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Devblog: The Future of the Ecology

By [Ankama]WAKFU - ADMINISTRATOR - October 11, 2019, 17:00:00
AnkaTracker Blog
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Score : 4159

If they roll out this update, because of trollers in the game, Ankama is once again going to generate another number of frustrated players. Namely those players that are unable to find the mobs that they need in the game. And once again people are going to leave.

Many resource drops would no longer be readily available anymore either - due to replacement of species with mobs like what, a bow meow? Gobball? So now all areas are going to drop what, Humus? Gobball leather? I hope you're not serious about this. 

The one fix that I can see to this is if you make the new mob that replaced the original species in the area drop exactly the same loot as the original species in the area. Or you universify crafting materials into one, like what you did with smithmagic runes and powders becoming a universal Shard. Either that, or you scrap this mob replacement idea completely.

Archmonsters should not be replaceable as well. I would hate seeing epics suddenly soaring into high prices. 

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Hi guys,

Thanks a lot for your feedback, it's very important for us to have your point of view on this new feature.

A lot of questions have been asked and points have been raised, we'll try to answer a few.

Will it still be possible to "plant" monsters?

Yes it will. But it will be a lot less systematic since monsters will respawn on their own with efficiency. The main mechanics will be to introduce a species into a zone, by proceeding to capture it, then release it.

There's a risk that players find an optimal version of the ecosystems, never to see it change again.

It's unlikely. Each player has a different objective or motivation. Our goal is to provide "living" ecosystems. The main ideas are that ecosystems aren't set in stone and the perfect balance of things can even be brittle, it can also differ from player to player.

If a certain species is made to disappear, the associated resources and loots will raise in rarity and value, until the community itself decides to reintroduce the species and take care of its satisfaction.

What will happen to seeds, cuttings...?

They will still have a purpose since they will reintroduce lost species. Keeping them in your inventory means keeping the possibility to introduce it in a zone.

The main mechanic, though, is to capture a species before releasing it elsewhere.

Harvesting and using cuttings/seeds will be less systematical. We will give you more info on what happens to them in 2020, we're still working on this matter.

Ideally, we would like seeds to become an actual part of the market.

With the new ecology, players will be able to convert old seeds/cuttings into another wealth. We know players have invested a lot of time to have important stocks, we wish for this investment not to be lost.

Will we be able to travel through a Zaap with a captured monster?

Yes, but it will have motion sickness half of the time. It can also, in some rare cases, have a lotion sickness. I'm not sure what's better...

Captured monsters will follow their owner everywhere, through boats, zaaps, trains... But they can only be released in a higher level zone.

What becomes of the trapper job?

We know that trapper is one of the most defining traits of Wakfu, we wish for it to stay this way.

Trappers will still be able to harvest resources on monsters (as well as their corpses), create components for crafts, and they should also be advantaged in capturing monsters.

You can capture a monster either by defeating it, or by being a high level enough trapper that you can capture it with a simple click interaction. Trappers will be way more potent in shaping the zones, although everyone will now be able to participate.

We are still in the process of studying additionnal abilities that would be specific for the trapper profession, allowing players to dig deeper into the species' management.

There will be a lot of inconsistencies between species and their zones. For example a frigost monster into a brakmar, lava zone.

There will be limitations. Zones will have temperatures and humidity levels, species will have their own needs in these two levels that you will need to satisfy to achieve their full satisfaction.

Trying to make a Saharash family prosper on a Kwismas ground will be a tremendous challenge that is probably not viable. The family will have a low satisfaction, the monsters won't reproduce as much, and they won't offer reward bonuses.

For now, we don't plan on having actual interdictions of species in the zones. You WILL be able to implement Bow Meows in every zone of the game... But it will be very, very hard to do !

(not an actual footage of the ecology feature)

What changes/benefits are there to me going and fighting a lv120 Boowolf over a Lv60 one? Different levels of Boowolf gear? Amplified experience? Unique drops?

