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Justin Kace 4th September 2011 12:12 AM

Wurm Online.
I've just started dabbling in Wurm Online, and while it was a very slow start for me (a few quite short sessions over 3 days, of wandering through the overcrowded central/starting zone) I eventually got an invite to hook up with a bunch of mature and helpful fellows in the southern portion of the map.

And after making the long trek down there, the game has really started to blossom for me. They main thing that has drawn me in is the peacefulness of playing. There's no annoying repetitive music, just the very pleasant ambient sound of wind in pine trees, birds chirping, the crackling of camp-fires and neighbours sawing wood and hammering nails into fences, walls and carts.

There is a PvP server, but that's not where I am. The Freedom server is open to pay to play accounts and free to play accounts. The only difference between free and pay is that free accounts are skill-capped at 20/100. It seems that you can learn everything, and skill gain is quite grindy, if you want to grind your skills up, but you don't need to. You can produce perfectly usable crafts at low level of skill and skill up slowly, just through using skills naturally.

And what's the game about? Well it's basically a super-complex version of Minecraft. In fact Notch helped create it. That was how I first heard of it, but I had never bothered to look further into it until now.

You gather materials from the natural world and use them to craft tools, which you use to craft bigger tools and eventually houses, fences, walls, castles. You can terraform the land to suit your taste. Entire canals have been carved out in the current map, linking vast bodies of water. I'll give you a fishing rod as an example.
If you don't have a cotton field to harvest, you need to forage until you randomly find some cotton. Then you need to cut down a tree and carve a spindle from a log so you can spin the cotton into a string. Then you need to whittle a shaft from the log to use as the actual rod. Then, if you want a low quality fishing rod you need to whittle yourself a crude fish-hook from wood. If you're happy with a crude fish-hook you combine the lot and hope you don't break anything in doing so. If you want a fancy fan-dangled fishing rod you need to go mine some iron ore, whittle some kindling, dig up some peat or gather some more wood, light a fire in a forge, feed it with your fuel of choice, melt your ore down into iron, and smith yourself some iron fish-hooks.
Of course, in the course of all the above you have also used an axe, carving knife, pick-axe, shovel, and you borrowed someone's forge.

And that's just making a fishing rod. Crafting doesn't pull the punches!

The pace of play is slow. You advance slowly, and improve your place in the world a little at a time. Today I mended some fences, put up some new ones, made myself some new tools and went fishing. It's all a very welcome calm and peaceful change to other games I have been playing a lot of lately.

And while the current non-pvp server is quite crowded, they are opening a brand new one on the 6th. Yeah, just a few days. And I'm going to head on over there and stake a claim.

I'm actually very surprised that there is not already a decent TOG following for this game (search the forums; I found almost nothing!!). It is eminently suited to those who live busy lives and use gaming as a way to get some peace at the end of a day. The graphics are pretty crude, but the serve the purpose. It's the ambient sound that really sucks me in. I have always loved the sound of wind in a pine forest, and Wurm just brings that alive for me. I'd almost leave it running while I went to sleep if it wasn't for the neighbours putting up fences and pens and what-not. :)

I find it really relaxing. And it doesn't have to take up a lot of time. You can just accomplish one goal every couple of days, if that's all you want to do. Or you can go hard and flatten a paddock, put up a house, fence it off, tame some stock and till and sow some fields all in a week.

So if anyone else is playing or is interested... Well carving out a niche in this new frontier-land is going to be a big job... :)

Justin Kace 9th September 2011 10:54 AM

I have settled two deeds in a beautiful bay on the new land. One, Serendipity Bay, nestled in the very middle of the bay (my companion and I were the first there after the map opened. It's a fair bit more populace now). The other, Serendipity Bluff, is at the steep bluff at one side of the bay. There are some pic posts on the Wurm forums. This one is looking down the bluff with the Serendipity Bay being in the curve on the right side.

Crazy as it sounds, in a game like Wurm, but founding this settlement was one of my most exciting experiences in gaming! Sailing along the coast, knowing others were rushing for land, passing up location after location due to them not feeling quite right or already having people nearby... Then we sailed around this headland and the magnificent bay opened up before us. Both of us OH EMM GEED at the same time and hoped beyond hope that no-one had already settled it. We grew more and more tense as we sailed into the bay, but local chat remained stubbornly empty of all other people.

We landed between two packs of wolves and I climbed the shore to do a quick survey, but I knew it was the place for me. I set down the deed, naming and claiming Serendipity Bay, and then set out to explore.

It was an amazing feeling. I guess how it must have been for the first explorers in Eve Online, moving out into 0.0 where it was uncharted and no-one had been before.

Now I have started work on a dock warehouse and I plan to grab some land above Serendipity bay to turn into fields for stock and farming.

There is a great deal to be done!! Come and test the waters of Wurm. Claim your own homestead nearby! I need more hands!! :)

Yaga 9th September 2011 04:44 PM

Hey, mate!

Hakim and myself have also just arrived on the new Deliverance continent. Would like to meet you - but without a map it will be hard to find Serendipity Bay. Wow - this is exciting! :) (What's your character's name?)

Justin Kace 9th September 2011 05:16 PM

How exciting!!

I have both Guryon and Justinkayce playing. If you are at the newbie spawn on deliverance you will need to head northeast into the very northeastern corner of the map. As it is a new landmass there are no maps yet, but it didn't prove too hard for me to find from the newbie spawn with my alt.

I traveled directly north from the spawn location (deviated around a few mountains) til I hit the northern coast, then I followed the coast east. It's a long walk, and there are wild animals that make it a LITTLE dangerous, but I didn't get molested too badly on my journey. Drink from every water source you find and where you can, stay near water, as most vicious animals wont chase you into the water.

Heading north and then east along the coast may be the best idea. If you head northeast from spawn you wont know which direction to go when you hit the shore. If you can find the river listed in this post (Deliverance Community Map Project) you are very close!!

If you go north and then east along the coast, as long as you stick to the coast you WILL eventually pass through Serendipity Bay. Just keep an eye on the events channel in your second chat tab.

I'll have some fish casserole waiting for you. :)

Justin Kace 9th September 2011 05:22 PM

Wait til you go through some of the forests on the way over. They are amazing. Most games use tricks to make forests appear dense, but Wurm has HUGE forests THICK with trees, and every tree is an entity in itself. They can all be cut down individually!

Nearnaeth 9th September 2011 06:15 PM

Really sounds like fun. But unfortunately I'll only be able to join, beginning next month. Checked the specs from some old site, and considering WURM has had no graphics overhaul, my laptop should be able to handle this. Just have to wait for the landline, since wireless here is like trying to hit a swarm of gnats with a tennis racket.

Just don't tame the new island before I get there. Btw is that bay filled by now? I know the game takes a lot of long grinding, but I think that is what I like about it. Now to just get a big TOG following to this game, so we can have our own first real Togville with all the trims and fully self efficient. btw Does WURM have a guild system?

Yaga 9th September 2011 07:42 PM

I'm on my way, and I think I have reached the northern shore. Yes, the forests are awesome!

I'll follow the shoreline to the east now.

Justin Kace 9th September 2011 08:57 PM

I am in game.

Flintwick 9th September 2011 09:19 PM

I may jump in some time and have a play :)

Justin Kace 9th September 2011 09:29 PM

Ahhh now I really feel like I am stealing the Div!

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