Choose My Adventure: Mining misadventures in Wurm Online


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

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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.

Welcome to Choose My Adventure, the column in which you join Chris each week as he journeys through mystical lands on fantastic adventures – and you get to decide his fate. Which is good because he can often be a pretty indecisive person unless he’s ordering a burger.

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You can see more examples of how they treat others here :

Ironically, their much vaunted ‘community’ were calling out our staff members here on Massively for ‘siding with me’…without seeing the irony, of their own staff members, siding with specific of their own players and pushing players away…which lead to my comments in this thread.

Well, some in that thread got offensive which was unnecessary, at least one in the blog’s comment section did too, obviously, and was deleted. But Katspurr and Platina responded politely, kindly, and competently in that blog’s comment section, so did retrograde. And in that blog a former, obviously banned or else kicked ex-Wurmian commented, with much outdated and partially maliciously wrong “information”, and insults of the allegedly “corrupt” WO dev and CA/GM team. The editor even thanked that creature for his “useful information”.

Hmm funny. Why is it so hard to see others expressing differing views without repeating the same, often refuted with good arguments, again and again? Why stoking the debate again and again. Nothing new in that post, nothing that has not been countered again and again. Who is right or wrong, is a matter of point of view. Best piece here was that of Amata, but I also agree to atazs, let them all speak out, but please, come to an end.

As to this massively overrated blog (should bear that name), I had heard of only so far, and not always positively. Having read a bit, I can understand. It is in the gaming area what low and lowest level tabloids like Sun in UK or Bild in Germany are. Maybe that kind of “adventures”, sometimes uncritically flattering, sometimes damning like the one in question, is what their audience is expecting.

I fail to see that the critics have “misjudged”, neither the “reporter” or whatever, nor the editor and forum moderators there, removing factual criticism while preserving, even lauding outright slander against operatives of another company. What that thug “Militiasomething” wrote was unlawful under the civil codes of every halfways civilized society. I do not see that CCAB nor the forum mods would equally tolerate accusing staff of other operations corrupt neanderthals, throwing further questionable accusations, obviously from a butthurt loser who then exposes his technical ignorance in programming and Wurm mining being thanked for his “valuable informations”.

But ok, my view, you are of course entitled to yours. And I think it is time to close this thread. If you feel to need to have the last word, please go ahead.

The real crazy funny thing is, I’ve been posting to Massively(That was) and MassivelyOP since before I played Wurm…I found Wurm Online through Massively.

It’s almost like, you know, people give someone the ‘benefit of the doubt’ because they’ve known someone longer…and side with them instead of believing your word.

(Or chat logs, which I posted numerous proofs to GMs and staff members of various behavior and nothing was done, and we had whole threads on the subject where other players posted their experiences also.)

The fact that censorship, allows people to get away with this, is part of the problem. They aren’t confronted for their own repeats of bad behavior (Because it’s just deleted), or they are, and often the ‘good’ person gets tossed for responding to the ‘bad’ person’s taunts.

They have created a perfect environment here for bullying, and so lots of people go there and participate in said bullying.

Sure, the game itself isn’t at fault for that. The game is wonderful. The people it brings though? That’s not so wonderful, and they claim they want a ‘great’ community, but then they treat others so poorly, you don’t want to stick around.

This is what you will find if you join this game : A beautiful (If overly complex and sometimes frustratingly slow grinder niche game.) where sometimes you will have the time of your life, and other times you will be harassed so badly that you can’t even enjoy your time there. You’ll enjoy the time fleeing for your life in fear from monsters that can kill you, or spend the time ‘slaving’ for others making bricks so they can make their castle…(They crack jokes about slavery on there, that’s how bad of a community it is…they think owning humans is ‘funny’.)…and then ‘invite you to it’.

Yeah, I don’t post these comments to their forums anymore, because I would have been silenced there, and not allowed to tell my side of things.

If that’s your kind of enjoyment, go ahead, play some Wurm.

Amy Amata Dreeson

Reading your experiences with Wurm Online is… absolutely killing me.

I’m going to set aside some initial questions I have about why you are in such dire straights, and jump straight to “oh dear lord, please let me help you”

1. Stop Equipping Your Tools.

In Wurm, a player only needs to equip their gear. Not tools. Items like armor, weapons, and shields need to be equipped to add their stat bonuses to the player (+defense, +combat rating, +weapon damage, etc). Tools ONLY need to be activated to use their action abilities.
For example – you only need to have your weapon (gear) equipped to automatically use it when using the “attack” action. You don’t need to activate it. (Range weapons like bows are a little trickier, that’s more complex. For just basic combat, the “gear-equip / tool-activate” rule of thumb applies).
The underlying reason for this is that, like GW2 for example, your available action/ability set in Wurm is based on what tool you have active. Standing on a basic tile with a shovel active will provide you with a terraforming ability set (dig, flatten, level, etc.). Standing on the exact same tile, but with a sickle activate, will provide you with a gardening/forestry ability set (pick flowers, prune bushes & trees, cut grass, etc).


