Ok, so you downloaded the game, got it running, and right now you’re probably full of butterflies wondering what’s going to happen next. Well, few things to think about before playing the game.
Prepare for a long-term commitment
This is a game where you should be prepared to stick around for a while, especially if you get involved with a community or society. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing. You are getting a sort of ‘virtual life’, one that runs parallel to your real one. You make friends, enemies, even develop relationships.
You should also make note of the long term financial commitment. While the game is 100% free to download and play, just like in the real world, it’s extremely difficult to jump into a career without putting in a deposit first. Some people stick to a monthly deposit, like $10/month, while others invest when it suits them. Mindark states that the average player will spend about $1.00 to $1.50 an hour while playing. Depending on your chosen career, this can fluctuate.
It is possible to play the game without making any deposits, however, this will make your gaming experience even longer and may not be as much fun as you might initially think it is. However if you are committed to the game, you can accomplish this.
The myth about Entropia
Most people who first hear about Entropia Universe see the popular phrase ‘make a lot of money in Entropia Universe’ and naturally assume that they’ll be able to do it. Newcomers often think that, once they install the game, money will be flowing in without them having to paying a dime in return.
This is not so.
Your chances of making money in the game are quite slim, and if you do get a global or a HOF worth hundreds of PEDs, it may not be a significant amount in real money terms (a 320 PED global equals $32 USD). Often, your first global will only appear months after you begin playing the game, and by then you would have had already spent a large amount of PEDs on armor, ammo, weapons, repairs, etc. While profiting in the game is not impossible, luck is a considerable factor.
So in short, if you want to have a good time, put money in the game. While you’re not required to pay, it is difficult to gain skills, if not impossible, without a deposit. Enduring long hours of sweating mobs and dying or walking to find some fruit or dung just for a few PEDs is very frustrating. The majority of new players believe that they can handle the long process of making free PEDs by sweating or collecting dung and fruits, however the reality is that most of them end up quitting. Only those who can withstand the long hours of work or can deposit survive.
It’s often very encouraging to see global or HOF messages pop up in the chat window when you are a newcomer. When you see someone who’s just found a deposit of iron worth 10,000PEDs ($1,000 US) you get very excited, but remember that it probably cost that person double that amount in mining equipment and failed attempts. Mindark has developed this game to make money. If every player were to profit, the game would become bankrupt. The only real way to make money in the game is to compete with other players, not with the game itself. Your chances of profiting from hunting or mining alone are next to zero, but if you are a trader, or a real-estate owner, your chances of profiting increase dramatically.
When you first arrive to Calypso you’ll want to find a mentor. A mentor will be able to explain everything to you and will guide you through the game.
For most new players, you are literally moving into a new city, new country, and a new neighborhood. You will not know anyone, and no one will know you. However, not everything is doomed.
- Ask around if you have questions. This is always a good way to get to know a person. Usually someone will always be around to help you out.
- Be polite. This can get you close to gaining a friend. Being rude and disrespecting will quickly label you as a bad-mouth and most people won’t want to deal with you.
- DON’T TYPE IN ALL CAPS. This gives the impression you’re yelling, and is generally not liked by the community.
- Do not try to initiate a private chat or trade with someone unless first invited to do so. It is just bad manners.
On the path to riches
Gaining skill points in one particular field or area can bring back some good returns. You may want to experiment at first, however trying to skill in everything in the long run will wear you down (and your PED card for that matter). What your interested in is up to you, however how much PEDs and money you’re willing to invest will also factor in.
While mining is fun, you will need many probes/bombs for a run, with low level skills and tools, your returns will likely be a fraction of what you started with. However consistent mining and upgrading your equipment with your skills will improve your chances of finding ‘a big one’, and you may break about even during your trips, if not profit.
Coloring is also another skill to consider, however revenue is not made by coloring items themselves. Your profits come from your customers, or other players. Thus while really nice colored clothing have high price tags, players will not pay much if at all for uncolored/faded colors. Therefore a lot of PEDs need to be invested in order to get good results. Then you’ll need to gain sufficient skills at coloring to attract customers. Otherwise you spend PEDs on coloring clothes with a a color that everyone already has.
