Rolf

WO Steam Discussion

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Allright, so I thought I'd quench some of the will I stay or will I go-rumours by starting a new thread about an idea I've had quite a while.
 

Back in 2015 we put WU on Steam and it has worked out allright. Now sales there are dwindling but Steam remains the best place to promote and sell PC and Linux games. Trying to promote your game via Facebook or Google ads is very expensive to the point of being pointless unless your game looks and has a really triple A newbie experience. The attempts we make have very poor conversion rate. Not to mention larger expensive ads on websites which simply are huge costs per click for us.


Also trying to SEO the top rated search places for sandbox games isn't easy either even if we actually show up which I guess yields some traffic. But trying to improve there won't give much bang for the buck.


So I figured, how can we go about putting WO where the PC players are and words spread nowadays - on Steam? If someone searches for a type of game they'll get one hit per game instead so it's a democratic search of sorts. Free to play games are highly sought after and I think A LOT of people look for and try free to play MMOs there. Compared to finding us online and download our client via custom links and registration, on Steam we would work exactly like all other games. We would probably get a fairly stable stream of players who look for games like these and decide to try them out.
 

I asked the other devs and while moderately to very positive they raised the same initial questions many of you will. So I thought I'll start with them and a couple of my answers and then we'll discuss the rest.

 

Here goes:

Q1)  Would we be risking more fracturing of our player base?

I think it would be best to start clean server/s for a couple of reasons and aim to keep it/them in a separate cluster a good while. One is that new players deserve the feeling of being a newbie among other newbies with fresh land. This means that I believe their experience and inclination to stick around could be hampered by encountering very experienced accounts and high quality items. As the servers mature we merge them into the main cluster.

Exactly when this merge would take place would depend on how well the release goes. If we receive virtually no new players and it's basically a failure, the server would merge very quickly so fracturing wouldn't really happen. If, on the other hand thousands of players come we would have to consider more carefully when the right time to merge is. This would mean Wurm becomes more sustainable which surely must be good for everyone. If we are extremely lucky, we receive so many new players that we can merge earlier because the old accounts and items will be quickly dispersed among the new population (but then we're probably talking about tens of thousands of new players).


Q2) Steam gets a bit fussy with real money transactions. Can we abide by Steam Guidelines?
I don't see how we wouldn't abide by Steam guidelines. We aren't involved in RMT or account sales. Our players may be but that's not unusual for online games. We would look into what we can do with the Steam shop though so we support their systems.


Q3) How about the code base? Won't another branch be too much to handle?

We'll see about branches and code base. Basically the server shouldn't need a new branch as far as I can see. There will be new clients though but it sure must be worth it if we want to get thousands of new players.

Q4) How about staffing the servers? Will there be enough volunteers around to help out?

We don't know at this time. We can't require anyone to help out. Hopefully some will of course and perhaps some GM's might consider returning if they see Wurm on Steam. I'll be interested in pitching in as well at least around launch. It's also related to Q1: If it's a success there will probably be resources to staff the servers, if it's not the server will merge fairly quickly. The initial success of the game shouldn't be based on whether people get help from GM's really - the thrill of encountering Wurm should be the main attraction. I'm fairly sure there will be players to answer questions in chat channels though.

When it comes to answering questions in the Steam forum, hopefully Retro can manage some there as well or we suggest they visit these forums. Depends on the pressure.

 

Q5) Will we be able to deal with the added cost of infrastructure?

I am fairly certain the amount of new players will be able to sustain the cost of at least one server. If we need more servers the revenue is good so then we should be safe from other perspectives as well.

Q6) Would we release both Freedom and Epic servers?
We'd start with a Freedom server and be ready to launch more. You will have to discuss moving the Epic server there but from what I gather it would help with some multi account issues and might be a good solution for that.

Q7) What timeframe are we looking at?
Well, we would want the client to feel really polished. There are quite a lot of improvements planned and from what I understand we're looking at around Q1-Q2 (let's say February to April sometime) next year.

Okay so these are the initial thoughts I have. I am sure you have more so let's discuss more pros and cons!

