Riot Games-backed afrofantasy MMO The Wagadu Chronicles just went live on Kickstarter

There's a free tabletop RPG book on offer, too

    
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Riot Games-backed afrofantasy MMO The Wagadu Chronicles just went live on Kickstarter

MMO developer Alexander Zacherl kindly put this game on our radar today, and it couldn’t be more timely, given that this summer’s swelling of support for Black Lives Matter initiatives prompted many people to seek out Black creators and media and games to patronize. The game’s called The Wagadu Chronicles, and as presented in its Kickstarter by Berlin, Germany, developer Twin Drums, it’s both an MMO for PC/Mac and a 5E roleplaying game in an oft-underutilized afrofantasy setting.

Yes, they are explicitly calling it an MMORPG, with a clear emphasis on roleplaying:

“For the first time in gaming history, we are creating a whole space built from the ground up for role-players, from lore to mechanics. These are some of the community features that we are implementing to create such a special environment:

• When in Wagadu’s servers, role-play is recommended to all players
• We’ll have off-world lobbies where players can get any technical support or any role-playing tips on how to act out their character before returning to the actual game world.
• We will reward consistently groups of players that engage in interesting and well-thought role-playing.
• We intend to keep the space safe from harassment and trolls who want to disrupt other people’s story and role-play; we are spending a lot of energy into this and we will have a number of moderation tools both for ourselves and for the community.”

The MMO itself is plainly in a pre-alpha state, but the plan is that it’ll offer multiple skills from cartography to archery, daily experience bundles to minimize the need to grind, a player-centric crafting system, housing and farming, customizable gear, and yes, a full corpse loot mechanic when you die. Twin Drums says it’s collaborating with experts in everything from African biomes to traditional lore to music to make the game feel as authentic as possible. It’s even picked up an Assassin’s Creed voice actor.

The Kickstarter seeks $117K US; it’s already roped in over $25K with 38 days to go, though do note the developers have tweeted they’re also “being supported by” no less than Riot Games. “We have some funding and support from a big developer,” Twin Drums says. “The Wagadu Chronicles is happening. The reason why we are here is because your support can help us improve the game by increasing our development budget and by joining us in this development journey with your feedback and participation.”

The 84-page 5E D&D tabletop RPG book itself is available entirely for free through the Kickstarter, which is pretty damn awesome all by itself, but the PC MMO isn’t expected until Q4 2022.

Source: Kickstarter, official site, Twin Drums. Thank you so much for putting this on our radar, Alexander Zacherl!

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mysecretid

I always like it when games try to expand the limits on what can be done, and what can exist as part of a larger tapestry of choices.

No disrespect to the “old guard” games such as World of Warcraft, but we’ve had a lot of variations on familiar themes by now — adding new gaming options is both cool, and welcome.

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treehuggerhannah

The game is now funded on Kickstarter. :) 35 more days to pick up more support, but they have passed their target for a successful campaign as of today.

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WarchitectNL

I don’t know, man. This entire “game” is pitched around being black, being female and being queer. Oh, and Riot apparently saw an opening for some much needed affirmative action publicity.

I’m curious to see how this will play out for Twin Drums and this game. But this pitch man….as a player, I don’t care about the skincolor, sexuality or gender of the team behind the game. I’m interested in the game. And that’s where I think this approach fails. They might as well had offered a new type of toaster and it would have had the same effect.

April-Rain
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April-Rain

I really stay away from kick starter and don’t back anything any more but probably the last successful kick starter I backed was Massively. But having seen this post it really peaked my interest.

Having read the companies support for black and the queer community which are really under fire in the recent months/ years I decided this project was worth my money and support. I only backed to the game level as I can not really afford a lot but fingers crossed it does release one day.

Its also good to see Riot have also jumped in, but the role-playing aspect does look intriguing, the last time I role played properly was way back in the day with SWG and no game since as really felt the same/ as good to role-play in so hopefully they pull it off.

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Brazen Bondar

After backing three games with no black characters, I think I can throw a little money to this venture. Talking Drums was posting snippets of lore for about 6 months before COVID-19 hit, so my eyes were already on this project. I’ll go out on a limb and bet their characters will have appropriate black skin colors…Wishing the project the best of luck.

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Utakata

“For the first time in gaming history, we are creating a whole space built from the ground up for role-players, from lore to mechanics. These are some of the community features that we are implementing to create such a special environment…”

Sounds a hell of a lot better than this:

“Bonus rolls no longer exist, and the Great Vault captures the value they used to provide to raiders. Non-raiders should also factor in the Great Vault, as completing a Mythic Keystone +15 will award a choice of up to three item-level 226 pieces from the Great Vault.

Currently in the Shadowlands Beta / first tier of the expansion, PvP loot for top ratings caps out at item level 226.”

Source: https://us.forums.blizzard.com/en/wow/t/raid-vs-mythic-loot-tables/652040/5

/bleh

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Rndomuser

Eh… The only unique part about this game is “Afrofantasy world”, which is cool if anyone is into that. Personally I prefer less realistic worlds which are not really based on specific real-life cultures or inspired by real-life locations, same goes for player characters – making another human is boring to me. But hey, I’m sure someone else will find this enjoyable.

Oh, and they are wrong when they are talking in video how people in other MMOs don’t really care about lore or doing in-character RP, I have seen plenty of both lore-friendly and casual RP in various games, from EVE Online (yes, there are people who do Amarr or Guristas RP according to in-game lore or do other types of more casual RP) and WoW to LOTRO and games like VRChat, which isn’t really an MMO but has plenty of various kind of RP, with a lot of genuinely unique character avatars, from humanoid characters to furry characters to random fantasy characters or objects.

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Toy Clown

This will tentatively go on my to-watch list. At this stage, I’m most impressed with a diverse dev team and the focus on actual roleplay.

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treehuggerhannah

I love everything about this. Setting, afrofantasy concept, design goals, etc.

Will the utopian vision hit some reality roadblocks at some point? Undoubtedly.

But I’m still going to back it, because I want to support it and see it hopefully come to fruition.

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Paragon Lost

I’m a big fan of Kickstarter, but I will never back another mmo on Kickstarter. I feel that the platform is not the right fit for mmos. The tabletop rpg version is very interesting and I like what I’ve read about that.

Mr. E.™
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Mr. E.™

I’m with you on this one. I’ve been burned one too many times on MMO Kickstarters.