Sign in to follow this  
Araninke

Establishing a Village?

Recommended Posts

I've been toying with the idea of setting up a small village for new players. But I'm not quite sure what all is involved. I would imagine you'd need public spaces for crafting, farming, animal pens etc. for folks to work on their skills. Housing also. But do you provide pre-built houses or let players build themselves? What is suitable size for a plot? Supply tools to citizens? I'm sure a lot of this is personal preference as to how you'd like to run your village, but was just wondering what others have done, suggestions etc.


 


Also, how do I make this a viable project? At least self-sufficient enough to support itself and maybe make some profit if possible. 


 


I'd appreciate your thoughts and opinions!


Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

well in my opinion it also depends on what kind of new player village you want,if you want a place where people live for a few weeks or whatever time they needto learn the game and then move on to somewhere else,or you want to have people stay there as long as posible.


 


that would affect things like house plots vs prebuilt houses and the size of the houses etc.


Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I see your point... I think probably short-time wise since it would be a pretty small village. But depends on the folks too and if they like it there, etc. 


Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In our village on deli, we had two systems in place for people to join. The first was for permanent residence and the second was for either temporary residence or people on probation waiting for a permanent residence.


 


For the permanent residence, we set aside approximately 50 tiles for each person. Our deed was rather large so we were able to section off about 7 of these plots. The plots started out terraformed, but empty. A villager assigned to the plot could do anything they wanted with it. Most had a house or two, a farm and a place for their animals. The house would have anything they needed for crafting. So each person had their individual crafting stations. This avoided the need to build communal crafting buildings.


 


One thing to keep in mind are the writs. We required that all writs for all the houses on our deed were to be turned over to the mayor. This way, if any of the villagers went in active or left the village for any reason, the mayor would have control over the buildings. Villagers had to agree to this before being accepted into the village to avoid any future conflicts.


 


After all of the plots were taken up, we continued to accept people as either temporary residence or villagers waiting for a permanent spot to open up (i.e. for another villager to quit the game or leave the village). We did have a high turn around at the start so we felt that we should keep inviting more villagers to keep things lively.


 


We constructed an area called "The Dormatory" which contained 2x3 houses 2 stories tall, all crammed together. Each house was pre built (we designed and built them) but started out empty inside. A villager would be assigned to a dorm and was put on the writ to do with as he/she pleased but had no area to have a farm or to house animals. We made it clear that this option is somewhat limited but if they wanted to join up to learn the game, or wait for a vacancy to open up then it might be a good option.


 


One piece of advice: Give careful thought to how the permissions are set. We spent a lot of time discussing the permissions settings to make sure it worked exactly how we wanted. For example, we wanted each person to have privacy on their own plot. This meant that we didn't allow passing through locked gates. For the most part this worked but under some circumstances we needed to make gate houses with their own set permissions to allow access to all the villagers but to keep out non villagers. For example, the village mine needed such a gate house.


 


As well, we wanted everyone to be able to explore the village castle, but didn't want anyone to be able to loot anything. So the writ for the castle was restricted only to the mayor and trusted people while the doors remained unlocked. This worked even though the village was set to allow villagers to pick up items from the ground.


 


Hope this helps out. Good luck.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There are several projects in the past that are similar and you could try collecting advice from them. I believe Elwood helped run the Academy originally started by Danny Ironwood, which was one of the more well known "newbie villages." Elwood would know a lot on the logistics.  Check also with JBerg who ran a program on Pristine called The Wurm Academy. There was a place on Deliverance I think called The Sanctuary (run by Ayes? I forget details now). 


 


Each of them were focused on helping the new player grow, more than helping the village grow by recruiting new players. There are very many other villages that are quite "new player friendly" and take in almost exclusively new players, and have extensive training programs for them. But these ones I mention had a primary purpose of helping the newbie, not helping the village


 


I ran a place on Independence for a while called Inner City Orphanage, not as long as some of the others as it lasted less than a year (I left burnt out on all things Wurm, for about a year.) I can tell you a little on the choices I made and what I did. You'll want to collect ideas from different people, sift through them and figure which works best for you. 


 


Some of the choices I made:


 


1) I built within a simple short run of the Indy starting spawn, so if any of them died they could run back within about a 5 minute run. Other "academies" have made their places farther away, so that finding and travelling to the area taught the new player a bit about how big Wurm was and how to be an independent traveler. One reason I kept mine so close to start spawn was also because -- I was the ONLY "citizen."


