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[Preview] Age of Wushu: And the Beta Played On

SBFordSBFord Associate Editor - News ManagerThe Land of AZPosts: 16,572MMORPG.COM Staff Uncommon

We've been playing the heck out of Age of Wushu and have brought a new voice into the ongoing preview of the forthcoming game. See what we've learned about Age of Wushu before sharing your thoughts in the comments.

First, of course, it the overall look of the game, which is drop dead gorgeous. The overall feel of the setting extends not only through the landscape, but to its population as well. So far, everything is clean, pretty and shiny. The bad guys are clearly marked and are, of course, bad, but they’re not too bad; with certain brutish, real world activities thankfully not present in the game. (When players are offline, player characters can be kidnapped and forced into manual labor for a time, but nothing more egregious, if you get my meaning.) Even the beggars are tidy.

Read more of Lisa Jonte's Age of Wushu: And the Beta Played On.

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Associate Editor: MMORPG.com
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Comments

  • ZekiahZekiah Aurora, COPosts: 2,499Member

    "Speaking of the martial specializations, what’s the point of playing when, as a paid VIP, I can increase my skills while I’m offline? What’s the point of a game if you can essentially pay NOT to play? I’m sick of the Monty Hall approach to gaming. Cash shop cosmetics are one thing; even gear is fine if others can get approximate items as drops. But for Pete’s sake, stop handing the game over on a silver platter in exchange for cash. Stop letting me progress when I’m offline and making no effort.  And those continual, automatic rewards just for staying online? Stop that too. If I didn’t earn it, I don’t want it."

    That's all I needed to know, thank you.

    "Censorship is never over for those who have experienced it. It is a brand on the imagination that affects the individual who has suffered it, forever." - Noam Chomsky

  • manusmanus SøgnePosts: 46Member

    I can't understand how you couldn't find your friends in the beta, I played in the previous beta around christmas with 4-5 RL buddies that is now spread around the world and we found eachother easily in the game.

    Good write up.

  • manusmanus SøgnePosts: 46Member
    Originally posted by Zekiah

    "Speaking of the martial specializations, what’s the point of playing when, as a paid VIP, I can increase my skills while I’m offline? What’s the point of a game if you can essentially pay NOT to play? I’m sick of the Monty Hall approach to gaming. Cash shop cosmetics are one thing; even gear is fine if others can get approximate items as drops. But for Pete’s sake, stop handing the game over on a silver platter in exchange for cash. Stop letting me progress when I’m offline and making no effort.  And those continual, automatic rewards just for staying online? Stop that too. If I didn’t earn it, I don’t want it."

    That's all I needed to know, thank you.

    it's a bit faulty that statement, to cultivate you need XP, you can't get that without playing the game. Cultivation happens over time spent, while being offline you do menial task and by subscribing it cultivate xp into cultivation point so you can advance your character.  But to be fair it really doens't matter, it takes you roughly  2 weeks to max out Inner Skill, so leveling quicker gain you very short term benefits.

     

    it's a bit faulty that statement, to cultivate you need XP, you can't get that without playing the game. Cultivation happens over time spent, while being offline you do menial task and by subscribing it cultivate xp into cultivation point so you can advance your character.  But to be fair it really doens't matter, it takes you roughly  2 weeks to max out Inner Skill, so leveling quicker gain you very short term benefits.

    In comparison to many mmo Age of Wushu is quite skilled based and your ability to utilize your skills

     
  • AlamarethAlamareth Cincinnati, OHPosts: 570Member

    General note: I've been playing this game for about 3 months, so realize that I speak from the perspective of someone who generally understands all game mechanics and functions.  That said, I also understand that not all of this is immediately apparant to someone who just started.

    I found several pieces in this review puzzling, however let's start with the piece we all know.

