I wish I had been able to experience Age of Wushu when it initially launched. So much of what has been missing from my experience would be alleviated by the presence of other players yet I’ve seen only one, and that in Shaolin, the entire time I’ve been playing. I really enjoy the setting, the world building, and the clunky yet strategic combat system but for a sandbox world intended to be played with others, the loneliness is palpable.
Perhaps there were others online, but they were all on some end game continent that I would eventually reach in a few months, but with the way Age of Wushu plays, I desperately needed other players right away. Or perhaps if I had found a player run stall or marketplace where I could have purchased some of the items I needed, I would have been able to manage, however if such stalls were available I was unable to identify them and the only marketplace UI I found appeared to have nothing in it.
Maybe I’m just missing something all together, something that would readily be fixed with a little research but to what end? Ultimately that’s what lead me to the decision to pass on Age of Wushu and give Black Desert another try, the realization that I was fighting an uphill battle with a game that apparently did not want me to play it for an experience I could have been getting elsewhere and easier. Yes, that’s right. Age of Wushu makes Black Desert’s systems appear simple and user friendly by comparison.
So what lead to this realization? A few things really but it all began with bag space. After the 48 hour waiting period my Shaolin character was finally deleted and I was able to start over as a Tangmen. With the offline cultivation from the Jianghu VIP service I was able to elevate my inner skills to 10 which along the way opened up my school storyline. This meant that I was not left feeling quite as directionless as I had been before.
At this point I was having a good time with the game despite feeling the limitations from an 18 slot item bag. I had learned from my first play through not to open any of the bags of goodies I received for leveling or being a new player because they quickly crowded my inventory space. Better to hold onto them until later when additional bags become available and my inventory was expanded. I even checked the cash shop for bags and they were available— $12 for 36 additional slots in all four tabs— but the price was for a 30 day rental of said bags so that was not an option.
A little research and I realized I could either make them as a tailor or buy them from another player. With no other players in sight I went to town to learn to make my own. Here in lies another problem though. I also needed to be able to cook my own food to keep my nutrition levels up and already had the skill but I was not able to learn both cooking and tailoring. What’s more, my cooking profession and the farming skill required to harvest cooking materials plus the quest rewards I was receiving created a never ending mini game of “what else can I discard.”
Suffice it to say, the combination of having to be self reliant in a game built around cooperation and the lack of sufficient storage lead me to the realization that despite my interest in Age of Wushu, the end result was not going to be worth the struggle, not on an apparently dead server anyway. And with Snail Games tying the Jianghu VIP service to the server and not the account, switching to see if another server was more populated was not an option. I would have even considered buying the baggage space were it permanent at that price but not as a rental.
Instead, I decided to cut my losses and give Black Desert another try. They’re vastly different and as I said I would have liked to have been apart of Age of Wushu when it first began. So much of what I experienced would have been different when other players were prevalent and trading, guilding, and mutual protection was readily available. I will miss Grandma Tang and seeing the beggars and street sweepers in town, and I’ll have to go elsewhere if I want to kidnap another player whilst they’re offline, but otherwise Age of Wushu simply made it too difficult for me to get into the game. From the limited baggage space, the lack of other players, and a subscription style service tied to a specific server, the effort wasn’t going to be worth the reward. And that’s unfortunate, because underneath it all Age of Wushu appears to be an MMO that I would really like have liked to explore.