 


2) I had a small core deed with a huge perimeter, as big as I could make it. There was a templar at the center and guard towers around the outskirts. For my place, almost all of the "community" buildings were in perimeter, including player housing, community farm, community crafting, community tree farm, community mine. Mostly this gave me almost total control over what was built in the area. About the only rule I had was, "no building, no fences, no locks" by anyone except me (it's a nightmare to control otherwise). The only other rule was, "no drama". All of my buildings and fences were 100% wood as I found this the easiest to maintain myself offdeed. Once every two weeks or so I would grab a wagon with planks and tour around to repair anything what was beyond my "tolerance" for decay (more than 10% in a housewall, more than 30% in a wood fence)


 


3) I kept ALL WRITS. This is really critical if you talk to anyone who has run a place like this. Usually you will find yourself having a writ alt or token mayor alt that you can log into any time, so that you are not tied to the place (make sure they have been premium once so they are never deleted). Some people stay 30 minutes then you never see them again, others stay six months. Some popin and pop out very randomly. I had a rule that I would keep their housing reserved for only them, as long as they never went more than two weeks without logging in (or talked to me about it if they had reasons). After two weeks of no-show, I would move their wagon to an area in the back where they could easily recover it, remove their name from the writ (they would be logged back in outside the house if they returned), and put a new person in the cottage. If they came back, they got a new, different cottage. Some did though usually, two weeks gone means .. gone.


 


4) Mine was not a "social village". They had no obligations or duties other than to have a safe secure place to learn the game at their own pace. We did not have "teamspeak" or village activities -- everyone could do what they pleased. If they wanted to be a hermit they could. If they wanted to make friends with others there, they could. I provided the "sand" in the playground by having a community mine if they felt like mining, a community tree farm if they felt like wood cutting, a community farm of they felt like tending/harvesting/caring for horses & cows. I tried to have some place for every type of interest. 


 


5) The one and only project I "recommended" was, their first day to make a Large Cart with Lock. It is probably the most useful item they will ever own. They will never outgrow it. Forget the small cart, those are useless. It's not too hard of a task for a fresh brand new player, it teaches them how to use materials like iron, nails, wood. They learn how to use the wiki. They learn to be stubborn, the most useful trait of all. I answer questions but mostly show them where to find Wurmpedia. Then if they need any questions, to ask. It gives them a focused task when they are lost and unsure what to do at first -- finish the cart. It teaches them about the hardcore need to be responsible for your OWN security. I made sure they knew that if it was not in the cart, and they vanished, they probably would lose all items they had collected in their cottage unless it was in that locked cart. Then if they vanished, I pulled their locked cart to the graveyard of locked carts behind the main community building -- about 50 of them all stacked on a couple of tiles   :P But if they came back, their stuff would be there waiting for them. 


 


6) I built all the player housing myself, mostly because I liked to do this. I was a nature freak (like you I think?) so it was all modest wood buildings and gravel pathways and no excessive killing off of the natural wilderness. On my place, each person had a private 2x2 cottage (later 2-story when they added second stories) and a fenced private yard of about 6-8 tiles for private gardens or animals. Some people have made inns or communal dorms for players their first few days while they gauge if they will stay with Wurm.  I also had a BIG community farm where players could tend, harvest if they wanted, milk cows, brush horses, find food in the kitchen. Access was controlled by writ to the gatehouse. I kept a couple of breeder animals safe in my personal yard in case I ever had a griefer try to kill all the animals, though that never happened. I never, ever, even once, had a single troublemaker.  Sensitive areas had a gatehouse and you asked me to add you to the writ for access. Things like the tree farm and iron mine were open to anyone on the entire server, so "drop bys" were allowed to come use the resources without needing permissions. 


