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Shiraek last won the day on December 20 2012

Shiraek had the most liked content!

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About Shiraek

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    Australia, and ingame The Whispering Wood on Deli

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  1. Sorta weird people are badmouthing MOP for giving wurm publicity... might be smarter to start sending them GOOD news?
  2. I guess if you want to find out why newer players who DON'T stick around are leaving, the forum would be roughly the last place on earth to start. They aren't going to spend 5 minutes getting sick of wurm and then make a forum account to explain why. They're gone to the next shiny thing. In my experience, free players are fractionally invested compared to players who've paid upfront, even if its a small amount, and any kind of clunkiness or ugliness will have them skipping off to play the next shiny. Ascent's retention rate and what I'd call "penetration rate" - or how far players progress in the main quest line, are both terrible with the free web version, and excellent with our steam build. The gameplay is identical, the graphics aren't that different and the stability is similar... so the main factor is web vs. PC/Steam build and free vs. pay up front. I found Steam to be a FAR better source of players who are willing to check out a game in depth and perhaps overlook some clunk for the promise of some good gameplay. And once someone's put a few dollars down on your product, they'll give it more than five minutes... maybe ten, maybe even an hour, to shine, before giving up on it. I think Wurm is a wonderful game, but its first 5 minutes to first one hour of play fail to show its strengths and can't compete with successful "Free To Play" games. If you're giving away free samples, they need to be addictive, super pretty and super polished, and hook players in that first 5 minutes. That to me isn't the story of a typical Wurm player. Wurm players read about Wurm somewhere and come in determined to check it out and give it a really good go. That's my story and it took me 24 hours of actual play to get seriously hooked. That's not what most "Free To Play" players are willing to put in. It also channels newbies into its weaknesses (Combat, PVP as a day one newbie) instead of putting them in a newbie area with newbie quests that play to the game's strengths (terraforming, freeform construction, crafting). This probably doesn't help. And neither does the antiquated, ultra low tech engine that's CPU bottlenecked on any modern GPU I try to play it on, making for some bad performance and mediocre visuals. Free to play / random walkins from the web + ugly + clunky = very very high newbie turnover rate.
  3. Just FYI every study into psychology and management relevant to this that I've seen confirms that yes, that's bad management. Best practice is to "catch" your staff in the act of doing something well and praise them for it. Obviously lots of other stuff helps like ensuring they have personal growth opportunities etc but on this topic (to praise or not to praise) that's the key.
  4. I once had a discussion with a neighbour about my perimeter. He wanted me to move it a few tiles, and despite totally understanding his point of view, I ultimately refused and was unable to explain my own view well enough for him to understand. This makes me quite sad whenever I think about it.
  5. Hmmm. I always felt the wiki had basically two problems: Nobody ever tidied it up (it's got a lot of redundant pages), including me obviously so not pointing fingers. It's got a LOT of speculation because the facts are simply not known as they are not published and direct questions to devs are not answered (for whatever reason). This often leads to point 1 - I might document my own observations but not dare to delete someone else's old observations because for all I know they're right and I'm wrong. The only thing being proposed that I think will help either of those is the direct cleanup. I don't see how removing everyone's access to start with will help with this, sort of runs counter to how a Wiki is supposed to work (share the work out as broadly as possible) and strikes me as a little authoritarian for no apparent reason. Everyone who currently has access, has already applied for access, and was judged worthy of it. Presumably everyone who misused that access (if any?) has had it taken from them already. Nothing being proposed addresses point 2, which to me is the biggest problem with the wiki. On the whole though, I always thought Wurm's wiki was pretty awesome, with most features documented down to the finest detail. Can anyone point to another game with a better, more accurate, and more detailed wiki?
