Wednesday, 18 April 2012

Review: Wurm Online

Wurm is a free-to-play, MMO, RPG adventure game based on survival, community, grinding and hate. Created and maintained by the enigmatic Rolf and his helper elves. Interestingly, Minecraft's Notch co-created Wurm.

Wurm has had its ups and downs over the years; many bugs and features are still being worked on. Wurm's biggest draw is the new player's ability to choose from a selection of maps(realms), which are quite large, and set out to build a new settlement or join an existing village. The settler spirit unites the players of Wurm and new players are usually helped along by older players, if polite.

With a basic set of tools, and the starting tutorial under your "tool belt", setting off into the unknown has never felt so delightfully challenging. Picking a good spot on one of Wurm's wiki maps or asking locals in chat about good sites will point the new player in the right direction. Building a house close to resources such as wood, water, iron, precious metals, clay, tar and peat is the most desirable starting goal. Once your house has been built, planting a farm and securing water is a good idea.

If there are any problems, at the press of a button the Wurmpedia is accessible in-game. The community chatbox is at hand with players in the local vicinity or the entire server accessible. New players should beware wild animals, most will wipe the floor with new and unexperienced players.

The RPG system used in Wurm is based on a wide variety of skills. Almost everything you do in game will train certain skills, you may also discover new skills as you play. Building a houses requires carpentry skill while building roads requires masonry. Most skills cover more than one type of action, so some skills raise easily while others don't. Unfortunately, like most MMOs, advance skills require huge amounts of grinding and only the most dedicated player reach max skill levels.

Wurm features premium and non-premium player accounts. Non-premium players skill is capped at 20 out of a possible 100; premium players have full game features unlocked. Premium membership costs 10 euro for 2 months and, after the allotted time, accounts revert back to non-premium status.

As with all MMOs, especially with smaller communities like Wurm, drama and pettiness can rear its ugly head. Premium players are able to bash down walls and fences which can cause havoc, arguments and genuine hostility. Fences can become a nasty point of contention between neighbors and GMs usually have to step in to arbitrate. Fences block movement, this can cause an unneeded massive detour to an otherwise close destination. It is also an obligation that you fence off farms, rare trees and surrounding lands.

Wurm is quite an interesting game and banding with some friends, bros or joining an existing village is preferable to going it alone. Many hands make light work and in Wurm there is a lot of work to be done. It is free to play and, if you have the time, worth checking out.


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