UPDATE: This game has been shutdown and is no longer available
Kingdom Heroes Overview
Kingdom Heroes is the latest Asian MMORPG based on the The Three Kingdoms period of China. While this is heavily trodden territory, Kingdom Heroes has an intense PvP experience with a slew of unique features. Developed by Userjoy Technology and published in North America by Aeria Games, Kingdom Hearts is now in closed beta testing. Some of the game’s features include mounted combat and ship based combat. Player run guilds will be able to run entire cities and battle over forts in-game. This territorial conflict won’t be confined to player controlled units. Players can command NPC soldiers and send in whole squads of them against their enemies.
The Three Warring Kingdoms:
Cao Cao - Founded when Cao Cao unified the north of China.
Liu Bei - Located in southwest China, the Shu dynasty was founded by Liu Bei.
Sun Quan - The last of the three kingdoms to be formed, it is located in the south of Chin and was founded by Sun Quan.
Kingdom Heroes Screenshots
Kingdom Heroes Featured Video
Kingdom Heroes Review
By, Omer Altay
Another day, another MMORPG set during the period of the Three Kingdoms. Seriously, there are already so many MMORPGs set during this period of Chinese history. I have nothing against this particular period of history, but with so many games trying to shove “Three Kingdoms” in their game title, things can get a bit confusing. See the Confusion of the Three Kingdoms editorial for more on this.
Kingdom Heroes is a 3D Fantasy MMORPG published by Aeria Games with a heavy emphasis on PvP. The game aims to compete with other PvP heavy MMORPGs including Aika Online from gPotato and Heroes of Three Kingdoms from Perfect World Entertainment. Even though Kingdom Heroes is marketed and labeled as a PvP heavy MMORPG, the game offers compelling PvE content on top of its epic large scale PvP battles. Plus, the game actually has several interesting features (Soldier System, Naval Warfare and more) as well as a fast enough experience rate to keep players hooked. But more on those interesting features later.
Character creation in Kingdom Heroes isn’t anything too special. After choosing from one of the game’s four starting classes – Warrior, Fencer Tactician and Conjurer players must choose where to allocate their starting stat points. Even though Kingdom Heroes has only four starting classes, the game does offer more appearance customization than most MMOs, as players can chose from 8+ faces, 11+ Hairstyles and 30+ hair colors.
Upon actually creating a character and entering the game world, players will have to run through a short tutorial area before they can pick a faction. Luckily, you don’t actually have to complete all the quests in the starting area if you don’t want to, you can just run past all of the tutorial quest NPCs if you want to save some time. I do recommend completing all of the tutorial quests though, as they’re incredibly easy and rewarding. Upon reaching the end of the tutorial area, players must chose a faction to align themselves with. The three factions in Kingdom Heroes are Cao-Cao, Sun Jian and Liu Bei. It doesn’t really matter which faction you pick early on if you’re playing by yourself, but if you’re playing with friends it makes sense to chose the same faction, as your faction determines which “side” you’ll be fighting on.
Mechanics and Gameplay
Controls-wise Kingdom Heroes offers both WSAD controls as well as point and click. I find the WSAD controls much more responsive, but I’m glad the game offers both options. Combat is fairly fast paced, with most enemies dying within a few hits. In fact, even higher leveled opponents seem to die incredibly fast, which makes the game’s PvE aspect feel way too easy. Just to illustrate this point a bit better, at level 13 I managed to kill a level 52 “Evil Bodyguard” with ease. Since the game doesn’t award experience for killing enemies that are significantly higher level than yourself, there’s really no point to killing random higher level enemies, but I still find it a bit ridiculous that the PvE aspect of the game is so easy. In fact, most of the enemies in Kingdom Heroes, aside from bosses, feel more like EXP pinatas than anything else.
Progression wise players receive 3 attribute points as well as a single talent point each level. The experience rate is fast paced, which it sort of has to be, considering the max level is 120+. Early on the experience rate feels absurdly fast, but it does slow down a tad around level 20, but overall it’s still fast. One downside about the game’s talent tree system is that there isn’t too much variety. Even though you can never accumulate enough talent points to learn everything, the talent tree system feels a bit simplistic and lacking in terms of variety. Players can also train and learn new skills over at their class trainer as they level up. One aspect of Kingdom Heroes that needs a bit more content is its job advancements. As is the game only has one job advancement at level 120 where players can chose from one of two job changes.
Soldier… err Pet System!
