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[Preview] Age of Wushu: Digging Deeper Into Beta

SBFordSBFord Associate Editor - News ManagerThe Land of AZPosts: 16,619MMORPG.COM Staff Uncommon

We often write of our first impressions of a game and little else is heard until a final review. In today's Age of Wushu article, we take a much vaunted second look at the game and offer even more of our thoughts. Check it out and then join the conversation in the comments.

Age of Wushu feels like a love letter written to fans of the wuxia genre, and although the game is still in beta, two things about Snail Games' upcoming MMORPG have already become clear: that the game is one of the most feature-rich sandbox experiences on the market, and that it needs a good deal of polish before release.  I've been playing a lot more of the beta since my first impressions a few weeks ago, and have several new thoughts about the game that are worth sharing as we lead up to launch.

Read more of Som Pourfarzaneh's Age of Wushu: Digging Deeper Into Beta.

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Associate Editor: MMORPG.com
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Comments

  • Lord.BachusLord.Bachus Den HelderPosts: 9,065Member Uncommon

    Perfect game, except that the combat feels cluncky and unresponsive, in such a way that i dont beleive they can ever get it on a for me acceptable level. Annimations are worse then MMo´s 10 years old.

     

    Its a no go for me because of that. Its even worse then Vanguard, and this is exactly what makes the game unplayable for me.

    Best MMO experiences : EQ(PvE), DAoC(PvP), WoW(total package) LOTRO (worldfeel) GW2 (Artstyle and animations and worlddesign) SWTOR (Story immersion) TSW (story) ESO (character advancement)

  • FearumFearum Cinnaminson, NJPosts: 1,166Member Uncommon
    I didnt like the way you gain skills, just letting them level up from time is not really that fun. Its pretty boring actually. The combat was really not that great either, the only thing that really mattered was how much time you played the game when it came to combat. You can be the worst player ever, but if you had been leveling your skills since the start you could pretty much kill anyone in a few hits.
  • rodingorodingo Posts: 2,346Member Uncommon

    From what little that I played I thought the UI was little over done and could be streamlined somehow.  Also, the translations still seem kind of off which kind of adds to the confusion of "now what am I supposed to do?", but that's pretty typical when asian games get converted over for us "Westerners".   Now for some conspiracy theory:....  what if this game was just yet another way for Red China to have back doors into our networks to be activated on later dates?  It's not like China has been an international boy scout when it comes to cyberspace warfare. 

    Ok, I just wanted to get that off my chest and I will now take off my tinfoil hat.

    "If I offended you, you needed it" -Corey Taylor

  • fldashfldash Oklahoma City, OKPosts: 227Member

    Game is overwhelming at first, the UI, the bad translations, the clunky combat... etc...

    I uninstalled it after 2 hours. Then reinstalled a week later and decided to give it a solid chance. After 3/4 days of learning how the systems work, I'm beginning to get quite addicted...

    It's definitely not for everyone.

    Former xFire user... I only wanted a game tracker and messenger, not a screenshot taker, video recording, broadcasting piece of bloatware.

  • koboldfodderkoboldfodder Danbury, DEPosts: 390Member Uncommon

    Sigh...do you not know what a sandbox is mister previewer?  Call AOW a free skil progression game, where you can level your skills in any ORDER you want, but do not call it a sandbox because it is not one.

     

    In sandbox games, you BUILD things.  Your create things on the land, you are given the tools to modify the world to your liking.  Whether it is a city building system, or a housing system, or a guild system, or crafting/resource system...you physically alter the world.  Each server might look or even play totally different because of this.

     

    Age of Wushu has none of that.  That doesn't mean it is a bad game.  It's actually a decent game with some great potential.  But is is not a sandbox.

     

    It is more of a themapark than a sandbox, in that there are lots of things you can do....but nothing really changes.  You have the ability to choose what you want to do, so it does meet some of the requirements for a true sandbox game....but in the end, nothing you do change physically change or alter the world.

     

    The game revolves around PVP not PVE.  PVE only exists in this game to promote the PVP.  The PVE in this game is very bad.  It reminded me of SWG's PVE.  That is okay, as no one will play this game for the PVE.  You PVE so you can acquire things to PVP with, whether it is new skills from other schools, or loot or EXP to make your skills better so that you are better in PVP.

     

    There are lots of little PVP things to do in the game.  There are ways to grief.  There are ways to grief the griefers.  There are ways to grief the griefers who are grief, and there are even ways to grief the griefers who are griefing other griefers who just got griefed.

     

    The PVP combat is intersting in that it revolves around timing and understand what moves your opponent is doing.  Hit your feint key while your opponent is hitting an attack move could lead you to your death.  So there is some skill in this game. 

     

    There are levels.  It is called your internal level, think of it as an active buff.  Everything revolves around that.  If your internal is a little bit higher than your opponent, you will win...regardless of skill or what loot you have.

