Let’s get started playing Age of Wushu. No fluff here guys, we’re going to hop right into the action. The first thing you’ll want to do is download the game here and install it. Don’t worry about the patches and just snag the files, run the executable, and you’re good to go. You can register for an account as well, including using facebook / google / and yahoo as a way to login, although I suggest sticking to the good ‘ol fashioned username/password combo. During closed beta there is a limit on the amount of time you can play, so be aware that you get ten hours for the first 48 hours of registering and then one hour per day after that. Purchasing deluxe gives you unlimited playtime.
When you first run the game you’ll be introduced to the patcher. It has roughly five million options and nine million of them have nothing to do with playing right now, except for one: settings. Open that up right away and slide that slider down for music. Like any great free-to-play, the music can sound like a jackhammer with its blaringly high announcement that the game is now going. After patching hit play and login.
You don’t have a ton of options right now when making a character, but don’t fret about much of any of the options. There are no mages, wizards, warlocks, or orcs here and no way to make a newbie mistake. There are simply cosmetic approaches to gameplay. Of all of the options, the only thing that has a major impact on your gameplay is your story, which chooses your starting town. You’ll obviously be able to transverse across the world as you play, but if playing with friends then be sure to choose the same story. The background doesn’t matter.
Your First Hour
Once in the game world you’ll be introduced to a rather different questing system. You’ll see your objectives on the right side; you can click the NPC name to auto-walk to the location of the NPC. The game does an excellent job of walking you through the steps of each quest. There are minor differences between the different starting locations, but ultimately it all boils down to the same series of quests.
The first interactive quest will teach you parrying. You’ll talk to the NPC, hold the right mouse button down, and then be given the next step which is to use a skill book. Skill books teach you new abilities that you can use. You use them from your inventory, click “study”, and then open your skillbook to drag them to your action bar. The first skill you learn will be “Embrace the Moon.” This skill reduces damage after each successful parry and is a passive activated ability.
The next NPC will teach you attacking. Press 1 repeatedly to break his defense (indicated by the bar below his health bar). After you do this he will give you the skill book for “White Cloud Covers The Top” which is a rather complicated abilities (like many in Wushu). It deals external damage until it breaks their parry (defense) which it then knocks them down.
The next NPC will teach you “Step Backwards Over Seven Stars” which is a high damage attack. From what you can piece together so far, combat flows like this. You hold your right mouse button to parry, when there is an opening do a feint attack to break their defense, then unleash a high powered attack to deal actual damage.
After you’re done with the basics of combat, you’ll then go on a few basic adventures. You’ll want to speak to the NPC again to pick up Meditation Training. This teaches you “Sit and Breathe” which allows you to regenerate health. The next one, for me at least, involved going behind the school to get a sandbag. It may differ slightly for other stories. Anyway, you’ll find yourself in a well where you’ll learn “Skyward Feint Step.” This is double jump, basically. You can jump to the top of the well, use the rope, and return.
You’re almost done now. Click on your Sifu’s name in the tracker to walk back to town. You’ll now do some minor tasks, like get a kite for a little girl and help a store owner gather supplies. You’ll learn “Hidden Weapon Normal Attack” and need to use it on some wild dogs nearby.
The last major lesson in the game before you join a school is cultivation. This system is complicated, I’m not going to lie, but it’s very rewarding and very different. You don’t have an experience bar, nay, you have five and each of them convert into cultivation points at different rates. As you gain experience (capped at 999 points), it is converted into cultivation points which can be spent leveling up skills. One EXP = 1,000 cultivation points.
Cultivating a skill takes time as well; the game walks you through how to select which skills you want to level up. The first one you learn to level up is “self-recollection” but you may not want to level this one up too much, since when you join a school you’ll get a different recollection that you can equip that gives better bonuses and allows you into certain dungeons, etc.
At this point you are done with the tutorial and can see the coachman about going to a school.
There is so much to write on the differences between the different schools, but the game does a good job of outlining the differences. Your school will determine your weapons, school PvP, your abilities, and more. Each school has a different playstyle it’s almost like picking a class.
At your school you’ll learn how to do “Practice Martial Arts” which lets you cultivate by spending your hard earned cash, your schools special ability, and your schools internal skill. Schools are kinda like classes in other games.
To expand on cultivation a bit more, you’ll earn EXP which is then transferred to cultivation points when you’re online. EXP comes at different levels which cultivates at different speeds. VIP members earn EXP more evenly, so that they’re always cultivating as fast as possible, while free members convert at a slower pace (and have access to less EXP pools). VIP members can also cultivate while offline, while free members cannot. The five pools all convert at different speeds and then you can spend the cultivation points on your abilities.
You can use items to increase the cultivation rate and sacred places will make your skills cultivate faster. You can also do team cultivation which is INSANELY fast whenever you're not fully fatigued, but requires multiple players to be worthwhile.
Life skills, or crafting, is a way to make items in Wushu. Everything sold by NPCs is terrible and gear drops aren’t necessarily the best items. Everything is player ran in Wushu, so you’ll want to learn crafting as method of making money. It’s best to seek out a “Life Sifu” early on to begin learning a life skill and start leveling up.
- Your character can get hungry! You’ll need food either crafted through the “Chef” life skill or bought from other players.
- VIP has a ton of benefits for when you’re offline, it’s definitely worth it if you want to play for the long run.
- Be sure to think about the different playstyles of the schools before you join. Some schools “punish” bad behavior, requiring you to repent if you do too much of it.
- Skill is more important than level! Feints will break through a block, blocks will parry an overt, and an overt will deal full damage to a feint. Using the right ability at the right time is key to victory in Wushu.
- Don’t go into thinking it’s your standard MMO! Think more like Eve Online where there is an open world to do whatever you want in. There is a story quest, but it’s mostly for fun and some rewards.
- Is VIP worth it and how much is VIP in Wushu? It's about $10 and totally worth it if you plan on playing (much like a subscription is totally worth it in All Points Bulletin.
What To Do Now?
Wushu is more of a sandbox than a linear MMO. You have a giant open world that offers you tons of options for gaining experience. The entire economy is player driven as well, meaning that your hard work will pay off and there is multiple avenues of success.
You can open the mission window to get an idea of the different missions you can do, as well as a rather lengthy PvE mission chain that acts as your main story.
First, there is open player killing. You can be attacked and you can attack anyone in the open at any time, as long as they’re not in a safe area. So keep that in mind during your first travels. You’ll get some novice protection at the start, but after that it’s all fair game.
Second, missions come in a variety of flavors, so there is always something to do. There isn’t a quest hubs, per se, but there are missions that you can take on each day for your school, guild, etc. It’s all there in the missions page.
Resource gathering, trading, and bounty hunting are all other activities you can partake in. Crafting is fantastic in Wushu.
The biggest thing is to just go out and have fun in Wushu!
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