Age of Wushu Launch Interview
Questions by Jordan Hall (ApocaRUFF), OnRPG Journalist
Answers by Hao Han, Age of Wushu Project Lead
Age of Wushu's North American launch has finally arrived! And OnRPG's ApocaRUFF, a dedicated closed beta player of the game, took the opportunity to speak to Snail Games about the various improvements the game is undergoing as well as to address some of the questions his guild members had during CB. Thankfully Hao Han, Project Leader at Snail Games took the time to answer our questions in great detail.
Hello! Thank you for taking the time to answer our questions. Can you tell us a bit about who you are and what you do at Snail Games?
I’m Hao Han, Age of Wushu Project Leader at Snail Games. I’m glad that our title is popular in North America. We’ll try our best to create a balanced, intuitive, and fun Wuxia world for players.
My favorite school is Shaolin, I've played it since the first closed beta and still love it. How about you, do you have a preferred school? Do you guys over at Snail Games tend to lean toward a certain school?
Shaolin is a “tough” school. To me, the unavailable new school “New Force” is my favorite. North American players will experience it soon. Our game team’s aim is to create a balanced and entertaining gaming experience for players, so we cannot bring too many subjective aspects to it. Of course, our team members play Age of Wushu and compete with each other in their spare time. In the annual Snail Games meeting, we held an Age of Wushu competition. Each school had its own supporters and experts. The champion of the Age of Wushu competition at the annual meeting 2013 was a supporter of Emei.
I personally love the fact that characters stay in the game when players log off, I feel it makes the game feel so much more alive. What would you say is the most unique feature that Age of Wushu offers?
The offline system is one of the most featured aspects of Age of Wushu. When players log off, the system will randomly select some characters to engage in offline activities. They may become a tavern servant, street performer, or even a school patrolling disciple after players log off. Players can gain some experience or currency by joining offline activities, however, there is also a chance of being kidnapped and sold. All of these make for more varied gameplay. Beyond that, having no classes or levels is another feature of gameplay in Age of Wushu. In general, our title restores the real Wuxia world to the greatest extent.
I see that the game has five separate versions for different regions of the world in the works. Do they all rely on a single development team for updates, or does each version of the game get its own team?
Age of Wushu already operates in mainland China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Russian, Malaysia, and North America. We have a single development team for updates to guarantee the integrity of all versions in the whole structure. Of course, we also pay close attention to localization. We have individual development teams for it in each region. For example, based on regional gaming habits, we produce a distinct single-player gameplay, opened a single-player instance, and optimized UI to meet these tastes.
I notice a lot of Chinese-speaking players in the game, probably old players from the original Chinese version. Are there any plans to make Age of Wushu blocked to certain regions of the world?
Age of Wushu is a globally unified game. We will offer version service to users in many regions. We know networks have regional variation, while Age of Wushu requires high bandwidth for its real-time combat, complex calculations, etc. Thus, we suggest users to select servers in their own region to get a better gaming experience.
I've seen some complaints about spammers on the forums. And I've seen them a bit while I was in-game as well, but not so often lately I have to admit. How are you guys dealing with gold selling spammers?
Our apologies about that - we always place priority in creating a healthy gaming environment. Our team has increased monitoring efforts and taken defense measures, you will see less spammers now. However, we still need a collective effort from players in creating a healthy gaming environment. Please contact us at if you receive spam. We’ll deal with it immediately.
Some players have expressed that they feel the money-to-gold exchange rate is too high, do you have any plans to adjust or experiment with this in the future?
We don’t have any plans regarding that right now.
Many people are afraid that Age of Wushu will become pay-to-win. What is your definition of “pay-to-win”, and what will Snail Games do to avoid it?
The monetization mode of Age of Wushu is “F2P + Membership + Shop,” which is a proven effective method. F2P makes more people have a chance to experience Chinese Wuxia culture brought by Age of Wushu, while Memberships and the Shop meet players’ personalized demands. Compared with time-based and item-based charging, we believe Age of Wushu’s charging mode is more reasonable.
