Thursday, 14 November 2013

Band of Brothers

Introduced my brother to Pion this week and last night went out on his first team hunt.  We tackled Overseers, one of the tougher mobs on Ion, and probably the ones with the most health - so much easier to hunt in a team.  

Clearly he brought Qweeg good luck as after only a short time we looted this!

Top spot on the All time high list - so a good night indeed; and a nice introduction to the game for my brother.  

Hopefully he will stick with it after that.

Tuesday, 12 November 2013

Qweeg and the death of the Mutant Spiders

Making videos is obviously an art form - as I found out making this.  But a short insight into the dangerous environment of Ion as Qweeg battles courageously against the deadly Mutant Spiders:

Thursday, 7 November 2013

Bits and Bobs

Okay so the last post in a whistle-top tour of the game.  After this the blog will focus more on Qweeg's adventures; and new features as they come along.  In terms of wrapping up this overview there are a few features that need to be covered:

Team hunting:

Team of up to 10 can be set up to take on tougher challenges (for example the spaceship).  The are various loot distribution methods for this - equal share, damaged based etc. so it should be possible to find something that everyone is happy with.


Each of the settlements have storage facilities where you can dump stuff you don't want to room to carry about.  Currently there is no avatar weight restriction, but again I imagine this will arrive in time, making storage much more important.

Storage is unique by location, so items stored in the storage facilities at Zion can only be retrieved from there - not from storage facilities elsewhere.  This is the same model as AW, but differs from Entropia.


All settlements have recycling facilities.  Items cannot be repaired, and over time wear out and break.  Broken items (or items near to breaking) can be processed through the recycling terminal to produce raw materials that can be used in crafting.

Globals and HOF:

Any loot with a value of over 50 PID is flagged as a Global, and if your loot is one of the top 25 of the day it is classed goes onto the daily Hall of Fame (HOF) board.  There are also all time HOF boards.  Lists are stored for all the areas that globals can occur in:

  • Hunting
  • Mining
  • Recycling

Behind you!

And on finding a global or HOF, as well as the loot, you are rewarded with a fanfare and nice screen animation:

Is that an Adjusted Prototype X, I spy in the loot?

And that's it - next up:  The continuing adventures of Qweeg.

On a personal note - I am astounded at how much has been achieved by effectively a 2 man development team.

Next year promises to be an extremely exciting one for the inhabitants of Project Ion!

Location, Location, Location

Here is the current extent of the PI world.  Overall I believe it represents a 64Km2 area (it certainly feels like that if you try and walk from end to end!)

As shown in addition to the general landscape, the land consists of 3 settlements, an Oil Rig, Spaceships, and a PVP area.

In fairness the term settlement is a little grandiose at the moment.  They are areas with crafting machines the odd NPC and a teleporter.  This means fast travel is possible between each of the 3 locations, which makes getting around a lot easier.  

Should you die out in the wilderness you will revive at the nearest settlement.

You can also choose to revive (perhaps you have run out of ammunition and need to restock).  Effectively this is the same as dying.

The 3 settlements are:

  • Zion:     This is the place where new players spawn.  It contains storage, recycling facilities, crafting services, and a teleporter.  The area around here is mostly populated with robots of various types.
  • Babylon:  This settlement has all the same facilities as Zion but additionally has a Pawn Shop.  Here items can be bought or sold and will be a vital place for restocking during your days in PI.  Baby Spiders to the South East; Big Scary Spiders to the South West.
  • Travelers point:  Similar to the others, but has a different NPC - Mr Fixit.  Nothing can be sold to him, but he does sell basic equipment, and not always the same prices as the Pawn Shop.  Overseers, and a couple of smaller mobs to the West.

The Oil Rig:  Those of you with an Entropia background will know what this is.  Basically its an area that spawns barrels of Oil and Uranium, which can be collected simply by running over them.  

The area is PVP so you could be killed by other players here.  Also the rig is surrounded by Mech Elite robots (the toughest mob I have found so far) - so it's not for the faint-hearted.


