Mounts are also available to players, and in our demo we rode around on a light blue puma. Mounts provide convenience options beyond simply quicker travel, however. Your mount can also serve as a kind of mule, as right clicking it will allow you to access your warehouse.
Warehouses are another feature that Ndoors Interactive is emphasizing with WonderKing. No longer will players have to trade their friends to hold their things as they switch over to another character, or any other manner of improvisation. Instead, warehouses will be accessible at every town, and will also be account wide! As we mentioned earlier, they will also be accessible from your mount so you should never be without the items you need.
One way WonderKing differentiates itself from its peers such as MapleStory is through the way the Open Market functions in the game. The Open Market is designed as kind of a social hub for players to gather around and trade. However, in games like MapleStory you often have to wade through tons of spam to find what you're looking for. To ameliorate this issue, WonderKing offers what is basically a searchable auction house in addition to private player stores. Just as well, items put up for sale on player stores can also be set up to accept bartered items, instead of Zed.
What was probably most fun and impressive about my WonderKing tour was the demo of the Monster Card feature, which allows players to transform into a variety of the game's monsters. To accomplish this, players are tasked with collecting a number of "monster cards" to fulfill their desired form's requirements. The cards can be collected primarily through slaying a certain amount of a type of creature, but can also be traded. The transformations are mostly visual, and allow you to continue to fight even while transformed. The "mostly" part ties into the game's item shop, where monster cards are offered that allow players to transform into a number of the game's boss characters and also confer statistical bonuses. These cards cannot be traded, however.
To close out our tour we were treated to an exclusive sneak peak of one of the game's most high-end dungeons, Pruneus Lab. This dungeon is home to a mad scientist who is a member of the Sinistry of Devils, who is capturing people and turning them into his demonic slaves. Designed for groups, players who enter the dungeon are tasked by two characters who wish it that you put their father out of his misery. The father had previously ventured into the labs seeking to stop Pruneus but failed, instead becoming one of his many demonic servants.
When we first entered the lab we came upon a human girl who had been transformed into a creepy doll-like creature. The dungeon was populated by a number of vicious little creatures eager to take a chomp out of us, and was set against an interesting background of what looked like floating red blood cells. At one end of the dungeon was what our host described as a mission portal, where grouped players must enter into an instance (first requiring that they have the appropriate quest) so that they can undertake their challenge uninterrupted. Sitting beside the mission portal was something called a "Way Pointer," which when accessed provides players the opportunity to purchase extremely high end crafting recipes for weapons or armor.
WonderKing will also be introducing a new pet system with the upcoming Open Beta. The pet system allows players to raise pets from infancy to adulthood, as well as interact with and feed them. Pets can grow in power, pick up items, and assist in combat. In our demo we got to play with what was honestly a quite cute baby Panda, but we were told that other options will be available to players such as fearsome red or black dragons, for example.
On the subject of PvP, we were told that PvP has been part of the WonderKing beta in the past, but has since been removed as they are overhauling the system to be much more robust. WonderKing's PvP is set to return replete with rewards, a ranking system, guild ranks and sieges.
WonderKing is currently in its fourth phase of Closed Beta, and is scheduled to hit Open Beta in January, 2010. There is no set release date for the game, though we are told that the game should see a full release sometime in Q1 2010.