Metallumere

Alts: The Current Worst Thing, A Discussion On How To Better Cultivate The Cooperative Experience.

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Posted (edited)

A quick update to this post since people seem to be missing the idea of the discussion:
 

Spoiler

Here is an analogy on the situation:

I see a whole bunch of people in a lunchroom, with cafeteria shutters along the wall and a couple chefs behind them. I see a bunch of people sitting at tables, and occasionally getting food. It is clear that people want more food, or something else. Instead of getting up and banging on the shutters for something, they are sitting at the table and gnawing at the tables. And, although the chefs may occasionally be concerned about the people, they are opening the shutters and seeing people chewing at the tables and going "Oh! They're just eating the tables. I guess they don't want anything", and closing the shutters back.
Not only this, but people aren't actually discussing the situation with each other. Rather, new people are walking into the lunchroom, seeing other people around them chewing at the tables, and assuming that's all there is to eat and joining in doing the same.

When I say that people appear to be complacent by means of alts, I mean this. You are sitting at the table chewing away at something that was never intended to be the food here. You need to get up and bang on the shutters, discuss the chefs among'st yourselves, discuss the food. More directly, discuss what can be eaten besides the tables. Don't just settle for chewing on the tables.
Sure, you can still eat the tables if you want, but why not just get more actual food on the table instead?
More literally: Quit playing with alts and actually push for something to be done about why they are necessary. I don't know how else to deliver the message across really. I see everyone simply telling me that they are complacent instead of willing to see something done.
Only the chefs can put food on the table here. But they can't do that if you don't go banging on those shutters. More literally; the devs make actual change here, the only thing we can do is make some noise and approach them with our discussions and consensus.

 

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Alts are bad for Wurm. But why is that? They've been around forever!

First, alts throughout here are referring to secondary characters/accounts that people use to circumvent gameplay restrictions. Alts should not exist for this purpose, like any other game other characters should exist because you want to do something entirely different or be somewhere else.
RMT(real-money transactions) were around forever too, but that didn't excuse the general idea that they were bad for the game for reasons that have been long-discussed now.

It is my opinion that alts and RMTs tied in heavily to each other, and now that one is abolished I feel that it is time to deal with the other. And no, i'm not suggesting alts be abolished outright, rather that they should be made redundant to the experience.

Alts are bad for Wurm for a myriad of reasons, but the simplest to understand is that they directly discourage cooperative play, which is a MASSIVE detriment to a strictly-online and open-world experience. As it is now with alts, people are playing as-if they are in their own little private instances of the game and doing their own thing. As such, they have no need to reach out to find assistance with some things nor provide their assistance in return. That is not the intended design, surely. While it is fine and dandy to be off somewhere doing your own thing in the world, there should always be good reason to seek or offer a helping hand in an online game.



What are the most common uses of alts?

So, we've established that there's a problem, but we haven't established why it is people use alts in the first place. Let's take a look at three of the most common reasons at a glance:

Circumventing priests restrictions.

Getting more loot from uniques.
Bridge Surveying.

These things will always be a problem until either the systems at play are changed, or alts are abolished entirely. As it is now, the intended design is heavily skewed due to circumvention becoming the standard. What I mean by this is; people will either always circumvent restrictions by means of alts, or those restrictions will be lenient enough that it'd be hard to warrant making another character beyond your main one to deal with the problems they present.


On priest restrictions:

Are we supposed to pretend priest restrictions are meaningful and actually create a fair sense of balance and trade-off? Probably not, they're probably supposed to actually be fair and meaningful. But as it is now, being a priest just means that you lose out on a major portion of the game, right down to some of the most fundamental things like terraforming. So of course people would rather choose to just make a secondary character so that they can continue engaging in the core aspects of Wurm, as it is now.

And since people would already be so willing to make alts for this purpose, they'd of course have no complaints about making even more alts for sermons and rites and such. We know for a fact that priest mechanics were designed with alts in mind, like the changes that happened to favor-linking, so a lot of things are skewed here.

So maybe people should just have less restrictions all around, or fairer and more sensible restrictions on priest play, right? People are already circumventing them, so what is there to lose?

On unique loot:

Are we supposed to get more loot from uniques than we already do? Probably not. But as it is now, getting more through alts is what people do, which means maybe people should get more loot through a more fulfilling and involving process, right? People are already getting more loot, so why not design something that accomplishes the same thing but with less bodies present to make it happen? It wouldn't surprise me if the current system was designed specifically with alts in mind, so it's expectedly a little skewed.


On Bridge Surveying:
Bridge surveying more or less represents something that cannot be done by yourself but doesn't really reward anyone for cooperating together to accomplish it. So, of course people will just make an alt to get it done.
The process should be more fulfilling and involving for any parties involved, right? At least more than literally just standing there with a stick for a couple minutes.


Alts shouldn't have to be a design consideration if the process is built properly on a single person cooperating with other singular people.


How are alts good for the game?
Alts do some good, of course.

While it is true that alts have been detrimental towards the growth of Wurm throughout the years, it's also possible that it's kept Wurm afloat in days of having barely anyone around. If alts were against the rules outright, it's a real possibility that people would have abandoned the game outright due to there simply not being enough people present to deal with the myriad of cooperative requirements at play.

Also of note; alts inflate the player count numbers. This can be appealing for anyone looking to join in on pvp or looking to get into the game and making sure it's actually got a decent population around.

 


Do these things outweigh the negatives? In my opinion; no. Similarly to how alts may have kept people around in times of low player counts, there's no doubt in my mind that RMT also kept people around and interested, and we've done away with that to seemingly no ill effects long-term. Alts are a bandaid solution to these problems, not a real benefit to you as a player.


What do you actually suggest?

Let me preface this part by saying that I don't have a full grasp on the extent of why alts are a thing, the above is just presented to give you a framework. I expect you can piece a lot of things together yourself and fill in any blanks. My suggestions are not end-all-be-all solutions and may simply create more problems, as such they should not be treated as true solutions. Rather, these are points of discussion to better collectively move ourselves towards better solutions.

My first suggestion is of course relating to priest restrictions:

Digging should not be a restriction, neither should surface mining. Terraforming is just too core to the experience, and while there might be ways to circumvent things like mining through archaeology, you can't move mountains and raise land from the sea without being able to dig and mine a surface.
These action-restrictions as they are make little sense anyway. Why does Fo condone digging and mining at all, compared to Libila not being able to dig for some reason yet otherwise being all about destruction and change, and Vynora condoning paving yet not condoning the means to acquire the materials to pave?

