Earth And Beyond First Impressions…

Well! As some of you may know, the phase 6 stress test for E&B just started today. They wanted to see how the servers would handle an extra 3500 people…
They didn’t. We succeded in trashing the official forums, as well as lagging the game so bad, most people couldn’t even tell where they were. It was kinda funny actually 🙂 For the first hour, my ping wasnt too bad.. I actually completed the training mission, as well as taking out two drones. But by the time I got around to hunting some baby larva thingies, my ping had shot up to about 1000ms+ in space (when your docked its a LOT better). But overall the servers have handled the load like a drunken, one-eye’d clown trying to juggle flaming sticks on a unicycle ## amusing for a while, but it definitly needs some work.

In the meantime though, I got a good first look at the game; and I must say im very impressed. It was fun just figuring out how to fly around… and the cool sound you make when you went to warp for the first time… it was great! “VVVVVVVVVWWWOOOSHHHHHH!!” Hehehe.
Oh, and the game looks REALLY GOOD too. Even on my low end P3 500 system (it just scrapes by the minimums for the beta ;)) the system lag never got really bad unless I started looking at 30 people all flying through an asteriod field or something. Its a lot of fun starting out too. The controls are a bit awkward at first… flying around really could be more intuitive, but once you get the hang of it, its pretty easy. Unless of course your lagging really badly and bouncing all over the place… then it feels like your trying to drive in an invisible pinball machine 😛 But the interface is fun and clean. Lots of data at your fingertips, and its pretty easy to figure out what buttons to push after you learn what all the little symbols mean.

Oh, and for those of you wondering, the game is NOT a flight sim. Its actually a slick MMORPG, except you fly around and shoot stuff instead of walking around bashing stuff. Combat isn’t really based on twitch skills, its more of a character level + brainpower thing, and its actually very fun. I spent a good hour running around a training zone with other n00bies. Alone, the drones would stomp your ass down, so pretty much everyone figured out that you need to gang up on them. Then we went on mini-crusades, three or four of us at a time, jumping drones and smashing them to bits. It was great! 😀

Anyways, this post is long enough already (!) so ill just end by saying Earth and Beyond looks fantastic. If your a MMORPG fan – hell, even if your NOT – you will want to check this game out. Barring any major screw-ups from Westwood (which I doubt), E&B could very likely be “the next big thing” in the Massively Multiplayer Online arena.

Stay tuned – ill probably have more to say after Westwood clears up this little ‘excessive lag’ problem. But in the meantime, I think all go polish my ship, calibrate my lasers, and maybe try picking up a cute terran chick in the lounge ;). See ya round!

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