Perpetuum Is One Year Old, Expands

By Jim Rossignol on December 3rd, 2011 at 8:31 am.

Sci-fi novel cover generator!
Ambitious and beautiful robot MMO Perpetuum is one year old this week, and to celebrate it has received its biggest expansion so far, Intrusion 2.0, which adds a graphical overhaul, new robots, animation fixes and an improved support system. Most interesting to me, however, are the improvements to the PvP game: “Our latest expansion allows corporations to start building their empire by letting them to fight for and secure outposts on the unprotected Beta islands of Nia. Unlike the mostly random previous system, Intrusion 2.0 permits corporations to gradually increase their influence on an outpost by introducing the concept of stability. Stability governs which outpost services can be privatized, and also decreases the cost of those services for the conqueror.” This brings it a lot closer to another ambitious sci-fi MMO in terms of its scope for players carving out their own little empires, which interests me enormously…

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47 Comments »

  1. origin says:

    Is this game worth checking out?

    • wabben77 says:

      Yes. I played it for a bit and enjoyed it. The interface can be a bit clunky but I’m thinking about going back to check out the world of Nia again. Pretty fun game with a solid foundation and cool devs. Not really any bugs that I noticed. Give it a shot you might like it. It looks like the devs have been working like crazy as usual, patch notes are enticing :).

  2. Parallax says:

    It had me at giant robots. Then it lost me at time-based character development.

    • MadMatty says:

      yeah time-based chracter development, whoever thought that that was a good idea, and why? As i see it, it just rewards the most subscription paying players, and not the most skilled/playing players.

      As far as i can see, that just ends up as some form of Pay-to-Win.

      Still tho, Mafia Wars 2 creator said that most people didnt care, if you can pay for an in-game advantage, ….but im not one of them.

    • Jim Rossignol says:

      Worked for me when playing Eve. If I was away for a month because of work I could set some long skills training and not be a “month behind” when i got back.

    • MadMatty says:

      …Did Jim just basically say: He couldn´t be bothered/was able to play that much, but hes glad he still got to win using his creditcard? :P

    • Parallax says:

      What I remember from my time spent in EVE is doing some intro quests and getting a nice little missile ship that rained rocket death upon mine enemies. Then perusing new player guides on what to do next and seeing that most people recommended I spend a month or two train training skills to increase the rate at which I train skills.

      I’d love to see a best of both worlds system, progressing by grinding the monthly fee doesn’t really appeal.

    • Batolemaeus says:

      Learning skills are long gone though. And good riddance, too.
      Personally, once of the great things about the time progression thing that plateaus out quickly is this:
      “Leveling” is completely decoupled from what you do in the game. Or in other words, you can do whatever you want. You’re not forced to fetch twenty bear asses to level up.

    • Jim Rossignol says:

      “…Did Jim just basically say: He couldn´t be bothered/was able to play that much, but hes glad he still got to win using his creditcard? :P”

      No.

      I think you are missing the point about what time-based progression means.

    • Khann says:

      “…Did Jim just basically say: He couldn´t be bothered/was able to play that much, but hes glad he still got to win using his creditcard? :P”

      By your logic, anybody who pays a subscription is “paying to win”.

    • Jim Rossignol says:

      Eve’s “end content” does not work in the same way, of course. I’ve had newbies acting as scouts within a few hours of joining the game, and being able to contribute to play alongside characters that are years old – which is not true of any other MMO’s structure.

    • Quinnbeast says:

      Time-based skill progression works very well if you want do something other than the standard grind/quest routine to progress your character. Personally, the only thing that puts me off most MMOs, is collecting 50 animal pelts/shiny rocks/packs of smokes to get – oooh – level 32.

      Raw hours alone are not the main concern this way, which for me can only be a good thing. You can “grind” your finances if you wish to, and there’s still an element of that especially at lower levels. It’s not essential however.

      If you think the older player is automatically the better player, then you haven’t actually spent much time with either game. Eve and Perpetuum have no place for getting to level XX as soon as possible, as the game mechanics simply have no place for it. You can’t increase a given skill infinitely, as they all have caps from 1-10 (in Perpetuum). What an older character does have is more versatility, since you can cover more areas will your pool of skill points.

