Zexos

Is Wurm too Realistic? Could Wurm be Good for Mental Health?

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I just watched an interesting video called "How Much Realism is Too Much In Video Games & Fantasy Fiction?" (Linked below) and some of the points in the video made me think of Wurm.

For example - Travelling for hours to reach the other side of the map.  Even longer for bigger servers.

 

Is this too Realistic?  

Does it break the immersion? 

Or does it draw you in and make you have to slow down, learn patience and take away this feeling of "Wow, the world really is big and there is so much to see and explore 😮"

 

Another example is: Making items -  There are alot of parts to making items and quite a fair amount of the time you need to have performed other actions in many different skill sets to create a item. (If doing it solo)  Like mining, woodcutting, carving, smithing, sawing, firemaking...etc.

Doing all of those tasks along with the timers makes wurm feel very slow, like how it would feel trying to make something in real life.    Though again, when does this become too much?  Or does this realistic nature create that "wurm feeling" of achievement?  Where it can take weeks going onto months to finally finish something. 

 

The Video:

 


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Something else I want to touch upon is:  Will this slow and realistic way of doing things bring in new players?


What I mean by that is: I personally have felt that the current state of the world means that I need to be focusing more on Real Life matters (Growing Food & trying to become Self Sufficient) and so I can't spend hours upon hours or nearly all day on Wurm anymore.  My feeling is that other people are feeling this way as well so when playing games, they may want to focus on games where they can do things at a faster rate.  They would like to have a break and escape from the world for a while but not for hours and hours anymore.

This is my feeling. Because of this, I feel wurm could maybe do with a new genre classification added onto the Sandbox Title. 

Mental Health & Elderly People - I feel that Wurm would be good for improving someone's mental health.  The slow paced nature of wurm makes it so that you might enter a kind of meditation state.  You can tend to your crops and listen to the rake slowly drag across the ground.  The timer is like a breath.  It takes it's time.   You can't rush wurm.

There is currently a mental health crisis so places like Wurm could be a safe haven where people can get away from the real world and escape into a medieval fantasy. 

It could also be a great place for elderly people too since they can experience what it is like to do many different things again and talk to other people.   Something which many elderly people do not have.

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Well anyway, what do you think?  Is Wurm too realistic?   Could wurm's realism bring in new audiences/markets?  What things in wurm are too realistic too you and could use some improvement? 

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Let's face it,  these young insta-gamer, whipper-snappers just don't have the patience us old-timers have (pointing at everyone 50+).  It shows with modern games.  They are mostly particle effects, bigger than life, stronger than possible, I-can-do-everything-and-anything scenarios.  Wurm cannot give those things and so that probably knocks out 80% of the gaming population today.

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I find Wurm the ideal escape route from the many things that are currently bearing down on families and individuals alike, however, this can only be my own opinion as I feel sure that some people feel that aspects of the game cause them angst / anguish.

 

I am an older player and as such I may likely have a different playing style when compared to younger players. I do not rush Wurm and as a result play every day albeit for relatively short periods of time (2hs at a time max). The immersion that I obtain through playing can make the game realistic in as far as it is still 'just a game'. I love many aspects of the game and I do feel that the variety of skills / challenges- and in some cases, the complexity of the gameplay such as cooking and beverages- are very beneficial to keeping my brain youthful :) 

 

Not being a medical person, I would imagine that mental health is something that can affect people in a wide variety of ways due to many different causes and so different games may cause negative or positive outcomes to different people.

 

Maybe this is why a new genre suggesting that a game can be good for mental health has not been implemented before? Like you, (Zexos) I find playing Wurm beneficial, relaxing and an excellent form of escapism but I would not be confident in suggesting it as an 'elixir' for mental health except to someone who I knew really well.

 

You have posed a very interesting question!

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For traveling, I tend to want to explore more, and while the endless hours of travel can be annoying, it also gives the opportunity to examine and see other parts of the world.  Now that I travel to other servers, I get a better appreciation for what others are doing with their deeds and surrounding areas.  If we just sped through everything at the speed of light, we'd miss so much.  Other games I've played I wished travel could be a little slower so I could look at the scenery or watch other things going on in the back ground.

 

For making items, honestly having to take so many steps in Wurm has given me more of an appreciation of how things need to be done IRL.  I mean, there have been a couple times working on something around the house, I'm thinking, "wow, I'd need to make this, do that, add this and then put it all together!"  I've been able to break things down a bit more in my head having to actually put the work into it for the game.  Yes,some things are still very unrealistic, but having more knowledge than I did before I take as a win.

