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Wurm Online

Wurm Online adds in a new Challenge mode

Fantasy, Game Mechanics, Patches, Wurm Online, News Items, Sandbox

Sandbox, noun: a version of gameplay wherein no actual content is provided, thus inciting players to punch one another in hopes of something happening.
Sometimes you don't want to fuss about with leveling; you just want to jump into the meat of a game and start accomplishing things. Wurm Online's new Challenge mode is all about that, giving new characters created just for these month-long challenges enough skills to get started right away and a faster advancement rate to boot. It sounds pretty magnanimous until you realize that the other two sides are also starting ahead and moving just as fast, so players are going to need to step up fast if they want to keep going.

The Challenge server offers a 64 square kilometer space for three player factions to feud over control. Everything on the server remains persistent for a month, after which point prizes are awarded to the players and factions that have advanced the furthest in specific categories. The update also includes siege weaponry, strategic resource spawns, and defensive fortifications to hold off attackers. It's the equivalent of throwing players in a box and shaking it until the fireworks start flying; if that sound like fun, you can jump into that box now.

[Source: Code Club press release]

Check out Wurm Online's new trailer

Fantasy, Trailers, Video, Wurm Online, Free-to-Play, Sandbox

If you can get over the fact that the narrator sounds a little like he collects torsos for a hobby, Wurm Online's newest trailer has a good overview of what makes this sandbox special. It shows (in fast-motion) the subjugation of a plot of land and the creation of a fortified home before quickly mentioning features like combat and PvP.

Is this the one true sandbox MMO of sandbox MMOs? Give the trailer a watch after the break and let us know what you think.

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Go tent camping now in Wurm Online

Fantasy, Patches, Previews, Wurm Online, Free-to-Play, Dev Diaries, Sandbox

In a game that allows you to carve out a swath of wilderness and create a home, it seems strange that Wurm Online previously lacked anything between the "sleep on the hard ground" and "set up shop in a full cabin" territory. Well that's all changed thanks to the addition of tents, including a newbie variant that is handed out at the start. Wurm's also updated the game to include timber frame walls for houses.

The team spent some time in this week's news post to talk about upcoming projects, including a pavilion-style tent, progress with collision detection on bridges, a meditation animation, and the Xanadu release.

[Thanks to Tom for the tip!]

Wurm testing 64x64 kilometer non-instanced mega-server

Fantasy, Events (In-Game), Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, Wurm Online, News Items, Sandbox

Wurm Online
Wurm Online's largest current server measures 16x16 kilometers, but the developers have their eyes on a much bigger prize. Today at 10:00 p.m. Central European Summer Time (4:00 p.m. EDT), Code Club will be testing a 64x64 kilometer non-instanced mega-server.

You can join in if you like, as the Wurm devs are looking for anyone and everyone to see how many players the server can simultaneously support. No registration is required for the test.

Lead developer Rolf Jannson says that 50,000 critters will be roaming the fantasy sandbox title's wilderness during the test, which is actually "a fairly low population in Wurm terms." Jannson also says that no other MMO has launched a modifiable map of this scale, and "running this many players in one game zone is pretty unusual in itself and will be an interesting experience."

[Thanks bdew!]

Wurm Online talks new ship model and revamped tutorial

Fantasy, Patches, Wurm Online, Free-to-Play, Sandbox

Wurm Online
The latest dev blog from the Wurm Online team shows off some features we can expect to see in the near future, including an improved model for the Knarr ship, improved foliage, and a revamped tutorial.

New Wurmians can now enjoy a more modern tutorial zone with more accessible signage. Anyone who chooses to skip the tutorial will still have the help info stored in the Book of Wisdom for later reference. And interestingly enough, the new wagons introduced with a recent update can now pass through one-tile spaces. So they don't need to be stuck in your house any longer.

Wurm Online still offline, offers bounty for DDOS attacker

Fantasy, MMO Industry, Patches, Wurm Online, Legal, Sandbox

Wurm Online's 1.2 patch was supposed to herald a day of rejoicing for the community, but that quickly turned sour as a severe DDOS attack on its hosting forced the devs to take the game offline for over a day now.

"Shortly after todays update we were the target of a DDOS attack and our hosting provider had to pull us off the grid for now," Code Club posted. "As annoying as this may be, we are taking steps to turn this to everyones advantage. I announced earlier that we were already looking at migrating the hosting of Wurm. When the attack forced us offline, we went straight ahead and pushed for this to happen as soon as possible."

