A little news from the world of MMORTS to help pass the week. First, Clash of Kingdoms is having a giveaway at BBGsite. If you’re interested in joining the game, now would be a good time There’s More!
Tag - clash of kingdoms
Clash of Kingdoms is celebrating their one year anniversary! While their celebration page seems to miss the mark in terms of targeting strategy gamers, I really did enjoy Clash of Kingdoms earlier this year as it finally brought some real strategy to the genre that can all too often turn into contests about who is online more.
In more personal news, I’ve been super busy as of late, but hope to return to more frequent posting soon. I’ve been playing God of Axion and Battle Pirates in what spare time I have, but the latter is far too slow for non-paying players. Does anyone want to recommend another OSG that isn’t too demanding in terms of time commitment?
Civ World is a gaming that I really wanted to like. Certainly Civilization has been one of my favourite series throughout the years, and even the latest version, Civ V, was brilliant. The main weakness of Civilization, in my opinion, has been the difficulty of multi-player. It still mostly relies on the players to organize themselves. By taking the game to Facebook, Civ World commited to fully embracing multi-player. Unfortunately, a lot of the original series’ appeal was lost in the process.
First, an official congratulations to Ramdas for winning the MMO City Contest! Also a big thank you to everyone who participated and everyone who voted! I hope to be doing another similar contest soon.
I just stumbled across Targa Limited’s new game, Exoplanet War. From the screenshots it looks very much like Imperion, but that doesn’t mean I’m not going to give it a try. It doesn’t hurt that the space orc chick is hot. But Wait, There’s More!
Well, it looks like this is the end. A week ago I had 13 manors and 20k soldiers. Today I have 3 manors and 200 Archers. The days are very dark for Tao, and Shao’s armies are continuing to consume our lands like wildfire. Soon they will be at the gates of Guang-ling, and there’s little we can do to stop them. Read More!
Most of our time spent in online strategy games such as Travian or Lord of Ultima, or casual games such as Cityville or Social City, is spent carefully building beautiful cities and glorious empires. So it’s time to reflect on the cities we build in digital space.
Send in an image of your virtual city as well as a short story about it, also mentioning which game it’s from, and have a chance to win $30 USD in virtual currency to spend on the mmo of your choice. Facebook Credits, Ikariam Ambrosia, Travian Gold, whatever you want.
Submit your images and stories by Monday, March 7th. On the 9th I’ll choose my favourite ten, post them on the site, and then leave it to a public vote. The entry that has the most votes by March 25th wins! Send any entries to firstname.lastname@example.org. Stories will be selected based on humour, epicness, and clarity.
Just a note about my last contest. I only received 4 entries and the winner only had 15 votes! Think you can get more than 15 votes? Then submit!
Here’s my own example of an entry, though obviously I’m ineligible!
Orchid Valley: Clash of Kingdoms
This is Orchid Valley, a busy little town in the Kingdom of Tao. Orchid Valley is nearly identical to the other manors under Gorogorosama’s rule. It has a group of fields, quarries, and lumber yards. As the citizens are too poor to unlock the Plus lots, all of them lay empty across from the Archery Ranges. Orchid Valley has three Archeries, as the denizens believe in doing one thing and doing it well. In this case, that one thing is raining arrows down upon their enemies.
The people of Orchid Valley have recently made an interesting discovery. For some peculiar reason, the advanced Imperial Archers cost more Stone than anything else. A LOT more stone. Unfortunately, the only method of exchanging resources lies in the City’s marketplace, which charges either Gold or Coupons for every transaction. And so, Orchid Valley began an epic endeavor. The workers started upgrading the manor’s warehouse, and upgrading it more. One was not enough, so another was built right next door.
Slowly the warehouse capacity is growing. Meanwhile, Orchid Valley has become the center of Gorogorosama’s realm, as the surplus Wood and Iron from the other manors come flowing in, all stored in Orchid Valley, so that in one fell swoop, Gorogorosama may exchange 10 Million Resources for the Stone he so desperately needs, all for 10 coupons. Will this epic task be complete before the hordes of Shao poor down from the North? Will the exchange of so many resources at once create an inbalance in the space-time continuum? We shall see. We shall see…
I’ve been playing Clash of Kingdoms and it has gotten me thinking about Loyalty.
