Latest Update: Rooting thy Native Oak

“When we plant trees, we plant the seeds of peace
and the seeds of hope”
– Wangari Muta Maathai


Tree planting has finally arrived! Now you can make your own tree farm and continue your board industry without worrying about deforestation.

To grow trees, you will first need to learn Forestry, strike cuttings from trees, plant them in pots, then plant the survived sprouts and wait for about a week. Relevant proficiencies for this are Frontier & Wilderness, Natural Philosophy, and Stocks & Cultivars. Make sure you give a decent space for each sprout to grow.

Cuttings planted in pots by Usernm

Personal Claims now requires upkeep to the tune of 4s + (Claimed Area / 300)s per day. Do not be weary though, because this is a good silver sink to support the game, besides, now abandoned settlements won’t be a bother any more. Town claim upkeep now has a big meaning as well.

Those of you, who had built too big a claim(s) prior to this and now regretting, you can recover 75% of the invested silver (deposited in bank) when declaiming for one week. Don’t forget that this is an exception only applied until the next update which is likely coming in a week.

Good news for the new players out there is that animals in Boston or each town centre do not attack players any more, unless jorb and loftar decide to grief us again on an occasion. You can feel safe to receive your items from the mailman there without worries, although I still would not recommend you to afk anyways.

Refer to the announcement thread for the details and some other small updates.
Announcement thread

Updates: Zero Hour, Boards, Shops & Thanksgiving

Zero Hour, Nov 5th

Announcement thread

Multi-server support is finally finished, and along with this new feature comes two major updates, and some minor updates. Two new servers, Roanoke and Jamestown are now open up, and with these new servers comes a new GUI. Among the minor updates are the implementation of capes, pickaxes, and new usages for turkey feathers. Also with these are changes to crime and mining, mining on someone else’s claim will leave vandal scents.

An interesting thing to note is that the pricing of player stalls were set differently on the new servers, the stalls closer to the town bell are more expensive than the ones further away. It also appears that these new stalls are already all occupied. Late comers will once again have to wait for the devs to introduce more stalls, or attempt to buy one from the current owner.

Loads of beta keys were also given out go alongside the opening of the new servers, this has led to a dramatic increase in player population.

GamerZakh‘s vid, excited at official music being played and new GUI
(Actually, GamerZakh, you are one of the very few who said “No” to the musician :P)

Eegorevids’ vid, showing some of the new stuff such as capes, pickaxes, etc…

 

 

Boarded Up Feelings, Nov 15th

Announcement thread

The new update here features Carpentry. Yes, a Board Industry! Building 2-story townhouses and sheds to stock items sound really nice, and I’m sure many will love the new emotes you can unlock by learning skills.

Hitori, feeling boarded up “too close, but good looking”

Acquiring boards is a rather tedious and long process, filled with both rewards, and failures. In order to produce dry boards, you will need to wait 5 days to dry fresh boards through a timber pile. If you succeed you will be awarded dry boards, or moldy boards should you fail. You then can use the dry boards to build a Carpenter’s Bench which will allow you make planed boards, or wood choppings if you fail, the success rate is influenced by your Hammer and Nail skill. Afterwards you use the planed boards to build an oiling trough, and through this you can make oiled boards, which takes 2 days and will either give you an oiled board, or a warped board which can be used to make planed boards or wood chopping.

Factors such as your skill in Hammer and Nail, along with the placement of the timber piles (don’t imitate the above pic) will determine your success in the board making process. Moreover, you will need to acquire lots of boards for the various things you can now build. (Yet, no tree-planting skill exists. Boo!)

by jorb » Tue Nov 20, 2012
“My own first three piles yielded 64 dry boards, of which I have 23 left after throwing down press, trough, bench, 8 planed boards for the trough and one woodknot (which is terrible, don’t study any, they will be significantly buffed). I have 42 H&N.”

Although luck has a bit of an effect on the success rate, players soon started to enjoy figuring out the optimal placement for timber piles. This appears to be tricky, since the mold from one pile may contaminate the boards of another nearby pile. Currently it is said that you will most likely want to keep the timber piles 5 tiles away from each other to avoid contamination. The discussion is still on going, and can be seen at the above announcement thread.

