Wasteland Diaries: A brief history

Fallen Earth
has a relatively short history, as far as the power struggles on the server. Yes, in case you didn't know it, Fallen Earth is a single-server game. Everything I'll discuss in this post occurred on that single shard. The power struggles in the wastelands, be they between factions or clans, have been ever-changing. It seems that no one group retains power for very long. They say that history is written by the victors. And they could be right, but since we lack clear winners, I'll write it.

There isn't really a way to assert dominance in Fallen Earth in any kind of overt way. But there are subtleties that player groups can control. In some cases, they can even hold a resource with which to extort the playerbase. In the future we may see a true struggle for resources in an apocalyptic wasteland, but for now we will have to be content with simply crushing our enemies. After the break I'll chronicle the past year or so and outline how the power struggle evolved through that time period. Not everyone will agree with my perception of the events, but I'll do the best I can to remain unbiased.

In the beginning, there were conflict towns. The conflict towns were all neutral. They were beckoning us to capture them and to reap their rewards. I was in a hurry to get to level 45 (the level cap at launch), just as many other like-minded min-max PvPers were. I saw my fair share of PvP along the way, but mostly I rushed to the level cap in true power-gamer fashion. Many of the PvP clans raced to the level cap to attain that temporary advantage as well. My original plan was to be a lone-wolf mercenary and remain unclanned (what a noob, right?) and join the Enforcers because they had cool armor (yup, noob).

I made it to Sector 2 rather quickly, skipping most of the AP quests with the intention of getting them later. I stuck to one part of my plan: the joining-the-Enforcers part. But the lone-wolf part didn't happen. On my way to level 45 and Sector 3, I ran into a group of guys on horses with rifles. Soldiers of Fortune was their name, and the cavalry charge was their game. They invited me into their clan and I accepted. I'm still not sure why.

Meanwhile, SoF's main rivals, Fist of the Empire (an omni-clan), Wolves of War (a Vista clan), Rapid Fire (a traveler clan), and Decisive Conflict (a CHOTA clan), were all racing to the conflict towns of Sector 3. That didn't mean there wasn't fighting in Sector 2, though. I had run-ins with all the aforementioned clans in the Sector 2 zones as Glenn Quagmire (yeah, they made me change my name, giggity). I'm even shown getting killed in the first Wolves of War PvP video ever recorded (I'm famous). But in the end, I left SoF because its members tried to capture towns by avoiding resistance. That was not my style; I wanted to fight, not avoid.

At the end of the race to Sector 3, it was Fist of the Empire (FoE) that came out on top. As an omni-clan, it was able to field a large, combined-arms force that the other clans couldn't bring to bear. Alliances were formed to oppose FoE's complete dominance of the conflict towns. Clans that were once bitter enemies banded together to face the Fist. The struggle culminated in Park City and FoE faced defeat at the hands of virtually the entire server.

Soon after, large scale PvP died off. There were still small engagements between FoE and other clans, including the small traveler clan called Saints, which would later become a formidable PvP clan. Soldiers of Fortune dwindled to nothing. Wolves of War became an omni-clan to keep up with FoE in the arms race. Decisive Conflict all but disappeared, and a new CHOTA clan called Suspicious Cheese jumped into the PvP scene.

FoE's leadership soon pulled out of Fallen Earth completely. Exile was formed by the remaining FoE members and continued to be the force to contend with for all the other clans. Mixed groups from Saints, Suspicious Cheese, Wolves of War and other smaller clans banded together to face Exile. In the meantime, while Exile was asserting its dominance in Sector 3, a new face-in-the-crowd rose up to arrogantly challenge the entire server. Legend tells that this clan was at one time over 800 strong and it pioneered the art of spam-recruiting. I am referring to none other than Ravenwood Division.

What Ravenwood Division lacked in combat prowess, it made up for in numbers. But even numbers couldn't save it when faced with seasoned PvPers. Mixed groups from several different clans fought Ravenwood in Sector 2 and decisively crushed its members at every turn. Ravenwood proved that in some cases, quantity does not have a quality of its own. After its losses in Sector 2 and after being given an invitation to roll with the big boys in Sector 3 (it got crushed), Ravenwood ceased to exist. Just as quickly as it rose to power, it was forgotten.

The Office Park days ushered in a new type of conflict: the control of a valuable resource. Office Park (for a time) had a monopoly on GlobalTech Circuits. These little guys were the key to raising your faction reputation. And at level 46 or higher, they were actually the only feasible way. Exile and Wolves of War controlled the area as SSA (an alliance between Saints and Suspicious Cheese) tried to wrest it from their grasp. It was a grand time of extortion, daily group PvP and forum wars. It all came to a screeching halt when the devs implemented new ways to gain faction. New, less risky ways. Office Park slowly died out as the PvP hot-spot.

During the Office Park era, Exile and Wolves of War had an organized war. They battled in the cities of Sectors 1 and 2 and only crashed the server twice. Despite the server crash, it was some of the best group PvP ever had in any game (well, at least in my opinion).

Exile is now a shadow of its former self, with Saints and Wolves of War being able to field the largest PvP groups. A few of the PvP clans, like Suspicious Cheese and Heretic, are now gone, but sporadic PvP still breaks out here and there. Mostly, everyone is waiting for the combat changes. In fact, this past weekend saw some great battles involving Wolves of War, Saints, Exile, TAO, Public Enemy, Soldiers of the Wasteland, and even Saints Incorporated on the PTS testing the new system.

There is no telling what the new combat system will bring to the game, but if history is going to repeat itself, I'm OK with that. I've enjoyed the ride so far, and I look forward to more death and destruction in the wasteland with the same old faces and even some new ones. I'll see you here next week if I don't run into you in Office Park first.

Ed Marshall has been playing Fallen Earth since beta and leads the KAOS clan. Wasteland Diaries is his weekly column that covers all aspects of Fallen Earth: PvE, RP and PvP. To contact Ed, send an email to edward@massively.com, find him on the official forums as Casey Royer, or hunt him down in the wastelands as Nufan, Original, Death Incarnate, and Knuckles Mcsquee.

This article was originally published on Massively.