Salem: Free-to-play Permadeath MMO enters beta

It’s been more than two years since Salem was officially revealed, but the developers at Seatribe have not been sitting idly by. Instead, they’ve done so much work on the upcoming free-to-play MMO that they can today unveil the Open Beta test for the game, inviting would-be pilgrims in to explore the New World. Just remember – if you die, you’re dead.

In Salem, players can step into the well-worn boots of brave pilgrims, arriving in a fledgling settlement and attempting to carve out their new homes in the untamed wilderness. To survive, pilgrims will need to learn from the land to boost their skills, scavenge for food, and harvest natural resources in a wide-open sandbox environment to craft tools and homes, and even establish their own in-game settlements.

…and even though that all sounds a bit rustic and wonderful, you probably will die (and stay dead). Wild animals lurk among the trees, accidents do happen, and there are remarkably few restrictions on PvP attacks from your fellow players.

Turning traditional MMO structures on its head, Salem has been designed to give gamers a “persistent community sandbox”, where the only laws that exist are those created by the community. Conflict carries with it high-stakes consequences, but it’s up to you to shape your own experience.

While the game has been in closed beta, developers at Seatribe have stood back and watched as an in-game society sprung up within Salem. Mob justice rules, with vigilantes hiding in the shadows, but there’s also a thriving, barter-based economy, and a few rival settlements. (The developers are also looking forward to seeing how the influx of new players impacts on this fledgling world.)

Pilgrim, bandit, native… who will you be? Welcome to Salem, the community-driven MMO.

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