 

Criminally Thanksgiving & Shop, Nov 22nd

Announcement thread
Announcement thread

Mushibag stealing a new table

Mushibag enjoying the table

Lots of new items for thanksgiving were given out and sold. Many enjoyed them, much suffered from them, and most re-learned what this meant. It has turned out that Thanksgiving in Salem is not a day you give or receive thanks, but a day when a lot of us realize that this is an open pvp game where players try to force you to drop thanks. It is a day players are officially encouraged to commit crimes to obtain “gifts” from those who have them.

This update was accompanied by a new tougher type of walls, along with updates to the crime debuff. The new type of walls appear to look very nice, but in order to have these walls, you will need to pay a hefty price in both time and materials. The new crime debuff update also seems to be giving some raiders a harder time. Criminals now have to walk decently far away from the crime spot in order to reduce the debuff, and regenerate their biles.

The devs are still trying to find the best balance, so if you have any good records of detailed results or logical opinions on the new debuff system and feel like it is not balanced, feel free to share it on the announcement thread and discuss.

by jorb » Sat Nov 24, 2012
“Arguing that it takes too long does not mean arguing against the system. What I primarily need to know is whether the mechanic of having to put some distance between yourself and the crime is viable. Specific numbers and edge cases (100s of leantos) can obviously be adjusted for, and do not constitute fundamental arguments about the fundamental incentives the system puts in place.

I’m not saying that it isn’t interesting to know about those edge case, but “the system sucks, I had to wait for a really long time when X, Y and Z” is not what I am primarily interested in.”

Eegorevids’ vids on the last two updates in more details. More are coming later according to him. (I won’t blame you for not showing crime debuff ;))

Encouragement from the Crown and Company

England has declared its interest in the New World. With this newest introduction of more colonies, clear guidance and additional fashions to Salem, The English Government together with the Board of Directors of Hudson Bay Trading Company have provided funds and beginner’s gears for those puritans who registered their interests in the Company. For a small sum of money, players are entitled to one of the 3 packs that provides unique items as well as clothing for the coming adventures. Be it a pioneer pack or a fisherman’s parcel, which boasts magnificent help for newbies to land whales, puritans will have a firmer foothold in Salem. Of course, all packages aren’t raider proof so be aware.


Here are a couple of screenshots of these magnificent outfits which come with the packages.
Adventurer outfit with rapier
Compliments of killertomas2 and you can check his thread here.


A very nice photo from novus. I thank you for your contribution. You can check his photo again here.

Bug fix, Logout button & Option Window

There was a bug where a knocked out criminal would not be sent home after 24 hours. This bug was most likely introduced by the last update, Criminal Thanksgiving. The bug was announced as fixed on November 28th, so unlucky criminals could have been unconscious for up to a week. Or if they were really unlucky, they were just killed and never noticed the bug.
Forum thread
Bug Tracker page

There is, with the server update, a new “:act lo” command that goes via the server instead. That has the nice advantage that error checking is made and that, therefore, if you cannot log out, you are told so instead of the client just logging out with your character remaining in game perhaps without you knowing about it.

by loftar » Wed Nov 07, 2012

Later that day he has also added in a button for the feature through the options window, so now you do not have to type the command but instead use the Logout button in the option window to properly log out. Make sure that you do NOT click the “x” button at top right of the screen to log out from the game.
Forum post

Announcing the Honours List

Hereby, we are honoured to announce the Honours List of those who have contributed to the Tumbleweed Courant. Thank you everyone, this newspaper couldn’t have started without your works!

 

The Order of Senryū

sabinati (for the sample in op)
Sevenless (Sept 5th, Sept 22th, Dec 2nd)
Ass_Kraken (Sept 10th, Nov 3rd)
darnokpl (Oct 1st)
staxjax (Oct 1st)
Rololas (Oct 24th)
jorb (Oct 24th ~as Word of God)
TotalyMoo (Nov 3rd)
DonnEssime (Dec 2nd)

The Order of Obituary

Vigilance (Sept 10th)
Tylan (Oct 1st)
pushedx (Oct 1st)
Ass_Kraken (Oct 24th)
Jalpha (Dec 2nd)
alloin (Dec 2nd)
Bait (Dec 2nd)
Tonkyhonk (Dec 2nd)

