Introduction: Sector System Edit
Fallen Earth is divided up into a number of sectors. Each sector has around twenty towns in it, a number of instances, levels, and encounter areas, and it covers a certain range of levels. Players travel from sector to sector as they progress through the game, the concept of which is going to send some players screaming to the hills saying it is strictly linear game play. That's really not true. It's more like playing a new game in each sector, but with story lines linking all the games. Each sector is so huge and has so much content, including new play features being introduced every sector (PvP, pets, housing, vehicles, etc), it's not a very linear experience at all. Your average player will find a lot to do in each sector.
Story Arcs Edit
A story arc consists of a series of missions, encounters, discussions with NPCs, etc. that a player encounters as they play through the game. There are basically three types of story arcs:
Overall Story Arc Edit
The game is composed of a number of story arcs, each concerning itself with a different area of the world after the Fall. These stories are all related and involve the same characters, factions, etc, but happen in different areas. For example, the first story arc deals with what happens in the Grand Canyon and why it is so important, where the clones come from, etc., while the second may deal with some other nearby location. The basics (location, setup, etc) for the second overall story arc will be revealed once the game has been released and the developers start looking at expansions. It is not Fallen Earth's goal to stop players from playing together, though obviously new players won't be able to experience later story arcs immediately due to the power differential. Players will be able to come from areas introduced in later story arcs back to beginning areas without causing problems.
Faction Story Arc Edit
Each faction in the game, including villain and neutral factions, have their own story arcs. Some of these last for the entirety of the Overall Story Arc, and some may stretch between Overall Story Arcs, while others may run for just a few sectors. For example, at the start of a villain story arc you may learn of the villain faction's existence in the first sector you encounter them in, but not what they are really up to. In the second sector you may learn more about them and foil one of their schemes. In the third sector you raid one of their bases, learning much of their history and plans. In the fourth sector you find out they have a hideout in the fifth sector by capturing one of their leaders, and in the fifth sector you go lay waste to their headquarters.
Local Story Arcs Edit
They just concern the settlement or sector you are in, such as dealing with a local raider band or helping a settlement find a new water supply.
What Fallen Earth Doesn't Include Edit
One Way Advancement Edit
If you want to go back to a sector you've left, rock on. If you want to go drive your cool new car around the starter zone, sure, go ahead. There isn't much of a mechanical reason to go there since the content won't be much of a challenge and the loot from critters you kill wouldn't even cover the cost of your gas, but if you want to you can.
Limited choices Edit
People seem to think the developers have made a railroad track with only one course you can take. It's more like a vast network of railroad tracks, switching stations, roundabouts, and other forms of rail infrastructure. Sure the tracks start in one place and end up somewhere else, but how you get between the two has a huge amount of variation. The story of Fallen Earth leads somewhere, but you have many, many paths to tale to get there. Alternately, you can jump the tracks and ignore the story completely. Feel free to run around grinding, crafting, and exploring to your heart's content. If you don't want to follow the story, Fallen Earth won't make you, but you'll be missing out on some things just like folks who don't craft or buy from crafters won't have the best gear and the folks who don't PvP won't get to see the content in conflict towns. Every play style means you'll be getting a slightly different experience out of Fallen Earth. In order for you to see absolutely everything, you will have to do absolutely everything.
Repeating content Edit
Folks seem to think that since the developers have some structure to the story progression, they'll be playing through the same things over and over again. Not so. An average player will play through roughly 1/4-1/3 of the available content while playing through Fallen Earth - meaning that portion of the towns, see that much dialogue, etc. The developers have designed the game with roughly three to four times the content that is strictly needed in order to avoid people having to repeat the same missions as alts and to encourage players to not feel like they have to do things they don't like. If you're not digging the town you're in, go to another; there are dozens more.
- Question of the Week: April 17, 2007 - Will there be standard MMO conventions? / What is a story arc?. Fallen Earth.com. Retrieved on 2007-07-01.
- Question of the Week: April 25, 2007 - Clarification. Fallen Earth.com. Retrieved on 2007-07-01.