Wasteland Diaries: Playstyles

Most MMOs have three playstyles. Well, that's incorrect; they actually have any number of play-styles with varying degrees of three types of play. PvE (player vs. environment) is the style of play in which the antagonists are a part of the gameworld itself. PvP (player vs. player) pits the players against each other. And RP (roleplaying) has the players vying for... whatever they decide they need to vie for. Most players engage Fallen Earth (or any MMO, for that matter) with a mix of the three.

Fallen Earth is a great setting for the RPers. Its vastness and its interesting-looking locales make for a variety of backdrops. The interesting locales usually make for some great locations for open world PvP. And there are hundreds and hundreds of PvE missions here, there, and everywhere. All three types of players can get a lot out of Fallen Earth if they approach the game properly. The purpose of this post is to help you along with getting what you can out of the game with your preferred playstyle. So without any further ado, click past the cut and read on.

The first type of play I'll discuss is the style of play that we all must participate in whether we like it or not. You can't get the gear and the skills you need to RP or PvP until you do some PvE. Even if it's not your style, you'll most likely be doing it -- unless you want to spend the entire game running around in a LifeNet jacket and being killed by prairie chickens. If you intend to be a straight PvE player (with no RP or PvP) you might want to just take your time. I never understood why people who only PvE would rush through the content only to be stuck with nothing to do. Of course, when PvE is a means to an end, as it is for endgame PvPers, rushing through is of the essence.

PvE to hit the level cap for PvP is one thing, but if you are doing the missions for the sheer enjoyment of it, slow down. Read all of the text; there's some pretty good writing in this game. When you are traveling from place to place, don't be afraid to explore a little. Some of the coolest stuff in the game isn't marked on the map or part of a mission but can be stumbled into. Some PvE players blaze through the content with incredible speed and then complain when the developers can't keep up. Don't be those guys. Then there's the player who takes forever to hit the level cap. There are people that have been playing since launch but who haven't leveled a clone to 50. These are the MMO publisher's perfect-scenario subscribers, but the world isn't exactly full of them.

If the PvEer is interested in crafting, then the game expands exponentially. Crafting in and of itself is the epitome of the player against the environment. If your focus is on PvE, then I implore you to make your first character a crafter. Don't believe the hype about crafters being gimped. It simply isn't true, and the PvE in Fallen Earth is still easy enough to dominate 90% of it with a purposefully gimped social/crafter/rifle/melee/mutant build. Even a crafter/trader type clone can engage in PvP without ever firing a shot. The auction house pits one clone against another economically. Sure, there are no buy orders (we wish there were), but you can still eke out a living trading in FE if you aren't too greedy and you're willing to diversify. Truth be told, I make more chips grinding vet mobs than I do on the AH.

I don't have a ton of advice for the RPers, but I can give them a good source of references in the Fallen Earth PvP community. Fallen Earth Roleplayers Haven is a good place to get connected with the existing RP community. New Flagstaff seems to be the hotbed of RP action. The RP-PvPers, a small subset of the RP universe, are also a good group to get in with. Fall of the Legends is an example of an RP-PvP clan (albeit Enforcer only). These guys are definitely getting the most sandbox action possible out of FE. If RP were my cup of tea, you can bet I would have already made a CHOTA counterpart group for them to tangle with.

The casual PvPer is also in good hands in Fallen Earth, given enough PvE to support the habit. Running all of the best buffs all the time can get prohibitively expensive, but not for the casual PvPer. The best isn't really necessary all the time, since he'll mostly be facing mobs. The problem that the casual PvPer is going to run into is a lack of PvP. Most of the PvP is at the level cap -- there isn't much on the way up. An opt-in PvP system doesn't make for much action, especially since there's nothing available to PvPers that you can't get elsewhere aside from Death Toll gear.

The hardcore PvPers get the most action, but it can be expensive. Top-shelf consumables, fast-traveling, towing costs and camps can all add up very quickly. Most of the hardcore PvPers have dedicated social/crafters to support their habits. Unfortunately there is no good way to make a profit PvPing. The new Alpha County conflict town called Blockade and its rare resources make me optimistic about the future, but I have a feeling that those resources, though rare, will be available elsewhere. As it stands, most hardcore PvPers have to PvE to level up and gear up and then continue to PvE for maintenance. I thought it was the carebears who complained about forced playstyles. The FE devs have stated on a few occasions that they will never force PvP on the players. Man, I wish they had said the same about PvE.

Whichever playstyle you tend to favor, FE has something to offer. And if you are an RP-PvP-PvEer, I envy you because you'll always have plenty to do in Fallen Earth. Until next week, I'll be out in Park City, hopefully gathering up enough strong antitoxin to pay for my PvP addiction.

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.