Payment items in Age of Wushu give no attribute bonuses at all, which will never break the balance of the game. It’s the essential difference between Age of Wushu and other item-based charging games. In our mind, game quality is more important than short-term revenue.
To spread Chinese Wuxia culture, Age of Wushu also sells Kung Fu scripts in the Shop. However, these skills are not better than others. All the scripts sold in Shop are widely known in the Chinese Wuxia world. Players may buy them to experience gorgeous and unique skill effects. They will never break the balance of the game. Besides, Age of Wushu pays attention to operative skills. Each Kung Fu has its own features and restrictions between feint, overt, and block moves. Thus flexible operations and sharp observations are more important than kung fu learned. In Wulin Competition, the champion players didn’t use Kung Fu sold in the Shop at all - they used common school kung fu and won. This proves that Kung Fu sold in Shop will not break the balance of the game.
To be frank, I don’t think our game will become “pay-to-win.”
Age of Wushu has a bigger learning curve than most people realize. A few of the people I've talked to have said they quit the game soon after trying because the first few hours of the game were boring or confusing. Do you feel that this is true and if so, are you guys planning to make it easier to get into the game during the first few hours? Do you think some players just don't have the right mindset for the game?
Admittedly, the Novice Guide is a complex process. Age of Wushu is a game set in the eastern Wuxia world, and offers a free Wuxia world to the greatest extent. Storyline tasks and move cultivation are just entry level skills. To have a better experience in the game, players need some interest in Chinese culture. We have found that cultural differences have lead to some North American player confusion. To solve this, we added some single-player gameplay and a new funny story that will allow North American players to better experience Chinese culture. We have also improved a lot in localization and UI interface. You’ll see our progress soon!
In games with a focus on PVP, balance is always a hot topic of discussion. How do you guys respond when the community claims that one school is over-powered?
We will handle this issue with care. Normally, we will not weaken any Schools directly. Age of Wushu involves many skills, and PVP combat will be better balanced with new skills.
When the first closed beta came around, the translation was not very good. Since then, it has become a lot better, but I feel it could still use some work. Now that the game has launched can players expect further improvements?
As an Eastern culture themed title, Age of Wushu contains many rich cultural elements. We met great difficulties and challenges in the localization process. We established localization teams in both China and North America to overcome these difficulties. We try our best to have North American players experience authentic Eastern culture. We have recorded all feedback on localization problems and our localization team is dealing with them now. Players will see a better localized version at the official launch.
Age of Wushu's First World Champion Finalists. Just looking at them confirms why Team USA had no chance.
I got an in-game message telling me my character skill level qualified me to be considered for entering the “Age of Wushu Invitational Global Championship,” how often will tournaments occur?
The Age of Wushu Invitational Global Championship was a competition event held by Snail Games. The competition included an offline Arena Champion Competition, online Mount Hua Competition and a 1 Million Yuan Competition. It attracted players from many regions all around the world. Low thresholds and the 1 million Yuan reward led to many players’ interest and the game industry’s long-term attention. The aim of the competition was to restore a real sense of the Wuxia world and spread Chinese kung fu culture. The first Age of Wushu Invitational Global Championship ended recently and the 1 million Yuan reward was gained by a Chinese player. We are preparing the rules and participation methods of the next global competition and will release the details at an appropriate time.
Looking at your forums, I see that a lot of people who are interested in the game are refugees from City of Heroes/Villains. How do you guys feel about this and do you have any messages for other CoH/V vets who may be looking for a home, or just people looking for a new game in general?
Welcome to authentic Chinese Wuxia world! Hope you will find a better gaming experience here. If you like our game, please invite your friends and wander in Jianghu together.
With launch here at last do you have any special events planned?
We have prepared a big gift pack for players and partnered with OnRPG as well as MMOHuts to hand out the White Tiger pack. Players can also check the launch event page for info on various events happening now.
Again, thank you for your time. Is there anything else you would like to add?
To all Age of Wushu players, I would like to say thank you for your continued support and encouragement. Our team will improve the gaming experience to continuously create an intuitive, balanced and fun Wuxia world.