The Order of Fashion

TrisDa, aka Yarn Fish
Gunnar Kveldúlfsson
Spazzmaticus, aka Karl-Evert
jorb (Nov 3rd)
greg0418 (Dec 2nd)
Mushibag (Dec 2nd)
Dallane (Dec 2nd)
colesie, aka Jordan Coles (Dec 2nd)

The Order of Art

Sacre (for bottom logo, Senryū symbol, MPD statue)
Paradox Interactive (for concept arts)
Lusewing (for video)
GamerZakh (for video)
Eegorevids(for video)

The Order of Exploration

Glennfinnan
MvGulik
Superiodity

The Order of News

Samuel Winthrop
Monkeytofu
Rawrz
Gunnar Kveldúlfsson
Superiodity
Yarn Fish
Vigilance
Blackadder
and
Silence Dogood

Breaking News : Criminally Thanksgiving


The Thanksgiving update has arrived, including the Thanksgiving store update & gifts. Already some QQing is going on about the new criminal debuff from raiders, new players’ cries and shouts echo around Salem caused by the loss of newly obtained items.
Will our thanksgiving be as happy as it should be? We’ll find out soon enough!
(Make sure you play on November 22nd to receive gifts.)

Breaking News : New Towns Open

Long awaited updates have arrived in Salem Beta.
A GUI overhaul and two new towns, Jamestown and Roanoke, have been established, along with quite a few minor changes. The rumour says that there will be another official Beta-key give-away starting tomorrow.

Check out the latest updates and send us nice reports and news for the next issue!
Announcement thread

Also, loftar is expecting all three servers to be crashed by the time he wakes up tomorrow. Dedicated pilgrims, don’t disappoint him!

Roanoke Centre ~ Screenshot by A Farmer (とある農家)

Halloween Celebration in Salem!

Players gathered around in Boston in order to celebrate the first Halloween ever in Salem Beta. They decorated Boston Centre with harvested pumpkins, skeletons, and other various items, where they proceeded to party for hours.


The party host, colesie aka JordanColes, said “Big thank you to everyone who showed up and for these two for contributing pumpkins, masks, and the cauldron. Really helped it liven things up.”

Unfortunately, it seems that there are those who are envious of other people having fun and have to ruin the fun of others.

Darwoth and Makestro were these envious souls tonight. They arrived to the party, not to celebrate, but to try and ruin the fun of others. They got in the way of fellow pilgrims, stole the decorations, and attempted to bully the owner of the cauldron, who had kindly rented it out for this occasion. Chat logs have been posted of these two bullies, along with pictures of them “proudly” destroying the cauldron. It is unfortunate that the only way these two can attract attention is by ruining the fun of others.

It is also sad that none of the Boston guards would deal with such douchebaggery. We may need some baby-sitters in Boston to give special care for the immature population, if Boston is to remain “safe”.
Forum thread
Forum thread

Open Beta Coming Soon?

salem concept art _ galleon

Salem Concept Art Copyrighted by Paradox Interactive

Directly from the Salem Facebook Announcement:

Future pilgrims and excited colonists to be!

As you might have noticed there are no longer ships leaving daily from England to bring you to the New World. But do not fret!

Our great King Charles I has stated that He, in all His Holiness, “Can’t wait to get rid of those wretched Puritans and criminals!” — which we at court interpreted as “There will be more ships leaving soon, carrying many to the New World!”

Salem Facebook Announcement

Account Issue & A Bug Fix

Those of you who have either played alpha or Pre-Commercial Salem and have decided to recently come back and play may have find that they are unable to transfer their old Paradox accounts over to the new system.
loftar said that Paradox Connect has stopped responding as of October 2nd, and TotalyMoo confirmed that Connect is down permanently. If you are unable to play the game now, but were able to before should try contacting TotalyMoo at support@paradoxplaza.com with your account details, although you will most likely lose your original account name.

Forum thread

Ass_Kraken, also known as DDDsDD999, has managed to uncover a new server crashing bug involving looms on Sunday, October 14th, reported in IRC.
Fortunately loftar was around when Kraken accidentally crashed the server and was able to fix this bug immediately.


He had tried to contact loftar earlier in IRC about this strange and serious bug before the bug managed to crash the server. Well done, Kraken!
Let us congratulate you on your beta testing ability, please accept this fancy memorial loom picture as a gift!

