Category Archives: Wurm

Wurming Again – Sklotopolis Version

Life has been crazy lately. Between selling our old house, building a new one, and living in a hotel the past four months, distractions have been hard to come by. The hotel has terrible internet that cuts in and out if I try to play a regular MMO, so I thought I’d give the lower-resource-intensive Wurm a try again. However I really didn’t want to pay for premium on Xanadu, and I just wasn’t feeling it there. So I thought I’d head back to a Wurm Unlimited server that I played on a while back – Sklotopolis.

Sklotopolis is probably the best WU private server that I’ve seen. Its the perfect size (medium size like Independence), the action and skill timers have been sped up but not so much to be trivial, and starter deeds are free with no upkeep. The catch is that you have to log in every 90 days or else it will be disbanded (to keep the server clean for newer players). You can also expand the deed with in-game currency, which you can get by building highways, guard towers, selling goods, or just playing the game.

Another thing that I really like is that the server is run by long-time Wurm veterans that understand how the game works and how to modify the experience so that its more fun but doesn’t lose that classic Wurm feeling. Lots of vets play on sklotopolis these days, and the community has been excellent so far.

When I first logged in I was on my old deed, which had long been disbanded and had been deeded over. I fully expected that, so I took what I had on my person and set out to find new lands. Of course, a hell hound ensured that I didn’t get very far. I had the choice of respawning at the original spawn point (New Town) in the NW or the new spawn point (Haven) in the NE. I picked Haven and before you could say I love Wurm! I was in Haven.

They’ve changed things a bit since I last played. New players can get a free horse to help them get around, and that horse along with their tent provides newbies with a nice portable survival kit. Haven is a beautiful sea-side starter town with everything you need including a nice little market. I went exploring, getting to know the lay of the land, talking to folks, and looking for a new spot nearby to claim as my own. I found it, by the way, and tomorrow I’ll show you that very place!

Scenes From The Northwest

After a weekend of digging and fencing, here’s where we are so far:

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Animal field: Fenced and Locked! I still need to dig out that mound of dirt in the middle, but all the animals are in their home now.

 

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Farm field: Almost done! I still need to rip down the small temporary animal pen, level it alllll out (needs to be flat to plant a farm), and finish a few more fence sections. We have plenty of food for now though, so this project will go on the back burner.

Next up on the docket is digging out the eastern border of the deed and getting that part of the fence finished, then we should be good and secure against trolls, spiders, scorpions, crocs, and the like. I went exploring tonight so that I could find a female sheep in order to start breeding for wool. What I found is that if I go about 2 minutes through the forest to the east, there is a huge area of steppe and tundra FULL of nasties. That’s why we have so many critters wandering onto the deed, they’re all coming from here. I’m not complaining at all, that is good hunting. 😀

 

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Note the big troll in the upper right – that is a champion troll (an elite) and in my mind, he rules this hill. One of these days his rule will end. 😉

Progress Post

Wildeacre is coming right along, slowly but surely. Let’s take a look at the progress so far:

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First, I needed to decide on a level for the deed and clean up the mine pit. It’s a tricky thing because the deed backs right up on a mountain, but is rather low towards the front. I ended up picking a low height that will look fairly natural in the front, and I’m cutting deep into the mountain in the back. It’s been a process of cutting into the back and then counting off the slope over lots of tiles to make sure that I’m working on the same level in both front and back. I ran into rock at one point in the back, about 25 slope higher than I would have liked, but I’m going to roll with it – that particular corner will be hidden by tall hedges, so we’re just going to leave it as is for now. Maybe at some point it’ll get corrected.

Once I decided on the level, I squared away around the mine. This wasn’t as easy as I would have hoped since I had to do some flat-raising, but I got it, finally. Then I sailed down the coast a bit to a big maple forest and went crazy plucking hundreds of sprouts off the maple trees. With those sprouts I made…

 

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Hedges! The mine pit has been lined with maple hedges that are short right now, but will grow into tall hedges the same height as the gate. We also built a guard tower to protect us from local wildlife, and I got the first story of my house finished. Since this picture was made, Mr. Moxie also built a mirroring house on the right side, where the packed tiles and crates are. These houses will likely end up being 3 stories high, with bavarian-style timber walls on the 2nd and 3rd floors and slate roofs.