      If you want to concentrate skill points into an area, you can match a veteran in one or two roles far quicker than you might think. It’s this that makes world PvP viable, as relatively new players can still contribute to the bigger picture if they focus on a few core skills early on. It encourages group play in a way that a standard MMOs don’t really touch on.

      I can understand that not everyone appreciates this approach to skill progress and I wouldn’t say that it’s perfect, but it’s apparent that it works very well for these two titles. I never played any WoW “end game” content, because it has limited room for part-time players like me. In Eve, my Corp always had a place for “me”, and not for “my character”.

    • bilharzia says:

      I don’t understand the defence of Eve’s time based skill system – it clearly IS geared towards generating cash. Eve’s real innovation is the ability to play different roles according to the SHIP and GEAR – skills just gate access to those things. This is what enables new players to potentially get straight in not the ridiculous skills system.

    • Jim Rossignol says:

      “I don’t understand the defence of Eve’s time based skill system”

      It’s based on people wanting an alternative to the standard “grind to hit max skillpoints” that almost every other game of this kind is based on. I think it’s actually a pretty good alternative, especially given the high starting skillpoints and the time it takes to actually specialise in something useful, which isn’t all that long.

    • bilharzia says:

      If it’s in fact so fast to train – why have skills at all? Let all players use everything. New (all…) players still have to pay isk for gear and ships.

    • Hypernetic says:

      I don’t understand what is fun about that kind of system. I’ve played EvE, I thought it was very boring. I know lots of people like it, I even have a good friend who works for CCP games, I just never could have fun in it.

      I just don’t see anything fun or exciting in a system that basically consists of logging in to click a skill to train and then saying “ok see ya in a week!” and logging off. =/

      Maybe I’m weird.

    • Quinnbeast says:

      Last time I played, there were other things you could do besides look at your skill list. Did you try undocking?

    • Jim Rossignol says:

      “Let all players use everything.”

      It’s certainly possible to approach an MMO like that. I think the closest is Planetside’s points system.

      I think the point is that it’s a good trade-off between providing a sense of progress, limiting player progress, and not forcing people into arbitrary grind for XP. THAT is why people defend it vs trad MMO skill systems.

    • Hoaxfish says:

      The opposite interpretation would be that games which require you to play to level, are charging you money even when you’re not playing… Literally paying them for nothing.

      I think only APB actually tried charging you for your actual play, rather than a block of time in which you “could” play.

    • bilharzia says:

      I think you’re on the mark with Planetside, as far as I remember it was pretty good if basic. I think Eve’s system would be far better if at character creation it allowed deep specialisation into a particular skillset, something along the lines of Traveller’s career experience.

      What is especially peculiar about this is that Eve of all online games rewards ‘progression’ and ‘progress’ with things that are far more tangible than skill trees which makes the skill system all the more ill fitting and just seems to be part of their cash cow setup.

      Eve´s system of mxing its sub based real-life economy with the in-game skill system, leaves a bad taste in my mouth

      Hey..that Perpetuum game kind of reminds me of Eve – a little bit! Maybe they’ve improved that skill system….

    • Morte66 says:

      Time based development in EVE is good news if you got in Early, say 2005, and bad news if late say 2009. The early types will always be lords of the server, and the latecomers will always be two years behind the people they’re competing with. If Perpetuum becomes successful, people who get in now will be looking very smug in 2 years time.

      [I'm almost 3 years into EVE, with 53 million SP. At 20 million SP (about a year in), I could get in about half the decent PvP corps. It took me 2 months to get everything I needed on my first Guild Wars Character.]

    • Batolemaeus says:

      Morte66, the “PvP”-corps you’re trying to join are shit.
      Also, late 2009 means that character will have pretty much hit the ceiling in at least support skills and cruiser sized vessels of one or two races. That’s not behind, that above average looking the average age of active characters.

    • diamondmx says:

      Grind != fun.
      The only thing time-based progression removes is the grind.

  3. caddyB says:

    I looked at this a bit, because of the.. well.. robots, obviously. But seeing it has a very similar system to Eve which I refuse to play based on the progression system I didn’t play it.

  4. MadMatty says:

    Well well, it looks like an actual discussion is forming.

    Planetside 1´s skill system allowed you to specialize and unlock the neccesary gear to have a fighting chance (around lvl 6?) within a few days of playtime.
    Maxing out at level 20 would require little over a month of solid play, and it was still fun.

