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On Tuesday, 4th September, Tanuki-chan (Chief Otaku Game Designer), Fullcanelli (Heavy-weight script-writer), Daryl (script-writer and stilted Game Designer) and Aduline (an ordinary Game Designer? No, I think she too hides some terrible secret) agreed to answer a few questions on IRC, which was kindly organized by Wyd (as I was quietly settling back in after my holidays). From these two hours of interview time, between regular undressings of Daryl by his fans (« * Eternix fights for the shoe | [19:17] * Rakart leaps on it ») and standing-ovations for Tanuki-chan (« nothing to add: Ray you’re the best »), we managed to piece together a few questions and answers which might just be of interest to some of you. Happy reading.

About the environment and battles. Will the environment be destructible during fights, even if only partially?

Fo For in-fight environments we have something in the pipeline which will mean that, at the beginning of every fight, interactive background elements will be generated: safes, boxes etc… These elements will be useable in many ways – pushed to block a line of sight or movement and so on. They will also have life points and be able to be destroyed.

Will the length of fights be restricted and how will turn-taking be managed?

The duration will be limited, as in DOFUS, to a number of seconds per ‘activation’. It will also be possible to change initiative in the course of the fighting. You can therefore see the timeline of the next turn, as well as the changes in turns, in real time. This feature will add tactical interest to the order of play since the timeline will not be fixed and may evolve according to spells cast by the players.

How will characters increase in power?

There will be several elements involved in a character’s power rating. Firstly, players can develop their character’s spells, which is to say that they can make them more effective in combat and better able to use their weaponry. Secondly, players who so wish can focus solely on developing their character’s competence in a profession. So there will be two aspects to the power of each character: their combat power and their social ‘power’.

What can we create and destroy in the game’s environment?

Well, well … everything but buildings can be destroyed. Trees, cereals, flowers, vegetables and plants can be created. Seeds are sown and plants grow. As for villages… nothing yet, but we have something planned for the houses… (Ed: Daryl was muzzled and carried away by some mysterious creatures)

I know there will be a form of government, but how will the electoral system work?

At the end of the day, it’s quite straight forward. Players can increase their reputation by completing missions for their island, challenges for the governor and so on. Their reputation will take them up the social ladder in order to finally participate in elections to the council and maybe even the government. The player will need to mount a campaign to gain supporters, however. Only by winning the favour of other players can candidates gather sufficient influence to win the elections… and once elected, the successful candidate will continually require support in governmental decisions and policies (concerning, among other things, taxation and expenditure).

Can we raise all our spells to level 100 or will limitations be imposed? A points system?

There will be no limitations, but adjustments will be possible. The more one area is developed, the more difficult it will be to develop the others.

The general idea, as Cerise was saying in a forum post, is in fact that, even though there is in theory no limit to the development of spells and other areas, it becomes difficult to develop a skill if it is already far more advanced than the others. It’s a little like a system of interconnected containers: if the level of one rises, there is less material to fill the others with.

Mazeltov! What a great concept! I don’t know about you, but I love what Tanuki is saying. Players can fight alongside monsters. Is there a system in place to counter any problems this might cause? <Wyd (who still doesn’t have an avatar; bad man Aisk è_é > Yes.

Will monsters be in groups or will they roam individually?

They’ll wander alone, a bit like Daryl, well before he had the…

They will roam freely, each following their own path… but they are liable to be called to a fight to help out their friends. They cannot call just anyone, only the creatures with whom they get on well. Be careful who you pick a fight with!

Will there be trade between islands, through a governor or some other intermediary?

The answer is of course YES. It’s encouraged, even, because it will make the world more dynamic.

How do you plan to make combat more dynamic and complete?

Well the thing is that in Wakfu, quick reactions will be rewarded with bonuses. For example, if you attack in less than 10 seconds, you’ll get a damage bonus; if you attack within 5 seconds, you’ll get that bonus AND an initiative bonus on your next turn. The idea behind it is that if you play instinctively, you’ll get certain bonuses, but the downside is that you won’t have time to reflect on a strategy. Both approaches therefore have their advantages, isn’t that right Fullca (mister ‘play between the 27th and the 30th second’ ?

Will harvester players be able to replant, sow, etc. resources?

Yes, players will have to sow as well as reap… otherwise, you won’t get far… and your wakfu will find out… ?

