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Metallumere last won the day on April 23 2021

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  1. I'm inclined to agree that this is the ideal way to go about it, yeah. And that would honestly be good enough, I'd hope anyway. But, like I said earlier, I think it'd be very important that people at least be conscientious of their passivity, or complacency, in using alts to circumvent problems rather than spark discussion to work out solutions. That's really just what I find to be kind of mind-boggling, the myriad of people saying "I use alts because I can't do thing otherwise.", how do you expect to ever do that thing otherwise if you just keep using alts to resolve it? I guess a top 3 proposals of mine would be somewhat straight-forward: Allow priests into the fold of core game mechanics(crafting and terraforming), while limiting their practicality or effectiveness in other ways, rather than outright disallowing them from doing what everyone probably wants to be doing. I at the very least think they should be allowed to imp the same things their follower bonuses grant, but there's maybe more interesting systems that could be put in place to supplement that, or effectively allow any craft beyond that without having no down-sides and encouraging everyone to just run a priest. Especially since some of the bonuses followers get are very limited ranges of crafts compared to other deities'. There's probably a very good opportunity here to expand on the sacrificing and mission system too, like maybe priests just have stunted craft and imp'ing skillgain, but can work together on a mission to make 5000 oars, or something, for good xp bonuses or incentives or such. Another approach would just be making those hard-restrictions actually meaningful. There better be a good reason a Lib priest can't dig, but there just isn't one. It's arbitrary and non-sensical. What am I sacrificing that for, right? What if it was the case that; the reason Lib priests can't dig, is because it disrupts their channeling skill? Like, maybe Lib priests draw their strength from the rot of the soil, and disrupting that is detrimental. Dig some dirt, boom, massive channeling penalty for the next 48 hours. Does this cripple your ability to function as a priest still? Yes. But it doesn't permanently kill your faith just because you had to level something out right quick, it just mostly prevents you from being able to function as a priest for a while. Land claims are probably the next big issue. Not being able to do that because you're part of a settlement already, or having a settlement elsewhere on a server, is kind of a harsh limitation. If, like you say, there's a lot of lone wolf types that are catered to, perhaps there should be an entirely different system of land-claims that don't get tangled with the idea of having citizens. Maybe just being able to give buildings their own upkeep would be nice enough, but I'm sure that itself would present some funny problems. There's probably good reasons these claim limits are in place, but I do think there's reasonable ways to ease them, and it's pretty obvious that people are more than willing to pay a good bit extra for more claims anyway, so there's not much to lose here I don't think. And finally, bulk-crafting. This is one of those things that I don't really have any personal issues with, but I know others do. I think making simpler crafts a 100% success chance, like nails and bricks and such, went a long way to easing the annoyance of making materials, but it still seems to be somewhat un-engaging. I'd guess that, aside from priest alts, a lot of alts are used just for continuous repetitive tasks like making mortar or attaching bricks. This leads me to believe that there should be systems in place to, say, allow for much longer crafting/building timers, resulting in greater yield/application of materials. So, instead of 10 seconds for 1 brick, how about 100 seconds for 10? Input a single action, and... wait. Have the stuff be crafted or applied incrementally throughout the timer so that if it stops early, your work thus far isn't lost. It's less repetitive, sure, but not really more interesting, right? That should be evidence that crafting and building is just kind of un-engaging by default, so maybe something should be done about that besides lowering action timers or increasing the yield of the action in exchange for making it longer. Still, one of those things would be a fine stop-gap until something could be worked out, so I'd personally be in favor of increasing action yields proportionally to their timers, rather than reducing timers. There's a lot more detail and thought that could be put into these things, I'd hope others have a lot more to say about these things too. I know I'm kind of skipping over the entire concept of PVP, and maybe others would consider that a top priority, but I just don't know enough about it really.
