That's the name of the game I'm currently on.
That screenshot is slightly out of date, in the sense that meanwhile I'm level 34 and one of the top 20 people on the server (then again that doesn't say very much, I guess there's a hundred or so servers in total).
It's a browser game, it doesn't use Java and it's... gasp... the best game I've played this year. Literally. I can not believe what I am saying here, but it is true. In fact I normally use a tiered system, whereby most games I don't care for at all, some select few make it to Tier 1 which means I'll send a little money to the developeri. Rare is the wonder that makes it to Tier 2, and... gasp... ladies and gentlemen, this may be one. I still can't believe what I am saying.
It's a Chinese game, for one. For years I thought azn games are a scourge upon the Worlds that should be erradicated with fire. A cancer to be excised. I was literally sorry the Chinese people exist for the reason of the shit games they (and all their descendants, Koreans, Japanese, whatever) make. I'm not even making this shit up, it's true.
Or moreover, it was true, because lo and behold I am forced to reconsider my obviously mistaken views. The Chinese aren't mentally broken and genetically defective, they were just wasting their time with stupid superficial unplayable vapid shit. You know, sorta like the Americans have been for the past decade or two.
So now, aside from this admittedly nutty introduction, what makes this game so great ? That's a hard question to answer, because so many things!
- It's unconstrictive. You know how most browser games have a "stamina" which limits how many times you can do solo dungeons a day ? So does this one. The limit is 5 + 3 tries a day (the latter three you get by leaving the game running offline two hours). This is plenty, you never sit there wanting to play a little and not being able to. This is not just an accident or a lucky fit, it's a philosophy permeating every aspect of the game. Say you're inside the dungeon and discoverii that you are running out of troops ? No sweat, click the recruit button and recruit some. Yes, as if you were in town. No, you don't have to cuss and swear as you abandon your current try halfway to go back to town. It's a philosophy, I tell you, a game made for the player to have fun, not for the player to dodge developer gotchasiii.
- It's financially unobtrusive. You know how most browser games have a mall where you can buy stuff ? So does this one. The stuff you buy is not exactly useless in game, as it has some boost stats. However, they mostly work at the lower levels. I'm not sure I can underline enough how utterly brilliant this is! The people who want to buy their way into a game are never very good players. Consequently they don't belong in the top tier! All the friction and all the fretting over "real money ruins games" comes not from the money aspect, I've finally comprehended playing this game. It comes from the mistaken handling of the demographics in the Western tradition, which is to say, selling rich people something they don't want and simultaneously forcing them into a company that can't suffer them. The rich guy isn't dropping a hundred bucks in your virtual world to be stuck in the demographic that is good at math, disciplined and determined! He just wants to own noobs. The leet people don't really want to own noobs, they want to own each other. Why mix these ? Let the rich people own the noobs and let the good players gouge their own eyes out to their leisureiv. This is exactly how Wartune works and this brilliance is to be etched into a silver tablet and be kept forever!
- It's fun. Yes, "3. it's fun." 3. Three. But that doesn't mean it's not really fun, it means the other stuff is paradigm-shifting. Meanwhile back in the funzone, you know how most games insist you don't go beating up on monsters "too strong for you" ? Well... Wartune has a world boss spawn which is predicated on the notion you will fight mobs that you can't beat. Everyone gets 3 to 6 turns, depending how tough they are (and anything over 3 means super pimped end game style), after which the boss will erradicate you no questions asked. But during those 3 to 6 turns you deal damage, and then respawn in half a minute. Eventually the damage dealt by all the players ends up enough to kill the beast and you get prizes : for the 1st, 2nd and 3rd most damage dealt, for dealing 1% of the monster's life and for landing the killing blow (this one's a hefty sum). And you know what ? It's loads of fun!
- It's fun. Yes, "4. it's fun" too, because the fun just keeps on funning. So, one of the higher level enjoyments is a sort of capture the flag event, where there's some crystals you need to pick up in the middle of the map. While dragging the cart you move half as slow (which means you're easy to attack), but it gives you some honor and some shards which collected can be crafted into a box which yields a surprise. So you have a positive incentive to keep digging at all times, you're making yourself boxes. This event is a complete riot. Another enjoyment is the guild battles, which is also a capture the flag type event, the difference being that battles here are 4 vs 4 (1 vs 1 in the other one, you get to use your merc).
- It's correctly complex. Complexity is a double edged sword, it can be a blessing or a curse. Many games are ruined by the developer's misguided focus on the wrong complexityv, but Wartune focuses on the right kinds. For instance, do you know how many kinds of money there are in this game ? I don't. Seriously, I just realised writing this I actually don't. There's gold, obviously, but there's also "duru", which is some sort of souls or the ancestors or w/e, the currency used to upgrade troops. And then there's some crystals, the currency of research (you mostly get this by attacking other people's towns, or by farming itvi). Then there's arena tokens, which buy you potions, experience, some types of gear. Then there's cemetery tokens, which buy you other types of gear. Then there's these crystals which pay for resetting your gear attributes. How many is that so far, like 5 ? Tell you what : it's extremely easy to feel rich when there's so many things to be rich in. People enjoy feeling rich. Thus the entire production is an enriching experience.
It really, literally, indisputably kicks butt. You'll have to put Flash on a box just like I have to play this thing.
- Five-ten-twenty dollars, something like that. As a subscription fee, if the game uses the subscription model, as a currency purchase if the game uses the micropayments/in game currency model, as a donation even if it comes to it. My outlook is (as you've probably guessed) simply that
If you won't pay for nice things you can't have nice things because there can't be nice things.
- It doesn't take much discovering, as the number is right there by your mug and also the game pops up a warning - which, note this! you can disable for the day. Not permanently, so you end up cursing yourself a week later, but for the day. Stroke of motherfucking genius in regards to how these things should be handled, it's to be carved into a bronze tablet and preserved forever, this. [↩]
- Which I've come to realise is pretty much the Western philosophy. The fact I've only realised this now shows both how immersed I was in the wrong Dao and how great it is that there exist people we can't stand in this world. So, fuck you Western world, fix your gaming paradigm, it is broken. [↩]
- In the immortal words of Ben Siegel. [↩]
- Usually excused in terms of "realism", as if having to wipe the sweat and blood off realistic warriors is anyone's notion of having fun - ask the guys cleaning up the gyms what they think on the score. [↩]
- There's a facebook style farm thing implemented. [↩]