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Age of Wushu

Age of Wushu is a 3D fantasy MMORPG set in the Ming Dynasty era of China.  Join one of eight martial arts schools and choose from five original storylines to follow.  With gameplay based on combos and counterattacks and a large world to explore, Age of Wushu offers a compelling experience for players willing to invest the time.

Publisher: Snail Games
Playerbase: Low
Type: MMORPG
Release Date: July 18, 2013 (NA/EU)
PvP: Duels / Open World
Pros: +Unique skill-based progression. +Interesting combat system. +Rich, vibrant world to explore. +Several story arcs to play through.
Cons: -Steep learning curve. -Slow-paced gameplay. -Sandbox mechanics may leave new players directionless.

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Overview

Age of Wushu Overview

Age of Wushu, also called Age of Wulin in some regions, is a unique, martial arts sandbox MMORPG set in the Ming Dynasty period of China.  It was developed by Suzhou Snail Electronic and released on July 18th, 2013.  Age of Wushu does away with classic class and progression systems that you’d find in most MMORPGs and goes its own way.  While this sounds risky, Age of Wushu manages to pull it off.  It does have some semblance to classic MMOs, with features like crafting, PvP, and instances, but it does have a ton of new and unique features, like offline grinding, character kidnapping, spying on other schools (classes) and many others.

Age of Wushu Key Features: 

  • Unique Storylines – choose from five different storylines to explore.
  • Fun Crafting System – build a variety of equipment and create your own consumables.
  • Spy On Your Enemies – gain insider information and conduct raids on opposing schools.
  • Kidnap People – an interesting feature where players can kidnap people, to prevent offline grinding.
  • Test Your Skills Against Others – fight friends or strangers in this open-world PvP system.

Age of Wushu Screenshots

Age of Wushu Featured Video

Classes

While Age of Wushu does not have a class system per se, it does have schools, which players can join in order to learn additional skill sets.  Here is a very quick overview of these eight schools:

  • Emei – Emei are excellent healers that can resurrect teammates and protect them from damage.  Only female characters can join the Emei school.
  • Wudang – Wudang play the role of powerful AoE DPS, which makes them great in group combat, but weak in 1v1 situations.
  • Shaolin – Shaolin are tanks/melee damage dealers that focus on controlling a situation.
  • Beggar’s Sect – the Beggar’s Sect is a great school for anyone who wants to deal high damage in both PvE and PvP situations.
  • Scholars – Scholars are a great choice for team players.  They have powerful attacks, as well as control and support abilities.
  • Tangmen – Tangmen are great at using poisons and hidden weapons while fighting from a distance.  They also have powerful buffs and debuffs at their disposal.  They can be the school of choice for players who like to play solo.
  • Royal Guards – a school for players who want to be indispensable in both PvP and PvE groups.  With powerful damage dealing, ranged control and recovery abilities, they can gain an upper hand in a lot of situations.
  • Wanderer’s Valley – a class for anyone who enjoys a challenge in PvP, where they’ll have to finish off adversaries quickly, due to their low HP.  In PvE, students of this school will focus on controlling enemies and absorbing their HP.

Full Review

Age of Wushu Review

By Toan Layne

Age of Wushu, known as Age of Wulin in Europe, Age of Kung Fu in South-East Asia, Legends of Kung Fu in Russia and Nine Scroll Manual/Nine Scroll True Classic in China, is a 3D martial arts MMORPG developed by the Chinese developer Suzhou Snail Electronic. It was released on July 18, 2013. The game is published by Snail Games in the USA, Cubizone in South-East Asia, Mental Games in Russia, Webzen in Europe and it is published through the Woniu portal in China.

