Entropia Universe
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The graphics look nice

Entropia Universe. A MMORPG that is different from all the others that exist and are popular these days. The one thing that makes it so popular and so different is it's "real economy". The game currency, PED, is bound to real United States Dollar. To get PED, you have to buy it for real money. The trade rate is 10:1 (for 1$ you get 10 PED), and the game money can also be withdrawn for real money with the same rate and a relatively small fee - 15%. The minimum amount to withdraw is 1000 PED = 100$, so you will receive 85$. That possibility attracts huge amount of players to the game, who all hope to get easy cash from there. I can say that I also had that in mind when I joined (not just that though) around 2009. The true nature of the game isn't like those people imagine. Although the game is called Free to Play, it's much harder than in any other game and earning even the smallest amount of PED will require much patience and hours of gameplay. MindArk (the creators of the game) isn't a charity organization afterall. Even though they aren't, according to Wikipedia their total profit is -2,4$ millions! Isn't that quite much, if we think that their main goal is earning cash for THEMSELVES.

Now about the graphics. At highest settings, the graphics look stunning, especially for a MMO. The world is designed just like real Earth and the game uses CryEngine 2 (yes, the same engine as Crysis)... After very detailed character customization, I logged in and found it quite hard to orientate, due to the lack of goals and the size of the world. And I want to tell you one thing: the Planet Calypso (current Entropia Universe "server") is HUGE! All those numerous mountains, lakes, rivers... I managed to die over 10 times while trying to get to some big lake (as I understood, you lose nothing when you die). There were so many different creatures around, some aggressive, some not, and they all looked like dinosaurs. So what can be bad about that all? Once again, without PED you can't kill them. I just had to look at them and then run, because they tried to kill me. Another thing about Entropia is that there is no level system. Everyone is equal in strength in that way. There are crafting "levels" but they aren't combat related. There also are PvP zones, but I didn't get that far.

Now about the money system. Back when I played for about 2 weeks, the only profitable official thing to do without depositing real money was sweating. You get a sweating maching/gun when logging in for the first time, and then you can find any dinosaur to take sweat from. If you are lucky enough to find a good buyer, you can sell 1000 sweat for 5 PED, usually it's 2-3 PED/1000 sweat though. Imagine it - 1000 sweat! That is a lot, I must tell you. So here's the most wide-spread tip for non-spenders - gather sweat patiently. Don't buy a weapon as soon as you earn enough to get it. You will just waste the hard-earned PED. Feel sad that you can't do anything in the beginning? You shouldn't! If you are one of those few who manage to make it into the business world of Entropia Universe, you might end up with alot of cash.

When I started playing, I read about a person who NEVER spent a single dollar on the game. He was one of those patient-kind of people and sweated alot. After earning some money, he moved into crafting business and there it was already easier to earn money. There is virtual property in EU (the biggest property is planets and space stations - the owner of an area gets a small amount of money from everyone using his area for treasure hunting/resource gathering, and that is a lot of profit), which can be bought on auctions, and that person bought an area using ALL of his PED that he spent years on gaining. It may seem like a stupid thing to do, because he could've withdrawn it into real cash. In reality, though, he waited for 4 or 5 years and then sold it for tens of thousands of dollars! Sounds nice? Well, many people recommend playing EU for fun and not for profit because 99 people out of 100 don't make it through the difficulties and quit. I am one of those 99 people.

A player about to shoot a monster