elentari

Old Freedom Isles is turning into Epic - A veteran's perspective

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This will be a rather medium-long sized post, but bear with me.

 

These aren't just "my concerns" but rather a phenomenon I've experienced once and am experiencing it again.

 

I've been a long time Epic player since 2013. I started playing at a time on old Affliction where we used to have around 100-200 active players per Epic server every month. It was a lot of fun till things started going downhill somewhere in 2016, when we started to lose more players every month. And I do mean dozens every month. Not just a handful.

At that point my home was on Desertion where I played in a decently sized server wide alliance that had around 100 deeds and about that many unique players. All was good. People were nice. Unique hunts were drama free 99% of the time. We got some ocassional pvp, lost many times but at least we tried. In any case, people started leaving.

 

The reasons are history by now. Neglect, lack of PvP updates, solutions that came too late for problems that were endemic for years. Lack of balancing and so on. The fact that WU's skilling system was imposed on Epic without any thoughtful reasoning was also a factor. That almost normalized and balanced skillgain on Freedom vs Epic within the same timeframes yet.... And as always, most updates were "Freedom centric" while Epic always being a secondary concern, if any concern at all in the first place. When pvp happened in 2016-2017 it was no longer a clash between 30-40 players in local, but more like the same 10 names you've known for years fighting for no other reason than just have something to do.

 

Flash forward to 2017, the Freedom<>Epic skill transfer kicked in and that sealed Epic's fate. Everyone left for freedom based on the same logic. "Why grind on a server like Epic, when no skill will transfer to Freedom?" & "If I gain something on Freedom it's copied to Epic." There's no logical reason to play Epic anymore. Missions are nearly impossible to do due to the abysmal playerbase there. Pvp is dead. Right now there's 2-3 skirmishes....per year. Rifts aren't done. Content is non existent because players are non existent.

 

Point is. Epic is dead.

 

The same symptoms of a dying Epic is what I am now experiencing on Freedom as well.

 

I live on Deliverance with my fellow delians and it's quite dead as well. General chat is roughly dead. Missions rarely get done. I hunt around for hours and only see one or two different names. They're usually the same names. I made this my home after being more or less forced to abandon my old one.

 

WHy do I say forced? Because what were my choices realistically?

 

Wurm Online is a game where 99% of the content is made by players. No players = no content. That's a given. So why would anyone play on a server where there's no new players and new content?

 

I sometimes wander around the starter town to see if any new names pop out. Nothing so far, albeit that might just be random bad luck.

I don't see any general "significant" population increase these days.

 

Basically I'm living through this a second time and to be honest, I am not sure I have any faith left into this game at all. All the signs I see right now is that the devs are treating the Southern Freedom Isles just like Epic was treated years ago (and is still treated today). Like the redhead stepchild no one wants to think about more than once a year.

 

For  old loyal hardcore freedomers that kept the game alive, this experience of neglect might be something new. For a hardcore veteran like me who had to abandon the home he played on for 5-6 years then establish a new one, only to see it dying out again is something.....well I don't know the word for it. "Dissapointing" doesn't cut it.

 

Some might dismiss these words as simple "doomsday talk" or "Wurm has been dying for years and it's still here" and so forth. You have the right to see things that way. But I can say I have a unique perspective on two servers clusters by now.

 

Now the devs are prioritizing the new Northern Cluster servers and leaving the old freedom to die.

 

At the end I have only 2 questions.

 

1. Is there any plan to revitalize Old Freedom with players?

* I won't even ask about Epic at this point, I see no reason.

 

2. If the attitude is to always focus on the "new customers", which currently are people started on the Northern Freedom servers while ignoring the Old Freedom, then should any of us Old Vets bother to stick around? Genuine question. Do we even matter? Financially, probably not. Morally though? That's the question.

 

P.S. : And the counter-argument of "Well, just go on the new servers." To that, I'll just reply that I've played for many years and I'd rather not have my 6-7 years of work being nullified just so I can get a "fresh experience". I don't want a fresh experience and I won't even get a new one. I had one. It was fun.

 

 

 

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I agree with the general sentiment, but there is one point I have to disagree on.

