Salem the Game: Final Thoughts

Last month, I blogged about a new game I’d started playing called Salem. Well, as of today, 3 of my friends and I are likely calling it quits.

An overpowered group of raiders found our camp today and were in the process of destroying it when Nick got on one of his characters and was (permanently) killed.

Salem raiders

Knowing that there were bound to be griefers due to perma-death, we had been working hard on defending our camp. We built triple walls and several braziers to attack anyone who tried to get in… and we were adding to our defenses every day. That wasn’t even close to enough to stop the raiders.

With groups of well-established, overpowered players playing the game, I don’t see how it’s possible for new players to stand a chance. There’s no way any of us could have gotten our humours up high enough to have a chance of defending ourselves against one, let alone a whole group, of the raiders.

A few weeks ago, one of my friends was out in the world, away from the camp, when he got killed by one of the overpowered players. The player didn’t even take any of my friend’s items after he died; he just killed him and went about his business. My friend was pretty discouraged, but since our camp was still okay and the rest of us were still alive, he begrudgingly made a new character and kept playing.

After today, though, I don’t think we have the motivation to start over again, knowing we’re likely to just be found by raiders all over again. Yes, if we focused on building a town bell right away, maybe we’d have a chance. We were actually working on getting one for our camp and might have had it by the end of the week. I think that would’ve only delayed the inevitable, though.

Salem had a lot of potential, but with strong, established players effortlessly killing off the new, weaker players, I don’t see how this game could really be successful.

Oh well. Onto the next game!

Salem the Game

Nick and I discovered a new free-to-play sandbox MMORPG called Salem, which focuses on crafting and building. The game is in beta, but it’s still fun to play in its current state.

Salem character customization
Customizing my character

Salem takes place in New England during the Pilgrim times. You start out in Salem, England and travel to Boston to start your life in the new world. You can build up a settlement, learn skills, trade, and fight creatures and other players. The game is really open, so how you play is entirely up to you.

Getting started in Salem is not easy. Once you get past customizing your character (there’s not a lot of customization yet) and the beginning tutorial, you are prompted to talk to a guide about establishing a homestead. Unbeknownst to us, the guide teleported the two of us to totally separate locations, where our homesteads were automatically created for us. After spending a while walking toward each other, we realized we were a lot further apart than we realized… and by that point, we had no idea where our homesteads were anymore.

Salem random homestead
Exploring a homestead I found. Humours are at the top of the screen and my proficiency progress is on the right.

The game centers around learning skills, which you do by studying objects you gather or craft. Studying items increases your proficiencies and you need certain amounts of proficiencies in order to learn skills. Studying a smooth stone, for instance, gives you 350 points of the Hammer & Nail proficiency (among other things), which could go toward skills like Tanning or Carpentry.

Humours are another important part of the game and can be thought of as different types of energy. There are 4 humours: Blood (red; health), Phlegm (black; endurance), Yellow Bile (combat effectiveness), and Black Bile (green; learning capacity). You can refill your humours by eating food. Players start with a maximum humour value of 5 and can increase the maximum value of individual humours through gluttony. Gluttony is a little weird, but it’s really helpful to have higher humour values.

Tips:

  • Download Ender’s Salem Client. It adds some nice UI features, especially with the minimap and improved radar.
  • Don’t get attached to your items. I was so excited when I found a Singing Old Log and carried around with me everywhere… until I died and lost it. 🙁 Which brings me to my next tip:
  • You WILL die. And when you die, you lose everything you had in your inventory. It’s annoying (especially at first), but that’s just how the game works.
  • Avoid snakes. They WILL kill you. Using Ender’s Salem Client is super helpful in avoiding snakes (and other vicious creatures).
  • Increase the maximum values of your humours through gluttony.
  • If playing with friends, teleport back to Boston after creating your initial homesteads and then pick a direction and wander off together so you can actually play together. It’s a good idea to spend at least a couple hours walking away from Boston before establishing your camp. Just make sure to build temporary lean-tos along the way, so you don’t lose your walking progress if you die!
  • There is permadeath, so watch out if you see other players (outside of Boston)!
  • The Salem Wiki is full of all sorts of useful information.

Sound fun? Join the beta! They give out a handful of beta codes every day. 🙂