Wakfu: Kelba Island Review

Wakfu has become one of a very few MMORPG’s with a true companion anime series, and in the case of Wakfu, the companion series actually runs alongside the game. Kelba Island was recently introduced in the anime, and players now have full access to the entirety of the bird infested landmass along with all of the adventures it has to offer. There are a few ways for the player to get to Kelba Island, the first being to take a boat, but the most obvious method is to take the zap gate up to the island, at which point it will tell you that you’ve started Chapter 1 of Kelba Island.

Wakfu - Kelba Gate
It’s a short walk to the marketplace, but finding your goal isn’t exactly difficult. You run into the head of the marketplace whom you ask about a map of the entire world, at which point things become a bit weird. This map supposedly exists, but no one wants to talk about it. Reluctantly, the old man directs you to his competitor, Kabrok, whose shop lies in the east. As you walk there, true to the formula of Wakfu, you are not attacked unless you initiate combat with one of the many wandering mobs. In spite of this, it does a great job of constantly trying to provoke you. For example a random quest would pop up telling me that I had ten minutes to kill at least five of the mobs around me. Well, that’s a great notion, but very ill advised if you’re not in a party.

Reaching the shop actually continued the main quest of Kelba Island where you speak to Miranda rather than Kabrok. She immediately tells you that the map isn’t for sale but she will be glad to give it to you for free so long as you perform a rather simple task. The task is to protect a convoy that aims to bring a package to her, however once you take part in the convoy you find yourself attacked by a number of different mobs. The first encounter is difficult, the second one is worse, and on the third you are accosted by a winged fellow calling himself ‘The Black Crow’. This is where the story actually starts to become interesting. There are numerous plot twists, lots of exploration, and overall, the game is actually a ton of fun.

Wakfu - Old Man There were several things that I found interesting about Kelba Island, the most obvious being the amount of detail that they actually put into this new area. I found plenty of places to explore, some of which were easier to access than others. The greatest story of course was that of the elusive Black Crow, which I’m not about to spoil for you.

Wakfu - The Black Crow

As is to be expected with the Wakfu experience, there is plenty of content on this new island, and players finally get the chance to experience the joy of meeting characters from the television show. I found that even though I was not incredibly familiar with the Wakfu lore, I was still able to enjoy this expansion. That said, even if you’ve spent the last few years dungeon diving rather than actually enjoying the questline, you will still find plenty to love about this expansion.

Okay so you’ve heard the good and admittedly, it’s pretty amazing, but there is some bad. Strangely enough, the ‘bad’ has nothing to do with the game or content, but rather the lack of population it the World of Twelve. Even when logging in I could tell there was going to be a problem. The game only featured two servers, and both of them boasted a low population. They weren’t kidding. Even on Kelba Island I rarely found another player running about, and the few I did notice weren’t really interested in grouping. This became a bit of a problem, because the later quests in the Kelba questline called for more than one person to complete. In some quests mercenaries were available to do your bidding, but I found myself alone against insurmountable odds. Even though I had my character maxed, I was still being hit for nearly 50% of my total health, and that made it very difficult to progress. Is this a bad thing? In most MMORPG’s, you would simply come back with a group, after all, that’s the point of a multiplayer game. In this case, however, I couldn’t find anyone in the overworld interested in taking on the content and using the group finder was not of much help either. In other words, if you really want to play this game, even the new content, you would do well to bring a friend. Of course, those who already have guilds have likely torn through this content and had no problem finding someone to play with. If you are new to the World of Twelve, however, you would do well to completely immerse yourself into the world and the community in the hopes that you will find someone to play with. Even if you cannot find someone at first, however,there is still plenty of fun to be had, and plenty to like about the game. All in all, it’s a pretty fun game.

Wakfu - Hanibal's Lair

Another problem I ran into was the Steam client. As you may know, the game recently went Free to Play and was released on Steam not long ago, and my first instinct was to download it from there, thinking it would be fantastic as most other Steam games are. Well it turns out that they completely dropped the ball on this one. The client, when it would make it to the login screen tended to freeze, and would eventually just crash. I thought that this was jut a problem on my end until I ran into a low level player who claimed to have the same issue. This could simply be a Windows 8 problem, or maybe it is something that the developers need to work on. Either way, it’ll be a bit of a show stopper for those who don’t know that there is another way to download the game.

As a final note, I will say that I did find the Kelba Island content to be a bit more accessible than most expansion content in other games. Even though I wasn’t the most experienced player in the game, I found it incredibly easy to get to the island and I was able to jump right into the storyline. To make it even better, I could actually see myself returning to this MMO in the future just to experience the other storylines, or even participate in future expansions. Though it has a very low population, it is clear that the developers have put a LOT of thought into this game and considered what would actually be fun for the players. Those I did encounter in the world could find absolutely no complaints relating to the game or the content.
Wakfu - Map

The game is still highly accessible, just as with Dofus in that anyone can play on virtually any setup. For example I played it on one of my lower end Netbooks(a Dell Mini 10) and experienced very little lag. You would think that such a fun and highly accessible MMORPG would draw more people in, but alas, many potential players are still hanging out in Azeroth.

To make the game even better, like Dofus, the combat system is largely reminiscent of Final Fantasy Tactics or Tactics Ogre with many more options for character attacks. The battles take place on a grid in a separate instance, though unlike Dofus, you can actually happen upon other players in combat and watch their battle as a spectator. During the battle players will have an opportunity to employ several different attacks based on their class choice, though it is all quite turn based. There is a LOT of fun to be had here if you simply take some time to get used to the combat system, and those who have played the ‘tactics’ games in the past will feel right at home. I know I did. One of the battles I participated in actually called for you to AVOID attacking the combatants, and instead lure them toward explosive elemental barrels, where attacking each one would cause the corresponding enemy to die. Not an easy feat, but it certainly broke up the monotony of combat, and I do like a game that knows how to shake it up.

Wafu - Fight

All in all, this is one game that you’ll have to try for yourself, but if you’ve played Wakfu in the past and enjoyed it, then you absolutely must return to visit Kelba Island. Walking across this beautifully detailed landscape seriously made me feel like I’d landed in the realm where ‘The Crow’ came from. Just remember to grab it from the primary website rather than Steam, at least until they fix the problems.

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About Rissa Trent

Rissa grew up on a farm, playing shareware games like Wolfenstein 3D, Doom, Operation Comat, Solar Winds, and Kingdom of Kroz. Later she would dabble in Real Time Strategy games, and eventually left home to go on a cross country adventure of self discovery where she found out absolutely nothing. Today she works as a copywriter and games journalist.