Kung Foo! Preview: Closed Beta Phase 2
By Chen Fo Po (cinderboy), OnRPG Journalist
On 26th January 2010, Perfect World’s latest MMORPG, Kung Foo!, went into Closed Beta Phase 2. Last week, February 16th they closed the Beta and announced the game will return later in the year, after further development. In this beta, players were given level 60 characters as well as cash shop points to spend. This was to enable players to preview some of the current endgame maps and try out the various cash shop items available. Essentially they let us have a better understanding of the game before it went public. This is my report on the Closed Beta Phase 2.
As this is a beta, there is only 1 server available. There should be more servers, including PvP servers, added in the future, so stay tuned. The beta server has various channels, or Realms in this case. This will allow players to hunt efficiently without overcrowding any spots for quests or hunting bosses.
As with every MMORPGs, players will have a chance to create either a male or female characters. I was pretty amused when my male character came moonwalking onto my screen. In this beta phase, there are only 5 facial features and 4 hairstyles to choose from. Players can choose to purchase various cosmetics from the cash shop, or Foo Shop in this case, to doll up their characters. Personally, I hope more default choices are added at launch.
The interface of the game is pretty basic and easy to navigate for both new and veteran players. As you can see in the screenshot below, players have the option to turn off the help guide. “Newbs”, or new players, should keep this feature turned on in the early part of the game to get the hang of how they can progress.
Characters, upon levelling, will not have the option to add points to any stats. Stats can only be increased by wearing better gear or by having a good achievement title or a pet. After advancing into new classes, players can improve their stats too. By level 60, players will have the option to advance a 3rd time, which is the final class advancement currently planned. There will be choices to be made for each class, be it melee or ranged magic, so choosing a class that fits your style of play is very important. At launch, the seven Martial Arts Disciplines will be ‘Grasshopper’, ‘Sharpy’, ‘Mager’, ‘Tank’, ‘Slasher’, ‘Medico’ and ‘Augurer’.
As the character levels, the new skills learnt will also get more flashy and exciting! Skill points are given after each level for players to add. Players should choose their skills carefully as there is a limited amount of points to be added.
Questing is an important part of Kung Foo!. While the yellow signs signal a main storyline quest, purple signs signal side quests. It is advisable to complete any quests available, as yellow quests allow players to advance through the storyline, while purple quests can sometimes reward players with fantastic experience points and items. By opening up the Quest window, players can auto-track to the NPC by clicking on his or her name, which is green in color.
World of Kung Foo!
The world of Kung Foo! is separated into 6 areas, each with its own unique style, design and flavor. From barren wastelands to lush green forest areas, from a seaport city to dark and ghastly plains. Players will be intrigued at how the game showcases all these maps along with the storyline. Not to forget, each map will also have its own special design mobs in order to fit appropriately into the environment. All of them will no doubt feel right at home!
Gear and Equipment
Gear and equipment in Kung Foo! are gender specific, meaning that male gear cannot be worn by female characters and vice versa. There are also a few different grades of equipment, from the common ones to rare ones like Legend equipment. These usually drop from bosses and are soulbound after equipping. Other than increasing equipments stats by upgrading them (+1, +2 etc), players can also imbue them with various stones; this will allow additional bonuses to be added, like HP, MP and more.
One of the main features of Kung Foo! is the ability to wear some rather wacky and hilarious costumes, most of which do not fit into the ancient Chinese setting at all! Most of the costumes are permanent and can be gotten from the Foo Shop. Elvis Presley, cowboys, gangsters, which loony costumes have you set your eyes on?
The pet system is one of Kung Foo!’s main features. Pets not only help players during attacks, but also provide extra stat boosts. All pets will be able to evolve into bigger and grander forms, learning new skills at the same time. Two pets, with the right attributes and conditions, can also be merged to become a single more powerful pet. As pets do receive combat damage when attacked and players will need to heal them with special items purchased from the pet trainer NPC.
The mounts in Kung Foo! are plentiful. Golden pigs, graceful stallions, ferocious tigers and many more out-of-this-world mounts will be available for players to choose from. While some mounts can be used at any level, players must take note that others have a minimum level before it can be used. Mounts are not just for looks, they increase movement speed and allow players to engage in combat while mounted. Unlike pets, mounts don’t need to be fed and will not receive combat damage.
PvE (Player Vs Environment)
Like any other MMORPG, PvE is an essential part of the game. In Kung Foo!, the traditional point and click system is used. Other than open field mobs, players will also be able to go into various dungeons and also hunt various mini or strong bosses for rare equipment. For the first few maps, the mobs are usually passive, but after that, mobs are usually in aggro mode. Unless players have good gear, it’s advisable to train in a party, as mobs’ attacks start to vary, like ranged magical attacks and ranged physical attacks which can deal serious damage.
One interesting feature is the ability to transform into various mobs and bosses using an item called Souljade. Souljade can be obtained via various quests. While players will not be able to ride on their mounts when transformed, they can attack as a mob and gain extra stats boost during the temporary transformation.
PvP (Player Vs Player)
While the full PvP system is not activated during this Beta phase, Territory Wars and Alliance Wars are. In the Territory War feature, certain maps are listed as territorial maps which guilds can fight for. The guilds which occupy the map will have several bonuses, especially when hunting in that particular map. Alliance wars will pit different alliance, formed by different guilds, against each other. In addition, from what I experienced on foreign servers, there will be an option to turn PK mode on.
While most veteran players will feel it’s yet another MMORPG from Perfect World, Kung Foo! distinguishes itself through its bright, colorful storyline and scripts helmed by guest writer Devin Grayson. No doubt most of the games features are inherited from other Perfect World Entertainment games, but from a neutral point of view, Kung Foo! will certainly delight players who have never played PWE’s games before. For the other players, it’s also a great opportunity to immerse themselves in the wacky storyline and plot, which is definitely the main highlight of the game.
Given Perfect World Entertainment’s track record of holding regular events in their games, not forgetting constant content updates too, I am sure players will appreciate the effort being put into the game. Personally, I feel that Kung Foo! is good to go for an official release soon, so stay tuned!