In WAKFU Update 1.74, we're increasing the maximum level for characters to 230. We're also adding a content expansion for players from level 216 to 230. It will include five new islands in the Shustuft Crust on which you'll find five monster families, each with their own dungeons, sets and quests.

About the Shustuft Crust

Boring old pizza or Shustuft Crust? The choice is easy…

Explore forgotten corners of the Shustuft Crust, far from the prying eyes of Rushu, who's more interested in gazing at his own navel (thrilling for a while, no doubt, but there's such a thing as overdoing it). From renegade Shushus, to disorganized Shushus, to demons so crazy they're fit to be untied, there's tons to discover – in the visuals, story and mechanics, to be sure, but on an intellectual and emotional level as well.
This first area is called the Kingdom of Despair, and is home to the Phytomorph monster family, who may remind you of certain fungi you once picked on a late-summer outing in the woods. Trypophobes, beware! (For any Iops reading this, that means people who get freaked out by patterns of little holes.) These monsters, who are just regular Shushus transformed by the power of the Horseman of the Eliocalypse known as Corruption, will give the World of Twelve's gardeners plenty to sink their trowels into.
Our next stop offers a somewhat more fantastical atmosphere as your characters venture into the Void Spiral – an area controlled by the Voidivions, Shushus who have traded their corporeal shells and consciousnesses for unique powers. The mysterious power of oblivion that seems to haunt this area will cause all kinds of problems for incautious players. And who knows what lurks in the darkness of the abyss? We've got the answer, but you'll still have to muster up the courage to go looking for it when the time comes…
We can't mention the Shustuft Crust without thinking of blood, and of the reddish mist seen there in the animated series. The third area, affectionately known as the Citadel of Horror, will knock players for a loop when they meet Kali, who seems to be the only member of the Brotherhood affected by the Reminiscence. Perhaps she'll reveal her memories to you, and the reasons for her presence in this corner of the underworld? And if you hear the rattling of chains, it's probably just one of the many monstrosities that share this territory, eagerly waiting to consume your flesh… and your entire existence!
What's that old saying…? "No great mind has ever existed without a touch of madness." Well, the unfortunate adventurers who stumble into the fourth area, Dementya, are in for quite a challenge: down here, nothing makes sense and everything is off-kilter, twisted, and terrifying in its utter lack of respect for the rules of Twelvian logic (and ours too, for that matter). A variety of visual glitches will keep you constantly on edge, uncertain and bewildered…
And last but not least: Are you familiar with the river Ch'Tyx? A paradise for demons where lost souls float eternally with the current, this river bears a certain resemblance to what some call "the Route of the Dead". No, your eyes aren't deceiving you: there really is a river right here in the Shustuft Crust! And while we certainly wouldn't recommend swimming in it, it's definitely a real pleasure to look at… You may even spot a few demons who've been sailing the seas since way back in the Dofus Era – our more observant players are sure to recognize them easily.

Questions and answers with the production team

We asked a few questions of level designer BenK and game designer Siu to get their thoughts on this new expansion.

Why did you decide to focus on the Shustuft Crust instead of another island?

Siu: The Shushu (demon) theme has a very rich background, but it also gives us a lot of freedom. We were able to make it our own and bring in our own perspective on things, without violating the overall logic of the world – in terms of both the connection to the animated series and the story developed in the Dofus game. It seemed like a good choice, and we can't thank the DOFUS team enough for agreeing to share their knowledge (and their assets).

BenK: So first of all, I want to just say that it's a false choice between the Shustuft Crust and regular pizza. I like them both. So, why the Shustuft Crust specifically? With the first version we put together, we clearly hadn't exploited the full potential of this area. In the Ankamaverse, the Shustuft Crust is absolutely legendary! It makes sense to really go wild with it. Personally, I've been waiting for years to get another chance to work on it.

How did you approach the process of designing these different areas?

Siu: We've had the overall project for a good year now, but we moved from one island to the next all throughout 2021. Together with Lichen, we worked on coming up with gameplay mechanics for the families whenever we had a little time between a class revamp and features for the Dimensional Rifts, for example. We received the visuals as we went along, and it was a bit frustrating to see all this production work without being able to integrate or test it directly. Once patch 1.73 came out, that's when we started actually integrating everything into the game. I think the results are well worth the effort!
Each island started from a very specific and precise idea. We used a keyword, a different character trait for each island in order to use that as a reference point as we constructed its visual and story identity. Can you guess what concepts we focused on to work on the identity of each of the islands?

BenK: We've all got the version from the animated series in our minds. A strong identity and an instantly recognizable world. Our idea here was to ask, "What if this dimension was much bigger than what we've seen of it so far?" Obviously, we kept the hellish aspect for Rushu's area. But then why not develop other kinds of settings around that? It was a great opportunity to flesh out a basic vision that was already very interesting and inviting. So we baked up a tasty Shustuft Crust, but not necessarily the one that everyone was expecting! In the course of our brainstorming sessions, we agreed on five themes that we wanted to represent, five words describing five negative feelings, obviously, and that we wanted players to feel in terms of colors and shapes. It's not as easy as you might think! The five themes are pretty closely related, so we had to focus on bringing out certain subtleties (you'll laugh if you remember that word as you explore the expansion…). On that point, the color schemes helped out a lot, because each area has its own scheme. I mean… Not exactly. There's one that stands out for its desaturated look. But again, that was the best choice to represent the theme for that area.

What's new or unique about this expansion?

Siu: In terms of game design, we came up with a bunch of different approaches to make the battles more… demonic.
The dungeons in the Shustuft Crust will only have two rooms: one room to prepare for the boss, and one room to fight the boss. The first room will always inherit a gameplay mechanic from the boss, and that mechanic won't show up in fights outside of the dungeons. So players who rely too much on their existing skills may be caught off guard once they step into the dungeon…
Another unique aspect will be… What's that? You say I'm not allowed to talk about the final boss, Rushu? Sorry, friends, you'll have to discover that one on your own in the game!
(Note from Koko: Siu's left arm was not twisted in the course of this interview.)

BenK: As far as unique aspects in the backgrounds, there was definitely a desire to go further with the lighting moods and the sense of depth. More emptiness, more atmospheric effects. Much heavier colors, combined with supernatural lighting. We'll see how the feedback looks – let us know if you find this expansion immersive!

So what's going to happen to the old area?

Siu: We're definitely planning to rework it at some point, but this time around we unfortunately didn't have enough time. We wanted to concentrate on the new islands to make them as high-quality as we possibly could.
We did redo the arrival area, though. One little quest will give you an idea of the subtleties of accessing the new Shustuft Crust: there will be one portal to the old area, and one portal to the new one. Remember, a regular Zaap will no longer take you directly to the Shustuft Crust!

BenK: I think it'd be a shame to do a visual overhaul of the old area without adding some new gameplay value. My personal opinions aside, we'll obviously be coming back to it sooner or later, if only to make the area visually easier to "read". The game is constantly evolving, and there's an age difference of 10 years between certain maps. We definitely need to refresh the older ones to make things more consistent.

One more for the road: What's your favorite area?

Siu: It's really hard to choose, but for me it's the Destroyers' area. I think it's a wonderful blend of demonic and magical, mystical and brutal. And I think you can feel that in the monsters' gameplay mechanics as well.

BenK: Lichen's grave.

Happy exploring, everyone!
Category: Game design