Salem is a game that may be flying under the radar at the current point in time, but after recently having a look at it through Paradox, it won’t be doing that for long. Players who are looking for a sandbox style world with open crafting and more importantly open PvP will soon discover Salem. The fun art style only scratches the surface of what this game could mean as players enter the New England woods to begin their settlements. Salem is a browser launched game that can offer some serious fun for MMO players.
The setting of Salem covers America in the time of the Thirteen Colonies. The woods are dark and have a lot of resources to find. At its heart, Salem is a crafting game where players can collect resources to build their colonies. There are a lot of natural resources around the world for players to collect and they can start to build up all kinds of villages, weapons, and supplies. Everything in the game is made by players. Players develop skills like farming, hunting, woodwork, mining, and pottery. The resources in the game can be replenished but it takes time so a careful balance with the game environment is essential for survival.
The characters in the game have access to these crafting skills and more. The stats for each character are: Blood (health), Flem (stamina), Yellow Bile (energy resources), and Black Bile (skills). As players develop they can unlock more crafting skills in the game. For combat, players have access to stances and attacks. They are very basic, with an offense and defense stance. With open PvP being part of the game players can either join each other to create their villages or become the scourge of the forest. There is a catch to PvP that is very critical, the death system.
Death in Salem is unforgiving. If your character dies, that’s it, similar to those early colonial winters. Your character will restart as the rightful heir to your holdings, but your character is starting new again. This way you don’t lose everything you had, but you do lose your character. This death system is something many players will be very careful with. Sometimes adding these systems in makes players team up quickly and form massive groups to protect themselves. The other thing that will occur is that players will begin making throw away characters to use in PvP.
Salem offers a persistent world and expects the capacity to be about 2,000 players per server. This is not set in stone. The game is still in early stages of development. Right now the team is adding content and working on new art for some of the creatures of the forest. Especially the Squonk! This creature is from old lumberjack folklore and will have a fun spot in the game. The team is trying to add as many early colonial elements to keep the theme fun.
Another area that Salem shines is in its interface. The game is browser friendly and the world is easy to navigate. The interface comes up as you highlight over different areas. When you are just exploring nothing gets in your way on screen. Using skills and combat is easy; players are definitely not hindered by a heavy UI.
Salem looks like great fun. Fans of games like Minecraft who want better graphics and the chance to fight it out in the New England forests will truly enjoy the game. The art style is fun, even if seen as a little cartoonish. Overall Salem has the opportunity to be a brutal PvP game along with some serious crafting and world building. Players who get in early and start their villages can really build up something. Having the sandbox style will appeal to many old school MMO players who dealt with the likes of Ultima Online back in the day. Keep an eye out for Salem when it comes to Paradox’s line up.