Fantasy Friday - The Online Kingdom (MMORTS) Overview
An Overview of the Online Kingdom (MMORTS)
Hello everyone! As promised, we have a very huge FF today as we prepare for a very big Monday/Tuesday! We figured that since all of our information has been more or less scattered around the forums, it would help to have a centralized compilation of all things Online Kingdom! So without further ado, here is a brief overview of the mode and some of its functions. It's by no means comprehensive and I apologize to some of our older fans who have heard all this before, but once we lay down the basics, we'll be able to get into some new and narrowers topics once again!
Brief: Offering a persistent online experience, Dawn of Fantasy's MMORTS, or Online Kingdom, mode gameplay revolves around a player’s Homeland territory, which can be built in one of nine regions across the game world of Mythador. Players will develop their homeland from a couple buildings to a massive empire complete with layers of heavy walls and keeps, a complex economy, and a number of armies and trade caravans wandering the map. To develop this city, players can gather resources, construct various buildings, recruit new units, and research powerful upgrades and new abilities. Even when a player is offline, their homeland will still be in development with the worker units still gathering resources and finishing constructing any buildings tasked shortly before logging off. With this in mind, the gathering, construction, and training rates are significantly slower than in the fast-paced Skirmish modes.
At the homeland, players will meet an Advisor unit, who will give them their first quests, which will ease the MMORTS learning curve in their introduction to many of the game's mechanics. These quests form the foundation of the MMORTS Campaign storyline and unlock various elements of the game, through which players will discover the large world of Dawn of Fantasy, with its myriad of characters, events, and subplots. While most of these quests engage the player in Player vs. Environment gameplay throughout the +25 NPC strongholds of Mythador, there are a couple Player vs. Player quests in which players must conquer similarly-matched players in a specified region. Completion of these quests typically results in additional resources or units.
Players can interact with the greater game world using the game's dynamic World Map, a portal for interaction with other players and the many story-driven quests. By grouping units into armies, players can send troops to distant NPC strongholds, army camps, quest locations, and other players' homelands. Upon reaching one of these destinations, armies can set up camp and proceed to lay siege to an NPC or player stronghold in a scenario similar to the Lay Siege Skirmish mode, receive or complete various tasks from local NPCs, or trade with goods or mercenary merchants. Alternatively, players can use the Auto-Match feature to find a compatible PvP opponent within seconds.
Players can also temporarily align themselves with other players to take on the mightiest of Strongholds or advance in their questing. For a more permanent alliance, players can establish guilds and engage in large-scale Guild vs. Guild battles.
For each race, players are given a choice of three radically-different regions in which they can build up their empire. For the men, these regions include the alpine region of Southmont, the plains region of the Rollingplain, and the grassland region of the Wold. For the elves, the forest region of Bolfores’l, the swamps of Erthee L’Bala, and the rugged mountains of Taltos. And for the orcs, the desert region of Brakental, the swamps of Flattan Rol, and the forests of Thikken Dal. These regions each offer their own advantages – whether it be in a naturally-defensible position, abundant in a certain resource, or ideal for training a certain type of unit. Each of these regions will be looked into with more detail in the coming weeks with the new homeland town designs.
Exploring your homeland is very beneficial as you may make rare discoveries including gold mines, healing springs, and tamable beasts – but be warned, your troops are not alone in this region.
Throughout the game, players will seek to build up their homeland turning their few starter houses into a massive empire with heavy walls, siege defenses, and a multitude of different buildings serving every possible function. Like economic management and military strategy, homeland construction is different for each race.
The Orcs of Gokkholm have a traditional RTS construction style. Their builder unit is the Labourer, which spawns automatically from their Hut buildings from time to time when the town is able to support a greater population. Labourers are able to construct Huts, Military Buildings (ie: War Hall, Armory, Pyre), and Economic Buildings (ie: Warg Pen) anywhere on the map for a cost – usually with Wood as the primary resource. As the MMORTS mode is meant to be played over a long period of time, construction is significantly slower – taking an average of one hour. To speed up construction, players may task more than one battalion of Labourers to construct a building. Players can also spend Influence points, rewarded for quest completions, to cut construction time by half. Alternatively, the construction will continue even when the player is signed out, meaning that construction can be completed overnight before the player’s next log-in. More information on the functions of specific buildings will be given at a later time.
