Age of Wushu: Tempest of Strife Preview: How’s the weather under there?

Since its 2013 launch, Age of Wushu has received a fairly positive reaction from players. Its open world sandbox environments and unique martial arts combat make it stand out from other MMOs, offering up something new for both fans of the genre and Wuxia lore. That's why it makes sense that the game is set to receive its fourth major free content update. The Tempest of Strife expansion is set to hit Age of Wushu on May 7th, and it'll add loads of fresh content including brand new factions and dynamic effects.

In an online press stream held last week, Snail Games showcased gameplay from the upcoming add-on, and there's definitely a lot to be excited about for fans. Additionally, if you've been on the fence about jumping on board the Age of Wushu train, now seems to be a great time to do so.

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Dubbed “Age of Wushu 2.0,” Tempest of Strife tweaks a lot of aspects to create a more robust experience. The biggest draw is that you're no longer tied to a specific school. You can leave any of the game's factions and pursue a different school. Ditching a school prematurely means you lose a large amount of the skills gained from said school, so you really have to think hard about whether or not leaving is right for you. This is especially true considering that actually graduating lets you keep skills if you eventually join another school.

The original eight factions remain intact, but Tempest of Strife also adds six brand new factions to Age of Wushu, three of which are hidden. You can also refrain from aligning yourself with any of the game's factions. While this could potentially be a daunting undertaking, it allows for more creativity and freedom in your style of play. Opting to skip any of the game's schools essentially means you can do what you want while creating a unique character.

The Shen Family Castle is the first of the new factions. This chivalrous group has healing powers and focuses on long-range combat. The Beast Villa faction is an animal-like group based on lions, tigers, snakes, and eagles. Then there's the Xu Village, which is a powerhouse tank faction that can also make campfires to cook food. This particular group has a heavy entrance requirement tied to your infamy. Basically, you can't join if you've initiated PvP and killed 300 players.

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The first of the hidden factions is the Rootless Sect. These willingly castrated warriors (yup) are good at both ranged and melee combat. They can reduce cooldown for their skills and castrate other players' characters. The Palace of the Shifting Flowers is an all-female lunatic faction that's not afraid to kill anyone. They can gain temporary buffs and summon maids to obtain loot for them. Last is the Peach Blossom Island, a villainous faction that focuses on musical attacks and speedy movement. In addition, they can buff groups and utilize water mounts.

Aside from the new schools, Tempest of Strife features a new dynamic weather system. This includes day/night cycles, snow, fog, solar eclipses, dust storms, thunderstorms, and tornadoes. As a result, environments can change, with new shadow elements potentially affecting gameplay. What this entails is the addition of ambush points so players can be a lot sneakier and more tactical in different situations.

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Adding to the weather element are dynamic events that only occur during specific weather conditions. These events, which require at least 50 players, can last anywhere between one and two hours and are fairly difficult to complete. Events range from taking out groups of ranged enemies to battling it out with tough boss-like warriors. These sequences are based on chaos and mayhem and are filled with strong enemies. Of course, you'll be appropriately rewarded with collection tokens that can be traded in for boxes of different goods.

It certainly looks like Tempest of Strife will breathe even newer life into Age of Wushu, which is still a pretty new MMO in and of itself. It's a nice, beefy expansion that will add loads of engaging, dynamic, and unique content for players to really get the most out of. Tempest of Strife launches as part of Age of Wushu tomorrow.

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