Wednesday, March 14, 2007

ColecoVision vs. Entropia Universe

Entropia Universe, set far off in the future, has a startling surprise for the individualists among us. At some point down the line, we humans seem to lose our ability to produce things in color. At least that's what those of us living inside this Gray Universe are led to believe.

Consider this - the range of color options for customizing items such as clothes and furniture consists of 18 total colors. My ColecoVision, introduced in 1982, had 16 colors.

But here's the kicker. Inside EU 5-6 of those seventeen colors - the most useful ones - are not even an option. Why? Because the paints needed are no longer found in loots, which is a showstopper in and of itself. But the bigger problem is that colors like black, white, and red take incredibly high skills to apply. Why is that a more severe problem? After a series of skill calibrations, we are virtually ensured that only one or two players will ever be able to color something black. Ever.

Take this tuxedo as an example. If you want to take it from it's raw, uncolored form, and turn it into a basic black tux today, here's what you need to do. First track down the paint, will cost you $600. Then pay a fee of $150 to the only player who can apply black paint. What's worse? There is a good chance the coloring attempt will fail, and you will need to procure another $600 in paint.

You're now at $1,350.00. And it doesn't even have an Armani label.

As you can see, this needs to be addressed immediately. Gamers love self expression, and they want to be able to customize their avatars. All the improvements and changes that the game has gone through have incidentally unhinged this feature. In the process of fixing it, they're probably going to piss off the top colorers. And that's OK - EU is dynamic. In this case the good of the many outweighs the good of the few. If not, it's going to be difficult to keep people interested in a MMO market where extreme customization is quickly becoming the norm. This is, after all, the most basic of item attributes.

The good news is our modest 18 colors, used in combination, could provide enough choices to keep most of us happy for a while. And if Mindark has to pay off the top colorers in order to fix this for the rest of us, so be it. It's time to make those tough decisions.

Until EU stops teasing me, ColecoVision is my color champ, 20 years after it started collecting dust in a closet.


Xerogs said...

Nice Post Dub. I find it very disturbing that MA has taken coloring to the level they have. They basically make it nearly impossible to color certain items. It seems like once black paint was unlocked it stopped dropping almost completely. Plus there is almost a virtual monopoly on being able to use this color or many of the other rare colors. I agree that system is in need of a major overhaul.

Jorael said...

Yep, coloring should be different. On one hand i understand why they make the 3 colors (white black red) so hard to achieve... Because Centurion coats have the exact same colors, and are supposed to be clothes of status. To be honest, i like the fact that anyone wearing any combo of white+red+black has an immediate superior status. People know its expensive and rare.

Still, the system should be different. Its insane how much a virtual item can cost to be colored, and with the risk of the colorer failing, sending your money down the drain.

Matt Barlow said...

Another great example of a no-brainer, if MindArk put their brain into gear this problem would never have occured in the first place.

Virtual clothes costing far more than their real life equivalent. Just seems like another example of MindArk's drive to polarise the EU community. Black clothes should be accessible to all, whether a player has deposited $5 or $1000.

Dub said...

Well I understand the need to stratify colors, with various levels of rarity. But... Impossible and/or non-existant does not equal rare. They just need a major rebalance, and perhaps pay off the only 2-3 colorers that are most negatively effected.

Doer said...

Well it's spelled Coleco, and it was marvelous, but other than that it's a fun comparison and i have nothing more to add.