E3 2011 Wakfu Interview with Ankama

Day 2 of E3 brought us to our Wakfu walkthrough and interview – including a look at some existing content (albeit high level) and a few answers (albeit perhaps not the answers wanted).   First up… a walkthrough by none other than Lead Programmer Julien Derveeuw, assisted by Wakfu Brand Manager David Talmat.  The first dungeon shown was Shustuft Crust Rift as a Sacrier.  Out front of the dungeon Julian explained how the leaderboard system works – how the nation represented by the top player will get a benefit and how the top 8-10 players on the leaderboard will be represented as statutes (of the actual player’s model) on platforms outside the dungeon.

We were shown some hidden features – and the depth of these hidden gems.  So we saw a hidden area under the bridge in the Amakna Cemetery, which leads to a mob Sho Bubu, who, when killed drops an item needed to light certain candles in Amakna Village, which will spawn a Royal Piwi – who needs to be killed to complete certain achievements.  So while the achievement might look straightforward, there are a number of intermediate steps that will be necessary.

Next up was a quick look at Bilbyza’s Jelly Coast.  As has previously been reported, the neutral zones will be controlled by one nation or another.  To take over the island you must defeat King Jelly – the Clan Member – who’s strength will depend on the strength of the island’s ecosystem.  So the controlling nation will seek a strong ecosystem, while the attacking nation might first have to wreck havoc with the ecosystem before being able to defeat the clan member.  Even more surprising was what happens when you eat a “multijelly” on the island, as that transports you to an alternate dimension with, at least, new mobs (and presumably new resources).  Last two stops on the walkthrough were Emelka and Kelba.  We were standing next to Alibert in Emelka – which showed farmland, and next to the Black Crow in Kelba.

With the walkthrough behind us we were able to sit down with Julian and David behind closed doors for some Q&A and a sneak peak at Brakmar.  Brakmar is going to be a darker nation – with a large volcano and mountainous region (where mining will be prevalent) and a beach/grassland area where the other professions will be more at home.  Like Bonta and Amakna, Brakmar will have some unique resources and monsters, meaning that the nations will be interconnected, whether they like it or not.

As for the Q&A – we were able to get a few answers to some questions – however most of the answers were that the current method/style/functionality is intended.  So, with that in mind, Julian confirmed that: (i) there are no current plans to add a full resurrection ability; (ii) no plans to add (m) maps for dungeons/mines; and no current plans to address death/log-out issues while inside dungeons (part of gameplay is to be able to complete the dungeons in comparison to others).  There are also no plans to adjust the government elements, and confirmed that the appropriate method of dealing with a tyrant is to get the unfavorable rating to the point where the governor is impeached.  Also addressed was switching nations, which the devs confirmed is not currently being planned, but is something they are monitoring and will consider if needed.

The final interesting aspect to Wakfu is the relationship with the anime.  Not only does the anime cross-over into the MMO, but the MMO can (and has) crossed over into the anime.  Because the animators who worked on the anime are now working on the MMO, and the close interaction between the development teams, there is nothing stopping a particularly tyrannical governor from being featured in the anime – or a heroic dungeon leader for that matter!

Information on open beta timing and pricing were not being disclosed – so no info there – but we’ll keep inquiring.