Clash of Kingdoms and a Discussion on Loyalty

I’ve been playing Clash of Kingdoms and it has gotten me thinking about Loyalty.

In Clash of Kingdoms every player starts in one of six kingdoms. Over the course of the game the kingdoms fight for control of the various cities on the map and try to wipe each other out. Starting all players in a kingdom that has a good chance of winning the game is a great game element and something that’s pretty unique to the genre so far. However, it also bring up questions of Loyalty. The game gives each player 3 chances to “Betray” their kingdom and join a different one. Surely this is a tempting offer, especially when my current kingdom, Tao, is quite far behind. However, there is a sense of loyalty that keeps me fighting the good fight. Tao for life! There is a stigma attached to mutineers, but I am wondering why this is.

When first choosing a side in Clash of Kingdoms, the player is given very little information. There is a very brief description of the real-life Chinese province the kingdom is supposed to represent, the location of the kingdom on the map, and then there are two in-game values, “Resource Output” and “Recruit Speed”, and there’s only a 5% difference in the various values. With so little information, it’s safe to say that the player is going in blind and the kingdom he chooses is quite random. In fact, “Random” is actually a choice.

So then, after a week of game play and discovering that his team sucks, why wouldn’t a player decide to jump ship to one of the stronger kingdoms? Mostly this is because of loyalty. But are we bound by loyalty, even to strangers in an online strategy game? Does this work in the real world?

Of course it works in sports. If you support Arsenal, you have to support them even when they don’t win the championship. You can’t suddenly decide to support Manchester because they’re having a few good years.

I also watched “Scent of a Woman” recently. In this film the main character, Charles, witnesses some classmates set up a vandalism prank and has to decide to accept a bribe to rat them out, or stay silent and be expelled. The film suggests, and probably most of us feel, that the noble path, the path of integrity, is for Charles to hold his tongue. Certainly this makes sense if these classmates were his friends, but the film describes that they were not; they just happened to attend the same school; they just happened to be in the Tao kingdom. Nevertheless, we must be loyal.

But how far does that loyalty go? In the film, the classmates splattered paint on a car owned by the school. Sure, it was a prank, but what if it was worse? If the classmates had stolen something, is Charles still bound to be loyal to these acquantences? If they had killed someone? Lord knows if I saw some random classmates kill someone, I’d call the bloody cops. At the same time, I know that even if the other kingdoms conquer all our other cities and have Gaung-ling surrounded, I will proudly die a loyal member of Tao.

Cheers,
Oliver

Lord of Ages on Facebook


At long last, the premier online strategy game, Lord of Ages, has graced Facebook with its presence! Recently I was purusing Facebook when I saw this ad: “15 Build at Same Time; Click here to enjoy fastest growth!” Finally, a game that addresses the ranks of Travian players who are sitting around with enough resources to upgrade 15 of their structures, but are unable to do so. Surely the best online strategy game is obviously the one that lets you build the most at same time, so I quickly clicked to find out what this epic game was.

The next screen that greeted me brought a smile to my face. While some players might scoff at the idea of recommending a game to all of their friends before actually playing it, since I recognized this as Lord of Ages I knew it was something all my facebook friends would appreciate. Especially the game’s unique take on English.

My excitement was growing and now it was time to choose my image. What face shall I show to my enemies? How about Eomer? I bet New Line Cinema and Tolkein himself were thrilled at the chance to donate their work to such a great game.

Finally I had to chose which Nation I would join. I was really looking forward to lording over my new kingdom, but unfortunately each Nation I chose returned “Error: 1025005”. Alas, I guess I am not worthy enough to behold the majesty of Lord of Ages on Facebook.

Cheers,
Oliver

Stone Age Kings Releases English Version

Finally, after almost a year of waiting, Stone Age Kings has finally launched an English version. I’ve started an account and should get a review out soon.

I’ve also been really impressed with the translation. A lot of online strategy games, most of which are developed in Germany or China, end up with some horrible engrish, but it’s clear Stone Age Kings actually spent some time on this. I’ll leave you with some great text from the tutorial:

“My Son! For more than 50 winters, I was the Boss of this family. Now my time is over. Our ancestors are waiting for me. Now it’s your turn to lead teh family and our tribe.

“Unfortunately, we both know, you’re your mother’s son. To prevent a complete fail of yours, I’ll have a look at your first steps. Don’t disappoint me, or I’ll haunt your dreams.

“Hell, it’s about time! At least it wasn’t a complete disaster. I’ll reward you with the promised raw materials.

“Now let’s see if you can handle the next quests.


“Have you really found someone who will do the dangerous hunt for you? Perhaps that’s better – everyone would have starved if it had been left to you.”

This has been the most insulting OSG tutorial I have played, but it’s hilareous. Great job, Gorilla Gaming.

Cheers,
Oliver