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Salem: Hands-On Preview

SBFordSBFord Associate Editor - News ManagerThe Land of AZPosts: 16,588MMORPG.COM Staff Uncommon

Salem is a game that is generating a lot of buzz for many reasons, most notably its permadeath option. We had the chance to check it out in person and have a full report. Read on!

Scurvy, paranoia, and more scurvy. That's what the pilgrims had to deal with. When they weren't burning people at the stake, they were coughing up exotic piles of bile, and cursing the day they left good old England - or that's what we of the Old World liked to tell ourselves; why would you want to leave jolly Birmingham? I hear the Americas smell of blow-offs.

Read more of Adam Tingle's Salem: Hands On Preview.

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Associate Editor: MMORPG.com
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Comments

  • RemyVorenderRemyVorender Riverside, RIPosts: 3,265Member Uncommon

    Thanks for the write up. I hope I end up getting a beta invite as I'd love to help work out the kinks in this game. Wish there were more games out there like this.

    Played: AA, AC1, AC2, Aion, AO, AoC, CO, CoX, DAoC, DCUO, DN, EVE, EQ1, EQ2,
    ESO, FE, FFXI, FFXIV, FF, GW1, GW2, Istaria, L2, LoTRO, MO, MxO, NW, Rift, RoE,
    Ryzom, SB, SWG, SWTOR, TERA, TSW, WAR, WoW, WURM...

  • OldManFunkOldManFunk BFE, KSPosts: 894Member

    Open PvP and permadeath. Let us know how that works out.

  • MrTugglesMrTuggles bolivar, OHPosts: 74Member

    I played in Alpha and it was pretty decent. I am waiting for OB to start so I don't have to go through training a character up again.

     

    Has a lot of very neat aspects such as teraforming, town construction, etc. They say it is mostly a "crafting mmo", but there is so much more to do than crafting. Can't wait for it actually.

  • JalitanJalitan New market, MDPosts: 97Member Uncommon

    One of the hottest games people are playing this year is the Arma 2 mod DayZ. You have to survive  with limited resources, it has open PvP, and permadeath all with more sandbox qualities than themepark. I think these game concepts are liked by a large enough percentage of the gaming community to be viable for some time.

    Now we have the Salem setting offering the same features plus, I hope, a more in-depth crafting system. While I enjoy DayZ quite a bit, I am more drawn to a fantasy setting like Salem. 

    This article has intrigued me about Salem even more. I will definitely be trying out Salem.

  • WorstluckWorstluck the valley, CAPosts: 1,269Member

    I have played the game.  All I can say is that if you like Haven and Hearth, you will probably enjoy this game.  If you found H&H clunky and had difficulty getting past the models, graphics, etc, you will not like Salem.  They seemed very, very similar including the gameplay. 

    image

  • BigCountryBigCountry Charlotte, NCPosts: 478Member

    Looks very UO'ish. I like.

    :D

    BigCountry | Head Hunters | www.wefarmpeople.com

  • CymdaiCymdai Raleigh, NCPosts: 1,083Member

    I tried to like this, but the opening of the game was too pain-staking for me to appreciate.

    I wandered west for 2 hours, didn't find a stone. I re-rolled a character and walked an hour to the east, didn't find a stone. Then I walked an hour North, and when I still didn't find a stone, I uninstalled.

    I can't justify playing a game for 4 hours and doing absolutely nothing.

    Waiting for something fresh to arrive on the MMO scene...

  • TheLizardbonesTheLizardbones Arkham, VAPosts: 10,910Member

    I plan on at least trying this game out. I'm not keen on boring grind, but I've mined up thousands of cubic meters of cobblestone in Minecraft to get about 128 diamonds, so I might actually spend the time it takes to find smooth stones. :-)

    I can not remember winning or losing a single debate on the internet.

  • DakirnDakirn Kansas City, MOPosts: 374Member Uncommon

    So are you supposed to put all of that time gathering and upping skills to lose them with the permadeath system?

