Wasteland Diaries: Do-over

Edward Marshall
E. Marshall|07.16.10

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Wasteland Diaries: Do-over
Have you ever fantasized about a second chance? To go back to some major turning point in your life and do things differently from there? Well, as far as I know that's impossible in real life. But we can do it in games. Rolling an alt (as it's referred to) is a rather common thing among many MMO players. Some will never do it, and others do it way too often. I fall somewhere in the middle. In Fallen Earth I have three max-level characters: one pistoleer, one rifleman and a melee-specialist. Two are PvP characters, and the other is my maxed-out crafter.

Aside from sporadic PvP, that doesn't leave me with much to do but gather resources and stockpile chips. No thank you. I'd rather roll an alt. Now, in the many months I have played Fallen Earth, I have learned a great many things, which should improve my chances of survival in the wasteland during my seventh time (counting my beta characters) through. We shall see whether the knowledge I have amassed will keep me alive for any length of time. After the cut I'll chronicle my 12-hour rebirth.

Level 1

My first starter town, ever, was Depot 66, so it has a nostalgic quality for me. That's why I chose to start the clone named Number Five there. I skipped the tutorial, because, well, I feel I know what I'm doing. But, I do remember Sector One being a rather dangerous place for a brand-new clone, so I chose not to skip the extended tutorial. So, the guy right in the LifeNet pod tells me he will reward me if I go smash some prairie chickens. Fair enough, but being the survivalist I am, I gathered some eggs and poultry from the fallen beasts. On my way back I stopped by the cooking trainer to pick up books on frying and grilling. My previous experience is already paying off! Because now, I'm already making my own food and training up a tradeskill right after my first mission.

Before finishing the extended tutorial, I had a crafting queue filled with belts and gloves and food. It was a sight to behold: a level 1 character with a full crafting queue. One of the quests was to make some relish. Sure, no problem. Once my queue finished, the guy in the LifeNet pod gave me an Old Nag. Back in the old days we had to train our first horse ourselves. Now they just give them away. But once I "kicked the tires" on the Old Nag, I figured out why she was free. The extended tutorial ended and I achieved level 2.

Level 2

The first thing that crossed my mind was: "I'm level 2 now, and rather unstoppable. Where is the nearest PvP zone?" Fort Forgotten was the answer. A tiny arena to the south of Depot 66 -- that is where I decided to pick my first fight. I slowly walked in, armed with my closet rod, smash at the ready. I could hear the theme from The Good, the Bad and the Ugly playing in my mind. But I was all alone. So, I did what any self-respecting clone would do in this case: I scavenged. The GlobalTech crate dropped 10 scrap fasteners. In Sector One, they are as good as gold. So I chalked it up as a victory and moved on.

I did a few favors for the lazy and helpless people of Depot 66 and earned some chips. I squandered my hard-won fortune learning some first-aid skills and a buying couple of new weapons. I acquired two of the most razor-sharp lawnmower blades you have ever seen. I tried them out on a few groups of thugs around the Depot, and they seemed to work quite well. I cut them down like wheat and they hardly nicked me. Before too long, my armorcrafting expertise had allowed me to dispose of the the mark-of-the-noob -- the LifeNet jacket and pants -- and to trade in the old nag for a better steed. Off to the glue factory you go.

Level 3

I was given a mission to kill Black Orchid thugs. They wanted me to kill 10 of them, but they were so easy to slaughter that I wiped out the whole camp and filled my pack with the things that they would no longer need. This new-found wealth allowed me to acquaint myself with the treatment of poison, which I knew would be handy soon. I had a few quests involving scorpions. No, not the tiny arachnids that will crawl into your boot; the kind that can swallow your boot in a single bite. That knowledge saved my life a few times, as the poison would have certainly done me in if left to run its course. I rounded out the day's events making myself some pain-killers from water and biochems. I mean, what clone doesn't use pain-killers regularly?

Level 4

Before leaving Depot 66 for Oilville and not looking back, I had some unfinished business with Bing Tangelo concerning a Malibu beach house. Well, I'll spare you the spoilers, but I didn't bother to ride out there this time, even though it's not the death-trap it used to be. I knew what I'd find there, and I decided to pass on it this time around. One of the bankers in Depot 66 asked me to deliver some payroll records to a crony of his in Oilville. I agreed to do it. I was looking for an excuse to move on to a bigger town, and there it was. Before I left, I did cleave a few skulls of some of the unsavory types who live too close to the Depot. I mean, when travelers consider you riff-raff, you are probably trouble.

Level 5

Well, the first thing I did when I hit Oilville was modify my LifeNet collar to join Blood Sports. I queued myself up and was whisked away to the deathmatch arena. Finally, I'd get in that fight against other clones I had been longing for! Well, the level bracket was from 5 to 10, and, being level 5, I was firmly seated at the bottom of the food chain. I am happy to announce that I claimed 12 kills and got a second-place finish. Despite being a considerable underdog, I was able to eke out a decent showing. After a bit of chest-pounding, my over-confidence and I left the safety of Oilville for something big and bad to fight.

I saw a structure I had never seen before perched atop a hill I had also never seen before just outside Oilville's gates: a rickety wooden bridge leading up to a dilapidated shack. I make it a rule to check out every strange structure, so I rode to the base of the hill. There at the bottom of the winding bridge was a giant monitor lizard named Death Biter. And bite he did. I had to flee, but Death Biter will feel my wrath when I am better prepared for a fight! I returned to Oilville.

I helped a few of the Oilville residents deal with the Gully Dog raiders, and they rewarded me with some top-notch equipment. I even ran a few errands, and a fellow taught me how to build a gas ATV engine from junk. I learned a lot in Oilville, and I geared up for my showdown with Death Biter. He was still smugly perched at the base of that bridge. I strode up and made him into a stack of lizard cutlets with my mower blades. I won handily this time, being much more prepared. I then went to claim my prize in the shack.

When I reached the top of the hill, I was accosted by a crazy hermit. He hit like a blight mule and had a skull that might have been made of titanium. Though it was a close fight, he sent me to the cloner. My story ended in Oilville, but Number Five's legacy did not. His legacy continues on because he is a clone. And perhaps someday you might see him in the wastes. If you do, be sure to kill him on sight, because that is what he intends for you. The wastelands are a treacherous place. See you next week.
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