    1) Translations are still a huge problem.  If you want to figure out some of the more complex areas of the question system (read: random encounters) - good luck.  From figuring out the individual NPCs stories let alone deciphering what items you should gift to them in order to raise their affinity to you is an unbelievable task.  A little confusion is alright, but the translations make it an outright mystery.  It's been 3 months, we are STILL testing what even works for raising NPC affinity.

    As for the puzzling pieces:

    1) Your starting area is based on our characters background and the quests drive off of that.  I'm not why you'd expect two separate story lines to be based in the same city, let alone the same quest chains.  Overall, this is a small part of the game - chapter 1 (being all that's available currently) shouldn't take more than a few hours to complete.  Furthermore, nothing is actually locked out - you COULD travel to any town right off the bat (after you make a few bound liang from the quests).  The maps are MASSIVE, so if you do travel from one end of China to another, expect it to take serious time. Also, you won't have to PUG if you don't want to, but keep in mind that the instances do require at least 6 people and most go to 12-18.  It doesn't seem like the reviewer spent much more than 4-5 hours in the game.

    2) You can remote invite anyone to a team via the search function.  Click the blue bubble, search for player, invite to team.  Note, both parties must be online for the function to find the player.

    3) You'll find that everyone's path will converge at some point, be it in school wars, script stealing, or buying items in Chengdu / Suzhou.  They will certainly meet once you get to mini instances and forbidden instances.

    4) The learning curve is extremely steep, but I'm not sure that's a bad thing.  It's refreshing to have to think a little in a MMO.  However, the poor translations add to the complexity - making the game unnecessarily convoluted.  For now, ask your fellow Wushu enthusiast for help!

    5) Crafting is thrown at you early because it's the new player's best chance to make money.  The martial part should be obvious, the whole point of the game is to design a custom set of wushu to maximize your battling capabilities.

    6) Why is offline cutlivation a bad thing?  There are two other ways of training skills, both of which offer far more rewards and require you to be online.  The idea of the game is to get more skills to PvP and battle.  The de-emphasis on the actual leveling mechanic is not a bad thing.  Note that you need to GAIN exp to get the cultivation that will allow you to offline train, so if you just goof off for a week - expect to stop progressing.

    7) You could emulate the same effects of offline cultivation by simply AFK'ing in-game.  Yeah, not an elegant solution but it works.  If the complaint about offline cultivation is that it is OP and unfair to free players - the reviewing simply doesn't know much about AoW....

    8) The online rewards are part of a cycle of events.  They come and go.  It's a nice, but not permanent, perk.

  • MadnessRealmMadnessRealm Montreal, QCPosts: 2,716Member Uncommon

    Didn't like AoW at all.

    I was limited in the activities I could do (caps on EXP, caps on Crafting Skills EXP, etc), that was a huge bummer for me. I felt the game really lacked in terms of things to do, and that whatever those activities were, they had very little significance (like stealing scripts is pretty much just a zerg rush and hope no one kills you). I mean, it's fun for the first time or two, but it gets quickly repetitive  Then the fact that players can change real-money for in-game currency was pretty much the last nail on the coffin for me, allowing players to basically print their own currency at will is just ridiculous for the economy.

    ------
    Your daily dose of common sense since 2009!

  • engellenengellen liberty, IAPosts: 83Member

    played the game for about a week and simply cannot continue serious playing until the translations are fixed. 

    i cant even bring myself to recommend the game to friends because its just so insanely convoluted and weird.

     

    would love to play an understandable version of the game though.

    played a million mmo's

  • koboldfodderkoboldfodder Danbury, DEPosts: 389Member

    You are missing the point of the game.  It is specifically designed to be a big cash shop game.  That is why the VIP thing does not mean anything.  They care not about subscriptions.  Their goal is to take as much money out of you as possible, that is why the game systems are set up that way.

     

    In the end they are planning on you paying a whole lot more than just a standard 15$ a month subscription.  Remember, this is the game where several people paid thousands (and in one case ten thousand) of dollars for special cosmetics. 

