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Azael tells you about the state of the game and the development planning for the second half of 2013…



Hello everyone!
 
We already reached the middle of 2013 and it’s now time to look at what’s coming for the rest of the year. And I can tell you that we have many things to talk about!

Before going in the details of each patch, I wanted to explain the direction we will follow until the end of the year, which might help you better understand some of our decisions.
 

Classes and GvG

First, we know that classes are the heart of WAKFU and that the expectations are very high. Let it be said, it’s our number one priority!

Concretely, we will not implement any new feature before revamping the classes and the content will be very limited as long as we didn’t stabilize balancing

That’s why we will postpone the GvG content to the end of the year, and each patch will now include a class revamp. We think it would make little sense to implement a PvP system without having first stabilized combats (stats, lock, velocity) and classes. On the other hand, we don’t want to implement more than one class revamp per patch, in order to put as much care as possible into each class.

Now, here’s the planning for classes:
  • July: Xelor
  • August: Eniripsa
  • October: Foggernaut
  • November: Pandawa
  • December: Sram
  • January 2014: Feca
 

Something else that was already mentioned, and still planned for the July update: spells balanced up to level 200

We think this is a most important mechanic that should allow for better and more coherent basis in terms of character evolution, and finally offer a real possibility of Multi Element builds.
 

Community and Devblogs

I wanted to talk about our communication towards you.
 
We will try to provide our Devblogs ealier and give you a chance to participate more in some of our choices.

A devblog should open the communication between us, and we want to use them to take your feedback into account before a patch is released, and be more reactive after the update.

Don’t forget that a devblog is a design proposition that can very much evolve with your feedback!
 

More focus on the basics of the game

As important as class balance is the improvement of the basics that make WAKFU a unique experience in the gaming industry. I of course mean politics, ecosystem and combat.

I won’t announce huge revamps, but I can tell you that each patch will include modifications of some of the rules to strengthen these features and help them evolve later.

Why now?

It’s nothing sudden and we’ve been working on these features for a while already, but you will only start to notice the changes now.
 

WAKFU has been under development for many years already and it was necessary to establish a picture of what works and what needs improving, while still taking your feedback into account, as well as technical limitations and of course, the planning!

Many rules will be modified until the end of the year, such as citizenship points, non-aggro state, maximum AP and MP, velocity, etc…

Each patch will see its share of small changes that should reinforce the basics of the game and of course each of these modifications will be explained and adapted with your feedback.
 

The beginning of the game

We will also revamp an aspect that is maybe less impacting for you, but just as important: Incarnam and Astrub.

WAKFU is a very peculiar and unique game and we want to make sure that the first steps give a real idea of what a subscriber could get access to.

This revamp will also simplify the access to professions, feature a complete overhaul of the geography of Astrub, as well as a complete narration aspect to better introduce the main quest.

This revamp is also part of the main problematic of this year: strengthening the basics to better shape the future of the game, and particularly the next part of Mount Zinit.
 

Professions

We adapted the planning based on our priorities, your expectations and production schedule, but there is one point that still needs to be discussed: crafting.

This is one of the aspects of the game that we would really like to revamp, but the current planning will not allow it without risks for other contents.

We know that many of you are eagerly waiting for this, and we’re still looking into the best solutions to implement it.
 

Some equipment rules as well as the revamp of the tutorial and other modifications will allow for a better game experience.

We will try our best to implement this awaited profession revamp, but I cannot guarantee that it will be done this year.

This is the only point on our planning that isn’t fixed yet.
 

Haven Worlds

Our goal is to implement 8 Haven World with each update and even more in December to reach 120 Haven Worlds at the end of the year.

Each patch will also include new buildings, appearance and ground packs as well as many new decorations until the end of the year!
 

More advanced content

After Wabbit Island (in August) we will implement 2 new dungeons per patch.

The goal is to implement less content in order to focus more on the tactical aspect and balancing of our existing monsters and dungeons.
 

