Wakfu, French company Ankama’s MMORPG with turn-based combat, recently launched the open beta test of its Asia server. And with things up and running, they’ve also gotten around to putting out the cash shop, which sells, among other things, a premium service for the game.
In the West, Wakfu is known as a subscription-based game. There is the option to play for free, but doing so severely limits your experience. As a non-subscribing player, your actions leave no impact on the world there – and the ecosystem is something both important and unique to Wakfu.
But the Asian market is a different fish altogether. We’re used to free games. And so Asia got a free-to-play edition of Wakfu, albeit with some restrictions on features.
Unlike the Western client where you get only a fraction of the game experience, the Asian client gives you all but three features. These features can be unlocked by paying for a premium service that provides you with the entire game experience, and adds bonuses on to boot. It comes in single, seven, and 30-day packages.
The prices for each of the premium packages – as well as the items in the cash shop – appear the be cheap, but the currency calculator isn’t quite working yet.
Ogrines – the game’s virtual currency – have to be purchased on the website first with MOLpoints before you can spend them in game, but certain countries still lack their price packages. Countries that do have theirs up have had them calculated against a set price, resulting in awkwardly priced bundles. It’s nice that they all come available in each Asian country’s respective currency, though.
Now obviously you clicked on this intending to find out if you should spend on the game or not. If you are a player completely disinterested in player-versus-player combat and who doesn’t care much about interaction, you probably would be better off not pay for the premium access. But if you intend to immerse yourself in the game, then you might want to drop some cash on it so you can fully access all professions. The premium service packages are cheap and well worth their prices.
That being said, the locked professions are really the clincher for this decision. The game’s relatively slower pace means that an average casual player is unlikely to burn more than three hours in one stretch running dungeons in this game.
There’s one thing in the game I will spend on though, and those are the cosmetic items. They are affordable and unabashedly cute, and a couple of bucks is well worth the price of a fuzzy little animal running along beside you in the World of Twelve.
UPDATE 11-1-2014: We made a mistake regarding the premium service’s features. The article has been corrected to accurate reflect all FOUR locked features.
(Editing by Paul Bischoff)