My current project is creating a road from the front of the deed to the highway, and then leveling the entire border of the deed and getting it fenced in. After that, finishing the farm fence. Then, leveling some more space for the workshop/storage buildings, abbey, and winery. I honestly love this spot. While it doesn’t look like much now with the dirt piles and crates strewn everywhere, it’s beautiful, has great resources, a great view, a great location, and it’s shaping up to be a beautiful, cozy, lush Secret Garden-like deed.

Wurm Bites

After Blaugust, I needed a break from blogging. The whole once-a-day thing was waaaay too unsustainable for me, so I took a brief hiatus to let things settle. I’m thinking a post 2-3 times a week, or whenever I have something to say. No promises or obligations. This is for fun, right?

So as far as WoW goes, I think I’m pretty much done for this expansion. I got my paladin and mage to 100 and decently geared out via PvP, and transferred them to a fun World PvP-centric dwarf guild with great folks. Other than finishing out achievements or collecting pets or mounts or whatnot, there’s really not a ton else that I need to do, so I’m in a good spot for Legion. I’ll continue to log in periodically to do some dailies for cash, but otherwise I think I likely won’t put in any more significant WoW time in until Legion.

In other news: I picked up another old, friendly, comfortable game again: Wurm Online. Those of you that have known me for years know that I adore this game, although like anything I have to take breaks from it. Hearing the announcement about the upcoming Wurm Unlimited release on Steam got me thinking about jumping back in anyway, and then my old pal/co-worker @_Jeg_ also started thinking about it as well, so off to Xanadu we went. The first thing to decide was whether to continue on our existing deeds, or to start fresh. This was hard because we’ve both spent a ton of time and resources on building our deeds, but there were two negatives to the location: We were in the dead middle of the map and were only sea-accessible by one small canal at the far north end of the lake, and there was no activity in the area. We were basically hermits. We both wanted better access to a spawn point, a market, and foot-traffic, so we grabbed a couple of horses and went scouting in northwest Xanadu. We went north because mob density is higher (better hunting) and west for easier access to the Independence/Deliverance/Exodus/Celebration cluster.

I had a few requirements:

  • Coastal access: I don’t normally like areas right on the water, but having a coastal area about 100 or so tiles from my deed was preferable.
  • Close to a spawn point: We started out looking at Linton and Vrock Landing. Vrock quickly won out, one of the Wurm staff members has been working on the spawn and it has a super-cool checkerboard portal area. Also, it is further northwest (see above).
  • Good ores: This one is tricky. I’ve learned lessons from past deeds, and at this point I take care to prospect to get an idea of what is available BEFORE deeding. Iron is a must. Gold, silver, or lead is icing on the cake. Anything else is nice to have, but not super-necessary.
  • Terrain: I like places that back up to mountains or otherwise difficult-to-deed terrain (for a mine), but I also LOVE me some forest. Lots and lots of forest, with good trees (cedar, pine, birch). Also, not tooooooo hilly, I prefer flattish deeds as opposed to terraced.
  • Neighbors: A few good neighbors and a good alliance are also necessary. Not too crowded, but not too lonesome either. Hermiting is nice until you’re hermiting for months on end.

After riding around for several days, checking out all sorts of different places, digging, prospecting, and running from entire tribes of trolls, scorpions, spiders, hellhounds, anacondas, crocodiles, and other assorted wildlife, we finally settled on two places relatively close to each other. I took the forest on the highway, Jeg took the (rare but awesome) spot on the coast. My only issue with the forest was that I was unable to prospect to check what ores were under the area, so it was a gamble. However after prospecting other nearby areas and asking neighboring deeds, it seemed like the chances were good that it would have iron at the least, so we took that chance.

It paid off. We’ve found iron AND gold so far, and I know there’s zinc somewhere nearby. WOO!

The last few times I’ve done this, I’ve forgotten to get “before” pictures, so here it is… the lovely, lush, wild area that is Wildeacre 2.0:

Exodus Central Market

In Wurm, players can purchase merchants, which are NPCs that sell merchandise created or harvested by a player. You can place a merchant just about anywhere as long as its in a building or a merchant stall, but as in real life, one of the biggest things to think about is location, location, location. And one of the best places to put a merchant is in an established marketplace.