I'd even say that action-restrictions would probably better function as gain-loss juggling. If Fo does not condone chopping trees down and lowers your faith for it, there should be things you can do to balance out the loss and gain. As an example: Fo does not condone chopping of young or mature trees in the slightest, and penalizes you for it accordingly, but he is more lenient when it comes to overaged and shriveled trees, allowing you to chop them down for a much smaller penalty. Now say you do this, you chop down some overaged trees and lose some faith. Now, you have a window of time to essentially pay penitence, in this case by doing an action that is directly related to the previous sin you've committed; planting sprouts. Suddenly, you've done something that can be seen as an overall net gain, and as such your faith is restored or even increased ever so slightly further. If overaged and shriveled trees were taking up space for fresh sprouts to be sown, you've done good by ensuring the cycle of life goes through its natural motions, which might not have happened if someone not of the faith came by and chopped those same trees down or even younger ones.

What this means is that these restrictions can still be in place and still be more meaningful and engaging for the player, while making sense and being fair.

But, action restrictions should still be expanded further. I don't think it was really such a bad thing that Libila didn't allow you to farm and garden and tame back in the day, for example. It'd be hard to say what actions should and shouldn't have restrictions on them, it especially depends on whether or not the systems would ever be adapted to be similar to the above gain-loss juggling.
I'd suggest that the following be the action/skill-restrictions regardless of whether or not juggling is involved:

  • Vynora: Steal, breed, smith weapons and armor, create warmachines. Leave the beasts to Fo and instruments of war to Magranon. (Probably some other stuff, I'm really tired after writing this for like 6 hours.)
  • Magranon: Pick flowers/sprouts, trap, steal, milk, breed, sow. Magranon is all about power and straight-forwards stuff. No faffing about picking flowers and laying traps down like a coward and such. Nothing that takes time to grow or cultivate, but nothing wrong with tending to what is already there of course.
  • Fo: Cut down and chop tree(unless overaged/shriveled), pave(packing dirt is okay), steal, fish, mine(surface-mining is okay), coal-making, blacksmithing, wielding metal weapons and chain/plate armor. Fo is all about cultivating, not erasing, so no chopping trees down and paving over the land. Fish are the domain of Vynora, and forging is the domain of Mag, making wooden weapons, shields, and hide armors the only viable armaments of a Fo priest.
  • Libila: Sow, farm, garden, tame, bury, plant sprout, groom, archaeology and restoration. It's simple; don't cultivate anything, kill it and let it rot. Dig and mine and chop all you want.

Now of course I don't have comprehension of every single action available, this is just me looking through a list of them right quick. Do these things make the game an objectively better experience as well? Of course not. This is just me attempting to match themes in reasonable ways that would seem fair in exchange for what you are allowed to as listed below. There's far more restrictions that could be put in place, but I've spent way too much time thinking about this as-is so I'll just move on.

Then, I would suggest priests be allowed some range of improvement actions. These are a little easier to sort out as it is, due to each faith providing a skill/ql bonus of some kind with the exception of Vynora being more or less a bonus towards all crafts. So, just to be more concise, here is an exact list of skills(including all subskills unless listed otherwise) that priests should have no restrictions on imping through:

  • Vynora: Pottery, Masonry, Carpentry(with the exception of bowery, fletching, and warmachines). It's clear that Vynora condones crafts of all kinds, encouraging study and exploration of anything and everything. She'd probably also condone making and imping of tools for the crafts; saws and files and such.
  • Magranon: Smithing, Warmachines, Bowyery and Fletching. It's clear that Magranon condones forging, conquest, and defending by means of sturdy stone structures. As such, some masonry improvement should be allowed; imping of forges, stone/metal structures, and guardtowers.
  • Fo: Cloth tailoring. Unfortunately, the things Fo would condone are spread across a couple other skills. He'd probably be cool with you making and imping beehives, planters and planter racks, hitching posts, wooden fences, cheese drills, fruit presses, rakes, and a myriad of other things all in the name of cultivation and cooking and such.
  • Libila: Leatherworking, Traps. Similarly to Fo, the things Libila would condone are spread between a few different skills. She'd probably be cool with making and imping axes, sickles/scythes, butchering knives, and other sinister things.

All in all, priests should still have some kind of imping craft available to them, even if it's just one instead of a couple. This alone would do a lot to get rid of alts.

It's worth a special mention here too that the way Defiance is setup is actually directly beneficial towards priests, and I really like the danger that induces. As it is now, if I'm playing a priest on Cadence or Harmony or Melody, I can move to Defiance and skill up my smithing or carpentry or such in exchange for putting myself and the things I build at constant risk. This is, in my mind, a very fair and very very very cool trade-off.
This is the kind of thing we need to make alts redundant. And I hope Defiance never changes.


I don't actually have a suggestion for how to resolve unique loot:

I know. "Wow, what was the point of posting about this if you don't have any idea of how to resolve it?", the way it is now is a lot better than only the elite of the elite getting goodies and that essentially never changing because they'll always be on top through the loot they acquire. The days of people hording dragon eggs were truly dark times, and there's good reason that's gone.
But, what if eggs were really the intended solution? What if there was a hybrid system where everyone got blood still for just being there, but only the strongest slayers/contributions got scales and hides and such, and anyone else could only find something to cultivate for the future.
Let's explore this briefly: You are a freshly spawned newbie who joins with a settlement that's about to ship off for a dragon slaying. You know you can't contribute to the fight with spells or damage, but you still wanna go and get something from this opportunity. So, you do. You join, you watch, and when the fight is over you collect a little bit of blood and search the area. Suddenly you find a large egg that wasn't there before the fight, and a few other people find some as well, several in total. Someone explains to you that this egg you found needs to be kept safe for about a week or three and it'll hatch, but you being a newbie obviously can't handle a hatchling.
So, you seek help when the egg does inevitably hatch. This brings people together, causing fun cooperative times all around, and it being your egg you get a default claim on the corpse, with everyone still getting blood and hide and you getting some hide as well thanks to the egg-claim. Or, perhaps you don't let people slay it, and instead keep it penned up until it grows and naturally busts out immediately, then suddenly there's more work to do that will likely still require the assistance of others. Eat your egg now, or let it grow into a bigger chicken, eh?
I'm not too sure how this could be applied to kyklops and goblin leaders and such, since they don't lay eggs nor provide anything beyond blood, so that would probably be something else that needs resolving. It makes sense to me that there would be more than enough blood for every single person present without causing people to foam at the mouth for more, but every unique should also provide drops similar to dragons in order to make them more worthwhile hunts and things to cultivate for the future.

Bridge Surveying and other such:

This one isn't hard. But it's still intended to be beyond the scope of just bridge surveying. If it's asinine but requires another person and doesn't create any meaningful cooperative experience, it should be streamlined to be doable as one person OR made more meaningful in the first place. This is a very subjective sorta thing, but I think most can agree that you've never met a good friend or the love of your life or anything by asking someone to hold a range pole for a minute. There's far better things to be doing together.


Why would I read all of this???

