Neutrality and criminality in the dystopian setting of Earthrise

James Egan
J. Egan|10.12.09

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Neutrality and criminality in the dystopian setting of Earthrise

The developers at Masthead Studios dropped some info about their post-apocalyptic MMO Earthrise today, explaining how they've designed the game to allow freedom of choice. In true sandbox style, players will not be forced to choose between the main factions of Continoma or Noir and can, in fact, remain neutral. Earthrise Community Manager Moll writes in the latest Question of the Week, "Aside from Continoma and Noir as major Factions, there are 10 smaller political groups (called Organizations), and 4 of them will be Neutral and will provide neutral players with quests that allow them to build their Reputation and unlock rewards that cater to their political standings."

Cloning, which may prove to be one of the most vital services players will require, will be independent of faction standings, Moll explains. On that topic of cloning, Earthrise fans have also wondered how criminals can gain access to the same advanced infrastructure used by the more legitimate factions. Or, for that matter, how do criminals gain access to the various resources and markets used by non-criminal players?
Moll explains that Earthrise's criminal element has formed a loosely united society, "operating under their own laws and authority" in their own settlement. Criminal hackers from this settlement (thus far unnamed) have tapped in to the main grid created by Continoma, allowing for criminals to be resurrected. This settlement will also provide a market that will buy back stolen goods and allow for specific factories used by criminal crafters. (No details have been released about whether some items and gear can only be produced in this criminal settlement).

Becoming a fully-fledged criminal in Earthrise may be a difficult path to take, though. Moll explains that their settlement is "hidden away in a distant location where players will have to reach at least a mid-point of their character development to access without excessive risk."

Masthead Studios is taking this approach with the game's outlaws to keep players from jumping into a life of crime right away. Rather, Moll writes, "once players understand the social mechanics of the game and the consequences of criminal life, they can access that distant location as a starting point of their underground life."
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