This game has a population problem. A serious population problem. Lets clear this right now, I do not think it's a mechanical deficit. I think, as it stands, wurm is a perfectly acceptable game that tens of thousands can and would enjoy. The devs are trying very hard to tidy up everything they think is keeping players away, but not addressing a very serious root issue: population flow.
If the game had thousands and thousands of unique logins on Golden Valley and there was little change in people playing, I'd recommend a dramatic overhaul posthaste to new player experience. But, as it is, I really do not believe that is the case. I think many of us older players can remember a day when golden valley was a unique land of easy opportunity for a new player to strike out, face some very easy threats, travel a bit, get familiar with the game and experience its community before moving into the bigger the wider world of either freedom or wild. There was hundreds of people playing at any time, even on GV! When Epic was released there was a blast of information trying to drag players back to the game and clearly it brought in a ton of players. As it is the game has been on a steady decline for years and is dangerously close to a point where new players might not be interested in playing because the world theyre stepping in to is so dead.
The recent Elevation map reset and item ban, I think, is emblematic of this issue. I am not seeing anyone new from the people who were here 5 or 6 years ago, except more have fallen off due to attrition.
My solution is this:
Massive advertisement campaign
I struggle to see any real engagement on the WO twitter page and I can't really blame anyone as theres not a whole lot to work with. No ad campaigns are being pushed as far as I can tell, no marketing companies are contracted, SEO is very poor! Look at the following:
This tells you a fair bit about the site, and it's not very pretty. The primary driver to wurm online is a google search for wurm online, or wurm forums... I know having someone do SEO is costly, but it could be a huge investment. I believe us the players on both freedom and epic would be more than happy to work with developers in creating marketable content with a third party agency to advertise the game. I think we'd all be incredibly happy to see ads for this game in youtube videos, on facebook, in our feeds, we'd like to see sandbox focused youtubers and mmo focused youtubers be given trial accounts with boosted stats just to drive people to the game. I know a guy like bashur was a dark stain on the games history, but a part of me was genuinely excited to know a small sized youtuber had chosen to give this game a shakedown because it would mean more people!
More people means:
And most importantly, more money to fund further development.
The game looks great already, certainly enough that anyone interested in what this game offers won't pass because of it! The mechanics are actually over all pretty good, theres a reason I play this game still after... [02:35:43] You entered through the portal to Wurm on day of the Ant, week 4 of the starfall of Silence, 1028. That's 3492 days, 8 hours and 19 minutes ago. The game is fundamentally good, it just needs more eyeballs by all means necessary! I've even seen players offer to run a kickstarter so we can have an ad campaign. All I ask if you take any of this advice, devs, is to please either consider bringing back golden valley, or turning down aggro mobs massively and make monsters regional spawns again so players arent getting dumpstered 10ft outside the starter deeds. We just want to see the game reach previously unforeseen heights and I believe whatever these big changes and releases for all versions of the game coming around the time of frontier releasing are a great time to capitalize on a big movement in development with big movements in advertisement!!