The Benefits of Time Travel - What Will Phase 3 Look Like?
“We all have our time machines, don't we. Those that take us back are memories...And those that carry us forward, are dreams.” These words by HG Wells seem particularly pertinent in the E2 Universe we all now, quite suddenly, find ourselves residing in. As we sit in forums discussing the latest Shane Tweet, dissecting the most recent Dev Discord comment, and debating our next in-game buying strategy, certain topics repeatedly resurface. What would you do differently back on your first day in E2? What do you think the future has in store for E2? The former triggers a near-uniform response – reassure your hesitant former self that you’re not about to join a Ponzi scheme*, and to encourage him/her to immediately go spend $[X] at dream location [Y] (you know, the one you keep checking daily in case that AFK player has returned and needs money quick!) . The latter though is a lot more subjective and generates a wider range of views. Back in what feels like a lifetime ago (February), one of our AGV founders Alessandro came up with the idea of creating a time capsule. Members of our server could, if they so wished, post in our capsule channel whatever thoughts they had about the future of E2. The capsule was duly filled with comments, and then stored on Feb 23rd never to be opened again until Phase 3**. So without further ado, here is a taster of some of our capsule comments, paraphrased for the purposes of this article … thanks to all those that contributed! ON THE TERRAIN VIDEO
The terrain video received a near unanimous positive response. “Amazing” and “exciting” were common descriptors. Even some of the techier members of the group who work in the Technology sector, and VR specifically, confirmed that the video was “as expected”. This might not sound like a ringing endorsement but I for one found this comforting – peers often make the toughest (and honest) of critics, so if the terrain video had set alarm bells ringing for them it would have been a real sobering moment. One user captured many of our sentiments in just one sentence: “Me and my Fiancée were amazed and excited by yesterday’s video… I'm pretty sure it will be a great success and I hope so... otherwise she will kill me with her laugh”. ON BUILDINGS AND ASSETS Whilst some expressed that there would be no buildings at all during Phase 2, one comment did touch upon how buildings might work in Phase 3 - “Adding something to my property via the web interface, allows me to position it via the game engine (ploppables).” People also suggested that, at the outset of Phase 3 at least, the only buildings available in game would be those supplied and/or acquired from E2 itself, for $E or Essence (with cooler buildings attracting a higher premium). What could / could not be built would also be subject to tile number / ‘footprint’ requirements. The general consensus was that user-generated content could be quite some way off… ON TILE PRICING The pricing of new tiles was another interesting area. I for one had imagined tile pricing simply going up, following the existing model – on the basis that tile rentals and Phase 3 being free-to-play would ensure a constant flow of new players (albeit provided the game had enough interesting means to earn $E and Essence within it). If E2 were enjoyable enough, wouldn’t someone be willing to pay the price of a PS5 game for a tile (especially with the potential of adding value and of course selling the property on)? However consider this persuasive counter-logic: “Class 4 and 5 will be statically priced (or confined to a range and much cheaper, think under a dollar per tile) to keep new players coming in … spikes in tile prices will be seen, unclear how long, but stable market will see prices at 5-15 a tile max for class 1-3 outside of specific edge cases/hot-spots/rare tile sets. Class 4 & 5 (or other classes created) will be floored and something like 30 cents / 10 cents respectively. Potentially c5 will provide lower game benefits that c4. Devs may change the system (depending on short term decisions) to provide the player the choice of purchasing either a c4 or c5 tile. Do not see c1-c3 prices rising and rising outside of initial spikes or waves (IE current formula should not be used for projection of long term tile prices).” Interesting, right? Of course, only time will tell how tile pricing will develop. But one thing is for sure - the prosperity of E2 is inherently tied to player experience, new player experience in particular. As far as I’m concerned - in the Dev we trust (looking at you in particular Wolfgang)! OTHER TIDBITS A handful of further Nostradamus moments for your consideration: “Having a functional (upgraded, maintained & active in game) property in E2 will be the same as having a Facebook account back in 2010 …” “Early players (bought tiles below $1 / tile) who kept their properties will have a serious revenue stream from the game. Due to resource tree and Essence in the center of everything the game will benefit from very high liquidity (both resources and land trading).” “Tiles can be "blown up" into a tile pool that can be repositioned at a premium (and resized as needed) -- constrained by country.” “[E2] is gonna be one of the best peer groups to test things on and ask for opinions, since its gonna have global players young and old” … In truth there was such an array of comments in the capsule it’s difficult to do any of them justice here. I’ve deliberately not tried to tackle subjects such as Land Class and Gameplay (economic simulator / AR / VR) here, less this article morph into a novella. If however enough people enjoy this article please do let me know and I’ll readily prise open the time capsule one more time. But for now I’ll leave you with this sentiment: User 1: “[By the time Phase 3 launches] I hope that we all are happy and wealthy”… User 2: “Happy will do the trick.” Take care and thanks for reading! Ethereal Shogun 8XYUB8OGWA *either that or all of us have been duped by the greatest and most successful pyramid scheme ever – which of itself is oddly comforting **ok so I did have to dig up the capsule on Sea Lion Island ‘early’ just for this article … but it has been safely returned since. Maybe I’ll bury this article too, eventually!