Online Empire Simulator, thats what i call the Genre, maybe you call it something else, but its been around for a long long time. Maybe you started in Tribal Wars/Travian, or noticed those Evony ads everywhere. I think my first was Astro Wars in 2002, (its still up) and countless more since then. For many people, the combat might of ruined the game for them, for almost all of these games use automated combat, you send an army and you win or lose.
Some games of this genre tried to improve on that, offering tactical deph in way of army formations, eventually some games gave combat a manual mode, in turn based style; Heroes of Gaia and Forge of Empires for example. But we've all probably been waiting for a real RTS combat experience, and Kingdom Wars is the closest thing to getting it, and without walking for hours on an overworld.
Naturally, merging these genres brings setbacks. Remember planetside 1? The first MMOFPS? Yeah, the actual gunplay sucked, but you played it because of the scale, you couldnt get that anywhere else, you put up with it. Kingdom Wars is in the same boat, stepping into new ground, the controls suffer for this and take getting used too. I dont view it as a MMORTS though, its an online empire simulator with RTS/RPG mechanics as its broken up into instances with icons to represent your army on the world map, a map shared by all players but in their own instance.
Here's what you need to know you're getting into.
You pick a race, then customize it by choosing a specific region, then two of five perks.
Your town is persistant, you train workers to gather instead of upgrading mines. It CAN be attacked, but not while you're offline.
When you make troops, they shouldnt stay in your town, thats when you enter the world map and create an army.
The world map is full of NPC cities, these can be traded with, allied with, or dealt with. You cannot see other player cities or armies.
There is a long story and quest chain, almost like its a single player campaign in an online game, you'll be doing quests but they can be done in co-op too.
Your city is relatively safe compared to other games of this genre, chances of being attacked are low and you cannot be attacked while offline or otherwise unavailable.
While your city persistently generates resources all the time, actively playing the game is very rewarding since there is no stamina system holding you back from playing it all day, it does great at blending the Idle and Active aspects of both genres.
You cannot build extra cities like other Empire Simulators, you have a main city to grow, and other cities you conquer trickle rewards. You can unlock extra city slots in case you want to try other races or regions but these cities cannot interact.
The F2P element is very generous too, starting with Protection peroids that only count down while you're online, having multiple and efficient means of farming premium currency, and restricting PvP to armies of similar Strength, so you wont be fighting an army of powerful premium units without an army of equal strength on your side, and even if you lose, you still get Crowns, so dont shy away from a fight!
If you're just a RTS fan, this might not be for you, although there are unlockable Skirmish/Campaigns for solo play. But if you've ever enjoyed growing a persistant online empire then you have to check this out, I cant kill all the elves myself.