Three Kingdoms Online
- Release Date: 2009
- Publisher: Koram Game
- Developer: KunLun INC
- Genre: Strategy
Three Kingdoms Online is a MMORTS game based on an epic warring era between different factions of a divided ancient China. It brings together the elements of classic RPG, real-time strategy and city-management genres in a browser with high-quality graphics. Developed by Koramgame and first released In China, it has drawn a huge number of audiences with its characteristics of simplicity in playing and yet complex with variations. Since the launch of its English version on December, 2009, it has attracted millions of players all over the world to play free of charge. So if you are also a huge fan of the romance of the three kingdom series, it’s still not too late to join right now and embark on the ambition of uniting China under your rule.
If you are a seasoned MMO strategy game player, you should probably know how the game works. At the beginning, you are given the choice of one of the three distinctively different factions and the states where you start. Shu produces the most cost-efficient soldiers and it is the most aggressive kingdom in the early stage; the drawback is that their units are weaker in defense and citadel wall is easier to destroy. Wu is known for its defensive stance and boasts its durable defensive structures. Although it can be easily undervalued by others, its fast-moving units can launch surprisingly strong counter-attack. Wei has the most powerful but also the most expensive soldiers. So you’d better think twice before make the decision. Shu is suitable for players who have an invading mindset, while Wu is recommended to pacifists.
Upon logging into TKO, you will able to see that game interface is a bit bloated and cumbersome. A bunch of big or small buttons/icons scatter around the UI causing players difficult to navigate. Graphics are not so brightly colored as those of mainstream cartoon-rendered games. After all, the game doesn’t feature intensive graphics, because it has been 3 years since it was first launched in China. Like many RTS games of the same genre, you have to harvest resource by constructing resource-gathering buildings in resource compound outside the city or recruit soldiers and unlock technologies by constructing corresponding buildings inside the city wall. While weighing the balance between resources, infrastructure buildings and military development, you have to wait until it is done. So you probably can go and do something else and come back later. The good thing about this game is that you can make a list of auto-building schedule if you are unable to login to the game regularly, while the bad thing is that you have to become the VIP first.
“Hero” is an integral part of the army. Note that there are hundreds of epic heroes in-game. You may hire them from your city or capture other players’ heroes by conquering their cities. Each hero can be leveled up, equipped with weapons, and appointed high positions.
Another classic feature in TKO is that you can be rewarded for doing quest. Some of them are guides and tutorials in which you will learn basic gameplay and be familiar with the game interface. Others require you to expand your empire by building up the infrastructures in a certain order. A nice feature here is that you can get extra rewards and rare items by answering the 3 kingdoms Quiz. How well do you know about the real history of Three Kingdoms? How are you familiar with the game mechanics? You may test your ability by accepting these daily quests.
What makes me really like this game is that it provides extensive hero customization and challenging gameplay which keep strategy game enthusiasts engaged. But there is still something that really annoys me. There is too much stuff in the mall to buy and most items are overpriced. For example, the item used for unlocking the extra skill slot of one hero costs $ 60 for each, which is almost equal to that of a Play Station 3 blue-ray game disc. Apart from that, the game is quite time-consuming. Especially in the late stage of game when you have amassed a large number of troops in your city, your hourly food production does not suffice to feed them. So you will have to keep plundering other players day and night in order to maintain your military expenditure. I admit this is a good game with in-depth mechanics, but I doubt if I will stick to it for more than a few months. Because I don’t have enough time to maintain my self to the level that others are going.
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