Life In An Outhouse #WurmOnline
I don’t have a screenshot, so you’ll have to close your eyes and imagine the scene:
A forest of maple trees. Tall grass, swaying in the wind. The sound of boats in the distance, bumping against their moorings while the surf laps at the dock. The moon overhead seems almost green, and OH MY FKING GAWD THERE’S A MASSIVESPIDERBITINGMEANDNOWTHERESAWOLFAND…wait…is that…OHMYGAWDABEAR!!!!1!
I managed to find a plot of un-owned land in Wurm Online. It’s situated on the western coast, a bit inland but still within walking distance of the ocean. There’s a lot of abandoned property nearby, so understood because when you right click on the tile or object and choose examine, it doesn’t tell you that it’s within a named property, and tells you that the damage is in the high percent – meaning someone isn’t keeping up with repairs. That’s not really of interest to me; I could have waited for it to all topple down and then deeded the place myself to get closer to the coast, but I set up shop at the edge of the forest. Having trees is probably the first major resource one can benefit from, because the wood you gather from them is used to create things like some tools, and of course, a house.
Housing is a multi-step process, and it takes a while to construct. I found out that while you don’t need a deed to build a house, having one means that no one can mess with your stuff, plus you get exclusive access to the materials within your plot. Cutting down trees allows you to create logs, which allows you to create planks in conjunction with your saw. You also need to create a mallet using your carving knife, a shaft, and a mallet head, from a log. Using the mallet, you place a plan for the building, and once you work and finalize the plan, you need 20 planks per wall of the building to make an effective structure. One thing I didn’t pay attention to is that each wall you construct can either be a wall, a door or a window, and you need to select which one you want to make as the first step in erecting the side of the building. I thought I’d be able to put in a door or window once the wall was up, for some reason, but that’s not the case, so one wall that would have had a great view now has a solid wall instead. At least I managed to get the door in place so I can actually, you know, use the building.
I’ve only got two walls up so far, and two piles of stuff, which is a less formal aggregation of items than one would find in a chest: it’s basically…a pile of dropped stuff. Most of it is wood shavings that were the result of failed attempts at creating planks. That’s all getting turned into kindling so I can take it over to the abandoned fortress and make my casseroles in the oven that’s located there.
Both hooray and boo, the forest at my back is a prime hunting spot, as I was informed by a local who seemed concerned that I’d mess it up with my building. The good news is that this local has nothing to fear. It’s like a zoo full of predatory animals burst open and spilled it’s residents throughout the forest. The bad news is that last night, I was run down by two bears, a spider, a rat, a wolf, and a wild cat. I ran in circles so many times while trying to get away, all I could hear in my head was “Yakkity Sax”, Benny Hill style until I managed to get to safety. Sadly, I’m not deft enough with a blade to be able to take down this unruly mob, and since my small shed isn’t a very effective shelter with only two walls, I was forced to collapse in heap and cry myself to the logout screen in the hopes that next time I’ll be able to continue working unbothered by every single fumoggin creature in Wurm.
But it’s all part of the attraction, all the potential death and inconvenience. Wurm is really the kind of experience that is the antithesis of the Big Name MMOs out there. I’d even say that it’s in a portion of the spectrum that’s beyond traditional sandbox games. It’s the ubersandbox because there’s nothing universally exciting about it on paper. There’s no massive explosions. There’s no working one’s way up to Level Badass. There’s a lot of running from what would be considered to be level 1 trash mobs in pretty much every MMO. There’s housing, but you have to work your ass off to get it. You can buy stuff from player vendors, but in a game which gives you the opportunity to craft the exact same items and raise your skills in doing so, what’s the point? This is Settlement Frontier Online, and for those whose national histories contain such mythology, you get a much better appreciation of how simply staying alive with a full belly is far more badass then earning high level loot from whatever raid you ran.