Probably the most unique aspect of Kingdom Heroes is its Soldier System. Each of the game’s four starting classes can control a certain amount of soldiers, which are basically pets. Warriors and conjurers can control a maximum of 2 soldiers at a time, fencers can control 4, and Tacticians 6. As a Warrior, even though I could control only 2 soldiers at a time, I really like the game’s pet system. The soldier system actually closely resembles the mercenary system from Atlantica Online, as these soldiers level up independently from each other and from your character.
The soldier system in Kingdom Heroes is neat because players can actually control how their soldiers grow. Players can pick which skills soldiers learn as well as what equipment each uses. Managing soldiers is a fairly easy task and adds some depth to the game. I strongly recommend new players to equip their soldiers with weapons as soon as possible, as it increases their damage considerably. I didn’t realize I could even equip my soldiers with gear until I reached level 17. If a soldier dies in combat it’s not a big deal. Players can have them resurrected (without losing any of their equipment) at any conscription officer for a small fee. Keep in mind, soldiers lose some ‘loyalty’ when they die and if loyalty sinks too low your troops won’t obey your commands. Not to worry though as loyalty is regained automatically simply by keeping soldiers alive. The whole soldier system doesn’t replace ‘partying’ with other players, but it definitely makes soloing a lot easier. Another neat little thing is that players can actually trade their soldiers through the game’s auction house system. Obviously higher level soldiers are worth a pretty penny with ‘rare’ soldiers being worth the most.
AFK Leveling 4tw!
Players can set their soldiers to the “aggressive” setting, which makes them automatically attack any nearby enemies. Leaving soldiers on this setting in a safe area is probably the easiest way to gain experience. Questing and killing enemies manually is much faster, but leveling up without having to lift a finger is much more convenient, even though its slower. I found that leaving the game on overnight or while doing something else was the easiest way to level up. Tacticians can level up much faster doing this as they can command up to six soldiers at once. Even though soldiers are considerably slower at killing enemies, I still found myself leaving Kingdom Heroes running while doing something else as my soldiers mindlessly slaughtered nearby enemies. This particular method of gaining experience isn’t nearly as cheesy as the built in bot in Magic World Online and WYD Global and is instead better resembles the “auto attack” feature in Sword of the New World.
Fight For Your Faction
PvP in Kingdom Heroes focuses on large scale kingdom wars where players from each of the game’s three factions fight for control over towns and fortresses. These faction wars occur regularly throughout the week. Player run guilds can actually take control of conquered towns and even control commerce through in that particular city by setting tax rates. The concept behind the game’s territory war system isn’t exactly unique, but the fact that players can control seige weaponry in battle does spice things up. Seige weapons are needed to break down gate walls. On top of that, Kingdom Heroes is one of the only MMORPGs where players can fight on sea in naval battles. The only other MMORPG that I can think of off the top of my head with a sea based component is Florensia. Players are awarded merit points when they kill members of the opposing faction which determine a player’s rank in the faction. Keep in mind players won’t lose experience and soldiers won’t lose loyalty if they die during PvP, so players are encouraged to participate.
The Small Details Matter
Kingdom Heroes has a bunch of small features built into the game that are worth mentioning. One of my favorite smaller features being the game’s auto navigate system which is similar to the auto navigate in Red Cliff and Zero Online. Players can quickly find available quest and navigate to the appropriate quest NPC with click of a button via the ‘available quest’ tab. Plus, players can simply click on the quest missions on their ‘quest tracker’ to automatically run towards quest locations. Need to kill 10 wild boars? Simply click on the quest name in your tracker and your character will run there automatically! The auto navigate feature itself is quite helpful, but the game does have some pathing issues. I found that the auto navigation system rarely takes the most efficient route to any destination, which makes movement feel a bit unnatural. I also found on rare occasions my character would get stuck trying to run through fences and other obstacles. It’s also worth mentioning that Kingdom Heroes has an auction house, which makes buying and selling goods in game quite easy.
Final Verdict – Good
Kingdom Heroes isn’t exactly a unique game, but the game’s PvP should be enough to keep players entertained. The entire PvE aspect of the game just feels too easy, but with a high level cap and an in depth soldier system there’s still plenty to do.
Kingdom Heroes Videos
Kingdom Heroes Character Creation
Kingdom Heroes Tutorial Gameplay
Kingdom Heroes Preview Trailer
Kingdom Heroes Links
Kingdom Heroes System Requirements
OS: Windows 2000 / XP /Vista / 7
CPU: Dual-Core 2.0GHz
RAM: 1 GB RAM
HDD: 4 GB Free
Graphics Card: nVIDIA GeForce 6600GT
OS: Windows 2000 / XP /Vista / 7
CPU: Pentium Dual-Core 2.5GHz
RAM: 2 GB RAM
HDD: 6 GB Free
Graphics Card: nVIDIA GeForce 7600GT or better