Important question on the background story: What is this wakfu? ô_ô

Wakfu cannot be described, it simply is… wakfu is a way of being in the world, a way of life if you like, a sort of philosophy that can transform itself into energy.

A sort of catalyst too. It’s not easy to find the right analogy to represent it. It’s a feeling as well as a World. Who could have foreseen that such pure and ancient energies could resurge all of a sudden to…

But why? What does it mean to create? And to destroy? Good and evil do not exist, but only ways of being in the world, whereby each action affects our personal wakfu. Creative wakfu is as effective as destructive wakfu, both have their place, but to be on the path of wakfu, an equilibrium must be reached so as not to reside in one element, but in THE Wakfu (with a capital).

Actually, perhaps you already possess wakfu. It’s your style of playing which reveals your wakfu. If you are reading these words, nodding your head and saying to yourself “yo ho ho”, well then you have it, no question!

Will emotes come to the fore or will they remain simple signs?

We intend to bring emotes very much to the fore. Most importantly, emotes can be crafted from resources (but don’t tell anyone). So you’ll be able to develop personalised emotes and to exchange them or give them away… There will be a basic range to choose from but the rest will have to be crafted. So, if you make fun of a monster, it will become more aggressive! Emotes will also affect your wakfu.

Will we be able to choose an island to begin on?

No.

Will characters and skins all be the same size?

Wait for it… NO! Characters will vary in size and will be customizable throughout the game (by going to the barber’s, changing clothes or shaving, for example). On the other hand, characters won’t grow taller or older. Will characters’ states be visible from their appearance

? For example, if someone is bleeding will they be covered with blood?

Uhm-uh, yeah, we’ll see things directly on the character: a player who’s frozen will be shown stuck in a block of ice, someone on fire will have flames around them, and so on. So with a quick glance you’ll be able to tell if someone is just hot under the collar or if their flesh has actually ignited…

How do players find each other and know where they are in the world?

There will most definitely be a ‘paper’ map, but one far superior to that in DOFUS with reference coordinates and a feature allowing pins to be placed, comments to be posted (like “guild meeting here next Saturday” … and of course the compass to guide you towards someone or something.

Will we be able to pivot the camera for different points of view?

No! You’ll be able to zoom, but not to pan.

Will there be an environmental system to prevent the disappearance of fifty species at once?

So you think there are a few destroyers out there, hm? Those big barbarians with no interest in the World? All the better! In Wakfu, everyone will have a voice, but there are two ways of regulating these freedoms to avoid players getting frustrated. First, there is the game itself, Wakfu that is. Destroying everything is not necessarily desirable… sometimes, but it depends on the circumstances. And as I said, constructive wakfu can be just as lumbering as its counterpart. The second thing is the presence of special RP spaces, not on different servers, but in specific zones where things will be a little more realistic than in others. That way, everyone will have fun! We are also developing a system of glyphs on certain harvests to avoid farming.

Fullcanelli, will there be hidden references like in DOFUS ? Spongemob...?

Ahaha, I though you’d ask that. Well if Ankama’s international licensing strategy stays on track, Mob will most likely make a reappearance. At the same we’re hoping to build a very coherent universe between several media, including the anime and the comic books. In actual fact, we want to hold onto that unique DOFUS touch, we like that, but it will be less marked for sure.

Will gods like Jiva, Rushu et Silvosse remain the same?

Ahaha, I though you’d ask that! (ed: note how Fullca can read minds now… you just can’t surprise this guy!) The backstory to DOFUS forms the basis of Wakfu, so all the main characters will be carried through, including the gods. On the other hand, the month protectors might suffer… which is normal, you say, since in a way they are victims of Ogrest. You’ll have to be prepared for battles between gods too! Blood! Sweat! RP! Pixels!

Can you tell us more about the Wakfu backstory and the origin of Ogrest?

It’s a delicate topic, but I can give you a few details. First of all, Ogrest was not born yesterday. He’s an ogre who has experienced, maybe seen, many changes. His origins are complex. According to the latest rumor, Ogrest was summoned by Osamodas, but nobody’s sure that that’s the case. Everyone wants to know the truth, so everyone tries to capture the creature.

Bonus question: why do we only answer Cerise’s questions? Because Cerise is pretty. Ah yes, she’s a nice girl. So now you know the story of these vile creatures!