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Planet Cyrene

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As long as there have been MMOs, there’ve been dice. Not actual in-game dice, mind you; instead, we’ve been looking over our characters’ shoulders while virtual dice are rolled behind the scenes to determine our accuracy. Although skill-based first-person combat has crept into the genre with match-based games like CrimeCraft, real-time FPS combat hasn’t made its way into a truly open-world MMO like WoW or Champions Online. Planet Cyrene wants to be the first of its kind, a full open-world MMO with skill-based action combat in the first-person perspective, with some premier social features like player-run facilities and guild-owned real estate. Oh, and everything you pick up in-game can be converted into real US dollars.

Unless you’re a fat cat millionaire that lights his cigars with billion-dollar bills, that last bit about “real US dollars” probably caused you to forget everything else just now. So explain that part first: Planet Cyrene is affiliated with Entropia Universe, an online games platform (and genuine Swiss bank) that provides in-game currency with a fixed exchange rate to the US Dollar (10:1). This means that every time you loot a corpse or sell an item at the auction house, you receive, for all intents and purposes, real money. Of course it goes both ways: You’re going to be a lot more upset that someone wiped the raid when you’re forking over real dough for the repair bill - not to mention even more disappointed as the decline of the dollar begins to affect your in-game assets as well.


Above: Will you have the skills to pay your real-life bills?

But before you declare your undying love for (or holy war against) the idea of a real money economy in an MMO, Ed Robles, Planet Cyrene’s creative director, wants to make it clear that their primary focus is to make a great game that lets you meet people and play with friends, not milk others for money or get rich quick. During my trip to Creative Kingdom’s Thailand studios, Robles told me, “I think some players will play Planet Cyrene just to make a profit, and some of them will be successful at that. But if they’re coming to the game for that reason only, they’re not really our target market. We want people that are going to enjoy the game - that’s why we’re focusing on gameplay aspects like questing.”

So while the real money economy might be big news for players, it’s just a business model for the developers - one that allows them to distribute their game for free to as many players as possible. In fact, like other free-to-play MMOs, Robles assures us that Planet Cyrene will have more than enough content even if you don’t spend a dime. “There are those that are rich in time and there are those that are rich in money, and there’s an excellent balance in the game. It’s going to be a fair system.”

At its core, Planet Cyrene has all the elements of an open-world MMO: sci-fi/fantasy setting on a futuristic world where robot armies and shamanistic natives battle for control, quests, crafting, exploring, etc. But then it mixes things up a bit. First, there are no character levels; instead skill levels for the different weapons, crafting professions, and the rest are raised naturally by performing the relevant action, a la Fallout 3. Also similar to Fallout 3, players will be able to choose their reactions to different groups they’ll encounter throughout the game, and they can pick their primary faction allegiance early on (defending natives vs. invading robots). Lastly, while the developers were tight-lipped regarding specifics of the game’s combat system, they did confirm that combat is not only “skill-based” and “in FPS view” but also that some PvP modes will allow for third-person perspective.


Above: Janus, the last great city of man, is heavily inspired by Roman architecture

In the vein of more social-focused experiences like Second Life, Planet Cyrene will also let gamers play music in designated areas as in-game DJs, purchase land, and own houses and facilities that have unique physical representations in the world. Developer Creative Kingdom’s roots are as a premier architecture design company, the effect of which became evident to me when I walked into a room filled with 10 giant 3D models of zones in the game. Everything from an underwater city to a giant tree with villages hanging from its branches to an epic battle inside a live volcano had been carefully crafted, showing off impressive, exotic architecture design. We expect that this high level of stylized fantasy architecture in the game world will be matched in the options players are given for designing their player-owned facilities.

Aug 21, 2009

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28 comments

  • EntropiaPlanets - January 15, 2012 3:47 a.m.

    For anyone interested in learning more about Planet Cyrne and/or Entropia Universe, there is a wealth of information out there. For forums with Planet Cyrene discussions, including the developers of Planet Cyrene, a wiki, and various tools integrated into a single Entropia Universe website, check out http://www.entropiaplanets.com.
  • ruskea - October 5, 2009 7:58 p.m.

    to grave.. I was unable to suck enuf MAs employees to get under their wings to be given any loot... ofc i couldnt deposit 100k usd to buy uber eco gear so i had to use some cheaper eco style that seemd to work for some ppl.. too bad i had to realize it doesnt work for my avatar.. uve played this game for long and if u really can say this game aint any way avatarbased.. uve been blinded by the loots they have given u... i remember back the times when i whined in the forums about the loot and how avatarbased it is.. there were some faces always protecting MA.. now when they have started to lose in everything they do, they are saying the same things i did... if there really is a pattern that would make it possible to everyone to make profit.. that would be bad for MA wouldnt it? someone has to pay for the others loot.. Me and my bro played on around same lvls, same gear, same mob many times but i never won him in loot.. that has to be something else than using ur brains... and not like i shot 50% of the ammo to the sky coz its fun im sick of ppl who try to make this game look good just to get new ppl to pay their rent and good luck on selling the skills.. i can tell that my skills came down from 8k usd to 2kusd after the skill events were over... and now when huge amount of ppl are quitting when chipping is possible again i bet they aint worth much
  • GraveDigger - October 5, 2009 10:23 a.m.