The Invisible Hand – Market Update

©Paradox Interactive


We have again compiled a database of the items up for trade in the forums. Our selection procedure was as follows: Reject any trade threads which had dropped off the top page, remove any threads which were special requests, leaving only the active, established merchants. The minimum, maximum and average prices for items with a competitive market, as well as the change in average price, are listed below.
5 traders:
  • Nails: 10-20s, average 15.6s, -5s
4 traders:
  • Leather: 10s
  • Brain: 6-10s, average 7.5s, -14.1s
  • 0% pure iron bar: 80-90s, average 85s, -19.3s
3 traders:
  • Spanish Sabre: 65-100s, average 85s, -24.4s
  • Metal Shovel: 75-110s, average 95s, -27.8s
  • Metal Axe: 80-120s, average 100s, -43.7s
  • Pumpkin Pies: 12-15s, average 13.3s
  • Bluebeary: 18-15s, average 22.7s
2 traders:
  • Cotton seeds (price for 50): 25-100s, average 62.5s, -6.2s
  • Rabbit Steak: 2s
  • Venison Steak/2 cuts: 3-5s, average 4s
  • 0% pure ore (price for 24): 30-120s, average 75s
  • Lime (price for 24): 50-60s, average 55s
  • Rattler serum: 150s
  • Mineralogical Survey: 12s, -1.1s
  • Stringy Sinew: 5s
  • Singing Old Log: 10-15s, average 12.5s, -0.3s
  • Lovers Locket (unknown purity, assume 0%): 110-120s, average 115s, -6.2s
  • Backpack: 60-65s, average 62.5s, -11.6s
  • Conquistador Helmet: 100s, -10s
  • Sweet Bambi: 7-8s, average 7.5s
  • Walk on the Wild Side: 9-10s, average 9.5s
  • Lobster Mushroom: 3-4s, average 3.5s
  • Mushroom Pie, 12s
  • Waxing Toadstool, 2s
  • Witches Hat, 4-5s, average 4.5s
  • Cabbage Cakes, 10-12s, average 11s
  • A Side of Venison, 10-12s, average 11s

The metal market prices have dropped sharply in the last month, in part to increased competition and increased supply, as we would expect as we continue to discover the abundant mines in the New World. The Courant expects this fall to continue, and urges merchants focusing largely on base metal or metal tools to diversify as soon as possible. The highly competitive and profitable pure metal market is not represented in the above selection, and the intense competition in this sector is also causing prices to drop very rapidly.

Most other markets seem either new or relatively stable, with the exception of the Backpack market, which has dropped significantly, for the same reasons as the base metal market.

In addition to the items listed above, there were 69(!) types of item on offer from only one shop. Due to the limited nature of our data, we cannot tell how well particular items are selling, and we assume that many of the items that are only on offer once are not being sold at all.

We could not find any items which increased in value, so the following “investment tips” are based purely on our instincts and experience. Be aware that the value of your investment may go down as well as up, and the Courant is not liable for any losses incurred by the reader.

  • The pure metal market is one in which increased work (prospecting) will bring hugely increased profits – selling rods may increase competition in the long term, but the purest rods on offer will still be able to be sold for vast sums.
  • We believe there will be a booming trade in food, both base and high purity. This is already evident in the difference in the list of offered items from last month to this month. We encourage budding supermarkets and farmers to streamline their manufacturing techniques, as the profits in this sector depend much more on the efficiency of the production line than in metal. We advice those who can offer pure food to advertise this fact in a prominent location.
  • Similar comments apply to certain types of crafted inspirational, for example Mineralogical Surveys and Flower Arrangements. The market for these appears to be rather stable, but we believe there are still profits to be made here.
  • If there is a sudden influx of new Colonists, due to the Crown relaxing the borders, we expect the base metal and tools market to boom again. We suggest that merchants stay prepared for this eventuality.

There is also trade going on off the forum, conducted through the Salem IRC, for example. It is often possible for consumers to obtain lower prices by checking on the IRC, and merchants may find desperate customers in the same way.

