OK, look. Wurm Online is a game of super-scary death things, but the night is particularly scary. That's what I meant.
When an old Vanguard: Saga of Heroes buddy of mine let me know that he and his friends had built a giant maze in Wurm, one that can actually keep players occupied for hours and can possibly lead to injury or death, I jumped into a tiny rowboat and paddled my way south toward the Deliverance server. I had to see this thing for myself.
Essentially, a good sandbox is more like a box of blocks. If you go to the toy store and compare the rows of blocks, you'll find pretty much the same number and same shapes, even across different manufacturers. If you were to go home with some of the blocks, however, you would find some pretty clever designs and some very artistic children. Wurm Online's toolset is similar: It's limited, but what you do with the tools is limited only by your imagination.
Brian, known in Wurm Online as Faeran, is one of the owners of the Puzzles deed that hosts the maze I aimed to visit. He's always been a creative guy. Years ago when I hosted Voyages of Vanguard, a Vanguard: Saga of Heroes podcast with Luper (before she worked for SOE making PlanetSide 2 pew-pews), Brian volunteered to write and record a theme song for the show. It was a glorious tune. He also hosted his own website and made videos for players. He's the type of MMO gamer who has to put his own twist on his time with a game. The fact that he put out the effort to help create a massive, dangerous labyrinth in the middle of Wurm Online is really not surprising.
My travel time wasn't bad, but I was already close by in Freedom Market on the Freedom server. There are several servers that are tied together, so all a player has to do is sail in the appropriate direction and soon find himself in a brand-new section of the world. Even on my little rowboat, my trip was only a few hours, including a dangerous trek through dozens of spiders and bears. I even had to camp out one night until I could get someone to come scare off the critters that had me holed up in a player's house. Luckily many players build such havens and leave them unlocked for stupid travelers like yours truly.
I finally made it to the Puzzles deed and arranged a time to get the tour from Brian. What you see in the embedded video is how it went down. I need to make it clear that lock-ups or errors like the one I got during the stream are so rare for me in Wurm Online that I was shocked it was happening in front of live viewers. It's possible that the streaming process, combined with running Skype and everything else, finally proved too much for my PC, and it took it out on my game connection. Either way, you can see just how travel time, weather effects, and lighting can all affect gameplay in Wurm Online.
"The labyrinth did its job perfectly. I tried it about three times, and each attempt proved to me that I am so not cut out for exploring great mazes."
I'll be doing more exploration near the Puzzles deed now that my character is parked there. For a while, Massively had an official deed on the farthest North-Eastern island that you could find on the Freedom server. We had a glorious time building together with readers and friends, but running a deed takes organization and work. Eventually, we abandoned the place, and its remains are still rotting where we left them. It would be nice to join up with friends to be part of a deed again, but this time, I don't want anything to do with leading the place. If I am lucky, maybe Faeran will allow me to work on the new labyrinth he is building, one commissioned by another player.
If you find yourself in Freedom market on the Freedom server, go South to Deliverance. Find a good map and look for the Puzzles deed. Be careful, of course, and take your time to weave through the masses of spiders and other creatures. If you're lucky, you will find your way to the great labyrinth.
Once you're there, though, your adventure has just begun!
Each week, Free for All brings you ideas, news, and reviews from the world of free-to-play, indie, and import games -- a world that is often overlooked by gamers. Leave it to Beau Hindman to talk about the games you didn't know you wanted! Have an idea for a subject or a killer new game that no one has heard of? Send it to email@example.com!