     

    It has a unique setting, feudal China, and it looks pretty and runs fairly well on a good system.  If you do not like PVP don't play this game, there is nothing in this game from a PVE standpoint that makes it stand out...in fact, the PVE aspect of the game lowers the overall quality.

     

    There are a few things that will seriously hamper this game in the West.  The first is obvious, the written translation.  It is horrible, beyone horrible.  You will literally spend hours trying to decipher the langauge.  It is easy to go from Spanish to English as they are both based on the same thing, Latin.  But going from Chiense to English is pretty much impossible.  Chinese is such a rich language and there are things that just do not translate.   So you have to muddle through your first couple of weeks figuring things out for yourself.  It takes patience.....lots of patience.

     

    The second thing is the lag.  This is the killer.  You cannot play the PVP portion of this game if you have a high ping rate.  Because the game requires you to make split second decisions based on your opponents split second decisions....you will spend time looking at your screen saying "what just happened" as your character gets face planted because you are PVPing against someone with a much lower ping.  I am not sure how they can get around this part.  Do they put servers on the East Coast for East Coast players?  Is everything based on USA West Coast, as that is THE primary market for Asian companies looking to cross over to the US market.  God forbid you play this game on an Asian based server...lol.

     

    The third thing is the business model.  China exists to take your money.  Communism exists in China to thwart the Chinese people.  The will do anything to advance their own self interests....we have seen it in real life.

     

    That same business sense is found in Age of Wushu.  It exists so that you spend lots of money on it.  They have a cash shop for items....yet the items only exist in your inventory for 30 days.  You Pay to have the ability to Rent.  Americans like to own, not rent.  This is a HUGE culture block that I do not think Snail Game understands.

     

    The entire game is set up that way. You pay to advance your character.  It feels like they do not even want a traditional subscription model, like 9$ a month.  They are happy with making a game free to play BUT they put in pay to rent or pay to win models.

     

    And if you say, well that is all well and good people will just not pay....keep in mind, Age of Wushu is the game that people have payed tens of thousads of dollars for in game items already.

     

    It's a decent game, it is not a sandbox and it has potential but there are some huge stumbling blocks that are unavoidable.

  • TorvalTorval Oregon CountryPosts: 7,211Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by koboldfodder

    Sigh...do you not know what a sandbox is mister previewer?  Call AOW a free skil progression game, where you can level your skills in any ORDER you want, but do not call it a sandbox because it is not one.

     

    In sandbox games, you BUILD things.  Your create things on the land, you are given the tools to modify the world to your liking.  Whether it is a city building system, or a housing system, or a guild system, or crafting/resource system...you physically alter the world.  Each server might look or even play totally different because of this.

    See, here's the thing (without the melodramatic sighing): there is no industry or community accepted definition of a sandbox.  I don't think a sandbox equals building at all.  At its base I think sandbox means freedom.

    In a real literal sandbox we don't always build.  Sometimes we take toys we have and play with them.  Sometimes we construct things.  It is just an empty place you have freedom to play how you like.

    Building is good. Changing the environment is good. That doesn't mean every sandbox must have those elements.  Saying that any sandbox must adhere to a strict ruleset or it's not one is subjective at best and myopic in reality.  Even without the abilityto change the surrounding environment every server can be totally different because of how the community has built their characters and structured their social system.

  • rawfoxrawfox HamburgPosts: 647Member Uncommon

    The only question i have is this:

    Can i survive with all bells and whistles by paying a normal subscribtion fee ?

     

    I hear, people do extra payments beside the subscribtion for nessasary things !?

    Whats on that ?

  • Panther2103Panther2103 Edmonds, WAPosts: 2,356Member Uncommon

    I tried a couple times to get into this game, but both times weren't successful. My first attempt into the game brought me to be overwhelmed, I may have been a bit impatient with learning all of the systems, but right off the bat it felt like a very cheap F2P mmorpg. It had everything those games had, overwhelming amounts of bloom, auto pathing to npc's, paying to do things while offline, constant badgering me to try to upgrade. I set it down at that point, I was maybe 20 minutes into the game and it already had turned me off completely.

    The next day, again I felt an itch to try to give it another shot. I don't know why maybe I just didn't feel like I gave it enough time. I started it up again, and took it patiently the second time. I got into the combat and felt like it was just cheap. People kept saying that it wasn't just tab targeting, and it involved skill, but honestly it felt like tab targeting with a block system. Which at least was a little different from the norm. 

    All in all it has features I really want to try out like the kidnapping system and the pvp sounds awesome, but I cannot get past all these cheap F2P systems that bog it down.

  • SilverchildSilverchild Grand-Mere, QCPosts: 118Member

    The PVP combat is good and deep. Its like  "rock paper scissors".  Real move < Block < Feint < Real move.

