Age of Wushu is the north american title for a game that has been out in china for 2 years. The game is being brought over by snail games and is currently receiving a good amount of attention with little publicity. As more and more people pile into the game, more issues seem to pop up and I have found this interesting enough to comment on. This is my Preview of Age of Wushu, SnailGames, and the community following Age of Wushu.
Age of Wushu is set in the Wuxia universe, from such movies as Crouching tiger hidden Dragon and Hero. Jumping into the game, I started a free player. Free players have an extreme limitation on them currently, they can only play 10 hours the first 2 days and then 1 hour a day after that. I realize that 1 hour a day is a very short amount of time to try and flesh out an opinion on a game, but I tried. There were also reasons, which will be explained later, that I did not attempt to purchase the game. Either way, I got into the game to figure out how I felt about it.
The first thing that many players will notice is that you have to be asian. There is no way around it, you are asian and you will have a snow white complexion. In my case this is fine because I like the look of asian female character models, but I am sure this will be a turn off for other people. The customization is also extremely lacking. After customizing your character, you pick a ‘back story’ of sorts. Its around the lines of, “you were saved by a hero and now he trains you” or “Your sister was kidnapped now you want to train” it honestly only ever comes up twice in the game and is a pretty weak story line. Everyone starts in a starting village depending on what path you chose and then you go about doing some tutorial quests that teach you the basics. After completing that you can pick from 8 schools of martial arts. This is like the three faction system from DAOC but with 8. Each school has its own individual style and techniques.
After this point the fun really starts. You have a plethora of options to explore to level. Age of Wushu is like Eve Online in the fact that you can level your skills while doing anything, they just keep increasing. If you are a VIP member you will also level your skills while offline. So, the question is why play? Why not AFK level? Well, you need to earn points to level over time. So, to put it simply, by playing you earn points that then slowly drip xp into your skills while you go about your business. The ways of earning xp are the better parts of the game. Just running around can net you small amounts of xp, but the best ways are to take school missions and my favorite mission is spying! This puts you in another schools base and you have to steal info without getting caught. This has led to some pretty fun fight and flight scenes for me.
Bugs, Exploits and other drugs
So far it has sounded like Age of Wushu is only getting good points, but here is where I break down the bad. The first bad thing is that the game is buggy as all hell. Some of the bugs in my opinion are game breaking. One in particular is the divination bug. Basically, there is a skill in the game to sell buffs to other players. You charge a price, the player agrees on the price and they get the buff and you get the money. Well right now the divination provider can put any price and it will show up as 0. What has been happening is players are exploiting this to steal tons of money from each other. There are also known balance issue that have been present since the release 2 years ago in china. To sum it all up, there are more bugs and exploits than I care to shake a stick at and Snail games does not have a handle on the code, meaning any fixes will take a long time to happen. My last comment on bugs really has nothing to do with bugs. I hate how all the items are temporary! If I want a pink dress, I had better keep my pink dress, especially if I am paying $5 for a virtual item.
Also concerning about this game is the rumor of pay to win. This is a port from china as stated several times. Even though Snail promises to localize the content, they have yet to make a move to do so. As of right now in china, the best skills are bought from the cash shop. This will make it so the person with the biggest wallet will always have the best skills and I see no reason why Snail Games wouldn’t bring that over to the NA servers and try to get their drones to support it. The main reason I believe the the game might be pay 2 win is because it already is. You can pay real money to level your character faster than everyone else. This is not an experience booster or something that gives you a small advantage. This is literally spamming a button and it giving you experience while you stand there. This is a huge pay to win feature and every time it is brought up in the forums the community shoots it down. This brings me to the subject of the community.
The community and Snail Games
Fanbois, Fanbois, Fanbois! This game is full of Fanbois. Every time you try to make a constructive comment about how to fix a part of the game, these people line up to knock you down. The completely obvious and destructive divination exploit has been shot down as not important and just ignore it. Snail Games even posted that their solution is to ignore divinations until the bug is fixed. That has been about a week now to fix a game breaking bug and no updates on it. The community for this game is really bad for the game. They are mostly brain washed fools that just want to play the game and not see it be successful. Unfortunately Snail games thinks that if they appease this minority that their game will do well, but when the heap of shit hits the general public it will be extremely obvious that Snail had no idea what was coming. They need to foster a community that wants to ‘test’ the game not just blow Snail all day. This is a huge issue with the game and will end up being the main reason this game will fail.
Sum it up! A.K.A the tl;dr section
Snail Games has a rather nice game in Age of Wushu, but with all the blind blowing of snail games and avoiding all the issues it will fail. They need to fix the exploits, localize the cash shop, and start taking criticism seriously. Yes, I know it is a beta, but people paid to be in it. The game needs a lot more help and a better team to make it successful. This game is going to just be another flash in the mmo pan.