 

As for relaxation, yes, I see my Wurm time as very relaxing at times.  I choose to do what I'm in the mood for...farming, mining, fletching...whatever.  If I want to craft more, then I do that.  If I want to travel, I do that.  I like to immerse myself in that world because so much IRL is chaotic and uncertain...when I'm traveling in Wurm, I KNOW I'll get jumped by spiders, ya know?  I can listen to music, I can talk to people or not.  I can feel in control of my worldly experience and I can't get that in "the real world."  It does help with my mental health, by keeping me focused on my interests and encouraging me to work on things I want to.  Physically I have issues, to put it mildly, so I would never be able to do this level of activity.  At least here I can still get that feeling of accomplishment and community.  So yes, for elderly it could be helpful, but the downside is the ability to react quickly in some situations, hit the correct keys for actions and be coordinated enough to keep things moving.  For some elderly people, that becomes overwhelming.

 

People pick games focusing on what they are interested in.  If someone wants the instant/quick gratification, no, Wurm is not the right game.  There are plenty of us that enjoy the experience, and since I rarely have finished any games (I have most Pokemon games 99% complete, but never finished them since I was close enough anyway), I find this structure of never ending activity to be fine.  If someone wants a beginning/middle/end, that describes most other games in existence.

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Posted (edited)

with a bred hell horse and gear you speeding around maps at 50km/h 

 

Edited by Nicephoros

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45 minutes ago, Jingerjas said:

I find this structure of never ending activity to be fine.  If someone wants a beginning/middle/end, that describes most other games in existence.

Exactly that.

 

I find Wurm is my happy place almost all the time - the occasional negative interaction with other players being about the only exception. I don't do any of the 'directed' things in wurm, like journals or missions, etc. so the game is truly a sandbox for me. I love it and believe it's very good for my mental well-being.

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me thinking of traveling far -> now I am risking a mount or cart pullers' life for w/e reason if a starved aggressive mob reaches them, oh sure.. tame a riding horse... *sounds like fun*, extra things to do.. when somebody call you and you just rather alt+f4 at the spot and continue later, it's just a game... wait..

that's not really an option in wurm

unless you don't really care for small chances of rng events

 

either way.. spend 30min to travel from A to B.. well now you need to spend 30min to get from B to A.. most likely... well you have only 2-3 or whatever hours to play and do other things irl after work, so what do you do?

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No game should claim it is good for mental health without having mental health professionals engaged in every step of the way. 

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I find that Wurm gives me joy and can burn me out when I do too much.

It's got it's pros and cons. When Wurm is bad I go do something else. simple as that.

For the most part, I like learning the skills which gets me curious about it in real life.

For instance, I've been watching YT videos about cow farmers, cow/horse hoof trimmers, animal chiropractors and pros mowing lawns.

Very relaxing...like Wurm it's suppose to be fun and relaxing. 

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Posted (edited)

It is finely grained, but I wouldn't call it realistic.

 

Take grass for example.  You cut grass, but to plant it you don't use the grass seed but make a thatch (i.e. of the non-seeded part) and plant thatching to grow grass.  Anyone seriously lawnkeeping knows that you want to AVOID thatching for healthy grass.  Alternatively you you could just plant the grass whole (seeds and all) and you get.... steppe.  That isn't realism.  Sure it is fine detail, and an exercise in problem solving, both of which are good.  But what it isn't is realistic.  Realistically, all you need is the seed and something to break open the soil.

 

To make a mast, you take a felled tree in your left hand and chop it with a hatchet in your right hand.

 

To lay down a keel for a boat, you take an 80kg section of keel in each hand and moosh them together, apart from the whole 80kg in each hand there is the whole "no tools" thing.

 

To make something small out of metal, you take your anvil and smack it down on a lump of metal.

 

Travel can be a pain if you are merely wanting to get to your destination, or need to get there by a set time.  That is at least realistic (but is it appropriate to the escapism of gameplay?  I can't decide).  Part of the issue here in relation to realism is that time is sped up 8x (far from realistic, but a practical approach) but travel/movement is NOT sped up 8x.  If you are travelling and Wurm tells you that your speed is 48kph (which is a good clip on a horse or wagon or sailing ship), you are in effect only moving at 8kph which is merely a steady sustainable jog.