 

The devs aren't leaving the old servers to die. It is the players like me who are. People are voting with their feet. Hopefully more people will log on or revisit the old servers before they turn into the epic death spiral.

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Old Freedom is not going to end up like Epic for 2 reasons:

 

1. The skillgain is the same as the new freedom so noone can argue they get a rotten deal on a merge.

 

Their merger plan is easy: do it when the economies are similar (price and volume wise) or when one of the two dies down:

 

So if new freedom or old freedom dies they were always gonna merge with the other if anything to have the servers recycled for the new ppl coming in.

 

What they cannot control is that 90% of old freedom parked their toons and rolled new ones on the new cluster so  when the merger will happen they will just reprem their decade long grinded toons by them or bought and just return to selling 90ql stuff to everybody at the same price they sell 70ql stuff now on the new server:)

 

2. All of the staff's main toons are on old freedom. Once the old freedom will get to Epic numbers they will want to merge just so that they can participate in the activities and interactions with the player population.

 

 

 

12 minutes ago, elentari said:

Wurm Online is a game where 99% of the content is made by players. No players = no content. That's a given. So why would anyone play on a server where there's no new players and new content?

 

This is probably the best thing i read on this forum ever.

 

Is true: Wurm gives you freedom and provides you with most of the tool to express where that given freedom takes you.

 

You can control fully how  characters grows and shapes their homes and their communities environment thru pve and that should be the start and medium plan while the end game should be pvp because that is adding what can never be coded: human AI

 

So at the moment the player base is heavy into pve and building, ambiance etc and that is good but a complete product a complete sandbox should be able to provide the tools for the players to have a fun experience with combat and PvP too.

 

You cannot argue that 90% of the player base are only interested in pve so they cannot commit their resources into developing something that 10% of the player base is interested when the combat system and the general pvp balance are years behind.

 

You have to grind a character to high characteristics and then just waste all taht grind into making him a priest just to be competitive in pvpe right now. Then buy thousands of silvers worth of tomes and get 90 med.

 

I like what they have done with Defiance (capped meditation, no tomes no moonmetals) but i think that not forcing them to be priest of same faith on both pvp and pve is bad because then people need to prem just one character to play both as a crafter and as a priest instead of having to have 2 toons premmed to do that like on old freedom.

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I would like to see your questions answered

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20 minutes ago, Cipacadrinho said:

Their merger plan is easy: do it when the economies are similar (price and volume wise) or when one of the two dies down:

 

So if new freedom or old freedom dies they were always gonna merge with the other if anything to have the servers recycled for the new ppl coming in.

 

Issue with that logic, and I have thought about it, is that there's an "if" in there.  Assuming it does happen, when will it happen?

 

When Old freedom has 100 active players? 50 ? 20 ? (like current Epic)

 

In 2-3 years? When the Northern Freedom Isles have a market similar to the Southern one?

 

What do players like me do? Play a singleplayer experience in an MMO with the 3-4 other players on my server? Is that an experience worth paying for? Those are my issues at the moment. I do want some clarifications on what to expect.

 

Cause I can honestly say I've been playing in "ghost town" mode for almost 3 years on Epic before it died for good. I will not be playing Wurm in that similar fashion for another 3 years just "hoping" I have the honour to interact with the majority of the playerbase again.

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Posted (edited)

Solution for Epic:

- put the 3 home servers around Chaos, as a respective home islands, but still under pvp rules

- transfer and convert again player skills to the Chaos/freedom system

- remove the Elevation and close the Epic cluster

 

In addition to this, would be nice to forbidden item crossing from Chaos to freedom once for all.

 

 

Edited by Wilczan
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8 minutes ago, elentari said:

When Old freedom has 100 active players? 50 ? 20 ? (like current Epic)

 

In 2-3 years? When the Northern Freedom Isles have a market similar to the Southern one?

 

What do players like me do? Play a singleplayer experience in an MMO with the 3-4 other players on my server? Is that an experience worth paying for? Those are my issues at the moment. I do want some clarifications on what to expect.

 

Cause I can honestly say I've been playing in "ghost town" mode for almost 3 years on Epic before it died for good. I will not be playing Wurm in that similar fashion for another 3 years just "hoping" I have the honour to interact with the majority of the playerbase again.

