The world of MMOs can be an unforgiving place. After years of domination by World of Warcraft, those who have been left bewildered by Blizzard’s behemoth are often mopped up by Final Fantasy XIV, Elder Scrolls Online or Guild Wars. With MMO’s taking so much of a person’s time, the smaller titles out there are finding it harder to carve a spot for themselves in the genre. Wild Terra 2: New Lands is the most recent title looking to make a disturbance across the MMO world.
Wild Terra 2 is more akin to RuneScape as opposed to World of Warcraft. Focusing more on the player grind, slowly improving your skills whilst performing tasks so you can, ultimately, perform those tasks more efficiently the more you play. With further skill improvements, players can begin to improve their gear and base of operations.
The game is split into two islands - one for beginners and one main island once the starter area is completed. From an early game perspective, there is an abundance of basic resources, allowing players to get in the rhythm of collecting, crafting and improving early on. Everything in Wild Terra 2 requires resources and skill. The game has a plethora of skills to master, ranging from blacksmithing to hunting. In order to attain the best gear, players must balance all their skills. Dedicating time in a certain skill may help with short term goals, but Wild Terra 2 is a game about maintaining balance, as opposed to having a unique speciality.
Wild Terra 2 comes with its take on survival element too. Focusing on not just hunger, but fatigue as well. It’s important to ensure that your character is well-fed, and there’s a wide variety of meals to whet your appetite. As with all survival-esque games, you start by feasting on wild berries, plus whatever assortment of wild plants you can find. As you progress, you can begin cooking more beneficial meals, such as meat dishes. Maintaining a full stomach is an important part of the experience, with starving players not just moving slower, but affects the way they collect resources too.
For the first 3-4 hours of your time in Wild Terra 2, you’ll be trapped on the game's starter island. Here, you can build all the basic equipment and buildings you could possibly require. Although you’re unlikely to bump into real players on the starter island, it does give you time to get to grips with the mechanics of the game. Almost everything in Wild Terra 2 comes with some kind of live timer. To dry dur, craft meals, all these events take real-world time. While some of these can be negligible, there are a fair few items that will see players logging out before their completion time is up.
That ties up the explanation of the gameplay loop pretty nicely. For the most part, at least until you start integrating with other players more, you’ll find yourself gathering, hunting and processing your items, before returning the next day. Then repeat those steps again, each and every day. Everything comes with a success rate too, from picking up rocks to crafting armour and weapons. Depending on your skill, in addition to any tools being used, the chance of successfully completing a task can increase. Partly it adds to the deliberate slow grind the game aims for, but it’s also in place to prevent you from easily attaining gear beyond your level. With the RNG element, it is impossible to completely prevent players from aiming for higher level gear, but it works well as a discouragement. It does mean that sometimes players can fail at basic tasks their character should be achieving more often than they’d want to. Resetting a players progress towards new items or gear is massively discouraging to new players, especially considering they’re cut off from the games main island at the start.
Wild Terra 2: New Lands is a game that is proud of the level of grind it thrusts upon the player, and will undoubtedly have fans who love to idle and craft all day long. In the long term, I think the most important thing Wild Terra 2 has to address is the early game balance in regards to the success of both crafting items and collecting materials. My interest in the game increased significantly once I was able to interact with other players more often, but they really need to ensure new starters are getting thrust into the game's society as quickly as possible. For now, it’s easy to see why players languishing on the first island struggle to find the desire to come back, so the early game segment needs the biggest overhaul before the game hits its full release.