Well, I have to say, following the advice of the poll from last week did help a little bit while also unfurling the multiple layers that are waiting in Wurm Online. The Wurmpedia is a vast repository of things as I found out, but not all of that knowledge is what I’d consider wisdom in that it was really just an item list instead of a full-on instruction manual. This was most apparent when I wanted to learn how to make metal.
So, in order to use a forge you need charcoal. Charcoal is made from burning a pile of wood and dirt. Burning a pile of wood and dirt requires a flint and steel. Making that requires a steel lump. Steel is created from combining iron and charcoal. And making steel also requires a small anvil, which I hadn’t really sorted out how to create simply because I was following a rabbit hole of itemization simply to just make charcoal.
So, considering the dearth of steps I was facing to simply begin the process of smithing or metallurgy, I elected to focus on one thing I was capable of doing to this point: looking for minerals. And therein lies most of my sunk time.
On the face of it, getting minerals would seem a basic enough task. You equip your pickaxe, activate it by double-clicking, then find a tile of stone. From there, you can elect to either mine, prospect, or tunnel. So I assumed that I should prospect first to see if I was finding the right material I sought, in this case iron. Once a prospecting countdown confirmed there was iron in the tile I focused on, I decided to try to mine… and was told my mining skill wasn’t high enough.
Back to the Wurmpedia. Except I didn’t find the information I needed. So off to Google and some video instructions that eventually were presented matter-of-factly. It was there that I learned that you have to tunnel first before you can start mining things. And the act of tunneling takes time — around 50 cycles of the Tunnel action before a tunnel entrance actually forms.
And so I spent my time slowly watching my character jankily chip away at a tile of rock, each time waiting for a countdown to finish before I would right-click and select Tunnel again. The efforts eventually paid off, though, as indeed I fashioned what could charitably be called a mine entrance.
Awesome, I thought to myself. Now I can start getting to the iron I had prospected! Except when I started to mine all I was getting were stone pieces. This went on for a while until I decided to ignore the advice of the video which said to not bother prospecting and prospected, yielding the information that all I was going to get was stone. Even though the surface prospecting said iron was hiding. Which possibly means that the iron is further in this rock. And, presumably, mining will eventually shift the entrance deeper in to the earth; I’ve seen tunnels that stretch inward before, so I know I’m not going crazy here.
And here’s the thing about all of this. I know that people are making things happen on my server. When I first logged in, an area that was previously just a little part of forest was suddenly developing into its own little settlement. I’ve come across tents and camp sites that have the obvious leavings of people attempting to do things. During my mining, someone dissolved a whole settlement. Wurm Online players are making things happen, I can tell.
But here I was, bonking away at rocks. Because I wanted charcoal. But even this is likely a fool’s errand because I can’t even find flint until my mining skill is at 20 — information I only found via the Wurmpedia over the course of following the breadcrumb trail there while my character bonked rocks.
It was at this point that I decided to maybe put a hold on things because the time to play versus time of wiping my face in frustration ratio was starting to tip towards the latter. And besides, I suppose this is as good of a place to put a poll as any. Once more, it’s a question of focus (and just the one question, I know, I’m sorry), but in the spirit of following the information of the Wurmpedia, I defer to the information granted by the players. Should I keep up this focus, or is there somewhere else I should divert my energies to?
Should I keep on mining or do something else?
- Keep mining. Get that charcoal, build that skill up. (49%, 49 Votes)
- Do something else. Leave a suggestion of a new skill focus in the comments. (51%, 51 Votes)
Total Voters: 100
As usual, polling will close at 1:00 p.m. EDT this coming Friday, September 11th. Considering the depth of the simple act of getting charcoal takes, I might just have one more week in this one before I charitably call it an attempt, but that remains to be seen. As one commenter suggested, I’m trying to approach this game like it’s a curio. But hoo boy, friends.