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News & Features Discussion  » [General Article] Age of Wushu: Review in Progress Part I

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Associate Editor - News Manager

Joined: 6/28/10
Posts: 16298

OP  4/17/13 12:07:39 PM#1

Last week's launch of Age of Wushu marked the beginning of our process leading up to our final and official review. We start the journey with a few articles dealing with our experiences as we head to the ultimate destination. Check out our Review in Progress Part 1 to see what we think so far and then lend your voice to the discussion in the comments.

I spent most of last week nursing the cold from hell, so Expendable Bo’s adventures didn’t progress as far as I had hoped they might. Though, to tell the truth, I’m not entirely sure I’m making any progress when I do play. I admit, without levels to use as a basic yardstick, I feel adrift in a sea of fetch/fight quests, random story elements and whatever the hell Jianghu is all about.

Read more of Lisa Jonte's Age of Wushu: Review In Progress Part 1.

Associate Editor:
Follow me on Twitter: @MMORPGMom



Joined: 3/03/12
Posts: 8392

4/18/13 9:08:40 AM#2

Nothing you said is wrong. This is how the first 3 hours of the game plays. They teach about skills, give you your skills, then some background on the world and school you chose. Remember the little girl with the kite? The one you try to help, who gets mad at you for messing up her scam? I'm sure you do. Don't forget the lesson she teaches. AoW is a brutal world. 


Another point you made about localization. The translations are fine, but as you said the AoW game world is a completely different culture. For some things there are no words. Granted the long tutorial along with the cultural things can give you a headache. These things will seem small after you're done, and run into a real headache with a chain claw :p


About where you talk about the social aspects. AoW is an extremely social game. This can't be stressed enough. You must ask questions. You must ask for help, especially ealry on. The good thing is everyone playing has been there, so people are more inclined to help a newb. Newb is a affectionate term in AoW. People protect them like a little brother or sister.


Your last paragraph."Age of Wushu has a thousand things going on at once, and yet nothing is really happening." Step out your front door. There are a million things going on, but nothing at all. AoW is not a MMO where you leave the hotel and jump on a shuttle to the amusment park. It's a virtual world.


Imformation overload my friend. Have Bo pm me if he has some questions. Even better open up your school tab and PM you school leader or some of the elders. That's what they are there for, and war ofcourse ;)


J.O.B. Daggerfalls BEST Gank Crew


Elite Member

Joined: 6/10/09
Posts: 7148

4/18/13 9:31:29 AM#3

That was a very entertaining and pragmatic review in progress Lisa.  I'm looking forward to the next one.

I've been in tests before where localization was an "in progress" item and it was a real eye opener.  It's interesting how hard it can be to find your way around when everything is either in a foreign language or using generated placeholders.


Hard Core Member

Joined: 7/18/10
Posts: 670

4/18/13 9:53:00 AM#4

I really don't like the fact that you have come to a Chinese developed game, based on a ton of Chinese history, myth and popular culture, and you expect the game to explain it all to you. AoW is and always will be a niche game because of this so treat it as one.


Any fan of Wuxia knows what Jianghu is. In fact anyone who watched Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon and paid attention will know what Jianghu is (clue: Li Mu Bai's entire story is about trying to leave Jianghu behind to have a normal life with Shu Lien). You can even wiki it to find out.


Yes, the game is not optimally localised. There is a lot to figure out, read, learn and experiment with. This is what games used to be like (look back at SWG which explained almost nothing when you started out) and I for one like this. It gives the game depth, makes it like a puzzle, and once you understand it you feel very satisfied and connected to what you are doing.


AoW is by no means perfect, but my god is it a step in the right direction compared to the  train of MMO garbage coming out of Western developers these days.