2. Stop thinking of Wurm like a theme-park MMO.

While it IS Massively Multiplayer and Online, Wurm has more in common with a survival / life simulation game than with, for example, WoW.
As such, your FIRST priority in Wurm is ALWAYS: water, food, shelter, defense. In that order.
My advice for the first few days or weeks of a new player’s experience is always: find a water source, learn how to feed yourself, figure out a safe place to sleep (ie. log out), run away from all combat bigger than a cat, dog, or rat (unless you have help). Every player moves at their own pace – some players learn and feel comfortable with this within their first day. Some players need up to a week. I, personally, know a few players who have been playing for months and are still staying local to the starting towns as they continue to get comfortable with the basics.
That, and only that, is it.
As you spend your first time in Wurm getting down a routine to meet those basic needs, you will slowly start feeling comfortable with remembering what tool provides which abilities. With using the toolbelt, hotkeys, or inventory menu to swap between active tools. With basic game mechanics like field of view, movement, weight vs speed, core player stats, and the status info block (your stamina/health bar, your hunger and thirst bars, nutritional information, etc).
At that point you’ll also become slowly exposed to secondary priorities and skills. You get better stat gains from eating cooked food instead of raw… so figure out how to cook things. You’ll discover sleep bonus, and want to log out in a bed, not just in a safe place…. so now you’ll want to look into various crafting abilities (carpentry, tailoring & weaving, etc).
Focus on the basics fist, and let the game expand naturally from that point. Meet your immediate needs before jumping into more and more complex endeavors.


3. Stop Everything You Are Doing & Go Back to Your Starter Kit

You referenced the tutorial experience in your first article – so, unless I’m mistaken, you are playing with a newly created character. The problems you seem to be encountering sound nonsensical to me based on my knowledge of the starter set of gear & tools, as well as the tutorial guidance. So let’s just stop what we’re doing, and go double check that starter kit first.
Other than the starting gear (leather armor, sword, shield), which I assume you’ve got equipped… the starter kit SHOULD have provided you with a basic set of primary tools, a few key items of secondary tools that are typically harder to get but still necessary at low levels, and a few key items that you should protect with your life.
Primary tools are things like a hatchet, a saw, a pickaxe, a knife, etc.
Secondary, but needed tools are the following: the pottery bowl, the tool belt, a pelt, a rope, and a backpack.
Some quick secondary tool notes – a backpack is not the same as your inventory. Players have a default “inventory” that represents the stuff a real-world person might have in their hands, strapped to their back, in their pockets, etc. You will always have your default inventory space, even if you do not have a backpack.
In Wurm, a backpack is a type of container. You happen to have an equippable backpack slot. You also have an equippable quiver slot, too. These are both considered containers, and follow container rules like item limit, volume limit, weight limit, able to have a lock attached or not, etc. You can simply hold these containers in your inventory (as a way to help keep your stuff organized). Or you can equip these particular containers in their special slots. This will cause the container to have a visual appearance on your character. It will also provide additional carry space – items in an equipped backpack will still count as part of your inventory, but will not count against your inventory item limit. Same goes for the quiver with arrows. Your personal weight carry limit will still apply, so don’t fill everything up so much that you get weighed down!
You’ll know when you get to the pelt why its important to have access to a pelt…. but getting a low-level critter to drop a pelt is a PITA. The most important thing about the pelt is that they will decay RAPIDLY – but only if they are outside the player inventory. Always keep your pelt in your inventory. If your pelt starts taking damage, the game doesn’t think the pelt is inside your inventory – maybe it’s in a container? or backpack? – where ever the damaged pelt is, move it around until you can confirm that it is inside your inventory.

A tool belt provides something akin to a MMO action bar-ish. Drag and drop to assign tools to your tool belt. Any tool on your tool belt can be activated by clicking on that tool icon. Like a MMO action bar, you can have multiple dedicated tool belt layouts, & you can assign keybinds both to summon each specific layout and to each specific tool belt slot. The quality level (QL) of your tool belt determines how many slots the belt has; higher level belts have multiple slots.
Always carry at least 1 rope. You just never know.
(I personally either carry at least 4 ropes, or carry 1 rope and 1 halter rope. You will figure out why by learning, and that’s part of the fun of the game!)
Your starter bowl is your life. You will probably want at least 1 more small container (like a second bowl or a jar)(a flask sounds like what you want, but is actually too small. It’s more like a dram or a shot glass size.) A waterskin also works – but you need access to a needle, leather, and leatherworking skill first. I leave the rest up to you to figure out and explore.