  2. Well, unlike cracking down on real-world trading being very uhhh, under the table and hard to track in general, figuring out if someone is simultaneously logged onto more than one character for long periods of time is probably very viable. I mean, you can spoof IP addresses and MAC addresses and what-not I'm sure, and that stuff is quite outside my understanding really, but I'd guess there's some sophisticated ways to catch hardware combination signatures and check those for anyone doing funny stuff. Ultimately, someone with a spare laptop will probably always get away with using an alt no matter the rules and monitoring, and that'd be for the better since you wouldn't want people in the same house getting punished just for playing at the same time as you. I like your satire. That was back in 2020, there was a busted ethernet cable running through the ground to this building, took quite a while to convince someone to go and fix it. It's like it was just the upload parts of the cable that were broken, which was very strange. I don't know much about that stuff though. The real mistake I made; I didn't write any contingencies for my being absent from the settlement for any reason. I kind of scrambled to put some other folks in charge, but that created some problems too. Ultimately, my settlement didn't get to die from being no-alts-only, it died from my own incompetence. So, I really don't know what would have happened were I just a little better at managing people and also didn't suffer from a busted cable. It's inconclusive. But, while it was going, it did seem to be a moderate success. The systems I put in place were flawed in some ways, in retrospect, I think I even wrote up a post-mortem investigation into what I could have done better(which isn't published anywhere), but you can check out the recruitment post here if you'd be curious as to how it worked. My aims for it were simple enough; establish a self-sustaining and self-regulating system that theoretically could work just fine in my absence if given enough time to be built up, construct tenets and policies that were agreeable and would directly benefit citizens and alliance members, and more importantly provide incentive to work together towards common causes. I guess I could share some of the notes I wrote into what went wrong: Although the mayor being the single point of failure makes for a secure system, it's not worth the risk of instability(especially when your net dies for several months). Although keeping deed size minimal to afford premium payments may seem like a good practice, it'd not only be cheaper but also probably make everyone happier to just invest in a large claim and allow people to build whatever within a designated space. Additionally, paying peoples' premiums really only works as an initial investment. Once someone has premium, it's very likely that they can sustain it further alone. People will not necessarily listen to priority-task-orders when the game is fundamentally about doing whatever you want to be doing. The warehouse never saw the light of day, and even then was based on a flawed idea of hierarchy. The idea of restricting bulks and higher quality materials to trustworthy/higher ranking members seemed like a good solution on paper, but in actuality there's not enough range between the access levels to warrant this. Members will possibly cause other members grief, neighbors will possibly cause us grief, neither of which I expected in the slightest. People parting to pursue their own ambitions outside the guild will possibly need better incentive. That last one probably sounds weird, but I think I did originally envision the settlement as being a spring-board for people to build themselves up and inevitably go out into the world to pursue their own ambitions. Ambition was the most respected tenet we had. I think that was even a sort of ace-in-the-hole in-case Wurm really didn't improve and alts were perceived as being just as necessary still, or worse. I honestly expected more things to be happening with the flood of Steam profits that came in, putting that into effect has been much slower than I expected. There's some other stuff in those notes, but eh, that stuff doesn't really matter in the context here. Lessons were learned, some lessons are still being learned. That's a difficult question, I'm not exactly a no-alts expert or anything, but uhhh, I guess I can try to conclusively provide an answer. The short of my conclusion is; I suspect it might only work long-term, but neither settlement has survived long enough to work out how and have the systems put in place really mature and fit just right. Both of these no-alt settlements(My own, and another which I'll preserve the privacy of), in my opinion, both suffered the same demise; mismanagement. While both settlements had the explicit rule of no-alts-allowed, there were a lot of peculiar discrepancies brought up to justify that rule being broken for certain circumstances. There were also people who just straight up broke the rule because they didn't care really. One example I could cite is that I had some citizens in my deed who wanted to found a secondary-claim that was used only for a massive field of crops off-deed some distance away. And, well, you can't stake a deed while you're part of one, so they asked "Hey, is this a good enough reason to break the no-alt rule?". I told them, no, absolutely under no circumstances should this rule be broken. I couldn't in good faith allow any exceptions to the rule. So, they left my settlement, founded the farm, and I just gave them individual permissions as-if they were a citizen still. This... caused other problems though; they weren't getting the faith bonuses and such, then some citizens wanted to go and tend to the farm themselves, and they didn't have permissions, and worse they wanted to harvest stuff against the wishes of those who had built it. This caused a myriad of problems, and it got really messy, and there was no precedent for what was happening and nothing was written in the existing policies, guidelines, or tenets to handle it. The only ruling I could invoke was "They outrank you- (They were priests, and effectively outranked everyone by necessity) listen to what they say." And, expectedly, this didn't resolve anything and everything continued to be a mess. The other settlement I joined was interesting though, because unlike mine which stood its ground and said "No alts for any reason ever", this one made exceptions to the rule down the line. I think that played a part in quickening its demise, but I couldn't say for certain. I did have some influence here, I voiced my opinion that no exceptions should be made to the rule, it being something you can't really go back on down the line, but ultimately exceptions were made by the only person running the place, and alts were then a thing. That's the sort of thing I mean when I say "mismanagement". And, well, one exception led to another, and before you knew it the settlement was in this weird half-state where alts were kinda okay but also kinda not but also its kinda Wurm's fault for being designed and limited like that but also people are lazy and yadda yadda yadda. There was a lot of valid things to justify it, in other words, but I think setting a precedent with a single exception is what really broke the structure of it. There were some people who left because of these changes and exceptions, I stuck around just to see what would happen. The settlement did suffer from a few other particular issues, but it's probably not too important to the no-alt context here. Both of these settlements did have some things in common, but in particular they were both devised, administrated, and run by a single person, and that was the one who founded them. And, well, when the only person running the show slips up, the whole thing falls apart at the seams. There was a possibility in both cases that the citizens would have taken the initiative and started keeping themselves up, but that didn't happen in either case really, and that sort of makes sense. After all, if someone had the initiative to run a settlement, they'd go found their own. And some did actually. Would these settlements have died were better systems put in place for everyone to run the show? It's hard to say. So, in conclusion, I think someone wanting to found a no-alt settlement would need a lot more time than expected to figure out how to make no-alts actually enjoyable with the game as it currently is, and account for anything that may happen or change later. I've certainly been pondering it since mine disbanded, I still don't know how best to go about it. That's a very good question. Trying to make do with no-alts made issues with Wurm's design and limitations all the more obvious, of which it could be argued that a majority of these issues have not been solved because people just make alts and worry about it far less. Let's pretend for a moment that there was no conceivable way to make a second account and as such no way to have a second character: Could you imagine how many people would be asking for the ability to found more than one settlement, or found a claim as citizen of another settlement? Or maybe ask that all buildings naturally have some kind of perimeter built into them as an alternative? Or have un-deeded buildings have optional upkeep to prevent decay? Etc etc. There would be words had. Innumerable suggestions made to have the game be objectively better in a good many ways. But instead, people just quietly shy away with an alt and make no fuss. That's the thing I see harming its health the most, that people will see and acknowledge real tangible issues and limitations that could be fixed or changed in some way, but voice nothing. My experience with a no-alt settlement was that discussion was had. It was argued what could or should be done, what might happen, how we'd personally go about it, etc. And discussion into making Wurm better is what is best for its health. I consider alts to be the grandest standing issue in the way of that discussion, because and here, let me highlight this if people circumvent a majority of the game's issues by making alts, how does anyone expect these issues to be resolved? That's kind of you all to do that for him~ My settlement didn't run out of upkeep. It's just that so many problems were cropping up, and my inability to be there to provide direction or have someone provide direction in my absence was another proverbial hole in the boat. And that boat sank. I thought my design was fairly sturdy and didn't really need me, but maybe not. Like I said in some of my post-mortem notes above, there were lessons learned, and lessons still being learned. There may come a day when I try to host a no-alt sanctuary again, but I really don't want to do it without working out a better approach. It might be years before then really. Wisdom comes slow, ya know? The dude running his own no-alt settlement even offered me the mantle of running it in his absence, but I still can't help but feel I couldn't do any better, so I refused. Mismanaging those people will sit on my mind probably indefinitely, an egregious error that might just haunt me forever. I will try to learn all that I can, and do what I can, to make this an objectively better experience for people. That includes regular discussion into the subject, which is this.
