It's been quite some time since Fallen Earth's opening day, and we have been waiting quite some time for the new sector. But the team at Fallen Earth, LLC has given us a few things to tide us over: Deadfall and Terminal Woods, which combined have as much content as a full sector. So it's not like we've been stuck in Sector 3 for over a year and a half; the devs have given us some new stuff and made some fundamental changes to the game (some good and some bad, but mostly good). The first bit of S4 we will see was released on the public test server (PTS) earlier this week, so I took the opportunity to do some exploring for you (actually my motivations were entirely selfish). After the cut, I'll tell you a little bit about what I saw (slight spoiler alert!). Terminal Woods when our characters were copied over, so he was in view of the big wall. I loaded him up and started driving south. I steered right for the giant lighted tunnel and started to get a little excited. I imagined what it would look like driving through the wall and emerging on the other side into a strange place that I'd once had doubts about ever seeing. When I got a bit closer to the wall, I started to take radiation damage and got the obligatory "approaching lethal radiation" message. Then it dawned on me: Use the bus stop. The bus stop ability is a teleportation ability that's available on the test server to get around quicker. I opened my abilities menu and there it was: Bus Stop 4.
Before I go any further, I'd like to point out that the sector is still devoid of objects such as mobs, NPCs, vegetation, and clutter. It is just the raw terrain and the large structures. Though the area is certainly not finished, this preview is still a rough idea of what to expect when the 1.9 patch goes live.
A quick look at the map told me that there would be only one PvP zone in the entire county, and that PvP zone would be a conflict town. This is good news for a couple of reasons. We never got a conflict town with the last two new areas, so we are still stuck duking it out in Haietta and Park City. Now we will have a higher-level PvP zone with content that is built for levels higher than 45. I always questioned why we never got a conflict town with Deadfall when we got a level cap increase to 50. But at least I know we will get one with the forthcoming level cap increase. The best news is that there is only one conflict town, which will ensure that all of the endgame PvP will be in the same place. Currently, in S3 alone there are four conflict towns and a couple of other PvP zones. The non-town PvP zones go largely unused, and that's a shame because they are well-designed battlefields.
The Tech town is called Camp Sagan, and when I first walked into it, I found it very reminiscent of Megaton from Fallout 3. I'm not saying it looks anything like it, but that's just what popped into my head. Desolation was the name of the CHOTA encampment, and it looked pretty ravaged, just like CHOTA settlements tend to. It was dotted with what looked like giant mutant baobab trees with festering sores. These trees are pretty common throughout the entire sector, and some of them are gigantic, but Desolation is overgrown with them. All of the structures, even some destroyed heavy equipment, are entangled by these trees.
Lightbearer town is called Mercy, and it looks like a field hospital that was built with scrap metal. There is a lot of scrap metal in Fallen Earth, but hey, it's the apocalypse. Post 88 is the Enforcer town; it looks militaristic, as we might suspect. Most of the buildings look like canvas-roofed Quonset huts. It will likely be an interesting place when fully dressed. Redemption is the name of the Traveler town. It is perched near the big wall that separates Alpha from the rest of the province. Redemption sort of looks like a post-apocalyptic flea-market, but then what do you expect from a bunch of nomads?
The most impressive town of all is the Vista town, called Unspoiled Grove. It is nice and green and cheery, unlike the rest of the county. It consists of some kind of large industrial facility and a giant tree intertwined with one another. It looks like a mix between a giant oak tree and a trailer park, with a pinch of awesome added in for good measure. I was pretty impressed by it, and I can't begin to capture what I saw with words. Wait, nevermind -- just look at the picture below.
There were a couple of other points of interest on the map that I took a look at. Fontaine's Hermitage looked to be a launch pad of some sort. And the Scorcher Base could be the home of a new NPC faction or maybe even CoGs. End Run was a giant industrial plant (seeing a pattern yet?) that straddles the main road. You will actually drive through it to get past it. Two other areas, Kelson's Haven and Abbidon, hint that they're home to the Judges. I won't go into much detail about what I saw there, but crucifixions, impalements and skullpiles were among the avant-garde decor. The Judges: You thought they were nutty before? This should solidify that belief.
In conclusion, I have to say I am impressed with what I have seen so far. The end product still remains to be seen, but the art department has hit a home run. If the rest of the content in Sector 4 is of this quality, I am bound to be one happy wastelander. If you get a chance, and you are curious enough, take a look for yourself. But if you're the type that would just like to wait and see, you may not have read this far to begin with. Either way, I'll see you next week or in S4, whichever comes 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 firstname.lastname@example.org, find him on the official forums as Casey Royer, or hunt him down in the wastelands as Nufan, Original, Death Incarnate, and Knuckles Mcsquee.