I know. Huge wall of text. Probably unnecessary really, but it all makes a fairly simple point:
If alts are a problem for the game, abolishing them like RMT wouldn't be enough by itself, a number of issues would need to be solved instead, which should in-theory minimize the necessity of alts as they are and enrich the cooperative experience.
Priest restrictions are the biggest things at play, without a doubt. Power-users may also be a problem that I haven't even touched on; people who log in with 8 characters at once to mine or farm or whatever. I'm inclined to think power-users like that are probably just as bad as the above reasons but it's no fault of the game itself. Just disallowing people to multilog within local of eachother would do a lot to solve that particular issue. But, then comes problems with people just making extra characters for the purposes of having multiple camera angles, which maybe just means that we need some spectator system. But, that's a little outside the scope of the discussion this is intended to spark.
I love Wurm dearly, and it pains me to see alts still condoned like they are after all these years. I'd imagine I'm a minority though.
Overall, the things I've presented here are not to be considered as real genuine suggestions. There's no doubt in my mind that some of the things I've stated are objectively stupid or ignorant of me or shortsighted, probably hardly worth the braincells you'd invest in them. Again, this is all for the sake of discussing actual real suggestions that can be applied or executed. The solution is somewhere between us, surely.

Here are my questions for you:
How do you think alts are good for the game?
How do you think they're bad?
What would you like to see done about those things, if anything?

Please elaborate on your points to the best of your ability, thank you~

And, no, I've never personally played with alts before. If you were curious. Nor do I ever intend to, even as a priest.

Edited by Metallumere
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The most common reason to have alts is to hold deeds.

I have 15 alts to hold my deeds, how is me paying 15 upkeeps not good for the game?

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4 minutes ago, Cecci said:

The most common reason to have alts is to hold deeds.

Ahh, right. That's one of those things that seems like it really shouldn't even be the case, it's almost hard to believe they wouldn't want more money like that.

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How would you like to prevent people from using alts? Even if you let people to have only 1 character per account, you won't stop anyone from making another account, bound to another e-mail address.

 

How to distinguish alt from the main? How to distinguish alt from the beginner character?

 

@CecciAs for deed holding, it just should be changed that one character can be a mayor for multiple deeds.

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15 minutes ago, Wilczan said:

How would you like to prevent people from using alts?

"they should be made redundant to the experience."
"a number of issues would need to be solved, which should in-theory minimize the necessity of alts as they are 
and enrich the cooperative experience."
 

21 minutes ago, Wilczan said:

Even if you let people to have only 1 character per account, you won't stop anyone from making another account, bound to another e-mail address.

I'm not sure if you mean specifically to multi-log and circumvent the above issues, or to just have another character to play on a different server. Because, i'm totally cool with the latter of course, it's only the fore I take issue with; there's nothing explicitly wrong with having multiple characters/accounts/emails just for the sake of doing something different somewhere else.
 

17 minutes ago, Wilczan said:

How to distinguish alt from the main?

"alts throughout here are referring to secondary characters/accounts that people use to circumvent gameplay restrictions."
I know you mean that, from a GM's perspective, it'd be practically impossible to distinguish a normal player from that same person's alt. Which is why i'm not suggesting alts be a bannable offense or anything, only that the issues people use them to circumvent be resolved in some way.

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I play on 3 premium toons. I don't really consider them alts, they are feasible characters on their own right. True, two of them are priests but can defend themselves, have proper gathering and building skill etc etc.

Also I have a ton of non prem (but paid prem on them also for some period) alts, having many deeds requires them for sure.

Considering that a big chunk of income for the company is premium costs a major revamp would be needed to overcome the situation. BTW in some roadmap post the subscription overhaul was mentioned by the devs...

I really don't see why having multiple toons is bad for the game - for cooperative play not restrictions but encouraging new mechanics should be implemented.

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Posted (edited)

company probably woulda gone under years ago if there wasn't so many people with 5+ alts each, doubt they'd change a money maker like that now

Edited by Oblivionnreaver
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Posted (edited)

For starters, let me just chip in my two cents with tl;dr - as long as there are restrictions of any kind to play the full content of the game with one single character, there will be alts.

 

Quote

Alts are bad for Wurm for a myriad of reasons, but the simplest to understand is that they directly discourage cooperative play

I get the idea of OP. You want to see more Multiplayer in this MMORPG that Wurm is. What's the meaning of "multi" if a player can do everything without seeking out other players. Right?

 

However. As I understand, you try to drive Wurm towards a no_alts_needed game. (minimize the necessity of alts)

Here I must ask. If I could do everything without the need of alts, why would I seek out other players more?

 

Long story short, I don't think the problem in the lack of cooperative play is in the alts.

If there even is such a problem.

 

Wurm is just one of those single-multiplayer games, where you can choose the level of "multi" as you see fit to your own personality.

I like to do most things on my own, but I also like to go out and see what other players have done.

I don't want to depend on other players to do something as easy as 3 tile bridge, but I also like that I either need to grind up my skills for 30 tile bridge, or find someone else who already can do that.

My freedom of choice, in that sandbox of ours.

 

Edited by Shmeric
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As someone who has a bit of experience in the alt heavy usage of priests now I could give you my two cents.

 

I feel that if you want to encourage group gameplay you might want to consider alts may not be the problem, I played eve online for quite a while in a group of about 50 real people with an average of 3 accounts each. There were group goals which could only be achieved with having more than could reasonably be multibox, and there were benefits for everyone to being in a group. An alternative here would be to look at making more cooperative content that allows people to work together, is difficult enough to make multi accounting harder (you won't make it impossible but that is ok) and rewards the group. That style of content is probably difficult to do in wurm's setting given the vast difference between a low and high skill player but that might be a different topic.

 

As far as the idea of smaller losses that can be recouped, when enchanting you want to both have enough favor for things like life transfer and also keep you enchanting bonuses maxed, one of which is 100 faith, I don't think anyone would be too keen on messing around with getting their faith back to 100 when they next want to cast.

 

As far as access to skills I think you are aiming a little too thematically and not pragmatically, the most popular priest playstyle seems to be enchanters on the pve servers so it would be good to support that across the board. You could go down the route of allowing them to grind their saccing bonus skill but I think this is a flawed idea since locksmithing can't be done with imping, yoyos have 2 contributing skills, butchering isn't an imping skill and cloth tailoring is left as the only one this addresses. I'd say you'd potentially be better off making sure that there is an equivalent skill for each of them. You could go down the route of adding an imping route to a couple of skills or shifting bonuses around or give them all access to ropemaking (and probably farming too).

 

The next area where alts are significantly useful is in sermons and linking for priests, if you wanted to reduce alts I'd suggest making it significantly easier to hit 100 faith. As for links you'd probably have to completely rework channelling skill gain or remove skill gain when linked since the best way I know of to grind channelling pretty much requires links for maximum efficiency.