Amy Amata Dreeson


4. Starter Kit Key Items
When I described these items as something to protect with your life – I meant that you will want to die rather than somehow lose these items. Generally, the starter kit items will automatically return to your inventory upon death. If, for whatever reason, you die and one of these items is NOT back in your inventory – these are the items that it is ALWAYS worth making a corpse-run for.  
Steel & Flint 
This is the primary reason that I am concerned about your Wurm starting experience. You SHOULD already have access to a steel&flint. It is an ABSOLUTELY ESSENTIAL object. There are only a few other ways to light a fire without one, and most depend on already having a fire going, like using scraps of already-burning wood.  
As you have discovered, gathering the mats needed to create a steel&flint is a PITA. It would be extremely unlikely for a low-level character to gather these mats in sufficient quantity and quality to successfully craft a new steel&flint. For a newbie – basically impossible.  
A player new to Wurm should not be spending their intro time trying to make an impossible- but necessary- object. If you cannot find your starter kit steel&flint, please get on CA Help chat and tell a mod RIGHT AWAY. If the CA helpers cannot find a way to connect you with a steel&flint, ask in your island kingdom (Freedom) chat and in your Global chat (GL-Freedom).  
If no other player can help you out from kindness or pity… My name in Wurm is Amata. Please go to the Wurm forums and send Amata a PM. Or, in-game, you can send Amata a friend request, and then ‘/tell Amata’ when I am online. I will hook you up with a steel&flint, or die trying. Srsly.  
As yo may have noticed, Wurm the game is loosely based on a Renn Faire version of a Western European Medieval / Late Medieval setting. Plus fantasy.  
Life in the real-world medieval era was extremely localized. Average people generally did not do a lot of distance-travelling. Most people never went beyond their local area, the nearest market, the nearest source of food & water, the local religious building, the local criminal justice building. 
Kingdom-wide trade networks were only just becoming a thing. And they weren’t necessarily reliable unless a person was rich enough to hire massive escorts and protect for their trade caravans & ships. Road ways and known routes could be easily cut off by bandits, wild animals, landslides, too much snow in mountain passes, etc.  
To put it bluntly, Wurm, the planet, probably hates you. At best, this world is indifferent to you – like a human is mostly indifferent to ants. If you draw attention to your coming & goings, Wurm will most likely try to kill you.  
In this setting, travel is perilous and the items that make travel possible are precious. Your compass is the first and foremost means to move about in Wurm. Accept its foibles, learn to love it and use it.  
Because of the setting, in Wurm, there is no minimap on your HUD. And the world map will not magically show your position. The map shows the permanent locations and the general landmass, and that’s it. Permanent locations means the starter towns – aka the default spawn & respawn points. Some starter towns have built up into bustling, active cities…. some have not. You’ll need to talk to other people, in the world, to get a feel for what is there, and where shared / public resources are.  
Learn your local landmarks (mountains, active deeds, public markets, lakes and waterways, giant statues, temples to the gods, etc). Learn the nearby roads and highways. Learn the nearest public market. Learn the nearest guard towers. Learn to always generally know what compass direction you are from these landmarks; learn to tell or at least guess what direction you are facing, moving, sailing.  
Oh, and… In Wurm, the sun rises in the north-west and sets in the south-west. The sun points due west at noon.  
Your Starter Tent 
As a new player, your access to containers for your stuff, and to relative safety is basically nil. Enter: the starter tent.  
The practical purpose of the starter tent is as an in-world container. When empty, you can carry it in your inventory. When you are gathering supplies in an area, or have something heavy you can’t realistically just carry around… Put your starter tent on the ground (“drop” or “place”). Now the tent is a container.  
You can “open” it and drag & drop items from your inventory into the tent. You can hold CTRL to manually drag & drop items around you / on the ground into the tent with your mouse. (Only applies to those in-world items and objects that are actually CTRL-draggable). Your starter tent comes already equipped with a lock that only you can access by default. Starter tent = super handy, and criminally underused.  
The special purpose of the starter tent is as a portable respawn point. Obviously, part of the appeal of Wurm is the ultimate customizable, buildable player housing & player land… but in reality, it can take a bit to get to that point. Unless you are hugging a starter town / spawn point, any time you die out and about in the world…. you’re going to be making a trek to get back to where you were (and recover your corpse!).  
Any time you are going to be working in a general area for a decent amount of time… drop your tent on the ground. Any time there is a monster or creature around that you are gonna attack and it might not go well for you…. drop your tent before you move into range. Any time you are desperately running away from an angry troll… Drop. Your. Tent.  
Your tent will remain in-world, but stay locked by default, when you are logged off. So your stuff will be contained and safe. And you’re guaranteed a nearby respawn point, if you “slept” unsheltered and “wake up” to find you are surrounded by trolls or spiders or a hungry wolf. When I was building my house, even though I was on a deed, the house wasn’t finished yet and there were no locks on the doors yet. I logged in to discover a troll in my kitchen. It happens. You just never know.  
Golden Mirror & Deed Stake  
These are both one-time use items. A new golden mirror can eventually be purchased (by premium players). A new deed stake can be constructed. But why deal with that, when you are provided these items with your starter kit….  
I hope you have already used it, since the tutorial tells you about it… but, in case you missed that part, “use” the Golden Mirror to access Wurm’s character creator. Customization options are currently kinda limited, compared to other modern MMOs. But it’s not nothing. There are some basic face presets to pick, and then further customization from a list of individual feature options, like eyes, hair, colors, etc. This is also how you pick between male/female.  
As it is one-time use, and aquiring a new golden mirror does take a fair bit of investment – be absolutely sure you like your character before you save & exit.  
The deed stake is the item that you eventually use to stake your claim. That is, settle some land. Establish a homestead. Found a settlement. Using the deed stake will open up a menu-based land ownership walk through. Step-by-step, you will pick a name for your land/settlement, appoint yourself mayor by divine right (lol) or by democratic election (careful with this option), establish the N, S, E, W size of your claimed land (by tile count, relative to the position of the tile you plant your stake on), hire guards, etc.  
You can do this all in-game without instruction… but, honestly, you don’t want to mess it up by accident, so I highly suggest asking others, CA Help, or looking up additional details on the forums & Wurmwiki before you stake your first deed. Like in the real world, land in Wurm costs in-world money. You don’t want to accidentally waste your hard-earned silver! 
If you don’t already have your own deed, or have been welcomed into an established village, best to hang on to your starter deed stake until you’ve found “the perfect spot” and are ready to join the ranks of the tax-paying, land-owning, perpetually-overworked citizens of Wurm.  