Hunting is one of the main three jobs in the game (hunting/mining/crafting), so it’s quite popular. Many newcomers come with the intention of buying the best armor and the best gun they can afford thinking that it will automatically make them profitable. This is not true. As frustrating as it seems, stick to the Trade Terminal equipment. While these are far from ‘the best’, these items have nice little skill bonuses for newcomers to gain skills faster, so you will benefit from these far more than the stuff with more damage.
To put this into context:
Start with Trade Terminal Sollomate Opalo Rifle and the Goblin or Pixie armor set. With the Opalo, you get damage and range bonuses, so you will gain skills faster and be able to hit with more accuracy. And with only 2 rounds per shot, you can fire a lot more often without having to buy large amounts of ammo. With the Goblin or Pixie armor set, your armor decay will be manageable, plus you will learn valuable Evade skills to avoid getting hit in the future. Do not buy the Settler armor set from the Trade Terminal, it is a terrible armor set and far too expensive for it’s protection. Find somebody who can sell you either the Goblin or Pixie armor set.
After you have mastered the Sollomate Opalo (it will say that your Hit Ability for that gun is 10/10) you can buy the A-3 Justifier MKI or the Breer M2a (L) Rifle with the Shogun armor set. With the MKI or the Breer, the rifle is made with the intention of user already skilled with lower-end weaponry. And it eats 5 rounds per shot instead of 2. It’s a more powerful gun.
If you want to avoid overpriced fees, another option would be to get a Punisher. It’s almost as good as an Jusitifier and can be purchased from a Weapons Shop in the game at a couple of different cities.
This time no aim or damage bonuses are made, so you will end up missing more often, and the damage will not be at the maximum. The decay on the Shogun armor is more than the with the Pixie or the Goblin, but it’s protection is much better and this will allow you to hunt bigger mobs.
TP’s are teleporters which are used to travel between locations in the Entropia Universe. While these may seem to be unimportant at first (seeing as you only have one – the place where you arrived), these are lifesavers when you get more. The best way to find teleporters is to either follow people who you know are in the process of running to one (called ‘teleporter runs’), reading online teleporter maps, or just asking someone to give you the coordinates. So if you’re at Port Atlantis and someone says there’s a big Araneatrox spider over at Hadesheim you can just use the TP to fly over and see it. Teleporters are also great when you’re trying to escape a chasing mob.
Upon arriving to Project Entropia you were automatically receive two teleporters – the place of your arrival (often Port Atlantis) and the Treasure Island Center teleporter on Amethera. You can find that by pressing the “Change Continent” button in the Map menu and its located in centre of continent.
Note that you can’t use TP to travel to Crystal Palace and Club Neverdie. These are stations located in space and the only way to get there is by spaceship. However there is a TP at Crystal Palace that will let you teleport back down to Calypso for a 10 PED fee.
Trade Terminals – Friend & Foe
Trade Terminals (often abbreviated to TT) are located in most towns and outposts. These are your unlimited supply centers, making them essential tools for every hunter (for ammo), miner (for probes and bombs), tailor (for refiners), or for any other field. They will become very familiar to you as you will be using them quite often.
The other function the TT serves is for selling anything you want to get rid of. It Doesn’t matter what it is, you can sell it in the TT. That’s the good part. The bad part is that it buys your items at the pre-established value (often referred to as the TT value, or simply TT). If you have 5,000 Nexus you want to sell, you can sell it to the TT for Nexus’ TT value and get 50 PED. While that’s all fine and dandy, you’ve just lost a lot of profit. The market value of Nexus at this time is about 130% of its TT value. So while you made 50 PED by selling it to the TT, you could’ve made 65 PED (130% of 50 PED) by selling it to another avatar or at the auction.
The general consensus is that if you can buy it at the Trade Terminal – you can sell it back to the Trade Terminal without having to worry about losing any money. There are instances however when people will buy items they could have bought at the Trade Terminal from other players for more money. This is probably due to the fact that they were unaware that the item was being sold at the TT, or they were far away from a TT and preferred to spend an extra few PEDs to get the item from someone else rather than having to run to a nearby terminal.
Good items sell fast and for reasonable prices if you know the values and who to sell to. On January 26, 2007 Mindark announced that they’ve noticed that some rare unlimited items found on Calypso, like unlimited mining amps, have been sold to the Trade Terminals, which caused a wave of discussion and angry comments.
