||07-23-2009 07:59 PM
June 16 DevBlog (I know, a bit late thar).
Wakfu 0.2 is at the door - Wakfu MMORPG
Ah, my dear Wakfusians, my fingers are trembling! So much time has passed, and I’ve so many things to tell you! Wakfu is like the plant we’ve had ever since it was a seed, that we’ve cherished after planting, that we’ve marvelled at after each new bud, that we’ve worried about over each discoloured leaf, and that we hope will bear beautiful fruit. We find it somewhere sheltered and sunny, without being too warm, so that it can show off its magnificent flowers. Every day, we water it with love and….Alright! Stop! Enough with the poetic metaphors! I know full well that you’re eagerly looking for news, and we’ll do everything we can to provide it in this Devblog article.
It’s no longer a secret: version 0.2 is nothing like version 0.1 (from now on, we’ll call them v2 and v1 respectively). Although the basics are the same, the vast majority of things have been revised.
One part of the overhaul that immediately jumps out is, of course, the game’s graphics and its overall aesthetic. In fact, the entire interface has been changed, as have the visual effects of spells. These effects have led to the creation of many new APS (Ankama Particle System).
The other big part of the overhaul is that the majority of the features currently in the game have been entirely rebuilt.
As for the Beta test of v2, after deliberating, cogitating and digesting, we have decided to postpone it.
While we wait for the joy that the launch of the new, long-awaited era of Beta testing will bring, here are plenty of pictures of the fierce development of the last 5 months!
Thanks to Eskarina for her help writing this article.
Well, we have to start somewhere, so let’s start with the Chat interface, one of the most unassuming yet most used tools in the game! Its transformation is the result of all we are trying to achieve with v2: simplification and reduction. For Chat, that means an entirely new system of coloured filters. As well, tabs have been replaced by a pop-up menu that allows you to enter the name of a player directly to establish a private Chat with them.
The new Shortcut Bar has been totally redesigned. Yes, we did just say “bar” and not “bars”. In effect, the two old interfaces have been brought together to form one new one. You’ll now be able to switch between Combat and World modes using the buttons on the left and add different types of actions and objects to them at your leisure.
General Combat and HP menu
The menu and the HP gauge have now been split. The HP indicator joins the new Wakfu/Stasis gauge and a new bar replaces the old interface (characteristics, spells, professions etc.) to which the ‘Menu’ button has been added (the two little ‘bolts’ on the far right). Essentially, the latter has been promoted and has deserted its old position next to the ‘Report a bug’ button to better integrate the large group of permanent interfaces.
You’ll also notice that ‘Area Challenges’ have disappeared, taking a well-earned rest while awaiting a complete overhaul.
Even if the display itself hasn’t changed, you’ll notice two new icons corresponding to two new features: current Climate and the Wakfu of the area.
Farewell Astrub ! We’re migrating to theAmakna Archipelago, a land ravaged by the Chaos of Ogrest where the inhabitants haven’t yet been able to rebuild their shattered lives. Four islands, linked by Zaap, are ready to welcome the disciples of the Twelve: Emelka, Ohm, Sevamor and Mork.
The new map is no longer the simple overhead view you’re used to. Now it’s taken on a ‘genuine’ feel, and looks almost hand-drawn; as if you’ve sketched it yourself. You’ll still see available resources on it, and the ‘Locations’ and ‘Notes’ filters are still available to use, although they have a new look.
There are lots of new things here as well. The Aptitudes and Mastery systems have been completely reorganised and this has led logically to the same thing happening to the characteristic page. For the time being, it’s still incomplete as there’s still some information to be added to it. We’re working hard to find a more ergonomic and better thought-out way of integrating this information. Missing at the moment, amongst other things, are the indispensable characteristics Prospecting, Mechanics and Willpower. Also, Titles and Biography are still to come (knowing, dear roleplayers, that you won’t forgive us if we leave them out).
Just as the Characteristic page has been revised, the spell system has also drastically changed. The branching spell tree has been abandoned for a more compact version, with a direct view of the contents of the three Elemental branches, as well as ‘Support Aptitudes’ (temporary name).
Inventory and Items
No great changes for the inventory itself. The interface has undergone the same changes as the others, as well as a small increase in the size of icons to aid visibility.
Rolling-over items has been reorganised and is now more compact. This version is still not definite, however, and you can see a prototype of the next version by enlarging the picture.
Simplicity and ergonomics are the key words here. The Professions menu has become more modest and more intuitive. Harvesters no longer have any recipes. As a result, they are able to concentrate more on managing resources in their unrefined state: sowing, mowing, replanting…
All the same, we didn’t want to lose the richness and diversity that is a result of this essential feature, so the crafting professions are now tasked with treating these resources. We still have a lot of recipes to create. It’s hard work…and it’s not as if we’re lacking imagination!
Here, exclusively, is the Distill’o’matic, the alchemist’s trusty companion.
Here’s some good news for our crafter friends; they won’t have to work 150-deep in a cramped hut anymore! Yep, from now on they too will be able to breathe that lovely, fresh air! We can hear you saying “you’re hiding something!”. Well, machines pollute, and so you’ll have to work hard at other disciplines to keep the environment clean and pure…unless the pestilent vapours inspire your crazy creations. So, enough of your cynicism, what follows should put your mind at rest.
Here’s something new that’s quite significant! We’re delighted to present the new best friend of all Wakfuist (=supporter of Wakfu) craftsmen, also known as the ‘saviour of the ecosystem’, Ladies and Gentlemen, here is…the Recycler! This little beast will allow you not only to get rid of all your unwanted items, but also to ‘de-pollute’ the area. You can already guess how useful this is, not only to balance the negative effects of crafting machines, but also to boost your personal Wakfu gauge, depleted after so many hours bent over your tools!