Orc Walls are built a little differently, in that they are the result of an upgrade available at the Temple and do not require Labourers. Instead, players are given a number of options for the location and design of the walls. Players have two choices for walls: Palisade and Heavy Wood. Palisade walls are cheap, but easy to break down and do not support units or counter-siege mechanisms. Heavy Walls are more expensive, and will automatically build with ladders giving units access to the walls for defense. Heavy Walls take significantly more damage before breaking down, and can be upgraded with a variety of automated defenses, towers, and gatehouses. Players may opt to build a layer of palisade walls and then later, build heavy walls over them when they have sufficient resources. Walls will be built automatically in segments, but will still take considerable time. Each Influence point spent on wall construction will instantly complete four wall segments from scratch.
The Men of Teria, emphasizing order over the mob-like ways of the Orcs, have a simplified construction system. They build on pre-determined slots, revealed by their double cross emblem. When a player uses up these slots, they may expand and purchase more from their central Town Hall building. This frees up their worker unit, the Peasant, as builders will spawn automatically to construct a building. Houses, built around their town from a Town Hall function, do not take up slots. The Men also have various slots away from their main towns in fertile areas meant for agriculture. Once these slots are discovered or liberated, players can build Mills, but no other buildings upon them. Mills will be able to provide peasants with wheat to harvest during the summer months, allowing them to have a more automated economy than hunting and trade. Walls function and are built in the same manner as the orcish walls. They can be purchased from the Town Hall and offer the most upgrades for the technologically-advanced men. The Men are also the only race that can build two layers of Heavy Walls – allowing for a large town with a centralized keep.
The Elves of Nhob’ru have a similar style to the men, with automated construction on various slots around their town. Their buildings, excluding Residences, are built high up in the Great Trees of the Elven forests. Elven buildings often have a greater number of functions than human and orcish buildings, which means that they have a fewer number of buildings and fewer slots to build on. Elven buildings are built with magic, allowing the Elven Male and Female Wardens to concentrate on their other capabilities – economic development, warfare, or firefighting. Many of the Elven buildings are tied to their economy, providing a constant trickle of resources. The Elves also have the strongest heavy walls, made out of marble, although they can only build one layer. Elven palisade walls are made out of a natural, thick vine substance fairly resistant to enemy attacks.
At the start of the game, players are given one Hero unit to guide and represent their town. Heroes are powerful military units, but their primary function is NPC interaction. Heroes are the only units that can interact with NPC Advisors, Merchants, Healers, and Trainers. In doing so, players can get advice and gossip from various NPCs, pick up quests, and make purchases.
In combat, heroes regenerate faster than normal units and have special abilities – such as the ability to heal a group of soldiers – to greatly aid a small battle. If a hero is severely wounded in combat, it will be brought back to your homeland and revitalized. Like all other infantry units, heroes can level up through combat. Leveling up increases their health and grants the player Skill Points to boost certain stats, such as Damage and Self-Healing.
More information on heroes and their capabilities and upgrades will be revealed in a future Fantasy Friday.
Similar to the discrepancies in homeland construction, each race features a different economic model to reflect the different play styles.
The Men have a traditional economic model involving hunting, breeding livestock, farming, stone and gold mining, chopping wood, and trade. Players should have a balanced economy as some methods – such as farming – are only available during certain seasons. For actions conducted away from the homeland, players can train Horse Carts to serve as mobile resource drops.
Orcs have a similar, but more primitive, economy. They have all the same gathering options as men, excluding farming. Ranged Labourer units are skilled at hunting, which is likely to be their main source of food. Homelands have an unlimited source of huntable animals; however, when all nearby animals are depeleted, it will take a while for additional creatures to approach your town. When hunting, all players should keep an eye out for wolves – which prey on both hunters and the animals hunted. In addition, orc players can construct Warg Pens which automatically breed warg livestock over time. These wargs will fatten overtime to produce a greater amount of food when slaughtered.