    Just wonder how that works.

  • gilgamesh42gilgamesh42 tampa, FLPosts: 300Member

    I like it , the graphics are low quality but the feel is more like a design style then a hey look im an  old   game.

    image
  • WookieebobWookieebob colorado springs, COPosts: 60Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Dakirn

    So are you supposed to put all of that time gathering and upping skills to lose them with the permadeath system?

    Just wonder how that works.

    There's supposed to be a system in place where your new character can inherit some skills from the old. It wasn't in when I played which made it really frustrating.

     

  • SirBalinSirBalin Joppa, MDPosts: 1,150Member Uncommon

    For non carebears...that works great!  That said, I don't know that I could get past the graphics...still love the concept.

    Incognito
    www.incognito-gaming.us
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  • RealedazedRealedazed Mesa, AZPosts: 103Member
    Originally posted by Cymdai

    I tried to like this, but the opening of the game was too pain-staking for me to appreciate.

    I wandered west for 2 hours, didn't find a stone. I re-rolled a character and walked an hour to the east, didn't find a stone. Then I walked an hour North, and when I still didn't find a stone, I uninstalled.

    I can't justify playing a game for 4 hours and doing absolutely nothing.

    I had a similar experience.  I read on the forums that you had to wander forever to find a space that wasn't picked clean.  So, I did so. I got frustrated and then wandered in the other direction. I found a bunch of cool things: smooth stones, flint, etc and all things I could use to level up, I used a few and stock piled the rest. Then, I had to log out.  When I came back online, I couldn't log in at that spot because someone else was occupying it.  What?  My only choice was to teleport back to Boston, with an empty inventory.

    Next, I wandered some more, I bit confident that I would find stuff since I leveled a few skills. I did find some rare things and a few arrowheads. Instead of using those skill cosumables, like my gut said, I made mistake #1 andI kept them in my inventory. Then, I made mistake #2 and asked someone where Boston was. Then, got PKed since "going to Boston, means loot to sell".

    I just quit and installed right there. I think I spent at least 4-5 hours and it all ways wasted.  Granted, I've never played a full open PVP or whatever its called. And strangly, the few people I did encounter in the world said "hi" or whatever, even if I was trying to avoid them. 

     

    I just wish that there were something in place to protect newbies. Even Darkfall as a newbie account safely for the first few hours of play (IIRC).  I guess I don't mind the PVP, but gathering for HOURS just to lose it all, sucks. If I had found my way back to Bostom and sold my arrowheads, I would have gotten a settlement. Maybe I would still be playing, too.  

  • OldManFunkOldManFunk BFE, KSPosts: 894Member
    Originally posted by Wookieebob
    Originally posted by Dakirn

    So are you supposed to put all of that time gathering and upping skills to lose them with the permadeath system?

    Just wonder how that works.

    There's supposed to be a system in place where your new character can inherit some skills from the old. It wasn't in when I played which made it really frustrating.

     

    I don't think anyone could come to a different conclusion.

  • OzmodanOzmodan Hilliard, OHPosts: 7,183Member Uncommon

    I just don't see how permadeath can work in a MMO world.  The purpose of a MMO is to build up your character.  With permadeath it is rather pointless unless you just sit in town all day which is pointless in itself.   On top of that you want us to pay for the privilege?  Even if you don't mind dying how are your friends going to know the new you?  Even then if they have a mechanism for that, you will be back at square one while they are doing things you will have to retrain to be able to do.

    I just don't see how they will find enough people to support a game.

  • GalthonGalthon Concord, NHPosts: 48Member Uncommon

    Bah. All these "I played for 2 hours" folks get in and waste a beta slot, and I can't get in for love nor money. Should give your account to someone who'd actually test the game, or at least dick around for longer then a few hours. The only thing that killed HnH for me was ennui and stagnation, the fustration was there, but didn't bother me most of the time. Though I will admit that a few days in the game led me to take a break and go to the shooting range to make loud booms and big holes.