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My question simply is: What the damn have my alts done to you? Do you really believe I would frantically join any group activity (beyond what I am already doing) if you would deny me my alts? Why do you want and feel entitled to dictate my playstyle in a sandbox game? No alts would mean to me: No more priesting experience. If there would not have been alts, also no sermoning experience (which was pleasant group cooperation for every single of my three alts). It would also spell no or much less possibilities to summon around the server. And even with a network of friends and allies, it would often mean to postpone activities, delay or even drop projects because waiting for somebody in place everytime would make them unpleasant if not impossible. 

 

Playing with alts is deeply interwoven with the core game mechanics of Wurm as they have developped over years. The only way to get rid of alts would be shutting down Wurm.

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I have premmed at minimum 70 alts over my time on Wurm.

 

I have during my time on Wurm, played all 70 while premmed.

 

I currently have 15 character premmed down from my usual 30, and I am trying to get that down to as low as 5.

 

Sometimes, when your personal goals attract no-one but yourself, and you still wish to go through with them - you're looking at a 10 month project with alts, or a 10 year project solo.
I'd rather the current concept of Alts to stay, than to see alts made redundant or to having multiple characters make your main goals more difficult.

 

 

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Priest restrictions are much better than they were a few years back, I say this as someone who has played solely as a Fo priest for a long long time (never converted to Nahjo).  I only have an alt to store items and the rest I ask folks for help (I live with a crafter and it works for us).  I remember a time when I couldn't make a gate, couldn't clear my caved in access tunnel, or even make a complex tool; hell I can remembe a time when I couldn't shoot a bow and also had nerfed body stat growth (that they NEVER did recompsense us for)

 

The changes you mention would restrict priests more than they would liberate them I think; being able to improve cloth items and cut overaged/shrivled trees would definitely not balance out losing the ability to fish and mine; we'd be in a much worse place than before in that respect.  I'd be happy just being able to cut trees to be quite frank, as the inability to cut wood means you have to travel with some everywhere if you want to camp/travel for a long period, which means you can't really travel light and are tethered to a large cart or reasonably sized boat at least.

 

Now lets look at why priests make good alts...  All spells are tied to faith, and faith is something best spammed with alts, or at a sermon group (rare as those are these days).  If you gated priest spells behind a mixture of faith, other skills and channeling (for example, locking Heal behind 50 first aid and making healing spells give first aid ticks, or genesis behind 70 channeling and 50AH) you'd essentially make it more work to grind up a priest alt than reach out to an existing priest.  However, this would reduce QoL since most really useful (non-enchant) priest spells are highly situational and generally require you to be at the location the magic is needed (priests spend a lot of time travelling); which means you'd be waiting for the priest to actually get there (or you'd need to live near one).

 

Which really brings it to the last point; magic on wurm is VERY situational.  Courier (once per deed), Genesis (when people are building up to 5-speeds), Lifetransfer (once per player), Humid Drizzle (if someone messes up their deed ratio, rarely more than once a year per deed), Charm (a collector of champions needed help with a champ bear), Light of Fo (events) and Summon Soul (events only) are the only spells people have requested me to cast in the past 3 years.  In terms of usefulness that isn't a lot for helping other folks; there just isn't enough call for priestly magic for a player to main a priest without something on the side at the moment.  That would change if trickier magic were useful to players in more than a passing way.  However, that is very unlikely to come to pass any time soon as the crafters would likely break down and riot.

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9 hours ago, Jaz said:

I play on 3 premium toons. I don't really consider them alts

I think that's fair really. If you're actively playing between multiple characters, and not multilogging with them strictly for the purpose of circumventing something, that seems acceptable.

 

9 hours ago, Shmeric said:

If I could do everything without the need of alts, why would I seek out other players more?

It's not necessarily that everything needs to be doable alone. Rather, there should just inherently be greater value in cooperation compared to going it solo, which maintains the option of being solo if so desired but creates a snowball effect of "people needing people --> needing people being enjoyable --> more people join in because of the interesting emergent things that wouldn't have happened otherwise".

I examined three hypothetical scenarios over discord with someone. I'll share those here too:

  • If it is a question of time invested/productivity that affects the most people overall, then the solution would be to simply adjust action timers to be drastically shorter. We've had the opportunity to play with this before and it seemed to become the standard pretty easily. A number of WU servers typically always had x3 action timers, even if they had normal skillgain. It just felt better, especially for an experience where you inherently have less people present. Does this promote growth towards a larger playerbase though? Probably not, it might only make it more bearable long-term, which means it might maintain numbers for longer periods of time, but i'd still view that as a bandaid solution i feel.

 

  • If it is a question of cooperating being mostly meaningless, then the solution is to lean cooperation towards being more rewarding or profitable than doing something alone. Let's look at this with smithing: As it is now, you can hammer something to make something, or improve it, whatever right? Let's say this was plugged into a system similar to sermons, where you just inherently create things faster or at higher quality with more people around you actively doing something to partake. Does this promote growth towards a larger playerbase though? Probably not, if anything this just means that alts would become even more prominent due to there now being less value in the individual.

 

  • If it is a question of individual value, then the solution is to reinforce the value of what can only be done alone, or create more things that are only doable alone. This might seem counter-intuitive, but it does spark congregation to accomplish things in a wider scope, just by nature of how much stuff needs to be done. This is probably where Wurm has tried to aim by design, making the things you can do singularly very valuable and worthwhile, but there being just so much to do that you need others to supplement your labor. Does this promote growth towards a larger playerbase though? Probably not, this by itself would only further reinforce the idea that alts and multilogging and such are necessary for being the best/most productive/doing things fastest.


My point with these three scenarios being that there's no way to approach it singularly that doesn't also cause more problems, which means viable solutions are somewhere to be found in discussion from a much wider pool of input and anecdotes and such. A combination of solutions may prove to be what is necessary, but it's outside the reach of any of us singularly. We need to discuss these things together to approach that, ya know?

9 hours ago, Shmeric said:

If there even is such a problem.

This is really what I hope to see examined here; Is there a problem with the game design, and not just an issue with human nature?
I'm inclined to believe it's the fore.
If people create alts because others are unreliable, that's a direct detriment towards someone else's value and contributions. The example I was given over discord is that this guy has had positions on his settlement for carpenters a few times now, and each time someone filled that position they'd eventually vanish and leave. Now, that happens and we all know that happens, that people vanish for reasons both ingame and outside of the game. But this means a pattern may exist. If this man has experienced people filling in a position and then abandoning that position, then surely that means that position is worth examining and improving upon to actually maintain engagement and enjoyability, right?
Making alts in response to people being unreliable is a direct malice towards this though. If people just go "Must be a problem with the people, i'll just do it myself", and not actually approach why it is people may be abandoning their supposed commitments, whatever the issue is will remain present. And I know that might seem unfair from a design standpoint, but if people are already circumventing these things less singularly then surely that's all the more reason to just improve upon the singular experience, right?
But, again, it can be hard and subjective to ask why it is people do anything. The only thing I'd like to point out is that there may be patterns at play.

