvaged Alloy Steel in there. In fact, I have only put a few useless things in there until I'm sure it's our fourth vault. But, I guess we are going to need another vault to store all of our wacky serendipity items that we'll be finding. Another nice touch was the addition of a clan message that notifies all clan officers when something is removed from the clan vault, and who did the removing. While this isn't a problem in my clan, some other clans (which shall go unnamed) might find this useful.
Pistoleers have lost much of their speed and a bit of their bite. It would be more accurate to say that the Traveler faction took a beating from his patch. I won't say it wasn't a well-deserved beating, and I have two pistol-packing Traveler characters. The movement speed buff on the Capstone, On Wires, has been reduced from 15 to 10 percent. And the Traveler Medkits durations have been halved to 15 seconds. Additionally, Pistol Whip's cooldown has been doubled to 30 seconds. Hopefully nobody gets whacked over this.
The crafters can excel once again. The gear that they will be able to research and make will be as good as, if not better than, the Death Toll or faction gear. The new gear pieces aren't nearly as pretty, since it is just improved versions of the Hexweave Armor, Mesoprene Armor and Mastercrafted Weapons, however. But who's complaining? Not me. I hope to see you all next week in my new Hexweave/Mesoprene armor.