By Michael Jordan
Now for the last 2 days, I have put it upon myself with a small group of internet pals to an experiment. The experiment in tales that we all play Next Island(The new area that was added to the Entropia Universe) something that many where agents, with some rules to see if a minimalist could enter into the real cash economy world of Entropia.
Rule 1: You must play at least 1 hour each day for 7 days.
Rule 2: You may not pull any cash in to the game world from your bank account.
Rule 3: You may not look online for any guide; you must gain all info from within the game.
End goal: Gain as much money and explore as many places as possible.
From the first day, I thought this was going to be slow boring hall. The only real way for anyone to gain starting currency without a deposit is to “sweat animal” which requires you to use a tool to gain “sweat” that can be later processed into other item. This process is not only difficult but painstakingly slow at times. Taking me about 2 hours my first day of play to gain around 180 “sweat” , from monkeys and boars around the area of Club Neverdie. With the ending of my first day, I felt like I was going to end up failing this experiment on the first day. Then day 2 rolled around.
I decided to push through the process of sweating, to try to earn some money to get some items like guns or what not. I decided to try to enlist the help of some of the native game players and to see if they would be willing to help. The first thing I noticed is the lack of “newb” spewing players that grace the worlds of most MMO games like World of Warcraft. I was instantly graced with the presence of Narfi Hungry Willem, as well as some others that were quick to put in a helpful word. Narfi Hungry Willem traded me a gun and some ammo for the sweat that I collected, and even told me quick trick on how to set up some hot keys.
In no time where we off and away in HIS PERSONAL SPACE SHIP THAT NEARLY FILLED MY SCREEN. During the demo that I was shown a while back, I saw some flying crafts that seemed to handle well and multiple people, but nothing like this mammoth that just memorized me. Leading me around on a more personal look around, helping me discover some locals that I was unable to reach previously, then landing in an area filled with dragons where we presided to test my new found gun on some co-op blasting in 3rd person as well as First person view, much in the style of Fallout 3 or New Vegas without V.A.T.S.
Now I will stop you here at this point and explain, There is a very big barrier to entry here to most people that are just picking this up and it needs to be noted, that in my opinion, that not starting everyone off in a small tutorial island that is not connected to the games economy is a missed opportunity to lower the barrier of entry to increase the players willing to try the game. I will also note that this also forces everyone to come together more as a community, so it is much like a double edge sword. With that out of the way…..
Our next stop was to The Neverdie Race Track, which looked more like a giant rollercoaster then a track, to have a fun little racing with dune-buggies. Now while the buggies where owned by the players, the use of the area as you saw fit was free. There are also many, areas just like this that would be very worthwhile for you explore and see if you have the money to buy these vehicles.
Reaching the end of the day, we parted ways, for me, gaining a new found sense of respect for this game, and a new found sense of sorrow that most my fellow MMO gamers, playing games like World of Warcraft and the like, which complain about things like vehicle controls, or sense of worth for there time, would not be able to experience this game from my past mentions of barriers of entry, making me wish there was a subscription model so that more people could see all the work and wonder that has gone in to this game.
At the end of Day 2, I can now say I am convinced, this game is worth my time and all of yours if you’re willing to put in a little work, or even give yourself a monthly budged, much like what you would be paying for most MMOs today, or willing to put in the extra time to go through the processes of building up some cash without depositing in to the real money economy. I will look forward to the next 5 days with the idea of mastering some more ideals of the worlds of Entropia and Next Island.