In Version Update (VU) 8.11 Mindark has introduced a feature built into the game where you can check an item’s markup price. When opening an Item Info panel, a Market Value icon, in the lower right corner, allows any participant to see the value history of an item based on data taken directly from the official Entropia Universe Auction. If the item’s price is over 100% or greater than TT+0.00, do not sell it to the TT, it is a waste of money. Somebody probably wants to buy that item off you and you can make a profit. You can also check an item’s market price at several user created website such as MyTwoPecs.com or PEauction.com.
Your PED card
Your PED Card is like your personal bank card. It’s the #1 thing the whole universe revolves around. When you deposit real world currency into the game it is automatically transferred into your PED card in the from of PEDs (Project Entropia Dollars). PEDs have a fixed rate with the US Dollar of 10 PEDs equaling $1.00 US Dollar.
When you first get some money on your card, do not buy anything for the first few days. It is very tempting, but more often than not, you will make hasty and uneducated purchases which will cost you a lot of money. Look around, talk to people, learn the price ranges, and know what’s economical. Just like in the real world, you’ll want to familiarize yourself with the economy. You wouldn’t buy a loaf of bread for $100 in real life, so don’t pay 100 PEDs for a fruit. At first the 1:10 ratio between real currency and PED currency will be confusing and it will feel like everything is extremely expensive. But the real world economy is very different from the Entropia Universe economy. Doing your homework first will save you from burning a hole in your (virtual) pocket purchasing something carelessly.
You can also carry around coins with you without putting them on your card (just like in the real world). Doing this, however, will not count those coins on your balance. This scares some newcomers when they trade for the first time and don’t see their balance increase. You have to drag coins onto your PED card in order for your balance to update. Currently when you trade you must take coins out of the PED card in order to give them to someone in a trade. You can’t give people money directly off your PED card. Some people will carry around all of them money in coin form and leave their PED card empty, however, money is heavy and if you’re carrying a lot of coins it will slow down your movement.
Parties & Dances
One of the neat things about the game, whether they’re planned or just happen randomly, are events that get even the social outcast to come out and play. This is also great place to meet new friends, and it’s FREE.
Some are in towns, while other official or private parties take place in houses or apartments. People use boards and other wood materials to come up with creative dance floors for people to dance on. Apartment owners can also buy fancy lights and television screens to simulate a disco atmosphere and enjoy in virtual world.
Club Neverdie has an entire area devoted specifically for this kind of event.
Play with your head, not your fingers
Ok, so your the newcomer and you may get some comments about it. Don’t let it get to your head. Just remember that they were low level newbies themselves too, so don’t take it personally. Most people are actually quite kind to newcomers, doing TP runs or offering advice.
They may be avatars in the game, but remember that there’s real people controlling them. Don’t use vulgar language or anything else you wouldn’t say to your real life friends. Getting a bad rep will really ruin your game playing. Everything is part of the same world in Entropia Universe and more often than not people will remember you, so you’ll want to make a good first impression.
Also don’t try to be cheap. If someone is killing a mob, don’t run and try to steal the kill. It’s rude, and you’ll probably get a lot of complaints from the person you stole the kill from. So unless the person requests assistance, or accepts your team invitation, leave them and their mob alone.
In Entropia Universe you can buy Real Estate property. Apartments are great places for people who wish to rest their heads on some soft furniture than the hard rocks on Calypso… of course, the furniture comes separately. There are many available estates for sale (nearly 200+ pages of small, medium, and large apartments on auction). You can almost get one at any place you like. There are several estate areas throughout the universe. Prices range from 250-400 PED depending on the size and location. Some apartments are much more expensive because of their popular location or famous previous owner. Apartments come in three sizes:
- Small – one room apartments, with a nice view outside. Holds about 120 items.
- Medium – slightly larger, these have a small corner section of the room that small apartments don’t have. These hold about 150 items.
- Large – the biggest and best apartments, these are two room apartments with tons of room, and windows that are bigger than those in the small or medium apartments. These hold up to about 200 items.
Some apartments on Calypso have decks on the back, which make for good sightseeing with friends. Note that decks are unprotected property and anyone can pick up items there. Club Neverdie apartments do not have this kind of area.
Every property owner must pay regular maintenance fees in order to maintain their estate. If you forget to pay you will be locked out.
