Thursday, September 11, 2014

Entropia Universe (Part Six)

The next couple of sections may perhaps be the toughest part of this game that I'll be attempting to explain.

Because it deals with inherent gameplay mechanics, looting as well as the expenditure of PEDs ("real money"), the game developers have been reluctant to reveal much about the way things work. Everything about it or even remotely close to it has been wrapped in much so that most of what I will be bringing across to you will be based upon player-gathered info and perhaps hearsay as well.

As such, things may not be totally accurate or it due to vital info being withheld by players in the know, unannounced tweaks made by the game developers to the coding, lack of skills or access to the items in question (not everyone can afford everything within the game), too many unknown variables and/or the lack of control during experiments, shortage of data samples or PEDs for that matter.

All I can say is that it will be to the best of my knowledge nonetheless...

The Free Activities
By "Free Activities", what I am referring to here are the kinds of stuff that you may do within the game that does not require the spending of PEDs and yet may help you to earn some.

  • Sweating
    Entropia Universe - Sweating
    In this form of activity, what the player does is to equip a special kind of tool called the "VSE Mk 1" (can be found in your Inventory, under the "Tools" tab), aim at mobs which are "sweat-able" (mostly animal-type mobs but may include other types as well depending on the planet) and click to activate the sweating process. You might need to click a couple of times before the process kicks in.
    To avoid killing your mouse buttons, it might be a good idea to hotkey the "Toggle Auto-Use Tool" icon found in your Action Library and use that to activate your VSE Mk 1.
    After starting the process, you will have to maintain your aim at the mob for a couple of seconds before finally acquiring something called the "Vibrant Sweat" (typically between 1 to 4 bottles) like as shown above. However, if at any time during this process, you were to get hit or lose your aim upon the mob...the process will be disrupted and you will have to start all over again.

    What you will have to note though is that each mob will only give as much Vibrant Sweat as its total amount of HP. If a mob has 10 HP, it will only give 10 Vibrant Sweat. If it has 1000 HP, it will produce up to 1000 Vibrant Sweat before becoming "dry" (and can no longer be sweated). After getting this, the only thing left to do is to kill the mob (and loot it) or turret it and then go grab another to sweat.
    One good way is to get together into groups and sweat one huge mob (easier to aim at) with high HP, slow attack speed, low accuracy and bearable damage. As most mobs can only attack one player at a time, this will allow minimal disruption to the sweaters while maximizing the amount of Vibrant Sweat collected per hour (typically about 400 to 500 bottles may be collected per hour in such a group).
    Entropia Universe - Selling Vibrant SweatEntropia Universe - Selling Vibrant Sweat 1
    Upon collecting enough bottles of these, you may then sell them to other players who might be needing them, for a certain amount of PEDs. These Vibrant Sweat can be refined together with Force Nexus (an Enmatter) to form Mind Essence (fuel/ammo to power Teleport Chips). It is also used by crafters as ingredients to craft certain items such as welding wire, furniture or components of weapons, armors and miscellaneous tools or clothings.
  • Walking
    Entropia Universe - Stuff To Look For Walking
    In this form of activity, what the player does is to merely walk (press Q to toggle Run/Walk) around all over the place looking for "hidden" objects like "Fruits", "Natural Stones" and "Common Dung" (such as those shown above).

    These objects are almost impossible to find when you run because they have a certain visibility range of about 4 to 5 "walking steps". Once you move beyond this range, the objects will turn invisible and will no longer be seen.

    As such, it is typically a good idea to look for these by first limiting your "search area" places with definable "ends", such as shorelines or Land Area borders.

    You should then consider doing a "systematic sweep" of the area via perhaps walking from North to South in a straight line (until you've reach the designated end of the area), take 10 side steps and then continue walking, but this time from South to North.
    By doing something like this, you can increase your chances of finding them compared to just merely walking around aimlessly.
    However, one should note that when employing such a tactic, it is advisable that you pick a place where there are preferably no that there won't be any to hinder or obstruct your walking path.

    Also, do consider walking upon terrains with a singular, consistent and light color/texture such as snow or sand. This is partly to reduce the strain upon your eyes as much as possible and also to increase your ability to see the objects when they do pop up.

    You may also wish to tone down your graphic settings to remove needless vegetation (from being rendered) so as to reduce the amount of distraction.
    On average, it takes about an hour or so to find two of these stacks to pick up (if your lucky...maybe three).

    Very time consuming in my opinion and hardly worth the effort considering that your character will gain no skills doing such an activity. Not to mention that what you may find (and its amount) is random.