 

 

 

Edited by TheTrickster
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Take stills... in 3hours you'll distill liters and liters of alcohol(IN REAL LIFE)... in wurm in 3hours.. you'll barely have a few ml at best, that's the IRL time... if you count 3 IRL hours into wurm time.. that's day+night cycle...

wurm have some really hard to boil fermented materials;

 

I did suggest to start using something like alliance teleports .. or possibly do links with others based on trust/friend list/ or w/e of the sort, but have both the freedom to link your "phone" to a friend, typically within alliance or external.. and teleport around for the sake of... oh-hell.. I need a new wagon -> no problem, omw, and then you're there in less than 5min.. because you gone to make coffee.. returned with a beverage, snack and whatever else.. you don't have to spend time to go from A to B and back.. just spawn where you are needed or want to be to help.. and interact with the other person, help or get helped and then quickly return to whatever was your own top-priority.

Somebody will say.. oh-no.. that's op.. will be abused, etc etc etc... sure.. as much as priests traveling anywhere and summoning other people right now... ok..

Think skyrim.. and "any" other desktop or mmo game.. do they have teleports, most do? Wonder why.

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An alliance teleport system like that could be good, but perhaps it is something that could be limited in some way.  Maybe a cool down; maybe require alliance portals to be constructed on deeds.  It wouldn't be any more op than current summons.

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Posted (edited)

Reminder that they already destroyed traveling in Wurm by making ships magically teleport to any coast on any server you want. EVE Online or DarkFall this is definitely not, more like Second Life's convenient sim-to-sim teleports. Want to go there? Just say the magic word and you are already there.

 

Edited by CistaCista

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, CistaCista said:

teleport to any coast on any server you want

That isn't how "plot a course" works.  Yes, you can select any of the available servers,  but where you enter the destination server is determined by where you left the "departure" server.

 

It also didn't destroy travelling - it sacrificed some realism to gain some practicality.  I started Wurm on Indy, and joined a deed in the NE corner.  When I emigrated to Harvestmoon Lagoon in NE Release, I only had a rowboat as that was all I could build at the time.  Due to the "plot a course" sailing mechanic, my best time would have been something like 20 minutes of sailing (since I have no Wurm sense of direction, I was closer to an hour because I missed HML and sailed clockwise around the island on whose North-West HML sits).  Without the "plot a course" I would have spent, as a relative newbie, at least 5 and a half hours of open ocean sailing just to relocate.  That's at least one full session of doing nothing but staring at a slowly changing screen and occationally pressing a or d.  I probably wouldn't have stuck it out and my toon would be languishing unused in the open ocean where my rowboat had long since decayed away. 

Edited by TheTrickster
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1 hour ago, CistaCista said:

Reminder that they already destroyed traveling in Wurm by making ships magically teleport to any coast on any server you want. EVE Online or DarkFall this is definitely not, more like Second Life's convenient sim-to-sim teleports. Want to go there? Just say the magic word and you are already there.

 

appear on xanadu border.. "enjoy" wasting 1-2 hours

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I find travel is like decay, a bit of a boogeyman that is for some reason really thrown around as a major detriment, yet not actually looked at. 

 

Games that have teleportation to extreme levels like ESO and the like, often lose the joy of exploring and seeing what people have done. 

 

This is going to sound lame, but by making it about the destination, not the journey, the magic of wurm would be lost. 

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11 hours ago, Eyesgood said:

Let's face it,  these young insta-gamer, whipper-snappers just don't have the patience us old-timers have (pointing at everyone 50+).  It shows with modern games.  They are mostly particle effects, bigger than life, stronger than possible, I-can-do-everything-and-anything scenarios.  Wurm cannot give those things and so that probably knocks out 80% of the gaming population today.

 

Not just insta-gamers, if your average working joe at the end of the day, having the remaining 5-6 hours of the day to split between family, friends, some home chores or entertainment, i don't think any significant amount of it would be alocated to something that can be refered as "second job", be it a game or whatever

 

About the traveling, it's nice to have it both options in any game, i think. Not everyone should be forced to endure the joy of exploration if anything else the reaching destination is waste of time for them. For those that have time and willingless to spend the time exploring, can do so on their own pace and shouldn't bother them how someone else is traveling, unless it's competitive.

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I definitely wouldn't say wurm's travel should be cut down - part of what gives wurm its feel is the real effort it takes to get somewhere, and how working on transport (horses, carts, ships, wagons) changes this in a noticeable way (how long would it take to walk across Xanadu vs how long it would take to ride across).