 


7) People from the community asked to help. First, I liked as much as possible the newbies to learn to be self sufficient. If they were to get items, I wanted only items that were 20Q max, and I preferred instead helping them to make these items themselves, by providing the base resources or a safe place to get the resources. I gave them an oven and a fishing pole and taught them to make fish stew (I nearly always had 50Q meals in the farmhouse kitchen too, but I made clear they should be ready to feed themselves at any time.)  I was always awkward on taking help from the community, but I have to say the community on Indy was incredibly supportive. I had more offers to help than I knew what to do with. And there WERE things we could use -- I said I could always use things like: pelts, low quality sickles, pine spouts for replanting the tree farm. I forget what else. I hated mining myself, so I had a few talented miners who offered to help find and carve out paths to iron veins.  People came by with wagons full of things anytime I put out a request for help.   I set up an area on the small core deed area where they could drop off things but only I could pick up the things. I wanted though in most cases for new players to have the fun of doing it themselves, so I tried to limit somewhat some of the more generous gifts. There is also less temptation to new players to take things if it is all stuff like 10Q sickles and fishing poles.  I had communal bsbs with some starter supplies (cotton, clay, tar, wemp, pumpkins, etc) but I mostly kept token amounts there and the main stashes in my private storage area, in case someone could not resist taking EVERYTHING. If someone wanted to learn tailoring, I would give them 20-50 units if cotton and 5-10 units of hide and tell them to come ask when they ran out. 


 


8) I tried to have NO RULES other than: Be Nice, Play Nice, Have Fun. My only exception was, no fences no roads no locks except on their house placed by me, and on private carts  (otherwise you have useless chests piling up everywhere that you can never ever get rid of). I made an area where they could dig for skill but discouraged terraforming in the area otherwise.


 


I suppose if you wanted something more then you could suggest people who liked to support the project, could chose to make a donation of their choice at the upkeep token for the settlement costs, but I was always leery of anything that suggested my motivation was personal gain. This was for the newbies not me, though to be perfectly honest, it was ALL about my personal gain. I have some real life issues that make Wurm Online my lifeline and projects like the Orphanage that I could throw myself into, were done in the end primarily for ME, to keep me sane. I knew that, and I never tried to hide that. But my own rule was, the newbie came first. 


 


Another reason to avoid making "upkeep donations" a part of the place, is then you are in trouble if no one feels like helping. People are more likely to help if you help yourself, and no one is really going to sympathize if you complain about how "no one is helping! Why is no one helping me?!? I am just doing it for YOU!"    No one is going to feel any sympathy for the person who makes themselves the "victim". You should try to be self sufficient and teach new players to be self sufficient too. 


 


I did not have ANY projects they were expected to join (though many begged for jobs they could do. I would usually tell them they were welcome to make planks that I could use for repairs, or nails (we are always short of nails!) , or pick tree sprouts to replant.) There was a commercially run  "bulk building materials" business that I knew would treat them fair and not be stingy with wages, so I did refer a few to look there for work, but I tried to stay out of "working" the newbies in any way myself -- there is potential for major trouble down that path.


 


Sometimes we might have a big clay run, or take everyone out on the steppe in a cart so we could all gang up togeher on hapless critters. 


 


Mostly I was there to help them decide what THEY wanted to do, and help them find a way to do that. Some wanted to make their own homestead in the wilderness, we would work out how to build the skills THEY wanted to build, and sometimes we would go out in carts to remoter areas that I knew were friendly to having a new solitary homesteader. 


 


I am rambling now I am sorry ^_^ I will try to think up more, or if you have any other specific questions. My underlying philosophy was -- we were not a village. They had no commitment to stay -- if they found a better place 30 minutes later, we were happy for them. Some were still with us 6 months later. There were plenty of villages already. We were a safe haven that they were welcome to use, as long as they wanted to. 


 


Many of them went on to join other bigger villages that had organized social activities -- I made clear to all villages they were welcome to recruit from us, and provide longterm homes. I counseled the new players to go slow and pick a village that suited their OWN play style.


 


I was the backup safety net, which was one reason I chose the name I did. Homes for the homeless, a safe place to learn. The rest was up to them. 


Edited by Brash_Endeavors

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

At Akhenaten we provided each villager with a 2x2 stone cottage with a private fenced in 2x1 yard between the cottages. All had beds and a chest, most had more (forges, bsbs etc). With the multi-story expansion some augmented the cottage with a second floor that extended out over the road a tile. they looked very nice.


 


With the new deed prices, I'd shoot for something like a 5x5 plot for each villager to do with as they please, with 1 tile paved alley or grass between them and  3 tile "streets". I'd always try to have one empty preconstructed lot made to fit with, but be slightly different than, the rest of the town, along with space prepared for 1 or 2 empty lots for eager players.


 


You'll want to create an alt to hold the writs. It's far better if very few people have access to that alt for obvious reasons.


 


As far as tools go, we were pretty liberal with 50ql gear and used better items as incentive to get them involved with community projects (like building houses).


Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

An important part to remember when taking in new players is that not all new players stick to the game, and then you have to have some sort of plan for what to do when they leave. I'd recommend that you don't let them hold onto any writs. Another important thing is that if you have a small sized deed that you'd counted on utilizing vertically by multiple floors you very quickly reach the max count for villagers. You either need to have a fairly large deed or set some sort of max limit for how long time a person can be inactive without losing its villager privileges (which points to the importance of having at least one character that has all of them on its friendslist so that you don't accidentally kick someone who logs in during odd hours).

Another important thing is that even if they stay in the game they often want to leave the village once they've gotten accustomed to the game, and at that point they might either want to either join your alliance or go completely part ways with you. Some prefer to stay, so your village will most likely transform a lot over time.

It's important not to serve anything on a silver platter to new players. Helping them out or helping them improve their tools is a good thing to do, but it can also have a lot of downsides. Some people are naturally lazy and will start expecting you to help them out with everything, but others are the exact opposite and will think you've removed part of the challenge when handing them stuff. A good middle ground is to let them know what you can help them with and let them reach out to you on their own when they want help.

Some things that seem obvious to you as an older player might be very difficult for a new player to understand, it's always good to be aware of that so that you don't direct them to a wiki page and expect the information to make sense.

An inn is a good idea to have and to add all villagers to. Even if they don't really use their sb an inn is a safe place to log out and allows for them to explore their options regarding trying out building an offdeed house out in the woods without them having to hurry it up.

One final piece of advice I have for you is to never trust locked containers to be a good solution for anything. Last I checked the lockpicking permissions were still buggy, which removes the option of having a common storage house mixed with private containers.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks folks, you've really given me a lot to think about and consider! The entire deed is only 21 x 23, so certainly would have to stick to a few, smaller plots. I'm a bit particular when it comes to building and planning, so I'm thinking pre-built homes might be best. The place is basically all flat with a couple of raised area that would work well for housing. The flat area could be more communal for animals pens, farming, crafting etc.


 


I dunno, I'll have to think some more and decide if it's what I want to do. It's a new deed (I already have 2 others) so was trying to find something constructive to do with it.


Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

One thing you might do, is just start small and "adopt" 5-6 new players who ask questions in chat.  Give you a chance to try things out, plus you can handpick who to invite.


 


I never felt I had a "right" to screen anyone, to pick   "only nice people" or "people who clearly won't be troublemakers". Obviously if they actually CAUSED trouble, I had the right to ask them to leave. But initially, it was open to anyone even the sorts of people I might not, personally, like very much. Even people with really stupid characters names. I was no more selective than a soup kitchen downtown. 


 


So you have to think, "Do I really want to go that far?"


 


It's a lot easier to just have a "newbie friendly village." People will get accustomed to you taking in strays and say "try so-and-so, he welcomes new players a lot," and you don't have a commitment of any sort and can stop any time you want. 


Edited by Brash_Endeavors

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We generally found that a minimum of screening was necessary, as in just a quick chat to get to know them and find out what they expect, let them know what to expect and let them know the basics of what we expected. A good 75% of the people that wouldn't fit realized it right off the bat and went elsewhere. The very few that did join but weren't suited to our town found out quickly without any real intervention on the part of the leadership. On occasion we had to settle a dispute and a few (very few) true jerks were KOS'ed after being allowed to claim their gear. But that was very rare.


 


More than anything else an active village requires online leaders. One mayor, that plays 2-6 hours a day, will be gone 75% of the time and a LOT can develop overnight. Our solution was to have a hefty sized group of Co-Mayors (elders) that had proven their trustworthiness over a long period. Enough existed so that at times when the village was active (mostly evenings for US east coast and central european evenings) you could almost always have one online, if not more.


 


This group each had full access to the roles, writs and stockpiles and had the authority (rarely used) to act on behalf of the community. We had a special hidden section of our town forum where anything useful was archived. If two people got into a fight, you could expect a forum thread about it with logs or other information. Every Elder could weigh in and action was only taken by consensus.


 


I was the mean Co-Mayor, btw.


Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Othob raises a very good point when talking about the co-mayors, which reminded me of something that easily spirals into a problem if not prevented:

Don't allow all villager groups to be able to invite new recruits. It's important to have an idea of how many new people there are at any given time so that noone logs in during odd hours with access to absolutely nothing in the village.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this