"The first game in history to feature personal adventure, territory construction, and grand warfare in internet history, Earth Online, is expected to enter official beta on January 1, 2190, so stay tuned!" ― Line from announcement poster for Earth Online in Ouyang Shuo's room[[source]]
Earth Online was supposed to be a distraction for people, something they could immerse themselves into while travelling to the new planet. To access the game user has to use special game cabin.
The game uses the entire world as the template, with the area expanded tenfold, which is the primary map, beside that there are also ocassional battlefield maps.The specific scenes in game and NPCs were based on historical data, design team was responsible for the coding architecture and game mode design, while the rest was created based on the national historical archives, video content, text materials, and cultural artifacts scanned into the primary game host Gaia. Even the designers and programmers of Earth Online did not know the game outside their specific tasks and design parameters.
As it was leater revealed Kingdom building was the essence of the game.
Known Beta Players:
Closed Beta Edit
The first secret tests of Earth Online started in 2185 and were divided in 8 sessions, each lasting for 6 months. Game content and testers changed after each session and all participants had to sign strict confidentiality agreements. Initial testing slots were limited which resulted in fierce competition between potential testers, with some cases even ending with blood, but they were all quietly hushed up.
In order to ensure the relative fairness of the game, map used in closed beta did not appear in the official game. During the beta Gaia observed how players behaved in game and how NPCs responded. Collected data were constantly analyzed and summarized, to further adjust and perfect the game settings.
After four years of closed beta Gaia completely shut down the game for a full year of computations and deductive calculations.
Public Beta Edit
"January 1, 2190, 8 PM. Thousands of players eagerly waited for Earth Online to officially open."Earth Online official website launched on December 20, 2189. There were three sections on the website: databases with basic information about the game architecture, mall with the game cabin, and forums for players.
The expensive price of a game cabin discouraged a lot of the ordinary players. Coupled with the lack of game information, even with the issuance of posters and showing some graphics, the publicity for the game did not make a big impact. The abnormal marketing was the result of a compromise between several involved parties and the federal president. The purpose was to slow down initial enrollment into the game by ordinary players, so that selected individuals could gain early access and play advantages against later arrivals.
January 1, 2190 was scheduled for the official public beta of Earth Online, when players that bought game cabin could finally join the game. After choosing the name, game mode and reviewing generated character attributes, players had to choose their place of birth. They could specify the approximate location or choose "random". Random location was a hidden trap in the system, because it usually brought disaster to the player, with less than .001% chance for lucky encounter.
Character Atributes Edit
The main Character Atributes are: Name, Title, Territory, Merit, Rank, Identity, Occupation, Level, Reputation, Talent, Innate Ability, Acquired Attributes, Cultivation method, Skills and Equipment.
Innate Ability initial values are randomly generated, with minimum 5 and maximum 20 points per stat. Innate attributes can only be increased by using special pills or cultivation methods and cannot be increased by level-up points. The Innate Abilities are:
- Body Structure - affects character toughness and survival, ability to adapt to environment and ability to store Qi,
- Comprehension - affects the speed and depth of learning cultivation methods,
- Luck - affects the frequency of unexpected windfalls and the chances of loss,
- Charm - affects first impressions with NPC’s as well as the difficulty of resolving sudden interactions.
For Acquired Attributes each stats start with 5 initial points, each level gives two points to be freely distributed and every five levels all stats rise by one point. The highest point value to a stat a player can have is 100 points.
Skills don’t have any points that could be put into them. Upgrading a skill to the next level takes a certain level of proficiency in it, which can only be gained through repeated use of skill. For example Basic Gathering Technique is a general skill avaliable for all players, while Basic Diplomacy Technique is a general Lord technique and Basic Weapon Proficiency a general technique for officers.
Game modes Edit
Earth Online offers two game modes: Lord Mode and Adventure Mode.
Lord mode Edit
The Lords players main goal was to build and expand their territory. So the first important choice they had to make was choosing the palce of birth, as they could choose place based on their development plan, and select an area suitable to them. If they choose the wrong place, they could have many difficulties in development of their territory, that could have been easily avoided.
The Village Creation Token was the first difficulty Lords encountered in game. To obtain it players could complete the Village Building Quest or find one of the tokens in game. With the token they could start the building of their territory.
As Kingdom Building was the vital part of the game, the representatives of the Earth major powers had all chosen the Lord game mode. They got custom edition game cabins, that were provided by the government as the result of a compromise between the government and these forces. With them they could bypass the Village Building Quest and instead get a silver Village Creation Token instantly. To balance that Gaia had the single gold Village Creation Token hidden in Village Building Quest, so it could be discovered by a player.
One of the disadventages of being Lord player was that they could not leave their main system territories, but because of this they could have an Adventurer sub-profession. However there was no such restriction within Battlefield maps and they could move there freely.
Lords Acquired Attributes:
- Command - has a direct impact on combat effectiveness on the battlefield, how many troops can be commanded, how easily troops can be recruited, and response time for troops on a battlefield.
- Force - has a direct effect on the power of special attacks. Affects the chance of critical hits, ripostes, and how much the player’s reputation increases with a victory.
- Intelligence - has a direct impact on the duration of buffs/crowd control as well as the field of vision for troops. The development of weapons and their manufacturing time is also influenced.
- Politics - has a direct impact of policies on territorial markets and farms. Also influences the success of diplomatic negotiations.
The Village Building Quest Edit
Non-mandatory quest unique to Lord players. If Lord failed this quest, they would lose the qualifications to build a village and could only play as an adventurer. Players could choose to give up on this quest and enter the game to find their Village Creation Token instead.
Quest requirements were as follows: "Player is the lord of Sishui City and has just recovered from sickness. Player must control the endangered Sishui City, and repel the enemy from the city." Therefore players had to understand the situation and take the correct measures to complete the quest with the best results, as the quality of rewards depended on them.
After finishing the quest players would get Village Creation Token, Summoning Token, and a Resources Bag, with the possibility of additional rewards of experience points, reputation points and gold coins.
Adventure mode Edit
Adventure mode was divided into combat and work occupations and each player could only choose one of the two.
Combat occupations Edit
As the name suggests the fighting occupations were focused on combat abilities and they didn't have any further advancements. Later on players could choose their cultivation method and weapons.
The Chinese region has 6 classes to choose from:
- Chivalrous expert,
For example the chivalrous expert occupation, had access to eighteen weapons. They could choose from nine close combat weapons (daggers, swords, whips, maces, tonfas, hand axes, jos, war hammers and morningstars) as well as nine long weapons (broadswords, spears, staffs, axes, tridents, pikes, hook swords, lances, and halberds). However, if a chivalrous expert that used the sword didn’t know any sword techniques, he would be very ineffective.
Players could find cultivation methods while playing the game or buy them from someone else.
Work occupations Edit
The work occupations included normal jobs from all walks of life. The primary occupations were blacksmiths, tailors, physicians, architects, breeders, fishermen, farmers, veterinarians, winemakers, cooks, carpenters, masons, shipbuilders, and various others.
The lifestyle classes had no character levels, only skill levels. As a type of protection for lifestyle players, they would not lose experience after death.