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Critical report about MMO experience of Wakfu

By Warepig - MEMBER - September 19, 2019, 01:44:15
AnkaTracker
Summary
MMO experience of Wakfu has been weaken. It's natural phenomenon for 7years old game. But aging is not only reason. There are factors that hinder MMO experience of Wakfu, which can be surmounted by game design. Purpose of this post is that points out those factors and discuss about it. I would be glad if this can be meaningful feedback for developers. Also this post is kinda long, If you don't want to read whole context, there is short summary written bellow. 

Introduction: Current condition of MMO experience Wakfu compared with past
Main issue: High Entry barriers for Grouping
Sub issue A: Weird payment model.
Sub issue B: Absence of Unified location of communication 
Ending


It has been long time since the time we can see people actively gathering group on public place. People now usually do contents alone or within closed community. MMO experience of Wakfu has been weaken then ever before. There are 3 main reasons that this post is pointing out. First, There are High entry barriers which are preventing people from doing contents with others. Stiffen Initiative systemand Self interest overturn by grouping is that. Even if you decide to breakthrough or don't care about those, There is no valid content for mediocre players. Second, Weird payment model which is ambiguous to determine between Pay-To-Play and Free-To-Play doesn't accept non booster player as a actual player pool. Ambiguous payment model is also one of reason for weakened mediocre player layer. Third, Unified location of meeting is no longer exist since shrink of Almanax. Functional locations separated by several are not conducting role of connection between players. 

Current condition of MMO experience.
Wakfu has designed to be MMORPG, Which assumes that massive interaction between people draws dynamic experience. But i think MMO experience of Wakfu has weaken then ever before. We can not see people finding group in Almanax or in front of Dungeon anymore. Crowded people in battlefield content has almost gone. Field is usually empty. We can not see massive people chatting around on public place like old Almanax. Remaining people does not interact with others. They only do contents with alone or friends in closed community. But This is not problem which is responsible for individuals but system that encourage people to do contents alone. Well, it was not like this when i started this game. 

I started this game 5 years ago. First looking about MMO experience of this game was amazing. You could find groups organized with random people anywhere, especially on Almanax or in front of famous Dungeon like Castuc, Ambassador's wing. Sometimes you could encounter plunderer player who tries to kill you, Well this is not good parts. Anyway Market was so active you could sell almost everything with fair price, even Golden scara cape or Royal gobbal headgear had been sold for good price. Whisper field and Almanax was always filled with people. Flax and torment was pillars of community contents in 2015~2016 until they changed. That experiences were amazing enough to make me and my friends still play. But What made this so hard to experience again. 

Main topic: High Entry barriers for party playing
In Most of MMO games, it's always benefit to play with group. In wakfu, it's simply not. Why people don't play each other? Because it's not beneficial but pain. Stiffen Initiative system and Self interest overturn by grouping works as entry barrier which prevent people to play game each other. also, if you group up with random people despite of those, usually there are nothing valid contents to do.

Stiffen Initiative system
Changing turn order among team members costs too much time and resources. But penalty you would have when you don't optimize turn order is also too much. This is biggest entry barrier that keeps aloof players from playing with random people. Most of high level contents, at least from Moon, force you to have perfectly optimized turn order to clear even at low stasis level. To adjust stat initiative, you have to restat your whole stat page with god booster or eat initiative food that is expensive and only have limited effect. This has to be done every time when you group up with random people. Players just decided to add more hero on their group or play only with few friends. for more information of this topic, https://www.wakfu.com/en/forum/35-suggestions/237659-make-initiative-more-valuable

Self interest overturn
Grouping with random people makes game 'hard' as i written above. But also, grouping with random people isn't beneficial in terms of farming. Because you get rewarded by character not account, Adding more your hero to group is always beneficial. In the end, you realize that filling all spot with your character is best way for farming. This is Why 6boxers are mainstream of PVE. This problem always has been inside Wakfu. I know many people already pointed out this issue, But it has more critical meaning on 2019, where people has completely adapted on hero system. I think there has to be action like nerfing character reward but creating basic amount of loot for account. so that you don't need to be less obsessed about reward from number of your character. This also can motivate people with single character to participate group contents.
 