  • GTwanderGTwander San Diego, CAPosts: 6,035Member
    Originally posted by Ozmodan

    I just don't see how permadeath can work in a MMO world.  The purpose of a MMO is to build up your character.  With permadeath it is rather pointless unless you just sit in town all day which is pointless in itself.   On top of that you want us to pay for the privilege?  Even if you don't mind dying how are your friends going to know the new you?  Even then if they have a mechanism for that, you will be back at square one while they are doing things you will have to retrain to be able to do.

    I just don't see how they will find enough people to support a game.

    Well, in HnH (and presumbaly Salem) you build up a series of 'works'. The things you build stay in the world, even after you lose your character and have to come back to it without some of the skills necessary to even use some of them.

    The real issue with it, IMO, is FFAPvP. Nobody wants to put effort in either of those factors and just end up losing it all to some asshat. HnH's #1 commodity is rage-quits.

    I played on Wurm's PvP servers for quite some time, but it's no permadeath unless a 'champion' character, though, you can lose your other investments. You get used to the idea, and tend to not build anything you're not willing to lose. I eventually went to the PvE servers (where I don't have to worry about my vinyards getting griefed as much) and never looked back. The smartest thing SeaTribe can do is propose both server types.

    Writer / Musician / Game Designer

    Now Playing: Skyrim, Wurm Online, Tropico 4
    Waiting On: GW2, TSW, Archeage, The Rapture

  • TweFojuTweFoju Saitama & Jakarta ( current )Posts: 1,013Member Uncommon

    Open PVP then Permadeath? well, i guess i might as well do not bother wearing anything on this game

    So What Now?

  • arcwestarcwest lubbock, TXPosts: 61Member

    im actually very interested in this game. i think its a little under the radar, my brother reads this website and massively too and has never heard of Salem. i think some people just skip down to the GW2 and WOW articles and have skipped over Salem because of graphics or Name recognition. I think word of mouth will probably be the best thing going for any game like Salem.

    Anyway i hope it's good, everything sounds fun.

  • NevulusNevulus Miami Beach, FLPosts: 1,288Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by GTwander
    Originally posted by Ozmodan

    I just don't see how permadeath can work in a MMO world.  The purpose of a MMO is to build up your character.  With permadeath it is rather pointless unless you just sit in town all day which is pointless in itself.   On top of that you want us to pay for the privilege?  Even if you don't mind dying how are your friends going to know the new you?  Even then if they have a mechanism for that, you will be back at square one while they are doing things you will have to retrain to be able to do.

    I just don't see how they will find enough people to support a game.

    Well, in HnH (and presumbaly Salem) you build up a series of 'works'. The things you build stay in the world, even after you lose your character and have to come back to it without some of the skills necessary to even use some of them.

    The real issue with it, IMO, is FFAPvP. Nobody wants to put effort in either of those factors and just end up losing it all to some asshat. HnH's #1 commodity is rage-quits.

    I played on Wurm's PvP servers for quite some time, but it's no permadeath unless a 'champion' character, though, you can lose your other investments. You get used to the idea, and tend to not build anything you're not willing to lose. I eventually went to the PvE servers (where I don't have to worry about my vinyards getting griefed as much) and never looked back. The smartest thing SeaTribe can do is propose both server types.

    I agree, PVE server and PVP.  

     

    People can get the hang of the game and meet other individuals in the PVE server, then when they are ready they can move to the PVP servers in one tribe which greatly improves your chances of survival.

  • RefMinorRefMinor MyTownPosts: 3,452Member

    Originally posted by OldManFunk

    Open PvP and permadeath. Let us know how that works out.

    Originally posted by Dakirn

    So are you supposed to put all of that time gathering and upping skills to lose them with the permadeath system?

    Just wonder how that works.

    Originally posted by Realedazed

    Originally posted by Cymdai
    I tried to like this, but the opening of the game was too pain-staking for me to appreciate.