     

    You can combo skills together, and flying skills give you lots of freedom and mobility.

     

    Its really good... when it works. Most of the time, the lag makes everything un-responsive and a frustrating mess.The game is based around split second decisions and precise execution of combos, but its impossible to enjoy it with lag and delays.

     

    I've had a few very good fights. Really, when it works, the combat system is really great. But most of the time I'm missing my combos because of a little bit of delay, or hitting thin air because the oponent moved 1 step back between the time I hit my keyboard and the animation started.

  • SenadinaSenadina San Diego, CAPosts: 896Member Uncommon

    Funny you mention the font the game uses, as it kept me from trying the game for a few weeks. It seems my computer was missing the font needed to play and I had to wait until support told me what I was missing before I could try the game. Unfortunately I created a toon, found I couldn't read ANY box text, and contacted support. Well, that was a mistake as I lost my 10 free hours just by making a character.

    Now, I have a fundamental problem with Facebook like restrictions on gameplay time. I feel if a developer is gonna tell me I need to stop playing their game( so they can extort some cash out of me for the "privelege" of playing their FTP title),  my response is" You want me to stop playing? Fine. I'll stop playing permanently" Just don't understand why people stand for these game playtime restrictions.

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  • ValentinaValentina Los Angeles, CAPosts: 1,675Member Uncommon

    People spend the money on deluxe and VIP's because it eliminates the 1 hour per day limitation and gives access to offline cultivation. The one 1 hour per day thing sucks, but that's only in it for closed beta, they're removing that in either open beta, or at launch..There is no character wipe after CB2 (the current phase), or OBT etc so it's really up to you if you are willing to wait til May for launch, and just put up with the limitation of playtime or not. In the end, though buying deluxe + vip will give you in-game stuff and totals to like 30 dollars so it's really not much. I've held out so far because while I really love the game, I want to see more improvements made to localization and I agree with what the article states about story cinematics and text/font in several areas of the game that need to be improved pretty drastically.

    That being said, the game itself is pretty fantastic and they just did a new localization update a couple days ago which improved a vast number of those issues, even though there's still a ways to go and I think they'll get it together by May, easily.

  • RefMinorRefMinor MyTownPosts: 3,452Member
    Originally posted by Torvaldr
    Originally posted by koboldfodder

    Sigh...do you not know what a sandbox is mister previewer?  Call AOW a free skil progression game, where you can level your skills in any ORDER you want, but do not call it a sandbox because it is not one.

     

    In sandbox games, you BUILD things.  Your create things on the land, you are given the tools to modify the world to your liking.  Whether it is a city building system, or a housing system, or a guild system, or crafting/resource system...you physically alter the world.  Each server might look or even play totally different because of this.

    See, here's the thing (without the melodramatic sighing): there is no industry or community accepted definition of a sandbox.  I don't think a sandbox equals building at all.  At its base I think sandbox means freedom.

    In a real literal sandbox we don't always build.  Sometimes we take toys we have and play with them.  Sometimes we construct things.  It is just an empty place you have freedom to play how you like.

    Building is good. Changing the environment is good. That doesn't mean every sandbox must have those elements.  Saying that any sandbox must adhere to a strict ruleset or it's not one is subjective at best and myopic in reality.  Even without the abilityto change the surrounding environment every server can be totally different because of how the community has built their characters and structured their social system.

    I agree.

    I also find it strange that the article writer calls it a sandbox then complains about the lack of a "centralized core experience", I am not sure he realises the contradiction.

  • bcbullybcbully Westland, MIPosts: 8,277Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Lord.Bachus

    Perfect game, except that the combat feels cluncky and unresponsive, in such a way that i dont beleive they can ever get it on a for me acceptable level. Annimations are worse then MMo´s 10 years old.

     

    Its a no go for me because of that. Its even worse then Vanguard, and this is exactly what makes the game unplayable for me.

    First not a bad write up. To answer how to get other school books, you steal them, or buy from other players.

     

    For mr. bachus. All the combat animations are motion capture from REAL martial arts experts. There are videos on it. Take a look. 

     

    If you can overlook poor text wrapping and some translations. You may just have the best mmoprg experience you've ever had. 

     

    AoW has legs. Easy 2 years of hardcore play with the beta content alone. Hope to see you guys out  there!

     
    edit - I will save you the time http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YoncgPx5EuE motion capture video. The game oozes realism from the combat to real world places.
     
     
  • GrayKodiakGrayKodiak Nada, FLPosts: 576Member

    The idea that your skill is trumped by your internal is flat out false, I made a second character, I was in the top 10 of the martial arts duels ranking at rank 25 (36 was the max at the time). Knowing how the combat works definately matters. I was able to do this because I knew the other classes I knew the feint-block-attack animations for many of the classes, I knew how to close with an RG or disable a tangman, when to run from a scholar and how to outlast the everlasting Wudang.