Absence of valid content for *mediocre player
Even if you decided to not care about Stiffen Initiative system and Self interest overturn by grouping, or you don't have much things to do with alone because you are mediocre player with single account, There are nothing valid contents for group organized with random people. Most of contents that can be done by group of mediocre player have too poor reward and too high difficulties at the same time. Stasis1 of 186lv dungeons for example, Its still very hard challenge for randomly organized group but possibility to gain meaningful stuff converges to zero. Gaining 1~2 character's loot on stasis 1 that took more then one hour is really unpleasant experience. This is main reason we can not see [LFG] chatting on public location anymore.

It is result of Difficulty balancing that tries to make everything more difficult. Torment and flax has nerfed because it provided unnatural efficiency on exp gaining, But it also resulted that ignores its role of connecting between people at MMO experience. 171lv~186lv contents(moon to zinit) is also example of difficult balancing that makes everything too difficult for randomly organized group which is supposed to be basic unit of MMORPG. This kind of difficulty balancing makes *first experience exclusive but works as unnecessary entry barrier for late starter preventing them to being actual player pool. In my opinion, there has to be space for mediocre players where they can keep being motivated to play and connected to community. Current mainstream contents Zinit, Pandala, Tower, ALS are not conducting this kind of role.

* Definition of mediocre player: Antonym of hardcore player, but not newbie. Single account with 1~3 character, moderately geared with orange and yellow rarity in their level, Taking a most part from player population. 

* First experience means what people would experience right after update.

Sub topic A: Weird payment model.
Payment model of Wakfu which is ambiguous to determine between Pay-To-Play and Free-To-Play. Overgrown role of booster pack at gaming experience is main reason of this ambiguity. Problem of this kind of ambiguity is that People who don't have booster pack will be immediately removed from actual player pool. I think we all agree that gap between player with booster pack and player without it is huge. Of course this is marketing strategy of business to gain more interest. Many Privileges that can be obtained by purchasing booster pack such as hero and exp boost on alt, access to endgame contents make people to purchase it. But also, it kicks out people whose booster pack has been expired or who can't afford it from actual player pool. 

Definitely, there are some kind of people who are not willing to spend their money to online game. But it doesn't mean that they are worthless. A large population is asset at MMORPG where Interaction between people is contents it self. I think it's why Ankama decided to transfer Wakfu into Free-To-Play, to maximize this kind of advantage. Because extensive interaction between players attract new customers and motivate people to spend their money on game. But non booster player who got kicked from actual player pool doesn't conduct this kind of role. It is reason that it's important to take non booster players to actual player pool. We are having lack of players in actual player pool. (at least Remington and Nox, Phaeris does.)

I think this is point that is mostly arguable, so i arranged some expected Questions.

Q. Booster pack is an option not essential.
A. You can log in into game without booster pack. But you have to notice that Every balancing standards of most contents adjusted for player with hero. Only available contents for non booster pack player is single character field PVE on outdated area and battle field or gathering grind. As i keep mentioning, non booster player can not be inside of actual player pool. 

Q. Ankama is corporation that pursuits profit.
A. Yes i know. Payment model of Wakfu is weird. It has high hurdle but low ceiling. You have to jump over high hurdle to be included on actual player pool. but once you have leap over the hurdle(Booster pack), you don't need to jump any farther. Even though there can be people who are willing to pay more with enthusiasm. My point is that this is not good for player and Ankama both. High hurdle hinders MMO experience of player by preventing non booster player to getting in actual player pool. And low ceiling and low population from high hurdle doesn't motivate people who would be willing to pay more. This is why i called payment model of Wakfu weird.

Q. Assigning access to endgame contents has always been, It's same as 5 years ago 
A. Meaning of component changes as time goes by. Meta level zone where most of people think valuable has changed. Even apart from the fact that there were no hero system in 5 years ago, There were huge valid space(level zone) for non booster player. Currently, it's not. ALS and moon for example, i don't think non booster players can do ALS. They won't do moon dungeons either which is outdated but still hard.

Q. Pandalucia is available for non booster tho
A. It's complex problem through my post, it's positive that there are contents available for non booster player. but 'available' has to mean more then giving seed to clan member. 

Q. Dofus is not even playable without booster lol
A. Dofus is officially claiming Pay to Play with solid player base. They have enough player pool to maintain MMO experience with P2P model. It's different between can not play without paying on P2P and F2P. + their booster pack only costs 3000 Ogrine.

Sub topic B: Absence of Unified place of meeting 
It's hard to interact with random people on current Wakfu, But farther more, it's hard to know where to find group of people. Because public location where people gather around has been separated by 8 or more location since shrink of Almanax. Currently, we have too many dispersed meeting places, for instance, the Ecaflipus, Kelba Market, Astrub Zaap, squres on each nation, Haven Worlds, and as well as the Almanax Temple. It would be very nice if those all locations were filled with players. But population of Wakfu does not that big enough to maintain crowded features on dispersed meeting locations. 

