Earthrise (video game)

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Earthrise
EarthriseBoxArt.jpg
Developer(s) Masthead Studios
Publisher(s) Iceberg Interactive
Engine Earthrise Engine
Platform(s) Microsoft Windows
Release date(s)
  • NA February 4, 2011
(service closed on February 9, 2012)
Genre(s) Massively multiplayer online role-playing game
Mode(s) Multiplayer

Earthrise is a science fiction player vs player massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG) by independent Bulgarian developer Masthead Studios released on February 2011.[1]

The game takes place in a post-apocalyptic setting where the surviving population of the Earth has built a new society ruled by a totalitarian government while armed factions fight for resources and power within the new system. Among other features, a few of note are a skill-based advancement system, a player-driven economy and an emphasis on free PvP.[2] The game uses the Earthrise Engine, an engine that was to be used for the cancelled Fallout Online.

Citing that the game was released "too early" and that it "did not meet the expectations of its fans", Masthead Studios shut down the Earthrise servers on February 9, 2012.[3] A press release was sent to many of the gaming sites along with a post on the official forums giving additional details. The announcement also mentioned that the previously planned conversion to a free-to-play model[4] is now dependent on future investor and/or publisher interest.

Gameplay[edit]

Character progression[edit]

The character progression in Earthrise is conducted entirely online.

Skill System[edit]

The number 100 indicates total skills, abilities and tactics available at launch. While many of them are combat oriented, a sizable amount will cover crafting and social aspects for each character. The three types of game elements – skills, abilities and tactics, are closely related to each other and will allow for numerous possibilities for customization of the character. Tactics are the key to customization – these meta-enhancements will be compatible with wide variety of abilities and will change their effects to suit player’s style of play. Players with similar skills may have a completely different style of fighting thanks to enhancing them with tactics.

Combat[edit]

The outcome of battle in Earthrise will rely more on the traditional RPG system, where avatar skills and equipment are important. However the combat will be more dynamic, resembling a third person shooter. The game will require a certain level of player skill in movement and targeting that is becoming increasingly popular trend in current wave of MMOs. Still, not every action will have the same requirements. Some actions will require proper targeting of the opponent, while others will require only having it in sight and then there will be actions that can be executed even if the player doesn’t have its target in sight but within range.

PvP[edit]

Close combat vs ranged weapons, introduced by Earthrise's gameplay video

Players will have the opportunity to kill other players (including from his faction) – but not without consequences. Killing people of the same faction is one of the worst crimes, prosecuted by members of both Noir and Continoma. It will be very difficult for someone to clear the damning effects of such a crime, though not impossible, and his space of operation would be greatly limited in the wild, less secure areas - where he himself would taste his own medicine by being open target for other criminals. Each player's criminal actions, once reported through the Continoma SVS Network will affect the behavior of every guard the player encounters. There will be cases when despite guard activity, the actions do not get reported island-wide. For the most prosecuted player killers that means that their life in a sizable portion of the game world will be constant game of cat and mouse, and other players will certainly benefit from joining in as there will be rewards to take a criminal down. Stealth abilities will be almost a requirement for survival. We won't force that sort of gameplay on players and it would be easy to get on good terms with the government. Player who has killed another player opponent would be able to loot his possessions. There will be available equipment protection, but its viability will vary based on character's affiliation and actions in the game. Characters who play "against the system" should learn to protect their gear well. There will be some high security areas in Earthrise, where guards will attack on sight everyone else who tries to attack another player. People, who don’t want to engage in PvP will feel secure in these zones. At the same time, the most dangerous parts of the island will feature free for all PvP.
Another PvP aspect in Earthrise will be guild rivalries. Guilds will be able to declare war on each other and fight for power and resources. Such wars will be prohibited in the security zones, but will not be punished in the other territories. Guilds will be able to conquer their own part of the island, gaining access to resources and a territory where they can impose their rules. There will also be arenas and other types of PvP competitions with rewards. People who do not want to engage in PvP will not feel alienated in Earthrise. There will be certain areas in the game, where PvE skills will be more important than PvP. Quests, crafting and trade are other examples of the non-PvP gameplay in Earthrise.

Crafting[edit]

Crafting in Earthrise is a complex process that is easy to understand but ultimately difficult to master. The basic rule of crafting is that every item is made of components and every item can be broken down to its composites. Some components are used for specific items, others are used in a wide array of items – for example, a hand gun grip can be used in the creation of various hand guns, while electronic chipsets can be used to create specific devices. Players often will break down items to their components in order to combine some of them with other components to produce new, different items. Crafting and salvaging requires specific skills, depending what item is created or salvaged down, and players will have access to dozens of skills, covering mechanics, electronics, engineering, construction and programming in several futuristic industries.

Transformation of one type of item to another - either through crafting or salvaging - has damaging effect on the used resources and the final item will always have lowered quality value compared to the input components, depending on player's crafting skill. This renders impossible the infinite transformation of items - even for a true expert, constant crafting and salvaging of the same item will make the resources useless and any item made of them prone to quick damage and lessened effect. This is when items will "break" completely - when they cannot be any more repaired, or effectively salvaged to craft a new useful item.

Factions[edit]

The game is based on a clash involving two factions. One is the corporate government that controls every possible aspect of its citizens' lives. The other is Noir, a rebel group sworn to oust the authoritarian order.

Playable Factions[edit]

  • Continoma - They are the saviors of humankind on the island of Enterra and have established the new society and government, hosted in the city of Sal Vitas. They have some negative traits associated with the great governmental power, but are not necessary evil and succeed to provide their citizens with security and technological prosperity.
  • Noir - They fight for freedom against the chains of Continomian laws, but their means of resistance are often radical and cause innocent people to suffer in the name of their cause.

