Salem is set in a fantastical New England and offers free form massively multiplayer gameplay in a persistent, mutable and online world. With players taking the roles of intrepid colonists from the Old World seeking to make lives for themselves in the New, Salem provides them with unique crafting, farming and building systems inspired by 17th century alchemy.
Cast in a mold of cute-gothic Salem's lighthearted art style makes for the perfect contrast to the otherwise grim realities of open player-versus-player combat and permanent death. Experience Squonks, Hidebehinds, Witchcraft and the fullest freedom of a sandbox conceived in Liberty.
- Persistent and mutable world.
- Crafting, farming and building.
- Open PvP combat with permadeath.
- Available for Windows, Mac and Linux.
This one doesn't take itself too seriously, as its cartoon sensibilities - or, as its first training video points out, "if you see three naked Russians, run the other way" - demonstrates, but it's called The Crafting MMO for a reason. Prepare to make stuff! Lots and lots of stuff. It's probably best to think of Salem as a cross between Minecraft and Dwarf Fortress; it has the Minecraft build-build-build mentality, mixed in with Dwarf Fortress' comedy and potential lethality.
One interesting quirk is its Darkness mechanic. This isn't the night-and-day you might be thinking of. Instead, where there are no settlements - no civilization - there is only Darkness, in which terrible things live, and prey on unwary travelers. The further civilization expands, the less Darkness there will be. This Darkness saps player vitality - what the game calls 'humours' - for as long as they player is enveloped in Darkness. You can even be knocked out, if you stay in there long enough.
There is a fairly strong emphasis on PvP, and new players should note that, if they get clobbered, they lose their stuff, unless it's stored somewhere. That means you're going to want to build some kind of house ASAP.
The game's site hosts some very amusing teaser videos, narrated by intrepid nudist Tarp Marpton, that may interest you.
From a press release dated February 28th 2013:
By designing Salem with less of a traditional MMO structure, and instead presenting players with a persistent community sandbox with high-stakes consequences for conflict, Paradox and Seatribe are allowing the Salem community to shape their own experiences. The in-game society that has sprung up during closed beta - including a bustling barter-based economy, vigilantes and mob justice, and rival settlements, have all happened as a result of players' choices and actions. With the new addition of more players during open beta, it will be fascinating to discover what the community ultimately makes of the world of Salem.
Salem has an unofficial wiki, which can be found here.
- The developers haven't posted minimum requirements. The community has tried to guess what they might be, and you can see their guesses here.