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A look at other virtual worlds: Entropia Universe - NOT!

By admin | Dezember 17, 2007

In my endeavour to visit as many virtual worlds as possible I am sometime hindered by all kind of complications. Entropia Universe turned out to be a major problem, so I decided to tell you what I could find out about it so far and why I couldn’t get you any first hand reports from in world yet.

When I first tried to visit Entropia Universe, I was simply unable to download the client. I would click the download link, but nothing happened, not even when I tried a day later. I gave up, frustrated, and busy enough with other things. But I did return. How pleasantly surprised was I, when a download was started this time, so I happily proceded to setting up an account. When I was thropugh with the procedure, the download was finished. At least this is what I thought. When I then tried to start the application, I learned fast that the software you initially download is just a small parts of what you really need. The “real thing” exceeds the GB limit and I had to wait over an hour before the download was finished. I guess my DSL isn’t fast enough any more. I waited, less and less patiently. When I finally tried to start up the client, it would start the install procedure again - and start loading again, the same file I had just downloaded minutes ago and no matter what I did, I couldn’t start the client, coulden’t log in or do anything to escape this vicious cicle. At some point I was thinking it could have been because I had interrupted the install procdeure at some point, so I cleaned everything from my harddrive and started from scratches. Yes, I do mean I downloaded everything once again. When I was done, the time that had elapsed from my first click on a “download” button was roughly four hours. My hope was crushed when again the client wouldn’t launch any virtual world for me, but just another download. At this point I gave up.

I had spent the several hours of waiting with reading everything available on the website, so I can ahre with you a few thoughts on Entropia Universe - at least from the outside.

Entropia Universe is clearly marketed as a virtual world, so I included it here, but the more I read about it the more I wodner, if it isn’t rather a game. Not that this is a bad thing, it is just something different.

What makes it more like an MMORPG is the fact that it offers a setting to new residents to live and play in. The affinity to gaming is further stressed by MindArk’s announcemnet that it will introduce the CryENGINE of well known game developer Crytek to Entropia Universe in 2008. Their aim is to go for the most lifelike look in a virtual world. This surely makes them an interesting candidate, as this will set them apart from other worlds that usually go for a more comic book style in looks.

So the question is, why Entropia Universe is still marketed rather as a Virtual World and not so much as a game. My best guess is the strong economic features that allow the conversion of in world money to real life money, just as Second Life does. This has become more and more a standard feature for Virtual Worlds, while the option to buy in game good (including in game money) is usually still frowned upon by many players of typical MMORPG. It should be noted that trade with in game assets has become more and more important in MMORPGs as well and is about to become more important than the classical subscription fee, yet this often still has a bad reputation with the gamers’ community. So marketing Entropia Universe as a Virtual World, not as an MMORPG is more a statment about which community they want to address than about the existence or lack of features.

One other aspect of Virtual Worlds I usually pay a lot of attention to is how they deal with the IP rights of users. As most other Virtual Worlds (with the notable exception of Second Life) you have to sign of your IP rights with the standard license agreement. To quote from it:

“You hereby grant MindArk the worldwide, perpetual, irrevocable, royalty-free, right to exercise all intellectual property rights for any content you may upload to the Entropia universe, including, but not limited to, user-to-user communications.”

This is standard, I still don’t like it. At least they didn’t include “exclusive”.

This is roughly how far I got so far. I should contact the support, they may be able to help me to get Entropia Universe up and running, but I am not really motivated to do this now. As usually I searched the internet to look for solutions to my problem and found out that I am not alone, maybe MindArk should really work on this, it is effectively preventing users from becoming residents in their brave new world.

URL: http://www.entropiauniverse.com/index.var

Topics: VR |

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