When Brendan recently visited Wurm Online, he found that the long-running fantasy MMO appeared to be on its last legs. In a world of structures built by players, most areas were deserted and decaying. That's a real shame, because I had great experiences in Wurm Online back around 2010, and it remains an interesting game today. Good news, then! Version 1.3 was just released and adds a new recipe based meal system, a new rune system, and... bees.
I'll get to the cooking, but first the bees:
A long time request by players, this update will include the addition of bees and honey! Find wild hives to coax a queen out of and raise them in your own hive.
Over time they will produce honey and beeswax, which both have many uses including making mead and sealing wax kits. Careful though, opening a hive without a smoker will get you stung, and during winter they will require honey or sugar to survive.
That sounds excellent. This actually tempts me to play Wurm Online again.
The rest of the update is mostly focused on the cooking. There ar e500 recipes and "complex meals give bonuses against food/water/stamina drain, as well as temporary affinities that are different for each player." You're also now able to distill and ferment liquids, letting you brew wine, beer and other spirits. To aid in all this, there are seven new crop types as well as orange trees and grape and rose trellis.
Lastly there are Jacak runes, which can be attached to items for high end bonuses such as better quality items when harvesting, faster vehicles, larger carrying capacity and so on.
Despite my interest in bees, it's unlikely I will return to Wurm Online. It takes ages to do anything or get anywhere in Wurm, a game where walking up a hill tires your character out so you need to take rests, and in which you need to sleep, eat and build shelter in order to survive. Building a shelter involves right clicking on a tree twenty times and selecting 'chop' from a dropdown menu until it falls down, then doing the same to turn the tree into logs, the logs into planks and then, and then, and then you need to go mining to find metal in order to smelt the metal into screws and there we go, you've got a single square wall. This was fun when I was playing with a village of other people, all doing the hard graft together and planning our little town projects. It's less fun on your own.
From Brendan's excellent feature mentioned above, about the last king of Wurm Online:
More abandoned places pass us by on the road. In places, the trees have simply grown back around player-built walls. Boats and ships lie derelict but upright on the shore, locked to all but the players who have long forgotten them. The whole world is a ruin. The only living things in the wilderness are cattle or horses, spiders or hellhounds – NPC enemies that chase our cart along the roads until they either get bored or die at the sword of the old King.
“It’s very sad. I don’t necessarily think it will always be like this. Wurm goes up and down…”