As someone that has had an avatar on Calypso a few years, I have a bit of experience in surviving in Entropia Universe (EU). This is the first of many little Survival tips, hints, tutorials, etc. I’m probably going to be posting in here.
If you don’t know what Entropia Universe or Planet Calypso is yet, go take some time to read about it at http://www.entropiauniverse.com.
Also, go take a look at the entry for Entropia Universe on Wikipedia. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Entropia_universe
Take particular note of the stories on there about Neverdie, Jon Jacobs (Deathifer), Mike Everest, and a few other success stories. THESE types of stories are usually true. HOWEVER, they are not typical stories of average participants. Most people that participate in the virtual universe can and should expect monetary losses when playing. This is a Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game (MMORPG) after all, just like Warcraft, Dialo 2, or Everquest. However, unlike those other games, the losses in EU should not be extremely great unless the participant in question wants them to be because EU is free to participate in on some levels. Sweating, gathering dung, fruit, stones and oil are all free (well oil is probably the hardest of those to get because the rig is in the middle of a pvp zone that’s always full of avatars)…
There are many risks in EU. Many consider the main professions of crafting, hunting, and mining in the game to be similar to gambling in a slot machine at a real world casino. However, there ARE ways to participate and make money and come out ahead. It just takes some work to figure out how to come out ahead… it also takes a bit of luck on occassion. Trading is one of the main ways to do this. HOwever, you have to be smart with the way you trade to make money in this game. You also have to have a lot of persistence, strategy, and sometimes just plain luck.
There’s quite a few forums run by participants (players) of this virtual universe with the real cash economy known as Entropia Universe. Forums are THE primary way participants share information with one another. In a “game” (even if the developers don’t want to call it a game – but a virtual universe instead) such as this one, KNOWLEDGE IS POWER, and getting knowledge from other participants through forums is probably the easiest way to get knowledge quickly.
The largest, and probably most popular one in English currently is probably http://www.entropiaforum.com (EF). I participate in that forum a lot, as do many other helpful individuals. EF is a huge place – take time to read, read, and then read some more before you ever think about depositing a lot of cash in to the game. There’s a huge learning curve to this virtual universe known as Entropia Universe, and places like EF can help you get over the major hurdles of that learning curve much, much, much faster than you can overcome the learning curve on your own.
Other forums exist. Http://www.entropiaplanets.com (EP) is one example of such a startup. A few years ago Entropia Pioneer’s forum was hot, but that got so stale and stagnant that it got shut down permanantly some time during the last year or so. There’s also been a few other forums here and there that have had limited success.
http://www.entropiareality.com is another forum, but it’s mainly for flame fests since it’s not moderated. Since entropiareality (i.e. ER in other forums since some other forums actually hate ER enough that they edit their forum to keep that word from showing up in their own forum) is flame bait, some discussions in other forums sometimes end up here near the end since no moderators are not around to keep all parties posting their spit spats to one another out in the open like little elementary kids that like to cuss because they have not potty trained their speech yet.
When it comes to the forums, remember to use netiquitte. Also remember that theories are just that, theories… not something that can be proven, and if it can be proven, the system might just be altered to make the theories false again later… This is important to know since there’s a LOT of various loot theories out there…. and if the Mind Ark and FPC are smart, as I believe they are, they likely change the loot system regularly, just like online casinos or google, to keep those that want to cheat the system from doing so for too long of a stretch of time.
The in game auction is nice, but it’s limited because there is an auction fee that the seller has to pay regarless of whether the item the seller is trying to sell actually sells or not. The selling forums in EF help people bypass that little administrative fee. Similarly http://www.entropiabay.com (EB) was set up specifically to help people do this sort of stuff in a more ebay type of setting. Entropiabay is sort of a new kid on the block, but it has limited popularity. Over time, it might become one of the best places to sell stuff online in game. EP also has an auction type of thing in it’s forums, but since EP itself is even newer than EB, the number of people utilizing that system is very limited.
Most folks that don’t do a lot of person to person trading in game use the in game auction system at some point in time. It is a lot more reliable than the forums sometimes because forums require that you have to meet up the people you are dealing with in game, which is not always easy. With the in game auction, you are using a system that anyone in game can access 24/7. However, since it does have fees to sellers, and high fees in addition to that, it’s not necessarily the best way to sell things.
In game shops are nice to have. They allow you to sell things in game 24/7 regardless of whether your avatar is actually logged in or not. Price of shops very greatly depending on location and size of the shops in question. Mall shops are the most expensive and have the highest monthly rent fees. However they also are probably the most popular shops in game. Shop owners have to deal with taxes when figuring out what prices to mark items with. They also have to deal with monthly rent sometimes. Taxes are not too difficult to work with since taxes are passed on to customers, not to shop owners themselves, and taxes also are interesting because they usually are a lot lower than the fees that have to be dealt with in the in game auction regardless of whether people bid or not. Tax money that is collected goes to Land Owners if the shop is on a land area that is owned by a participant. Some shops are in areas that are not owned by participants, and it’s never been determined if the taxes off of those shops go back to feed the loot pool or go in to the overall income of MindArk. Some estates that act as shops, such as booths in apartment basements, hangers that have shopkeepers in them, and some houses that have shop keepers in them, do not have monthly rent payments. That makes these places very interesting places to own as any income from the shop is more or less a complete income since the shop owner does not have to “break even” on a rent fee every month. However, they still may have some decay fees in the form of shopkeeper decay. Shop keepers decay approximately 10 PEC per sale… Most folks that own shop keepers are aware of this and pass that cost on to their customers. Even that small fee is typically less than the auction fee costs sellers as the auction always costs a seller something regardless of whether or not any actual sale was made.
Hangers are estates that have ships that can be used to fly to the astroids above Calypso, Club Neverdie (CND) and Crystal Palace (CP). It is also possible that they will be used to get to new planets when new planets are introduced in 2010. Hangers also have a number of item points on them, so they can hold furniture and other things, such as shopkeepers, just like all estates that have over 6 item points (shopkeepers require 6 item points but give you 20 back in exchange with the number of things that the shopkeeper can hold and sell for you)
Here’s what is believed to be the algorithm that is currently used to figure taxes.
Shop Tax = (Markup * 49.75 / (1990 + Markup))
Here’s what is believed to be the algorithm that is currently used to figure auction fees on the in game auction.
Auction Fee/Commission = (0.5 + Markup * 99.5 / (1990 + Markup))
Here’s what is believed to be the cost to pilots for using ships (although the ship system is currently offline until it’s reintroduced. This system, along with most other systems in the game have to be recreated to suit the Cry Engine 2 Game Engine that was added to EU in Version Update 10.0)
the actual flight costs, one way, to each desination are (in TT value):
10 ped to CP (4 decay, 6 ped in oil).
40 ped to cND (16 decay, 24 ped in oil).
As with everything in this dynamic universe, change is the ONLY costant we can accurately rely on… so the information above may be completely inaccurate by the time you read this. The systems in place in the virtual universe change every time a new version update is implemented, and sometimes even during the course of the same version of the game as Mindark can and does alter some things on the server side of the game any time they want. Getting used to changes IS a very important characteristic anyone that wants to survive in EU for long MUST have because there can, will be, and always are changes coming up… some may benefit you. Others might not… that’s why a lot of the forums are always full of people complaining about things and speculating about things. However, most long term residents of Calypso and any part of EU know that change is coming and always will happen over time…. because ENTROPIA UNIVERSE IS DYNAMIC!
I’ll add some more tips about EU and living on Calypso in future postings here. Stay tuned…