     

    Everything, and I mean everything, revolves around the fact that at some point you are going to drop a lot of money on this game.  That is why there is no monthly sub.  That is why being VIP only lasts for a month or so.  And that is why you can totally play the game for free....because you will spend money, you may think you won't but you will and it will be a lot more than the usual cash shop.

     

    There are three main problems with this game.  The first is the obvious one.  Translation.  It is awful.  Chinese does not translate well into any other language.  Their are lots of phrases and terminology that are hard to decode even when you try to put it into English.  The fact that there are a plethora of different ways to build your character is not the problem.  Less stuff does not make it better, so how dare you think that just because you cannot understand it others cannot.  It takes time.  About a month at least to get down the basics, and even then there are some bizarre things going on in AOW. 

     

    If you cannot spend that month figuring out AOW, don't blame it on the game, blame it on the WOW Clones you have been playing for the past 7 years.

     

    The second big problem is the technical issues that plague this game.  This game requires you to have a great connection because it is not turnbased.  There are a lot of free targetting skills, and if you have bad lag you will not have a good time with the PVP part of this game.  PVE, this game is a joke.  It reminds me of SWG which was awful PVE.  If they can clean up the lag they will be fine.

     

    The other part is the game design with respects to it's cash shop.  This is what Chinese gaming is all about, trying to get every last stinking American dollar you have.  The company behind this game will do everything in their power to get that dollar and they come off looking like a scam artist.  Snail Game, or whoever owns it, remind me of snake oil salesmen of the earl 20th century.  I get a bad vibe from everything this company says, that is the main reason I won't play it anymore.

     

    There are some great things about this game.  Some innovative systems and a lot of things that Western developers can and shold learn to incorporate into their games to make them better.  But this game just cannot overcome it's parent company and Need fo Greed.  Snail Games is a MMO cock block.

  • AlamarethAlamareth Cincinnati, OHPosts: 570Member
    Originally posted by MadnessRealm

    Didn't like AoW at all.

    I was limited in the activities I could do (caps on EXP, caps on Crafting Skills EXP, etc), that was a huge bummer for me. I felt the game really lacked in terms of things to do, and that whatever those activities were, they had very little significance (like stealing scripts is pretty much just a zerg rush and hope no one kills you). I mean, it's fun for the first time or two, but it gets quickly repetitive  Then the fact that players can change real-money for in-game currency was pretty much the last nail on the coffin for me, allowing players to basically print their own currency at will is just ridiculous for the economy.

    Caps become progressively more meaningless.  The sheer amount of work I'd have to do to cap out on my progression for 4 collection skills, 2 cultural, and 1 manufacture is outrageous.  I dont' think it's possible.  Fortunately, whatever you don't complete on any given day is rolled over to the next day ad infinitum.

    Furthermore, we are only talking about caps on progression.  The only thing that will limit you in crafting/collection is vigor - which is partially based on your highest life skill level and other small bonuses (ie. joining a guild).  Even if you don't use that, it will rollover to the next day - but you can only have one full day stored at any given point.

    The currency trade for gold isn't nearly as big of a deal as most people make it out to be.

    Script stealing is helpful to have a guild and your PvP skill certainly matters.  Low levels will have a problem.  I find it fun because it's never repetitive - how can it be when you are fighting someone new every time?

  • engellenengellen liberty, IAPosts: 83Member
    what can you get in the game through the cash shop that is so great? you can buy gold in any game for money. i dont understand the big deal here?

    played a million mmo's

  • AlamarethAlamareth Cincinnati, OHPosts: 570Member
    Originally posted by engellen
    what can you get in the game through the cash shop that is so great? you can buy gold in any game for money. i dont understand the big deal here?

    Nothing.  The collection buff books can be bought for 100L unbound.

    What everyone freaks out about is the whole gold -> unbound silver conversion.  You could essentially spend $30 to get enough gold to buy 1Ding of game money (a moderate / small amount of money).  I only bought VIP and I have 6D right now, and I've spent well over 20D since I joined. 

