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Ankama's new MMO preaches freedom

No NPCs, no shackles, no limits.

Dark blue icons of video game controllers on a light blue background
Image credit: Eurogamer

Ankama Games believes gamers are tired of being unable to affect change and evolve the environments they play in - something it hopes to change in its freshly unveiled title, Wakfu.

"Until now, MMORPGs have offered universes where everything was under control, where players' actions had very little impact on the world they inhabit," Ankama told Eurogamer.

"We are convinced that players are getting bored of such things, they are seeking a game with social interactions in which they could leave their mark and history in the game's universe."

And that's where Wakfu - an online fantasy adventure that's trying to hand the power back to the people - comes in, by disregarding traditional computer-controlled characters in favour of player-given quests and tasks.

"There will be no NPCs in Wakfu, so the only available quests will be the ones other players have created," the developer added.

"For example, an island governor could decide to reward players killing the creatures threatening his city. Therefore, quests should not be as repetitive, have more possibilities, and depend on the community's implication."

It all joins Ankama's vision of "perpetual evolution", where the world evolves around the players. You can even put the ecosystem out of balance by chopping down too many trees, or by eating too many pigs.

Wakfu will also attempt to catch your eye in the graphical department, not with a buffed-up polygon count, but with a cartoon-inspired style. However, the biggest difference between this and other MMOs so far, Ankama insists, is its action-orientated combat, which won't be another press-button-and-wait affair, despite being turn-based in origin.

"The biggest difference we would like to insist on, at this point of the game development, is Wakfu's fighting system. It is a turn-based system that encourages action and tactics, and not forcing a player to wait for others to finish their turns," the collective voice added.

You'll still find all your traditional role-playing guff in here, like 12 different classes, skills that level up as you use them, professions, guilds, parties and whatnot.

There's also a familiar subscription element, though it's been given a little twist. You see, you'll be able to play the game for free, but only a limited portion, meaning you'll have to delve into your wallet if you like what you see, unlocking the wide world of content that awaits.

Unfortunately there's currently no release date for the game, but beta testing is expected to begin around July.

If you can't wait that long, you can always give Dofus a try. It's Ankama's first MMO that's set 1,000 years before Wakfu, and boasts more than three million players worldwide. It's available to play right now, but if you hold on until April, Ankama is releasing dedicated UK servers as well as an exclusive storyline for the region.

Pop into Eurogamer TV to see the latest Wakfu trailer, or nip over to our gallery for the latest screenshots.

Alternatively quest over to the Wakfu and Dofus websites for more information.

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