I’ve gone back and re-read this before posting and acknowledge that it is haphazardly structured and likely doesn’t fully explain or cover much. Sorry.
I found this game on Steam about a month ago now.
Before getting into the game, lemme deal with the issue/controversy: the game’s origins and administration. The game is made by a Chinese studio, Booming Games, and marketed by a Russian company, mygames .com (broken link on purpose eh). It is free-to-play with, of course, “premium” pay-for-cosmetic-stuff-&-XP-bonus options (more on this later in the post).
I have had no problems with the game. Apparently right around when I found the game they started new servers for North America and for the most part they run just fine. I don’t worry about my information being stolen: I play games on a Windows machine that is only for playing games on Steam. The only personal information available is what I have on Steam and what Steam knows about one of my PayPal accounts. I did a review of the forums a couple of days after I started playing showed no comments about being hacked, etc. so I decided to continue playing.
The game is an MMORPG about medieval siege battles. I’m told this is a combination of Mount & Blade (a game I never got into due to the crappy graphics and clunky interface) and the Total War games.
You create a character (name, likeness) and are asked to choose a starting place, except there currently is no choice: you start in the fief of Turul Varos. There is a brief tutorial where you can try out all of the 12 different weapons available: nodachi, glaive, poleax, long sword and shield, short sword and shield, short bow, long bow, firearms, spear, daggers, etc. All characters can play any weapon at any time and yes, the choice of weapon greatly affects gameplay. Things are very different if you have a gun than if you have a sword, etc. They also teach you how to ride a horse, an essential part of the game.
And then you are off: you are a new warlord, with a small band of troops, and you will be fighting in field and siege battles with other warlords who command their own troops. There are infantry troops, ranged units and cavalry. There are a plethora of siege devices and engines: trebuchets, ballistas, flaming arrow launchers, etc. There are historically-based troops from all over the world: rattan-armored sword fighters and Russian cavalry and Italian hammerers and English archers, etc., etc.
I have been having great fun storming the castles. And defending the castles. And running down rebel camps.
And then I found out that I could leave the fief!
There’s an enormous world, with dozens and dozens of fiefs, all with their own territory and resources that can be gathered and bright back to your fief (for a fee) to make your fief stronger.
Did I mention that? The fiefs can all be controlled by a House. And taxes levied. And defenses bolstered. Because twice a week, other Houses might attack your fief and try and take it away from you. And they might get help from other Houses, form an Alliance and try and crush your House.
So the game has multiple aspects: sometimes you are a person in a town, crafting and talking to people/NPCs, doing quests, etc. Sometimes you are a Hero, leading your troops into battle in open fields or trying to take or defend a city or fortification in a fun battle. And sometimes you are a Hero, leading your troops in trying to actually take control (or keep control) of a fief and all the resources therein.
I have just recently reached Level 100, which is the bottom threshold to be able to participate in all the different types of battles (or games) and to do the twice-weekly Territory Wars.
My first Territory War
I was on back-up (15 per team at a time playing and we had like 30 of us on the team) and when I rotated in, the battle was already happening. We were assaulting. I took a squad of long-range archers around way right and put up ladders to access the top of their fief’s outer wall. Then I stationed the archers where they could cover a crossroads that led to my objective. I then left them, dropped down to the street level and ran thru the market area to the enemy’s supply point. I managed to capture it just before another guy on a horse with a squad of arquebusiers chased me down. Luckily my archers got about ⅓ of the gunners as they went thru the crossroads and I managed to get around enough corners to get away. I then ran straight at the back of their line of defense, slashing the backs of shield troops with my nodachi and trampling them with my horse before I finally was able to break thru and into my own side’s troops so I could get back to my archers. I took away 2 defenders (and their troops) from the front line for about 2 minutes and ultimately were were able to break thru and gain control of the fief. Now every week my House get tribute in the form of levied taxes on all the resources gathered in the territory (yes, we set the tax) and I think we collect a tax on the items made in the town that players buy (kit to resupply troops, artillery, etc.).
Lots of resources but only a few categories: timber, ore, cotton, food, skins. There’s a bunch of sub-categories within those, but those are the basics. The resources are used by a fief to grow the fief and to make stuff. Each fief has certain troop kits and artillery/siege engines that they manufacture OR that can be manufactured there. I found out the hard way that I cannot just make kits for my Vassal Archers: I have to collect the right resources and then take them to a fief that has the ability to make their kits. Each troop unit requires its own type of kit for repairs and resupply; you can pay bronze coins but that gets expensive.
Gathering resources allows you to do research to more effectively gather resources. There’s something else in the research tree too, but frankly I haven’t managed to unlock past a certain point yet so I don’t even know what I’m working towards in that respect.
The fee for a premium account is really high, like $55/quarter so over $220/year. It offers a huge XP bonus, but here’s the thing: XP in this game is worthless. It isn’t an indicator of anything, really. You have to be 100 to play all the different types of games/battles, but there are no stats that are increasing with each level you gain.
The important thing in this game is Honor, which is used to enhance your troops. A premium account gives you a +30% boost to Honor (and some nifty cosmetics, natch) but near as I can tell, that’s really all you’re getting for your $220+/year: 30% more Honor.
IMO, not worth the money at all.
Season 6 was winding down just as I started playing; Season 7 starts in 10 days. Like a lot of games, a Season Pass gives you enhanced rewards, cosmetics, etc. for the duration of the season (in this game they seem to be about 3-4 months). I plan on spending the $10 for the S7 pass (if I enjoy a game I have no problem paying something for it) so I’ll let y’all know if I get hacked in the future as a result.
This game is complicated. There is a lot going on and I’m still a noob trying to figure it all out. I was shocked when I opened the world map for the first time, tho. It’s a really big map; it easily takes more than an hour to go from one end to the other even if you aren’t fighting or gathering resources. Right now there are 6 or 7 large Alliances that control 90% of the map; I see more new Houses and Alliances popping up a lot tho as I guess the server is getting more populated.
Oh, and the map isn’t the whole world. I’d say the part of the world that we’re currently playing on is only about 1/16 of the whole world map that is currently viewable.
Anyone else playing this? Anyone even heard of it? I’m happy to try and answer questions about the gameplay, of course.