There is an area in the North East where a crashed and several hovering spaceships can be found.  One of the ships can be boarded and searched for treasures - but the area is again surrounded by really tough robots.  Qweeg has yet to make it to the ship - so more info will follow in a future post.

Crafting 101

And so to the third profession - crafting.  Here things are a little different from other, similar games - but overall the concept is straightforward and has a lot of potential.  

One thing to note is that currently almost every item that can be crafted, can also be looted though, so the need for crafting is lower at the moment.  As more players come on board and the economy gradually becomes self supportive I am guessing more and more items will be craftable only - but time will tell.

In essence crafting is a 3 phase process:

  • Raw materials are processed into refined materials    --> 
  • Refined materials are manufactured into components --> 
  • Components are assembled into usable items.

There are 3 processing areas - one for each of the above:

  • The Alchemy service 
  • The Component service

  • The assembly workbench

Finding out recipes is a challenge - you have to place items into the processing area to see what can be made with it.  Refining raw materials will often yield more than one item - for example refining wood produces both wood planks and wood fibre.  And Refined materials are often used in more than one component.

Other than that the crafting process is straightforward, simply drag the item you wish to use into the particular manufacturing machine window and away you do - no need to click for hours and hours, just select the amount you wish to manufacture and providing you have the resources needed the items will be produced.

There are a few Refined items that can be refined a second time to produce a completely different refined resource - so always try out things in the machines, sometimes you will come across a surprising result.

Wednesday, 6 November 2013

It's a minefield out there...

Okay shorter post here, mainly because mining is really in its infancy at the moment.  The concept is simple:  You need a Finder, some mining probes, and an extractor.  Currently there is just one type of each so no concept of better equipment yielding better; rarer; or deeper finds.  But, the mechanics are there and I'm sure in time this will be an area that is expanded upon.

Using your finder will drop an explosive probe an bring up a new radar screen.  Should something be found it will be shown on this radar.  Then it is just a case of heading over to it and using your extractor to draw out the resource.

The only thing to bear in mind is that the mining radar is fixed, so that north is always at the top of the screen (unlike the main radar, which rotates along with your character).  So you just need to align yourself correctly before heading off to dig up your claim.


The Art of War - addendum...

Just a quick note here, particularly for those who have played one of those other two games.  There is a slight, but important difference in the ranged hunting mechanics here - namely that guns only hold a set number of bullets (the number is dependent on the gun itself).  Once used up the gun needs to be reloaded (a simple press of the R key) before continuing.

Initially Qweeg struggled with this a little - but actually it makes much more sense than being able to endless fires a gun with no regard for the size of the magazine.  And once you get used to it, things are fine.

The Art of War

No not a Chinese military text, but instead a bit about hunting, which will undoubtedly be the most popular of the three main game play elements.  And to be fair the game world does feel a bit like a world at war.  

The back story is sketchy at the moment, but the land is filled (well not quite filled yet, but it's getting there) with various mutated creatures and maniacal robots, all of which are only to happy to take a proverbial bite out of Qweeg - and so being geared up for battle is pretty much essential.

Hunting equipment currently falls into two main categories - items the deal damage i.e. weapons; and items that heal damage - healing kits.  Currently there is no concept of Armour - although this is planned for a little further down the line.

In terms of weapons there are 3 styles available:  Melee; pistols; and rifles.  Weapons need to be equipped to the character before they can be accessed and are used by clicking and holding down the left mouse button.

 Items can be assigned to a toolbar with shortcut keys (0 - 9) defined for quick equipping.

The differences between the 3 types of weapons are - in very general terms:

  • Melee - only useful for close quarters combat, but generally good damage.  Also they don't require ammunition to use.
  • Pistols - Shorter range than rifles but better than melee.  Generally lower damage, but faster rate of fire than rifles
  • Rifles - good range and damage.  Slower rate of fire.