    However, what people don't realize is that the market fluctuates in extremes.  It's about finding the right time to get in, and then back out.  Furthermore, you don't have to participate - you can rely on friends/guilds to help you craft everything you need and in return you use your unique functions to help them.  For instance, I pick herbs (only herbalist can) and I'll trade those for threads, ect. so I bypass the market entirely. 

    You could also script trade friends - ect. ect.

  • saurus123saurus123 nonePosts: 567Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by manus
    Originally posted by Zekiah

    "Speaking of the martial specializations, what’s the point of playing when, as a paid VIP, I can increase my skills while I’m offline? What’s the point of a game if you can essentially pay NOT to play? I’m sick of the Monty Hall approach to gaming. Cash shop cosmetics are one thing; even gear is fine if others can get approximate items as drops. But for Pete’s sake, stop handing the game over on a silver platter in exchange for cash. Stop letting me progress when I’m offline and making no effort.  And those continual, automatic rewards just for staying online? Stop that too. If I didn’t earn it, I don’t want it."

    That's all I needed to know, thank you.

    it's a bit faulty that statement, to cultivate you need XP, you can't get that without playing the game. Cultivation happens over time spent, while being offline you do menial task and by subscribing it cultivate xp into cultivation point so you can advance your character.  But to be fair it really doens't matter, it takes you roughly  2 weeks to max out Inner Skill, so leveling quicker gain you very short term benefits.

     

    it's a bit faulty that statement, to cultivate you need XP, you can't get that without playing the game. Cultivation happens over time spent, while being offline you do menial task and by subscribing it cultivate xp into cultivation point so you can advance your character.  But to be fair it really doens't matter, it takes you roughly  2 weeks to max out Inner Skill, so leveling quicker gain you very short term benefits.

    In comparison to many mmo Age of Wushu is quite skilled based and your ability to utilize your skills

     

    you cant max your xp (999) in about 30 mins if you know what you doing

    so 30 mins then you are free to go offline for few days

  • shavashava Somerville, MAPosts: 282Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Zekiah

    "Speaking of the martial specializations, what’s the point of playing when, as a paid VIP, I can increase my skills while I’m offline? What’s the point of a game if you can essentially pay NOT to play?... Stop letting me progress when I’m offline and making no effort.  ... If I didn’t earn it, I don’t want it."

    That's all I needed to know, thank you.

     

    Heh.  You do realize she could be describing Eve Online here, right?

  • bcbullybcbully Westland, MIPosts: 8,260Member Uncommon

    Best thing going. About not seeing your friend, I dont think that can be found anywhere on any internet in the world, except in this blog.  Group is super easy with a lot of features. Heck someone can click your name and request to be added to a team. 

     

    Cultivating offline is great. This is one of those freedom giving features. Like the poster above said. Just like EVE.

     

    not a bad write up though. It's hard to say anything bad about the game. You really have to reach.
     
  • VindicarVindicar ParisPosts: 134Member

    Half correct review. Lots of mechanisms the tester did not understand but I do agree at the beginning to much informations is being throwed at the player.

    just my 3 facts :

    • The real money converting into in-game currency is not an issue : horribly expensive and absolutely unnecessary.

    Any serious player/team will have access to every single skills and items pretty easely via crafting, trading, doing events and instances... and again the convertion irl/in-game currency is so outrageous you really shouldn't be playing video-games if you consider using it for end-game stuff.

    In the end , of course, I agree this option shouldn't exist at all... but it's absolutely not game breaking here.

    • the US translation is indeed f.uck.ed up but kind of okayish in the end. Can only go better anyway.
    • The offline rewards are really light and offline cultivation (aka : leveling) is not so extreme and kind of limited (xp pool, only leveling 1 skill and one level at a time): playing the game is a billion times more rewarding... as it should be.
    It's a very special game. Give it a fair chance (at least a fiew days) to understand why so many thinks it really is an interesting sandboxish PvP game.

    Old school french hardcore whiner. Online since T4C.

