Permadeath a key feature of MMORPG Salem

As part of their Paradox Convention, Swedish developers Paradox Interactive have taken the wraps off of their current project in development – their first MMORPG, Salem.


All that we've seen so far of Salem

If the title has conjured up images of historical witches and burning at the stake, you’re on the right track. The game is set in New England during the colonial era – and any woman suspected of dabbling in the dark arts is promptly ‘tested’ by being thrown on a raging bonfire. (Obviously, if she survived the burning, she was a witch, and was killed. If she burned to death, she was not a witch, but is already dead. Following so far?)

Seatribe are also working no the game, and this one looks similar to their earlier MMO, Haven and Hearth. Like that one, Salem focusses on player responsibility and politics… and that means the controversial inclusion of permadeath.

Basically, when you die in-game, you’ll have to create an entirely new character and start again. There’s no second life, here.

At the outset, gamers are thrown into a randomly generated “New World”, and then left to fend for themselves. There are resources dotted around – trees and stone and such – but these are limited, and non-respawning. Limited number of trees means limited amount of wood, makes building houses a little more competitive. All villages, cities and other items will have to be created by the players – so you’re really on your own here.

Seatribe are promising that they’ll try not to interfere with the game, and that they’re even leaving the creation of currency to the players.

More details will be revealed in the future, with Seatribe and Paradox not yet ready to announce how the free-to-play game will actually be financed. Personally, I think this one sounds like it might be a bit too ambitious, but the idea of a fully-blown game that supports permadeath is a refreshing change, and one I’m very much looking forward to.

”Searchers after horror haunt strange, far places.” H. P. Lovecraft

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