    If you find natural stones, then good for their markups are decent. If you find fruits and dung...then not so good as their markups are pretty bad in contrast to the stones.
    Entropia Universe - Fruits Stone Dung Uses
    As for the usage of these objects? Well...afaik, fruits are mostly refined together with Sweetstuff (an Enmatter) to form Nutrio Bar (a sort of food for feeding hungry, tamed pets). However, as taming had been removed ever since the implementation of CryEngine 2 and has yet to be reintroduced back into the game, Nutrio Bars are currently...OF NO USE.
    Certain fruits however, like Bombardo and Papplon, are also used in the manufacturing of some components or paint cans. But as their uses are somewhat limited...demand for them are also low as well.
    Natural Stones are used in the crafting of textures while Common Dung is refined together with Growth Molecules (also an Enmatter) to form Energized Fertilizer (something that's needed by Land Area owners to ensure that the mobs found on their lands...mature and flourish).
  • Oil Rig/Field
    When engaging in this form of activity, what the player does is to actually stick around within a certain area, waiting for barrels of Crude Oil (worth 0.01 PED each) to appear. The catch, however, is that you WILL have to "compete" (or gang up together) with others for these crude the place is PVP-enabled (but not PVP-lootable).
    Entropia Universe - Contaminated Zone
    PVP-lootable zones are "Contaminated" areas (marked in red on your map once you've visited it once) whereby players found within can be killed and relieved of all their hunting and mining stackables (looted), if they have any within their inventory at that point in time.

    However, entrance to these zones require a kind of "Anti-Toxic Shot" purchasable from the Trade Terminals. Without such a shot, a player will be unable to enter these zones as they will instantly die due to "toxic radiation" (but we all know its just to prevent ignorant newcomers from accidentally stumbling into such an area, not knowing its consequences).

    Typically, people would want to enter these zones because of the special monsters (to hunt) or mining claims (to find) that can only be found within these zones. And because of them being limited to within these areas, plus the risks involved (of being pked), the markup of the stuff found within are pretty high and commands a decent price.
    These oil rigs or fields can typically be categorized into, loosely, three types. "Tiny", "Small" and "Big". They may be found on the various planets within the world of Entropia Universe...depending on whether the devs or planet partners decides to implement one.
    Entropia Universe - Logan Peak Oil Field LocationEntropia Universe - Logan Peak Oil Field
    A classic example of a tiny oil rig is the one found on Planet Rocktropia's Hunt The Thing.

    In such an oil rig, barrels of crude oil are spawned all over a "specific" area...but in stacks of 1 to 2 barrels (so each stack is only worth 0.01 to 0.02 PEDs). These barrels are invisible until you get within a certain range of them and thus will require you to "run all over the area" in order to pick them up.

    But because each "stack" of crude oil takes about 15 to 20 seconds to "spawn" and the area can only hold about roughly 20 stacks of them concurrently, it is estimated that you may get only up to 2.00 PEDs of crude oil per hour at best...if your alone and no one else is vying with you for them.

    But its precisely because of such measly "payout", that hardly much PVP action is seen there and there's a sporting chance for you to actually be able to pick up some barrels of crude oil...if your patient and fast enough (in clicking and spotting them).
    Entropia Universe - Orthos Oil Rig LocationEntropia Universe - Orthos Oil Rig
    An example of a small oil rig is the one found on Planet Calypso's Orthos Oil Field.

    In such an oil rig, barrels of crude oil are spawned within a "specific" area close to the "oil rig" structure (in red in middle of picture above). It is spawned in stacks of about 50 barrels of crude oil each (or 0.50 PEDs). However, only one such stack may exist at any point in time, I believe.

    But as it has a fairly fast spawn rate...of a few minutes per stack, it is estimated that you may get about 10 PEDs worth of crude oil per hour. Fairly lucrative don't you think?

    Usually, if the oil rig is "open", you will get to see players lining up in a line, each waiting for their own turns to get a pick of the oil. However, at times, "greedy" players may come and wreck this line or even close the rig down via "overwhelming firepower"...just so that they can hog the oil for themselves.

    In such instances, one may only blame it upon "just their luck"...especially if it was close to their turn after having waited for some time. Else, they may also choose to fight back against the aggressors...but its usually pointless as it will merely boil down to being a "war of attrition"...of the PEDs.
    Whomever can force the other side to "lose" more PEDs than its worth their time at the oil rig wins.
    As such, you will typically start to see one or both sides trying to wear each other's armor down with flamethrowers...or going naked, armed with only their "uber faps" (some powerful cost-effective healing tool) and forcing the other side to "waste" ammo.
    Entropia Universe - Ashi Oil Rig Location
    An example of a big oil rig is the one found on Planet Calypso's Ashi Oil Rig.

    In such an oil rig, barrels of crude oil are also spawned within a "specific" area close to some "oil rig" structure much like the one seen in Orthos. However, instead of only spawning in stacks of about 50 barrels of crude oil, this one is much more major and spawns in stacks of about 500 barrels each...or 5.00 PEDs worth (but also only one stack at a time, I believe).

    Likewise, it also has a fairly fast spawn rate...and thus is estimated to be churning out roughly 100 PEDs worth of crude oil per hour.

    Sadly though, because of such high outputs of pure TT Value...this oil rig is almost certainly camped 24/7 by the "big boys". So don't expect to get close enough or even catch a glimpse of the crude oil spawning...unless you are "one of them".
These are not the be-all and end-all though. There may be other opportunities out there if you can think creatively and outside the box. However, the ones mentioned here are the easiest to get into without much knowledge about the game and/or "Investment PEDs". Except for perhaps the oil rig...

Previous: Entropia Universe (Part Five)Next: Entropia Universe (Part Seven)