In case you do not know, Age of Wulin is an upcoming martial arts MMO being hosted by gPotato Europe. Don’t ask me if there will be IP blocks, I do not know lol. Along with Perfect World’s Swordsman Online, these are the 2 most anticipated martial arts MMO this year in China. Developed by China studio, Snail Games, the Chinese server has yet gone into Open Beta. Just recently, the big boss of Snail Games, Mr Shi Hai, had a Q&A session with one lucky reporter. I am just going to summarize the main points said into point forms for easier viewing. Click here for the official English website! Mr Shi Hai is on the left in the picture below if you are curious.
1. The game has been in development for around 3years, with 2 major changes made in its course so far.
2. Mr Shi Hai said the game is not suitable for those who are already polluted by the typical “garbage MMO”.
3. When creating each character, there will be 8 “novels” for players to choose from. This actually means there will be 8 different main storyline for players to choose from. There will be over 10,00 quests, 26 different scenarios (main storyline scenario, world scenario, clan scenario etc), over 80 big and small martial arts factions, over 10,00 NPCs and around 1000 NPCs involved in the main storyline.
4. In the Chinese version, players will not be able to give their character funny/weird/rude or English names. From what I see, the Chinese server actually has a wall library of words for players to choose from when creating names. There is an automated name creation function as well.
5. NPCs in the game will not be stationary at the same spot all the time and will be moving around (don’t expect the bun seller to keep moving around though). Each NPC will have a different response to player’s actions. Of course, players who chose different “novels” at the beginning will have to meet different NPCs.
6. Mr Shi Hai continues to talk about the “Karma” system, or rather the NPC relationship system for easier understanding. For example, there is this rare skill manual which shops don’t sell. The game’s system will record players’ actions towards the NPCs and players’ achievements in the martial world. When the time is right, NPCs will start to give hints and small quests, eventually leading up to the quest to obtain the manual.
Personally, I think this is an awesome system. While not confirmed, players might be able to choose and do bad stuff, activating quests to get the “evil” skill manuals. Hope this will be implemented.
7. There will be no “fixed strategy” in Age of Wulin. Rewards from quests will differ and given based on the NPC relationship system. Another example will be some players walking across a field with no problem, but some others might fall into a cave traveling through the exact same spots.
8. Age of Wulin is developed using the in-house Flexi Engine. The game is continuously undergoing optimization, and while there is currently an active weather changing system, there is still no day-night feature yet.
9. There will be voice overs for all NPCs in the Chinese server.
10. As for the Wind Steps, the movement feature where players can travel on water, above tress and scale walls, players may use this skill to reach every place the eye can see, including mountain tops, above giant status and more. However, there is death if players fall from high grounds.
From the screenshot below, there will be 10 skills under Wind Steps. As mentioned, some will be for walking on water surfaces, some for scaling tall buildings and some used on the ground. One of it is rather interesting, which apparently allow players to deflect from walls. Players may also dive underwater, but there will be a meter bar acting as an air supply gauge.
11. Much details are crafted into the environment and structures, so players will not see the same rock being copy and pasted all over the world (lol @ Final Fantasy XIV).
12. As a MMO without a level system, players will still obtain “Training Points” from the various activities they do (quests, interacting with NPCs, talking to other players etc). I am finding it hard to translate this part, but just be informed that skills will be upgraded through these points. There will be no character stats to add as well (seems like equipments will be the ones adding).
13. Mr Shi Hai declare that most martial arts MMO are still stuck at the “kill mobs, gain experience, level up, add stats: vicious cycle, including Perfect World’s Swordsman Online (gasp!). In Age of Wulin, the game will not focus on all these and introduce something new instead. For example, there will be 4 basic fighting stance available for PvP and PvE. Each stance will have its own “counter” from the same group and players who engage in PvP will be able to observe opponent’s stance and predict what skills he will be using, similar to the scenes in martial arts dramas and movies. Players will also be able to dodge in time if he guess the next skill correctly.
14. For combat, there will be the combo system as well, for aerial attacks, chain attacks etc.
15. For the Chinese server, Mr Shi Hai said that the business model is still being looked into. Apparently Snail Games is still looking for some sort of new model instead of just plain cash shop, but at the same time insisting that the focus will not be on forcing players buying items to aid in their equipments’ upgrades.
16. Next, he talked about the guild system. Guilds will be able to own their own piece of land, including setting up a guild base and also placing their guild’s name at the front gate, as seen in the screenshot below. Guild bases will also provide players with exclusive content and abilities.
Looking at the world map, guilds can also carry out assassinations or all-out strikes to exterminate another guild or simply takeover it base. Finer details are not available yet.
17. When players log off, they are not really “offline”. Their characters might be used by other players as slaves, used as a deliveryman or aiding someone to finish his quest. Players will hence find themselves in a different location when they log in again. Of course, this system will have its limitation and will only be activated once certain requirements are met. This system will also allow players to have “rare” encounters, which will provide them good rewards.
18. The game has already been licensed to various regions, including Taiwan, Europe, Korea, Hong Kong, Russia, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam. North America was not mentioned.
19. The Chinese server will only go into Open Beta earliest at the 3rd quarter of this year.