Thursday, April 26, 2012

Salem the Beta

Salem is an upcoming MMO in development by Paradox and the creators of Haven and Hearth.  What makes this game stand out is its focus on crafting, and the fact it is permadeath.  If you die, there will be no respawn at your local checkpoint.  I ended up getting a beta invite yesterday, so I checked it out for a few hours.

It is important to mention that this is still in beta.  And by beta, I think they really mean alpha.  It was very rough, especially when it came to the UI and feedback methods.  There was also no sounds or music in the game yet. On to my impressions, although it is more like a log of what I did.

Players start out in their own little instance where they setup their character.  This involves clicking on some NPC's and things like your gender and hair color changing.  Once finished, you'll need to right-click on the boat , which will transport you to Boston.

Boston is the major in-game city, I think.  It was packed with players, but not much else yet.

I decided to test my fortunes in the wilderness, and started to walk North.  Movement is click based, and you can get stuck on stuff a lot... so it took some getting used to.  I finally made it out of the city.  I kept walking, for a long time.  Eventually I found some stuff I could pick up.

The foliage is very nice, I was really missing having some sounds to go along with it though. Alright, so what am I doing out here?  Collect stuff, ???, Profit!  Of course.  I needed to obtain some skills to actually start making useful items though.  For that, I turned to youtube.

It turns out, I need to study in order to learn new skills.  In Salem, you Study objects to raise certain experience bars.  It's more complex than that, but it'll do for now.  The Smooth Stone is one of the first items you can find, which will allow you to learn Survival Skills.

In my exploration, I found stuff to study and stuff to eat.  You need to eat to fill up your resource pool (4 resources actually) which allow you to craft, study run etc.  When you start out, you have nothing and it can feel pretty slow.  As you unlock skills you start to get more ways of doing things, which really helps you feel like you are making progress.

I made a fire and am not at all creepy.