In Clash of Kingdoms every player starts in one of six kingdoms. Over the course of the game the kingdoms fight for control of the various cities on the map and try to wipe each other out. Starting all players in a kingdom that has a good chance of winning the game is a great game element and something that’s pretty unique to the genre so far. However, it also bring up questions of Loyalty. The game gives each player 3 chances to “Betray” their kingdom and join a different one. Surely this is a tempting offer, especially when my current kingdom, Tao, is quite far behind. However, there is a sense of loyalty that keeps me fighting the good fight. Tao for life! There is a stigma attached to mutineers, but I am wondering why this is.
When first choosing a side in Clash of Kingdoms, the player is given very little information. There is a very brief description of the real-life Chinese province the kingdom is supposed to represent, the location of the kingdom on the map, and then there are two in-game values, “Resource Output” and “Recruit Speed”, and there’s only a 5% difference in the various values. With so little information, it’s safe to say that the player is going in blind and the kingdom he chooses is quite random. In fact, “Random” is actually a choice.
So then, after a week of game play and discovering that his team sucks, why wouldn’t a player decide to jump ship to one of the stronger kingdoms? Mostly this is because of loyalty. But are we bound by loyalty, even to strangers in an online strategy game? Does this work in the real world?
Of course it works in sports. If you support Arsenal, you have to support them even when they don’t win the championship. You can’t suddenly decide to support Manchester because they’re having a few good years.
I also watched “Scent of a Woman” recently. In this film the main character, Charles, witnesses some classmates set up a vandalism prank and has to decide to accept a bribe to rat them out, or stay silent and be expelled. The film suggests, and probably most of us feel, that the noble path, the path of integrity, is for Charles to hold his tongue. Certainly this makes sense if these classmates were his friends, but the film describes that they were not; they just happened to attend the same school; they just happened to be in the Tao kingdom. Nevertheless, we must be loyal.
But how far does that loyalty go? In the film, the classmates splattered paint on a car owned by the school. Sure, it was a prank, but what if it was worse? If the classmates had stolen something, is Charles still bound to be loyal to these acquantences? If they had killed someone? Lord knows if I saw some random classmates kill someone, I’d call the bloody cops. At the same time, I know that even if the other kingdoms conquer all our other cities and have Gaung-ling surrounded, I will proudly die a loyal member of Tao.
I finally updated the List of Games again. Today’s additions include Baltheo, Excalibur Online, and Warflow, as well as Clash of Kingdoms and Glory of Rome which I neglected to add earlier.
I feel pretty confident when I say I won’t have time to do a full review of Baltheo or Warflow. Far as I can tell from the screenshots of Batheo, it’s the same as Warflow but set in Greece instead of China. Also, based on the few minutes I spent with Warflow I know there are much better games worth your play-time.
For example, Antzzz, which is a great game, just opened a new server. Despite the low graphics, the game play is fun and refreshing. I’ve also been spending a lot of time with Clash of Kingdoms lately, but more on that later.
So, what is the latest in world of online strategy games? I’m glad you asked. Here I’ve collected some recent news that I stole from other people.
Guzzer posted about the start of Aloriah’s new server. What was great about the post is he included a really good summary of what he learned from the first round. Anyone wanting to succeed in this browser game should definitely check it out. Hopefully he won’t mind if I post it here:
1. Focus should be on civilization build only with scenario points farming on the side. Once built up, you can catch up on scenario points quite easily.
2. Expand as fast as you can, take the risk! You do not need to send an overwhelming force with your settlers as you can just dodge mobs on the way. Once you establish a new village, the hero protective skill, wall, moat and towers will aid your village defense greatly.
3. It is a pve race to the Mother Dragon. Anything else slows you down.
Next, Inside Social Games adds their own Clash of Kingdoms. Christopher Mack echoed that “…a strong cooperative play element makes this particular strategy game feel a bit different” but seemed to be overwhelemed by the breadth of the game. I wonder what he would say about Ministry of War, which was a little much even for me.
Speaking of online strategy games set in ancient China, Gamasutra posted a case study about Kingory which is a pretty interesting read. I think this is an important quote that more game developers should strive for: “The simple idea that drives Kingory? We just wanted to make it fun.”
Finally, I started to check out yet another Facebook game, Urban Warfare. I don’t think I’ll find the time to go more in-depth though, because honestly, it’s not that good. Christopher Mack strikes again with a review on Inside Social Games, this time adding something I’d never considered before that is true for pretty much every online strategy game: “For some unexplained reason, everyone in the universe of Urban Warfare is at war with everyone else.”