    I wandered west for 2 hours, didn't find a stone. I re-rolled a character and walked an hour to the east, didn't find a stone. Then I walked an hour North, and when I still didn't find a stone, I uninstalled.

    I can't justify playing a game for 4 hours and doing absolutely nothing.

    I had a similar experience.  I read on the forums that you had to wander forever to find a space that wasn't picked clean.  So, I did so. I got frustrated and then wandered in the other direction. I found a bunch of cool things: smooth stones, flint, etc and all things I could use to level up, I used a few and stock piled the rest. Then, I had to log out.  When I came back online, I couldn't log in at that spot because someone else was occupying it.  What?  My only choice was to teleport back to Boston, with an empty inventory.

    Next, I wandered some more, I bit confident that I would find stuff since I leveled a few skills. I did find some rare things and a few arrowheads. Instead of using those skill cosumables, like my gut said, I made mistake #1 andI kept them in my inventory. Then, I made mistake #2 and asked someone where Boston was. Then, got PKed since "going to Boston, means loot to sell".

    I just quit and installed right there. I think I spent at least 4-5 hours and it all ways wasted.  Granted, I've never played a full open PVP or whatever its called. And strangly, the few people I did encounter in the world said "hi" or whatever, even if I was trying to avoid them. 

     

    I just wish that there were something in place to protect newbies. Even Darkfall as a newbie account safely for the first few hours of play (IIRC).  I guess I don't mind the PVP, but gathering for HOURS just to lose it all, sucks. If I had found my way back to Bostom and sold my arrowheads, I would have gotten a settlement. Maybe I would still be playing, too.  

    Originally posted by Ozmodan

    I just don't see how permadeath can work in a MMO world.  The purpose of a MMO is to build up your character.  With permadeath it is rather pointless unless you just sit in town all day which is pointless in itself.   On top of that you want us to pay for the privilege?  Even if you don't mind dying how are your friends going to know the new you?  Even then if they have a mechanism for that, you will be back at square one while they are doing things you will have to retrain to be able to do.

    I just don't see how they will find enough people to support a game.

    Originally posted by TweFoju

    Open PVP then Permadeath? well, i guess i might as well do not bother wearing anything on this game

     

    This is not the game for you, don't even open threads about it, let it pass you by
  • RealedazedRealedazed Mesa, AZPosts: 103Member
    Originally posted by RefMinor

    <Stuff>

    This is not the game for you, don't even open threads about it, let it pass you by

    Yup,  I definately will. I actually like the game, though. If I were able to make some progress, like get my homestead or whatever,  I would still be playing.

    I played HnH, I didn't participate in any PVP becaue I never ran into anyone. But I built up a little somewhat secured base and learned to fight. The diference between that game and this one is that it didn't take me 4 hours to get started. In this game players have to wander around for hours  just to get starting learning items or arrowheads to sell for homesteads. In HnH, within minutes of player, I was collecting LP, collecting materials for baskets and my leanto, etc.

    But, eh, whatever.

  • aslan132aslan132 Tampa, FLPosts: 378Member Uncommon

    I gotta say, im not a fan of OpenPVP or Permadeath. But the psychology behind it definately intrigues me. Most of the time, those who really love PVP are the ones who have 3 or 4 friends that all play together, and go around ganking solo players, or groups of lower level players. Granted, there are people that genuinely look for a fair fight, im not saying there isnt. But a game like this, just seems like it would draw more of the griefer crowd. Permadeath in general usually means you never want to invest too much into your character, because it doesnt matter how good you think you are, someone (or a group of people) will kill you. Its going to happen.

     

    Honestly the only way i could see myself playing a permadeath game is to be one of those guys.  Invest as little as possible into a character, then spend you time PKing as many as you can, before the eventuality of someone killing you. Which you dont mind, because you have very little to lose, so you reroll and start again. Im not a griefer by nature, but is there any other option in a permadeath OPvP environment?

