Interestingly, German developer InnoGames was established in 2007 out of a very successful hobby project, Tribal Wars. At GDC this past week, I got a chance to take a look at Tribal Wars 2, their forthcoming sequel to the free-to-play persistent strategy game.
Like its predecessor, Tribal Wars 2 is a medieval-themed kingdom builder with a strong PvP focus and where teamwork is essential for success. You start out with a small village and slowly establish your kingdom amidst a large isometric 2D map shared with other players. You can click on others' kingdoms and chat as neighborly as you'd like, but eventually, your objective will be to TAKE OVER EVERYTHING. Clicking on your own kingdom will drill down to let you view your own villages and all of their available upgrades, which is where the fun and strategic mind games come in.
You can, for example, send spies to other villages to scout their buildings and units and to gather intel. Your opponents, however, can employ countermeasures like camouflage for their barracks or dummy heavy cavalries to provide your spies with misinformation. They can even switch weapons among their units to falsify their troop makeup, or extract information from your spies.
If you decide to go ahead and attempt to destroy your meddling enemies, your troops will enter a rock-paper-scissors style combat mode where certain units will have advantages over others. Laying siege to another player's kingdom is a long and involved process, and is greatly behooved by fostering strategic partnerships with your allies. If your siege is successful, the opposing player will have to start building anew if that was the last remaining village under their control.
My brief preview was played out simultaneously on Tribal Wars 2's web and mobile versions, and while the game is in pre-Beta stages right now, I was told that we can expect a CBT in Q2 of this year (first for browser, then on mobile). When the game launches, there will be over 200 achievements to attain, which will each have several different stages to complete and will offer rewards like supplies for your villages.
Tribal Wars 2 is set to release in Summer 2014.
Som Pourfarzaneh / Som has been hanging out with the MMORPG.com crew since 2011, and is an Associate Director & Lecturer in Media, Anthropology, and Religious Studies. He’s a former Community Manager for Neverwinter, the free-to-play Dungeons & Dragons MMORPG from Cryptic Studios and Perfect World Entertainment, and is unreasonably good at Maze Craze for the Atari 2600. You can exchange puns and chat (European) football with him on Twitter @sominator.