Never take a break from a game? What madness is this?
Well, as always Wurm is a bit different. Personally, and particularly now that subs are unpopular, once suckered into one I’d prefer to pay my dues and come and go as I please. Money or Time, a lock-in of one or the other is just about acceptable. In this case both are required. Be warned: if you don’t log in to Wurm the penalties begin to accrue immediately and an upaid for deed disbands. The unpaid deed disbanding part would make sense and seem fair, freeing up the land for another player etc, except that the rest of the penalties make it all high hokum:
Paid up deed or not, if you don’t repair your stuff it decays unto nothing (on-deed structures only exempt). You can call repairing stuff optional if you want to. We don’t have a good word for “fake choice”. Repaired stuff loses quality by the way. You are hastening decay with the repair action. It is necessary to endlessly improve also even just to stay still. (There is also a checking action required - repair/improve sufficiently to keep your stuff is a carpal tunnel risk. Your call.)
If you do not log in, your fields also turn into weeds, your animals die and your mine-doorless mines collapse. Trolls knock down your field walls and any remaining livestock promptly wanders off too. Ships sink. BSB’s empty themselves. And the decay rate cranks up the longer you are absent, just by the way. All on a fully paid for deed with enough in the token for more than a month. Not the world’s best deal is it?
Having got that out of the way, I quite like Wurm to be different from what I want, or else it would be called Me, and that would be boring. So until I’m ready to leave completely, I am compromising rather than taking the actual break I would like. It’s nuts though, and a recipe for burnout probably. Add inability to take a break to the reason why people do not stay with Wurm. I’m not the only person to have realised that this degree of stickiness is ermmm …unattractive. I’m sure Ganks did a longer post about this but I couldn’t find it and he’ll think I’m stalking him if I crawl over his blog more than I already did this morning. The gist is here in his note on Wurm in this post:
Databases is the stock excuse for decay. Well if your game involves making stuff the databases had better be sturdy and fit for purpose. An exit strategy for extra items that doesn’t annoy the paying customer isn’t too hard to create either. Any form of recycling will do it. At the moment I am penalised for databases that can’t cope by having my stuff continually degraded? Guess what, I’ll go along for now, but I’m not overjoyed. Flavour is another reason given for decay – well nobody sits down to a full meal of salt. A little flavour goes a long way. I won’t go into the “realism” debate. There’s a tranche of players that think it’s a sim, let’s leave them to it while trolls wander through their fields.
So I’ve settled for 30 minutes a day rationing. I do not recommend it, it is not play. But it keeps things ticking over so that if I do feel like actually playing – (ie building ships, making wine, breeding horses, creating houses, smithing etc) I do not have to first break through the equivalent of the Great Wall of China in repairs. By which time the time is gone/I am bored. It is also a good way to skill some things, notably carpentry, fine carpentry and masonry.
Tl:dr – Seeding the big field in Inde takes roughly an hour per week, leaving 2 1/2 hours per week left over for repair/improve and some mining/woodcutting (plus seeding the smaller fields). If I miss a day it’s not too bad. That’s it. Dull as dishwater Wurm 2013. I’ll post if I actually do anything interesting. As item quality improves I intend to cut the time down further. 3 1/2 hours per week is still far too much for make-believe maintenance chores. Meanwhile repair/improve is an ok thing to do last thing at night or while reading the mail. In addition if I’m learning C++ syntax or something tabbed out I don’t mind mining, so some extra non-play happens that way.
Two more things, I’m now more of a middle player than a noob, meaning when I fix things I can at the same time improve them above middleness in quality which slows decay, (o woopeee – a longer delay before it goes poof). This excercise wouldn’t be great with less skills (which is why I didn’t do it before. Backward diminished returns.) It would either take too long per day or you’d need to curtail your items to very few or kill all your animals. Item curtailment is reasonable up to a point, but bear in mind you will need a whateveritis when you get around to actually playing - that’s what the item is ostensibly for after all. Secondly, I have no intention of paying for this kind of thing, so a trader has been set up. I’m a good enough smith for feeding it not to be to onerous and it just about covers deed costs. Premium I pay myself. That might change though. This is after all, not the height of fun. Nor is this a very satisfactory break.
And I do need a break. Not a quit – a break.
The time may come when the stupidness of not being able to take time off whenever I have to/want to gets bigger than the enjoyment I get from being part of the best virtual world out there so far. Retaining skills during a break is only of value if one intends to return, and returning to nothing is very blah. We shall see. Meanwhile, though I don’t have carpal tunnel, my wrists and fingers certainly are feeling quite good and relaxed and unstrained these days.