Well, I am certainly not surprised by this announcement. Though not an official one, reporters from several gaming websites managed to get hold of Snail Game’s CEO, Mr Shi Hai (below, right), about the ongoing Closed Beta 1 phase and his thought about the current status of Age of Wulin. As usual, this frank and candid boss did not mince his words, preferring to speak what was on his mind. More Age of Wulin CLosed Beta 1 coverage here (link)
A: There are 2 kinds of feedback, one from veteran gamers which understands the game’s mechanics more and feel that Age of Wulin is shaping up to be a really huge game no matter the functions or art style. The second group of gamers, those who are more casual (which is me), joined the Closed Beta with less baggage in mind and just want to play for the fun of it.
They might feel Age of Wulin still has many bugs, but what they don’t realize (I do!) is the current client is just the beginning, hence all the errors and bugs will be ironed out as the game progresses. Overall, the expectations for Age of Wulin rose again through this Closed Beta phase, with the throngs of gamers queuing all over the country waiting to play the game, that is the evidence.
A: The European players are just wanting to experience the authentic Chinese Wulin atmosphere of the game, but with the China players they have a different mindset. The sale of Closed Beta keys is purely for the sake of attracting the higher quality gamers. As the expectations for Age of Wulin are very high, it would be disastrous to open the game to those not trusting of what we are doing, not analytic enough and don’t see the big picture. All these negatives will affect the game’s progression.
A: Yes, very much. The group of Closed Beta testers are very magnanimous in accepting the faults in the game, and posted very informative suggestion threads in the forums. The extreme negative opinions are less than 1% of the overall given.
A: I will not prepare to persuade them, once Age of Wulin is in the Open Beta phase, it means Snail Game has polished the game for release. We believe in what we do, it is up to the market to accept our product or not.
A: More open features which will let players explore the world with absolute freedom will be added. This will include the “Qinggong” feature, which was not fully opened in the initial Closed Beta. Character’s actions are still “stiff” and zombie-like, this is something we will like to address in the next client version. So these are the 2 main things which will be added.
A: It is hard to say now, with the current client I would give it 85 points, with several areas still needing changes. These include improvements to the new player guidance system. Due to the number of areas which need optimizing, it would certainly take a few months more than anticipated. Open Beta, which was originally scheduled for April 2012, will most probably happen in the 2nd half of 2012.
A: Players will gain points, including skill points, faster with the monthly payment. Skills will also progress and upgraded faster.
A: I can’t really give a sum on this. Even if you buy a monthly card, you learn skills faster than others, the PvP and PK functions in Age of Wulin requires actual technical skills. Even with the best equipments, a player might not win another who have not spent on the game.
Currently, Snail Game is not encouraging players to spend too much every month to play games. While the payment features are not in Age of Wulin yet, we wouldn’t complain and will be happy if players spend a few hundred dollars (Chinese Yuan) every month playing.
A: Actually, 95% of the Westerners are not able to differentiate between deities, swordsmanship and fantasy, while the other 5% feels that wuxia is similar to Japan’s Samurai culture or their knights. The only thing we can do now is to be as authentic and by-the-book as possible and present it to them, but we cannot guarantee they will accept our work.
A: First, Darkness and Light (link) will get a new game title. We are currently talking to an overseas gaming company, as we are interested in publishing one of its titles. That is all I can say.