 

 

I honestly don't think they know either because i dont think they set a specific line in the sand: like when theres 2 ppl and a goat still playin on old freedom we announce the merge!

 

I think Retro mentioned in one of the streams something along the lines: if they see a  merge could be done they will consider it then kinda ask the communities of the clusters how they feel about it.

 

 

As for what to do untill they merge the player base into one cluster.. guess we will have to wait and see what the new roadmap will reveal.

 

If it will be something you will like probably will stick around but if you are one that is happy when they play with others then is time to go hug Ted on Chaos and make him promise to never log-out or just bite the bullet and roll like a priest on new cluster while putting your toons here in cryo.

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Quote

In addition to this, would be nice to forbidden item crossing from Chaos to freedom once for all.

 

@WilczanThe dashed solutions seem nice, but this one I quoted is an absurd. So, even more advantage to old players? Any PMK wagon costing 5g or more? Which will basically remove any possibility of item customization from new players and keep, forever, all the nicest items in the hands of narrow elite? 

 

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why would anyone who is new want to start on a old server cluster that has 10 years worth of windows of opportunity, constant 5 hr sleep hour bonus restarts.

 

I have played on these servers for years, witnessed the shenanigans that go on, the scale and dragon hide farming that went on because RMT (real money trade) was legal.

 

Have played on some top tier accounts that are 70 across the board in charactaristics and skills and have purchased accounts like this when RMT was available. I still went with the new servers.

 

I personally abandoned all of this because what actions I take on the new servers are legit, are earnt, cannot be bought through RMT and is quit simply fresh.

 

Please keep old servers seperate, if u love the wurm experience im sure ull try the new servers moving forwards.

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I am a new player and as I already stated, I would pick the old cluster again, I like the history, nice items, abandoned deeds etc. And honestly I don't understand why people pick North. 

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4 minutes ago, Platyna said:

 

@WilczanThe dashed solutions seem nice, but this one I quoted is an absurd. So, even more advantage to old players? Any PMK wagon costing 5g or more? Which will basically remove any possibility of item customization from new players and keep, forever, all the nicest items in the hands of narrow elite? 

 

Heh, almost forgot how freedomers are focused on cash.

 

Closing transfer between Chaos and freedom is to prevent one way item sink, where items go to freedom safety, to never be retrieved.

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4 minutes ago, Snoo said:

I personally abandoned all of this because what actions I take on the new servers are legit, are earnt, cannot be bought through RMT and is quit simply fresh.

 

Please keep old servers seperate, if u love the wurm experience im sure ull try the new servers moving forwards.

 

I started Wurm 2 years ago been at it on and off never used rmt had no newbie protection or choice.

 

So what do it do? I just got my toons to a decent level i just desert them and start from 0 again?:)

 

What hapends 5-6 months into rolling the new toon when the people that did those things you say here live in same village on new freedom and control the economy there too? Only difference is that they make 70ql items there instead of 90ql items here:)

 

Where is the fresh newbie experince for the people that roll new toons on Cadence next week? Theres already strong toons on that server, priests are casting .. i mean you play there..are the newbies and the vets on equal footing? I doubt it.

 

And the difference is only going to get bigger.

 

Because time and knowledge is what makes the difference not an equal starting point.

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9 minutes ago, Snoo said:

why would anyone who is new want to start on a old server cluster that has 10 years worth of windows of opportunity, constant 5 hr sleep hour bonus restarts.

 

I have played on these servers for years, witnessed the shenanigans that go on, the scale and dragon hide farming that went on because RMT (real money trade) was legal.

 

Have played on some top tier accounts that are 70 across the board in charactaristics and skills and have purchased accounts like this when RMT was available. I still went with the new servers.

 

I personally abandoned all of this because what actions I take on the new servers are legit, are earnt, cannot be bought through RMT and is quit simply fresh.

 

Please keep old servers seperate, if u love the wurm experience im sure ull try the new servers moving forwards.

 

It's easy to say this after selling your account and not active playing on south freedom, like every vocal player on this forum that have so much against older cluster

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3 minutes ago, Cipacadrinho said:

Because time and knowledge is what makes the difference not an equal starting point.