Monsters will keep their current loots. If a Boowolf is brought in a level 125 area, it will behave like a level 125 monster but the loot will stay at level 80.

It's an important limitation. With this, we ensure it is not viable to introduce weaker species into every zone of the game to fight them. But it will be interesting to make them interact with the other elements of the area.

We can also reduce the experience gained by fighting upscaled monsters, if we think it's necessary.

What about haven bags and haven worlds ?

So far, we have not actually decided on what to do. We will reach out to you (probably in 2020) once we make significant progress on the matter.

Planting a resource is not necessary. Does the mechanic stay ?

Yes. Only less systematical as now.

How many monster interactions can we expect? Is it only boowolf + gobbal, or is every monster going to have an interaction with other monsters ?

Our goal is that every species is able to interact with other species. That doesn't mean they will be able to interact with EVERY other species.

Is every player going to be able to use the feature?

Yes. Every character will be able to play with the ecosystems, capture monsters and release them in another zones, as well as plants.

This feature will not be limited to the nation's government.

It's going to be very chaotic.

Some zones might become chaotic, because they contain numerous species. But the monsters will always have the level of the area. Also, keep in mind that some species will not always be compatible with others... which will bring a sense of consistency in ecosystems.

Can we fully replace a species by another?

Yes. Our goal is to provide the community with the tools to shape Wakfu's world.

It will be able to see a species entirely disappear from it's original zone. The automatic respawn is only possible if there is room for more monsters in the zone. A different species can occupy all the room, so the original one won't be able to reapper.

There will be tools to reintroduce a lost family, though.

I have doubts about the automatic proliferation and reappearance.

We wish to let go of the "manually planting my own monsters/resources", and have the automatic reappearance activated in EVERY area of the game.

It's a constraint, with little interest. It's repetitive, without consequences for other players.
We'd rather see players focus on shaping the ecosystems, make choices, decide about the species apportionments. These choices will have a global impact on the whole server, for everyone on the community.

It's much more about creativity and community, which is very exciting.

What about the weather?

At first, players won't be able to modify the weather of an area in a meaningful manner. We strongly wish to implement these possibilities later.

How we will know where to go to look for a specific mob?

We plan on adding a feature allowing to locate species. It should be accessible from the nation capitals as well as Astrub. We don't want players to run around trying to find a certain species (resource or monster).

If we won't be able to plant as much as before, how will we increase our Wakfu level?

We are considering to give a big Wakfu gain each time you capture/release a species, it seems like the most consistent thing to do. Though for now, we haven't come to a decision.

What will happen for Environmental Quests, and Clan Members in general?

Our goal is to remove the Clan Member's interference in managing ecosystems. We don't want the game to dictate players the objectives they should have. Players should be making their own objectives (as far as ecosystems go at least).

What species will be where ? Which species will you favor ? Which species will you sacrifice ?
Experience and Loot bonuses will accompany these objectives. But we want WAKFU to become YOUR world. You need to take the responsibility to shape the world, and be rewarded for its good management.


Lichen
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Score : 2370

So, at the meantime before that, just need to hoard as much as possible the seeds/sapling before it fully extinct in future patch? Well...

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I'd like to say some things (suggestions) about the topic, I hope it doesn't sounds weird or anything but I love the Sandbox aspect of Wakfu and it really makes people to Brainstorm about different topics:

Seasons
If there will be temperatures and humidity levels, How about if Seasons (Winter, Spring, Summer and Fall) were also added to the game in a more meaningul way? What if instead of setting a specific level of Temperature and Humidity to a zone this factors (Temp/Hum) would change accordingly in every Season? For example: Sadida Kingdom on Summer would have 95°F and 34% Humidity which would be the ideal season for Boowolfs (the native specie), but once Fall arrives the climate of Sadida Kingdom would change to 55°F and 40% Humidity (colder) which would be the best Climate for, lets say, Gobballs. The players then would have to decide if they want to keep the Boowolfs or replace them for Gobballs seeing how the later would benefit more there because of the new Temperature and Humidity. Migration of Moobs done by players.

