At E3 this year, Ankama, together with Square-Enix featured a little of the Sacrier gameplay. The Sacrier’s Blood is a berserker and one of fourteen unique and humorous classes that Wakfu features, including classes like Xelor’s Sandglass , a time mage and Enutrof’s Fingers – a treasure hunting class. Square showed a particular “king of the hill” dungeon where wave after wave of mobs were flung at the Sacrier as he deliberately took damage to increase the power of his attacks and used strategic skills to place mobs around him before unleashing a devastating AE attack. We also saw in-game representation of the ladder system for the dungeon, statues that stood outside the dungeon mouth, models of the top player characters for that dungeon.
If readers do not remember, Wakfu is the descendent of Dofus. A massively-multiplayer turn-based strategy game from French developer, Ankama studios placed about 1000 years after the world of Dofus. The world of Dofus and Wakfu is not simply an MMO, it is also merchandise, animated series of cartoons as well as graphic novels. The most interesting feature that was presented at E3, however, was the political system.
At character creation, players have several different nations to choose to affiliate their character with, each with an NPC clan leader who will provide PvP quests and encourages the conquering of territory. In each localized region of the World of Twelve, a governor is elected in bi-weekly elections. This governor then appoints seven other players to cabinet positions, making up an eight member government. The governor has in his power, the ability to enact up to ten laws at a time. These are selected from a drop down menu of laws that the game provides and actively affects game play for players who are citizens of the region. These laws can range from providing a bounty on a certain creature to something frivolous and fun such as wearing a certain cosmetic item, but provides a stat bonus when players comply.
The cabinet positions include a Vice-Governor, Head Guard, Army General, Weather Engineer, Treasurer, Challenger and Ecologist. Each cabinet position has responsibilities and their decisions individually and together as a cabinet affects the game world in that region.
The Treasurer for example, collects the taxes from vendors in the region. When players buy and sell, they pay a tax for each transaction, the rate which is set by the Governor. The Treasurer collects the taxes which the cabinet then uses to buy features for players.
The Challenger purchases the challenges or quests for the region, the Weather Engineer controls the weather, and hence how quick different plants may grow and the Ecologist tends to the animals of the region.
The Governor, apart from the enactment of laws, also affects the Stasis/Wakfu (the Yin/Yang) of the region, depending on his own alignment. Players belonging to his alignment will experience small bonuses during his reign. The game world however provides balance and players may receive quests in direct opposition to the laws enacted, and it is up to the individual player to decide on his or her actions in the game. Players have to earn a certain amount of citizen points through quests and lawful actions to participate in the elections and after a Governor is elected, citizens can vote on his popularity, impeaching him if his popularity drops too far.
Breaking the laws in a region affects a player’s reputation and when his citizenship points drops beneath a certain threshold, a player is labeled a rebel and perhaps then, it may be time to immigrate if vendors charge you an arm and a leg to buy and give you pennies for your hard earned vendor fodder. You can also become a hoodlum if your reputation drops too far and any citizen or guard can then attack you and send you to jail, where all you can do then is break rocks until you gain enough citizen points to be released. There’s also more than one way to break out of jail that players are beginning to discover, including getting a group of friends to break you out of jail, and the use of acid and/or a file.
Currently in closed beta in North America, Wakfu will be playable on PC, Mac and Linux at release in late 2011.