Novice Member

Joined: 8/25/12
Posts: 19

4/18/13 10:19:53 AM#5

 thats how i felt for the first few days in AoW too.. i could swear at least 5 towns are named the same... and translations, oh god :P they really hurt the game when it comes to not-so-themepark series of quests (gossip quests) :/

Tutorial isnt much better really. While it does explain quite a few things, and touches different subjects, theres just too many things that tutorial throws at you in your first few hours, that every new thing sort of overrwrites old one, and in the end of it you really have no clue whats going on :P

Gossip quests are actually old school quests, where you are given just a hint by some npcs, and you gotta explore the world to solve some of those quests. It could be really interesting quest system, but AoW's translations managed to make such a mess of it.


just one example of random encounter quest dialogue, copied from AoW forums


Conversation went something like this...

  • Help me find my husband... he left me (or was it, he died?)
  • (you) I will go find your husband....
and this is where it gets really weird.
  • (you) Saying something about the woman having a second tongue in her mouth....
  • The woman says to not touch her tongue(?)
  • (you) Rip out her (second?) tongue *You receive a tongue that can be sold for 1Liang / used in a chef recipe*
  • (You) I will bring back your husband
End of convo.
So now I have a tongue in my bag and I have no clue what to do with it.

its sort of ridiculous really :P 


Apprentice Member

Joined: 2/21/10
Posts: 43

4/18/13 10:39:08 AM#6
I can appreciate the more old school vibe I'm getting from doing research on this game. I haven't played yet, but having to look a little harder for quest solutions and having to juggle ten different pieces of information to progress actually seems appealing. However, I can also appreciate your frustration with how un-themepark-ish the game is. I have been looking for a more sandbox-like game to play because the themepark MMOs are starting to annoy me. I am intrigued...the question is if I am intrigued enough to download it and play. Hmmmm.

Played: UO, DAoC, Shadowbane, DDO, LOTRO, Aion, Rift, TERA
Sampled: WoW, AoC, GW2, Vanguard, FF XIV, Neverwinter
Playing: ESO


Apprentice Member

Joined: 9/03/06
Posts: 740

4/18/13 10:39:40 AM#7
Lisa, You say you were forced to group, which is not really true. Yes the part of storyline does involve a visit to mini instance, however, when you are on the quest you also get assistance from an NPC that can safely solo the whole place (you still want to assit it a bit on boss to make it faster). You do not need to group at all to do the story quests. 

Novice Member

Joined: 1/18/08
Posts: 36

4/18/13 11:07:02 AM#8


Being "forced" to team during the Tutorial:
That is incorrect. You can create the team and not invite anyone to progress.

Goldseller Spam:
To remove all gold spam, on your "combine" chat window go into settings and only enable guild, school, school war, raid and team chat.

In regards to the Remainder of the Review:

You cannot treat this game like a themepark.

It is a living and breathing game world, with a strong emphasis on player interaction and interdependency.

Also, as Vonatar mentioned, AOW is very much like early SWG. In order for you to learn the game, you need to ask questions in game or on the forums, maybe even read some guides.

In spite of this being a pvp game, most players you will come across are very social and enjoy helping others, in particular new players.



Novice Member

Joined: 1/12/08
Posts: 118

4/18/13 11:21:29 AM#9

While I can agree that the game throws a ton of different and sometimes confusing mechanics at you, like a very in depth skill system, overall it has a great feal to it unlike any other game out there.

It's refreshing to see a world built around the east asian culture and doesn't include fighting pandas. This game definitely needs time more than most other current mmo's to get use to, but eventually everything will become second nature and you will forget how complicated it once seemed.


Hard Core Member

Joined: 11/08/12
Posts: 285

4/18/13 11:24:18 AM#10

I acutally agree with most of eveything Lisa has said here and I appreciate her opinion. While I have bought the game, and I am currently playing, I'm still on the fence. Long have I awaited a Sandbox that would take me away from Eve Online. So far, I'm hoping this is going to be it, but it's not looking good.

