School Internal Skill Background
The Internal Skills of Age of Wushu play an important role in character growth during the game. While there are no classical versions of levels, the Internal Skills determine the stats and strengths of a player, and leveling them furthers the player’s adventure. The Internal Skill feature is new to the world of MMOs, but the concept of Internal Skills is something as old as the history in Age of Wushu.
One familiar example of an “Internal Skill”, to those new to the world of Wuxia and its culture, is “Chi”. When you witness a martial arts master hurling a needle through a plate of glass, or channeling strength to break on brick in the very middle of a large stack, they are using some sort of Chi or Internal Strength. It takes years of intensive training to hone and master Chi skills. The Skills in Age of Wushu are similar. Though they don't take years to perfect, there are a wide variety of skills that can be learned, most notably the School Internal Skills.
School Internal Skills are linked to the history of that school. Snail Games wanted to remain true to the culture and history of ancient China. For instance, disciples Shaolin (the most recognizable of the 8 Schools) are easily identified by their dress and manner. The school itself has a long history with basic fundamentals rooted in Buddhism. The first Internal Skill a Shaolin character will learn in game, Meditation, reflects these real-world beliefs. This skill can enlighten the player to a state of transcendence when fully realized.
The second most recognizable school, Wudang, is not as rigid in discipline or style as Shaolin. Their Internal Skill, as well as their studies and practices outside the realm of the game, reflect this ideology. Tai chi is a derivative of Taoism culture, which began atop Wudang Mountain many years ago (before the time Age of Wushu takes place). The Yin Yang Protecting Skill flows like the movements of Tai chi practitioners today. It is the water-like representation of the balance between Yin and Yang. This skill uses a combination of forward and backward attacks to affect an enemy, rather than the rough punches from the Shaolin.
Other skills that reflect historical School concepts are: the small weapon focus of the women of Emei, unable to bear the heavier steel in culture they relied on hidden knives or lighter weaponry. The evil Royal Guards using their tyrannical influences by restricting player’s movements is similar to the iron grasp they had over the country during the Ming Dynasty. Even the Wanderer’s Valley, a philosophical counterpart to Wudang, take the movement and style of Tai Chi, but use it to pinpoint areas across a victim to unleash devastating damage. (The school was a divergent of the Wudang beliefs of acupuncture and pressure points on the body).
The school you choose reflects the personality of your character, and how they will live and change the world around them.