In just two days, Planet Calypso, formerly Project Entropia and Entropia Universe, will be shutting down for a major patch of epic proportions. The game will be undergoing a graphical refit, moving from their old graphics engine to the new CryEngine 2 -- the same engine that powers Crysis and upcoming virtual world Blue Mars. Old and busted, meet the new hotness.
The new version of the client, version 10, is now available for download before this whole conversion process takes place. The servers will be shut down on Sunday night/Monday morning at midnight UTC as version 10 is deployed to the servers. The servers will be unavailable for a few days, as the First Planet Company does a full diagnostic on the servers to make sure everything is good to go.
Version 10 brings more than just the CryEngine to the table as the entire game will be undergoing a full revamp. The first iteration of the patch will reintroduce the game's main systems, such as hunting, mining, crafting and the like, while also introducing brand new day and night cycles and improved avatar movement. Version 10.1 will introduce the concepts of MindForce teleportation (Calypso's version of magic), land area management, and apartments. Version 10.2 will include teaming, third person camera angles, and audio enhancements, and version 10.3 will introduce currently unannounced new systems to the game.
During this time of crazy revamps and changes to the game, the company will be closely working with all players of Planet Calypso to make sure things are going smoothly. Player feedback will be integral, according to the company, to ensure the smooth transition of Planet Calypso over to this very different new version.
Alongside all of these changes will come a special celebratory event, "The Second Golden Age of Calypso." During this event a new story will be introduced to the game while special, "drop once" items will slowly be added during the course of the event. Items such as this are big news in Planet Calypso, where all items carry a value in real world currency. The PED, the main currency of the game, is only created by players converting real world cash into the game's currency, much like the Linden Dollar of Second Life.
The rare items gained from this event will, with little doubt, appreciate in value rapidly after the event ends. PED, much like the Linden Dollar, can also be taken out of Planet Calypso and converted back into real world cash, which means this event is a possible money making opportunity for some lucky individuals as well as a fun celebration of the evolution of the game.
The game, like its predecessor, will remain without a subscription free, open to anyone who's willing to make a new account and download the game. A fair warning to all interested parties, however, as much of the game focuses on getting items. Acquiring these items, even for simple tasks, requires PED, and PED requires that the player invest some small amount of money to play. Items will still decay as they're used, forcing players to either pay to repair the item or lose it entirely when it breaks.
Planet Calypso's evolution certainly looks to be very exciting for those interested in this type of virtual world. Currently there is no set time for when the game will be coming back online, but First Planet Company has stated that this update will only take a few days. We'll keep our eye on the game, and will be sure to inform you when the servers will be coming back online!