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E3 2011: Wakfu (Impressions)

by: Tina -
More On: E3 2011 WAKFU
Game: Wakfu
Developer: Ankama Studio
Release Window/Date: 2011

Wakfu is a strategy, turn-based, tactical MMORPG in development by Ankama Studio. Lead developer on the project, Julien Derveeuw, led us through the new developments on Wakfu, including a new class out of the 8 currently available ones in closed beta (there will be 14 available at launch).

The Sacrier class that Julien showed off at the demo at E3 last week flaunts his ability in close combat. The Sacrier is a good support class to other party members (of which there can be up to 6 per dungeon excursion). Being a berserker class, the Sacrier will perform more effectively with each attack he both performs and absorbs. While attempting to cast a special skill using a combination of action/Wakfu/movement points, Julien accidentally passes over his turn. This is due to a 30-second time limit on each individual’s turn that is meant to ensure a faster pace combat scenario. In fact, if you plan your attack accordingly and execute your decisions in a timely enough fashion, you’ll gain a combat bonus.

There are many other aspects of the gameplay that are meant to act as motivators to certain player behaviors. For instance, each arcade dungeon is based on a ladder system in which players can see what nations have conquered them. If a large statue erected at the entrance of an arcade dungeon doesn’t bolster your competitive drive to tackle the opposing nation, I’m not sure what would. Part of the new content that Ankama Studio is attempting to deliver with Wakfu is this sort of challenge to players.

Beyond the nation versus nation combat (of which there are currently two - Bonta and Amakna - out of the three that will be available) there is a lot of political depth. Each nation can choose a government with representatives to serve their needs. The governor selects eight cabinet members, and together they determine the law of the land. The defense general focuses on the military defense system, while the ecologist might deem certain species protected in the ecosystem. If a citizen, therefore, kills one of these species, they will be at the mercy of the law enforcement and put in jail after losing citizenship points. Essentially, the government is at the helm of an entire nation composed of thousands of players.

Of course, not every government is perfect (to say the least). In case you’re unhappy with the policies put in place by your governor, you can always organize a revolution should other people share your sentiments. The in-game popularity gauge will help you, well, gauge how feasible this would go over.

The game will be officially released to the public in 2011 on Windows, Mac and Linux.  

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