  3. Yup. Part of my settlement's agreement, as mayor, was that any citizen who wanted their subscription paid for only needed to ask. To my surprise, only like 3(Checked my old administration notes, it was 5 actually!) 5 out of 20 actually asked. I didn't want silver for me, I wanted people to be able to just enjoy the game. I did not violate that agreement, but I did end up with an unexpected excess that's... still sitting in my bank actually. I really don't know what to do with that silver honestly. It would have gone towards expanding the claim, had all things worked out. I even had written a contingency as part of the agreement; if the settlement were to ever disband, all assets would be liquidated and anyone who wanted what remained could have a split. Nobody even wanted a share of what was left, it was just done and over... I lament it, really. Yeah, it does, beyond all doubt at this point. I was considering a third last-hurrah, but I've been convinced for a while now that you're right. If even paying people to play without alts didn't work too well, I'm not sure what would. This really might just be a lost-cause. It's certainly better than no game at all, yeah. Well, thanks for your feedback~
  4. A very valid point. The whole thing was strange to me really. I fully expected there to remain only one server too. I didn't in the slightest expect the widespread chaos that happened, the disputes, and especially the pettiness. I mean hell, I went around a mountain with someone prospecting for silver for some statuettes, we find a spot that looks good, set our tents down, and check out a mine someone else opened with no indication of a settlement or claim or anything nearby. All of a sudden, like 2 dudes show up and go "Bruh, you griefed our mine, why???". Apparently he had a door on that mine, and thought we bashed it since our tents were nearby. There were several other incidents that came about from this mining trip too, someone else set us to kill on sight when we thought their seemingly public mine, with like 6 gold veins and 4 silver, was for whoever needed some. Turns out, no, they barely had anything to say about it other than "You're kill on sight, leave". I honestly never understood, and still don't, the distinct lack of co-operation or straight up paranoia people have. I get that in the rush for profits it's agitating to have to deal with setbacks, but beyond the scope of stuffing pockets full of silver, what was there to worry about? Maybe you're right though, I might be entirely misunderstanding and thinking the game(or life in general, I guess) is about working together and getting along, maybe it's just not? In which case, my bad. ...yeah, mostly. Is that a bad idea? Are systems, implementations, and code from roughly 15 years ago really worth doing nothing about? Should we not plot a course for where we want to go with things, isolate the grandest standing issues, discuss them, and ultimately push for the change we want to see? Does that not indicate that the process of creating bulk materials is inherently flawed then? If it was, or still is so miserable, why not push for change? I mean, I know if it was less miserable, then it'd probably also be cheaper, but even that would naturally reduce the necessity for alts still. Like that, or something, ya know?
