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Earth Eternal Preview

by: Jaime Skelton ; edited by: Michael Hartman ; updated: 5/25/2012 • Leave a comment

A look into the world of Earth Eternal, a new browser-based MMORPG from Sparkplay Media.

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    About Earth Eternal

    "The time of Man has passed. The great achievements of humankind have been lost to antiquity or reclaimed by Mother Earth, leaving fresh ground for the ancient Beasts from which Man descended to return to Earth and contend with Demons, Faeries, Dragons, Gods, and Titans of old." - Earth Eternal, Game Info page

    Earth Eternal is a free to play MMORPG by Sparkplay Media. It is 3D, browser-based, and based on a classic MMORPG model. Its official website is at http://www.eartheternal.com.

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    The World

    Map   Earth Eternal has an incredibly rich lore available for players - in fact, the first three parts compose a publicly available 140 page story. The lore tells of our own world once ruled by Titans and Beasts, but then torn asunder by Man. Mankind destroyed the world, but then purified it. Now, mankind is gone, and the Beasts of ancient times have returned under Gaia's loving care.

    As such, players explore our own Earth as they quest, from beginning in Corsica, to visiting the great halls of Camelot, and even beyond into Europe. While the world is not to scale of the real world, areas are often quite true to their living counterparts. Though the world is cartoony, it is beautiful and wondrous to explore.

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    Character Creation

    Character Creation   Character creation is surprisingly in depth for a browser-based MMO, providing a huge amount of options that allow for a truly unique character when complete.

    A player's first choices are for gender, race, body type, and face. There are 24 races for players to choose from, none of them human. The lore of Earth Eternal places characters into a world after humankind has passed on Earth, and the ancient Beasts have returned. Races are all humanoid in nature, and while many are based on creatures of this world, some are also based on fantasy creatures such as demons and yeti.

    After making a decision on race, players then have three body types to choose from - a slender build, an athletic build, and even a portly build. There are also three faces: young, intense, and old. Each of these faces gives uniquely different markings to the character's face.

    Coloring your character   The next step for players is to customize their characters by selecting colors for all the parts of their body. While there is a specific palate, it is broad enough, especially considering the number of customizable parts for each color. There's also a random function and a height selector, allowing you to be incredibly specific on your character's look - even if it's incredibly wild.

    The third step of character creation has players select their base class, Knight, Rogue, Mage, or Druid. Each has their own specialities, but is highly customizable, as discussed in the section below.

    Finally, players name their characters with a first name and surname, either from a pre-generated list or with their own creativity. Players can also choose their own starting clothing, in case they don't like the default of their class or would like to mix and match - all three clothing options (chest, pants, and shoes) are accessible by all classes.

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    Classes

    There are four basic classes in Earth Eternal: Knights, Rogues, Mages, and Druids. The Knight represents your typical heavy melee fighter and tank, the Rogue acts as a light physical DPS, Mages act as spell DPS, and Druids act as ranged DPS.

    Before you think this is a small, restrained class system, think again. There's more to customization, and gaining skills, than meets the unobservant eye.

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    Customization

    Skills   There are a total of eight ability trees for all classes: one for each class, and one for healing, transportation, weapons, and armor.

    Each class tree's are split into two. The upper abilities are available only to that particular class. The lower abilities, on the other hand, are available for that class and all other classes as well - for instance, a Rogue can learn a Druid's death magic. This allows for great customization.

    The other ability trees continue that customization. Healing does not belong to any particular class - anyone can become a healer, and can do so at whatever depth they choose, whether it's enough for a little self healing while soloing, or spending as many points as possible to become specialized in healing. The transportation tree allows players to learn portals. Weapons and armor trees allow players to become specialized in weapon types, and increase the type of armor they'd like to wear, regardless of class.

    One final thing to note on this mass of customization: players can purchase additional ability points through Earth Eternal's cash shop if they so desire.

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    The Beginner's Experience

    Earth Eternal UI   Earth Eternal has set up a great starting tutorial and walkthrough, giving players a great taste of the basics they need to know.

    When a character starts out in Earth Eternal, they begin on a little island, where, if it's their first time playing, they are taught how to move, use the camera, and interact with NPCs. The NPCs on the island will teach players how to do quests, how to fight in Earth Eternal's combat system, and how to use and interact with objects.

    When players are done with this starting tutorial, they are thrown onto the first island, Corsica. Here, players learn to interact with the world on their own, and the first series of quests that takes them through the island of Corsica and, later, Earthrise, are all soloable. Tutorial hints will continue to pop up for new players as they encounter new things, making sure the welcome into Earth Eternal is a warm one.

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    Crafting

    There is crafting in Earth Eternal, too. Rather than characters learning tradeskills, players can instead access a Craft Artisan to craft special items.

    A few things are needed for crafting. The first is a recipe, which is a preparation for the item to be crafted (determined by the recipe), as well as a list of the items required. Among the items required are two types: the Key Component, which is purchased from the Crafting Supply Vendor, and other Components, found from various enemies around the land.

    All of these items, brought to a Craft Artisan, can be combined into the item specified in the recipe. However, these items are bound to the character and are not tradable, meaning that markets are based around tradable components and not items themselves.

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    Combat

    Combat in Earth Eternal follows a classic MMORPG system. It combines the use of auto-attacks with the use of skills.

    Taking Aim   The basic combat system for Earth Eternal is based on a combo-point system, similar to that used by World of Warcraft rogues. Players build up "charges," either magical or physical, and then can use a move, called an "execute," that uses these charges, doing damage based on the number of charges available. Players have health bars, but no mana or energy bars.

    The reason behind this is that players have two additional bars: Might and Will. Both bars consist of several dots; these dots represent a character's current power that allows them to execute abilities. Each ability has a cost, available by mousing over and reading the tooltip. Might converts into physical abilities, while will converts into magical abilities. For example, a Mage's Firebolt uses 3 Will, and their execute Pyro Blast uses one charge. As both bars are equal and usable by all classes, players do well to learn magical and physical movesets.

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    Flaws

    Earth Eternal is currently in open beta, so some flaws and bugs are to be expected. From my game time, here is what I observed to be problematic.

    • Performance. The game runs exceptionally well for a browser game, yet struggles with latency and action delay. While the servers themselves are stable, in game performance needs to be more responsive.
    • Crafting too shallow. Many players would prefer to learn a craft and ply their trade on their own, rather than simply hand off work to an NPC to be done. With items bound to the character requesting them crafted, there's little option for those who would rather purchase a crafted item than gather the materials themself.
    • No group seeking interface. Players who wish to find a group for a quest must utilize chat channels, rather than an in-game interface that allows them to see who may be looking to complete a quest but is less vocal.
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    Final Thoughts

    Waterfall   When I first saw Earth Eternal's website, and read about the game, I was excited - and I finished my first playing experience no less excited than when I began. The game's capabilities are amazing for a browser game, the community is extremely friendly, and the balance between solo and group content is superb. With more systems like PvP and player housing (Groves) on the way, Earth Eternal promises to be a very good MMORPG for years to come.

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    Additional Screenshots

    AnubiansCave SystemCharacter Creation: A Portly DeerChoosing a ClassNaming and ClothingGravestone left by dead enemyHealingCorsica and Earthrise MapMerlinFighting a QuackatriceQuest WindowTreasure TokensStonehengeStarting AreaSir Lancelot

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