Exodus is interesting because as the server has developed and players have come & gone, there has never really been one main marketplace established like on other Freedom servers. In the early days of the server, there was Exo-mart, a small, central marketplace close to Esert & the spawn point, but it was quickly eclipsed by Exodus Trading Post (ETP), a public market ran with an aggressive marketing campaign by a cartel of players that also provided bulk goods, horses, & just about any item imaginable. The biggest problem with ETP was that it was on the west side of the server, rather than being in a central location. Eventually, both of those deeds fell and the marketplaces were left in a state of disrepair.

Down south, South Exodus Crafters Market (SECM) was founded on a man-made island and quickly gained traction as many players with high crafting skills and high quality products were/are located in the south. To this day, it still exists as the oldest continuous and still active marketplace on Exodus. It’s located very close to the Celebration server border and gets a lot of cross-server traffic, but it’s location down south again limits the number of players from all areas of Exodus from using it to its fullest potential.

Back in central Exodus, two new markets popped up: White Pearl Market, a collection of roadside stalls run by the Pearls alliance, and New Market, a large marketplace for members of New Pineview to sell their wares. While both markets have great locations & merchandise, they’re also private markets or controlled by player alliances – not necessarily a bad thing, but Exodus was still missing a large public central marketplace accessible by both land and water.

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Enter Madbananas and Zerobyte. They saw the need for this as well and established Exodus Central Market (ECM) along the main highway in between Esert and one of the main waterways to the east. ECM has a ton of market stalls that are available to the public, as well as a mailbox and an open-air pavilion with altars to all three gods.

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My modest contribution to ECM has been teal-painted pointing signs guiding players there from Esert, as well as a shop sign at the market and landscaping along the highway in the area. The highway was originally messed up with odd angles and mismatched tiles, so I took the liberty of fixing the slopes, repaving the highway, and planting trees to make it attractive again. I have a merchant there as well, selling ropes, sails, and other random goods.

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There are of course other small local markets on Exodus, as it should be, but over the past few weeks that its been open ECM has been gradually gaining new merchants and there is getting to be a really nice selection of wares there, which makes the trip to the market very worth it. If you’re traveling by water, the closest port is New Freeport to the east- just moor your boat and head west on the highway, you can’t miss it. If you’re at Esert, follow the teal signs to the market, it takes about 3 minutes to walk there and it’s a fairly safe trip.

Happy Wurming!

Wurm 1.0: Ultimate Makeover Edition

It’s been a while since I’ve posted any updates here – sorry about that. Life got crazy with a new job that requires a 1.5-2 hour commute each way (I know, I know) and a bunch of other weirdness. Generally what little time I do have to play during the week I’d rather spend playing rather than blogging, but I’m hoping to maybe post a an update on the weekends. No promises, but we’ll see how it goes. 🙂

So! Gaming. I really don’t have time to play multiple games, so at this point I’m playing the one game that has ruined me on all other MMOs: Wurm Online. There’s always something else to do in Wurm, and I enjoy the freedom that it gives me to determine my own goals. Since I blogged last, Wurm 1.0 released along with all the updates it brought: multi-story buildings, animations, character customization, new graphics, etc. I’ve been super-impressed at just how much the Wurm team has improved the game with 1.0. Let’s take a look at how Avonlea Bay has changed since we spoke last…

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The big story is multi-story, really. When 1.0 went live all our houses lost their auto-roofs and we were stuck with roofless buildings to work our magic on. Above is the workshop, which has an added second story and balcony… oh yes, balconies are now possible.

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The new and improved Wild Boar Inn. I tried this time to make it more like a proper fantasy-style inn, with a meeting room and kitchen downstairs and the bedrooms upstairs. Balconies are a must, of course.

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The new winery, which is what used to be a villager house. I really love the way it turned out, with the wood on top of stone – it looks like a proper estate winery.

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Because I can’t leave well enough alone, and because Raamkozijin showed me a picture of his horse pen setup, I tore down part of some old farm fields and am in the process of building proper stables with attached horse pens and enchanted grass.