  5. You're not considering the strong possibility that the way people operate and play would fundamentally change without alts, not to mention major quality of life changes that would be put into effect. Things like: People now being in closer proximity to each other by necessity would theoretically reduce the difficulty of finding people, and it'd of course be more all the more profitable for services to spring up that reduce the exact tedium of having to find that many people, so there would be far more sources of bulk goods. Ease of production of the more time-consuming bulk goods, perhaps through some sort of sermon-esque group-crafting system. Is that not just a symptom of poor design though? Like, I don't get that, if you can acknowledge that the game would be functionally poorer without alts, why not push for those functions to be better regardless of alts existing? Why not suggest something like rifts giving you another free village teleport or something, right? Or wagoneers functioning as transport to automatically get to imp-a-longs and such. Like, there's very obviously room for improvement in innumerable ways, and through things that already exist to maybe suit our needs given just a bit more fiddling. I mean, if there was a simpler way to express it, I would. But there isn't. It's a complex issue, and I'll try to encompass every facet of it that I can, because I want to see things be better. I guess I can try to sum up the above quote-replies? Reply 1: The game would change. Reply 2: The game should change. I guess that's not unfair, but that may be ignoring the possibility of it being bad for the game's health long-term, ya know? I guess it's lasted this long relatively fine, but I can't help but suspect it would be flourishing all the more if alts just weren't poking holes in it. Similarly to Dale's concerns, that's probably an indication that the game is mechanically lacking something that needs to be resolved. That's valid, but would you prefer to just be able to stake multiple deeds in the first place, and regardless of whether you are already part of a settlement or not? A lot of the sentiment about alts is something like "I can't do thing without alts". But, why not just push for those things to work better without them in the first place, ya know? This is insightful though, thank you. Does that include simultaneously logging onto all or most of your characters at once? 'Cause, I did say in the post that I am not explicitly asking for alts to be against the game's rules, having multiple characters is fine and should honestly be better supported entirely, but being able to log onto all of them at the same time is what I find to be problematic. See conclusion 3. This is a very valid consideration. Even if alts were explicitly against the game rules, policing that would be quite problematic, yeah. There'd probably be innocent people punished unfairly, and others who get away with things for a long time. I guess that'd just be a question of "Is it worth it?". I would think so, especially since policing real-world transactions is even more difficult in theory, but if staff have some method for that, they can possibly work out cracking down on alts. When NFI was released, I recruited for a no-alt settlement. It was... insightful, but my leadership skills are pathetic, and I began to strongly question human behavior in general from what I observed. And then my net died for like 5 months and everyone just kinda left. Then I joined the only other settlement I found that had a no-alts rule, you might be talking about that one. It was interesting, for sure. Had a curious dynamic going on with people coming and going sometimes, and others sticking around for quite a while putting in a surprising amount of work. There's like a graveyard of houses belonging to all the people who built and then just never came back, it's kind of beautiful in a way, the mayor could have torn that stuff down but I'm glad he didn't. I am strongly inclined to agree with this sentiment. Would that not encourage people to join and stick around? Like, if it's suddenly more profitable to craft anything, I'd imagine more people would come around just to capitalize on things. Supply and demand is weird like that, you'd think lower supply means lower interest and incentive, but that's not necessarily the case. I certainly recall the vested interest when the Steam servers first launched and there was a low supply of everything, labor for nearly anything was quite profitable. I think I made 15 silver just chopping a forest for someone. Good times. That sort of profit and ease of profiting was what appealed to a lot of people, and no doubt a good many just sort of left after prices stabilized and supply of things was plentiful. Huh. You know, that might be agreeable. Combat isn't exactly all that core to the game, but maybe if the exploration update changes that and makes things a little more dangerous and exciting, I could see a change like this being very potent. Thank you all for the replies thus far.
  6. Woops, yeah I worded that poorly. Didn't mean to say that we do, just that we could. Fixed that a bit. I don't suppose you could elaborate on that a little? I'm assuming you mean to say that multi-logging should continue to be condoned, I'd be interested in hearing why though. I am inclined to agree. Man... See, this is the sort of thing where I step back and wonder "Is it really???". Because, I just can't tell. I mean, there's definitely been some considerations for them down the line of its grand design, but whether or not it started like that, and continues to aim for that, I'm not so sure. You might be right that priests were explicitly designed to encourage people to pay for a second character, that would explain why they are so gimped from core gameplay loops anyway. And I guess that still doesn't answer the question of; should that be the case? If Wurm is fundamentally designed around usage of alts, should it continue to be, should the usage of alts be enhanced and expanded upon even? Even if it is or was a business design decision, wouldn't the circulation of silver be a better design investment overall? I would think that the more people have to rely on each other, the more silver moves, the more gets removed, the more gets bought, etc. That's sort of where I'm lost on this. If there was an opportunity to be paying someone for resources or labor, that's a missed opportunity to have two subscriptions being paid for, and have silver moving. Alts get the subscriptions, sure, but they don't inherently move more silver. Having more of your own manpower and labor would more or less equate to less time investments made overall. The quicker you, as a singular person, can construct a castle, that's less time you're paying for any subscriptions long-term. Do 3 extra subscriptions really outweigh the cost-benefits? Let's examine that: People are kind of unreliable, right? Let's say alts were abolished, and now one of the more common transactions made are contracted builders, paid to just help slap down some planks or bricks or what-not. Time schedules don't exactly sync up all that great, maybe permissions are set wrong, traveling to and from takes a while, someone runs off with someone else's tools without realizing, there's any number of things that could cause a delay in the process, right? These delays, from human incompetence more or less, are profitable, as its more time that a