Upplagd: 28 juni
Stronghold kingdoms is a difficult game to explain at the outset, so I'll just go over the basics without going past a few paragraphs. It's a good game, though it requires a lot of patience, for reasons you can read below if you want. In sum, it's for a patient, deliberate type of gamer, and is certainly a rewarding experience. Onto the real meat:
You'll see pretty much every negative review on this game say it's "pay to win", which shows that they took one look at the game, saw that they had to pay, and then quit. It's essentially a subscription-based model, where you pay for premium either by the week or the month, which makes progressing through the game much faster than if you were a free player. It rounds out to about $8 a month, plus some spare change left over to buy card packs. At the cost of a Netflix subscription (or a large case of soda), it's worth the money to spend just for the benefits that you get as a premium member. The only way for money to become a serious problem is if you're spending thousands of dollars on the game to progress at ludicrously fast speeds, at which point the player is a bigger problem that the game can handle.
So now onto the review. The game is a medieval, strategy-based, simulation MMO where you build a kingdom, interact with other kingdoms, and do your best to balance the two without going overboard. It doesn't sum up the tense and thoughtful experience that you get with the game, nor will most of the promotional materials. It's a game about tactics, waiting, thinking, and looking into the future to see what you best actions will be a day or two from now. It's an accurate simulation of the politics and world-building of the middle ages all bottled up into a deliberately paced experience, one that's definitely worth trying out just to feel the experience.
Naturally, time is an important factor in this game. To get anything done, you need to produce raw materials with your buildings. This includes resources, weapons, and gold - all of which you have to wait a while to get in large amounts. By "a while", it's more like hours until you have the opportunity to expand on a larger scale - waiting for your village to populate, your buildings to produce, and your merchants to trade with others. Much like an idle game, it's best to wait a long time between play sessions to get the most out of your game. Otherwise you'll be checking it all the time, obsessed over when you have the opportunity to start developing. Unlike an idle game, it's not just a matter of upgrading the most expensive thing you can afford and waiting for another day. Indeed, you spend a long time looking over all the options you have at your disposal until you realise you don't have anything left to do at the time.
There is a level of depth and strategy in this game that is completely unique from most games that I've played. The game is simply about optimisation - you have to optimise your buildings, your research, your village placement, your military, and the production of materials to create all these. You also have to optimise the timeframe of when you create these events. This means you have to decide what to create, when to create it, how it will affect your village, your military, and your production, and you have to know if it'll create any difference in the short term to realise your long-term plans. It is a deep experience to go into, with the possibilities rolling in your mind the entire time you're looking at your village statistics. It's like upgrading your character in an RPG, feeling the same amount of pride you do in yourself as you do with your kingdom.
Also, you don't need to worry too much about the community. Pretty much all of the players are friendly, looking out for their best interests instead of trying to ruin your day. Most battles are petty, with a small-time raider taking the resources of another village far away - even then only if they're an incredibly weak and defenseless target. If you're at the point where you can let anybody walk in and take your resources, then you let that happen to yourself. The only way for a decent player to have all their villages destroyed is to ♥♥♥♥ off a large vassal without making any diplomacy, which is how all my villages were destroyed two years ago.
In essence, it's a good game, whether or not you can pay the subscription fee. It gets much better and much faster if you can pay for it, and it is an investment I recommend. It isn't at all a distilled experience like you get with almost every other kingdom-building game on the market, and is a worthy video game in it's own right. It's a unique and engrossing game for sure, and it's one you can download in a few minutes and try out. You do get a two-day subscription to see if you like it, which is a nice feature, if a bit like bait. I really do like this game, even if all my playtime is off the Steam client.
P.S. if you're curious, my handle is "Enthers". Please don't raid my apple farms.