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My husband decided to expand upon his ironworks building, which then turned into a treehouse, and then ended up turning into a compound. I think he’s still building on it. What you can’t see here is that there is actually a tower reaching up towards the sky – it’s very peaceful up there among the treetops.

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I also managed to get a male chicken from my pal Fatboy. Chickens seem to be super-rare as they’re difficult to take care of, but I’m going to give it a shot. Eventually I want to get a hen as well and see if I can start a bit of egg production. These little chickens need a LOT of corn laying around to keep them fed – it’ll be interesting to see if I can keep up with their needs.

In addition to all the craziness on-deed, I’ve been working like a madwoman off-deed. I finished Dead Mans Highway, a 2-tile-wide road extending from our alliance region northwards, connecting the SE to the NE. My next big plan is extending the highway all the way to Esert –  I’m a glutton for punishment. I’ve also been making and planting signage to a new market in the Esert area, and doing some terraforming and landscaping along the highways around there.

On top of all that, we’ve been playing musical deeds in our region, reshuffling deeds around. I disbanded Medway Plantation so that my pal Xalorum could deed a smaller tract of it close to the coast. He in turn disbanded his deed, which was right on the highway path, so that project could be completed. Revnik deeded a large tract of coastline to the east of us, which used to be part of a deed that dropped a while back.  I bought Jewelspar from Mayrin, restored it to nature, and it has now been renamed Cherryglade Hill, after my old independence deed. And to top it all off, I deeded a tract of land just to the north of Avonlea Bay and Trueknight Haven to act as a forest sanctuary extension to those two deeds.

Phew!

A big welcome to new Brawler Delerium who now resides at Hannibal Retreat in our region as well. Always nice to have a new Brawla!

For now though, it’s time to get back to building fences!

Quote of the Day

When you’re playing a game where terraforming plays a large part, you tend to accumulate piles of dirt that can then be used for other projects. Sometimes, when you’re playing late and are hyped up on caffeine and sugar, typos happen.

10 Days to Go…

Ten more days… can we get any more excited??

Between the final server lists coming out, an utterly beautiful clip of a voiced musical piece from the soundtrack, and the stress tests that have been going on for a couple of weeks now, I’m totally stoked for he Guild Wars 2 launch. Is the hype machine out of control? Yes, it is. Undoubtedly. It’s not going to be a game for everyone, especially if you enjoy the traditional raiding end-game and/or gear progression. I doubt that it’ll be the MMO-Saviour that some folks seem to think, and it’s unfair to place it on a pedestal that no game will ever be able to live up to.

But for me, I already know that it’s going to be my go-to MMO for a long, long while. I feel it in my bones.

Guild Wars 2, even from the first time I played it in BWE3, immediately brought back those feelings that I had in classic WoW back in 2004, in a way that no other MMO since has been able to do. The feeling of wonder, of a huge world with all kinds of nooks and crannies and secrets and things to do and places to discover and ledges to jump off of and oceans to swim under – it’s all there, and it feels magical. The game has a ton of established lore and a great story to follow along with. The combat is surprisingly fun, fluid, and responsive, and the dynamic events are a blast. World bosses that show up periodically in the zones are a win, as are the instances with both story and explorable modes. The crafting – I love the crafting, with it’s discovery system and the ways that they’ve made inventory management easier. WvWvW isn’t my thing personally, but I have a ton of friends that are totally into it, and I’m sure I’ll put in some time there occasionally. The game is polished, the graphics are absolutely gorgeous, and everything about it just screams quality and depth.

And the lack of raiding/gear-progression? To be honest, it’s icing on the cake for me. I haven’t done the gear grind in any game since The Burning Crusade/Wrath of the Lich King. I’m so over that mode of gameplay – I much prefer the philosophy of being able to scale your level up or down as needed to play with your friends & do the content you want to do at the correct level. No longer do I *have* to run multiple instances every night to keep up with the pack, or else worry about getting behind. I don’t *have* to play the same game every night, running the same content night after night. I absolutely love this – I can take breaks to spend time with my family or play other games without feeling guilty.

So yeah, I’m a bit hyped. Forgive me, and just know that I’m not proclaiming it to be the end-all be-all MMO for everyone. It’s just an incredibly remarkable game for me personally, and it gives me those warm fuzzy MMO feelings that I’ve missed for so, so long.