Amy Amata Dreeson

Wow, I’m not a fan of how narrow nested replies become! So I am honestly going to try and wrap this up quickly… 

5. Wurm gives you enough Rope to Hang Yourself
Two Words: Slow. Down.  
Because Wurm is NOT a “theme-park” MMO, a player might make the mistake of racing against a clock that simply isn’t ticking, out of habit.  
When you log in to your new character for the first time, the entire world of Wurm is accessible. From the start. ALL of the game content is “unlocked,” there is no place or zone on any map that is behind a gate, a level minimum, or otherwise inaccessible.  
Wurm won’t hold you back from anything. (Just don’t starve yourself).  
In a similar open-ended way, Wurm metagame content is all out there and accessible, too. The Wurmpedia is a repository of pretty much every single thing that can be known, measured, explained, or interacted with in the world of Wurm. Every. Thing. But that also means that the Wurmpedia is a never-ending rabbit hole, and you WILL get lost and confused and overwhelmed.  
The Wurm Forums are the same. Wurm fan websites with extra game tools, object lists and images, calendars, screenshots, guides, tips, maps, PVP info, player made kingdoms, …. it’s all there for you, open and free. Enough rope to hang yourself. 
You can eventually know it all. Some players you meet in-game already do. Yeah. I’m serious. BUT – you get to pick and chose what parts of this information will be part of your game play. You get to decide how much of the information to integrate into your approach to Wurm. And that is the important distinction to remember when going out of game to seek answers and info.
6. Wurm Content and Player Gameplay
In the world of Wurm, your character is only ever limited by your own abilities. There might be a mountain that you don’t yet have the stamina, or the climbing skill, to reach the peak. That game content is accessible to a level 1 character – but you’re still going to have to work for it.  
This aspect is a very important distinction between an MMO like Wurm, and many of the other MMOs currently on the market. THERE IS NO END-GAME. All game content is simply game content. It’s out there, and if you can imagine yourself into a way to get there, you can have it no matter what “level” you are.  
When you look at “playing” Wurm this way – it becomes obvious that the typical hustle n’ grind, leveling-focused method of game play used in other MMOs just isn’t relevant here. There is no “race to level cap.” There is no “winning” at Wurm. If you can imagine a pathway to achieve your personal goals, then that is the way to play the game for you. 
Remember that mountain peak I mentioned above? Don’t have climbing skill to reach that peak? Come at it from a different angle – use your superior woodworking skills to build fences to use as rungs on a ladder to rest between each step up. Or maybe you have a lot of body strength and digging skill? Don’t climb – terraform! Flatten a tile into a platform & build earthen stepping-stones along your climb.  
Because of this, in Wurm, a player is either active & involved… or not. There’s not really a distinction between casual play and hardcore play. There is no game-wide objective or server-wide goal to reach, to compete for, to get to “first.”  
Wurm is a collaborative survival/life simulation/ building-crafting MMO. 
No matter what your current activity is, all players are playing Wurm together. Each player gets to chose if they want to be constructive or destructive in the shared world of Wurm. Every player, even a player whose play style is self-oriented, is part of the evolving community inhabiting the dynamic planet Wurm.  
An example – When Player A builds a gate in their perimeter fence, Player B who lives next door gets to respond to that change. Player B can talk to Player A and agree to build a new roadway together… OR Player B can feel that a roadway at that location wouldn’t work for their current goals, and can build walls and locked gateways to effectively block off the area from Player A’s further development.  
Wurm, the world, is indifferent. Wurm, the game, doesn’t provide directions or quests or game-driven check points on the way to game-developed goals. In Wurm, there is only player-driven content. Player-driven economy. Player-driven changes and buildings and interactions. Player goals. Player decisions. Player interactions.  
To my knowledge, there is exactly 1 in-world NPC that exists solely because of the devs as an object for newbies to interact with. That’s the NPC bartender found in starting towns. This game-generated NPC is only useful to a player for the first 24 hours of their game play. To get freebie food and drink. Because Wurm is, in part, a survival sim game, and newbies don’t immediately have access to food and drink.  
After a player’s first 24 hours of game play…. that’s it. The NPC is still standing there, but the bartender won’t be useful any more. And that is the only NPC that the devs / game provides independent of any players.  
If you don’t count animals and creatures and monsters that randomly spawn… other NPCS in-game are merchants, traders, spirit guards, and tower guards- who are either player-owned or player-generated. The merchant is the game mechanic for always-online transactions on behalf of the player. The trader provides a game “buff” for the player (land upkeep discount) and provides a public buy/sell activity point. Spirit guards are the optional guards available for a player to hire to patrol & protect their land. Tower guards are public guards (they kill hostiles within a certain range). They automatically spawn from a guard tower that is constructed and maintained by players. Players can call guards to assist when the player is in combat with a hostile enemy.  
And that’s it… everything else that exists in the world of Wurm is player content.
7. What to Do When You Don’t Know What To Do
Look in the Journal for an idea.  
The default key bind for the Journal is “J.” Open the in-game journal to review the starter tutorial information and to go through a fishing tutorial. 
Below the tutorials, there are other expandable menu titles…. When you expand these, you will see a list of activities to complete. Activities in green have been completed.  
The overall goal here is to complete a full activity set. When you do that, you receive various rewards – including sleep bonus time, and eventually expanding your character’s sleep bonus capacity. Rewards increase in amount and scope the more difficult the required activities become.  
A list of goals with associated clusters of activities to complete for rewards is great. But the actual purpose of the Journal, and the real reward, is inspiration. Completing a checklist is all well and good, but the real boost to Wurm game play here is the way that elements found in the Journal can help inspire the player to form their own goals and jump-start player in-world projects.

