My fifth day of the 10/10 project brought me to “Champions of Regnum“. This is a free to play MMORPG with a focus on RvR (open world PvP, so to say) with three factions. It was originally released in 2007 according to the Wikipedia entry. I noticed it some time after it was released on Steam on February 27, 2013. It features open world PvP in specific (open) areas of the map with three different factions. This, of course, reminded me of Warhammer Online. I know that Dark Age of Camelot was earlier with 3-faction PvP and Champions of Regnum is actually older than WAR, but WAR is the only one of those three that I ever really played. And I loved the idea and lots of their concepts (not the execution, though). So I was excited to try out Champions of Regnum.
Let me tell you that I have not tried the PvP in CoR yet. So if you’re looking for information about that, you need to go elsewhere. A few hours were not enough to dip my toes into PvP. One thing that I think isn’t as good as WAR which let you enter PvP as soon as you were done creating your character. But maybe it’s the same in CoR and I just didn’t get to do it because I had no idea it works. ;) The region that I was in at the beginning, however, was a safe zone. But let’s start at the beginning…
The installation was fast and smooth, just as most game installations are that go through Steam. I created an account and noticed the little “Gamigo” icon on the game’s launcher. I don’t know if I could have logged on with a regular Gamigo account, I didn’t try that. After registering a new account, I logged on and saw that there was exactly one server, Valhalla, with “(Germany)” at the end. Some Googling followed and I learned that apparently, the game is IP-locking you to a certain region. Since I’m in Germany, I only saw Gamigo’s German server. They also have a French one. Without changing anything in the game’s client settings, I could not change my server. There is some information about how to do that in this thread on Steam’s forum. Anyway, I played on the German server. It was nice to see people greet each other in the chat – or rather, greet the faction. It seemed cozy.
As I mentioned, there are three factions. One, Alsius, had a bonus of 25% extra XP and extra gold earned. Ignis gave a 10% bonus to XP gain. Syrtis has no bonus. I assume that’s because Syrtis has the highest population, but it wasn’t explained anywhere. I would have liked to get more information than that. I would also have loved to be able to change the resolution before continuing. The graphics settings can only be changed after entering the game. Also, if you do change the graphic settings and it’s something that requires a restart, my client tried to restart but crashed. Those were the only crashed I encountered, though.
Back to the factions: I googled once more and found this forum post. Alsius has dwarfs, so I really wanted to play those! The wiki entry also mentioned that Syrtis start in a forest area. I did not want to play Syrtis, though, because it looked like they already were the biggest faction and even for just trying out the game, I did not want to do that. Also, elves. No, thank you. Alsius start in a snowy area, but since it was still freezing here in real life last weekend, I really did not want to see any more snow, even if just in a game. So, Ignis with their desert region was my choice. All three factions’ race choices can be previewed, by the way. Only when you have created a character, you are locked to this faction unless you delete all your characters which then makes you able to choose a different faction (at least, I assume you can re-choose your faction then). All three factions have the “Lamai” race (which can be seen in the screenshots below). They reminded me a bit of asura from Guild Wars 2, so I chose one of them.
One weird thing I noticed in quest hubs was some “clicking” noise that appeared irregularly. It was definitely annoying especially when you can’t figure out where it’s coming from and how to stop it. I realized what it was after a while: It can be heard whenever the NPCs have a bunny-ears-helmet appear. Yes, a bunny-ears-helmet. It disappeared again after a few seconds with no noise. This is, of course, not relevant to the gameplay, but it was very strange and distracted me from the game quite a bit. ;)
The game does a good-enough job at introducing you to the movement controls, how to accept, do and finish a quest, what the NPCs are for, etc. What I did not see was an explanation about the discipline points, etc. that you get for earning a level. Maybe I missed it, though. It was at my warrior trainer (I chose a warrior which shouldn’t really surprise my regular readers as some kind of heavy melee fighter is usually my first choice) and I remember that I did have a quest that introduced me to the warrior trainer.
If you want to know more, there is a “how to play the game” section in the options which gives you information about several topics including PvP. I only got to level 6 or so and up till then, there was no mentioning of PvP in the basic tutorial quests. It’s nice that there is the option, though, and that you can read about aspects of the game whenever you need this information.
The controls were explained quite well, but there wasn’t that much to explain anyway. W and S for moving forwards and backwards. You can also click on the ground to move. A and D are for strafing left and right which was nice, because I always re-bind my keys to do exactly that. I’m a mouse- and not a key-turner. You can jump in this game unless you are on a mount. Also, when you are on a mount and get any kind of damage (like falling damage), you are dismounted immediately. I assume this was done with a focus on PvP balance. Mounts make you faster, but they limit the terrain you can move on by now allowing you to jump and if you’re hit, you’re without a mount immediately.
The user interface doesn’t give you a lot of choices. I want my character portrait at the lower part of the screen and close to the centre. Especially in PvP, I look at my character most of the time and I appreciate not having to move my eyes away from my character to spot how much life I have left. But as far as I know, I was not able to move any of the windows to any other positions.
The gameplay itself was standard questing. If you’ve played World of Warcraft or Lord of the Rings Online or any other MMO that features quests, you know the deal. As I said in the beginning, I have not tried any of the PvP. Since this game is mostly about PvP, I guess this “first impression piece” is missing an essential part. ;) But as the project says, devote a few hours to the game and report about it. Now it’s time to move on to the next MMO.
I can say, however, that taken everything together, the game did not impress me. The graphics aren’t good or up-to-date (the game is from 2007, after all), but I liked the reflections in the water and all in all, it set a good desert-y atmosphere. The movement and controls seemed a little off at times. The UI is a bit too restricted when it comes to letting you move windows. The quests aren’t anything special either. And yet… I can’t bring myself to say it’s a bad or even a boring game. There was something about the game that drew me in. I can’t even say what it was. Maybe it is because I haven’t had the chance yet to test any of the RvR or PvP. This is what made me interested in the game in the first place and this is what I still haven’t seen. The map and the conversations in the faction chat made me curious, though. I’m certain this wasn’t the last time I logged in.
I’ll end this blog post with a few screenshots I took which give a pretty good picture of the region I played in. And I tried to find some good videos about the game on YouTube, but I wasn’t able to find many.
Here’s a video that was uploaded by the developers. It shows a mage (I think? I didn’t play that class) in RvR. Ignore the bad music choice. I have no idea why they added this song, as in my opinion, it just doesn’t fit to RvR combat action. Also, the animations/movements of the character “freeze” during combat. I didn’t experience that when I played, but maybe it’s different when there are more characters on the screen.
Here’s another YouTube video, this time not by the developers. I only watched the beginning, so I have no idea what they’re saying later on. But I liked the beginning (cute laughs there).