is a game of darkness. Really, the entire world is balanced on what will happen after the sun sets. If a player isn't careful, she can find herself lost and alone without a torch to light her path. I don't mean to make the daylight out to be a haven from danger; a player can die during the day as easily as at night. But at least during the day, a far-off shelter can be aimed for. Unless there's fog, of course.
. 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.
Sandboxes are funny things. Sandbox fans claim that what they want is an open-world with no restrictions on gameplay. The truth is that many sandbox fans more specifically enjoy a world with definite boundaries and a game that provides a toolset. This is why most of the sandbox fans I know discount Second Life
: It's too
sandbox-ish. The Linden Lab
creation is almost too open and does not really challenge players unless they come up with the goal. Most sandbox fans I know like to have many choices when it comes to playing in the world, but they also want some standard to compare achievements to. A game like Wurm Online
is a perfect example. Its players would say that they are immersed in a grand sandbox, but there is actually a pretty limited set of items that players can make. One player-created structure can look strikingly similar to the next.
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.