I agree, and to this point 2 weeks is alot easier to play catch up then 10 years.

 

even in a years time new servers are going to be easier to catch up on then old servers, time is always gonna be the same.

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2 minutes ago, Tor said:

 

It's easy to say this after selling your account and not active playing on south freedom, like every vocal player on this forum that have so much against older cluster

I still have 3 characters that were bought when RMT was avaialble and still have an active deed on the old servers paid up for another 200 days, i still prefer new servers.

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Posted (edited)
14 minutes ago, Wilczan said:

Heh, almost forgot how freedomers are focused on cash.

 

Closing transfer between Chaos and freedom is to prevent one way item sink, where items go to freedom safety, to never be retrieved.

 

I am not focused on cash, I just wanted a wagon or a guard tower, or a banner of colour scheme I like, and these could be made had to be exported from Chaos. This is not a sin. 

Edited by Platyna
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I have 2 deeds , one on Inde my main  and other on Release i made back in June .

I still play the two and have  a years upkeep on one and half on the other .

 

I also made a new character on Melody for kicks and giggles so,e would say , plus if possible help new players with info , what little i know after 8 plus years .

 

At issue with old servers was vets not sharing the tricks of the trade  , it was all a big secret this drove people not wanting to stay .

And if you think RMT is gone , try again i have had few players say its still going on ..

 

Rolf just posted that he has asked for his account on forums to be deleated since he has no longer any say in was happens in Wurm ...

 

So the promise Rolf made to not close any server if only one player still plays it , is mute now , not up to him but bean counters ..aka....new owners .

 

The new servers will end up no different then Pristine , Release and others after so many years .......low population ...and a reason to add new servers....

 

Rinse and repeat , you see the same in other games slowly dying ... making a new servers and merging them into one .   just cant do that with Wurm..

This game needs content...  not a new horse or axe skin .  i am talking things to do like wen they added archaeology to the  game ...

 

I wish this game well and will play till the lights go out , but i do see the issue at hand and hope something is done sooner then later ...

 

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1 hour ago, Platyna said:

 

I am not focused on cash, I just wanted a wagon or a guard tower, or a banner of colour scheme I like, and these could be made had to be exported from Chaos. This is not a sin. 

I agree the PMK stuff like wagons, banners etc., and towers are popular (HotA statues as well? thinkso but not sure, still a noob), and it would not be bad to keep up that export which in turn covers some of the cost of Chaos PvPers.

 

But I appreciate Wilczan's idea to link the Epic home servers to a Chaos (Wild) cluster anyway. I wonder whether it would be technically feasible to allow traffic only with commanders with nothing on them, and only empty wagons, unfinished towers, PMK stuff, and maybe hota statues, on board (otherwise server crossing would fail. PvP wise such a ship would be an interestting target thus maybe needing convoy escorting to the server border.

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After each new server is opened, there is a rush where old players spend time in the new lands. After some time, many flow back to old servers. While I can't argue that your concerns are unfounded (I too worry about spreading the player base too thinly), I would say it's far too early to get too worried. 

 

Personally, I would like to see a one-way portal from Northern Freedom to Southern Freedom. That way folks who've spent some time in the north and got their bearings can come and settle on the older servers, without damaging the 2 ecosystems.

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Posted (edited)

Don't know how many are around to say this, but my account has always been mine. I haven't even bought a priest/alt account in all my years.

 

For me my account is something personal and 100% earned. Not bashing other account buyers, but in my case and a few others for us it's more than a simple issue of $.

 

It's what we have right now after years of playing. I understand RMT is now forbidden - although from what I hear it's still thriving under the radar, but that's impossible to police - and as such it would be fatal to merge the servers now. However where does that leave the rest of us who Do Not have the time to start over again (for various reasons, jobs, family, etc.) ?

 

The are few things as off putting to wanting to play a game, than logging in, seeing no one and thinking to yourself "I got better things to do." 

