If you, like me, are into medieval history, knights, castles, and kings, you love a medieval castle game. But you get tired of fighting the Ai, and want a challenge against another human. And, if it was free, and had alot of PvP to it, you'd have your dream computer game. But you doubt it'd be free. Then, Stronghold Kingdoms is shown on your Steam search. Bullyseye. Money on the nose. Congrats on finding your dream game, complete with PvP, castle, knights, real world maps, strategy, and excitement.
Wrong. Your a "bully" for wanting to battle different players and get involved in House wars, and any war for that matter, House or no House. And if you do attack a player, unknowing about the "bully" rules or not, you end up reset unless of course you have dozens of vassal armies, and tons of cards. Whats the point of having a PvP world, 24/7 at that, if you can never use the PvP? Mind you, the players, the ones who DESPISE you attacking another player, will gladly attack you cause they were bored, or just simply needed the supplies or wanted a new town and captured yours. But your not allowed to attack back, or else you'll be the bully, and will need to be reset! This is pathetic and an injustice to the defender. But thats not all the community has decided:
The soldier recruiting. Its very limited. Your given six options to choose from: peasant, archer, pikemen, swordsmen, catapaults, and captains. Peasants are near useless, but cheap to make and handy for quick battles. Archers are vital to the game, and it would be near impossible to play the game without them. Pikemen are somewhat cheap to recruit, and are effective in battle. Swordsmen are, by far, the coolest soldier on the battlefield. Its probably the most medieval looking thing on the entire game! The catapaults are useless unless attacking. Captains look like dismounted knights, but with a cape, like a king, and wields an axe. Expensive, and best for attacking. So, with these options in mind, you can customize your army! Wrong! The community has decided archers and pikemen are the only soldiers you really need. Swordsmen are "to aggressive" so you hardly see them and they highly discourage you even recruiting them. And they'll expect 375+ archers on your castle walls for defense to keep out invaders. Oh and unit space. After some research, your able to have 500 units. Units include scouts, merchants, monks, and soldiers. However, 1 monk=25 spots out of your 500! Safe to say, by the time you get 8 scouts(max allowed) 10 merchants(carries enough supplies worth the time) and save enough room for even 2 monks(50 spots taken with those alone) you'll get somewhere 319-342 soldiers. How are you able to get 375 archers out of that!? Its rather a nusiance and it would be much handier if every unit cost 1 spot. Next, the castles. To save time, basically put, they'll force you to build your castle THE same way everytime in every town, in every House, on every server. They will raze your town if you dont. To prevent invaders, is there wimpy excuse. Or make fun of you, if you dont build by there own standards. And still this one style the community has picked, gets razed in every war. So shouldn't you get creative instead of this grind of castle building the same thing over and over? I mean its not like it proves indestructible. They'll launch 5+ parish armies at it, timed attacks to take out your archers, and other defenses.
Cards is, pretty much, the legal way to "cheat" on here. Basically, within 2 hours you could have a near fully built town, high rank, lots of researchs done. And your neighbor has a tiny, barely built town, low rank and little to no research done, because he is not carding. In wars, the winning side is NOT who was the best fighter, or had better tactics. Its whoever was online the most to buy cards to use. Say I was in a battle, one-on-one, and my enemy used cards and I didn't. It'll take me four hours to recruit a full army. And then, it'll take two hours for them to reach his town. My enemy uses cards and voila! He has full army in 30 minutes, and another card and his army is reaching my town in 45 minutes, which was really 2 hours away. Cards also limit castle damage so, basically, use cards or just wait, slowly, to do ANYTHING!
Finally, the players. First off, Ive met some really nice fellows on here. The rest, are so mean, its enough to make you quit this game altogether. I have been called names, as if I was being bullied on a schoolyard playground. And these were mostly in battles, and one was from another player who, thinks Im a "bully" for wanting to try out the battles, so he bullies me, name calls me, makes fun of me, tells others Im trouble. But he isn't a bully, according to him. Ive been threatenend to be r*ped over scouting someone. Murder threats also happen in wars. Thankfully, Ive never seen any, my allies are the ones who told me. It caused multiple players to actually quit one server, out of fear, because they AND there familes were threatened with murder. And, so far, it seems FireFly aint the least bit concerned over any of this. Oh and the Ai is a problem. The Wolf castles spawn WAY to fast and then, literally, destroy your castle, makes it harder to bring in peasants to build an army to destroy it, forces you to lower your taxs, and usually, no one destroys it, due to needing supplies for wars, that they discourage you from being in, until your town is in complete shambles. Cutting Wolf castle spawn rates would make this game even slightly more fun.
Overall, not a good game. If they could give you an option to avoid human player attacks or not, then maybe we could have a little more of the PvP, without the innocent getting destroyed in the process. Towns defense upgrades would also be a welcome boost. Catapaults(cats, in-game) shoot so fast, that even if you manage to defend, your castle is destroyed big-time. Makes your victory feel bittersweet. But you gotta defend off 200 some archers, 150+ pikemen, and 100 or so cats, along with the captain(s) with, at max 400 possible soldiers. 500 possible attackers versus 400 possible defenders. Perhaps thats why the discourage the PvP, is because its way to unbalanced, and the defenders odd's of winning is slightly better than winning the Lottery.
At the end of the day, with PvP dubbed as "bullying" all you have left is a building game, and watching numbers go up game. It sounds more like a math game, and who wants to spend there free time doing math related stuff, such as watching numbers go up, numbers go down(addition and subtraction) and waiting for the one building to finish so you can place another?
I'd highly recommend Age of Empires 2 HD or Medieval Kingdoms 2: Total War over this game. I know you cant beat free, but the money spent on those games are worth there money. Plus, they deliver, great medieval experiences, along with highly intense battles, single player or multi player.
Plus, you can avoid getting a lesson in, Bullying 101, which this game is, pretty much.