MinorArchitect

My Experience as a new player

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After commenting on a recent topic concerning what needs to be fixed in the game, (one of those points being the new player experience), I thought it would be a good idea to write down my own experience as a new player, and comment on some observations that I have made (from a relatively un-biased viewpoint), to shine a light on what it is like for a new player, so that whoever can do whatever they want with that information. A lot of the info here will be useless, although it may be a good read, but I'd like to point out that I don't intend this to be a blog of sorts, I just put down everything that might be interesting. And If you just want to hear what I think, skip to the end.

 

You entered through the portal to Wurm on day of the Wurm, week 4 of the starfall of the Digging, 1084. That's 177 days, 1 hour and 46 minutes ago. I started my journey in the tutorial courtyard of Haven's Landing, Independence, and familiarised myself with the Game. Then I set off looking for some land to start a settlement. I found some fellow noobs(I think?) around the area, who's names I wish I could remember, but can't. I completed the first few journal tasks and based my purpose on that. I eventually started making a small shed north of the Landing, but I got curious, and explored a bit further north and fell off a cliff. And died.

I can't remember for sure, but I think that after that I died a few times trying to get my body, then took it as an opportunity to teleport to The Howl. Not really understanding just how old the game was, I made the trek across the north inland coast to the east of The Howl to find a place to set up; I saw some un-claimed land in the far distance. But alas, that's just how the renderer works. The entire coast was built on and flattened. It was really cool to see all this history, but I couldn't build on it, because it might be important, or owned by someone! So I headed inland to look for a place to build. I can't remember what happened after that, but I think I died at one point and went back to Haven's Landing. Then I found it: The Fantastic Huge Glimmersteel Portal. I thought, huh, this is neat, so I decided to be really stupid and take it to the middle of Xanadu.

I don't recall there being a warning that the portal was one-way, so I was more than a bit annoyed when I arrived in Greymead with no way back to anywhere, "but oh well," said I, and not learning from my past experience, started my adventure to the east sea from there to find some land to settle on. I did find some, on a mountain plateau nestled in the trees. Someone had been there before and cleared out the area and left a forge, but They were long gone. I started building a house and a farm. I even tried getting some friends into Wurm, but they didn't seem interested (too busy playing Fortnut). Then a troll showed up, and I took my tent before it killed me for the last time and respawned at Whitefay. I'd seen H19 on some maps and it looks like an alright place to set up. But there were tons of monsters and not enough guard towers to protect a weak noob like me on the journey It was at this moment I realised that Xanadu is Huge. Like, Massive. I nearly got there, too, but there were scorpions...
Anyway, I think I ended up and Glasshollow after that and started building a boat with my low skills, but then I went back to Whitefay for some reason. I sort of got bored of Freedom, not enough spice and no way to get off Xanadu, so a few weeks after the reset, I hopped over to Elevation in Jenn-Kellon. You know, as you do.

 

I thought that PvP would be the thing for me, and it is, but I didn't really know what to do, Mainly because of the lack of stuff in general compared to Freedom in the new map. At first I thought that that was just because Elevation was new and It would fill back up eventually, and the glory days would be restored, or something like that. I didn't realise that there was just nobody there. I always wanted to be the mayor of my own settlement, so I started building a house (again), and It was really nice having a blank canvas, before I was nearly killed at the hands of a horrible Blacklighter, who only spared me out of mercy for my feeble situation. Some of the guys from the nearby stronghold suggested I come and train there, so I did. They were really nice and helpful, and things were starting to look good, but then my computer broke. When I finally got back to Wurm a while later, the deed was all but deserted, and the Kingdom seemed that way too.

I went back to Freedom and got myself killed to find a place on the shore to get out of Xanadu from. It was there that someone messaged me from the global chat over something I had said about PvP on Chaos. I said yeah sure, sounds fun, and so they took me to Celebration where we trained(a tiny bit myself), then left for Chaos. We originally got ourselves into HOTS with one of his accounts, but after weeks of trying to find a way to get rid of the current ruler of the kingdom, who apparently doesn't even play the game anymore and not being able to a) do anything too close to capital deed and b) get any new players in to help out we were approached by some players in Pandemonium who were offering to take us in. After thinking about it, My friend and I chose to go over to Pandemonium and continue our adventures to this day.

