While Wurm Online is a rather old game they have done what I wish many developers would have had the foresight to do in the long run. They created two separate version Wurm Online (WO), and not too long ago Wurm Unlimited (WU).
But why would any company do this? I made a short chart to highlight the big difference in my eyes before delving deeper into the subject.
I wish much more MMORPG went this route as I could still be enjoying them till this day! This also gives me a tiny ray of hope that many games that were made into MMORPG that the fan base wish was single player (you know who you are!!!!) could one day stumble into this route.
I’ll give you a moment of silence to mourn your favorite of all time MMORPG that are no longer here with us today.
Wurm Online (WO)
Wurm Online is a sandbox MMORPG game where it has a monthly subscription cost to play above the free to play skill cap. Interacting with other players and joining a village is highly recommend as things like building projects can take months to years to complete. In fact, it is all about the community. Villages often trade with each other. Most villages also have a mentor for new members to help them out along the way.
The skill grind is real where you tend to focus on only a handful of skills and you specialize to play a role in your village. Some professions if high enough can make you enough silver in the game from trading with other players to pay for your monthly subscription (10 silver) or upkeep on a village deed (depends on size.)
When I played I was a Miner who crafted chain armor sets. I also played many other roles I consider odd jobs: repairing village items, digger, farmer, and I did a fair amount of hunting for meat and animal parts.
I also created my own role while I was there and became the Mine Cartographer making maps of our tunnel ways and location of ores. We had quite a number of mines and tunnels that ran great distance and you could get lost in them. With many new arrivals, we often had to join the village it just made things easier.
When unique creates spawn such a dragon or even a Troll King you would often work with other villages or even post on the forms a server-wide event to go hunt it down. These things could wipe out entire villages and required quite a deal of teamwork to take out. The reward where quite nice where every premium player would get blood used in a potion to enhance an item depending type of blood. Things like dragons would also drop dragon scale for armor. Maybe even a rare bone would drop that often the village who hosted the event would keep and give to one of their members.
Wurm Unlimited (WU)
The base of the game can be similar expect you make a onetime purchase and then you can either play solo in your own single player server you set up yourself on your local computer, join a private server run by someone else, or host your own server for others to play along with you.
Silver is usually abundant on most private servers they have no interest in selling it for real money to you. Many times it becomes rather worthless where you are just stockpiling so much you have gold and could never spend it all.
Depending on private server settings for skill gain you might still be required to work within a large community of others on the server. I have played on a server with 10 times skill gains and can play with a very small group of friends. I quite often still have other villages coming to trade with me, and I have had in the past hundreds of items for sale on a merchant at the starting village.
Unique creates can still require an entire private server to come out even more so if the population is lower. However with mods, skill gains, and other factors they can often be defeated with very few players as well if needed.
While dependent on the private server they may have their own mods or allow you to use client-side ones. From having your own minimap to completely changing how terraforming works or even removing restrictions from playing things like a priest. It is what makes the game feel like a whole new game sometimes-- like a mod should be. The sky can be the limit even more so if you write your own mods and run your own server. Which quite a few mod creators do.
Player Driven Economy
With over 100 skills to choose and level up just about everything is gathered by and crafted by the players. From ships, toys, armor, weapons, stone bricks, and tools it’s all player created and much more.
The nice thing is you are not just limited to picking a path and only going that way. If you want to be a jack of all trades you could if you had the time. Most going that route struggle even more so if you are playing on WO.
With there are no auction houses players tend to travel far and wide to trade hubs to shop at player placed npc’s that sell their wares for them.
If traveling a great distance is not your style there are other options as well. Players from nearby village tend to direct trade with each other. People can mail certain items to someone with a cash on delivery option.
Many people will even make form posts offering up their services in exchange for silver or another good.
Mining and Plate Armor Smiting
One of my most favorite activates is mining and crafting armor. In fact, if I could I would spend all day mining and never leave!
It starts off rather basic you get a pickaxe walk up to a plain mountain rock wall. If it has any dirt or other things you have to remove them first to start to mine a tunnel in. After a while, it opens and now you can walk into your freshly made mine.
From there you continue to mine out rock tiles to tunnel into it creating mine shafts as you explore. You tend to want level up your prospecting skill so you can analyze rock shards and other material to learn things like quality of veins, the distance to a possible ore vein, or anything else you can detect. The higher the skill the further the range and the more details you can gather from what you have minded.
Once in while over time tiles will collapse so it’s always best to reinforce the walls or have a two or wider main tunnel that branches off into smaller ones.
While mining you tend to look for things like zinc, iron, tin, slate, lead, silver, silver, marble, sandstone, salt and gold. Sometimes I will just sell these raw materials to others if I have it abundances in my mine and often trade for ones that I don’t. You can also get into bulk good sales by selling the rock shards or making them into stone bricks.