We would like to involve you in some decisions regarding the content to implement, and maybe let you vote for the adventure island you’d like to see improved.

We will add a main quest, dungeons, etc… Those of you who think that Kelba or Forfut are too empty, now is the time to be heard.

As requested by some players we will also try to publish a “step by step” article about the development of the island, allowing you to see the evolution and maybe even participate…

Finally we will also use this time to correct the bugged content, instead of trying to rush new content.
 

Ultimate bosses

After the Dragon Pig setback we decided to focus on its comeback and therefore canceled the Big Sandhill that was originally planned for July.

Ultimate Bosses constitute Elite high level content and we want to first focus on the classes before implementing a new UB.
 

Conclusion

That should be it for our mid-year roadmap. I hope I was able to explain clearly our mid-term objectives (for the end of the year). I didn’t give much detail for now but you will find an updated version of the roadmap here.

As you will see, there will be no update in September. But don’t worry, the update will be released in beginning of October, and all following updates should take place at the beginning of the month as well.

And since I didn’t spoil much this time, I’ll give you the date of the July update: July 30

I’ll come back to you after each update with an information letter to give you an overview of the state of the game (I’ll try to make it shorter next time…).
 
And here’s a detailed list of the content of the July update:
  • Max level increased to 125
  • Xelor revamp and Stasis branch of the Foggernaut rebalanced
  • Haven Worlds:
    • Addition of the option to move a building
    • 8 new Haven Worlds on each server
    • Addition of Bilbyza themed decorations
    • Addition of an “Arena” building
  • New island: Bilbyza (80-100)
  • Trool Fair:
    • Rebalancing of the access to rewards
    • Addition of 2 minigames
    • Rewards added
  • Rules of the game:
    • Improvement of Citizenship Points loss
    • Improvement of the Non-Aggro state
    • Spells balanced up to level 200
    • New “Relic” items
    • Limitation to a maximum of AP/MP
    • Willpower and Perception no longer increasable with ability points
  • Frigost:
    • Rebalancing of the families, experience gained and sets
  • New world map
  • Professions modification:
    • Addition of the keys to be crafted by Handymen
    • Gathering professions automatically learned for new characters.
 

Aza.

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Soft Crackler
katralynn 16 Juillet 2013 19:53

(Neneko88 @ 16 Juillet 2013 17:28) *
At the end of the day, if you want to know what is really driving people away the most from my opinion it's the drop system/prospecting. And the lack of token system. If you can start there that would be great.

^ This! The drop rate is horrible! Made 5 runs in gobball dungeon, no equips at all with pp on. My pp with hidden is over 300. I should have at least had 1 piece of equipment drop. But no, none! I got royal wool, royal leather, wool, horns, etc. =_= Please PLEASE bring back the tokens or fix the drop rates.
Lord Madgobb
Gynrei 16 Juillet 2013 20:11

(Savall @ 16 Juillet 2013 19:17) *

Concretely, we will not implement any new feature before revamping the classes and the content will be very limited as long as we didn’t stabilize balancing.

Finally we will also use this time to correct the bugged content, instead of trying to rush new content.


Well. Postponing is an admission of rushed planning; creating false hype around new contents is just something that players could not easily forgive.

Nonetheless i think that the game seriously needed a complete makeover of its priorities, and I cannot help but agree with this change of policy. Agreeing does not mean that I actually "like" it. I'm trying to be realistic and thinking about the actual gameplay environment.
It's not only a matter of class rebalancing, it's something bigger: i.e., how can GvG be actual fun and effective with Haven World feature being so young and undeveloped, and still in needs of so much work and bug fixing itself?
The risk is that interdependencies between bugged features will become uncontrollable and unsustainable. I'm quite sure that we would have ended up dealing with this situation anyway, sooner or later.

Wish you good work, haters gonna hate (and sometimes with good reasons).

Well said. Ankama needed to re-evaluate their priorities.

