Welcome back to the third and final part of my Civilization Online review in progress! Average gamers probably won't look beyond the graphics and combat system alone. Civilization Online offers unique features here and there such as the real-time era transitions, player made cities in a seamless open world, naval battles, aerial battles, and more!
Gameplay Combat and Job System - Tab/Point or Action Targeting?
Looking back at my previous reviews, I noticed that I never gone into detail when describing the combat system of the game. Honestly, there is nothing special about the combat or targeting system at all. The targeting system is exactly like any other tab-target or point and click MMORPG in terms of controls, movement, and camera movement. The same old default WASD keys to navigate your character around or the alternate left click on the ground, space bar to jump, B key to build stuff like an RTS game, hotkeys bar for skills, etc. I actually would have preferred a more action and non-targeting system, but I suppose the user-friendly tab/point target is easier to pick up for first timers, or is it? No idea!
Though it's nothing new, Civilization uses a Main and Sub job system where players can choose a Sub job of their choice. The Sub job system plays a very big role throughout the game for many reasons. One is that players can take advantage of the passive system benefits. For example, a Demolisher or Builder class can only equip cloth armor which makes them super paper! If they are to change their Sub job to a Knight type, then they would unlock access to the Plate Armor passive, granting them the ability to wear Plate Armors. Skills aren't restricted to passives alone, a player can also use skills from that job as long as they have the proper Sub weapon equipped, in this case a Lance. The useable skills and passives unlocked from a Sub job caps at level 5 while the Main job is level 10. If the level cap went any higher and the Main job was level 20, then the Sub job cap would halt at level 10. In short, the Sub job is only half of the Main job.
Mounts and Vehicles - How are they made?
One might wonder how mounts, tanks, cannons, and sail boats, airships are obtained in the game. Just like a normal RTS game, you will need to construct the proper building to obtain that unit. For example, a random player would need to make sea port where they can purchase boats to sail to the other continents of the game. After the sea port is finished, they can talk to the NPC managing the port which sells a scroll for a hefty amount of gold. Once the scroll is obtained that player can then right click on the item in their inventory and summon it.
The ship will appear randomly out of thin air and is available for use. Just like pulling out a cute rabbit from a magic hat! With proper permissions set, a player can summon a lot of ships for other players to use. Civilization Online is an open world RvR RTS MMORPG so the chances of finding an abandoned mount or vehicle is very high. What do you do if you see one? Just walk right up to it and press "F" key after ten seconds of channeling the vehicle or mount will become yours. Unless an enemy player ends up stunning or killing you before you finish.
Match and Session System - Late Start? No problem!
Some other interesting features of Civilization Online is that new players can get into the game easily. New players don't have to worry about falling behind in levels or gear and can join a match in session any time they want. Whenever a session transitions into a new era such as Middle Ages to Renaissance new jobs and content are unlocked. A fresh player that recently joined a session in progress can easily job change to one of the newly unlocked jobs in that era and max it out in a little over an hour or less. Players can obtain special points used for purchasing gear by crafting, RvR, building stuff, and destroying enemy buildings, etc. If they already have friends playing on that server, then they can easily craft and trade gear with each other. No friends? No problem, just job change into one of the newly released crafting jobs and level it up quickly within an hour or two, I'd say two because you will need to go out and mine for gold. There are alternate ways also like using the income obtained from mining to purchase gear in the Auction House. A very nice and user-friendly system.
Replay Value - Is there any?
A normal MMORPG player probably wouldn't understand the replay value and the whole world resetting features of the game. The only reward that is given to a player after finishing a session are the cards that I explained in my last review. After fully testing the game, I've come to a conclusion that the game has decent amount of replay value due to the faction FFA RvR battle. The outcome of each session is very unpredictable due to numerous reasons. Allying with the enemy, being overrun by the enemy faction, well coordinated attacks by the enemy, a small group of players back-dooring, heavily reinforced defenses, zerg armies, and more. Each session in the 1st CBT only lasted for about 14 hours long and during sometime in that period the seamless open world transitioned from Middle Ages to the Rennaisance Period. Though it's not clearly visible in any of my videos, you can see a snapshot image of how the real time war progression between the factions below. Each icon represents a player made town or city, some cities are defenseless while others are reinforced heavily and defended by players.
There are NO CPU controlled or controllable units or armies in Civilization Online. This game is pure RvR against players only. Every vehicle is controlled by one player which makes the game great as it is. The only NPC's that you will encounter in this game are shop keepers, city/town guards, and NPC's guarding towers.
Bugs - It ain't a beta without em!
Like all early beta games that I test, the game itself was overrun with numerous bugs. If I had to name a bug or a problem that bothered me the most, I would pick on the random freezes and players not loading. Even with a decent PC and SSD the game would randomly stop responding for two-four seconds. It also seems like there was a maximum amount of units, buildings, textures, players, etc. that can be loaded at once. Which means, if you hit your quota you can't see the enemy players anymore. Hope they fix this feature in the next beta. Normally, I would point out a lot more bugs and flaws, but since this is the first closed beta I am letting it slide til the later betas.
Conclusion - Loads of PvP Content and Fun Concept
Overall I'm quite satisfied with the game and the whole general Civilization concept. It would be a lot more exciting if the combat leaned towards more the action non-targeting system. I've left out a lot of content, but I suppose I'll wait around til the next beta to write about em! Was a bit disappointed because the 1st beta was limited to the Middle Ages and Renaissance Period. I was really looking forward to transition between the eras and modern combat or something in between. I'm definitely looking forward to participating in the next test. This concludes Civilization Online experience and I hope that it helps everyone understand the game better. Cheers (='-')/")!