There has to be location like old Almanax. United meeting location takes a very important part on MMO experience among players. That kind of location is where the most of social interaction start from. Players sometimes take up Wakfu with real life friends, and some of them would get a little loyalty on this game, even after their friends quitted. However, Absence of united meeting place disconnects your relationship with other players. Current locations of meeting has been separated of many smaller units, There are not enough people on each location to create such social interaction. Decision like unifying functions that is separated by several locations to one or two location is required.

Haven world is location with most high priority that has to be less important. Well designed Haven worlds have all the infrastructures such as crafting table, Kelba market board, farmland, mob seeder. More important fact then Haven world has all those facilities is that haven world is completely closed location. This is one of most biggest reason that we can't see and meet people as before. If people can find everything they need on Haven world, Why would they come out to public location. Making enchantment table not craftable was good first step even though it has issue on its placement.  

Ending
This post started from someone's question "Why can't we see random people looking for group anymore?"on Korean Wakfu Community. It doesn't take too long to become whole discussion about MMO experience of current Wakfu. Actually i was very surprised that people who i thought left are still thinking about the game. This is critical report, but i think all the criticism has came from all the great memories about the game. I thanks to the korean community who gathered great opinions. Ending looking forward to see "LFG dormor 1/6" in future. Thanks for reading. 
34 -2
Reply
First Ankama intervention

Hi folks,

Thank you for the review and suggestions. We'll share them with the team.

As for the server merge, the process is being studied.

[Flatops]

See message in context
Reactions 34
Score : 262

the game is still fun its still rewarding to play and it still have alot to give in the future ..
 
unlike other games and their problemes . the community acctualy knows whats the problemes of the game :

-we need a single server for the international community : dont get me wrong i think that the population of remi is pretty good the markets are active in a volatile way .theres new players all the time ... intill they reach 110+ where content startin to become unfair .those players simply fall behind since everyone is just playing alone ..but why would u blame them playing with ppl can be a way to handicap ur self 

-we need a  pvp / different basic mechanics based on diffucilty or just rng mechanics : after running alot of dungeons multiple time we can acctualy get bored ,a mechanic based on difficulty is a great thing to have.. cause honestly the mechanics arent fun they are frustrating ,the dungeons are created without a tought on how the players will interact with them . like i said unfair .. or maybe we need a stable pvp system .the pvp on the beta server is one of the best experienced that i had in pvp having access to all the items in the game making like dozens of different builds  each time .hacing acess to gear on pvp is a great idea Pve players got what they want . and they arent forced to play pvp in the open world . so for the pvp players dont force them to grind their gear in pve especialy how hard it is with the new enchants  

-solo content :make a way for ppl to solo dungeons with only 1 char ... its weird but we need to give value to every single character no more balancing based on teams 



i think i know why some of these and some of what u said havent been changed : the server desipte hosting many players seems silent cause theres no world chat . and the reason for that is cause of the bots . the only thing they can makeis to make it pay to acess but it will be unfair for free players 


about the server merge i think they have problemes with the HWs since 3 servers have 3 as much hw i dont think the server can  support that easly 

i hope i answered some of ur critisms and i hope there will be changes to please the community in the future o/

5 -9
Reply
Score : 131

Main topic of this post is explaining Why there are so less interaction between players now days. This post also have presented standard about this comparison. compared with 2014 15 16, there is significant difference on the number of people who trying to find group on public place. Actually i haven't even seen people who are doing it for a week. I think reaction is pretty clear but real arguable thing is what is action that caused such kind of reaction. Also, This post doesn't blame individuals but system. But i agree on some of your solutions. there has to be contents for solo, mediocre players somehow.

0 0
Score : 969

Thanks for your efforts on posting. I can't agree more on this.
It has been a torture to go dgs with random people since dg asks too much.
We have to setup everything like init order, roles, and etc to finish stuffs on this "rapid kill or die" meta.
And it is very true that people are reluctunt to go dgs (especially, high value dgs like UBs or high level dgs) with others, since it may take possible-drops off from them. What a great feature....

People say to me, wakfu is not dead, but where's everyone.
It's been a long time since I did 186+ dgs with random people.

