Wakfu is stunning and boasts amazingly fluid animations. Just like it's predecessor Dofus, Waku has an art style that is part anime, and part something entirely unique. The music reminds me of some of the best tracks from classic JRPGs.
Gameplay - 8/10
Wakfu plays differently from most other MMORPGs and boasts many features. It has a politics system, four factions, pvp, tactical turn based combat, crafting, dynamic ecology, player shops and housing, and a player ran economy. Many MMORPGs also have these features but usually fail in execution. This is not the case for Waku. In Wakfu, the entire package comes together amazingly and a learning curve awaits every potential new player. Unfortunately, as a non-subscriber I haven't been able to explore the political system and the clan/ecology system so I cannot comment on them.
But what I can comment on is the combat which is fantastic. I play an earth/air Iop and what impresses me so much is the ability to customize your character to your own unique playstyle. I have grouped with two or three other Iops and they have all played differently from me - they all had different skills, strengths, and weaknesses. There is a great deal of variation and it has an immense impact on how much you enjoy playing your character. My Iop is hands down one of my most favorite characters ever created in an MMO. Group combat is what truly shines as it truly feels like a multiplayer Japanese strategy RPG. Combat can be very tense and communication is key and unlike other MMORPGs, there is enough time to communicate and strategize due to the nature of the turn-based combat.
Achievements/quests are unlike other MMORPGs as they rarely ever explicitly tell you what to do in order to complete the quest/earn the achievement. There are many secrets in the World of Twelve and it will take exploration and curiosity to uncover them but it is incredibly rewarding when you do find something hidden! There are special mobs in far away corners of game world maps that if defeated will reward you with an achievement, hidden areas, hidden chests, and many more. There are also many rare and useful items that drop from regular mobs unlike other MMORPGs where there might be a common drop and a rare drop. in Wakfu, there seems be up to dozen of items that can be dropped by any mob and this keeps grinding and leveling fresh. There are also challenges in the middle of town that are appropriate for groups or overleveled players. These challenges consist of defeating tough mobs within a time limit and rewards are rationed according to relative performance to others that took the challenge.
Crafting/politics/ecology/economy - as a free player I am blocked off from these features but I can definitely see other players taking a part in these features and it is a very tempting reason to subscribe (and to let you know, I do plan on subscribing very soon). I also got a taste of almost all of these things (except for the politics system) in the starter zone. From what I can tell none of these features are broken or uninteresting and I am quite envious of the subscribers that get to repopulate the native species, earn citizenship points, vote, craft, and sell/trade items. I already am having a great time finding an array of interesting items, taking on challenges, earning achievements, exploring, and having a blast in group combat. The addition of the subscriber only features seems like it is just icing on the cake. Either way, I can tell you that Wakfu has a ton of content and things to do.
Community - 10/10
Wakfu starts off slowly because it doesn't give you much of a path to follow. The world is your sandbox. But the more you play Wakfu the more immersed you become in it's gameplay. Wakfu is designed for interaction among it's playerbase as it requires cooperation and competition to get things done. Which brings me to my last point: the community is fantastic. For every griefer, there are anti-griefers willing to help out newbies. Is there somebody hogging up/destroying resources? You can group with friends that are also annoyed with this person's behavior and fight back. Folks are often willing to group as well and going to town centers and looking for a group is a great idea. The community is also very social - I have seen groups of characters sitting together having a chat. I give Wakfu credit for this as there are several fully animated emotes that can be used to interact with other players. If you give people the tools, they will use them
This concludes my review of my experiences in the free parts of Wakfu. This game is DYNAMIC. You don't even have to experience the features themselves to see the impact they have on the game world. I am going to subscribe and I cannot wait to be a part of it. I plan on writing a second review after I have subbed and played more of Wakfu.
| +Great community
| -Starts slow
-Griefers and competition