  6. Hello, It's now coming up on four years since Deliverance opened and I founded The Whispering Wood. For the first few years it functioned as a forest and hunting preserve, a sanctuary for travelling newbies, and home to a procession of new players who built in the perim as a citizen and learned the game in relative safety. For a time I operated a free crafting area, until bugs with planted bins meant they kept getting stolen and I gave up on it. I can't remember the last time I ran into a really new player, and there's wild land everywhere now. Deliverance is deserted, compared to the 400 it would have on peak times when it opened, the 100 consistently since, up until Xan opened and the population finally collapsed. These days when I play I often see 20-30 people on. For an island this size, this empty, we really don't need a hunting preserve anymore, and it's not like trees are in short supply either. And yet I'm hesitant to sell the deed or let it drop. The land in the perimeter is the ONLY untouched coastline on the server, and I know within a few months (blink of an eye to old Shiraek) of the perimeter dropping it will be dug up, terraced, trees cut down and a tangle of overlapping ruins planted atop... like everywhere else in Wurm. And then there's the deed itself. Lots of fond memories for me there, and Whispering Keep is a piece of history to me. Lastly, there's the tons of my own money I've poured into the deed and into Wurm over the years. Letting it all go seems... a really big waste. But I'm out of ideas for what to do with the place. And I know of at least one neighbour, if they're still around, who would like to see that big perimeter die, or at least shrink. Any thoughts?
  7. I doubt I'll quit but I've let two deeds lapse in the past few months, been down to one prem character since the price hike and my last deed is currently in arrears and I'm a bit unenthused about paying up again. For me it's mostly about the boredom. New features come on slow. I waited literally years between multi storey and staircases, and my big keep is bugged to hell and back trying to replace ladders with staircases. Yes I'm sure I can get a GM to come and un-bug lots of the floor tiles and get through, but I'd rather see the bug fixed (and not have to wait online for X hours for an overworked volunteer to show up). Bridges were never going to be exciting to me - they're utility really not a great new feature, and their use is pretty limited, and now there is nothing whatsoever planned for PVE features (that I know of?). So why wait around? What am I waiting for? Another influence is the impression I have that people are getting away with stealing and griefing on Freedom servers. It hasn't impacted me personally yet, but it HAS impacted players I have a lot of respect for, and in general the community's response has been downright toxic. Victim blaming and the same tired old PVP vs. PVE arguments. There was a time when I would've held up Wurm's community as a reason to get into the game. That reason is fading.
  8. Opt-out. The community benefits from an accurate map (god forbid), and the hermits can... opt out! "It's always been thus" is a ridiculous argument. That kind of thinking kept us hunting with spears and building mud huts for 50,000 years. Trying to say it's a "rule" is misleading. It's not a rule, it's never been a rule, and that statement's as false today as it was the last time this came up and the time before etc.
  9. I allow access to all areas of my deed. And I expect my very expensive ARMED GUARDS to prevent theft. If they didn't, I'd be annoyed, because that's what I pay real world money for, and that's what deeds are supposed to do on PVE servers. Maybe in your mind that's "incredibly stupid" - thanks! But to me I much prefer it to my early experiences of Wurm where the entire map was a hopeless tangle of fences, walls, and locked gates with no newbie access to anywhere. Like many freedomers, I like the idea that people can run onto my deed for protection when they need to. I also operate an Inn, have a public access trader, merchant, crafting areas and altars. I don't want to lock those areas off, and I expect deed settings to protect them AND be self explanatory AND intuitive, and I don't think that's too much to ask. I also expect griefers to be banned, and to my perception at least two of these expectations are not currently being met.
  10. I'm also having trouble with "this would cause a collapsing section" after having removed a ladder (it leaves the ladder plan there, which means I can't plan a staircase). Given an empty ladder plan couldn't hold anything up this is clearly a bug.
  11. Logged in today to find that it had lapsed. While bugged from premium lapsing and walking at 4km/h, was randomly jumped by champ scorp who managed to kill me. I've recovered everything but... I'm done with this mountain, not going to re-deed it. If you want to take over this awesome project, let me know. There is little of value, just a few structures and some rock. The real value is the location, the insane views, and the completely insane road leading up to the peak. I am willing to transfer the structure writs, gate keys etc over to someone who is dead serious about establishing a mad mountain deed up there. There is one cave in, in the tunnel leading out to the eastern plateau, but for now everything else is open. This will change fast, so you need to make a decision right away. You must be 100% insane, have 70FS, be well equipped and very determined or you won't even make it up there alive. Right now the deed is rotting and it's a matter of time before cave-ins close access to the peak, or even the west plateau, so if you're interested PM me ASAP. Probably best not to scout it out first unless you're very experienced. The gatehouses are locked and it's troll country.