This would enable the option to dynamically shape enviroments and migrate species from different zones from time to time instead of having fixed zones with fixed climate for a specific monster. It would provide an additional challenge that renews itself every season and give the players different goals (specially for Ecologist Clans) like deciding which species will be better for this zone and which will replace them the next Season. A Season would last 1 real-life week so in a Month we would have the 4 of them. Of course, it would always be up to the player whether or not to choose if they want to move the creature to other zone or not. It would also mean that each zone will offer the players a different experience each Season due to the Migration done by the community. If players could control the Weather willingly then it wouldn't make so much sense to change it if things are working fine, it would give a goal and community task to the players rather than just moving the creature. The Seasons would also be a good hint for players when looking for monsters that have been moved.

About Capturing a monster:
I feel like Defeating (kill) or right-clicking it would be maybe too simple. I feel like this is the moment for Trapper to shine. What if instead of just Capturing anything with 1 click (or defeating it) Trapper could create a tradeable item like a Trap/Rope/Musk to attract the Creature? This way, leveling up Trapper would be more meaninful, low level players would have access to capturing and moving low level creatures (like Meow Bows), Trappers would have access to a more important item to generate an income through a constantly demanded item with a very important function: Shape the World. Maybe this item would require a certain Trapper Level to be Created and used so low Level Trappers would have access to Capturing low level creatures and learn how the system works and as they level up they will be able to move stronger ones. This Traps, similar to other items in the game, would have different versions: Trap lvl 100 -> Used to Capture monsters UP TO level 100. Trap level 200 -> Used to Capture monsters up to level 200. 

Every Trap would generate an income for the Trapper, even low level ones because you would rather spend a few Kamas for a level 10 Trap to capture a Gobball rather than buying a level 200 Trap (which would be more expensive) to capture it.

An item like this would make the system less chaotic in some aspects, for example: What if a level 3 player is in a party and defeats a Cocodrile (Moon), will he/she be able to capture such a strong monster just by participating in the fight? Doesn't sound so logic. Same applies if the player's Trapper level is 1 and goes straight to capture something fierce at the top of Zinit. There wouldn't be a progression. It would make more sense if a high level Trapper would capture high level monsters. 

Everyone would be able to capture something, but how strong the monster is will depend on how profficient they are.

--------

The idea has a lot of room to improve, that's for sure, and seeing the answers it clarifies a lot of questions that many players had. I'm excited to see how it develops happy

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Score : 2370

It is a game to play, not a full time jobs need to keep maintain it up all the time, mannnnn... It is difficult to win-win all players opinion to decide which mobs should in which location? The community will only flow by the will of majority or may become under particular monopolize control? How could it be if after server merge? Do you think the whole huge merged community will obtain a all agreed  consensus together? Let's see. 

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Score : 4348

I mean the point is that the ecology constantly shifts as players each pull in their own direction.

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Lotion sickness, what?

Also if capturing monsters increases wakfu, how do you get stasis?

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Score : 3559

Killing them

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Essentially you capture and release monsters into other zones, "just for fun", or to perhaps troll and frustrate other players.

Not because there is an actual benefit beyond the suffering of others.

One bad design decision after the next

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Hi smorespie,

You might have missed it but one of the guarantees of this change is that there will be bonuses and rewards depending on the species you take care of. If you have other ideas on how to design the ecology, please share it here and the team will study it. Thank you!