The Elves, preferred by defensive players, have a more automated economy. Select Elven buildings can bring in a constant trickle of a chosen resource, and Forest Spirits can be summoned for a small price to provide a small trickle of Wood. Using Symbiosis, Elven players can craft magical mines and berry bushes which can be gathered from by the Warden units. Living at peace with the forest and its creatures, the Elves do not hunt. And as such, they are the only race that wild animals do not free from. Instead, the Elves can breed deer which move freely in and out of their town, providing an additional small trickle of food.
Worker units of all races also have the ability to loot fallen soldiers – both friendly and enemy – after a battle. Driven by greed, the men of Teria loot the dead. Out of hunger, the feral orcs consume the fallen. And, through magic, the immortal Elves call upon the spirits of the Great Lake to bury the victims of war. By looting corpses, players can bring in a surprising amount of resources. This is an especially useful for armies traveling away from their homeland, without any other source of resource income.
If players are not content with the resources available to them or have begun to deplete their sources, they can also seek trade with NPC towns and other players (discussed later) or travel to other regions – such as the abundant Dwarven Caves – to seek out more lucrative opportunities.
The homeland serves as the player’s gateway into the immersive MMORTS storyline. Following the recent War Without Kings, much of the land is left abandoned, in need of might lords once more. The player, personified by their Hero unit, steps in to fill this vacuum. In doing so, they soon realize that the time of piece and reconstruction is but a facade. The war has passed, but only fools have put away their swords. Wizards walk with grim intent, and trust is gone between the races of this world. Though peasants race to rebuild homes, nobles scheme and plot. Dark times show no sign of light. In every land, a foulness brews. In the mighty realm of orcs, would-be leaders cry for elven scalps. Across the border, once proud humans squabble while the traitors build their forces. And in the great forests of the elf domain, the archons war across a vacant throne, while innocents are slaughtered in the shadows.
This is the troublesome world the player is soon caught up in. There is no avoiding the dark intentions of the enigmatic wizards and the power-hungry corrupt. The only question is whether the player will prove just another pawn in a dark scheme, or if they shall bring light to Mythador once more. It is here in their homeland that players will meet their first Advisor unit, a non-playable resident of the homeland. This advisor will fill players in on the political status of the region and provide an introduction into the game’s vast lore and mechanics. While your homeland advisor knows little of the events lurking outside their region, they will give players their first several quests, which will pave the way for the MMORTS campaign and introduce new subplots and advisors for the player to interact with.
Completion of quests often results in resources (primarily gold) or units, and advances the progression of the storyline. Each race features over 50 unique and complex quests, while additional side quests will be available as post-release Quest Packs.
The World Map is the player’s portal to the greater game world of Mythador. Featuring scale models of all 25+ NPC towns, and a detailed map of the three playable realms, the Dragon Realm, the Dwarven Realm, island fortresses, and lands to be explored in post-release content, the World Map is an impressive means to travel the world and interact with other regions and players. Players can select the scale model of their Homeland to create a new Army from the troops stationed there. Once created, Armies can be tasked to travel anywhere on the map. Armies can carry resources and bring along livestock, allowing them to serve as trade caravans with other towns. The amount of resources an Army can carry is tied to their units – select units like Horse Carts, Treants, and Ogres can carry more resources than others. However, do not send out a caravan unguarded as they may get intercepted by other players.
On the World Map, Armies are represented by a single unit which can be tasked to travel to any town or region. Players may zoom in on traveling armies to open up the RTS view and see where they are on a new instanced map. Alternatively, Armies can search for nearby player armies or homelands to attack or pitch a camp (discussed below). Attacking another traveling army will engage both players in a field battle allowing the two opposing forces to fight over open terrain.
Once an Army has reached a foreign town, players can enter that town for Goods or Livestock Trade, Mercenaries, Healing, or Unit Training (discussed below). To clear up traffic in busy towns, only the player’s hero unit can enter a peaceful town. If the Army is not traveling with a hero, one will be automatically spawned for NPC interaction. More hostile players may seek to siege the town instead – any NPC Town or Player Homeland may be attacked. If the attacking force successfully sieges the town, they will receive a significant amount of resources from the defender although the town itself will remain under the defender’s control.