    People who say this game isn't a true sandbox may have a point, I consider it an open game play experience with a good crafting integration and inovative PvP mechanics. People who say this game is all about who has played the longest are just mad they keep loosing.

  • SQTOSQTO victoria, BCPosts: 188Member

    I have not enjoyed a mmo like i have with AoW in a very long time.

    I love the art direction and how the game runs smoothley even with lots of players on the screen. I really like how the levels work and how it takes away the grind of leveling up, so when i do play I feel like I can do whatever I want. Also how the game is FFA pvp but the systems in place make it not just a deathmatch game like other FFA pvp games, i have only been ganked 2 times with hours of playing.  The whole jail and bounty system makes the pvp much more interesting.

  • UhwopUhwop Wilm, DEPosts: 1,663Member Uncommon

    "although several issues exist that make the game feel like a disjointed collection of parts rather than a coherent gestalt."

    That is entirely my impression of AoW.  A bunche of pieces (minigames) that didn't seem to fit with every other piece. 

     

  • EladiEladi ArnhemPosts: 1,100Member Uncommon

    "you can still obtain skills from other schools somehow, although I haven’t yet seen how this is accomplished. "

     

    you collect 10-20 of thesamescript book parts trading whit other players that get them during school wars (script stealing event). 

    Its part of the Pay-to-win system, RL money = gold= trading silver = skill books and Cultivation bonus ontop of the normal subcription bonus.  Its sad, coz its realy a decent game people could have fun whit for years, but they focus on the few rich players and everyone else is just canon flodder that they tell make believe stories aslong they can

  • emotaemota PLYMOUTHPosts: 377Member Uncommon
    Game is a real treat, a gem!
  • MahavishnuMahavishnu BerlinPosts: 336Member

    @koboldfodder

    Thank you very much for your long and detailed preview - there is only one thing:

    English is based on German and was incfluenced by French. However, grammatically English is the exact opposite of Latin.

    Advertising has us chasing cars and clothes, working jobs we hate so we can buy shit we don't need.

  • Dimsum1337Dimsum1337 MoscowPosts: 60Member
    Excellent game! Been getting my teeth into it on the Russian server (yes! there is an enlish speaking guild) Fresh mechanics, fresh lore, deep system, excellent crafting. What elses could a boy ask for?
  • ragz45ragz45 rochester hills, MIPosts: 686Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Lord.Bachus

    Perfect game, except that the combat feels cluncky and unresponsive, in such a way that i dont beleive they can ever get it on a for me acceptable level. Annimations are worse then MMo´s 10 years old.

     

    Its a no go for me because of that. Its even worse then Vanguard, and this is exactly what makes the game unplayable for me.

     

    Comments like this make you realize that the person either 

    1. Never played the game at all
    2. Or-  Gave up within a few hours of playing the game, and never really got a feel for the combat
     
    Combat in Age of Wushu is actually one of the most fluid combat systems I've ever played, and the animations are great.  And I have played just about every major MMO released in the last 10 years, so I have a wealth of experince to back that opinion up.
     
    Compared to say TSW (which is a badass game, other than the combat)  AoW's combat is lightyears ahead.
  • bbbb42bbbb42 none, FLPosts: 297Member Uncommon
    so basically its a  sub game with extended free trial that also has p2w designed into it, no ty

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  • park97park97 Toronto, ONPosts: 89Member
    Combat takes time to perfect it, you need to practice a lot by pvping other players. once you get used to the combat, you can't go back to other MMOs, it's the best. for those who quit or uninstalled that quicky, good for you, this game is not for noob.
  • xSaintxxSaintx Albuquerque, NMPosts: 75Member
    I love this game so far. I think the review/preview was dead on. The horrible, disconjointed GUI and the underdeveloped localization are what scare people off the most. I'd also add that the tutorial system, or lackthereof, will also frighten people off. I've played for about a week or so now and I'm addicted. From someone who has played nearly every mainstream MMO and many smaller/independent MMOs, I'd say it's a great game. Does it need work? Absolutely. Even to keep me, the GUI MUST BE IMPROVED. I hope they continue to work at it and hopefully it'll be one of the deepest MMOs in the genre.

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  • rawfoxrawfox HamburgPosts: 647Member Uncommon

    [quote]

    The horrible, disconjointed GUI and the underdeveloped localization are what scare people off the most.

    [/quote]

    No, sorry, me scares most that i spend hours and hours into a game that is published here by a well known greedy publisher, to finally see that i can have "top notch" only with aditional payments above a normal sub fee.

     

    Due to its publisher Gala Networks, all trust was gone with Allods already.. ..

    AoW is nice, no doubt, but it has heads that wanna see your bucks, and they wont stop to tell you that.
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