 

 

So, what do I think of Wurm Online? I think it is an incredible game, with so many amazing features and things to do, and I see it as a tragedy that there are so few people playing it and that it has so much untapped potential. My experience as a new player was great, but It still could have been a lot better. I suppose communicating some important things like the need to train skills and work with others are some things that would have been really good to know in the beginning, because this game is so much more than the game. And I know that this gets thrown around a lot, but the game really needs some basic advertising. I found it on a 2011 post on Notch's Tumblr! Meeting more people in the world as I was exploring it who were in my situation would have made the game feel so much less... empty? I have also made some observations, that I won't spend too much time on because they are touchy subjects, but I think the team really needs to listen to the players a lot more, and maybe credit ideas that have been suggested by players and implemented by the team to highlight that yes, we are listening.

Anyway, I hope this has let people see this awesome game from a Newbie's perspective. Make of this what you will, I just thought it seemed like a good thing to post.

Cheers!

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Thank you for sharing your story. There are many newbie stories not unlike yours, each one quite individual, but likewise full of fun and adventure.

 

I am glad you are still with us, and hope you will be for many years to come.

 

Do visit (Deliverance) when you get the chance. :) 

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2 hours ago, MinorArchitect said:

... Make of this what you will, I just thought it seemed like a good thing to post.

Cheers!

 

And thanks for posting it, makes a good read. I agree with much of what you say, Wurm's newbie experience is indeed a mixed bag, for multiple reasons even:

  1. Steep learning curve
  2. Mix of frustration and highlights
  3. A gaming environment with many past years of players having changed that environment
  4. Dangers in the wild
  5. New players getting conflicting or incomplete information

These are tough points to get right and in some cases it's even impossible to get it right. Just for example, in many other games developers try to streamline the newbie experience and spend many hours designing the areas around starting points. But in a game like Wurm the starting experience now won't be the same experience another newbie had 6 months ago. Where a dense forest was 6 months ago a new player now may find a jungle of decaying sheds and fences. That's just how Wurm is but overall I agree the team should try to avoid more of the pitfalls you mentioned in your post.

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Good read keep them coming 

Edited by lowborn

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From reading your post I don't get the impression that you enjoyed the experience but rather just ran into one pitfall after the other. Perhaps it would have been best that I not respond at all, yet I am not quite sure what it is that you enjoy about the game or what makes you want to continue to play it. That is what I find lacking in your post. Ultimately it is up to each person to find those treasures that hold them with curiosity, anticipation and interest tightly into the game. So much depends upon the visions of individual here rather than anyone else. I guess most still want that feeling of companionship and interaction with others as their primary focus and in these vast separated spaces that may be the thing harder to find.

 

=Ayes=

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My experience was probably quite different except for 3 elements, dying a lot, feeling like the map is a ghost town, and struggling with all of the ground that was off-limits for building.

 

I did not leave Independence, and still haven't, because PvP doesn't particularly interest me in such a setting - i.e. a setting where I already know I would be hopelessly over-matched fodder for practically every other player (my only hope would be that I would have nothing much that a more experienced player could want).   It was mostly my complete ignorance of dangerous animals that had me leave about 5 corpses lying about in my first couple of days.  I found the frustration of that, as well as the emptiness (I saw people in the chat windows but no PCs in the GUI) and the lack of decent places to settle to really detract from my early days in the game.  Well, that and the fact that although I needed to do almost everything the hard way, I was too poorly skilled and equipped to do so.   Independence is a weird kind of crowded emptiness, with no people but gear and buildings everywhere.

 

 

 

 

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On 12/20/2019 at 1:05 AM, Ayes said:

From reading your post I don't get the impression that you enjoyed the experience but rather just ran into one pitfall after the other.

Very late reply, but I just stumbled across this again and want to say this for anyone else who might read it.

I do enjoy playing Wurm in it’s core concept quite a lot. The fact that you can do so many things however you want is awesome and that games like it on a fundamental level are only just appearing recently (to my knowledge) baffles me because it is so engaging when it is good, and I have thought that since the beginning. I guess I just wrote the above post in regards to the events rather than what I thought, mostly.

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