 

7 hours ago, Lethyria said:

 

I feel that if you want to encourage group gameplay you might want to consider alts may not be the problem

Yeah, I do view alts as the product of issues at play, but they do spawn further issues in return down the line.
I mostly agree with what you have to say on the topic, that there's simply much more that needs to be done across the board.

 

6 hours ago, Ekcin said:

Do you really believe I would frantically join any group activity (beyond what I am already doing) if you would deny me my alts?

Of course not. That's why i'm not suggesting alts be banned or abolished or anything, only that they be made redundant to the experience.
What you're pointing out is indeed correct, that there are issues at play that are seemingly impractical without alts present. I feel this is not an issue with how people desire to play, but a necessity by error of design. You're examining the game, as it is now, without alts presents. You're not examining what can be done to make them redundant and unnecessary. If there is a problem, and you perceive those things as a problem, you should examine what can be done to correct those things.
Your alts may have done nothing wrong in particular, but that's a mass-mindset at play and that is a detriment towards the game. If you, for example, think "I'm just throwing a pebble into a lake, i'm not hurting anyone", and a huge majority of people around you are doing the same thing, you're collectively making huge ripples and wakes that go everywhere. You're perpetuating a problem by rationalizing that you alone can't be responsible for things happening en-mass, instead of actually sitting down with people and trying to examine the issues and resolve them, if that makes sense.
What I mean is; instead of individually settling for a personal solution, why not aim to discuss and examine how that can be made unnecessary? Of course you wouldn't if you literally don't perceive it as a personal problem due to your having solved it for yourself, but that doesn't mean that an infinite amount of other people aren't doing the same thing, and that's not a collective solution to a widespread problem. Ya feel me?

 

6 hours ago, Blazecraze said:

you're looking at a 10 month project with alts, or a 10 year project solo

So what would you like to see done instead? If the problem is that there's just not enough singular productivity, would you want things to go faster by yourself? I know that sounds like it might be bad, but if you're already circumventing a problem in roundabout ways that aren't actually engaging and interesting, then why not correct the problem to make that unnecessary or more interesting and engaging for others around you?
If you perceive the issue being that your ambitions aren't attractive to anyone else, then the problem may actually be your own applied solution. If you and everyone else settle on the idea that "these things are only doable with alts", then of course no one is actually going to step up to the plate with you and help, they're already too busy doing the same thing you're doing. It's a vicious cycle like that, ya know?
I know this all touches more or less on human behavior more-so than game design, but I still can't help but feel that peoples' applied solutions to the problem can just be cited as proposed solutions for everyone collectively. If your solution towards achieving your goals is to give yourself more hands, then why not make it more attractive for everyone to lend their hands instead? If the issue is that people are too busy with their own projects to help others, then the solution is still the same; congregating together to work towards a common goal just needs to be more rewarding and worthwhile and engaging en-mass without encouraging multilogging directly.

 

6 hours ago, Etherdrifter said:

there just isn't enough call for priestly magic for a player to main a priest without something on the side at the moment. 

I can't help but feel you're right, which is why I'd propose that skilling just be allowed for priests even partially. If they only exist now as mobile-situational-scenario-resolvers, then that means there's room to improve the experience. And if peoples' solution is to just play another character anyway, then nothing would actually be lost from unifying the experience, rather that there's value to be gained.
I'm inclined to agree that more restrictions isn't the solution, but rather that more can be done with restrictions than just "You can't do this ever, and that's all there is to it". I still feel that a system of penitence would work out better, or restrictions be lifted entirely, or something else entirely. There's a lot that can be done and i'm only seeking to spark discussion on what can be done. So far it seems that people are pretty good at pointing out why things are the way they are, but not actually examining how that could be effectively changed or made better, even when they cite that there exists a problem at play.

-

It seems like people are maybe just getting trapped in the mindset of "I've solved this problem for myself, and that's all there is to it", when literally everyone else is doing that too, so why not resolve it for everyone across the board?

More importantly: If we can acknowledge that things are the way they are for a reason and we share these common solutions individually, why not seek to apply solutions collectively?
Like priest restrictions, why settle for just making an alt to solve the problems at play instead of sitting down and provoking discussion and suggesting change? It is such a pothole towards progress to just settle for roundabout solutions to things people very obviously also take issue with. Just boycott it, seriously. I acknowledge that alts are a solution to problems at play, but that doesn't actually do anything to solve those issues, it just means we can be lazy about it.
Instead of making alts, try living life as a single character. If you're not happy with that, express why and what you feel should be done. Don't settle for alts, or any other sideways solution like that. Propose something be done.
 

10 hours ago, Oblivionnreaver said:

doubt they'd change a money maker like that now

I feel that there's infinitely more profit that can be spawned from just compelling more people to get into the mix. Which, yeah, it's a gamble really, but all growth is a gamble. In this case, growth is determined strictly by the people paying and playing. Saying that people don't need more people to get the same things done isn't conducive growth towards people, but yes it does at least ensure growth towards paying. It seems to me like growing the people also grows the paying though, and to do that we need to make having more people necessary.
 

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My view on Alts:

 

I have 3 alts but I normally only use maybe 1 of them.  I will bring them out to mine or to do long action timer things like level a mine ceiling or bash down a bridge. Oh and plan bridges as well.

The main problem is that wurm is more so an AFK or Semi AFK game.  That means that when I am doing something like building or mining...etc I am normally going to have open youtube or a book or something else, that I am also paying attention to.   I've spent time talking to other players before but normally when I do that, I can actually not even get anything done because I am so busy talking.  

 

Maybe the style of gameplay that wurm has also attracts more socially awkward people. (I am more so socially awkward, I would say)

 

Differences between Northern and Southern Servers?

 

I don't know about the new Northern servers but on the old Southern ones, there are also alot of old accounts that have really high skills with mass loads of alts with deeds all of the place.  That is something that they have built up over the years and years.  Invested alot of real life money into.  Maybe their designs and creations were so grand that it took years to complete.    With those kind of large scale projects, I feel that alot of people would more likely just want to get it all done themselves.  At least then everything is under control.  Don't need to tell people what to do or where to go....etc.  It is your plans, your area, your designs. 

 

That and if you have really high skills then you don't really need much help anyway.  You can go it alone.

 

The northern server and the new users have not built up this kind of culture yet and maybe there is more of a community setting.  But you know that virtual worlds are just a sped up version of real life.  In time the land barons will come to the North and the sense of community will fall away as more development gets completed.   Unless you can find ways to keep the community connected when everything has been built then hoarding will begin and the more solo playstyle may set in. That might be more of a negative way of looking at things though.