    I was "Namless" and "Daroot" in AO (Rk2)
    Recently known as "Vindicar" (Aion (EU), SWTOR (EU), WoW (EU).
    Actually Known as "Wundicar" in Age of Wushu (US)

  • dimasokdimasok toronto, ONPosts: 189Member

    The convolution is just mind-boggling and the translations do a horrible job at explaining any of it. I played and couldnt stomach another minute of it.

    And I thoguht TSW was convoluted... 

  • OpapanaxOpapanax Rochester, NYPosts: 973Member
    Originally posted by bcbully

    Best thing going. About not seeing your friend, I dont think that can be found anywhere on any internet in the world, except in this blog.  Group is super easy with a lot of features. Heck someone can click your name and request to be added to a team. 

     

    Cultivating offline is great. This is one of those freedom giving features. Like the poster above said. Just like EVE.

     

    not a bad write up though. It's hard to say anything bad about the game. You really have to reach.
     

    I'm guessing her friend was in some type of instance at the time they joined up. So although they were in group they wouldn't be able to see each other on the map. Even if in the same zone.. Like Suzhou or something.. I don't know..

    I think the review was straight. The cash-grab part about Snail Games is pretty spot on; those dudes are some bloodsuckers so beware in that department in you decide to check the game out. The reason it's so bad is two fold really, first it's Snail Games charging for things like horses and vanity items and crafting books.

    Charging for vanity clothes items isn't my thing. I've done that before in other games. The issue with it is that they are temporary and only last for 30 days. I guess this wouldn't be so bad if they lowered the actual cost of those items. Paying for horses isn't too serious again because they really do offer up a good improvement over the basic horse you can get in game and coming from games like Ultima Online in the past where you could purchase or 'tame' a horse and have it turn on you ten seconds later because you mistakenly hit it.. (LoL man I really miss my days in that game).

    The second part of the pay-2-win some people feel is... and I'm not trying to be funny here or negative to anyone or group of people (Xenophobic is the word they like to use over there).. is the foriegn influence in the game. Since the markets are pretty much player controlled and the economy is as free to fluctuate as anything in EVE. Price-gouging is rampant.. and quite serious, from my time with the game and understanding from others friends / guildies is that many items in game are sometimes 4x, 5x and even MOAR!! Than they are in the Chinnese original version of the game. Inflation is craze in AoW.. just ridiculous. People are scamming others all over the place and without any proper filtering for items and the ability to list them from cheapest to most expensive it leaves open the chance for new players (who don't know any better) getting themselves scammed out of a lot of money.. Real life money.. because the conversion of in-game currency to that of the real world is very "real".. No different than EVE online and all those articles of people losing thousands and thousands of dollars in virtual goods..

    Now the game itself is very fun, the setting is fresh, bright, and quite pretty. The martial arts appeal draws people of the Kung-Fu movie genre right in. Crouching Tiger fans this game is something you'd probably like to play; very, very authentic. The PvP can be very intense and rivalries are a normal thing both in your own school and out. Script Steals can be bloodbaths and School Wars and stuff allow people to put aside those ill-will towards each other to try to help out for a greater cause.

    The localization is maybe the number 1 issue in the game however. As some translations are just bad and trying to decipher what you're supposed to do can becomes work beyond the worth of playing a game. I'm not talking The Secret World type of researching that's designed to be fun and apart of the game. Having to try and make sense of a bad translation is not fun or gamey at all. If they can work out these things out more the game will be in a much better place. Also they need to get out more of the actual content to us, like opening up the rest of the maps and allowing people to see what other areas and places the game has to offer. Unless they have updated content more to where they have opened them (I've been away from the game for about 3 weeks)  this was something I was waiting to see if the game was going to be worth my time after it released..

    Well this is already too long..

    Moxio.. yea that's me...

    tl:dr.. Good game, reviews now bad.. Pay-2-win is there if you're not careful... Update this game show us moar..

     

     

    PM before you report at least or you could just block.

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