Playing the game, even when you're not.
As Age of Wushu fans know, the Martial Arts MMO has already broken several of the usual molds which are commonly seen in most other titles in the genre. They accomplished this by not implementing traditional character class or leveling systems and instead replace them with systems that allow for a more customizable progression experience. This isn't the only area where they are "changing the game" however. In addition to the changes mentioned above, they are also changing the way players approach going offline in Age of Wushu with their "Offline Living" systems.
Playing While Offline
When most gamers think of the term "logging out", they usually interpret that as no longer being active in whatever world they were a part of. Other players can't see their character, and it's almost as if their character no longer exists in that universe, until their next play session. This is what we typically get in most MMO's.
Age of Wushu has decided to go a different route. When you log out, instead of your character disappearing from the world entirely, they will still be seen by other players. While you're away, your character will take up tasks such as becoming a Blacksmith, street performing, running a local shop, or even helping in a tavern. Other players can then interact with your character as if they were NPC's themselves, giving the world a bit more of an organic feel to it.
Making the world feel more alive isn't the only thing this feature does however. All of the salary earnings your character has acquired through the tasks they were doing while you were away, will be given to you upon your next log in session. Exp rewards that go towards learning and mastering new abilities can also be acquired if your character decides to help instruct at a local martial arts school during your latest offline session.
Certain interactions your character makes while you're offline, such as talking to specific people or thwarting another players attempts at a spy mission, can also lead to interesting random encounters when you log back in.
With Reward, Comes Risk
So having an "Offline System" in place that gives you rewards for the game while not even playing may be going a little overboard if there weren't any risks involved. For Age of Wushu players, the risk for them falls in being kidnapped by another player while offline. Yes kidnapped. While your character is busy cleaning the streets or working the vendors while you're offline, it also leaves them up for grabs by other players who don't necessarily "play by the rules".
If you are successfully kidnapped by another player, they can then choose to "sell you to employment". Reaping the benefits of selling you, while your character works hard and forced labor. If you're sold by another player you also wont be getting any of the rewards from working for them so having a few buddies to watch your shop while you're offline may be beneficial for your safety(and your income).
Living offline in Age Of Wushu is definitely an interesting game play mechanic, which we don't see in many of today's current MMO's. One has to wonder if extended offline sessions will almost work as a "Meta Game" for some of the more dedicated Age of Wushu fans and how this will play out for the game in the long run. For more information on Age of Wushu be sure to head over to their Official Website.