 

My Suggestions for more community or just game ideas in general:

  • More multiplayer minigames or contests, like checkers.
  • Different kinds of contests like Archery, Jousting and Hammer throwing.   (If I was to be developing these things then archery and hammer throwing would more be like a mini game with its own UI and keys to press...etc.)
  • Emote animations for the characters.
  • More trees, more animals, more bushes, more items to create.
  • A better tame/pet system
  • Dynamic NPC animations with more interactive Combat
  • New Server Wide Monster Events
  • Sea based uniques
  • Yoyo has a working animation for each of the moves instead of just text.
  • Puppetry also has animations that go along with the text actions.

More info about Taming, Dynamic animations/Combat, Monster events and Sea based Uniques in the Spoiler :)

Spoiler

Taming:

  • Tricks - You could teach a tamed creature some different kind of tricks like you would in real life to a dog.  The NPC would have new animations to show off these tricks to other players.
  • Buffs - A tamed creature could give different kinds of buffs to the player depending on what type of creature it is.  A hell hound for example could protect your player from a % of Flame attacks. A chicken could make you run a little bit faster lol 
  • Commands - You could order your tamed creature to perform different commands depending on what type of creature it is. 
  • Example Commands - A bear could go fishing at the nearest shoreline and catch some fish for you. A dog could dig up buried treasure or junk.  A cat could catch rat meat - A rat could steal items from houses on PVP servers that are laying around.  All of these would be linked in with your taming skills.  and if you wanted to you could also link them to the main sub skills as well.  So if you have really high fishing for example, you could use your bear to catch fish and the fish it catches would be ql of some maths calculation of Fishing skill and taming skills 99893448+ 33434 -3 3 3  3 numbers!  maths!  wurm stuff!  yeah -

NPC Animations and Combat Interactions:

  • New attacks - For example: A Lava Fiend could have a flaming fist or it could breath fire from its mouth which you could defend with a shield. When killing a lava spider, its body could explode in a mini fire ball after 5 or 10 secs so you have to move out of the way or you will suffer burn damage.  These kind of things could make even combat more interactive. 
  • New Animations - All new attacks would have new animations from the monsters.

Server Wide Monster Events -

  • New Event - Monster Nest Spawning Mission - Stop the King Monster from spreading his army around the server.
  • Every 2 or 3 weeks a "King Monster" would spawn on the map and this monster would be able to create NPC Monster Nests.  These Nests would spawn a max of 5 monsters. A new type of monster.
  • Kill a Nest and get a reward - A treasure chest with new items inside or maybe the chance at a more rare item or some coins.
  • Kill the King Monster and get a big reward.

Notes:

  • King monster travels around the map away from deeds -  (Only Off deed areas) 
  • It can spawn a new NPC Monster Nest every 12 hours.
  • Once King is killed all nests go away in 24 hours.
  • King has ability of the fog spider. It can walk through walls and will teleport out of underground caves onto the land above. Can't trap the King.
  • When it respawns, it will spawn in a brand new area of the map.
  • Limited amount of Monster Nests it can create.  To prevent being overrun in monsters.
  • Not for Epic Servers - Their server is already overrun in Uniques.

Sea Uniques

  • I would add the Kraken

Kraken-circa-1700-768x486.jpg

  • I would add the Scylla

ddxxhzv-acf0ef4b-4807-48e6-93fd-87d42aa1

 

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3 minutes ago, Zexos said:

Maybe the style of gameplay that wurm has also attracts more socially awkward people.

I'm maybe somewhat inclined to agree. It may just be the case that people desire what this offers, but find themselves upset that they need to reach out.
 

 

4 minutes ago, Zexos said:

Maybe their designs and creations were so grand that it took years to complete.    With those kind of large scale projects, I feel that alot of people would more likely just want to get it all done themselves.  At least then everything is under control.

This is a valid point, but that can be evidence that the functions and mechanics and design of the game need to be adjusted to be more in-line with what people desire and allow cooperation to be more viable.
If people are already solving these issues by just doing it by themselves, then what harm is there in actually attempting to apply such solutions to be built-in directly to make that unnecessary?

I like your suggestions, I can see how these things would at least make co-existing appealing in subtle ways. Thank you.
The intended discussion here is how to correct people circumventing having to play with more people by just playing by themselves. I can see at least some of those things, like sea-based uniques, still maintaining these problems.

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I use alts for pumping out bricks, mortar, clay, planks, etc, caring for creatures. I think they're good for the game because a lot of the tasks in game are repetitive and having multiple clients allows you to get jobs done faster, and allows you to do multiple tasks at once, like mining iron while converting a noobie neighbour to a religion. I don't think they're bad, but they do allow players to create production lines for mass producing rare, supreme and fantastic items, though you can easily achieve this with one character, and realistically there's nothing in place stopping people from creating 100 alts and having them spam out tools, trying to make rares.

I'd 'like' the login client to be updated so accounts are bound to a single master account, that way certain properties can be shared between characters, including the rarity window. Really though I don't care, RWT is gone and with it any incentive to exploit alts for mass producing rares is pointless.

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45 minutes ago, Antony said:

I think they're good for the game because a lot of the tasks in game are repetitive

This is valid, but do you mean to say you're happy with this? Or, do you actually want things to be less repetitive and time-consuming?
 

46 minutes ago, Antony said:

I don't think they're bad

So, you're not under the belief that alts are actively impeding growth of the playerbase and discouraging need for more people to be playing overall?
Like, could you elaborate on this? You're absolutely convinced there's no negatives at all?

Binding multiple characters to a single account would probably do some good overall, even if alts weren't exploited to circumvent restrictions and limitations and such. I can see a shared bank or such also being beneficial, since as it is now you just end up mailing things to yourself anyway I'd imagine.

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1 hour ago, Metallumere said:

Rather, there should just inherently be greater value in cooperation compared to going it solo, which maintains the option of being solo if so desired but creates a snowball effect of "people needing people --> needing people being enjoyable --> more people join in because of the interesting emergent things that wouldn't have happened otherwise

 

I see no inherent nobility in being an individual who prefers to do things with others, which you are exalting here by giving them preferential treatment in return for their social co-operation, as already they are benefiting from this by the ability to accomplish more and the satisfaction that they get by this social interaction. "People needing people" is not actually enjoyable at all for those people who prefer to be more self sufficient. Perhaps these people who prefer to accomplish things on their own without any dependence upon others are actually more together within themselves than these social ones who have some "need" to interact with others to find similar satisfaction.

 

So here with this post you make *alts* the target when in reality you seem to want to punish the individual who prefers to do things alone by either removing alt assistance or giving some sort of preferential benefits to social groups and activities. This just seems unfair and controlling to me in that you seem to believe that socially active people are the preferred playstyle as a reflection of your and societies way of life. People are different and should be who they are, be they loving to do things with others or preferring to mainly do things on their own; thus, the game of Wurm Online provides all with their own choice of gameplay depending upon ultimately their own personality.