9 0
Reply
Score : 521

This game already going too far at this point. The water in the user pond of game is stagnating quite long ago. I cannot understand why your guys still have this much passionate effort for developer since they rarely take feedback from the international user.  For one reason or another, I fairly agree with your point even I am not believe self-purification anymore. Nice post.

4 0
Reply
Score : 2224
 

Solution options are :
- Reward people for using team search function

- Give prizes not to each character, but by IP. Only one reward per IP

 
14 -1
Reply
Score : 1269

I agrees on your main points. Even though It has been long time since center of balancing(about difficulty, farming, everything else) moved on account based from character based, Wakfu is still using same looting table and mechanic based on characters. This results unnatural low efficiency at everything on single character player. To make people interact each other, Wakfu have to embrace mediocre, non booster, single character players as a actual player pool.

But i don't think character based reward has to be removed tho. People who put more time on game has to be rewarded, like person who put time and effort on game with single account has to be rewarded fairly. It's well made image tho. thank you for your opinion.  

2 -1
Score : -420

i have discussed these problem in game with other players. i  have told them that game doesnt offer shared thing(s) for group gameplays if Group hasnot got a HW. Even HW is not a common thing for groups. İ have suggested community hws idea for common usage between players but probably HW owners disliked this idea. Some time players deserve this "alone community" cause of their self-advantages.When game is abondoned, they start to popup server merge topics for crowded community but merging is senseless if a player is able to play with multi -accounts(device etc). 
About Ankama,
i think developer(s) only cares appearance and storyline of wakfu,Designing your trophy,Guild system,Pvp combats and other challange and record systems are in second priority or out of topic for them.
Ankama should decide hero system or heroes system.
Declared one hero system and breaking this rule with booster or with rikiki quest is a dilemma or allowing kama minting to earn more kamas in hw machine and some hw owner(s) told me that "you can come and  use our kama mint machine it is out of hw's door." if so? why dont devs allow this mint speciality for public?? and result is abondoned game. You can see tons of dilemma in gameplay system. when you talked about these issues, they can reply you kindly that "go and play storyline".
They should remove mob stages in dungeons. they are time wasting for group plays.Better is all dungeons must be like mineral tower. it is one room boss and mobs support boss and when you died,it wont be a workload for solo player.This imulti stage is unfair system between group players and solo players and this one room solution will remove this issue. if devs want stage(s) ,Shuuudoku dungeons are good example how to do it.player can fight outside for key(s). 
@9Nectum9 
You cant suggest IP rewards ,it is unfair if system is allowed muti heroes.Because its name "BOOSTER",it boosts the prizes not only XP or hero slots.You can only remove this system by a declaration of forever 1 hero or permanent heroes system.im side with one hero system as 1st priority if Ankama can find a way for common trophies with guild(team)mates otherwise heroes system and hierarchy must be included in game and group fast-level must be removed with this way or auto-als mode must be activated to low level player's range when high level hero is in group.
Simply in hiearchy,high level player(s) cant invite and join a low level group(s) until they dont turn into ALS mode range.

1 -5
Reply
Score : 679

i agree, they need remove this stupid multi char group

1 -3
Score : 101

Monster hunter world is a great game. It's a way better investment than wakfu. There is no more hope for this game. Try something new. Things will get better.

0 -3
Reply
Score : 3942

Problem is Wakfu is a very unique style and gameplay which is not very common. Comparing it to MHW is a bit weird because MHW is by a Large studio and has very different gameplay and scope. (though I am a fan and enjoy it wink )

5 0
Score : 679

Imo, wakfu died when they decided to release the way to play with your own group, so non pay players cannot find group and this kill social stuffs, peoples wont grouping, peoples should find others peoples to group. I know this was an solve for low player base, but it's killed the essence of MMO's.

Other issues is bots, sometimes i feel like i was playing Ragnarok, dude, we need better group system and make peoples left own chars pool, like bonus for playing with other players wich make a lot peoples want play party because of high advantage.

4 -3
Reply
Score : 9247

Post of the year. All of these issues sorely need addressed. Though of all of these the easiest to fix is the issue with meeting places, all that's needed is for Alma to be expanded and allow HB placement and duels again. No one cared about the lag, and emote spam is no longer an issue, I'm sick of going to any of the so called "meeting places" in the game nowadays and finding less than 5 people milling about. A global chat so that it's actually possible to communicate with/find other people would also go a long way towards connecting people again.

 

4 0
Reply

Hi folks,

Thank you for the review and suggestions. We'll share them with the team.

As for the server merge, the process is being studied.