For plate armor smiting you will need iron to turn into steel lumps. The higher your mining skill (it caps the max quality) along with the quality of vein (it caps quality) will determine the range of quality you are able to mine. Naturally mining a quality 90 iron vein with level 10 mining skill is very wasteful as you will only get up to quality 10 (excluding some other factors that go beyond the scope I wish to discuss).
You will also need charcoal. Which is created in process of burring a charcoal pile for many in real life days to even a week depending on many factors. Each charcoal pile is created by using kindling, logs, and dirt. With how long they take to produce charcoal I tend to set them up in one of my mine shafts. I’ve been known to make 50-100 piles a time. Because of how long this process can take and the investment of time to level up skills people often just want to buy it wholesale.
You then combine a glowing hot charcoal that you have heated up in the forge and combine it with iron to make steel lumps. With the quality of the iron capping the quality of the steel and charcoal playing a major role in success chance as well as having a higher quality roll up to the iron’s cap.
Now the crafting fun starts! You heat up your steel lumps into the forge and combine the lower quality ones together but keeping the higher ones separate and save them for later in the process. Then you open up crafting menu in lieu of a large anvil and craft breastplate, leggings, vambraces, sabatons, gauntlets, and a helm.
From there you improve the quality of each item to the desired level I prefer 70 quality. I sometimes will have a customer order from a nearby village that I will fill.
You will use things like a hammer, pelt, whetstone, water, steel lumps to improve quality. Your skill and the quality of the steel lumps are your limiting factors. The closer or above the quality of piece you are improving the less amount of quality is added to teach action till you start damaging from failure more then you are adding on.
Once everything is made and to my liking, I have many options with it. I could use it or give it to village member for starters. Also, sell it in a few ways already mention or barter for something I need.
I do love some of the more interesting nuances such as having to use a hammer to improve the quality of your hammer! While that sounds crazy that can be how it works in the real world as well.
One of the roles I have taken on is shipbuilder before. I have a fleet of ships for my village members to choose from depending on their needs. You have simple things like a rowing boat that requires the lowest skill to use and can fit in most rivers or steams for new members. All the way up to massive merchant ship called a Caravel that can hold 14 players, the most volume; but, requires deeper waters to move in.
Just to build a Caravel ship it can take an army of people to do in a timely manner with its over 1700 parts(1). A delegation of roles is often key in something this large of a project for professions and skills involved: woodcutting, carpentry, shipbuilding, rope making, digging, tailoring, and farming.
Some of the raw unprocessed materials could include felled trees, wemp plants, tar, and cotton. The tools needed to shape and improve these raw materials are: hatchet, saw, carving knife, rope tool, shovel, needle, floor loom, wooden spindle, mallet, pelt, iron file, and logs. In turn making things like pegs, oars, hull planks, ropes, belaying pins, deck boards, rigs, ship helm, tenons just to name a few. Then you craft it all together in crafting window for the final product-- Caravel ship.
The main ingredient in most of these parts is wood which is very heavy to deal with. You tend to want to have a wagon (player crafted naturally and some captured wild horses or breeding ones for faster speed) to go around felling over trees to haul back to your building site. Your woodcutting skill will cap the quality of wood you harvest which in turn caps the quality of parts you make from carpentry or shipbuilding usage of skills depending on the item being crafted. Quality of tool used a lot of play roles in it as well since there can be a big difference between a quality 10 hatchet and a 100 in usage speed and success rate.
As you can start to see building a ship like a Caravel can be a very daunting task to take on. It crosses over into many different profession and skill sets just to get it accomplished. This is where a community of the village starts to play a larger role in getting things done.
For those who like being creative and having many tile types to choose to build from it gets crazy. It’s not a simple I have a wood block now I have a wood wall or this is what a prefabricated castle looks.
If I just want to build a wall I have an assortment of choices. My favorite’s styles tend to be timer, marble, stone, and pottery. This is just a small list of styles that are possible. I can place the walls in almost any way I want making different shapes or lopsided uneven looking building for all the game cares.
Each type of wall requires very different material. When I’m building a timber-framed wall it requires wooden beams, clay, and mix grasses. Meanwhile, a pottery house wall would use mortar, and pottery bricks.
The floor has many options as well. Why anyone can build a wooden plank floor something grander like a marble slab floor requires higher skills. If you ever get the crazy thought of building a max story house of 16 floors it’s nice to change things up once in a while.
Roofs tend to be the most restriction factor in choice. You still have some options like pottery, slate, thatch, or wooden shingles. I am a personal fan of slate and wood.
Have I ever built a castle that was 8 by 8 and 16 stories high? Well no, sir. Even I don’t dream that big or have the time.
Written from my own personal opinions and experience of more than 500 hours each played in Wurm Online and Wurm Unlimited.
Screenshots were taken by @enjar
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