Crafting, hunting, battling, and surviving are the well worn pillars of open world game design. Most sandbox games incorporate some mixture of these concepts, but the scope in which games allow this sort of subsistence is still a slowly moving scale. The promise of being able to build your medieval dynasty from the dirt of the Stone Age to the military marvels of the Iron Age is no small feat. Juvty World Development Team wants to try, and with their ambitions MMORPG Wild Terra, they may have the foundation to keep that promise.
Like survival games Don't Starve and The Forest before it, Wild Terra tasks you with building something from relatively nothing. Where as Don't Starve is rife with dark, twisted humor and The Forest is just dark and twisted, Wild Terra adds the potential chaos of trying to gather resources, build bases, and design defenses in a massively multiplayer world. The premise is that, instead of NPC's, actual people are your habitats greatest threat. A fun concept, in theory.
There is an isolating quiet in Juvty's MMO. An eerie calm that rarely gives way to any real storm. Most of this comes from the fact that there aren't many people around. No NPC's means that any other human body you encounter in the wild is another human body behind a computer screen. A potentially compelling ecosystem design, but more often than not it means that you are travelling though a world that is mostly devoid of civilized life. You pass through abandoned structures left there by players who have logged off or forgotten where they've left them (thanks to the lack of a map). It feels like a post apocalypse more often than it does a brave new frontier.
Most of my travel through this isometric, Diablo/Ultima style world was done relatively unharassed. When shooting some creatures like boars with bows, they will fight back, but I never got into an out and out fight with another player. The few players I saw skirted past me without any intention of interacting with me, focused on filling their own coffers with excess resources, no doubt. I figured I would focus on similar things, and not worry so much about outside player interference.
The act of gathering resources can be quite tedious. With the proper item equipped, you can chop down trees or skin animals to collect wood or furs, but there is a wait time between starting the collection process and getting the items. When mining rocks from crags, I sat and watched a green timer bar fill up for over a minute. This passivity can be a real bummer, especially considering how much stone one needs to build pretty much anything that isn't a house of sticks.
There is a great deal to explore and understand about the crafting system, though. The process of discovery and reward when finding out how to make a item you just made turn into another item is a motivator, in and of itself. So far, my drive to make the next tier of armor or a new piece of machinery has made the long waits and empty clicking worth it. I have faith in the dev team's ability to stick the necessary balance by the time it exits Early Access.
Wild Terra is a big game with plenty to discover, so before jumping into it with both feet, stop by our Official Wild Terra Wiki. Tell us all about your adventures on our Facebook page or on Twitter @CurseGamepedia.
Jarrett shares his love of video games and geek culture through feature articles on Gamepedia. He prides himself on his deep attraction to Japanese beat-em ups and his god-like Bushido Blade talents.