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Old 10-13-2014, 10:58 AM
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Agnatheist
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Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: The Great South West
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Anyone playing Life is Feudal?

Didn't see a thread on this, and for some reason when I try and search I go into an endless loop, so thought I'd just ask. Anyone trying out the early release alpha of Life is Feudal? For anyone who doesn't know what the game is, here is their web page. In a nut shell, it's a sandbox game set in sort of quasi-feudal times. You start off as a peasant, basically, with a few cookies in your backpack and a few abilities. From there, you can build up your skills and attributes by making and doing various things. Here is Rock, Paper Shotguns article on the game so far:

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Life is Feudal wants to be a “realistic-fictional Medieval hardcore sandbox MMORPG”, give or take an adjective.

A warning before we fish for the meaning in that sea of descriptors: Life is Feudal is Early Access, a point the devs take pains to communicate, but this isn’t ARMA III Early Access. It’s not even DayZ Early Access, which was held together by duct tape and rags on release. Life is Feudal is sketch-on-the-back-of-a-napkin Early Access, and you’ll have to squint to see what the picture is.

Swear fealty at this stage and you’re buying a vertiginous £25 worth of idea. But there it is, staking a claim on the Steam bestseller list. I struck out to found my fiefdom and see how its promises are being put into play.

We’re dealing with a realistic, player-driven, Middle Ages sim in which subsistence snowballs into warring kings and a player as Pope. Its final form will be a full-blown MMO, though that’s long years off by my estimation. For now, private servers of up to 64 people are the law of the land, which explains the peculiar full title of ‘Life is Feudal: Your Own’, as opposed to Life is Feudal: That Chap Over There’s.

But we’ve seen what happens when you shove a bunch of survivors into unspoiled countryside and let them slog it out. I’ve been there, perpetrating carnage, bloodshed and rampant psychopathy. The thought of a Medieval free-lootin’ PvP sandbox resembling anything close to reality is an initially funny one.
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Shows what I know. Life is Feudal looks to leverage a dizzyingly interdependent skill system to suppress the stab-happy. It’s most reminiscent of Runescape of all things. That “hardcore” bit in the description? Roughly translates to “bring a spreadsheet”; you’ll need it to keep track of the stats and skills.

You’re best off allying with the wiki, but here’s a layman’s explanation. You start with the skills every good peasant needs to survive: Forestry, Farming, Prospecting, Nature’s lore and Terraforming (obviously). Each can be levelled to 100, and passing certain thresholds unlocks further skills like “Construction materials preparation” or the more arousing “Warfare engineering”. But! By default, you’ll encounter an overall skill cap of 600, meaning it’s impossible for one player to master the lot.
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I began by testing that system on my own solitary server, opting to roleplay (witnesses were quelled) a humble woodsman on a quest for a crafting table. I snapped some twigs and improvised tools to boost my Forestry, unlocking Logging at level 30. Nice. Stripping bark and lopping trees, I opened up Carpentry, so far content in the absence of human interaction (Stranger Danger and all that). I sawed some boards and stuck ‘em together with- ah.

Wood is not a renowned adhesive. Without some award-winning dowelling, my workbench would remain a flatpack. I needed nails. But nails are a product of forging, the fourth slot in the prospecting tree. A smith requires a forge and hammer, which are the province of the forester and carpenter. And rope was another ingredient! Rope comes from Procuring, and procurers need flax, which only high-level farmers- oh my, I’m light-headed.
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This isn’t alpha or pre-alpha; it’s the first birth squeezes of an idea – an alluring, wonderful idea which could go so far as to address ingrained troubles in established genres. But it’s an idea so far from fruition that laying your mound of money on the table is an expression of deepest belief in a unknown dev team.

I pine for what Life is Feudal might one day offer, and RPS’ finest offered a glimpse of things to come, but this realistic-fictional Medieval hardcore sandbox MMORPG isn’t ready for habitation.
Anyway, the game is still pretty rough, but most of the early tiered skills and crafts are working and it's pretty fun to play even in a closed world. Some friends and I have a server going so we are trying to test out what you can do and how you can do it. Anyone else playing?
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