Hello World?

quitwurm

Is this thing on? After a five year hiatus, I am blowing the dust off this old blog. One does not simply quit Wurm Online. I have played off and on the entire time.

A lot of changes have occurred both in the game itself and in what I have been doing with it. I will write a post catching you, the dear reader up. I will also try to remember all of the changes that have happened.

Let’s join hands and stroll down this crazy path that is, Wurm Online.

Advertisements

Patch Day, No Play

Any PC gamer knows patch days are hell. Especially when the patch ushers in sweeping changes to the game’s landscape. Wurm Online, like all indie developed games, adds a layer of chaos. That is an assumption on my part, of course. How can that statement be incorrect though? A “real” game developer has a small army of worker bees tending to the hive. One set worries about the network and its parameters. Another group focuses on the client itself. One handles the actual server architecture. One is even dedicated to playing the middle man between the developers and the players. It is structured chaos at the best. Both players and developers are running around crazy trying to either get the game going or complaining that the game isn’t up. Meanwhile the customer support people are running back and forth trying to get and then share updates. This is luxury.

Indie games do not have that luxury. They are a small team of people if not just one person. Then there are volunteers which are not exactly the most reliable bunch. Sure, they can be a huge help but at the end of the day these people’s livelihoods do not hang in the balance. While their work and dedication are greatly appreciated, they do not have the same level of desperation that the actual employees have. They gamble their paychecks on things like major patches. This means the small team is trying to do something that in most cases takes many more people to pull off.

The Servers Are DownIt does suck not being able to get in and play with the new shinies. However, we as players need to stop and realize that it sucks for the dev team just as bad if not worse. They are in the business of creating something that brings entertainment and joy to other people. If those people are not able to do that, their business suddenly is not working correctly. Panic runs rampant on both sides of this coin.

In my profession we can test something until our eyes bleed. We can perfect the method and do all the planning in the world. We get extremely confident we can ‘patch this’ or ‘update that’. Then when we start to push it out to the live environment all hell breaks loose. Things that were expected to break, do break. Then things that are completely unrelated start to break. When we fix those issues other things start to drop or act incorrectly. It happens. As exact a science as computers are, expecting the unexpected is a rule of thumb. Hope for the best. Expect the worst.

No matter what gaming community you are or have been a member of, patch days are always the same. Fifteen years of massively multi-player role play gaming has taught me, do not get your hopes up on patch days. If you can play, fantastic! If you can not play, rest assured that someone is behind the scenes going crazy trying to fix things so you can play. Take a deep breath and be patient.

In fact, while the servers are down go over to Servers Are Down. Check out their Saturday Night Factional Fights series.

First Moments In Wurm

This forum post is a fantastic blog topic. Therefore, here I am.

My first moments in Wurm were terrible. I don’t really remember when but I think it was around June of 2010. I had heard about this game from a website and decided to try it. When I saw it was completely written in Java my opinion soured. “How could that even be done?” I guess I was confusing Java with Javascript, but still my expectations were lowered. I downloaded it and logged in. Wow. What a mess. It looked horrible. There wasn’t a tutorial or anything directly in front of my face that I remember being obvious. I could not reach the log out button fast enough.

Some time had passed and I believe I heard the Massively Speaking podcast talking about their time in Wurm Online. Shawn Schuster and crew were talking about the things you could do. I listened to podcasts pretty religiously when commuting to and from work. I remember hearing them talk about it and saying “Really?! THAT game?!” The following week they touched on what they had done in-game. Their conversations about the amount of freedom the game allows was enough to get me to try it again.

This time around there was a tutorial. It helped a lot! I gave it time and ended up at The Howl. I had no idea what I was doing. I believe it was Axeblade that said in chat his village was looking for recruits. I whispered him and he had a toon at the spawn as to invite me to his village. I was told to /suicide and spawn in town. I did so and was amazed at the work being done. We jumped on a voice chat client and he explained the game and what how to do things. Suddenly it clicked. The game made sense in my head. I was given a house and started working. Soon I wanted to do my own thing. I created an alt and started over with a better understanding. Someone in chat linked the player made map. This also made my jaw drop. Suddenly Wurm was less like a game and more like a virtual reality. Explorers had gone out in the world and plotted the land. The map wasn’t exact but it was a rough estimate. To be completely honest, it was a main reason I was sucked in. It wasn’t a pre-defined world. Everything was player made, including the map of the land. I was hooked.