[Flatops]

Reply
Score : 3870

Well for starter they need to fix the group finder, it's currently so annoying to use. And buggy.

1. The sign up - search sholdn't be 2 menus, if you are signing up you are obviously looking for more people
2. The searching/signing is too stiff, it assumes people just want to run 1 dungeon, instead of looking for wider option like "dungeons in a level range", "what are my guildies running", "current boss smasher", "high stasis ALS runs", or even "ALL currently open groups":
3. Fix the "people who are offline, in a full group or alredy in the dungeon are still listed"
4. Remove group invite chat flood, if I want to join a group, I'll try joining multiple, but chat flood keeps stopping me (especially combined with point 3.)
5. Promote it, half of the players don't even know it exists.
6. Auto-fuse groups, if 6 people with reasonable role variety sign up for the same thing, just fuse them into a group

1 -4
Reply
Score : 1396

Excellent post!
Thanks for your effort to write all that up so clearly.
Motivated me to make a post about ALS in the future, since it's also a way to gather people up, but got a few big flaws.
 

6 0
Reply
Score : 1161

 

cody5|2019-09-20 09:51:56
Well for starter they need to fix the group finder, it's currently so annoying to use. And buggy.

1. The sign up - search sholdn't be 2 menus, if you are signing up you are obviously looking for more people
2. The searching/signing is too stiff, it assumes people just want to run 1 dungeon, instead of looking for wider option like "dungeons in a level range", "what are my guildies running", "current boss smasher", "high stasis ALS runs", or even "ALL currently open groups":
3. Fix the "people who are offline, in a full group or alredy in the dungeon are still listed"
4. Remove group invite chat flood, if I want to join a group, I'll try joining multiple, but chat flood keeps stopping me (especially combined with point 3.)
5. Promote it, half of the players don't even know it exists.
6. Auto-fuse groups, if 6 people with reasonable role variety sign up for the same thing, just fuse them into a group

you are right
0 0
Reply
Score : 762

100% agree. nice work.

1 0
Reply
Score : 592

This is useless. People won't read this long post carefully. They only see what they want. See, someone already miss the point.
It is said to be shared with their team, but frankly speaking, I don't believe that will change something. They already knew the all problem, but just don't want to change the way.

0 -4
Reply
Score : 1396

You would rather have nothing be said at all?

I disagree this is useless. Even if a lot of people don't read up, it's worth for the few that do. This might result in nothing in game but that will be ankama's fault. I also don't believe they will do something but I still rather have spelled it out clearly and spread among some people than nothing being done.
Plus, what if they actually do something? Making nothing has 100% guarantee nothing will happen, making something might have some slim chance, it's better than not trying at all.

4 0
Score : 83

I'm new to the game and I have only two problems with the game yet

1 - Sidekicks aren't able to do some bosses mechanics
2 - After buying booster you feel like you aren't making any progress in the game when the booster ends

0 -1
Reply
Score : 1396

This is unrelated to the thread. Maybe create a new one with your troubles?

0 0
Score : 1161

 

9Nectum9|2019-09-19 10:41:27
 

Solution options are :
- Reward people for using team search function

- Give prizes not to each character, but by IP. Only one reward per IP


 

Did Ankama see this???
4 -1
Reply
Score : 2224
Siu and Enio...they don’t like to me, so it’s unlikely that they noticed
Flatops said that he would convey our ideas to dev team, so we can only hope that these problems are obvious and need to be addressed. otherwise wakfu will turn to solo online not Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game
4 -2
Score : 31

if ankama has the guts, you can go the way of blizzard  with and added touch close down all servers revert back to wakfu when it was first released with just 1 international server for everyone and name it wakfu classic rebirth and do an international marketing of the game at the same. That might help rekindle interest in the game again, sadly probably wont happen and we will be stuck with single role playing wakfu the RNG fiesta

1 -4
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Score : 2093

Dead thread
I guess the people really don't care

1 0
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Score : 1396

people and ankama are two different things.
People do care, I guess, just not much to talk.

Also, they did add negative initiative food.
Sadly only one topic of this thread, and not fully addressed, eating food is costly.

1 0
Score : 969

More players have to read this report.
Since ankama moved this post into [suggestion] channel, where few players take a look at, I'd like to pull up this post at the top again.

0 0
Reply
Score : 969

Plus, anyone knows the reason why this post got moved to suggestion channel while this(https://www.wakfu.com/en/forum/8-general-discussions/237757-enchanting-system-feedback) post is still in general discussion?

0 -1
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