Wurm Welcome: Wurm Online Emerging From Six Year Beta

By Nathan Grayson on December 5th, 2012 at 11:00 am.

Did you know that Notch existed before Minecraft? Not only that, he breathed and ate food and made games and everything! Just like a real flesh being. But when he decided to pursue Minecraft’s blocky green pastures, his previous claim to fame, sandbox fantasy MMO wonderland Wurm Online, didn’t miss a beat. And by that, I mean it stayed in beta for six years and change. But with good reason: after all, even the likes of EVE Online certainly didn’t get anything-goes craziness entirely right on day one. And it had a team of more than, er, roughly three people. So then, why is Wurm worming its way out of beta’s nourishing soils now? Well, apparently, this was the plan all along.

The Wurm team explained the sudden (but also completely un-sudden) emergence in a blog post detailing its plans from this point forward:

“We’re officially releasing Wurm Online 1.0 on the 12th December 2012. What it means is that Wurm will contain improvements that we consider make the game marketable. We’ll finally have character customization, visible armour, multi story buildings and nicer looking creatures.”

“As most of you have noticed, during all these years we’ve kept a low profile when it comes to attracting customers. It has been a deliberate strategy due to our special development situation. It has worked well and we have attracted the customer base we’ve needed to keep the flame burning.”

The plan, then, is to launch with “at least one” brand new freedom server – so as to give new players a real fresh start. Beyond that, the team intends to be more communicative and open in the future, so as to keep the fickle stomachs of the non-diehard populace sated with juicy slabs of information.

If you’d like to understand what all the fuss is about, I definitely recommend this brilliant Quinns-penned account of humanity and theft and deplorable acts and kneecap-hungry mountain lions. Sure, there may be some residual clunk in Wurm’s trunk, but there’s nothing else out there quite like it.

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43 Comments »

  1. Stijn says:

    Oh man, that title pun.

  2. Deadly Habit says:

    Gotta love that Notch still gets more credit for Wurm than the devs who stuck with it…

    • frightlever says:

      To be fair, having Notch’s name attached to the project isn’t going to do them any harm.

      I didn’t really click with Wurm Online but it seems to be doing what Salem is aiming to do but in 3D.

      • Simas says:

        The developers who created Salem worked before on the Haven & Hearth game, which was an attempt to copy Wurm Online in an isometric kind of way. Wurm was the first with the idea, the others just followed. Actually, I think Wurm is still the only MMO game with working terrain terraforming.

    • John Connor says:

      I doubt any of them will complain about the publicity his name will bring them.

      • Deadly Habit says:

        Funnily enough the have the co-creator’s name in the articles tags, but nowhere in the article… Notch last worked on Wurm in 07, but still gets the name drop.

        • Prime says:

          A clear distinction is made between Notch and “The Wurm Team”. There’s no credit-stealing happening here. Trust in your fellow readers to work this out for themselves.

          • princec says:

            Yes, but don’t trust indexing and search engines to make the connection for posterity. Tsk.

          • Prime says:

            I wasn’t. Reading the above article should be enough to work out that Notch was a part of the project at one time, but not the entity that finished it nor even its most important part. Basic reading comprehension is all that’s required, not running to t’ Internets. Tsk.

          • The Random One says:

            Well, I didn’t get that from the article. I fact, I was under the impression that the “three-person team” mentioned was Mojang.

    • Prime says:

      It would be really lovely to have an article mention Notch that doesn’t descend into Notch-trolling in the comments below…please, pretty please?

      For instance, nothing in the article gives Notch more credit than anyone else for Wurm. His name is simply attached to the game as Frightlever said. As written your comment sounds….ungenerous and slightly cynical.

  3. tomeoftom says:

    I love the concept so much but it ran so terribly the last time I played that after a day of playing I kind of gave up. Fucking JRE, man.

    • Davee says:

      It used to be incredibly badly optimized – ran at under 30 FPS on my machine last year with many options turned down. But now I’m running about on the Test Server with 60-100 FPS most of the time on highest possible settings. They’ve managed to get it running way smoother for release, it would seem!

      Granted, It’s still a very performance-heavy thing for the way it looks.

      EDIT: Sorry, my options were actually not all maxed out. But when they are, FPS hovers around 40 in a densely wooded and built-up area.

