Entropia Universe is a very unique platform, and with it comes all kinds of questions that people are desperate to find answers to.
- What kind of a game is this?
- Can you really make money playing?
- Why is everyone obsessed with “eco”?
- Why the hell does everything have six eyes!?
The fact is, this game, while 16 years old, is a concept that has not been explored by a lot of game companies, and thus players, always looking for that safe haven to have fun, are reluctant to jump into a game that relies on what MindArk has coined as a “Real Cash Economy”.
An RCE game is no different from any other game, except for the one critical point of everything in the game having some form of real-world value. This means that every shot you take with a gun, every swing of a sword, every mining probe you drop, will cost you money, even if it’s a really small amount of it.
On the other hand, every loot you gather can make you money, if you’re smart about how you sell them. You can also sell a bunch of other services to players that can make you money for a lower cost, while still providing value to your fellow players so that you can continue to build a positive reputation on the platform.
While the number of ways you can make (and lose) money in EU is vast, and whole books could be written on the subject (I currently have a manuscript that numbers 12000 words that I’m contemplating the release of), there are a few critical points that need to be made if you choose to foray into this amazing, engaging, and downright addictive environment.
1. Don’t be afraid to put money into the game.
This is one of the biggest fears players have when they start playing Entropia Universe, because they tend to think of it like a casino, or other pay-to-win game. EU is not pay to win, and you can in fact play for free, but if you want to maximize your enjoyment of the platform, and put a little speed in your progress, it’s important to be willing to put money in.
This does not mean put a reckless amount in. This means be willing to put in every month what you would for a typical subscription-based game, say $20, in order to play. You might even want to invest in a starter pack so you can get a bit of a jump on things; after all, most MMOs will cost you between $60 and $75 just to buy the game, and then you have the monthly sub fees; so what’s the difference?
2. Don’t be afraid to talk and ask questions
Rookie chat is one of the best sources to engage with the community and ask questions. Unlike a lot of gaming platforms, EU has a fairly mature player-base, likely because it utilizes real money, and the people that play it tend to be polite. Even those that aren’t will not usually go to the lengths that you’d find in other platforms when trolling you, or other players will shut them down.
If you need help, to kill a particularly vexing mob for a mission, or to run the Gauntlet instance, asking either in Rookie Chat or around Camp Icarus on Calypso, the unofficial newbie area, is the best thing to do; players tend to interact with each other on the grounds of enlightened self-interest, and if you pay attention to real life, that is generally the best way to interact with folks–it tends to keep all parties honest.
3. Don’t expect to make money
This may sound obvious, but there are far too many players that jump into the game expecting to profit off of their gameplay with little effort. The point of a Real Cash Economy is that you can make money, not that you will make money. Even when you do make money, especially if you use the free to play model, it will likely be in small amounts for a long time before anything groundbreaking occurs. Now you can short-circuit this and start doing more faster by dumping more money in, but that doesn’t mean that all activities will be profitable.
You also have to understand that if you want to make money, you need to be willing to put the work in. EU is an almost perfect life-simulator, if life included doing things more fun than working a “9-5” job. Everything costs money, but you can make money too, and you have to learn skills by doing things over and over and over again. Thus the way to making money in the platform, is taking the time, to grind the skills, at the cost it takes to do so, in order to reach a point where your activities are bringing in more loot than it costs.
There are also services you can provide (such as a taxi service, and for the love of Lootius don’t offer taxi services in a Sleipnir) that have a bit of a forward cash outlay, but don’t have very expensive upkeep costs. In this way, you can build a reputation, a brand, or even a company within the game platform!
Whether or not you decide to take the plunge and attempt to play in this amazing world, is up to you. I would encourage any fan of MMOs to give it an honest shot–say two or three months of average play time, to decide whether or not this platform is right for you. I’m willing to bet that a larger number of you will enjoy the platform more than you thought you would; and will enjoy the process of becoming an Entropian.
I hope to see you in there!