Age of Wulin exclusive press tour
Our team had the chance in this year G-Star to sit down in a private press tour with a few of the PR guys from GalaNet to take a closer look at their newest MMORPG Age of Wulin, which we had previously seen at GamesCom back in August. This time we were walked through the game and some of its features by Claas Wolter, European PR Manager for GalaNet who has recently joined the company.
The video talks over a number of features such as the various sects and schools, crafting, travel, guilds and shows some of these elements in action, as well as talking about the actual business model of Age of Wulin and some insights of why and how certain decisions have been made.
From the presentation I got the chance to have a hands on with the game, trying out some PvP (I got absolutely battered due to dev haxx..), which was admittedly underwhelming as I had no idea what I was doing and “Duels” are just an available feature, the real PvP is World PvP and Guild castle sieges.
I was then able to try out some questing, unfortunately due to a few technical issues the video does cut out during the questing elements that were being demonstrated as you will see.
Beyond the Video
I completed the quest, which was as much a tutorial on the various features of the game such as combat and trading and then I got to play and explore for a little while going off and doing my own thing, which did included me removing all my clothes, running around and fighting wild piglets and then going for a swim (when drowning I think the current translation was something like “The smell of the air is running out”; brilliant).
The video cuts out right as I was asking about player “Marriage” (to NPCs I presume, when you get a high level of positive influence with them), which I had seen a few people asking about on the forums. Claas had said that it’s not in beta and whilst the system was under development the other PR guy Chris mentioned that he had seen some more details on it so it definitely wasn’t something that was being ignored, but he was remaining tight lipped on the details.
Similarly I asked about player housing, which was given a definitive “No this isn’t going to be in”, what the future holds is unsure and as mentioned earlier in the video the guys at Gpotato have a line of communication to the developers to give player feedback and suggestions.
One of the things I had noticed on the Age of Wulin forum was a lot of speculation, suggestion and guesswork as to how different the various incarnations of Age of Wulin will be (as the title is being published in different regions by different publishers under different titles). The fact is that there will be very little differences between the games as the development is all coming down from China, so the core of the gameplay will be exactly the same, the main difference from the discussion I had was the localization from Chinese into different languages and that each publisher was handling it themselves (albeit with large companies that focus on that kind of thing).
The translation of the game is at the heart of determining when the game will be launched as the content and mechanics are already firmly established and they already know the platform works. Right now in the beta (predicted to be released early 2013) the localization and translation isn’t even the teams work and is just a rough basic translation that is going to be completely cleaned up, once that is done then the launch will likely go ahead.
All in all Age of Wulin is shaping up to be a really interesting game. The graphics and environment are pretty impressive from what I got to see, and whether you are a role player or not I think everyone will feel part of the world that is being created. A break away from class based MMORPGs and a return to more old school skill based levelling and player driven economies from the crafting system should be a breath of fresh air to an already very saturated market and in many ways stand it out from the crowd.