 

Fortunately this game offers more freedom of choice than RL where societies dictates either subtly encourage pursuing common goals and interaction with others or blatantly enforce it with their confining rules and punishments. The "loner" types are then looked down upon or with suspicion by those social types who simply can not comprehend why anyone doesn't think as they do about the delights of interpersonal interactions. I don't think that the game was specifically planned out to give each individual the choice as to how they prefer to play it but this is the way that it has turned out and my preference is that it remain that way with acceptance of these diverse styles of playing it and ultimately allowing people to be who they are without the judgement and needs of others interfering with it.

 

If alts are abused in some certain instances then those should be dealt with and alts remain as useful for other "less sociable" purposes. Mainly I see no problem with them and feel at ease about letting others play the game as they wish as far as social interactions are concerned.

 

=Ayes=

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Posted (edited)
22 minutes ago, Ayes said:

"People needing people" is not actually enjoyable at all for those people who prefer to be more self sufficient. Perhaps these people who prefer to accomplish things on their own without any dependence upon others are actually more together within themselves than these social ones who have some "need" to interact with others to find similar satisfaction.

Then would you agree that more should be done to enable individual accomplishment without the need for multilogging?
 

 

22 minutes ago, Ayes said:

you seem to want to punish the individual who prefers to do things alone by either removing alt assistance or giving some sort of preferential benefits to social groups and activities. This just seems unfair and controlling to me in that you seem to believe that socially active people are the preferred playstyle as a reflection of your and societies way of life.

Consider my perspective on it. Everyone goes somewhere or does something to be personally productive in some way, right? Maybe people go to a park or a mall or something to relax. What i am seeing here, is that people are sitting down right next to each other in a park, and pulling out dolls and pretending to have conversations with themselves, instead of just reaching out to the people who are right next to them doing the same thing. That process of reaching out would accomplish the same thing they are already exercising through dolls. Why not just reach out to the people next to you? Why go out of your way to exist along side them instead of with them?
In that same sense, the online presence of Wurm is practically inescapable. You're not going to get away from people until there is some sort of instanced system at play, which means that by design you are meant to be interacting with people at large. While it is valid to say that not everyone wants that, that's just sort of how it is, right?
So, would you be in favor of some sort of instanced gameplay? As-in like, localized areas or instances where you alone exist and nobody else can access these spaces without direct invitation.
Do you think this would do good for Wurm and the people that play it?
 

 

22 minutes ago, Ayes said:

People are different and should be who they are, be they loving to do things with others or preferring to mainly do things on their own

I agree in whole. Individual accomplishment shouldn't be degraded in favor of mass-value. But that still poses the question; is there more that can be done on an individual level, whether or not it compels people to congregate together? Maybe I should have titled the post to instead say "How to better cultivate growth of the playerbase", so yeah, my bad.

And, I suppose as a whole, would you say this is more-so an issue of human behavior and not game design?

Edited by Metallumere

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Muse is an alt. 

 

She's known to the community and has a personality in her own right.  She's been premium solidly since the beginning of 2015, but she doesn't get out much.  I like it like that.  Mostly I load her up just for company and she stands by as I do my own things.  Real people are wonderful of course, and Deliverance server is lively with good alliances, trade, laughter, tears and solid friendships, but what I like most about Muse is the silence.  She doesn't talk.  I don't get a wall of text whilst I'm concentrating - she's just a quiet presence, and to me that's part of her subtle appeal.

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Main points:

-My takeaway from this post is ALTS SHOULDNT EXIST BECAUSE THEY ARE KILLING THE GAME which might be me misinterpreting, but I do believe Alts are fine and people should be allowed to use them as they are a lifestyle choice.

-What I find is the problem that needs addressing is that in some cases alts aren't a choice they are a requirement. Those cases are the ones that need looking at.-I believe this requirement is built upon a combination of restrictive mechanics and the population of the game. I do believe that if we make changes that will grow the game alts will naturally become less and less relevant. Any that do remain will be strictly done via choice and that is totally fine. There are also some mechanics that benefit a number of players rather than an effort put forth to gain those rewards which I do think should be changed as well.

 

Priest Restrictions: 

16 hours ago, Metallumere said:

So maybe people should just have less restrictions all around, or fairer and more sensible restrictions on priest play, right? People are already circumventing them, so what is there to lose?

-The loss here is actually all meaning to priests and any other distinctive paths for players to take. It's a slippery slope to just saying why even have restrictions for priests if people are just going to circumvent them. Ultimately leading to everyone just being expected to be a priest and the only restriction is that there are 4 religions to choose from and you'd be dumb to just be a follower. However, there is also a potential world where religion is reworked to have no restrictions with the expectation that everyone becomes a priest of some god like they would follow a path in meditation. Circumventing priest restrictions is a choice and still requires work by a player.

 

-Separate to the alt conversation I like the sound of some of the priest change suggestions. I would love to see priests be able to participate more in the core sandbox elements such as digging and mining. I also think that allowing priests to improve the items they get benefits for as a follower makes a lot of sense. Leatherworking for Lib, Cloth for Fo, Pottery/Carpentry, and Blacksmithing for Mag. While some skills are more beneficial than others I think already some priests are more beneficial than others and this might give them a bit more presence. Such as Blacksmithing for Mag since Mag priests aren't common. It's pretty weird that as you become more devout to your god your abilities gained as a follower become useless. 

-The gain-loss juggling example with chopping trees and planting trees sounds pretty cool so that at least priests can somewhat participate in core sandbox elements if we didn't just let them have it fully. However, I'm unsure what the other 3 gods would look like.

 

Unique Loot: More effort = More loot

As the system currently is no matter how much effort you put into the fight everyone walks out with the same rewards. THIS is what I think is a big problem and why alts LOOK like they're the problem even though they aren't. I feel that Uniques and even Rifts should be based a point system that involves effort spent instead of idly standing around doing nothing. Based on the amount of damage dealt, recieced, and healed you would be rewarded with more or less rewards from both uniques and rifts. This would remove the whole AFKing alts at uniques and instead those alts would have to participate which would make it totally acceptable because the person is putting in the effort to actually get more rewards. This also makes specialized fighters for meaningful and have a better sense of purpose between community and trade. Currently there really isn't much difference between a level 1 fighter and a level 99 fighter versus being able to participate in private dragon slayings. At rifts you literally just run around and target everything and you'll get the most amount of points. You don't even need to attack a single thing. And at Uniques you just need to be in local. Both of these are AWFUL ways of rewarding players for participation. If this system or something like it were to implemented it would be preferable to have it be implemented for Rifts first and then later Uniques when it's deemed balanced because Rifts are currently in a much worse spot than Uniques.