Wehn Lisa wrote that it seems like not much is going on, I get what she is saying. In my mind I know logically there is a lot going on, but I feel that nothing meaningful is happening. Sure I sold 100 flour, sure I sold a butt load of tomatoes.... okay. While my character is growing, I don't feel powerful, or much stronger. In Eve you feel powerful, how could you not. AoW feels like 'Second Life' based on the Chinese culture and Kung-Fu. Is that bad? No, but it's also not for everyone who enjoys a good sandbox.

-Unconstitutional laws aren't laws.-

  User Deleted
4/18/13 11:25:22 AM#11
Haven't played not sure I will, but I have to say I really like all the confusion im seeing. Even the reviewer and our know it all community .... confused ahhahahaaa If ifs that bogus I may just have to give it a go


Joined: 3/03/12
Posts: 8392

4/18/13 11:36:16 AM#12
Originally posted by Elevenb4

 I don't feel powerful, or much stronger. In Eve you feel powerful, how could you not. 


Somedays, like today, I feel strong, real strong. Tomorrow, or maybe even later on, I might feel like a nub who can't get any better. It's a hell of a ride.
J.O.B. Daggerfalls BEST Gank Crew


Novice Member

Joined: 4/24/12
Posts: 32

4/18/13 12:01:09 PM#13

I've played this game for hours and I am done. Sorry this game is just not for most people.

Blame me for not being 'hardcore' but the game fails where it could have exceeded (Combat and Fun Factor)

Just because it is a sandbox game doesn't mean it is worth me wasting my time.

Why can't a sandbox title have more information? Why aren't the enemies fun to fight? Why are the quests so damn dull?

I posted on the game a week ago or so and was told that this game was for 'Elite gamers only'

I played and got into Fallen Earth and Eve. 

Apparently you have to be an elite gamer to force yourself to like an uninteresting game that almost scrapes the fun barrier but just doesn't quite make it.

Whomever Dev'd the Autopathing should be fired and shot. The worst I have seen ever in a game in the last 20 years.


subpar fighting

subpar quests

abysmal translation


Great animation

Nice graphics.


Two Thumbs down from this Gamer.



Apprentice Member

Joined: 1/29/06
Posts: 351

4/18/13 12:25:38 PM#14

AoW has a lot of things going for it. And I would strongly argue that its complexity is one of those things. A sandbox game where you grasped all the main mechanis in a few hours wouldn't be very intresting in the long term. Maybe they could've laid out everything better and introduce you to mechanics slower. But that would mean they'd have to hold your hand for at least a good 10 hours, which in turn would make it feel less sandboxy out of the gate. Thus potentially scaring away their core player base. 


The real weakness of AoW -and the one that made me decide not to put more time into it- is in my opinion it's combat system. It's utterly slow and dull, and not at all as tactical as the developers seem to want it to be. Were this game to have a better more involved combat system it would most likely have been a hit with me.


Novice Member

Joined: 7/16/12
Posts: 906

4/18/13 12:26:01 PM#15

I agree with the reviewer's last paragraph....summed it up perfect....

there are 1 million things in front of you yet nothing is happening.  Maybe it's because I can't get out of the tutorial, but this game does NOT feel like a sandbox game at all.  I've played Ryzom, Darkfall, Wurm and a few others and Im not getting the same feeling. 

This game honestly feels like a less focused common asian grinder...


Advanced Member

Joined: 9/18/04
Posts: 392

4/18/13 12:34:48 PM#16

Sorry, this games "quests" are nothing like EQ's quest.  In Everquest, you could actually talk to the NPCs by typing in different words, plus there was actual in game lore that the quests were based on.


AOW does not have that.  They assume you already know what the feudal Chinese system was about (heck, everyone knows about 10th century China and its myriad of political/social factions).  They do not allow you to interact with NPCs and there is nothing in game telling you what this word means or what this organization means.  Plus, there are massive issues with translation.


Remember, they are playing the WESTERN version of the game.  Age of Wulin is the Chinese version.  It has been out for a while and is going strong.


