Snail Games' upcoming massively-multiplayer online game set in China's Ming Dynasty, Age of Wushu, will feature a comprehensive leveling system and economy similar to the systems in EVE Online, according to the studio.
In an interview with Polygon, Snail Games' QA manager, John Lynch said Age of Wushu's leveling system and economy draws inspiration from the notoriously complex Icelandic MMO — but makes it more accessible than EVE.
"Most of the economy [in Age of Wushu] is based entirely off players," Lynch says. "So they create items, they find coarse cloth or other items in the world and they use these items to craft objects. The best items you can find in the game are actually crafted by players using recipes they've found, so it's kind of like EVE where you would go to an area and mine for ore to create objects."
In Age of Wushu, players will mine, collect herbs and cloths, and creatively use their resources to make clothing, weapons, food and other essentials that will help them through the game. There's an additional layer to the game's crafting system, which requires players to engage with the game's other players and NPCs in order to craft their objects. A player may need to find a blacksmith to create their sword, but before they do that they may need to visit a chef who has expertise in sharpening blades.
Once players have collected all of the materials they need, they can craft objects that even the developers could never have anticipated. According to Snail Games' content generation lead, Tyler Rawlins, the game has been out in China for more than a year and the creativity of certain players in crafting weapons and vanity items has seen the birth of a thriving virtual marketplace where players sell items to each other using real-world money. Even vanity items, which do not give players an advantage in combat, have sold for thousands of dollars.
Lynch says Age of Wushu's leveling system is also similar to EVE's, in the sense that each player has a different set of skills, and each skill has its own level. Players use a resource called Cultivation, which can be earned when they complete Instances (quest-like missions), craft objects and explore the world, and Cultivation points can be put toward leveling certain skills.
According to Rawlins, these systems give players the opportunity to be creative in the way they craft, and allows them to fine-tune their skills and fighting styles in the way that "people over the centuries have picked and fine-tuned other martial arts to make Tae Kwon Do or Jiu Jitsu."
Age of Wushu is coming to Windows PC on April 10. Polygon's preview of the game can be viewed here. Snail Games is currently running an Early Bird Giveaway that rewards players for signing up early to Age of Wushu. More information can be found on the Age of Wushu website.