The 10/10 project: Age of Wushu (Day 6)

Age of Wushu

The 6th game for the 10/10 project was Age of Wushu. This game released on April 10, 2013, with its US publisher Snail Games. It’s been released in China last year. European publish gPotato will probably follow later this year, in case you are waiting for a German or French version – or for a lower ping. The game is called Age of Wulin in the European version.

Age of Wushu
The gold spam was quite annoying…

Just like Dark of Age Camelot, Age of Wushu also gave me a bit of trouble when it came to my mouse. It simply refused to accept the mouse clicks for the camera view/rotation. I could move while  using the arrow keys to let me change the camera view to look left and right (and move left and right), but that was still too inconvenient, especially as my right hand is on WASD and can’t switch to the arrow keys easily. ;) After having problems with my mouse before, I came prepared this time and had a symmetric mouse ready. This setup worked perfectly.

The customization options for my character were disappointing. I am not talking about how all the settings always make your character look Asian, no matter what you do. This game is set in China, so what do you expect? I did see people complain about that, though, so I thought I should mention that this is not the case here. But there were just very few hair styles, no body options, etc. If you’re into heavy customization and if you really want to look different from the other characters, be prepared that Age of Wushu does not give you this possibility. At least not in the character creation menu. It may be possible by adding costumes.

Age of Wushu is an open pvp game. This means that you can attack and kill every other player in the game. Before you set foot into the game world, you are warned about that fact and need to click on OK to enter the game. So no complaining afterwards, you were warned! I personally do not like open world PvP at all, but I still wanted to have a look at the game. For the whole time I’ve been in the game (a few hours on three different days), I haven’t been attacked once. The system they set up seems to be a good one that discourages mindlessly ganking others… or maybe attacking others just wasn’t possible in the extreme newbie area.

What I absolutely loved about the game were the graphics. The scenery around you is very pretty. I started out in a town (I’m not sure if every character starts in the same place, as you choose a background story in the beginning and this may change where you start). For the first few hours in the game, I have only killed 4 animals to get food for a quest. Other than that, it was combat practice (this is a martial arts game and you start as a beginner) and getting the game explained.

Age of Wushu
You can gain experience while being offline.

When you go offline, lots of things can happen. As is usual for games nowadays, there is a wiki about the game and it explains what happens when you go offline. This includes your character working as an NPC and when you log on again, you receive the money the character has earned in the meantime. There are also disadvantages: For example, your character that appears as an NPC when you’re offline can be kidnapped by other players. Anything you would have earned normally while being offline gets lost for you. No money for jobs your character did, for example. This is both exciting and annoying for me. While it certainly makes the world feel more alive and immersive (possibly with the exception of characters with horrible names), I also don’t like having something taken away from me without me being able to do anything against it, apart from being online 24/7 which probably wouldn’t work too well either. ;)

What I liked was when I walked into an NPC, they turned around and told me off for being rude. That’s a nice little touch there.

Age of Wushu
Joining the Wudang

The combat system is something I have not been able to look at too closely in the time I spent in the game. Most of my time was spent reading, looking around, trying to figure out where I am and what I’m doing. You start with your character that doesn’t have a certain class. There are eight schools in the game and it doesn’t take long until the tutorial asks you to join one. I joined Wudang. I chose this school because in the description, it said something about defensive skills and the ability to survive. What I wondered was whether that means that all Wudang characters are basically more “tanky” characters than those of other schools and if that meant that I basically choose a “class” by choosing a school. At this point, the game and its tutorial don’t do a good job in explaining it.

Your character does not have a level per se. Instead, you level up your skills by cultivating and here, team practice is apparently the best way to go. You do that with other players. I haven’t done it myself, so I don’t know what it’s like, but I watched a friend and it didn’t seem difficult to do. Just seemed a bit boring while he was waiting for everybody to be ready and start. Using internal cultivation is only good for as long as you are logged in as it gets paused when you log off, unless you are VIP by buying a monthly sub in which case internal cultivation continues after logging off. Internal cultivation starts out fast, but it goes up to several hours for each skill pretty fast. If it only works while you’re logged in, it’s just not too efficient.

I did get to fight a bit in the tutorial quests as there were teachers that showed me certain moves. The game features active blocking, for example. Another fun thing is that you get flying skills. The combat felt alright. But again, I was a bit confused about where and how to choose which skills I want to have/use.

Age of WushuBeing “confused” is probably the feeling I’ve had for most of my playtime. Age of Wushu is not a horrible game at all. On the contrary! There are some really good features. If you like the kidnapping system or not, it’s at least something that you don’t see in every other game out there. But I could tell pretty fast that this game is not for me. I play games to relax and have fun. Being constantly vigilant because another player could be out there to attack me is not what I call fun. I knew about that before I gave it a try, so I’m not complaining here. By trying out the game, I simply confirmed that I still do not like open pvp like that. ;) On top of that, I have the feeling that I would have to invest too much time into the game. Time that I would rather spend on several other games instead.

I did, however, tell bookahnerk’s cousin about the game who has 9 accounts by now, so he can see everything, try out all the crafting professions, and so on. The game only allows you to have one character (per server, I think?). His cousin digged into the game, read all he could find about it and he’s been telling us about the game and how great it is. He loves open pvp and for him, this game is perfect. Oddly enough, what he loves isn’t even that it has open pvp (he still loves that fact, of course), but everything around the game. The features like farming in the game, that your character needs to eat and drink and that the food is made by players exclusively, the combat system and so on.