[Flatops]

Score : 23

That is very ironic.
I haven't played dofus or wakfu for a while and tonight I decided I wanted to play one of them again. Trying to decide which one to go for, I remembered that I most enjoyed planting and harvesting crops/plants/trees. Even though it's become less fun in wakfu since the added restrictions to where you can plant trees and crops a while ago, it's still much better then in dofus where you have 5 players waiting for 3 wheat to grow and race to which one will get it.
So I decided to go for wakfu. The moment I logged in I was asked to fill out a petition. I didn't understand what the petition was about but there was a link to the devblog.
So apparently the devs want the players to have MORE control over the ecosystems by REMOVING the mechanism where players decide how many crops there are by planting them themselves and instead have an automatic spawn system which makes dofus so annoying.
Oh but we can move bow meows to other zones. Great. What for?
Why would the mobs ever not be in their optimal zone? Once say a gobball is dragged to a zone where it has the best bonuses, why would anyone drag any gobballs to another zone? Unless they will only automatically spawn in zones that are suboptimal to them and they will always have to be dragged to their optimal zone (once they say die out).

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Score : 1419

Well, about the planting part, It'll not be like Dofus.
You will have no empty slots for too long, so the map will be always full of resources, unlike Dofus with that low amount of spots.

You can also keep planting mobs, for example...

But well, I get your point about the "why would we move them to a less optimal zone"

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Score : 612

So...if we can relocate our monsters and they become the level of the Area, we Osa's can no unlock any monster to whatever the level of the zone is?

Can anyone confirm this is something we can do? I'd love to be able to have more freedom in my choices of critters.

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Score : 1922

This system has a lot of trolling potential

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Score : 1419

Indeed... Which worry me a lot :/

I hope there will be some nice mechanics to avoid such things.. And also I would like it to be more.. rewarding

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Hello,

Thanks for your new questions and feedback.

We selected a few more inquiries from your messages, we hope to bring light on some matters.

Won't species that are on top of the food chain be simpler to manage?

It's up to us to balance it so it's equally simple. We want to make a loop, each species will have strengths and weaknesses, no species should be on top.

How will the experience/loot bonuses actually work?

First and foremost, they won't be counted in Prospection and Wisdom maximum caps.

We don't have a final answer on the actual values for now. However, the main goal is that they are meaningful enough for players to be investing themselves into the ecology system, without feeling that they've wasted time.

Straight up doubling experience and loots by fighting monsters and harvesting resources that have a high satisfaction level seems feasible, at this point. Don't forget that the satisfaction bonuses will be broadcast into the dungeons.

Taking care of ecosystems, optimizing ecosystems... can be a full-fledged activity for those who want to. It's also profitable and rewarding.

The goal is to provide another way to play the game, that is not monster or resource "bashing" (by repeating over and over the same click spam). Spending time to analyze and change the context in which you do these activities end up being beneficial for you.

Will monsters with a higher satisfaction be easier to face?

No, but they will have more rewards.

Won't monsters simply respawn over and over again in their zone until nothing more can be done?

For each zone, there will be a maximum number for monsters and resources.

When that cap is reached, species will stop reappearing (though players will still be able to manually release species into the zone).

We'll have tools to prevent zones from being too populated. Maybe, at some point, players will be able to control the maximum population to some degree...

How will the feature respond to the rarity of specific harvestable resources?

Giving more possibilities to players allows THEM to focus on what matters for THEM.

If you deem necessary to introduce more nettles, you will be able to try and make it grow on a dozen of areas.

We wish to bring back a sense of community, a sense of "MMO" to this ecology. We want decisions from Popol Sonaro to have an impact on every other players. And we compensate this constraint by giving you all a lot more latitude to organize and shape the world.

No more will developers decide how much of the X resource will be available in the Y zone. Players will follow their own needs and goals, and will be the ones that balance the rarity and commonness of each species.

How do we protect ourselves from players that will systematically try to destroy everything?

Breaking an ecosystem will be a lot harder than defending it. Mindlessly releasing one single monster into the zone will don't have much impact, especially if the zone itself is already well optimized.

If the species of the zone have a great satisfaction already, they will have a tendancy to reproduce more than the "invader" species.

However, an already disorganised and chaotic ecosystem will be easier to transform.

Will there be some kind of in-game encyclopedia, that lists every species and their role in the food chain?