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So you are talking about a total revamp of Wurm ?

New servers or game in total ?

And if new game/servers what happens to old one/s ?

Is this just a dream wishes or something you have planned ..?

The context of Wurm  is good , terraforming and building being the main base of the game , how ever it misses mainly on content   dungeons and random event  encounters of such .

 

I keep saying a good base game for Wurm to go by is Ultima Online ...but that's just me .

 

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Just now, Damascus said:

So you are talking about a total revamp of Wurm ?

New servers or game in total ?

And if new game/servers what happens to old one/s ?

Is this just a dream wishes or something you have planned ..?

The context of Wurm  is good , terraforming and building being the main base of the game , how ever it misses mainly on content   dungeons and random event  encounters of such .

 

I keep saying a good base game for Wurm to go by is Ultima Online ...but that's just me .

 

Hmm no not really a revamp. It would mean opening a new server with the same code as before and releasing the game client for free on Steam. If we need more servers because a lot of players come we would start new ones.

The existing servers will remain.


I don't know the difference between a dream and a plan. Thinking about something becomes a plan I think, especially when you ask around and find out if there are any showstoppers or big problems with the idea. It's not like we need to plan a lot more once we've discussed this thoroughly. Then it's more "should we do it or not" and take the obvious steps.
 

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Its more in the way of thinning out what little player base you have now in Wurm .

Dream is something you like to do but just thinking that's all .

Plan is you are going to do it ....

 

Steam brings out the worse in players for gamers .

I do hope you have more in content also , don't get me wrong Wurm is not bad for a start what it has but its missing a lot .

It feels still like some start up when it comes to exploration or randomness ...

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Sounds... good? I think? :p

 

A few questions:

  • So the current servers remain, only possible to log onto via the wo client we use now?
  • Later when the steam-server merges with the current cluster, you'll be able to log into inde/chaos/etc via steam?
  • Or is it the plan to get all servers accesable through steam and phase out the current client/launcher?
  • Premium will still be bought through the wurm website?
  • What size of server are you looking at to release on steam? (hopefully not a xanadu sized one, would discourage new players to wurm if they see they have to sail for 2-4hours real time in a bad wind ;))

 

 

You talk about a fresh server for newbie experience on a new land together with the new players attracted by wo on steam. But you know us current old players, we'll min/max on the new server in no time ;)

Anyways, consider my curious, I'll probably prem a new char to try out the fresh new server (xanadu seduced me to do the same, and I liked it allot).

 

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2 minutes ago, Damascus said:

Its more in the way of thinning out what little player base you have now in Wurm .

Dream is something you like to do but just thinking that's all .

Plan is you are going to do it ....

 

Steam brings out the worse in players for gamers .

I do hope you have more in content also , don't get me wrong Wurm is not bad for a start what it has but its missing a lot .

It feels still like some start up when it comes to exploration or randomness ...

This is aimed at new steam players, not the existing population. 

 

Thinning the existing servers would only be those who want a 100% disconnected experience. Global chat MAY be connected but this wouldn't be just another server 

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I for one am enjoying jackal for the time being. Playing in an alliance that has up to 30 members on at times reminds me of the old days. Knowing that a portion of the skill that I earn here is being added to my account on the main cluster means a lot to me personally. If this were not the case I doubt I would have logged in at all over the past weekend. If such a mechanic is used in the proposed new cluster for steam I would love to go to it knowing that in time the progress made their will be rewarded not by a wipe in six months like jackal but rather the merger of the clusters and the use of my actual skills and gear.

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1 minute ago, Lycanthropic said:

Sounds... good? I think? 😛

 

A few questions:

  • So the current servers remain, only possible to log onto via the wo client we use now?
  • Later when the steam-server merges with the current cluster, you'll be able to log into inde/chaos/etc via steam?
  • Or is it the plan to get all servers accesable through steam and phase out the current client/launcher?
  • Premium will still be bought through the wurm website?
  • What size of server are you looking at to release on steam? (hopefully not a xanadu sized one, would discourage new players to wurm if they see they have to sail for 2-4hours real time in a bad wind ;))

 

 

You talk about a fresh server for newbie experience on a new land together with the new players attracted by wo on steam. But you know us current old players, we'll min/max on the new server in no time ;)

Anyways, consider my curious, I'll probably prem a new char to try out the fresh new server (xanadu seduced me to do the same, and I liked it allot).

