This post has not been edited by the GamesBeat staff. Opinions by GamesBeat community writers do not necessarily reflect those of the staff.
Despite my complaint in my last entry, I still, as stated continued to play Seatribe's upcoming MMO, Salem. It's really the only game I've been playing lately so I wanted to take the time to look at the things that I felt the developers did right.
The first thing was their business model. Salem is a free-to-play game with the option to purchase in-game currency with money. The first thought that probably comes to a person's mind is "pay-to-win", which is the idea that a player can just spend money to gain an edge over the other people playing. In the beginning, Salem seemed that it would be "pay to win" because of the difficulty new players will find to try and earn money.
Hmm…$5 for 150 silver? Very tempting for that first bit of land.
In Salem, there are only few things that you can sell to the in-game vendors to make silver such as furs or Indian charms. In order to be able to acquire these items you need to first train up your proficiencies and skills along with having a lot of patience. After you make your first few hundred silver though and have settled down, money-making starts becoming easier.
I've found that now that I own a considerable amount of land and am more capable with the game mechanics that money is actually easy to procure now. At least a lot easier than it was in the beginning anyway which leads me to believe that it is very possible to play this game without needing to spend a dime — a real dime. Although, more importantly, it allows me to feel confident that another player who does use the cash store does not have that great of an advantage over me.
Being established leads me into the other reason to what Salem did really well. Advancement and the fruits of your labor are everything in this game. I've always been in love with that concept of working up from nothing to see all the accomplishments you made. This does exactly that.
My fiancé starting up her homestead.
Starting with just the clothes on your back you are led through a rudimentary tutorial. Upon its completion, you are granted your first little area to call a home. A lean-to. From this lean-to you build a variety of things to help expand your industry-base and homestead whether it's building several drying frames to create leather or tilling the ground for farming.
As stated earlier, you eventually start earning enough money to make a rightful claim to the land and will be able to expand it large enough to encompass a sizable area. Then the player can build their first real house and maybe even fence it off from wildlife and other less-than-honorable pilgrims. At the end of the day it feels like you've really achieved something and made a small dent in the world.
Finally have a real house to rest in!