I would like to recommend this game. I really would. I cant. Like a lot of games it has a lot of potential. That is why I have followed it from the beta on and off. I would love a decent mmorts. The enthusiasm shown for it by the developers kept me checking in and believing everything would eventually turn out ok. Over three years after release and nearly a year on Steam. How is it now?
One year anniversary email Oct 2012 "After a disastrous beta and early release and severing ties with ex publisher 505 Games, our studio have finally gotten a chance to make Dawn of Fantasy the game we always wanted."
(edited for relevance/space) Apr 2013 email "We have an ambitious plan to get rid of the last remaining issues by May 1st and so that we can switch to adding awesome new features.
Here's a brief overview of the top problems we solved in the past couple of weeks
Server stability resolved - no more server downtime
Fixed lost progress, lost unit and army rollback issues
PvP, Siege and Coop does not Out of Sync or Disconnect
Fixed the quest, Co-Op and PvP victory problems
Started the UI redesign and replaced some fonts
If you left the game because you had any of the problems above, now is the time to come back and give Dawn of Fantasy: Kingdom Wars another go."
Looking at what is there right now it feels extremely buggy, poorly designed, implemented and unfinished.
Losing units (mods will reimburse, with logs), crashing during battles (lose incurred on profile), lag during coop battles (rubberbanding), Syncing issues during pvp. Unit stances and behaviours not sticking, Unit commands not being followed. Very annoying voice spam messages and popups (deleting a voice file solved one, the mods responded they would look into the other) Resource system not working. I could go on and on.
Its a real shame as the Homeland building aspects I really enjoy, enticing me to log back in and check on the little fellas regularly. The rest is, quite frankly, and I hate to say it, crap.
The ui is poorly designed. It feels like it is trying to fight me on what I am trying to do at times. Not showing all my units when I select all peasants (I believe there is a cap of 18 units selected which does not help you find that one unit you want to garrison) Hiding units in single man stacks behind a wall with no way to find them in a timely manner as the onscreen indicators are poor, Elements of the ui requesting you to look at them (quest book and invite friend button thing) flashing repeatedly until I click recognition and then flashing again a few minutes later repeatedly. I read my goddam quests the first time! Gaahhhhhh! Its like a facebook game!
You have a world map where the "mmo" takes place. This consists of a static map which is nice enough. You will never see another player on this map. This map is for you, To meet (fight) other players you move around declaring your looking for pvp and hoping that the area you are in has someone there. The system will tell you when a match is found. So its more like a lobby in the multiplayer sense. With an unnecessary visual element. The map for single player contains npc towns which you can visit(very rudimentary diplomacy), siege(coop or single) and visit for quests/selling/buying/trainging. It all just feels tacked on and has done since the beginning.
I feel like I have been harsh in writing this but I feel it has had more than enough time to be in a decent playable state. Right now I feel nervous carrying out actions. I feel increasingly nervous the longer sieges go on in case of crash/loss. I fear sieges, not because of players but because of desyncing. I feel nervous upon logging in to find any units missing.
The positives of the game are grossly overshadowed by the problems. Of note is the nice way of earning the currency (crowns) ingame. The initial period, base building in your home instance. The fact they kept my account and it was available to me from steam after a long absence. Friendly dev interaction,
Despite all that I will probably still log in to check on my little homeland every now and then. Quickly mind you, before the immunity timer wears out.
I will continually update the review as changes occur. I will happily change the recommendation if its deserving. In march apparently big changes are happening. We shall see. Unfortunately I have heard that many times before.