Life as a Mag priest
One of the things that I love about Wurm Online is that you can do so many things, work on any skill you wish. I was never a fan of being shoehorned into a class, something that’s popular with other RPGs or MMOs. But something like a class does exist in the game. They are known as priests.
For the longest time, I didn’t understand what a priest was in Wurm. I knew they were something different from a regular character and they were able to cast spells, but beyond that, I had no clue. So I did what I always like to do when I want to learn about something…I try it out.
First I needed a new character. I found one when I came across a guy who had just started Wurm and discovered he didn’t like it. He had spent money on premium and didn’t want it going to waste, so it was offering the character to anyone in chat who wanted it. No one else was jumping at the offer so I took it. That was how I ended up with a male character named Thorun who was stranded somewhere on the Chaos server.
For curiosity’s sake, I did some exploring because I had never been to the Chaos server before. Let’s just sum the experience up as saying Chaos is a dangerous place and I died several times. Eventually I got to a town on the northeast coast and sailed my main over to pick Thorun up in a boat, and then sailed them both all the way back to my home on Independence. (All of this really has nothing to do with being a priest, you don’t have to go through this ordeal just to get one. 😛 I could have just made a new character on Indy and been done with it.)
The next step was to choose what god I wanted to follow. There are four of them, three white light gods and one black light god. Libila is the black light goddess and can only be followed on PvP servers. That left the three white light gods to choose from: Fo, the god of gardening and farming; Magranon, the god of fighting for justice and freedom; and Vynora, the goddess of knowledge, creation, water and fishing. What I mainly considered was the spells that each priest gets from their god.
Vyn priests are particularly useful because they are the ones who can enchant items with WoA (Wind of Ages: reduces the length of time taken to complete actions with a tool) and CoC (increases skill gain from actions done with a tool/item). However, they are known for being difficult to be to the point where they’re “good”, because you have to spend plenty of time grinding the channeling skill. Vyn seems to be the goddess the majority of priests worship.
The spells that a Fo priest has can be helpful or not depending on your situation. The only one that seemed interesting to me was the Courier spell, which is cast on a mailbox to make it operational. Independence is one of the oldest servers though so the need for Courier enchants is not very high.
Of the Mag spells, Strongwall was the one that caught my eye. It can be used to spawn a rock tile in a mine, close an open mine entrance, or reinforce an existing rock tile. When I moved into Ravenstone, there was already a mine there with several “holes” caused by people mining improperly. Using Strongwall, I could respawn the tiles and mine them correctly, thus making a flat floor. Because one of the worst things in a mine is falling into a hole some idiot dug and not being able to get out. Best of all, casting Strongwall is successful every time, so there was no need to grind channeling. And let’s face it, I’m a pretty lazy person. 😉
So that’s how Thorun became a Mag priest. Well, it didn’t actually happen that quickly. First he needed to become a Mag follower. I asked someone who already followed Mag to convert Thorun to his new religion. Then the praying began.
The two most important skills for priests are Faith and Favor. To put it in RPG terms, Favor is like mana. It’s what you spend to cast spells. Faith is your mana pool. The higher your Faith is, the more Favor you can have at once. If you have 30 Faith, you can have a maximum of 30 Favor at one time. Praying at an altar increases your Faith, thus increasing your max Favor.
You can pray any time you like, but you only get Faith increases 5 times a day, 20 minutes apart. Like most skills, the increases start off quite large and you can get to 10 faith in 2-3 days. Then they slowly taper off the higher your Faith gets.
Any character can be a follower of a god and get up to 30 Faith, but you have to be a priest to cast spells. Once you hit 30 faith, a priest of 40 Faith or higher needs to make you a priest to gain any Faith.
What I haven’t mentioned yet is that there’s a reason why every character in Wurm is not a priest. This is because to keep things balanced, there are things priests cannot do. All priests cannot improve items, or continue items that need multiple parts attached to finish them. There are other restrictions depending on what god you follow. In a game where creating and improving things is the majority of gameplay, this is quite a big restriction. Most players who choose to make priests do so as an alt, leaving their main to do all the heavy lifting.
So after some time, Thorun went from a follower of Mag to a Mag priest and the praying continued. And continued, and continued…as a matter of fact, I still try to log in often if not every day to do his daily prayers. I built him a gold altar in the Twin Feathers Inn using my main, which he then blessed in the name of Mag. He’s spent many a days standing in front of it and praying, or just waiting to regain favor.
There is another way to gain Faith, which is by holding sermons. You get 0.02 Faith per listener, and if you have 6 or more people listening, you get a prayer reset. That means you can do your 5 prayers-that-give-you-Faith again, even if you already completed them that day. Sermons are on a three hour cooldown so you can’t just spam them over and over again unfortunately. However, you can get a group of priests together and rotate through each one giving a sermon. Since another priest is considered a valid listener regardless of their religion, it can be a nice way to get more Faith gains. I attended a few of these groups which was nice, it’s just difficult to coordinate with people being from a variety of different time zones.
Now you don’t just get all of the spells the moment you become a priest. They become available at different Faith levels. For example, Strongwall appears on your spell list beginning at 70 faith. It takes months to get to that level of faith. I’ve had Thorun for at least a year now and he’s currently at 81 Faith, although I haven’t been the best at praying every day. >.>
This probably sounds like a lots of work and drudgery for little gain. But other players will pay for certain spells. Strongwall goes for about 1 silver per cast as an example. Just the other day I did two of them for Milosanx.Vyn tool enchants are always in demand as well. By having your own priest who can cast these spells, you don’t have to rely on others to do it for you.
There’s also the fun factor. I particularly enjoy casting Fire Piller either on unsuspecting mobs or to terrify newbies.
Light token is another spell I quite enjoy. It’s one of the first ones Mag priests when they start and it’s good for grinding channeling because it only costs 5 favor per cast. It gives you a star-shaped item that gives off light and can last for up to an hour. It’s handy to have if you’re doing a little mining and need some lighting. Or you can do what I do, which is use all of your favor to make 15 or so light tokens and then drop them all at once in a “light bomb” as I like to call it. It’s especially effective if you do it right in front of your friend.
…You know, it’s really a wonder that my neighbors like me at all. 😛
You’d be better off spending that Favor more wisely though. Because once it’s gone, it takes quite a long time to get back. In your average MMO, your whole mana pool regenerates within a couple minutes, right? Standing around waiting for your Favor to regen to 70 from nothing takes about 2 hours. It is possible to speed this up by sacrificing items or using Favor that you had previously stored in gems. I generally just go with the standing around, for the aforementioned “I’m lazy” reason.
One of the things I like about Wurm priests is that they are no pushovers. They might not be able to improve things but that doesn’t stop them from taking up arms. They can wear any armor and wield any hand weapons (and bows if Mag/Libila), and aren’t afraid to wade into battle. They all have offensive spells which only help them wage their holy war. In fact, Fo priests are the only ones who can heal. I wouldn’t fancy being frozen or set on fire by a rival priest.
I think that about covers the basics of priesthood. If you’re considering making one, one thing to keep in mind is that they need to be premium to do so. So there is an additional cost. But when I look at the hole-less floor of my mine and the tunnel I’m reinforcing, I think it’s worth the price.