    @ruskea if u would read my selling post on ef.com u would notice that i dont sell out or quit lol pls dont spread any stupid rumours in any forum before u didnt read my selling thread. Isnt it allowed in your eyes to withdrawal some cash to make a real life investment without to quit the game?!? My goal is to take out arround 1/3 max 1/2 of my currently value of my account,i just want to buy a real life House,not a Mansion . ofc Luck is a part of this game,but more important is to use your brain for this game,isnt it? So if u r frustrated about the game and did quit,u didnt made it right,and thats no reason to make a game bad because u were unable to use your brains enough. Sry sounds a bit harsh,but getting sick of ppl,which makes a good game to the worst game with their comments because they were not successful. regards Grave Digger
  • ruskea - October 3, 2009 2:02 a.m.

    "if u play smart" i still want to know what that means.. some ppl say that if u hunt proper mobs with h400 u get 90% time ur peds back.. wtf ive tried to hunt every mob with h400 with not much of repair costs and still manage to get under 50% of the wasted ammo back.. how u explain that... and no its not just one run.. its 90/100 and the profit runs hardly ever pass over +100ped... took me over 500 solo globals to hit first hof in hunting.. and it was 240ped.. WHEEEEEE.. and ive seen ppl hit 2 TOWERS (4kped+) / 3 globals with under 1lvl!!!.. if that aint avatarbased then what is
  • firulais1974 - October 3, 2009 12:31 a.m.

    I've played this game for almost three years now. Never deposited a dime. Sweated a bit at the begining to get some starting cash. Now my account isn't worth thousands of dollars but if sell out I would get some good cash. How many games have you played over the past years that you can say that? I had fun, made some good friends and got some cash in the process. If you play smart you can succed. If you treat it like a casino It will behave like a casino. It is totally up to you
  • ruskea - September 26, 2009 2:43 a.m.

    Getting better and better eh? grave? thats why ur selling out and quitting? and theres no such thing that "learn how to make money" well yes u can make money.. if u count everyday trading as playing a game.. but at the instant u touch any of the 3 professions the downhill begins.. i quit this shit some time ago coz ridicilous losses but i still love reading how well MA keeps failing all the time... when mindforce comes back.. huge set of midlvl depositors are gone... same faces are getting all the loot.. ppl whove put 100ks of usd to the game are banned without given a reason... thats what this game is like.. big scam... the only ppl who are on MAs side are the rare winners.. chosen ones.. ive never seen a guy who loses thousand and thousands said that they just love the game so much that they dont care.. and vu10.. hahahaha i think they expected new players after that... and this ridicilous commercial SGA event... u cannot sweat.. so if ur new.. u need to depo to get peds=no new players all this sga bullshit.. same faces get everything.. and the ppl whove ment to lose.. still wont hit shit like they havent in any event If u like to be scammed... this game is for u i have 3+ years experience of this scam.. before i had enuf.. just waiting and waiting for the "luck" that never wasnt coming to my avatar.. i think i deposited too often that they saw no reason to give me any loot
  • NameWithheldOnRequest - September 26, 2009 12:53 a.m.

    Well, this thread is certainly causing a stir over on the "well known" Entropia site with calls for comments to counteract the "negatives" ... and I would love to do so, but alas - many of the complaints are real. It IS possible to make money in EU, but the investment needed to gain the skills allowing you to do so seems to be VERY expensive (think middle to high four digits). The average gamer looking to play and break even is in for a rude awakening. Despite cries to the contrary, all it really is IS a casino. Forget anything resembling a storyline; this sandbox doesn't offer quests or rewards, just the ability to pump cash in for the chance to hit it big and recoup some of your losses. So why do I play? For one, I'm an admitted gambling addict. The game provides relief between playing poker (for money) and WoW (for fun) and I'm willing to throw away a certain sum each month. If this new planet is anything like PE ... be forewarned.
  • satans - September 24, 2009 12:10 p.m.

    Hello, Those who say bad things about EU, should be ashamed. Don't judge the game from the comments, if you haven't tried it by your self. Every game got bugs ! And no game has ever been perfect ! + Each game got its own unique style of gameplay (well 90% of all MMO's got similar gameplay)... Now try to count games with RCE (Real Cash Economy)... Don't think that you can profit instantly in this game... for some people it takes few years to profit or make living of it. Though there are some cases with new players who get lucky, and make their first 120$ USD withdraw in 2-3 days... but thats rare! If you want to profit in this game, then you need to have brains & logical thinking ability. There are so many ways to profit, but not everyone understands that... I'll name some profiting ways: Owning & Taxing land areas, Hunting big creatures, Mining rare resources, Hair Styling, Crafting, Healing services, Sweating (YES ! it is a way of profit.) Owning a hangar & piloting, Reselling, Colouring & Texturing, Tailoring, e.t.c EU is truly unique and such a wonderful game. Comunity is very friendly.. Sounds too good to be true ?
  • GraveDigger - September 24, 2009 7:36 a.m.