The team is working on switching hosting and said that service should be restored within a day. Code Club is offering a bounty of 10,000 Euro "for any tips or evidence leading to a conviction of the person responsible for this attack."

Wurm Online pushes update 1.2 live

Fantasy, Game Mechanics, Patches, Wurm Online, News Items, Sandbox, Crafting

We got a great big convoy, riding through the night, we got a great big convoy, ain't she a beautiful sight! CONVOY.
Are you ready for wagon time? Because that's what you'll be able to explore in Wurm Online's newest update. Patch 1.2 of the game is adding in plenty of wagons as well as boat carriers, giving players a variety of wheeled transport methods to bring stuff all over the self-made world. But that's only the smallest part of today's update.

Players can also look forward to an improved crafting interface, new enemies, new rugs, a new invite function, and new crates. There's also a new system of maps that allow for personal annotations, making it that much easier to find your way around and move from village to village. The update notice promises that development will continue on the game, but players are going to have plenty to do with this update as it is. (Largely wagon-based things.)

[Update: It seems that someone decided it would be fun to DDoS the game right at the launch of this update. So Wurm is currently offline until further notice.]

[Thanks to Tom for the tip!]

Wurm Online prepares for Update 1.2, now with more wagons

Fantasy, Patches, Previews, Wurm Online, Sandbox

Wurm Online
That other mold-the-world-using-gumption-and-pickaxes sandbox, Wurm Online, is counting down the days until its Update 1.2 lands on Tuesday, February 18th, and the developers have posted a list of features today that will go into the game at that time.

With Update 1.2 will come wagons, a ship carrier, a new crafting interface, crates, drag and drop functionality, a load function, reinforced cave floors, a village recruitment board, an invite command, world and island maps with notations, a status effect bar, new emotes, and a fearsome foe known as a Kyklops.

Massively's Third Annual Frindie Awards

Fantasy, Screenshots, Game Mechanics, Ryzom, Wurm Online, Opinion, Second Life, Free-to-Play, Browser, Mobile, Casual, Virtual Worlds, MMORTS, Free for All, Miscellaneous, Sandbox

Frindie Awards
It's time once again for me to throw out my awards for the best of free-to-play, indie, and oddball MMOs, a real niche-within-a-niche. It might seem that I am assigned many of these titles as though I were some modern day Mikey, but the truth is that I get a huge thrill out of finding a new game but get even more of a thrill when I realize that no one is covering it. I had to really think hard about the criteria for the awards this year, mainly because "indie" is quickly becoming one of those often hard-to-define words, alongside "MMORPG" and "free-to-play." Fortunately, I think I know it when I see it.

I kept my choices to games that I have actually played this year. I wanted to avoid games that appear to be really cool. If you want a more broad batch of prizes, check out Massively's best of awards. (Side note: I voted for Defiance as my game of the year.)

These awards are for games that are being created on a shoestring or independent of massive budgets. Some of them are connected to some money, of course, but instead of trying to define "indie," I will only repeat: You'll know it when you see it.

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Wurm Online launches new loyalty bonus program

Fantasy, Wurm Online, Free-to-Play, Promotions, Sandbox, Subscription

Wurm Online
Wurm Online has begun a brand-new loyalty bonus program for the faithful as well as plans to allow players the ability to pay for a subscription through Xsolla.

The new loyalty program is made of two parts, a legacy bonus and future bonus. The legacy bonus is for players who have subscribed in the past and will be rewarded for this by a bounty of Seryll bars. The future bonus encompasses all of the rewards going forward, including titles, achievements, and illusion potions.

The recent Wurm newsletter also announced that players can now choose to pay for the game via Xsolla, a payment provider that is used by, among other companies, Wargaming.

[Source: Wurm Online newsletter]

Free for All: Five MMOs that deserve more of my time

Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Polls, Culture, Wurm Online, Opinion, RuneScape, Free-to-Play, The Secret World, Casual, MMOFPS, MMORTS, RIFT, Free for All, Sandbox, Buy-to-Play

Five MMOs screenshot
There's only so much time in the world for playing video games. Yes, yes, I know it pains us to admit it, but it's true: We really can't sit around and explore MMOs all day long. Well, we could, but it probably wouldn't be very good for our relationships or health or finances. For me, this means that I have to balance playing MMOs for work and playing them for the sake of the hobby. I typically take one of my weekend days to jump into any number of MMOs. I might even spend a good hour just updating them all.

