Friday, February 3, 2012

Call of Thrones (Part One)

Call of ThronesCall of Thrones is a 3D browser-based MMORPG that was first published by under the title (天纪) in China.

The game is also released in three other regions under the names of Call of Thrones(North America), War of Thrones(Malaysia) and Conquest of Thrones(EU).

To play this game, one will need to install a relatively small application called "Fancy 3D". Apparently, this is the engine that the developers used to run the 3D game.

Character Creation
Call of Thrones - Character Creation
Character creation in this game is pretty simple in my opinion, although I can't help but feel that it is a bit lacking and limited. Firstly, there's an option to make your character male or female. Then there's another option to change your character's hairstyle and finally, a third option to change its facial features.

All of these hairstyles and facial features are preset ones which cannot be further customised. You cannot even change the colour of the hairstyle or eyes that you liked.

Another thing that I didn't like about the game's character creation is its lack of description for the "Select Region" option. I mean, what is the option for and why should a person choose a particular one instead of the others? For someone new to the game, they would be practically clueless.

Well...for the sake of the readers, this is what I have gathered after playing the game for a little while. Firstly, this game is set in a turbulent era of the Three Kingdoms in China. In this era, there are three mutually hostile factions, Wei, Shu and Wu. So naturally, the option is actually asking for which faction you would like your character to be in. Your choice will ultimately determine the faction you would be fighting for in the game during the wars for cities.

You need not be overly worried about the selection window on the right as it is merely for cosmetic purposes. It merely gives you a preview of how your character would look like when its at a high level.

Call of Thrones - Game InterfaceCall of Thrones - Interacting with NPCs
Frankly speaking, the graphics in this game isn't top-notch. The character looks a bit weird around the edges and doesn't seem to fit into the environment. The HUD looks cluttered and there isn't a "full screen" button in sight. To overcome the cluttered feel, it is best to play this game in at least 1280 x 960 resolution. You might also wish to consider pressing F11 to switch your browser(IE or firefox) to full screen mode.

However, if we considered the loading times and the fact that its a browser game, then these flaws doesn't seem that glaring anymore.

Character Attributes
Call of Thrones - Character Attributes & InventoryCall of Thrones - Character Attributes
There are four main character attributes in Call of Thrones, Strength, Stamina, Agility and Leadership.
  • Strength
    Each point in strength gives +3 damage, +1 accuracy and +5 HP.
  • Stamina
    Each point in stamina gives +20 HP, +5 defense, +1 EP and +1 block.
  • Agility
    Each point in agility gives +2 critical, +2 dodge, +2 accuracy and +5 HP.
  • Leadership
    Not yet available.
For every level that your character gains, you will receive 7 attribute points. You can choose to allocate the points as you please or click on the "Recommended" button to let the game allocate it for you.

Do note that the stats will be allocated differently depending on which weapon you have equipped. For example, if you have a dual wield weapon equipped, the game will allocate 2 points to strength, 1 point to stamina and 4 points to agility (regardless of how many points you may have previously invested into each of the attributes).

One good thing I like is the way they let you preview how the points you've allocated will change your secondary stats. If you don't like what you see, just press the "Undo" button to reallocate the points(as long as you haven't click on the "Accept" button).

Weapon Specialization
Call of Thrones - BriayinCall of Thrones - Weapon Types Strength & Weakness
Do you remember that you have not really made any choices or selected anything remotely similar to a "job" or "class" yet? Well that's because there isn't anything like that in Call of Thrones. You can practically equip anything you get your hands on.

There are four types of weapons in this game, one-handed, two-handed, dual-wield and polearm. And according to what the ingame NPC, Briayin said:
  • One-handed weapons are strong against two-handed weapons, but weak against dual-wield weapons.
  • Two-handed weapons are strong against dual-wield weapons, but weak against polearm weapons.
  • Dual-wield weapons are strong against polearm weapons, but weak against one-handed weapons.
  • Polearm weapons are strong against one-handed weapons, but weak against two-handed weapons.
Confused? Then let's summarize it in a simple table.

Weapon UsedEffect
One-handedDeals +25% damage against two-handed weapon opponents.
Deals -25% damage against dual-wield weapon opponents.
Two-handedDeals +25% damage against dual-wield weapon opponents.
Deals -25% damage against polearm weapon opponents.
Dual-wieldDeals +25% damage against polearm weapon opponents.
Deals -25% damage against one-handed weapon opponents.
PolearmDeals +25% damage against one-handed weapon opponents.
Deals -25% damage against two-handed weapon opponents.

This generally means that depending on what weapons you and your opponent chooses to use in a battle will determine who's in a more favourable position. However, that's not all there is to it.

Although a person can choose any weapons to use in a battle, he or she might not be apt in it. Without learning the proper ways to use the weapon, in this case the skills, this person might just as easily lose to the enemy despite having an advantage.

Specialization Slots & Skill Trees
Call of Thrones - Specialization Slots
Before we touch on skills, you will have to know about specialization slots. Every character in Call of Thrones starts with 0 specialization slots, but can open up to 4 of these slots. The first and second slots are opened by completing certain quests. The third and fourth slots require 5,000 & 50,000 coins(ingame money) respectively. To unlock the slot, just click on the tiny lock icon at the bottom right corner.
Call of Thrones - Dual Wield Skill TreeCall of Thrones - Healing Skill TreeCall of Thrones - Trade Skill Tree
Each of these slots can hold 1 skill tree and this means that your character can learn a maximum of 4 unique skill trees. You can learn a particular skill tree by buying its skill scroll from the respective NPCs.

There are altogether 8 unique skill trees that you can choose to learn.
  • Weapon: One-hand, two-hand, dual-wield & polearm
  • Support: Defense, poison & healing
  • Trading: Trade
As long as you have a free slot, you can learn any skill tree that you desire. However, players are generally advised to stick to one weapon specialization and excel in it rather than learning more than one. The other three slots should be used to learn support and/or trading skill trees.

From my brief playing of the game, I would recommend that you pick up the healing skill tree as it will sustain your character in a tough fight. The trading skill tree is more of a necessity due to the design of the game rather than what I would recommend. You will need to level this skill tree to gain the ability to craft items necessary to upgrade your equipments, that is unless you are willing to buy the items from other players.

Next: Call of Thrones (Part Two)