We don't plan to. We would rather have players discover by themselves how species interact between each other.

It's a typical thing to happen on a lot of new games or new features : players try stuff, test stuff, share their results, make theories, etc.

We think it brings a mysterious side to the game, as well as more social interaction that is fun and good for the community.

How do we find the species we're looking for if species can be moved around in any area?

We don't wish to give a total, real time information on how species are spread. Hopefully, this information (where is what species and in what context) will have some kind of value. Players can share what they see in the zone, it can bring a true social dialogue around this. Some can even trade what they know.

Of course, we also took new players into account when thinking about this. As a matter of fact, players who have little playing time or choose not to play into the community will have a means to locate species, for a small cost.

That small cost actually defines how valuable the information is.

Keep in mind that the zone levels will be set, players looking for an appropriate content shouldn't have much trouble finding it. Besides, dungeons will remain where they are and be occupied by the original monster family of the zone.

If you seek a particular family no matter what, you can always run the dungeon.

On a zone point of view, we'll allow players to see (through a status window) what are the most depicted species in the zone.

Can species disappear on their own (without players intervening)?

Species can disappear on their own IF a lot of predotary species are in the zone.

If a species has no predator at all, it can only disappear if players fight or harvest that species while having other species proliferate.

Can species prolifer on their own, if they are not predatory to other species in the zone?

Non-predator species can proliferate and reappear in an area, as long as there is room.

To make some room, you will need to destroy species (by fighting/harvesting), or have some predator fighting others for you.

How many different species can be in the same zone at the same time?

There's no real limit, as long as there is room. It can be up to a hundred different species, in very extreme cases.

Will players be warned when species are brought to the zone they are in?

In each zone, a status window will allow you to look at the X more represented species in the zone (as well as their satisfaction levels).

This window won't provide a total information. Players will be able to secretely bring species in.

If the new species begin to proliferate, they will start being visible in the ecosystem UI. Players can then try and fend the invasive species off. They will need to find where they are in the zone, though.

Quietly introducing a species into a zone will be possible, but will be the consequence of a series of actions. You will need to choose a remote, hidden spot to release the species on. Besides, it won't be able to keep it a secret for very long, if the invading species begins reappearing.

Are there any plans for a politics revamp?

The politics feature unfortunately can't be modified in a significant way for now.

We would like to dig deep into the feature, but at the moment, we can't give you any kind of date (even vaguely).

Is the current repartition of the species in the world the most optimized situation? If so, why would we change it?

It isn't. Every species in the game won't have their maximum satisfaction at the same time. It also means every dungeon in the game won't benefit from maximum bonuses.

Players won't have the same ecological goals. Some will want to maximize species A's satisfaction level, to have the maximum rewards on this species' dungeon. Others will try to sacrifice species A's satisfaction, to increase species B's satisfaction in another zone.
It's the global, worldwide satisfaction of a species that counts for the bonuses.

Cawwots can be very well established and happy in the Wabbit island. But since they serve as food for monsters in 4 other zones (Zinit high slope, Pandalucia cemetery, Moon's Jungle, also Frigost for some reason), the Cawwots global satisfaction decreases and you won't be able to gain as many experience / rare ressources / harvest quantities.

This is how conflict is created, because of players having simple different objectives.

Why are you using a capture/release system, instead of the current seed system?

For two main reasons : to make a strong, visible identity for the ecology feature, and to reduce how you store species.

Imagine a world where ecological intents of players are actually visible, because they're followed by species.

You wander in a Gobbal zone, delighted to see these little wool creatures happily run around... But then you run into another player who's followed by a Boowolf, licking his teeth at the sight of all these gobbals.

It actually tells a story. It actually gives you the possibility to engage a conversation with this player, or to anticipate, prepare for the incoming invasion.

Having to move species one by one introduces some cooldown to how fast players will be able to release creatures into the zones.

It also puts a limit on how impacting the idea of storing species is.