Amy Amata Dreeson

Last, but not least….  

8. Wurm Will Not Hold Your Hand
That just not the type of MMO that Wurm is.  
If you are a player that honestly needs guidance, direction, and focus from a game either in the form of quests, or some kind of story-driven narrative… I’m sorry, but that’s not Wurm. Those types of MMOs are valid, and there are certainly many, many options of that type to explore.  
But maybe you are a player that doesn’t need that. Maybe you are a player that is simply used to that. Maybe you are a player that thinks you need it, because that’s the only MMO type that you have experienced so far. Maybe you haven’t had a lot of chances to play a game that doesn’t play into that old habit.  
What else is there? Actually, a LOT.  
How to break out of the old MMO guidance habits?  
First, get back to basics. Open the in-game Journal (press J by default), and take a second look at what the starter tutorial actually told you. Not just the obvious instruction-to-specific-action lessons… but, what else you can extrapolate from what you just learned. When a player uses a shovel to dig… what does that imply about the world the players inhabit.  
Players in the Wurm starter tutorial are not just learning the game mechanics – players are learning the game.  
Secondly, know that when Wurm mentions to a player that the CA Chat channel exists, Wurm is telling the player that this game includes situations that require an always-online, persistent, dedicated chat channel specifically for answering questions. Wurm is telling the player that there exists a situation in which they will need to ask all the available Wurm players for collective help or guidance, and need that question to actually be seen & responded to as soon as possible. Not like an off-hand question a player might put into general chat. Not like a question a player might pose to their immediate neighbor or friends list.  
That the CA Chat channel exists is proof that a player is eventually going to encounter reason for that existence.  
Finally, think back to quest & plot-driven MMOs. Remember any time that the quest or current plot event made your character make a choice you would not have picked. Recall any time that the players reach the climax of a given plot arc, and suddenly that NPC appears to “help” in the final fight. And those big cinematics that show your characters standing there with The Important NPCs… it’s nice to be included, but ultimately in these games, your character is basically just another NPC in someone else’s story.  
MMOs that are quest & plot-driven aren’t bad. Some are great, and some are brilliantly written to remain as player-centered as possible. But there is always going to be a narrative frame that disconnects the player’s character from being the hero of their own story.  
Wurm is not structured that way. Being the hero of your own story, means that you have to be responsible for writing your own story.  
Wurm isn’t “better than” narrative-driven MMOs. Wurm is just a different approach. Narrative MMOs have a lot of strengths, but are weak in player immersion due to the limitations of the narrative frame. Wurm has weaknesses of its own, but player immersion is one of Wurm’s strengths because there is no narrative frame. 

Since this is about Wurm, there is a literal TON more to say. But, honestly, part of the Wurm experience is exploration and discovery.  
In Wurm, make mistakes. Do a lot of trial & error. Interact with the rest of the Wurm community. And definitely ask questions.  
I was serious, too. Feel free to look me up, feel free to come by my lands to visit and maybe work on some activities together. I live in the Southern Isles, tho, and I’m guessing you’re up in the North Islands (the just-released stuff).  
Wurm is supposed to be a challenge… but your experience definitely sounds like challenges that a new player is not intended to face.  
I genuinely hope that you get connected with some assistance and can turn your time in Wurm around for the better. Life in Wurm is hard, but its not meant to be impossible! Good luck –  
~Amata, Lady of Havensfield  
Independence, Southern Isles


@MilitiaMasterV , Please tell me where in the Wiki it stated that Charcoal is needed for a Forge….

I read it now 20 times, there is not a single Word of Charcoal.
After all it was you saying you get told that on the Wiki…. and that is simply not true.
And THAT is the upsetting part.

The Forge Page was last edited at 3. Aug, so it does not even count for this Adventure.


I’m taking the author at their word that they went and read the wiki and somewhere in there they came up with that concept.

I didn’t say you get told that anywhere in my posts, only that there was quite a bit of misinformation thrown in there over the years…

Also, as for the specific issue of them thinking they need charcoal…that’s a problem with the WIKI if that’s what they walked away from the wiki teaching them. We had numerous issues with trolls going in and editing the wiki pages to ‘mess them up’ for a couple years while I played, to the point where the staff started locking it down/only providing access to certain people with a password, and eventually creating a ‘wiki editor team’ of specific players.