An Interview with Loftar and Jorb

What is your general opinion on the current state of the game? Are we having fun yet? Have you been murdered by anyone?
Jorb: Had one fight, both of us walked away from it. He with some stuff from my farm. Um… idk. Like the general nuts and bolts of the game I really, really like, and by and large it usually feels fairly well balanced and whatnot. Like the basic grind on the farm is pretty sweet. But the game is clearly lacking at the top end of things. But, yeah, things like inspirationals and their interactions with the bodily fluids and how all those systems kind of feed into one another. Those things I like.
Loftar: Needs more content, obviously, but we all knew that. :) Indeed; I think it is our unanimous conclusion that the basic model of character development turned out even better than we actually thought. I haven’t been playing as much as Jorb, but the LP model has really grown on me.
Jorb: Myeah. Also things like fast travel and siege are just so much more contained and under control here compared to Haven.

I am a bit dismayed, as I’m sure you are, of the abuse of the fast travel system in salem, like meeting alts in Boston to exchange resources.
Jorb: Well, it’s a nice thing. Obviously it’s going to be abused to hell and back :)
Loftar: I am quite split in the issue of Boston, indeed. :)
Jorb: Yeah. The game will never have true locality as long as there is Boston… But Boston is fun :( I love going there and just watching people.

I’m sure you both have seen some discussion about claims and summoning, etc. Is it intended behavior that one can be summoned at any point on the claim?
Jorb: Nope
Loftar: It was intended, but only before we realized its full implications. ;)

How much different has it been working on Salem vs. working on Haven? Do you actually go in to the Paradox office regularly, or just occasionaly for meetings?
Jorb: Occasionally for meetings, but it feels like regularly ^^ We go there maybe…  every other week or so?
Loftar: I feel that the way we used to work on Haven was very different, actually. The pressure of actually having expectations from the ones who pay us are making a difference, for sure. In some ways good, but in other ways bad.
Jorb: Myeah. For better or worse we aren’t making all the decisions.

What’s the best thing about working with Paradox (or a publisher in general)?
Loftar: In some ways, I actually do get more concrete stuff done with expectations hanging upon me, but then again, I feel I have less peace of mind for the kind of reflections that are also necessary.
Jorb: They have certain standards. That’s a good thing at the end of the day I think.
You feel like you have to make rushed decisions to meet deadlines?
Loftar: Well, we don’t actually have many deadlines. That’s one of the good things about working with Paradox. :) But, you know, it’s hard to prioritize code cleanups and other such reorganizations when I know there are visible things that “need” to be done.
Jorb: It kind of keeps us a bit more honest in our ambitions.
Loftar: Or just general mental reflection over the state of the code. I’ve felt at many times that I’m losing my way in the local context. Doing too many small changes without integrating them fully into my mental model of the system as a whole. Then again, there are many small changes that I’ve made that I probably just wouldn’t have done if I hadn’t had those expectations, and that’s a good thing. But, well, yeah, Paradox have actually been overall rather pleasant to work with, in that they really don’t bother us that badly. ;)
Jorb: There are people who take a very material interest in our delivering. That’s obviously going to be good and bad. Generally speaking they have been fantastic and extremely understanding. And helpful and generous and a whole bunch of other nice things.

What about the way you two work together has changed? Back in the Haven development heydey it seemed that you two would get together one evening a week and work on the game until the wee hours, and beyond that, not much. 
Jorb: In retrospect I think we worked more on the game than the one dev session really gave away, though.
Loftar: Well, the main thing that has changed is Jorb moving to the other side of Stockholm. ;)
Jorb: I know I spent a lot of my spare time doing graphics and whatnot.
Loftar: Indeed. Outside of the dev sessions, I did spend a lot of my time pondering, indeed, the state of the code and doing cleanups and other such invisible changes.
Jorb: Myeah. And playing the game, obviously.

Do you guys have an office now for Seatribe? Or do you get together more frequently?
Loftar: Nah, we both work from home.

What is your biggest frustration so far with salem?
Jorb: Hmm
Loftar: Not having 48 hours a day to work on it? :)
Jorb: Idk. The general “slow” pace of development always frustrates me.
Is it completely impossible to hire any more people?
Loftar: I think it is before it has proven that it’s able to earn its keep, at least. :) There’s of course the mythical man-month problem, as well. Hiring someone would obviously only slow down development initially.
Jorb: At this stage hiring feels kind of pointless, for that matter. I mean… the hard things are basically done. It’s downhill from after multiple servers. If we could get on, say, the Haven schedule of like one nice content patch a week I’d be happy with the pace I think. Frustration occurs when we go months without meaningful content patches, and by meaningful I don’t mean the patches where I randomly add more inspirationals and whatnot.

