Wakfu is the playful name of the upcoming MMORPG published by Square Enix. New classes have recently been released for the closed beta currently underway, bringing the selection up to eight out of the total fourteen that will be available at launch. We were delighted to have a chat with some of the developers, who gave us a tour of a few of the newest features and game standards unveiled in the latest CBT patch.
For those unfamiliar with the title, Wakfu has a tactical-based combat system complete with grid. Players and enemies take turns moving based upon the amount of stamina they have; it's important to consider where you end your turn in addition to what you need to do to defeat the current enemies. Don't dally making your decisions either, because turn time is limited. Take too long, and your move is forfeit. This ensures that when playing in a party no single member can hang the battles.
Also shown to us in great detail was the political system available in Wakfu, and it is exciting to see how deep the politicking can get. Once every two weeks, each of the three regions elects a leader. While the giant chair that only the governor can sit in is reason enough to run for office, with great seating comes great responsibility. The governor must choose a cabinet, each of which has their own roles to play and tasks to perform during their two week tenure. For example, the government chooses which laws to implement and whether breaking them constitutes minor infractions, major infractions, or crimes.
Laws come in a variety of flavours but the ones highlighted for us in the demo protected various species throughout the world. Unlike other MMOs where there's always another bear around the corner, Wakfu's mobs can be hunted to extinction. In order to prevent this, laws are set in place to protect endangered or critical species. To ensure that bad behaviour is discouraged, players breaking laws will receive penalties to their home city reputation. Lose enough rep and you'll be considered an outlaw, hunted by all nations for your fat bounty.
Be a fighter, be a politician, either way you're going to be a hero in Wakfu. Reputation as a currency is no stranger to the MMO world but this particular use of it is fascinating. The sort of lobbying the developers are expecting sounds as though it could be incredibly entertaining. Beware though: your popularity IS being judged, and if enough citizens think you stink you'll be tossed out of office early. Now get out there and make a name for yourself and maybe one day you too can make it into a position of power.