Perhaps you are misplacing rage?


You made it sound like that, and im talking about now, not years ago.

It is impossible to get that idea of needing Charcoal to use a Forge.
Thats all im saying.


Actually, it’s not ‘impossible’ to get the idea of using charcoal for fire-making, as people barbecue all the time in real life with charcoal nuggets, so that’s probably where they got that idea. (Yes, you generally need some starter fluid/a lighter which uses the concept of steel + flint)

Nowadays we have people who probably don’t even know the concept of starting an actual fire…much less how one goes about it.

Many people nowadays don’t sit down with a pair of sticks and rub them on each-other, or even go and grab some ‘brush’ for ‘kindling’.

I myself, grew up going camping IRL, and had more of a non-city living start to my life. Heck you can even use a broken car light, and the sun to start a fire, but these types of concepts aren’t everyone’s cup of tea, as it were.

People take their real life experiences and address them to how they play a game…I wouldn’t fault them for that. I do wonder what video they watched, because I’m also unsure where they got the idea to use charcoal…but charcoal is a weird mechanic on the game anyway. “Use 20+ logs and some dirt and you end up with a very small stack of charcoal and ash!”. If I used that many logs for it, I’d be walking away with way more charcoal than they give you…but as we used to say…’wogic’.

I didn’t even notice when I was first posting in here that they just needed to use the steel&flint…hence why I didn’t comment on it in my first huge attempt at a helper post…



*It is impossible to get the idea of needing Charcoal to use a Forge on the Wurm online-Forge-Wiki-Page…..*


Hi Chris. As others here have already pointed out, you’ve unfortunately ended up doing things in a much MUCH harder way than necessary. Campfires, forges and other furnaces can simply be lit by having some kindling in your inventory and creating the fire with a “Steel & Flint” – something you should have already in your inventory as a new player. It’s also a no-drop item, so even if you die, you shouldn’t have lost it.

Tunnelling – yes, it’s painful to mine 50 times to tunnel in, but consider what would happen if you could tunnel in after say 3 actions? The entire landscape would be littered with player made tunnel openings. You’re literally making a hole in a mountain! It SHOULD take some effort and time!

As for the poll, it seems people are trolling you. Because there is absolutely no point in seeking out charcoal in the beginning of the game. I voted for “do something else” and what I would suggest is that you join a village, which will really unlock the beauty of the game for you.


If you’re someone who has looked at some of the negative comments and wondered if this game is for you, I’d like you to stop and consider something. As we all know, every game has it’s fair share of trolls and toxic players. When these players are dealt with and banned from the game, they’re left feeling salty and want to get revenge somehow. Commenting in places like this, the forums or Steam is their only outlet for that. The fact that they can’t move on, the fact that they’re still bitter, is only testament to what a great game Wurm is. They wouldn’t be putting so much energy into their trolling unless they still wanted to play themselves. Now consider that Wurm has been around for fifteen years. The amount of toxic players add up over time, compared to a younger game.

I’ve been playing this game for nearly 7 years and can honestly say that I’ve had nothing but good experiences from Wurm, both from it’s player base and it’s staff. If you have any interest in the game, try it and make your own mind up. See for yourself what kinds of experiences you have. I think you’ll soon find that the only toxicity that goes on, is in the actions and comments of these salty banned players.


If your comment was aimed at me, I’m not ‘banned’, I got a 1 month ban from game forums for trying to confront the staff behavior problem, and decided I didn’t want to pay them any more, so I left the actual game. I could log in right now if I wanted.

(Assuming I checked my login location was safe…as I was next to shore on my caravel I built from scratch, and haven’t been on for a long time, and the boat was in my deed’s perimeter so it got double-smacked by my deed falling + accelerated decay for perimeter and the odd uber damage that sometimes does because that server is weird and likes to lag build up decay on an item and then hit it all at once instead of the normal slow decay mechanic. And I logged off with all my valuable rares on my character and had over 50 bstr so that’s a lot of encumbrance to log in/be unable to move due to the drop down to 20 skill cap because I’m not paying right now, which could lead to me just logging on top of a troll and getting killed and having to get someone to give me a ride…if my ship is gone.)

The game is fun, but the people in control of it? A bunch of them have issues, and are the reason they lost more than a few regulars over the years. I watched a bunch of my friends I made along the way leave because of their various poor decisions, and ended up with a nasty person living to my west(One of the long-timers with staff support/friends), who’s first response to my coming out of the forest upon their land was to yell at me…and the person to my east…who’s response was to ignore me because they ran a bot army and had no need of any help at all…so I used to travel up to 2 hours north from my deed (Huge semi dead server…in the south where few things spawned to fight because of coding problems.) just to run into people to greet/help out. I tried to help a few people I found up there get going/would randomly stop by with a animal or something for them/check up on them as I could make it over there…threats permitting, but I normally would come back to find their newly done area decaying/gone.