 

There is a good feeling to surviving a long trip, that real feeling of relief, though sometimes it is coupled with the dread of “I have to do that again once I cast courier”!

 

When wurm was at its peak there was a lot to see when travelling, now there are mostly just odd patterns in dirt and paving that hint at what you missed (I’ve seen a lot of great deeds over the years that are sadly long gone now).  Archaeology really helped here, but a better "ruin" system for when a deed falls, and more natural variety in plants/critters would really help cut out the "I just travelled 3 hours to a rift, and I semi-afked and listened to a podcast the whole way" feel.

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teleporting exists as it is, you'll find several priests just afk at random places of the map and somebody will normally pull you at some random corner at no cost.. now you're stuck at that random other corner of the map.. deal with it..

meditation/path abilities offer different teleports, random or returning to your village token

offers just freedom for action and not blunt demand to bother somebody to do something for you

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Posted (edited)
14 hours ago, Etherdrifter said:

There is a good feeling to surviving a long trip, that real feeling of relief,

"I really like banging my head against the wall, because it so nice when I stop!"  🤣

 

Sorry, couldn't resist.

 

generally prefer to travel because I enjoy exploring.  Part of that is I have to go into it acknowledging that I might NOT get to the destination in a timely manner, or even at all in some cases.  Sometimes an intra-server journey I would normally sail I will ride instead (possibly a vehicle, maybe just a mount).  That said, some of the travel really IS just featureless scrolling that soaks up time, especially if you just need to get somewhere to do something.  

 

There is also the "road most travelled" issue, where you aren't really going to be able to explore because you travel the exact same stretch every other day and have seen it all so many times you know it from memory.

 

 

14 hours ago, Etherdrifter said:

a better "ruin" system for when a deed falls, and more natural variety in plants/critters would really help cut out the "I just travelled 3 hours to a rift, and I semi-afked and listened to a podcast the whole way" feel.

Definitely.

 

However, considering how much of movement is effectively slowed down 8x (due to the clocks twirling so fast) it really wouldn't be a net deficit to allow the occasional deed-based pop-over and do something then pop-back.  Teleports already happen, but they require involving another, possibly otherwise uninvolved, player - so why should it be a problem to not involve an otherwise uninvolved player? 

 

Edited by TheTrickster
critically missed a NOT
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I just watched a few minutes of the video and felt kinda annoyed that he just seemed to be reading someone elses opinion about RDR2 having too much realism.

 

RDR2 is a game that has so much depth that we'll likely be still looking into new found things, new details and such for a long time. It wasn't that long ago, I saw an image showing how when rain falls, the dirt in the rivers increases as it's shifted or something.

That's a NEAT detail, and while most games don't have that detail, you can't help but notice that these all time favourite games tend to have one thing in common. A lot of detail. There was a video shown of what little details were put into Left 4 Dead, and while they aren't the biggest backbone, it makes you think about how much love, craft and care goes into these things. How much they added to the game overall, to make it feel alive and fun.

RDR2's problem isn't really being TOO realistic. The gameplay is polarising because it stands against what a lot of games are set up to be. RDR2 makes you ###### your lever action rifle between shots for example. So that one trigger press to fire it and ###### it in other games, is two presses in RDR2. It takes time to get used to, but by the end of it, it felt a nice bit of extra control I had. RDR2 isn't even a grindfest either, a lot of games have small periods of waiting during tasks, and RDR2 isn't all that bad in that regard.

When he then went on to describe the loop of being hungry, thirsty, I had realised he's really not even totally sure what he's trying to rant about. Because that's not an issue with realism, that's an issue with the design of the game. If your hunger and thirst is hindering what you do to that degree, it's a bad implementation of it.

 

When he starts to go on about walking simulators, I get the impression he's talking about Death Stranding.

Again, this is just another polarising game. It's a very slow paced game, simulating walking almost. But it offers you an interesting world, a great story and some likeable characters with some really well tuned gameplay. Not every game needs to be a zoom zoom fest of pretty lights and fast action. Death Stranding makes those breaks in action, the downtime into the main game and it really makes you consider how valuable that time is in other games too.

 

Can Wurm be good for mental health? Maybe, but only really as a social factor and a break away from reality for a bit. Escapeism isn't healthy, and please see an actual medical professional if you feel you cannot function without Wurm, because one day this game will fold. All good things come to an end, and all that.

 

tl;dr video is silly, not really well thought out and the points aren't good.

