Recently, changes have been afoot in Wurm Online. Rolf, the primary developer of the game has rolled out a number of changes recently. Two of these updates (March 26 update, March 27 update) dealing with animals have sparked particularly heated discussions on the forums.
Hunting or Breeding
Basically, the controversy stems from the concept of animal/creature to tile ratio and the desires of players to either breed animals or hunt them.
The first update was deployed on March 26 called “More creatures, creature deed limits, and changes to Elevation”.
Animal numbers were increased by 10 000 on most servers as cared for and bred animals now will move less often The tiles per non-human animal or monster on a deed is now considered. Disease spreads a bit easier if you have a lower ratio than 15 tiles, and you will see a bit more miscarriage. The ratio is shown for citizens in Village Info. Also in general, animals that just gave birth will not be in the mood for another mating for about 24 hours or the next restart. …stuff about Elevation…
In my view, the biggest part of the update seems to have most people happy – the increase in the animal numbers by 10k. This change is immediately noticeable ingame by the fact that my deed is covered with dead hostile mobs – killed by my Templars after the patch went live.
This change seems to make hunters happy as there are many more wandering mobs for them to kill, and breeders seemed to feel pretty good as well – the smaller ones at least can find more animals species to breed.
Personally, I love this update as I actually saw a pig nearby, which I managed to capture. I haven't seen a pig anywhere since the start of the year.
I suppose that since I am a fairly new player and do not have established breeding programs and such, the change to animal ratios does not effect me much – I am sporting a pretty good ratio of over 250/1 on one deed and over 150 on the other deed I own. I am a bit concerned about the wandering creatures counting toward the ratio – I could see people on the verge of the 15/1 ratio having problems if they did not fence off their entire deed, and I can't stand deeds that are completely closed in.
At the same time, if you look at the forum thread, people are talking about killing 10s and 100s of kept animals in a hasty attempt to adjust to this update.
Maybe those animals died in vain
The second update went out on March 27 and was titled: Creatures not entering deed, plus bugfixes.
Creatures should now properly avoid entering deeds and spirit guards should not usually hunt them outside either unless they bash The area below deeds are now properly calculated when it comes to creature ratio The creature ratio outside of deeds is always considered to be 10 which means more miscarriage and disease …other stuff…
The follow up change seems to address some concerns, but brings up others. While established players who have decent fighting skill may like the fact that creatures will avoid deeds now, newer players like myself rely on the wandering critters as a food source – my Templars, which I pay for, provide meat for me by killing off the wanderers who come onto my deeds. This change tries to protect breeders on deeds and prevents hoarding of penned animals off-deed, but not everyone appreciated this update to the update.
My view of the changes
I tend to be a fan of the number increase. 10k new animals means more danger and excitement in the game. The 15/1 ratio could be a problem, though, as it will make breeders have a more difficult time and make them spend more time caring for sick animals (I suppose I am lucky, but I have not seen a sick animal yet). I am definitely against the hostile animal AI avoidance of deeds as this is the main reason newbies pay for Templars for their deed, at least that's what I did and still do.
I think the bottom line is that Rolf is keeping the game growing, changing things here and there. Not everything will be appreciated by everyone, but when developing and adding on to a game that already has a playerbase, you are going to piss off some people.
I hope these updates continue and people learn to live with the changes – it's not as though WoW or Everquest is the same as when the game launched. Players learn to live with the changes and adjust their play style to fit into the new rules.