First Impressions

Age of Wushu currently has two servers to play on, and while there might be some issues with downloading and installing the game, the process goes well overall.  Once the game is up and running, you’ll be creating your character in no time.  The character creation process is robust, though there is only one race to choose from.  You can be either male or female, and building your character’s face uses a similar system to the one you’d find in Elder Scrolls or a Sims games, with sliders for each facial feature.  This means that you’ll end up with a pretty unique character once you’re done.  One problem with the system is the relatively low number of options for hairstyles, and the fact that you cannot choose hair color.
Age of Wushu gives players the option of choosing their control scheme. You can go with either the classic WASD for movement, left-mouse button to move camera, right mouse button to turn the character, or you can go with WASD for movement, left mouse button for point-and-click gameplay, and right mouse button to move the camera.
The game is set during the Ming Dynasty in China. This was a period of relative stability in China’s history, when martial arts flourished. However, this stability was not to last as the emperor, Zhu Yuanzhang, died, and a power struggle ensued. In the midst of the chaos, the Nin Yin Manual, an ancient tract containing the secrets of martial arts began circulating throughout the land. This is how Age of Wushu begins, and the story of the game revolves around this tract and the struggle between the various factions trying to get a hold of it.

Leveling Up (or not)

The leveling system in Age of Wushu is very different from what you’d find in a regular MMORPG. First of all, there are two types of MMORPGs. You have rollercoasters and sandboxes. Rollercoasters are your usual, 'do these quests, level up, reach the endgame and start raiding/doing PvP' MMORPGs; Lineage II, Jade Dynasty, and Allods Online fall into this category. Sandbox MMOs are a little different. They aim to create a world where the player determines their character’s course. This makes for some very interesting gameplay and design choices, which may or may not work. In the case of Age of Wushu, they work pretty well. Some other examples of sandbox MMORPGs are Eve Online and Ultima Online.
There are no levels or skill points in Age of Wushu. As players complete quests and kill mobs, they receive experience points, which then get converted into cultivation points. These points are then spent in leveling up Skills (abilities) or your 'Internal Skills' (stat points), which takes time (sometimes a lot). So, for example, you’re out there completing quests and earning experience points. Over time, these experience points will become Cultivation Points by themselves. These cultivation points will then be used to increase a certain skill’s level, such as your basic attack skill. There are a variety of methods to increase both the XP-conversion rate and the skill-increase rate, methods which include PvP, spending in-game cash, certain pills, divination, and team practice, among others. The system looks very complicated at first, but the game does guide players through a tutorial, and there are plenty of guides and wikis online.

The Story

Age of Wushu focuses on creating a journey for the player. There is a huge emphasis on the RPG in MMORPG here; that is to say, your character’s progression through the storyline is determined by your previous actions. For example, you might get different quests depending on which quests you’ve already completed. Players get to choose one of four storylines when creating their characters. Each storyline starts you in a different village, and from there you must choose your school as you continue progressing. The school you choose is basically your class. You have eight schools, which are either good, evil or neutral. Depending on which school you choose, you must follow certain codes of conduct. For example, if you are a Shaolin, kidnapping other players is frowned upon (more on that later). If you fail to obey your school’s code of conduct, your Discipline score goes up, and you might end up receiving powerful debuffs when you visit your school’s HQ. Players can choose to not join any school, but that is not recommend since schools grant extra abilities and skills sets.

Interesting Ways of Getting By

When players go offline, their characters turn into NPCs and they start going about their business. This system allows players to gain experience and money while not logged in, but it’s also a way to have your character kidnapped by other players. If a player has set sights on your character, he or she will stun your character, put it in a bag, and then sell it to certain NPCs. Kidnapping is frowned upon in some schools, while others allow it. A player who’s kidnapped someone becomes marked while carrying the target, and other players can attack and kill them without any penalty. Don’t worry though, being kidnapped does not mean you lose your character, it just means that your character will not gain any offline profits for six hours. Another interesting way of making money is begging, and there is a whole school dedicated to it. The other professions are varied, being 17 in total. You have blacksmithing, tailoring, calligraphy, weiqi playing, hunting, woodcutting, fishing and divination among others.

PvP

Age of Wushu features open-world PvP, with minor limitations. There are safe zones and there is new player protection, but other than that, it’s all-out war. That doesn’t mean there are no rules. Player Killing (PK-ing) raises a player’s Kill Value and it allows victims to place a bounty on their killer’s head. If players get killed while they have a high Kill Value or a bounty on their head, they get sent to jail, and depending on the severity of their crimes, they can even go to the execution block.

