As announced a few days back, China developer Snail Games will be attending ChinaJoy this week with 2 major PC online games to be revealed, including Savage Horizon and Age of Wushu 2. For the latter, the only real detail we have now is Unreal Engine 4 being utilized to craft the sequel. Earlier today, Zhenhua Xu, producer of Age of Wushu 2, spoke with several local media outlets on the game.
Q: The current PC online games market in China has remained stagnant. What were the ideas behind the development of Age of Wushu 2?
A: 10 years ago, we started on Age of Wushu and 10 years later, here we are with a very successful game and IP. The success made us thought of how to evolve the game, and the core concept for Age of Wushu 2 revolves around the high-freedom sandbox genre. Together with Unreal Engine 4, we will create a truly internationalized “super” game.
Q: There are many genres to choose from, why sandbox in particular?
A: Sandbox games have gradually been accepted by more gamers these days with the open freedom concept and fits a large number of players who demand personalized content. We hope Age of Wushu 2 will set itself apart from other games with the same wuxia concept.
Q: What new features will Age of Wushu have? Is it just a “normal” upgrade from Age of Wushu?
A: Age of Wushu 2 will inherit the “wuxia community” vibe set in the original game, and will retain features including miracle encounters and skills. There is no specific time setting in Age of Wushu 2 (not tied to any dynasty in Chinese history), and there is no fixed quest system. Players and NPCs will be affected by the location, environment, weather, and more. NPCs may also form alliances, perform kidnappings, or event build a fortress and threaten actual players.
Players will start off with barely anything in tow, but will soon learn simple kicks and punches, and learn more skills as they explore the world on different paths. Some might end up being a master of a certain knowledge or skill, some may lead their guilds and conquer the world, some may just do other totally different things.
We have also ditched the traditional combat system where the player with the higher attack rating or pay most attention to health bars will most probably win. For example, when 2 players PVP, they would have to look and observe the opposing character’s physical appearance to determine his or her current status.
Q: There are not many Unreal Engine 4 online games in the world, less say China. Will the system requirements be high?
A: Unreal Engine 4 was chosen as it was the engine which could realize our grand vision for Age of Wushu, including the sandbox features. We will be having small focus tests once the game is ready to determine the final requirements, and also making sure core gamers have access to the game.
Q: What could you tell us about PVP in Age of Wushu 2?
A: Other than the skills found in Age of Wushu, we are planning to add more to spice up PVP in Age of Wushu 2. There will be PVP modes where players with lower skills fight each other, as well as master players who will challenge each other. There will also be a group PVP mode (I think he is referring to guilds).
Other than the Jianghu occupied by real players, NPCs in Age of Wushu 2 will also play a part in shaping Jianghu. NPCs might form up as a group, build up a village or fortress, and become a force to be reckon with. They will also challenge other NPC groups. Players will play a big part in such rivalries, including stealing a rare skill manual from one of the group settlements, watch master NPC characters spar and learn different skills through spying. More interesting features are being planned for this feature.
Q: Will Age of Wushu 2 be Free-to-Play?
A: I am not sure at the moment as the game is still currently in the development and concept stage. No matter is it game modes or business model, we are thinking of something different from Age of Wushu. Players are also asking if data between Age of Wushu and Age of Wushu 2 will somehow link up, and this is something we are exploring.
Q: What will happen to Age of Wushu?
A: Age of Wushu 2 is not meant to replace Age of Wushu, hence both games will be operated at the same time. More game content will also be released for the original game.
Q: When will Age of Wushu 2 be ready?
A: 2017 is the current target for testing, with a global launch planned for the future as well.