When in a distant region, players can spend a small amount of resources to fortify their Army. There are three types of camps to choose from, each of which is priced differently: basic, light defenses, and heavy defenses. Camps are a great way to protect your units from nearby armies, replenish troops, and train additional siege weapons.
Each NPC Town has three merchants: a Goods Merchant, a Livestock Merchant, and a Mercenary Merchant.
Goods: These merchants allow for the trade of resources. Have a plethora of food but need stone to build up your walls? Trade with a Goods Merchant to make it happen. The merchants at each town buys and sells resources at different prices, based on what resources they have the most of. So if you need wood, for example, your best bet would be to go to a town like the orc town of Dintalla, whose entire economy is based off of lumber.
Livestock: If you ever find that you have more livestock than you can handle or need to purchase some for the harsh winter months, talk to the Livestock Merchant. Each town offers different livestock at different prices, and prices are likely to skyrocket in Winter based off global demand.
Mercenaries: Add some more variety to your army through hiring new mercenaries. While no town has a complete array of mercenaries, each town will offer a small number of units that is specializes in. Mercenary Markets are a prime way to surprise your enemy with mighty dragon or ruthless dwarven mercs.
Other NPC Services
Healing: The Human Surgeon, the Orc Witch Doctor, and the Elven Spring Warden are the three Healer NPC units you'll encounter in the Online Kingdom mode. They are located in hospitals or elven healing springs in each of the NPC towns. For a small fee in gold, these units will heal the troops in your army immediately and replenish battalion numbers. This is not the only way, however, to heal your troops, but it may be the fastest and most efficient. All units auto-heal over a long period of time and your homeland will have some type of Healing Spring or Well that you can take your troops to if they are near that region. A few troops can also heal themselves through special abilities at the cost of Fatigue and some rare units will be able to heal nearby troops, but both of these abilities will quickly drain Fatigue, making them unsuitable for a large army.
Training: In addition, each NPC town has some sort of Trainer NPC. These units can be paid to train one of the battalions in your visiting army. In doing so, the selected battalion will instantly level-up, increasing their health and granting the player a Skill Point to boost an individual stat. Of course, your primary means of leveling will be through battle and it will be pretty easy to reach the first couple of levels. But if you want to boost your chances before a big battle, it might be worthwhile to use a Trainer to level some battalions up so you can spend their new skill points prior to the battle and focus strictly on micromanagement tactics during the actual battle.
As mentioned earlier, players can attack traveling armies, any NPC town, and any player homeland. NPC Towns range from small villages to mighty capitals, such as Dagbor and Makkada, with many layers of walls – allowing targets for players of all skills. To attack an NPC town, create your World Map Army and task it to move to the town you want to attack. Once it reaches its target, select the Army and it will have a new function: Siege Town. Once you engage in combat with an NPC town, players will be able to choose their direction of attack and try to breach the enemy walls and take down its lord or lady. To breach the wall, players can break down the gate, break down the walls, or take the walls with Siege Ladders and Towers and break the crank to open the gate from the inside. The battle will play out similar to a Skirmish match, except for your troops will carry over. If you successfully siege the town, it will revert back to its original owner, but you will be able to plunder it to obtain a significant number of resources, depending on the size and wealth of the town.
Engaging a player homeland will work out in a similar manner, except for that other homelands will not appear on the World Map. Instead, players can pick a target from their friends list or use the intelligent Auto-Match function to search for nearby, compatible towns or armies. Homeland battles will be played on the defender’s instanced regional map, while PvP army battles will be fought over open terrain in the specific region.
Defenders may opt out of a battle by paying tribute to the attacker. If this route is taken, the attacker cannot try to siege the homeland again for several days. Homelands cannot be attacked while their owner is offline.
At any point of the game, players will be able to chat with their friends list, general chat forums, their guild, and everyone within their region – great for setting up a skirmish. The chatbox is located to the left of the UI and can be opened and closed at any time in both the World Map and the RTS View.
Information on other online features, such as Guilds and Hero Customization, is coming soon!
Alex Walz | Former Assistant Producer & Publicist of Reverie World Studios, INC.