The apocalypse is a dangerous place. Mutants and beasts prowl the Grand Canyon Province, and the few surviving humans have organized themselves into competing factions that tend to kill one another over resources, ideology, or for just plain fun.
To survive such a harsh environment, you’ll need the right kind of Inventory, Weapons, Ammunition, and Armor.
The inventory system combines traditional slots with an encumbrance system based on the weight of the objects carried. Every player has sixty-four slots in their inventory and also a maximum allowed weight that is determined by his or her Strength. A character may have available slots but still be unable to carry an item if it exceeds his or her weight allowance. The best way to increase what you can carry is with a vehicle, as everything from motorcycles to dune buggies will have inventory slots.
Inventory slots also determine the weapons you can quickly equip during combat. Every character has slots for six equipped weapons with associated hotkeys, so it only takes about a second to switch between weapons in a pinch. Swapping out armor is a bit slower, as it requires opening the inventory window and dragging items in and out of the character profile or double clicking on the item.
Characters also have a personal stash that they can access from any of the three types of vaults located in the world (Sector Vaults in any town, Barter vaults in Barter towns, and Banker Vaults that are accessible only in special Banker towns). If you are a member of a Clan, sometimes you can have access to a Clan Vault.
There are three basic types of weapons that survivors carry into the field: melee, pistols, and rifles. Melee weapons can be anything from a poker found in the crumbled remains of a pre-Fall fireplace to a handcrafted, exquisitely balanced sword. Pistols also run the gamut from improvised to elite, including things like homegrown zip guns, revolvers, and submachine guns. Likewise, rifles range from simple crossbows to rare and powerful sniper rifles.
Characters are far more likely to encounter makeshift items (such as a pistol fashioned out of a paintball gun) until they’ve developed the skills needed to scavenge or craft higher-quality items. Along the way, crafters with the right knowledge can improve their existing weapons by bolting on scopes or other add-ons. Players not interested in crafting will be able to purchase upgrade weapons through merchants.
In general, melee weapons do massive amounts of damage at close range, while rifles are great for precise, long-range combat. Characters specialized solely with one weapon type will have a tough time during certain encounters: rifles penalize your defenses in close-quarters combat, and melee weapons are worthless at range. Meanwhile, pistols are something of a balance between the extremes. They’re versatile and can be used at short and long ranges, but they don’t do nearly as much damage as the best weapons in the melee and rifle classes.
Weapons wear out over time and require regular maintenance using Weaponry or Ballistics Repair Kits to keep in useable shape.
Like a lot of manufactured resources in the Grand Canyon area, ammunition can be hard to come by. Each type of ranged weapon has its own type of ammo. Characters using special firearms will either purchase it or find another weapon.
Fallen Earth includes a selection of armor designed to protect characters from head to toe, with items in nineteen different armor slots, including feet, hands, shirt, jacket, and head. Initially, the armor items in these categories will reflect either the remnants of old-world technology or things that survivors have cobbled together from the materials at hand, which can include anything from work gloves and spiked handwraps to combat boots and riot vests. You’ll see things like motorcycle jackets and Kevlar right alongside scrap-metal plating and sandworm hides.
As the game includes a dozen or so different types of damage, not every type of armor can be effective against every type of damage. While a Kevlar vest is highly bullet resistant, it won’t do much against electrical- or cold-based attacks. An armored suit of sandworm hide may provide great acid resistance, but it will leave you vulnerable to fire. Characters may sometimes need to equip a gas mask or other specific item based on the threats they face. So if you’re up against a Giant Roach and its general nastiness, you’ll probably want to jump into some disease-resistant gear if you have it.
With this system, players are free to mix and match armors of different types to suit their needs, while also creating a unique look for their characters. Add in the faction-specific armor at the high end, and Fallen Earth players have a wide variety of practical and unusual gear possibilities. In addition to these specific resistances, each armor item has its own style and stat modifiers.
Crafters are an important part of the armor system because they make all kinds of armor, whether based on the skins of mutant beast or advanced polymers and composite materials. They also find plenty of work repairing used armor and gear. Armor wears down as it takes damage, so characters in dangerous environments for too long risk having their protective gear fail, which leaves them vulnerable. To repair a worn-out item in the field, crafters will need an Armorcraft Repair Kit.
Vehicles exist in Fallen Earth to provide players with transportation, extra storage, and some additional combat options. Players will be able to acquire the resources to create a vehicle that they can then sell or use.
Crafting vehicles is governed by two primary Tradeskills: Nature provides access to horses, as well as feed recipes and veterinary kits. Science is used for all other vehicle types. Obtaining recipes for vehicles does require going through several missions. Once you have those initial ATV recipes, you can develop the abilities needed to make all the other types of vehicles. The Science Tradeskill also allows you to craft various kinds of fuel (gasoline, biodiesel, batteries) and repair kits. Vehicles can be damaged through use, as well as in attacks carried out by NPCs or PCs in PvP zones.
The horse is the first type of mount; as with all vehicles, a player gains access via proximity. As living creatures, horses can go much further than an ATV or a motorcycle without having to refuel, but they lack the speed most engine-driven vehicles can achieve. You refuel the horse with feed, and you use veterinary kits to repair them. If you let horses rest, they will recover energy on their own. You may store your mount by speaking to a Stable Manager. Depending on the type of horse, some mounts come with extra pack space. All horses allow their riders to fire shots while mounted, but melee attacks are not possible on a horse.
Other vehicles—such as ATVs, Motorcycles, Dune Buggies, etc.—have several different traits. Some of them have built-in guns that can be fired while driving; others allow you to discharge your personal firearm during the ride. There are electric-, biodiesel-, and gasoline-fueled vehicles. Improved versions of each type are possible, many of which provide extra inventory space.
You can store up to five vehicles by speaking to a Garage Manager. If your vehicle is damaged to the point that it becomes inoperable, then you can pay a manager to tow it to the garage. The cost will depend on the distance towed.