 

Current servers will remain as is. 

 

Steam server would only merge with existing servers if it doesn't go well, otherwise they will remain totally separate 

 

No plans to phase out existing launcher

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I think at this point the focus should be out with the old in with the new. There is a lot of old toxic in the game that basically ruin any experience for new players. A lot of them only supporting parts of ideas that could possibly make them money.

A fresh server for newbies on steam sounds like a great idea to me, as long as its not wiped every now and then. 

 

After playing Jackal and starting out as a noob again, its been a while, I didn't find it that bad. It would be nice for new players to have a larger safe area around spawn for starting out. 

 

Maybe a tweak of some of the things that are highly irritating such as;

light winds for sailing being too slow,

not being able to ride on slopes over 40,

not gaining stamina on slopes when mounted, 

hell horses attaching you while hitched,

not being able to build structures efficiently because of unable to reach the container below,

levelling 1 dirt at a time when you can raise 3,

losing led animals into walls,

having a better targeting system and making it more obvious whats hitting you, so many times i am targeting something that i ran past hours ago while the other thing is bashing me, maybe an auto untarget option after x metres. 

can keep going if you like.. 

 

As Damascus says, more reasons to go out and something fun to look for; mini dungeons, fix to uniques and more of them, random drops of mobs other than coin. Basically making it more fun and hitting the reward/addiction thing that people play games for you know..

 

 

 

 

 

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I don't mind the idea but are we talking about restarting skills? I've busted my back for 3 years getting my skills.
P.s. All I luv all the new stuff like cooking etc in Wurm Online

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Just now, Seraph said:

I don't mind the idea but are we talking about restarting skills? I've busted my back for 3 years getting my skills.
P.s. All I luv all the new stuff like cooking etc in Wurm Online

This would be a new disconnected server from your characters, so yes you'd start on different characters wil 0 skills 

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make it so you start with 10-15 in crafting skills at least, my god does having 1 skill suck, and first impressions of the game are big, when you fail to make kindling 10x times in a row it's just lol

Edited by Oblivionnreaver
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Q3) How about the code base? Won't another branch be too much to handle?

We'll see about branches and code base. Basically the server shouldn't need a new branch as far as I can see. There will be new clients though but it sure must be worth it if we want to get thousands of new players.

Any option to keep a client or option to login and play without steam? There's are bunch of games that offer their own launcher aside from steam that offer the same game on steam/own launcher/console/etc.. all playing in the same realms.

 

Some people do not like to run steam in background, tinfoil hats and such beliefs.. 

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55 minutes ago, Rolf said:

As the servers mature we merge them into the main cluster.


Exactly when this merge would take place would depend on how well the release goes. If we receive virtually no new players and it's basically a failure, the server would merge very quickly so fracturing wouldn't really happen. If, on the other hand thousands of players come we would have to consider more carefully when the right time to merge is. This would mean Wurm becomes more sustainable which surely must be good for everyone. If we are extremely lucky, we receive so many new players that we can merge earlier because the old accounts and items will be quickly dispersed among the new population (but then we're probably talking about tens of thousands of new players).

this is what i was talking about.. I prolly should have quoted it at first

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Just now, Finnn said:

Any option to keep a client or option to login and play without steam? There's are bunch of games that offer their own launcher aside from steam that offer the same game on steam/own launcher/console/etc.. all playing in the same realms.

 

Some people do not like to run steam in background, tinfoil hats and such beliefs.. 

Ah yes there are no plans to remove the existing client. Also we might make it possible to log on to the existing servers (the accounts you have today) via the steam client as well.