Edited by elentari
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As to what Elentari wrote:

1. I agree something should be done about Epic, though I like it and would hope for a revival. That will certainly not happen unless something is done about skill retransfer to Freedom, and even then one may doubt. But Epic is a terrific hunting ground, and I would love it to survive. And I appreciate the Epic style of separate characters over the Chaos one. I shall certainly never PvP on Chaos with this character, and am not ready to skill up a PvP character right now though I do not rule it out for the future.

 

2. It may be empty on Deli, but I cannot confirm that Xanadu has truly been emptying so far. I see more players on "Southern Freedom" than during the last two summers. Some new ones are among them. Of course not few have created characters on the new servers, some maybe not to return, others determined to stay here, too. Therefore I somewhat dislike all the doomsaying.

 

3. About "revitalizing" the old servers, if some of the new player influx could be funneled to the south. As most new players are likely to choose the new servers which were called "Steam servers" until lately, the suggestion of a north-south portal still seems sensible to me. Yet we on the old servers should also be ready to deal with the newcomers, with advice and help without spoonfeeding or patronizing. This can be a challenge.

 

4. I don't believe that the devs or the company have any plans to abandon the old clusters. Even economically it does not make sense as there are deeds and accounts which are paying since long time. As I learnt on the official stream, deed count on the new servers is above that of Xanadu alone, but certainly not above that of all Freedom, not to mention Chaos, or Epic. As to subs, it has still to be seen how much subs will stabilize in the new world, and I hope that it will surpass the recent subscription base. But that is exactly that, a base. No reasonable person would destroy it.

 

Recently, I fail to see that there is an urgent need to act, rather to carefully consider all subsequent steps. Panicky doomsaying won't be helpful. Just keep wurming.

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There is a north-south portal, it's called make a new account.

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While a north to south portal seems sensible to not so few players, trolling in this thread definitely is not. There are new players who worked on their skills already, and only an arrogant fool can't understand that their achievements matter to them even if they are ridiculous in the eyes of others. Especially the first 20 to 30 levels are crucial for newcomers as they are freeing them from long timers caused by both low level and low tool ql.

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1 hour ago, Radni said:

There is a north-south portal, it's called make a new account.

14 minutes ago, Ekcin said:

While a north to south portal seems sensible to not so few players, trolling in this thread definitely is not. There are new players who worked on their skills already, and only an arrogant fool can't understand that their achievements matter to them even if they are ridiculous in the eyes of others. Especially the first 20 to 30 levels are crucial for newcomers as they are freeing them from long timers caused by both low level and low tool ql.

 

 

Already mentioned in my original post.

4 hours ago, elentari said:

And the counter-argument of "Well, just go on the new servers." To that, I'll just reply that I've played for many years and I'd rather not have my 6-7 years of work being nullified just so I can get a "fresh experience". I don't want a fresh experience and I won't even get a new one. I had one. It was fun.

 

I just want to know that old freedom won't go the way of the dodo as Epic did. If it does, I will have zero incentive to play on any Wurm server ever again because history seems to repeat itself.

 

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2 hours ago, Ekcin said:

2. It may be empty on Deli, but I cannot confirm that Xanadu has truly been emptying so far. I see more players on "Southern Freedom" than during the last two summers. Some new ones are among them. Of course not few have created characters on the new servers, some maybe not to return, others determined to stay here, too. Therefore I somewhat dislike all the doomsaying.

The numbers are, at best, similar if not lower actually.  I've started logging hourly populations this week (to build up a better dataset), so in a couple of weeks I should be able to present reasonable short term findings on this matter by comparing it to the data I have from last year.

 

2 hours ago, Ekcin said:

Recently, I fail to see that there is an urgent need to act, rather to carefully consider all subsequent steps. Panicky doomsaying won't be helpful. Just keep wurming.

While I agree kneejerk actions are not required (we've seen what that leads to this past week), there are good grounds to worry, especially since the "influx of new players to the old cluster will more than offset the old players leaving" scenario has failed to materialise (so far) in any lasting way - much to the chagrin of its advocates no doubt.

 

Once I have a larger dataset I can be more confident in my answers, however the sad fact of the matter is that the early data is suggesting that optimism may, in this case, be misplaced.  Careful consideration is required yes, but so is some form of action if the current trend persists.

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