The Warlords ReviewBy: Zanpakutou posted at Mar 22, 2009 6:42 am
The Warlords is the latest game to be released by TQ Digital. If you know their other games such as Conquer Online or Eudemons Online you know what you're in for. If you don't, they release some old style 2.5D games that are heavily reliant on the item mall features. Unfortunately, The Warlords is no different. It plays like a combination of Conquer and Eudemons.
Some random stuff about China in the 1800s. I didn't pay attention since the game itself doesn't tell you anything about it and the website is where you get the story.
The graphics of The Warlords is poor. Its gone up in quality since Conquer Online, but if you compare it to other games out there nowadays its poor. Even Talesweaver has better graphics than this game. Character models are extremely limited and almost everyone looks the same. The graphics also prevent players from clearly making out the face of their characters. Everyone is almost a clone of everyone else so it gets annoying. The bodyguards are no different. They all look the same.
Character creation is very limited. There are 4 character types to choose form. These are male and female soldier or thief. This is just how your character looks overall but they don't have much distinguishing features. There are only 2 classes available. Either archer or sword in the beginning. Much of your skills depend on which weapon you choose to use after.
Character customization is nonexistent so you have to rely on your skills to make yourself look different. Skills are learned with money and weapon usage. If you use a sword you will get better with a sword. If you use a bow you will get better with a bow. Accumulate enough exp with the weapon and the specialty level goes up. Some better equipment requires a certain amount of weapon levels to learn. Its possible to learn all the skills if you have enough money.
Equipment is annoying to deal with in The Warlords. You are required to keep your equipment around your level. If you go too far above, you start getting penalties. This can be fixed by upgrading your equipment with rare items, but these rare items cost way more than the weapon is worth most of the time. Weapons also need to be provided to each of your bodyguards. With up to 6 active bodyguards and a huge reserve space available, it can be very costly to equip a large group.
It is very easy to level up in The Warlords. The beginner quest chain will already bring the character up to level 20. The difficulty comes in finding your way around. The auto walk feature helps this, but the map could still use some improvement. Killing mobs is quite easy for the most part as long as you bring an emergency stock of healing items just in case of an emergency. The problem lies after the quests are done. The exp rates take a huge drop upon completion of the quests leaving the player stranded at first. The next few levels are not bad but the game immediately turns into a grind fest after the quests are done and over with. At level 25, all classes get a pretty decent area of effect skill. Then from this point on, its a spam fest. Just buy some MP and HP restoration items then just spam your area skill in a group of mobs. This works fairly well and you should gain a level every 40 minutes or so. Once you hit 30, you pretty much get 70% or so of each level from fury. Quests are difficult to accomplish because high level players camp the grounds and prevent lower level players from grinding in those spots.
Each character also has bodyguards. Bodyguards is the primary feature of the game. You start off with only 1 but you can obtain more by capturing them. The only way to capture them is to kill them while in “fury” mode. Fury builds up over time and once it reaches max, fury mode can be activated. Fury also grants an exp boost when killing. Each bodyguard has different skills and abilities. They vary from fighting to distracting other people's bodyguards. The problem is that the bodyguards are limited in number in game and some only spawn in select locations throughout the map. They can be fused together to make them stronger, but this is a long and boring process. Each bodyguard can only be fused once a day and you have a limited number of fusions available each day. The main problem with bodyguards is inconsistency. Support bodyguards have very low hp and defense so a level 25 herbalist can be killed by a lvl 27 mob in 2 hits so its very difficult to level them up. Players farm them and keep fusing them to make them stronger. It takes an eternity to do this but it makes them much stronger in the future. The good part is that there is a level cap so that low level players can't just buy a level 100 bodyguard and expect to be power leveled by them.
An interesting feature in The Warlords is the Voyage Campaign. At set times, the Voyage Campaigns will activate and players can join. Its basically a set instance dungeon that grants great exp and rewards. Players need to contribute by killing mobs. If they don't meet a certain amount of contribution, they do not receive rewards. The problem with this is if there are too many players in the same campaign. It basically makes it impossible for some people to win anything because 100 people are fighting for something that should only be done by 30 people. The lowest one is level 50 but they all have interesting scenarios worth checking out. They are quite difficult so it is best to be prepared before entering one.
The greatest feature about TQ Digital games is the promotion of community. Like all their other games, The Warlords is no different. High level players get benefits for helping low level players. This exists in many ways form being a mentor to just power leveling them. Doing so will grant rewards based on how much the mentor helped the newer player. The problem is when some high level players just power level the lower level characters and not teaching them the game itself which leaves them lost in the middle levels. There are still much good that can come of this though.
There are some big problems with the game. The first is the map. The map can show you every single player in the area, but it will not show you where you can zone to the next area. There is an auto walk feature but it will not lead you to the next area. It will only guide you to where you are in the current area. If this is updated to lead players to the next area it would be much more helpful. The second problem which I already mentioned was farming bodyguards. They only spawn on 1 spot on each map at certain intervals. It makes it difficult to obtain them. The third is that this game is heavily item mall dependent. There are several NPCs that you cannot use without access to the item mall and Warlord Points (WP). Without access to those, it is impossible to gain full access to the game. The third is the fact that high level characters are present farming on the low level maps. They make it impossible to accomplish quests because they kill the quest mob in 1 hit regardless of what you can do.
I haven't gotten around to guilds, but party features are nice. The longer parties are together, the more benefits there are. There is a max to this, but parties that stick together longer have greater benefits. Primarily higher exp rates. Having friends can also generate bonus EXP. When one of your friends kill, they slowly build up bonus exp and you can convert that bonus exp for your character once it is higher than 0.01. Its slow, but every little bit helps. Especially at higher levels. There are multiple ways to generate bonus exp including mentoring other players or partying with players a certain number of levels below you.
The Warlords takes the system of other TQ Digital games and attempts to introduce it to a new theme and setting. Its a nice try, but it doesn't feel much different from their other games. The control schemes and layouts are still similar making you wonder if you've already played this before. There are nice features, but the game itself is still heavily reliant on the item mall like all their other games. The game itself will have issues from higher level players as time passes. TQ Digital is infamous for having insane item mall things and most likely it will be in The Warlords as well.
5/10 – Dated graphics, recycling of old games, but still a decent game worth trying out if you're into this kind of game. High level players can ruin the game for others.
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