The Wagadu Chronicles: A Brand New Upcoming Afrofantasy MMORPG
I know this isn’t going to appeal to everyone, but you know what? This is perhaps one of the most exciting new MMORPG projects I’ve seen in a while.
The Wagadu Chronicles is a brand new upcoming MMORPG based in a unique afrofantasy setting – something I’ve never seen done before in the MMO genre.
Not only did they open up their Kickstarter, and get fully funded within 72 hours of going live, but they’re also financially backed by Riot Games, the very same people behind League of Legends and Valorant.
Yup – while this is an indie dev team developing the MMO, it has the support of a company with quite the oversized wallet.
Not that I’m saying this will have a ridiculous budget, but more so that they actually didn’t need to rely exclusively on Kickstarter to finish their game.
Unlike most MMOs, The Wagadu Chronicles is being built entirely around the role playing aspect, from lore to mechanics.
According to the Kickstarter page:
“Wagadu is a strange place where different types of people fall from another world and have to fight to adapt and survive. Behind the scenes a lot has been done to create this world. We believe that role-playing thrives when the setting is well fleshed out and interesting.
The approach taken to create this fantasy world was: “What if Tolkien were black?”. Just as Tolkien did, a lot of time was spent researching the mythologies and traditions of people, but in this case across the African continent.
The result is seven “lineages”, which are similar to fantasy “races” but more nuanced, with overlapping cultures and more fluid identities.”
This is very, very cool. Instead of traditional fantasy races like Elves, Dwarves, Ogres, we have a variety of different African lineages, the Asiman, Ironmasters, Swala, Ikaki, Emere, Daa’ima and Lionblood, each with their own unique back-stories, and each based on real mythologies and traditions.
As this is both an MMORPG and a role-playing game, they’ve created a brand new mechanic for use in-game: The “Dialogue Mode,” which is a close-up cinematic mode when engaging with other players.
Think of it kind of how – in a Sims game like The Sims 3 or The Sims 4, when engaging with an NPC your character and the other character go off into their own little world. They start moving around, physically gesturing and interacting.
Dialogue Mode allows for much of the same thing, providing much more emotion to what’s going on and allowing for you to utilize a variety of different actions and animations, giving much more freedom over your character and story.
There aren’t classes specifically available in-game. Not in the traditional form – instead allowing base archetypes, the Barbarian, Bard, Cleric, Paladin, Druid, Fighter, Monk, Hunter and Rogue as examples.
They function much like your basic class presets – however you can also stray from, and subsequently customize your class quite a bit, so much so that it’ll be an entirely new hybrid. Warrior healer? Long-range rogue? Yup, that’s possible.
There are dozens of skills that you can choose between to really customize your character and make it your own.
The one thing I’m not all too fond of is the fact that the economy is going to be player-driven. While this is fine so long as the population remains healthy, as the game continues to dip, or there’s a drop in playerbase during content droughts, that will end up the complete opposite.
Regardless, players will be able to craft a variety of useful items in-game as most loot will only be craftable – enemies, NPCs dropping only basics.
I did notice towards the end of the Kickstarter page they made note that your items – your gear, everything can be looted from your dead body upon death, meaning that this is actually a full-loot game.
I know a lot of people aren’t typically fans of full-loot MMOs so if that isn’t your thing I’d strongly urge you to avoid this.
There’s also a little more to the environment than what is typically found in MMOs: An example given was with regards to obtaining wood in-game.
“Obtaining wood in Wagadu for instance, usually requires interaction with a Tree Spirit.
You can convince it to give you some wood by making the right offering but also by behaving in ways the Spirit likes: if in the last few days you have planted and watered seeds in the farm, the Tree Spirit might be more generous to you.
If instead you are holding an axe, the outcome might even be a battle.”
Additionally, things you do in-game matter, and NPCs take note and remember your actions. So don’t be a dick! Or if you plan on being one, make sure there are no trees or people around to see you!
Finally, you’re capable of obtaining your own house, and therefore aiding in creating your own village, which can compete with other villages. This adds a slight element of competitive play to the game which is always healthy!
Now I’m excited to see more of The Wagadu Chronicles. It’s a very interesting idea with a culture I’ve never had the opportunity to explore before. I cannot wait to see more of what these developers have to offer and I hope in all honesty that this doesn’t go the way of so many Kickstarter MMOs before it.