    Hi i am Entropia Universe participant, 1st i have to say thats not the real "Neomaven" who posted here one post up. He would never talk like that about the community or even the game. Another thing is,i've read the comments about the game and a few of them are really ridiculous. Ofc its difficult to make some nice cash in this game but if u dont try it u dont get it! It's not a game for lil kids with triggy fingers,its a game where u have to learn how to make money,and that u can reach only thru discipline and using your brain. I've been playd that game for more than 5 years now and its getting better and better,graphics and gameplay wise. regards MH Grave Digger
  • Neomaven - September 10, 2009 11:08 a.m.

    I have played this game for a few years and i have lost so far 20k$ on hunting. Im not here to make money but for entertainment so i dont mind. Im the owner and administrator of entropias biggest community forum and i have never seen so naive community and they belive in anything that MA officials tell them. This is not a game but a pure casino no matter what they say and if you want to make money this is not the place. Approximate 99% of the players have a steady loss and the rest that are profiting are either resellers or scammers. The new gameengine should be one of the biggest jokes in the programming history and the game is now at Alpha stage not playable for the biggest gamblers even I do stil like the game but i dont see any future in it and i woulnt touch anything that MA gives out again
  • wcatdoor - August 27, 2009 6:10 a.m.

    uhhhh this is just a new planet for entropia, its not really a new game... and with sweating gone (for now) noobs will have to put money in to do ANYTHING.
  • zara01 - August 26, 2009 6:14 a.m.

    (edit - that previous comment was to what theprof said.) birty - yes Entropia is quite nice for people like me or you who got a hang on how to make money from it on a regular basis. However you also have to consider that RCE factor alone is not enough the keep a game running, and usual players entertained. This is why most of the new players leave EU after trying it for just a couple of hours, or days.
  • zara01 - August 26, 2009 6:02 a.m.

    Well, I can second that. Entropia is a sad case really, there's no quests, no content, an empty sandboxer with RCE. This is why it only has an active playerbase of some 1000 people, you don't have to be especially bright to realize there's nothing to do in there. Now that Mindark realized they fail at making something that could be even called a "game", they offer their developed system to actual game companies, hoping they do better than themselves. And this is how Cryene was made.
  • zara01 - August 25, 2009 6:23 p.m.

    And nobody asks you to, farsided. This game will be Thai, and there's much more people in Orient who plays MMOs for living. Take China for example.
  • jar-head - August 23, 2009 6:56 p.m.

    now that aion7 has cracked the code, i think we can go back to Halo zombies.
  • onlyme - August 22, 2009 9:27 a.m.

    dont get too excited, if this has anything to do with entropia universe/mindark (which it does) the only thing it is going to do is try and wipe out you bank balance! mate as a player for 3 years and someone who has deposited heavily into the game I can only advise you to stay well clear of this game, its main objective is to rob you blind! By the way I am one of the highest skilled players in the game, just to give you some idea!
  • mentalityljs - August 22, 2009 4:14 a.m.

    OMG! If this is anywhere CLOSE to being as good as DeusEx or Fallout3 i'm so there. Plus, i could use the extra cash =I ReCaptcha: Dr Wooten
  • Vitas - September 1, 2009 3:23 a.m.

    hehe - Nice one guys! Have any of you seen a game that DOESNT have detractors who make it their business to "take a game down"? There are problems with Entropia Universe... just as every game has problems. Perfection? I've never seen it. But of course the naysayers here will say different. Boring? I don't think so - any game is what you make of it. I think WoW is boring! YES it's very difficult to make money. If it wasn't then the game wouldn't last long. These people are looking for a get-rich-quick scheme and they will never find it. You don't HAVE to make money in EU... just like the article above says - the game is aimed at gamers and not business people. I have a lot of fun in EU and I don't make money. There are a lot of people in game all the time. If a for-profit game only has 1000 players that game goes under. Plain and simple. There is nothing shady about EU. They are a for-profit game and like all for-profit games they make decisions based on the business first and then the players. That's universal for for-profit games. \/
  • bos5 - August 26, 2009 5:37 p.m.

    expecting Planet Cyrene to be a great adition to entropia simply a great game not perfect but improving & entropia has recently had a huge graphics inprovement with VU 10
  • bos5 - August 26, 2009 5:33 p.m.

    been playing entropis for about 3 years now & the game isnt perfect but its great fun. known a few friends on there that have started without making any deposits & ate now comfortably playing at a reasonably high level paying a little in ( about as much as monthly subcsriptions to other games ) can be enough to do prety well on there & unlike other games you can take whatever cash u have in there back out. personally i used to pay quite a bit in each week but dont anymore & calculated recently & have actually made a comfortable profit if i decide to sell out. never had anything bigger than a few hof's of about 1000 ped so my profit isnt from something like a huge 100k ped lucky loot if anyone has a try on there the other players are real frendly & helpfull even to noobs - unlike other games where most players just arent interested.

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