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11 hours ago, Tor said:

Not just insta-gamers, if your average working joe at the end of the day, having the remaining 5-6 hours of the day to split between family, friends, some home chores or entertainment, i don't think any significant amount of it would be alocated to something that can be refered as "second job", be it a game or whatever

 

This has always been my issue after a long day of work. 

 

Look, if I want to visit my neighbour Sasha, who lives 10 locals away from me, and I've made that trip 50 times already  there is zero joy in "exploration". I know the sights. Same guard towers. Same roads. Same path because it's the fastest and most efficient. I just want to not waste 40 minutes to and from because I want to deliver him some horses. Just let me teleport with my lead animals, give them to Sasha and back. I got chores and stuff to do IRL. He has stuff to do IRL too. I am not gaining any skill in anything while I do this, it's just one of wurm's "things that loves to waste my time and insult player's time" and that's all it is.

 

Same with sailing. What is there to gain by sailing? Seeing the great ocean views, aka the same flat ocean wurm has been for 15 years now with zero events, zero anything to keep me interested? There's a reason most passengers usually bring some carpentry tools and arrows with them to improve, so at least they feel they gain something. 

 

I would prefer we had deed to deed teleporters honestly and it would improve the UX 1000x fold. Want to explore? Go ahead and enjoy wurm's mysteries. But for those who unfortunately play "on the clock" in their free time we really don't have time to do many things because Wurm refuses to respect players time. 

 

Either ramp up horse / cart /wagon / ship speed or something or add teleporters for those who want to use them.

 

If the immediate counter argument is "But you lose on the exploration, aspect. immersion and wonder of wurm if we add teleporters!" then there was no wonder to begin with. Most rpg games have some form of fast travel. Why? To respect players time. There is absolutely no difference in the value of a players time if it's a single player game or MMO.  Wurm sadly thinks that if we are forced to walk the same roads that is fun. For some it is. For most of us it's not. It's also the main reason people hate events lift rifts because they are time gated and distance gated. 

 

Skyrim had fast travel but we still explored. Gothic 3 had fast travel but we still explored. Red dead redemption had fast travel but we still explored. 

 

If we refuse to add forms of faster travel in game because we fear it will "kill exploration" then that is an open admission itself that exploration in its current state is tedious and unfun. 

 

Source : A player who explored a server so much he made a personal map of guard towers, deeds, bridges, mob spawners and updated it for years (in game map). 


I love exploration. But I hate the tedium of revisiting the same places over and over again because Wurm doesn't acknowledge the fact for most of us, our playtime is limited. And players when they see "travel speeds" would prefer to skip Wurm altogether and choose other games. If you want to keep players, respect their time. 

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Posted (edited)

"Is Wurm too Realistic?"

No.

 

"For example - Travelling for hours to reach the other side of the map."

I spend a lot of time exploring and a world can never be too large for me. My first MMO was Asheron's Call which is roughly 500 sq miles and since AC, I look down with great disdain on tiny worlds. New World for example was way too small for me to enjoy it, plus there was no wilderness, just a few spots in between roads and locations so there wasn't much to explore. It felt more like an arena than it did a world. If Wurm could support a larger server than Xan, then I would move there. I'm a fan of MMO's that have one large mega-server, like Eve.

 

This goes for single player games as well but sadly most survival type SP games are set on very small islands. Typically, the older the game, the larger the world. Compare Daggerfall to Skyrim for example. Skyrim is like the size of a region in Daggerfall. I used to do run tests and then post them as videos in which I run from one end of a 'large' world to the other to illustrate just how small the world really is.

 

With that said, I don't  mind fast travel options, they come in handy when you just need to get to point B without fuss. But I would rather have a large world with fast travel options so that I can still enjoy exploring.

Edited by Whane
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13 hours ago, elentari said:

What is there to gain by sailing?

 

There's navigating. 

In this thread people talk only of exploration, but forget about the art of sailing. Countless people, myself icluded on a couple of occasions, have gone terribly lost on sailing trips. Mastering navigation in Wurm for me is a great satisfaction in itself. 

There was also the trading profession, I used to spend days sailing sprouts and logs through 4-5 servers and making good money on it. 

 

Also in this thread people appeal to think of the poor souls that only have 1-2 hours of playtime each evening after taking care of job and family. To this I say, there are thousands of games that are catering for the casual, and there are only few games that appeal to players that really want to invest their time in it. Wurm used to be a game all about rewarding people that wanted to invest themself in it, like EVE Online. Not so much anymore.

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