  12. As usual Eyesgood I respect your opinions and how well you've expressed them but find myself in broad disagreement. I agree wurm is relatively expensive. I don't see that as the main reason it hasn't "exploded" Pay to win doesn't make sense. You present it as though it were a binary state - pay to win or not. I see it as more of a continuum and Wurm is somewhere in the middle of that continuum. Many more popular sandbox games are at least as "PTW" as Wurm as others have pointed out Documentation is at most slightly worse than average. The wurm wiki is pretty good. Certainly isn't what's holding hordes of newbies back as the newbie-relevant stuff is all well documented on the wiki Advertising, I don't know. It's very hit and miss. I think many people have tried wurm and not stuck around, which brings me to the real reason Wurm hasn't "exploded": It just is not, and can not ever be with its current design, a main stream game. By that I mean really the following: The graphics aren't main stream. Wurm is a long way behind in visual appeal. The gameplay isn't main stream. "Insanely grindy" is the opinion of my friends who refuse to play it, including the ones who tried it. The newbie experience isn't main stream. I must admit I haven't been through the tutorial recently but I suspect if I do I'll see improvement since last time but not enough to grab a "normal" person, and odds are a "normal person" will end up on a PVP server at the end of the tutorials, meaning they won't be playing for very long. Combat isn't main stream. Combat system is basically pre 2003 everquest level. I don't enjoy it, and combat is my main focus in every other MMO I play. It's also fairly pointless on PVE servers as mobs don't drop much of use or value. It's focused on PVP. You can argue that many other more main stream sandboxes do the same, but PVP in combination with "insanely grindy" and "bad combat" is a game design document I could honestly not sell to any studio, developer, investor or even gamer I know It doesn't play to its strengths. Wurm has the strongest terraforming and crafting system of any game I've played. To have these in an MMO is absolute gold. And yet, the actual "game" is PVP. On PVE servers there is no reason to build a village other than you want one. You build one, and then... nothing happens. There isn't even much reason to communicate with other players on PVE servers, other than sheer loneliness. There is very little trade, basically speciality items and bulk anti-grind goods only. There is nearly zero NPC economy which means player to player trades have to carry the can and there isn't enough player to player economy to do that. And while I should really write what I think are the answers to these, well, I started. And I realised I've said it all before. In some cases years ago. And so have others. Ultimately Wurm doesn't want to be any more main stream than it is. The playerbase (who are left) don't want change and oppose pretty well every change that comes along, and the developers don't want change either. They're presumably happy with the tiny niche market, and that's fine. So I won't talk about how insane it is to be trying to deliver a visual experience with Java in the age of Unity and Unreal being so accessible and cheap. Or how players won't perceive things as being as "grindy", even if they take a long time to do, so long as they are interacting and making decisions rather than just repeating actions or groups of actions. Or how newbies need a series of quests that take them through the early PVE game experience, up to building your first house and your first boat. Or any of the good suggestions often repeated to make combat more interactive and tactical, or why a PVP focus with this game's strengths and weaknesses is wasting most of its potential. But I gotta say something or I'll feel like I just wasted all this time whining So here's some things you could do with Wurm's current systems which are more content focused and don't require engine changes etc: Graphics: Force texture compression to ON and use higher res textures. Use normal maps on ground tiles, walls, ships, and tree trunks. Bring back different wood textures using a shader I will help you make if you want. See other thread on it. These things will all work with your crazy old Java engine. Probably Add some special drops to harder mobs. Troll hide should make slightly improved leather armour and better padding for plate armour. Lava fiends and hell scorpiuses could drop glowstones that make a lantern or street lamp glow for three times as long as tar. Spiders should drop silk to make fine cloth. Goblins could drop gemstones. Hell hounds could drop fire powder which acts like double