Whilst this is a general guide, should you come across the Protoype or Adjusted Prototype range of weapons you will find that the rifles have much the same rate of fire as the pistols.  So the weapon of choice for the aspiring hunter is currently the Adjusted Prototype X rifle (although as expected this is much rarer than other weapons).

Healing kits and ranged weapons require secondary components to use them - in the case of healing kits they need a supply of the appropriate type of bandage; for guns the appropriate ammunition.  These can all be looted; bought; or crafted.

So from a basic standpoint hunting is very straightforward - find a mob on your radar (red dots are mobs; green are other players)  - point your gun at said mob, start shooting, run over its corpse when it is dead to loot it.  Heal in between or at the end if you take damage.  Rinse and repeat.  Of course in practice things are a little more complex - with no armour you can quickly get overrun if you are not careful so some planning is often needed - especially if you plan on taking on the larger mobs on your own.

So don a gun, a healing kit and get out there - before you know it you too will be taking on the mighty mutant spider! ;-)

So what's it all about?

In essence Project Ion consists of three elements: hunting, mining and crafting.  The game takes place on a persistent world filled with creatures (mobs) to hunt and resources to mine for.  Killing a mob allows you to loot its corpse for valuable (sometimes) materials and items.  

The resources you mine and the materials you loot can then be used to craft into usable items, either for yourself or to sell on.

A wood stack - not sure what the knife is for though?
There is also a pvp element, restricted to certain areas of the world only, where you can hunt your fellow players.

Okay so far so good - and those of you that have played either Entropia or Afterworld (in particular I think the old version of Entropia), will find this all very familiar.  In fact at first glance this game is almost identical to PE (Project Entropia); however there are some differences that I will cover as I go through the game mechanics in more detail in future posts.
Hemp plants have many uses, including making Ganga!

In terms of getting started in the world as a newbie with no money and no equipment, there are two types of free resource that can be found dotted around the world: Hemp plant and Wood.  Both of these are collecting simply by walking over them.

These can then be sold either to other players or at the Pawn Shop in Babylon (more on that later).  The money gained can then be used to buy items such as guns, ammo, and healing kits; and or mining equipment.

The in world currency is Project Ion Dollars (PIDs), which can be used either in player to player trade or with some of the NPC characters in the game.

Friday, 1 November 2013

Ground Rules

Okay so Project Ion is in an early stage of development (although a lot of the basics are there in some form) and as yet little time/effort has been spent on beautifying the game.  That's not to say it's completely horrible to look at, some areas are already looking quite good.  But other areas not so much.  A very prominent example is your own avatar - it can only be male, has very limited customisation options, and to be honest doesn't look great.

I say this by way of a disclaimer more than anything else - in my mind it is quite correct that functionality and game play comes before look and feel in the development process (and it means my aging laptop doesn't struggle to run the game - which is a plus).  It does mean however that some of the screenshots I include in this blog are maybe not the best advert for the game.  But they are necessary - and it will be interesting to show comparisons as things progress.

But it is important not to judge the game on the current state of the graphics - which will get better over time.  The gameplay is far more important at the moment and as future post will show, there is already a lot to be excited about!

So with that in mind - meet Qweeg, DOB 28th October 2013

Then and now...

So, two years on Dave Qweeg Lister, ex Entropia (PE/EU) veteran and retired Afterworld (AW) warrior finds himself once again assigned to the gaming scrapheap.  

To be fair it certainly hasn't been through lack of trying - over the last 18 months or so I have tried countless different MMO and MMORPG games, with the hope of rekindling the gaming excitement.

But recently I came to the conclusion - and maybe this is true for a lot of old Entropia and Afterworld players - there simply aren't any other games that can scratch my particular gaming itch.

Then quite by chance whilst browsing the AW forum in a futile search for life, I came across a post from Tesla Coil - another PE/AW veteran - promoting a new game in development called Project Ion.  

To be honest I was skeptical about this, it sounded like a very small development team and I couldn't initially see how they could create something that would match my experiences in the other two games.  

But with nothing else about I decided to give it a try.

And so begins The Ionisation of Qweeg...