Sorry, a crap game is a crap game.  This game has interesting mechanics (just like SWG did) but in the end it is the same buggy, non descript pile of junk that SWG was.


Developer "Hey, I have an idea.  Let's make a game, from an ancient culture, not translate it and then port it over to Wester audiences and we will put nothing about the lore in the actual game.  We will leave everything for the players to figure out, even if they have no actual knowledge of the ancient Chinese feudal system"


Player "Excellent!  Here is my money, good sir.  I never really liked games that actually explained the rules to you.  Why, some of the best times I have ever had in a game was trying to figure out the definition of basic game terms"


Just stop....EVE Online is the game that has massive depth and actually explains a lot AND has things written down in game for you to reference.  There is the game you want.  AOW is happy fun time crap fest long time.


And that is how it will end up.  KABLOOIE!  Game over. 


But I have to admit, the PVP stuff in the game is really well done.


Apprentice Member

Joined: 1/24/11
Posts: 884

4/18/13 12:51:50 PM#17
Sometimes all you need is a hook to get pulled in. All I want is my orange and red Shaolin robes and I'll keep playing til I get them!

Advanced Member

Joined: 5/28/06
Posts: 1687

4/18/13 2:14:10 PM#18

Honestly, when I 1st played the game in beta i felt this way. My 2nd attempt, however has gone quite differently. I started over on one of the new servers (white tiger) and I joined a guild. From there on I've been learning the game with everyone else, jumping into dungeons, mini instances, some pvp, and questing and been having a blast. This game is not PvP centric, that's actually quite false.


There's a very huge PvE element to the game, in fact most PvP content are scheduled tournaments & guild wars wheras PvE can be done in a whole lot more ways between the insane amount of dungeons, mini instances, challenges, story quests (most of which you actually have to find which is my only gripe with those), professions, etc...The game is PvE heavy. Of course the game is open world pvp, but ganking is actually highly unlikely in most cases, I've rarely even been attacked by an enemy guild when I'm out doing things.



I think you're approaching the game with an attitude that's already intent on disliking it or being frustrated with it like I did the 1st time. I agree that they still have work to do, especially when it comes to localization but when you consider where it was a month ago and where it is now in that department, it's a world apart. As for gold spammers/sellers, Snail has already issued two stances on it, they make game-wide/server wide announcements every couple of hours on this, and are implementing new tech in the back end, and in the game to combat this problem. If you play the game with a more relaxed and less judgemental attitude you'll find it easier to figure out and get into. It's an MMO, so ask questions, join a guild, do things and probably most importantly DO NOT approach this game as a traditional themepark. Seriously, a lot of the gun comes when you are part of the world & community and look at it from that perspective. The game world is beautiful, huge, highly explorable. You're supposed to be a citizen of Ming dynasty China. Not an on the rails heavily guided pre-written character in a movie. 


Apprentice Member

Joined: 6/25/12
Posts: 83

4/18/13 6:29:21 PM#19
So, in defense of this game, people say it's a good thing to have less information on how to play it and what's going on?   I guess I don't get the whole sandbox thing.   Sound like an exercise in frustration. 


Joined: 3/03/12
Posts: 8392

4/18/13 8:25:11 PM#20
Originally posted by odiasuda
So, in defense of this game, people say it's a good thing to have less information on how to play it and what's going on?   I guess I don't get the whole sandbox thing.   Sound like an exercise in frustration. 

There's a nice in game guide, but no guide is gonna tell you how to take a page two of a book and sell it to somone who wants a a page one.


No guide is gonna tell you how to start a guild of friends and through alliances build it to powerhouse.


No guide is going to tell you how to control the market of one item, or how to get ahead of the trend. 


Here's a good one, just happened. How to drop an Arena flag (summons the first player who accepts) on odd terran. Terran you're familiar with, instead of the standard area outside the main city, and dominate the poor soul who comes through.

J.O.B. Daggerfalls BEST Gank Crew

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