Leipzig - An Introduction to Wakfu
At Games Convention in Leipzig, MMORPG.com caught up with Sergio dos Santos of Ankama, the company behind the upcoming MMORPG, Wakfu. While some might scoff at the game's stylized graphics, the developers at Ankama are working on creating a truly dynamic world for their players.
While at Games Convention in Leipzig, MMORPG.com caught up with Sergio dos Santos to talk about Ankama's upcoming MMORPG, Wakfu.
As we began the interview, it became clear very quickly that Wakfu is not your typical MMORPG:
First, we learned that Wakfu is not just an online game. In fact, the online game plays only a small part in the overall franchise. For example, a French television channel has already started production on a Wakfu television series that is scheduled to run from October to November of this year in France (negotiations are currently underway in other countries like the US and Germany). On top of this, the company also has plans to release a trading card game with Upper Deck and an Xbox 360 game (not the MMO).
While this kind of strategy isn't all that unique in this day and age (after all, most MMOs seem to be producing TCGs and other side products), I can honestly say that the ideas behind the Wakfu MMO are some of the most interesting that I have heard in a while. Put simply, Wakfu literally puts the fate of the world in the hands of the players:
"This is going to be a game for the players, by the players," dos Santos told us.
We should start by saying that Wakfu is actually a follow-up to Ankama's other MMO, Dofus. This game takes place 1,000 years in that game's future after a great war. There are going to be three large island land masses in the game. Each of these land islands will be ruled by a democratically elected governor. This governor will have complete control over his or her island and will be able to make specific laws that must be adhered to by others.
We also learned that Wakfu will not have any NPCs. There will be no people on the islands beyond the players. As a result, there will be no quests as we know them in most MMOs. Instead, these will be replaced by what dos Santos referred to as "Dynamic Challenges".
Throughout the world, as your character interacts with it, Dynamic Challenges will be introduced. To use a simple example: If you kill an animal in the forest, it is possible that you will unlock a dynamic challenge to kill more of them, or maybe retrieve something from a big version... The catch is that when the game launches, there will be nothing to indicate the presence of these challenges. You're not going to see any big yellow exclamation points here. The developers are hoping that as players discover the challenges and pass them along to others. Right now, we were told, one of the biggest challenges that the developers face is in creating new and interesting challenges for players.
Dos Santos also told us that the quests aren't going to be the only dynamic part of the game. The whole world will be dynamic as there is a finite number of resources. If something is, for example, over-mined, the product will become more and more rare until it is depleted. Similarly, if animals are over-hunted, it is possible to force them into extinction.
Even in a short interview introduction, it was easy to see that the developers behind Wakfu are really trying to create something different. Players who have been complaining as of late that there are no sandbox games in development should take a few moments and look deeper into the upcoming world of Wakfu.