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57 minutes ago, Rolf said:

If, on the other hand thousands of players come we would have to consider more carefully when the right time to merge is.

 

16 minutes ago, Retrograde said:

Steam server would only merge with existing servers if it doesn't go well, otherwise they will remain totally separate 

 

When the right time is =/= never, confused which it is

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1 minute ago, SmeJack said:

 

 

When the right time is =/= never, confused which it is

Yeah Retro and I try to answer with our best capabilities but we have a bit of different ideas since the subject is still up in the air and we're looking for your feedback. You might get some contradicting answers. Also, in the end things might not work out the way we think because of technical reasons. At least we try!

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So if I understand correctly you just want to put a WO server on Steam and make it free to play? What is the point of this then? Just to publicize WO and expose it to a broader base of players who otherwise would not pay to play the main game? Then hope that later they would switch over to the current servers that are not part of Steam and will not be incorporated into it?

 

If it does not effect the main game with the characters that I have in it I don't see how I would care at all about this. If I want to start on a new server with a new character I will much rather play on a WU server or two or more, as I already do this from time to time. Why? Because I can advance my character much faster there than on new WO steam server with the same tedious grind as on the other WO servers.

 

Another thing I don't quite understand is how you make any money from offering these free WO servers on Steam. Maybe that is none of my business but to understand this whole idea and make some accurate opinions about it, it would seem to me an important point to know. As far as "fracturing" the current player base, if anyone has even a basically developed character in WO I find it hard to believe that they would abandon it in favor of either playing WO for "free" or starting over in WO just for the fun of it since they can already play some tedious WU servers with the same 1x grind as WO has.

 

To sum it up. If my current characters remain available to play in WO on the current servers I don't see any negative effects to my game play so would have no objections to this. If a few current players leave the WO servers in favor of this, again, I will enjoy playing as I do on the current servers just as well. If the game of WO can somehow make more income from doing this so much the better since it will enable the sustainment and progress on the current WO servers.

 

One important thing to note on my part is that I have never played Wurm to make $$$$. I have never sold any accounts or coins for $$$$. So less players on the main servers of WO will not hurt my ability to make $$$$ from playing Wurm since I care nothing about that. To me the game is all about the enjoyment I have from developing my characters and deeds and seeing them grow and remain all these years that I have been playing. On the other hand there are those who play Wurm to make $$$$ so "fracturing" the player base would have a detrimental effect on their ability to do so. It would be unwise to ignore this overtone in their responses.

 

Happy Trails

=Ayes=

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At this point we all should play on our own server on WU and still feeling like we would play the online version..

Even as it is now we are far too spread everywhere..what are you planning will make it even more so,sure i wish more player base.. but wurm is a unique piece of art and it doesn't fit in the main stream  flavor of the month games.You have to be a special kind of human to be playing the game on a steady pace.

 

If there was a way to put the current version on steam with all the servers.. sure why not.. but new ones sounds like a bad idea and reminds me of Archeage and its million servers.

 

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Wurm is currently free to play. The steam server will have the same limitations, or thereabouts. 

 

By free to play it means free to download and install.

 

This is aimed at further promoting the mmo in steam, not shifting players from here over

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They will still have to pay prem to get above 20 in skill. ( I presume)

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Great news. Fingers crossed it will work out. Few points to consider though:

 

1. influx of new players who are not necessarily mature will pose moderation issues, chat mods on standby 24/7?

2. Griefing will become a thing again, just like with the Reddit invasion years ago. This can't be avoided and can be handled just like it is handled currently but genuine issue support tickets will be waiting in queues behind stupid griefing cases (hopefully not but something to be prepared for).

3. As proven on Jackal, experienced players who decide to play on the new cluster will still have the upper hand and huge advantage over new players. It's not the veteran accounts or items/skills/enchants that really matter, it's the knowledge of the system and how to play it. Granted, this knowledge is publicly available but it's a lot to take in and learn for someone who is just starting. New cluster will be a cow to milk by people who know how to play already and know where the money is or how to train their skills effectively. This could be avoided if Wurmpedia was updated with data which is scattered all over the place, from forum posts, to spreadsheets, to people's handwritten notes, to articles on other medias with data mining findings from WU.