strength tar. etc etc, suddenly hunting and PVE combat has meaning. Add rare creatures (Wounded Troll, Dire Wolf, Corrupted Scorpion) etc that need to be tracked, hunted down, but drop special stuff. Hunting could be a valid CAREER in this game, not just a hobby for bored mayors. Have these creatures avoid populated areas, giving players a reason to adventure in the wilderness and hunt. Add Goblin and Troll villages to the deep, wild, interior of PVE servers. Have lots of trolls and goblins spawn there, special ones that never leave the deed or perimeter, which is an extended perim. Have some (new, so PVPers don't whine) rare ore types which you place only on these villages in and these perims, so players can collect them and use them for new (again slightly improved) weapons, tools etc. Have a new type of tree or two which spawn there and convey advantages to wooden items made from the wood. Suddenly you'll have PVE players banding together to raid these lands, suppress the enemies and take the good stuff. Exactly the sort of play you always envisioned, just... coop PVE instead of one group of players infuriating another. Expand this feature out over time. Aside from the core goblin and troll villages which can never be taken, satellite villages will spawn where the players leave room and will need to be destroyed via warlike actions or small raiding parties will harrass nearby deeds. You will need to beef up spirit guards and tower guards on PVE servers back to their original level - many PVE players aren't into combat and inflicting it on them wont improve the game. Have Traders at the central villages (plus maybe put a few on the coast) buy a certain amount of the essentials each day (food, clothing, various iron supplies and tools) for each premium account. Have the demand accumulate up to one week so players can make a weekly trading journey. Yes this will mean money moves into the economy, which players will spend on Trader stuff. Add more trader stuff if need be. This will give players a reason to produce goods. Wurms present currency system is strangling the economy to death due to a lack of currency.I better stop there before I give away ALLL my ideas, but you get the picture. I think Wurm could play to its strengths (crafting, terraforming) more effectively by developing its economy and developing the reasons we hunt and tame the wild. Cheers, Shiraek
  13. I had a look last night. Wurm has options in Advanced Graphics for texture compression and DXT compression. If you think you might be running out of video memory, turn these on and see how it does. IMO these should default to on, giving wurm's artists a lot more freedom to work. A DXT1 compressed 4096x4096 texture is SMALLER in video memory, in RAM and on disk than an uncompressed 2048x2048 texture and will show a TON more detail. Meaning up close it will look much less pixelated. Several of the screenshots with pixelated graphics in this thread look like they aren't at max texture OR that a lower res mip map is kicking in too close to the camera, making what's displayed more pixelated than it needs to be. Lastly, I notice we aren't using normal maps for any of these models. Normal maps would greatly improve the look by altering the lighting around details in the texture (like portholes, plank boundaries etc) giving a 3D look even though the underlying model is flat in that area. Again almost every even vaguely modern GPU is quite capable of incorporating normal mapping in a shader with minimal to no performance loss. With no normal map: With normal map:
  14. I notice the packs store the textures as .png files. If you're finding video memory getting chewed up fast, perhaps asking the engine guy about whether we're using DXT compression for textures? A 2048x2048 texture compressed doesn't take up that much video memory, whereas if you're loading from a png and not applying compression it will be huge. Any even vaguely modern GPU samples compressed textures very efficiently so you won't see any performance drop. When I look at the textures the UV unwrap looks good/efficient, the details look good etc so don't see why they wouldn't look great in game.
  15. Ways to combat z-fighting: You can make sure two objects are never at the same depth Adjust near and far clip planes to give the z-buffer less distance to cover... adjusting the near clip plane just a tiny bit will usually help a lot, except where two objects really are at exactly the same depth You can assign an Offset in the shader (e.g. Offset -8, -8) of one of the objects and this can push it back or forwards to force the issue where two objects are clipping into each other Wurm's pretty good with z-fighting in general, I don't see much of it in game.