Players can also place PvP restrictions on themselves, such as the Peace Mode. Peace Mode does not allow a player to PK without being provoked. Restrictions can also be set through parameters, such as not allowing the player to attack guild members, school members, friends or good citizens. There is also a morality system which comes into play. Players can gain either Chivalry, Wicked or Arrogance points. Chivalry points are gained by killing kidnappers and PK-ers, Wicked points are gained by kidnapping and PK-ing, and Arrogance points are gained by associating with players that are on both sides of the moral spectrum. A player’s moral stance is shown though an icon next to their name.

Depth Galore

Age of Wushu is a very complex game, and there is quite a lot to get into. For example, you can spy on rival schools or conduct raids against them. You also have instances, arenas and faction challenges, each with its own unique aspects. This is definitely a game that will take you a while to get a full grasp of, and that’s the beauty of it. It is still a relatively new game though, so you can expect to see a lot more content added in the future.

Monetization

Monetization comes in the form of VIP status. Players who purchase a VIP status get a ton of perks including: better cultivation rates, access to exclusive equipment, special rewards from random encounters, queue log-in priority, more money space, a special chatroom, gather bonuses and school raid bonuses. The VIP status is mostly used to avoid a big chunk of grinding, meaning that F2P players are only at a disadvantage when it comes to progression speed. The game also has a cash shop which becomes available once you join a school, and it sells everything from style accessories to skill sets.

Final Verdict – Great

Age of Wushu is a unique MMORPG. While it does not go full sandbox like Eve Online, it still brings a lot of innovation to the table. MMORPG fans (especially fans of martial arts games) have to give it a try. It is plagued by some problems, such as the one character/server rule and the steep learning curve, but the pros certainly outweigh the cons. Age of Wushu is a bold experiment in the genre and offers an experience like no other.

Screenshots

Age of Wushu Screenshots

Videos

Age of Wushu Videos

System Requirements

Age of Wushu System Requirements

Minimum Requirements:

Operating System: Windows XP
CPU: Intel Pentium 4 2.4 Ghz or equivalent
Video Card: GeForce 6600 GT or equivalent
RAM: 1 GB
Hard Disk Space: 10 GB

Recommended Requirements:

Operating System: Windows 7 or Windows 8
CPU: Intel Pentium Dual-Core E6 series or equivalent
Video Card: GeForce 9600 GT or equivalent
RAM: 2 GB
Hard Disk Space: 10 GB

Music

Age of Wushu Music & Soundtrack

Additional Info

Age of Wushu Additional Information

Developer: Snail Games (Suzhou Snail Electronic)
Closed Beta Date: November 15, 2012 (First closed beta in U.S.)
Open Beta Date: December 20, 2012

Foreign Releases:

China: Mid 2012 (Published as Age of Wulin by Snail Games on the Woniu portal. The game's name translates into Human Resource Configurations through Google translate, though).

The U.S. version of the game is accessible globally with no IP restrictions. Age of Wushu is available in China on the OBOX console (Android-based custom console) and Mobile systems.

Development Background

Age of Wushu, also known as Age of Wulin, Age of Kung Fu, or Legends of Kung Fu, was developed by Chinese game developer Snail Games. Age of Wushu began development in 2011 and closed beta for the Chinese market launched in June 2012. Age of Wushu launched in China with enormous fan fare and remains one of Snail Game's most popular MMORPGs, with over 80 million registered accounts in China alone. Age of Wushu is powered by Snail Games' self developed "Flexi" engine.

  • Deyirn Skysand

    Great concept for a game, bad execution, bad and complicated English translation. In the game there is some sort of a mini-game to solve Chinese (Go?) Chess problems, in the in-game Wikipedia certain element of the game is given one English word, the same element in the actual mini-game is given a completely different word, which makes it confusing for non-native English speakers.

    Other problems I had with the game is that the combat system is extremely complicated to master, the quests end early on in the game and you are left with nothing to do but repeat dailies and participating in events. The leveling system in the game is a real pain and players who spend real money have a huge advantage over people who don't.

  • Gotta hand it to Snail Games with Age of Wushu. At least they tried something different. It's not a generic fantasy MMORPGs like most and features a unique skill based progression system.