Wasteland Diaries: A fond farewell

Fallen Earth's Alpha County: the first installment of Sector 4 is here at long last. There was a time when the place was considered a myth by many wastelanders, but it has finally become a reality. If you want to see what it has in store, check it out for yourself. It's very likely that's what I'm currently doing.

Since the patch date got pushed back a day, I wasn't able to do a piece on my first impressions of the new zone. Maybe I'll handle that next week. I've instead decided to do a retrospective on what I am leaving behind in Fallen Earth, a fond farewell to some of the things that will no longer matter. There are a great many things I will miss as I cross over into S4, and there will be a great many things I won't miss. As a creature of habit, I fear change, but I'm trying to be as optimistic as possible. With that in mind, after the cut, I'll try to concentrate on some of the changes that I'll be pleased about.

Most of the things I'll miss in the new Fallen Earth will be game-mechanics-related stuff. But, there will be locations that I'll miss, and also be glad to get away from. There are several towns that make the bittersweet goodbye list, and most of them because I spent way too much time in them.

First up is Trader's Flat. I hope our new sector capital Shackleton has everything I need, so that I never have to go back to TF again. It's nothing against the town itself. There's plenty to do there, and usually the odd fight will break out by the bank. The thing about Trader's that I won't miss is what it does to my graphics card. My FPS drops drastically while I'm there and I know I'm not alone. At times it's unbearable and seemingly random. But, I have noticed that my old computer handles all of the newer areas pretty well, like Terminal Woods and my preliminary visit to Alpha County.

Right down the road from Trader's Flat, you will find Haietta -- my home away from home. I have probably spent more time fighting in Haietta than in Park City. Haietta has been Traveler held for the majority of its existence. There were some slow days, but for the most part, there was constant fighting, if there was fighting anywhere. There were also the slow days when one hapless Lightbearer attacked a tower and was beset upon by half a dozen PvP-starved Saints. Though I will miss the epic battles, I'm not going to miss all the chasing and waiting. I might come back and visit someday, but catch you later Haietta.

The CHOTA town, Park City. I've lived there ever since the day that Faction Control Points went live. It was controlled by the Travelers for over 7,000 hours when KAOS claimed it for the CHOTA. I'd like to say it's been ours since that day, but I can only claim that it was mostly ours. Mostly due to the Traveler/CHOTA alliance that allowed both factions to hold their respective towns and defend them with twice the vigor. The alliance will carry on into Sector 4 and into Blockade, and it will be two factions taking on the rest of the wheel as usual.

I know the FCP towers were only supposed to be there temporarily, but I am damn glad they are being replaced with this patch. That is one change that I've been looking forward to after seeing even the guards warping through walls and floors in them. Also, there are a few annoying loose ends that will be tied up with this patch as well. Like the availability of the rank 4 books in the Sector 3 faction towns. Once the abilities got defactionalized, it would have been nice to grant access to the books for everyone. No First Aid or Empathy for you, CHOTA-boy.

A fond goodbye to Los Alamos. I am actually going to miss the place. It was a crafter's paradise (not to mention the only place with a utility vault), and the home to my social crafter. It had literally everything I needed, aside from a few odds and ends I could get in Park City. I truly am going to miss it, and if there isn't a good replacement in S4, I'll be driving back and hanging my hat there once again.

I really have to say that I like our current combat system. Maybe it's because I'm familiar with it. But whatever the reason, I think it's good enough. The new combat system seems so appealing with what it is flaunting though. No more auto-aimed stuns -- in fact, no more stuns. No more super-speed (I'm gonna miss that a little). No more knockdown. No more capstone rezzes. And no more Dodge being the most useless skill (in actuality, I'm one of the few who still stand by Dodge -- passive defenses FTW!). New combat system, that's a pretty impressive resume. You know what? Bye, old combat system.

In reality, they could have just implemented the stats-no-longer-raise-skill-minimums ruleset and got rid of stuns and knockdown, and we would have been golden. Either way, the changes are for the better in my opinion. And believe me, every time I died in a stun, my embrace on the new combat system tightened. Either way, come on down to Blockade in a few days (gotta hit the level 55 cap) and let me try my new combat skills out on you. Or if PvP isn't your song and dance, I'll see you here next week.

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, find him on the official forums as Casey Royer, or hunt him down in the wastelands as Nufan, Original, Death Incarnate, and Knuckles Mcsquee.