subscription will be needed. Contrast that to a similar situation where its just one person with three alts, and they'll more or less do the process as flawlessly as they desire. Minimal delays, minimal setbacks, minimal subscription time needed. And again, this isn't even considering the cost-benefits of people just needing more people in their lives, and reaching out or pursuing that. Alts don't necessitate that, at all. Nobody using an alt is trying to drag their friends into things by necessity, or constantly reaching out for someone who is in turn probably also reaching out for others. And necessity, as we may all know, is very profitable. I mean, that's pretty much par for the course for anything a streamer convinces masses to join in on. But even then, there were at least some people previously entirely unaware of Wurm before then, that will remember it or spread their knowledge of it around, convincing more people to check it out in the grand scheme of things. The same was said about accounts people invested in specifically to buy and sell. The only thing fair was that they still had those accounts by the time purchasing them was outlawed, and plenty of forwards warning(I think?) to actually sell off whatever they still wanted to sell. In this case, I don't think getting rid of alts is such a full-stop solution. I'm inclined to agree that it would be unfair for people who invested in them, but that doesn't mean something couldn't be done for them. A solution would even be something like asking for your xp totals to be combined onto a chosen account. Having 2 level 50 woodcutters wouldn't suddenly make your chosen character level 100, but probably more like... 65? The orders of magnitude for how xp works is funny like that, ya know? And more likely than not, there'd only be a select range of skills being moved, like mining and woodcutting and stonecutting and such. Although I know there's certainly some mad lads out there with like 20 different characters with near-max levels of everything, just for the style points. But, the point is, of course something should be done to make all things fair and agreeable. You do bring up some valid points though, Luniraen. Thank you for those anecdotes. I too wouldn't want to see literally everyone running around turning rifts turning it into ice and fire and mushrooms. It's why I personally think the most effective solution is to probably just do a pass over on the restrictions, just sensibility(Fo's can dig, but Libila's can't???), and allowing them their follower crafts. I do however know that, with how priest restrictions are actually coded, this is a surprising amount of work, since the restriction is on the action type, and not the skill type. There is no action type for just imp'ing a sword, for example. But, maybe decompiled Unlimited code isn't the best thing to go by, there might be room for hooks into how actions are performed that would easily allow for such. I will reflect on this wisdom. But, ya know, unlike Marmite we can actually do something here. I hope we can, anyway. There's not a lot of people who can atomically reconstitute Marmite into delicious Gray Poupon or such, but nebulous reprogramming of stuff is about as close as one can get to atomically reconstituting one thing into another. What I'm saying is, Wurm doesn't have to be Marmite, it could be royal jelly, it could be anything. What it is isn't always what it will be. We need only discuss the change we want to see, and affect it. It's why I was so happy to see Unlimited become a thing, having the power to affect change to it directly was so lovely. And well, that's been left behind. So now we only have a voice in what Online can be, we need only speak.
  7. It's been about a year since my first post about this, and with time comes new insights and a more mature mind. With talk of major updates, I figure it's once again worth sparking discussion into one of the worst aspects Wurm currently and continues to suffer from: Alts. First, you'll find my previous posts and ravings on this topic here(focusing on alts), and here(focusing on priest-restrictions). I'll summarize those posts for your convenience now: It is my belief, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that alts(playing multiple accounts/characters as a singular person) have been and continue to be the absolute worst aspect of Wurm's health. If it is the case that alts are necessary to enjoy what the game offers, that is evidence of fundamental flaws in the design and function of various game elements, and we should work to remedy that. Alts probably can't and won't be abolished until then. Alts don't necessary need to be abolished and against the rules, just working to remedy why it is people play alts in the first place would reduce the perceived necessity of having to play one, while still allowing people who, say, enjoy their isolation, to continue to do so. Alts are a negative feedback loop, and we don't individually entirely know how. Edit: Is what I mean by 4. Alright, with the above in mind, let's elaborate a bit! 1. My belief that alts are bad for the game stems from a myriad of observations and speculation into human behavior in general. While I am no expert on economics or social studies at all, I'll do my best to try and empirically present valid and tangible reasons and rationalities as to why they are loosely termed as "bad". In particular, there's a lot we realistically rely on each other for. I don't think it'd be incorrect to say that commerce and currencies are founded on division of labor, for example. Party A has the resources and skills for A-craft, Party B has the resources and skills for B-craft, neither has the time, manpower, or capital for what the other party has, and instead decide to offer each other their goods and services, creating a net-gain for both parties and what could be called a positive feedback loop of ever-increasing reliance and provision for each other. It could be argued that division of labor is what drives us as a species. When we stopped all being hunter-gatherer generalists and started being specialists as sowers and tinkers and harvesters and such was when we really started to flourish and thrive. This manifests even in our virtual creations; division of labor and the resulting net-positive loops present themselves in nearly any sort of MMO, co-operative, or online experience. A large portion of MMOs, for example, have players interact with them primarily through classes. The classes themselves are a division of labor; Player A has invested the time and resources into a cleric, Player B has invested the time and resources into a barbarian. Neither necessarily has the time or capital to invest in what the other has, and ultimately they need what the other offers for the most optimal or enjoyable experiences. So, they co-operate of course, and delve dark dungeons relying on each other's particular strengths and talents, resources, etc. Maybe even sell their services to each other. Something is necessitated, and something is gained from the resulting trade for all parties, in other words. Wurm sort of fails in this aspect. It has a strong foundation in being an economic game, I'd imagine a large sum of its profits are from silver purchases. This was why real-world trading was abolished several years ago. People paying 20 spacebux for a corbita and giving the currency directly to each other meant that Wurm wasn't making the