I'm still worried they're going to fix Wakfu based on the current state of the game. Crafting is stuck on a level 100 cap system, spells soon changing to 200 cap, and player levels at 120 moving towards 150 at years end.

Ankama has not instilled much confidence, and they expect players to pay and wait until they sort all this out?
Scary Polter
saphiLC 16 Juillet 2013 20:12

(Neneko88 @ 16 Juillet 2013 17:28) *
...or run a 1 hour+ dungeon and nothing useful drops you're wasting people's time...
like celestial strich, over 2 hours dungeon, horrible exp, and if you dont get a good drop... really frustrating and annoying... i mean, i work, i dont wanna waste 2-3 hours in a stupid dungeon to get NOTHING, not even exp.... at least with tokens long dungeons had a meaning.... ankama... stop KILLING the game
Bellaphone Lover
Toasty4 16 Juillet 2013 20:38
Honestly, I'm quite happy with the game and am glad that you're putting up such an effort, Anakama. I was sad to see the dungeon-token system go away, and do wish this game was a bit more solo-player friendly. I was stoked to see the Macawker, but needing six people? Really?
Short Strich
erisolsprite 16 Juillet 2013 21:40

(Azael @ 16 Juillet 2013 14:30) *
Something else that was already mentioned, and still planned for the July update: spells balanced up to level 200.

We think this is a most important mechanic that should allow for better and more coherent basis in terms of character evolution, and finally offer a real possibility of Multi Element builds.
How would level cap of 200 help multi-element builds? It's my impression that it would do the opposite.
Eccentric Moogrr
twintiger 16 Juillet 2013 21:44
First things first; I really hope that the very first bug fix includes fixing everyone's haven bags. I miss my stuff, my haven world misses my stuff, and everyone else misses me having my stuff because if it was resolved others would not have to listen to me QQ everyday. I appreciate the communication saying that you are planning on fixing this issue soon, so please make sure it is soon! Thank you!

I think taking the time to listen is a very important part of any successful business. I look forward to the Devblogs, I know that there will be a variety of input and that it will be difficult going through at times but if you listen you will make a lot of progress. Remember, there is more than just a noisy few and often times there are a huge group of people who play your game almost religiously that do not use the forums. Another way to test and understand the game is to play it yourself, try at least one account that isn't a "dev" and play like one of us. Walk around and see the bugs, run the dungeons and experience the bugs. There are dungeons out there that have been bugged since they came out, like the Trouble dungeon in astrub or the Trool Academy in the Trool Fair. There are so many bugs that we as players sometimes get overwhelmed and don't want to report every single one because we don't feel like we are listened to. My greatest hope is that this starts changing as you move forward.

I look forward to you focusing on the details. I hope we see a lot of the bugs fixed and some detail returning to the game. The reason I fell in love with Wakfu was the layers of details and thought that was in the game. It had...soul. Lately that soul has been sucked out by the push for content. It sounds like you are working on a revival and I am very excited! I hope that soon I can light a torch or place a balloon; these details are something that makes Wakfu unique! I also love the incorporation of the animated series into the game. The best dungeons are ones that are from the series like Lord Crow, DrHeller, or Vamp.

If you stabilize the game and listen to the players you will get people back into playing this game. All you need to do for advertising here in the states would be to have the animated series run on Cartoon Network (Adult Swim would be your target market imo) and have a small excerpt saying that there is a game too and they will flock.

Drops and economy are two things that desperately need attention; I've seen a few people mention this. Drops, I have a small suggestion that might help. If you reduce what bosses can drop I have a feeling that the amount of gear dropped would increase. Right now the bag of goodies to pick from is too large. You have 20 items to pull from, it makes it increasingly difficult to get the rare drop you need instead of something the normal family creature drops (legs, beaks, eyes, krosbox etc).

Class revamps, I am scared for the eni revamp! Please stop basing all this re-balancing around PvP when the game is mainly PvE. Having some strategy and variety (a number of viable builds/branches to choose from) is something that we want. I don't want my character to be the same as everyone else. Taking your time is good on these, but at the same time 6 months on some of these is well, a bit much. I suppose it is so you can put attention where attention is due so if you do it right the first time then it is worth it.