    If you look at popular PvP builds in EvE, you´ll see that they take much much longer than that.

    TRUE, the game isnt set up with fixed amounts of players on each side, so you can pack as many newbs together as you can find for that extra advantage, so that could be the saving grace of it.

    I do however find it extremely annoying, that the game awards you with a stat advantage, without the player having to do anything other than pay a Sub each month.

    This does not mean im a fan of “grinding” xp, but if the Quests were a bit more interesting than WoW´s kill/fetch quests, then it wouldn´t be grinding. Maybe some of that for a change?

    Eve´s system of mxing its sub based real-life economy with the in-game skill system, leaves a bad taste in my mouth, like some F2P games, as it basically leaves the poorer games player out of the powergame entirely.

    • Batolemaeus says:

      It would still be grinding if you’re not interested in PvE at all. How should PvP be rewarded without being gamed? Do you have a good idea for a leveling system for people who never interact in combat? What about scouts? Traders? If you decide to include progression but not also solve this problem, you’ll hurt the free form nature that Eve is known for.

    • Feriluce says:

      Have you ever played the game though? IT doesn’t feel like you’re left behind really. You can always find a place somewhere where you’re useful and needed. You may not be able to be part of the main force of battleships in a fleet engagements, but you’ll always find a place somewhere.

      Slightly unrelated. Being in a corp in eve is so much different than being in a guild in any other mmo. Its just such a much tighter nit group, and you build up a much, much stronger sense of community.
      I think this is mainly due to the permaloss of ships, and the dynamic that creates where you have to rely on eachother to not lose tons of stuff.

      Man, now I want to play eve :(

    • Quinnbeast says:

      A given player’s personal experience can never define something like Eve as a whole. For everyone that thinks it’s a boring space-ship themed spreadsheet, there’s someone else just starting to discover group excursions into wormhole spare or the intricacies (and different types) of PvP.

      Enjoyment in Eve is largely based on who and what you know, which Corp you’re in, how good your intel is etc. In other words, it’s determined entirely by other people, be they Corp mates or part of an enemy alliance. I think what a lot of new players miss is that your character will amount to fuck all if you’re the kind of person that only cares about your own sense of progression via stats, skills, gear etc. “Success” comes from how you play and interact as a group, and rightly or wrongly, finding the right Corp is the difference between hating the game and playing for several years.

      If you find yourself getting bent out of shape about the skill system alone, I’d argue that it’s far less important than you think it is.

    • bilharzia says:

      Enjoyment in Eve is … determined entirely by other people,
      That’s also true of any multiplayer game, it’s true of Tiddlywinks. So saying that is a bit of a cop-out when it comes to scrutinising the game.
      In other words, any game no matter how banal, can be enjoyable with the right people.

    • wabben77 says:

      I can enjoy myself rather well in a game of tribes/battlefield whatever even if the other people are pieces of crap… you don’t get it.

    • vecordae says:

      @Bilharzia

      Eve is an emergent, rather than directed multiplayer experience. Sure, having a good group of friends can make a banal game fun, but EVE provides many, many opportunities for you to create your own fun provided you have a group of friends. The vast majority of those fun situations are the direct result of other players, who usually are doing their own thing, interacting with your group.

      In games like WoW, the ways that you can interact with other players is actually pretty limited. You can quest together, you can do PvP, you can sell things in the auction house and do fun emote stuff in addition to the ubiquitous game chat.

      EVE is almost entirely about player interaction. If you sell a weapon at a station it is because a player somewhere put out a buy order there. If you buy a neat module for your ship it was most likely produced by another player. You can form companies to do pretty much anything. Salvaging, stealing, scamming, trading, manufacturing, mining, mercenary, you name it. Anything you can do in either the corporate or military worlds has an equivalent in EVE. And the brilliant thing is that new players can absolutely get involved right out of the gate and contribute in a meaningful way. My first day of playing I made a seemingly ridiculous amount of money just flying a cheap-o shuttle ahead of a guy hauling a giant pile of stuff.

      We need more games like that. EVE ain’t perfect, but it’s the closest thing out there to a truly free-form, player driven game universe.

    • bilharzia says:

      I can enjoy myself rather well in a game of tribes/battlefield whatever even if the other people are pieces of crap… you don’t get it.

      How much did you have to drink before writing this? Because…how does that work out for you in Eve?

    • bilharzia says:

      @Vecordae
      I understand the Sandbox Vs Roller-coaster design principles, I’ve played Eve, I was part of Masu’di’s brilliant drugs running operation before CCP understood what was going on so I appreciate it’s emergent qualities. CCP has a near monopoly on half-decent sandbox games and so has a bit of a captive audience. Should its good qualities make it immune from criticism?

      If I had invested several hundreds of pounds/hours and several years I might feel the need to defend Eve’s crappier aspects. I wouldn’t criticise something that wasn’t worth it so it’s only because of those interesting aspects that Eve is worth taking to task.

    • wabben77 says:

      How much did you have to drink before writing this? Because…how does that work out for you in Eve?

      IT DOESN’T work in eve that’s the point. A game of battlefield or tribes is fun just by playing the game for what it is all by yourself with other people. If you approach eve in the same way you will be severely limited in the activities you can do and the enjoyment you can have. That’s why it is more important to find a good group of people to play with in eve.

      BTW it is entirely possible to have a discussion with people without being a jerk.

  5. MadMatty says:

    HAVE FUN! by all means….

    still, WHY reward PvP skillpoints to people who never interact in combat- i mean, what would it be for?

    As for scouts & traders, theres several solutions available, seen in other crafting MMO´s and such- in-game currency is earned thru trading, which is a bit of a reward in itself. As for tradeskills, they can increase in potency with use, like in Skyrim.
    Scouts can get skill increases from using their scouting equipment, some awards from any eventual combat involving their allies perhaps, or simply acrue ship skills by zooming around in their scout ship (in hostile territory perhaps?)

    theres lots of solutions allready available, and i dont think im the only one who thinks the time based progression system is a bit miss.

    Eve has other things going for it, but the skill system is not it. Unless youre winning ofcourse.

    • Batolemaeus says:

      The problem with handling trade skills like that is that everyone starts grinding through worthless vendortrash, flooding the entire market except for high end gear. It also becomes a grinding contest as nobody turns a profit crafting to afford the materials, so you’re back whacking monsters and collecting bear asses again.

      To be honest, for me there are only two acceptable skill systems:

      - Time based and decoupled from gameplay. Fixed rate, quickly to plateau out in one area, giving older players horizontal progression instead of vertical.
      - No skill system at all.

    • wabben77 says:

      ^ what he said. You guys are bashing the time based skill system and you never asked yourselves WHY someone would put it in their game. Here’s why. It creates gaps in people competencies (just like in real life). If I can’t do something or have no interest in doing something, I’ll go get someone else who CAN do it. This creates player interactions and this is the very foundation of sandbox games. If you ever played darkfall online and saw how many people were afk macro’ing fireballs at each other all day you wouldn’t be arguing for an “increase skill as you use it” system.

      Even the players who have 200 bajillion skillpoints won’t be able to do everything. You can’t fly that frigate to tackle someone while flying your battleship to blow them up. You pick one thing to do and then do it. That person isn’t using ANY of those millions of skillpoints spent in frigate skills small gun skills and tackling skills.

      As a longtime-ish player of eve I have about 40 million skillpoints but 99% of the time I still fly cruiser or battlecruiser class vessels which you can be in and flying pretty well IN LESS THAN A MONTH. I’ve played this game for like 5 years and I still fly these kinds of ships most of the time, what does that tell you? Eve and perpetuum’s progression IS >NOT< 100% about skillpoints. Not even close.

    • Batolemaeus says:

      Please, one friendly advice on discussions about games, especially about games with little basis on reality:
      “just like in real life” is the argumentative equivalent of shooting yourself in the foot. It’s not as bad as a car analogy, but it’s close.

  6. MadMatty says:

    but good points in the latter part of these comments.

    +1 RPS

    ….i MIGHT even play a bit of Eve again, but i WONT BE LIKING the skill points part of it.

    Now get out.

    EDIT: had this convo with a friend on Steam:

    Me: still, some people say you just gotta relax and give up hope of becoming THE one, and work in a supporting role instead.
    kinda spoils it a bit for me tho-i dunno.
    Her: It’s more than you don’t have a chance of becoming the one, rather that you are FORCED into a low levle supporting role.
    Her: You can’t become THE one, or even one of many, until you pay your dues.

