Forget Kung-Fu…Unleash The Wakfu
SquareEnix is getting back to their roots with a new game made in the same universe as DOFUS, the cartoon-styled MMORPG, WAKFU, is based on a French cartoon of the same name. WAKFU taps into the furry side of the RPG spectrum, allowing gamers to choose from one of three different archetypes either male or female. The turn-based RPG is light on computer requirements given its Java-based core, yet it does a fine job of emulating some easy-on-the-eyes, casual role-playing and adventuring.
This WAKFU preview will give you a brief glimpse of what you can expect when the game heads into open beta later this year.
Lore and Core Gameplay
Square has sort of expanded into a whole other universe apart from the popularized Final Fantasy lore with Ankama’s WAKFU series, which also has an Xbox Live Arcade game coming out called the Islands of WAKFU. The MMORPG focuses on multi-tiered gameplay with a player-fueled economy. There are also three different nations that players can join and defend, the Amakna, Bonta or Brakmar nation.
The story of the game kind of centers around the political motivations of players having to revitalize the land in a slightly different way than most other MMOs; much like Fallen Earth or Mabinogi, players can focus entirely on crafting, supplying, or scavenging to move up their character through the ranks.
There are a total of 14 different classes: Berserker, Archer, Warrior, Healer, Hunter, Summoner, Illusionist, Protector, Assassin, Sherpa Warrior, Gambler, Time Magician, Animal Tamer, and a Soldier. Take note, though, each kind of class breaks down into a handful of recognizable archetypes with swordsmen, archers, magic users and healers filling out the ranks. Each class has special vocations within the standard archetype frameworks in order to give players a feeling of class diversity and originality, very similar to the two dozen or so classes on Allods Online.
For example, each class has a handful of starting skills that players will have when they begin the game, unlike other MMOs or RPGs where skills will be upgraded based on relics, artifacts or skill points per level, instead every skill associated with a character gets stronger based on its use. Novel, eh? It’s a lot like the first iteration of Fly for Fun before they dumbed it down so casual gamers would have a better grasp of it.
Combat And Encounters
WAKFU’s combat is very reminiscent to a more sped up version of Final Fantasy Tactics. Players are required to highlight an enemy and then start the combat. Before the fight starts, however, players can choose an area within the battle field to start. In battles with multiple mobs and multiple players, this plays a much more strategic role given that it’s easy for computer mobs to bombard or corner a player and beat them into a pulp.
The actual combat is composed of turn-based tactics that allows players to utilize a number of skills or movements using a set number of time units. As mentioned earlier in the preview, unlike other MMOs where skills are leveled based on skill points, it’s different in WAKFU insofar that the skills will level up based on their use, very much like DarkEden.
The skill points that players will have to distribute on each level goes into other tactical stat categories, such as HP, MP and other standard-fare stats.
Ecology Of The Economy
Not every player is a gung-ho grinder and the developers understand this. To compensate for all the combat-heavy gamers out there who would like nothing more than to incessantly pound mobs into a pulp, there’s an alternative way to level a character using the game’s distinctive ecological system, including farming, crafting, supplying and cooking. This is all accomplished thanks to a diversified ecological setup consisting of different tradecrafts and trade-skills available for players to gain expertise in.
Most ingredients for the trade-skills are acquired by mob grinding or scavenging the material from surroundings areas, or in some cases it’s not even required to actually grind on mobs but instead simply interact with them outside of combat. This definitely gives the game a sort of Fallen Earth vibe where players don’t have to continually battle it out in order to get strong.
Some of the professions that players can take up and utilize throughout the game breaks down into six different categories with numerous professions in each category, including, agriculture, mining, gemology, mushrooming, forestry, apothecary, fishing, skin repair, herbology, baking, fishmongering, butchery, forging, armory, jewelry, flowering, fishery, and alchemy. So there’s plenty to choose from and plenty to do to stay busy throughout the game
WAKFU doesn’t take a particularly original route in the way of being an MMO, but as a free-to-play title for casual fans looking for something along the lines of Goonzu Online or Mabinogi, WAKFU could shape up to be that kind of game. You can learn more about WAKFU by visiting the Official Website.