It’s A Wipe! (Preview)
MMORPGs are fun to play, but they’ll suck the life right out of you if you let them. I played World of Warcraft more for the PvE aspect as I hated having to memorize complex boss fights and being yelled at by nerd-raging guild leaders who don’t have a life outside of their own bedroom. I’m now WoW-free, but was excited to see “It’s A Wipe” hit Steam’s Greenlight page. A game that allows you to manage your own guild, bark orders during raids, and level up your characters? Yes, please! Before we get started, I’d like to thank Harry Durnan for providing me with an early copy. It’s important to note that the game is still being worked on, so everything you see below is subject to change.
The main menu allows you to start a new game, continue an existing one, and adjust game options. The options menu allows you to change the combat speed, change the resolution, toggle fullscreen, adjust audio sliders, change the color of the text, and a number of other gameplay options. Resolutions are limited to 640×480, 800×600, and 1024×768, for those of you curious about widescreen support.
Starting a new game allows you to pick from one of seven classes, name your character and guild, and select a difficulty. I enjoyed the range of classes available and the detail that went into how they specialize. Wizards, for example, do high single target damage while mages do low AOE (area of effect) damage affecting multiple enemies. The warrior is your typical tank and your cleric is the obvious choice for a healer, though druids are a healer melee class that can benefit your party in different ways. Bards provide buffs through song and rogues serve as high single target melee DPS (damage per second).
At the town screen, you’ll be able to perform maintenance on your party members by hiring more, equipping them with gear, and seeing to their needs “socially”. I was surprised by some of the options I had available…”take the night off” for example, which serves as a morale booster. You can recruit new guild members at will by selecting them from a list of candidates. Some have special abilities and dabble in professions so picking characters randomly isn’t in your best interests. It’s also important to keep in mind that only ten characters (including yourself) can raid at any one time, so if you bring on more than ten people, you’ll need to switch them out. Neglected guild members will quit after so long, making it a challenge to juggle your guild and see to their happiness. Your overall guild rank is determined by your gear score…the better the loot your guild has equipped, the higher up you’ll be on the list.
Combat is very streamlined and I’m glad that it’s a simple process. You can assign tanks, healers, and the like before the raid begins. Players unfamiliar to MMOs will be happy to know that the game correctly assigns the classes in their correct positions by default, meaning that they won’t have to do much maintenance. Warriors and melee DPS are put up front while casters and healers are placed towards the back. You won’t be able to control them directly during the battle, but you can tell them what to do (as a group) every game turn. Is your tank taking a beating? Perhaps you should choose the “OMG Heal…” or “Keep The Tanks Up” option. Did one of your characters accidentally step forward or backward (which they often do)? Put them back into place with the “Switch Row” option. Every game turn, you’ll have the ability to choose something different and as long as you pick the right actions for the situations at hand, you’ll generally be in the clear. There are times however where they won’t listen to me, causing a tank to die when he shouldn’t have.
“It’s A Wipe!” has a surprising amount of depth to it. Not everyone will enjoy playing a “raid/guild simulator” when they could be just be participating in an actual raid themselves, but I found it to be an enjoyable experience in spurts. I personally like that you can recruit over ten guild members, just so that you can try different combinations out in the field. Some bosses might call for some extra heals or maybe an extra tank…it all depends on your personal preferences and finding the right party make-up for the boss you’re fighting. Assigning loot to party members is fun and the morale drop experienced by those who didn’t receive a particular piece was a nice touch. When assigning loot, I would have liked the ability to see classes next to names for easy reference, but this is a minor complaint. I’m looking forward to seeing more and am anxiously awaiting the game’s release. I’m told that the game may be out within a month or two (as of 4-1-13), so keep an eye out! There is a downloadable demo available on the official page (link below) should you wish to try it out in the meantime.
You can learn more about the game here:
You can help bring the game to Steam by voting for it on its Greenlight page, here:
You can watch video play sessions here: