Battlestar Evelikia: Entropy

By Alec Meer on December 10th, 2013 at 3:00 pm.

Claiming that your game “brings fast, real-time, player-controlled space combat to the space MMO genre for the first time” is probably not the wisest opening salvo, because… Well, I’m not sure it really needs saying. Instead I’ll say that this post brings human-written words to the videogaming blogging genre for the first time and see how seriously you take me.

Such marketingballs aside, Entropy, a space MMO from the creators of Battlestar Galactica Online, sounds like the right stuff – a poppier, glossier, dogfightier Eve, perhaps. It’s out on Early Access now.

Go go Galacticky trailer:

I’ll try and take a look at some point, but in the meantime here’s this summary. Imagine it read by this voice for added dramatic effect:

“Set in a future where humanity is desperately working to maintain a crumbling interstellar civilisation, Entropy unlocks more than 100 detailed star systems for early access players to explore. In addition to fighting in space-based dogfights, players also have to work together and manage trade, mining, travel and more, controlling both the direction and fate of the entire galaxy. The decision to provide players with Early Access to Entropy during this phase of development will allow crucial feedback to be gathered, enabling gameplay to be enriched as it progresses towards full launch.”

Buying ‘Founders’ Packs’ gets you access to the game now, along with other bits and bobs depending on how much you want to pay. And this isn’t the most inspiring line I’ve ever read: “Players who purchase either of the top two packages also receive the extra benefit of not having their experience and wealth reset when the game comes out of Early Access.” Which seems to suggest that wiping other players’ progress is a matter of choice rather than technical necessity, doesn’t it?

Basic access is £15, and those ‘top two tiers’ are £30 and £76 respectively. The absurd price of the latter does include two additional copies of the game to give/sell to chums, however. More details on what you get in each here.

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39 Comments »

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  1. Premium User Badge

    c-Row says:

    I thought EVE was basically dice-rolling in space with no real twitch skills involved?

    • Antsy says:

      I cannot confirm or deny that you thought that.

    • Premium User Badge

      phlebas says:

      Yes, I assumed the ‘player-controlled’ bit was there to distinguish it from EVE. The Steam page mentions ‘skill-based combat’, too. We’ll see.

    • Verio says:

      I think it’s safe to say this is what they are getting at… Eve is not really direct control.

      That said, “the first time” is still bullshit. Jumpgate did it, and did it well a decade ago. Granted they are dead, and their attempt at a sequel became vaporware, but I would argue thats because it’s a fairly niche genre. Or at least it wasn’t one so barren 10 years ago.

    • Sucram says:

      Well apart from Jumpgate, Entropy is still the first. Except for Earth & Beyond which did it did it 11 years ago and Allegiance 13 years ago. But apart from them probably still the fir.. oh wait Star Wars Galaxies.

      • Premium User Badge

        Cinek says:

        They were busy working on some weird games in web browsers. Don’t expect them to know a history of PC gaming beyond last half a year.

      • Premium User Badge

        Kasper says:

        SubSpace did it in 1996/97: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UdS5RQyP1X8

        • Dionysus844 says:

          unghh I loved subspace. remembered the first day I switched from 56k to a cable modem, no more bullet lag. great game.

      • Jimbo says:

        Also Black Prophecy, which was terrible.

      • Premium User Badge

        FriendlyFire says:

        Toss Freelancer into that list too, unless you only want to consider only MMOs (not that the challenge is particularly different).

        • DigitalImpostor says:

          As the blurb says, “space MMO genre”.

          • mlaskus says:

            Freelancer actually ran as a sort of an MMO. There were plenty modded servers which allowed a lot players at the same time and kept the players’ data server-side.

      • JusticePS says:

        And also, Vendetta Online. Which is still running and subscription based as far as I know.

    • Sardonic says:

      Dice rolls factor very little in EVE combat, there’s a huge amount of skill required to command fleets effectively, fit ships correctly, and use them correctly.

      There are actually some twitch skills required in decloaking ships and other maneuvers that require somewhat precise timing and maneuvering.

      Also imo freelancer was the best iteration of MMO realtime space combat so far, be interesting to see how this compares.

      • Cvnk says:

        I agree with this guy. I haven’t played eve in years but I clearly remember a guy in our corp who routinely soloed battleships in his Rifter (low-level frigate). That takes a bit of skill. Maybe not twitch skill but who says that’s all that counts as skill?

      • hotmaildidntwork says:

        It’s probably not fair to describe EvE’s combat as skill-less, but I feel like calling it “fast” would be…misleading.

    • Sharlie Shaplin says:

      EVE’s more about using mathematics than actually piloting. EVE wasn’t even the first anyway.

  2. Lyrion says:

    You must be reading something else then me because here it sais: Entropy’s Founders program is designed to benefit our early adopters by providing a range of benefits, including a generous amount of starting funds and no character or stat resets prior to the full launch. Other benefits include exclusive character creation assets, ships, skins and increased character slots. There are no Microtransactions in the Entropy Early Access, so when buy the game, you get the game, whatever the package.

    Also the lowest tier has a no reset thingy

  3. Dionysus844 says:

    You down with Entropy?

    $20 on a snowday… hmm.

    • Premium User Badge

      c-Row says:

      Take one for the team I say. It looks like a more user-friendly space MMO than X Rebirth or EVE, but I’d love to hear some thoughts on it from a fellow human being.

      • Dionysus844 says:

      • Premium User Badge

        Thurgret says:

        I took one for the team, and, so far: somewhat promising.

        I’ll keep at it for a bit and see if I can come up with something more than that.

        • Dionysus844 says:

          MOAR. Is the economy functioning? PvP? IS THIS THE EVE KILLER, BROTHER?

      • DigitalImpostor says:

        X Rebirth is single player.

  4. Solidstate89 says:

    The human mind is truly amazing. Despite Troy McClure having never said those words in that order before, I can hear his voice perfectly in my head. Even pausing and adding the right inflection.

    Thank you for the short amusement, Alec.

  5. Premium User Badge

    Simplisto says:

    So… Wot is Battlestar Galactica Online like?

    • Dionysus844 says:

      never heard of it, must be GREAT

    • DigitalImpostor says:

      Terrible.

    • DatonKallandor says:

      It’s pretty incredible actually. It’s got a hybrid Dogfighting/EVE combat system. The movement and skill usage is twitch based and direct player control so it’s on the pilot to get the enemy into the firing arc and to the best range bracket, but the weapons fire itself is dice rolled based on angle and distance. Visually it’s a treat, and having 40 players flying around in everything from fighters to capital ships in a single battle looks like something out of the series.

      Unfortunately it’s very Korean in it’s money making scheme, so you’ve got better ammo and nukes that you can only buy with real money, and progression is quite a grind if you don’t pay.

    • Thrippy says:

      Like this. The UI, HUD, apparent game play, and even the chat window mirrors Battlestar Galactica Online.

      Which isn’t a bad thing at all. I’d certainly consider buying a version of BGO freed of the necessary free to play rigamarole and even the creative restrictions of conforming to the BSG license/universe.

      But put me in for a second shout out to Microsoft Allegiance by Microsoft Research that still remains ahead of its time thirteen years later. The original third person spaceship dogfighter sim with multiple ship classes and bitterly contested mining.

  6. buzzmong says:

    Eh, unless they actually have a decent flying model I’m not interested.

    Apart from the pay-to-win factor for BSG Online, the biggest thing for me was that all the ships (especially the big ones) acted like submarines in the sea. There was a very much a distinct “up” and “down” along a plane, which is where everything happened. You couldn’t really fly upside down for example, it “righted” you, which is daft in space.

  7. Premium User Badge

    El_MUERkO says:

    Reminds me of Jumpgate.

    I miss Jumpgate :(

    I miss Planet Jumpgate more :*(

  8. Taiphoz says:

    We have the technology to have massive open worlds without hiding people away in shards, its nothing more than a game and immersion breaking mechanic that I wish developers would hurry up and just get over…

    even 100 people per shard is a far cry from the total number that would probably be playing , and even with their tools and techniques to make sure your always in the same shard as your BFF, none of them are full proof, time and time again in other games which also shard I find myself saying. “Oh hang the fuc* on, I need to change shards” ..

    I HATE IT. They need to stop doing it.

  9. Zeewolf says:

    You’re aware that Eve doesn’t have “fast, real-time, player-controlled space combat” though, right?

  10. Premium User Badge

    Don Reba says:

    Entropy. It is never Enthalpy, is it?

  11. shava23 says:

    @Don Reba — what the H is Enthalpy? (ooo sorry, couldn’t resist, sorry sorry…)

  12. Flank Sinatra says:

    Picked this up on the Steam sale over the holidays because I’m a space game junkie and I have yet to find a good one. Entropy is no exception; it’s pretty bad so far. Terrible UI and controls and completely broken tutorial quests. The graphics are decent, but man are they ugly. Everything is brown and dirty. Even the background space is brown. The intersystem travel uses a separate map, like Star Trek online, but with tiny top down isometric view, like pushing a little car around a featureless brown table top board game. It’s ugly and slow and depressing.
    The worst thing though is the loading screens. Awkward docking animations and loading screens constantly take you out of the game, breaking the immersion that is so crucial to this genre. I gave up on Entropy when I realized I was spending more time staring at a loading screen than playing. Worst 15 bucks I spent over the Steam Sale.