We don't want a situation of a hard-to-find species to be automatically fixed in a few seconds by a character that would have stored hundreds of seeds/cuttings in his inventory.

Actions have consequences. One species becoming rare implies a visible response in the world, with players deciding to move species from one zone to another.

It will still be possible to obtain seeds and store them, but we need them to become more scarce, more valuable.

To create a seed, you will need to capture a species and bring it to a new building in one of the nations, and you will be able to craft something to store this particular species.

It will be a full-fledged activity. You will be able to craft seeds, make money of it. It also redefines how dynamic the world and the cities are. We want Wakfu to be a game where you regularly observe players wandering with species, monsters... The ecology needs to be a leading, defining feature of the game.

Lichen

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Score : 2370

So if in that case can you bring back the 4 nations representative animated Tamed Mobs Decoration? The Bonta's Blibli, The Brakmar's Scarafly, The Sufokia Snapper and The Amakna Plant mobs. 

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I'd like to as about the Predator & Prey interaction.

Will the predatory species have to be closer to the prey to eliminate it from the zone? I ask this for 2 reasons:

  1. There have been reports of cases where monsters get stucked behind a wall/rock or spawn on an inaccessible place, sometimes even the battle bubble can not be created due to the lack of space. In those cases, players are unable to defeat them which on this new Ecology system might lead to the impossibility of completely removing a specie from the zone and give a hard time for the Prey to proliferate (Gobball and Boowolf). If the Prey can dissapear just because there is a Predator somewhere on the map (even far from it) then it might lead to some issues as the ones stated avobe.
  2. The best releasing spot to shape a zone. Maybe releasing a creature right next to the prey will accelerate the process or maybe the system automatically balances the numbers to make monsters dissappear from the zone without them having to directly interact with each other.

Concerning to Capturing and Releasing a creature:
  1. When we Capture: Are we capturing 1 single creature or a group? If 1 capture equals 1 monster, will we have to capture and release male and female for them to reproduce? I read the part where Lichen said: Having to move species one by once introduces some cooldown [...] but a clarification would be appreciated.
  2. If, in fact, we are capturing and releasing a group, is there a minimum amount of monsters that can spawn from the release? Right now on Wakfu the amount of monsters that can appear from a single seed can vary a lot depending on where you use it, sometimes 1 single monster can spawn while other times a full big group of 6. If we will now have to travel to capture a creature, carry it to a specific place to create a seed (Recipe which I assume will need more than 1 component) it would be kind of tedious if the RNG kicks in making you spawn always very small group of monsters (1 - 2).
  3. Each member of the group of monsters have a chance of reproducing? Can a single group generate more creatures on the zone or they will necessarily need a second one to proliferate?
  4. Do we need both male and female to populate a zone?

As an additional question about Vegetal Ressources, will flowers also be affected by monsters and be eaten by the enviroment? will flowers also automatically proliferate on the area?
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Score : 4348

4. That's a really interesting question, since some monsters definitely have a gender, but not all.
I think the real question is do there have to be at least 2.

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Score : 3052

Could trappers gain the ability to either divide or merge monsters into bigger or smaller groups? That would really help parties find the right size of enemies to fight, depending on the number of players present.

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Score : 101

I Like the punitive system, sorry. Look at our world in real life, people think they can throw trash into the ocean, at streets and also burn the entire rain forest, so I always loved the fact that you can become an outlaw in wakfu for doing that, and now it's just more capitalism and less consequences, god I need a new mmo lol

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Score : 33

Baseline automatic regrowth. Cool.

Trying to create an entire system to supplant a currently existing system... *sigh*

You guys really go big or go home don't you? lol

Reminds me of this other game, Conan Exiles, where the devs seem to be constantly preoccupied with putting out these massive reworks constantly that upend everything people are used to in order to, usually, improve some minor aspect of the game.

I'm not a super big fan of that style, but sometimes you end up with some pretty cool stuff. So here's hoping. xD

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