  4. SubparFiddle says:

    I’d trade out the link to minecraft.net with a link to wurmonline.com; seems a bit more fitting given the circumstances…

  5. Bluerps says:

    This game makes me sad that I don’t have more time. I think I’d really enjoy this, but it would also consume pretty much all the gaming time I have…

    • randomkeyhits says:

      I’ve played this since alpha and without a doubt it IS the biggest time sink possible, nothing else has come close but I’ve since learned (slowly) that all games can take all your time, if you let them.

      Having said that in recent years its been tuned so that its nowhere near as bad as it was in its early days. I still maintain a subbed account because the freedom of choice this game offers means I want it to be a success. Especially as it is a continually evolving world which carries on regardless of if you log in or not. No resets, no instancing has always appealed to me.

      I definitely have some good memories, can’t think of another game where I can travel across the map to where a war was fought and look at the player created/destroyed ruins and fondly remember breaking down the walls and putting everyone to the sword/axe/stabby things. Good times…

  6. Artist says:

    Would be a nice game if it wouldnt be so horrible to grind up skills. Grindcraft. What a waste.. =/

  7. vlonk says:

    Does this release date not coincide with the release of Darkfall Unholy Wars (Darkfall 2.0) which also releases at 12.12.12 and is also part of the illustrious, yet small market of full-loot PVP MMO ?

  8. Simas says:

    I quit Wurm Online immediately after I bought premium time. Why? Because they gave me free 5 silver coins (automatically when I bought the premium thingy). I don’t mind they have this pay to win model where you can buy in-game cash for RL cash, but I didn’t ask for it and they forced it on me.

    • randomkeyhits says:

      The game shop where you buy your premium allows you to buy premium time, silver coins or a mix. It was not forced on you, you made a choice to include coins in your purchase, so I’ll call you on that.

      As for a pay to win model, maybe, but barely. You can also earn coins in game but they are only useful when you go to a trader. Apart from a few money sinks everything in this game is player made including the items you’d buy from the trader. There is no way to buy a house, you gather all the resources yourself and make it, can’t buy animals if you want a farm, you’ve got to go out there and hunt them. The main use of coins is to pay for deeding areas of land which gives some rights and some protection. Everything else you have to do for yourself.

      Can you explain how you see this to be a pay to win model?

  9. arkona says:

    Oh man I had totally forgotten about this game. My tiny house… my dog… all must be gone by now. :’(

    • Mud says:

      lol, I know how you feel, last time I checked all what I build was gone and me horses dead, boat gone etc.
      It was so sad I never logged in again hehe.

      Sidenote, it was for 6 months a fun game to play but you need a lot of spare time.

  10. Sc0r says:

    Oh well.. can’t get any1 to play it because of the skill-lvl 20-paywall.

    • wurmplayer says:

      Paywall? You are wrong. You can EARN premium time by working for other people. 10 silver in game coins are worth 10 euros, which can be traded for 1 month of prem time. Some people I know got a deed without paying a cent of real world money. If you are really good you can sell coins to others with real world money and make a profit!

      • Shepardus says:

        Interesting, didn’t know that. I didn’t notice any mention of that on the website until I actually looked for it – they could probably make that more clear, since it does make me more willing to try this out.

      • Harlander says:

        I’m always intrigued by the concept of earning game time through play (it’s done in EVE as well that I’ve heard of) but in the end it sounds like taking a second job to pay for the game time that allows you to better do the job that you’re working to pay for itself.

      • sinister agent says:

        It’s also worth noting that level 20 in a skill, while low, will make you competent, and based on the two or three in-game days I’ve spent there so far, will take quite a while to reach, too. I’ve only just got one skill to 10, and I’ve been using it heavily.

        I’ll probably be sending them some money in a couple of months, when funds are less tight. It’s surprisingly pleasant so far.

  11. sinister agent says:

    Oof. They really don’t make the server choice clear. There’s information on the wiki, but I’ve no idea which server to go to. I’d like it to be possible for people to kill or steal from me, but I don’t want to play in some idiot griefing/dickwaving playground. The busiest servers at the moment are the ones with no pvp and no theft, but does that mean there’s nothing to do but build and stab bears?

    Still, have played through the tutorial and don’t already hate and loathe the game. That’s unusual for an MMO.

    • Harlander says:

      If idiot griefling/dickwaving playgrounds were properly labelled at server selection, everyone would have a much better time.

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