I played a bit more of Age of Wushu, basically splitting my time between cultivation and the storyline.
This appears to be the skill training method. When you click on the little icon, a box pops up with three choices:
- Internal Cultivation
- Practice Martial Arts
- Team Practice
Internal Cultivation is the one I mentioned before, where I can pick which skill my character is training in the background, and offline (if I were VIP). I tried the Practice Martial Arts choice, and that boiled down to eat some foods, which I had received as login gifts and perhaps through finishing quests (I wasn’t playing that close attention), which gave a small amount of cultivation points.
I tried the third option, Team Practice, after taking a quest to visit a wise man on a quiet mountain overlook… or maybe not so quiet as it was jammed with other players. Fortunately in Age of Wushu, F9 makes all non-NPC’s vanish! That’s a handy feature. (They reappear with another press of F9).
Anyway, Team Practice is a way to earn cultivation points by essentially playing a Simon-says mini game. Others can join in, and the group as a whole benefits if everybody hits all the patterns, but I was just by myself this time around.
Doing a Team Practice changes the screen up a bit, and disallows the Alt-Z hide-UI option. Which probably makes sense if hiding the UI also hides the Team Practice directions… After a countdown from 3, a sequence of keys to press in order is displayed, with a timer.
If you hit the sequence, you get a congrats animation that goes on for 10+ seconds, and then you settle in for the next one.
There are four different Team Practice options available, which boil down to a similar mechanic. The reward is cultivation points.
After doing this for a while I decided to follow the storyline for a bit.
The storyline took me back to my starting city, where I solved a few problems for various citizens. One person’s daughter was kidnapped into prostitution, and after beating down the guards and winning freedom for the girl, the madam asked that I fix things up with her loan shark.
The NPC groveling at my feet is the one whose daughter was kidnapped, and the brothel is on the left. Nice looking place at least. 😉
After smacking these criminals and seedy people down, the next quest took me to a nearby castle, where I decided to stop. Looking back at my origin choice (where I was caught between the law and criminals and chose to flee), I see how that is worked into the storyline I’ve seen so far.
I’ve come across all sorts of stuff just clicking on the UI to see what each icon does. There are several game mechanics I’m unsure of – crafting professions; trade/market; school/faction/Jianghu missions that involve spying, kidnapping, escort/guard duty, arrays(?) and grouping, etc.
The tooltips for my weapon skills refer to chi: foul chi, sword chi; consuming anger points, energy… OK I can figure out that energy is the blue bar for my character, haha, but I’m not sure what the others are – how to build them up. The skill book has 5 tabs for internal skills, techniques, flying skills, arrays, and meridians. And I’m still fuzzy on what exactly the Wudang School does for me – the school tab is jammed with all kinds of diagrams that look like reward levels.
There is a guide on the website, which has some information.
There is certainly plenty to do in game, and lots to figure out. The catch is this being a PvP-centric MMO – skill cultivation matters, because that is how to raise skills, and only VIPs can cultivate offline.
So, while the game is enjoyable so far (granted only 4-5 hours isn’t a lot of time to evaluate) I’m hesitant to plunge in for a VIP membership for the enhanced cultivation (skill training). Plus, there are some other MMOs I want to look at, or look at again, with the goal of whittling my play list down to a few I can rotate between, have fun and make some progress.