I had a perfect little spot surrounded on 3 sides by water/butting up against the mountain…with a swamp to the north, so nobody would try and plunk down on my doorstep, with a little land bridge just under the water enough for a Knarr/rowboat to come in/but also to cross with a cart…didn’t need a bridge. My south and west, I had dredged to a depth of 100 everywhere for about 8 tiles out to where it dropped off hard, so it was a grand little harbor spot. The only issue it really had, was that it was up in a divot on the map, and people sailing by go in a straight line, so they never venture up in there and notice it. I literally spent over a week sailing the high seas and made a trip around the whole server just under wind power, which is why I came across the spot.

Most of the decent folks I met on the game, were because I regularly chatted with server chat, and would send things via mail…(I got a person to come enchant me a mailbox to send things out.) to help newer people who weren’t stubbornly trying to do it all by themselves/alone. (Sold the guy a bag full of gems as payment, so he actually paid ME to enchant that…)

I never took people in, because after taking a break or two, I never actually built a castle again. My last time I literally just lived on my boat/would log off there every evening…so my deed had no buildings other than my tower, and just had a manicured look to it/animal pens/farm area…with some harvest-able trellises set up in a + sign.

I mean, I walked away with a bit over 50s worth of the game’s coin…which yeah, I’m sure they’d love to come back to the system…but it’s only coming back if they wise up!


Militia, my comment was not directed at you, it was just a general comment.

Bruno Brito

When your game making news from a first player experience brings trolls to play THEN people come trying to do damage-control, it’s not really an enviable community.

Don’t blame Chris if he decides to not play this anymore. And me being in his place, would avoid that game like the plague.


Hi Chris!
Sounds like you’re jumping into the deep end! Charcoal isn’t necessary as you start with steel & flint. Steel is more end-game metal as it has a ton of bonuses over regular iron, so keep mining for iron and you’ll be fine!

There’s been some rather unsavoury comments on here from Wurm players and I would like to personally apologise for that. Our community is (usually) welcoming and friendly, and willing to go out of their way to help new players. Please use CA help if you have any questions in-game, as the wiki can be daunting too.

We also have a quick start FAQ guide here at

If you have any questions or need anything, feel free to reach out to me.


Bruno Brito

ur community is (usually) welcoming and friendly

I find that statement really hard to believe.


It’s unfortunate that many people here have taken to assume someone failing to read rather than the game being complex and difficult to understand.

We’ve worked hard on improving the new player experience so this lets us continue to work on that.

And while the people here have been off-putting, I can assure you it is not the normal case, community held events such as impalongs, where players gather, play games and improve each others tools and weapons are common.


As someone who had tried tutorial some ways back, while it didnt feel too bad, I was also used to old and sometimes rough sandboxes – average player comes from wow-like gameplay. What I noticed was the tutorial was heavily on the survival part(if it didnt change since then) and not explaining a lot on the creative options. Back when I tried I thought it would be nice if tutorial gave some guidance till you make a tiny building for storage/protection(a small hut) as it would give them more knowledge at hand in a practical instead theoritical(wiki) way. In a way have some missions for the new player and guide them through it. Usually players are gained or lost the first hours of a game. Also Wurm Online feels like a deep game and high-detail building games depend a lot on the teamwork of the community so it should have a more positive community represantation than what we saw from may here – its far more likely for someone to give effort learn a hard game when he or she likes the community and feels its worth the time dedication

Bruno Brito

Sure. But take a look at what happened here: Someone did a “NON-journalistic” column about the game, having issues, but he was going to keep playing. Your “welcoming and friendly” community came here to impale Chris, and it took you and other people to do damage control.

I really don’t care if Wurm’s community is all sunshine and rainbows. What your players showed Chris were stones and bad behavior.

If he doesn’t play this anymore and never talks about Wurm, it’s totally justified, and i’ll stay behind him 100% in that decision.

Next time, keep your dogs on a leash. If your players are allowed to behave like that here, i cannot even imagine what they pull off in the game.


-waves at the Community Manager of Wurm Online.-

Hey Retrograde, I generally had no problems with you when you came on-board, and I think you really did want to help/improve things. It’s kind of hard to right the ship when it’s already full Steam hit the iceberg… /jokes

Amy Amata Dreeson

Hi Retrograde

and, Chris, for what it’s worth….
a lot of the helpful, kind, supportive Wurm players also tend to be the… *cough* obsessive *cough* Wurm players.

Personally, I had my head literally buried in Wurm dirt for the past week (terraforming an entire mountain… send help)… I did not see any of this unfolding until just now.

In fact, I am genuinely upset & sorry about what’s happened. I am sorry to you that I wasn’t here sooner. Or any number of like-minded Wurm players, whose immediate response is concern and a desire to help you get back on the right foot.

I took a look through the first post, and read through this one as quickly as I dared, bc I felt it was important to make a post with some help & direction ASAP. (Which I did, I really hope Chris has a chance to see it).

I talk too much. And I need to go feed my chickens.
Luv to all,
~ Amata, Lady of Havensfield
Independence, Southern Isles


I tried not to comment but I couldn’t resist. I am a person who was criticizing staff openly, and even was accused with a “staff bashing”. So I am not a blind Wurm zealot. Wurm has its issues, that I am pointing out on forums.

