DOFUS was the first game I worked on when I joined Ankama, and my first MMO as a designer.
Back then, the game was already live since a while, but the players were mostly directly dropped in, with but a couple NPCs in game to give em a gool ol’ textwall as a substitute for a proper early game.
So we made one. Incarnam, as we called it, was a whole zone destined to handle everything from the character creation to the point the player felt confident enough to venture in the big, big world that is DOFUS without any way to come back in the newbie-lands.
Fight, craft, death mechanics, quests, dungeons, loot, everything was covered and we made a whole slew of unique content just for this zone, and it became a small world within the game with his own distinct personality. It worked beautifully.
It worked so well, actually, that some players actually never left the area and preferred making another character to venture into the game proper!
A year later or so, as project lead on Wakfu, I also provided technical assistance to the DOFUS team in order to help them to move on from their 1.x version to 2.0. This involved a major re-haul of the client and graphical engine, and was kind of a big deal. We were actually pretty scared to lose a lot of players in the change, but the aging client needed to go, and in retrospect, we did the right choice.
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