The old group icon in the Menu has now been replaced with a Community icon, which gives you access to numerous features.
The Directory’s features have stayed the same, the only thing that has changed is the appearance of the interface. For each friend added to the Directory, it is now possible to:
* write a comment about them,
* invite them to join a fight,
* invite them to a private chat,
* read their biography.
A completely new feature is available in the form of the Calendar! Its purpose is to help organise events by making them more accessible and to avoid having to use the forum to do so.
The feature is simple and easy to use. It offers numerous possibilities, like being able to create events, and also for political broadcasts or organising Guild reunions etc.
As well as a title and a description, players will be able to specify the duration of the event, decide if it should be private or not, limit the number of participants etc.
Plenty of new machines are making an appearance, of which the biggest, the best, what am I saying, the indispensable, is the Guild’O’Matic! Yes, you read that correctly. Finally, you have the possibility to create your own guilds. As you’re about to find out, we’ve left nothing to chance.
Forget all of your previous stuttering, exhausting, disappointing and irritating experiences with guild creation. Let yourself be guided by a machine that even my grandmother could use. The Guild’O’Matic is about finding a balance between “fast, easy creation” and “advanced personalisation”.
You will be able to customise your guild’s coat of arms to your heart’s content, thanks to dozens of backgrounds and different icons, not forgetting the large colour palette available to you.
After this step, you’ll have access to the Guild panel, which is clear and concise (you’ve noticed by now that concise is the word of the day!):
This interface is a work-in-progress. It will inevitably change, but these few screenshots will give you an idea of the feature’s possibilities!
We’re still working on v2’s Option Menu. You can already see some improvements though, most obviously aesthetically. The entire menu will be easier to read and will allow beginners to access the the game’s interface and its audiovisual options more easily.
Here’s the piece of the pie that most of you have been greedily waiting for – creating a character! This stage is central to the game for several reasons. Not only does it determine your experience of playing the game through your choice of class and the appearance of your avatar, but it’s also the window onto the game that makes you want to find out more about it straight away. If the process is more or less the same (choice of name, sex, hair and skin colour), the context in which it takes place is no less important to us. In this way, we’ve made a few subtle improvements that we think are essential. From now on, each class has its own background, like a diorama. You can also choose your starting nation from amongst several possibilities. Other similar additions will be made, but there are still a few things we want to keep secret!
Another big change is that your character will no longer appear in the middle of nowhere when you create it, nor will it be revived in one of the Twelve’s Temples when it dies. With the desertion of Astrub, we’re leaving behind the temples as well.
From the next Beta test, your character’s soul will be linked to a gateway specific to each class. They’re open to all, and so more accessible as a result, and we hope that plenty of community-based activities will grow up around them.
We’re still considering a revised, improved mini-tutorial, as well.
Here’s another huge v2 change that’s more likely to feed your hunger for information than satisfy it. Prior to the update, the Haven Bag was as naked and sad as a retired bodybuilder. No longer! The next generation Haven Bag will be spacious, stylish, infinitely customisable, and above all, you’ll be able to decorate it to your taste! You can choose the layout of the rooms, one of which could, for example, have a clay floor and be dedicated to culture, the other reserved for your display cases, containing items for sale, etc. You will of course be able to control other people’s access to your cosy little nest. But you’ll see for yourself that the Haven Bag has plenty of other promising secrets hidden away.
The days of seeing Astrub awash with red carpets like a fridge door covered in post-it notes are long gone (these awful analogies should be long gone as well!). From now on, you’ll find real marketplaces dedicated to this essential activity! There’s a notice board at the centre of each marketplace, listing all the merchandise available, provided that each merchant has paid their fee to the state. Once you’ve found the item of your dreams, all that’s left is for you to visit the owner’s Haven Bag and grab it.
For concerns about security, and so that buyers and browsers don’t end up in the same open Haven Bag at the same time, the Amakna council has imposed a minimum distance between two bags across the Archipelago.
We’ve not really told you anything about Dungeons to maintain the surprise for the upcoming Beta test. Eight dungeons are finished, although they still need a few final touches to bring the gameplay up to the level we’d like. You’ll be able to discover one of them exclusively at AC#4!
Talking of exclusives, here’s another, and it’s not bad, either! Mines are finally available! Here’s a glimpse:
You must have had your fill of text by now, so to finish with something less wordy, and more beautiful, it’s our pleasure to present a small sample of the many different APS that have been created just for you! A big Thank You to Vliir for dazzling us with them.
And finally, things we’re working on at the moment:
Now that the majority of what’s been implemented has been revealed, here’s an outline of what we’re working on at the moment, and what we’re hoping to have in place for the Beta test :
* Refactoring the combat system, improving its layout and progression, and its interface;
* setting up an improved scrolling system that will avoid making people feel seasick;
* Improving the soundtrack;
* one of our biggest tasks: we want to improve the AI of monsters, to make them more lifelike and convincing.
Thanks for staying with us to the end of this article. I hope this report made your mouth water (be careful, however, as your keyboard isn’t waterproof!). The new Wakfu is at the door, we just have to take one small step to let it in.
I know it's pretty much dead on our end, but we might as well be kept up-to-date with what's going on in case anything big happens (like an English release? `-`).
As far as this DevBlog post goes, I'm pretty happy to see what they're changing. I'll be ecstatic when I'll be able to experience it. In English.