The Earth 2 team has made a number of announcements that I will summarize in this post. The announcements start with a summary of the tasks that are facing the team:
- Fixing issues and improving functionality
- Scaling up
- Planning new functionality
- Partnering with companies
- Keeping the community updated
- Creating a dialogue with Venture Capitalist firms
- Fast tracking Phase 2
- Improving the withdrawal process
- Manage user accounts
- Provide support to users
- Expanding the team
- Have weekly meetings between the 5 internal teams
- Assess new opportunities
- Receive and act on advice
- Negotiate deals
- And a lot more…
As you can see, this is quite a list and I am pretty sure the team is still working a lot of overtime to tackle all these items. In the remainder of the announcements, Shane talks about a few important topics, which I will summary below.
Mapbox is an American provider of custom online maps for websites and applications such as Foursquare, Lonely Planet, Facebook, the Financial Times, The Weather Channel and Snapchat. Since 2010, it has rapidly expanded the niche of custom maps, as a response to the limited choice offered by map providers such as Google Maps.
As of October 2020, Mapbox had a valuation of $1 billion.Description taken from Wikipedia
So what can a developer do with MapBox? Some cool examples can be found on the MapBox site:
The example page shown many more examples and gives you a good feeling for the kinds of things you can do with MapBox. I think it is quite clear that MapBox is going to be extremely important for Earth 2, so the next announcement from the team is very interesting:
Earth 2 is extremely excited to announce a partnership with Mapbox moving forward! Many of you will know that Mapbox already powers location for some of the biggest apps in the world like Snap, Facebook, Strava, and Tableau. Our teams are already working together to enhance and deliver exciting new features which will begin taking the Earth 2 map experience to a whole new level! A more official announcement is coming, so please stay tuned to the Mapbox Showcase page, as we will highlight exciting developments in a promotion that will go out to over 1 million developers worldwide! We are extremely excited about what our two teams can achieve both in the short and long term!Quote from the Earth 2 team
Every property in Earth 2 will create Essence over time and Essence boosts on your properties will be available for purchase using E$ credit. Around the middle of February the team will commence final testing for Essence distribution on properties. If all goes well they hope to roll that out quickly, which will add to the gameplay already available.
Teleportation is going to be another cool feature to quickly move from one location to another. At some point, locations can be identified by your own EPL which can be obtained using essence, but at the moment each location is identified by a GUID (a large number that nobody can remember):
This is what the Earth 2 team wrote about teleportation:
Teleportation will be very special on Earth 2. Teleporters will allow users to locate and visit your properties via a unique name you can register for each property, making it a lot easier for people to find you. Having a good name for your property will certainly make your property stand out and no two properties will have the same teleportation names. Each property will come equipped with it’s own standard teleporter capable of using the Property Deed as a co-ordinate for other users to teleport to.
Essence, once available, will be used to upgrade your property’s standard teleporter to one that will allow you to register a unique name, so long as the name is available and not taken by another property. Other users will be able to then use this name to access your property instantly.
Larger properties will get the ability to upgrade their teleporters and in turn register shorter names given the larger presence they have on Earth 2. Teleportation will begin very early in Phase 2 and will initially be supported via web interface. Earth 2 has acquired a 2 character domain name that will act as a gateway to teleport directly to these properties on Earth 2. Essentially properties could be thought of as futuristic web portals, much the same way that web pages became popular in the late 90s and early 00s, and will be the way to navigate and find things quickly on Earth 2.Quote from the Earth 2 team
Up to now (apart from the early beginnings), it has not been possible to buy tiles in Dubai or in the UAE. Some people apparently were able to illegally obtain tiles in these countries, but according to the team, this land will be wiped clean. When it becomes possible to buy tiles in Dubai and the UAE, an announcement will be made with a countdown of at least 24 hours, to give people the opportunity to fund their accounts. This is what the team wrote about it:
Dubai and UAE are definitely heating up and coming soon. Any land that has been illegally acquired there will be wiped clean, so do yourself a favor and don’t buy it from others! There will be a countdown and that countdown will be longer than 24 hours, but we cannot say by how much. We realise some members of the community do not want a countdown, however, it seems to be the fairest option to give people equal opportunity to prepare. We imagine most users will be trying to purchase with E$ credit already on their account as that would be the fastest way to process the payment and property deed, but if you do choose direct credit card payment be aware that there may be delays. We will try to set a time that is reasonable for people for all various time zones around the world.Quote from the Earth 2 team
Earth 2 pay
So far, people have been using PayPal to transfer money to Earth 2, but this is going to change:
Earth 2 has implemented its own payment option which is a lot more cost effective for us to operate, meaning we have faster access to more funds we can allocate to the growth and development of Earth 2 and for it’s users. Presently we offer Visa and MasterCard, but our system will be able to adapt to numerous other payment methods in the near future making it more convenient for users from varying demographics. We also offer direct deposit via TransferWise.
We are removing PayPal as a payment option but we are working on adding more payment options. In the next few weeks payments may only be made via Visa, MasterCard and TransferWise, so please plan ahead should you wish to have credits available for certain events.Quote from the Earth 2 team
Earth 2 Terrain Video
The team has released a video of the Terrain system in 4K and a document explaining what can be seen on it. Although it only shows nature and no cities or buildings, it does prove that there is a high performant terrain system available that seems to be quite mature. This video is a preview of Phase 3, so still quite some time away.
The team is exploring possibilities to display ads on their properties through the map view. Whereas I would have hoped that we could create a new world without advertising, I suppose this hope is idle and advertising will be a part of the Earth 2 reality. On the plus site, it might give users a way to make money.