The new vehicle-painting system has a lot of promise. This colorization system is not just important because you can personalize your mechanical mounts -- it is proof-positive that item and armor customization could very well be a possibility. This is a far cry from the "probably not" we got on the subject when Lee Hammock
was still around. The coloring system gives you three nodes that can be three different (or the same) colors on the vehicle. You then use paint kits on the node to choose the colors. The paint kits can be crafted and some colors are rarer than others. The players have enough leeway to make their cars aesthetically pleasing or downright grotesque. I'm prepared to see plenty of ugly paint-jobs, because after all, this is the apocalypse.New extended tutorial
I had a chance to start all over again on the PTS. The tutorial itself is the same, but once you choose a starting town, the extended tutorial begins. I chose Zanesville, so your experience may be slightly different. I started in a very dilapidated LifeNet facility, but it was fully functional. I was immediately informed that a Gully Dog attack was imminent and given a mission to dissuade them. The extended tutorial was pretty combat-oriented, and only one quest was a crafting quest. The guy gave me the Mine Copper book (very helpful) and a Zipguns Schematic book and told me to go harvest some copper and make some zipgun ammo. I also noticed that the crafting time on zipgun ammo and crossbow bolts has been reduced. That will help with the ammo logistics early on.
Fear not, extended-tutorial fans; I was awarded the Old Nag before I had to travel any appreciable distance. So, fret not -- you will still get the most worthless (yet indispensable) mount in the game. The final mission was to kill a boss-type Gully Dog. After doing the deed and heading back to the LifeNet pod, I was told to report to the target range, and by now I was nearly level 3. It used to be you were advanced to level 2 right after the extended tutorial, and now with a shorter tutorial I have nearly achieved an additional level. When the Fallen Earth
developers say they have sped up leveling below level 12, they mean it. Gaining levels (and AP) is noticeably faster.Monkey Town
I hope I'm not letting any cats out of any bags (this information was in the patch notes
, after all), but Monkey Town has been destroyed. I've always wondered why there were no AP missions in Monkey Town. Now I know why. You sneaky devs. The first thing I noticed when I arrived was a nasty haze lingering over the area like a mix of smoke and some kind of disgusting sci-fi mist. All of the buildings were burning or smoldering and there were piles of dead apes everywhere. The only one left standing was Alpha Titus and he pointed me in the right direction. The mission chain includes group instances for levels 30, 40 and 50. Yes, I said 50. Get going.Respec injectors
I also had a chance to try out the respec injectors. They are a bit pricey, but each one allows you to retract five of your spent AP. Each one cost me over two red chips. That's 20,000 chips for those who normally deal in white and blue. The price I'm quoting was for the level 50 Recombinant Injector, which is the most expensive one available right now. The lower-level injectors are less expensive, so it is cheaper to fix any AP misallocation at lower levels than to wait until the end. If you need to re-allocate points I suggest you do it sooner rather than later. Respeccing a character with 1300 AP at level 50 could wind up being prohibitively expensive, but these injectors were meant to fix minor mistakes, not complete debacles.PvP flagging
This is the one feature that I may have to withhold judgment on. It's just too early to tell. People, myself included, seem a little gun-shy about flagging themselves for PvP all the time. I did it with my lowest-level alt (level 26) and drove from Haven to New Flagstaff and back. I also drove around in New Flagstaff and went to the vaults. I didn't see a single person flagged aside from myself. I did see a few people flagged for PvP in Los Alamos, and I joined a few scuffles. I did not see any massive pitched battles, but I am sure they are coming -- it's only a matter of time.Vehicle speed boost
This is an interesting addition
that will really improve my enjoyment of the game. Vehicles now have a fourth gear that kicks in when you are traveling on paved roads away from settlements. It makes going from place to place faster, which results in more time playing. I love this new feature, but it might take a toll on my cross-country exploration habits. I have found some interesting stuff off the beaten path. My Interceptor seems so sluggish when I get into towns now, but on the open road it feels like a rocket.Minor changes
The wasteland has new trees now. They are a bit more vibrant than what I was used to, but they seem to render much faster and help with my framerates. The creepers look less creepy now, and more scary.
Mind Over Matter has been made an aura rather than a secondary mutation. It will now overwrite lower-level auras rather than secondary mutations.
They have added the Tech Master Technician's Helmet to the proper merchant. This has been a long time in the coming, but there really aren't many Techs and they tend to keep to themselves and eat babies.
Liquid armoring solution is now a shadow of its former self. People who rely on this stuff to keep themselves alive (almost all of us) will be sorry to hear this news and even sorrier to find out how squishy they are now.
There are a bunch of other changes, but I hit on the major ones. Here are the full patch notes
if you'd like to see more. I've got enough here to keep me busy for a while. Until next week, I'll see you in the wasteland.