NPC Factions[edit]

  • Alpha Sisterhood - This organization is composed of women scientists, who train their minds and emotions through consuming training to achieve the ability to control energy currents with a psychomorphic interface. Their studies over emotive interfaces have allowed them to create a new direction in armament, called Cybermentalism. Their goal is to achieve a new level of evolution, falling in line with the Continoma politics.
  • Seeyen - A subculture of people with incredible psionic gift, the Seeyen have chosen a life of seclusion far from the prying eyes of the rest of the citizens in a village located at the western beach of the island. While they cooperate with Continoma, they do so only to ensure their comfort and security. They are aware that for Continoma their village is a test bed of studying the psionic potential of the human mind.
  • Consular Guard - The Consular Guard are defenders of the Continoma cause, although not directly under its authority. They believe in law and justice, at any cost. Gathered at first from SVS officers, they attract promising subjects from the civil population and through long and hard training they maintain an elite combat division, directly funded by Continoma to fight against criminal activities across the island.
  • Enforcers – A group of veteran soldiers united by their dark and criminal past make up the Enforcers. Once they sided with Continoma as mutant extermination squad- sent on the worst assignments where they were supposed to eliminate all “inconvenient” subjects to the current regime. When they became the “inconvenient” ones, they left Continoma and went independent, siding with Noir and even the criminal Syndicate. As coldblooded killers, hardened through fanatic massacres against mutantkind, these renegade soldiers believe in brute firepower and intimidation.
  • The Codiax - One of the strongest allies of Noir, the Codiax is composed of rebel biology scientists who initiated a coup against Continoma and were backed by the military and economic opposition at the time. When their direct assistance is not needed by Noir, The Codiax works on secret experiments over genetics and biologic weapons based on whatever knowledge they can extract from the mutants. These experiments are seen as "troublesome" by some, however the organization still persists.
  • The Phoenix – The Phoenix are a union of renegade scouts, many of whom have shown support to Noir in the days before and after the Coup. As secretive as any spy organization could be, in politics the Phoenix leans towards Noir mostly because any links to their previous position of glory in Sal Vitas have been severed. They currently trade with stolen technology and information from their secret agents in the great metropolis, and in turn sell it to Noir - as long as they pay well. Should Noir ever fail to deliver on payments by accident or design, they can expect to find themselves having to procure another source quickly.
  • The Syndicate - When Continoma deserted the less promising population within The Nest that did not follow fanatically the political propaganda they put out, they did not expect what became of the first pioneer settlement years later. After the destruction of the old world, the area became a cesspool of criminal activity ruled by the Syndicate, an organization built on the same merciless principles and tightly woven underground connections as a current day mafia. They set the laws of conduct between the many criminal organizations and bandit squads that roam the island, killing and pillaging. A group with unclear long-term goals, The Syndicate are always trying to stay on the winning side in the conflict between Continoma and Noir.
  • The Red Dragons – Wielding the power of Law and Order in the Eastern Garden, the Red Dragons are in firm control of the underground black market. Placed in a very powerful position to trade not only with restricted and prohibited technologies, they also enjoy the power of having connections with all other organizations. Few organizations can afford to call The Dragons their enemy. Honor is paramount to this organization; if anyone dares to take it away, they strike back with brute force and primal aggression. They work hard to keep their neutral status, maintaining a careful balance between Continoma and Noir.
  • The Nathurians – Group of eccentric scientists who stray from all senseless political struggles on the island, as they often relate the conflict between Continoma and Noir. They follow a nearly religious belief of balance and symbiosis with the nature, picturing the mutated ecology of the island as a precious ally in the mutual goal of survival rather than an enemy that has to be destroyed. For them, every direct intervention in the ecologic biosphere is a barbaric act that would repeat the ecologic catastrophe of the war, in their eyes a mistake that cannot be repeated.
  • Tech Collective – The Tech Collective is a professional organization struggling to defend the rights of a large group of scientists, inventors and manufacturers against the selective censoring of research by Continoma. While they are responsible for the rapid technological advancement of the new society, almost all organizations call them an enemy due to their incredible potential in the arms race in the private sector. As an example, the Tech Collective invented the use of mechanical exoskeletons, whose primary construction purposes were quickly refashioned for military means by the mutant extermination squads and used later in the conflict between Continoma and Noir.

Critical reception[edit]

MMORPG.com rated the game 5.5/10 and wrote that the game was bland and uninspired, lacking a true sandbox environment and offering "little more than grinding combat and crafting" while also noting that the game suffered from performance issues.[5] GameFront rated the game 65/100, praising the game's art direction but stated that the game offered slow progression and lacked a sizable playerbase.[6]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Earthrise". Gamespot. Archived from the original on 2011-02-02. Retrieved 2011-01-26. 
  2. ^ Tom Magrino (2008-01-23). "Masthead spots Earthrise". GameSpot. Archived from the original on 2011-02-02. Retrieved 2008-03-27. 
  3. ^ Atanasov, Atanas. "Earthrise shuts down its servers". Masthead Studios. Retrieved 10 February 2012. 
  4. ^ Atanasov, Atanas. "EARTHRISE BECOMES FREE TO ALL ITS CUSTOMERS (Free-to-play model will come in effect in 2012)". Masthead Studios. Retrieved 10 February 2012. 
  5. ^ "Earthrise review". MMORPG.com. Retrieved 2011-03-25. 
  6. ^ Miozzi, CJ (2011-02-06). "Earthrise Review". GameFront. Retrieved 2011-08-23. 

External links[edit]