Reviews - Updated on April 11, 2022

A week ago you could see a short preview of Conqueror’s Blade, a Chinese MMO/tactical strategy hybrid. At that time, we only managed to play for a couple of hours, and therefore there were many gaps in understanding. Some of them were helped by the SEO producer of the developer company Xi Wang, who kindly answered a few questions.Conqueror's Blade interview

Xi Wang, SEO producer at Booming Games.

Throne of Spears

In the course of a short game session, we did not find out on what principles global PvP would work, and indeed social interaction between players.

Of course, players will be able to unite in clans that will fight each other for a place in the sun. And literally. The clan base is not a location cut off from the game world, but a very specific place. And the clans themselves will have to share territory with each other, seize lands in battle and constantly defend their positions. There appear to be no limits, and if the alliance is strong enough, it can hold vast tracts of land, leaving weaker rivals much smaller plots.

Conqueror's Blade interview

Presumably, a particularly brutal massacre will unfold around ports and other potential sources of profit.

It is clear that not every MMO player likes constant anxiety and regular beatings from clansmen guarding their borders. Many people prefer peaceful things – despite the elements of strategy and the initial bias towards collectivism, Conqueror’s Blade will give such people a chance. Leave military exploits, collect raw materials, create and sell goods needed by both individual players and entire alliances: judging by the statements of Mr. Wang, the market will be highly dependent on the players. Is it as strong as in Albion or EVE? Not very clear.

Conqueror’s Blade is also preparing content for pure PvE fans. True, very little is known about him: “There are already quite a few PvE battles in the game. You can fight normal battles in the open world, destroy “bosses” and easily select the right people for your team. With the official launch of the CBT, a lot of interesting levels will appear in the game.”

Whose walls are thicker

In the last text, I already wrote about the siege mode, in which we spent most of the time. Crowds of soldiers, siege weapons and a desperate meat grinder – all this looks good, but immediately prompted questions.Conqueror's Blade interview

Running towards the walls of the fort under heavy fire from cannons, catapults and primitive rocket launchers is a dubious pleasure.

We ran the siege mode in a castle that reflects the whole essence of European medieval fortifications: wide battlements with pedestrian galleries, gatehouses with lifting gates, approaches convenient for defense, except that the moat is not enough. According to Wang, this is just one of many types of fortresses that will appear in Conqueror’s Blade – there will be fortresses from Europe, Asia, Japan and Russia. This means that we should expect both multi-level Japanese castles and Russian prisons. Presumably, the sieges in each of them will follow unique scenarios.

It is in the sieges that it is clearly seen that after the death of the generals, restless, half-broken detachments remain. They crowd at the foot of the walls and obey no one, even their commander, who returned from the “spawn”. After three deaths, the general is completely deprived of troops and wanders around the fortress, occasionally attacking lone enemies who have made their way into the fortress. It seemed to me that this was a flaw in the mechanics, but Si Wan explained that this was intended: “Thus, we try to show the players how important it is to handle their troops carefully and wisely. Otherwise, everyone will simply have an unlimited number of forces, it remains only to compare who has more. This can significantly damage the tactical component of the battle.”

Careful handling of units is also necessary in order to observe their combat role. If you do not move the cavalry, then some pikemen will cut it down. The range of troop roles in Conqueror’s Blade is already quite wide, and will only expand in the future. Wang promised that Russian servicemen would be added to the game, but he did not specify which ones. I would bet on archers: the historical period is suitable, the original equipment (berdysh and firearms), a bright, recognizable image.

Conqueror's Blade interview

In place of these riders, I would like to see armored Byzantine cataphracts.

There will be warriors from other countries, and one can only guess which ones, because at the current stage of development, many aspects have not yet reached the implementation stage. But it is already known that the list of possible orders and formations will increase. And the talents of the units will not be limited to combat: some can move very quickly, others gather resources more efficiently, still others fight well in mountainous terrain, and still others are unsurpassed defenders of fortresses.

Obviously, the troops can be adapted for a variety of purposes – including collecting raw materials in an open world where your hero does not part with his soldiers. Perhaps some units will do for crafting items? So close to the construction site.

View from above

Conqueror’s Blade tries to surprise even with its appearance. Familiar for MMORPG third-person view combined with command and control troops. There are no huge skill panels with magic of all sorts and colors (because there is no magic), but there are orders and formations for soldiers.Conqueror's Blade interview

Warriors try to keep the formation during the fight.

Although about the magic, I got excited. As it turned out, the Booming Games studio does not abandon the idea of ​​​​adding a little exaggeration, that is, supernatural skills. Wang noticed that even in this case, the creators would not stop following the logic of the real world. I don’t really understand how it is possible to fit in one setting and in one game – and not lose the face of the game, which is realistic.

I have been corrected more than once that Conqueror’s Blade is not a strategy game, but a game with strategy elements. But I still drew attention to the contradiction: each player controls a small part of a huge army, and at the same time is not able to look around the battlefield. He is always watching the battle from over his character’s shoulder, and strategic view is not available to him. Wang said that limited vision is inherent in the game mechanics: “We wanted the game to have a “fog of war”: the enemy behind the wall is invisible to you. If we allowed the players to raise the camera, the tactical component would be gone.

If you think about it, then such a “fog of war” should encourage players to coordinate actions in voice chat, adding up a whole picture of the battle from disparate points of view. At the same time, the game has a radar and a map, but they are only suitable for navigating the terrain, because the markers mark only those enemies that have come close enough.

Conqueror's Blade interview

Watching the battle from the general’s eyes is also dangerous because an arrow can fly into the eye. And then a whole volley.

This approach makes sense. For example, a detachment of enemy cavalry gallops to an empty control point behind a hill. No one will know about this until the cavalrymen begin the capture. This is possible in RTS, but in strategy there is a real fog of war, which is not easy to implement in an MMO. So, the checkpoint is lost – who’s to blame? A game designer who considers exploration an important element of strategy? Unlikely. Maybe the team is to blame, which did not send anyone to guard the approaches to the point? More like the truth.

The idea of ​​abandoning the strategic view could be explained by saving resources, because then a completely different approach to management and review would have to be developed. But it doesn’t work out, because Booming Games is preparing a separate game mode, where there will be a strategic view.

***

So far, producer Booming Games has not revealed all the cards. It is understandable – the development is now at the stage when the game is already structurally intact, but filled with only minimal content and functionality. Everything else is still going through the crucible of coding, design and tests. We’ll find out what exactly will survive until the closed beta test soon enough, when the start date of the first beta test is announced.

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