 

Idea for Unique spawning rework

The egg idea sounded pretty cool. Unsure how to really comment on it, but I myself had some ideas for Uniques, so I thought I'd share them too. This idea can be complementary to the current system, replace it, whatever, but I thought it'd be pretty cool to have Uniques be a rare item that drops from hunting that you can then use to spawn a Unique. This would remove the need to go scouring the land looking for them and ultimately wasting time if someone else finds it before you. For example, getting a MOI when killing a troll could result in a Troll King scroll or something. I feel like this would also remove any complaints about private slayings because if someone were to get a dragon scroll as a part of a rare drop from hunting I can't imagine anybody would feel like they have the right to be apart that persons slaying if they decided to make it private. Just some food for more thought.

 

Bridge Surveying: Small cooperation requirements = More of a nuisance

While I love that the dev who made bridges probably thought it'd be cool to add a cooperative mechanic unfortunately I think that with the mechanic being soooooo miniscule of a task that it actually is more of nuisance than it is teamwork. Having to find someone in a small populated game who happens to be around to come over and hold a pole for 2 minutes and then leave isn't the best. So, honestly I would love to see the ability to plant the range pole and use the dioptra yourself to build a bridge. However, if the task involved more effort on both players parts and lasted at least like an hour, and we have a reasonable population in the game it might be acceptable at that point a cool feature. 

 

5 hours ago, Zexos said:

The main problem is that wurm is more so an AFK or Semi AFK game.

This is also very valid. The game is heavily AFK and because of that you have a lot more ability to make Alts to make it less AFK and do more. THIS MIGHT BE OKAY THOUGH. A solution to this would be to shorten timers but IDK if that's the right call as that's kind of a big selling point of the game. Activities might just need more involvement either by the player or animations or whatever. For instance, if a rock wall had progressive damage to it as you mined it I know that I for sure would find mining less tiresome. Mining atm for me is just staring at walls with nothing cool to look at it and spamming my action hotkeys Wowee. In terms of shortening timers though if we do change that I think keeping the endgame timers the same and just adjusting the starting timers to be shorter and the time gained from leveling to be shorter would be good. So, instead of starting off with 20second timers at 1skill and 1second timers at 99skill it's instead 10second timers at 1skill and 1second timers at 99skill.

 

 

 

TLDR: I think the problem that makes Alts look like the problem is we just need to find ways to improve the New Player Experience so that people aren't just quitting in the first 2 hours. More players would bring the potential for more community and more community would probably result in less desire to have alts. Also, changing mechanics that aren't based upon effort like rifts/uniques should be reworked to do so.

 

Also, this was a lot to read and respond to so I probably failed to convey some thoughts, so sorry about that but hopefully I brought an interesting POV to the discussion.

 

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Posted (edited)

I'd have to agree that the initial thought of "alts are bad!" is not really the main issue that OP tries to tell us. I think the real desire is to create more cooperative gameplay.

Alts are not the root of evil here.

Alts are workarounds, solutions, personal preference enhancers, "boosters" if you will, to problems and issues and (not necessarily flawed) mechanics that players have encountered. And I'd emphasize here personal preference.

Not everything solved or boosted by alts is broken, or badly designed. As much as you try to improve the no-alt gameplay, as long as action=result then more=better and as long as there's any kind of classing or branching in character/skill system, people will create alts.

 

12 hours ago, Metallumere said:

If we can acknowledge that things are the way they are for a reason and we share these common solutions individually, why not seek to apply solutions collectively?

It's being acknowledged and seeked  :D

There are many suggestion threads in this forum, which aim to decrease the need for alts. Multiple deeds per character. Bridge planning with planted pole. Dozens of discussions how to make priests more viable as main/solo characters.

Every now and then some ideas are implemented, things do change, and let's hope devs keep improving the "less alts needed" side of the game. But in the end, alts won't disappear anywhere and I don't think they need to.

 

12 hours ago, Metallumere said:

If people just go "Must be a problem with the people, i'll just do it myself", and not actually approach why it is people may be abandoning their supposed commitments, whatever the issue is will remain present.

It's not always the problem with other people, sometimes it's problem with me. Or is it a problem?

If I have have the tools to complete a task on my own, within my own time, without depending on other people, then I choose to do so (not only in games).

If creating an alt removes an obstacle, I will do that. If grinding a new skill helps me, I will do that. And after it's all done, I will go and brag to my neighbours "look, I did a thing, admire me!"

If I can imp my shield to my desired QL, then I will do that; even with a skilled armor smith next door (and one of my best friends in game). He doesn't feel left out, he's damn proud of me!  

This is my multiplayer preference, not a problem. I prefer to complete my tasks on my own, but I also like to have some people around to occasionaly chat about a Florida man hitting an alligator with a fork or whatever.

 

I think, current multplayer in Wurm works extremely well. It works just as much as any and each player wants it to work for themselves. If you don't see enough cooperation in this game, then perhaps other people around you (that you have met so far) are looking for something different. The problem is not in the alts; it's in the number of people.

 

:)

Spoiler

 

10 hours ago, Metallumere said:

Consider my perspective on it. Everyone goes somewhere or does something to be personally productive in some way, right? Maybe people go to a park or a mall or something to relax. What i am seeing here, is that people are sitting down right next to each other in a park, and pulling out dolls and pretending to have conversations with themselves, instead of just reaching out to the people who are right next to them doing the same thing.

Consider my perspective on this.

I go to park, to enjoy the sun and fresh air and to play with my doll. I'm not going out there to make new friends, I just want to enjoy the park and perhaps observe other people and their shenanigans.

And play with my doll.

Now, if you come with your doll, sit next to me and try to force friendship because we both have dolls, I'd feel awkward and probably ask you to leave. Or most likely just leave myself.

However, imagine we just play with our dolls today, each in silence. And tomorrow. And maybe next week I would feel that I actually relate to you and I'd say more than just "hi".

And from there on, we occasionally play with our dolls together. Not every day, but maybe weekends.

 

 

 

Edited by Shmeric
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tl;dr alts are cool I'v mined 1k stone In 30 min

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It's sad to say this but the answer is simple : Low population.

 

If this game had enough players where Wurm villages were TRUELY "recruiting" villagers out of a big list instead of hoping someone joining at some point in the coming years  because of the extremely low player population.

 

Sure,  for example if there were 15 other REAL(no alt) priests in your local for you to choose and ask help from, alts wouldn't be needed.

Unfortunately Wurm is heavily dependant on alts, not only for the obvious reason (priests/money(grab)) but also the player count. 

I think if you removed all alts, you would have like a total of 100 players across ALL servers instead of 400-500 we see now and that isn't a good look for the Game, especially not after the "big" steam promo & new NFI servers dividing the already low population even more across server sides you can't switch/cross ( NFI to SFI & etc ).

 

I remember when I first started playing wurm, I was hoping for all the things you're suggesting but quickly realised that wasn't going to be the case when I found out that nearly everyone in alliance had 2 or more alts, and that instead of 10 in local ( with alts) , we had like 3 or 4 real people :D

 

 

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