The first Closed Beta Test for Civilization Online kicked off last night and it will last for a week long! To be honest, I wasn't really interested in this game. I thought it was just going to be one of those MMORPG's where you just build random stuff, but to my surprise I ended up playing throughout the whole test last night. Find out why below!
Civilization is still in the first beta and probably early build so there wasn't much customization features other than choosing a starting faction. It seems like there are three factions to choose from in this beta which are Romans, Chinese, and Egyptian. For testing purposes, the 4th faction is disabled in the first beta.
Civilization Online Genre Explained
A lot of people are often confused when they hear "Civilization" Online especially if you've played the previous installments. This version lean towards more to a 3rd person RTS with RvR mechanics. Pretend you're playing Warcraft or Age of Empires and each unit represents a player. Some players can change jobs into Fighter types like Warrior, Knights, Knights on Horses, Archer, Gunner, etc. While some other players can focus on trade and life skills such as Smithing, Peasants (Builder), and more. Players of the same faction must work together and build their own base and Town Halls throughout the region. It's one big massive continent! Upgrading Town Halls, building towers for protection, lumber mills, and all that RTS stuff. Players must mine and harvest resources to build stuff. Just like the original Civilization series, your faction can progress through different eras! The game isn't that complex and is very easy to adapt too.
Okay, so you can build stuff when does the fun part come in? For me, the best part of Civilization Online is the destroying and pillaging the enemy Town Halls and villages. As you can see in the video below, I spent a lot of time raiding with the other strangers of the same faction. We raided town to town and by the time we finished I ended up having over 400k. I didn't even realize an hour had passed and I was recording that long, I was so into the siege that I lost track of time. My HD almost exploded with the recorded file size using FRAPS uncompressed recording. I'm looking forward to piloting the planes and choopers, perhaps boats for naval warfare.
Now that I have tons of gold and resources, I will probably spend most of my time tonight "teching" or upgrading the faction buildings, build monuments, towering up the buildings that my faction took over. Expect a lot of "building stuff" tomorrow, unless I get suckered into another RvR. I'm still experimenting with the game and wondering if teching up will force us to move up into a new era. Would be neat to see and create the more advanced buildings and vehicles. I'd like to see some helicopters used in RvR, wouldn't you?! Just hoping that the session does not reset tomorrow. Perhaps the world only resets after your faction fully dominates all the opposing factions on the map. Which means it will be a new experience each time, but is starting over too much? I really don't mind either way, it's a new experience each time. On a side note, I better find a guild soon.
Fast Leveling and Crafting System
The current beta cap was up to level 10 or perhaps it was because of the current era? Leveling up to 10 was extremely easy, took less than an hour. Other than the character levels alone, players can also level up their active skills by continuously using it. The max level of a skill is 10, I think it scales with the level. I started working on my Smithing since I wanted to mass produce weapons for my faction members. I mined ores, crafted a bunch of weapons! I ended up maxing my Smithing within the hour, shortly after, I discovered an NPC that sells PvP based items. Was disappointed that the PvP items were better than the ones I could craft during that time, leaving me with a useless Blacksmith, lol. Hopefully, it will be a lot more useful when the era changes.
All of the characters in the game can build stuff, some classes are just better at it. For example, you get more recipes when you job change to a Blacksmith. You also get Blacksmith related skills that can enhances the crafting process such as quality, progess, and more. The crafting system is somewhat leaning towards the FFXIV 2.0 system. You can increase the quality of the item with a skill and use another skiill to increase the progress. Once the progress bar is 100% a result screen will pop up revealing if your item is maximum quality or NPC material.
Conclusion - Is it fun!?
The game is still new to me, so I am enjoying it a lot. I've decided to play the last few remaining days of beta, Civilization Online has an interesting concept. Won't lie, but some of the features feel very ArcheAge'ish like construction, skills, combat, icons, etc. Even if you're a person that doesn't enjoy PvP, you can focus on other things like building tower defenses, upgrading buildings, and learning technology for the faction. I'll have more juicy details soon.