It’s the eve of a very special day for Wurm Online. Tomorrow is the grand launch of version 1.0, which the developer Rolf says takes the game out of its open beta stage and into a marketable version. Now, there will still be features that won’t be ready for 1.0, including things like actual bridges and what PvP will actually turn out like for the poor folks on Chaos. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t things to be excited about! Heck, there’s even things I’m excited about that are already in game.
So let me try and break it all down for you, starting with a couple of changes that have happened since I first started playing.
From May 2012 and onwards
I had quit playing the first time in May/June of 2011 and came back about a year later. It seems in that time, the game had been improved to a point where this time, I stayed hooked. Here’s just a couple of the things that have changed.
- They removed metal scraps. Failures happen when crafting in Wurm. That’s just the way of life there and you get used to it. But when working with metal (smithing and such), failures used to be a bit painful. It used to be that when you failed say…making small nails from an iron lump, you’d receive iron scraps. These scraps were 1/10th of the original quality, and needed to first be cooled before you could heat them to try forging again. That in itself could be a long, annoying process. But the worst part was the huge hit in quality. The quality of your materials matters; sometimes it even affects your chance of creation. An 50ql iron lump is easier to use than a 5ql lump. When you’re a new player and attempting to make something with 1ql lumps and an almost non-existent smithing skill…you can imagine how many 0.1ql scraps you’d get. And then you’d cry a little. But it doesn’t really matter now because scraps are gone!
- New servers opened up. When I played in 2011, there was only a single PvE server, Independence and one PvP server, Chaos which was once known as Wild. So everyone was crammed onto these two servers. Open land was difficult to find for a new player. Since then though, 3 new PvE servers and the 4 Epic (full PvP) servers have been introduced. This has lead to the population spreading out more, giving players room to breath and plenty of land to settle. The servers are all connected as well, which makes it (kind of) easy to move from one to another.
- Double doors had been added. The only doors that existed previously were single doors, which you could not drive a large cart though. (But you could drag it through. That’s Wurm logic aka “wogic” for you!) So you would need to keep your storage containers outside if you wanted to access them easily while driving a cart. You’d have to keep them either locked up or in a pen. However with the addition of the double door, you can now drive right into your secured workshop and grab what you need!
- Rare items were added. This essentially gives you a “better” version of the item. Not all rare items have a benefit yet but rare tools, weapons, and armor are especially sought after right now.
- You could now build inner walls. Previously there had been no way to make rooms within a building. Now you can separate your home into bedrooms, living rooms, kitchens, workshops…anything you can imagine!
- Visual season changes were added. I think this is one of the more unique but often unmentioned features of this game. Currently it does not affect any of the game mechanics but it’s still pretty damn cool. Thunderstorms and rain come in spring and summer, and everything is lush and green. Fall brings leaves littering the ground tiles and the trees turn some gorgeous shades of red and yellow. When it’s winter, there’s snow all over the ground, the deciduous trees are bare of leaves, and snow fall from the sky.
- Crops are now visually distinct. Now it’s possible to see at a glance what crops you’ve planted where without having to mouseover them all. So hooray for farmers!
May 2012 to now
Just in the half year I’ve been back, there’s been plenty of shiny new things and improvements that make me happy. These are just a few of them:
- The wind affects the direction of rain, smoke, and the way plants sway. I enjoy little details like this. It just adds something to the game that lets you know someone cares so much, they went ahead and added something most people wouldn’t even notice.
- Fireflies now appear at night in the summer. This little unannounced feature just made me grin so wide when I discovered it.
- Added bison. I’m not gonna lie, I think this is especially cool because bison are the provincial animals of Manitoba, my home province. I’ve just recently managed to find a wild herd and bring them home to try and breed them.
- Added arched walls. These I think are just fantastic. Buildings felt quite closed off before, with the largest opening you could make was a small window. But by using arched walls, you can have a structure that feels more open and even lets you admire the great view.
- The graphics for house walls were updated. I think the images below speak for themselves.
- Low stone walls and iron fences/gates were also updated. Everyone seems to love the new iron fences, especially since they match the stone houses perfectly. More people are split on the low stone walls because their colour is noticeably darker than the stone houses and their tops have a jagged look.
- Animal models have been getting updated.The new model system supports animation so the developers and designers have been busily remaking some of the animal models. (I’ve been using the unstable client, which gets a lot of the graphic updates early on, so what’s “released” or not is a bit of a muddled area for me. Some of these animal updates may not be on the stable client yet.)
Version 1.0 and beyond!
The anticipation for 1.0 is at its peak right now. Players have been talking about it for week and I know I for one am excited to see it all. After the bugs are worked out of course.
- Multistory. I don’t think there’s a player in Wurm who doesn’t want this. And how many games let you build multiple level houses?
- Visible armor and fighting animations. Gone are the days when you look at another player and can’t actually see their armor, just their same old green clothing. And no long will our weapons and shields remain locked to our sides when we fight.
- Updated horse models and armor on horses.I absolutely love keeping and breeding horses in Wurm. So this feature right here…is so completely AWESOME.
- A new server. Rolf announced that there will be at least one new server rolling out with the update, and it sounds like most, if not all, of the new players will be routed there. That means an untouched wilderness for them to explore! All I can say is this: watch out for spiders.
- Customizable avatars. There’s been talk about being able to customize our avatar’s hair and faces, and be able to dye our clothing. So far I haven’t come across any screenshots of it or how exactly it’ll be implemented, but it’ll be a welcome change nonetheless. Right now on PvE servers, there are only two models: male and female. So the entire population looks like the product of a giant cloning mishap.
More to come!
This is by no means a comprehensive list of the features that are currently available, will be introduced in version 1.0, or will be implemented in the future. (So if I missed anything, please write a comment about it. ) A lot of players would love to see bridges added, and Rolf mentioned eventually adding rivers, ice, temperature effects, better combat, and a whole lot more. But this is a damn good start, and I imagine I’ll be enjoying it for a long time to come.