Wurm Online is a First-Person MMORPG in which the players have no set goals or objectives. Players are free to pursue whatever they're interested in, be it creation of infrastructure (Houses, villages, towns, docks, roads etc are all made by the players), fighting monsters or other players, or being a merchant supplying hard to find materials from around the world.
The basic gameplay consists of gathering materials and combining them into various tools and objects that are more useful, or used to create even more advanced items. Along with just the basic building of items, players need to be concerned with their health, water, food, nutrition and stamina levels. Players can also train weapon and combat skills for use in hunting or in PvP combat on the PvP enabled servers. Finally, religion mechanics allow players to worship specific deities and learn spells and enchantments.
Players start with only the very basic tools needed to survive in the world and must make everything else from necessities (food) to luxuries or more permanent items to make their mark on the world. Most players start out making a few simple items, mainly clay jars for water transportation and bowls for cooking in to sustain themselves for longer journeys or tougher projects. Gathering materials can range from easy to near impossible depending on your current location and the item you need, adding an incentive to trade with other players. Monsters complicate the system by making some areas less accessible or far more dangerous to travel.
Every action taken is based on a skill system. By digging a ground tile you increase your digging skill, allowing you to dig on more sloped surfaces, and the more clay items you make the better your skill becomes in that area allowing more complex and higher quality items to be crafted. Alternatively this increases success chance of crafting items which you were able to make before.
One of the more impressive aspects of Wurm Online is the way players are able to shape the world. Through massive terra-forming efforts and lots of time players have created large roads into the wilderness and large settlements in which to live and work. The world on each server varies in size, but generally is very large (between 64 and 1024 square kilometers according to the staff members of Wurm Online), and this gives players ample room to live and create their character's homes. From single home settlements, to larger villages and market hubs, all of the players can create what they wish and carve out their small portion of the world.
Scattered throughout the world are different types of resources used in crafting, all of the items you see. From trees and forests for wood, grass tiles for foraging berries and nuts, and all the way to iron and gold deposits mined underground, everything is player gathered and created into every item you see as you travel the world.
As of 2014, all servers are connected in one way or another and divided into Freedom (Isles) Cluster and Epic Cluster. Freedom Cluster is normally PvE but has 1 server with PvP enabled, Epic Cluster has PvP servers only.
Paid Subscription Model
Wurm Online is free to play with a skill limitation of 20 (out of a possible 100), with the exception of faith (up to 30), all servers but one can be accessed as none-premium character. Additional limitations are found all over the game, either due to skill cap or special limitations, most notably not being able to ride carts and bigger ships than rowing boats, not being able to build stone buildings or making wagons & (large) crates and effectively using them. But despite this, there is still a lot of things to play around with and experience.
Premium can be purchased either by using real cash on Wurm's official site or alternatively in-game by using 10 silver coins, aquired through various means, like trading with other players, finding coins on traders on starter deeds, using the "Sell" action to sell otherwise useless items and many more.
The economy coming into play for this coin exchange is a closed-coin system, where every coin purchased via Wurm's official site is circulating in the game endlessly.
Available for both free to play and premium players are PvP servers, which allow forming of player-created kingdoms and Kingdom VS Kingdom Wars.
PvP servers have a "full loot system", meaning everything each player participating has, can be looted if successful in raiding or just breaking in someones' home. Epic Cluster is also noteworthy for having missions and the Hunt of the Ancients (HotA).