Friday, September 30, 2011

Dawn of Fantasy Released

A persistent MMO/RTS?! For most people that is intriguing, but there are also quite a few people who think that combination is an awful idea. The court is still out on that one, but Dawn of Fantasy is one of the first MMO/RTS's to be released in a long time and it's especially rare for one to not look immediately awful. I missed out on the beta, so I cannot give any impressions, but I'm here to give you an overview, show you some gameplay and see if I can get you interested. Dawn of Fantasy is being developed by Reverie World Studios, a new studio based out of Toronto. The game is for PC and just came out today on September 30th, for $30.

The game is set in the world of Mythador. You can play the game as elves, orcs or men, all of which have different play styles, mythology and stories. You start with a village and build it up continuously until you eventually have yourself a castle. The world is full of quests that you will do for various wizards, adventurers and kings, among other characters. The world is also full of other players, players that you can trade with, make alliances with and wage war with or against. You do resource gathering of wood, stone, gold and food, all of which is automated in order to allow the player to focus on other aspects of the game. Units will gain experience through battle, which will level them and allow them to gain skills. On top of that units can be upgraded by technology and be advanced into more specialized units. Every army is separated into battalions and formations, each of which is a different complexity based upon the race. There are hero units, your main unit, that you lead your army with; presumably the hero units are customizable as well.  Much of this doesn't get shown in most of the videos I've seen, but it does show some quests and battles. Check out this video to see some of the basics of the game.

If you don't wish to read this three paragraph explanation, for time's sake or because you hate my writing, head here to check out the list of features from Dawn of Fantasy. 

There are a lot of modes to Dawn of Fantasy and it's a bit tough to get a grasp on them. First off, there is the main MMORTS mode called Online Kingdom. The main purpose of this mode is to develop your town and hero. There is a story driven campaign that provides you with the bulk of experience and materials. Each of three races has their own campaign to run through. Your kingdom will remain untouched while you are not logged in, but everything will stay as you left, other than the economy. The workers of your kingdom will continue to gather and build while you are offline, but they are not as fast as they are when you are ingame. You can build your kingdom in a typical RTS fashion, starting with little and aspiring to have a great castle with trebuchets, walls and advanced defenses. How you build is different based upon each race. The side quests and main quests last thirty-five minutes on average, while the late game quests can last up to ninety minutes. Quests are designed to be done solo in this mode, but there is also player versus player that you will be nudged to participate in. 

To offset the Online Kingdom mode there is a mode called Kingdom Wars. It takes the MMORTS gameplay concepts to create a single player persistent mode. It takes the siege combat, army progression, town management and world map from the online mode in order to create a "risk-style" campaign that adds a sophisticated AI that will challenge you. It sounds a lot like the campaign mode from any of the Total War games, but with a much different system. If you don't feel like playing either of the main modes you can always play the Skirmish mode. The skirmish mode lets you and up to four other players defend a castle against waves of enemies. This mode is there for quick battles, without all of the large scale elements, and it is there to help players train.

Dawn of Fantasy is a big game, one that offers a lot of different ways to play, many deep persistent elements and a vast amount of content that will be continually updated at no charge to the players. The game even has a scenario design editor to allow players to make strongholds and quest environments. It costs $30, it came out today on September 30th and it looks quite promising. Players on the forums have mostly good things to say about the game as well, so if you want to learn more about the game head on over to the main website and check it out. I know most of this information must have read like you were reading a fact sheet and I apologize for that, but there is very large amount of information on this game that I tried to get out here in a timely manner. Thanks for reading and if I end up getting some hands on times with this game I will be back to report. Also, watch this release trailer.
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 -Written by Sean Cargle 


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