profit it could have if they had paid with the equivalent of silver instead. So what did the staff do? Abolish and outlaw it. This caused no major long-term issues, as the effective alternative was always in place, it's just that now you can't turn your silver back into real money. Wurm is a prime example of the aspects of division of labor; there are a myriad of skills, and a lot of them are massive investments of time and silver. It'd be difficult for one person to reasonably focus on every single skill at once, rather, specializing is naturally expected to happen and probably generally does. Whether someone means for it to happen or not, they might find themselves having much higher carpentry skill than anything else. And while Wurm doesn't have character classes in the traditional sense, it can generally be agreed that priests and non-priests are about the closest we have to that. The same might be said for the pursuit of different meditation paths; each offers something unique, and you can't have it all, so there's a natural division. Now, what happens to this arguably-fundamental human aspect, the division of labor, when you let people just arbitrarily circumvent it by effectively cloning themselves and operating as several people at once? Well, there's no co-operation between people of course. That's it. And while commerce and trade would certainly still exist, it undoubtedly exists to a much lesser extent than it would if people couldn't take on any number of copies of themselves capable of specializing in any arbitrary number of things. The conclusion: Alts are bad for Wurm. Allowing people to make and simultaneously play any arbitrary number of characters entirely defeats the fundamental aspect of division of labor, and all the economic and co-operative incentives it inherently creates for us as a species. We are losing something quite engaging and enriching here, and it is harming not only the growth of Wurm's player base, but also its profits from silver-purchases. And while, yes, alts do create subscription profits, it could be argued that the reliance and necessity of needing more people for the optimal experience might ultimately out-profit that. If Player A explicitly needs assistance in building their structures and gathering the resources, and Player B cannot offer their assistance as they are too busy building a boat and gathering the resources as well, they may instead call up some pals, tell them about Wurm and that they need help, and convince them to hop on to help chop some trees or mine some iron or such. Suddenly you have more people who now need tools and food and such, they may reach out to even more people to those ends, or convince more people to play with them, and well, you get orders of magnitude of growth from that. This is how a lot of games find themselves attaining popularity; 2 people tell 4, 4 tell 8, etc etc etc. It's a net-positive loop. Not encouraging that by totally condoning alts actively harms a principle aspect of player-count growth. 2. If alts are the most viable solution, or strictly necessary to enjoy the most of what the game offers, that is evidence of critical flaws in the game's design and current implementations. One of the strongest examples of this are priest-restrictions. If a massive portion of the game is centered around terraforming and crafting, restricting that outright so broadly is maybe not a great idea. I went over this in my priest-post, but let me summarize again: Having other people play the game for you isn't fun. If the game is about crafting and terraforming, I would really like to be doing that. There is probably nothing worth sacrificing that for. If people just circumvent the restrictions with alts anyway, that entirely invalidates the point of restrictions. So, either do away with the restrictions, which will naturally discourage the necessity for alts in the first place, or alter the restrictions to not remove so much of what the game offers in whole, which would again naturally discourage the necessity for alts in the first place. And like in the priest-post, the game already sets a precedent for this; being a follower gives you certain bonuses to crafts, but you can't pursue those crafts once you become a priest. Why not? Why not allow priests to continue practicing at least just those crafts? Why would Magranon not approve of me imp'ing a sword as a priest? And then there's things like one deed per character per server, and well, people kind of like being able to have more than one settlement. A solution to that would be something like a sliding-cost-exponent. Maybe each additional settlement claim would cause all other claims to have 10% higher upkeep, and then 25%, then 40, then 70, etc etc. There's a lot that can be brought up and said, any number of issues with any number of solutions, but the short of it is that alts probably can't be done away with until a major portion of the game is updated or redesigned, or better enables co-operation, etc. The conclusion: Unlike doing away with real-world trading and using exclusively silver being good for the game, doing away with alts and being exclusively a single character will probably only amplify existing problems with Wurm. This is a major hurdle, and every person's opinion on it will be different. Some people just don't find mining to be very engaging, so they put their miner up on another client while imp'ing and crafting and what-not on their main character. Other people will think that mining is just fine as-is and find no need to make an alt just for it. We probably need many dialectical discussions to work together on a consensus for the solutions and overhauls necessary to facilitate being able to enjoy the game through a single character. There's probably no ideal solutions for this either; an alt will always be the more appealing option to someone, but we can work to make other options far more appealing, or viable, or less troublesome, etc. 3. I'm not necessarily saying that alts should be against the game's rules outright. A number of games are totally cool with you having multiple characters, and may even rely on the profits of such through selling, or subscribing for, additional character slots, etc. But a lot generally agree on one thing; you shouldn't be playing multiple characters simultaneously. Because it does harm the game's health for a myriad of reasons. Being able to be several people at once invalidates a lot of the design and implementation decisions that make games enjoyable at all. And Wurm suffers from this exact thing, a number of decisions were made based on the principle of a single character, and a bunch of other decisions have also been scuffed by considerations for simultaneous use of alts. In general, the reason people make secondary characters is because they want to experience something different. Maybe that barbarian wants to know what its like to play the support role for once, or maybe the mage would rather be slinging musical notes rather than brilliant flames, etc. In Wurm's case, and assuming simultaneous logging wasn't allowed, there aren't that many reasons to really make a secondary character at all. The only things you can differently experience are being a different priest, or a different meditation path. And, maybe that is itself evidence that Wurm is fundamentally designed to be a single-character kind of game, right? But should it be? Would the game be any worse if there was even more