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OP 3/01/13 8:21:22 PM#1
I've been playing for about three weeks now and I'm really enjoying this game.
I'm a big fan of the single player original and Crusader, so I may have a bit of bias.
There are some quirks, such as the same building requires more material and time to construct every time. It goes against basic logic.
Industry buildings that are farther away from your granary or stockpile are less productive, which makes sense, because the peasant working them has to make the longer walk to the storage. But a hovel, which houses your peasants, houses less peasants if it is far away from your village hall. It's the same building. Why wouldn't it house twelve peasants no matter where it is placed?
Quirks aside, unlike other MMORTS games I've played, I'm not getting rushed by other players who get five armed peasants before I do. I attribute this to the fact that the castle defenses are pretty solid. Also, there are periodic enemy AI attacks, which encourage players to keep their army in their castle to defend it.
The game seems to have a fair amount of depth, with the need to provide your village with foods and the need to gather wood, stone, and iron to construct buildings, defenses, weapons and armor. There are also research trees which improve industry, military, farming, and things like architecture, engineering, philosophy, and theology. Of course, it may be false depth if one eventually researches everything no matter how the game is played. I won't know about that until much later on. I hope that there are some tough choices that have to be made in the research.
There are also enemy AI that you can attack: wolf lairs, bandit camps, and powerful enemy AI (such as The Rat, for those familiar with the single player games).
There are quests. But they are kind of lame. Attack a wolf lair. Forage from a stash of wood. Donate goods to the parish. Some are a bit more "luck of the draw" where you have to gather four types of resources in twenty four hours.
Of course there are achievements, too. Like the quests, they are straightforward: Destroy a wolf lair, obtain some amount of gold from trade, defend your keep from enemy AI five times.
The payoff I'm looking for is the business of factions and houses. A house can "win" the world. Houses are made up of factions (which are like guilds). I'm not sure yet how the house wins, but I hope it's by taking and holding territory in the world. That would mean PvP and could mean great PvP if you have to capture keeps and villages from other players.
It will be disappointing if it's just a matter of your house gaining some number of points before any other house on the server does. Which is what it could be.
In conclusion, for those looking for an MMORTS, I recommend this one. It's not tedious like some other MMORTS I have played. It is a game you can look at once a day, and also a game you can push by looking at it every few hours or so.
Caveat: it does have a cash shop that you can use to pay money for cards (which give bonuses, like increased farming or other bonuses), so if you are adverse to "pay to win" games, this is probably not for you. I haven't seen a "pay to win" detriment to this point, so I'm not sure it's that big an issue. I also believe the cards are random, so you can't necessarily buy over and over the "I WIN" card. Non-paying players get cards, too. I haven't paid anything yet and I get three cards a week. The limit for a player who never pays is three a week, because to unlock four cards a week, you have to buy Crowns. If you buy Crowns twice, you can get fourteen cards a week.
Playing | FFXIV: ARR