But I haven’t been staying idle during the wait. I’ve been playing Rift in the meantime, though my subscription *just* ran out, and I’ll likely wait until 2-3 weeks after the GW2 launch to re-sub. They just announced that with a year’s sub you get a free copy of Storm Legion along with a mount, so I’ll almost certainly be taking them up on that deal – my WoW annual pass will end in September, and since I’m not planning on playing Mists of Pandaria, I’m more than happy to give Trion that subscription money. Trion is also experimenting with PvP normalization and breaking down the barriers to playing with the opposite faction, which is fantastic in so many ways I don’t know where to begin. It’s great news for my guild, which up to this point has had a guild on both factions – now we can just bring everyone together under one roof.

Also, I’ve really jumped back into Wurm with gusto over the past few weeks. We’ve been working on a few projects in our region – a new & improved clay resource, lighting up more of the area, helping a couple of new neighbors get their deeds set up & going, and improving our road infrastructure. I’ve been breeding (and selling!) horses like crazy in the meantime, and it’s getting to the point where I can pay for my deed just from horse and item sales in-game, so I’m very happy with this.

So right now my MMO line-up for fall is primarily GW2 and Wurm, along with a good dose of Rift when Storm Legion comes out. It works out nicely… one free sub game, one low sub game, and one sub game, all with very different styles of gameplay so that I don’t get bored. This fall/winter is going to be an amazing gaming season.

Decisions, Decisions

I’ve been trying to sort things out in my head regarding all the new MMOs and expansions that are going to be bombarding us this fall. There’s so many games on my radar and so little time.

The Secret World: Purchase Fee, Sub Fee. Has a unique modern-day horror concept, with great story and actual puzzles/riddles to solve. More of an MMO Adventure Game.

Rift Storm Legion: Purchase Fee, Sub Fee. Proper expansion, two new continents, more souls, player housing, among other things. Traditional MMO.

Guild Wars 2: Purchase Fee, No Sub Fee. Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful game, with (from what I hear) a unique stumble-upon questing format and WvWvW. Oh yeah, and no sub fee. Traditional MMO with lots of twists.

Mists of Pandaria: Purchase Fee, Sub Fee. Pandas. Monks. Asian-themed continent. Pet pokemon. Traditional MMO.

Wurm Online: No Purchase Fee, Sub Fee. Sandbox playground of choice.

Last night my husband and I were talking about all of the options, and in an ideal world, we’d pick two of the above and stick it out. I just don’t think that’s going to work this time though.

Wurm: is a no-brainer, it’s a sandbox unlike the others on the list, and it’s the yin to the yang of every other MMO on this list. $12/month for the two of us just to keep the deed going, and make that $24/month if we’re actually playing and need premium time.

MoP: is looking less and less likely for us – we’re just not that interested in Pandas or the new continent, and other games are far more compelling. Our annual passes run out in October – that day can’t come fast enough.

GW2: we just pre-ordered so that we can check it out during the next BWE – to be honest, I know next to nothing about GW2 right now, and I’ve been avoiding as much hype as possible, but the lack of a sub fee is attractive. We’ve already paid for it, so it’s ours whether we actually play it or not.

Rift X-Pack: I’m totally hyped about – after getting back into Rift recently, I’ve completely fallen head over heels for it. It’s finally a fleshed-out, substantial, complete theme park game, and it’s tremendously fun. $30/month for the two of us.

TSW: Here’s where it gets tricky. We’ve already got Wurm and Rift as sub games, but TSW offers something different as well. Here’s the thing: Mr. Moxie adores paranormal stuff like Ghost Hunters and The Walking Dead, and he’s been declaring TSW as being “that Scooby-Doo MMO” – a big plus in his book. We also love puzzle/investigation movies like Sherlock Holmes, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, or National Treasure. So the setting is right and the gameplay is compelling, but it’s another subscription-based game, and we’re not altogether sure that it is full enough or robust enough to hold us long-term. Then again, I felt that way about Rift last year, and after a year of development, it’s much-improved now.

All in all, if we played all four games that are catching our eye right now, we’d be shelling out about $320 in box fees, plus $85-$100 a month in subscription fees, unless we somehow stagger the games or alternate months. You have to consider play time as well –  cycling through 4 games at once is a terrifying proposition. I know, I know, first world problems.