unique things to each character? Let's use affinities as an example: Perhaps a single character can only attain affinities in 4 different skills. Suddenly, you have to be conscientious in what you specialize in, and choose carefully. This isn't something that locks the rest of the game from you, but makes pursuing certain skills less tedious or troublesome than others. And maybe you might think "I should make an alt just for harvesting! It'll have affinities in mining, woodcutting, farming, and fishing! And my main will have matching craft skills!". But then consider that this is a decision everyone is making, and that there's so many different skills that if you wanted alts for the affinities of even half of all skills, the subscription prices would get very expensive very quickly. So what's the cheaper option? Well, just finding someone adept at a particular task of course! You could even further crack down on the affinities with restrictions of their own, like only 1 gather affinity, craft affinity, combat affinity, and cooking affinity. Suddenly making an alt for every conceivable possibility is less appealing, just because there'd be a lot of unnecessary crossover. But this would mean there's always a demand in certain skills, a village of people who mostly enjoy shipbuilding will be far clingier to anyone with affinities in woodcutting and such, for example. More directly, this would encourage players congregating to close proximity of each other for greatest possible variety of affinities in skills. Something that there's not really any incentive for since wagons and mailboxes are a thing. There's a lot of interesting things that can be done with making each character even more unique from others, and this may make seeking others more appealing than making alts. But anything unique about a character is fundamentally invalidated by being able to play any number of characters simultaneously. The conclusion: I don't believe that being able to make more than one character should be against the rules, but I do believe that you shouldn't be able to play any number of them simultaneously. Being able to, say, make one character per server, is totally reasonable to me. Having to pay a subscription per character is still just as reasonable too. If it is the case that the staff would like to profit off people making multiple characters and paying several subscriptions at once, there should maybe be more things made inaccessible or non-viable for a single character. And this is sort of contradictory, because it skirts a fine line: Wouldn't this just encourage alts even more? Yes. But then consider that this might be exactly why people aren't content to play as a single character and rely on others. If everyone brings to the table the same things, there's little interest or incentive in finding anyone in particular. I suspect that, if there were more meditation paths, or priest-archtypes, or restrictions on total skill affinities, anything that is a unique branch or choice, it'd probably be less viable to make alts for all these things inaccessible to a single character, and instead directly encourage people to find others for particular niches, just by being the cheaper option. This is another one of those things that would need a lot of dialectical discussion though, because everyone will have a difference of opinion, and maybe ultimately we'd prefer Wurm to stay as the game that offers nearly everything to a single character. 4. All of the above should make it just a little more evident that alts are a really bad negative loop in the game's health and growth, and maybe you wouldn't have thought about it otherwise if not for that. Perhaps you are reading this right now, thinking about it, and saying to yourself "I hadn't thought about it like that, but he might be right". But, I'm not all-seeing-and-knowing. I don't really know how alts even affect things like the PVP servers, but I can't imagine it's any better on that side of the coin either. There's probably nothing nice about being jumped by 6 characters, all controlled by the same person. And this is already my conclusion. The conclusion: We cannot individually foresee how alts affect the game in the grand scope of things, but we can unanimously agree or disagree that they are bad for the game, and work out how to fix it in an agreeable manner. We need to seriously discuss and come to some overarching consensus of whether or not alts are truly worth doing something about, and while I believe they are worth being rid of, I fully accept that I can be wrong about this. I might be an outlier in my opinions and observations. I could totally be wrong about everything I just said, for reasons that are maybe obvious or not so obvious at all. So can you. But, we can't get there unless we hold a forum of discussion about it and learn from each other. So, there it is. My suggestion; get rid of alts. Somehow. I really truly hope this sparks discussion or thoughts on improving Wurm, and while I personally believe alts are the current worst aspect, maybe it's just a symptom of greater issues beyond my own insight. You can expect to see another post like this next year, assuming I develop further thoughts on the subject. Or sooner, pending what this year's updates bring, maybe making the issues even worse or actually resolving any number of them. Thank you.
  8. I'll definitely cherish this impalong forever. Thank you to all the staff that made it happen, to all the visitors who fixed up gear and enchants, and to all the GMs that briefly visited to make things just a little more exciting~ I got a lot of screenshots while I was here, it was absolutely lovely every single day! Here's an album of just a few:
  9. Man I miss that guy. I hope he actually makes it as a volunteer again one of these days. I feel inclined to agree that Wurm was never made with maining a priest in mind, but it certainly feels as if priests were perhaps supposed to get their own sort of style of gameplay to compliment non-priests, rather than be directly removed from them. Like, I dunno, maybe being restricted from digging was only supposed to be a restriction until some sort of ritual system could be established. Consecrate a site for terraforming before digging it proper and freely, or something like that, ya know? In other words, I feel like priests are just supposed to have more steps to accomplish the same things, not be barred completely forever. I think I previously suggested some sort of system of sin and atonement, where you can totally go against a restriction as long as you later repent by doing something more agreeable, like planting more trees than you chopped as a Fo priest or such. Honestly, I don't think this will ever make it in either, but I only say that due to how the priest restrictions are actually programmed. As it is, it's just based on action type, and there's no separate action type for imp'ing a boat or a sword, so priests are just universally barred from any kind of imp'ing action until they are either separated finely or some other layer of checks is laid down.
  10. I say tea should provide a bonus affinity chance, to act as more of a focus on mental acuity than energy.
  11. Huh, you know, I didn't even think about the simpler crafts like toymaking and such, yeah that'd be pretty nice!
  12. Out of curiosity, what sort of imping would you want to be able to do as a Fo priest? Or at least, what do you feel would be fair?