    Which is true even for a producer of goods- the market is flooded with super cheap ships and components, produced by people with maxed out skills, which will literally take MONTHS to get to the levels where its profitable.

  7. Generico says:

    “Planetside 1´s skill system allowed you to specialize and unlock the neccesary gear to have a fighting chance (around lvl 6?) within a few days of playtime.
    Maxing out at level 20 would require little over a month of solid play, and it was still fun.

    If you look at popular PvP builds in EvE, you´ll see that they take much much longer than that.”

    An RPG is supposed to be fun throughout the character progression. If it’s not, then it’s a bad RPG. If your sole purpose for playing is to execute this or that build, or attain max level, then you shouldn’t even be bothering with RPGs. Just play a regular FPS or action game where you just start at “max level”.

    “I do however find it extremely annoying, that the game awards you with a stat advantage, without the player having to do anything other than pay a Sub each month.”

    It’s not like any MMOs really demand that you achieve something difficult in order to progress your character. One of these schemes is rewarding you for your sub only if you spend all your free time clicking buttons in their game. One of them is rewarding you for your sub no matter where you spend your time, or what activities you pursue in-game. This is the reason EVE is not dominated by 14 year olds who can spend 40 hours a week on a game. The real-time model is more realistic for the average gamer who has a job and a life. In addition, EVE offers the ability to legitimately buy a sub with in-game money. If you happen to be a 14 year old with 40 hours a week to devote to a game, you can easily pay for your sub with your free time, which is no different than paying for your sub with money you make spending time at a job.

    That said, most of EVE’s skills don’t provide a large intrinsic power bonus. What they provide is an option for the player. In order to actually take advantage of that option and unlock the potential power increase it offers, you generally do have to actually play the game.

    …as it basically leaves the poorer games player out of the powergame entirely.

    Actually, the model EVE uses is far less elitist than most MMOs. It allows you to gain power in-game either buy trading your time for a sub, or your money for a sub, and rewards both approaches more or less equally. Other subscription MMOs only reward time spent in-game and they don’t offer the ability to pay for a sub with in-game effort. That means they exclude anyone who is time poor AND anyone who is money poor.

    • bilharzia says:

      An RPG is supposed to be fun throughout the character progression.
      Is ‘progression’ all about a skill tree?

      Time-based Vs. XP grind: This is really a straw man argument. Saying Eve’s system is a good one simply because you prefer it to another equally bad one isn’t that appealing. They both are as bad as each other – it’s just an indication of the lack of innovation.

      The question for me is why have these strange mechanisms in the first place? Is it to keep people on a hamster wheel for as long as possible? Eve does indeed have a lot more going for it which is why this sticks out like a sore thumb.

    • Jim Rossignol says:

      “An RPG is supposed to be fun throughout the character progression.”

      Yes, I use my funometer to determine which RPGs are objectively fun, and which are not.

    • vecordae says:

      There’s always going to be some form of arbitrary impediment to doing whatever you feel like in an MMO that only time will allow a player to overcome. Always. Sometimes it’s obvious, like needing to kill a hojillian slimes or having an actual month pass by before you gain some new game option. Sometimes it’s a bit more subtle, like needing to collect X number of resources or simply learning how to make sense of the powers the game gives you.

      MMO’s need to make money, however, so they tend to favor setups that operate on an effort/reward cycle to keep their players engaged. They don’t HAVE to, but it would take a successful indy MMO implementation of a game world where all the powers/skills/vehicles/resources are available from the outset to convince any of the big publishers to follow suite.

      And that, of course, will require someone to come up with a way to make a sandbox where everyone is functionally identical to be engaging in the long term.

  8. zanraptora says:

    Honestly, I love the idea of horizontal progression and being free to enjoy other things, knowing I won’t be punished by the game for not practicing (Reflex and strategy is another matter).

    I also hate EVE’s system, not because of the “Play to Play” or it’s slow rate, but because of the constant “Log on every 24 hours or waste your sub”.

    Perpetuum stores my time, the time I paid for. I really appreciate that out of their systems, because after getting to college, constant time is not always a given.

    • diamondmx says:

      Logging on for 2 minutes shouldn’t be very difficult for most people, but even then, beyond the early game, most things take multiple days, or possibly weeks, or rarely months without needing to change skills.
      In addition, they’re planning to add skill-training to their facebook clone. Eventually.

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