Wurm is a complex discovery MMORPG (multiplayer means you are supposed to interact with other players…), it means it is supposed to be hard to learn. Yes it is a niche game, niche games are needed too, they fill a certain gap. There is a tutorial island with signs places all over the place telling you exactly what to do. After you finish tutorial and go to the island of your choice you end in a starter town, with another comprehensive set of signage, public mine, woodcut area, buildings plots etc. etc.

A reviewer that skipped the tutorial and then took on one of the hardest skills in game, that I don’t even dare to touch with 12 meter long hot poker and then complaining he fails miserably at this, this is not what I would classify as a good journalist practice.

You complain you can’t create a tool you have in your starting set, but let’s assume you got bugged or something and you don’t have it. Instead, placing a support ticket, asking people on your island chat about it or on help, or even checking the trade chat to see if you maybe could get it from another player for something, you take on metallurgy (as I mentioned above – one of hardest to skill).

Then, even if you are saying you read the Wiki you get on creating a mine. There are 2 or 3 screens of mining errors on the Wiki, which kinda makes you wonder that creating a mine may be also a bit too hard take for first days’ endeavour. There are public mines for a reason. If you get an error like “you are too unskilled to mine there” you just paste it in the Wiki. There is also a help channel where volunteer community assistant offer hints and answers.

You can find flint at any level of mining, even with mining 1, at level 20 *prospecting* you can detect it in the rock deposit, you have misread. You also seem to not know how prospecting works on the surface and below it.

I have no problem with criticism, but it should be constructive and made after some research (at least using the tutorial which is meant to give you basic knowledge how to successfully start.


I haven’t seen their new tutorial, but 5-6 years ago when I went through it, it was atrocious and basically taught you nothing, and you had to learn it as you went in the actual game. Even asking people for explanations in-game was often met with scorn such as you are presenting. Many people nowadays can’t be bothered READING anything, and that’s one of the common themes about many of the signs…they use for ‘teaching people’ in tutorials. People often need a visual indicator to be directed at something. It’s more of a over-arching problem with humanity, than a problem with this specific journalist.

Also, as for the specific issue of them thinking they need charcoal…that’s a problem with the WIKI if that’s what they walked away from the wiki teaching them. We had numerous issues with trolls going in and editing the wiki pages to ‘mess them up’ for a couple years while I played, to the point where the staff started locking it down/only providing access to certain people with a password, and eventually creating a ‘wiki editor team’ of specific players.

Most of the ‘staff’ were actual players who took on a role, and weren’t being paid for their time/were volunteers (As they loved to use as an excuse for why things were so shoddy when I would point something out.)

Wurm is a great game, but it’s run by a bunch of neanderthals, and a bunch of jerks play it to abuse others. In between all of that, you get the usual common people who are just putzing around and trying out a new game, some of whom give it a longer go than others.

Bree Royce
Bree Royce

Choose My Adventure isn’t a review or constructive criticism or a comprehensive research piece. It’s a let’s-play series where the writer usually goes in as a newbie and lets the game and the readers (through polls and comments) decide what he sees and does and experiences next over the course of several weeks. Much of the point of the series, which has been running close to 10 years across dozens of games with the same format, is to reveal the character of the community through its votes and advice and to examine how accessible the games are for typical MMO gamers in 2020, people who do not generally download the syllabus and study wikis before playing. It’s certainly done both here.

PS: He played the tutorial. He discussed it in the last piece. I also went through the tutorial a few weeks back and my opinion is Chris is being being charitable as to its state here. This is a problem with many old games, including many of my favorites (ask me what I think of UO’s and SWG’s garbage tutorials). That isn’t his job to compensate for – it’s the games’.

Edit: The OP came back and literally accused our writer of lying, so yeah, we’re done here, locking thread.


I always thought Wurm Online having a good and fairly welcoming community. That was untill seeing their comments here today. What I saw was people instead trying to help a newbie(this Articles Author) who was struggling, to resort into trolling him mostly and pointing the obvious(that he is a newbie). Why would anyone go play with them?


Meh, welcome to the actual experience many people have with others on this game. There’s a lot of really nasty people out there now, and griefing is awful common on PvE servers. It’s one of the ‘dirty little secrets’ of Wurm…you can’t post about on their forums, because they go through and just block/hide whole comments from numerous people about it. I personally tried to confront it multiple times, but got silenced many times for it/had my well-thought out posts on the topics (without bashing) removed. I was eventually banned for a month and took my money elsewhere and let my deed/stuff collapse because of it.

The main reason they have a player retention problem, is the staff are control freaks, and there’s a lot of jerk behavior going on which they support…

Bruno Brito

Good. I love when games go like this because they get the population they deserve.

I think Chris should choose another adventure. One that doesn’t involve these failures.


What I understand is, like many older sandboxes, the game doesnt do yet a good enough job of teaching the basics which may mean its time for a tutorial revamp. Most people learn things practically so it would be good if the game had a tutorial that guides them all the way to building their first little hut. The benefit to that is the game wouldnt attract only the most patient and dedicated people but would had a wider range to increase the playerbase. Truth be told, there arent many games like Wurm Online and would be nice to see it grow further but attacking (verbally) someone cause he didnt manage to learn everything in little time isnt exactly giving the message of a welcoming community while being polite and helpful to a newbie, like this collumn’s author, would have a greater outcome and reasonate the message of a good community.