Let me tell you, it's plain painful to log into an MMO and realize just how much good content, events, and player interaction I have been missing. I'm sure this is a common issue though, right? In today's Free for All, I want to take a look at five MMOs that deserve more of my time.

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Wurm hit with DDoS attack, Jansson posts update

Fantasy, MMO Industry, Wurm Online, News Items, Sandbox

Wurm suffers DDoS, Jansson posts update
Wurm Online was the victim of a distributed denial of service attack yesterday, which caused the browser-based sandbox to go offline for nearly 24 hours.

Wurm co-creator Rolf Jansson updated fans with a post on the official forums this morning. "It appears that we have been the subject of some sort of DDoS attack. This caused issues for the hosting company's other customers, so they had to unplug us," he wrote. "We are back now on a throttled line. Hopefully this means that we should not affect the other customers. We will take other measures as well. Those should take up to an hour at best, then we should be able to bring the game back up. I'll make another post when that happens."

[Thanks Cista!]

Free for All: My top four MMOs for relaxation

Trailers, Video, Lord of the Rings Online, Culture, Game Mechanics, Wurm Online, Opinion, Vanguard, Free-to-Play, Casual, Virtual Worlds, Free Realms, Free for All, Livestream, Sandbox, Housing, Player-Generated Content

Wurm Online screenshot
Say you come home from a long day's work, dreaming about the vacation that you've yet to take and how nice it would be to turn off your brain for a while, to kick back and watch the wide world walk by. Unfortunately, vacations cost a pile of money. You have to pay someone to watch the dogs and water your plants and work is a real pain about letting you out of the shackles even for a week.

The good news is that much of the benefit of vacation comes from the mental release. Sure, nothing beats the real, true feeling of pressing your toes into warm water and sand, but it can be fun and relaxing to visit virtual worlds, to take in virtual sights and sounds. MMOs are perfect for blowing off some steam, for taking a moment to realize just how nice it is to have access to such landscapes from the comfort of your desk.

Here are some of my favorite virtual worlds that bring on that feeling of relaxation.

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Jukebox Heroes: Wurm Online's soundtrack

Fantasy, Wurm Online, Opinion, Humor, Sandbox, Jukebox Heroes, Music

Jukebox Heroes Wurm Online's soundtrack
When is a soundtrack not a soundtrack? When it's Wurm Online, of course. This cult sandbox has one of the most unusual scores that I've ever heard paired with an MMO. It's made up of sparsely used incidental music that just so happens to be folksy blues songs (with lyrics), composed by Joss Sanglier and performed by 21st Century Blues. It's catchy, don't get me wrong, but it comes with a case of mental whiplash if you were expecting the typical fantasy fare. Think of it this way: All of these songs sound as if they were originally made for a steakhouse commercial.

"In Wurm, we don't play music constantly," explained Lead Designer Rolf Jansson. "Instead we play a song every now and then often based on the setting or a special event such as when you form a village. If you ever played the Lara Croft Tomb Raider game, the rare music scores really enhanced special situations, and that's what I was aiming for as well."

To make matters more interesting, recently the Wurm Online team has sponsored the creation of not one, not two, but three concept albums that will be worked into the game itself. The first such album, Meditation and Work, is now out and is quite good. While we're going to look at the "classic" Wurm tunes today, I didn't want to overlook this new project. Perhaps we'll even get back to it some day!

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Wurm Online releases first video dev diary for version 1.1

Fantasy, Video, Patches, Wurm Online, Free-to-Play, Dev Diaries, Sandbox

Wurm Online releases first video dev diary for version 11
On June 19, Code Club AB released the long-awaited patch 1.1 for Wurm Online, essentially taking the game into a whole new world of content, improvements, graphics, and playability.

To help celebrate that new update, the team has released its first developer diary video, giving players a chance to see a bit more of the behind-the-scenes with the developers themselves, and more highlights from the game's recent improvements.

You can watch the video just after the cut, and be sure to check out our own recent revisit to the classic sandbox.

[Source: Code Club AB press release]

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