I’m struggling mighty on how to describe Life is Feudal (LiF) beyond “you grind skills by crafting and gathering, that’s kinda it”, because while that sentence is correct, it doesn’t explain why I’m enjoying LiF so much, and why it has reminded me just how uniquely enjoyable an MMO can be.
Perhaps another example of recent activities might help.
Our guild has been growing, not just in member count, but also in character skills and infrastructure. One issue we recently ran into is that we didn’t have enough space within our wooden walls for all the crafting stations we wanted, so one member of leadership created a new spot for some of that. First that spot had to be terraformed (leveled out), which means you get a shovel and dig dirt. That dirt, or clay, or soil, depending on what you are standing on, goes into your backpack. You can only carry so much, and when you drop said dirt, you raise the terrain under you. This can be both annoying and helpful. It’s helpful when you actually want to raise the ground anywhere, but it’s a pain when you just want to smooth out an area, as you have to run further away before you dump your dirt. Dirt and clay are also used for crafting, so while sometimes you just want to move the stuff, other times you specifically need it for something. On top of that, even dirt piles have different quality levels, and the higher the quality, the better results you will get when using it, like say when growing crops (higher quality yield) or building (more durability). That means that sometimes you will just randomly dump dirt to move it, but other times you might dig dirt to get high-quality stuff for farming. The more you combine these activities, the more efficient you can be.
Going back to the example, once the area was level, that one member designated a bunch of spots for crafting stations. This means he builds the framework, and then the actual resources need to be brought to each framework to build it. You need a certain skill level to make the framework, but anyone can add resources and finish the job, and you gain skill points from doing that. So once he had the frames all in place, he asked if anyone was working on skilling up Construction, which is the skill you’d gain when finishing his frames.
That’s a skill I’m working on, so I spoke up, and he called me over to the construction area. Once there, I noticed he also had a large mound of clay, along with a bag containing the other resources needed. Clay is rather heavy, so he had used a cart to speed up the process of moving it over to his site. My job here was to dig clay from the mound, carry it over to the frames, and finish up the construction with the other resources from the bag, all which gave me a very nice boost to my Construction skill, especially because I activated my power hour of skill gain for this.
What I hope the example shows is that while LiF is, right now, mostly about gathering/crafting and character skill progression (plus PvP, though so far that’s not nearly as invasive as in other sandbox PvP MMOs), how you go about that is very deep, and highly rewards working smart as a group. That leader could have easily done the construction himself, but as his character isn’t skilling up the Construction skill, all those gains would be wasted on him. He also could have expected people to bring or find clay, but this again would have slowed the process, to the point that perhaps it would have taken longer than an hour to build everything, and the full focused gains of a power hour would not have been realized.
Right now I’m very, very tempted to start a guild, in large part because I think it would be a lot of fun to have a group of us all learning the game together, while working to build up our own fort/town. The grind is huge, both individually and because one character can only really focus in two areas, and there are many, many that are all intertwined, but that grind is the kind I enjoy. Seeing your town/fort grow is very rewarding, as is seeing new tools and weapons open up as you gain more skill points.
To start a guild that can claim land however you need 10 members, so if I don’t get at least 10 people, I’ll remain in my current guild. If you are interested, post here. What is really nice about LiF is that while the grind is huge, you can take it at any pace you want. If you go casual and can only play an hour or less a few days a week, not only can you still make progress, that progress you make still contributes to the guild. This isn’t a hard “if you can’t raid you can’t help”, or a “if you can’t max out, you can’t help in PvP or anything else”. Basic materials and tasks (like mining, digging, or harvesting) are always needed, and can be done by anyone, in any amount of time. It’s very flexible, and in turn, accommodates playing casual.