Skilling – The Basics
Skilling is the act of gaining skill points by doing various activities in the game. You can get skills by hunting or mining or what have you. As you progress in your activity you will receive little green messages in your chat box (assuming you have skill messages enabled) notifying you of gained skill points – ‘you have gained skill in <skill>’ or simply ‘you have gained <skill>’. These are good messages, as when you are done with your activity you can open your avatar information window and see the changes in their appropriate fields.
Skilling affects your rank in several ways – the grade, the rank and the general overall skill gaining. The grade is how far along you are toward the next rank. Thus at grade 1, you are at the beginning of the rank, while at grade 9 you are near completion of that rank. When you reach the max grade, the rank will increase by one, then you start at grade 1 and work your way up again.
As your rank increases, you may notice slight, not significant, but slight improvement in your activities such as being able to fire more shots per minute, gain accuracy which allows you to miss less often when firing, finding more mining deposits, etc.
As you get more skills, it becomes harder and harder to get them. After about 1,000 of a particular skill it will become more noticeable. Upgrading your tools, or perhaps shooting at bigger targets will increase the chances that you may gain more skills.
After a few thousand levels in a skill, you may unlock a new skill. Congratulations, these are rare. While these ‘hidden’ skills start all the way back at level 1, getting these up will actually improve your activity somehow (for example, marksmanship improves accuracy, blueprint Comprehension increases a crafter’s COS, etc…)
New Professional rankings
New to Version Update (VU) 8.8, you no longer see your professional standings in the avatar info window. Instead, it’s all in a small window of its own. There it displays every standing in the game, and where your skills actually stand on every one. Not only do you have a choice now of what you want to display to others as your professional standing but now you can be an ‘evader’ or a ‘paramedic’ which was not possible before.
When you achieve a new rank in a profession, you will be notified by a green light in the chat window. A sound will also play and your avatar will be surrounded by a glowing green light for a moment. A box in your notification window will tell you of your new rank.
There are 65 possible professions, split into 5 different categories: combat, mining, crafting, mindforce and other.
Jack of all trades, master of none
There is nothing wrong with trying every profession at once. While it may be more expensive, one could (in theory) mine his own ore and enmatter, use it to craft items, then either sell the crafted items or use the items made for further investment or personal use. This would requires multiple skill levels to be in the high thousands. However, for some people this makes a lot of sense. A combination of hunting and mining is especially popular because often it is thought that large mining deposits are found under a large group of mobs. Therefore you would use your hunting skills to first eliminate the mob and then your mining equipment to search for matter on the land where you were hunting.
Most people decide to concentrate on one profession (usually hunting) first, and then, once they have developed a good set of skill points in the profession, they move on to something else. Some people don’t bother with skill points at all and make their entire profits by trading in game. This is a difficult profession that doesn’t generate any skill points, but can potentially be very profitable. This is the beauty of the Entropia Universe – everyone has the ability to be anyone.
Working around a (L)imited world
As VUs roll by, more items are being discovered/replaced with limited counterparts. While this may seem like a bad thing, there are good things to consider:
- All (L) items have the skill bonus advantage (SIB), so a person skilled enough to wield a Breer 4(L) will have much better hunting results than a person of the same skill working with a MKII.
- With (L) armor, you do not have to worry about decreasing protection when it takes damage. This is a rather sinificant advantage over the unlimited armor, which protection decreases as it takes damage. Same goes for amror plates.
Make necessary repairs often
While you may cringe every time you hit up the repair terminal, get what you need repaired to full before/after a hunt or mining run. Yes, it hurts to have less ped to play with, however if you keep pushing off repairs, the bills get steep…and quickly, at that rate. Also fully repaired items are more effective in the heat of combat, so it may end up saving you from dying alot or lose fewer peds. Nothing hurts more than happily shooting mobs then have your weapon give out on you. Same applies to mining finders and drills.
With the new decay on clothing and armor, if it’s at full TT value you can probably be ok as long as you don’t swtich between the two more than a dozen times a day.
Market values of new Items
Whenever there’s a new VU, new items are bound to be discovered. However, those who find the item will most likely exploit the items current rareness, and put it on the auction for much more than most items will go for. If you are patient, the market will, with time, stabilize to a more acceptable value. While it is tempting to be the first person to own such objects, you will soon find that you bought the first item at 100 ped, while everyone else bought it three days later at 20 PED.
But that goes the other way around as well. If you happen to discover a new item first, and you want to profit from it immediately – sell it right away. Because later down the road, it won’t be worth as much.