Wakfu is one of those games I know is going to at least be different from its rivals. I have already played a bit in all of the betas and now know that it is far from your typical MMO. The classes are different and fun; the lore and artwork is amazing. It runs on almost any PC. The game doesn't insult the player with hand-holding and non-stop popups. It really does walk that fine line between a sandbox and a more linear game.
So how am I preparing for the release of this unique game?
I have chosen a starting class already, I think, based on the limited time I spent in beta. I enjoyed the Xelor's Sandglass, an odd robotic creature who can literally control time and teleport around the battlefield. I loved his animations, although normally I enjoy a more subtle approach to combat, and I loved how he could get out of a tight spot by zapping himself to another point on the grid. He seems otherwordly, alien almost. Like the abilities of the other classes in Wakfu, his abilities are customizable and can be tweaked with points so that each player has a specialized character to control.
I really should read up on the political system more, but I doubt I will be participating in it. I know that becoming a mayor and vying for votes would only eat away a lot more time than I currently have. I am now experimenting with a list of games that I play everyday, a small amount of time for each each one, and Wakfu will fit perfectly into this list of "chores." It might sound as though playing that way will be boring or will turn the games into a cold list of mindless activities, but I am finding not only that it gets more "done" in my gaming when I organize it, but I simply have to do it that way in order to get more gaming done in the first place. Remember, since I have Rise and Shiny and other columns to write, gaming for "pleasure" needs to be planned out.
As with most new releases, I am not reading every article that comes out about it. I am not memorizing the lore or downloading exclusive music tracks. I did something more practical: I subscribed. As of the time of this writing, players had one last chance to become a "pioneer" and subscribe to the game early enough to receive some special items and a title (that deal has passed now). I'm not normally excited by such things, but I wanted to jump in right away without bothering with subbing later. Also, early subs or pre-orders help set the team up with a good boost to success. I'm not recommending that my readers go out and spend money, but I do want to describe how I prepare for an exciting launch. Early subbing is often the way, even for this champion of free-to-play games.
So here I sit, typing away at this column while I wait for Wakfu to release tomorrow. Actually, if you are reading this right now, the game has just been released. If you want to read up on all of the lore and take hours to pick your first class, go for it. I plan on jumping in the game, taking my time, and enjoying it as it comes along. I'm not even thinking about high-level achievements or what the endgame content will be like.
I intend to enjoy myself, one adventure at a time.
Each week, Free for All brings you ideas, news, and reviews from the world of free-to-play, indie, and import games -- a world that is often overlooked by gamers. Leave it to Beau Hindman to talk about the games you didn't know you wanted! Have an idea for a subject or a killer new game that no one has heard of? Send it to firstname.lastname@example.org!