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Do You Even Strategy, Bro?

Merging years of military service and gaming to bring opinions, advice and reviews/previews of any game that can benefit from a little bit of strategic and tactical vision.

Author: brando13184

Your Sandbox Awaits, m'Lord! Preview for Life is Feudal

Posted by brando13184 Wednesday January 15 2014 at 5:52PM
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If Gaming is Life and Life is Feudal then Gaming must be Feudal or something of that nature. A considerable portion of the more hardcore gaming population is what I like to think of as “transient” seeking that holy grail of online games. Gaming nomads jump from game to game looking for the perfect set of features and game mechanics to plant their roots and call it “home.” I specifically think of one type of gamer in this regard and that would be the Sandbox MMO player. Life is Feudal is the title of an upcoming MMORPG entering the world of online Sandbox games joining the ranks of a very niche genre that hasn’t garnered the attention of “Theme Park” MMOs such as Everquest, World of Warcraft and Star Wars: The Old Republic. Sandbox MMOs are unique in their ability to affect the world through some sort of building mechanic involving terraforming and/or building placement driven entirely by the player base as the central premise of the game. Some MMOs may include these features in a limited sense, but good Sandbox games capitalize on this mechanic as their core. What makes this genre puzzling is the fanatical obsession with building games like Minecraft has not translated into other games with similar goals albeit the limitations on the degree in which a player can affect the terrain in a build block or Voxel-based system. One could argue and probably will that Minecraft is relatively new to the mainstream world breaking out of its indie roots and giving birth to a whole new slew of games in this vein. As MMOs these titles see limited success as in the case of Xsyon, which is a Post-Apocalyptic MMORPG with terraforming and modular building. The internet is a fickle mistress in bringing certain games to the surface while others lay inexplicably buried under the mass of tubes that make up the interwebs.

 

 

Life is Feudal offers many of the same features as Minecraft allowing players to affect the terrain through a robust terraforming system and then build upon the world in a modular building style complete with placeable furniture and other objects. LiF focuses on immersing players in a medieval setting devoid of the high fantasy elements of wizards and other unearthly creatures echoing a style similar to Mount and Blade. The feature list of LiF pulls from some of the most popular games of the past that have resonated well with players driving a great deal of nostalgia with many proclaiming the desire for someone, anyone to come along and combine all of their favorite concepts into one, comprehensive MMO. The team building Life is Feudal shares that same vision having played many of those same titles finally giving in to the desire to play that dream MMO. Thus, Life is Feudal was born and continues to develop into a very promising Sandbox MMORPG.

A browse through their website at http://www.lifeisfeudal.com reveals a laundry list of features that echo the cries of many Sandbox MMO nomads looking for a place to call home. The promise of conquest with an extensive siege system and PvP consisting of player built kingdoms gleams a sense of Shadowbane and Darkfall Online boasting a robust crafting system that would turn the head of any respectable Ultima Online refugee. A physics based combat system with melee, ranged and mounted components is sure to interest anyone spending any time in Mount and Blade or Mortal Online. In fact, the game is set to include a formation mechanic which will grant bonuses to those who maintain formations with their forces that has become popular in many of the cRPG Mods in Mount and Blade. Teamwork will go beyond simply calling targets as players must now exercise even more command control over their forces to garner the bonuses from the system.

 

 

For the crafters and harvesters in the room there are equally exciting prospects that replace the mundane existence of staring at progress bars with the option to do just that if you enjoy the mind numbing effects of simple, repetitive tasks. The game’s crafting and harvesting system features a series of mini-games that make the player feel like their actually accomplishing the act. A wood cutting mini-game allows you to unleash your inner lumberjack with another featuring some anvil smashing bringing out the blacksmith that lives in us all just screaming to get out and crush metal with a hammer. To make things even more interesting, the mini-games are playable as an app on the website or a mobile device. As of this article I hadn’t done the research on child labor laws as they pertain to MMOs, but I know plenty of gamers are already training their little ones to compete with all those Chinese gold farmers.

 

 

The developers are going all out to bring about an immersive medieval sandbox in which players build their own kingdoms and wage war in a brutal campaign against one another. The game will record major accomplishments and battle statistics to tell an ongoing tale set within its own fictional world driven by the harsh realities of the Dark Ages. For many of us who wear the title of MMO nomad wandering through the niche world of Sandbox MMORPGs this one certainly promises to check all the boxes for a truly epic struggle driven by player politics romanticized about in games like EVE Online, Darkfall Online and past titles like Shadowbane.

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Brandon aka “Brando” aside from sporting the most original nickname in the world has spent many years playing many different MMOs as a self-proclaimed ‘Sandbox Nomad’ wandering throughout the niche genre dodging PKs and building mighty virtual empires.  He spends most of his time serving in the United States Air Force and gaming with MilitaryGamers.com and the source of all the love and affection in his virtual life as guild leader of the Silver Sun Republic.