 

The 3rd point would be the biggest concern in my opinion because if 10-20 "veteran" players decide to move over or play in parallel on the new cluster, with the knowledge they already have and which is not easily accessible in one place, pretty quickly history will repeat itself and there will be a handful of powerful players and "the rest" who might get discouraged by their slow progress (compared to others). This is being mentioned a lot in other posts as the main deterrent for new players (along with outdated UI).

 

There is nothing anyone can do about the knowledge people already have, can't take it away.

Building a comprehensive knowledge base on Wurmpedia with data from the devs on how things work so that it can be easily accessed without having to ask (in english, which could be a barrier for some as well) in CA-Help might be a way to level the playing field for the new players and most browsers can translate it to their language on a press of a button.

I understand that all this data is available for public and there are all sorts of skill gain calculators and all but the chore of digging through posts on the forums alone could be avoided. 

 

Plus, what's on Wurmpedia is mostly guesses and results of testing (or not) by players so the information can be false, which doesn't help at all.

 

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11 minutes ago, Ayes said:

So if I understand correctly you just want to put a WO server on Steam and make it free to play? What is the point of this then? Just to publicize WO and expose it to a broader base of players who otherwise would not pay to play the main game? Then hope that later they would switch over to the current servers that are not part of Steam and will not be incorporated into it?

 

If it does not effect the main game with the characters that I have in it I don't see how I would care at all about this. If I want to start on a new server with a new character I will much rather play on a WU server or two or more, as I already do this from time to time. Why? Because I can advance my character much faster there than on new WO steam server with the same tedious grind as on the other WO servers.

 

Another thing I don't quite understand is how you make any money from offering these free WO servers on Steam. Maybe that is none of my business but to understand this whole idea and make some accurate opinions about it, it would seem to me an important point to know. As far as "fracturing" the current player base, if anyone has even a basically developed character in WO I find it hard to believe that they would abandon it in favor of either playing WO for "free" or starting over in WO just for the fun of it since they can already play some tedious WU servers with the same 1x grind as WO has.

 

To sum it up. If my current characters remain available to play in WO on the current servers I don't see any negative effects to my game play so would have no objections to this. If a few current players leave the WO servers in favor of this, again, I will enjoy playing as I do on the current servers just as well. If the game of WO can somehow make more income from doing this so much the better since it will enable the sustainment and progress on the current WO servers.

 

One important thing to note on my part is that I have never played Wurm to make $$$$. I have never sold any accounts or coins for $$$$. So less players on the main servers of WO will not hurt my ability to make $$$$ from playing Wurm since I care nothing about that. To me the game is all about the enjoyment I have from developing my characters and deeds and seeing them grow and remain all these years that I have been playing. On the other hand there are those who play Wurm to make $$$$ so "fracturing" the player base would have a detrimental effect on their ability to do so. It would be unwise to ignore this overtone in their responses.

 

Happy Trails

=Ayes=

 

 

If I understand correctly the "Free" MMO experience offered on Steam would be no different then the current free system in which you are limited to 20 in skills. The idea would be to have WO pop up in searches and allow newcommers to join servers that in the early days would be isolated from the current clusters so that new players are exposed to other new players, and then later on have those servers join the current clusters once the playerbase is matured enough in skillsets and items etc so that it's not just flooding in a hoard of newbies that come in and overwhelm the current player ecosystem we have going on

 

*edit* Also meant to mention this is basically no different then pouring ridiculous amounts of cash into other marketing campaigns with facebook, google and whatnot just a lot cheaper to achieve the same level of exposure if not more

Edited by NetEcho
Afterthought

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4 minutes ago, Cecci said:

They will still have to pay prem to get above 20 in skill. ( I presume)

Yeah, although because we lose almost every player who don't want to pay as soon as they hit this ceiling we should consider simply slowing down skillgain instead. We'll see. Also I like the idea of letting people start at 10 or 15 or so.

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