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What would you think about if we are talking about an Asian free-to-play MMORPG? Perhaps “grinding”, “unpolished”, and “pseudo-innovation”? Well, be prepared to be astonished by Age of Wushu!


Age of Wushu is a free-to play martial arts MMORPG that takes place in the Chinese middle ages. The game has been under development for over four years by the Snail Games Suzhou Studio and will be distributed North America by Snail Games USA. Chinese gamers have already been able to test the game during the internal beta a few months ago, and the official beta is currently TBA


But what exactly is Age of Wushu? As mentioned above, it is based on the classic martial arts novels. Think of a world that reflects the mythological worlds of Crouching Tiger-Hidden Dragon, Enter the 36 Chambers, and other great classic kung fu films.There are no fantasy elements like RIFT or WOW; instead you throw punches using your inner peace (Remember in Kungfu Panda?). Whether a player is running up walls, double jumping in the air or running across water – everything looks smooth and well-integrated into the normal range of motion.




Another important feature is that there are no classes or levels but there are eight schools of martial arts, through which you can learn many unique skills. After you have enough skills and experience, you can become a Kung fu master or a school leader. A large amount of Masters can come together and form a school. The school however, can have multiple attitudes/alignments (good, neutral, chaotic) and can also determine what skills you can learn. Within a school, you have the opportunity to rise in rank and possibly even be the leader.


The skills that you learn in school are far from being the best; instead you will have to explore and seek out more teachers that offer different skills to master. You could meet an old beggar or a mysterious praying monk in Age of Wushu. If you decide to donate some coins to him or maybe even just give him some food to eat, he may reward your kindness and teach you to walk up walls or break solid objects with your bare hands.



Dungeons, Instances and PvP


Like most other MMORPGs, Age of Wushu has classical instances, in one of which more than 40 participants cab form a team to raid in the same map at the same time.  However, if large-scale group content is not your thing don’t worry!  Age of Wushu will also offer solo dungeons to challenge any player who chooses to go the route of the lone wolf.   With respect to the PVP system, I should say the schools can be considered as an agent for PVP, and fights are possible at any time, so much so that anyone can attack any player at any time. Should you however, kill another player for no reason, you will get in trouble with the guards very quickly.


For those who love conquering empires or castles, Age of Wushu also lets players who are powerful enough take control of more than 32 of these objectives.  After you conquer the castle, you can upgrade it and make it useful for building a guild shop or a gym.  Defensive strength is of course improvable. In the war room for example, you are allowed to hire NPC mercenaries. Should they succeed in taking an enemy fortress in a guild, their development status is upgraded.


 Professions and Crafting


Age of Wushu will offer a wide variety of profession and crafting skills.  There are production-based activities such as the Blacksmith or the Poison Maker, but beyond these typical MMO skills AoW boasts one of the most extensive profession systems ever seen in any game to date.  Here is a list of some of the paths that you can choose to take on your adventures. 

·         Blacksmithing          

·         Poisoner

·         Chess Player

·         Beggar

·         Calligrapher

·         Fortune Teller

·         Fisherman

·         Miner

·         Woodsman

·         Hunter

·         Farmer

·         Goldsmith

·         Tailor

·         Apothecary

·         Chef

·         Doctor

·         Musician


I know it is hard to believe, but each one of these professions will offer both a form of income and unique bonuses to the player. 


Combat Unleashed


Here it is, the good stuff.  Age of Wushu promises to revolutionize the way we approach combat in MMO’s.  For starters there will be no cool downs on your abilities and combat maneuvers.  Rather than going through a static rotation of skills that soon becomes stale, the player is free to choose their attacks at will.  You’re probably thinking that sounds insane and will make combat a button mashing affair; think twice.  Combat maneuvers will be paid for and regulated by the system of Qinggong.  The Qinggong system is essentially a collection of points that you use to fund your combat maneuvers (along the lines of energy for anyone familiar with games like WoW).  Player abilities will cost different amounts of Qinggong points and it is up to you to decide which ability is appropriate for your current situation.  The effect of this system will be an overall increase in strategy, tactics, and combat more akin to a fighting game than your standard MMO.


Age of Wushu will also feature dynamic 3D combat.  In simpler terms this means that you will be fighting in the air, water, ground, trees, and off of walls.  Offering another layer of complexity to the combat system, these features will be enhanced by combat moves that can be broken down into: Ground VS Air, Ground VS Ground, Air VS Ground, and Air VS Air.  If your enemy appears to want to jump around too much and you are feeling earthly, hit him with a Ground VS Air attack to take a little wind out of his wings (and Vice Versa).  You might think that such highly mobile characters will make combat a touch inaccurate and fickle; “how can I hit someone who is leaping through the air with melee attacks if I don’t jump into the exact right path?”  To accommodate situations like this one can activate a few Qinggong points while leaping to automatically dash to your opponent’s position and land your attack.  One can expect some truly epic battles between kung fu masters. 



Overview and Additional Features


Have you ever gotten bored of spamming mouse-clicks and level-grinding in most traditional MMOs? Then it’s worth taking a look at “Age of Wushu”, which is rated as the most anticipated MMO of the year 2012 and is scheduled to be released in the second half of 2012.  Although it’s still a few months away, most passionate MMO fans are currently being bombarded with information and trailers from the official game websites of China, Europe and North America.


The game features a revolutionary “Offline Mode”.  Player characters will not disappear from the game after you log out like other traditional MMOs; instead, their characters will be active in the persistent game world! This is one of the most innovative elements in any MMOs to date.  Most people cannot help imagining how the system works. Will players be allowed to issue commands to the characters so they are able to do some simple tasks as per the request? Or will characters just keep their routine daily life, wander along the street, greet other players or run a grocery store like other NPCs? The truth is still hidden until we reveal the secrets. 


The list of innovations made by Age of Wushu is extensive and should prove to make this game quite an adventure.  From the beautiful, detailed landscape of the world, to the variety of activities, to the dynamic combat system; Age of Wushu aims to impress.  Stay tuned as we divulge more information over the next few months!