So, how are things progressing with multi-server support?
Loftar: Well, further, at least. I think it’s not too far until I can at least have multiple servers up without travel between them. And even with inter-server travel implemented, we were planning to wait with actually allowing it, so that new servers have a chance to develop somewhat “in peace” before existing characters from other servers are allowed to set foot on them. Which means that that level of support should be enough to actually start up another server.

Do you have a plan already for the method of travel between servers?
Loftar: Primarily, we were planning to add coaches, quite simply. Initially, at least.
I’m assuming that one could not simply walk, of course…
Loftar: Indeed. :) Either way, it would be a bit boring to not make some kind of mechanic for it. It should at least require some kind of resources, I think. The coaches probably silver, I guess. I wouldn’t mind other means of travel, though.

A coach and possibly other methods like a ship or something would be available to hire for silver, and they would whisk one away immediately? Or would there be some waiting period?
Loftar: Well, I’ve just imagined them whisking you away, but then again I’ve almost only thought of it in terms of implementation yet. I haven’t really considered the actual mechanics yet.

Is there any time estimate on multiserver?
Loftar: Not really; I cannot estimate times. ^^ It’s one of my weaknesses. :)
Jorb: It’s like kryptonite.
Loftar: At times I’ve tried to make something up, but I’m always wrong anyway. :)
Jorb: … Loftar just squirms and becomes physically unable to respond ^^

What are your plans for after the multi server update?
Jorb: Meaningful gear is my plan. And mordor. And more creatures.
Loftar: The immediate other thing that Paradox wants to have ASAP, or rather yesterday, is a new, pretty client UI. ^^ They’ve drawn most of the graphics.
They just wanted a reskin?
Jorb: Some functional changes, but marginal on the whole.
Loftar: Well, it’s never “just” a reskin, but that’s what it looks like, at least. :) It needs to be coded in that it’s drawn differently. But, indeed, the functional changes are marginal.
Jorb: … but to the untrained eye it is basically a reskin. Or, perhaps rather, a skin :) Because the present UI isn’t exactly worthy of being called a skin in the first place :)
Loftar: Yes, but Ender and Apxeolog will probably have fun times. ;) Especially Apxeolog, seeing how he manages the codebase. ^^ Well, his problem. :)
Did you add minimap radar? Waypoints?
Jorb: Haha, lol. Sorry. Those are all nice things, I know.
Loftar: Not intrinsically tied to the UI changes, at least, but both of those are features that we are considering. I’d rather prioritize new game mechanics than them, however.
Jorb: We’re having at least the radar at one point or another. Not having it is retarded. But, indeed, the game mechanics feel a whole lot more important.

Do you have some specific plans for how to make equipment meaningful, or what you’ll be adding to the darkness?
Jorb: Specific to some degree or another.
Loftar: Lots, to some degree. :) But most of it is not very fleshed out.
Jorb: We know what ballpark we’re in? But, I mean… you have to understand also that that is kind of how we work. We never really know what anything is going to look like until we actually do it.
Loftar: Indeed. We hardly ever even discuss actual details and such things before the hour when we put it in. Before that, we discuss things very abstractly. And it’s hard to even communicate it without using the… language that has developed between the two of us. :)
Jorb: We talk a lot in terms of incentives and general goal-oriented reasoning. Indeed. There is a fair amount of shared context, so to speak :)

Are there any other upcoming major milestones of content that you’re pretty sure will happen, like industries you want to add?
Jorb: I’m fairly certain that I will push for more developed wood and metal industries, i.e. more kinds of metal, better mining system, more high tier resources. And similar things for wood handling. When and how that materializes I have no clue :)  Animal husbandry is pretty high up on my list as well. I want a horse and a cart.
Loftar: I’ve also started to form some loose ideas on alchemy, so given some peace of mind I’m rather hopeful I’ll be able to flesh that out to something useful.