Last Man Standing (Wurm was my 2012 winner)

New Year in Scotland is a strange thing, overshadowing Christmas and going on for quite a long time. I stay home! People get a little carried away don’t you know and I can see the fireworks (and carryons) from my abode, if I am here that is. Nothing like sitting safely well above the world with a piece of cheese onnastick and glass champagne and just let everyone get on with it. Or more likely a mug of chocolate and wear a sleeping bag. It usually ends up freezing. Or just z through, which tends to happen more and more often these years.

I like a long New Year too, beginning the process day after solstice (tomorrow) but ending well before the last Scot finally takes to bed to try and cope with whatever excess they have been subject to. An excess of new years resolutions produces many casualties too. People feel so bad when they break!

I think the closest I get to New Year Resolutions is to decide what I want to work on in life, and play with in the next year (the blog stays!). In games, Wurm (which has been my main game in 2012) is getting less time, already decided – I have a lot more exciting things to do than sit clicking. I don’t actually mind the long timers when I’m doing something productive by the way, they leave gaps for blog writing or reading a good book or doing the dishes. But I still mind maintenance chores, so down she goes.

It crossed my mind to try some trading games this year, but the only economic model I ever find is “last man standing” (control of resource, killing of competition). Definitely not going to do that – it is dull and not great for other players. On Wurm the current jolly-japes is grabbing all the access points on new servers. They somehow rarely become public highways or heritage caves either. But they are people-funnels since players have to move through them to access other parts of the server. That is why there were so many markets on Celebration (5?6?7?). I wouldn’t mind a list of heritage canals and public highways by the way, for safe travel. A controlled access point is not a good thing for the wider community. People can be put on kos and unable to use just for a start and no, players cannot be relied on to only kos bad eggs. All to often kos is for vendettas, feuds, grudges or plain personal dislike. Kos control over an access point can be used to strangle competition too. The last jolly-japes (and a clearer example) still works too – gather all the horses you can feed and kill the rest.

The whole “monopolise resource” model is a total bore. If anyone knows of a game that doesn’t devolve to it, do let me know. In real life such behaviour is against the law because it kills the market, in games it does the same thing, only games designers are bit lax on how money moves and don’t realise that flaws in their system (eg badly functioning animal population caps) will allow it to happen.

There are as many ways to make money as there are people to think of them, but when monopolising something is so easy, and so obvious, you can hardly blame the playerbase for doing it. appears to be going for a double monopoly, canal plus horses. Can’t blame them when it’s so easy and lucrative – Wurm currency is real money remember. Players do try to object, but really its a systemic flaw that allows the hogs in and gives them free reign. Hog-rule makes trading pretty useless to be honest. I cba.

So trading is off the list for next year I think, playwise. Unless I find/hear of something bit more interesting than the above. Pvp? Well….same model mostly. I think I hold off on pvp. I want to tackle pvp on its own and the stuff I’m doing now is very much sandbox sans pvp. Too opposite for this year.

Single player games.? Yes, I think that’s it this year. Fits in with the house moves too, since I still don’t know if I’ll have the internet. Fits in with GardenShed and TwoFB too since a single-player spinoff is probably the first distant peak. Fits with I’m not feeling very sociable when I get home. Just as an aside, I’d definitely be in the market for a single player Wurmish environment. I think Wurm itself is firmly on a clump people together direction. But there are loads of other single player games to explore!

For 2013 single-player is the field, though I’ll keep an eye open for promisting new sandpits, I like those.

As the earth swings, and the season changes, Happy err – Swinggggg’s Eve to all !!

Categories: Game Design and Creation, Life On Wurm

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