Dragonhaven

The calm before the storm has arrived. Well, after a hurricane of real life blew ashore I now stand in a lull. Real life is going to pick up again in utter chaos, guaranteed. Not being a religious person I still buy into the capitalistic view of Christmas. I love it. It is a busy time of year, but I love it all. Lights, presents, trees, cold weather, ect. Add the fact that my wife is having a baby with a projected due date of Christmas Day and we have all kinds of chaos that will soon be upon us. Despite that, I did manage to get some Wurm time in.

I started off looking for a place to deed. I knew I wanted to be up by my Bayside Brawlers friends on Exodus. I should have never left them in the first place. Moxie mentioned her old mining deed which was east of Avonlea Bay. The spot is on the side of a mountain and while not a piece of coastal property, it is pretty close to it.

Messing with the deed, a local logged on. He was extremely friendly and helped me out with some starter tools I was missing. When I resumed my account I didn’t even have a saw or a hatchet. Upon death I always received a set of starter tools yet when a mountain lion decided to make me his dinner, I spawned with only a couple tools. My assumption is that as long as your character has the starter tools in their possession or on their deed you will get them again when you die. Mine had been deeded over and likely decayed. Meaning I only have two starter tools left that are unique to my character. Anyway, the tools were a huge help.

He showed me around the area a bit and took me to the top of a mountain. It was absolutely gorgeous. I wanted to deed up there so badly but my gut told me not to. I would be too far away from an immediate water source. A well would have to be constructed but I would require help to get it started as I do not have a way of finding a water tile. Also the hauling of everything back and forth would be a real quick turn off when just starting out. Maybe one day I can go up there and build a place but for now I felt I needed something closer to resources. The spot down by the water had a road already built and a mine with iron already found. Clay is really close and tar isn’t that far off. The spot seemed too good to pass up. I did not want the road to be on my deed out of respect for the area. I would never block it, but I did not build it so it would not feel right to own it. My deed went right up next to the road with it in my perimeter. I had to make it a long and narrow deed which is fine. Had I expanded I would have owned a lot of rockface on the side of the mountain. I like an open spot out in front of the mountain by the water and I like a secluded spot behind the mountain. This just worked out perfectly.

Dragonskull was a great name but soiled by Celebration. I wanted to rebuild what was started down there though. Therefore “Dragon” was going to be in the name somewhere. After considering a few different options I decided on Dragonhaven. I will post later with pictures of the area.

Someone had already started a little flat spot by the road and I used that to plan out a small three by three inn. For now it is my command center but eventually it will be a small little resting spot for travelers. I plan to build more “my” stuff off the road a bit. Unlike last time, I’m not going to plan anything out. I had used WPlanner to map out the deed and precisely plan each tile out. This was tons of fun but when I started building stuff according to my plans it suddenly zapped all of the fun out of it. I felt like I would never be done the project. So this time around I might Map out the area and add to it as I install features.

The best part of Wurm is that I get out exactly what I put in. When chaos reigns supreme later this month I don’t have to worry about it. Sure, this time around I will keep my deed intact but if I only have an hour to play then so be it. I just don’t have it in me to let my games consume me anymore. I’m getting too old and have too much responsibility in real life to have the burden of themepark responsibilities. I do very much enjoy raiding but now is not the time. To raid is to take on a responsibility to “do your part” for the other nine or 24 people. I know I don’t have the time to commit to that. I wish I did, but I don’t and it will only get worse when the baby is here. Wurm doesn’t care about that though. I can only do as much as I want and get the same back out of it. Simply toiling away at leveling in WoW to still deny myself of raiding snuffs out the fire of desire pretty quickly. Therefore it is likely that small projects in Wurm will be what I do for a while.