Age of Wu Shu is a free to play Chinese based martial arts MMO that was released in April 2013 and only has servers in the USA.
This game stands apart from so many other MMO's that exist out there in that it doesn't totally follow the other bigger MMO predecessors and it adds a lot of unique innovative content that I've never seen. Kudo's to it for that at least. From the start I went wow pretty quick and I really wanted to like this game but, after about 30 hours of play, it only rates as "average" due it's many downfalls.
To provide some background I thoroughly enjoyed the PVP aspect of World of Warcraft and I think this has raised the bar for me to such a degree that many games are ruined for me now as I know what I want but I'm yet to really find it again. I loved the battlegrounds and I loved the open world combat that existed since vanilla but the game has changed so much that open world pvp doesn't really exist much due to flying mounts. Battlegrounds are either full of the best geared opponents at max level or of "twinks" within the lower level brackets (characters deliberately kept within those brackets and have the best gear to give themselves a combat advantage) so that the end result is generally a walkover if you fight them.
Having enjoyed these aspects so much, I've played other MMO but find the currently prevailing idea of pvp being limited to a sectioned off part of the land where castle sieging and zerg fighting are the norms, quite boring. In this land individual strength or pvp means very little. What happened to the days of 1v1 combat? So I moved on and a short time later I came across a few reviews that said Age of Wushu gives open world PVP and is quite good. With my interest tweaked I downloaded the 8 gigs and rolled right on in. The first thing that hit me smack bang in the face was the extremely poor use of english in the quests, logs, and item descriptions - to the extent that when a tutorial or a quest would tell you what to do that the item was misnamed making it difficult to understand. I briefly wondered if this was a tongue in cheek attempt at Engrish but no. No, it wasn't, it's just TERRIBLE translations - almost as if they have used someone to translate first from Chinese to Russian and then to English. This game was released a year ago - What the???
There are some good points to the game such as the game such as innovative content I've never seen in any mmo before - such as
- innovative ideas within the game such as players remain in game in "jobs" when they logoff and can earn cash for doing this
- you can kidnap these players who are undertaking jobs to earn cash
- having a more developed social system than other games where you can mark players as friends, close friends, enemies, blood enemies which allows for different options
- you can marry in game with extra ability lines opened up for this.
- the game centres around pvp - whether guild fighting guild - your martial arts school fighting another school - apparently world pvp although I could never initiate anything for some reason....- enemy guild raiding and land capturing.
- unique combat system with rock vs paper vs scissors type combat and relies heavily on blocking (see negatives)
Sounds good doesn't it. Yeah well the downsides are quite large also
- There are no voice overs so you rely on the in game text to explain things. The translation from Chinese is absolutely terrible and makes things hard to understand
- game has a very steep learning curve and the poor use of engrish makes it hard to understand what to do
- the first five hours of the game will consist of going "huh" what the hell am I meant to be doing and then running around to random NPC's to hand in rubbish to develop core skills.
- quests are a pain in the ♥♥♥ as dialogs don't continue between "scenes" and you have to finish the conversation and start it multiple times to get to the end of the conversation
- VERY bad use of english in game, to the extent that the game can be hard to understand
- 1v1 Battlegrounds are pretty crap (didn't try others). When I beat a person by more than 2 kills a random decent NPC is dropped in to assist. There was literally no way I could beat both the NPC and another player of any skill together. Maybe this NPC is a short term fix to balance the queue mismatching that I noticed occurring like when I fought someone double my level (I was 10 and he was 20) and every hit I did barely hurt them. When the NPC was with me that person also hid. If this is a balancing fix it's a pretty poor excuse to fixing matchmaking.
- 200 ping and I'm on a cable connection which makes blocking pretty hard to use accurately and this game relies on blocking.
- there are different pools of money you use in game and one of which is to buy and sell from players. The main source of this money seems to be from buying gold online, as in pay to win.
- character skill development and gear can be purchased through the online cash store and online gold which means, yes, it is clearly defined as a pay to win game.
- more character options unlock when you pay the $9.00 fee per month to be a VIP account. You can pay further fees to unlock one more option (I forget the name).
- one character per server. If you pay for VIP status it only applies to one server...
I could probably go on but it's getting late and I'm sick of typing.
To summarise, yes it was a bit of fun but the con's fairly heavily outweigh the pro's especially in a market where a lot more refined games exist that aren't so clearly pay to win. I really don't get the poor use of english and how that hasn't been fixed in the past 12 months. I would have thought that, having released this game to a western market this would have been a high priority.
I came across this game hunting around the internet for an open world PVP game. An article I read suggested this was the next best thing to playing World of Warcraft