     
  • OzmodanOzmodan Hilliard, OHPosts: 7,183Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by RefMinor

    Originally posted by OldManFunk

    Open PvP and permadeath. Let us know how that works out.

    Originally posted by Dakirn

    So are you supposed to put all of that time gathering and upping skills to lose them with the permadeath system?

    Just wonder how that works.

    Originally posted by Realedazed

    Originally posted by Cymdai

    I tried to like this, but the opening of the game was too pain-staking for me to appreciate.

    I wandered west for 2 hours, didn't find a stone. I re-rolled a character and walked an hour to the east, didn't find a stone. Then I walked an hour North, and when I still didn't find a stone, I uninstalled.

    I can't justify playing a game for 4 hours and doing absolutely nothing.

    I had a similar experience.  I read on the forums that you had to wander forever to find a space that wasn't picked clean.  So, I did so. I got frustrated and then wandered in the other direction. I found a bunch of cool things: smooth stones, flint, etc and all things I could use to level up, I used a few and stock piled the rest. Then, I had to log out.  When I came back online, I couldn't log in at that spot because someone else was occupying it.  What?  My only choice was to teleport back to Boston, with an empty inventory.

    Next, I wandered some more, I bit confident that I would find stuff since I leveled a few skills. I did find some rare things and a few arrowheads. Instead of using those skill cosumables, like my gut said, I made mistake #1 andI kept them in my inventory. Then, I made mistake #2 and asked someone where Boston was. Then, got PKed since "going to Boston, means loot to sell".

    I just quit and installed right there. I think I spent at least 4-5 hours and it all ways wasted.  Granted, I've never played a full open PVP or whatever its called. And strangly, the few people I did encounter in the world said "hi" or whatever, even if I was trying to avoid them. 

     

    I just wish that there were something in place to protect newbies. Even Darkfall as a newbie account safely for the first few hours of play (IIRC).  I guess I don't mind the PVP, but gathering for HOURS just to lose it all, sucks. If I had found my way back to Bostom and sold my arrowheads, I would have gotten a settlement. Maybe I would still be playing, too.  

    Originally posted by Ozmodan

    I just don't see how permadeath can work in a MMO world.  The purpose of a MMO is to build up your character.  With permadeath it is rather pointless unless you just sit in town all day which is pointless in itself.   On top of that you want us to pay for the privilege?  Even if you don't mind dying how are your friends going to know the new you?  Even then if they have a mechanism for that, you will be back at square one while they are doing things you will have to retrain to be able to do.

    I just don't see how they will find enough people to support a game.

    Originally posted by TweFoju

    Open PVP then Permadeath? well, i guess i might as well do not bother wearing anything on this game

     

    This is not the game for you, don't even open threads about it, let it pass you by

    You don't get it do you.  The game has to have a decent playerbase to support itself.  Where are you going to get it?  Right very few people will try it and most of those will eventually quit.  Permadeath just about kills any MMO design feature out there.  It only takes one asshat to make life miserable for a bunch of players.  

    Nothing wrong with the sandbox aspects of the game, it actually looks fun, but throw in the permadeath and that in itself basically kills the game.  Look at the other ffapvp games out there, they have big population issues and they don't have permadeath.

  • DakirnDakirn Kansas City, MOPosts: 374Member Uncommon

    My post wasn't whether or not I'd want to play it.. it was how spending hours and hours skilling and/or gather is immediately lost when you're ganked.

    I honestly don't understand why this seems like fun to anyone.  I can understanding losing a few minutes, an hour maybe.. but the progression style of an MMO does not make for happy people when you lose months of work because of a gank squad.

    I know it's not for me, I just wonder how it can be for anyone.  I guess I can't wrap my mind around what is needed to enjoy a game like this. I guess, maybe, I can understand if someone feels good ganking another person and perminately destroying months of their effort... but I'd never step anywhere near it.

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