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|Release date(s)||12 December 2012|
Wurm Online is a 3D massively multiplayer online role-playing game developed by Code Club AB (formerly known as Onetoofree AB) in Motala, Sweden. Development started in 2003 by friends Markus Persson and Rolf Jansson, and it was released for personal computers in 2006. Players can choose to play on servers that allow player versus player combat and realm versus realm combat or servers that are focused more on a virtual economy.
Everything in the game but the natural environment is created by players. When a new server is launched it is an empty land. To start your adventure you go through a tutorial where you also receive your starting items and a mirror. The mirror is used to customize the appearance of your character and can be used only once, but at the time of your choice. All items are made from materials from the world: wood cut from trees, rocks and metal mined from tunnels, and so forth. Wurm allows players to terraform the land, raising, flattening, and lowering tiles using shovels. Players can also mine underground and make vast caverns, climb mountains, build keeps and cities, and form new kingdoms (on some servers). Player versus player combat is open with a penalty for same-kingdom killing on most servers. Multiple gods vie for the attention of players and grant missions (on some servers), spells, and enchantments to players and items. Every item has a quality level that affects its damage, decay, or overall quality. Skills can be leveled up based on usage with no skill or stat cap. Archery is included and is an active component of combat. Vehicles include carts, animals (cattle and horses), and boats which can all be ridden. Crops can be grown and have their own growth rates, as do trees and bushes. Weather consists of wind (affects boat travel), snow and rain. Many players choose to live peaceful lives and are only called to combat during raid events where one kingdom attempts to invade another.
Every action in the game is affected by one or more skills. For instance, using a small metal shield does not make one better at using a small wooden shield. Each weapon or tool or device has a skill all its own. This allows players to specialize or generalize. Players can also build and form villages. These villages can band into alliances to give aid to one another in times of need.
Wurm is developed in Java and uses OpenGL for rendering the game. Development of the game was started by Rolf Jansson and Markus Persson. Wurm first started its Beta stage in 2003, and went gold in 2006. In 2007, Markus Persson left the company. When asked if Wurm would shut down due to his resigning, Markus said "Wurm's not going anywhere." In 2008, the main developer began publishing a blog.
In 2011, the main developer hired their first paid employee, a client developer who has since been responsible for an overhaul of the lighting system. This was later followed by a lead artist being hired by the developer, resulting in a total of two known employees as of July 2011. The game was officially released in 2012.
On October 21, 2015, a standalone version of Wurm Online, known as Wurm Unlimited, was released. It contains the same gameplay (with variable rules), but is a one-time purchase rather than having a limited free trial and monthly fee, and is played on player-run servers instead of the main official servers.
Massively.com has, since 2012, began regularly featuring Wurm, often doing livestreams of the game and regularly posting news updates about Wurm. Massively have often praised Wurm for its do-what-you-want freedom and for truly being a "sandbox" MMO with many different skills and abilities, criticising only the "maintenance mode" that occurs when maintaining a (large) deed/village."The first time I tried out Wurm Online, it was at the suggestion of Beau Hindman, who found out that I was a lover of all things sandbox. I jumped into the game with no tutorial and zero guidance, and I hated it. ... But about a year later, Beau prompted me to try it again. He described some of the game's unique features, so I thought I'd give it another shot. This is when it really clicked with me." - Shawn Schuster, a Massively journalist.
MMORPG.com praised the harvesting, crafting, and housing mechanics, which required patience but was found to be rewarding. The community-driven gameplay was described as unique.
TenTonHammer examined it in a "First Impressions" review. The distant landscapes were highlighted for their photographic quality, and the main appeal was seen in the interactivity of the world. However, overall it failed to keep the reviewer's attention, feeling that MUD-style text-based combat has been eclipsed by modern MMORPGs.
Wurm has also been popular with PC Gamer magazine, which features a small blog about their village. However, a later review after the official release was more critical, with a score of 68%, citing the time commitment required as well as the lack of creativity in what a player could accomplish.
Christopher Steele of Topfreemmorpg.net praised Wurm Online's gameplay and noted that it "provides a true challenge to the players."
MMO Sandboxes' reviewer Crescent Wolf described it as a "true sandbox title" and that "if you ever wanted to experience how a true sandbox game looks like here you have it."
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I only can say that it failed to hold my attention.
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