  13. Here is a brief backstory. So, as someone who fervently refuses to play alts for reasons, I find myself at a crossroads regarding priest restrictions. Last year, when follower bonuses were added, I was expecting a trend to continue with that precedent: priests being allowed to pursue a select range of crafts. After all, if a follower of Libila is encouraged to work leather, why would a priest suddenly no longer be allowed to? Why would Magranon approve of forging the finest swords as a follower, but not as a devote priest? Etc. I fully expected this to be rectified in the near-future, knowing how awkward the current restriction system actually works based on action-type alone. As such, I decided to play a priest myself. I initially founded a no-alts settlement to moderate(and unexpected) success, with people to rely on for the things I was directly blocked from doing as a priest, and they in turn could also play priests and rely on others in the settlement for things. In fact, I specifically structured the rulings of the settlement to almost strictly serve priests to that end. Eventually, for failures on my part, and for things like Melody and Cadence quickly releasing, this settlement dissolved and people either quit or went their own ways. C'est la vie. Fast forwards several months later, I see there's another no-alts settlement booming and blooming. I join up of course, happy to once again have some semblance of what I previously got to be a part of; dozens of people helping each other out. Fast forward some months again, and it's now unfortunately mostly devoid of life. Worse still, priest restrictions over a year later are completely untouched, which I did not expect with the huge success the Steam launch seemingly had. Choices stand before me; bite the bullet and join any other settlement that condones alts making my miserable existence as a priest nonsensical to them, continue on my own being miserable by myself, abandon my faith entirely, or try and build up yet another no-alts settlement. As you'd expect, it's a conflicting choice. So, why did I even become a priest in the first place? Well, to sustain my settlement really. I figured the steadiest source of income would be selling enchanted equipment, which could be used to sustain upkeep and pay out peoples' premiums, which was another policy I established in favor of my no-alts settlement. Paying people to play with me, crazy right? I figured it was a pretty good incentive to get people to drop the very thought of alts and cultivate a better sense of community rather than what I perceived to be an inevitability; ignoring others in favor of alts. Now, on two counts, this has gone wrong. Two instances of a no-alts settlement, both seemingly failing. I can recognize that there is probably a reason this isn't working, at least in regards to priests. There may be a range of people like me who find themselves with similar problems; people they previously relied on now being gone. I certainly enjoyed the company of talent who's now gone. Perhaps this could be minimized if priests could at least be guaranteed a craft? But then, would I have come to rely on some people in the first place for those crafts, would we have made contact like we did? This starts to fall into a weird spot of becoming a study in human behavior, which I'm no expert on by any means. I guess it's at least maybe worth pointing out though that this probably is a behavioral issue more so than a gameplay issue, and priests are probably at least one of the stronger aspects tied to this. Okay, so, what should be done? Well the way I see it, being a priest bars you from things. And this sounds fine. Something for something. Perfectly agreeable. However, when those somethings are core aspects of the very nature of the game, like terraforming and improving items, suddenly it's more like you're trading one game for another. I, as a priest, unable to dig dirt and improve any kind of item at all, am effectively choosing to play a different game. Is this fair? Well, maybe. It could be argued that a choice as significant as that is something truly special. Then again, this is probably exactly why people just have priest alts. It seems silly to come to this and go "oh, yes, I totally don't want to dig and do any of this wide assortment of crafts, I definitely just wanted to be able to cast fancy magic instead". So, what I feel should be done is to allow priests more of the core features of the game. I'm not asking for restrictions to be lifted entirely. I, and I'm sure others would agree, want there to be restrictions still, but the restrictions as they have been just don't make sense. What exactly could be done about this should probably be part of a larger discussion, but at the very least as the title says, allowing priests to do what being a follower sets the precedent for is probably a perfectly acceptable start. Let me put it this way: I didn't become a priest so that I couldn't play the game, I became a priest so others could play the game for me, and so I could play a priest for them. Maybe this was a bad idea. Maybe, just maybe, there should be a little more crossover for the people getting the worse-side of the deal; priests. Maybe it's as simple as giving them a single craft. Maybe there's far more interesting measures to take. All I know is that trying to have others play the game for me, and me playing a priest for them, isn't really working, and maybe hasn't been working too well for others either. Maybe I'm a complete fool for consciously choosing to not do what a majority of people are already doing to get around this problem, for what is essentially just a personal theory into human behavior and better growth for the game in the long-term. Maybe my understanding of this and a few other problems Wurm faces are purely anecdotal and not really the case for the majority who don't find themselves caught in such existential-human-behavior-problems. There's a lot of maybes here. In short, please do something with priest restrictions. I know the exploration update is just around the corner, and I have high hopes that maybe fun priest times will come with that, but there's a real possibility that I am just a complete fool, so uhhh yeah, sorry if that's the case. Edit: Oh right, and just to be clear, these are the "follower crafts" I speak of: Vynora: +10% QL gain when improving wooden and clay items. Magranon: +10% QL gain when improving metallic items. Fo: +10% QL gain when improving cloth items. Libila: +10% QL gain when improving leather items. Thoughts and such worth putting at the top here:
  14. Oh please do tell! I've definitely heard of a single water sword before, but not how it happened.
  15. When the in-game year changed to 1000, the sky was covered in fiery auroras, so says people over the discord anyway. I never knew if it really happened but I had wondered about it for years ever since finding this obscure screenshot. Also makes sense as to why there's an official soundtrack titled "Sky on Fire". This was... 13 years ago? Definitely an old screenshot.