Any way you slice it, this is a fantastic time to be an MMO gamer – there’s never been so many great new games on the market at the same time.

 

 

Show and Tell Time

The renovations to Avonlea Bay are coming along just swimmingly. My order of bricks, mortar, and fence bars was delivered on Sunday, which meant that I could finally rip the old buildings down and get started on the rebuilds. One nifty thing about Wurm is that the seasons change regularly now!

Winter:

Spring!

And since I just logged back into Wurm and the daylight is about to break, I think it’s time to take a tour!

The new “front entrance” to the deed. This is an almost exact copy of the old entrance to my former deed on Independence, Cherryglade Farm. It was my inspiration while doing the redesign of the deed – this isn’t Cherryglade Farm 2.0, but it does take a lot of the themes and elements of the old deed and mash them into something that works well in the existing area.

The new workshop, with a working well out front. Originally this was going to be the same level as everything else, but we ended up hitting rock from the mountain behind us and because of water level issues, couldn’t surface mine it down without dragging a boat inland. Instead, we just raised the workshop up, and I actually like it better this way.

The inside of the workshop is nowhere near done. It needs to be completely organized, new workstations need to be built, and the flooring needs to be completed. We’ll pretend we never saw this. Moving on…

Ahhh, The Wild Boar Inn from the bay side! Note the sun coming up over the trees. I took it’s design directly from World of Warcraft, complete with a mailbox out front, kitchen inside, and beds in the back. One day when Rolf gets multi-story buildings in, this will probably become a 2-story building. For now, I’m happy with this. Let’s go inside.

Public Kitchen area. Pretty standard, slightly messy still.

The back area which still needs a lot of work. These will be the inn rooms, with each tile being it’s own enclosed private room with a bed, a lamp, and nightstand. Yes, there is still grass in the inn for now, the floorboards that you see are what remains of the original inn and kitchen. Floorboards will likely be the last thing to get completed. 😉

The meditation garden, located right on the water. The two statues mark our Love and Knowledge meditation tiles. The bench is decorative. I really like this spot.

Here is the new & improved entrance to our silver mine. When I first settled here, this was the first mine that I created, and at the time I was lazy and didn’t bother straightening the tile up before tunneling in, which meant it had been crooked for months. That always bothered me and my slightly OCD perfectionism, so this was a perfect chance to fix it. I learned a very valuable (and pricey) lesson though: When collapsing a mine entrance, you probably need to collapse both the entrance and the tile behind it, otherwise you won’t be able to surface-mine the top because it’ll see it as going “under” an existing tunnel. I ended up spending 5 silver on the inital collapse (that didn’t work), then had to tunnel it out again, shelled out another 10 silver to re-collapse the two tiles, made the fixes to the slopes, and re-tunneled in. Yeah, a Magranon priest would have done it for less. I was impatient.

The breeding horses in their new pens, plus one of the tower guards watching over them.

At some point last week or the week before, as I was lamenting the upcoming de-premiuming of my main, Moxie, Mayrin’s husband Bognus donned his signboard and began preaching about the benefits of being a Vynora priest instead of a Fo priest. He convinced me to give the priest thing one more shot, and as part of that he came over and build a gold altar of Vynora next to the token. Shiny! I’m still a Vynora follower and am trying to get my Faith up so that I can be converted into a priest, but so far I’m much happier – I really didn’t want to give up Moxie as a main.

The boardwalk to Trueknight Haven, Jewelspar, and Independent Settlers – this used to be right on the water, but I like this better. The depth of the water is deeper now compared to the land, so large boats can pull right up to the shore, no problem.

So that’s where we’re at today – everything is coming along great, all that’s left is finishing out the interiors of the buildings. I’m really, really loving the changes, it has completely transformed the feel of the deed and is just a happier and prettier place overall.

I’ve also taken this opportunity to add two new pages to the blog, under the Avonlea Bay header. One is a WurmPlanner map of the deed with a legend that explains all the different areas on the property. The other is our ordinance, or basically our rules while on-deed. I want to eventually add a mine map and maybe merchant/for sale page as well.