Plus XP

The Next Level In Gaming

I’m not a guy for MMO’s. Mostly because they’re expensive and take up a lot of time. Don’t get me wrong I had fun, but I prefer being able to dip in and out of games. I loved the original stronghold. It was simple and enjoyable castle simulator with a decent difficulty curve and plenty of character. The last few games in the stronghold series were ok but didn’t hold my attention like the original. I was pleasantly surprised to hear about Kingdoms and decided to dip into it.

After setting up an account you chose a parish to start off in with a few supplies and peasants. You are given a few start-up quests to get you on your way. It didn’t take me long to get used to the set up. Finding a balance between the martial aspects of the game like self-defence and maintaining an army with the industrial and arts which allows you to progress and get stronger. The castle building aspect is fairly solid however player designs tend toward a mash of stone and towers to keep people out rather than the elegant connecting buttress and courtyard system that most would recognise from most castles.

So, the browser type build and conquer mechanics are fairly sound. But what of the social aspects of it? Well I can only speak for my Parish where, unsurprisingly things got…political. The players generally don’t attack each other due to the honour cost if they are not at war. Plus there is the threat from the AI castles and siege camps can be even more troublesome. However, from what I have seen once factions have started so does a power struggle. Not just the traditional power struggle you would see in any given MMO, but more destructive ego trips. In the Parish chat apart from the odd helpful comment there has been a fair amount of vitriol over council elections and player actions.

I didn’t feel like I was part of a community. The only person to show kindness to me was my liege Lord who made me a vassal giving me extra supplies and protection in return for a boost to his honour. Still in my mind the beta for Stronghold Kingdoms works pretty well, the freemium system gives players and edge but at the same time there is protection for smaller and newer players if they ask.

I find it a very pleasant diversion and will be playing it for a long time. Oh and probably picking up the stronghold collection as a result.

7/10

-That Bloke In The Beanie

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That Bloke In The Beanie On August - 30 - 2012

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