Thank you for releasing this updated road map. I am very excited about what has been said and the goals listed. Good luck!
Lord Madgobb
Kikuihimonji 16 Juillet 2013 21:52
It appears that we have to deal with the poor state of Sadida class until next year...
But at least i am happy that you finally decided to focus on fixing current content instead of rushing new one.

As for islands... i think you should move Polters from Emelka to Sadida Kingdom.

The Kelba need more high grounds and holes in the ground. Give us more tactical battlefield with natural obstacles.

As for pandawa i hope you will make water spells apply Merry to allied characters instead of Dizzy and that they will heal allies too (wich would finally give a reason to cast them on barrel other then slightly higher dmg in weird aoe zones). I think that pandawa should drink from the barrel right away when it pick it (and get heal from master of merriment + merry) instead of at the end of turn. You could also decrease the number of quartz and allow Panda to place barrel that can block the way (because we can already do that but we have to push barrel with triple whammy wich is not handy in some situations to waste so many AP for that), and also because sometimes we have to summon it first but the only cell next to us is the one that would block the way (even though we would like to pick it to use earth spells). As for Bottomless Barrel you can make it give panda a chance to get 2 quartz when it looses 1 upon using the barrel (maybe 20%~40%).

About Sram i hope you will remove the random reveal when... sram fart. Seriously it kills the whole planning moves with each step.
Overweighted Chafer
Rimali 16 Juillet 2013 21:53
All in all this sounds very impressing, lets hope we won't lose to much players because of lacking new content. Personally i'm mainly awaiting the changes to the politics and ecosystem, lets hope for a better future.

Regarding the July update i'm asking myself how the CP-loss and AP/MP limits will look like exactly. Being able to craft keys sounds good but i totally don't like to get pestered with gathering professions on new characters. There's a reason i didn't learn all of them on all characters: The outgrayed buttons of unleveled professions complicate movement unnecessarily. Would be nice if we could remove them in the options.

Regarding loot and prospecting: Please consider a diminishing return (Click here) for prospecting in combination with higher droprates. So everyone would have better chances to get loot and could increase them further, without enutrofs getting stuff too easily.

By the way: This week the govenor of Amara's Brâkmar lost all citizenpoints and his post through speaking with the prisonguard. A bug which has been reported more than once since beta and at least sounds like it could be solved in a few minutes.
Lord Madgobb
Kikuihimonji 16 Juillet 2013 21:55

(erisolsprite @ 16 Juillet 2013 21:40) *

(Azael @ 16 Juillet 2013 14:30) *
Something else that was already mentioned, and still planned for the July update: spells balanced up to level 200.

We think this is a most important mechanic that should allow for better and more coherent basis in terms of character evolution, and finally offer a real possibility of Multi Element builds.
How would level cap of 200 help multi-element builds? It's my impression that it would do the opposite.
I also think it will be opposite.

I also think that it would ruin the whole PvP as we won't have more HP but we will have more power, wich means single element users will burst out dmg that will kill others within 2 turns.
Soft Crackler
katralynn 16 Juillet 2013 22:04

(twintiger @ 16 Juillet 2013 21:44) *
Class revamps, I am scared for the eni revamp! Please stop basing all this re-balancing around PvP when the game is mainly PvE. Having some strategy and variety (a number of viable builds/branches to choose from) is something that we want. I don't want my character to be the same as everyone else. Taking your time is good on these, but at the same time 6 months on some of these is well, a bit much. I suppose it is so you can put attention where attention is due so if you do it right the first time then it is worth it.
I fear for the Eni revamp as well. I've worked very hard to get my Eni to where it is for UB's and if they go in the PVP direction it will be screwed. I'm already worried about the ap/mp cap. One single person should not be working on the revamps for all the classes. They just don't have enough time to develop the character and figure out what works best.